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How does the example Jim Jones, the cult leader of the Temples People and his followers...

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thisisalongword | Student, Grade 11 | Salutatorian

Posted February 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM via web

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How does the example Jim Jones, the cult leader of the Temples People and his followers who committed a "revolutionary suicide" relate to the idea how people/societies pressure determines a person's reality?

How does Jim Jones relate to the idea how people/societies pressure determines a person's reality and why? And I'm not too clear about the whole thing, but why did he influence them to commit suicide anyway?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM (Answer #1)

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The Jonestown suicides relate to this idea because they are perhaps the perfect example of people being pressured to the point where they are willing to do something really stupid.  In this cult, Jones was seen essentially as God.  He, with his disciples, was able to pressure people to the point where they were willing to take his reality and make it their own, no matter how stupid it was.

Because of this, when he ordered them to commit suicide, they were all willing to do it.  The pressure on them had changed their reality to the point where they thought that killing themselves was the right thing to do just because their leader said so.

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