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The Left's Great Crime

- Abstract

The event that took place in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978, is a nightmare blot on the fading annals of the 1970s. The largest mass suicide of Americans in history—although that is not really an accurate term for it—is remembered, if at all, in images of heaped rows of bodies bloating under a harsh tropical sun and a scratchy audio track of wailing and screaming members of the Peoples Temple Full Gospel Church as they line up around a pavilion on their failing communal farm to poison themselves and their children with doses of purple, cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid.

Their messianic pastor, Jim Jones, can be heard urging his doomed flock to “die with a degree of dignity….There’s nothing to death….Look, children, it’s just something to put you to rest.” After surveying the charnel house of his remote jungle mission, Jones, 47, shot himself in the head with a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver.

About the Author

George Russell is executive editor of the Fox News Channel. His article “The Other Rosenberg Case” appeared in the May 2011 issue.