A charismatic preacher can lead an entire nation if they want to. There is some religion today that does the same as what Jim Jones practice with society. Not to compare but the Pope in Rome can carry a mass manipulation to society all around the world also. But what Jim Jones did was far worst.
The problem is that some people become very vulnerable during a depressive state when they feel the most helpless during their lifetime. Jim Jones started this providence at a very young age of his early twenties. Jim Jones wanted to build a communism society and I believe that he found it easier to get the most vulnerable Christians. How I think Jim Jones was able to manipulate so many individuals were finding the best time in human vulnerable state, especially after the cold war ended.
Many of these humans believed that the end of times was coming ahead and brought many believers together. During this time Jim Jones had gathered more people from all around the states and even children joined because of their parents. Bringing in a commune society having families gathering together. The people were forced to sign document not allowing them to leave the Jonestown community. That in my opinion is setting fear to the people. If anyone was to leave than their document would be presented to the police. The groups were naïve because this wasn’t really a free society, as they had restriction and their free will was more imprison.
This was more of a cult that even got evaluated by the government and was fine by the IRS because they realized this had nothing to do with religion. Jim Jones was an atheist all along and lied to the people to just create a communism society. Jonestown was born to keep a communal living and lied to the member to think that this was for a religion purpose.
Most of the people had to work over twelve hours a day, and Jim Jones night lectures ended up being rants about his political ideas. This community ended up being so bad in health issue, that there wasn’t enough nutrition nor medicine for the people. The people failed to believe that they were being poisoned because they had constant drill in which had them learn how to survive during these drills. That after the news reported left and came back the second time but got shot, that’s when Jim Jone set the plan to poison his community.