James Warren Jones

James Warren Jones is the founder of The People Temples Group and was held responsible for the death of more than 900 individuals by insinuating them on committing a mass suicide by drinking poison.  Jones was able to convince his followers to commit suicide by drinking cyanide, other who refused to drink were forcedly injected by cyanide or was shot.

James Warren Jones was born in Indiana.  He attended the Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana.  He became a preacher during the 1950s and obtained his college degree in 1961.  He sold his pet monkey in able to fund his own church which he called Wing of Deliverance which will be later renamed to Peoples’ Temple.

The church was able to attract many followers due to the equality that is being taught by the church especially to the African Americans which composed the larger members of the church.  Jones claimed he is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Lenin, etc. and he supposedly performed miracles in order to attract new members.

After some time, James Warren Jones together with the 1000 members of the church moved to Guyana after the department investigated their supposed tax evasion.  But not everyone followed him to Guyana, those who have left the church told the officials about the sadistic beating, killings and a plan about a mass suicide but unfortunately they were not believed by the authorities.

In November of 1978, a congressman led the fact-finding mission regarding the reported human rights abuse in the area of Guyana that concerns the members of the People Temple.   They decided to left early in the morning after there has been an attempt to kill Cong. Leon Ryan.  The group was able to take some members who no longer wish to be a part of the group.  But as their helicopter is taking off, James Warren Jones’ men came armed with guns and started to fire on them.  6 people died on that incident including Cong. Leo Ryan and some mediamen.

Later on the same day, James Warren Jones instructed his group to commit a revolutionary suicide.  Many of them followed and those who did not were forcedly injected with cyanide.  More than 900 people died that day.

Is Jones that influential that a group of more than 900 individuals is willing to blindly follow him and commit suicide?


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