Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
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FBI Catalogue: Jones speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Q 1059 – all parts – labeled in part “6-13-73 #15”
Date cues on tape: Fall 1974 (A man described as “doing fine” in segment from Q 1059 (4) — which was specifically dated to October 20, 1973 — has died on a recent September day.)
Rev. Bill Purifoy
Chilean president Salvador Allende
Cuban leader Fidel Castro
Chiang Kai-shek, leader of Republic of China
Chao En-lai, premier of People’s Republic of China
Ling Piao, Chinese Communist revolutionary
Mao Tse-tung, leader of People’s Republic of China
President Gerald Ford
Sen. Jacob Javits (R-NY)
Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger
Former President Richard Nixon (by reference)
Vice President Nelson Rockefeller
Ingrid Bergman, actress
Ann Landers, newspaper advice columnist
Father M.J. Divine
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.)
- Creation story of Adam and Eve (generally, Genesis 2 & 3)
“If God says that there was a boat, and Noah put every animal on the boat, and put every insect on the boat, and every crawdad on the boat, and every rattlesnake on the boat, and every form of life on the boat, and every form of disease. Don’t make any difference what God said, if God said it, it’s right.” (Genesis 7-9)
“I became the ‘I Am’ long before I ever entered a church.” (Exodus 3:14, “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.”)
“Joshua comes out, and he wants to win a battle, and he says, ‘Sun, stand still.'” (Joshua 10, esp. Joshua 10:12, “Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.”)
“I’m talking about Solomon’s dunghill.” (Numerous references to “dung” in 1 Kings and 2 Kings)
“Some of them have become Roses of Sharon.” (Song of Solomon 2:1, “I am the rose of Sharon.”)
“If God said that Jonah could uh, be swallowed by a fish and the fish could keep him for three days, don’t make no difference.” (Jonah 1 & 2)
“Because if we want a future, we will lose our life, and if we lose our life, we will find our life.” (Numerous references in King James; Gospel references are: Matthew 10:39 & 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24 & 17:33; and John 12:25.)
“Many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Also, Matthew 20:16)
“[T]here won’t be silence on our Golgotha’s brow.” (site of Jesus’ crucifixion, named at Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22 and John 19:17-18)
“Jesus … said in King James, the poor you have with you always.” (Mark 14:7, “For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always;” see also Matthew 26:11 and John 12:8)
“Jesus said no man will take my life, but I will lay down my life for my brothers.” (John 10:17-18, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”)
“One was living like Lazarus.” (Lazarus in John 11 and Luke 16:20-31)
“Would the Father do and greater, then everyone would do that came after him, these things that I do shall you do and greater.” (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.”)
“They’ll lie on you, they’ll kill you, even thinking they do their Skygod a service.” (John 16:2, “…yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”)
“God … is Love, which is Socialism, which is, from each according to his ability to each according to his need.” (Acts 4:34-5, “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”)
“You meant, I want to partially be born again, but I want to hold on to a little of the old. I don’t want to be something new. Said, behold, you are a new creature. I make you a new creature, if you’d let me, but no no. You want to carry a little Bible, you want to carry a little old song, you want to have a little of that old prayer, you want to have that little old Jesus shit talking inside of you.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Also, Galatians 6:15, Revelation 21:5)
“One of them had tasted of the waters of life.” (Revelation 21:6, “And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”)
“I am the Beginning, I’m the End.” (Revelation 22:13, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”)
Story of Lucifer exiled from Heaven
This sermon is a continuation of one which began part way through Q 1059-4 and which continues onto Q 1059-6. Taking place probably in the fall of 1974, it includes several elements of a Jones address: descriptions of what Peoples Temple as an institution, and Jones himself, do for its members; reflections and predictions on government, politics and American society; liberal use of quotations from the Bible, mostly as a mean to discredit it; and reflections on the miracles and healings of the church.
The portion of this address opens with Jones speaking of Chinese oppression under capitalism and Christian missionaries. But now, he says, “my spirit” is working there, and the Chinese people have turned their lives around. They have a network of shelters which will protect the population in time of nuclear war, unlike the U.S.
He reflects upon Chinese society later in his address, describing it as a utopian society. “Everything’s free in China, because the rich have met the fate that our rich are going to meet.”
On the subject of the approaching nuclear war — a consistent driving force in much of Jones’ philosophical and political belief system — he says that America will suffer more than any other place. That’s why he wants to get everyone to the Promised Land.
Later, as he stakes his claim as God, he speaks of the inevitability of nuclear war, followed by the triumph of socialism over capitalism.
Still later, he says that the Rockefellers and the duPonts will die in a nuclear war, and says they may die as well, but “I’d be glad to be blown away, too, just to see them blown away.” The difference, he says, is that the spirits of Temple members will be reincarnated in little babies. But even if they aren’t, that makes no difference. Using a message of Christ for inspiration, he declares, “if we want a future, we will lose our life, and if we lose our life, we will find our life.” What that means for members of Peoples Temple is this: “if we reach a Promised Land, be glad. If we do not, be glad.”
He speaks of the happiness of the spirit in living under socialism. If two people are identical in every respect, he says, but one person lives under socialism and the other doesn’t, only one is in heaven.
