Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
(Nota del editor: una traducción al español de esta cinta se encuentra aqui.)
To return to the Index of Transcripts of the “Death Tape,” click here.
To return to the Tape Index, click here.
To read the Tape Summary, click here. To listen to MP3, click here.
(Note: This tape was one of the 53 tapes initially withheld from public disclosure.)
Jones: How very much I’ve tried my best to give you the good life.
Jones: But in spite of all of my trying, a handful of our people, with their lies, have made our life impossible. There’s no way to detach ourself from what’s happened today. Not only are we in a compound situation, not only are there those who have left and committed the betrayal of the century, some have stolen children from others, and are in pursuit right now to kill them, because they stole their children. And we — we are sitting here waiting on a powder keg. I don’t think it is what we want to do with our babies. I don’t think that’s what we had in mind to do with our babies. It is said by the greatest of prophets from time immemorial: “No man may take my life from me; I lay my life down.”
Jones: So to — to sit here and wait for the catastrophe that’s going to happen on that airplane — it’s going to be a catastrophe, it almost happened here. Almost happened — The congressman was nearly killed here. But you can’t steal people’s children. You can’t take off with people’s children without expecting a violent reaction. And that’s not so unfamiliar to us either, if we — even if we were Judeo-Christian — if we weren’t Communists. The world– the kingdom suffereth violence and the violent shall take it by force. If we can’t live in peace, then let’s die in peace.
Jones: (Weary) We’ve been so betrayed. We have been so terribly betrayed.
Music and singing
Jones: But we’ve tried and as Jack Beam often said — I don’t know why he said it — I just know (unintelligible word) Jack, he said if this only works one day, it was worthwhile.
Jones: Thank you. (Tape edit) Now what’s going to happen here in a matter of a few minutes is that one of those people on that plane is gonna — gonna shoot the pilot. I know that. I didn’t plan it, but I know it’s going to happen. They’re gonna shoot that pilot, and down comes that plane into the jungle. And we had better not have any of our children left when it’s over, because they’ll parachute in here on us. (Pause) I’m going to be just as plain as I know how to tell you. I’ve never lied to you. (More emphatic) I never have lied to you. I know that’s what’s gonna happen. That’s what he intends to do, and he will do it. He’ll do it. What so being so bewildered with many, many pu — pressures on my brain, seeing all these people behave so treasonous — there was too much for me to put together, but uh, I — I now know what he was telling me. And it’ll happen. If the plane gets in the air even. (Pause) So my opinion is that we be kind to children and be kind to seniors and take the portion like they used to take in ancient Greece, and step over quietly, because we are not committing suicide. It’s a revolutionary act. We can’t go back. They won’t leave us alone. They’re now going back to tell more lies, which means more congressmen. And there’s no way, no way we can survive. Hmm?
Voice too soft
Jones: Anybody. Anyone who has any dissenting opinion, please speak. (Pause) Yes. You can have an opportunity, but if our children are uh, are left, we’re going to have them butchered. We can make a strike, but we’ll be striking against people that we — we don’t want to strike against. And what we’d like to get are the people that caused this stuff, and some — if some people here are p — are prepared and know how to do that, to go in town and get Timothy Stoen, but there’s no plane. (Pause) There’s no plane. You can’t catch a plane in time. He’s responsible for it. He brought these people to us. He and Deanna Mertle. The people in San Francisco will not — not be idle over there. (Pause) They’ll not take our death in vain, you know. Yes, Christine.
Christine Miller: Is it too late for Russia?
