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19 November 2008

Don't Drink The Kool Aid

30 years ago today the Reverend Jim Jones snookered over 900 people to drink a fatal dose of cyanide laced cherry Flavor Aid in Guyana in South America. He called the exercise "revolutionary suicide". The rest of the world called it death by Guyana Punch.

Eerily, Guyana's motto is: "One people, one nation, one destiny".

Reverend Nut Case preached that "those who remained drugged with the opiate of religion had to be brought to enlightenment—socialism." While he's not far off on his religion statement, his brand of socialism of course proved to not be very family friendly. Like the zealots before him and since him, the Flavor Aid was a handy (and tasty) vehicle for him to have eternal power over his followers by drugging them into the afterlife. How arrogantly ironic.

"Drinking the Kool Aid" (the more popular flavored drink mix than the Flavor Aid used in this mass suicide) has crept into today's culture as a reference to "blindly following an authority even if it leads to serious harm or death." Though I would add that many charismatic 'leaders' try to influence their followers into harmful situations all the time, even if those situations don't lead to our immediate death.

You know, the auto makers, politicians, the slick salesman/woman, etc...

Have you ever been asked to drink the Kool Aid?

Or, are there any instances where you would drink the Kool Aid?


Dana said...

Ahhh ... the Kool Aid. You know, the problem is that sometimes you are so parched that you start drinking before you realize it is Kool Aid!

Michael M. said...

been there, done that...the sweetness never lasts long either.