Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

November 13, 2013

House of Burgess: For the last time, it's Flavor Aid

Rev. Jim Jones was far from name brand.

(Continued)

Diaz said the bloodbath — which turns 35 on Monday — rode the line between suicide and murder. “I think more of them decided to take their lives,” she said. “[But] I know a lot of people did not want to die.”

I never really liked the expression “drink the Kool-Aid” before I interviewed Diaz. After I wrote the story, though, I despised it. Sadly, others have had to learn the hard way.

“[South Bend] restaurant [Hacienda] erected billboards … including the statement, ‘We’re like a cult with better Kool-Aid,’ over a glass containing a mixed drink, as well as the phrase, ‘To die for!’” read a Feb. 21, 2011 Associated Press story. “[Hacienda] … apologized [and said the] billboards would be taken down.”

Unsurprisingly, Diaz wasn’t fond of the turn of phrase. “Oh, I hate it,” she said. “... It’s not even funny to joke about stuff like that.” Besides being insensitive, it’s incorrect: It was Flavor Aid, not Kool-Aid. Someone as greedy and sadistic as Jones would never serve his flock anything name brand.

The Flavor Aid vs. Kool-Aid divide is also an appropriate metaphor for Jones himself. Jones presented himself as a name-brand, progressive community leader, when in reality he was a devious user who drained anyone unfortunate enough to come under his influence of everything they loved.

He fooled so many people: San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, then-Assemblyman Willie Brown and first Lady Rosalynn Carter, to name just a few.

An unfortunate July 8, 1968 advertisement in the Ukiah Daily Journal signed by several prominent community members declared their support for Jones. “We deplore the unseemly words and actions of a small segment of this community and we want you and your people to know that you are not only welcome in this valley but highly respected,” it read, in part.

I’m now convinced every time someone uses the cliché “drink the Kool-Aid,” Jones is laughing from beyond the grave somewhere, his ruse intact.

Rob Burgess, Tribune night editor, may be reached by calling 765-454-8577, via email at rob.burgess@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/robaburg.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller