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: Labeled in part “6/24/73”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with note on box
People in attendance at Peoples Temple service
Pearl Cole (speaks)
Millie Cunningham (speaks)
Elder C.C. Hill (speaks)
Archie Ijames (speaks)
Jessie Mae Long (speaks)
Caroline Washington (speaks)
Estella Wilson (speaks)
Viola Palmer, daughter of Estella Wilson
Marvin Wiseman (speaks)
Brother Crane (speaks)
Jackie, Temple nurse
Public figures/National and international names:
- Tylarene Sharp [phonetic], music composer
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.)
- “But be you holy, even as I’m holy, be you separate, even as I am separate, be ye clean, even as I am clean.” (Leviticus 20:24-26)
- “[P]eople find healing through these pictures by the untold tens of thousands because they have seen. Their eye hath seen, their ear hath heard, their heart has been stirred.” (Matthew 13:15, “…they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” See also, Acts 28:27
- “[W]hen we say come, you drop whatever you’re doing. Don’t you look back in the house. Don’t you go back and look on the roof. Don’t you go back and give suck. Did you hear what I said? Don’t you even go back to give suck to any ol’ idea or opinion. Any old infant that you’ve been trying to cradle along. Don’t you give suck to any old child. Now, I’m not talking about natural because it’s a parable. Don’t you be sucking anything then. You just leave all that old system.” (Matthew 24:1-24, esp. 17, 19: “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: … And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!”
- “[Jesus] said they’re going in the prisons, in to the highways, and going to the stranger in the season. Clothe the naked. That was the law of the prophets through Jesus. That was a demarcation line that he set. In the day of judgment, he said ‘I was hungry’ – and he wasn’t personally hungry – but he said, any black or Indian, or poor white was hungry, he said ‘I there go– there go I hungry.’ He said in that one is naked, then you must clothe them. In that one is hungry, you must feed them. In that one is in prison, you must go to them.” (Matthew 25:34-46
- “You won’t be following a pied piper, you’ll be following the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” (Mark 1:3, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”)
- “To whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
- “That’s why you better have a living, real righteous and holy Jesus that teaches equality, that will cause you… to go down into the ghettos, down where they’re in the gap, in the hedge, in the highways, in the hedges where there’s no one to help them but will take in all colors of the rainbow, and serve all people.” (Luke 14:23, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
- “They have seen the emanation of the hundredfold God, manifesting through this Temple. And it triggers a faith in them, and it quickens their spirit and it causes their mortal bodies to put on immortality.” (Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
- “Be ye not again entangled with the yoke of bondage. Stand fast in the liberty where with this Christ has made you free and be not a slave again!” (Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
- “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2, esp. James 2:26, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
(This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
This Peoples Temple service from 1973 in Los Angeles consists of two parts. In the first half of the tape, numerous members of the Temple come forward to testify about the miracles performed by Jim Jones. The Temple leader himself does not appear until the second half of the taper, during which he talks about the gifts he provides to the faithful, including healings. He demonstrates that by curing an elderly woman both of her lameness and of a cancer on her bladder. The theme that unites the two halves of the tape is a call for additional funds for the Temple to do its work.
Numerous people testify to the powers of Jim Jones during the first half of the tape, and while most involve faith healings – including raising people from the dead – not all are. One woman recounts how her son was in a prison camp in Korea, and that when she told Jim Jones, “he asked me not to worry about it. And I didn’t, ‘cause I believe him.” Two months later, the word came that her son had been freed, and soon after that – despite official pronouncements of much longer delays – he returned to the US and was reunited with his family.
There are indications that Jones has replaced God as the deity for many of his followers. The unidentified man who acts as the emcee during the first half of the tape attributes a family’s escape from a fire to “Father’s voice” that had awakened the mother, and quotes her as saying, “None of my children were even singed by the fire or harmed by the smoke… Father is the one and only God there is, and no one can take that away from me.” One woman concludes her testimony by singing the hymn, “Our God Is Real,” although she has altered the lyrics to “Jim Jones Is Real.” “I’ll change the words to that,” she explains before she sings.
The devotion is complete for several speakers. Brother Crane, a man who appears on several other tapes besides this one, concludes his testimony about several miracles at the hands of Jim Jones by saying, “I have decided, that live or die, sink or swim, I’m gonna follow him. Wherever he leads, that’s the way I’m going.” While Brother Crane did not go to Guyana, his sentiments capture what many Temple parishioners felt.
Jones pursues similar themes when he appears in the pulpit. Even while reminding his followers of the diseases and conditions he’s cured and the lives he’s saved, he devotes the most time talking about the miracle of a woman who had committed a number of crimes and whom Temple leaders – including Jones – had urged to turn herself in. The police were so amazed that the woman did so – “she said, they’ve taught me what’s right, and I’m going” – that they released her within hours. “They arrested her at three o’clock this morning, and they turned her loose and said go back to the church at four… they praised the church and praised this action and let her go.”
The only healing he performs on tape is of a woman whose conditions are both physical and medical. He prepares her for the healing, as he does on almost every occasion, by revealing details of her life that only someone with paranormal powers would know, although he does reprove her gently when she begins to agree too readily with what he tells her. “Listen to me now,” he says halfway through his revelation. “You’re all carried away.” A few minutes later, when she responds to his call for her faith in him with a mantra of “Thank you, Jesus,” he reprimands her with some irritability. “Thank whoever you wish,” he says sharply. “If you wish to thank Jesus, as long as you don’t have a segregationist Jesus… you have to know what kind of Jesus you’re following. Because there’re many Jesuses.” The exchange is still on his mind as the healing for her lameness takes effect. “Now, in the name of God, socialism, stand up!” he cries, “…[I]n the name of the greatest name on earth – socialism – …in the name of that which I am. In my name, God, socialism, on your feet!”
The emcee in the first half has already made a pitch for additional financial support. “Everyone wants blessings and protections like that, and miracles like you’ve witnessed here time and time again, every day,” he says as the tape opens. “But not everyone is willing to do all they can to further God’s work. Giving in tithes and offering is like priming a pump, so that blessings can flow from God to you.” Jones picks up where his disciple left off, but in addition to reminding his people of the benefits of giving, he warns them of the consequences of withholding their share. Three people had left the Temple the night before without making a donation, he says. One was shot soon afterwards, one was stabbed, and the third was saved from a stabbing only because he returned to the Temple and made a gift.
But his requirement for a commitment goes deeper than financial. He commands his people to renounce their old ways. Recalling the words of Brother Crane, he tells his flock to heed the call when it comes and follow him wherever he goes, because “if you don’t come, you’ll perish.” He acknowledges that this means they’ll have to separate themselves from their old churches and their “jackleg preachers” who are more interested in Cadillacs and anniversary parties and “pastors’ wives’ teas.” People who return to those churches after they have experienced the wonders of Peoples Temple cannot hope to survive, he cries.
Peoples are healed in this church, he says with mounting stridency, but they need to recognize, the reason they are sick in the first place comes from the outside. “The other night, a woman fell dead back here, with a stroke. … Then her lifeless condition, heart stopped. Unloving attitudes caused it. Ungenerous, uncharitable attitudes caused it.” As the tape ends, he warns that those whose lack of charity cause the illnesses, are themselves “in some serious trouble.”
Date of transcription: 6/18/79
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 3, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-91. This tape was found to contain the following:
Testimony to the powers of Reverend JIM JONES and requests for donations and tithings. Individuals give their personal praise and thanks to JIM JONES, their father.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes
Tape originally posted January 2011