Q1054-3 Summary

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 Transcript, click here.
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FBI Catalogue: Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: None

Date cues on tape:    Mid-September 1972 (reference to  “The Prophet Who Raises the Dead,” the first article in Lester Kinsolving series in the San Francisco Examiner, September 17, 1972)


People named:

People in attendance at Peoples Temple service:
Brother Kleinast
Christine Bates
Jack & Rheaviana Beam
Eugene Chaikin
Ever Rejoicing, aka Amanda Pointdexter
Donald James Fields
David Betts (“Pops”) Jackson
Marceline Jones
Marceline LeTourneau
Heavenly Love
Deanna Mertle
Richmond Stahl
Timothy Stoen
Public figures/National and international names:
Adolf Hitler
President Richard Nixon
Sen. George McGovern (D-SD)
Pres. John F. Kennedy
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY)
Alabama Gov. George Wallace (by reference)
Rep. John H. Rousselot (R-Calif.)Arthur Bremer, would-be Wallace assassin
Sirhan Sirhan, assassin of Robert Kennedy
Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of John Kennedy (by reference)
George Armstrong Custer

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.)

    “[T]hey sold out their soul for a mess of pottage, they’ve sold their birthright.” (Genesis 25:30-34)

    “Genesis 32:30: ‘Jacob called the name of the place Piniel, for he had seen God face to face,’ and his life was preserved because he wrestled with him all night – didn’t know who he was – but it was God in a body that he was wrestling with.” (Genesis 32:24-30)

    “Yes, it’s the same God that spoke to Exodus 24 and said, then went up Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw God.” (Exodus 24:9-10, “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel.”)

    “Exodus 33, and the Lord God spoke unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11, “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”)

    “But you shall not see my face, because you’re not prepared to see it.” (Exodus 33:20, “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”)

    “Exodus 33, and I will take away mine hand and thou shalt see my back parts. That means you’ll see the hind end of God. (Exodus 33:23, “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”)

    “They’ve bowed their knees to Baal.” (1 Kings 19:17-18, “And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”)

    “Isaiah 7:20, in the same day, God himself shall shave 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.”)

    “We saw the blind, seven of them in this very city, just a service ago, healed as we walked down the aisle. We’ve seen the growths passed before our eyes, we seen the crippled walk, the lame have leaped with the hart as a hart would leap, ran across the brook with new life.” (Isaiah 35:5-6, “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.”)

    “You’re gonna get hurt anyway, but we’re gonna get together over it all, when you’re wounded for his transgressions… when you really suffer and bear one another’s burdens, he said we’ll be healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”)

    “That means the one that’ll show that people of transgression of the house of Jacob their sins, the one that’ll speak aloud to the kings of their day.” (Isaiah 58:1, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”)

    “Do you wanna be a prophet? Then do like Jeremiah… [Y]ou’re gonna be persecuted all the great Jeremiahs.” (Book of Jeremiah)

    “[T]he time has come that God shall rule the nations and establish justice in the land of the people.” (generally, Ezekiel 29)

    “They’ll say all manner of things falsely against you for his namesake.” (Matthew 5:11, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”)

    “Take no thought for what you’ll say in that hour. You won’t have no time to get down and take any thought. You know what I’m talkin’ about. God, if you don’t know, you don’t know Jesus.” (Matthew 10:19, “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” See also Matthew 6:25-34, Mark 13:11, Luke 12:11-26)

    “Jesus said there are thirty-fold, sixty-fold, one hundred-fold. That means there are thirty percent God. That’s a seed that falls in good ground. A whole lot of seed falls out in these old churches, they never come up because they’re out in parched ground, stony ground, they never get anything. They never resurrect the Christ… Say, you can be thirty percent God, sixty percent, or 100 percent.” (The Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:3-30; Mark 4:13-32)

    “I remember one who said, it’s not what I say I am, it’s who do you say that I am… That’s what counts. That’s what counts in your neighborhood, not what you say you are, it’s what somebody says you are that counts.” (Matthew 16:13-15, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” Par. Mark 8:27-29, Luke 9:18-20)

    “[W]hen we take up our cross, we will follow him. We haven’t had enough crosses. Well, they’re comin’ this week.” (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.” Par. Mark 8:34, Mark 10:21, Luke 9:23)

