25 Unpleasant Facts About the Jonestown Massacre
25 Unpleasant Facts About the Jonestown Massacre

25 Unpleasant Facts About the Jonestown Massacre

Trista - October 1, 2019

25 Unpleasant Facts About the Jonestown Massacre
A Peoples Temple Bus. PBS.

3. The “Death Tapes” Give Us The Most Information About That Fateful Day

One of the main reasons people know so much about the Jonestown massacre is because of the audio recordings tapped on that day. These tapes are now known as the “death tapes” and are often the first piece of information people look for when researching the massacre.

On these tapes, you can hear the conversations people had, the cries from the children, the way Jim Jones spoke to the group, and so much more. Psychologists and other professionals continuously analyze these tapes as a way to learn more about Jones and the massacre.

25 Unpleasant Facts About the Jonestown Massacre
“Healing” during a Peoples Temple meeting. PBS.

2. Most Members Did Not Want To Die

Listening to the “death tapes” is a challenge. The Jonestown massacre is a tragedy that people still struggle to understand, no matter how much they learn about the people involved. The more research completed from the “death tapes,” the more people realize one factor – most members didn’t want to die.

As you listen to the tapes, you hear several members tell other people that death is not the answer. People tried to find different ways, such as asking Jones if they could leave to try to make peace in the United States. Other people stated the children deserved to live.

25 Unpleasant Facts About the Jonestown Massacre
Jim Jones, his son Stephen, and two other men. PBS.

1. Many People Compare The Peoples Temple To A War Prison

While Jim Jones tried to convince members, he saved them from concentration camps; most survivors compare the Peoples Temple to a war prison. Members could not leave the base, and they received very little food. Guards always watched the camp, making sure people did not escape the grounds.

The working members of the Peoples Temple had to work at least 12 hours a day in the fields. The days were scorching and humid. Members received very little water. Eventually, Jones tried to keep members from communicating with each other for fear of a revolt.


Where did we find this information? Here are our sources:

“Things You Never Knew About The Jonestown Massacre.” Jonathan Sherman. Ranker.

“10 Facts About Jonestown You Didn’t Know.” Makenzie Kennedy. Vocal Criminal. October 2018.

“Jonestown.” Wikipedia.

“The Jonestown Massacre: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.” Beth Heyn. Heavy. February 2018.