If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
To return to the Tape Index, click here.
To read the Tape Summary, click here. Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1, Pt. 2).
(Note: Transcript prepared by Catherine Abbott. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Jim Jones: (tape comes on mid-sentence) –and uh, racist U.S. did not recognize this marriage here, ‘cause this is– It’s after all a third-world black country, and his marriage here didn’t mean anything to them. (pause) And I was used– (pause) I was used again, as always, on the point of– (pause) Well, we would rather die, and uh, I think you need to know that’s the kinda commitments I make and you may not like that kind of lifestyle. But that’s the kind of commitment I had to make. I said, uh, no, no, we don’t deliver. And then they said, uh, this, that, and the other and so forth, and so on, and I said well, finally what we agreed to do. They said that, uh, that the embassy uh, the– they can be a representative as long as he’s not unfriendly, somebody that’s friendly, has been not involved in the conspiracy. And an official from the Guyanese foreign minister, the jus– justice department, can come here and see these young men [Bruce and William Oliver] on our property, and see and talk to them alone, (pause) if they want to, and find out if indeed they’re where they want to be and if they’re happy where they are, and if uh, indeed, they uh, ever want to see their parents [Beverly and Howard Oliver] again. ‘Cause I happen to know that what their parents has done has only ceased to cause them to hate them to the depths of their soul. It does that after awhile.
Anyway, that’s what we agreed on. And even so, the conspirators, the pressure, pushers (pause), we– the foreign minister [Fred Wills] informed us they might try and slip in here on their own. Might be doing it at the moment. You don’t know. And uh, what do we they do if they do, well, we don’t let them in, of course. As I told them, I said no, (Stumbles over words) he said, what will you do if they come in? I said they will not come in, because to let them in means that we have to let in every filth and all the vile trash that may want to come in for the next fifty days, and we’ll never get any work done. And we won’t be able to provide our food to eat. First, they asked us, because uh, they had the nerve to insist that we pay their way in. I said why, (Stumbles over words) we were not paying their way in. You want to come in, you come here. And one of the people ‘til I got ahold of foreign minister direct, who’s not so courageous, I said, uh, I said if you want them to see uh, their kids, you get your goddamned Air Force plane out and send it – you sent it once before – send it over here to the airport and land it there, with two Air Force officers, and we’ll have our people there to see if they’re not taken away against their will, and let those two renegades, those lackeys, Uncle Toms, who joined the Nazi of all things, and taken money from a Nazi, no money in their pocket, Foreign Minister said the exact– how much money they had, just uh, uh, nothing. All they got out of this whole goddamned trip was just a trip, that’s all. A trip– hotel room, and the food for the few days they’re here. I think they had uh, forty bucks on their person. They didn’t get any money to spend, but they sell out their children, try to destroy their children, forty dollars, that’s– that’s uh, uh, I’m not saying forty dollars, but they sure didn’t have very much money when you travel with forty dollars. ‘Cause the foreign minister told us exactly. And I said, no, you bring in and we will not pay a dime, we’ve had it with this, we’re not bringing anybody in anymore, uh, to see anybody. We– we will take care of our people, we will maintain them, but we’re not paying any money to see uh, evil relatives. And they’ve got some Edith, Edith something, Edith Beber or Beeber or some bitch, I guess she’s the sister of uh, uh, (Stumbles over words) Sister [Irene] Edwards, what’s her sister’s name?
Voices in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: Edna who?
Voices in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: That’s another name, Edna what– what’s the damn name?
Voices in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: No, I know, but that’s not the name. Somebody find out what that name is. She’s the one– she wanted you to deliver it so she could give you the message. Uh, I said, uh, I know in your heart, I said, no, no, you’re not delivering anybody (Unintelligible word) message. You want to give her a message, you can send her the message, ‘cause that’s what she’ll want. (pause) But uh, so smart, that they wouldn’t even give it to the United States Embassy to give to you. So assured they are, they’ve got the backing of some pretty right-wing capitalistic elements. And I think you need think about (pause) what you will do and how far you will go, (pause) and I think you need to face reality. I– I’m of the opinion that the stronger you manifest your will and determination, the more likely you are to survive in this crazy world. I have not been able to get through there by talking sweet thus far. Not even to people that are socialist, they get a little afraid at times, and I say, well (laughs) just tell them that’s what it is, you gotta deal with us, that’s all. You gotta deal with us. Say, well, we got a real problem, because if uh, if uh, they’re not able to come into (pause) this part of the country, then Guyanese’ll be able to be denied to go into other parts of the country. I said, well, I’m assured right now, that there may be a– in theory Guyanese can go anyplace they damn well please, but Guyanese don’t get visas to the United States all the time because they’re black. And so I said, uh, I– I’m not into that phase of it, I’m just saying what we can live with. We do not open our property to that kind of people. If those uh, children wanted them to come here, we’d let them come. They don’t want them to come, so they’re not comin’. And that’s the way (unintelligible) after hours of yesterday and hours last night and hours today, it finally, beginning with the early hour of the morning, it ended up that way, send in the– finish giving them telephone message to send in by (Unintelligible name) about seven o’clock in the morning and he took that in, and– they no sooner got through, they got their phone, and on we went the radio, and we all went the radio all afternoon, ‘til, uh, it’s just now.
Going onto another subject, it’s that– that– ‘cause that was temporarily (pause) laid aside. Edna Beaver, is that– is that– is that, uh, (Stumbles over words), she’s using it– us– using another name, huh? (pause) I don’t know how you plan your life, but everybody, even though they know that uh, (Clears throat) will and determination can win many a victory, how many plan your death ever?
Jones: Well, it’s no great mumble, how many uh, how many plan your death, in different ways– how many plan your death?
Jones: Do you ever plan your death? There’s a number of you that do not lift your hand and say you plan your death. You don’t ever plan your death? (pause) You’re gonna die. Don’t you think you should plan about such an important event? (pause) Hmmm? (pause) Well, I see some– I’ll just call somebody I don’t see their hands up, that– that they’re not planning their death. Lois Ponts, I don’t see your hand up, don’t you plan your death?
Lois Ponts: (inaudible)
Jones: What’s that?
Jones: I want to hear, I can’t hear you.
Jones: What’s that?
Jones: (unintelligible beginning) the mike’s, uh, limited stretch. (pause, mike being moved)
Ponts: –Said, I always planned to uh, be blown in million pieces. Thought that would be the best way to go up, but I don’t think it’d happen here.
Jones: Well, I’m uh– I’m talking about planning your death, I don’t uh, I don’t care how you plan it, you may not plan it the way I plan it or you may not plan it the way that ni– your comrade plans it, then– In other words, you have planned (pause) your death at times. You’ve planned your death for an operation, and uh, some kind of operation the best– the way you’d like to plan it would be to b– put your body in a million pieces.
Ponts (interrupting): Yes, blow up something with it.
Jones: That’s a– that’s a very ri–that’s a very realistic plan. (pause) How many planned their death? (pause) I’m not trying to– some people, uh, Sister [Vera] Talley, don’t you ever plan your death? You don’t plan your death, huh?
Vera Talley: (unintelligible)
Jones: You don’t? Well, I– I think you, uh, I’d like to know why, what– what is it– you– the reason you don’t? Maybe it’s a mistake, like, uh, ‘cause some people are looking over at Sister (unintelligible name), and I thought I’d asked her, and I’m certain, I’d heard her talk about dying. You don’t ever plan your death?
Jones: You don’t.
Jones: And why don’t you, dear?
Talley: I don’t know, I just hadn’t thought about it.
Jones: But don’t you think it’s, uh, time to think about it? (pause)
Talley: It– it may– It– (stumbling, pauses)
Jones: What is it, honey?
Talley: It might be time, but I just hadn’t thought about planning it.
Jones: Well, it’s a shame to have it to be an accident (pause)– it’s a terrible thing to have it to be an accident, like I saw my mother [Lynetta Jones] and in many ways your mother to be, uh, wasted and just laid in a box. I think that’s a kind of a waste, don’t you think?
Talley: They had– (pause) Only one time, and my husband just quit payin’ it and I didn’t have no money to pay it, and I just let it go, and I hadn’t thought no more about it.
Jones: I’m not talking about insurance, I’m not talking about capitalizing on your death. Uh– You’re a beautiful woman, you’ve given, (stumbles), your babies have been dropped by the enslaver, the, uh– the, uh– Yes honey, restroom. The– The– Okay, (Unintelligible), that’s sweet, I’ll sure ask. You’ve shown great courage to take what you did from the man, but I’m not talking about getting an insurance policy to help somebody, I’m talking about planning your death for the victory of the people. For socialism, for communism, for black liberation, for oppressed liberation. Would you– haven’t you had such thought? Haven’t you ever thought about, as the sister said, taking a bomb and running into a Ku Klux Klan meeting and destroying all the Ku Klux Klan people?
(long pause, microphone buzzes)
Jones: I wish you people would fix this goddamn thing between sessions. (pause) It would help. Go ahead, ‘cause– yeah, it’s very difficult to communicate, and all you people back there better not be looking at any babies because I’m really going to be watching you tonight, I’m going to really watch you. You get to fuck with it, huh? Well, I have to plan every day. (pause) Indeed, Billy and Bruce, they’re more my children than yours, but they shouldn’t be. To me, Billy and Bruce was like sending my kids into that depraved, which they call King Kong, king of the cons, that black attorney [Roger Holmes] that’s been a sell-out to white folk all through the Bay Area, who had the nerve to threaten me. I’ll make a good story, a good show on you. If you deliver them, nobody will ever know. And if you don’t deliver them, I’ll give you a terrible story, I’ll see that you are blasted. (pause) And I said, (slow and emphatic) kiss my ass.
Crowd: (Cheers and applause)
Jones: Okay. (Clears throat) Now, uh, Mother, uh, haven’t you ever thought about that– haven’t you ever thought about killing anybody?
Woman 1: (unintelligible) enough to do that?
Jones: What is it, honey?
Woman 1: I said, I have got (unintelligible) time to do that, but (unintelligible) it goes away, I don’t know–
Jones: Things goes away.
Woman 1: Things goes away.
Jones: (Sighs) Well, I’ve thought of it, uh, I’ve thought of it a number of ways. (bangs mike) Peace. Can we do something with the motherfucking thing, or is it possible? (pause) You had a question, did you, Maya? A lot of my irritation, just tired, as I’ve had no sleep. (pause) Maya, you wanted to ask a question, sweetie?
Maya Ijames: What does planning your death mean?
Jones: Well, it’s just like I said, like uh, Lois said, if she gone die, she’d blow herself up, but, uh, she’d take some people with her, who were enemies of the people, who are racist or Ku Klux Klan or fascist. I’m sure all of you know what Ku Klux Klan are– Nazis. March around, kill Jews and kill black people, put ‘em in ovens to burn ‘em alive, put children– snatch children from parents’ arms and throwed them in fires. They did that in last war. Millions of children, and now they’re growing again in the United States. (Pause) I– No sense at all that you’ve got that plan around the corner. Believe me, you’d know the difference, if you’d been with us through the siege. Through the state of siege, you would’ve known the difference. But I think that a healthy person has to think through his death, or he may sell out, if he hasn’t thought through his death. And I don’t mean just vaguely, or it just passed your mind, I mean thought through your death. I don’t mean dying in a bed with heart attack or cancer, but I mean giving your life before you had to die. ‘Cause after you’re nineteen years of age, you’re dying anyway, you know. Your cells are not reproducing as fast as they are dying. So if you’re over nineteen, you’re already dying, and a lot of people, that happened before they were nineteen. (pause) More cells die than you create new cells, so you start dying at nineteen. And whatever faculty I’ve used to reverse it, (Clears throat) it takes a hell of a lot of cooperation with me, and most people are not willing to cooperate that much to reverse it forever, if indeed that’s possible. I know I’ve brought people back from the living dead, I mean, the literal dead, I’ve seen that, but uh, I’ve never seen uh, anything on earth– No, I know (Unintelligible word) nothing exists at this time. If it were, it would be in me that can take somebody back and then throw the calendar back several years, and take, uh, lines out of faces and uh, give them smooth tissue and uh, more so here. Uh– You can see people, uh, when they came from the States – yes, restroom – when they came from the States, they looked so bloated and here they look younger. If you look around, a lot of people look younger. Particularly after they’re here for a little while, they look, uh, like a new grown healthiness to their– their body.
I– I– I’ve thought of things, of various kinds of things, you know. I thought, well– (Pause) Say the government were to be taken over– say the government were to be taken over. What would I do? What would I do? What– How could I– how could I best serve you? I’m so realistic that I know that in the world of international politics, the way they portrayed me and the way my own operation is so cleverly and intelligently put together, with our own secret uh, archives and our own intelligence services, that someone might say, well, he’s really CIA. (Pause) Not anybody that knows me. You live with me, you– (short laugh) you don’t go through this kind of shit for the CIA, see, that’s how we can– we pretty well show, we don’t have very many plants in our organization. You work the fuck out of plants, plants wouldn’t– they wouldn’t last as long. They don’t get enough pay to come into Peoples Temple and be a plant very long. If they’re a plant, they’ll do like– uh, you gotta watch the lazies, like Mrs. Mertle [Deanna Mertle, aka Jeannie Mills], who stayed away from the operation. She never worked. Never got– Deanna always had somebody working, but she never worked. Or Tim Stoen, you could– you never never could put your finger on his work, as Al Tschetter said, I think, uh, weeks ago, he also saw him walking downtown in church at night, he would– he was always goin’ someplace. But you never saw him set in the service and go through it, or to counsel very long with people, he didn’t do that. Those are the kind of people you gotta really watch. The lazy ones, that don’t ever work. Because that’s your plant. But a person out there in the field, day after day after day and working, and all kinds of jobs and sweatin’, but that individual’s not gonna be a plant very long, ‘cause they’s not paying that kind of wages anymore. CIA used to pay some wages, but now they don’t pay enough, they put you– they give you a hotel in Pegasus [in Georgetown] in four days. That’s all– that’s all the goddamned Olivers are getting out of this mess. That’s– that’s cheap pay. There ain’t nobody gonna work out, even though we know why we’re working, and it’s beautiful challenge to work, ‘cause it’s our land, we can build something out of it. (Clears throat)
And we’re gambling against time. We’re gambling that, uh, the way the world’s going, there may be a nuclear war before they ever get a chance to get to us. If they do, we got it– we got it made. We’ll run this entire Northwest region, we’ll move out quickly, and recruit the population, and take over, and distribute the wealth. The few here, that are not quite just, we’ll make them just. I mean around us, you see. And some of you will have to develop leadership, because we– we could take over the Northwest, and we’d be, uh, the– the rest of our children’s lives, and your lives, you wouldn’t have to worry. And that’s quite possible that can happen, but you don’t just sit back and, say, well, that’s absolutely what I’m living for, because something else might come along, and uh, (stumbles over words)– It’s foolish to plan that everything’s gonna work out just like you’d like to have it work out. But I’ve– I one time got so (Unintelligible word) position, I thought, well, what will I do? We got all the people here– (Unintelligible word) A million times I’ve planned my death, Jesus Christ. It’s so– This is like– it’s a– it’s an everyday affair with me because I have to, I love you, and I’ve got to make that. And now what could I do? There’s one chap [John Victor Stoen] that uh, if his mother [Grace Stoen] was like an ordinary human being, I didn’t know her as a savage, the one that made me have to go to bed with her (pause) because she was threatening the cause, threatening the (Unintelligible word) to– to lie! And to leave uh, Tim Stoen, and do all kinds of hell, and he asked me to do something and I did, and I have a lovely, lovely baby. A lovely son. (pause) If she were like an ordinary woman, I wouldn’t have all this battle, you know. Wouldn’t be a battle. If I were in her position, I’d step out of the life, if I could look and see him over there as happy as I’d– I see him here with all of his friends, it wouldn’t take me a snap of the finger, I would pass him in the street and he’d never know who I was. ‘Cause I would want his happiness. He’s an obviously happy lad. Our children are pretty happy, as the most part goes. They got animals, they got life, they got nature, uh, they’re the happiest that you’ve seen them in your life. They play, they got room, uh, up to a pretty high age, you could safely say that they’re happier than they’ve ever been. They can look at birds, and they can get around all these kinda rare tropical birds and that toucan is so tame, and you go up there and be real gentle with him and (Unintelligible word) he’ll play tug-of-war with you, I’ve got him trained so he’ll play tug-of-war with you, like a dog. He’s so, uh– can’t feed him, because you’ll get him sick, and uh, some people (Unintelligible word), but he’s just so– he’s so tame and so gentle, and uh, you can take his ol’ beak, and that beak’ll just cut down on your finger, like, you know and I first cut my finger and like a razorblade, but now you– he’ll play tug-of-war with you, and he’ll go (sound of demonstration). It’s like a dog takes a rag. Lovely thing, you never got a chance, some of you, to ever grow up with him, that little monkey, riding around on this arm and that arm, I saw him a moment ago down here and he’s jumpin’ around there. Sloth, you’ll see it, from– arm to arm. That’s a wonder– a wonderful thing for children, to have such an opportunity. All psychiatrists say that that’s what makes children healthy, to be coming in contact with the animal life and nature at an early age. They– they become normal, they learn how to love, they learn how to love through contact with animals and pets and caring for things.