Jones: Here’s why it’s too late for Russia. They killed. They started to kill. That’s why it makes it too late for Russia. Otherwise I’d said, Russia, you bet your life. But it’s too late. I can’t control these people. They’re out there. They’ve gone with the guns. (Self-evident tone) And it’s too late. (Pause) (Weary tone) And once we kill anybody — at least that’s what I’ve always — I’ve always put my lot with you. If one of my people do something, it’s me. (Pause) And they say I don’t — I don’t have to take the blame for this, but I can’t — I don’t — I don’t live that way. They said deliver up Ujara, who tried to get the man back here. Ujara, whose wi — mother’s been lying on him and lying on him and trying to break up this family. And they’ve all agreed to kill us by any means necessary. You think I’m going to deliver them Ujara? Not on your life.
Ujara [Don Sly]: Is there any way that if I go that it’ll help us?
Jones: No. You’re not going. You’re not going.
Jones: You’re not going. I can’t live that way. I cannot live that way. (More emphatic) I’ve lived with — for all, and I’ll die for all.
Jones: I’ve been living on a hope for a long time, Christine, and I appreciate — You’ve always been a very good agitator. I like agitation, because you have to see two sides of one issue, two sides of a question. But what those people are gonna get done, once they get through, will make our lives worse than hell. They’ll make us — make the rest of us not accept it. When they get through lying. They posed so many lies between there and that truck that we are — we are done-in as far as any other alternative.
Miller: Well, I say let’s make an air — airlift to Russia. That’s what I say. I don’t think nothing is impossible if you believe it.
Jones: How are we going to do that? How are you going to airlift to Russia?
Miller: Well, I — Well, I thought you — they said if we got in an emergency, that they gave you a code to let them know.
Jones: No, they didn’t. They gave us a code that they’d let us know on that issue, not us create an issue for them. They said if we — if they saw the country coming down they agreed they’d give us a code. They’d give us a code. We — you can check on that and see if it’s on the code. We can check with Russia to see if they’ll take us in immediately, otherwise we die. I don’t know what else you say to these people. But to me, death is not — uh, death is not a fearful thing. It’s living that’s cuts ya.
Jones: I have never, never, never, never seen anything like this before in my life. I’ve never seen people take the law uh, and do uh — in their own hands and provoke us and try to purposely agitate murder of children. There is no — Christine, it’s just not — it’s just not worth living like this. Not worth living like this.
Miller: I think that there were too few who left for twelve hundred people to give them their lives for those people that left.
Jones: Do you know how many left?
Miller: (Casual) Oh, twenty-odd. That’s — That’s a small (Jones speaks over)
Jones: Twenty-odd, twenty-odd.
Miller: Compared to what’s here.
Jones: Twenty-odd. But what’s gonna happen when they don’t leave? (Pause) I hope that they could leave. But what’s gonna happen when they — when they don’t leave?
Miller: You mean the people here?
Jones: Yeah. What’s going to happen to us when they don’t leave, when they get on the plane and the plane goes down?
Miller: I don’t think they’ll do that.
Jones: You don’t think they’ll go down?
Jones: I — I wish I could tell you were right, but I’m right. There’s one man there who blames, and rightfully so, Debbie Blakey for the murder — for the murder of his mother — and he’ll sh — he’ll stop that pilot by any means necessary. (Pause) He’ll do it. That plane’ll come out of the air. There’s no way you can fly a plane without a pilot.
Miller: I wasn’t speaking about that plane. I was speaking about a plane for us to go to Russia.
Jones: How — (Sighs)
Jones: — to Russia? You think Russia’s gonna want — no, it’s not gonna, it’s, it’s, it’s — We’re not, uh — You think Russia’s gonna want us with all this stigma? (Pause) We had — we — we had some value, but now we don’t have any value.
Miller: Well, I don’t see it like that. I mean, I feel like that — as long as there’s life, there’s hope. That’s my faith.
Jones: Well — someday everybody dies. Some place that hope runs out, because everybody dies. I haven’t seen anybody yet didn’t die. And I’d like to choose my own kind of death for a change. I’m tired of being tormented to hell, that’s what I’m tired of. (Pause) Tired of it.
Jones: — twelve hundred people’s lives in my hands, and I certainly don’t want your life in my hands. I’m going to tell you, Christine, without me, life has no meaning.
