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Encyclopedia > Peoples Temple
Brochure of the Peoples Temple, portraying leader Jim Jones as the father of the "Rainbow Family".

Peoples Temple was a cult organization founded in 1955 by Reverend James Warren Jones (Jim Jones). Originally based on progressive principles such as racial integration, Peoples Temple is now best known for the mass murder/suicide of its members that occurred in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978. Brochure of the Peoples_Temple portraying cult leader Jim Jones as the loving father of the Rainbow Family. Retrieved from the website of the Jonestown Institute This work is copyrighted, and used with permission. ... Brochure of the Peoples_Temple portraying cult leader Jim Jones as the loving father of the Rainbow Family. Retrieved from the website of the Jonestown Institute This work is copyrighted, and used with permission. ... This article is about the cult leader. ... Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ... This article is about the cult leader. ... For other uses, see Jonestown (disambiguation). ... is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ...

Contents

History before mid-1970s

Jones established what became the Peoples Temple in Indianapolis, Indiana during the 1950s. The church was initially incorporated as the Wings Of Deliverance in 1954. In 1960 the organization affiliated itself with the Protestant denomination, Disciples of Christ. This affiliation was a successful attempt to both raise the dwindling membership and restore the reputation of the group. Beginning in 1967, Jones and his congregation moved to Redwood Valley, California. The Redwood Valley church officially opened in 1969. After Jones began a series of recruiting drives in San Francisco and Los Angeles the membership in the Peoples Temple increased from about 700 in 1970 to 2200 in 1972. The highest actual membership of the Peoples Temple was around 3500 members, in spite of exaggerated claims by the Temple. [citation needed] Nickname: Location in the state of Indiana Coordinates: , County Founded 1821 Government  - Mayor Bart Peterson (D) Area  - City  372 sq mi (963. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... The Wings of Deliverance was a religious group founded by James Warren Jones on April 4, 1955. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The insignia of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). ... Year 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the 1967 Gregorian calendar. ... Also: 1969 (Stargate SG-1) episode. ... “San Francisco” redirects here. ... Los Angeles and L.A. redirect here. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Jones and his church earned a reputation for aiding the cities' poorest citizens, especially racial minorities, drug addicts, and the homeless. Soup kitchens, daycare centers, and medical clinics for elderly people were set up, along with counseling programs for prostitutes and drug addicts who wanted to change their lives. The Peoples Temple made strong connections to the California state welfare system. During the 1970s, the Peoples Temple owned and ran at least nine residential care homes for the elderly, six homes for foster children, and a state-licensed 40-acre ranch from pelana for developmentally disabled persons. They had a college tuition and dormitory program at Santa Rosa Junior College. The Temple elites handled members' insurance claims and legal problems, effectively acting as a client-advocacy group. For these reasons, sociologist John Hall described Peoples Temple as a "charismatic bureaucracy", oriented toward Jones as a charismatic leader, but functioning as a bureaucratic social service organization. The Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) is a community college located in the city of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California. ...


Although some descriptions of Peoples Temple emphasize Jones’ autocratic control over his followers, in actuality it had a complex leadership structure with decision-making power unevenly dispersed among its members. At its core, the Peoples Temple was ruled by Jones and his inner circle, but members of the Planning Commission also had much of the power. The Planning Commission (including approximately 100 members) were responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Temple.


Controversy

In the mid-1970s several disturbing accounts began to surface as a small number of members began to leave the group. It was reported that Jones stole from his followers, faked miracle healings, punished members severely, practiced sodomy, and considered himself the new Messiah. François Elluin, Sodomites provoking the wrath of God, from Le pot pourri de Loth (1781). ... In Judaism, the Messiah (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian ; Aramaic: , ; Arabic: , ; the Anointed One) at first meant any person who was anointed with oi on rising to a certain position among the ancient Israelites, at first that of High priest, later that of King and also that of a prophet. ...


By then, journalists, law enforcement, and politicians were showing interest in the Peoples Temple. Jones reacted with frequent long and angry speeches to his following, claiming that the defectors were lying, and the outside world was trying to destroy them. At the same time, an increasing number of former members revealed abuse within the Peoples Temple. Relatives of members also insisted that members were being forced to remain there against their will.[citation needed] This does not cite any references or sources. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ...


Move to Guyana

Jones reacted to the increasing scrutiny by moving his following of over 900 people to Guyana. The followers were promised a tropical paradise, free from the supposed wickedness of the outside world, but when they arrived, they were forced to work by Jones' orders, and together they built Jonestown. For other uses, see Jonestown (disambiguation). ...


Visit by Congressman Ryan

In November 1978, the group was visited at Jonestown by Leo Ryan, a United States Congressman from San Francisco, California, who was investigating claims of abuse within it. During this visit, a number of Temple members expressed a desire to leave along with the Congressman, and the entire group of them went with him to the local airstrip. There, Temple security guards fired on the group, killing Congressman Ryan, three journalists, and a Temple member who wanted to leave. The shootings were captured on video by one of the journalists who died in the attack. Leo Joseph Ryan, Jr. ...


