The tragic events that transpired in Jonestown, Guyana, remain one of the most shocking and heartbreaking cases in modern American history. In November 1978, 913 men, women and children living in a remote religious compound in the jungles of South America lost their lives in what has become known as the Jonestown Massacre. Led by Jim Jones and his message of brotherhood and social justice, the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project was quickly established as an intentional community with high hopes of bringing together individuals from all walks of life.
Unfortunately, this utopian dream devolved into tragedy on November 18th when 909 Temple members died in Jonestown due to apparent cyanide poisoning. This event still stands today as the largest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster since September 11th, 2001. The poisonings followed the murder of five others at a nearby Port Kaituma airstrip by Temple members—including U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan, who is still remembered today as the first and only congressman murdered in the line of duty throughout American history.
This documentary seeks to investigate leader Jim Jones and his message of brotherhood and social justice which ultimately resulted in such a heartbreaking tragedy for so many innocent lives. It will also look into how such an event could occur on such a large scale within our society, while exploring its deep psychological implications on people’s beliefs about cults and mass suicides. A must watch for anyone who wishes to learn more about this historic incident or is interested in understanding human behavior better, this documentary offers an enlightening look into one of America’s darkest moments – providing viewers with a valuable opportunity to reflect upon it’s sobering lessons and consider how we can prevent such events from happening again in our future.