"Don't drink the Kool-aid"

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:28 pm
Today is, for those who don't know, the 30 year anniversary of the mass murder of over 900 people via grape flavored potassium cyanide led by leader Jim Jones.

Is anyone here old enough to explain the story behind this all? It was an interesting topic to talk about today during class.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:41 pm
I thought this was going to be about small ball.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:48 pm
xbay wrote:Today is, for those who don't know, the 30 year anniversary of the mass murder of over 900 people via grape flavored potassium cyanide led by leader Jim Jones.

Is anyone here old enough to explain the story behind this all? It was an interesting topic to talk about today during class.



im not old enough to "know" what went down ....however i am old enough to remember it being all over the news....a side note, i remember many many people wondering about the local churches in the bay area thinking
it couldn't be an isolated incident.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:51 pm
As far as I know, Jim Jones was a reverend who feared losing supporters of his church so he decided to move locations. What I don't understand is why he killed all those people. Anyone know why to that?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:19 pm
No no no, Jones was not a reverend. He was a guy who was obsessed with Marxist ideals and who realized that the best way to mobilize people was through religion. Oh and boy did it work. Jones was a prominent political figure in the late 60's and 70's. He was friends with Moscone, Willy Brown, and other figures in the Bay Area and received a ridiculous amount of support from them. He formed The People's Temple in order to recruit people to Communism. After a while he decided to move them to Guyana to a more secluded area, there are plenty of theories as to why he did this, but most likely it was just so he could do what he wanted out of the public eye. Anyway, after a while people started to talk and stories from defected members started to surface, so Leo Ryan, a congressman, went down to investigate. After visiting the Temple and leaving with a bunch of members who wanted to defect, Ryan and a few others (I can't remember how many) were gunned down at the airport as they were leaving. Jones then decided that retribution would be too great and so he had to act. He got everyone together, told them about the murders and claimed that they were going to be invaded and forced into fascism so they needed to commit "revolutionary suicide" in order to give their lives for the cause. So after having all the kids drink cyanide laced Kool Aid (or actually FlavorAid) so did the adults and Jim Jones shot himself in the head. There are people who claim that it was not all mass suicide and there is some evidence that suggests that some people were shot and/or injected with the poison although no one has really proven anything.

I think that's all I know about it! That kind of psychology just fascinates me. He used a lot of Hitler's methods that are just astoundingly (and scarily) effective. Hitler's rise to power fascinates me too, but that's for another day.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:41 pm
Captain_Jack wrote:No no no, Jones was not a reverend. He was a guy who was obsessed with Marxist ideals and who realized that the best way to mobilize people was through religion. Oh and boy did it work. Jones was a prominent political figure in the late 60's and 70's. He was friends with Moscone, Willy Brown, and other figures in the Bay Area and received a ridiculous amount of support from them. He formed The People's Temple in order to recruit people to Communism. After a while he decided to move them to Guyana to a more secluded area, there are plenty of theories as to why he did this, but most likely it was just so he could do what he wanted out of the public eye. Anyway, after a while people started to talk and stories from defected members started to surface, so Leo Ryan, a congressman, went down to investigate. After visiting the Temple and leaving with a bunch of members who wanted to defect, Ryan and a few others (I can't remember how many) were gunned down at the airport as they were leaving. Jones then decided that retribution would be too great and so he had to act. He got everyone together, told them about the murders and claimed that they were going to be invaded and forced into fascism so they needed to commit "revolutionary suicide" in order to give their lives for the cause. So after having all the kids drink cyanide laced Kool Aid (or actually FlavorAid) so did the adults and Jim Jones shot himself in the head. There are people who claim that it was not all mass suicide and there is some evidence that suggests that some people were shot and/or injected with the poison although no one has really proven anything.

I think that's all I know about it! That kind of psychology just fascinates me. He used a lot of Hitler's methods that are just astoundingly (and scarily) effective. Hitler's rise to power fascinates me too, but that's for another day.


Jones was smart in reacting quick with his actions. Ryan just got into the country 4 days prior. did see the "colony" of jonestown until a day before (nov. 17). Now while Ryan, his aides, and the press saw this thing established by Jones, there were a few people that looked scared. One person handed a note to a press person asking to take them with them, and was being threatened. SO Ryan returns the next day, bringing 14 defectors with him, while Jones kicked them out asking them to never return. some of the defectors were trying to tell Ryan that one of the defectors was not with them. That he was a Jones loyalist. So, on the car ride to the airport (or something like this, this part i dont know entirely about) this defector that supposidly was a Jones loyalist (name landry) took out a machine gun, and gun down several of the people, including Congressman Ryan, who he shot all over. This guy gets arrested, and it jailed for the murder. And was released like 8 years ago from prison.

Anyways back to jones, so after this whole shooting, the Guyana police were ordered the next day to go into Jonestown to get jones. and thats where they found out that there was the mass murder/suicide.

BTW, not all died from the kool aid. several died from stabbings. Adults would stab their children before they did it to themselves. it was disturbing, and a very sad incident of human history.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:42 pm
before they drank tha kool aid one mother grabbed her two kids, took them up in her house and offed em her damn self....

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:53 pm
Wow, that's a lot of info, Capt. Good stuff. I'm taking a Psychology class in college since it fascinated me when I took it in high school and we were talking about this in a group discussion. Hitler's ideals looked at through Psychology is going to be my next question... but that'll be later.

