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Radical and destructive cult groups: concept and theoretical framework Evaluation Note / Hilmi Demir, PhD
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14/12/2021 - Viewed 886 times

 

 

On November 18th, 1978, in Jonestown, Guyana, 909 people committed the largest mass suicide recorded to date. Many of the dead were children. “Die with your honor. Don’t lie down with pain and tears like that. Death is nothing but a step to another lane.” Jim Jones said these lines in his sermon before the mass suicide took place. During one of his sermons, he turned to an old woman in a wheelchair and allegedly said, “Dear, today is your day. You will get healed today, we will heal you crippled legs and you’ll be able to walk again!” The whole audience took these words in great craze and zeal, and began carefully watching what would happen with excitement. Jones continued to call out to the old woman from his podium, “Now, sister– Sister, I say walk! I say walk! I say walk! First step you’ve taken in seven and a half years. But I say walk. Walk out of that wheelchair. Wheel that wheelchair right behind you. Wheel– bring that wheelchair right behind you. Walk! Walk, child! Good God Almighty! Walk! Love God. Love God. Look at her shouting and dancing now. Look at her dancing now. Spirit of God. Walking.”

While delivering his fiery speech from the podium he was making bizarre gestures, trying to encourage the elder. The old woman gripped the two armrests of the wheelchair with trembling hands, clenched her teeth, and with the support of people around, she barely began to stand up. The woman screamed “I feel it!” She took a shaky step forward. Jim said “Now, I want you to walk towards me. One more step, go ahead, move forward my dear, you can do it!” She tilted her feet and confidently took two more steps. Only a little while later, she started running with her hands opened spread wide, fully healed. The people in the hall could not believe what they were witnessing, their screams mixed with tears.

 

 

You may read evaluation note from here.

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