THE JONESTOWN MASSACRE – NOVEMBER 18, 1978

Another anniversary. And a timely reminder where crazy leaders can take us. Do NOT drink the Kool-Aid. Really. Just say no. It’s now 38 years … and we seem to be heading back down the lonesome road.

SERENDIPITY

Another year, another anniversary. It seems, given recent events, especially timely to remember where hatred leads.

Terror, born in hatred and nurtured by evil, doesn’t always come from somewhere else. We grow our own bad guys, too. It’s why I cringe at the over-simplified “meme psychology” that currently dominates media. Education doesn’t cure evil. Nor does sending in the Marines. Evil will always be us. We need to recognize it for what it is. Even when it smiles and makes pretty promises.


It happened — or perhaps culminated — on November 18, 1978. Which makes today the 37th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, one of the most bizarre, horrible events of the 20th century

If you were old enough to read or understand television news in 1978, you remember the Jonestown Massacre. With religious fanaticism and radical fundamentalism enjoying a groundswell of popularity — even among people who ought to know better — it’s a good time to remember where…

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9 thoughts on “THE JONESTOWN MASSACRE – NOVEMBER 18, 1978

  1. The people who went along with this had been brainwashed for a very long time. He was obviously a gifted facilitator, able to convince a certain type of person to go along with him. In the same way that Scientology appeals to a certain kind of person, so did this. By the time he had moved them to Jonestown they were ripe for any of this. The possiblity also exists that they had been drugged steadily in their diets, so that they were basically unable to comprehend or resist.

    Any cult leader is a master of brainwashing, and it’s entirely possible that he was using a form of mass hypnosis on them, too. The people not available for it, survived.

    And look, too, at the number of people who believe that X is the day the world will end, and eagerly give all their belongings away (then again, if it’s going to end, why bother)…we are a credulous species.

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    • I’ve never really been able to sort out my feelings about it. Yes, brainwashing and all that, but supposedly — according to press people who survived the slaughter at the airport — there were many members who wanted out. Yet, there they were, drinking the Kool-Aid and spooning it into the mouths of their children. To me, there’s nothing that makes that anything but complete madness. What happened to their survival instincts? Their natural protectiveness to their own kids?

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