The Jonestown suicides, a tragic event that took place in November 1978, took the lives of more than 900 men, women, and children. Only after a few years of relocating his clan to Guyana, Jim Jones convinced his followers to administer a poison beverage to children and then consume it themselves. It took many years of deception, control, and coercion for Jim Jones to have such power over his people.
Jim Jones started his church, the People’s Temple, in Indiana over two decades before that heart wrenching fateful day. His doctrine first consisted of racial unity and helping underprivileged people, especially the homeless, ex-convicts, and anyone in need of acceptance from others. After awhile, his demand of dedication and complete obedience from his followers was of utmost priority.   In 1965, Jim Jones moved to California with over 100 of his faithful disciples following him.
Jim Jones had a clever method of drawing people in despite his distorted charisma. His messages convinced potential members that in his church there was hope, purpose, and a sense of belonging that was evidently lacking in so many lives. After individuals and families dedicated themselves as members to the People’s Temple, they were later convinced that it would be better for them and for the Cause to sign over all personal possessions and assets to the church and then to live on the People’s Temple compound. This way they could fully dedicated themselves to the church and Jim Jones.
In order to ensure complete obedience to him, Jim Jones would spit families and pit them against one another. He would have them sign over custody of their children and allow other community members to care for them. He would also pit husbands and wives against each other by separating them and placing them in other sexual relationships. Jim Jones made sure that he was the only one in authority and the only one his followers relied on and trusted. All crimes against him, although only seen as minor...