- Reverend Jim Jones was an American preacher and communist.
Jim Jones was born in a rural area of Randolph County, Indiana, near its border with Ohio. Jones was a voracious reader as a child and studied Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi and Adolf Hitler, carefully noting each of their strengths and weaknesses. Jones married nurse Marceline Baldwin in 1949, and moved to Bloomington, Indiana. He attended Indiana University at Bloomington, where a speech by Eleanor Roosevelt about the plight of African Americans impressed him. ones' sympathetic statements about communism offended Marceline's grandmother.
In 1951, Jones moved to Indianapolis .Jones began attending Communist Party meetings and rallies in 1951. He was quite concerned with the excommunication of open communists in the United States. Jones eventually came up with the idea to use the church as a platform to safely demonstrate his Marxism. Jones founded a religious organization known as the People’s Temple in 1956. In 1960, Jones was appointed director of Indianapolis’s Human Rights Commission.
Shortly after the apocalypse, Jones started parading through town proclaiming himself a prophet who saw the apocalypse coming. Jones claimed that God told him that Brazil had to adopt a communist government or it would be destroyed in a second apocalypse.
Most people felt that Jones was a stark raving lunatic because he was preaching his message with the air of a mad demagogue. It didn't help Jones that he said that God spared Belo Horizonte from destruction by American nukes, since the dud bomb that fell in the center of town clearly had Russian markings. Jones was still able to attract several new people to his movement. In 1965, Jones decided to lead his followers into the Amazon to form a communist utopia called Jones Town. Life was hard in Jones Town because, of primitive conditions and limited contact and support from its neighbors. Eventually, people started to try to escape Jones Town as, Jones’s behavior started becoming increasing bizarre and violent.
In 1968, Jones started to declare himself the second coming of Christ and began demanding human sacrifices. This caused all but a handful of Jones most loyal followers to become disenchanted with the reverend. A few of Jones former disciples escaped to a Brazilian military base and tried to convince the troops to help them free the people of Jones Town. The troops were happy to help because, the escapees from Jones Town confirmed their suspicions that Jones was responsible for recent raids on nearby villages. Jones survived the liberation of Jones Town and died in a Brazilian insane asylum in 1993.