Sunday, 15 March 2015

Peoples Temple/ Jones Town Massacre

Jim Jones was a Pentecostal preacher during the middle of the 20th century in America, with the main belief that racism was something that should be defined by God not man and in doing so became one of the social leaders in abolishing racism. His preaching attracted many African-Americans from the 1950s to the 1970s, mainly because he had progressive views on racial equality. Jim Jones’s cult, "Peoples Temple", first relocated to Utah, because he believed this would give his people the best chance of surviving a nuclear war. But by the 1970s, he had denominations in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and Jim Jones actually had a certain amount of political power.
   Facing pressure from an article printed in 1977 exposing the organisation as a cult by revealing the tight restrictions, contact with the outside world and his harsh punishments towards anyone who broke or disagreed with his views, As seen with a custody battle for a child who Jim Jones had kidnapped from a couple who had left the cult of fear of it becoming dangerous. Jim Jones begun the emigration of the "Peoples Temple" to Guyana in South America. It was there where Jim attempted to set up his new Eden but by this time Jim Jones started to show signs of clear paranoia demonstrated by his claims that the C.I.A. were trying to destroy and harm the people of Jones Town, which eventually became Jones' creations of false fire fights and putting the village on a six day siege where Jones himself would inform the residents of Americas attempts to eradicate the population.                  

After mass letter writing campaigns from ex-members of the cult explaining their stories and the disappearing of citizens that attempted to leave, the U.S. sent congressman Leo Ryan to investigate. on the congressman's arrival the town seemed to be progressing well, it was only until one of the members handed Ryan a secret note asking for help to leave and admitting the town had been rehearsed for the congressman's visit. After hearing this news Ryan started to lead defectors back to America but it was on this trip they were shot and killed by the cults security squad. It was after this that Jones feared a repercussion from the U.S. government and invoked a mass suicide for everyone in the camp with the death toll reaching up to 900 innocent adults and children slaughtered.         

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