Have you ever wondered where the phrase, Don’t drink the Kool Aid! comes from? No, it didn’t start with Michelle Obama’s attempts to ruin childhood lunches Nationwide, or from executives at Big Coke.
If you were born in the 80’s or after, then there’s a chance you might have heard something about a group of people offing themselves in the jungle, and for those alive in the late 1970’s obsessed with the news and not disco and leisure suites, the name Jim Jones may ring a bell or two.
While there could be whole dissertations written on Jonestown and the Peoples Temple, since it is Monday, we’ll just stick to the cliff notes.
909 members of Jim Jones’ Guyana commune were convinced by Jim Jones on November 18, 1978 to drink grape Kool Aid (okay, actually it was the cheaper version known as Flavor Aid, but few in the media ever picked up on that) laced with cyanide, after Jones’ Red Brigade followed and shot California Congressman Leo Ryan along with members of his staff, the media and a few brave Jonestown defectors.
Interestingly enough, before making the move to Guyana, Jim Jones was sought after on the political circuit and was good buddies with then (and current) California Governor Jerry Brown. Once out of the country though, rumors began to spread (sexual abuse, mind control, sleep deprivation, starvation, etc.) and that’s when Congressman Leo Ryan decided to see firsthand just what Jonestown was all about.
Ryan’s deep seeded normalcy bias and belief that as he was a Congressman no one would touch him, did little to keep him from dying on that airstrip in Guyana, along with four other people.
Okay, back to Jim Jones himself.
Amazingly, there is actually an audio recording of Jones convincing his followers to commit in a phrase he himself stole from the Black Panthers, Revolutionary suicide.
The about forty-five minute debate shows just how easily people can succumb to fear and embrace new norms while in a group setting.
Only one woman, Christine Miller, had the courage to at least plead for her life and the lives of the children in Jones’ utopia. In fact, she hung her hope on the USSR. That’s right, while most of the media tried to bend over backwards to label Jones as a Christian preacher, he and his followers were actually radical communists (hints the liberal usage of the Black Panther lexicon).
Christine Miller: I was speaking about the plane for us to go to Russia.
Jim Jones: How do–to Russia? Do you think Russia’s gonna want—no they’re not gonna! Do you think Russia’s gonna want us with all this stigma? We had really had some value—but now we don’t have any value.
Eventually the crowd shouts her down, and the screaming of children can be heard as their parents start to kill them.
Unidentified Woman : Hurry up!
Jim Jones: Marsha, we got 40 minutes.
Unidentified Woman : You have to move and the people that are standing there in the aisle go stand the—-so everybody get behind the table and back this way, okay? There’s nothing to worry about, so everybody keep calm and try and keep your children calm—-and the oldest children can help love the little children and reassure them. They’re not crying from pain. It’s just a little bitter tasting, but they’re not crying out of any pain.
Jim Jones: Don’t, don’t be this way. Stop this hysterics… This is not the way for people who are socialistic Communists to die! No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity!
Unidentified Man : That’s right.
Of course, a few mothers were having trouble with the thought that they were killing their children.
Jim Jones: Mother-Mother-Mother-Mother-Mother, please! Mother, please, please! Please, don’t, don’t do this, don’t do this…Lay down your life with your child, but don’t do this…Please, keep your emotions down, keep your emotions down. Children, it will not hurt if you will be, if you’ll be quiet, if you’ll be quiet.
So PDers, no matter what you are going through now with the Statists in your life, maybe don’t be quiet and pass on drinking the Kool Aid. Just a thought.