Jones: I’m the best thing you’ll ever have. I want, want, I have to pay — I’m standing with Ujara. I’m standing with those people. They’re part of me. I could detach myself. I really could detach myself. No, no, no, no, no, no. I never detach myself from any of your troubles. I’ve always taken your troubles right on my shoulders. And I’m not going to change that now. It’s too late. I’ve been running too long. Not going to change now.
Jones: Maybe the next time you’ll get to go to Russia. The next time round. This is — what I’m talking about now is the dispensation of judgment. This is a revolutionary — it’s a revolutionary suicide council. I’m not talking about self — self-destruction. I’m talking about what — we have no other road. I will take your — your call. We will put it to the Russians. And I can tell you the answer now, because I’m a prophet. Call the Russians and tell them, and see if they’ll take us.
Miller: I said I’m not ready to die. But I know (unintelligible)
Jones: I don’t think you are. I don’t think you are.
Miller: But, ah, I look about at the babies and I think they deserve to live, you know?
Jones: I — I agree. But they — But don’t they also they deserve much more, they deserve peace.
Miller: We all came here for peace.
Jones: And we’ve — have we had it?
Jones: I tried to give it to you. I’ve laid down my life, practically. I’ve practically died every day to give you peace. And you still not have any peace. You look better than I’ve seen you in a long while, but it’s still not the kind of peace that I wanted to give you. Uh — A person’s a fool who continues to say that they’re winning when you’re losing. (Pause) Win one, lose two. What? (Pause) I didn’t hear you, ma’am. You’ll have to speak up. Ma’am, you’ll have to speak up.
Jones: That’s a sweet thought. Who said that? (Pause) C — Come on up and speak it again, honey. Say what you want to say about (unintelligible) is taking off. No plane is taking off. (Pause) It’s suicide. Plenty have done it. Stoen has done it. But somebody ought to live. Somebody — Can they talk to — and I’ve talked to San Francisco — see that Stoen does not get by with this infamy — with this infamy. He has done the thing he wanted to do. Have us destroyed. (Pause)
Miller: When you — when you — when we destroy ourselves, we’re defeated. We let them, the enemies, defeat us.
Jones: Did you see — did you see, “I will live to fight no more forever?”
Miller: Yes, I saw that.
Jones: Did you not have some sense of pride and victory in that man? Yet he would not subject himself to the will or the whim of people who tell — that they’re gonna to come in whenever they please and push into our house. Come when they please, take who they want to, talk to who they want to — does this not living? That’s not living to me. That’s not freedom. That’s not the kind of freedom I sought.
Miller: Well, I think where they made their mistake is when they stopped to rest. If they had gone on, they would’ve made it. But they stopped to rest.
Jim McElvane: Just hold on, sister, just hold on. We have made that day. We made a beautiful day, and let’s make it a beautiful day. That’s what I say.
Jones: We will win. We win when we go down. Tim Stoen has nobody else to hate. He has nobody else to hate. Then he’ll destroy himself. I’m speaking here not as uh, the administrator, I’m speaking as a prophet today. I wouldn’t have set in this seat and talked so serious if I didn’t know what I was talking about. Has anybody called back? The immense amount of damage that’s going to be done, but I cannot separate myself from the pain of my people. You can’t either, Christine, if you stop to think about it. You can’t separate yourself. We’ve walked too long together.
Miller: I well know that. But I still think, as an individual, I have a right to —
Jones: You do, and I’m listening.
Miller: — to say what I think, what I feel. And I think we all have a right to our own destiny as individuals.
Miller: And I think I have a right to choose mine, and everybody else has a right to choose theirs.
Miller: You know?
Jones: Mmm-hmm. I’m not criticizing (unintelligible) — What’s that?
Unintelligible woman’s voice
Jones: That’s today. That’s what 20 people said today. We’re alive.
