(Warning: disturbing context)
We've been watching and listening to Jim Jones in one of my anthropology classes, and it's been getting to me more than I anticipated. I knew how to react to the Waco tragedy, but the People's Temple tragedy in Guyana is harder to understand, harder to conceptualize, and harder to rationalize. More than 900 people died in one day, most of them committed suicide, some of them didn't. And the Jim Jones character, a man who started out as a Saint and ended up as a Devil, became villainized in American culture.
I started this sketch while listening to the hour in which those 900 people died as recorded on Jone's loudspeaker; listening to Jones preach, listening to dissenters, listening to the majority of his congregation concur, and listening to people line children up to drink poisoned cool aide.
Please don't interpret this too far. It's just a reaction. I do not mean to imply that the members of People's Temple who died were brainwashed or swindled of their autonomy. Nor do I mean to absolve Jim Jones of guit. I'm simply fascinated (and horrified) by the power of words and fear and things that come in pairs.