Jonestown Massacre

Main article: Jonestown

Later that day, Jones ordered his congregation to drink cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. This mass suicide has become known as the Jonestown massacre. Those who resisted committing suicide were shot, strangled, or injected with cyanide. Some believe that the people killed in this way also had their open wounds dragged across the wall, so that their blood would be put upon it, but this has no proof. Jones was found with a gunshot wound in his head. Upon investigation his body contained high doses of drugs. In all, 913 people died, including 270 children.[1] For other uses, see Jonestown (disambiguation). ... Potassium cyanide or KCN is the potassium salt of hydrogen cyanide or hydrocyanic acid. ... Flavor Aid is a soft drink beverage made by Jel Sert, introduced in 1929. ... Mass suicide occurs when a number of people kill themselves together with one another or for the same reason and is usually connected to a real or perceived persecution. ... For other uses, see Jonestown (disambiguation). ... Suffocation redirects here, for the band, see Suffocation (band). ...


Aftermath

Ten years after the mass suicide, the building housing the Peoples Temple in San Francisco — located at 1849 Geary Boulevard in the city's Western Addition neighborhood — sustained structural damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake. Since the owner was unwilling to reinforce the structure, the building was demolished, and the property remained undeveloped until the United States Postal Service opened a post office at the site in the late 90’s. The original Indianapolis location now houses the Phoenix Theatre. The Loma Prieta earthquake was a major earthquake affecting the greater San Francisco Bay Area of California. ... USPS and Usps redirect here. ... Small-town post office and town hall in Lockhart, Alabama A post office is a facility (in most countries, a government one) where the public can purchase postage stamps for mailing correspondence or merchandise, and also drop off or pick up packages or other special-delivery items. ... The Phoenix Theatre is a professional non-profit theatre located in downtown Indianapolis, on Park Avenue near Massachusetts Avenue. ...


Similar names

The Peoples Temple is not to be confused with The Temple of the People, a theosophically-oriented religious organization headquartered at Halcyon, California, or the Peoples Church, an independent church affiliated with the Assemblies of God in Fresno, California. Theosophy, literally god-wisdom (Greek: θεοσοφία theosophia), designates several bodies of ideas. ... Halcyon, California is an unincorporated community of approximately 125 acres (0. ... Peoples Church G.L. Johnson Chapel. ... “Fresno” redirects here. ...


References and footnotes

  1. ^ CNN - Jonestown massacre + 20: Questions linger. CNN.com. Accessed on 9 April 2007.

Shiva Naipaul (25 February 1945 – 13 August 1985), born Shivadhar Srivinasa Naipaul in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, was a Trinidadian and British novelist and journalist. ... A survivor/defector of Jonestown who, in a sworn affidavit wrote that during one of the white nights [mass suicide rehearsals], people were told that they would die, and were forced to drink unsweetened Flavor Aid that they thought contained poison. ... is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...

Quote

  • "When you meet the friendliest people you have ever known, who introduce you to the most loving group of people you've ever encountered, and you find the leader to be the most inspired, caring, compassionate and understanding person you've ever met, and then you learn the cause of the group is something you never dared hope could be accomplished, and all of this sounds too good to be true-it probably is too good to be true! Don't give up your education, your hopes and ambitions to follow a rainbow." by Jeannie Mills who was an early defector from the Peoples Temple.

Jeannie Mills (birth name Deanna Mertle) was an early defector from the Peoples Temple cult, author of the book Six years with God, and co-founder of the Concerned Relatives of Peoples Temple Members organization and the Human Freedom Center. ...

See also

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Cover page of the book Jonestown Carnage: A CIA Crime The Jonestown Carnage: a CIA Crime is a book published by Progress Publishers, USSR. S.F.Alinin, B.G.Antonov and A.N.Itskov jointly authored the book in Russian, which was later translated into English by Nadeshda Burova and... Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivors Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple is a first-hand account of the incidents surrounding Peoples Temple, written by survivor Deborah Layton. ... This article is about the cult leader. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Religious Movements Homepage: Peoples Temple (4957 words)
In 1960, Peoples Temple officially became a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination in Indianapolis, and Jones was ordained as a minister, despite lacking formal theological training (Hall 1987: 52).
Peoples Temple was one of the few, if not the only interracial congregations in the state, and Jones’ commitment to racial equality led him briefly to chair the Indianapolis Human Right Commission in 1961.
In 1974, Peoples Temple acquired a lease from the government of Guyana to develop nearly 4000 acres in the northwest territory of the country.
Peoples Temple - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1010 words)
The Peoples Temple, originally incorporated as the Wings Of Deliverance in 1954, was a religious organization founded in 1955 by Reverend James Warren Jones (Jim Jones).
The Peoples Temple is widely known for the mass murder/suicide that occurred in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978.
The Peoples Temple is not to be confused with The Temple of the People, a theosophically-oriented religious organization headquartered at Halcyon, California, or the Peoples Church, an independent church affiliated with the Assemblies of God in Fresno, California.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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