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:
Date cues on tape: None
Sister Nelson [could be Kay Nelson]
Sister Sneed [several in Peoples Temple]
Sister Grisby (speaks)
Annie Mae Harris (speaks)
Rev. J.B. Aldridge [phonetic]
Bishop Crane, President of the Baptist Churches of Texas [by reference]
Julian Bond, civil rights activist
Walter Cronkite, CBS News anchor
Richard Hatcher, Mayor of Gary, Indiana
George Jackson, imprisoned Black Panther
Jessie Watson, death row prisoner
Vernon Brown, death row prisoner
Bobby Hines, death row prisoner
Forbes Burnham, prime minister of Guyana
Harold Dowler, minister at Baptist church in Oakland (by reference)
Carlton Goodlett, San Francisco physician, newspaper publisher
Elizabeth, mother of Annie Mae Harris
Alice Finney, mother of Woman 3
Doctor Jacobs, doctor of Woman 3
Roy, brother of Woman 3
Kay, niece of Woman 3
David, son of Sister Grisby
Sam, son of Sister Grisby
Sam, father of Sister Grisby
Abby, mother of Sister Grisby
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.)
- Part 1:
“I have come treading the winepresses alone and of the people, there were none to help.” (Isaiah 63:3, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me.”)
“If I have put that spirit in you, if indeed my statutes are written on your inward parts and my law is in your heart.” (Jeremiah 31:33, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Also, Hebrews 8:10, 10:16.)
“If you’re weary and well doing, the gaps of the hedge will drop, the wall of fire will drop.” (Ezekiel 22:29-31)
“I can take a cross any time.” [Later in service] “When you do wake up, at least say, I served him all the way. I walked with him every day. I bore his cross by taking up my 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, Luke 9:23)
“He walked on the water.” (Matthew 14:24-27)
“It was so lonely for Judas. Judas took the thirty pieces of silver, and he run with them and threw them back. Threw them at the … feet of the scribes. And they wouldn’t have them. Said no, take your pieces of silver, we don’t want your blood money. Judas says, oh, I didn’t know what I did. Please, I didn’t know what I did. I did not know what I was doing. I did not realize when I kissed him and gave him the kiss of death. I didn’t know what my conscience was going to feel like.” (Matthew 26:14-16, 47-50, 27:3-5)
“I welcome Gethsemanes.” (Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew (26:36-46), and Mark (14:32-50).)
“The only talk you must consider is what you will feel if you feel like Pilate when you have to wash your hands. The only thing if you take concern if they come and do something with your pastor. It’s a miserable thing to be like Pilate and have to wash your hands and the blood won’t come off. It’s a miserable thing to look at your hands and said, “’Oh, Jim, what have I done to you? What have I done to you? What have I done to you?’” (Matthews 27:24, “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.”)
“[You] Say, there’s a rest that is provided for the children of God, and some must needs be enter therein.” (Mark 10:15, “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” See also, Luke 18:17).
“If you put me in a jail cell, I will cause creation to be shaken. If you put me in a cross or put me in an electric chair, I will cause creation to be shaken.” (Mark 13:24-26)
“[I]f you are weak, if you are a vacillating Peter, if you are afraid to be identified with me, if you say I never knew the man, if you’re afraid to stand up and be counted, then they’ll take me and do with me what they will.” [Later in service] “Please don’t have that conscience upon you. Because Peter, to say I never knew him, three times.” (Mark 14:29-31, 68-72; Luke 22:33-34, 60-62; John 13:37-38, 18:26-27)
“You must pray for those that despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:28, “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” See also Matthew 5:44).
“You just tell them that there’s somebody… over on Alvarado that’s causing cancers to come out, that’s causing the people to walk, that’s causing the blind to see, causing the dead to rise.” (Luke 7:22, “Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.”)
“[H]e’s turned the water into wine.” (John 2:1-11)
“I have come with none other purpose than to do the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”)
“Some of you are not standing because you yet not know.” (John 8:54-55, “Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.”)
