The Jim Jonestown Massacre

Topics: Cult, Jim Jones / Pages: 4 (849 words) / Published: Mar 9th, 2016
On November eighteenth, 1978, over 900 people died in a settlement in Guyana call Jonestown. This group included 276 children(Biography.com Editors). These deaths are considered the largest modern mass suicide, and also considered a mass murder. This deadly event happened because of a single man named Jim Jones and his religious philosophy. The history of Jonestown, where the suicides occurred, begins with the life of Jim Jones. Growing up, he was always fascinated with religion, and made a name for himself practicing as a minister before breaking off to begin the Wing of Deliverance Church. After he gained a following, his church and he moved to California; at that time this included about 100 people(Biography.com Editors). He began to convince people to follow him by learning what was important to them. For these people, he played the role of father, leader, and teacher.(Rothenberg). Once he had gathered a following of 1,000 people, he moved the group to a settlement in Guyana where everyone worked very had and followed his …show more content…
Jim Jones did not have a bad outlook on a utopian future. He wanted equality and fairness for all people. In reality, he acted as a sociopath, and killed the people he wanted to help. Without the paranoia and failures of Jones, the idea of a utopia is positive(Wunrow). However, because of the way he treated Jonestown, he is considered a cult leader. Modern psychologists study him and what is called social psychology Cult leaders often use techniques such as violence and isolation to control the minds of members. Jim Jones used many ideas of George Orwell, and twisted them to his benefit, such as subjecting people to their fears. The control of one's mind gives control to a cult leader. By studying how Jim Jones managed to convince over 900 people to drink cyanide laced Kool-Aid, modern psychologists can learn how cults are controlled and how to stop

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