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(Note: This transcript was prepared by Seriina Covarrubias. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
(Note: This tape was one of the 53 tapes initially withheld from public disclosure.)
Jones: –as a (unintelligible) healing (unintelligible) of one man who didn’t believe in (unintelligible) over seven dollars when he was in a situation of need. Often we pay doctors’ bills and hospital bills to our parishioners. We work hand and hand with medical science. We believe that all good things come down from above. Luke was a physician. The scripture mentions the herbs and the leaves which were the– for the healing of the nation. We just do not, in any way, tolerate a faith healing that castigates or casts aspersions on medical science. We’ve found a beautiful team relationship. Certainly we should help ourselves, God does help those that help themselves, though it isn’t a scriptural statement, it is a– a uh, statement of well meaning and purpose.
We would like to then share with you this morning some of those remarkable healings that occur day after day in Peoples Temple Christian Church. Elresa Gray [phonetic], a wor– a nurse in our temple who worked at 4– uh, who lived at 4639 California Street. Her phone was 752-9665. She writes that she was struggling with a heart condition and been in the hospital for three weeks. The doctor told her that she could never work anymore. And you see, they were empathizing, uh, where doctors cannot reach, we try to specialize in spiritual healing, not to oppose them, but to work in areas that man considers impossible. She’s been out of work and home for six months, getting no better. She says but the first time I came to see Jim Jones, he called me out and prayed for me, and then my strength built up, and it’s so high that I was back to work and I’ve been working ever since. That’s been way back since last spring. She said, my healing was so beautiful. He told me things about my life that no one could know. There’s another lady that was healed of emphysema, that’s considered incurable. This precious healing power of Christ called out Mrs. Lola Pikes of 1120 Church Street, San Francisco. The very first time she came in Peoples Temple in Redwood V– Redwood Valley. She also had constant pain in her chest and suffered from related heart and breathing problems. But the gift of prophecy, the great revelation, or as the world calls parapsychology, told her things of her life, and this condition that she’d told no one and immediately the burden was rolled away and the condition has never returned. There’s been no semblance of pain since her healing many months ago. Before coming to Peoples Temple, Mrs. Birdie Marable of 119 Lobo Street, a beautician in San Francisco, she had been in a serious accident that necessitated three separate skin gra– skin grafts and had left her hand so crippled that she could not use it even in her work. The doctor said she would never be able to use her hand again in fact. But when she came to the services here in Peoples Temple in Redwood Valley (unintelligible) again. She was also told in one of Kaiser Hospitals that she had a growth in her female parts and that she would need to be operated. But on her first occasion she came, and details were given about her life– this is always the case–
(Music; tape edit)
Jones: (Starts mid-sentence) –board and owned a family care center that gives uh, love and treatment to children in our valley. He’s retired by a government uh, office, (unintelligible word) a management level, he was retired as totally incapacitated. He was called out by revelation and healed, and now he’s so active in all the phases of our work and operates this large family care center. You would never know he’d had any problem whatsoever. Mrs. Linda Swaney, who is a member of our church, and one of our secretaries, was also called out and given a gr– great healing. She was in management in one of the large factories here in our community. These healings, as I said, could go on and on. Mrs. Linda Amos, who’s a public official in our county, was healed of cancer in the terminal stages. Now she’s completely healed. After several years there’s been no return of this dreadful cancer.
Each week we will give you more of these reports because we like to share with you the good news that Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever. And actually we’re going to have to have living proof of Christ in our life today to satisfy men and women’s quest for truth. You can’t point them to Bibles anymore and say, well, Jesus lived 2,000 years ago, and thus he’ll met your need today. Just believe. He performed miracles back there in the Old– in the New Testament and he walked on the– the sands of Palestine and he lived as a historical person 2,000 years ago, and we know because we read it in a book. Today many students are bringing our Bibles, but there’s a light of inquiry. As students they’re breaking down every situation, and– and we have many questions that come to us from our college students about historical detail in the Bible. Many of the young people that are in our dormitories, we have this– we mentioned to you earlier a dormitory for our boys in Santa Rosa that provides them free education if they need it and the dormitory for our girls. We’d like to also say that all the boys in our dormitory were on the honor roll last uh, just this last quarter. But many of these young people were atheists, they had given up. Now they’re in training as lawyers and doctors, in fact studying every profession you’d want to mention. Over thirty young people gloriously converted to this practical Christianity. But before this time they had been atheists, questioning some of the historical detail of the Bible.