“The rich never prosper,” he says. “Always, their end comes bitterly.” After he tells the story of a rich woman being robbed blind on her deathbed by greedy relatives, he concludes: “So she died, like all rich will die, and deserve to die.”
He asked rhetorically what does Peoples Temple want, then answers, victory for the cause, for Christ the revolution. He doesn’t need the Bible to help them get to their salvation, he says, the Bible needs him. “Because I am the Beginning, I’m the End.”
Jones talks about using sex to advance the revolution, and then — even while maintaining his own fidelity in marriage — speaks of the institution as a conceit of capitalist decadence. Addressing a woman he chastised on the previous tape, he says he sees her “heart bleed with desire” for a marriage, “but you’ll have nothing but hell. There’s nothing but hell in these marriages, because capitalism breeds self-centeredness. Socialism breeds self-sacrifice.”
Expanding upon the theme, he dares his followers to take a test, to see if anyone loves them but him. “Every honest feeling you have about [your partners], tell them in two days. And that love that you think that they have will turn to wrath… Tell Oem the whole truth. Tell Oem exactly what you don’t like about them. Their arrogance, their way they’ve used you, possess you, abuse you, cheated you. Tell them. See what happens.” But he will love them forever.
He returns to sex later, when he talks about women who flirt with him and expect the same kind of response they get in other churches. But such running around, such promiscuity is evidence of something else, he says: their own homosexual tendencies, whether they are male or female. “[Y]ou think we think you’re lovers, we just stand and feel sorry for you, because it’s obvious that you don’t know a thing about love… You think we envy you. We feel sorry for you. We’re wishing that you’d straighten up or get out of our sight till you grow up, because it’s pitiful.”
Jones sounds several self-described revolutionary themes. He is the chief revolutionary, he says. Even Mao Tse-Tung doesn’t have his spirit. But he also claims the mantle of non-violence. “We will do no harm to anyone, but we will resist those who try to harm any of our loved ones… We will resist them with blood.” He makes a similar promise elsewhere in his address, when he says, “If they hang one of us on a tree, they’d better damn well hang several of us, because we’re going to make a lot of noise.”
Jones offers conflicting assertions on his divinity. He first says that King James misquoted Jesus in saying the poor would always be with you. “The only reason I say He never said it, is because you got to make me Him. And I sure wouldn’t have said it.” Jones continues that he has to allow people to praise him, because that’s the tradition they come from, and the Temple has to build faith. If he just talked the way other preachers did, people wouldn’t have faith to do what he needs to do. So, he has to be God. But he doesn’t like to play that religious game. “I’m Jim, that’s what I am.”
People want a God, he says, and not a revolutionary. They show that when they talk about being born again. It’s only a partial rebirth, he says. They want to hold on to many of the old material parts. They want Jim Jones “plus that Skygod shit.”
He returns to that theme of incomplete followers later in the address, when he says people “never want to take life like it is. They want to make life something other than what it is. We’re always trying to shape it into what we’d like it to be.”
Jones offers a long aside on his relationship with Father Divine, and how they found unity in a belief that no God in the universe would allow starvation on earth. They had many strategy sessions together, he says, and Father Divine passed along his mantle of leadership to him. As for Divine himself, he slipped into becoming a man seeking earthly pleasures, embracing everything he had once rejected, lost behind a phalanx of secretaries. Towards the end, “it was nothing like to what was formerly there, because the Skygod, the disease had taken over, it had made him the same kind of God that they had worshipped in the former days… [T]he Spirit and the consciousness of socialism was gone. There was nothing but Cadillacs and diamond rings and jewels.” Jones ends his reminiscence by saying, it won’t happen to him.
Using other parts of his own biography as a springboard into a discussion of the Bible, he speaks of his strained relationship with a racist father, then continues with a description of problems of physical and emotional abuse in other families. Citing his own life as illustration, he says parents shouldn’t demand respect, “just because somebody played in bed … to do their thing, and we happened along.” The lack of questioning parental demands of respect leads them to similar naivete regarding the God of the Bible. But they don’t question it, he says. They don’t question the stories of Noah or Joshua or Jonah or Adam, “don’t make any difference what God said, if God said it, it’s right.”
The end of this tape becomes increasingly farcical, as the congregation joins Jones in laughter about God farting out the stars and planets, then the angels, and then Lucifer (whom he refers to as “Lucifart”). “You see, all the rest of them had been controlled farts, but that was a … loose fart.” He then graphically describes Adam as a piece of God shit, saying that in Greek, Adam means shit.
As he gets wound up in his demolition of the Bible, he notes that people are leaving, and says he expects a 10% drop in membership, because people don’t want to hear the truth. He also warns a woman who refuses to join in the scatological fun, that “when you need to get healed, when you need to get saved, when you need to get resurrected, if I don’t do it, you won’t get it.” Later, he says the congregation needs a little levity, and he intends his humor to save someone from having a heart attack. “Laughter is good medicine. I know what I’m doing. I’m not just trying to be cute here tonight, or teach you something… I’ll make myself look like an ass, if I can heal you.”
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 17, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B108-40. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES conducting Temple services and preaching, some with quite a Socialist content. (From context, tape was made during President FORD’s administration, probably 1974.)
Differences with FBI Summary: None
Tape originally posted April 2001