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Posted October 15, 2011
Scary but Gripping
I wasn't alive when Jonestown happened but I knew about it before I read this book. What I didn't understand before I read this book is how so many people could follow this crazy man because he seemed outwardly crazy. I just couldn't understand. Scheeres is a master in showing how much Jim Jones manipulated and almost brain washed his followers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I didn't realize that Jones started his church out of a fight for civil rights. He believed that churches needed to end segregation and give all of their attendees equal treatment. Jones eventually started his own church based on social equality and socialism. To many of his followers, he seemed to be on the right path. On a road paved with good intentions there were also speed bumps, potholes, and sinkholes.
Jones promised that he could provide that equality that his followers wanted and that he could promise them eternal salvation. For those who believe him, they believe that he's their key to a better life. After moving his entire church from the midwest to one of the poorest areas in California, he is able to gain more of the trust of his people. It's scary how much power Jones had over the people. Scheeres goes through some of the stories of the different people that followed Jones to Jonestown. They all had their want of a better life and they trusted Jones to make it happen. By telling the story of Jonestown through the stories of the people, Scheeres pulls you in quickly and doesn't let you go.
I felt bad for the followers. Some of them didn't realize how in over their heads they were until the very end.