Jim Jones Interview on Ted Dunbar Show, September 1972




DUNBAR:… We’ll talk about reviving some 43 dead people and faith healing, the laying on of hands in just a minute after this.

We are going to talk now about … well an umbrella title I guess psychic phenomenon. Specifically, I want to get us into, since there is so much interest, faith healing and help us to develop a little more clarification and understanding. I will like to introduce you to two people. On my left is Reverend Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple Christian Church denomination in Ukiah … outside Ukiah up here on the North Coast. You’ve been reading about Reverend Jones. There has been a series of articles recently in the Examiner that have dealt with the faith healing and its various forms and particularly and I think most noteworthy and probably controversial the question of reviving the dead. It seems to me that I read somewhere in the Examiner series that the Reverend Jones is responsible for reviving 43 dead people, returning them to life. We’ll get to that in a moment. Let’s meet Leonard Worthington, he is Vice President of the Academy of Parapsychology in Medicine in Palo Alto, and coming up very shortly is a symposium at Stanford in which Mr. Worthington and a member of others who have guested on this program in the past will be participating, dealing generally with parapsychology and among other things specifically in faith healing. Well, how about these stories? Are they true? Have you revived 43 people from the dead, sir?

JJ: Telling it in my terms … vital signs … we sort of wandered into this field. On one occasion a lady … attempts had been made at resuscitation, trust therapy, oxygen, nothing worked… So I stooped down beside her in desperation and began to talk to her. Perhaps she could hear it though it was pretty evident to me that she was unconscious, and when life came, we all had given love to her and an appeal especially made that we needed her, she rallied rather quickly, and this is the sort of thing I repeat every time.

Dunbar: A current in the church itself.

JJ: Yes.

Dunbar: How did she happen to be in the church, sir, in that kind of condition, or was she just taken with a seizure or what?

JJ: People are brought in pretty serious conditions. We discourage this. We feel that they can operate just as well at home, but always someone will come on a stretcher or otherwise.

Dunbar: And this has been repeated 43 other times.

JJ: I’m not … one of the attorneys in our church mentioned this number. I think it’s been more than that actually.

Dunbar: Incidentally, I think we have had calls from the very top of this program, many of the members of your congregation, demanding to know when you were going to return. I’d like to mention this too. Several months ago, and I couldn’t account for this but now it all fits together, I received for no apparent reason at all a flock of mail from up in the Ukiah area, a lot of mail from people saying “Thank you very much for the program; it’s interesting,[“] and making specific references … very complimentary, and I was told in the mail and apparently you or someone in your congregation had mentioned it, I don’t know if that’s a fact or not, but they are certainly loyal folk, I must have gotten 50 to 60 letters over a period of 3 or 4 days. I don’t know what I did…

JJ: It was something that you did on your program that showed concern for people…



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Dunbar: Whatever it was, whatever you said, I’m grateful for. The point I’m making your faithful really are just that. They attend your words with great care. Mr. Worthington, do you believe in faith healing.

Worthington: Very definitely.

Dunbar: What your background, sir, so we will get some understanding of that. Are you a medical doctor?

W: No. I’m a lawyer.

Dunbar: How did you get into this thing?

W: I had some experiences and witnessed some remarkable healing of maybe 34 years ago, then I decided that I would try to find the cause of it and since then I’ve probably devoted over 1/3 of my time to assist any organization that needs help…

Dunbar: In faith healing.

W: In everything, all forms of parapsychology.

[Dunbar:] Let’s stay on faith healing just for a moment and I want to get us going on the phones too. I guess just seeing a cure is evidence enough, but can you give me some understanding of… Tell me of one of your experiences. Give us a brief accounting of one of these examples of faith healing.

W: Probably the most dramatic was a dog that we had 30 or 40 years ago almost. The dog had been paralyzed, bleeding and couldn’t walk, so the dog was chloroformed and put in a sack … it was around Thanksgiving, so I came home and of course the family was in tears over the dog, and I walked downstairs and the dog was in a gunnysack. I don’t recall now, it seemed to me the dog was stiff, I couldn’t tell, my memory goes back. And I just asked why … if only this wouldn’t occur at this time, the family would be distraught over the holiday and if only there could be some intervention, no promises made or nothing, I don’t even recall, walked back upstairs, sat at the table, five minutes later the door opened, the dog pulled the latch, walked in, slammed the door, jumped around with everybody and until April, we were married in April, the dog lived in perfect health. We went on our honeymoon, received a telegram two days later the dog went to sleep. And that was the second incident…

Dunbar: What interval of time had intervened between these occurrences.

W: Five months.

Dunbar: He lived another 5 months, and you’re convinced that the dog was revived from the dead.

W: I don’t know. Something happened. I’m seeing other instances, and they are so dramatic that we want to find out what the power is.

