My name is Jacob Neighbors, and I was born in the thriving metropolis (sarcasm) of Texarkana, Texas (It’s a pretty small town). I attended Pleasant Grove High School and participated heavily in both athletic and academics. Here at Stanford, however, I am no longer an athlete (other than the occasional game with my friends), and spend the majority of my time with my studies or my girlfriend. Though I have not yet declared, I plan on majoring in computer science, which is a huge step for me because I came to college with no idea of what the future would bring.
In order to fully understand leadership, I believe one must examine it thoroughly, in all forms, and at its most extreme. That is why, for my global leadership project, I plan to examine Jim Jones- the cult leader of the infamous Jonestown Massacre (an event in Guyana where Jim Jones led nearly 1000 people in the world’s largest mass suicide). I want to analyze his rhetoric during his sermons and during his final moments. What methods did he use to convince people to commit suicide? How did he use religion to push his message? Is sanity a prerequisite for leadership? How is Jim Jones a metaphor for the dangers of “blindly following?” I am excited to explore these questions and more!