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Subject: ARCHIVE: November 18, 1978 ~On this date, Cult leader Jim Jones led his Peoples Temple to a mass murder–suicide that claimed 918 lives in all, 909 of them in his Jonestown, Guyana commune, including over 270 children. Congressman Leo Ryan, there to investigate the commune was murdered by Jones and hour before. ...


Author:
Backstory
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Date Posted: Monday, November 18, 09:12:17am


Link …
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoples_Temple#Mass_murder/suicide_at_Jonestown_agricultural_commune

Peoples Temple Commune
(November 18, 1978)


In 1974, the Peoples Temple signed a lease to rent land in Guyana. The community created on this property was called the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, or, informally, "Jonestown". It had as few as 50 residents in early 1977.

Jones saw Jonestown as both a "socialist paradise" and a "sanctuary" from media scrutiny that had started with the Kinsolving articles. Former Temple member Tim Carter said the Temple moved to Jonestown because "in '74, what we saw in the United States was creeping fascism." Carter explained, "It was apparent that corporations, or the multinationals, were getting much larger, their influence was growing within the government, and the United States is a racist place." Carter said the Temple concluded that Guyana was "a place in a black country where our black members could live in peace", "it was a socialist government" and it was "the only English-speaking country in South America."

Increasing media scrutiny based on allegations by former members placed further pressure on Jones, especially after a 1977 article by Marshall Kilduff in New West Magazine. Just before publication of the New West piece, editor Rosalie Wright telephoned Jones to read him the article. Wright explained that she was only doing so before publication because of "all the support letters we received on your behalf, from the Governor of California (Jerry Brown)" and others. While still on the phone listening to the allegations contained in the article, Jones wrote a note to Temple members in the room with him that said, "We leave tonight. Notify Georgetown (Guyana)."

After Jones left for Guyana, he encouraged Temple members to follow him there. The population grew to over 900 people by late 1978. Those who moved there were promised a tropical paradise free from the supposed wickedness of the outside world.

On November 17, 1978, Leo Ryan, a U.S. Congressman from the San Francisco area investigating claims of abuse within the Peoples Temple, visited Jonestown. During Ryan's visit, a number of Temple members expressed a desire to leave with him, and, on November 18, they accompanied Ryan to the local airstrip at Port Kaituma. There they were intercepted by self-styled Temple security guards who opened fire on the group, killing Ryan, three journalists, and one of the defectors. A few seconds of gunfire from the incident were captured on video by Bob Brown, one of the journalists killed in the attack.

That evening, in Jonestown, Jones ordered his congregation to drink a concoction of cyanide-laced, grape-flavored Flavor Aid.

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Rosalynn Carter has the distinction of posing for photos with 2 mass murderers (NT)Jim Jones & John Wayne GacyMonday, November 18, 12:40:59pm


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