Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue: Jim Jones speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Q 1059 – all parts – labeled in part “6-13-73 #15”
Date cues on tape: (Part 3) June 12, 1972 (“The Supreme Court … upheld that law today, that you can segregate any place you want to, as long as you call it a fraternity. Six to three.”)
(Part 4) October 20, 1973 (Watergate’s “Saturday Night Massacre”). See continuation of tape of Q 1059-4 for specific mention
Jim Jones Jr. (by reference)
Lew Jones (by reference)
Stephan Jones (by reference)
Francisco Franco, Spanish dictator, by reference
University of California professor Angela Davis
U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums (D-CA)
Black Panther leader Huey Newton
Black Panther leader Bobby Seale
(first name unintelligible) Goodwin, the head of the Civil Rights Commission
Thomas Zimmerman, “head of the Assemblies of God”
Elmer Mertle, aka Al Mills
Professor Edith Roller
University of California professor Angela Davis
Wendell Armstead, relative of woman called out
Shirley, relative of woman called out
Former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew
President Richard Nixon
Sister Grace (probably Stoen)
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 2
“He that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”)
“Christ said, Be ye perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”)
“Kingdom of Heaven’s within, you don’t have to pray to get it inside you.” (Luke 17:21, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”)
“I’ll show you that I am personifying the Word. And what is the Word? God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, the Word was God.” (John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”)
“[T]he Word is 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.”). S
“I’m looking for some people to get hold of the Truth. It’s the Truth that’ll set you free.” (John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”)
“How can you hear without a preacher, how can he preach lest he be sent?” (Romans 10:14-15, “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?”)
“[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.”)
“He becomes all things to all men, that by any means, he might save the more.” (1 Corinthians 9:22, “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”)
“[Churches] don’t believe that Bible, ’cause they let the women talk, ’cause if the women didn’t talk, there wouldn’t be no churches.” (1 Corinthians 14:34, “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.”)
“They ignore the verses they want to ignore… about the bishop being the husband of one wife and so forth. I’m the only bishop I know that’s been the husband of one wife.” (1 Timothy 3:2, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” Also, 1 Timothy 3:12)
“Hebrews 4:12 discerns the thoughts, knows the intents of the mind. And if it’ll be the same way it has been for 20 years, I’ll be telling people the thoughts of their mind and healing their body, and separating the bone from the marrow before this evening’s over.” (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.”)
“Hebrews 6 says, leave the doctrines of baptisms, resurrection of the dead, eternal judgment — that means hell and heaven — laying on of hands, and what does it say? Go on to perfection. And what’s perfection? A society that controls its production.” (Hebrews 6:1-3, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.”)
“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.”)
“It’s the spirits of Acts 2:48. From each according to their ability, to each according to his need.” (Citation is in error, as there is no Acts 2:48. Possible references include Acts 11:29, “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea”; and Matthew 25:15, “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.” End of Acts 2 fits general teaching: Acts 2: 44-45, “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”)
“Because I am the Word. I know the intents of the mind, and discern the thoughts.” (Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful… and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”)
“God is the author of all good things. The Bible said, the devil cannot heal.” (Matthew 12:25-28)
“Paul cussed. He said I count it all dung.” (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.”)
“When you say there were Scriptures said there of lying signs and wonders, well, signs is not miracles. That doesn’t have a thing to do with miracles of healing.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
“Solomon talked about a dunghill.” (Reference unclear)
This tapes consists of three segments, labeled Parts 2 through 4, since the first part is a continuation of Part 2 from the previous tape, Q 1059-2. Similarly, Part 4 continues on to the next tape, Q 1059-4.
There is one indicator that Part 3 was recorded soon after Part 2, and perhaps even later in the same service, as there is a reference in each to a boy with a heart condition that the Temple is working to help. However, it may also be true that Part 4 may have been recorded later the same day as Part 3, since the recording conditions are similar and Jones’ voice is about the same, following a 30-second space of dead air, but that is not certain. What cannot be true is that they were all recorded the same day, since the two specific time references are 16 months apart.