Then the– the anteater, which is so cute as he travels behind somebody, if they don’t pick him up, and the other day he’s going through the rice tents, (short laugh) while I was workin’, and Beverly– (pause), uh, it moved past Charlie [Touchette] was– I think relating it about it, uh, (laughs) and it was funny. He was going after– Beverly had– Beverly kind of eluded him, and he was hunting for any leg, and he climbed up some dear lady’s leg, he just– (Pause) The dear lady took it pretty well, ‘cause he– he– and if you listen to him as he travels along, he goes urrrr (low growling). He just growls, he doesn’t bite, but just urrrr (growls), he just gets so pissed when somebody won’t pick him up and hug him. You follow along, you can listen to him as he goes along, when Bev lets him down, he goes urrrr (growling). (Pause) And an anteater that’s supposed to teach us how to kill ants, and he won’t go near ‘em, ‘cause he took one red ant and that was it, and–
Jones: –now he wants milk and honey.
Jones: What’s that?
Voice in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: Oh, yes. Maybe we can slip a few ants in and retrain him. I don’t know. But– but he’s got a tongue about a foot long that can reach out andv– pfft – and get all those ants, but he just, I– I don’t know, (Stumbles over words) I haven’t seen him do any ant-gettin’.
Jones: I know, that one night he got some red ants in his nose and that was it, that’s the finish of it, he– he said to piss on this, he let the humans take care of ants. (Pause) But a beautiful world for children, and if I had walked by, uh, and I– and– and Grace was sitting here and I’d settin’ over there in the States and I saw this– (pause, laughs), I love so much, I’d say, God, I wouldn’t l– I wouldn’t bother him. A year and a half, he never mentions it, he doesn’t know her, Maria’s [Maria Katsaris] his mom in his mind, and is, she is his mom. (pause) He never mentions her. A loving parent would forget it. And then all the things she put him through. Jesus, the things he’s told me from his heart, how sad he was, he was so sad before he got over to this happy place that he hung off the balcony of our church when he was with her, and was gonna drop. At two years of age, said I wanna die. (pause) Because she’d say things, very cruel things to him. When she couldn’t get me to marry her, and the next day she took up with this man, Smitty [Walter “Smitty” Jones] to try to goad me and hurt the child, ‘cause– was always trying to hurt the child, hurt me. She knew she couldn’t hurt me, because I’m a zero, but she’d try to hurt him, she’d say ugly things, she’d lock John in a garage and went in the next room and m– made all kinds of sounds and talked about having sex, so he could describe it all. He heard it all. It no use for me to not talk about it, because he talks about it, all the time, he’s got it all down there, it’ll never go out of his mind. (pause)
But you see, that leaves a big burden on me, because to give him up is not just like giving an– an– another child, or even in some of your cases, your children aren’t really here. Their– their minds are still not with it. John hates capitalism. He talks about socialism every breath. He learned, I– I heard him talking, and a lot of other little kids, talk about capitalism, uh, how would the Amos boy [Martin Amos] do, Jesus Christ, how would he do with capitalism? All he knows is socialism. He talks socialism, he thinks socialism. Some of these kids would be dead– (pause) and uh, so I’ve made up mind long ago, I would not deliver him to her. And that’s what’s she’s constantly trying to do, getting court orders, threatening me with this, that and the other, and trying to get racist judges to go along and uh– I said no, just as I said no about uh, the Ponts girl [Donna Ponts], and I said no about the Tuppers [Janet Tupper, Larry Howard Tupper, Mary Elizabeth Tupper, Ruth Ann Tupper, Timothy Tupper], and I said no, I don’t know, hell, how many nos I’ve said already, Jesus Christ. But they still gonna push me on that one, because they know that’s close to the heart, so they’ll try it again, they’ll try it again. You know the government has made a firm stand, they’ll try it, (Clears throat) and Stoen is so– so wicked (Pause) and so embarrassed, I guess, that he had to ask me to save his wife from committin’ treason. It would hurt him more than it woulda hurt me. Uh, and uh, then– so, probably guilt-ridden, down deep in his mind that he was a transvestite runnin’ with women’s clothes on up and down the streets of Santa Rosa, that uh– I don’t know whether he did it to get my attention or not, but it ended up doin’ that, got my attention, and so, I had to go through hell to get him to be a normal homosexual rather than an abnormal person wandering up and down the streets in women’s clothing. And that was, uh– hell. I would’ve rather died. So perhaps he can’t stand that debt he owes me. Probably so. Nobody likes a debt. I find that most people – uh, [Tom] Partak, stay with it, if you can – Nobody likes a debt. They just don’t like to be indebted to anyone. (Unintelligible sentence) They don’t like it, don’t wanna deal with it, umm-umm [No]. (Pause) I feel debts to some of you, (Stumbles over words) I love you, it doesn’t make any difference if I loved you, uh, I– I love you, I feel debt, uh, that uh, when in the ins–moments of insecurity, Rita McElvane gave me her son, and got her hands off and– so I could rear him, ‘cause she knew it was impossible in that family-oriented environment– here it don’t make a damn bit of difference, she could be– she could be mama, I could be daddy, he can have four mommas, he can have five daddies. You follow me. But I feel debts to people who have stood up, uh– And it really wasn’t for me, nobody’s ever done anything for me, ‘cause you can’t do anything for somebody who wants to die. You really can’t do anything. I never would stomp over people, but most people, when they see, uh – shift, please – when they see a debt, (Clears throat) when they see a debt, it gets too heavy, so they start looking for every way out. And they’ll find a little fault, they think, and they’ll magnify it and magnify and magnify it, and they’ll build it into a hated passion, and then they really can’t– they can’t put out Jim Jones’ light. That’s why they try so hard to kill him. (pause) You can’t– once you know Jim Jones, you’ve got to– something in you, basically, gotta know that this guy is (drawn out) unusually committed to people. He cares beyond, uh, uh– After all, you just don’t risk every day dying like I did today for the Olivers. You don’t do that. Nothing in it for me to do that. And then go on living, you can say, well, he wants to die, and so he does it, but I don’t– I don’t get to die, I have to work out to get to live so they can get to live. You see what I’m saying? And it’s hard, hard, hard to get around that. You gotta say, Jim Jones really fuckin’ cares. And that’s what’s troubled Tim Stoen, that’s why he’s gonna keep on persisting. Yeah, I’m on a– on a collision course with Jim Jones, and one day, I– he’s the best man I’ve ever known, the next day he’s on collision course ‘cause he don’t wanna go to jail, too. That’s his– his narcissistic ass. He don’t wanna go to jail. So he sold out for a few bucks. And he wants to come over here even, and uh, to try to goad me, he wants– he knows that before I would give him– when he told me he was attracted and felt sexual feelings to John, and I know what she does, she admitted to many of us she felt sexual feelings, he did too to many of us. They had sexual feelings, I mean, sublimation, sexual– you see him as a sex object, and I, I– no way, no way, he knows I won’t give him that child. And why he and Grace both push and push and push, they want me to die. Because maybe if I die, and even if John dies, they won’t have to remember anymore. That’s how wicked people are. It’s the old feeling that, uh, out of sight, out of mind. I won’t hear about him in the paper anymore, the dead tell no tales, put ‘em six foot under, and I won’t have to worry about it anymore. I won’t be haunted. Their memory won’t come back. Lotta people like that, there’re few folk right here want me dead for that very reason. Try to kill me. Get me outta the way! Don’t want to see him. Part of you hate me, but another part of you can’t help but admire me. You hate me because I require you be good. (Pause) And I don’t know that anybody admires me, because you don’t wanna make the sacrifice that it takes to be like me. But anyway, I’m a trouble to you, and I wish you’d all watch me right now, ‘cause I get very eerie when you don’t do it, I– not because I give a goddamn about me, but it’s uh, it’s– when you cannot respond to this kind of truth, uh, then there’s something lacking in you, and that– that worries me, ‘cause I gotta overcome that lack in you, ‘cause you might hurt yourself or one of your comrades.
(Pause) So at one stage, I thought, well– uh, what the hell will I do? Take the whole group over mine? No. I get on the radio, ‘cause some of you get exactly what you want, some of you want to go back to your ol’ world. And you– you– you want to go back to your ol’ world, you’d like to go back to your ol’ world. It’s in there, it’s in there, that ol’ world is there. You don’t want the principled life, you don’t realize that you’re gonna die if you’re unprincipled, and it’s an awful unpleasant die– to die unprincipled ‘cause you certainly die alone when you don’t have any principles. Wake up, Birdie, please, if you will.