Miller: Well, I think I still have a right to my own opinion.
Jones: I — I’m not taking it from you. I’m not taking it from you.
McElvane: Christine, you’re only standing here because he was here in the first place. So I don’t know what you’re talking about, having an individual life. Your life has been extended to the day that you’re standing there, because of him.
Jones: (Unintelligible word) I guess she has as much right to speak as anybody else, too. What did you say, Ruby? Well, you’ll regret that this very day if you don’t die. You’ll regret it if you do, though you don’t die. You’ll regret it.
Lue Ester Lewis: (Unintelligible) You’ve saved so many people.
Jones: I’ve saved them. I saved them, but I made my example. I made my expression. I made my manifestation, and the world was ready — not ready for me. Paul said, “I was a man born out of due season.” I’ve been born out of due season, just like all we are, and the best testimony we can make is to leave this goddamn world.
Lewis: You must prepare to die.
Miller: I’m not talking to her. Will you let — Would you — would you let her or let me talk?
Jones: Keep talking.
Miller: Would you make her sit down and let me talk while I’m on the floor or let her talk?
Jones: How can you tell the leader what to do if you live?
Jones: I’ve — I’ve listened to you. You asked me about Russia. I’m right now making a call to Russia. What more do you suggest? I’m listening to you. You’ve got to give me one slight bit of encouragement. I just now instructed her to go there and do that.
McElvane: All right now, everybody hold it. We didn’t come — hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Hold it.
Jones: Let (unintelligible word — “law”?) be maintained.
Jones: To lay down your burden. I’m gonna lay down my burden. Down by the riverside. Shall we lay them down here in — by Guyana? What’s the difference? (Pause) No man didn’t take our lives. Right now. They haven’t taken them. But when they start parachuting out of the air, they’ll — they’ll shoot some of our innocent babies. I’m not lying — I don’t wanna (unintelligible), Christine. But they gotta shoot me to get through to some of these people. I’m not letting them take your child. Can you let them take your child?
Voices: No, no, no, no.
Woman 2: — gonna die?
Jones: What’s that?
Woman 2: You mean you want us to die — (Jones talks over)
Jones: I want to see —
Jones: (Pleading) Peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, peace, peace.
Marceline Jones: Christine, are you saying that you think he thinks more of him than other children here?
Jones: John– John–
Marceline Jones: Because if you’re saying —
Jones: (Unintelligible name), do you think I’d put John’s life above others? If I put John’s life above others, I wouldn’t be standing with Ujara. I’d send John out — out, and he could go out on the driveway tonight.
Marceline Jones: Because he’s young.
Jones: (Defensive) I know, but he’s no — he’s no different to me than any of these children here. He’s just one of my children. I don’t prefer one above another. I don’t prefer him above Ujara. I can’t do that. I can’t separate myself from your actions or his actions. If you’d done something wrong, I’d stand with you. If they wanted to come and get you, they’d have to take me.
Man 2: (Weepy) We’re all ready to go. If you tell us we have to give our lives now, we’re ready — at least the rest of the sisters and brothers are with me.
Jones: Some months I’ve tried to keep this thing from happening. But I now see it’s the will — it’s the will of Sovereign Being that this happen to us. That we lay down our lives in protest against what’s being done. That we lay down our lives to protest in what’s being done. The criminality of people. The cruelty of people. Who walked out of here today? Did you notice who walked out? Mostly white people.
Jones: Mostly white people walked. (Pause) I’m so grateful for the ones that didn’t — those who knew who they are. I just know that there — there — there’s no point — there’s no point to this. We have — We are born before our time. They won’t accept us. And I don’t think we should sit here and take any more time for our children to be endangered. Because if they come after our children, and lu — we give them our children, then our children will suffer forever.
Jones: I have no quarrel with you coming up. I like you. I personally like you very much.
