Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue: Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: None
Date cues on tape: Spring 1972 (after trip to Seattle, before cross-country trip to Philadelphia)
Mr. and Mrs. Benny Simms (healed at PT service in Oakland)
Mrs. Georgia Allen (healed at PT service in San Francisco)
Mrs. Armstrong (healed at PT service in Seattle)
Sherry Richardson (healed at PT service)
George Washington, first U.S. President
Thomas Jefferson, third U.S. President
Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President
John E. Remsburg, author of The Christ
T. J. Randolph, memoirist of Thomas Jefferson
Helen Flanders Dunbar, renowned psychiatrist from 1930s through 50s
Bible verses cited:
(Editor’s note: In addition to the verses below, Jones read many from the texts he was using for the day. Since those verses did not come directly from him, they are not included in the following listing.
(The biblical 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.)
- “Day and night before the sun, Genesis 1.” (Genesis 1:3-5, 16)
“The absurdities of the old system… [t]hat women should be in subjection – always – because Eve was deceived.” (Genesis 3, especially Genesis 3:16, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”)
“God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, according to the misinterpretations of scripture in Genesis 22.”
“Aaron, by stretching out his hand, covers Egypt with frogs. The magicians produce another layer of frogs in Exodus 8.”
“You find diabolical process of God described in Exodus 12, where assassinations at midnight were taking place for the first born of every Egyptian family.” (“Exodus 12:29-30 “At midnight the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt … and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.”)
“Thou shall not steal, we’re told in Exodus 20:15, (“Thou shalt not steal.”), yet in Exodus 3, we were told to go spoil the Egyptians, to steal from the Egyptians, to borrow and not return.” (Exodus 3:21-22, “And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty. But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.”)
“God may authorize a man to sell his daughter as in Exodus 21. …I do not believe in the God that directed slave branding in Exodus 21.”
“I am not serving the God of Leviticus that approved of slavery and established it in Exodus 21 and Leviticus 25.”
“Millions died. Exodus 22.”
“Witchcraft, thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, Exodus 22.” (Exodus 22:18, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”)
“God instructs Moses how to make a perfume with death for imitators, Exodus 30.” (Exodus 30:37-38, “And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD. Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.”)
“Death for eating fat, Leviticus 7.” (Leviticus 7:23-25).
“Death for adultery, Leviticus 20.” (Leviticus 20:10, “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”)
“God establishes slavery in Leviticus 25 and Exodus 21. A man can sell his daughter in Exodus 21. God orders slave capturing expeditions in Deuteronomy 20. God directs slave branding in Exodus 21. The New Testament even sanctions slavery.” (e.g., Luke 12:45-48, Ephesians 6:5-9, 1 Timothy 6:1-3)
“We refuse to place [Christ] in the Judeo tradition of a God that gives law governing human sacrifice in Leviticus 27, where the inhabitants of Jericho were thus devoted to the Lord in Joshua 6:17, and Jeremiah 7:30 and Nehemiah 10 make it obvious that the orthodox Jews and religious ardent students of that day burned their sons and daughters to Jehovah in comparatively late times, as would be brought forth in Ezekiel 20 and Micah 6. In obedience to this law of the old Judeo tradition, Bible God, Jephthah a prophet burned his daughter, Judges 11 and the 29th verse through 39. And David sacrificed the sons of Saul to stay off a famine in second Samuel 21.”
“A father must slay his own daughter, wife, son or friend for a difference of religion, Deuteronomy 13.” (Deuteronomy 13:6-9)
“I do not approve of the God that ordered slave-capturing expeditions in Deuteronomy 20.”
“That woman could be captured, violated and then turned out of doors in Deuteronomy 21.” (Deuteronomy 21:11-14)
“Robbing bird nest, ordered to lengthen life, according to Deuteronomy 22.” (Deuteronomy 22:6-7)
“The so-called books of Moses were not written by Moses. Their language did not exist in his age. They record his death and burial in Deuteronomy 34. As one writer asked me about, yes, persons who lived in a later date in Genesis 36.”
“Foxes become firebrands in Jude [Judges] 15.” (Judges 15:4-5, “And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.”)