    “And you don’t wanna know Jesus, and you don’t wanna pay the price to know Jesus, you don’t wanna sell out of the things of this world. Say, sell all that you have, sell all that you have. You won’t do it. You’re wastin’ your time here.” (Matthew 19:21, “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Par. Mark 10:21, Luke 12:33, Luke 18:22)

    “[Jesus] fed the hungry and clothed the naked, he took in the stranger and he went into the prison when someone was standin’ up for their rights, fighting for human beings.” (Matthew 25:34-46)

    “Matthew 28:20 says, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world… We declare, as scriptures declare, I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:20, “And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”)

    “The shepherds were tending their flocks by night… While the shepherds tendin’ their flocks by night, Jesus was born.” (Christmas story, especially Luke 2)

    “You say, ‘What’s the word?’ Let’s go back. In the beginning, John the first chapter, In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God, and the word was and is made flesh and dwells amongst you. How much you need to see what I’m saying to you today?” (John 1:1, 1:14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”)

    “I am here demonstrating the Word made flesh.” (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.”)

    “[Y]ou’ll find the truth, the more you get around, the more you’ll see the truth, and the more you know the truth, the more it’ll set you free.” (John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”)

    “[T]here is one in Redwood Valley that though they were dead, yet shall they live!” (John 11:25, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”)

    “We affirm that these things shall you do, and greater sayeth Jesus because I go to the Father.” (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.”)

    “Finally the day’ll come when we’re livin’ in such an hour that they will kill you, thinkin’ they do God a service.” (John 16:2, “…yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”)

    “They don’t like for black and white people to get together, and Indian people to get together, and iron out their differences peacefully and be in one accord and one mind, one spirit as it was on the day of Pentecost.” (Acts 2:1, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”)

    “[Y]ou’re gonna be stoned like Stephen.” (Acts 7:59, “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”)

    “Some of you don’t know how to pray as you ought. But the spirit itself is gonna have to make intercession and groanings and utterings, and utterences that you cannot express, you’re not gonna have time to pray, you got some time to get a long-winded prayer … you don’t know Jesus.” (Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”)

    “[F]aith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”)

    “[I]n all the churches, suffer not a woman to speak. Suffer not a woman to teach… that’s what the King James says. Women keep silent. That means honey, if you don’t understand plain English: shut your cotton pickin’ mouth.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” Also, 1 Timothy 2:12, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”)

    “The letter kills, child, it’s the spirit that makes alive.” (2 Corinthians 3:6, “for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”)

    “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me!” (Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:”)

    “[T]hey would be quickened, in whatever state we wanna call it, they’d be quickened and brought back to a consciousness.” (Ephesians 2:4-7, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved);  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”)

    “You need apostles, pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelists for the perfecting of the saints. You can’t get perfected without a spokesman from heaven. That’s why we’ve got the need.” (Ephesians 4:11-12, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”)

    “Jesus said, … let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Didn’t say a mind like Jesus’, it said the same mind. Let the same mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of a slave considered it not robbery to be equal with God, equal with God, equal with God.” (Philippians 2:5-6, “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:”)

    “Jesus was made obedient, he overcome through the things that he suffered.” (Philippians 2:8-9, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”)

    “I knew one day there’d come a day, there’d come an hour, when those that were dead in Christ should live.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:”)

    “They that live godly in Christ Jesus shall – didn’t say maybe – but said shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”)

    “The word of God will discern the thoughts. Hebrews 4:12 tells you what I’m doing. It discerns the thoughts of the mind, the intents of the heart, it will separate soul from spirit, quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, will divide … the bone from the marrow, just as I did this week.… You want to know what I am, you read Hebrews 4:12, you’ll find out what I am.” (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.”)

    “I heard somebody on the radio just a while ago just before I came in here. It’s appointed unto man three score and ten years and he must die. Yes. All appointed to die. And the spirit will return to the God who gave it. Now what do we need some fool like that on the radio tell us that?” (Hebrews 9:27-28, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”)

    “As for me and the house of Jones, we shall follow holiness with all men. And peace without which, no man can see God.” (Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”)

    “Now I’m either with you, or I’m not with you. I have said that this spirit, that calls out the sick, will always be in this chair. I will always be there, may not just look exactly the same, I will always be in this chair. I have promised you that, that I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”)

    “We declare that God is the same today, yesterday and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”)

    “[C]ount it all joy when these things come upon you, count it blessed.” (James 1:2, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.”)

