We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who is Jim Jones?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
PublicPeople is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PublicPeople, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Jim Jones was the leader of what could be considered a suicide cult that was called The People's Temple. Jones believed in mass suicide and felt it was a revolutionary reaction to racism. His father was a Klansman, which is a member of the racist Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Jim Jones preached passionately against racism and eventually built his own community called Jonestown in Guyana, South America. On 18 November 1978, a total of 909 adults and children died, including Jones himself, in a ritual suicide at Jonestown.

It was never made clear if Jim Jones had shot himself in the head or if someone else had done it. The event that had preceded the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre, as it is sometimes called, was an appearance at Jonestown by San Francisco Congressman Leo Ryan and his party. They had spent a day there looking for any human rights violations.

Following the investigation, Ryan and his party as well as three news reporters and an ex-People's Temple member were all killed as they tried to board a plane back to the United States. Eleven People's Temple members also trying to leave the country were hurt. Later on the same day, Reverend Jim Jones, instructed his followers to drink poisoned grape Kool Aid from a large container. Adults gave babies and children the poisoned Kool Aid first and then drank it themselves. It’s said that those who resisted were forced by others to drink the poison.

James Warren Jones was born 13 May 1931 to James Thurman and Lynetta Jones. Jim grew up in Indiana and married a nursing student named Marceline Baldwin in 1949. After being a student pastor in a Methodist church in 1952, Jim Jones decided to form his own People's Temple Church in 1956. He was ordained in 1964.

Jim Jones rallied strongly against the segregation of blacks and whites that was occurring heavily throughout the 1950s and 1960s in the United States and he preached passionately about the equality of the races. Jim and Marceline adopted a Native American child, three Korean children and one white child. They also conceived one child. The People's Temple was heavily involved in the civil rights movement and, ironically, Jim Jones was the president of the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission.

PublicPeople is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon317543 — On Feb 02, 2013

It had nothing to do with Jones' father being in the Klan. Jones started out good but it was his drug use that made him go off the deep end and he eventually thought he was God. Many try to blame the Klan, and although the Klan is detestable, in this case, the Klan was not at fault.

By christym — On Nov 03, 2010

Regardless of how or why it happened, it was a huge tragedy for our country. To think that things like that happen is very disturbing.

By DinoLeash — On Nov 03, 2010

@googie98: While nothing has been found to substantiate any of those claims, there have definitely been rumors of the such. One rumor was that the Temple was part of an experiment ran by the CIA to perfect certain mind-controlling techniques. It was said that people had to be assassinated so that their secrecy would be maintained.

Like I said, there is no proof of any of that being true.

By googie98 — On Nov 03, 2010

I have heard that there was some type of conspiracy theory going on and that the government was involved. Is that true?

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PublicPeople, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.