(BREITBART) This Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of the massacre at Jonestown, where more than 900 American transplants “drank the Kool-Aid” in the largest loss of civilian life in U.S. history until 9/11.
“How very much I have loved you,” Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones explains in the opening line of the Jonestown death tape. By its coda, Jones describes the deaths of his “loved” ones: “We didn’t commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.”
In the four decades since the occurrence of the most bizarre event in American history, observers uniformly have seen the act Jones described as “revolutionary” as one of submission. The other half of the peculiar phrase—taken from the title of Black Panther Huey Newton’s 1973 book Revolutionary Suicide—provokes a livelier debate.
Did the 908 Peoples Temple members who died along with Jim Jones inside of Jonestown commit suicide? Or, did he murder them?
The 43-minute death tape recorded at Jonestown suggests the latter. What jars more than Jones’s crazed plea to get “the vat, the vat, the vat” or his scold of “mother, mother, mother, mother, mother, please” are the sounds the listener never hears.
Save for Christine Miller, a 60-year-old African American who courageously and logically tries to argue Jones out of mass suicide, no adult says anything to stop the carnage. The crowd heckles Miller and at one point rushes her. Nobody seconds her.
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