30 years after the Jonestown massacre:

Many of the Jonestown survivors and their families find the Kool-Aid references and jokes insensitive and deeply hurtful — reminders of the tragedy they suffered and, worse still, the widely held perception that the men, women and children in Jonestown were a bunch of crazies who willingly committed suicide out of blind devotion to their leader…

Much more is known today about the inner workings of the Peoples Temple than was known in the immediate aftermath of Jonestown. For example, many of those who died that day were highly educated. And at least some did, in fact, commit suicide. But there is clear evidence that armed guards loyal to Jones forced mothers to poison their children and gave adults a choice: Drink the deadly potion or be shot. And it later turned out that Flavor Aid, not Kool-Aid, was mixed with the cyanide…

Was Jones a sadistic egomaniac who cynically abused his followers? Or was he a decent man who fell victim to the drugs, power and paranoia that finally devoured him and the 913 other men, women and children who died in Jonestown? Why didn’t more people resist when they were ordered to die?

What a very strange massacre.


Joe Golike gives me a freebie:

If you haven’t already watched the 2007 PBS film about Jonestown, it’s absolutely riveting. The official website is still up and has several video interviews with surviving cult members.

A bit of googling and I found the full-length film here.

Thanks, Joe.