Author Topic: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people  (Read 10838 times)

Mr. Kreepy
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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2008, 06:26:08 pm »
I'll see if I can find one. It's a very interesting thing. Extremely haunting.

blow_fly

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2008, 11:04:08 pm »
The interesting thing about Jones was that he actually successfully portrayed himself as a beacon of progress and tolerance during a period of great polarisation in the U.S. By convincing hundreds that he would build a socialist paradise in Belize where white and black people alike would live in perfect harmony and prosperity, Jones mananged to gain the support and sympathy of a lot of people that were struggling with perfectly valid social issues of the day.
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Amaya

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2008, 05:38:08 am »
The interesting thing about Jones was that he actually successfully portrayed himself as a beacon of progress and tolerance during a period of great polarisation in the U.S. By convincing hundreds that he would build a socialist paradise in Belize where white and black people alike would live in perfect harmony and prosperity, Jones mananged to gain the support and sympathy of a lot of people that were struggling with perfectly valid social issues of the day.

He isn't the first and he definately won't be the last.

blow_fly

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2008, 06:37:23 am »
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He isn't the first and he definately won't be the last.

True. But Jones was unique in the sense that he was not afraid in embracing certain ideas that would have been termed socially radical by the standards of his day. The sad thing is that so many of them were actually utopian ideals that had great merit. It's a pity that Jones was also a lunatic who wanted to realize these ideals in the most perverse ways that were possible.
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Amaya

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2008, 08:44:12 am »
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He isn't the first and he definately won't be the last.

True. But Jones was unique in the sense that he was not afraid in embracing certain ideas that would have been termed socially radical by the standards of his day. The sad thing is that so many of them were actually utopian ideals that had great merit. It's a pity that Jones was also a lunatic who wanted to realize these ideals in the most perverse ways that were possible.
Ah...that is true as well. Utopian ideals always sound good, but some have hidden demons to them. The entire idea of a utopia came from a satirical book by Thomas More. The idea was bounced around before that but had no name. He gave it that name from a greek word meaning "no place." Meaning it doesn't exist and can never exist within this world.

As for Jones, I think he was a classic example of distopia, or when utopian ideals go bad.

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2008, 12:53:23 am »
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Ah...that is true as well. Utopian ideals always sound good, but some have hidden demons to them. The entire idea of a utopia came from a satirical book by Thomas More. The idea was bounced around before that but had no name. He gave it that name from a greek word meaning "no place." Meaning it doesn't exist and can never exist within this world.

As for Jones, I think he was a classic example of distopia, or when utopian ideals go bad.

That sounds about right. Utopia is impossible to achieve in a planet of limited resources. Moreover, on a fundamental level, we are but inherantly selfish beings who are quick to resort to violence whenever we feel that our aspirations are being threatened.  It looks like distopia is the destination that every high minded but ultimately impractical ideal is fated to take.
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Amaya

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2008, 07:11:33 am »
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Ah...that is true as well. Utopian ideals always sound good, but some have hidden demons to them. The entire idea of a utopia came from a satirical book by Thomas More. The idea was bounced around before that but had no name. He gave it that name from a greek word meaning "no place." Meaning it doesn't exist and can never exist within this world.

As for Jones, I think he was a classic example of distopia, or when utopian ideals go bad.

That sounds about right. Utopia is impossible to achieve in a planet of limited resources. Moreover, on a fundamental level, we are but inherantly selfish beings who are quick to resort to violence whenever we feel that our aspirations are being threatened.  It looks like distopia is the destination that every high minded but ultimately impractical ideal is fated to take.
Yes, most philosophical theories are highly flawed and dangerous to put into play. Utopianism isn't the only one. Most of them start noble but then are distorted by miscommunications, misunderstandings, or ignorance. Some of theses philosophical theories can lead to catastrophic events and some can just lead to the corruption of moral values. The rest sorta fall in between. I think this one falls into the in between leaning towards the catastrophic side.

blow_fly

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2008, 06:38:19 pm »
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Yes, most philosophical theories are highly flawed and dangerous to put into play. Utopianism isn't the only one. Most of them start noble but then are distorted by miscommunications, misunderstandings, or ignorance. Some of theses philosophical theories can lead to catastrophic events and some can just lead to the corruption of moral values. The rest sorta fall in between. I think this one falls into the in between leaning towards the catastrophic side


The obeservation of the above nature naturally leads us this most pressing of all questions:Have human efforts to improve the quality of our existence inadervently resulted in great misery and grief being inflicted upon the world? And if so, should we cease all endeavours to devise systems of existence geared towards elevating human civilization? Should we simply restrict ourselves to meeting our most basic and urgent needs?
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Amaya