One of the questions that’s often brought to us by young people is that how do we know that Jesus was born of a virgin? How do we know uh, the history about his life is– is true? They will point us to such scriptures as Matthew the first chapter and uh, the 16th verse. You can begin to there uh, trace the genealogy of Christ and his conception and birth, and the same genealogy, conception and birth through Joseph is uh, treated in Luke in the third chapter in the 23rd verse through the 36th verse. Now in Matthew 1:16, we see that it relates that Jacob begat Joseph who was the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. In other words, the father of Joseph was Jacob, and we have in Matthew that Jacob’s father was Matthan. Now you see an entirely different thing in Luke 1– uh, Luke 3:23. It says there that Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph which was the son of Heli. Luke said that Joseph’s father was Heli. Well, someone could say maybe Heli was a nickname for Jacob. Well, then we have a little more difficulty. In the 24th verse we see that Heli was fathered by Matthat. Now notice in Matthew, Jacob was fathered by Matthan. You see, almost the same, but a little different. M-A-T-T-H-A-N as opposed to M-A-T-T-H-A-T. So we see undoubtedly that the– the King James version, the King of England who wrote in 1611 or had his council of some eighty people write this last major interpretation of scripture, we see that they are tracing Jesus through the same genealogy of Joseph, but there’re errors. Anybody would have to be a fool to deny that there are errors evidently here before our eyes. And as we read on back to the generation of David – because it is a tracing of the genealogy through Joseph in both Matthew, the first chapter, and Luke, the third chapter – we find that there’re even more generations, about fifteen more generations in one case than there are in another. Some similarity of names– you trace it, one by one. You’ll see what I mean. And we can’t deny these things. There are ol– also many things we– we– we come into in scripture these days that require an honest ad– admission on our part, that there are discrepancies in the present translations of the Bible. And this isn’t even contradictory to what truth we presently have in our Bible, for we are told even in the King James version that the letter kills, but the spirit makes alive. Now what does the letter mean? We read in the Bible the letter to the church of Corinth, the Letter to the church at Rome, the Letter to Thessalonica. So let us Americanize it for a moment. The letter would be the Bible. The Bible kills but the spirit makes alive. Now what is the spirit? God is the spirit. And what is God? God is love. So to completely Americanize it, you would have the Bible kills but love makes alive. People are not saved through the reading of the Bible. No place in our present translation of scription, uh, scripture can you find one statement to document that people are saved through the reading of scripture. No, on the contrary. Said how can you hear without a preacher. How can he preach lest he be sent? In the original, how can you hear without a prophet? How can he prophesy lest he be sent? You are saved through the foolishness of preaching. You must be saved through the hearing of the word. We never see in any place an emphasis upon the reading of the word.
Now, of course we know the truth is in this glorious Bible, as in all the great Bibles of the world, and we revere it, but we’re going to be shot down by the analytical students of today unless we admit that there are problems of discrepancy in our Bible translations that we now have before us. Yes, even in the New Testament, not to mention uh, difficulties that you find in the Old Testament. Uh– Even in the New Testament, the– the story of Jesus is, is filled with contradictions in presenting to us the narrative of the birth of Jesus. Saint Matthew states that Joseph took the child Jesus and his mother by night and departed into Egypt and lived there until the death of Herod. But He– when Herod was dead, it says he – Joseph that is – arose and took the young child and his mother and came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth. And I think that’s in uh, Matthew, the second chapter the fourteenth verse. The evangelist Luke on the other hand not only ignores the flight to Egypt but leaves absolutely not a shadow of a foundation for the story as told in Matthew, which is that as soon as the wise men from the East had departed, an angel of the Lord ordered the holy family to Egypt. This was to protect the infant Jesus from the terrible machinations of King Herod. It is always clearly stated that they remained in Egypt until the death of Herod, but according to Luke, Jesus did not leave the country at all. Nor did he avoid Jerusalem where Herod reigned as we read in the scripture, in Luke the second chapter I believe about the 22nd verse through the 39th verse. And when the days of her purification, according the Laws of Moses, were accomplished – that would have to be eight days after the birth of a child – they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the lord. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee to their own city of Nazareth. When then, did they visit Egypt by this account? According to the law of Moses, Mary the mother of Jesus, having given birth to a child, could not appear in public until the days of her purification were over, as Jesus as child was required by another law equally binding to be circumcised on the eighth day, which he was according to Luke’s gospel. And when the eight days were accomplished, as we read in Luke, the second chapter in the 21st verse, when the eight days were accomplished for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus. But if Mary and her son remained in the land to perform these ceremonies, and if they appeared in the temple at Jerusalem where Herod could have easily seized him if he was really as we are r– related by the King James version, if he was looking for him, what becomes of the story in Saint Matthew that Jesus fled by night from Bethlehem to a foreign country where he remained in hiding until Herod died? Matthew says Jesus fled to Egypt. Luke says he did not go to Egypt at all but was taken to Jerusalem and publicly circumcised in the temple after which he and his parents went to live in Nazareth. If Jesus followed the course laid down by Matthew, he could not possibly have gone to Jerusalem eight days after his birth and thence to Nazareth. If on the other hand he did not– he did as Luke reports, then it was a physical impossibility for him to have fled to E– Egypt. It is not evident, is it? I think not evident from these uh, statements that the writers are somewhat confused in the present translation of scripture.