Miller: People get hostile when you try and —
Jones: Oh, well, some people do — but then, you know, yes — yes, some people do. Put it that way — I’m not hostile. You had to be honest, but you’ve stayed, and if you’da be — you wanted to run, you’d have run with them ’cause anybody could’ve run today. What would anyone do? I know you’re not a runner. And I, I would — I’d — your life is precious to me. It’s as precious as John’s. And I — and I don’t — what I do I do with weight and justice and judgment. I’m — I’ve weighed it against all evidence.
Miller: That’s all I’ve got to say.
Jones: What comes now, folks? What comes now?
Man 3: Everybody hold it. Sit down.
Jones: Say it. Say– Stay peace. Stay peace. Stay peace. Stay peace. Stay peace. What’s come. Don’t let — Take Dwyer [Richard Dwyer, U.S. Embassy official] on down to the East House. (stumbles over words) Take Dwyer.
Woman 4: Everybody be quiet, please.
Jones: (Unintelligible) — got some respect for our lives.
McElvane: That means sit down, sit down. Sit down.
Jones: I know. (Pause) (Groan) I tried so very, very hard. They’re trying over here to see what’s going to — what’s going to happen in Los Angel — Who is it?
Jones: Get Dwyer out of here before something happens to him. (Pause) Dwyer? I’m not talking about Ujara. I said (Emphatic) Dwyer. Ain’t nobody gonna take Ujara. I’m not lettin’ ’em take Ujara. (Pause) Gather in, folks. It’s easy, it’s easy. Yes, my love.
Tape silence for several seconds
Woman 5: At one time, I felt just like Christine felt. But after today I don’t feel anything because the biggest majority of people that left here for a fight, and I know, it really hurt my heart because —
Jones: Broke your heart, didn’t it?
Woman 5: It broke my heart, to think that all of this year the white people had been with us, and they’re not a part of us. So we might as well end it now because I don’t see —
Jones: It’s all over. The congressman has been murdered.
Music and singing
Voice: It’s all over.
Jones: Well, it’s all over, all over. (Pause) What a legacy, what a legacy. What the Red Brigade doin’ one bit that made any sense anyway? They invaded our privacy. They came into our home. They followed us six thousand miles away. Red Brigade showed them justice. The congressman’s dead.
Jones: (Speaks authoritatively) Please get us some medication. It’s simple. It’s simple. There’s no convulsions with it. It’s just simple. Just, please get it. Before it’s too late. The GDF [Guyana Defense Force] will be here, I tell you. Get movin’, get movin’, get movin’.
Woman 6: Now. Do it now!
Jones: (More excited) Don’t be afraid to die. You’ll see, there’ll be a few people land out here. They’ll — they’ll torture some of our children here. They’ll torture our people. They’ll torture our seniors. We cannot have this. Are you going to separate yourself from whoever shot the congressman? I don’t know who shot him.
Voices: No. No. No.
Jones: Just speak their piece. And those who had a right to go, and they had a right to — How many are dead? (Pause) Aw, God Almighty, God Almighty. Hmm? Patty Parks is dead?
Woman 7: Some of the others who endure long enough in a safe place to write about the goodness of Jim Jones.
Jones: I don’t know how in the world they’re ever going to write about us. It’s just too late. It’s too late. The congressman’s dead. The congressman lays dead. Many of our traitors are dead. They’re all layin’ out there dead.
Jones: Hmm? I didn’t, but — but my people did. My people did. They’re my people, and they — they’ve been provoked too much. They’ve been provoked too much. What’s happened here’s been to — basically been an act of provocation.
Woman 8: Want Ted? If there’s any way it’s possible to, uh, have and to give Ted something to take, then I’m satisfied, okay?
Woman 8: I said, if there’s any way you can do before I have to give Ted something, so he won’t have to let him go through okay, and I’m satisfied.
Jones: That’s fine. Okay, yes. Yes. Yes.
