Jonestown: Paradise Lost

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Jonestown: Paradise Lost

An evangelical preacher led nearly a 1,000 followers from the United States deep into the jungles of South America. They would build a new community free of oppression and violence and it was to be their paradise on Earth, but outsiders threatened to expose the dark side of their leader. In one day two worlds collided and paradise was lost. In November 1978 reporters around the world broke the news that Jim Jones and more than 900 of his followers died.

By the late 1960s and early 70s the streets of America erupted in violence and civil strife. War in Vietnam, civil rights marches and political assassinations played out on television. Out of this turmoil thousands of Americans flocked to hear the sermons of a charismatic preacher named Jim Jones. His early speeches were mixture of socialist ideals and Christian redemption. Some turned to the temple because they needed help, others wanted to serve humanity, but whatever they needed Jim Jones and his peoples temple seem to had it.

Jim Jones claimed special powers to heal the sick and dying. Staged healings were popular attraction at temple meetings. As his popularity grew he preached less about the Bible and more about social activism. He called himself a prophet, a savior who would guide, protect and watch over his followers. His devoted followers referred to him as "father." Many signed over their paychecks, possessions and even their homes. But at the height of his power a darker side of Jim Jones emerged. Former temple members accused Jones of physical and sexual abuse, mind control and forced drugging. In 1977, as media interest grew Jim Jones and hundreds of his supporters left San Francisco, California and set out for Guyana determined to build a new community in the South American country.

"This groundbreaking feature-length hybrid of documentary and drama definitively examines the five tense days leading up to that unthinkable massacre in Guyana. Through this moving program you will come face to face with "Father" and his followers, hear from survivors and experts, and experience for yourself life in Jonestown and the final terrible days there. Jonestown: Paradise Lost perfectly portrays the man who made "the gravest decision in history," and captures the power Jones wielded that allowed him to command followers to kill not only themselves but their own children."

Watch the full documentary now (playlist)

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Ratings: 8.13/10 from 56 users.
  • lance1949

    I remember this happening. Terrible, sad, and devastating for so many - the victims, the few survivors, and the rest of us.

  • Bob Trees

    I would have liked to have seen a number total of the survivors of this day. Did all the shooters at the airstrip live or died?

    Good doc regardless. Gives a glimps of what the people were faced with there.

  • BlueBoxBum

    The guy playing Jim Jones in the dramatic recreations looks like Jack Shepard from lost.

    I know it's wrong, but I just can't stop thinking about Jack's line- live together, or die alone.

  • Albert Potato

    Wasn't it leaked that Jim Jones did work with the CIA and that during the mass suicide,and British SAS units were in the vicinity on a "training" mission?

  • Jack1952

    Of course, he was and there had to be someone on a "training mission" somewhere close by. You have the makings of another good conspiracy. It was very important that these poor and unfortunate people be brought to the jungles of South America and killed. Could you imagine the repercussions had they been allowed to live? I shudder to think. These people stood in the way of world domination.

    Actually, your post is just a vague rumour and a tenuous thread linking it somehow together. Rantings of someone who sees conspiracy everywhere...all part of a big plan.

  • Albert Potato

    You are right, I forgot about Elvis and the aliens. Before you dismiss the Jim Jones and CIA connection, maybe you should actually do some research on a subject before you call BS. Did I once say the followers were a threat and had to be eliminated? You are just an ass.

  • Jack1952

    What would be the point in mentioning the CIA connection and that the British SAS units were in the vicinity unless you felt they were somehow involved in this tragedy? You leave a comment filled with rumour and innuendo but when someone follows your gossip to its logical conclusion, you hastily backtrack and start calling names. If you don't have the facts or the proof to back it up, I call BS. It is not up to me to research every uncorroborated statement in an internet site. It is up to the one making the comment to back up his statement.

  • Jack1952

    I checked out the article you suggested and I'm not impressed. The caption "
    ALERNATIVE NEWS “THEY” DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE !!!!!" in an indication of an agenda. Sorry, but I cannot take this article or its claims seriously.

  • http://darkangelights2009.tumblr.com/ darkangelights

    I hear about this man to much now i see why

  • Jake Harris

    Why dont people tell jokes about Jim Jones? Because the punchline is too long.