    “You think we’re gonna make it any other way, Revelations 3:12 says to him that overcometh– that means the one that’ll stand up. That means the one that’ll cry aloud and spare not!” (Revelation 3:12, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”)

    “These days of trial when the church is being bruised on every hand, when the winds of the apocalypse are upon us, when the four horsemen are loose in the land, you’ll have no time to get down on your knees.” (Revelation 9:13-21)


(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Norman Scott. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance. The editors are also grateful to Andrew Finlay for his correction on the date of this sermon.)

This sermon from September 1972 in Redwood Valley contains many of the elements – including the contradictions and complexities – of a typical address by Jim Jones from the period. He castigates the Bible on numerous occasions, not only for its message, but for the human misery that has been perpetrated in the name of the Christian-Judeo God throughout history; yet within moments of vilifying it, he will quote the Bible as a demonstration, if not outright proof, of the divinity of himself and those who follow him. On numerous occasions, he raises the issue of his own faith-healing abilities and the miracles witnessed by those in the church, yet he chastises those who come for the sole purpose of being healed, and who are impatient to get to that part of the service without hearing his larger message. His background and training is as a preacher, and he scatters quotes from the Bible throughout his speaking, even as he assumes – and understands – that many of the people in the congregation recognize the quotes, yet he heaps criticism upon every other minister, referring to their Cadillacs and fancy trappings.

There are only three themes that he does not dilute or muddy with qualification or reservation, either here or elsewhere in his addresses from this period. The first is his expression of rage against American society as racist, sexist, classist, and violent, characteristics which plague other societies as well and which underlie his own visions of nuclear annihilation and apocalypse. The second is his evocation of Christ, perhaps as a previous incarnation of the man whom the congregation sees before it, and certainly as a figure whose message of social justice should guide everything they do, even unto revolution. “You don’t know Jesus,” he says near the end of his address. “And you don’t want to know Jesus, and you don’t want to pay the price to know Jesus, you don’t want to sell out of the things of this world… I only use one word in Christianity – Christ – which … means ‘revolutionary.’”

The third theme recurs several times in the tape, and it’s a combination of the first two. Those who truly follow Jesus and try to tackle the woes of the world will not be embraced by the evil power structure, but rather persecuted for it. He quotes numerous passages from the Gospel about the extent of that persecution – “Finally the day’ll come when they will kill you, thinking they do God a service” – and admonishes his followers that if they are comfortable in their religion, then they aren’t truly obeying Christ’s call to stand up to the ruling elite.

The tape begins, as do most tapes in this collection, with Jones in mid-stride. He is criticizing the Bible – the tape opens with his reminder that the Bible commands women to obey their husbands and to keep silent in churches – but the reason he offers these critiques, he adds, is that he is demonstrating that God is in his body, and that, if they read their Bibles correctly, they would see that. He understands that his followers might not just take his word for that claim, that they might need some evidence. That is the purpose of his healings, to provide the proof that he is who he says he is. And he can offer it, he adds. Those in the room who have been brought back from the dead raise their hands, as do those who were crippled or who had cancer. His powers have brought him national recognition, he continues, and within a few weeks, a national publication will report that “Prophet Jones raised them from the dead.” But even his wife Marceline needed proof of his power at one time, he admits, so doubters are in good company. “So stick around,” he invites the newcomers. “Stick around. Just come more than once, stick around. And you’ll find that you will not be dismayed, you’ll find the truth, the more you get around, the more you’ll see the truth.”

(The national publication turned out to be The San Francisco Examiner, which started an eight-part series by Lester Kinsolving about the Temple on September 17, 1972. When the series turned out to be less than flattering, Temple members mobilized to write letters to the editor of the Examiner and picketed the newspaper’s offices in protest. The Examiner dropped the final four articles slated for the series, but whether the editors had succumbed to the Temple’s pressure is still open to question.)

