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Author: Subject: Jim Jones and the Kool-Aid revisited: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
Tea_Honey
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[*] posted on 3.31.2009 at 09:31 AM
Jim Jones and the Kool-Aid revisited: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely


11/18/78, over 900 people died in Jonestown, Guyana, South America. Some died by poisoning, many died by gunshot when they tried to run away. Jim Jones died of a gun shot to the head. Congressman Ryan of the State of California was first stabbed, then when he got to his airplane, was shot to death in an ambush. Several newspaper people and cameramen died with him in the ambush. His assistant lay on the ground, pretended to be dead, was shot point blank nonetheless, but lived to tell the tale.

I watched a documentary of the events leading up to and remarkably, including the tragedy (the ambush was filmed, the camera left rolling after the cameraman cried, "I'm hit!" and died; Jim Jones' voice exhorting his followers to not resist, to drink the kool-aid, even taking babies from mothers' arms and squirtig poison down their throats). It is a mesmerizing story that epitomizes the maxim of "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Jim Jones was handed power by his followers. As one black man who lost his wife, child, mother and grandmother said, "I let him do my thinking for me."

Jones used cult tactics of wearing his followers down physically. Many worked 20 hour days. The joke among his inner circle was "I got 2 hours sleep last night." "That's good! I only got 1 1/2 hours." One white woman stated she stayed awake and worked for 6 full days. All without coffee or any other stimulant.

His mind control was absolute. While in Guyana, he spoke to his followers via loud-speaker, 24 hours/day. When he slept, a taped recording of his voice boomed across Jonestown.

His people were not allowed to speak to each other on an intimate level. He played a "game" where he would say that one of his followers was going to "pretend" to want to leave Jonestown. It would be someone they knew; someone they trusted. They were to turn that person in. By 11/18/78, husbands were snitching on wives; children would turn in parents. One man who slipped a reporter with congressman Ryan a note saying he wanted to leave, was overseen by a child who yelled out immediately, "He passed him a note!"

Jones' absolute power extended to sexual relations with his followers. One woman told of his telling her to meet him in a room on his bus. She went into his room. He came in, pulled down his pants and proceeded to have sex with her. During the act, he kept telling her "this is for you, X" or something to that effect.

One married man told of meeting Jones in the hall of the temple in California. He said 'hello'. Jones slapped him on the nape of his neck and said, "If you want me to "f" you in the ass, I'll do it. If you want me to, I will "f" you in the ass." A black married man at a meeting of men in Guyana told of someone asking who had been "f'ed" in the ass by Jones. He said that half the room raised their hands (this was the guy who said he allowed Jones to do his thinking for him, so I really wondered if he was faking; if he was one of Jones' "conquests.").

It has been reported that Jones had sex with both women and men before. I once heard/read where he had marathon sex sessions with followers, male and female, some lasting all night (again, wearing them down physically, and by having sex with them, weakening them both morally and emotionally).

Watching the pictures of Jones from age 5 until 11/18/78, was a pictorial journey into debauchery. Friends in the Indiana town of 1,000 where Jones grew up state that at age 5, Jones was praying in his family's barn. Their reminiscences hinted at a death wish in Jones at even that young age. Two said that Jones would hold funerals for small animals. One accused Jones at age 5 of killing a kitten, then holding a funeral service for it. They soon stopped going over to play with him in his barn.

Jones felt like an outsider - said so in a taped interview. He identified early on with blacks. His father was a deadbeat, an unemployed alcoholic whose wife suported the family almost all of Jones' childhood. He told Jones at age 18 that he couldn't bring a black guy into his house. Jones told him if his "friend" (someone he'd only recently met) couldn't come in the house, neither would he. He left home that day and never returned.

Jones and his wife went to adopt a child. At the orphanage a black child kept crying. Jones' wife went to pick him up. Instead of the white child they came for, they adopted little black Jim Jones, Jr. (later an Asian-American boy and girl, eventually having a natural son). From pictures of the church and Jonestown, I'd estimate the population of his church to have been 4/5th black and about 1/5th white (although I've heard it was about 1/3 white). This was in line with Jones' racial views all his life. In 1953, before the Civil Rights Movement even, Jones would eject whites from his church in Indiana who objected to his black parishioners.

