Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue: Jim Jones speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: None
Date cues on tape: Seattle sermon, likely in 1973 during Temple trip to Pacific Northwest
People named: None
Bible verses cited:
(Editor’s note: The verses below appear in order of biblical reference, not as they appear in Jim Jones’ address. For a complete scriptural index to the sermons of Jim Jones, click here.)
- “[O]ne place you got the devil numbering Israel, and the other place it said God numbered Israel.” (1Chronicles 21:1, “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” vs. 2Samuel 24:1, “And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.”)
“Matthew 25 told you how you could find [Jesus]… ‘Cause Jesus said, if you want to find me, he said, I am hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I’m naked, and you didn’t clothe me. I’m a stranger, and you didn’t take me in. I’m sick in prison, and you did not come unto me. And those good church trampers will say, when did we see you hungry? And he’ll say, well, I was hungry in an old apartment building in Seattle. I was a poor little child in a Appalachian mine country. I was a poor little black child in some ghetto, I was a poor little Indian child on a reservation, I was hungry and you didn’t come to me, he said in that you did it not unto the least of these, you did it not unto me. And he said, depart from me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you. You want to find Jesus? That’s how you’ll find him.” (Matthew 25:34-46)
This short portion of a sermon delivered by Jim Jones in Seattle, Washington includes several elements of a typical address: he denigrates the Bible as the “black book” filled with errors and inconsistencies; he rails against churches that are more concerned about the size of their buildings and quality of their furnishings than they are about the people of the world whom Jesus would have them serve; and he gives the audience a message of hope, that God is working in the church, not only through himself (and possibly as himself), but through those who serve the poor and underprivileged of the world.
“You want to find Jesus?” he calls out in a tone of both warning and promise. “See around you who’s hungry, and you better become God to them… You’ll have to become a savior to those around you, you’ll have to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. If you want to find your God, that’s how you’re gonna have to find him.”
Date of transcription: 7/3/79
In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.
On June 14, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B107-30. This tape was found to contain the following:
Reverend JIM JONES sermonizing and claiming to be God for 3:31 minutes.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted June 2006