Woman 9: — and I appreciate you for everything. You are the only — You are the only — You are the only. And I appreciate you —
Jones: (Urgently) Please, can we hasten? Can we hasten with that medication? You don’t know what you’ve done. (Pause) And I tried.
Tape edit. Applause, music, singing. Tape edit
Man: Wesley [Breidenbach] told me there were two GDF not to–
Jones: They saw it happen and ran into the bush and dropped their machine guns. I never in my life. (Pause) But there’ll be more. (Pause) (Tape edit) You got to move. Are you gonna get that medication here? You’ve got to move. Marceline? You got forty minutes.
Maria Katsaris: You have to move, and the people that are standing there in the aisles, go stand in the radio room yard. Everybody get behind the table and back this way, okay? There’s nothing to worry about. Every — Everybody keep calm and try and keep your children calm. (Pause) And uh, all those children that help, let the little children in and reassure them. (Pause) They’re not crying from pain. It’s just a little bitter tasting. It’s not — They’re not crying out of any pain. Annie McGowan, can I please see you back —
McElvane: Things I used to do before I came here. So let me tell you about it. It might make a lot of you feel a little more comfortable. Sit down and be quiet, please. One of the things I used to do, I used to be a therapist. And the kind of therapy that I did had to do with reincarnation in past life situations. And every time anybody had the experience of it — of going into a past life, I was fortunate enough through Father to be able to let them experience it all the way through their death, so to speak. And everybody was so happy when they made that step to the other side.
Jones: (Unintelligible) — to do, but stop that way. It’s the only way to step. (Microphone off briefly, unintelligible word) But that choice is not ours now. It’s out of our hands.
Children crying in the background
McElvane: If you have a body that’s been crippled, suddenly you have the kind of body that you want to have.
Jones: Somebody give them a little rest, a little rest.
McElvane: It feels good. It never felt so good. (Unintelligible word), may I tell you. You’ve never felt so good as how that feels. (Pause)
Jones: And I do hope that those attorneys [Charles Garry and Mark Lane] will stay where they belong and don’t come up here. (Pause) What is it? (Pause) What happened? What is it? (Pause) They what? (Pause) All right, it’s hard but only at first — only at first is it hard. It’s hard only at first. Living — when you’re looking at death, it only looks — as uh, living is much, much more difficult. Raising up every morning and not knowing what’s going to be the night’s bringing. It’s much more difficult. It’s much more difficult.
Crying and talking
Irene Edwards: (Joyous) I just want to uh, say something for everyone that I see that is standing around and — or crying. This is nothing to cry about. This is something we could all rejoice about. We could be happy about this. They always told us that we could cry when you’re coming into this world. So when we’re leaving, and we’re gonna leave it peaceful, I think we should be — we should be happy about this. I was just thinking about Jim Jones. He just has suffered and suffered and suffered. We have — We have the honor guard, and we don’t even have a chance to (Unintelligible word) got here. I want to give him one more chance. There’s just one more thing I want to say. That’s few that’s gone, but many more here. (Unintelligible) That’s not all of us. That’s not all yet. That’s just a few that have died. I tried to get to the one that — there’s a kid over there (unintelligible) I’m looking at so many people crying. I wish you would not cry. And just thank Father. (Unintelligible) I been here about —
Crowd: Sustained applause
Irene Edwards: I’ve been here ah — one year and nine months. And I never felt better in my life. Not in San Francisco, but until I came to Jonestown. I had a very good life. I had a beautiful life. And I don’t see nothing that I could be sorry about. We should be happy. At least I am. That’s all I’m gonna say.
Woman 11: (Weepy) — good to be alive today. I just like to thank Dad, ’cause he was the only one that stood up for me when I needed him. And thank you, Dad.
Woman 12: (Unintelligible word) I’m glad you’re my brothers and sisters, and I’m glad to be here. Okay.
