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Jim Jones

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 24, 2005

In Reply to: posted by kevin on June 24, 2005

: : : : : : : : "That's when he drank the Kool-Aid"

: : : : : : : : From a Law and Order episode.
: : : : : : : : A friend of the defendant describing how his buddy crossed the line into extreme religious zeal.

: : : : : : : Good one.

: : : : : : It is a good one, and I've been hearing it in other (quasi-religious) contexts. People who fervently buy into the rah-rah Wal-Mart Way, or some pyramid scheme like Amway. They could also be classified as religions, I suppose, if you want to see it that way....

: : : : : There is a nationally syndicated talk-radio commentator who in the past has urged Senator John McCain to "lay off the Kool-Aid" when the Senator has taken a position that coincides with the Democrats' position on one matter or another.

: : : : There may be readers of this page who aren't familiar with the Kool-Aid allusion. Should we let them in on it? Okay, I will. In the 1970s, a failed monkey salesman named Jim Jones found fame and fortune in San Francisco by founding The People's Temple, a more or less common garden variety of cult. In 1978 he persuaded 1,100 members to go with him to Guyana, where the government had given him 300 acres for his new version of The People's Temple. In November he apparently felt trapped by the threat of exposure for the fraud that he was, and for that reason or some other, persuaded 900 members of the cult, including men, women and coerced children, to die by ceremoniously drinking grape Kool-Aid that they knew to be poisoned. Kool-Aid is an American product consisting of powdered fruit flavoring and sugar in an envelope, which when mixed with water makes a drinkable beverage. As it happens, the product used by Jim Jones was FlavorAid, a rival of Kool-Aid. SS

: : : I believe it was poisoned with cyanide. The news reports and visuals were exceptionally gruesome.

: : Post in haste, repent at leisure. Trying to be brief, I omitted some things and botched at least one. Kool-Aid is not packaged with sugar. The user must provide that himself. The 300 acres in Guyana was purchased by the People's Temple for the relocation, apparently because Jones felt the breath of the Internal Revenue Service hot on his trail. He named the 300-acre camp Jonestown. His decision to make a dramatic exit was prompted by the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan, who had flown to Jonestown to investigate, but was killed by Jones' security men. Yes, cyanide was the poison used. Jones is said to have exited by shooting himself in the temple. SS

: Did he shoot himself in the head or inside the temple?

You're asking if he shot himself in the temple in the Temple. Actually, no one knows who shot him, but he was found with a bullet in his head. There is a huge number of Googleable sites, with a lot of disagreement in the details of what happened. SS

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