In the mid 1950s a bunch of socialists formed a cult, under the leadership of one Jim Jones, called "The Peoples Temple" in Indianna, it was described as "apostolic socialism".
Around 1965 opposition to the way the cult gathered idealistic followers led to a move to California where the cult enjoyed significant growth and enjoyed support from leading Democrats,including VP Walter Mondale, First Lady Rosalyn Carter, Govenor Jerry Brown and the Lt Govenor.
Following this period of growth and integration that included cult leader Jones gaining administrative positions through patronage, the cult again garnered criticism from dismayed families who lost family to the cult that led to a move to Guyana in the mid 70s.
This Apostolic Socialist Cult exploded in the Guyanese jungle in Late 1978 when an attempt by Congressman Leo Ryan to investigate possible coercion to stay with the cult resulted in some of the members taking Ryan's repatriation offer, but became embroiled in a shoot out at the nearby airstrip.
Pastor Jones then led his followers in a mass suicide of over 900 followers taking Cyanide laced Coolaid, The Pastor died from a head shot that was ruled self inflicted
Are the members of NZ Labour in a similar journey to such a disaster in the jungle of NZ politics in 2011 with their disconnection from the mainstream as they flounder to gain traction for "their socialist utopia".
April 17 in history
3 hours ago