Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
Jones: What is the date? The morning of the fifth…
Unidentified Female: Fifth.
(Long pause; whispers and background noise)
Jones (Sounds exhausted, many words slurred): As of January 5— I’m not up to this. (Pause) Turn it off.
(Tape turned off; turned back on after pause of unknown duration)
Jones: If anything should occur that would mean my replacement in the leadership, then the fifth day of January, 1974, are — unless there’s further record than this present tape, tape so dated (sigh), I ask and request for your survival that you give Marceline complete and total allegiance. She has been given strategic plans and directions as to how to cope with this untimely but evidently necessary experience if it takes place.
Unidentified Female: All right, it’s on.
Jones: I failed to say, of course, the obvious fact that this is Jim Jones, president of Peoples Temple and all of its affiliates, pastor, bishop, apostle, founder, so the following words that I gave — uh, the previous words that I gave — and I shall repeat them, in case anything should incapacitate me that I am not able to communicate, or for any reason ruve— remove me, which would be obviously necessary for your perfection, if it’s, uh, were to take place, I am requesting that you give Marceline M. Jones your total and undivided allegiance, if you wish to survive and you wish the principles to survive, because she has been given strategic plans for just such an emergency. The following has been given on January fifth, 1974, and is binding upon all members of Peoples Temple until followed by other words from me at another date in time. Thank you.
Unidentified female (whisper): I know it’s already occurred to you, Jim, it’s 1975.
Jones: That sweet —
Unidentified Female: Umm — sorry.
Jones: — horse’s rear end up and down the (unintelligible) Shit.
Jones: Start the whole damn business again. I’ll get it right this time, surely. (Pause) This is January fifth, 1975, (Pause) approximately one o’clock in the morning, in the presence of witnesses, Terri Buford, Judy Ijames, Linda Amos, (sighs, long pause) Carol Stahl and Sandy Ingram. (Deliberate speech) In case anything should occur that would remove me from my position as President of Peoples Temple, and all of its affiliates, I’m to be immediately succeeded by Marceline M. Jones. I require you, if you care at all for the principles of this work and for the survival of the ideals to which we have dedicated ourselves, that you give your total, uh, complete, undivided allegiance to her, because she has been given strategies to guide you through such a time as this, which, if it comes to you, will be needed for your perfection. This is binding upon all members of Peoples Temple, January fifth, 1975. Anyone who would attempt to take any other course than that which I have described, which is total and complete allegiance to Marceline M. Jones, my successor, will be faithless and treasonous to this cause. Thank you.
Jones: Oh, these splices are not going to work.
Jones: I, Jim Jones, on this early morning of the fifth day of January, 1975, in the presence of witnesses Sandy Ingram, Linda Amos, Terri Buford, Carol Stahl, Judy Ijames, Maria (long pause) Katsaris (long pause) I don’t know what I can say, I don’t — never, never bothered by Maria’s name, the last name, ah, what is it, what is it, Katsaris?
Unidentified Female: Umm-hmm.
Jones: Let’s start again, what did I say? What’s the name?
Jones: My omission of your name does in no way reflect —
Jones: On th— (long pause, heavy breathing). On the fifth day of January, 1974, Jim Jones speaking in the presence —
Unidentified Female: Excuse me —
Unidentified Female: All right.
Jones: (Stronger voice) This being the fifth day of January 1975, I, being Jim W. Jones, in sound mind, in the presence of the following witnesses, Sandy Ingram, Linda Amos, Terri Buford, Carol Stahl, Judy Ijames and uh, Maria Katsaris, wish the following disposition in the case of any situation that would cause me be removed from my office as president, pastor, bishop, apostle, and founder of Peoples Temple, and all affiliates at home and abroad. My request is, my demand is, upon all true followers and all devoted members is that in the case of my release from this office, that you give your absolute, complete and total allegiance to Marceline Jones as my successor in every respect. She has been given certain strategies for such an experience as this if it were needed for your perfection. Please give her your undivided attention and devotion, follow her — follow her even more faithfully, if possible, than you have followed me. This is my last will and testament in reference to Peoples Temple, and it will not be changed unless there are witnesses and a date given after the time that I have mentioned, June — January fifth, 1975.
End of Tape.
Tape originally posted December 1998