Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Morbid Anniversary

Today in 1978 was the day that the Jonestown Mass Suicides took place.

I debated on which of my blogs to put this entry, but decided it was, in fact, more grim and disturbing than pretty much any horror movie I have ever seen.

November 18, 1978

*Jonestown is the notorious "community" of followers of the charismatic yet mentally deranged Jim Jones.
In other words, a cult. And the worst one in history. They called themselves "The Peoples Temple"...
These people wrote the book on cults. Jones established his own town in the country of Guyana, in South America, and "led" his people from California to his self-proclaimed paradise.
He really was demented and unhinged to think it was morally acceptable to have 900 people commit suicide together. Under any circumstances.

Jim Jones

On this date 30 years ago, 909 people died - only two of which were not poisoned by Potassium Cyanide in grape Flavor-Aid (no, it was NOT Kool-Aid) - most of which drank the concoction willingly. Jones called it "revolutionary suicice", and had his followers believing it when he commanded: "Stop this hysterics. This is not the way for people who are Socialists or Communists to die. No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity."

To attempt to explain his bizarre beliefs would be something I am not knowledgable enough to handle. I cannot understand socialism, communism, and all of the other aspects of his wacky ideas and axis of evil. You can go online and google it - there is no shortage of info available on the subject.

On that gruesome day, syringes with the poison in it were squirted down infants and children's throats. Jones thought that if the children died first, the parents and grandparents would have no reason to live. Everyone else followed suit.

It took about 5 minutes to die. That's actually a long time when it's your last moments.
Jones was found with a gunshot wound to the neck, apparently self-inflicted. To which I ask the question: was he too much of a coward to die by cyanide? What the hell?

The events at Jonestown constituted the greatest single losses of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the incidents of September 11, 2001.

What else can I say?
Except that it is equally as important to remember these anniversaries as those ones that bring us cheer and happiness. I was only 10 when this tragedy happened, but I remember it well.
Still do.

Info gathered from Wikipedia, as usual.

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