Drinking the Kool-Aid:
A Collection of Articles

This page represents a compilation of articles and reflections on “Kool-Aid” as an image and as an expression.

Articles by survivors and former members include:

Coming to terms with ‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’, by Kathy Barbour (2012)
Eradicating an Expression, One Step at a Time, by Mickey Touchette (2011)
Drinking the Kool-Aid, by Mike Carter (2003)

Other original articles on this site include:

Challenging the Kool-Ad Reference, by Patrick O’Reilly (2014)
Drinking in Images, by ieva swanson (2013)
From the Heartland: The Kool Aid Cliché, by Conan Milner (2011)
Metaphor b. 11/18/78, by Annie Dawid (2008)
What Does Kool-Aid Really Mean?, by Phyllis Abel Gardner, Ph.D. (2008)
And It Wasn’t Kool-Aid, by Phyllis Abel Gardner, Ph.D. (2006)
“I’m not drinking it!”, by James Welborn (2006)
Drinking the Kool-Aid: A Cultural Transformation of a Tragedy, by Rebecca Moore (2002)

Articles from other sources include:

The Phrase ‘drank the Kool-Aid’ Is Completely Offensive. We Should Stop Saying It Immediately, by James Richardson, The Washington Post (2014)
Go Easy on the Kool-Aid Expression, by Reg Henry, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2013) (also here)
Stop Saying ‘Drink the Kool-Aid’, by Chris Higgins, The Atlantic (2012)
Hook, line and Kool-Aid, by John Pierce, Baptists Today (2012)
Kool-Aid, Hemlock and Confucius by Rodney L. Taylor, Ph.D., The Huffington Post ( 2012)
Would You Drink The Kool-Aid? by Pamela King Cable, Southern Fried Woman (2012)
Don’t ‘drink the Kool-Aid’, by Meghan Daum, The Los Angeles Times (2011)

In addition, every year this site makes note of numerous articles, op-ed pieces, and commentaries that specifically mention the use of the phrase, even if it isn’t the focus of the entire piece. Those collections appear at:

Drinking the Kool-Aid, 2019
Peoples Temple in the News, 2017
Drinking the Kool-Aid, 2016
Commentaries on “Drinking the Kool-Aid” (2015)
Peoples Temple in the News, 2014
Drinking the Kool-Aid: The 2013 Edition
Drinking the Kool-Aid: An Introduction (2012)
Drinking the Kool-Aid: A (Partial) 2012 Directory
Drinking the Kool-Aid: An Introduction (2011)
Drinking the Kool-Aid: A (Partial) 2011 Directory
Drinking the Kool-Aid: An Introduction (2010)
Drinking the Kool-Aid: A (Partial) 2010 Directory
The Language of Jonestown (2009)
Drinking the Kool-Aid: A (Partial) 2008 Directory
Drinking the Kool-Aid: An Introduction (2007)
Drinking the Kool-Aid: A (Partial) 2007 Directory
Drinking the Kool-Aid: An Introduction (2006)
Drinking the Kool-Aid: A (Partial) 2006 Directory

Finally, in 2013, Chelsea Blundon wrote Don’t Drink The Kool-aid, which described as “A poem from a child [in Jonestown].” Because it captures much of the ambiguity of the phrase, it is included here.

Originally posted on August 4th, 2016.

Last modified on September 27th, 2020.
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