We all use “Drink the Kool-Aid” as an idiom for fanaticism. Chances are that most under forty have no idea how the phrase originated. Of those who do, most have probably bought the narrative that several hundred brainwashed cult followers of a Messianic religious fanatic, committed mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid at their Christian commune in Jonestown, Guyana. The famous event happened thirty years ago yesterday, it was Flavor-Aid, not Kool-Aid, and Jim Jones was anything but a religious fanatic.
He was an openly avowed Marxist atheist, who preached Marxism from the pulpit of his “Peoples Temple.” I just refreshed my memory of the time with an excellent article by Dan Flynn, author of “Intellectual Morons” and “Why The Left Hates America.”:
Jim Jones was an evangelical communist who became a minister to infiltrate the church with the gospel according to Marx and Lenin. He was an atheist missionary bringing his message of socialist redemption to the Christian heathen. “I decided, how can I demonstrate my Marxism?,” remembered Jones of his days in 1950s Indiana. “The thought was, infiltrate the church.” So in the forms of Pentecostal ritual, Jones smuggled socialism into the minds of true believers–who gradually became true believers of a different sort. Unless one counts his drug-induced bouts with self-messianism, Jones didn’t believe in God. Get it–a Peoples Temple. He shocked his parishioners, many of whom certainly did believe in God, by dramatically tossing the Bible onto the ground during a sermon. “Nobody’s going to come out of the sky!,” an excited Jones had once informed his flock. “There’s no heaven up there! We’ll have to have heaven down here!” Like so many efforts to usher in the millenium before it, Jones’s Guyanese road to heaven on earth detoured to a hotter afterlife destination.
Reading the article, which covers Jones’ esteem and influential relationship with the politicians and press from his base in San Francisco, was chilling. I couldn’t help thinking about Chicago, Obama, his Marxist church, his Marxist revolutionary associates all his life, and the way today’s even more Leftist press continues to excuse and spike unfavorable reports about the history of “The One.” Then I think of all the tight shots of enraptured listeners in the crowds he was mesmerizing with his hollow hopenchange sermons. These are not comforting thoughts. ◄Dave►