You say, why do you go into this? I’m going into it because, certainly, we have others who are going into it, and the only way we’re going to prove that Jesus Christ is alive, is by a living present experience. So we do have these contradictions, even on the death of Jesus at the cross. Matthew and Mark says the thieves, also which were uh, crucified with him, reviled him. Thieves plural. John says only one of the malefactors railed on him but the other rebuked him – his companion – saying doest thou not fear God? Matthew says they gave Jesus vinegar to drink mingled with gall, Mark says they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh. Nor do these biographers, as we now have it, the translators of Jesus agreed as to whether Jesus drank the vinegar-wine or not. Matthew says he tasted thereof but would not drink. Mark says they gave him to drink but he received it not. John is sure that there’s a mistake, for he says he received the vinegar. Luke does not mention the wine vinegar drink at all. So we– we have some question put out there.
Not that those things are so important. Certainly they would not be important if we are living the Christ life, if we have made Jesus Christ real and meaningful in all of the phases of our life. We have to even look at the miracle of the resurrection, and it cannot escape uh, some inquiry which tells uh, somewhat, as we now have it translated, a collection of thought that contradicts each evangelist point of view. We– we read one writer that says so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, then follows an equally unqualified statement that Jesus was buried late Friday, and rose before or at sunrise Sunday, thereby allowing only at the utmost one day and two nights for Jesus to remain in his grave. Again if the four narrators of the events in Jesus’ life were eyewitnesses of them, or if the King James version is accurate, they would have surely agreed in the report of the place from which Jesus ascended. The writer of the book of Acts tells us that Jesus ascended to heaven from Mount Olivet. The writer of the Luke, of the third gospel says it was from Bethany – two separate places – that he went up to heaven. The author of the second gospel intimates that– at least that it was from neither of these pieces– places that Jesus ascended, but that it was while they were all at dinner. Add to these conflicting reports the important omission in our present Bible translations of John, the author of the fourth gospel, who does not so much as even mention this wonderful finale in the earthly life of Jesus Christ. And an idea can be formed that the problems that students have today in establishing absolute faith in our Bi– our Bible uh, and our historical Christianity.
I will not give you uh, as much as I could, I could give you a thousand such contradictions. In fact I’ll send you free if you would like uh, some of these discrepancies as well as the true meaning of Christianity, if you would care to write to Peoples Temple, Box 214 in Redwood Valley, California. We would appreciate if you’d send some mailing cost, but if it were– if’s a hardship situation, we will gladly send you some of these situations. And you can find documentation of this by reading uh, Thomas Paine, one of the founding fathers of our country who rallied this country to its great uh, historical revolution by writing Common Sense. He also wrote Age of Reason. If you’ll go back and read this father of this great American dream, Thomas Paine’s rendition Age of Reason, you will see that a man uh, uh, a– Thomas Paine is deeply devoted to God, but he treats very honestly the contradictions of witness scripture. And I don’t think that we can do anything else but treat things honestly. We can get around the students today who are departing in droves from the church and many who are leaving institutional church, at least, only going to institutional church as a form of godliness and denying the power thereof, we are going to have to be very straightforward in answering their questions and not be as evasive as we have in the past.
One more scripture for your thoughts. Paul’s conversion as given in Acts 9 and Acts 22. Acts the ch– ninth chapter mentions the conversion of Paul or Saul and Acts 22 treats the same conversion. In the first story, we find this: the men who were with him when he saw his famous vision on the road to Damascus stood speechless hearing a voice but seeing no man. This is as explicit as any statement can be, but according to the other version, in Acts 22, the men who were with Paul saw indeed the light but they heard not the voice. Absolutely a reverse. And you’d say, well, I– I– and I’ve heard many people say this, well, different people looking at a street corner accident, standing on a street corner observing an accident, they’re going to have a different report. True. But the students or the scholars when– if they examine this myth and it’s not going to bind my life. It’s not going to have any really serious meaning upon my life.
