26 Oct 2019

Everything you know about Jonestown is wrong

Spend any time online and you'll doubtless see at least one reference to "drinking the kool aid", the inference being that Jim Jones' followers - the members of Peoples Temple who died at Jonestown in 1978 - were brainwashed zombies. Every time I hear this, I feel saddened but not surprised. Whilst the people who died at Jonestown have been maligned for 40 years, the media narrative which started in the days after the massacre and has continued ever since of zealots mindlessly slaughtering their children before taking their own lives is very far from the truth. Like everything in life the real story is far more complicated. 
So here it is: why everything you know about Jonestown is wrong (and why you should never joke about "drinking the kool aid"). Strap in, it's going to be a long one.