By 1973, Jones first broached the subject of mass suicide. At the time he also made clear his own intention to remain behind to explain the self-destruction. Jack Beam protested that Jones ought to perish with the rest, but that was the only major note of dissent.
By 1975-76, with more serious trouble brewing, Jones actively began promoting his plan [mass suicide] again. He started by testing his inner circle of one hundred. Jones hoped to gauge people's willingness to throw aside their will to survive and to make the ‘ultimate sacrifice.' … He announced that some very good wine had been made from grapes grown on the church's Redwood Valley properties. And he ordered wine poured and passed around for a rare celebration. Some p.c. [planning commission] members hesitated - it was against all practice, after all - but finally they tried the wine. Sipping and socializing, the group began to feel loose, even relaxed. ... Jones went around making sure everyone had tasted at least some wine. Then suddenly, he called for everyone's attention in a foreboding voice.
The party mood snapped. The wine contained a potent poison, he informed them. They would all die within forty-five minutes. Jones proceeded to explain the rationale for his unilateral decision: by killing themselves, they would be protesting the inhumanity of the world.
Soon various people around the room slithered out of their chairs like dead fish. Jones warned: Anyone who tries to escape will be shot by Mike Prokes or other armed security watching the exits. No one rose to question the judgement of Jim Jones. No one rebelled, no one challenged his insane logic, no one called for an antidote. No one questioned the right of Jim Jones to make the decision for them to die. In fact, some even voiced concern that children and others not attending the p.c. meeting would be left behind to suffer in the cruel world. Could they not be brought in to take the potion as well?
Tim Reiterman, "Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People," New York, Tarcher, 2008, p294-295
NOTE THE AGE SKEW TOWARDS THE YOUNG AND VERY YOUNG AMONGST THE DEAD AT JONESTOWN
This child abusing scum murdered 299 people under the age of eighteen. 76 of them were under the age of five. Infants and kinder-kids. Not only did these stupid adults go along, some even expressed, two years earlier that they should take the children down with them.
In the ‘death tape’ the audio recording of the last few hours before the mass-murder, the children can be heard crying, even screaming, in the background. Jones says “stop telling the children they’re going to die. Tell them they’re just going to go to sleep.”
Jones: (Clapping in reprimand) Stop this, stop this, stop this (unintelligible word). Stop this crying, all of you. All they're doing is -- All they do is taking a drink. They take it to go to sleep. That's what death is, sleep. -- of it. I'm tired of it all.
Jonestown Audiotape Primary Project : Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee, III
These children knew these stupid adults were going to kill them. WTF?
"Jim Jones built a financial empire through welfare fraud. He seemed to tailor his appeal to those most eligible for Federal assistance: troubled youths, the poor, the elderly. He used nursing homes, foster care, group homes for the retarded and emotionally disturbed, drug rehabilitation programs -- all of which enhanced his humanitarian reputation in the outside community; all of which were desperate, horrible places. He had a genius for twisting social work jargon to suit his purposes. In applying for the legal guardianship of a black youth, his lawyers promised: 'a positive educational environment in a rural setting.' The rural setting was, of course, Guyana."
Joe Klein, "The Beast in the Jungle," New York Times, November, 16 1980.
Perhaps the most pathological feature of the lynching epidemic was its strange mingling of barbarism with religiosity. Robert Penn Warren once wrote of an old southern “joke” that runs: “After the Saturday night lynching, the congregation generally turns up a little late”. (1956, 57). The antecedents of this “joke” lie in white southern Protestantism's long complicity with the slave trade, vocal backing of segregation, and tacit as well as overt support for lynching. During slavery, preachers twisted the Bible to make God a white supremacist slave master, turning southern evangelical Protestantism from a religion of tolerance and brotherhood to a creed of bigotry against African Americans that was later revised to include Catholics and Jews. Walter White found it “exceedingly doubtful if lynching could possibly exist under any other religion than Christianity,” singling out in particular the “violently emotional” evangelical revival services that whipped men and women into a frenzy of “emotions of cruelty,” which sought “an outlet in lynching” ( 2001, 40-43). Baptist and Methodist ministers were instrumental in the resurgence of the Klan, and ministers attended and sometimes even led lynchings.