Jones knows that not everyone will return. More than once during the address, he comments how a pronouncement will drive away the faint of heart, how his radical interpretation of the Bible is such a challenge to everything they’ve been taught that they “don’t wish to believe [him].” Once someone has been exposed to his message, though, “you’ll have to be a hypocrite if you go out saying you believe everything that’s in the Bible from now on, ‘cause I just proved [its fallacies and inconsistencies] to you.”

But those who stay will find their way to the truth. “And why not?” he asks. “Because when people see God in me, they reproduce God in themselves.” And when he stands before them as God, when he says he is God, the spirit rises in him, just as it rises in them. In that way, he adds, the people are participating in their own cures. “I feel the strength flow from me and transmit to you, and if you are in that consciousness, you’ll feel a quickening in your body, and the aches and the pains, the sickness and the disease, even now will begin to disappear.”

For most people, he says, the experience of this witness is essential to this understanding. The media rarely communicate his views correctly. “They [ask], ‘Are you God?’ and I try to answer them what God means, that what I am, everybody is, … [but] they cut out this and try to make it look bad.” He still gives interviews, though, because every now and then, someone will read an account – however flawed it might be – of his ministry, and they’ll heed the call to come join him.

He returns to the subject of media coverage later in the service, speaking about the television, radio and newspaper stories about them. He says it doesn’t matter that the press doesn’t get the story right, or understands what they are doing, but as long as it reports the news – and “it is news, when people get up when they’re supposed to be dead… Can’t expect to keep it a secret” – people will be curious and will come to see what Peoples Temple is all about.

However, no one should expect the press to ever praise the work of the church, he continues, because they are part of the power structure, and the power structure likes things the way they are. “They don’t like peace in the land. They don’t like for black and white people to get together, and Indian people to get together, and iron out their differences peacefully and be in one accord and one mind, one spirit as it was on the day of Pentecost.… [T]hose that have the power, they’d like to control the things, and the best way they can control it is by gettin’ us little people all divided against ourselves.”

Jones invokes the name of Jesus numerous times in the address. His pronouncements might lead his critics in the media and in other churches to consider him the Antichrist, but he scoffs at the description. “We’re all for Jesus, aren’t we?” he asks the cheering congregation. “We love the teachings of Jesus, we love the salvation of Jesus, we love the redemption of Jesus, we love the baptism of Jesus. So we’re certainly not against Jesus.”

Even as the cheers and applause rise around him throughout the service, Jones watches the crowd. He calls out to the spies with their notepads and recording devices, telling them he’ll slow down if they need to get every word, because he doesn’t want them to miss a thing. He also predicts that “some of you that are not ready to clap yet” will eventually join them. “[Y]ou’ll be clappin’, you’ll be mighty glad to be with us, ‘cause they’re not gonna take you in, you’ll have to get on our side.”

The tape recording fails at one point, and what follows the break could be a separate sermon, or later in the same address. While much of the tone is the same, the message becomes more confrontational, as Jones sets himself up as the lone warrior in a battle against all authority, ranging from President Nixon to God. He describes how cities are being designed to allow for easier control of its ghettos, how apartment complexes – with their limited entrances and central courtyards – could be converted quickly into concentration camps, how the tunnels and underpasses leading out of inner cities can be monitored by small numbers of tanks and military vehicles.

He would like to save them from that, he says. He would like to lead them to a place where they could live in peace. “That’s what a family does,” he says. “If it’s got a good father, it takes care of its family. That’s all we are anymore. Just one last tribe of free people, a tribe of loyal people trying to look after each other. That’s what this movement is.”

For similar reasons, he differentiates himself from the Skygod, the one that – according to the Bible – created humans so that he wouldn’t be alone, the one that allows the progeny of Adam and Eve to suffer such hardships over the millennia. “I don’t want to meet him, if he’s got all power. He couldn’t make a universe that could stay in orbit… Hell, misery all around you.” A moment later, he changes his mind. “I’d like to meet that Skygod… I’d like to put one right between his eyes, I’d like to punch his nose ‘till it sunk in his head.”

He closes the address with words of defiance echoing through the Temple. As he says near the end, “I wouldn’t let one of you suffer a minute. And I’m not the Skygod, honey. I’m Jim Jones.”

FBI Summary:

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 June 15, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B108-16. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES giving a sermon regarding topics such as God, social conditions, and his powers of healing.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted March 2008