November 18, 2013

On this day...November 18th

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles 

On November 18, 1978 more than nine hundred persons, most of them Black
Americans, died in mass murder and suicide pact in Jonestown, Guyana.

James Warren "Jim" Jones was the founder and the leader of the Peoples
Temple, best known for the cult murder/suicide in 1978 of 909 of its
members in Jonestown, Guyana, and the murder of five individuals at a
nearby airstrip. Over 300 children were murdered at Jonestown; almost
all of them by cyanide poisoning. Jones died from a gunshot wound to
the head.

Jones was born in Indiana and started the Temple there in the 1950s. He
later moved the Temple to California in the mid-1960s, and gained
notoriety with the move of the Temple's headquarters to San Francisco
in the early 1970s.
The incident in Guyana ranks among the largest mass suicides /murder,
in history and was the single greatest loss of civilian life in a
deliberate act.

Jim Jones attracted a large following to his Peoples Temple through
sermons on tolerance, social responsibility and community. As the
church grew, however, the sermons on equality and tolerance were belied
by his own increasing demands for personal loyalty and obedience. The
extent of his authority meant that his eventual breakdown transformed a
personal tragedy into one of the largest mass deaths in American
history.

 

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