[Fredric Rice, The Skeptic Tank: The authorship of these files on
cults has his or her own motivations for providing them and will
contain his or her own bias. What I find typical is that
individuals and organizations which report on cults are usually
themselves a competition cult yet like to think of themselves as
"a religion, not a cult." In actual fact, _ALL_ religions are
cults by the primary, secondary, and terciary usage definition of
the term. Some of the information you find here is inaccurate and
contains urban legend -- take what you find with a grain of salt.
If you wish to acquire a copy of the Law Enforcement Guide on
Occult Crime, contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or at The Skeptic
Tank (818) 335-9601 and I'll forward the address and information
Scene of the Jonestown mass suicide in 1978 and still the most
infamous locale in cult history; 913 members of the 'People's
Temple' died afterdrinking cyanide-laced Kool Aid. Some, according
to survivors, were shot downtrying to escape.
The cult (led by Jim Jones) had practised the ceremonial suicide
on previous occasions in preparation for their deliverance from
corruption. They had cut all links with the outside world and
their belief in the imminent apocalypse was fuelled by rumours
within the commune that earthquakes had destroyed Los Angeles and
that San Francisco had been overrun by the Ku Klux Klan.
Eighty-five members of the cult (including Jones's three sons)
survived the massacre - some had simply not been at the commune
on 18 November 1978; some had stayed in California rather than
move to Guyana and others managed to escape into the jungle.
There is a recording of the pre-suicide ceremony, on which one
victim can be heard screaming:
"We made it a beautiful day.
Let's make it a beautiful day."
To comment about this Website, our paper and all
associated articles, you can mail us at the Observer: