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: Q 1058 – all parts – labeled in part “10-11-74 #15”
Date cues on tape: Much of tape consistent with identification note (“Mr. Agnew’s anniversary is yesterday,” referring to the anniversary of Vice President Spiro Agnew’s resignation on October 10, 1973)
However, many of Jones’ comments relate to Huey Newton’s flight from US, which occurred in 1973
Geraldine (last name unknown)
Professor Edith Roller
Sue Ellen, Sally, Stephan, part of family of woman receiving healing
Millie Holthouse (written testimonial of Jones miracle)
Former Vice President Spiro Agnew
Former President Richard Nixon
Nixon National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger
Black writer James Baldwin
Angela Davis, UC-Berkeley professor, member of Communist Party
Reverend Oral Roberts
Reverend Kathryn Kuhlman
Black Panther Party leader Huey Newton
Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver
Mel Newton, Huey’s brother
Charles Garry, Black Panther attorney (later, attorney to Peoples Temple)
Captain Robert Bernard, chief investigator for the Alameda Country District Attorney¹s Office
Alameda County District Attorney Lowell Jensen (phonetic)
John Kelley, FBI Deputy Special Agent (phonetic)
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.)
- “You don’t know the half of it. The half can never be told, unfortunately.” (1 Kings 10:7, “Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me.”)
“Jesus said… you are to do something about people who are in prison. You are to do something about those that are captive, those that are in bondage. Release the captives. Proclaim liberty to all those that are bound.” (Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”)
“That’s why we must be first taking care of the household of the faith. Whatever we do, first, the household of the faith.” (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.”)
“You can keep it from happening only by being radically committed to the Christ that you have said is in your midst.” (Acts 2:22, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.”)
“The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”)
Jim Jones reads an article about the release and subsequent disappearance of Black Panther leader Huey Newton, and discusses the lessons to be learned from it. He shows how the press distorts the facts of a man’s life, how the police smear the Panthers, and how difficult it is for a man who is not present to defend himself against spurious charges. Jones also focuses on the aspects of the article which show FBI and local police surveillance of Newton. He edits the article as he reads, correcting mistakes and “stopping for lies.” He says he finds it “interesting” that police acknowledge keeping tabs on Newton, yet are never there when he is shot at or when he is allegedly committing crimes.
Among the lessons he passes on to the San Francisco congregation of Peoples Temple:
o If the rank-and-file of a party or a movement takes its leader for granted, it will lead to indifference to the issues and the safety of its members, and will open the door to treason;
o “If you’ve got any ego, the fascists can use you.”
During the open discussion of lessons learned from the article, an unidentified woman says part of the injustice was that Newton had paid his debt to society. Jones rips into the underlying premise, and says, “There is no debt to society… The society is evil, so what are we talking about, a debt to society? What kind of a society is this that we pay a debt to? The only kind of society you can pay a debt to, is a family society, where everyone is treated fairly and justly… [Y] ou can’t talk about a debt to a society when the leaders of the society can do anything they want to.”
On the contrary, he adds, “The debt is to the poor people who are made victims of the society, who are not given jobs, who are deprived of opportunities, who are forced to be victims of the drug traffic.”
About halfway through the address, Jones notes that some people aren’t applauding his remarks, and tells them, they need to clap or to get out. He then tests the gathering by telling them to clap, and admonishes one man in particular who doesn’t.
Jones talks about their relationship with the cops on the beat, and how the Temple’s attitudes are different from the Panthers’ and other movements. It’s a “stupid” mistake to fight the local police, he says, as he warns against even “defensive violence.” More importantly, he says, the police are workers, just like they are, and just like other workers, they have to deal with management that doesn’t care about their safety. When Jones told a local cop how he helped Ukiah police buy bullet-proof vests, the officer replied that “the establishment city fathers don’t care anything about us… He said, they don’t care anything about the little man… He realized, he was a nigger, just like me.”
Jones notes that some people don’t like to come to church, but says they need to come to get food, healings and protection from jail. Faith in him doesn’t just heal you, he says, it also keeps you out of jail. “[You] Say, I don’t like to go to church. Well, you won’t like to go to jail… At least you can walk in here, and you can walk out of here, but honey, if they take you to jail, you won’t ever get out of there, so I expect you like church better than you do jail.”
He also urges those who can to give food, to give of their resources, to help people in distress. He offers advice on other ways to keep out of trouble, such as staying together in groups so there will always be witnesses around in case something happens. If they stay together, stay strong, and stay loyal and devoted to Father, he says, the enemy cannot come near. And who is the enemy? “Capitalism, the oppressive racism, that is your enemy, and they know your every move.”
Jones notes how he protects the people, and describes himself at one point as “the Christ that you have said is in your midst.” Soon afterwards, he drops the qualifier, and refers to himself as “the Christ that is your leader.” Later he refers to himself as their “savior” and “liberator.”
He delivers a short report about progress in Jonestown, and adds that Guyana is increasingly the refuge for people in different South American countries seeking freedom from oppression. There are good reasons for people to seek out socialist countries like Guyana, he says. “In a socialist world, everyone’s going together, and it seems in the capitalist world, everybody’s pulling apart. Fast.”
The subject of money arises several times, as Jones expresses dissatisfaction with the amount in the offering. Most of the edits in this particular tape occur during his appeals for more contributions. While he issues a general admonition for people to give according to their income, he addresses some people directly, insisting that they tell the church what they earn, especially if they expect to continue to receive his protection. It will also help them plan for the future. “You want my time when you’re in trouble. So I ought to know what your income is, so I can make plans on what we should do with this project or that project.”
Jones is especially critical of an unnamed woman who got conned out of $1700, and came to Jones for help. Here we have someone who had a large amount of cash money, he says, someone who didn’t give it to the church, who knew that it would stolen from her, “and they think I ought to do something about it? I’m not even interested.”
The subject of healings and miracles dot the address. At one point, he reads the testimonial of a woman who was cured in the hospital when Jones’ face shone through a TV set. At another point, he reads similar notes of gratitude from the workers in the Promised Land who were saved from harm by his long-distance intervention. The tape ends with a faith-healing in progress.
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 1B108-34. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES reading a Berkeley Gazette article on HUEY NEWTON and CHARLES GARRY. JONES states later, “If you’re with me you’re with Socialism.” He then delivers a long diatribe on racism and how terrible it is to live in the United States. He concludes by taking up a collection and admonishments for not contributing.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted January 2002