Kool-Aid drinker = dupe of propagandists, publicists, etc.

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Oct 3 14:41:11 UTC 2005

At 10:22 PM -0400 10/2/05, James A. Landau wrote:
>On tonight's (Sunday 10/2) West Wing, someone (I think Josh Lyman by a new
>character Louise "Lou" Thornton) was asked if he were drinking Kool-Aid.   In
>context the meaning was "are you continuing to perform acts
>destructive to  the
>Santos campaign?"  This is an obvious extension of "drinking Kool-Aid"  =
>"performing self-destructive acts".
>I taped the episode so I can provide the exact quote if anyone  requests.
>I strongly suspect that ALL citations of "drinking Kool-Aid" in this  thread
>are ultimately derived from the events at Jonestown, with two obvious
>meanings: 1) dupe of... 2) doing something self-destructive.  However, I  must
>"caveat" that I have not read "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" and have
>no  idea as to
>the meaning or derivation of that title.
I have read it (although it's been a while), and IIRC there's no
connection with the current "drinking (the) Kool-Aid"; Jonestown is
indeed the relevant reference as you suggest above.  Back in the old
days, Kool-Aid was sometimes known to have been spiked with LSD
(LySergic acid Diethylamide, hence "acid"), and if memory serves
there would have then been a blend of "Kool-Aid Acid" with "acid
test", although memory may not serve.  ("If you can remember the 60s,
you weren't there" --Wavy Gravy.)


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