Jim Jones Research Paper

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Charismatic to the point of ostentation, Jim Jones was a man of many contradictions that eventually led to his ultimate downfall. Leader of the religious community, Peoples Temple, him and his followers formed the settlement of Jonestown in the country of Guyana. Underneath the façade of a caring and idealistic preacher, Jones and his church were full of corruption. The settlement came at its end when the residents were involved in a mass murder-suicide act and Jim Jones was shot by one of his followers. (Layton 290-305). Jim Jones was manipulative, and frequently believed that “the ends justifies the means”, he actually failed to heed many of Machiavelli’s guidelines for leadership. While Jones is an effective leader in terms of recruiting…show more content…
(“The Qualities” 335). What he truly meant was that if a leader has no other factors involved in a decision, he will look at the end result. (“The Qualities” 335). Jim Jones was known to believe in the idea that the end justified the means. This is probably why that Jones does not completely fit into Machiavelli’s idea of a leader. Machiavelli’s foremost principle in his leadership philosophy is to not to be hated by his subjects whether or not he gains their love. People can change allegiances anytime whenever they favor someone else. When they know that there will be severe consequences for breaking the leader’s rules, the people will avoid the punishment as much as possible. Love and admiration is fickle; fear cannot be easily escaped. (“The Qualities”331). Of all things, Jones did this well. In Jonestown, the punishments were extreme. There was a device called the Box that was six by four feet (Layton 176). Children may also be sent there. Another punishment was the Well. A person would be “hung upside down by a rope around their ankles, and dunked into the water again and again while someone hidden inside the Well grabbed at them to scare them” (Layton 176). If a person continues his or her misbehavior he or she may be sent to the Medical Unit to be drugged. (Layton 176). These were the more extreme tactics that Jones used to scare his people. Nonetheless Jones’s…show more content…
Whether or not a person agrees with that statement, Jones certainly does not heed Machiavelli’s advice regarding women. Deborah Layton was subjected to his sexual abuse (Layton 72-75). She was not the only person as well. Deborah’s young friend Shanda was revealed to suffered sexual abuse from Jones (Layton 300). Jones’s lack of regard for women had become a threat when at Jonestown someone named John contacted the people of Jonestown. He was a person that Jones taken care of since John was twelve years old. He demanded Jones to know the condition of his mother and sister and for them to come back home. Jones was becoming paranoid that he did not allow Deborah to leave. (Layton 197-197). His unnecessary advances and possessiveness towards women was just one of the sources of paranoia and uneasiness that could have been easily

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