Who Survived Jonestown? 'Wild Wild Country' References Cult's Mass Suicide

Netflix's six-part docuseries Wild Wild Country tells the story of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Indian cult leader who created the Rajneesh movement. The show also makes reference to a similarly controversial cult, dubbed the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ. That cult was associated with 1978's Jonestown mass suicide.

Rev. Jim Jones launched the Peoples Temple in 1955. In a South American jungle, more than 900 pmembers of the nearly 1,000 present died after purposely consuming poison on November 18, 1978, CNN reported in 2008. The suicides followed Jones's gunmen murdering five people, including United States Congressman Leo Ryan, at a nearby airplane runway. Ryan was visiting the settlement due to concerns made by family members of participants.

Only 33 cult members survived the mass suicide after escaping, including Laura Johnston Kohl. Kohl was first attracted to the group due to Jones's political and social beliefs. Decades after the deadly incident, Kohl released a memoir, titled Jonestown Survivor: An Insider's Look, detailing her experience.

"I never in my life thought that we were going to die," Kohl told Medium in 2017. "It was all manipulation, because there was never a point that an armed guard was going to take over Jonestown."

Added Kohl, "If I had stepped back from it, I could have seen that [Jones] was more and more paranoid."

Leslie Wagner Wilson, a fellow survivor, was brought into the cult at 13. "I was so scared," she told ABC News in 2012. "We exchanged phone numbers in case we died. I was prepared to die. I never thought I would see my 21st birthday."

The Peoples Temple was only a small feature in Netflix's Wild Wild Country. The series, which debuted March 16, led many to speculate whether the events described were factual. Current and former members of the Rajneesh movement have spoken out on aspects the docuseries apparently depicted inaccurately, including what life was really like on the settlement.

wild-wild-country on netflix
"Wild Wild Country" is Netflix's docuseries about a Oregon-based sex cult, pictured. The six-part show makes reference to Jonestown, a controversial cult that had more than 900 of its members die in a mass suicide. Netflix
Who Survived Jonestown? 'Wild Wild Country' References Cult's Mass Suicide | Culture