How did cult leader Jim Jones poison his cult followers in the 1970's?  

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

 In 1978 Leo Ryan, a Congressman visited Jonestown for tour of the compound established by Jim Jones and his followers. On November 18, 1978, a group of Temple members decided that they wanted to leave Jonestown. "As Congressman Ryan and a group of the press and members of the cult waited at Port Kiatuma airfield to board a plane home some of the Temple's security guards pulled in and began shooting. Five people were killed and eleven were injured."  There is a theory that the cult members got scared and decided as a group to commit suicide. The method used by most of the members was to drink a grape drink which had been treated with cyanide and some other types of drugs. Some of the other people appeared to have died from injections of poison. Other victims appear to have been murdered by poison injection.   Several members were found with gunshot wounds and a few of the people escaped.   914 died and many of these were children.

dswain001 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Members of the now-infamous People's Temple Church (San Francisco, California) died as a result of poisoning. They drank Kool-Aid that had been laced with a deadly mixture of Valium, Chloral hydrage, cianide, and Phenergan. Of the 918 people died that day; many of them infants and small children.

Those who did not willingly drink the mixture, had it forcibly injected into their bodies. Fortunately enough, there were survivors. Some managed to survive by hiding in the jungle or pretending to already be dead. Some were away on official business for Jones and were not present for the massacre.