First Published: 26th of April, 2020 by Patrick Carpen.Last updated: November 12, 2023 at 19:51 pm
The story of Jonestown which unfolded in the jungles of the Northwest Region of Guyana, South America is one of darkest stories of Guyana’s history – one that will forever stain the pages of Guyana’s history book, but one from which many life lessons can be learned.
Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. – Jim Jones – written behind his so called “throne” in the “colony” of Jonestown in Guyana, South America.
The people of Jonestown thought that their charismatic leader was bringing them to Guyana to build a Utopia – a place where everything was perfect – of love and equality – a paradise on earth. They had no idea that it would turn out to be a hell on earth.
Mass Murder, Not Suicide
People often refer to the Jonestown massacre as a mass suicide where nearly a thousand persons willingly ingested “poisoned coolaid” at the bequest of their venerated leader. But there is enough evidence to suggest that the mass murder which took place in year 1978 was premeditated and well orchestrated by Jim Jones himself. He alone knew that everyone would die in the end.
As the members of the People’s Temple rolled over on the ground in their final moments, Jim Jone’s voice is heard in a recording, “I’m so glad it is finally over. We are at peace now. I’m glad its over.”
Jim Jones’ followers had no idea that he was storing cyanide or the syringes that would be used to pump the poison into the mouths of children and inject it into the arms of traumatized kids. The fact that cyanide was stored unknown to most of Jones’ followers is a clear indication of premeditated murder. Further, there was a vat labeled “C” which obviously stood for “cyanide.”
Get Us Out of Here
Jim Jones, the charismatic US Preacher, was seen by his followers as a sort of demigod. When congressman Ryan visited the site in 1978, Jim’s followers at first painted the picture of perfect love, happiness, and harmony. In fact, congressman Ryan took the microphone to say that he was pleased that everyone was so happy in Jonestown.
But that night, someone slipped a note into Ryan’s hand. It read, “Please, get us out of here.” The mistake that congressman Ryan made was to confront Jim Jones the next day and show him the note which only agitated the deranged psychopath, setting him on his alert. It was a mistake that would cost the congressman his life – along with 917 other souls that died on that tragic day of November 18, 1978.
As a number of children and adults managed to escape Jonestown and follow congressman Ryan to the airstrip, Jim Jones ordered his armed guards to go after and kill them. Congressman Ryan and several others were shot dead at the airstrip – at point blank range. Two kids, who managed to escape from the airstrip into the bushes, were among the few survivors who lived to tell harrowing tale.
Jim Jones’ association with communist Russia was probably one of the factors which put him at loggerheads with United States law officials. But the sad reality is that the people of Jonestown were brainwashed by a deranged psychopath – an inhumane murderer – a coward on par with the likes of Adolph Hitler and Kim Jong Un.