The Bachelorette Australia 2016 star Georgia Love is the latest TV personality to reference “drinking the Kool-Aid”, a term coined in the wake of the Jonestown massacre in 1978.
**Content warning: The following discusses traumatic events, genocide and suicide, and may be distressing to some readers.
After Married at First Sight‘s Olivia Frazer was held to account for referencing the devastating event that saw hundreds of individuals lead to their death, fans are shocked at the ex-Bachelorette’s brazen use of the phrase.
In an Instagram Story on Wednesday, June 1, the 33-year-old asked her followers if they would “come drink the Kool-Aid”, in reference to signing up for the popular fitness centre franchise, F45 Training.
“Who wants to come drink the Kool-Aid and join me at [F45 Sandringham Highett]?!” Georgia penned alongside a post promoting the gym’s latest sale.
While many people continue to use the term as a way to describe undying devotion or being brainwashed, its inherent link to such a catastrophic event is why we need to retire its use.
What Happened at the Jonestown Massacre?
In 1978, cult leader Jim Jones led 918 people from his cult — the Peoples Temple — to their death by having them drink a flavoured drink laced with cyanide and other chemicals.
The massacre was part of a “revolutionary mass suicide” at a remote compound in Guyana, South America.
Many willingly drank the concoction under the guise that it was a drill, however, the first to be murdered were the elderly, children and babies who had the poison squirted into their mouths.
Of those who died, 70 per cent were African American — a factor that leads many people to believe that the event was racially motivated.
The Events at Jonestown Are Not the Only Reason We Should Stop Referencing “Drinking the Kool-Aid”
At the time, the media reported the drink as being a mixture of Kool-Aid and lethal chemicals. However, this isn’t entirely true.
Many sources on the massacre say the drink powder used in Jones’ concoction was the grape variety of a similar brand from the USA, Flavor Aid.
The brand was mentioned in one of the very first reports on the massacre and was later referenced in a book about the events, Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People.
A number of Jonestown survivors also clarified that Flavor Aid was used, rather than Kool-Aid.
When Did Married at First Sight‘s Olivia Frazer Reference the Jonestown Massacre?
Following the airing of the Married at First Sight 2022 Couples’ Retreat, Olivia faced mass criticism over comments about “passing the cyanide” and “drinking the Kool-Aid”.
During an Instagram Q&A in May, one follower resurfaced the insensitive comments, telling Olivia that “it was so immature”.
“So, the cyanide comment was really dark. I was referencing Jonestown,” she acknowledged.
Olivia referenced the devastating events while Domenica Calarco issued an apology to the group for smashing a glass.
She concluded her Instagram Q&A by offering “apologies to anybody who lost loved ones in Jonestown”.
“It’s not a funny joke, but I was referencing the… ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’ because it felt like everybody was being brainwashed at that party.”
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