Jones' philosophy was socialistic. No racism, no elitism, everything belonged to everyone in his temple. He constructed 5 nursing homes where he tended to mainly the black aged. Clean, safe and comfortable surroundings (while he and his family lived a spartan existance), and free health care. That his followers gave over not just their lives (AND their life savings, up to and including selling their homes and giving the proceeds to his temple), but their Free Will to Jones was evident in a taped speech he made. "If you want me to be your friend, I'll be your friend. If You want me to be your father, I'll be your father. If you want me to be your savior, I'll be your savior. If you want me to be your god, I'll be your god."

Jones talked about God and built a temple, but he was anti-religious, perhaps anti-God. He said from the pulpit that people relied on God too much. The supposed preacher man said what many on this forum say constantly, that the bible enslaved black people and had always done so. Once he threw his bible, according to one follower, like a football into the church. He said that when it hit the floor, there was a complete hush. Jones looked at the congregation and said, "Lightning didn't strike me."

Like I said, the pictorial history of Jones was telling. It was even startling to see his transformation. The more power his followers gave him, the more his Will became their Will, the more debauched he looked..... like a picture of Dorian Gray. In his youth, he was a strikingly handsome young man, with a firm jawline and erect posture. By 1978, he was an insane despot, and looked it. His face was puffy, his sagging jawline corrupted, his posture almost slack. There was truly nothing upright left about him. He was 47 years old.

What was truly upsetting to me in the documentary were the blacks who escaped the massacre and lived to reminiscence. Two of them, maybe 3, lamented the paradise lost of Jonestown. One black woman, attractive, seemingly intelligent and very well-spoken, lost 4 children - 4 children murdered, and yet, and yet, tears filled her eyes at nostalgic remembrance of the promise of Jonestown. A place mired in evil. A place where on that fateful day, the 3 male survivors said they could feel the evil in the air..... and she still, STILL thinks there was good in that place conceived of and ruled by a mad white man.

Perhaps even more telling were the pictures of those who left Jonestown with the congressman, only to be ambushed at the plane and shot down in a hail of bullets. Of about 8, maybe 10 members who accepted the "protection" of the U.S. congressman and started out with him, I saw only one black man. All the others were white.

(My people. My people. :cry: )

Jonestown is a testament to absolute power corrupting absolutely. Jim Jones ruled supreme, and answered to no one. His followers followed him blindly, giving up their right to think for themselves, to chart their own destinies, to live as rational human beings in exchange for.... safety? For equality under a dictatorship? For unwavering belief in the Good White Man, Jim Jones.

Yes, there was round the clock work to exhaustion. Yes, there was isolation in the midst of many, a curb on free speech, yes, on free expression. Although a debaucher, Jones admonished them for being sexual creatures. Strangely, he told them they were all homosexual, that he was the only heterosexual on earth. They came to church and were required to confess their sins - who they slept with, slipped off in the night with.

One woman expressed a desire for Jones in a meeting to another. She was eventually made to strip naked before them all; the man who told the tale said she turned eventually red in the face and even her body turned red as everyone took turns discussing and dissecting her body parts, verbally, up to and including her vagina..... while Jones peeked up from beneath his ever-present sunglasses.... and smiled.

A white male follower whose wife and infant son drank the koolaid said that he felt it was wrong to humiliate the woman, but he said nothing. They, none of them, ever went counter to Jones. They gave up their humanity along with their Free Will. Jones lost his sanity. With the exception of the 3 who escaped the slaughter on 11/18/78, and 80 odd members who were away on business, including Jim Jones, Jr., they all died.




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[*] posted on 3.31.2009 at 10:03 AM


btw, the preacher, Jim Jones told his followers that there was no heaven; that they would have to make heaven here on earth. Thus, Jonestown.

ADDENDUM:

I saw a re-run of the OP documentary last night. Some highlights unmentioned:

Jones was not "just" a charismatic. According to one member of his temple, "everybody had a purpose and everybody was special." The average person FLOCKS to leaders who they feel not only like them, but give purpose to their lives, especially a purpose (working for the church) "outside" of themselves.

