The first public challenge to Jones’ leadership of the Temple came in 1972 from the media, which then increased his paranoia that his followers would turn against him. Jones went to greater lengths after being challenged by the media to declare his control by constantly testing his followers. He would organize “white nights”, which required his followers to drink a red liquid which may have contained poison, then Jones would see how many of his followers wouldn’t hesitate to drink the red liquid. Jones was still paranoid and made the decision to move Peoples Temple to Guyana and start a community called Jonestown.
Nov. 18, 1978 the day 913 innocent people died. Jim jones killed 909 of his church members including 300 children and a senator. In the weeks leading up to this tragedy people started to become suspicious of peoples temple in Guyana south america. As the suspicion and paranoia grew throughout the colony Jones became obsessed and scared of what people would do. There were an increase in the number of suicide drills, and more precautions were added. Also people weren't allowed to have contact with the outside world so some people would try to escape but you had to be “prepared to die” (o'shea). If someone caught you escaping you would be punished severely. On top of that they were surrounded by jungle so it would be hard to escape.
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.
November 18, 1978, altered America, but the process leading up to that day began much earlier by a mind only described as perverse. The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, Peoples Temple as it is commonly referred, led by James Warren Jones blazed its own way into the history books with what is still one of the most disastrous endings of a movement. Jim Jones is known for founding the most infamous cult in American history; his reputation revolves around the manipulation of a population, professing skewed values, controlling that population, and eventually destroying what he created in a final act of domination.
Jim Jones had many jobs before he became leader of the peoples temple. As a child he spent much of his time alone. He began preaching at 10 years old after going on weekly trips to church with a neighbor of his. He continued his strong religious beliefs when moved to Indianapolis with his mother. Jones became a minister at a local church and held racially integrated services to the church’s displeasure. During the mid 1950’s Jones opened his first church of The People’s Temple while still living in Indiana. As the cult grew in the 60’s Jones relocated to Northern California and soon after opened churches in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Followers of the People’s Temple often referred to him as ‘father’ or ‘Dad’.
Stanley Nelson’s documentary Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple reviews the actions of this religious group and analyzes its rise to popularity, then eventually its downfall. The Peoples temple was a religious, and later political, movement started by Jim Jones in 1955. It was an interracial congregation. Jones preached socialist and communist beliefs and took Christianity teachings to a radical level. The Peoples Temple had utopian ideals which led them to establish a community separate from the evil and injustice of the rest of society. This group ultimately met its demise when Jones’ paranoia took control of the group and led to a mass suicide which claimed 909 of its members.
On November 18, 1978, with the help of grape flavored Flavor-Aid, over 900 members of “The people’s temple” were killed in a mass suicide directed by leader Jim Jones. In the beginning Jones movement was one that helped the poor and needy but with a growing number of members, unflattering reports surfaced. With former members telling stories of having all belongings, homes, and even children being taken from them Jones was forced to move his congregation to Guyana where he promised to build a socialist utopia. However, Jones created a socialist government far from utopia. Members worked long hours, had phone calls or any communication censored, and harsh punishment was given to anyone who questioned Jones. After hearing about these living circumstances,
In 1977, there were many members, or ex-members of Peoples Temple going against Rev. Jim Jones. One of them, a member, Grace Stoen, had been asking the Guyanese government for help to regain custody of the son, John Victor, from Jones. An ex-member of the group, Deborah Layton Blakely had been speaking publicly about Jim Jones. A congressman, Leo J. Ryan from California, went to Guyana to investigate himself.
Jim Jones was the leader of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project also known as Jonestown. This American religious organization is most known internationally for the events that happened on November 18, 1978. In the 1950s, the group was founded, but the Temple moved their following to San Fransisco in the mid 1970s. But even there they received critical claims and had several newspaper articles written about the group. The course of those events plus the defection of eight temple leaders made Jones prepare for an escape plan to get out of the United States and find a new place to make a compound for his group. There were several places that were considered, but eventually the Temple chose Guyana because of its own socialist politics.
They would sing and dance to the music. They felt the services had life, soul and power they felt a live that what they took out of it. They would mainly be clapping hands and jumping up and down the reason where on how the services was lead. They stated that if a stranger outside their church come they didn't know about the political views and walked in their church hours they would had just thought it was an old time religious services. That the moment Jim Jones come in to preach they had already set up the service for him to talk about his views of religion. Of the world relationship to the human and the life of it. In their church every single person felt that they had a purpose in life they were suprical. Jim Jones preaching would show that he understood how it feel to be different or being the out cost of somewhere. He developed sensitivity for the problems of blacks. They would bring in many people in to the peoples temple the type of groups would be in where the young adults in college, elders, black women, it was just a widely range of diverse backgrounds. They all who entered to the peoples temple had a realization of they were something bigger than them self for the most part when Jim Jones
By the late 1970’s Jones’ congregation peaked in numbers, so did the persona of Jim Jones. His image was that of a messiah, the personal object of the People’s Temple, “Father” to his devout followers (Osherow). Jones had their unwavering loyalty, unconditional love, their worldly possessions, and believers who were under his will. He had the components to begin building his paradise, his city, his infamous legacy, Jonestown.
The first omen was a sort of fiery signal or shape that shone in the night sky and appeared to have sparks of fire that fell dripped from it like blood or rain. This fire-like phenomena that appeared at midnight at disappeared at sunrise was wide at the base and narrow at the top like a pyramid. The second omen was that the temple of Huitzilopochtli caught fire without any apparent reason, and when the Mexicanos ran to put it out with water, the flames only rose higher until the temple was completely reduced to ash. The third omen was that the straw temple of Xiuhtecuhtli was struck by lightening and burned down despite there not being but a light rain fall. The fourth omen was a series of comets that flew across the sky from the west to the