The People's Temple: The Jonestown Massacre

747 Words3 Pages
The People’s Temple was a religious movement founded by Reverend Jim Jones in the mid 1950’s. Reverend Jones initially came from a humble begining living with his poor family in Indiana. As Jones grew older he began attending meetings and rallies for the U.S. communist party. Due to ongoing fear of the spread of communism in the U.S. Jones was often harassed and ridiculed by both the government and the public for his political leanings. It wasn 't until the early 1950’s when Jones became increasingly involved in the sommerset southside methodist church in Indianapolis, Indiana when his real intentions began to take shape. Jones recounts his thoughts during that time in his autobiographical statements uncovered years after the Jonestown massacre. “So on down the road… I decided, how can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was ‘infiltrate the church.’ I consciously made a decision to look into that prospect.” It was at this methodist church…show more content…
It was clear that more than just religious activities were happening at Jonestown. In response to these allegations congressman Leo Ryan decided to take a visit to the village and see for himself what exactly was going down.What ensued is what put the “Jonestown massacre” in headlines. On November 18th 1978 after visiting the community at Jonestown the Congressman along with several defectors trying to escape were ambushed by heavily armed temple guards. The congressman and four others were killed. Back at Jonestown Reverend Jones gathered his 900 plus followers and passed out a mixture of fruit juice and cyanide to the masses. Those who refused to drink were either injected with poison or forced at gunpoint. By the next day Guyanese officials had reached the camp which was littered with the bodies of Jones and his many followers, one third of which were
Open Document