“[You find diabolical process of God] Killing of a baby to punish his father for murder in second Samuel 12. Killing men for not worshipping this God in Exodus 22. First Samuel 15, God speaking, now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and little suckling baby. Why this cruelty? Because the Amalekites, according to mistranslations of scripture, had wronged the Israelites 400 years before.” (1 Samuel 15:2-3)
“In second Samuel, it says it was God that numbered Israel. If both accounts are true, then God and Satan are the same person. Ridiculous. The Bible God punishes neither Satan nor David but slays seventy thousand Israelites for being counted at his own instigation according to one version. David justly remonstrates with his deity, second Samuel 24:17 says ‘Lo, I have sinned, but these sheep, what have they done?’ But according to the mistranslations of scripture, seventy thousand Israelites perished because of something that’s even contradictory, some failure of David.” (2 Samuel 24:15, 17, “So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.… And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done?” See also 1 Chronicles 21:14, “So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.”)
“Elijah slays 450 priests for just differing with him in theological thought.” (1 Kings 18)
“We find Elisha causes bears to tear children for laughing at his bald head in second Kings 2:23.” (2 Kings 2:23-24)
“We have Satan provoking David to number Israel in first Chronicles twenty one.” (1 Chronicles 21:1, “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.”). But according to second Samuel 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.”),
“To build a temple, David gives more gold and silver than England and America possesses today, 1 Chronicles 22.” (1 Chronicles 22:14, 16, “Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; … Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the LORD be with thee.”)
“Job 21 says ‘the wicked shall prosper,’ but Ecclesiastes says it’s not so in 8:13.” (Ecclesiastes 8:13, “But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.”)
“Children should be beaten with rods in Proverbs 23.” (Proverbs 23:13-14, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”)
“It will put you on a straight course. The way is so plain that a man be a fool, he shall not need err therein.” (Isaiah 35:8, “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”)
“A strain of cannibalism at Jeremiah 19 (Jeremiah 19:9, “And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.”), in Deuteronomy 28 (Deuteronomy 28:53-57), Lamentations 4.” (Lamentations 4:10, “The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.”), and 2 Kings 6.” (2 Kings 6:28-29, “And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.”)
“We cannot even ascertain in the scripture, as we read in Matthew, the first chapter, sixteenth verse and compare it to Luke, the third chapter and 23rd verse – you go and do that, remember? Matthew, the first chapter and sixteenth verse, and Luke the twenty third verse – You will not be able to ascertain who the father of Joseph was. Matthew says it was Jacob. Luke says it was Heli. Jesus is traced through the lineage of Joseph by both Matthew one chapter and Luke third chapter, and they’re traced back to Abraham, but one has him having fifteen more grandparents than the other. Thus we cannot determine anything by the letter.… We know that we can’t even ascertain who the father of Joseph or the father of Jesus was. Matthew, first chapter 16th verse says it was Jacob. But Luke 3 and 23 tracing him both through Joseph says that Joseph’s father was Heli or the grandfather of Jesus was Heli in one case and Jacob in the other.”
“But this is not the God of Jesus Christ. This is not the motivating power that moved the Nazarene. Nay, he was a God of love. He said contrary to levitical law, contrary to what we had been told in the Bible in Exodus, contrary to the Bible and religious creed of that day and all the letter they had, that said an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a wound for a wound. He said it’s been said of old time, he would not even dignify it by saying it was scripture. He would not even dignify it as the Talmud, the law of the prophets. He said it’s just been said of old time, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, it’s no longer so, you’re to love your enemy. You’re to give them your cloak when they ask for your cloak, you’re to go the extra mile.” (Matthew 5)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”)
“We refuse to accept that Jesus of Nazareth that told us to love our enemies, to do good to those that despitefully use us.” (Matthew 5:43-44, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;)
“We are warned of hypocritical and false or inefficacious praying. We are told that the hypocrites stand with a loud voice in the synagogue to be heard of men, and we are told also that he has his reward. He is seen of men but he is not heard by the higher dimensions of deity.” (Matthew 6:1-8)
“[Jesus said] that we being evil in the natural realm, knew how to do good, how much more our heavenly father knew how to do good, that he would not give a serpent for flesh, he would not give stone for bread.” (Matthew 7:9-11, “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”)
“Incidentally, and not quite related, it’s interesting to note that Jesus was forgiving sins before he even went to the cross.” (Matthew 9:2-6, Matthew 12:31, Matthew 18:21-22, Mark 2:5-10, Mark 3:28, Mark 4:12, Luke 5:20-24, Luke 7:47-49)
“We cannot take up his cross. He said that a man that would follow him must first deny himself and take up his own cross.” (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)
“Thus, if he admonishes us to forgive seventy times seven in one day.” (Matthew 18:21-22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”)
“Suffer little children to come unto you, for such is the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:14, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” See also Mark 10:14 and Luke 18:16.)
