As far as obedience is concerned we will consider many things like the peoples demographic and social issues. Jim Jones always stood up for social causes that drew people in and he was easily able to take control his members. Because of that reputation, he was considered the people's leader. Another theory is conformity, this was easy to for him to achieve for they gave up their own beliefs in order to fit in with Jones' plan. The last theory is cognitive dissonance. As far as cognitive dissonance is concerned, it was undoubtedly occurring at Jonestown. By doing this, Jones made his people fear leaving and become grateful for his protection. Until the unexpected tragedy happened.
Other events that shocked the world share almost the same theories and mechanisms like the My Lai massacre, people looting during a blackout or natural disaster, the mob scenes, and using of media for persuasion an anything from needing Tylenol for a headache to political and ideological persuasion.
Recently around the world we could read, hear and see or simply remember many disasters, charities and causes wherein people voluntarily lend their assistance and helping hands. Assisting people in times of trouble is quite an instinct of every human being. This instinct is made even better by our desire to volunteer.