I finished watching "Jonestown: The Life and Death of the People's Temple" yesterday. I love documentaries especially about recent history and this thing was great.
For you teenage readers out there (and I'm sure there are a ton), the Rev. Jim Jones took his congregation from San Francisco to Guyana - about a thousand in total - in the late 1970s. Then, in 1979, Congressman Leo Ryan, who had gone to check on the church with an NBC film crew, was gunned on a dirt airport runway not far from the camp. Moments later, 909 people died in a mass suicide by engaging in what is now a pop culture phrase: "Drinking the Kool Aid." (Great wikipedia entry here.)
The film is full of footage of Jonestown including some incredible clips from the night before the mass death (you can almost see the "what the hell?" look in the Congressman's eyes after he tells the congregation that, after talking to church members, that it appeared to him that their new home was "the best thing that ever happened to some of you." The place erupted in the craziest wildest applause I have ever seen. All those cheering would be dead the next day.)
And the audio recording of Jim Jones directing the congregation to drink the Kool Aid ("die with dignity!") - complete with screams in the background - is some of the most chilling audio ever.
at 11:02 AM