“All the law and the prophets is fulfilled by one saying love the law of God, love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39; see also Mark 12:29-31, Luke 10:26-27)
“God is available today, that he is the same today, yesterday and forever, the God that changeth not, that his word is true. Though I am with you always, even on to the end of the world.… “Christ said ‘I am the same today, yesterday and forever, I am the God that changeth not. Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’” (Matthew 28:20, “…lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Also, Malachi 3:6, “For I am the LORD, I change not.”)
“[You] cannot mix the old with the new, you cannot put old wine in new vessels, you cannot patch up the garment with the old tradition, wipe away the tradition of the elders and the tradition of old laws and regulations. You cannot live under law but under the grace of the consciousness of the ever presence of Christ. And in that principle I have come, I make it available to you through the spirit of Jesus of Nazarene.” (Luke 5:36-38, “And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.”)
“I come in the consciousness of Christ, motivated by the spirit that formulated the Word in the beginning.” (John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”)
“Come to the source of living water.” (John 4:7-14)
“I am content that I have come in my Father’s name.” (John 5:43, “I am come in my Father’s name…”)
“Jesus came, not to condemn, but to give life and life more abundantly.… Jesus said he came to give life and life more abundantly… Seize the time of the instinct of Christ that is within you, and you can have life and life more abundantly.” (John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”)
“Yes, he that liveth and believeth though he were dead yet shall he live and he that liveth and believeth shall never die.” (John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”)
“That word is dwelling in us now made flesh vital to save.… The Word of God is made flesh and it still dwells in us, Christ in us, the hope of glory.” (John 12:14, “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.”)
“He is the way, the truth, and the life, but we must walk in that way.” (John 14:5-7, “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”)
“He said when you see me you’ve seen the Father, for I and the Father are one. I have come in my Father’s name. These things shall you do in greater, because I go to the Father.” (John 14:8-13)
“[I affirm] that Christ, in us, that can be the same as it was then and even greater – Jesus said these things shall you do and greater, because I go to the Father… He said these things shall you do and greater, 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.”)
“The Holy Ghost would give us the thing that we needed to say in our hour of persecution even when we were brought before kings and adversaries, the Paraclete, the comforter, the spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost would tell us the things that we needed to say to give us undaunted courage and wisdom.” (John 15, esp. 20-27)
“No man can call anyone Christ except by the Holy Ghost, the spirit of truth, the spirit of comforter, or the spirit of bravery as it comes from the original Greek.” (John 15:26, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” See also John 14:26)
“We are also reminded in scripture, that if all the things Jesus had both began to say and do were recorded in the books in the last chapter of Saint John, the world would not be able to contain the activities of just Jesus in Nazareth consciousness. Thus you cannot find the Word of God in written pages.” (John 20:30-31, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name,” and John 21:24-25, “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”)
“God is no respecter of persons.” (Acts 10:34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.”)
“Faith cometh from within. It cometh by hearing first the Word of God from a prophet sent by God. We are told we cannot find a truth in the reading of scripture, but we must have a prophet that is sent. How can we hear without a preacher? Can he preach lest he be sent? No. We cannot hear without a prophet. We cannot hear without a preacher, and he cannot preach lest he be sent by the Holy Spirit… As I heard of old times, and it is related through all the translations of today, how can you hear without a preacher, and how can he preach lest he be sent? Original scripture had it, ‘How can we hear without a prophet?’ Now we are told that we cannot have faith without the hearing of the Word of God. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.… Without the prophetic word, how can we hear without a preacher, how can he preach lest he be sent.” (Romans 10:14-17: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? … So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”)
“Yea, even to his apostles to feed those of our enemies that were hungered.” (Romans 12:19-20, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink…”)
“All power that is, is ordained of God as Romans 14 says.”
