Jonestown Massacre: What It Meant To 'Drink The Kool-Aid'

By Jacob Shelton
Jim Jones. Photo by Michèle VIGNES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Nearly 1,000 men, women, and children died at Jonestown, in Guyana, on November 18, 1978. Ordered to drink poison by the charismatic and delusional cult leader Jim Jones, the casualties of the "Jonestown massacre" were members of the People’s Temple, a Christian organization that integrated anything that Jones wanted to use, from Marxist theories to faith healing. Jonestown was envisioned as a “rainbow family” made up of people of all races, ages, and creeds, who were separated from America and working on their own to create a utopian civilization. In the harsh jungle of Guyana, none of the utopian dreams of Jones’ followers came to fruition, and as their leader devolved further into madness he led the families and friends who trusted him enough to move across the world to their deaths.