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: Q 1057 – all parts – labeled in part “7-8-73 #14”
Date cues on tape: April 28, 1973 (Reference to resignation of FBI director L. Patrick Gray the previous night, and reminder of daylight savings time starting that night)
Don Beck (by reference)
Lovie de Pina
Archie Ijames (speaks)
Ida May Lee (speaks)
Laura Steferson (speaks)
Olivia Williams (speaks)
Ida May Yates
Carrie (either Carrie Langston or Carrie Corey)
Sister Jewel (likely Jewel Simpson or Jewel Wilson)
Kice (either Tom Kice or Robert Kice)
Reverend Garrison, Baptist minister guest speaker (speaks)
Steven Michael [Williams?], son of Olivia Williams
Rudolf Hess, Hitler deputy
Payne (first name unknown), associate of Hitler
Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president
Richard Nixon, U.S. president
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts)
L. Patrick Gray, acting head of FBI (by reference)
John Dean, counsel to President Nixon (by reference)
Dunlap/Dunlop, Boston Globe reporter arrested at Wounded Knee
Randolph Hearst, newspaper publisher (by reference)
Angela Davis, member of Communist Party, black activist
Martin Luther King, slain civil rights leader
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.)
- Reference to Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 13 and 14)
“We’ll quietly take our little trip through the wilderness and leave Pharaoh’s Egypt, Pharaoh’s Washington, Pharaoh’s America.” (Book of Exodus)
“I covered and cared for you and overcame the problem, and then you have other gods before me. You should be ashamed of yourself.… Don’t let them talk about any other God. I will have no Gods before me.… Don’t let anyone else be before me, because I’m the one that will marshal our resources together, I will marshal our strength. It’s me that will unite us if we have our whole attention undivided upon me. … So don’t let any traitor name any other God. I am God and there is no other God before me!” (Deuteronomy 5:7, “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.” See also Deuteronomy 14:2, Psalm 33:12, and Psalm 105:43.)
“The Jews said they were God’s chosen people. The Bible said they was.” (Deuteronomy 7:6, “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”)
“When we have to go, we have to move as one people, at Jerusalem, as it was when Jesus [Jeshua] warned them there, you’ve got to be as one people at Jerusalem.” (Ezra 3:1, “And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.”)
“Now you say what you want to about me, you talk about me, you can just say any old ugly thing you want to, but if you try to hurt what I have built up for my children, because I’ve come without money or price.” (Isaiah 55:1, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”)
“You choose this day who you’re going to serve, what idea you’re going to serve, because you cannot serve two masters. The one you’re going to hate, the other you’ll love, and I say you’re gonna cleave to one or push away from the other.” (Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” See also, Luke 16:13)
“Where two or three agree as touching anything, it shall be done and we will move together.” (Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”)
“I forgive more than anybody you ever heard of, including your God in the Bible.” (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.”)
“If they want to hear us sing, then let them come over and hear the light of the world!” (John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” See also, Matthew 5:14, John 1:9, John 3:19, John 8:12, John 11:9, and John 12:46.)
“We want to remember us in life, because he came to give us life and life more abundantly.” (John 10:10, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”)
“Paul talked about dung. He talked about the worst word in the Yiddish language, Hebrew language, Paul said, ‘I counted all dung that I might apprehend the Christ vision.’” (Philippians 3:8, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”)
“I’ll tell you your thoughts and know your thoughts and intent.” (Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God … is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”)
(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Kristian Klippenstein. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.)
This tape includes segments of two addresses by Jim Jones. The first few minutes of the tape is the conclusion of an undated Temple service in San Francisco, and while much of its includes undistinguishable conversation after the service while tape is still recording, it is one of the few times in the tape collection that Jim Jones actually ends an address.
The balance of the tape is an address from April 1973, and – reflecting the turmoil in the country as the Watergate constitutional crisis began to unfold – Jones’ talk is less religious and more political, especially as the tape open. Jones has apparently read an article about Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s, an article which concludes that the same thing will happen to the United States within five years. “Now this is not Jim Jones anymore,” he comments as he reads, “this is what I’ve been telling you for years, and here it is.” The current scandal isn’t the only one that Nixon has been involved in – although the resignation of his Attorney General, L. Patrick Gray, shows this one to be more serious than previous ones – but “the scandals were very similar just before Hitler took power in Germany.”
Jones offers his own scenario to the crisis with a prediction that will become increasingly familiar to the Temple membership: the U.S. military will taker over the government for the good of the country and, citing similar motivations, will herd people of color and political differences into concentration camps. There are other manifestations of the coming garrison state and stifling of dissent which recur throughout the address, including the arrest of a Boston Globe newsman for the simple act of covering what was going on at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
But that is not the fate of Jones’ followers. They need to know about these events so that they can escape and be free, and they will be able to, if the people in the congregation support him. But that means financial support. “[T]his will be the life of you and your children. If you don’t protect this, you’re going to lose your life.”