“The kingdom is not meat and drink.” (Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”)
“We’re saved through the foolishness of preaching.” (1 Corinthians 1:17-27, esp. 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe..”)
“His proof of being sent will be the fact that he inculcates the nine gifts of the holy spirits… I know no other way for perfection to be reached than through these bodily ministries and through prophets that duly have the earmarks of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the nine gifts mentioned in Corinthian letter.” (1 Corinthians 12)
“They are reading as the Word says, (unintelligible word), which are either dead epistles, or as we are commanded to be living epistles read and known of all men.… He said you are living epistles read and known of all men.” (2 Corinthians 3:1-2, “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.”)
“The letter kills but the spirit maketh alive… We are told that the letter kills – or the Bible, the letter to Thessalonica, the letter to the church of Romans, the letter to all the various churches in the New Testament – the letter kills. But, the spirit makes alive.” (2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”)
“I would that they would even cut off you which trouble you, Galatians 5.” (Galatians 5:12, “I would that they would even cut off which trouble you.”) The inquisition carried out the spirit of that text, death for heresy.
“Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”)
“In Peoples Temple, all around the clock we are seeing the new man unfold. Racism is disappearing, a new social order is being created, an apostolic community on all these beautiful acres that in every sense of the word takes care of first the household of the faith and then reaches out to all other people on both the physical, physiological and spiritual plane.” (Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”)
“That source of result first must be stimulated as I said from a prophet without, from one that is sent of God, even in our days, apostles, pastors, teachers, prophets, evangelists, for the perfection of a saint, necessary even in the church today for the perfection of a saint.” (Ephesians 4:10-13, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. 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: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”)
“We must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phillipians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”)
“Christ be in us, our hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”)
“I’ve seen immortality brought to light in this gospel of the good news that I am bringing.” (2 Timothy 1:10, “…our Saviour Jesus Christ … hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”)
“[The Word is] sharper than any two-edged sword. It will divide as a discerner of the thought, yes, it will divide the unreal from the real. It will look into the heart and know the intents and purposes. … The Word, which is sharper than a two-edged sword, divides the thoughts, evil thoughts from the good. It’s a discerner of the thought, divides the bone from the marrow.” (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.”)
“All good things come down from the Father of lights in whom there is no shadow or variableness of turning.” (James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”)
“And James the brother of Jesus said in the first chapter of James, 31st verse, pure religion, undefiled before God and our Father is to minister to the orphans and widows in their affliction and keep yourself unspotted from the world. In the original it says the worship of things.” (James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”)
“And whosoever loveth is born of God and knoweth God.” (1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”)
“God is love.” (1 John 4:8, 16 “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love… And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”)
“Perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”)
“[T]he new Jerusalem is coming down out of heaven as a bride adorned for her husband, prepared to wipe away the tears from the eyes, to remove death, disease, and debilitating circumstances.” (Revelation 21:2, 4, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him… And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”)
(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
(Note: This tape was one of 53 tapes originally withheld from public disclosure.)
This tape consists of a series of relatively short messages, probably all made in the course of a single session, that Jim Jones recorded for distribution as public relations or advance pieces ahead of a bus tour to the East Coast in 1972. The stops will include Philadelphia – the home of Father Divine’s Peace Mission, which Jones once had aspirations of taking control of – and Indianapolis.