Jones: (Pleading) Please. For God’s sake, let’s get on with it. We’ve lived — we’ve lived as no other people have lived and loved. We’ve had as much of this world as you’re gonna get. Let’s just be done with it. Let’s be done with the agony of it.
Jones: It’s far, far harder to have to walk through every day, die slowly — and from the time you’re a child ’til the time you get gray, you’re dying. (Pause) (Tape edit) Dishonest, and I’m sure that they’ll — they’ll pay for it. They — They’ll pay for it. This is a revolutionary suicide. This is not a self-destructive suicide. So they’ll pay for this. They brought this upon us. And they’ll pay for that. I — I leave that destiny to them.
Jones: Who wants to go with their child has a right to go with their child. I think it’s humane. I want to go — I want to see you go, though. I — They can take me and do what they want — whatever they want to do. I want to see you go. I don’t want to see you go through this hell no more. No more, no more, no more. (Pause) We’re trying. If everybody will relax. The best thing you do is to relax, and you will have no problem. You’ll have no problem with this thing, if you just relax.
Man 4: (Unintelligible phrase) A great deal because it’s Jim Jones. And the way the children are laying there now, I’d rather see them lay like that than to see them have to die like the Jews did, which was pitiful anyhow. And I’d just like to — to thank Dad for giving us life and also death. And I appreciate the fact of the way our children are going. Because, like Dad said, when they come in, what they’re gonna do to our children — they’re gonna massacre our children. And also the ones that they take captured, they’re gonna just let them grow up and be dummies like they want them to be. And not grow up to be a socialist like the one and only Jim Jones. So I’d like — I’d like to thank Dad for the opportunity for letting Jonestown be, not what it could be, (Emphatic) but what Jonestown is. Thank you, Dad.
Jones: It’s not to be afeared. It is not to be feared. It’s a friend. It’s a friend (Tape edit) — sitting there, show your love for one another. (Tape edit) Let’s get gone. Let’s get gone. Let’s get gone.
Jones: (Unintelligible word) We had nothing we could do. We can’t — we can’t separate ourselves from our own people. (Pause) For twenty years laying in some old rotten nursing home.
Jones: Taking us through all these anguish years. They took us and put us in chains and that’s nothing. This business — that — that business — there’s no comparison to that, to this. They’ve robbed us of our land, and they’ve taken us and driven us and we tried to find ourselves. We tried to find a new beginning. But it’s too late. You can’t separate yourself from your brother and your sister. No way I’m going to do it. I wi — I refuse. I don’t know who fired the shot. I don’t know who killed the congressman. But as far as I am concerned, I killed him. You understand what I’m saying? I killed him. He had no business coming. I told him not to come.
Woman 13: Right, right.
Music and crying
Tape edit. Long pause follows
Jones: (Pleading) I, with respect, die with a degree of dignity. Lay down your life with dignity. Don’t lay down with tears and agony. There’s nothing to death. It’s like Mac [Jim McElvane] said, it’s just stepping over into another plane. Don’t be — Don’t be this way. Stop this hysterics. This is not the way for people who are Socialists or Communists to die. No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity. We must die with some dignity. (Pause) We will have no choice. Now we have some choice. (Tape edit) Do you think they’re gonna stand — allow this to be done and allow us to get by with this? You must be insane. (Pause) Look children, it’s just something to put you to rest. (Tape edit) (Despairing tone) Oh, God.
Jones: Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, please. Mother, please, please, please. Don’t — don’t do this. Don’t do this. Lay down your life with your child. But don’t do this.
Woman 14: We’re doing all of this for you.
Jones: Free at last. Peace. Keep your emotions down. Keep your emotions down. Children, it will not hurt. If you’ll be — if you’ll be quiet. If you’ll be quiet.
