Primary Project : Summaries
Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee, III. If you
use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
: Q 1053 (Part 4)
To read the Tape Transcript, click
here. To listen to MP3, click here.
To return to the Tape Index, click here.
FBI Catalogue: Jones Speaking
Date cues on tape: Summer 1973 (Watergate hearings on television, Jones
refers to future date of August 28)
People in attendance at Peoples Temple service
Public figures/National and international names:
Sister Lewis (numerous of Lewis family, probably Lue Ester)
Bishop Crane, Texas religious supporter of Peoples Temple
Then-Vice President Spiro Agnew
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Then-President Richard Nixon
Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA)
Former President John F. Kennedy (by reference)
Former Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) (by reference)
Rev. Ralph Abernathy, black civil rights leader
Rev. Martin Luther King
Coretta Scott King, Martin's widow
Black Muslim leader Malcolm X
Black Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad
Rev. Kathryn Kuhlman
Evangelist Billy Graham
Evangelist Oral Roberts
Dr. Sabitnov (phonetic), Soviet dissident
Civil Rights Commission member, Father Theodore Hesburgh
consumer advocate Ralph Nader
author and futurist Paul Ehrlich
Folksinger Joan Baez
CBS News anchorman Walter Cronkite
San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto
San Francisco Deputy Mayor Johnson
Lester Kinsolving, newspaper columnist, longtime Temple antagonist
Unknown person mentioned in Temple service
Mrs. Reynolds of San Diego
Mrs. Russell of San Diego
Bible verses cited: "A soft answer turned away his wrath." (Proverbs 15:1,
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
"Christians ... say, Man is prenatally born in sin. They say, man is conceived
in sin, and shapen in iniquity. Man, they say, comes into the world a sinner...
Your Bible religion and all churches say, that man is born a sinner." (Psalms
51:5, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.")
"We say ... as Jesus said, the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into
the world." (John 1:9, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that
cometh into the world.")
"I want to put a hedge around you, with as many people as I can, so that perhaps
when they come to get us, I'll have some unrighteous Mammon... I don't like
the use of that term. It's a biblical term." (Luke 16:11, "If therefore ye have
not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the
"Jesus called it the love of money which is the root of all evil, and that's
capitalism. It's the anti-Christ system." (1Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money
is the root of all evil.")
"The Bible says, take care of the household of the faith... The Bible that they
say that they believe in says that the church must take care first of the household
of faith." (Galatians 6:10, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good
unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.")
"That means you've got to minister to them when they're hungry, you've got to
feed them. When they're naked, you've got to clothe them." (Matthew 25:34-46)
This address by Jim Jones to his congregation in San Francisco during the summer
of 1973 has many elements of his quasi-religious, quasi-political, quasi-social
message. He speaks of the racism in the U.S. that will not die. He speaks of
the capitalist society that will never let the black man or Peoples Temple,
for that matter succeed. He alternates between suggesting that the members
prepare to move to a socialist utopia (Guyana is not mentioned by name) or to
stand and fight to the death. He chastises people, both collectively and individually,
for falling asleep during the service, or moving around, or not paying attention.
He speaks of his own powers, the miracles he performs, and the deaths he can
cause through the power of his mind. The tone is conversational for much of
the address, and he never raises his voice in anger or deep passion.
The address begins in mid-sentence, as Jones warns that medical laboratories
are conducting experiments with chemicals and surgeries in order to lobotomize
blacks and turn them into automatons, to do the white man's dirty work and fight
the white man's wars.
He returns to the issue of race numerous times. He speaks later of the division
among the races on the streets of San Francisco, and says "there's only one
person gonna stand to gain. That's the rich honkies that control the system."
Martin Luther King died in vain, he asserts still later, and King's movement
lies in ashes.
Peoples Temple provides an alternative to a racist America, Jones says, a redemption
from crime, a structure of security. Members of the church are different from
those of other religions, because here, there are no sinners. "You would've
called some of these people that are in our midst murderers... No, all they
needed was a new nation, a new family, a place where they could be accepted,
and when they were accepted, they were not murderers anymore."
The reason is, Peoples Temple accepts neither religion itself nor its presumptions
nor its place in the society at large. "If you're born in this church, this
socialist revolution, you're not born in sin. If you're born in capitalist America,
racist America, fascist America, then you're born in sin. But if you're born
in socialism, you're not born in sin."
