Jim Jones Essay

1676 Words Sep 30th, 1999 7 Pages
The mass suicides, that took place under the influence of Reverend Jim Jones, can be explained from a sociological perspective. By looking at how the group dynamics played into the outcome one gets a better idea of the whys? of the massacre. The sociological explanation is but one way to explain this horrific event. It is , however, the only one explored in this essay for reasons of concision.

At one level, the deaths at Jonestown can be viewed as the product of obedience, of people complying with the orders of a leader and reacting to the threat of force. In the Peoples Temple, whatever Jim Jones commanded, the members did. When he gathered the community at the pavilion and the poison was brought out, the populace was surrounded
…show more content…
Dread. Once a state of dependency is firmly established, the group's control over members' thoughts, feelings, and behavior is strengthened by the members' growing dread of losing the group's psychological support (physical threat also occurs in some groups), however much it may aim at ensuring their compliance with leadership's often debilitating demands.

Yes. Ordinary social conditioning differs from mind control in two important ways. First, parents, schools, churches, and other organizations do not as a rule utilize unethically manipulative techniques in socializing children, adolescents, and young adults. Second, social conditioning is a slow process which promotes and encourages an initially "unformed" child to become an autonomous adult with a unique identity. Mind control, on the other hand, uses unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control to induce dependency in a person with an established identity, which the manipulator seeks to alter radically without the informed consent of his targets.


Cult leaders and members use mind control to inundate their message into the minds of prospective and existing followers.Groups that demonstrate exaggerated devotion or commitment to some person, idea,
Open Document