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.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry accusation Noun
charge of wrongdoing.
to blame or charge with a fault or crime.
to force a radical change in a person's ideas and beliefs, especially by coercive and manipulative psychological methods.
group of organisms or a social group interacting in a specific region under similar environmental conditions.
group of people who worship at the same church.
system of spiritual or political devotion, usually derided by more mainstream organizations.
to abandon completely.
quantity of a substance, usually a medicine, taken at one time.
place where an organization or project is chiefly located.
forbidden by law.
process of mixing different substances or groups.
person who reports and distributes news.
tropical ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.
to add a small, usually undetectable amount, of a substance to something.
faithfulness or consistency.
having to do with a large number of people or things.
to kill a person.
spiritual leader of a church.
substance that harms health.
potassium cyanide Noun
(KCN) highly toxic, water-soluable salt.
goods or materials (including land) owned by someone.
intentional taking of one's own life.
tax evasion Noun
failure or refusal to pay taxes.
very sad event.