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'Drinking The Kool-Aid' On The War In Ukraine

In Summer 2004 Col. (ret.) Patrick Lang published Drinking the Kool-Aid which described the way in which group think had led to the war on Iraq. The idiom itself has a sinister background:

    Jim Jones, a self-styled "messiah" from the United States] called together his followers in the town square and explained the situation to them. There were a few survivors, who all said afterward that within the context of the "group-think" prevailing in the village, it sounded quite reasonable. Jim Jones then invited all present to drink from vats of Kool-Aid containing lethal doses of poison.

Many have never heard of that story or have forgotten it. The idiom's meaning had changed:

    What does drinking the Kool-Aid mean today? It signifies that the person in question has given up personal integrity and has succumbed to the prevailing group-think that typifies policymaking today. This person has become "part of the problem, not part of the solution."

Drinking the Kool-Aid: Reasons Behind the Jonestown Massacre

One survivor describes Jonestown in these words, "I'm talking about total isolation -- someone takes all your money and brings you to a place where there's no communication, or if there is you aren't allowed to use it. Those are the lessons I took from Jonestown, and that's the message I think the American people should take from it. Trust your gut and don't give up your liberties." This was the reality of the members of the Peoples Temple movement for many years.

The mass suicide was prompted by a visit of Rep. Leo Ryan, who came to investigate after hearing rumors of abuse and manipulation. According to Guyana Minister of Information Shirley Field-Ridley, some of the victims "showed signs of violence, including presumed gunshot wounds, which were not consistent with suicide." The children were forced to drink the cyanide-laced Kool-Aid first, because once a parent loses their child, they lose all other will to go on. Many of the "suicides" were a result of coercion and manipulation.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jul 9th, 2022 at 11:03:48 PM EST

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