Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
To read the Tape Transcript, click here. To read the Annotated Tape Transcript, click here.
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FBI Catalogue: Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “7-15-72”
Date cues on tape: First week of June 1972 (reference to upcoming presidential primary in California)
Tim Stoen (speaks)
Norman [likely Ijames]Mrs. Oliver
Helen Price (speaks)
Chester, relative of person in congregation
Carla, relative of person in congregation
John, relative of person in congregation
Matthew, relative of person in congregation
Raymond, relative of person in congregation
Richard Nixon, U.S. President
Hubert Humphrey, Democratic presidential candidate, by reference
George McGovern, Democratic presidential candidate
Shirley Chisholm, Democratic presidential candidate
George Wallace, presidential candidate
Angela Davis, university professor, black activist
Sallye Davis, mother of Angela Davis, by reference
Bobby Hutton,Black Panther killed in 1968
Coretta Scott King, civil rights activist, widow of Martin Luther King
Billy James Hargis, evangelist
Bishop S.M. Crouch, black minister in Los AngelesClark [could be Ramsey Clark, former attorney general, activist]
Rev. Jackson [likely Jesse Jackson, civil rights activist]
Alan Sieroty, California assemblyman
Carlton Goodlett, publisher of San Francisco Sun-Reporter
Doris Ward, candidate for local office in Ukiah
Hamilton Boswell, pastor of Jones Memorial United Methodist Church
Cecil Williams, pastor of Glide Memorial Methodist Church
Martin Niemoller. German pastor
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.)
- “The same God that talked to Abraham” (numerous times in Genesis, including Genesis 15, Genesis 17, Genesis 21)
“The same God that Jacob saw and wrestled with all night, and they called the place Peniel because he met God face to face.” (Genesis 32: 24-32)
“The same God that talked to Moses…” (Exodus)
“The same God that appeared to Manoah and his wife.” (Judges 13:20-22: “For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.”)
“He is the God that changeth not, so the God that spoke to Jacob, the God that walked with Jacob is walking today, if you can receive it.” (Isaiah 2:1-5)
“The same God that Isaiah said in 7:20, will shave after that day with a razor.” (Isaiah 7:20, “In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.”)
“He would be a discriminator if he would appear to a heathen king like he did the King Nebuchadnezzar in the fiery furnace. If he would appear to someone that was outside the covenant and not appear to you, then he would be a discriminator, but he said all things may change but God never changes.” (Daniel 3)
“The same God that appeared to Solomon, and Solomon described the color of his hair.” (mistaken reference to Daniel 7: 1-14, esp. Daniel 7:9, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool.”)
“I’m speaking in the office of the hundredfold ministry to those that need it.” (Matthew 13:3-9)
“…Anything you bind, I bind also, Paul said, and I do it. Not in the name, not in a prayer, but in the person of Jesus Christ.” (likely Matthew 16:18-19, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” and Matthew 18:18, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”)
“Take up your cross, as I take up mine.” (Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” See also Mark 8:34, Mark 10:21, and Luke 9:23.)
“We’re going to be in harmony now with his needs, with the law of Christ that said lose your life and you shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” See also Matthew 10:39; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; Luke 17:33; and John 12:25)
“Jesus said something stronger than that, King James just cut it out. He said sons of hell, when he whipped their posteriors out and threw the moneychanger capitalists out, upset the tables and drove them down, there were a lot of strong words he said. I should know, ‘cause I’m still saying ‘em.” (Matthew 21: 12-13, “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” See also Mark 11:15-18)
“No one wants to have to live by the sword and die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52, “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”)
“He said lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.… God said, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. I meaning a person, the personality of God, will never leave you, nor forsake you, not even unto the end of the world. ” (Matthew 28:20, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”)
“But lo, the kingdom of heaven is within you.” (Luke 17:21: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” See also Luke 10:9-11.)
“The memory of Jim Jones does not linger on here, for in this great age, the age that is accounted worthy to attain resurrection. We neither marry, nor given in marriage, we need to perpetuate mortal versions or opinions. … But Jesus said if you be accounted worthy for the new age, you’ve neither married, or given in marriage.… The King James’ badly butchered that, but a little of the truth still reigns there, that those who accounted worthy to attain to that age – that means something you have to do in this earth – and to the resurrection from the dead, neither married or are given in marriage, neither hold mortal family ties of those spiritual and apostolic ties, because they’re equal to the angels as the sons of God. ” (Luke 20:34-36, “And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”)
“The Word is made flesh. God is here.” (John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”)
“Jesus said, ye are gods, so there is a God. I am God, you are God… I have come to show you that ye are gods, because I am God. ” (John 10:34, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”)
“Yea, it is God! Nothing can stop, nothing can hinder this spirit, and if you’ll recognize it and sympathize with it harmoniously, then cultivate it in the garden of your own soul and consciousness, you’ll bring it forth, even to greater fruition than I, if you will take cognizance of my teachings, you can reproduce a greater picture of Christ than I am even reproducing.” (John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”)
“The righteousness which is of faith says that the kingdom of heaven is here. Don’t say in your heart that you’ll ascend into heaven and bring him down, or that you’ll descend into the deep and bring him up from the dead. But I say as the righteousness of faith says that the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart.” (Romans 10: 6-8, “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.”)
“You must come out of all mortal versions. And if one wants to be worthy for the kingdom of God, you must be like the angels in heaven, if you want to be raised from the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15, esp. 53-54, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”)
“Let me speak in the person of Christ, as Paul said, what you forgive, I forgive also.” (2 Corinthians 2:10, “To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ.”)
