The Jonestown Massacre

1227 WordsDec 19, 20125 Pages
The Jonestown Massacre Jahiii Parks Civil Rights/Black Power Prof. Raquel M. Bennett December 19, 2012 The Peoples Temple which was founded by Jim Jones, was a racially integrated church that focused on helping people in need. Jones originally established the Peoples Temple in Indianapolis, Indiana, but then moved it to Redwood Valley, California in 1966. Jones had a vision of a communist community, one in which everyone lived together in harmony and worked for the common good. He was able to establish this in a small way while in California but he dreamed of establishing a compound outside of the United States. This compound would be fully under his control, allow Peoples Temple members to help others in the area, and be far…show more content…
Ryan then joined the truck and left the compound. The truck made it safely to the airport, but the planes weren't ready to leave when the group arrived. As they waited, a tractor and trailer pulled up near them. From the trailer, Peoples Temple members popped up and started shooting at Ryan's group. On the tarmac, five people were killed, including Congressman Ryan. Many others were severely wounded. Back in Jonestown, Jones ordered everyone to assemble at the pavilion. Once everyone was assembled, Jones spoke to his congregation. He was in a panic and seemed agitated. He was upset that some of his members had left. He acted like things had to happen in a hurry. He told the congregation that there was to be an attack on Ryan's group. He also told them that because of the attack, Jonestown wasn't safe. Jones was sure that the U.S. government would react strongly to the attack on Ryan's group. "When they start parachuting out of the air, they'll shoot some of our innocent babies," Jones told them. Jones told his congregation that the only way out was to commit the "revolutionary act" of suicide. “In desperation, Jones ordered his followers to commit suicide, along with himself and his wife.” One woman spoke up against the idea, but after Jones offered reasons why there was no hope in other options, the crowd spoke out against her. When it was announced that Ryan was dead, Jones became
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