This man was all about “the people” and began his career as a community organizer.
He despised capitalism, denigrated “millionaires and billionaires” and garnered the trust of the poor and oppressed by claiming he was a religious man. After establishing their trust and devotion, he admitted he was an atheist.
He was lauded by Democrat politicians and dignitaries including California Gov. Jerry Brown, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Walter Mondale, gay activist Harvey Milk and former first lady Rosalynn Carter – all of whom either gave or attended testimonial dinners for him.
He claimed in a sermon that Jesus was a communist.
He surrounded himself with a variety of friends including members of the Nation of Islam, communist leaders, dictators and terrorists like Angela Davis. He was once described as a combination of “Martin King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein … Chairman Mao.”
He was an excellent fundraiser and collected money from people throughout the United States.
He hired media specialists to dispute any negative allegations made against him, including rumors that he had a homosexual affair.
He idolized Mao Zedong and carefully studied how he was able to overthrow the Chinese government.
The most famous phrase attributed to his legacy is: “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.”
No, he’s not Barack Obama, his name is Jim Jones, founder of the Peoples Temple and the leader of one of the largest mass-suicides in history.
Jim Jones was obsessed with creating a “socialistic utopia” in America, and he realized the easiest way to manipulate the masses was by infiltrating religion. To do this, he created his own church, originally calling it the Peoples Temple Christian Church Full Gospel. At a time when segregation was still occurring in America, Jones’ church was interracial and attracted thousands of poor and disadvantaged people of all colors and ethnicities.
Only after Jones was given tax-exemption status for his Peoples Temple church did he begin openly telling outsiders that he was an atheist and communist. He admitted in an article that he had learned the way to achieve social change through Marxism in the United States was to “mobilize people through religion.”
“How can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was, infiltrate the church,” Jones said.
In one of his California sermons, Jones said, “If you’re born in capitalist America, racist America, fascist America, then you’re born in sin. But if you’re born in socialism, you’re not born in sin.”
Jim Jones’ ultimate goal was to create a “socialist utopia” in the U.S., but when he realized that wasn’t going to happen, he moved to a strip of land in Guyana which he renamed “Jonestown.”
Everything came crashing down when Jones learned that California Rep. Leo Ryan was coming to Guyana to investigate Jonestown for possible human-rights violations. Jones ordered some of his followers to murder Rep. Ryan, three journalists and a defecting Temple member in an ambush on a Port Kaituma airstrip.
Backed into a corner, the master manipulator convinced his followers to participate in a “revolutionary suicide” by drinking cyanide-laced grape Flavor-Aide. Jones had borrowed the term by Black Panther leader and Peoples Temple supporter Huey Newton who said, “the slow suicide of life in the ghetto ought to be replaced by revolutionary struggle that would end only in victory (socialism and self-determination) or revolutionary suicide (death).”
On Nov. 18, 1978, 909 inhabitants of Jonestown, 303 of them children, were found dead in and around a pavilion, including Jones who had died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
The Jonestown suicides were the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the Sept. 11 attacks.
“We didn’t commit suicide; we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world,” Jones said in a tape recording made during the event.
In 2010 Jim Jones’ adopted son, Jim Jones Jr., was on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He said, “I’m part of an organization that tried to build a new world. Nine hundred people died, and I miss them every day. But I also recognize that they tried. They tried something – they failed horrifically – but they tried, and out of that, I’ve taken a lot of pride to realize that I’m Jim Jones Jr. I can’t hide from that.”