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Jonestown Murder-Suicide

November 18, 2021

You may have heard about the Jonestown murder-suicide of over 900 cult members. But do you know how it started? 

Let’s take a look at what led to this unfortunate event. 

Early Church

Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana was a religious church based around unorthodox ideas about the world. Rooted in the beliefs of the old Peoples Temple, it was founded in 1955 and based in Indianapolis. Rev. Jim Jones took over the congregation and was known for his charitable efforts towards the homeless and for his belief in human equality. 

A Moving People

Fearing nuclear war, Jones moved his church of 900 members to California in 1965. After his move, Jones became known as a prophet. Jones taught that the Divine equated to love, which, in turn, related to socialism for his church. He also allegedly began siphoning church funds into his own pocketbook. 

Due to his ever-increasing paranoia that the temple’s suspicious activity would eventually catch up with him the following year, he uprooted his whole congregation to a small town in Guyana near the Venezuelan border naming it after himself.

Power Hunger Begins To Strike 

There, Jones continued preaching until November 1978. He had gotten in the habit of confiscating passports, taking members’ money and offering up deadly threats when necessary. That’s when the U.S. government ordered an investigation to check up on the welfare of Jones’ American followers. The government recruited Congressman Leo Ryan to go down and inspect the site. Once in Guyana, Ryan didn’t even have a chance to look around when he and his party were shot dead by Temple guards. 

Drink Up

After the murder, Jones ordered all of his 900+ obedient followers to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. The victims knew full well they were essentially ingesting poison, but because no one died immediately, Jones had time to make everyone believe that he didn’t actually put any poison into their drinks.

“This was only a test, but the time for you to die by your own hand is not too far off,” said Temple rebel Deborah Layton in court rehearsing Jones’ words after the cyanide had been consumed. 

Within hours, his lies were unmasked as people started dying one by one, falling face down onto the ground. Jones took his own life later that day when his crime was committed. Jones took his own life later that day when his crime was committed.


  1. James Teixeira

    Love, Today in History! Very informative with quick snippets so to not leave the reader with useless ramblings.

  2. Cindy Staggs

    Jim jones did not comment suicide some one shot him probably one of his guards. Jim jones was doing mind control and reporting to the CIA. He had been doing it for years. He was an evil human being.

  3. Robert Richey

    I guess I would be to dumb to go for the kind of crap Jones spewed to his idiot followers. One has to be really intelligent to be brainwashed by an actor.

  4. Linda Merritt

    I thought Rep. Ryan had visited Jonestown and was leaving with some of the members and was attached at an airstip. when they were leaving.

    • Elizabeth

      You are correct according to the news releases at the time and from the few survivors

    • Chris Ambrose

      You are correct the congressman had toured the grounds and several people jones didn’t want leaving had been able to ask him if they could return on the flight with them and he said yes. Jones decided it was time for everyone to die when he saw this and many were made to drink the cool aide at hun point. Also it didn’t take hours they die within less than a minute. Did you just kind of decide to make something up. That was one stupid ass version of you ask me. Most of it was wrong they moved south from San Francisco not Indianapolis. Wow creative journalism, media is getting really bad now this story was a joke.

  5. Nicool

    I heard the original investigation found injection holes in peoples necks and the kool-aid came out a week later as a coverup. Where’s that story?

    • Allen

      It was kool-aid, this injection story you heard is made up at some point. I don’t understand why people have to try and add conspiracies. This telling has a number of inaccuracies.

  6. Lisett Wallace

    That was the most discussing thing I ever seen as you know people are still listening to some crazy pastors like they don’t know wrong from right

  7. ADG

    Jim Jones has reincarnated through Donald Trump. Trump voters, loyalist, fanatics & followers will be likened to the next Guyana tragedy. It’s inevitable.

    • John boy


      Just because people believe in conservative values you call them racist and all other remarks

  8. Shannon Brown

    The details get forgotten about…or just left out. BUUT, you can always just “Duck Duck Go” it!
    That’s MY preferred search engine
    “Duck Duck Go” it doesn’t filter searches.
    Do your own test to see!
    Shout-out to Kool-Aid for staying strong despite the smear campaign by Jim Jones!
    We’ll have to see how Corona®️Beer sales are doing here in another decade, yeah?

  9. James Jones

    Biden is doing the same thing Jones did and the Democrats are following along, blinded by hate and acting like Sheep

  10. Isaac Johnson

    🤔”TRUTH and LIES ” Travel the Same Way In THIS World,Through HUMAN beings. No matter what their Title Or position is in life. God gave All (free Will)= .CHOICES No human being on planet Earth is perfect @ALL Times and Consequences do follow Choices made Moment by moment on a DAILY basis. Some Things We Do Not have a CHOICE over and they Are who our parents are, what generation we are born in ,country color of skin, rich or poor ect .And man Domination of man continues..😷🤒.. To the present Moment😱🙈🙊🙉🕵🙏💖ToALL IjSr.

  11. This was a sad and tragic incident in our history. We all should remember follow no man follow the word of God!

    I remember at the time of this tragic tragedy I was about 16 years old. My family had relatives that went over there and died with this maniac. Many of those people did not have strong minds! They did not believe in the Almighty true God the only God. They followed a devil to their death. And some of my aunts took my cousins with them.This was a sad and tragic incident in our history. We all should remember follow no man follow the word of God!


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