We find the uh, Judas si– situation, according to Matthew, that he brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priest and elders in Matthew 27:3. But in Acts we find that, according to Acts, Judas purchased a field with the reward of the iniquity, and according to Matthew, Judas went out and hanged himself, and according to Acts, Judas, falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst and all his bowels gushed out, in Acts 1:18. Now the writer of Acts, there was nothing about the hanging story evidently. Uh, his Judas has a headlong fall which caused him to burst open in the midst tearing out his bowels. A man hanging himself, according to most experts, cannot have a headlong fall.
And these are the kinds of questions that students came to us with, students who would’ve never accepted Christ, students who were from the drug culture whose life was disoriented and came to us trying suicide two or three times, and we dealt with them frankly. We said, well, it is certainly questionable, some of these historical situations. And we’re not interested, as Jesus was not interested, in all of these little (unintelligible) details. Why should we explain it in absolute (unintelligible). Jesus said he is not against me is on my part. Whosoever loveth is born of God, one of his beloved disciples said. By this shall all men know that you are my learners or disciples, it says in King James, but in the original, it means learners. By this shall all men know that you are my learners because you have loved one for another.
We don’t bother them with all of these uh, weighty doctrines. We have our own beliefs. We believe in baptism, we believe in the ordinances, we believe in a spiritual life, but again we– we say you’re going to have to prove the reality of a– of a living Christ, and that we do. In Peoples Temple, healings occur. We have professors, we have medical people, we have fourteen public school teachers, lawyers, businesspeople, people who no more could believe in healing than most of you can believe the moon was made of green cheese, but they came into Peoples Temple in Redwood Valley and they saw (unintelligible word) proof that living in Jesus Christ, working in the teachings of Jesus Christ brought results every Sunday. Come and see for yourselves. People are called out who are total strangers and healed to the uttermost. Just a week ago last Sunday, Martha Richardson of 20– uh, 225 Hyatt Street, Apartment 200 in San Francisco was called out by the gift of discernment. Her condition named just as it’d been diagnosed by her vasician– physician, and she passed the cancer before all of our eyes just a week ago last Sunday. Hundreds of people witnessed it. You can come and check with them. Professors, teachers, businesspeople, former atheists who no more believed in the church than you believe in the man in the moon, but they saw the growth. But more than this. She was scheduled to have surgery for this condition the very next week, last week. However, a pre-operation examination revealed that she no longer was in need of surgery. She was sent home with a letter which she has in her possession from the doctor that she no longer needed the surgery that she had been scheduled for. She had been healed by a living Christ working through our ministry here.
And this is what we’re going to have to do. It’s not enough to talk about Jesus who lived 2,000 years ago. How much does he live in your life? What about this lovely teaching and uh, you say, well, maybe his teachings are in question, we don’t know uh, much about him historically. How can we rely on his teachings? Now, l– let us see if anyone really practiced the teachings of Jesus Christ, no one I think would quarrel with it. Whether it came from Saint Augustine or wherever it came from. For instance, if thy enemy hungers, feed him, and if Jesus’ lovely teachings – it’s not what you do to me, it’s not what you say to me, it’s not how you pray to me, it’s not what you’ve been baptized in my name, but I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you took me in – if we would practice these lovely teachings, people will come.
Christianity is practical, even though the historical fi– figure is somewhat obscured. If we resurrect him in our lives, Christ in us the hope of glory, people will not be so concerned or preoccupied with the scriptural contradictions.
I hope this has helped some of you, because even you have been writing us in great number from radio land, asking questions and constantly with the thousands that are in our ministry, we find people who have given up on religion because they find these contradictions. And if you come to Peoples Temple, you will find that we will not point you to the historical Jesus, we will show you a Christ in action, the word of the intelligence. That what the word means, the Logos. The word is made flesh and dwells amongst us, and these things we have– are doing and greater, because Jesus has already gone to the Father. God bless you, may the spirit of peace and Christ’s love protect you and surround you. If we can be of any service to you whatsoever, please feel write– feel– feel free to write us at Peoples Temple, Post Office Box 214, Redwood Valley, California.
Prokes: (starts mid sentence–) the course of the conversation on the air between Art Finley and Reverend Lester Kinsolving recently, Kinsolving, without any warning or prompting whatever, proceeded to attack and malign Reverend Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple Disciples of Christ of Ukiah, California. Kinsolving said, Reverend Jones has people believing he raises people from the dead. Said it would be nice if someone would go up and exorcise him. Stated that upon visiting this church he had worn his collar, that he had been seized, that he had his photographer [Fran Ortiz] grabbed and that he was himself interrogated by the Assistant District Attorney [Tim Stoen], and stated that his home had been burglarized for the first time in eight years, three days after the Examiner was picketed by 150 people put there by the church. We of Peoples Temple assert that these statements by Kinsolving are untrue, malicious, and outrageous.