The appeal for financial support returns several times in the service. Later, he asks people to sacrifice as he has sacrificed, to sell their jewelry and turn over the proceeds to the church, or to donate the items for a church raffle. There are other creative ways to raise money as well, such as the Temple’s own plans to rent out its building to allow for the filming of a murder scene for a movie. That might seem strange, but the truth is, “I said anything I got is for rent for my people. And that’s just exactly what I meant, to get you where I want to get you free, I’ll rent anything I got, honey, and you can think what you want to think.”
Later still, he correlates the amount of the gifts they give to the level of protection they’ll receive, “and the more you give in faith, the more you protect yourself. That’s the answer. So let’s add to our faith because our money has every time been intrinsically involved with our health.” More forebodingly, he says the only people who have died in the Temple are the ones “who have held onto money, or they’ve held onto food, they held onto something they didn’t want to give up.”
The actual distribution of the raffle tickets, as well as the numerous collections taken during the service, end abruptly with a tape edit, which is characteristic of most Temple tapes.
The other danger of enslavement facing them is one many of his members bring to his Temple, which is religion itself. They read their Christian Bibles – which he describes as a “slave book” – and they immerse themselves in mysticism, but whatever form it takes, it is “counterinsurgent.” His message for them, however, is “allow no one here to praise anything else, or talk about anything else, except what I am.”
Jones is even more explicit in his claims to divinity shortly after this statement. The people who believe in the Sky God are the ones who believe in things they’ll never see – such as what happens in the afterlife – and they are the same ones who believe that his political prophecies won’t come true either. “Let them believe that these things will never happen. Let them die in the gas chambers if they want to, even though I want to save everyone,” he says. “That’s their choice. But don’t let them be in here holding us back by looking back to other gods…
“You demand that they only speak of one God, God Jim,” he continues emphatically. “You will let them speak of only one God, the savior that’s here talking to you. Don’t let them talk about any other God. I will have no Gods before me.… I am God and there is no other God before me!”
Jones addresses the subject of disbelievers – and sometimes the persons of the disbelievers themselves – at several junctures. Early in the tape, he calls out a man in the balcony and says he notices when people don’t clap. Using biblical language which he elsewhere disparages, he challenges everyone in the congregation to “choose this day who you’re going to get with … who you’re going to serve, what idea you’re going to serve, because you cannot serve two masters.” And the choice is one he professes not to care much about, since “we can get along without you but you can’t get along without us.” And they’ll find out the hard way when they leave, he adds at another point. “Remember [that] when the cancers come.”
Jones refers to his followers at one point as “niggers,” and tells them, that has nothing to do with skin color. They’re all niggers – black, white, Chicano – because the system disrespects them. He knows that some people don’t like the term – and especially having the term applied to them – but he does it because “some of you folk think you’re white.” He’ll quit using it when they’re all free, he promises, but he also adds – to applause and cheers – “you better not call us nigger outside.”
There is little discussion about death in this address, although there is much conversation about caskets and funerals, especially in the context of how much money some people spend on the dead rather than on the living. As for him, he wants as much of his body as possible to be used for organ donation, and the rest turned into fertilizer for a garden. For people who don’t want to follow that example, he does request that they be buried in a simple pine box.
But the fact is, he adds, the people of Peoples Temple dwell on life, not death. And one of the reasons for that is that the members of Peoples Temple don’t die; only former members or those people who were never exposed to his teachings will suffer that fate. He says that he himself wants to live a long time so he can take care of his people – “most of you don’t need to worry, ‘cause I’m gonna be around to see you through” – and when he does die, he has several successors lined up.
Jones also notes that he doesn’t do funerals at other churches, despite numerous invitations. He needs to spend the time with his own followers, he says, but just as important, there are no other churches who subscribe to his principles, so it would be hypocritical to bury their dead. “The only way you can go is if they take me preaching first,” he says. The same proscription applies to the Temple choir. “If they want to hear us sing, then let them come over and hear the light of the world!”
He segues from the enslaving messages of other churches to the more familiar complaints about the pastors of those churches, with their wives’ teas and their anniversaries and their fancy cars. And that’s not Peoples Temple is about. “[W]e’re gonna be consistent. We may not be everything that you’d like us to be, but we’re honest, the most perfect people that you’ll want to see, the most pure ministry that’s ever walked on earth, the most upright, the most holy, the most just, the most socialistic. It’s the most beautiful ministry you’ve ever seen.”
The final minutes of the service are devoted to healings. As is Jones’ standard procedure, he calls out people from the audience, reveals information about them that only they know, and then cures or prevents an incapacitating or fatal illness.
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 1B108-30. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES commenting on Watergate and comparing the United States with HITLER’s Germany. JONES states, “I am God and there is no other God before me.”
“In the next few days we’re gonna get some land south of the equator … we’ll have to move as one people … and they’re not going to stop us if they try we’ll raise so much hell they’ll hear us all the way to the White House … try to take one little thing away from us and see if we don’t fight like hell.”
JONES concludes by cataloging all the good things he has done for his “children.”
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted January 2012