On this episode, we delve into the dream-turned-nightmare of Jim Jones, the charismatic Peoples Temple leader who began his career as a champion for civil rights and equality. Over time, that dream devolved into a horrorscape of control, abuse, and total cultdom. On November 18, 1978, Jones coerced members living in the Jonestown, Guyana compound to commit an act of "revolutionary suicide," via drinking poison. Over 900 members died that day, including a large number of children. Here, we examine Jones' origin story and chart his journey from civil rights activist to power hungry monster. For this episode, we rely heavily on survivor's testimony.
Great academic resource and repository of myriad Jonestown materials:
Audio recordings and transcripts:
Survivor's Deborah Layton's book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seductive_Poison