(Pause) Anyway– so I made up my mind, I’ll get on the radio and I’ll say, okay, folks, I’ve had it, you people have pushed us– you tryin’ to push us, and you– maybe it’s an Oliver case or, whatever, you– you– you– you– you’re finally– I won’t be able to get the government to stand up to the United States, and, like I have every time now, and they’ve backed– every time I backed them up the wall, and they’ve always backed me. (Stumbles over words) ‘cause it’s always, they say– he– well, he made the remark, the foreign minister, he’s like a tree, that’s like standin’ by the water, he won’t be moved. I don’t like that, but he won’t be moved. (pause) Said, I don’t know how to handle it, he didn’t say he didn’t like it, he said don’t know how to handle it. And as sure as hell you don’t know how to handle me, nobody on earth knows how to handle me. Because when somebody’s so principled, they’re ready to die at the snap of a finger, you don’t know how to handle it. And that’s what I want to build in you, that same kind of character. Partak, can’t you possibly stay awake, you might come out of your self-centeredness.
Voices in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: Okay, okay, let him sit down. Uh– (pause) So I thought I’ll get on it, uh, if I die a heroic death out here, fighting off somebody coming after the Olivers– I’m just using that, I don’t have to, because the Olivers are not goin’ anywhere– (pause) Then half the people gonna die, but half the people still be alive. (pause) Right?
Voices in crowd: Right.
Jones: I’m just tellin’ you one plan, I’m not sayin’ it’s the right plan, I’m just kinda giving you a plan, one of the plans that went through my mind ‘cause I was in a hell of a crisis that you didn’t know (Unintelligible word) ‘cause I don’t bother you with every crisis, I pass through ‘em, and get uh– get the victory won, and don’t worry you with it. And I thought, well, the best thing for me to do is take care of mine and– and uh, suggest strongly to those that are grown, that are my kids– uh, well, I’ll tell you the whole plan. Get on the radio, and I’ll say, uh, (pause), do you want a bloodbath? (pause) I’m talking to you now. I know that Jim Jones’ too hot to handle, the press has made him a very hot potato. And that’s an advantage they got, they’ve been a– the most attacks on me. Now please stay with me, f– fuckers, I’ll watch ya close tonight. (pause)
Jim Jones, too hot to handle. Too hot to really– to give to Russia, too hot to give to Cuba, bring them problems in the international relationship, so I say, here, I want my people to go to Russia. Peace. If you don’t, Russia, you haven’t got the stamina that you say you have. Cuba, you haven’t got the stamina, you haven’t got the courage, you haven’t got fortitude, ‘cause you’re not gettin’ in an explosive situation, you’re gettin’, uh– Jim Jones’ll be out of the picture, ‘cause I’ll take care of Jim Jones and being that there’s no way I can uh, do anything for John but take care of him myself, if you follow what I’m saying. ‘Cause I have no legal way, otherwise, except the backing of this government. (pause) I’ll see that he is not put over to a woman who said I hate him, as he told me the other night, and– throwed when he put– she shoved his hand in mine– you have him, he’s yours. Well, he’s mine. And uh– that’s the way she feels, I’ll gladly take care of him, he’s beautiful, he’s mine. I’ll take care of him. But as I sai– I said I’ll get on there, and I’ll say now, you– I’ll deliver you, release you from the hot potato of Jim Jones. And I would suicide because, some of you, that would cau– uh, give you the out you want. Yeah, that’d give you the out. ‘Cause then if you go back to the States, uh, he– he committed suicide. Not realizing that I cared. ‘Cause there’d be some that wouldn’t want to go to Russia. ‘Cause right down the night the goddamn shipload up here, and we’d get our freighter that we’re bargaining on December 29th, take us all to Russia if we want to go. (Pause)
Uh– There’d be some of you wouldn’t wanna go. (pause) But if I were out of the picture, then we’d find out those who really want to go back to the United States and those who are communists and really want to go where the communists are.
Jones: You see what I’m saying? That’s the kind of planning it takes to think about, uh, to think about l– if you love, if you care. Whereas if I met them on the front lines over the Olivers, uh, that way, I’d get the Oliver kids to Russia, say you take them, or we’ll meet you on the frontline. The Oliver boys don’t want to live with you, they want to be communist. And you let them go, and I wanna see that every one of them are taken outta here. And I want Russians to come and get them. I wanna see it’s done. Uh, a lot of implementing that I did– I’m not– I won’t go into here. Lot of implementing that would assure that they’d get where they’re going. Then all the others that wanna come to America, let the Americans come in here and get ‘em. Old people that act like they’re– they– they don’t– never have been happy here, never have been happy trying the socialist life– And there’s some that wanna stay here and struggle it on, they could stay here, I’m– but I’m talking about a situation where the– the country was wavering, and it’s small and it just couldn’t face the resistance and the nuclear war wasn’t close enough and it didn’t look– of course, (Stumbles over words) if we miss a nuclear war, best place in the goddamned world, I mean, if a nuclear war comes, no nuclear war will ever struck– strike here, no radiation and you’ve got absolute the best places, as all your survivor handbooks said– tell you– best place in the world to be lost. (pause) Gotta be lost? Make it down in South America. Nuclear war? Best place in the world. Coming Ice Age? Best place in the world. (pause) Best place in the world in term– ‘cause you don’t get cold. It’s awful for old people to get cold, I read you a news article the other night– wake that person back up there, now, they’re asleep back there. (pause) No wonder you p– uh, somebody ask you a question, you don’t stay awake.
Jones: Who– who got smart ass with me, I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to Brother Moton. Who was the smart ass?
Jones: Well, I’m not talking to you, so–
Jones: Well, I bet if I asked you what I was, what I was say– what I was saying, some of you wouldn’t be able to tell me what the hell I was sayin’, even if you say you aren’t sleepin’. (pause) So I could get those by taking care of the one responsibility I’ve got, because my older ones, if they didn’t want to go on to Russia, if they didn’t want to be communists, they didn’t feel like the world be safe without Father– they could, say, Father, Dad, I want to go with you. And I say, okay. I recommend you try it, ‘cause you’ve got your mind, you got your future. Soviets are gonna win. Communism’s gonna win. But Jim Jones is a hot potato, the press has smeared him and smeared him and smeared him, but in that, there’s a great advantage. They smeared him, but they’ve not smeared too many others. So you are just decent, ordinary people. Ordinary people that they’d have to take under those circumstances. They wouldn’t be yielding to a hostage, because I wouldn’t be holding anybody hostage. Only myself. (pause) Or saying, if you don’t do decently by our people and give them a chance to freedom, then I have no choice but to meet you on the front lines and we– we’ll stand here, and dare you to cross them. And if you do cross, we will die.
Crowd: (Stirs, murmurs in agreement)
Jones: Or the most– great proportion of us would die. But I– you see– so that’s the kind of alternatives I’ve had– had to consider. That way, the– the true communists could get on to peace and– if, if (Stumbles over words) in that situation, but I’m saying, if it were, I’m not, I’m not facing that situation, but that’s the situation that could happen, goddamnit! It dear– it nearly did! And I never wanna be caught like I was caught that night, not knowing whether to go back in Dorm Three or Four, Four– Five, or get on a fuckin’ boat and you’d get on the goddamned boat when I finally try to give people to life, and we couldn’t get a clearance into Cuba because there hadn’t been no plans laid, everybody fuckin’ around. I knew this was gonna happen. And I’d asked for plans to be laid, but people had dilly-dallied. And we didn’t have anything cleared in Cuba. The people were working hard, some of the people, that’re– they’re here now– were working hard to open doors, but Jesus Christ, you don’t open doors in 24 hours. And we didn’t have any time. Time was running out on us, sons of bitches were all around us! So we made up our mind, we, uh– we set here and some of you had to go through it, fuck, you’d be better people than you’d– (Unintelligible word) I had to stand out there in that yard and decide, and have to– have to talk, how we gonna do it and how we gonna get rid of all of our bodies and how we’re gonna go– go together so there won’t be nobody left. You oughta had to go through it, it might’ve done something for you.
