Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
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FBI Catalogue Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: None
Date cues on tape: Fall 1974 (Nelson Rockefeller nominated as Vice President)
Sharon (numerous in Temple)
Daughter of Sally Stapleton
Rose, sister of Eva Pugh
Sister Swinney, sister of Eva Pugh
Jack Beam (speaks)
Frances Buckley (speaks)
Luna M. Buckley, aka Minnie Buckley (speaks)
Mary Ann Casanova
Ava Cobb, aka Ava Brown
Archie Ijames (speaks)
Marceline LeTourneau (speaks)
Edith Roller (speaks)
Virginia Vera Taylor (speaks)
Diane Wilkinson speaks)
President Richard Nixon
John F. Kennedy, former president
Franklin D. Roosevelt, former president
Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of FDR
U.S. Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Former U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisc.)
U.S. Senator George McGovern (D-S.D.)
U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.V.)Henry Kissinger, National Security Adviser, Secretary of State
George Wallace, Alabama governor, presidential candidate
Nelson Rockefeller, vice presidential nomineeAdolf Hitler
Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain
Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Premier
Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of IndiaDavid Berg, aka Moses David, leader of Children of GodBrother Poole, preacher
Maddie B. Poole, wife of Brother Poole
Bishop Crane, President of the Baptist Churches of Texas
Steve Buckmaster [phonetic]
Terri Cobb Pietela
Clara Phillips (by reference)
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.)
- “Get to know your leader, get to know your God. By so doing, you’ll be like him, and maybe reproduce something greater in your own likeness.” (reference to Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”)
“Be your brother and sister’s keeper… That’s what we need to be, brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.” (Genesis 4:9, “And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?”)
“Talk about God and make the rain, and God stop the sun.” (Joshua 10:12-14)
References to sexual passages in Song of Solomon and Book of Ruth.
“[The Bible] even tells, kill your children, it’s all right, it’s in the Book. Let the she-bears eat up the children, yeah. Old Elisha, bald-headed Elisha. Somebody come by the way and laughed at him because he had a bald head. Little children sometimes tease people with bald heads, so they laughed at him and said “bald-headed man.” All they said, you’re a bald headed man. He called down the she-bears, he got Jehovah God, the Lord thy God, he called him down, had all those children killed up. All those children eaten up by the she-bears.” (2 Kings 2:23-24, “and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”)
“There was only one judgment of the Christians given in Matthew 25. It was, did you feed the hungry, did you clothe the naked, did you take in the stranger, did you go to the prisons and let the captives free? … If you don’t know anything in that Bible, know that one scripture, Matthew 25. Read it well. There’s only one place that Jesus ever separated the bad folk from the good folk, the sheep from the goats, and he did it on one basis: What did you do for the poor? What did you do for the hungry? What did you do for the naked? What did you do for those in prison?” (Matthew 25, esp. Matthew 25: 32-46)
“But enemies never can hurt you until they get somebody from within. Always treason begins within. Takes a Judas inside.” (Gospel accounts of Judas’ betrayal in Matthew 26-27, Mark 14, Luke 22 and John 13)
“That’s why I say, separate yourself from the flesh. Separate yourself from the family ties.” (Luke 14:33, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”)
“If you think about who your neighbor is next door to you out in the highways and hedges, … everybody around here’ll look better to you.” (Luke 14, Parable of the Great Dinner, esp. Luke 14:23, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”)
“I remind myself of that father. If you’re too forgiving, remember that old father in the proverb, his son went out in the pig sty, and he had to get damn low, too, before he realized he needed his father. And when he got back, the son that had stayed got mad, because the one that’d been in the pig sty recognized what he had lost. ‘Course there’s some aspects of the story was stupid, you don’t pay somebody for disloyalty, but at least the person who’s made a mistake ought to be able to get back, yet I got a feelin’ that if some folk did come back in this place, others’d get mad and go out. It’s a hell of a job bein’ in this role. (The parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32)
“Paul [talked about] dung.” (Philippians 3:8, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”)
“Democrats and Republicans support the system that it’s right to make a profit, no matter who it hurts. The right to love money, which is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”)
(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Freya Kory. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
This sermon, likely recorded in the fall of 1974 in the Redwood Valley sanctuary of Peoples Temple, contains many elements of a Jim Jones address from the period: he excoriates his enemies, especially the traitors who have left the church in the recent past; he speaks of his own divinity, including one suggestion that he is the reincarnation of Christ; he details the sacrifices he has made for the people of the Temple while insisting he hates the praise and adulation he receives in return; and he presents the church as representing the vanguard of Christian socialism. The unique attribute of this tape is that – in its length of more than two hours – it includes both the beginning and the end of his remarks, although the tape does not include the beginning of the service itself. Also rare is the tone of the address: while Jones does criticize those who would betray him, his voice rarely rises above the conversational, and at times, becomes almost wistful in introspection.
After an unidentified woman offers a testimonial for an introduction, Jones begins his address with a description of a New Religious Movement called the Children of God, and a comparison between that group and his. The two share things in common – they both protest fascistic tendencies of America, which is why they are both persecuted by the government – but the Children of God is more hedonistic, and is led by a man known as Moses David who has chosen to separate himself from his followers and to live comfortably in Switzerland. The group supports itself in part by selling David’s poetry which – as Jones then demonstrates with a reading – borders on pornographic.
