Jim Jones was a “minister” who started in Indianapolis in the late 40’s early 50’s with integrating his community. Indianapolis was, at the time, one of the most segregated places in the USA. After his work there was finished he moved on to California.
Generally regarded as a demagoge, he continued spreading his ministry and enticing others to follow him. Eventually he convinced his followers the end times were near and the USA was going to collapse into chaos and moved his followers to Guyana. There, after a visit from a U.S. Congressman whom they murdered, he led his followers numbering some 900 in mass suicide.
- Jim Jones created mass fear by preying on the people’s weaknesses and social injustice.
- People of high intelligence and social status can be just as easily deceived as poor people.
- No one person is able to have all the answers to all the problems and no one questioned his paranoia.
“”Jim Jones epitomizes the worst that can happen when we let one person dictate what we hear [and] what we believe.””