“[T]he comforter has come into your life, that spirit that I represent, the Holy Comforter, which means the spirit of bravery.” (John 14:26 and 15:26)
“Gamaliel said in the Acts of the apostles, he said, don’t you fight these people. Said, don’t touch them, the great man of the San Hedron [phonetic], he said lest happily you find yourself fighting God. He said if it is not of God, it won’t stand, and if it is of God, then you’ll be in trouble, because you’ll find yourself fighting God.” (Acts 5:34-39, esp. 38-39, “And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”)
“But I want to tell you , as for me as a person, whatever comes, I’m just expendable. I’m a sacrificial lamb. I’m ready to be sacrificed. Either alive or dead, or imprisoned. In tumults, in riotings, whatever. Whatever man wants to do with me, I’m here to glorify the name of Jesus!” (2 Corinthians 6:3-10)
“So you that are silent, and you that’re indifferent here and you that’ve come to spy on our liberty, what will you do with Jesus?” (Galatians 2:4, “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:”)
“I have come, dying daily, I have come crucified in the flesh, nevertheless I live, yes that I, Jim Jones, but Christ sent me to be me. The life I live, I live not by the flesh of Jim Jones, but by the will of the son of God.” Later in service: “They think they’re gonna hurt me but they can’t hurt me anymore. Can’t hurt me anymore because I died. I have died, but Christ has resurrected.” (Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”)
“Where they rest from their works as the creator did on the sixth day. I have rested. Where they rest from their works as the creator did on the sixth day. I have rested. There’s no more ego, so when you don’t have any ego, you’re at home in jail, you’re at home in the ghetto, you’re at home on the back of the bus, you’re at home without sleep when you don’t have any ego, and you’ve entered into the rest that Hebrew’s four talks about. The fourth chapter of Hebrews talks about that rest. I’ve entered into it.” (Hebrews 4)
“He’s stopped the rain, and he caused the rain to come when they needed rain.” (James 5:17-18, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”)
“I’m that hollow of the hand that has to protect you. You have to rest in this hand, because when you’re praying to God out there, I’m answering if you get an answer.” (Proverbs 30:4 and Isaiah 40:12)
“We may have more persecutions, prosecutions, troubles than anybody, because they that live godly will, but we also have more miracles than you ever heard tell of in your life.” (2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”)
“Hebrews, the fourth chapter in the 12th verse, said the word discerns the thoughts, and I did it on that sister a moment ago, but knows the intents of your hearts. It may separate bones and 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.”)
(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
This tape consists of segments of two different sermons.
The first, and probably latter of the two, is much more overtly religious, even as he makes a claim for his own divinity.
It begins – as do many of these tapes – in mid-sentence, with no indication of how long the address has lasted to this point. He speaks with some apparent pride about the ministers in the community who do not know how to deal with Jim Jones. Their churches are losing members to Peoples Temple because of its message and mission, but what really bothers the clergy is that they aren’t like him, a man with no car or adornments, a man who wears used clothing and shoes, a man who does not put himself above his people. It’s a familiar theme in Jones’ addresses, appearing also – for example – on the second sermon on this tape.
One difference between the two, though, is that the first segment includes Jones’ use of scripture to show who is in his church. This church is where God is, Jones says, and because of that, he can do things for his people that other ministers can only envy. “You’ve never met a man like this man before. A man who doth not have any future. A man who doth not have any past. A man who has nothing but the actual presence, the ever present, the actual personal present tense of God in a body.”
He will be with them always, he says, invoking the words of Jesus from the Gospels. The question is, are they prepared to make the same commitment to him as he does for them – “Some of you say, I can’t pay the price of giving up my house or my home or my job. I can’t take the chance of losing what I have. What you can’t take the chance on is waking up, realizing, were you there when they crucified?” – or will they fail him, as Peter did in the garden of Gethsemane. Or worse, will they betray him, as Judas did that same night?
“I have crucified the one that was to come…” Jones says near the end of the segment. “I have crucified my savior. I have given the kiss of death.
