Mass Suicide at Jonestown: 30 Years Later

jonestown massacre anniversary
David Hume Kennerly / Getty

The Horror Begins
As the shooting unfolded at the airport, Jones gathered his followers and spoke to them of the need to commit "revolutionary suicide." According to one defector, the possibility of mass suicide had been discussed at Temple indoctrination sessions and had even been rehearsed at least two times. During the drill, Temple members, including children, lined up and took small glasses of red liquid to drink. They were told that the liquid contained poison and that they would die within 45 minutes.

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