Jim Jones Ishtar N. Muhammad Reid Ross Classical School Abstract The Reverend Jim Jones was a popular figure during his time in the 1970s for his establishment of the Peoples Temple and the wanting of social equality in the states. He is also famous for the mass suicide of over 900 temple members on November 18, 1978 in Jonestown, Guyana. This paper will focus on the psychopath of the notorious group leader of Jim Jones and understand why the good hearted religious leader turned evil dictator of over 900 individuals, by taking a look into his childhood, abuse, and obsessions.

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This is an expository paper about the infamous individual James Warren or “Jim Jones”. Reverend Jim Jones is a leader of a cult, a group of individuals lead by a powerful leader or leaders who claim to have divine powers or special abilities, under the name the People’s Temple. Jim Jones organized one of the largest suicide incidents involving American citizens, with over 900 individuals killing themselves by drink grape flavor-aid lace with cyanide. Like most cult leaders Jim Jones actions can be characterize as a “Lucifer like transformation from benevolent religious minister to angel of death” (Zimbarbo, P. 2001 pg. 79). We will get a look at this transformation by viewing the basic structure of a cult, the psychopath of a cult leader, and Jim Jones psychopath form childhood to his death. Cults are groups of people that are led by an all-powerful leader or leaders who claim to have special abilities or powers; or groups of people whose beliefs or lifestyles are very different form those of their neighbors. A few cults people may have heard of is Heaven’s Gate, The People’s Temple, and Branch Davidian; there is over two thousand cults in America and over twenty million of those members are Americans (Zeinert, P. 1997 pg. 18).

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