Dunbar: I know our colors are very anxious to talk to Reverend Jones, but let me ask you one more question. Do you have any proof that there was in fact clinical death on some of these revivals of yours? Did you have a doctor on the premise who said that there was no pulse, no vital signs, no heartbeat, no breath, anything of that sort that would tend to verify that you had in fact revived these people.

JJ: In each case we have registered nurses. On one occasion there was a doctor in the audience and nothing seemed to work. But now I sort of accept the reality of it, after all I think the Wall Street Journal mentioned that plants can be affected by love when they are wilting or dying, so someplace I don’t explain it empirically, I’m just saying we have madevidence [likely two words typed over each other] that after vital signs have ceased something takes place… (Tape inaudible) but we’ve never had a failure in this type of situation.




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Dunbar: And you’ve had medical witnesses in attendance.

JJ: Always.

Dunbar: Well without background will open up our phones in just a minute to talk about faith healing and reviving the dead with Mr. Worthington and the Reverend Jones after you watch this.

Good morning, caller, you’re on the air. Go ahead please.

Caller: I would like to know from Jim, I have visited several of his services and I would like to know why he won’t go into the hospitals since I have seen some of the miracles that he has done.

Dunbar: Okay, that’s a fair question. She’s been to several of your services and witnessed some of these miracles as she calls them, and wants to know why you won’t go into hospitals where people are dying on the wholesale fashion every day.

JJ: I’ve never been so presumptuous as to think that I had a panacea. These things are thrust upon me. I do go to hospitals and I have had an experience of a healing in the hospital but never of reviving … it was someone that was very ill, very low.

Dunbar: Could you give us a little detail on that. What sort of illness did this person have.

JJ: As I recall they had had a serious heart attack, and something had rendered faith immediately, revival of spirit and purpose.

Dunbar: Do you lay on hands, Reverend Jones?

JJ: Not necessary. I don’t have any particular mystery or strategism, it’s just a feeling of warmth and love that I tried to convey. Of course I convey the love of God, but there are no particular words, no magic formula.

Dunbar: There has been so much written of you recently, and there’s been so much talk. We know that some of the faithful in your congregation picketed the Examiner for a couple of days. What do you suppose accounts for this support that you are getting. Is it simply the 43 revivals, or is it more to it than that.

JJ: I am a very principled individual I feel and I don’t think that is presumptuous. I have adopted several children of all nationalities and racial background. We have an extensive human service program, senior citizens home that are operated on the basis of a person’s ability to pay and that’s left up to their own intuition, we don’t set a specific figure; we have a children’s home, a community center. We’re very active about social concerns. I show a character that people probably are able to relate to…

Dunbar: You also have centers in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Okay, let’s take our next caller. East Bay, you’re next, go ahead please.

Caller: I would like to know must you become a member to be healed by Jim Jones? I have three questions.

Dunbar: Let’s take them one at a time.

Caller: They are just three short ones.

Dunbar: Well, let’s take them one at a time, I’ll give him a chance to answer all 3!

JJ: Certainly not. We have no control, that much control over this phenomenon.



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We wouldn’t utilize it that way if we could. We have people of every background from various churches.

Dunbar: Okay what’s your next question, caller?

Caller: All right, there have been rumors that he disciplines the members like spanking them and I want to know if this is true.

JJ: this has never happened as far as I’m concerned with our adult members. The children once in one of our catharsis said that they would like to be spanked, and so the discipline was given this way by choice. We are a group that make our own decisions as a group and I think a couple of adults volunteered, no one has ever been coerced into spanking.

Dunbar: And what else caller?

Caller: And must you leave your husband to become a member because some ladies have left their husbands because they felt they had to do so in order to be a good follower.

JJ: I’ve never known of such a case. I would like for her to pinpoint who this is.

Dunbar: You say you know of, well who are these people? You don’t have to mention names, but do you know them personally? Ma’am? I don’t know where she went.

JJ: That’s not the case.

Dunbar: One more question and then we will review the news quickly, and come right back to this. You said something about catharsis. Is that some sort of technique. What is a catharsis?

JJ: We have encounters about problems, anything that might arise, anything a person wants to talk about, they feel some concern that they have let down in their life.

Dunbar: Is it a regular practice of members of the congregation to turn over their worldly goods through the church for distribution?

JJ: No. The far majority of the people remain [in] their individual homes; and their giving depends upon their own desire to give.

Dunbar: You have members in the congregation of all racial backgrounds?

JJ: Yes we do.

Dunbar: I read just recently that in the Temple in Los Angeles you have members of the Jewish faith as well as the different sects. We are talking to the Reverend Jim Jones and Leonard Worthington and the subject is a faith healing and parapsychology and we will have more right after the news now at 8:00.