“You say you can’t afford to support this ministry?” he concludes. “You can’t afford not to support this ministry. Because one day, one day you’ll wake up and you’ll know who was in your midst.”
The second sermon – likely recorded at an earlier date, and the tape reused for the sermon that appears at the beginning – is different in both tone and content. It includes several healings, several opportunities for people to give money to the Temple, and some commentary on a story in the news that allows Jones to reiterate his beliefs that racism governs America.
The healings are much like those found on other tapes: Jones calls several women from the congregation and provides each of them with personal information to allow them to build their own faith in his abilities to cure their illnesses and conditions. “I’ve never been in your home and you’ve not told me anything,” he says after he describes some of its contents. He then details the medical problems, then pauses to meditate – often speaking in tongues – before he performs the healing.
One woman he heals – possibly on her first visit to the Temple, certainly during an early visit – is Annie Mae Harris, a black woman who would die a few years later at age 74 in Jonestown.
Unique to this healing service – at least of those among surviving tapes – is Jones’ references to witchcraft as a source of affliction to two of his parishioners, including during one healing, when he says he has reversed a spell of “witchcraft [that’s] been practiced upon you… It’s caused you to be crippled. You had a tumor. You had a growth.”
The healings he has performed extends to those distant believers who have received Temple materials – photos of Jim Jones, candles, and oils – through the mail. He touches every one of these items before it’s mailed away, he says, and if his “energy reverberation” is off, he doesn’t allow the material to be distributed. He urges everyone to get this protection, since, as he says, “my pictures alone have saved over sixty thousand lives.”
Jones weaves in a couple of news stories as texts for a political message, although one is in the context of donations. Before he asks for money, though, he tells the congregation about a special type of weapon called “biologicals” currently in development which will kill blacks, Indians and Mexicans, but not whites.
The call for donations arises several times during this service, and Jones approaches the subject in several different ways. Early in the segment, for example, he reminds the congregation that the inflation which is ravishing the country is also stripping their savings of any value, and that they would be better off investing it in land. But, he adds in a note of caution, he’s not talking about the land they own right now, since it’s “[w]orth nothing because you are black. They’ll take it away from you just like they took it away from the Japanese in 1941.” But the Temple land in Guyana is protected by the government itself. “That’s something to think about.”
Later, he tells businessmen in the audience to divest their properties and turn over the assets – both financial and professional – to the Temple, so they won’t have to beat themselves up with worry and insecurity. “Get rid of those businesses,” he suggests. “Set down and work in a cooperative, where everybody’ll have to take care of the business. Well, that would be a whole lot better for you, wouldn’t it now?”
As occurs in other recordings during which Jim Jones solicits donations during the course of the service, the tape is somewhat choppy with edits: it shuts off as he asks for donations of a specific amount, then switches back on in mid-sentence some undetermined time later.
Towards the end of the service, he takes up a special collection for three black men on death row who face execution for raping a white woman. According to noted civil rights activist Julian Bond – whose words during a personal conversation Jones relates to the congregation – the men are innocent of any crime beyond the foolishness of taking advantage of a woman who offered herself to them and then regretted her decision. Jones doesn’t quite get the reaction he thought he would to one call to action – “Now that was a fine response,” he says sarcastically – so he says it a second time with more fire. “My God,” says elsewhere, “[these] three black brothers are a part of you, because what happens to them, it’ll be you next, if they get by with this dastardly deed, if they get by with this terrible act, they’ll come for you next time.”
Jones insists that people donate what they can and reminds them, “just as I know your thoughts … Why don’t you think that I know your money? I know what you’re holding back, I know what you’re blessed with.”
After asking and cautioning and reminding the people of his powers, Jones end the tape with a veiled threat: “if sixteen don’t give generously, sixteen of you will have your own loved ones standing before an assistant public defender.”
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 1B108-25. This tape was found to contain the following:
Reverend JIM JONES holding a People’s Temple service where he criticizes the efforts of other pastors to downgrade him. Healings and revelations are recounted.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted June 2010