Jones gave up on Indianapolis, Indiana when he felt it was too racist to ever change (and to this day, hasn't :whistle: ). When blacks moved into his neighborhood and realtors came by asking him and his white neighbors to sell, he put a sign on his lawn saying "Not for Sale. This is an inter-racial neighborhood" (this in about 1960). He moved his ministry to Ukiah, California, farmland about 90 miles north of San Francisco. He chose Ukiah because 1) Cali is "supposed" to be more racial-friendly, but 2) mostly because he saw an article in Esquire magazine that said Ukiah was one of the 9 best places in the world to live in case of a nuclear attack (death, from an early age, was always on his mind - death and religion).

One ex-member said that when he moved his people to Ukiah, there were 81 members in the church and living on the farm. 5 years later, there were thousands.

Ex-members said that Jones' church was in reality, a black church - service, worship, songs - with a white preacher. Black members said that to the black members, Jones was not a "white" man.

Jones was a healer.... and a charleton. They showed film of an older woman in a wheelchair during one singing, shouting,stomping service (white members said it was a black church - I saw shouting but the hallmark of the black church - call and response, i.e., "and the Lord SAID....!" then from the congregation, "Amen!" or "Preach!" was missing :ummm: ). At any rate, Jones "healed" the woman in the wheelchair. She stood up shakily, took a shaky step.... eventually, she RAN up and down the aisles of the church with the membership going wild. I watched and thought, "Ain't no way ANYONE crippled for years can do that." Legs are "use 'em or lose 'em..." The muscles atrophy, get weak if never exercised. She might be able to get up, shakily, but she could NEVER run like that.

Turned out the lady in the wheelchair was a church secretary made up to "look" old and pretending to be crippled (according to one ex-member). So maybe he healed some folk, but when he wasn't healing he was an out and out charleton (interestingly, in one sermon, he talked about Hitler).

Another hold on his members' loyalty: He built nursing homes for the elderly, mostly black. The elderly were required to sell their private homes and give the church the proceeds. In return, they were promised lifetime care. Their safe, comfortable living arrangements were those of a friendly community, not a nursing home.

The young and employed were required to turn over their paychecks to the church. They were given a $5 weekly allowance; in return, all their economic, social and spirtual needs were taken care of. And... they had the satisfaction of "knowing" they were doing God's work and creating a better world to live in.

Jones told his congregation from the pulpit once that "people put too much faith in this black book (held up a bible) which has held down black people for 200 years." Yet, despite that blasphemy, he was a preacher.... a Christian..... a healer.... and by his words and deeds, a charleton. As for Jesus, he considered himself following in His footsteps. Jesus said to sell all things (like your house and give the proceeds to Jones' church).

Every summer Jones took the church on cross-country trips to gather more members. He'd speak at churches (many black folk would follow the good white preacherman out of THEIR church during service!). His message was racial equality and birth to death socialism. His idealism attracted all spectrums of society - from young white college students looking for meaning and purpose to their lives to elderly black ladies.

Jones' commitment to racial equality wa undoubted. His black son said that he always taught him that people live on emotions. He told him to "make YOUR decisions based on facts and logic." Jones and his black son were Star Trek fans, so Jones, the preacher who told others to deal in faith, not science, would always tell him to "Vulcanize yourself."

Committed to racial equality, Jones was in the end, an equal opportunity charleton: According to the members, Jones taught that 'sexual relations are very selfish. It takes away from the focus of the church,' which was to help others. He taught them that women are lesbians; men are gay, and that he was the only heterosexual on the planet. And yet, even though members had to confess their "sins" on Sunday, in church (that's REAAL black old-time religion! :lol: ), whenever male church members had an audience with Jones, they were told to take an enema before coming.....




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MISSDD138
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[*] posted on 4.5.2009 at 09:44 PM


WOW

No matter how many times I read about this or watch the documentary, I am still amazed.
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[*] posted on 4.5.2009 at 09:49 PM


I'm amazed....but when i watched a documetary.....I looked at the people he preyed on....broken, spiritually, mentally weak people. he promised them heaven on earth...

Alot of the footage showed him nodding off on some kind of drugs...maybe opiates or heroin...He took mind control to another level....

