Leo J. Ryan

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Leo Ryan was a Democratic senator, sitting from 1973 until his murder in the Jonestown massacre in 1978 in Guyana. Ryan was a critic of cult activity, particularly those of Scientology and the Unification Church, led by Sun Myung Moon. On hearing of events at the Peoples Temple in Jonestown, he led a delegation to Guyana to investigate and to interview members of the cult. A few members of the cult expressed a desire to leave with Ryan. On November 18, under the orders of Jim Jones, members of the cult ambushed the party; Ryan was killed along with four other people.

In 1983, he was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.

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