The messages are different than most that members of Peoples Temple themselves would hear in any of the California sanctuaries. While Jones eventually includes his views on the errors and the cruelties found in the Bible – subjects which were familiar – all of the initial messages speak of a loving God in the form of Jesus Christ (with only hints of his reincarnation coming into the person of Jones himself), of the power of prayer, and of the need to turn away from a religion which is based upon fear or “of a negative mortal nature.” In addition, a number of recordings not only present the views of New Thought and Christian Science writers and thinkers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but several of them quote extensively from their works. The writings include excerpts from The Man of Sorrow (1905) by Elbert Hubbard, the founder of the Roycroft artisan community in East Aurora, New York; The divine law of cure (1884) by Warren Felt Evans, a Swedenborgian minister and follower of Phineas Quimby, considered by many as the father of the New Thought Movement; Psychical science and Christianity (1909) by Emily Katherine Bates; The works of Lord Byron, Volume 9, by Baron George Gordon Byron, 1811; and The strength of prayer (1889) by Helen Van Metre Van-Anderson Gordon, a minor nineteenth century novelist.
There are relatively few editorial comments that Jones adds to the text, and the ones he does include suggests that he knows his intended Peace Mission audience well: He makes periodic interjections of more inclusive language than the original text provides, such as “or woman” in a sentence beginning “The man who is happy…” He adds overtly religious language, including periodic interjection of illustrative or explanatory Bible verses, to several passages. Moreover, he refers to God as “God good” and adds “holiness” after the invocation of Christ. He edits out the names of 19th-century scholars, theologians and other contemporary references quoted in the original text, replacing them with descriptors (“many doctors”) or non-specific pronouns (“one”). He includes 20th-century ailments of racism and cancer along with the 19th-century ills of rheumatism and consumption, as part of his updating of the texts. And he updates the original writings in other ways. “I find it incredible that in the 20th century, many religious groups are still preaching a fear gospel,” he begins one segment, shortly before reading from a book written in the 19th century. He substitutes unfamiliar words or expressions, like changing the Latin ignis fatuus – translated as “will-o’-the-wisp – to “unknown.”
Most of the messages conclude with an invitation to come to a service of Peoples Temple, although Jones presents different reasons for attendance, based upon the reading he has just concluded and/or the audience he is trying to reach. Some speak of the fellowship, love and positive messages that newcomers will hear; some are overtly Christo-centric, focusing on God’s love as revealed in the New Testament; some address the healings, resurrections and other miracles of faith; still others inform the listener of the errors that are in the Bible and the truth that will be revealed to them through Jim Jones; others – but not many – promote the facilities and support services found in the Temple itself. Many of these messages overlap.
Indeed, each invitation to a Peoples Temple service represents a promise of the fulfillment of the message just quoted. “The divinest and most Christ-like person in human society should be the good physician,” Jones quotes from The divine law of cure by Warren Felt Evans (1884), “he who from the overflowing stores of his own spiritual intelligence and goodness is governed by an irrepressible impulse to impart life, health, and peace to others.” To this, Jones adds, “we are seeing [this] happening every day in Peoples Temple.
A few readings lead to more substantial commentary. A lengthy reading from Evans – the primary text of the day – includes a reference to burial services, which Jones uses as a point of departure to remind his listeners (or, in this case, inform those in Philadelphia) that there he been no funerals in Peoples Temple “[f]or many years now,… though we have over four thousand active members in our mother church alone.”
Jones never offers attribution for the writings, and even though some of the messages – The Letter Killeth – are familiar, the 19th century language may have seemed somewhat stiff and formal for a Temple audience. In contrast, all elements of the taped messages – the language, the content, the interjections, even the claims of powers to heal and resurrect – would have been typical for a Peace Mission service.
In only one segment does Jones discuss how he intends to use this tape, and how he would like for his staff to enhance it. “I’m going to give you some written testimonies and let you give them yourself with great feeling,” he tells his staff. “You must say something very forceful, even though it’s not included in the writing. Say that, ‘and he saved them with everyone from a fatal disease, or he healed them from this terminal disease that was taking their life.’ Make it very dramatic.
“This ought to be able to be used for Philadelphia,” he concludes that portion of the tape.
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 16, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B108-24. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES talking about the church and how God has been reincarnated in the People’s Temple. As a part of the talk, he includes comments about sin, morality, Jesus, the “all-ness” of God, and the thought of prayer. JONES also states that he wishes to thank people in radio land for the privilege of bringing them the Christ truth. JIM JONES then gives a sermon about Jesus and misinterpretations of the bible.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted January 2012