On November 18, 1978, more than 900 people died in a mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. 
 
The Jonestown tragedy was the end of Peoples Temple, a religious movement started years earlier by American pastor Jim Jones. Goals of Peoples Temple included racial integration and helping the poor. However, when Jones was accused of tax evasion and cult activity, he moved the headquarters of Peoples Temple from San Francisco, California, to property the group purchased in the jungle of Guyana—a community they nicknamed Jonestown.
 
More than 900 people followed Jones to Guyana. So did accusations of illegal activity. In November 1978, Congressman Leo Ryan went on a fact-finding mission to see if Jones and other Peoples Temple leaders were brainwashing and abusing members of the organization.  
 
Rep. Ryan, three journalists, and a former Temple member were killed at the airport as they tried to leave Guyana. Later that day, Jones ordered his congregation to drink a grape-flavored drink. It was laced with a lethal dose of potassium cyanide. 918 men, women, and children died at Jonestown.
 
The poison distributed at Jonestown was not Kool-Aid, but “Drinking the Kool-Aid” has become a phrase used to describe unquestioning loyalty and belief in a person or set of ideas.
accusation
Noun

charge of wrongdoing.

accuse
Verb

to blame or charge with a fault or crime.

brainwash
Verb

to force a radical change in a person's ideas and beliefs, especially by coercive and manipulative psychological methods.

community
Noun

group of organisms or a social group interacting in a specific region under similar environmental conditions.

congregation
Noun

group of people who worship at the same church.

cult
Noun

system of spiritual or political devotion, usually derided by more mainstream organizations.

desert
Verb

to abandon completely.

dose
Noun

quantity of a substance, usually a medicine, taken at one time.

headquarters
Noun

place where an organization or project is chiefly located.

illegal
Adjective

forbidden by law.

include
Verb

to contain.

integration
Noun

process of mixing different substances or groups.

journalist
Noun

person who reports and distributes news.

jungle
Noun

tropical ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.

lace
Verb

to add a small, usually undetectable amount, of a substance to something.

lethal
Adjective

deadly.

loyalty
Noun

faithfulness or consistency.

mass
Adjective

having to do with a large number of people or things.

murder
Verb

to kill a person.

pastor
Noun

spiritual leader of a church.

poison
Noun

substance that harms health.

potassium cyanide
Noun

(KCN) highly toxic, water-soluable salt.

property
Noun

goods or materials (including land) owned by someone.

purchase
Verb

to buy.

suicide
Noun

intentional taking of one's own life.

tax evasion
Noun

failure or refusal to pay taxes.

tragedy
Noun

very sad event.