“A cult leader alone in his beliefs is just a

crazy dude with a beard.”

–Caitlin Doughty

Cult followings have been happening for centuries. ‘Peoples Temple’ is perhaps one of the most famous cults in the world. Jim Jones a self-proclaimed messiah, had created this in the 1950’s as he was tired of the US government killing communists. He wanted to promote the Marxist ideology, stop racial division, poverty and the Vietnam War. It allowed the working class to be inspired and join him. In time the Church had over a dozen temples all over the US. The high ranking members performed fake healing rituals which attracted the poor and also helped in financing the temples. By the 1970’s, Jim Jones found the ideal place to create a socialist paradise – Jonestown. The population was just below 1000. To the rest of the world, the town seemed like ‘dystopia’, but in reality they were abused and fed with propaganda. In 1978 he was visited by a US congressman Leo Ryan, who was appalled by the situation. On the order of Jim Jones he was killed. Jones then convinced the townspeople to drink a cocktail mixed with poison and to parents inject it in their children. Over 900 people died, to commit a revolutionary change. This is known to be one of the biggest mass murder/suicide in history.