November 30, 1999
Religion: Lesile Dalton
Fall: Research Paper
Jonestown: The Terror Within.
Cults have existed throughout history since the beginning of time. A cult is defined in Webster's dictionary as a "system of religious worship with a devoted attachment to a person, principle, etc." Over the past thirty years numerous religious cults have caused " tens of thousands to abandon their families, friends, education's, and careers to follow the teaching of a leader they will never meet"(Beck 78).
Opinions vary as to why people are drawn to cults. "Martin Marty, professor of religious history at the University of Chicago, attributes the growth of cults to the frustrations of seemingly rootless people"(U.S. News and World Report 23). Marty's classification of a rootless person is a person who is overly frustrated by modern life and is at a loss for direction. Often the rootless individual will "short-circuit and try to hook their lives to any guiding spirit" (U.S. News and World Report 23).
The psychological classification of people who join cults are those who feel neglected by their society. "Cults are picking up on these people who feel their interests have been overlooked" (U.S. News and World Report 23).
The sociological studies on cults and those who join them have found "that many of the converts are young people, often without strong family ties, who are unsuccessful in dealing with life's problems and are seeking instant solutions supplied by others" (U.S. News and World Report 23).
The People's Temple was religious cult founded and lead by Jim Jones, based in Jonestown, Guyana. The converts belonging to Peoples Temple may have joined for various reasons differing from one another, yet the one common bond they all shared was Jim Jones. They loved Jim, they feared Jim, and eventually they died for Jim .
Jim Jones was "a self-proclaimed messiah in a polyester suit, a man who played God from behind mysterious dark glasses that... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2001, 04). Jonestown. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2001, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Jonestown-31491.html
"Jonestown" StudyMode.com. 04 2001. 04 2001 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Jonestown-31491.html>.
"Jonestown." StudyMode.com. 04, 2001. Accessed 04, 2001. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Jonestown-31491.html.