HISTORY




Despite people’s belief system not allowing this information to become fact in their brains, it is true: The Jim Jones cult did not die drinking Kool-Aid. It was Flavor Aid.

From a past story detailing the events: The surprising thing is that all the sources on the massacre say the powder was the grape variety of another drink brand, Flavor Aid. Made by Jel-Sert, Flavor Aid appeared in one of the first newspaper reports on the massacre.

The claim is repeated in the 1982 book Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People. And surviving witnesses said that Flavor Aid was the drink used, not Kool-Aid.

With the evidence so clear, why did the phrase “drinking the Kool-Aid” emerge? Mental Floss suggests Kool-Aid’s role as being a genericized name for all flavored drinks, the popularity of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and other factors made it easier to remember “Kool-Aid” than “Flavor Aid.” Why it’s worth correcting the Kool-Aid mistake Many of the strongest arguments to abandon the phrase come from San Diego State University’s Jonestown Institute, including: Phyllis Gardner says the meme is part of the continuing dehumanization of victims at Jonestown. Mike Carter makes the obvious point that it trivializes the deaths to use the phrase at all. Al Tomkins at Poynter says that we shouldn’t continue to tarnish Kool-Aid’s name incorrectly.

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