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Blind Devotion?

kool aid moustache
Leslie Brown

Obama followers are jokingly referred to as “Kool-Aid drinkers”. It occurred to me that what with the number of clueless people out there, many probably don’t even know what that term refers to? Hmmm, maybe THAT’S why I get nothing but a question mark “tweeted” back from a liberal….

Well, I’ll give you a quickie historical basis for the term: Charismatic “preacher” Jim Jones founded the “Peoples Temple” “church” in California (shocking!) in 1956. As his following grew throughout the 60’s and 70’s, he later moved his flock of sheep to Guyana for their literal commune, hence Communists.

Now and again, reports from unhappy followers would filter out of the commune expressing concern about what was going on there. Congressman Leo J. Ryan and two members of the media flew in for an unannounced visit, concerned with what they saw when they got there. As Ryan, a defector and the media attempted to return home from their fun-filled visit, they were gun downed and killed.

Jones couldn’t have any of that pesky TRUTH leaving the camp, now could he? In a panic over exposure to the world, Jones ordered his followers to participate in a mass suicide by drinking poison laced grape Flavor-Aid. In November of 1978, 913 people gave their lives at the bidding of a charismatic drug user. They had been told, “Don’t be afraid to die … if these people land out here, they’ll torture some of our children here. They’ll torture our people, they’ll torture our seniors. We cannot have this.” (It’s always for “the cheeeldren”, and seniors, don’tcha know ?)

“I represent divine principle, total equality, a society where people own all things in common, where there’s no rich or poor, where there are no races. Wherever there are people struggling for justice and righteousness, there I am.”

~Jim Jones, founder, Peoples Temple

Documentary film maker Stanley Nelson said of the cult, “They saw themselves changing the world, with the church as a tool,” noting that Jones offered prospective members jobs, homes, and a sense of common purpose — striving to create a just world. Hmmm…

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/introduction/jonestown-introduction/

blind faith

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Comments

  1. Mark

    Kevin, you never actually explain the kool-aid reference in your article. I was a kid living in the Bay Area when this happened and recall the story and news accounts well. Aside from that key omission it’s a good piece.

    MOB

    • Leslie Brown

      Mark, I made it more clear! Don’t blame Kevin, blame the ding-y redhead! Thank you for your comment! Leslie Brown

  2. Mark

    This article fails to explain the meaning of “kool-aid drinkers”. Apologies for attributing that error to another individual.

    Cheers

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