Music and crying
Jones: It’s never been done before, you say. It’s been done by every tribe in history. (Emphatic) Every tribe facing annihilation. All the Indians of the Amazon are doing it right now. They refuse to bring any babies into the world. They kill every child that comes into the world, because they don’t want to live in this kind of a world. So be patient. Be patient. Death is — I tell you, I don’t care how many screams you hear, I don’t care how many anguished cries, death is a million times preferable to ten more days of this life. If you knew what was ahead of you — if you knew what was ahead of you, you’d be glad to be stepping over tonight. Death, death, death is common to people. And the Eskimos, they take death in their stride. Let’s be digni — let’s be dignified. (Reprimands) If you’ll quit tell them they’re dying — if you adults would stop some of this nonsense. Adults, adults, adults. I call on you to stop this nonsense. I call on you to quit exciting your children, when all they’re doing is going to a quiet rest. I call on you to stop this now, if you have any respect at all. Are we black, proud, and Socialist, or what are we? Now stop this nonsense. Don’t carry this on anymore. You’re exciting your children. No, no sorrow that it’s all over. I’m glad it’s over. (Tape edit) Hurry, hurry, my children. Hurry. All I think (unintelligible) from the hands of the enemy. Hurry, my children. Hurry. There are seniors out here that I’m concerned about. Hurry. I don’t want to leave my seniors to this mess. (Pause) Only quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly. (Tape edit) Good knowing you. (Pause) No more pain now. No more pain, I said (unintelligible). No more pain. Jim Cobb is laying on the airfield dead at this moment.
Jones: Remember the — this — the Oli — Oliver woman said she — she’d come over and kill me if her son wouldn’t stop her? These, these are the people — the peddlers of hate. All we’re doing is laying down our life. We’re not letting them take our life. We’re laying down our life. Peace in their lives. We just want peace.
Man 5: All I would like to say is that my, uhm — my so-called parents are filled with so much hate —
Jones: (Clapping in reprimand) Stop this, stop this, stop this (unintelligible word). Stop this crying, all of you.
Man 5: — hate and treachery. I think you — you people out here should think about how your relatives were and be glad about, that the children are being laid to rest. And all I’d like to say is that I thank Dad for making me strong to stand with it all and make me ready for it. Thank you.
Jones: All they’re doing is — All they do is taking a drink. They take it to go to sleep. That’s what death is, sleep. (Tape edit) — of it. I’m tired of it all.
Woman 15: Everything we could have ever done, most loving thing all of us could have done, and it’s been a pleasure walking with all of you in this revolutionary struggle. No other way I would rather go to give my life for socialism, communism, and I thank Dad very, very much.
Woman 16: Right. Yes. Dad — Dad’s love and nursing, goodness and kindness, and he bring us to this land of freedom. His love — his mother was the advance — the advance guard for socialism. And his love and his principles (unintelligible) will go on forever unto the fields of —
Jones: Where’s the vat, the vat, the vat? Where’s the vat with the Green C on it? Bring the vat with the Green C in. Please? Bring it here so the adults can begin.
Woman 16: Go on unto the Zion, and thank you, Dad.
Jones: (Unintelligible) Don’t, don’t fail to follow my advice. You’ll be sorry. (Tape edit) You’ll be sorry. (Tape edit) — if we do it, than that they do it. Have trust. You mu — You have to step across.
Jones: We used to think this world was — this world was not our home — well, it sure isn’t — We were saying — it sure wasn’t. (Pause) He doesn’t want to tell me. All he’s doing — if they will tell ’em — assure these kids. Can’t some people assure these children of the relaxation of stepping over to the next plane? They set an example for others. We said — one thousand people who said, we don’t like the way the world is. (Tape edit) Take some. (Tape edit) Take our life from us. We laid it down. We got tired. (Tape edit) We didn’t commit suicide, we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.
This page added 6 July 2001.
 For a discussion of the presence of music on the death tape, click here.
 For a discussion of this sentence – and its meaning for the final day – click here.
 For an alternative transcription of this sentence – and its meaning for the final day – click here.
 For an alternative transcription of this sentence – and its meaning for the final day – click here.