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Jonestown mass suicide

On November 18, 1978, 914 (or 911) members of the People's Temple (including 276 children), led by the Reverend Jim Jones[?], committed suicide in their settlement of Jonestown, Guyana, mostly by drinking a mixture of kool-aid and cyanide. Jones and some of theothers were killed by gunshots to the head.

The deaths followed the killing of U.S. Representative Leo Ryan[?], who had flown to the site to investigate charges that members of the religious group had been brainwashed and were under the dictatorial rule of Jones. Ryan was killed when he tried to board his airplane with several members of the group, who had wanted to leave with him.

The group had been formed in Indianapolis, Indiana from the 1950s. Under pressure the group had moved to San Francisco and following a report in the New West magazine in 1977 Jones leased 4,000 acres of land in Guyana and moved himself and his most devoted followers there. Calling it the People's Temple Agricultural Project they grew food and raised animals.



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