Second season of Sacred Games revolved around Pankaj Tripathi’s character, Guruji. While you are still trying to decode the climax, we bring you the story of a real-life cult with a real life Guruji preaching his version of ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ in his own ashram; which led to mass suicide (read murder) of a total of 918 people in the settlement of Jonestown, Guyana (a country in South America).
Jim Jones was a strong believer of socialist ideologies. His façade was to “bring people out of religious opium to the enlightenment – socialism.” He started his own church named People’s Temple Full Gospel Church in 1956 at Indianapolis, Indiana. Fueled with fake healings and his integrationist views; his ‘Church,’ garnered a major following between the spiritualists and Afro-American population. From making people to give everything they own to the church to proclaiming visions of annihilation of cities like Chicago; by late 1960s Jones had already established himself as a Christ like figure (Aham Brahmasmi, anyone?).
It was only until 1972 that the insides of People’s Temple started showing up. The exposure of the fake healings and then defection by some members brought a havoc on the group. It was only then that questions against their practices were raised. In-spite of suspicion and investigations, his strong political support made more people actively participate in the communal events. Fueled by various testimonies of defectors; and a final article against their means, Jones fled to Jonestown, Guyana overnight in 1977.
After fleeing, he promised Jonestown as a tropical paradise, free from the supposed wickedness of the world due to which as much as 900 people moved to the town by 1978.
But in reality, Jonestown was far from Paradise. When reports of human rights violation surfaced, Congressman Leo Ryan visited Jonestown for investigation on November 17, 1978. But when some of the members desired to leave with Ryan on November 18, the defectors along with Ryan and journalists were intercepted on the airstrip by the Temple guards. Ryan with three journalists and one defector were murdered at the moment. It was later in the night that 914 people (including 276 children) at the Jonestown Temple committed suicide by drinking a concoction of cyanide-laced, Kool Aid (Remember Gochi?)
Jim Jones was a monster. He had raped many men and women in Jonestown (and much before it). A true sadist, his bent ideologies on socialism were flawed. It is said that his policy for his followers was to work for eight hours and then study for eight hours and in the end he brainwashed people to death, making Jonestown Massacre one of the most harrowing incidents in the history.