"Drinking the Kool-Aid" is a phrase that became known because of the 1978 Jonestown Massacre. It suggests that one has mindlessly adopted the dogma of a group or leader without fully understanding the ramifications or implications. At Jonestown, Jim Jones' followers followed him to the end: after visiting Congressman Leo Ryan was shot at the airstrip, all the Peoples Temple members drank from a metal vat containing a mixture of "Kool Aid", cyanide, and prescription drugs Valium, Phenergan, and chloral hydrate. Present-day descriptions of the event often refer to the beverage not as Kool-Aid but as Flavor Aid, a less-expensive product from Jel Sert reportedly found at the site. Kraft Foods, the maker of Kool-Aid, has stated the same. Implied by this accounting of events is that the reference to the Kool-Aid brand owes exclusively to its being better-known among Americans. Others are less categorical. Both brands are known to have been among the commune's supplies: Film footage shot inside the compound prior to the events of November shows Jones opening a large chest in which boxes of both Flavor Aid and Kool-Aid are visible. Criminal investigators testifying at the Jonestown inquest spoke of finding packets of "cool aid" (sic), and eyewitnesses to the incident are also recorded as speaking of "cool aid" or "Cool Aid. " However, it is unclear whether they intended to refer to the actual Kool-Aid–brand drink or were using the name in a generic sense that might refer to any powdered flavored beverage.
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