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Jim Jones' Genocide In Jonestown, Guyana

1160 words - 5 pages

“Never Forget” is the slogan for such atrocities as The Holocaust, The September 11th attacks and all Genocide worldwide in a way to remember and prevent future events. Little did we know that in Jonestown, Guyana, a holocaust-like killing would take place Saturday November 18th 1976. That date will be a day many will “Never Forget.” Jim Jones was a religious fanatic who started The Peoples Church. He preached socialistic views and lies to gain followers. With increasing paranoia he moved to Guyana with a thousand followers , most would never leave Jonestown again, but to be killed in a mass “suicide.”(Contemporary American Religion) Although The Peoples Church seemed to be a peaceful, loving organization, Reverend Jim Jones killed over nine hundred of his own people (including children and an investigative team led by congressmen Leo Ryan) his lack of punishment, due to his killing does not in any way suit his crime and can never be justified.
Jim Jones was religious leader in Indiana, and preached his views to a very diverse community. His sermons were full of socialistic views and “healings” where he would perform miracles. As time passed more and more joined his church formally known as The Peoples Temple( Encyclopedia of religion). His paranoia of nuclear warfare and strive to get away from the corrupt system, drove Jones to buy land in Guyana. With the land he purchased, Jones fled the United states with over a thousand follower to set up, what was in his view, going to be a peaceful place with no harassment from the outside world. Jones had scammed money from most of his congregation so he was able to set up at large camp in the middle of the jungle, excluded from everything. Gunmen lined the gates and once in,the followers were not aloud to leave. Jones also had a headquarters in the capital of Guyana, Georgetown. Due to reports of abuse, lack of food, and imprisonment, Congressmen Leo Ryan thought he would look into Jonestown.
Ryan brought an investigative reporter and other NBC television crew, along with people who wanted to to see their loved ones. Once in the country they meet at the headquarters in Georgetown, but were denied access to the compound. With persistence and time with lawyers, Jones eventually let the team in (Jonestown: Nightmare in Paradise). The followers were forced to make the compound seem like paradise and perfect. A Temple follower had a different idea, he and other wanted out. He wrote a note and passed it to the congressmen, which in return Ryan offered him and others a plan out of the country. Jones said who ever wanted to leave,could leave. However once they all left Jones gave his men the “Revenge” order. “Get revenge on all who have betrayed us.” They then went out to the air strip and killed all but two. Back at jonestown Jones called all of his followers to the town hall. He gave the order to mix cyanide with valium with Kool-Aid and give it to all temple members. Children died first, then the adults,...

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