Essay on People's Temple

Submitted By albapysqyli
Words: 1530
Pages: 7

Pysqyli 1
People's Temple Nobody joins a cult. Nobody joins something that they think is going to hurt them. They believe they are joining an organization or a religious community in which love is practiced and shared, and all people are safe within that community’s walls. Nobody thinks that in just a few years, they and their families would all participate, in what is thought of as, the largest mass suicide-murder in modern history. The People's Temple was founded by Jim Jones. As a preacher at the Church, he was a charismatic individual who was seen doing many great things. He preached against many things that others were too afraid to speak up about at the time, things such as racism and discrimination. He helped the poor, cared for the sick, and even took in the troubled (Kilduff and Tracy, 1977). There seemed to be no one he turned away by even setting up special houses for troubled children as well as housing for the elderly. Jim Jones had a racially mixed family from adopting several children. Two of the children happened to be Asian; one was a black child and a son in which he had with his wife(Mass suicide at Jonestown, The History Channel website). This activeness in righteousness was evident since he was a child. Born as James Warren Jones on March 15th 1931 in Crete, Indiana, Jim Jones was seen preaching on street corners as a child and giving services in barns to other children from the poor neighborhood he was from. His advocacy for the poor and colored was apparent since
Pysqyli 2 early on. He was friendly with the other black children in his neighborhood causing him to be isolated from some of the other children and people because of his friendliness with unfavorable people. Nevertheless, Jim Jones was still found advocating for racial integration. He even spent his time volunteering at hospitals (Bowden). With an individual like this, the Peoples Temple had the potential to be a great organization in which everyone was equal, racially and economically. Each individual worked to help each other as a family should. Instead, there was an underlying evilness about it which originated from their leader. Jim Jones strived for a Utopian society, even to the point of joining a Communist group, but that wasn't enough for him (Saliger, 2012). Jim Jones had created this society in which people looked at him as if he was God. He was admired as one, he spoke as one and he ruled as one. When people came in to visit the church, they saw masses of people dancing and singing. People were so friendly and happy and so accepting. Everyone who came in saw a vibrant and happy society. They heard people's testimonies of how Jim Jones has helped them by allowing them to quit depending on drugs and some spoke about how they would still have been an alcoholic if it wasn't for him. One would hear testimonies of lives being changed for the better such as young people enrolling in school and getting out of trouble. One would actually witness healings at this church. Healings of people regaining their sight and the ability to talk, being cured of cancers and other sicknesses (Mass suicide at Jonestown, The History Channel website). The People's Temple services had life, had soul, and had power. With such an energetic and charismatic personality, Jim Jones was able to lead a church of only a few people into a church of hundreds of people. He and his church was seen
Pysqyli 3 doing many virtuous things. They are more than a just a church, they are providers. They contributed to their community in so many ways. “Temple members support and staff a free diagnostic and outpatient clinic, a physical therapy facility, a drug program that claims to have rehabilitated some 300 addicts and a legal aid program for about 200 people a month” (the rise and fall). As his ministry grows from