BTW, thanks, Capt.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:58 am
Another thing you can't forget, is that literally DAYS after all of this happened, a disgruntled city worker named Dan White broke into city hall and assassinated Mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk. Milk was the first gay man in san francisco to be elected to public office.

White only got 2 years for "voluntary manslaughter". He had also planned on killing Willie Brown The community, especially gays, were outraged. They rioted for a solid month or so. My mom told me that it really mobilized the gay community and unified them. After that, their voices grew stronger.

Can you imagine these events taking place in a 10 day period. My mom had just moved to California and the bay area when it happened and she was just amazed. What a crazy ****ing time. Say what you will about today, but **** like this doesn't happen now!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:40 pm
Capt Jack has it right. Jones recruited poor and uneducated people by convincing them their lives would be better if they would follow him. In this way he was like a lot of other charismatic leaders, both secular and religious. Jones combined both. He was good at this and his power and control grew unchecked.

It did not hurt that he had powerful friends in Bay Area political circles who liked his support because he could organize voters.

Eventually, he moved his operation to the jungle in order to be able to rule without opposition or oversight. He got support from the host country by promising development. However, some in the government got suspicious in time and began to call for investigations.

While he used religion and various political ideologies to convince his followers, this was really a cult in practice and he became more and more its deranged leader. Cults often use the "us versus them" way to control people and Jones actually had such power that outsiders, even a congressman, were shot when it seemed that they would be exposed.

Of course, the real test was to have his followers kill themselves, their kids, everyone. There were a number of armed fanatical enforcer types who made sure everyone did drink that famous Kool Aide and one of them shot Jones. There was speculation that he wasn't planning on drinking anything himself.

As in any cult, certainly some members had questions and wanted out. It is very difficult to do so because everyone spied on each other and intervened physically and with group pressure. The armed enforcers were there for a reason.

The Kool Aide thing was set up well in advance. Jones was pretty sure that one government or another would someday march in and put an end to it. He had Kool Aide drinking drills and the stuff was ready to go at a moment's notice.

I believe some people, a few single guys in good shape and with nobody to slow them down, did manage to escape through the jungle. Their accounts were why investigations were begun and people went down to check it out.

There were indications that Jones was completely out of control by then and that this was a dangerous mission, but they did it anyway. They basically were running for it out at the airstrip, trying to escape alive when a vehicle full of enforcers pulled up an began to shoot them.

This is what I remember. If I looked stuff up, I would remember more. You can do that!

What sticks with me is the sad fact that his followers were desperate people who simply thought that they could improve their lives. They weren't waiting around for flying saucers, or to overthrow the government, just some land to farm, education for the kids and a stable life.

I am sure that lots of them did not want to drink the poison and did so only by gunpoint. Some committed suicide, but many were simply murdered.

Bay Area politics took a real hit and, of course, the Moscone murders and the famous Twinky defense just added to it. There were accusations that their support of Jones helped him gain and hold power, that they dragged their feet in investigating him. There were some big names who were too infatuated with him to be objective.

It was an amazing time. I was coaching a girls high school varsity basketball team at the time and they were really upset, asking questions and all. It was one of those times I didn't have an answer.

I did play the rookies, though.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:44 pm
Thunder wrote:I thought this was going to be about small ball.


I thought it was someone's reaction to something Nelson said.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:42 am
xbay wrote: Hitler's ideals looked at through Psychology is going to be my next question... but that'll be later.

BTW, thanks, Capt.


Maybe you can speak to www.goldenstwarriors.com forum resident racist SFSFSFGiant about Hitlers ideals :mrgreen: Not that he'd have anything constructive to say on the topic by the way.

Oh Xbay any update when the kids due back and has he expressed wether or not he'll be returning to the forum?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:52 am
PAWNOGRAFFITI wrote:
xbay wrote: Hitler's ideals looked at through Psychology is going to be my next question... but that'll be later.

BTW, thanks, Capt.


Maybe you can speak to www.goldenstwarriors.com forum resident racist SFSFSFGiant about Hitlers ideals :mrgreen: Not that he'd have anything constructive to say on the topic by the way.

Oh Xbay any update when the kids due back and has he expressed wether or not he'll be returning to the forum?


Haha, I wouldn't actually... I already know enough of what I want to know from that kid.

The kid suspension was 60 days, I believe, and he's "estimated" to come back around early December. I say estimated because it's not certain if he'll return. He told E-Man, "one more month." He can mark the actual day 60 days are up on his calender, but it doesn't mean he's unbanned at that time. Us mods and admin have the ultimatum to whether he returns or not. Although, there was a thread somewhere in this forum that we had fellow posters state their opinion on the idea of lifting the suspension after 60 days or continuing his ban.

And if you find the thread, you may have an idea of what us mods agreed upon... although, I cannot say the truth of what will happen for hobbes is the ultimatum. Myself, TMC, and Bada are just ones to help him out.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:45 pm
I'm late on this one but I saw an excellent documentary detailing the last week of Jonestown.

Jonestown: Paradise Lost (2007)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1090665/

I'd always wondered what actually went down and this doc has eyewitness and survivor accounts about everything. Even the re-enactments aren't half bad. They might still be showing it on the History Channel.

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