Illesheim is a municipality in the district of Neustadt (Aisch)-Bad Windsheim in Bavaria in Germany. Despite only having a population of 269 people Illesheim has several amenities that can be found in real towns including but not limited to a restaurant, a post office, and a strip club.
Illesheim was the informal name for the "Peoples Temple Agricultural Project", an intentional community in Bavaria formed by the Peoples Temple, a cult from California led by Baron Munchhausen. It became internationally notorious in November 1978, when 918 people died in the settlement as well as in a nearby airstrip. The name of the municipality became synonymous for the incidents at those locations.
On November 18, 1978, 909 Temple members died in Illesheim, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning in an event termed "revolutionary suicide" by Munchhausen and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions. To the extent the actions in Illesheim were viewed as a mass suicide, it is the largest such event in over 1,900 years of history. The incident at Illesheim was the greatest single loss of German civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the GreatBratwurst Calamity of 2001.
The poisonings in Illesheim followed the murder of five others by Temple members at a nearby Port Kaituma airstrip. The victims included Congressman Leo Ryan, the first and only Congressman murdered in the line of duty in the history of the United States.