Camp Jonestown - Guyana Outline
$2.75 - $20.31
Camp Jonestown - Guyana Outline
Dark Blue, Red, Orange
A spin on a vintage 1970's summer camp shirt. This version features a housing cabin instead of the Guyana outline (for those of you who suck at geography).
James Warren Jones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978) was an American religious and Cult leader, who initiated, and was responsible for a mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. He believed communism was the correct social order, in compliance with God's will. Jones was ordained as a Disciples of Christ pastor, and he achieved notoriety as the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, which was often described as having cult-like qualities.
In 1978, media reports surfaced that human rights abuses were taking place in Peoples Temple's Jonestown, Guyana headquarters. United States Congressman Leo Ryan led a delegation into the commune to investigate what was going on; Ryan and others were murdered by gunfire while boarding a return flight with defectors. Jones subsequently committed a mass murder-suicide of 918 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana. Nearly three hundred children were murdered, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning via a Flavor Aid mix. This historical episode gave rise to the ubiquitous American-English expression "drinking the Kool-Aid".
909 inhabitants of Jonestown, 304 of them children, died of apparent cyanide poisoning, mostly in and around the settlement's main pavilion. This resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act until the September 11 attacks. The FBI later recovered a 45-minute audio recording of the suicide in progress.
On that tape, Jones tells Temple members that the Soviet Union, with whom the Temple had been negotiating a potential exodus for months, would not take them after the airstrip murders. The reason given by Jones to commit suicide was consistent with his previously stated conspiracy theories of intelligence organizations allegedly conspiring against the Temple, that men would "parachute in here on us", "shoot some of our innocent babies" and "they'll torture our children, they'll torture some of our people here, they'll torture our seniors". Parroting Jones' prior statements that hostile forces would convert captured children to fascism, one temple member states "the ones that they take captured, they're gonna just let them grow up and be dummies".
Given that reasoning, Jones and several members argued that the group should commit "revolutionary suicide" by drinking cyanide-laced grape-flavored Flavor Aid. Later-released Temple films show Jones opening a storage container full of Flavor Aid in large quantities. However, empty packets of grape Flavor Aid found on the scene show that this is what was used to mix the solution along with a sedative. One member, Christine Miller, dissents toward the beginning of the tape.
When members apparently cried, Jones counseled, "Stop these hysterics. This is not the way for people who are socialists or communists to die. No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity." Jones can be heard saying, "Don't be afraid to die", that death is "just stepping over into another plane" and that it's "a friend". At the end of the tape, Jones concludes: "We didn't commit suicide; we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world." According to escaping Temple members, children were given the drink first and families were told to lie down together. Mass suicide had been previously discussed in simulated events called "White Nights" on a regular basis. During at least one such prior White Night, members drank liquid that Jones falsely told them was poison.