Jim Jones was a charismatic pastor, preaching of salvation and a bountiful life for all those who followed him. He also was the man responsible for one of the largest incidences of loss of human life in modern American history.
Author and podcaster Jo Thornely has researched Jim Jones and his cult of followers for her book Zealot. She joins us for this episode to explain Jones’ psychology, the power of his charisma, and the terrible chain of events that lead to the deaths of more than 900 people.
This episode contains discussion of suicide. Please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 if the contents of this episode raises any issues for you.
Guest: Jo Thornely, author of ‘Zealot’
Host: Jessie Stephens
Executive Producer and Editor: Elise Cooper
- ‘Zealot: A Book About Cults’ by Jo Thornely https://bit.ly/zealot-jo-thornely
- Jo Thornely’s interview about Anne Hamilton Byrne and the cult The Family, https://bit.ly/thefamily-jothornely
- ‘Guyana/USA: Jonestown Massacre 20 Years On’, AP Archive https://bit.ly/ap-jonestown