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"Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple" 
31st-Oct-2006 10:14 pm
From a short review of a recent documentary, "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple":

The scariest thing about "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple" is that so many of the followers of Jim Jones, the demented demagogue who led them to commit mass suicide, appear to have been intelligent, idealistic, life-loving people.


The film paints a portrait of Mr. Jones, who died with his flock in Guyana, as a man with two faces. The appealing one was that of a trained Pentecostal minister, an idealist with polished oratorical skills.

And from another review:

It is indicative of the depth of the human need to believe and belong that no matter what his excesses, members of Jones' congregation continued to cut him the necessary slack.


Getting individuals to do this [commit mass homicide/suicide] was not the work of a day or even a year. People had gotten in too deep to escape, had gotten into the habit of, as one man says, "letting Jim Jones think for me. He had a better plan."

I wonder how many know about Jonestown's Christian origins. I wonder how many Christian leaders said or thought after the revelations of abuse and mass suicide, "I thought they were a solid, zealous, socially progressive church."

If it's not playing at a theater near me, I'll definitely catch it on DVD.
1st-Nov-2006 07:46 am (UTC)
The NYT review shows the same mindset found in UBF:

"and afterward told them he did it for them."

"When nothing happened, he said it was a loyalty test."

"Before long, anyone who expressed a wish to leave was considered a traitor."

"In many ways, it was succeeding as a self-sufficient community"

"people’s willingness to surrender their reason to a madman who was also a charismatic manipulator"

One word of NYT review: "And that can happen anytime and anywhere"

And that has happened in UBF and is still happening in UBF: abortion at the order of a UBF leader; divorce or separation at the order of a UBF leader; walking 25 miles on bare feet at the order of a UBF leader; marrying a person at the order of a UBF leader; ostracizing a person at the order of a UBF leader; if you do not obey a UBF leader without any question, you are a proud rebel and a traitor.

How does a UBF leader put a person under his control? Through "humbleness" training. A UBF leader announces that a person needs "humbleness" training. Now this person is trapped in UBF manipulation. What could be his response in this situation?

1. He disagrees with the leader. Then he has just proved that he is not humble. So the UBF leader is right in saying that he needs "humbleness" training. The UBF leader wins.

2. He doesn't say anything. He does not agree or does not disagree. Then the UBF leader will say that he looks outwardly humble but he is very proud inwardly. So again the UBF leader is right that he needs "humbleness" training. The UBF leader wins again.

3. He accepts the UBF leader's direction because he cannot do either 1 or 2. Now he is subject to the control of the UBF leader! So the UBF leader wins always. So the "humbleness" training is the best strategy employed to manipulate a new naive recruit in UBF.

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