On November 18, 1978, over 900 members of the People’s Temple Agricultural Project committed suicide by ingesting Kool-Aid poisoned with cyanide. Before the mass suicide, cult leader Jim Jones addressed his followers. This recording, known as FBI File No. Q042, captures Jones’s speech and the final moments of hundreds of people who took their own lives and the lives of their children at the Jonestown settlement in Guyana.
First came the reports out of Guyana were on November 18, 1978, that Congressman Leo Ryan and four members of his party were dead. Later, came the grisly discovery of the largest mass suicide of the 20th Century. The Reverend Jim Jones led his flock commit suicide in a way that forever changed our notion of what it means to “drink the Kool Aid.”