Cultural References

Jonestown Massacre (Events)

Episode Title: "Drinking the Kool-Aid"
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"Sounds to me, Veronica, like you've been drinking the Kool-Aid."

That a drink so innocuous could give its name to something so vile, particularly as it wasn't even Kool-Aid that was imbibed, is one of the ironies of modern-day living. "Drinking the Kool-Aid" refers to an actual event and has led to an expression that describes those who follow wholeheartedly or blindly. In 1978, nearly a thousand men, women, and children died by murder or suicide on the instructions of the leader of the Peoples Temple cult, Jim Jones. Jones had moved himself and his followers from the United States to Jonestown, Guyana, in 1977. They were supposed to be building Utopia, but harsh conditions and Jones's demand for absolute obedience made Jonestown a living hell for many. Concerned relatives in the States lobbied for action and accompanied Leo Ryan, a Congressman, and various officials and journalists on an inspection of Jonestown to investigate claims of human rights abuses. A number of Jonestown residents took the opportunity to leave the compound, planning to fly out with the visitors. However, as the party waited on the airstrip to board flights to escape, members of the Peoples Temple opened fire on them, killing Ryan and many others. On the killers' return to Jonestown, Jones ordered his followers to drink poisoned Flavor-Aid. After the majority died in that manner, Jones and the rest killed themselves with bullets. Serious bummer.

1.09 "Drinking the Kool-Aid"

Cultural References