Crowd: (Calls out)
Jones: Then we’ll figure– well, shit– if there’s a chance at life, we gotta take that chance, uh, to– to do something for communism, not just lay down here and die. Just lay down, roll over and play it like Rover. So I had my boat, and the seaman said you cannot do anything with the Cudjoe, it will not take all of our people. (pause) Forty-five tons, or forty-seven tons at the maximum. Charlie and I worried over that goddamned thing and we finally got down to the square foot and decided, well, you can put the bodies on there. A little medical supplies, but it won’t take anything more and then you gonna be, you’ll really gonna be chancing it down the river, but at least it was a chance– and if we sunk, son of a bitch, drowning, they say, is one of the easiest ways in the world to die. You just– I nearly drowned once, trying to save somebody’s life, I nearly drowned. You often (short laugh) drown that way. But I– I nearly drowned, and (draws out) oh how peaceful that was, as I floated down to the bottom. It’s– it’s– it’s– you just– just– numbing, kind of sleepy sensation. (pause, quietens) Some of you people get so fuckin’ nervous every time I talk about death–
Jones: You’ve been brainwashed, you’ve been brainwashed. Capitalists have uh– capitalists have made you robots! They’d made you robots. They teach you (low voice) don’t– death, death is the enemy, death is the enemy, so that you will work your ass off three score and ten years, you’ll work just like a goddamned little old slave, you’ll work three score and ten years, and you’ll never never never never never never die, because it’s– Death is the enemy. And all that– all that was your enemy was the work you were doin’ in that capitalist state, (calls out) getting up, you were dyin’ every day, gettin’ up and workin’ all day and comin’ home and fallin’ in your goddamned bed and drag your ass out every day and couldn’t pay for your house and barely could pay your food and couldn’t afford it if you had a major operation, you’da had to die ‘cause you couldn’t afford it.
Jones: If you’d had some incurable eye disease, there’s no way in the fucking world you coulda paid the bill. You were dying all the time, them fuckers tellin’ you, death is your last enemy, Christian preacher sayin’ (adopts tone of preacher) death, death, some death, gotta overcome death, we gotta have victory over death, the final enemy– death! (Normal tone) And they find the enemy was birth!
Jones: (calls out) The Chinese had that years ago when they said, rejoice when you die and cry when you’re born!
Jones: And we all called them heathen, we went over there with the Bible tryin’ to convert those fools. We said they were idiots, and we were the fools. The Chinese had it. They– they were wise. Said rejoice at the outgoin’, cry at the incomin’. (pause) But when you die, baby, you are asleep. At least you got a spell and you’ve got a chance, Russian roulette, maybe one out of five, you’ll end up in a little better shit than you’re in now, unless you commit suicide. (pause) At least there’s a spare time, I know it would– one cycle of my life, I know I’d– at least I’d had a few years in between, shit! (pause) I got ten years of rest somewhere, afore they run me through– When they run me through with Lenin and I come back this time, fuck, I le– I rested at least ten years. I think Lenin, uh, went out at ‘22 and I didn’t come back ‘til ‘31, I was damn near ten years. Somewhere I didn’t know anything. (pause) I’d like to have nine years rest. (pause) (Mumbles) Quiet, quiet. (Normal tone) And I hope it’s more long than that. I’d like to have about, uh, nine billion light years of rest. And I’d settle with joy and really dance on my nose if they promised me I could have eternity of knowing nothing, to just go down and die like a worm and be stomped on, and that’d be it. But don’t commit suicide, ‘cause you will make a fuckin’ mistake, you’ll be back. (pause) ‘Cause I seen ‘em come back. (pause)
Now, what was I saying? (pause) Talkin’ about death. You sure you have to piss now, ‘cause I want you to think about death. Dyin’! Tongue hangin’ out. Chokin’ (makes choking noises). (long pause) I– I do, I do, I do, I do, should oughta be, should oughta be. Too serious about the fuckin’ subject. (pause) Get all nervous. (Stumbles over words) Go to sleep and then hide down, getting’ deep– deeper down that coat, gettin’ down the coat. (Calls out) You’re gonna die someday, honey! You old bitch, you’re gonna die!
Jones: (pause) (calls out) If you don’t die, old bitch, alone– Lois is gonna get something on and blow her up and you, too!
Jones: Look how they just check ya out. Check out. They ain’t asleep, hell no, they ain’t asleep, they are (emphasized) closed minds! (Imitates preacher) I came to give you life and life more abundantly!
Jones: You gone believe it, even though you look like you’re gettin’ stooped and stooped and stooped and (Unintelligible word), we’ll have to die or you gonna fall in a grave, keep a-stoopin’.
Jones: Just watch, folk, they just don’t wanna face reality. And the capitalists, (Unintelligible word)– well, they wanted to work your ass and then retire you at 65, they don’t give a shit after 65. It used to be 72. And they say, awwwww, you gotta work, and it’s bless– blessed to work, you know, three score and ten– Man’s life’s three score and ten. Work out there for that fuckin’ [Henry] Ford, work for [John D.] Rockefeller, work for the Chrysler corporation, work, you son of a bitch, ‘cause when you die, you going to Glory Land! And it’s– it’s (Stumbles over words) any– anybody oughta had more sense than be taken in by that shit, but we got took in by that shit.
Crowd: (Scattered response)
Jones: Ford didn’t believe in no– he didn’t believe in no uh, afterlife, he didn’t believe in no Heaven– He circulated Bibles to get people to believe in it. He said– he said, what will they give a million dollars of– of Bibles one year, they said, why you do that, Ford? You don’t ever do anything for anybody. He said it’s nigger control. (pause) Sure is, it’s only thing that ever would’ve controlled us niggers, was to give us that Bible and tell us (calls out, imitating preacher) by and by! When the mornin’ comes – Hey! – when all the saints are gathered home. Rockefeller sit back there and just laugh – ha ha ha – look at ‘em fool niggers, a ha ha ha ha.
Crowd: (Scattered response)
Jones: (imitating preacher) You got shoes, and I got shoes! All of God’s children got shoes! (end of imitation) Walk around barefooted, damn bunions, sores ‘tween your toes, couldn’t hardly walk, but– (preacher voice, loud) by and by, you got shoes, I got shoes, and all God’s chil– (end of word cut off). (normal tone) We believe that shit until Jim Jones come along. Some of you don’t like to admit it, but you believe that shit ‘til Jim Jones come along.
Jones: (Cries out) I know there’ll be fifty people said it, I knew it the whole time, I knew it afore Jim Jones come along. You damn liar, you didn’t, ‘cause you singin’ this fuckin’ song.
Jones: (Cries out) You were singin’ “Swing (draws out word) low, sweet chariot.” You couldn’t get a fuckin’ ride in a Model-T Ford, and you’re talkin’ about a chariot gonna swing low for you.
Crowd: (Responds during long pause)
Jones: (Moderates, then builds) Talkin’ ‘bout death. Sweet death, sweet death, when you die a revolutionary death, it’s sweet death. When you throw your life away for nothing, that’s– that’s counter-revolutionary, that’s a suicide that you pay a price for, you sure as hell will come back. When you give your life for a cause, and know that you’ve done all can to live and you have to die and you give it right and think it through well! That’s sweet death. (calms) And it’s hard to find a revolutionary death, ‘cause it isn’t easy, you gotta be careful, ‘cause it’s easy sometimes to die by a million times than it is to live. (pause) But that’s how I would’ve done it on that occasion. I’da got all of the ones who wanted to go to Russia and then I’da taken care to see that nobody got a hold of my child. If Russia’d take him, I’da said yes, there’s your chance now, son. There’s your chance. But there’d be no legal papers for Russia to take him, none at all. So, (unintelligible) no, no, all of you got legal papers, everybody’s got legal papers but mine– they’ve been revoked. (pause) Those fuckin’ killers. They knew they were doin’ it. They hoped they could do it. They didn’t count on this government to stand behind me. They revoked all the papers so that– that they could assure that my son, Tim Stoen and Grace, did that so they could kill my son, and I won’t forget that. (pause) They revoked the papers, sealed ‘em. You all got papers, you could go to Russia, not a soul here couldn’t go to Russia. You see what I’m sayin’? (Voice rises) Russia might be brave enough to take him, and I’d say take him! Then, goddammit, nobody has to worry ‘bout me. I’ll be here and I’ll– I’ll be here– nice, if you take my people, let ‘em go where they want to. Take the fuckers back there to America, that believe in immortality and believe in the Peace Mission. Take ‘em back that believe in immortality and Pentacostalism. Take ‘em back that believe in McDonald hamburgers and TV. Take ‘em! Take ‘em, take ‘em.
Jones: I love ‘em enough to let ‘em live the way they wanna live, even though I know it’s a cursed way to live, I love ‘em enough to let ‘em go. Take ‘em. You– you, fucker– you write your mother, you write your mother, we’ll get the letter all written up, you write and tell her, send me the airplane ticket, ‘cause I’m tired. You go where in the hell you wanna go. Die the way you want to die, ‘cause I love you. Tired of tryin’ to argue people what’s right. You don’t know what’s right, fuck you! (pause)
Crowd: (Applause and response) (pause)
Jones: So write the letter. (pause) You better get my approval afore you try to do anything, you know. (pause) Say, what’ll they do, you go back and cause trouble– no, he won’t. Now when I say write the letter, he won’t go back and cause trouble ‘cause [if] he does!
