Really did think the whole “drinking the Kool-Aid” idiom was one everyone would get. Maybe you’re all too young. Maybe there aren’t enough Americans reading this.
(For the record, I am not American. Not that there’s anything wrong with that). Right. So. A brief history lesson on cult-leader nutters for you.
Okay. So there was this bloke called Jim Jones. Outright nutter. But obviously, he must have had something going for him because he had a whole bunch of people who believed in everything he said and did.
Good old Jimmy was the head of a “church” called The People’s Temple. Radical Christian.
(Yes, radical does apply to denominations other than Islam).
Jones was a communist. And we all know communism is great in theory but never in practise, because there are always fuckers in power who take advantage of the situation.
Jones’s one redeeming feature was that he supported the rights of African Americans. He led campaigns against restaurants and such like who refused to serve the black community, back in the 50s and 60s.
Will try to shorten what could be a very long story when it comes to Jim Jones here. Some say Jones was not actually Christian but used the label of Christianity to entice folks to his communist beliefs and get tax exempt status. Ah, the good old tax exempt status trick.
Any hoo, Jones decided he needed a “socialist paradise” and began building a town called ‘Jonestown’ in Guyana. Was basically a sanctuary from all the bad press Jones was getting in America. His followers joined him there and they lived off the land.
Concerned relatives of folks living in Jonestown managed to convince a congressman that their concerns warranted action. So Congressman Ryan goes down to Jonestown with a film crew in tow. He finds people living there who want out and tries to take them with him when he left. Except Jim Jones’s “army” shot them all at the airfield.
Obviously, shit got real. So later that day Jones convinced 900 of his followers that the best course of action would be for them all to die.
Kool-Aid laced with cyanide and valium was handed out on mass. Three hundred odd children were given it first. Then the adults, including the fucker Jim Jones.
Fucking horrible. Awful. Unbelievable.
Am I making light of this by calling my blog ‘Almost drank the Kool-Aid?’ No. Because I would have done it. Honest to goodness. Had I been there in Jonestown I would have drank merrily, ready to meet my god. Not that the organisation I was involved in was at that level of fucked-up-ness, but I had the same kind of mind-bending devotion. Had substituted one drug for another. And if they’d told me to kill myself for whatever fucked-up reason they came up with, I probably would have done it.
I would have drunk the Kool-Aid.
And maybe that’s why I’m writing this blog. I was smart. I thought I was pretty clued-in. Was certainly mature, even despite age. Apart from a few issues, was relatively normal. And yet, I got sucked in. I almost drank the Kool-Aid.
Knowing how close I came to full-on fucked-up-ness and that I was able to get out gives me the strength to keep going. I’ve been left with absolutely fuck-all, see. That’s what they do to you.
They break you down, they make you empty. So empty you’re willing to drink the fucking Kool-Aid.