Most of those in the congregation join Jones in laughter at the poem’s unconventional imagery. Jones teases that he’ll continue to read “until everybody’s smiling, honey,” and then – a moment later – adds, “You’re still not smiling so we’re gonna continue.” He eventually loses a little patience with the holdouts, although his tone is still one of quiet conversation when he says, “You know it’s a funny thing about you people, you never got bothered when this was in Solomon. Solomon’s full of this. And Solomon couldn’t even rhyme as well as this guy.”
Jones eventually singles out one woman who has not applauded, although his complaint about her “lack of enthusiasm” initially focuses on another issue. Minnie Buckley stands before the congregation for some time, answering their questions and concerns, but Jones returns several times to her silence in the pews. “Minnie? Minnie? Minnie? You don’t clap when I say things like that. Now that makes us nervous,” he says, “…when I say somethin’ that there’s gonna be judgment visited upon them by the spirit of truth, I want everybody in this house to clap, or I wanna know why they’re not clappin’.” A few moments later – with Minnie Buckley still before the gathering – Jones makes his command more general: “I’m gonna say this, and I mean this, I mean this seriously for your welfare. Anytime you notice anyone not clapping, anytime you notice anyone not singing, anytime you notice anyone not standing, for their sake and the group’s sake, you better notice them and report it immediately, … and I mean you’re not being a fink to report when you notice people’s bad attitudes.” These exhortations would extend all the way through the last days of Jonestown.
By this point in the service, Jones has begun to recite the list of people who have betrayed him, emphasizing the two major defections of the previous year: the Eight Revolutionaries; and a smaller number, led by trusted aide, Linda Swaney.
The Eight Revolutionaries, he says, not only betrayed the Temple and the cause for which the Temple stands, but they betrayed – and continue to betray – each other. The Temple has them on tape – including tapes made in bed – of them plotting against each other, “talking about killing each other.” But the plotters made the tapes themselves, he adds after a pause, and furnished them to the Temple. “We don’t sneak in, put no tapes on people. We don’t believe in that. We don’t believe in puttin’ bugs. They gave us their tapes.”
He wishes he could have helped the young poeople among the Eight Revolutionaries, just as he wishes he could have done something for Linda Swaney: “she obviously was telling other people she wanted to go to bed with me, and I didn’t respond to it. I wish I’d even done that. Maybe some way, through the contact, she would’ve felt other than rejected.” He knows he “can function better sexually than anybody,” he says a moment later, and reflecting upon the fact that he didn’t see her need, “I must say I have some guilt. I wish I’da tried it ‘cause if you go to bed with me, you learn somethin’ about yourself.”
Despite his claimed prowess, he doesn’t consider it anything other than a tool he has in his toolbox of healing: “it’s all psychotherapy when you’re with me, in bed or at the table or over a cup of tea, it’s all psychotherapy.” He understands frustration and aggression, he says, and whatever it takes to find and root out the cause, that’s what he’s willing to do.
Nevertheless, he has already placed the onus of asking for assistance upon the individual Temple member. If someone starts to get caught up in him- or herself, and feels “defensive” about something – even if the member has been committed or a good worker – “maybe it’s something that we neglected [and] can help you with…
“We want to be your friend,” Jones continues. “We want to be your comrade. We don’t want to see you get in the hell that [our enemies] are in.… [E]nemies never can hurt you until they get somebody from within. Always treason begins within. Takes a Judas inside.”
During the more contemplative moments in the address, he speaks about the work he has done to ease people’s burdens, the people he has saved and – throughout it all – the guilt he can never shed. He praises those who have joined him in working hard for the movement, although he himself would rather not be praised. “I hate to be praised,” he says towards the end of the address. “I hate to be the centerpiece of the clockwork. I hate to have to set up here and everything revolve around me as the founder of socialism. I hate that.” Recognizing that that might run counter to what he has said earlier, he adds, “I never need your claps… [Y]ou thought I needed your claps, you underestimate my perfection. I’m way beyond that. I don’t need your claps. Only as staging for our enemies. That’s the only time I need you to clap.”
It is the cause which is holy to him, and to which he call people to have faith. He describes the Temple as the only truly Christian church, because – as he quotes Jesus – there is only one criterion upon which Christians will be judged: did they feed the hungry; did they clothe the naked; did they visit the sick and those in jail? Those in Peoples Temple can all answer yes.
Moreover, he says he is up front about both their mission and their methods for achieving them. “They better not get me on the witness stand. I’ll answer their questions. I’ll answer ‘em very sharply.… If anybody gets me up and asks me any questions about, what did you do with your healing ministry? And were you using the church to lead people into socialism? I’ll say sure! … So don’t tell me that you haven’t heard. Don’t come up to me and say some time in some court that I took your money under false pretenses. Honey, I told you every step of the way what I was doin’.”
As he adds near the end of the address – summarizing much of what he has said during the evening – “I been tellin’ you I’d do anything – anything! I said I’d run you through to socialism on my back or through my dick or wherever I have to bring you, I’ll bring you, honey. I said it!”
Date of transcription: 7/2/79
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 1B107-36. This tape was found to contain the following:
A recording of a peoples rally led by JIM JONES.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted March 2010