Crowd: (Response) (pause)
Jones: You see, I say don’t go back ‘til all of our people here, because they got a reason for that, ‘cause most of ya, 99 percent of you, will be a shithead when you do. (pause) You lie, ‘cause you won’t be able to live with your conscience. You’ll lie! (voice rises) You’ll try to cause harm to us ‘cause you wanna put our light out, you wanna curse the light, you don’t want the light to still be lightin’ in your mind, because when you’re sittin’ there with all those racists and doin’ your bodyguard work and tryin’ to keep the white man’s cars protected and so forth, you’re gonna feel dirty inside, and you– you’ll finally lie because they’ll come down on your ass, and say, why did you associate with Jim Jones so long?
Jones: Why was you over there all that time, why’d you go in the first place, nobody put you on that fuckin’ plane.
Jones: All these people said they’re against their will, against their will, against their will. I was over here first, and nine hundred folk followed me! Fuck! They– they– Nobody put a gun in their ass!
Crowd: (Loud response)
Jones: Nobody put a gun in his ass. He came on his own. But you go back and tell some shit, somebody put a gun in your ass.
Crowd: (Response) (pause)
Jones: (Voice moderates, then builds) So, I just don’t want to waste my energy having to worry about folk back there, when we can just all get the folk here and then let you go on your own when we get here. (pause) But I love you enough to let ya do what the hell you wanna do. And then, when I got through, now if you do right and let ‘em all get where they’re gonna go and– Don’t do ‘em any harm, ‘cause I know how the CIA plays their ballgame. Now I can’t guarantee you for when you go to America nothing, (stumbles over words) the best I can do would be just get you to America, ‘cause shit, they may decide to kill ya when you go there, that’s your choice, ‘cause I’d have either Russia for ya, or I’d have Cuba for ya, or I’d have America. If you’re foolish enough to choose America, you have to ride on your own fucking load, your ass will have to be on your own bottom, you’ll have to ride on your own bottom when I die, because I ain’t responsible for you when you hit America. (pause) I took ya outta that swamp, so when you get back in that swamp, don’t cry to me, (Moderates) because I’ll say if you get ‘em all where they wanna go– (pause) and they’re all done right, I’ll be here waitin’ on ya. And you can take me and make mockery of me, you can hang me up, you can do whatever in the fuck you want to. You can send me back to America and let them laugh as I go by and jeer. (pause) And put me in jail for fifty years and torture me. (pause) Just as long as you do right for my people. (Cries out) But if you don’t, (voice drops) it’ll take several of ya to get me when you come. See my rationale, you see my reasoning? (pause) Because you’re loved more, you see, some of ya– I wouldn’t commit suicide in that circumstance, I wouldn’t do it because the people– Well, it’d be dishonorable. Yes, it would be dishonorable, unless you were trying to get something done that would save your people. Say what would you do? Ain’t nothing you could do. I’d offer to go back to jail, that’d be fine, I’d do that, I’d do that before suicide. Shit, I’d tell– I’ll go to America. If you want me to go to America, whatever in the hell you want me do, ‘cause there’s some of ‘em wouldn’t even want me to get to America. (pause) Mmmm-mmm [No]. They’d be afraid of me if I was– to take me to America in chains! I remember when they put me in jail, they chained me to a fucking bar because they was afraid the bars wouldn’t hold me. (pause) So I say, I’ll let ya take me back there, and you can make fun of me if you want to, ‘cause everybody hates me, and I– I represent all the things that you, uh, know you oughta be and aren’t– But I wouldn’t put it to them that way. I’d say, I’ll let you do with me what you will, do with me what you will. Nobody takes my life, but I lay down my life, as somebody said long ago. But if they didn’t, I’d just say I’ll be here peacefully, or I’ll be here somewhat uh, vigorously, depending upon your mood. Now, have I given you some ideas about how you might decide how to die? (pause)
Jones: Hmmm? You understand what I just said. Have anybody got any question on what I just said. (long pause) Well, I’m sure you must have. How many know what I said? (pause) Okay. What will be our stand if they ever come in here and say, uh– Yes, uh, sweetheart. (Clears throat) Getting down to the brass tacks now, so we can close. (pause) I only laid that out so I could get your mind stirred up.
Woman 2: (takes microphone, inaudible for beginning of sentence) –How to go to these other places. Then what? Could I stay with you?
Jones: Do ya wanna die with me? Sure. Why not? Hell, yes. You think I’d make you leave me?
Voice in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: Then we’ll let our blood flow into the ground. As hard as that would be to us because the thing that you instinctively want to do to take somebody with you. But if I can save seven hundred of you, shit, I don’t have the right to do what I wanna do. I’d like to wrap myself up with dynamite and run into one of the fuckin’ Nazi headquarters or the CIA branch and blow the motherfuckers up, that’s what I’d like to do. But I– (Stumbles over words) if me doing what I wanted to do would endanger eight hundred of you, I got no right to do that. That’s communism, the greatest good to the greatest number! You gotta (draws out word) always think what’s the greatest good to the greatest number. But lemme tell you, I’ll give some of you a hard argument. Some of you seniors, I wouldn’t. ‘Cause the old people, it’s– it’s rough, it’s rough. Change is rough. I mean, I gave you the newscasts – I didn’t finish – where the temperature even drops to 65. It can throw old people into shock and all kinds of bodily disorders and kill them. This is the best climate in the world for old people. Older people live longer, do better, with a high temperature. I read the– how many heard the news, I– I read it over to you, American weather, and uh– and uh– medical report. They even have dropped to 65 degrees temperature, that the president’s asking everybody – he’s demanding, it’s a new law – that if you live in public housing, you– you can not have your thermostat over 65, and the U.S. Health Department said, what’s he’s doing is killing old people all over the United States. (pause) Yeah, he’s heating his swimming pool, the son-of-a-bitch is, [Jimmy] Carter is, but he’s demanding that it’s against the law, anybody keeps the temperature above 65 can be arrested in public housing. That’s in Washington, that’s the– ‘cause the oil shortage and the big cold winter comin’ again. And the doctors all shout, if you do it, you’re killin’ old people, because they can’t take 65 degrees. Can’t take it, and they don’t give a fuck. What’d he give a fuck about old people. White or black, he don’t give a fuck. Okay, now– uh, what we’re gonna do, if, uh, tomorrow, they say, well, that we– we– we– we’ve backed up on that. Now– Now don’t worry, ‘cause I’ll tell you the shit truth, I’ll tell ya the bad news with the good news. Right now they let me do as exactly what I said. I won’t let the Oliver family in here, not because it’s me, ‘cause I don’t give a shit if they come in, or don’t come in. It’s their kids that don’t want them in here. And if they let ‘em in here, we got every fucker coming through here, night and day, that (Stumbles over words) is an enemy of us, comin’ through. We can’t let enemies run in and out of here.
Crowd: (Murmurs agreement)
Jones: Let’s say they did not– Say, what would we do, what would we do, (more emphatic) what would we do, say that the Olivers– the government says I can– we can’t take the pressure because the United States is sayin’ if you don’t let the Olivers come in this part of the uh, country uh, then we won’t let Guyanese go into California. And they could do it. United States wicked.
(pause, woman talking indistinctly in background)
Jones: I don’t think it’ll do it, because I don’t think it wants– it hadn’t got enough troops. That’s one good thing, capitalism is crippled, it’s dying, it’s in the senile stage, the senile stage of monopoly capitalism, it’s getting (draws out word) old, honey– and it ain’t got no kids that like it anymore. (pause) You know, you– you– your dad may kid you, but when he gets to be a grandpa, his grandchildren can sure see through the fucker.
Jones: And America’s a granddaddy now and people seen how mean that old fucker’s been.
Jones: What I like about Lisa Layton the other day, she’s telling me about the Jewish experience, I hope someday she’ll stand up and tell the testimony, maybe next Peoples Rally, just tell it how it was, instead of makin’ herself look like a heroine, and how– how she flirted with tryin’ to– because every Jew tried to be a N– a Nazi, every Jew practically tried to be a Christian. They wanted to get baptized all over the fuckin’ place. Just like black folk in here– they– they– why, hell you, (Stumbles over words) try to talk, walk, walk– talk– and you, you try to get white, you get nervous in the sun. I had folks say, oooh, oooh, there’s a lotta sun over here (imitating members, high voice) there be a lot of sun over here, I’ll get dark.
Jones: I get too black. We heard it every day, we heard it every day. And for– hell, we got black folk who’ll not drink coffee. ‘cause they’re afraid they’ll get too black.
