In 1978, over 900 cult members committed mass suicide because of their leader, James Warren Jones.
Jones was 46 years old and had a degree in education from the University of Indiana. He preached racial social unity that would create a classless society. Jones encouraged bizarre sex rituals and he would fake faith cures to gain more followers and popularity. People would fake being crippled or blind, and they would drink the faith cure and say that they could walk or see again. This would help Jones get money for his ministry. It was said the ministry funds were about five million dollars.
With his massive funds, he moved his cult to Guyana and set up his community, Jonestown, located on the savannah grasslands.
Jones made 900 cult members commit suicide by making them drink a lethal mix of cyanide and soft drinks. They would put teaspoons of the drink in their babies’ mouths, sing gospel, and put their arms around each other, keeping them together. If they refused to do it, they would get shot in the head or the back.
Only a handful of survivors escaped and are living to this day.
[Source: The World’s Greatest Disasters]