The economic theme recurs several times as well. At another point, Jones defines
capitalism as a system that creates racism, despair and inequality. "That's
what the society of capitalism says, the anti-Christ system says. Jesus called
it the love of money which is the root of all evil, and that's capitalism. It's
the anti-Christ system."
He attacks other churches as being hypocritical and false, and says the other
so-called faith-healers are phony. But even if they weren't phony, the healings
cannot form the basis for a religion. "Even if they did [heal], when the money
doesn't go to the right things, when the right teachings are not there, who
wants healings? We want a new society, we want a new family of man."
The most prevalent undercurrent, though, is the anticipated confrontation with
America, and what they will do about it. There are two alternatives, as he sees
it: survive by migrating to another country, or stay to fight and die. "Personally,
I would be very happy if they came for me, and I would be glad to be the first
to go to the execution line. That's what I feel about it. I'm very, very wearied
with this society. I'm very tired and tried with its sickness everywhere you
The choice between migration and war fills the last portion of the tape. At
one point, he extols the wonders of Cuba, and says that, rather than harass
them, America ought to let them go "to someplace like Cuba where we can have
some peace... But if you want to have a fight, then we'll fight to the last
one of us." A few minutes later, he issues the ultimatum again: "we want to
build America, but if they try to destroy us, we bargain right there. Let us
go, let us get our busses lined up, and if you don't, then you better prepare
for a war dance."
The threat extends to others outside of government as well. In complaining about
lack of respect from the Black Muslim movement, Jones says, "They think they
can push you around. You gotta learn that they can't push us around." He says
he called Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad on the phone to issue the warning: "I
said we're going to have some understanding. I said, you want a bloodbath out
here, or you want peace?"
The issue arises again during an analysis of nonviolence, when Jones says the
path of nonviolence has its limits. We're non-violent, he says, but we will
fight to defend ourselves. "If they ever come after us... if they shed our blood,
I got a feeling there'll be some other blood mixed with ours." Moments later,
he confronts those who would preach nonviolence during a confrontation. "The
fact of the matter, I think that some of you that are talking nonviolence, I
don't even trust what you'd do when they come after your ass."
Later, however, he describes society's threat, not as one against the church
but as against himself. He still predicts the same result "You kill me, these
people will make sure that you'll have to kill every damn one of them" but
then goes to the heart of the problem that the church faces: "Jim wants to die.
Jim does not like this sinful society. Jim does not like this evil. The Father
doesn't recognize this world. This world is evil... I'd like to die. But you
see, I must not die until ... the last bit of me is used."
He does offer other avenues for getting back at their enemies, though. Their
activism might result in a tax audit but if it does, he hopes they'll insist
that other churches get audited as well but in any event, they can always
threaten tax resistance. They can live outside the banking system, he warns.
They have cash money in different places, they have silver, they have the ability
to go without money and live off the land. "And if they say ... they're still
gonna mess with [us], we'll all quit our jobs and we go on welfare, that's what
Jones notices several times that people aren't paying attention. They clap when
others clap, but when the enemy comes to get all of them, those people won't
know why. "So you'll miss the glory," he says. "To us, when it comes, we'll
march up forward and say, can I help you with the noose?"
He also warns against people speaking against the movement, and warns people
to be wary of dissent within themselves and rumor-mongering or gossip in others.
"If you let one word of criticism come in, if you let one little thought get
in, if you let anything divide you, you've been finished," he says. "I cannot
beat on that enough. They will not bother us if we are determined enough."
Later, in the course of talking about a possible migration, he says if people
don't want to go with them, they can leave the movement at any time. A moment
later, he shifts his position and says, he doesn't see how people can leave
their brothers and sisters, and concludes, "I think, in fact, we ought not to
let them walk out." The congregation's reaction is subdued and tentative, and
he presses the issue: he won't let them walk out, but he will not use "a gun
or a knife or my hands" to stop them. Instead, he says to rising cheers, he
will use his mind. He talks about several people who gave them trouble in the
past, or who threatened violence, or who said they were going to the police
or the press, and reminds the congregation, no one has heard from them since,
except for the ones who have died.
Date of transcription: 6/21/79
In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's investigation into
the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South
America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording
was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S.
Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.
On June 15, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B108-11.
This tape was found to contain the following:
Reverend JIM JONES holding a People's Temple celebration in San Francisco. He
covers a wide spectrum of examples of the good of socialism and castigates peoples'
belief in religions and the evils of United States society. JONES lectures about
violence and non-violence.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI's purposes.
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