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Peoples Temple in Guyana

After several scandals and investigations in San Francisco, Jones has decided to create a
community in South America where he would be safe of the authorities. Then, in 1974 he rents
lands of the government of Guyana. Later, Jones and his followers moved to this place in 1977.

The city was called “Jonestown” and there were only 50 people living in the community. Then,
Jones came back to the US and he encourages more people. One year later, the community
increase from 50 to 900 people.

Life in Jonestown

People including children worked raising animals and food every day for almost 11 hours,
when the temperature reached 38º Celsius. Finally, they had to listen to “Father” Jones about
their religion and sometimes about socialism. In the community there were no technological

If any of the followers tried to leave the community, he was drugged and sometimes tortured.
Those children who didn’t have a good behavior were locked up in a wooden box. There were
guards with guns patrolling all day.

Arrival of US Congressman Ryan and mass suicide

In November 1978, the congressman Lio Ryan flew to Jonestown to go over about the tortures.
At the same time a group of journalist traveled to cover the story.

When they arrived, the father Jones received them. He spoke to them about the happiness of
the people who lived there. Later, the community had organized a party. Journalist and
congressman didn’t see anything unusual.

The next day in the morning, when the visitors try to leave the community, several people
wanted to go with them. The father Jones got angry, but he let them go. However, when
people boarded the plane, Jones ordered to shoot them, including the congressman and the

Two hours later, Jones ordered that all members committed suicide. Most people didn’t want
to do, but they were forced to do. While people did, Jones said that this was just one step to
another level.

Finally, there were 912 deaths. Jones was found dead, with a shot in the head.