Clinical utility of depression measures and symptoms: Implications for suicide risk assessment in high risk, resource limited youth populations

Objective Suicide risk for youth in resource- limited settings has been largely underrepresented in the literature and requires targeted examination of practical ways to address this growing public health concern. The present study focuses on the clinical utility of depression risk assessment tools addressing how and for whom suicide prevention intervention is most beneficial within […]

Pesticides and passion: A qualitative psychological autopsy study of suicide in Guyana

Background The suicide rate in Guyana has consistently ranked in the top ten globally, yet there is only limited literature related to the context in which these suicides occur. This study aims to better understand the psychosocial circumstances and characteristics of suicides in Guyana. Methods This case series study utilised a qualitative psychological autopsy method. […]

Community-based participatory research: Suicide prevention for youth at highest risk in Guyana

Abstract Studied mostly in developed countries, the increased prevalence of suicide among youth, worldwide, is a preventable public health concern. Guyana, a developing country in South America, has the highest rate of youth death by suicide. Based on the diathesis–stress model, this community-based study aimed to identify both psychiatric and biological factors associated with repeated […]

Prevalence and Associated Factors of Suicidal Ideation Among School-Going Adolescents in Guyana: Results From a Cross Sectional Study

Background Adolescent suicidal behaviour is a neglected public health issue especially in middle- and low-income countries. Informed policy decision-making on suicidal behaviour will need reliable information on the prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation which is a determinant of suicidal behaviour. Methods We estimated the prevalence and associated factors of suicidal ideation among school-going adolescents […]

The Invisible Visibles: a Study of the Needs of the Homeless and Mentally ill in Guyana


Apocalyptic Dreams and Religious Ideologies: Losing and Saving Self and World

In this article, examples of apocalyptic thinking in old & new religions are examined, with particular attention to Aum Shinrikyo, the Peoples Temple, Heaven’s Gate, & the Solar Temple. The author draws a link between the ‘apocalyptic dreams’ of widescale destruction & rebirth found in both schizophrenic or borderline individuals & in many religious scriptures […]

Interpreting the Jonestown Phenomena

This brief article discusses the 1978 mass murder-suicide of 911 people in Jonestown, Guyana. The author discusses the bereavment therapy required for many people, & the need for greater understanding of this event in order to prevent other cults from taking a similiar path. (VM)

Of Lemmings and Men: the Lesson of Jonestown

This article discusses the 1978 mass murder-suicide of 911 people in Jonestown, Guyana. The author describes similiar incidents & experiments which have shown that many people will allow themselves to be directed to do anything, including violence against themselves or others. Reasons why humans are so suggestible are outlined, for example, early learning and socialization […]

Mass Suicide as a Family Affair: The People’s Temple in Guyana

The author applies the insights derived from studies of family processes, especially those relevant to suicide, to the mass suicides &/or murders in Guyana. Family characteristics of suicidal behaviour also found at Jonestown were: 1) a closed family system; 2) domination of the family by a fragile member; 3) an atmosphere of depression & aggression; […]

Religious Mass Suicide Before Jonestown: the Russian old Believers

This article compares the mass suicide of the People’s Temple followers at Jonestown in Guyana in November, 1978, with the suicidal activities of the Russian “Old Believers” in the late seventeenth & early eighteenth centuries. A short review of the Great Schism in the Russian Orthodox Church is provided, followed by a summary discussion of […]

Looking for Spooks in a Horror Story

A brief article from MACLEANS, July 28, 1980, questioning the involvement of the CIA in extremist organixations.

Jonestown: The Case Isn’t Closed

Kenneth Baird reviews five publications dealing with the November, 1978 mass suicide of James Jones and his followersin Guyana, South America. He states that much is still unclear about the cause about this tragedy & suggests that Jones and his victims were created by values & actions similar to those of the United States toward […]

Recapitulating Jonestown

The Jonestown mass suicide is viewed from the perspective of dream condensation. The settlement was seen as a condensed version of the American experience played out over a few months. The settlement began wdith a mixture of immigrants with a utopion vision that gradually deteriorated because of sex, drugs, greed & preoccupation with self. Jones […]

In the Valley of the Shadow of Death

This article is a gruesome account of the Jonestown mass suicide by a reporter who viewed the scene before the bodies of the victims were returned to the U.S. (NBB)

Ils ont Choisi de Mourir Ensemble: Histoire du Suicide Collectif des Premiers Chretiens a Guyana (HV 6545 M65 1979)

Influenced by the suicides of 923 people in Guyana in 1978, the author examines other examples of group suicide, where “group” can mean as few as two people. Topics range from imitative suicides to historical suicides.(PM)

The Group Psychology of Mass Madness: Jonestown

The hidden & unconscious factors involved in the People’s Temple Movement, led by the Reverend Jim Jones, are discussed in terms of psychoanalytic psychology, focusing on the concepts of charisma & collective regression. These concepts are applied to the mass madness that engulfed the inhabitants of Jonestowm as they committed mass suicide. The author suggests […]

Apocalypse at Jonestown

This is an extensive sociological study of the Peoples Temple Movement & the bizarre mass suicide of Jim Jones & his followers in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978. (NBB)

Jonestown in the Shadow of Maslow’s Pyramid

In this discussion, authors Easley & Wigglesworth explore factors that may have motivated hundreds of people to join the Peoples Temple Movement. Using a variation of Maslow’s Needs Pyramid, they portray Jim Jones’ followers as an economically & socially frustrated group who did not have their needs met by traditional society & therefore rejected it–often […]

Where the Crazy Fish Swims, the Others Will Follow

This brief article examines the social conditions that favor radical religious cults & individual & mass suicide, suggesting these phenomena are an attempt to escape social turbulence. (NBB)

The Role of Religious Cults: Is Satan Dead?

The disintegration of the old religious institutions during the last third of the 20th century has not produced a society that is content to live an existence without gods. Cults, sects & religious communities have sprung up to fill the void. “What happened in Jonestown, Guyana, is a ghoulish cautionary tale for all these different […]

“Hurry, My Children, Hurry”. A Recording Reveals the Death Throes of the Jim Jones Cult

This 2-page article from Time magazine (March 26, 1979) contains actual dialogue between Peoples Temple Movement leader Jim Jones & several of his followers, prior to & during the mass suicide that claimed close to 900 lives. (NBB)

Don’t Be Afraid to Die. (Written Dialog From the Tape Recording of J Jones)

This brief article from the March 26, 1979 issue of Newsweek, contains excerpts from a transcript of dialogue between Jim Jones, leader of the Peoples Temple Movement, & his followers during their mass suicide in Guyana. Also included is an article about Michael Prokes, who killed himself after returning to the U.S. (NBB)

Echoes of Jonestown

This article from the March 12, 1979 issue of Newsweek tells of the aftermath of the mass suicide by Jim Jones & his followers in Guyana. At the time of this article, only 347 of the 913 bodies had been claimed by relatives & friends. Pending law suits & allegations of homicide are examined. (NBB)