“Whatsoever you sow, ye shall reap.” (Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”)
“I have reached out as Jesus commanded and let this mind be in me which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of a slave and yet considered it not robbery to be equal with God.” (Phillipians 2: 5-7, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”)
“If you’ve got Christ in you, the hope of glory…” (Colossians 1:27, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”)
“I am personifying God so that you might know your rightful inheritance.” (Colossians 3:24, “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”)
“Hebrews 4:12, the word which is sharper than a two-edged sword, which is a discerner of the thought and the intents of the heart that can reach in to an area of a man’s life that’s shut up only to him and to God.” (Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”)
(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. Theeditors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
This tape consists of a Peoples Temple service in Redwood Valley led by Jim Jones in early June 1972. As with many of these services – especially the ones during this lengthy period of transition between the Temple as a Christian church with an active social ministry, and as a more overt political and social welfare organization – Jones’ address includes numerous, seemingly-contradictory elements: a political address; a critique of the Bible and the Christian faith; an enthusiastic description of the Temple’s programs; invocation of biblical passages to sustain his claims for divinity; and several healings. Also as with many of the recordings made from this period, there are numerous edits – most apparently made by Jones himself during the course of the address – and the wide-ranging subject matter led the FBI agents reviewing the tape to conclude it consisted of several sermons. There are enough unifying themes, however – references to the upcoming election and to a party to celebrate all the June birthdays at once – to strongly indicate that it was recorded on a single night with Jones speaking in a stream-of-consciousness manner.
It is a week before primary election day. Jones not only exhorts people to vote, but states that it is a rule of membership that people must be registered to vote and that they actually vote. He recognizes that some people have trepidations about a church – any church – recommending candidates or positions, but then proceeds to do so. Moreover, he describes that reluctance to include politics in the church as a “very, very weak point. That’s been our vulnerable point.” After all, he points out, others have used religion for social and political purposes throughout the history of the US. In fact, it was the white man’s cudgel of religion that allowed him to subjugate the black man, to put him in slavery, and to prevent him from emerging from slavery.
In that way, he says, religion has been the opiate of the people and has kept them docile, especially with the promise in Christianity that all would find freedom when they died. “Well, we’ve woke up, haven’t we? Have you woke up now?” he calls out to a cheering congregation.
Jones speaks about several current political topics – mine safety, regulations of business which have been placed on the ballot – but the one he returns to is the conspiracy trial of Angela Davis, and he uses that to show the difference between the God of the Bible and the God who speaks to them in this Temple. The God of the Bible is supposed to be “omnipotent, omniscient, omniluscent, omnipresent, all powerful,” but he just lets Angela Davis rot in jail. The Temple has donated money to her defense fund, but if Jones had more power – the power that only his congregation can give him – “I’ll get her out of there. I won’t do it the way you think I’ll do it, but I’ll get her out of there. I’ll do it.”
His defiance of the state and of the role of religion underlying it escalates. He talks about the massacre of Indians throughout American history, about the slaughter of the Jews in World War II, and about the U.S.’ shameful internment of the Japanese, and notes that the characteristic the three populations shared was that they didn’t resist. “Well, I’ll tell you,” he cries, “I’ll never march quietly to any damned grave. They’ll have to kill me. And I hope you’ve got the guts that you won’t walk silently in file and in a nice array, just as kindly and quietly and cooperatively as they want.”
If his people want protection, he says, they need to stay in the Temple. But the church offers more than that, he adds, listing the services and facilities in a list which is well-known to his congregation by then. All of these services require donations, though, and the first tape edit is a typical one, in that it comes as the collection of funds begins.
The next two segments of the service deal with healings. The first is Jones’ description of a black woman he had saved from death, even though she had left the Temple and returned to her Baptist church. Following her resurrection through Jones’ powers, medical attendants from a hospital showed up and shoved her in an ambulance. She died en route to the hospital.
There are numerous lessons from this event. First, he reminded his followers that he has recently prophesied that “someone that was not obedient would be carried away in a stretcher,” and that had come true. Secondly, the black woman had been treated with disrespect by the white ambulance workers because of her race. “That’s what we count for… We are niggers, and we’ve got to know we’re niggers and we’ll never get free until we know just what they feel about us.” Finally, she would not have suffered that fate if she had “stayed … with us, ‘cause there’s a vibration in being near this person, being near this experience, being near this Godship degree or socialistship degree, there is a vitality to it, but she had to go to her old church.” The consequence of that decision, naturally enough, was death.
The account is an expansion upon a point Jones made earlier in his remarks. While criticizing several unnamed people who have come to the Temple long enough to receive a healing before returning to their “church home” elsewhere, Jones comments that the healings are good as long as someone is in the church. “[You] Come up here and say I’m gonna get healed and go back to another church. No, you won’t. You won’t get healed. You’ll just get a heal long enough to get in this atmosphere, and when you get away from me, you won’t stay healed. You can’t stay healed, unless you keep in contact with what this is.”
The second half of the address is more Christocentric than it is in the first half. Jones quotes the apostle Paul to demonstrate his own worthiness “to speak in the person of Christ,” and invites Temple members to “come and follow me as I follow Christ.” He then does the work of Christ, as he puts it, by performing several healings and by offering prayer cloths which will save believers from disease and misfortune. Finally, near the end of the service, he explains that each age has a God in human form, and that he is that incarnation. The same God that appeared to Jacob, to Moses, to Solomon, “is personifiable in a human being… God always has a body. He always has someone that will speak for him. He has someone that’ll be his oracle.” Quoting Isaiah, he tells the congregation, “He is the God that changeth not, so the God that spoke to Jacob, the God that walked with Jacob is walking today, if you can receive it.”
Date of transcription: 6/21/79
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 6/14/79, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B107-37. This tape was found to contain the following:
Portions of numerous Temple services, including local and national political commentary by JIM JONES, “healings and preachings”.
Differences with FBI Summary:
Other than it is likely that the tape consists of segments of a single address, the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted January 2012