The Language of Jonestown

The deaths in Jonestown gave birth to a expression – “drinking the Kool-Aid” – which has become so pervasive in American culture, and so embedded as an idiom, that most people who use it have either forgotten or are unaware of its origin. But there are other words which have assumed a new context – or which have adopted Jonestown as an illustration – since November 18, 1978. The following articles consider the use of these words and expressions in the last 31 years.

  1. Dispensing With The “Conspiracy Theory” Label, by Bryan Sacks
  2. The Struggle Over a “Cult,” by Dave de Give
  3. The “C-Word”: The Meaning of Cult and Its Effects, by Catherine B. Abbott
  4. Drinking the Kool-Aid: An Introduction
    1. Drinking the Kool-Aid: A (Partial) 2009 Directory
    2. It’s Jonestown for the Drive-Bys, a transcript from The Rush Limbaugh Show