Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple

As a part of the American Experience series, PBS has aired an informative documentary titled “Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple.” It is well worth the time to watch this and check out other features at

I recall a member of our church in Germany who had lost a mother at Jonestown. I remember that he was not eager to speak of what had happened, but would talk briefly at times. I remember how sad he was that he could not prevent his mother from dying in the Guyanan jungle. He was a wonderful giver, but lamented that he could not give to his mother because it all went straight to Jim Jones.

Beyond the horrific loss of human life, the moral depravity and the insanity of Jim Jones, it is wise to remember how to identify leaders and/or groups that really are not Christian.

  1. What do they teach about God?
  2. What do they teach about Jesus?
  3. What do they teach about salvation?
  4. What do they teach about the Bible?

As you watch the documentary, look for Jim Jones’ views about these cardinal elements to be exposed.