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Peoples Temple

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Peoples Temple

On November 18, 1978 more than nine hundred people died in one of the largest mass murder/suicides in history. The man that implemented and carried out that atrocity was James Warren Jones, otherwise known as Jim Jones, a self proclaimed Second Coming (God). His exposure to an intensely emotional Pentecostal church service influenced and shaped his future beliefs and actions. In 1960, despite his lack of theological training, Jim Jones became an ordained minister. He made racial equality one of goals. Jim Jones also used fear arousal to recruit his followers by Genocide and thermonuclear war.

His ability to persuade was more successful with him becoming an ordained minister. He used his charisma to persuade people to join his ministries. People used snap judgments. They thought he was wonderful. They did not take the time to find out what he was really like. It seems as if they were looking for a sense of direction and belonging. They probably had poor self esteem and were looking for somewhere where they felt like they belonged.

He used positive feelings of an alternative society. He talked about the "Promise Land" and the reduction of prejudice. Some people were easier to persuade than others because of their home life, their self esteem, and other receiver factors. He used Lowball Techniques when recruiting. He promised them a wonderful life existence and they soon found themselves working up to eleven hours a day with barely enough to eat. Some even had to give in to his sexual deviance. Men and women alike had to have sex with him.

In the 60's racial tension was running high. Jim Jones used this problem to win over African American people. Obedience is a form of compliance that occurs when people follow direct commands, usually from someone of authority. He also used the FITD technique to recruit people. He used reducing prejudice of blacks, senior citizens, poor people, gays, but yet forced them to have sex with him still proclaiming himself the only true heterosexual. He wanted bi-racial children.

He used conformity and compliance pressures. The people yielded to real or imagined social pressure. There were loyalty tests to prove their loyalty to Jim Jones. One of these tests was to do a practice suicide of drinking the Kool-Aid. They were told the drink was poisoned, but it really wasn't.



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