The sermons follow many of the familiar themes of Jones’ other speeches and addresses from this period: he speaks of the miracles, wonders and healings he has performed, even as he urges his parishioners to see the Temple’s nursing staff for additional assistance; he quotes the Bible to demonstrate the holiness he has, even as he disputes the existence of the God of the Bible; he calls himself God, yet he also calls everyone gods, and just as often refers to the true God as Socialism; he preaches the social gospel of the Bible, then shows how Peoples Temple is the only organization that practices it; he speaks of loving his enemies, and castigates those in the audience who would question even one aspect of his ministry.
The tape begins where Q 1059 (2) leave off, and opens with a recitation of the people Jim Jones has saved through prophecy, and through the works of Peoples Temple. He has turned murderers and drug pushers into decent citizens. He has opened the Redwood Valley and its facilities to let blacks have freedom, to allow older people stay in their own homes rather than being put in some “cold, impersonal” nursing home, and to let young people have the communes they want.
Later, he reminds the congregation that the folks of Peoples Temple are good. The ones that join the Temple stay out of trouble, and those born into the church never get in trouble. “That’s quite a record,” he says. “If I’m so bad, why is it my kids are so darn good?”
With their numbers, Jones adds, they have political power, and they will use it. Even though Redwood Valley used to be a racist town, now when someone gets in trouble, the police call Jim Jones, as happened recently when two black strangers had been picked up. “They’d violated some law, but they hadn’t violated a law significant enough to cause them to risk the wrath of Peoples Temple.” Indeed, in the course of educating the police about race relations and civil rights, Temple members had become friends with the police and other segments of the power structure. The registrar of voters was part of the congregation — and if people weren’t registered, they should be — as were different district attorneys. “If it wasn’t for Jim Jones, his nursing staff, the lawyers, people in the district attorney, people in the welfare, you’d have the shaft every time you turned around. That’s why I want to get you up here.”
In the next breath, he adds the more political message: “You can’t afford to stay away from this valley. It’s this valley that’ll give you safety. It’s this valley that’ll be safe when the apocalypse comes.”
In the midst of Jones’ listing of benefits of being part of Peoples Temple, he drops in other claims as well: Early in the tape, he speaks of walking with people down by the streams, “where I caused the crickets and frogs to sing on command.” Later, when speaking of the things he can teach, he says, “I’ve turned water into wine. I’ve stopped the rain from falling. The flies leave us alone. And I was out there, the sun was baking down on us, our last banquet, I said, well, it’s too hot for those older people, and clouds come up.”
After this second set of claims, Jones observes that people are leaving the service, and says they ought to be ashamed of themselves. He noted earlier in the service that some people — presumably the same ones — are getting “uncomfortable,” because he uses the word “nigger” a lot. But, he says, those people don’t know they’re niggers too, people Jones defines as anyone who is oppressed or the victim of social or political inequity, including whites. “The one place I know that you haven’t been smiling is when I say Onigger,’ and I’m gone keep saying Onigger’ till you have to swallow.” Then he adds, “I don’t use that word outside. We’re talking Obout being us niggers inside, but you call us niggers outside, and we’ll run over you.”
In talking about the difference between the mainline churches and Peoples Temple — or about people who invoke prayer to try to bring benefits to their lives — Jones speaks of a woman with a child who needs hospital care. The woman had asked Jones to pray for her. No, he replied, “you gotta put legs on your prayers, and hands on your prayers.” Give us the name and address of your doctor, he advises, and we’ll get some letters into him. “I guarantee you, within the sight of two weeks, he’ll have your son scheduled for surgery.”
On a more political note, he talks about the existing plans to kill blacks, and says that the only reason he’s still alive is that he’s a little light-skinned, and “if you kill a light-complected person, you’re in trouble.” That has rebounded to Peoples Temple’s benefit, though, because he’s the best freedom fighter of anyone he knows.
He adds that he’s a better preacher, too, if not in eloquence, then certainly in putting the church’s money where his mouth is.
Jones begins to tear apart the rituals of religion, beginning with baptism. “I baptize you because you’re still ritualistic… [But] water don’t save you. Water won’t give you freedom, water not gone take care of your problems.” Then why does he do it, he asks rhetorically. “He says a baptism not necessary, and yet he’s gone baptize. OCause it’s evolution. It’s what you need. If you need a sucker, we’ll give you a sucker. If you need a nipple, we give you a nipple… When you’re able to take beef steak, we’ll put the beef steak in front of your plate.”
