Sociology

1937 Words Mar 21st, 2015 8 Pages
Don’t Drink the Kool Aid
On November 18, 1978 what has been called the largest mass suicide in modern history occurred in Jonestown, Guyana where 909 members of The Peoples Temple died. Jim Jones was the leader of the Peoples Temple Church and religious movement. The church was looked highly upon by many back in the 1950-1970’s. All races and backgrounds were brought together as one in his congregation. Religion serves as a sanctuary from the harshness of everyday life and oppression by the powerful. Most of Jones’s followers lived lives that they were dissatisfied with and they felt as if the movement gave them a purpose. Many of his followers believed that Jim brought more opportunities into their lives and allowed them to change for
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Jim would provide clothing, medical care, food, and anything else that his followers needed. They deprived themselves of sleep to work and support Jim Jones and the movement. Jim Jones believed, “sell all things and have things in common.” Religion, especially Jones’s, binds members and allows them to have common values and beliefs. His followers sold everything they had and gave all of their money to the church, including their pay checks. His followers trusted in him, so they did and acted however he said. Jim began to take complete control over every aspect of these people’s lives. His followers were idolizing him and putting him before family, work, and everything else in their lives.
As time passed, Jim Jones and the movement began to change. Some say that Jones began to lose control. He began drinking and using drugs and started to go crazy. Jim Jones became extremely paranoid and thought the whole world was against him and his movement. Jones was so paranoid that he even started to fear for his own life. He compared himself and his movement to Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr., which were both assassinated, so he was afraid the same would happen to him. Jones was desperate to get his followers away from the negative influences of the public. As the officials, public, and family members started to ask questions and wonder about things, Jones felt as if he was starting to lose all the control that he had gained and he did not want to risk

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