First, this church is primarily concerned with human service. It is only secondarily concerned with a calm sane spiritual healing ministry known for its coordination with medical science. This ministry is based on New Testament principles, and the pastor insists that every person who has been helped immediately see a physician of their choice for verification. Reverend Jones does not in any way attribute illness or sickness to a devil. The church has no practice of exorcism whatever. In fact, it never even uses the word and has never released any stories about the devil being driven out. Reverend Jones believes simply that the mind is very powerful, responds to love, and can be used by God to affect one’s physical health. This is particularly true if the mind dwells on noble concepts and actions like love, kindness, and social justice.
Secondly, Reverend Jim Jones is a man of great integrity, who’s highly respected in the community both in Mendocino County and San Francisco. He was appointed foreman of the grand jury in Mendocino County. In San Francisco he was given the annual Special Merit Award for civic leadership by one of the largest newspapers in Northern California. He and his dedicated wife, Marceline, a registered nurse, have adopted children of five different ethnic backgrounds. The family lives in a modest dwelling near Ukiah.
Reverend Jones carries on an extensive human service ministry. These projects include a drug rehabilitation program in which over 175 young persons have been permanently rehabilitated from drug abuse; a large animal shelter which takes in abandoned animals; free legal assistance to the poor; the leasing of property to members who care for senior citizens, orphans, and exceptional children, and who do not claim the church’s tax-exempt status, thus saving the government and taxpayers thousands and thousands of dollars. College scholarships are given to young people who agree to use their skills to serve humanity and agricultural projects to grow and distribute food to the hungry. In addition, the church consistently gives money for worthy causes including cancer research, Jewish refugees, and the families of police officers slain in the line of duty. Two weeks ago this church gave 300 dollars to each of the families whose members were slain in the senseless rampage of random killings in San Francisco.
Thirdly, we of Peoples Temple assert the following: that Kinsolving visited our church on at least two occasions and was allowed in to take notes each time; that there are many witnesses to the fact that Kinsolving did not wear his collar; that Kinsolving was not seized by us; that a member of the church who happens to be an assistant district attorney offered to show Kinsolving around the children’s homes, the senior citizen homes, and other projects of the church, and that Kinsolving said he was not interested. That the Assistant DA did not in any sense of the word interrogate Kinsolving. Nor was Kinsolving’s photographer in any way grabbed, and that we know these charges are patently absurd. We of Peoples Temple ask, if Kinsolving was so threatened, why did he come back the following week by himself? Peoples Temple also says that on two Sundays only and after acts of violence had taken place against the church and pursuant to the advice of law enforcement officials, did two members of the church in open view wear firearms, but neither even met Kinsolving. That they served as security in the same way as does–
End of side 1
Prokes: (Starts mid sentence) –(unintelligible) Peoples Temple for whatever reason, be it the size – for example, the church’s 5,000 members in the San Francisco area alone or its reputation of violence of– or its reputa– repudiation of violence as a means of social reform have gone so far as to throw Molotov cocktails at the church and brutalize its animals. That last August our community center on Geary Street in San Francisco was gutted by a fire which we know was deliberately set. The evidence shows that Peoples Temples has excellent reason to be concerned about security.
Fourth, we of Peoples Temple (unintelligible) Kinsolving to imply that the church members burglarized his house. The charge goes far beyond the realm of decency and fairness. We know that not a scintilla of evidence exists linking any member of Peoples Temple with the alleged burglary. Reverend Jones has said that every member of his church is willing to take a polygraph lie detector test to prove it. I ask that Kinsolving do the same.
Finally, we of Peoples Temple say that it is equally outrageous for Kinsolving to call to exorcise the ordained pastor who has been praised by high officials of his own nationwide denomination of nearly two million and many others, and who works day and night without thought of reward to relieve human suffering and has inspired thousands to do the same.
We would like to thank KGO and Art Finley for the opportunity to respond to our one critic’s allegations. Thank you.
Art Finley: Thank you. A response read by Michael J. Prokes of the Peoples Temple Christian Church. The time now is 14 minutes past 10.
(Starts to go to commercial in Spanish. Tape edit)
(Tape restarts with music and clapping)
Woman 1: You–
Woman 2: Why?
Woman 1: –want to come out?
Woman 2: Why? I don’t wish to talk into that thing.
(Children can be heard in the background)
Woman 3: Said I’ll talk (unintelligible).
Woman 1: Well, Pat, I have this to say. I (unintelligible)–
(Tape edit. Six commercially-recorded songs play after this section.)
Tape originally posted January 2006