Jonestown Massacre (mass suicide)

Discussion in 'Spirituality & Religion' started by servotron, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. servotron

    servotron New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    St Paul, MN
    Wow, I'm really sort of stunned. I'm listening to the "suicide tape" where there's a debate between Jim Jones and a woman named Christine. Jim Jones is convincing 1,000 people to drink poisoned Kool-Aid.

    You can get a link to it by Wikipedia Jonestown.

    Wow.

    ....and people ask me why I'm agnostic.
     
  2. Riz

    Riz Member+

    Nov 18, 2004
    R-ville, Murrlin
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    ... and now begins the discussion in here on the difference between a cult and organized religion.

    Disclaimer: I myself am absolutely fascinated by Jonestown from a sociological point of view. I actually got a copy of the original newspaper articles on Jonestown that appeared in the Washington Post shortly after it happened. Absolutely fascinating.
     
  3. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Tax-exempt status.
     
  4. servotron

    servotron New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    St Paul, MN
    I'm just geting done listening to the whole thing. The silence with the music at the end is quite creepy.

    Knowing though that Jim Jones didn't take his own life at that point though is also creepy. He was shot in the head, either by himself or by an escaped/hiding defector.
     
  5. Riz

    Riz Member+

    Nov 18, 2004
    R-ville, Murrlin
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I like to think it wasn't suicide but by a survivor/defector.

    I can't recall off the top of my head if there are any living survivors of Jonestown, but that would be a fascinating interview.

    So the audio was linked in the Wiki article on the massacre?
     
  6. StrikerCW

    StrikerCW Member

    Jul 10, 2001
    Perth, WA
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Coming from heresay from my roomate that took a religion course in uni (if that means anything to you guys) he was taught that a cult is technically a sect of a religion that hasn't survived past one generation. Once a cult can surivive continuosly for a generation of members then it becomes a demonimation.

    I am not sure how accurate this is, but figured I'd throw it in.

    BTW, Jonestown was rather interesting and shocking. It does make you wonder how gullible people can be and believe what they are fed.
     
  7. servotron

    servotron New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    St Paul, MN

    http://www.archive.org/details/ptc1978-11-18.flac16
     
  8. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If, in fact, all episodes of senseless killings and selfish manipulation of people for whatever outcome a person with influence desired, committed in the name of any "ism" also led you to a rejection of that principle, then this reason for becoming agnostic makes sense to me. But it shouldn't be/probably isn't this alone (I assume you were just making a point and there is more to the story, some of which you posted in other places).

    I've seen a couple of good History Channel docs on Jonestown. And a 1980 TV movie for which Powers Boothe won an Emmy for his portrayal of Jones is still available on Amazon for $12.74. It also stars Ned Beatty (one of my favorite actors) and Irene Cara. It's pretty good but my memory is a bit hazy on that one.
     
  9. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore MD
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  10. servotron

    servotron New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    St Paul, MN
    Yeah, if I based my beliefs on one event or source of information I'd be in no better boat than the folks in Guayana that day.
     
  11. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I heard an interview on NPR last year or the year before that with a woman who was part of the cult. She missed the suicide/murder because she was running a house for the commune in a nearby city. It was a very painful interview to listen to.

    edit: I think this may be it:

    http://bama.ua.edu/~sprentic/672 Block 2003 Interview.htm
     
  12. gaijin

    gaijin New Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Malaysia
    Very chilling...
     
  13. Pints

    Pints Member

    Apr 21, 2004
    Charm City
    Deborah Layton(an escaped member of the People's Temple) wrote a book, which received good reviews.

    Seductive Poison
     
  14. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore MD
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Prescient?

     
  15. URwormfood

    URwormfood Member

    Mar 24, 2004
    6 feet under: LOT 8
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Heck.... I was taught that in a Cat-a-holic Highschool....I always wonder why I never got an answer to my question:

    Me: "So Christianity started as a cult?"

    Brother Francis: "A funny glare.....ok lets talk about the Miracle at Fatima....take notes....Quiz on Monday."

    ~worm~

    :D
     
  16. Barbara

    Barbara BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 29, 2000
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Holy shit.
     
  17. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore MD
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Barb, because I love you and because I know you like to have a clear heads-up on content, I'm tellng you...do not listen to that tape.

    I've been spending today on the floor with my daughter in intense play just trying to dispel that heinous shit, and I listended to it 36 hours ago...still bothering me.
     
  18. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    I've heard the tape, as well as recounted testimony by a survivor about what happened that day. It disturbed me to no end, and it still bothers me to think about it, especially the fact that Jones chickened out himself and tried to escape with a massive amount of money.
     
  19. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Totally agree--I heard it a while back (25th anniversary of the deaths, I think) and it still hangs around like an infection. It's the children that make it so horrible.
     
  20. edcalvi

    edcalvi Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 1, 2005
    Nevada
    I'm not even gonna try to listen to this. I learned my lesson when I saw the Armstrong beheading by that militant group. :eek:
     
  21. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    i think the word "cult" in the religious sense means something different to conservative Christians that it means to people who are less conservative-minded.

    "cult" includes, for such Christians, the idea that there is heretical ( to Biblical Christianity ) teaching involved, a misguided or deliberate shift in theology, where a person or persons assigns to God or to themselves qualities that are not supported by the Bible. ( in Jones' case, maybe he was just crazy, with a messianic twist so popular among cult leaders. Rev Moon also comes to mind )

    for example, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints teaches that Jesus is a created being, the brother of the angel Lucifer. LDS teaching also includes the concept that the person referred to as "God" was once a man, though i must confess that i am not sure in what sense that is meant. God managed, thru some sort of self-improvement process to become God. i figure there's a lot of work involved in that, but it may have happened by divine self-revelation.
     
  22. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yep I think that's pretty accurate. More generally than that I'd say that when most of us these days use the word "cult" we use it disparagingly, to talk about something that's (in our opinion) obviously based on false premises, or is somehow strange or dangerous.

    Anthropologists and other students of religious behavior tend to use the word less judgmentally, to refer to new or context-specific religious communities that haven't yet survived beyond a generation or two, or haven't generalized beyond a particular focus on an area of belief or person. For example, the so called Cargo Cults of 1930's Melanesia involved magical activities (et rituals involving wooden radios and airstrips) designed to draw the wealth and power of European cargo to the natives of places like Papua New Guinea. While some elements of Cargo Cults eventually expanded into a political movement advocating Papuan independence, Christian missionaries were successful enough that Cargo Cults as religious activities eventually died out (I believe--if anybody knows better please feel free to jump in here). I think Mormonism is a pretty good example of something that would have been called a cult at its beginnings in the 19th century, but now is rightly (by the standards of analysis) called a religion.

    I also think that the members of a group so labeled would almost certainly reject either meaning described above.
     
  23. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For the most part, they have died out--but the February issue of Smithsonian magazine had this article about one that is still thriving.
     
  24. bungadiri

    bungadiri Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2002
    Acnestia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Cool--thanks very much.
     
  25. royalstilton

    royalstilton New Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ---
    the issue is whether Mormonism is "standard" Christianity, if such an animal exists, or something divergent.

    the dictionary definition (dictionary.com) of cult goes like this: A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.

    in the case of Mormonism, much of the Christian community, the part that knows what Mormonism teaches, especially the specific part of Jesus being Lucifer's brother, would "generally consider false" that doctrine, which is a core position of their church.
     

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