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2008, 07:05:05 pm »
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Yes, most philosophical theories are highly flawed and dangerous to put into play. Utopianism isn't the only one. Most of them start noble but then are distorted by miscommunications, misunderstandings, or ignorance. Some of theses philosophical theories can lead to catastrophic events and some can just lead to the corruption of moral values. The rest sorta fall in between. I think this one falls into the in between leaning towards the catastrophic side


The obeservation of the above nature naturally leads us this most pressing of all questions:Have human efforts to improve the quality of our existence inadervently resulted in great misery and grief being inflicted upon the world? And if so, should we cease all endeavours to devise systems of existence geared towards elevating human civilization? Should we simply restrict ourselves to meeting our most basic and urgent needs?

Those are all brilliant and valid questions that we should ask ourselves. Sadly, our irresponsible leaders do not stop to think of these things before they act. In the end, we will probably never know. People would argue both sides of the issue. Many people would be torn as to their viewpoints, as am I. The elevation of civilization has brought acts of great kindness and acts of great cruelty. It is unknown whether one could or would outweigh the other.

Brilliant discussion points, sir. :-)

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2008, 07:53:53 pm »
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Sadly, our irresponsible leaders do not stop to think of these things before they act.

It's in our nature to value personal short-term gratification over the future collective well-being of our species. In many ways, we're as guilty as the leaders who have failed us. 

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Brilliant discussion points, sir.

Thanks. That was an interesting and informative discussion that I had with you.
''Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. *Hit me!''

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Amaya

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2008, 08:02:36 am »
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Sadly, our irresponsible leaders do not stop to think of these things before they act.

It's in our nature to value personal short-term gratification over the future collective well-being of our species. In many ways, we're as guilty as the leaders who have failed us. 

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Brilliant discussion points, sir.

Thanks. That was an interesting and informative discussion that I had with you.
Agreed though some are better at resisting this instant gratification urge than others.

And, the best kinds of discussions are the ones where both parties learn something.  :-)

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2008, 07:03:53 am »
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Agreed though some are better at resisting this instant gratification urge than others.


That is true.  Sadly, such individuals are largely a rarity and their words are often doomed to go unheeded by their contemporaries. The most dramatic example of this fact that I can think of are the prophetic words of the Native American  chieftain, Chief Seattle who warned in 1854 of  the catastrophic damage that unchecked industrial development would evantually inflict on the planet's delicate eco-system.   It is only now, centuries after his death, that the truth of his words have been acknowledged by the mainstream of society.

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And, the best kinds of discussions are the ones where both parties learn something. 

I couldn't agree more.  Given the relative infrequency of such productive exchanges occuring on the Net, they are to be all the more cherished when they do take place.



''Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. *Hit me!''

-The Joker to Batman, The Dark Knight

Amaya

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2008, 08:46:54 am »
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Agreed though some are better at resisting this instant gratification urge than others.


That is true.  Sadly, such individuals are largely a rarity and their words are often doomed to go unheeded by their contemporaries. The most dramatic example of this fact that I can think of are the prophetic words of the Native American  chieftain, Chief Seattle who warned in 1854 of  the catastrophic damage that unchecked industrial development would evantually inflict on the planet's delicate eco-system.   It is only now, centuries after his death, that the truth of his words have been acknowledged by the mainstream of society.

Quote
And, the best kinds of discussions are the ones where both parties learn something. 

I couldn't agree more.  Given the relative infrequency of such productive exchanges occuring on the Net, they are to be all the more cherished when they do take place.
I loved that speech by Chief Seattle. It was the most moving speech I've ever read. I wrote a report on it in ninth grade and how his words speak greatly to our modern society. I also discussed how it did not only speak on an industrial leven but on a psychological and societal level as well. Ah...good memories. Sorry,  :focus:

blow_fly

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2008, 08:53:05 pm »
Something just occured to me, namely that it would have been interesting had Jones been apprehanded prior to the commencement of the mass suicide and subsequently subjected to a strenous psychological examination.    Was the man a truly delusional meglomanaic who was convinced that  he was justly opposed to a ruthless, fascist government? Or was he simply a bitter burn-out who wanted to share his misery with others? 
''Come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. *Hit me!''

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Re: Reverend Jim Jones & The People's Temple, killercult that killed 900 people
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2008, 04:08:24 pm »
Eh, everybody believes they're the good guys. . .
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