The death toll exceededincluding some age 17 and under, making the incident one of the largest mass deaths in American history.
See Article History Jonestown massacre, November 18,mass murder-suicide of members of the California -based Peoples Temple cult at the behest of their charismatic but paranoid leader, Jim Jonesin Jonestown agricultural communeGuyana.
The death toll exceededincluding some age 17 and under, making the incident one of the largest mass deaths in American history. Jones opened his first church in the mids in Indianapolis.
At the time he was not affiliated with any particular denomination and had no theological training.
His congregation was known for being racially integratedwhich was particularly progressive at the time Jones himself was white. In the mids he and his wife incorporated the Peoples Temple in California and settled outside the town of Ukiah with some followers, believing that the move would protect them in the event of nuclear holocaust.
In Jones began holding services in San Franciscoand by he had opened another temple in Los Angeles. He began to make friends among politicians and the press in California and became a respected churchman.
Temple members were regularly humiliated, beaten, and blackmailed, and many were coerced or brainwashed into signing over their possessions—including their homes—to the church.
Black members and members of other minority groups were convinced that if they left the Peoples Temple they would be rounded up into government-run concentration camps. Family members were kept apart and encouraged to inform on one another.
A cable from the U. Embassy in Guyana to the U. Department of State in June characterized the autonomy that Jones subsequently found in Guyana this way: What we have, therefore, is a community of American citizens existing as a self-contained and self-governing unit in a foreign land and which, for all intents and purposes, is furnishing to the residents all of the community services such as civil administration, police and fire protection, education, health care, etc.
In NovemberU. He was investigating rumours that some members of the cult were being held against their will and that some were being subjected to physical and psychological abuse. Other members attacked Ryan shortly before the vehicle left the compound, but he escaped unhurt, and the truck continued on with Ryan aboard.
Temple members then launched an attack at the airstrip from which Ryan and his company were to depart. Five people, including Ryan and three members of the press, were shot and killed, and 11 others were wounded.
In the wake of the shooting, Jones released radio orders for Temple members outside the compound to commit suicide. It was first squirted into the mouths of babies and children via syringe and then imbibed by adult members.
Jones himself died of a gunshot wound. Fewer than of the Temple members in Guyana survived the massacre; the majority of survivors either had defected that day or were in Georgetown.
Millions more had reportedly been deposited in bank accounts overseas. The Peoples Temple effectively disbanded after the incident and declared bankruptcy at the end of Only one man, Temple member Larry Layton, was tried in the United States for his involvement in the November 18 events.
He was found guilty of conspiracy and aiding and abetting in the murder of Ryan and the attempted murder of U.
Another man, Charles Beikman, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of a young girl and served a five-year prison term in Guyana. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:Destructive cults The People's Temple, led by James Warren (Jim) Jones. Sponsored link.
Background of the Peoples Temple: This was a Christian destructive, doomsday cult founded and led by James Warren Jones (). Jim Jones held degrees from Indiana University and Butler University.
Brinton's analysis of the bizarre mass suicide of a socialist cult led by American Jim Jones in Jonestown, Guyana, which discusses the dynamics of political sects in general. Nakao, Annie. The ghastly Peoples Temple deaths shocked the world. Peoples Temple: Peoples Temple, religious community led by Jim Jones (–78) that came to international attention after some of its members died at their compound, Jonestown, in Guyana, in a massive act of murder-suicide on Nov.
18, Jones began the Peoples Temple informally in the s as an. Nov 18, · On November 18, , in what became known as the “Jonestown Massacre,” more than members of an American cult called the Peoples Temple died in a mass suicide-murder under the direction of their leader Jim Jones ().
On November 18, , Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones instructed all members living in the Jonestown, Guyana compound to commit an act of "revolutionary suicide," by drinking poisoned punch. In all, people died that day, nearly a third of whom were children.
The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, commonly shortened to Peoples Temple, was a new religious movement founded in by Jim Jones in Indianapolis, timberdesignmag.com used the Peoples Temple to spread a message that combined elements of Christianity with communist and socialist ideas, as well as an emphasis on racial equality..
The Peoples Temple is best known for the events of .