I think it can happen again...especially in these hard economic times




Loving me... :butterfly:

Compromise, to a certain degree becomes surrender....
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[*] posted on 4.5.2009 at 11:39 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by QueenAminah
I'm amazed....but when i watched a documetary.....I looked at the people he preyed on....broken, spiritually, mentally weak people. he promised them heaven on earth...

Alot of the footage showed him nodding off on some kind of drugs...maybe opiates or heroin...He took mind control to another level....

I think it can happen again...especially in these hard economic times


It can happen, it has happened (David Koresh and that Hale-Bopp Comet mess), and it will happen again.




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[*] posted on 4.6.2009 at 12:08 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by MISSDD138
WOW

No matter how many times I read about this or watch the documentary, I am still amazed.



I am not amazed. It is normal, a centuries-old quest of blacks to look for a "good white man" to free them from white oppression. Jim Jones fulfilled those particular black people's emotional need for a savior. He even told them "If you need a savior, I will be your savior." They heeded his words, welcomed them and laid their lives at his feet to do with as he so chose..... and he did.

No, not amazed.... FASCINATED. I watched the 2nd time around with as much fascination as I did the first. I watched, fascinated, as over the years, Jones changed "physically." From upright to debauched. Utterly fascinating.

I watched, bemused, at the blacks who believed him, praised him, worshipped as much at Jones' altar as at God's ("if you want me to be your god, I'll be your god' saith Jim Jones to his mainly black congregation).

I watched with fascinated horror at Congressman Ryan, the reporters and his crew in their last hours on earth, secure, SERENE in their "faith" that they cannot be harmed for they are under the protection of the U.S. Seal of Government.

I watch and am NEVER not horrified, saddened that the first cracking of light of who Jim Jones REALLY is by his congregation/members comes too late. I never fail to marvel at the calm reasonableness of the black woman who tells the liar Jim Jones that 'it doesn't have to be like this. What about the Russians he told them would fly in and evacuate the colony should they be attacked by U.S. military forces?' Calm, reasonable, fighting with words for her life and respectfully persuasive.... to any but a madman.

I marvel at the gentle, the loving persuasiveness of Jones' voice on the tape crying out in sorrow: "Mothers, mothers, mothers, mothers, mothers...." as he takes infants out of their arms and shoots arsenic-laced koolaid down their throats.

Not at all amazed at those who refuse to learn the lessons of history, black parishoners. Fascinated by Jim Jones, his everyman eloquence, his organizational brilliance, his unwavering dedication to inter-racialism which ultimately destroyed those whom he purported to lead and love..... as well as the Utopia the charletan promised to bring about on earth.




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[*] posted on 4.6.2009 at 09:04 PM


^^

You are right, that is why even when in need you have to be careful not to latch on to anything. It happens in relationships, it happens in religions.

This still saddens me, I am still amazed.
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[*] posted on 4.7.2009 at 08:48 AM


Even in love.... Bring it, sistah! :nod:


Quote:
Originally posted by QueenAminah
I'm amazed....but when i watched a documetary.....I looked at the people he preyed on....broken, spiritually, mentally weak people. he promised them heaven on earth...

Alot of the footage showed him nodding off on some kind of drugs...maybe opiates or heroin...He took mind control to another level....

I think it can happen again...especially in these hard economic times





To be fair, all of the blacks, IMO, simply forgot the lessons of OUR history, and in their wishin 'n hopin for the "good white man," stepped out on faith into hell.

And yea, Jones was on drugs during much of that time.


Quote:
Originally posted by BronzeBlossom
It can happen, it has happened (David Koresh and that Hale-Bopp Comet mess), and it will happen again.




Hopefully not on that magnitude.




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[*] posted on 11.3.2012 at 02:49 PM


Wow. Re-reading this, I can only say "wow...."

bump. As many as can should have the opportunity to read this.



1. Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.


2. Those who have never LEARNED the lessons of history.... as with the Law, ignorance is no excuse.... are doomed to repeat them.




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[*] posted on 1.6.2017 at 11:33 PM


I was just looking at a program called "Evil Cults" (something like that). The Jim Jones story was on and I thought of this thread. So, in fealty to "those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.....

bump




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