Baptism by water is part of white religion, he continues, to keep you waiting for heaven in the sky, while you suffer here on earth. “We been out there, foolin’ around with water, and foolin’ around with these hijacking preachers, and foolin’ around with our prayer bones when we oughta been on our feet, puttin’ our hands together and uniting against injustice.”
Once you’ve been touched by him, Jones says, you’ll become sympathetic to socialism, and that will allow you to master death. Indeed, socialism is what the Bible means when it speaks of perfection. The perfect society, God’s society, is a socialist society.
Even though Jones describes himself as a superman, he goes into a familiar recitation about his lifestyle as being without new cars, new furniture, even new shoes. Equally familiar to the congregation, he then lets them know that this uncommon preacher who cusses and talks about niggers is the same man who cures cancers and raises people from the dead.
Part 3 begins in the midst of a healing service, as Jones tells of details in a woman’s life that he has discerned. “Because I am the Word. I know the intents of the mind, and discern the thoughts. I am God.” By showing that he knows her life, he can assure her he knows about her illness, which gives her faith in his cure. Afterwards, he sends her to the nurses for further instructions. Finally, he invites her to join the church. “I’m gonna bless your mind abundantly, if you’ll keep trusting in me… I will give you the desires of your heart, if you will walk with me. And if you will do what I say, I will bring you into immortality.”
During another healing, he talks about the things he can do now that he couldn’t do — and that he wished he had been able to do — when his grandfather was alive.”I quit praying and I started being God.”
He is meeting resistance during the service, he says, from people who want to prove he’s not God, and the extra energy he needs to overcome their resistance is getting in the way of his discernments and cures. But, he says, he has to do the cures, because they won’t get them in a capitalist society. They’re poor, so they won’t have any kind of priority for a dialysis machine.
He asks people to pick up the Temple’s magazine, and to pay what they can for them. If they can’t pay anything, the magazines are free. But if they do have the ability to pay, and don’t, then the magazines will “burn your hands and become a curse to you.” Jones repeats the warning about paying for services that they can afford, when he speaks of the buses getting people back and forth to church meetings. “We just say, ride [the buses] as long as you don’t have money. But if you have, and cheat us, you’re liable not to wake up in the morning.”
In speaking about where the money from Temple offerings go, Jones asks members of the congregation for other, more material things. He needs two twin beds, plus rugs, for some of the seniors. Some rooms are undergoing remodeling or additions, and they need some volunteer labor. Plus, he reminds them, a young boy needs a heart transplant, so they need to get some letters in to the doctor.
At the end of the segment, Jones speaks about the church’s business while other people mill around, heading for dinner or for the buses. He reminds people not to drink or smoke on the Temple premises, even when they’re outside, and to be respectful of their neighbors. He cautions people to be careful when they drive. Then he follows with a dire warnings of what will happen to them if they don’t follow his instructions.
Part 4 opens with a lengthy, sometimes angry attack against an unnamed person in attendance that night who voiced criticism in his or her own mind about the way Jim Jones raised money for the church. “That’s an awful reason to die,” he says. By that, he means that he can’t heal that person. “I can do nothing for you, because it’s said that your channel is stopped,” he says. “We can be friends, that can function very well, but you will never be saved.” He compares the plight of the unnamed person to two women who had miraculous healings, because they didn’t criticize their leader.
Jones returns to the subject later in the address, when he says that the person came a great distance to get healed, “but you think you know more about taking up money than I do.” As he reprimands the unnamed party, he notices others who aren’t applauding. “It’s good that some of you don’t clap, Ocause you know you’re guilty as hell.” He attacks other hypocrites in the audience as well, saying that one woman who disapproves of his cussing had that very morning “called your husband a son-of-a-bitch… I said, you have a lot of nerve, woman.”
On the subject of cussing, Jones goes back to familiar territory on the use of bad words — especially “dung” — in the Bible.
He speaks of the sacrifices his members have made for his church, and he includes himself in that number. He talks about holding on to few earthly possessions, and the minimal amount of clothing that he has. The church has saved only a few articles of clothing to be “cut up for healing purposes.”
This tape continues on Q 1059 (Part 4).
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 1B108-38. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES delivering a talk on social injustice in the United States. This tape was recorded in 1972 in Redwood Valley.
This is followed by JONES calling people out and performing healing “miracles.”
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate — in the minimal information it gives — and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted April 2001