We are talking to the Reverend Jim Jones a controversial faith healer who the faithful say, and there are medical witnesses Reverend Jones says who will bear this out: Reverend Jones has revived from the dead at least 43 people. Leonard Worthington is Vice President of the Academy of Parapsychology in Palo Alto. We are talking about faith healing and if you have a question or challenge give us a call. Will get back in the bones right after this message.



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Dunbar: I know you are all anxious to talk with the Reverend Jim Jones. The most interesting experience is with a chicken you just told me.

JJ: It was a rooster that nearly had its leg torn off, and the veterinarian who worked with us was very cooperative but he just didn’t have much hope. A couple of nurses and myself put it back together in a lay fashion, it wasn’t easy to work with. It was just hanging by its skin. We put it back, braced it, and now it’s running around just as good as new.

Dunbar: Then you can heal broken bones?

JJ: I don’t know. This is the first time that ever happened.

Dunbar: Okay let’s get back on the air, good morning caller, you’re on the air. Go ahead please.

Caller: I want to know … you know legally only a medical doctor is legally authorized to pronounce a person dead. If 43 people were pronounced dead by an MD and they were revived by a minister, why with these medical degrees revoked? And also…

Dunbar: Well I’ll tell you. You are on a good one there. If you permit, why don’t we just make the question. The Reverend Jones says there were medical witnesses in attendance. The certification of death is a legal matter, sir, as well as clinical death. Now she is issuing an interesting challenge. Either those medical people were absolutely dead wrong or there was some trickery or misunderstanding or something, you mind commenting on that?

JJ: There was no trickery. Just registered nurses volunteering their services. And on one occasion someone out of the audience said that he was a medical doctor, and any layman could see no pulse nor respiration. The worst case that I can remember was someone that had slumped and was not noticed for a while and there was actual defecation to the degree that one really wondered how long they were gone. But we never been presumptuous enough to say that we can raise the dead. We just think it is an interesting phenomenon that if love affects plants then surely it ought to be able to affect the human body.

Dunbar: Then you can’t revoke a license just because a doctor makes a mistake like that.

W: Well, that’s the purpose of our inquiry to find out about this, whether it was a mistake or medical mistake or some sort of miscalculation on the part of witnesses or what.

Dunbar: Anything else from you caller?

Caller: Yes. If a person is without oxygen for 120 seconds then you become a vegetable (brain damage). Answer that.

Dunbar: How about that? That’s a well-known and I think accepted fact. Brain damage occurs when oxygen is denied.

JJ: My wife is a registered nurse and shares the same feeling, and being a layman you have some knowledge of medical things. I also agree, but I have seen people like that, beyond that point so I guess everything defies our laws of understanding on occasion.

Dunbar: How long a period of time might have elapsed between the moment of death or whatever is mistaken to be death and revival? Several minutes, several hours?

JJ: No. It would be in the realm of minutes so that’s why we are not presumptuous. But the two worst cases of the lady that slumped and actually had her whole secretious process had released and another gentleman … he was dying. I worked diligently with this gentleman 5 and 6 [minutes] conservatively, maybe even 10 minutes.



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Dunbar: East Bay, you’re next, go ahead please.

Caller: (inaudible)

JJ: It is ridiculous for me to say that I have the only healing to offer. We insist that all of our people get medical checkups. We’re no panacea. As far as calling it taith, I think it’s intelligence, and humble. (Inaudible portion)… treated like Mrs. [Rose] Shelton who was paralyzed for many days from a stroke which was quite a phenomena but unless we see others paralyzed healed, we certainly shouldn’t be as presumptuous as to deny medical science.… We should have a greater appreciation for people in medical science.

Dunbar: East Bay, you’re next, go ahead please.

Caller: I would like to know how you have overcome the racism that is so prevalent in our society and how you built such a close integrated group? Could you answer that for me?

Dunbar: I assume that is within your own congregation.

JJ: I don’t know. Is she speaking…

Dunbar: What she’s saying is that there are members of many races in your congregation and that appears to suggest that you have broken down some of those racial barriers.

JJ: Again I wish we had overcome racism in our society. If you are speaking of the thousands of members that attend our church, it is complete and inclusive fellowship, it’s beautiful. Jews, blacks, all ethnic backgrounds. In that sense I would say we have had a wonderful success, but our effect on society in total leaves much to be desired.

Caller: I would like to ask another question, please.

Dunbar: Well I’ve got to get us on ma’am, we’ve got so many other calls. Thank you very much for yours. Let’s talk to San Francisco. You’re next, caller, go ahead.

Caller: I would like to ask Reverend Jones … he said he had registered nurses, they come up and volunteer their services. I was at one of his services and isn’t it true he has the same nurses all the time, one of them is his wife, and I was wondering if he had the same nurses all the time then it could be trickery.