Jones: And it’s pitiful, and she told what the– what had happened to her until finally she couldn’t stand that anymore, she couldn’t take that anymore. And she refused to stand up in the classroom and say “Heil Hitler.” And then the nightmare began. But her daddy, a Jew, standin’ right before the radio, sayin’ “Uh, he’s– he’s right on that.” Here’s Hitler, a Nazi, he’s gonna murder the Jews, it’s right in his goddamn writings, he’s gonna do away with the Jews, anybody could read it. And it (imitates voice) you know, Hitler’s right on that, it’s– it’s a good point he makes there. (normal tone) And she said about her dad, when he, (Stumbles over words) he’s just a self-centered old man. (Voice rises) Well, anybody’s that got a head knows America is a self-centered (draws out word) old man, it’s senile, and a lot of its kids are saying, “Fuck you, Uncle Sam, we ain’t goin’ over to Guyana to help you fight no war over there, we ain’t goin’ to Angola” – and proved it, they didn’t go – “We are not goin’ to no more Vietnams, we see you are a fuckin’ mean old man, and we don’t like you, Uncle Sam.”
Crowd: (applause, cheers)
Jones: (Moderates, then builds throughout) It’s all right, you can clap tonight, I’m– I’m getting’ my insulin out. (laughs) Nothing so liberating as thoughts of death. I don’t know about you, but when I get really liberated when I can think about death, even though I know I ain’t gonna get the privilege to do it, it just liberates me! Oh, Jesus! Some of you get worried, and you get ‘fraid, and when I think I get a chance to die, or my insulin gets normal and my blood pressure gets normal and my heart bea– beats soundly, and I feel like I hear the trumpets soundin’ ho, ho! Death is callin’!
Jones: (Calls out) Oh, sweet death. (pause) (Moderates) See– (Stumbles over words) you know, (Stumbles over words) brainwashed.
Jones: If I’da said “sweet life!”, you’d say, “oh, glory!”
Jones: (voice rises) Gonna live on, honey, you’re gonna have immortality, and you used to jump up and down and go “Glory!”, what the fuck you would you want– There ain’t no more worse curse on earth than have to live for all your life and walk on this planet all your life in the same body! Shit. You want me to do that for you, some of you fools.
Crowd: (Reacts, then applause)
Jones: (Moderates) Some of you want to see it stopped in your children, that’s beautiful. And we’re gonna keep on tryin’ to stop it so that death leaves us. So the pain of death– ‘cause what makes death so miserable is it’s a fuckin’ world filled with capitalist human, which are lower than animals, and then nobody can have no peace. Life would be beautiful, if it wasn’t for all the fuckin’ goddamn miserable capitalists around, bloodsuckin’ sons-of-bitches, and you can’t even go to sleep, even when you try to build a communist society, where (Unintelligible word) his father is, there’s always some fucker stealing–
Crowd: (Murmurs agreement)
Jones: –or some fucker tryin’ do you in, or some fucker tryin’ to put a little somethin’ in the food, or some fucker raisin’ all kind of hell because there’s a hair in their soup–
Jones: Be quiet about that, ‘cause that happened tonight.
Jones: ‘Bout time we can get a night off, ‘bout time we can get a night off. ‘Bout the time we can a night off, somebody goes and creates a lot of shit, and we have to have an outdoor meeting. (pause) That’s the only reason death is, uh– life is such a miserable. And then, if you do get a little rest, son– sooner or later, cancer hits you. (pause) Or you get to go blind. (pause) You know what I’m talkin’.
Crowd: (Murmurs agreement)
Jones: I guess some of you brothers have cancer, you know, by your balls start to fallin’ out. One hung low. Your vagina droops–
Crowd: (Reacts, laughs)
Jones: –And your breasts draws in or out. And somebody rejects you. Because it’s a capitalist world that doesn’t know what beauty is, it judges things by outward appearance instead of the inward appearance. Looks on the outward appearance instead of the heart. And that’s miserable. Who in the hell wanna live in a world like that? But we as communists must fight on, and fight on, until we eliminate the pain, and the dis– the inequities and the disorder, and – you may go the restroom – and all the trouble and all the pain and cancer, if we’d put all the money that these fuckin’ rats are putting out to bomb children and kill off our African brothers and sisters, they could kill– they could whip cancer in five days. They could wipe it out, medically speaking. But that’s what makes death so beautiful and life so miserable, because we live in a capitalist world. And the fuckin’ CIA is at our neck, even when you get in a socialist world, unless you can get all the way to Russia. (long pause)
Now. If tomorrow the government says, “I can’t take it,” we’re gonna– they’re gonna come in here for the Olivers. They’re gonna come in here with a court order for the Olivers. Whatcha gonna do?
Jones: Think it through! Think it through. (pause) Somebody give me a creative thought. (Clears throat) Hmmmm?
Voice in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: Yeah, that’s a– that’s a good beginning, now, what a– what– what more would you do then? Etta [Thompson]? (pause)
Jones: Well, we’re closer to Russia than we were when we– (laughs) You fucker– you fuckers are lucky. We didn’t have Russia that night. (Laughs)
Jones: That night we didn’t have nothing but a goddamn Cudjoe and twenty-five (pause) old people, uh, twenty-two of which were assholes.
Jones: All right, all right. ‘Cause we got on that boat and we had it (draws out) all square-foot measured out, and said don’t take a thing, I begged, I was so tired, six days and seven nights or seven days and six nights and no sleep, goddammit I was walking around like I had to almost hold up my eyeballs, my eyelids with– with, uh– if I coulda found ‘em, I’da used a– a goddamn toothpick to hold up my eyelids. (Voice rises throughout) And I said, please don’t take anything – nothin’! – because we need it for medicine, we need uh, the, the uh, concentrated Carnation milk, the food so we can get ourselves to Cuba, and what the fuck you think the son-bitchin’ old people wrap themselves around with shit until they– we didn’t get twenty-five on the boat ‘til it throwed two off and– down in the deep, down in the fuckin’ deep, and broke hips and– and only me that they didn’t drown, they found ‘em down in that fuckin’ water. Twenty-five, of which twenty of them were so fuckin’ selfish, they wrapped themselves to shit, and we had to give the trip up.
Jones: And I think that was miserable. And the same fuckers, some of ‘em’d do it again.
Jones: (Pause) They waited– We said “Don’t go back and get anything, don’t go back to your house.” We were living through proverbs! We were fortunate to live the very things we used to preach about. Don’t go back, don’t look back! And if son-of-a-bitchin’ people didn’t run back and get something, and risk their very lives. Just a miracle, miracle, miracle that we made it through. (Clears throat) (pause)
(Voice moderates) I got on that radio and screamed and screamed and screamed, and Russia– and got ahold of some people and I said goddamnit, we’re gonna die out here. I got on the army band, it’s against the law, you can go to the j– uh, prison for five years, some man, colonel, or some of– officer come on, I’m so and so and so and officer, I said, I don’t give a damn who you are. He said you are violatin’ the law. This is the army band. I said it’s my band now, I’m talkin’!
Crowd: (Reacts, applauds)
Jones: It scared him so there so many Americans, they always obey every law, don’t make a difference whether the law’s wro– makes any sense or not, that says black people just drink out of, uh, this fountain or not go to this toilet, the– whatever (deep, growling voice) the law, the law, the law. I– I obey the law, the law, the law. Fuckin’ laws are all against black people. (Normal tone) I don’t give a fuck about no army band. They bombed all the poor people the world, what the fuck I give a damn ‘bout the army band. He says, “you go to jail five year–” I don’t give a goddamn, get out my way, I’m talkin’! And I’m tellin’ you, they shut up, and then nobody bothered me thereafter. I talked on that radio ‘til my voice was frog, more hoarse than this– hoarse than this, and I said now, huh, somebody better listen, and we’re going to be taken out of this mess or we’re all gone die! I said somebody give us a home, and we ain’t a– goin’ unless they all go together, somebody hear us, we are gonna die here, goddammit! I mean, I used four-letter words, and I used everything else under the sun. Most of it was sound logic, but I (draws out word) sure made a hell of a lot of noise. Next day, Russia got a hold of– (Stumbles over words) we got a message, Russia said, uh, “We’re watching what you do with those people.” And that calmed down this fucker that was running the gov– the country temporarily. He didn’t want to get Russia ire up. (pause)
But we coulda been on the boat (clears throat) and got to Cuba. Yep. ‘Cause we had our deal, too. (Stumbles over words) We want our people delivered in Cuba, we want them to meet us in Cuba. Or we’ll create shit on a boat.
