Notes on Jim Jones character

BB-18-Z-117 – Z-118



When we went to Philadelphia to the Father Divine Estate, the gardeners there wanted to cut down the tree branches so that the buses could pass under. Jim refused and said that he did not want to have them cut. Instead the buses were parked there and the people walked over the lawns to the entrance of the house.

When Jim was pulling weeds, it took them and transplanted them along a creek bed where they could grow. While they were waiting to be transplanted, he placed them in the shade out of the hot sun.

One time when Jim was moving Redwood burls and such, a black widow spider came out and bit him on the stomach. He gently removed it and said not to kill it for he had disturbed its home and it had a right to live.

He had a daddy longlegs spider that would come down every morning when he was shaving and get a drink of water. Would only come down when he was there.


When the group was in Oregon, he allowed a rattlesnake to bite him rather than another member.

He had discerned that there was a problem with a certain horse that the children often rode. He, himself, went out and got on the horse and rode it until the horse threw him. He landed on his head and it was a miracle that he survived.

[Marginal note bracketing paragraph: “newspaper”] When a man came to the church with intent to do harm, Jim ordered all to stay inside and let him deal with the people alone. [Handwritten addition: “knife”]

In Oregon there was a rope that went out over a river. Jim tested himself to be sure it was safe for his people. On the way back, the wind caught him and blew him in a path that forced him either to gently bump some people or hit a tree and hurt himself. He chose not to hit the people and bloodied himself on the tree.

On the vacation trip to Philadelphia, people were thirsty. Though it was close to a rest stop he stopped the buses and gave them his water. His unique system required this water for his own health and yet he gave to people who had no real need of it other than their own desire.

[Handwritten question mark next to paragraph] On one occasion the congregation felt that they had betrayed what Jim stood for and signed a paper giving him all the money. They told him that he could do anything he wanted with it and there were no strings attached. Jim took none of the money and instead put it into building the church in Redwood Valley. This was also in spite of the fact that Jim had put thousands and thousands of dollars into the church in previous years without ever getting it back.

[Marginal note bracketing paragraph: “Elaborate to detail – revise”] At a monthly birthday party Jim gave a revelation to a young  man that serious trouble would come his way unless he did certain things. The young man went out and spoke all manner of lies against the church, the pastor and the beliefs. The young man did not heed the revelation and he was arrested. He called Jim at 2 AM and asked for help. Jim gave the young man help though it took two days and two nights. [Handwritten addition: “Bonnie Beck”]


Refuses all money, gifts and such. When things such as furniture are offered, he asks that they be given to the senior citizens for their enjoyment.

He refuses to join in the clubs, organizations, etc. and chooses to fellowship only with his own congregation. With the offices that he has held of service to the community, he could have his pick.

When cleaning the Legal Services Office (which he was instrumental in founding), he cleaned the dirty, stinky toilets that no one else wanted to do and had purposefully avoided.

Jim cleans the church and even reaches his arm in to get used kotexes that women have put down the toilet, stopping it up.

When the church was coming from Indiana, he was always the last to eat, waiting til he was sure that all had eaten. He also went out and took care of the people’s animals while they ate. (They were more concerned about themselves than the poor animals)

Once when coming to a very important community meeting (Grand Jury or School Advisory Comm???) Jim saw a deer standing by the road hurt. He did not hesitate to stop and help the deer taking it to the vet and such, even though it meant that he would be late for his meeting.

He does not change his sermons are water down the truth when State Senators, Mayors and such are in attendance.

When he was shot, he came into the services and ministered to the people. He also said that if the person who shot him came to him for help, we would welcome him and help him, even taking him into membership if he desired.

When asked if he would like a vacation for his family, he said yes – if he could take his whole family. He took all of the children and as many adults as possible to Oregon.

When we were planning to go to Philadelphia, he announced in the Benjamin Franklin Auditorium that if any of the people knew of a child who would like to go, let him know and he would arrange it and pay for it himself.

When he received the Sun-Reporter Award, he chose not to attend the ceremony as it would interfere with his own services. I’m sure others would have gone.

Though he has had no sleep for days and will be up on the bus, he stays until the last person who wants to see him has had a chance to speak with him after the Wednesday night business meeting.

When Kinsolving was in the midst of publishing his terrible series of the church, Jim was still able to recognize the good aspects in the man (i.e. his stand against capital punishment.)

When Jim was in the LA jail, he refused to take bail as it was not available to all.

When he is questioned by federal agents, he refused to give any information about anyone. He chose rather that they take him.