Dunbar: Let me just add something else to that. It’s been charged I understand some witnesses say we have seen the same folk revived a couple of times.

JJ: I never read that.

Dunbar: That is not so?

JJ: No. This is ridiculous. Many times there are registered nurses who attend our church faithfully there are no prescribed number of registered nurses…

Dunbar: You don’t have the same nurses each time.

JJ: We have assistant… We feel it is the duty of the church to have registered nurses on call for any kind of emergency, and you will see some of those … one is a supervisor of a hospital, and I think of another who is in a clinic who comes in pretty regularly. My wife often does not do the…

Dunbar: These people are not in your employ then?



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JJ: No. No. Volunteers.

Dunbar: Okay, caller, thank you.

Caller: One more. When it comes time to give your offering he has people to stand up, it starts out like a hundred, you stand up and give your hundred, then it gets down to two, there is something you say like your name and how much it is, I forget what it is, but there is something you say…

Dunbar: Have you attended the service up in Ukiah?

Caller: No. Here in San Francisco.

JJ: Evidently she’s attended a very limited number, normally we use an envelope system.

Dunbar: But is it part of your procedure to have people stand up…

JJ: On occasion when we are raising money for a children’s home or a building fund, we will do this. But two dollars this given just as much importance, that’s the beauty of it, as a hundred dollars. We don’t feel that a person with a hundred dollars should be able to stand unless the person who gives one dollar can stand also.

Dunbar: Is the procedure one though that would require the giver to stand and identify himself and how much money he is giving, that sort of putting pressure on people.

JJ: No. No.

Caller: I was with one of your regular members and I saw a healing too I guess it was, with an older lady. I think they said she had a heart attack, it just happened all of a sudden, people went over there and carried her up and in a few minutes she was up and dancing, but I was not… I was trying to really believe it you know because I wanted to believe it.

Dunbar: Okay thank you very much. We are talking about faith healing and other psychological phenomena with the Reverend Jim Jones and Leonard Worthington of the Academy of Parapsychology in Palo Alto. We’ll have some more after this message.

Dunbar: Incidentally, just briefly, for those of you interested in more on parapsychology, more than we can get into this morning, including faith healing as it is undergoing examination by the scientific community, as I told you earlier there is a symposium at Stanford starting this weekend and leaders in the research field, including Dr. William Teller and others, Worthington, we’ll be getting into this at Memorial Auditorium dealing with faith healing among other things. Let me ask you Mr. Worthington very briefly here, we have heard about psychic surgery, we hope to put a show together on that very soon, which deals with surgery involving nothing but the hand [mistranscription for “mind”], opening up humans, getting into the internal organs, things of that sort, we’ll talk about that later, you were telling me about another kind of surgery which sounds very much like faith healing, what’s it called again?

W: Etheric surgery.

Dunbar: Etheric surgery. What is that?

W: Where they don’t even touch the human body. I’ve observed both of them in which the doctors and ministers perform allegedly an operation on a human being without touching him. And I’ve seen some remarkable results in both.



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Dunbar: How do you know the person who claims to have a physical complaint really in fact has the complaint? I could go in and say I can’t move my arm and then the Reverend Jones could perform some mumbo-jumbo over me and I could say, Well, there it is, look at that. How do you know it’s not fake?

W: We tried to insist on checking the pulse, checking the body for lumps, checking the respiration, the lungs…

Dunbar: X-ray.

W: That would be one way of doing it. It is very difficult to go through a real scientific research program on some of these healings.

Dunbar: But it would certainly dispel a lot of the questions if that could be done. It would certainly satisfy some of you scientific people.

W: And we’re trying to explore the scientific and medical and the spiritual aspects for the whole man.

Dunbar: Have any of your 43 or more revivals, people who were restored to good health that you claimed were dead, submitted to x-ray or other forms of medical verification, either before or following?

JJ: People have every opportunity to do so before…

Dunbar: Except some of these people I take it have come there because they were ill and because they wanted a healing.

JJ: I don’t know. (Inaudible portion)… I don’t think we should oppose medical science…

Dunbar: Gentlemen, I’m out of time, but let’s say it again for the record. Do you believe that you have revived 43 human beings to life from death?

JJ: I wouldn’t put it in those terms. We just have a phenomenon… (Inaudible)… that have come back to their loved ones.

Dunbar: Don’t forget the symposium at Stanford this weekend at Memorial Auditorium on parapsychology, faith healing and a variety of other questions that haven’t been answered and still puzzles all of us. Thank you Mr. Worthington, Leonard Worthington, Vice President of the Academy in Palo Alto and the Reverend Jim Jones, controversial faith healer.