I Watched A Documentary On Jim Jones &The People's Temple & Thought of JWs

by minimus 30 Replies latest jw friends

  • minimus

    I saw an unbelievable commentary on PBS last night about the Reverend Jim Jones and his church. The comparison to the Witnesses that I was seeing reinforced that JWs are truly a CULT! They are no different than the cultist in Guyana.

    Jones' voice was heard 24 hours a day on loudspeakers. Wherever the members were, they could hear the Reverend spouting his divine views. He skillfully integrated blacks and whites with his Pentecostal style church and made everyone feel special. He talked to his followers in such a way that he gained theirconfidence and made them feel that they no longer had to think for themselves! He even convinced over 900 people to drink the KoolAid laced with poison becuse it was better to be free and dead then to let the government separate them from each other.

    Most of the followers truly believed that they had the "Truth". They believed they were more enlightened and truly the "happiest" people on earth! And they danced and played music to freany them up as Pentecostals do.

    Substitute Jim Jones for Faithful & Discreet Slave and I saw no real difference in how the people were manipulated. Seeing the footage reminded me of how JWs regarded 1975 in the early 70s. They were true believers then. Thankully, I see none of this similarity anymore. Although there are some that would drink arsenic and KoolAid if the Governing Body told them to, I think the vast majority of Witnesses now question the Organization, either privately or more openly than before. Hopefully, we'll never see the Watchtower Organization get away with killing so many innocent lives.

  • dedpoet

    I haven't manged to see the documentary yet, min, it'll probably be on
    here in the UK eventually though. I have read quite a bit about Peoples
    Temple recently, including a book written by a survivor.

    I agree with you about the similarities to the jws and many other cults.
    The recruiting techniques, the demands put on members, the financial
    sacrifices expected and the shunning treatment, or worse, of those
    who leave are chillingly familar.

    There are even still Peoples Temple apologists around, including one
    guy who proposed to reform the group, which self-destructed not long
    after the massacre. I guess one cult is pretty much similar to another,
    and there will always be some still blind to the fact that they were/are
    in a cult, even the more destructive ones like PT.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thank you, minimus, for this up-to-date information.

    What gets to the core of my very being is that I was the first in my family to become a JW and the rest followed me - and subsequently the following generations: children and grandchildren.
    I was not a wallflower Witness: I was a recruiter, albeit a good-intentioned one [the road to hell is paved with good intentions, don't you know]. As a result, I now vacillate between hope and despair over the inherent danger to which I have unwittingly exposed them.


  • minimus

    CoCo, You have bloodguilt.

    dedpoet, who's the guy that wants to rebuild the cult??

  • mouthy

    Yes I watched it also & thought at the time....if the WT had told me to drink the cool-aid I would have
    We have a Ex JW that was at Pensylvania who was with the Jones group, but before she went to the island( Jones took them to, )the JW's got her.... So I guess that was one thing they did that was a plus,,,,

  • dedpoet

    The article is here min


    It's by a woman who had relatives who died at Jonestown.

    Theres' a lot of information on that site, most of it written by survivors,
    including one article by a woman bemoaning the fact that she wasn't
    in Jonestown on the night of the massacre, and all her friends left her

  • ness

    im sorry, but as controlling as JWs are there is no f'kin comparison to Jonestown and trying to put them in the same boat is slightly offensive and plain wrong.

  • minimus

    Ness, I very much disagree with you. It made ME feel embarrassed, knowing that when I was a Witness, especially in the 70s, it could've been us.

  • dedpoet
    im sorry, but as controlling as JWs are there is no f'kin comparison to Jonestown and trying to put them in the same boat is slightly offensive and plain wrong

    No comparison?

    How about all the jws who have died rather than disobey the watchtower's
    ban on blood transfusions? How about those who died during their ban
    on transplants and, before that, on vaccinations?

    Jim Jones persuaded his followers to die for their cause, and the watchtower
    are not really any differrent, apart from the fact that the Jonestown massacre
    happened on one night and created headlines throughout the world, while the
    watchtower blood policy has been killing people since they introduced it in

    In some ways, the watchtower leaders are worse than Jim Jones. He was
    an evil man, for sure, but he did die with his followers.

  • minimus

    Dedpoet, you expressed that so well! And the blood transfusion ban has helped how many die??? I wonder.

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