But part of truly maturing as an individual involves understanding how you too are led by the environment, influenced by others, and driven by the needs you have as a human being.
Why did these people do this? Why did men and women, many college educated, allow themselves to be abused and brainwashed by this man? Why did they agree to sell their homes and give all their possessions and money to “The People’s Temple” – an obvious cult?
Many of Jim Jones’ devotees were drawn from a pool of disgruntled people who were not leading satisfying lives or meeting their basic needs in healthy ways. People facing uncertain times or uncertain futures, people with low self-esteem and negative self-images, and so forth. Jones held out the promise of certainty, social acceptance, community, self-respect, purpose and feelings of security inside his “temple.” And there must have been some really deep seeded beliefs instilled in these people, because eventually they followed Jones, like some new-age Pied Piper, into oblivion.