Voice in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: What? Yeah! We got on a boat, we, uh– (Stumbles over words) all under the fuckin’ departments we put all on a boat, and we say, you don’t let our people get to Cuba if they want to, anybody that wants to stay in America, they can, but when we get to Cuba, we want to be met there! Say, well, Cuba wouldn’t let you in. Shit, honeys, when all us niggers l– l– l– landed there in that Havana harbor with that boat crowded to its seams, I’ll betcha they’d let our ass in.
Jones: They mighta put me jail, but I’ll betcha they let my ass in.
Jones: Ain’t nobody want us all die out there in that harbor. They mighta done that in Germany, but that ain’t gonna happen again, ‘cause they’ve– they all got that– that still fresh in their mind. They used to let the jury– Jews go from port to port, but uh, honey, I am not like some folk, I make too much fuckin’ racket. I have my radio, that’s one thing we said, we gotta have our radio, I put every fuckin’ radio I had on that boat, ‘cause I gone be signaling all the way to Cuba. (short laugh) If Cuba said, don’t let us in, I said, uh, (short laugh) these folk will not let us in here, we got old folk on here, we are not– had enough to eat and we cannot– no place to put our shit and they won’t let us in here?
Crowd: (Reacts) (Pause)
Jones: (draws out word) Shit. Don’t you think we wouldn’t got into Cuba? But the only reason we couldn’t get to Cuba ‘cause the fuckin’ boat woulda sunk in Port Kaituma ‘cause some of these sons of bitches had all this shit wrapped around their insides.
Jones: We had to quit! (pause) We had only so much space. You better hope we get that freighter on the 29th. You guys, when you go in that boat, you’d better– (Stumbles over words) work on it, I got the– down, I got him to go down in the price, even. You better make that son-bitch run. (clears throat) Hell, if we get it down much lower, I’ll buy the son-of-a-bitch, if it’ll only go one trip.
Jones: (Laughs) I– I’ll park it out here in Port Kata– if I can get that fuckin’– fucker for twenty-five thousand dollars, which it looks like I can get it for right now, I’ll buy that fucker and just park it out here in Port Kaituma, waitin’, because I know some son-bitch’ll cause us trouble, and we’ll have to go to the sea. (pause)
Jones: (Clears throat) I’ll go without meat for a week, won’t you?
Jones: (Laughs) You eat– you eat that much goddamned meat in a month. We’ll go a month without meat to get that boat parked out there.
Jones: Well, what– what good do the goddamned boat, the boat won’t go that many miles. Honey, if it just takes us out one time to Cuba, it’s good enough for me, yeah.
Jones: ‘Cause there you’ve got all Communists, you don’t have some Communists and little bureaucrats that never went through a revolution, some of these y– young bugs come up through here, they never fought for freedom, they never lived under a British. (pause) And if you don’t fight for something, you won’t keep it.
Crowd: That’s right.
Jones: That’s why some of us keepin’ this land, that’s why some “I don’t give a shit about this place, I’ll leave.” Yeah, but you– you didn’t stand on this line.
Jones: You– you– you get a little, uh, deeper feeling in here. You say, well, I want to go to Russia right now. Naw, you don’t feel quite like that, you fought for this fuckin’ land and it– it– it’s land you made communist ‘cause there wasn’t nothin’ here but ants and wasn’t nothin’ here but trees when you got here, and you feel a little bit, (unintelligible) sure we’d go, if that’s what necessity calls for, but we fought hard, and some fought here for three and a half years to build this goddamned thing, and they’re not going to just drop it over– overnight because some son-of-a-bitch, we’re gonna hold out, we’re gonna hold on, we’re gonna keep on, we’re gonna fight on as long as we can.
Crowd: (Cheers, applause, war cry)
Jones: That’s it, I like it.
Crowd: (Loud cheers)
Jones: And that’s Algeria.
Crowd: (Loud cheers)
Jones: (warbles loud, shrill war-cry) (Pause) That’s how-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow.
Crowd: (war cry)
Jones: Let it go, honey. In case– in case– in case those sons-of-bitches are out there, the Olivers that sold us– sold out, let’s make it a little louder so they’ll here us out there.
Crowd: (extended war cry)
Jones: Peace, peace.
Jones: As the foreign minister said today, and this is exact quote, he said, “If I didn’t like you for sayin’ that you are like a tree and won’t be moved,” he said, “we’d keep our word to people as productive as you are, and we need you over there, because you’re the most productive people in Guyana.” So I got a feeling that they’re not gonna sell our asses out, ‘cause they need us. Now if we couldn’t do anything out here, if we weren’t together, and we did like some of you folk, did our own thing, and got to work when we wanted to, and work when we felt like it. Some of you are three-day wonders. You work three day– or you work three hours, then you rest twenty-one. If everybody did that way, they’d say, take them fuckers outta here. If every one of ‘em was drinkin’ like some of you did down in Port Kaituma, say, get ‘em out. Shit, we got all that shit, we got that dime-a-dozen in Port Kaituma. But these fuckers work! That’s what he said today. Said they don’t play. Said, if I didn’t like– I don’t know how to deal with you crazy niggers, he said it, boy, he got me down right, he said, (Stumbles over words) I admire it but he said, I never had, I never had nobody tell me I’m like a tree and won’t be moved. (pause) He said, I know you mean it. And I do, and he knows it. But he said one thing I do like, is you’re productive and you’re essential to us, and we keep our word to those that are as productive as you. Well, time remains. He has up to now.
(Long pause, someone talking far away from microphone, unintelligible)
Jones: Yeah, the Venezuelans, who were asking about us over here, they probably heard us “woooo!”
Jones: And he said, they’re good at their work, they’re hard-workin’, they may– they may yell, but– (laugh)
Jones: They work– He praised us over in Venezuela. (Clears throat) And they praise us every day, ‘cause it’d be awful hard now to back off of that praise, ‘cause they’ve been praises, and put us in the front– uh, uh, mid-section of the paper. There’re a lot of things goin’ for us, but I don’t believe in being unduly optimistic. I’m optimistic that he gave me his word today, but he may get dyspepsia tomorrow. He could die tomorrow. All four of ‘em [Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, Deputy Prime Minister Ptolemy Reid, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Wills, Home Affairs Minister Vibert Mingo] could get shot tomorrow, that are the best socialists in the country. You know? Don’t make me no different. ‘Cause I know what we’ll do, we’ll go “woooooo!” (war-cry)
Crowd: (imitates war cry)
Jones: And we’ll make some demands. Say, come at your own risk. (Imitates Mae West) Come up and see us sometime.
Jones: Then if we get uh– just get tired of that shit, we’ll say we goin’ down to our boat. Give me another couple of weeks, and I’m lookin’ for that boat, honey. Save everything you can save. If you’ve got anything back there you’re hiding, anything, get the watches out, get ‘em out and send ‘em down, and, uh (Stumbles over words) send ‘em to our two sweet ladies that go down– the one plump one and the one thin one. (laughs) I said that ‘cause that kinda gets her. (laughs) For the rest of the men, in Port– we got a lot of friends goin’ for us, ‘cause, shit, we cause them more trouble, Helen– Helen Swinney, she’s downtown, she’s downtown lookin’ around– she’s downtown lookin’ around, she sees one of our crates. (Calls out) Sir, arrest that man, he’s got one of our crates. (Laughs) Put his ass in jail and put up the crate. Patty [Cartmell] sold him the crate. (Laughs)
Jones: She trade that fuckin’ crate for five dollars worth of oranges. He was slightly pissed, but she– when they find out it’s us, they just– anybody else I’da been– shit, man, sellin’ crates (laughs).
Crowd: (Laughs, someone says something and laughter continues)
Jones: (laughing through words) He– yes, that was his defense, he said (laughs) that’s why I was kidding, he says, “Two Americans sold me that damn crate! Traded me for five-dollar worth of oranges, one of ‘em was fat and the other was thin.”
Jones: (Laughs) One thin blonde, one fat– what’d he say?
Voice in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: Ha ha, that (Unintelligible word). (Pause) They’re bargainers, and we need to get to the– get them the stuff so they can get down the river. ‘Cause we wanna buy that boat. I mean, if that son-of-a-bitch floats, we wanna buy that boat. And the old man wants to retire, and Richard Janaro has talked a couple of boatmen that says it’s a good boat. And that’s boat’s gonna go. We gotta buy that boat. We got him at seventy– say, down to sixty-five thousand Guyanese. Honey, if we can drag that a little bit lower, I would– I don’t know how many would fuss much (Unintelligible word) than that. And you know what? I don’t know whether it’s true, but hey, did you (Unintelligible word) that radio contact?
Voice in crowd: (Unintelligible)
Jones: States. Ask them, what happened to the church in Los Angeles? Because we got two offers on that son-bitch yesterday. (pause)
Crowd: (cheers, war cries)
(Tape garbled, silence.)
Tape originally posted March 2010