Q965 Summary

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.
To return to the Tape Index, click here. To listen to MP3, click here.

FBI Catalogue: Jones Speaking

Date cues on tape: 1976 (reference to Docker’s Labour Club  v Race Relations Board)

People named:

People in attendance at Peoples Temple service
Sister Martin
Sister Mitchell
Sister Rose (probably Rose Shelton)
Brother Smith


Walter Cartmell
James “Rev.” Edwards (speaks)
Ever Rejoicing, aka Amanda Pointdexter
Archie Ijames
Marceline Jones
Bea Morton, aka Bea Orsot
Ameal Staten


Public figures/National and international names:
President Gerald Ford
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Gen. Park Chung Hee, President of South Korea (by reference)


Socrates, Greek philosopher
William Randolph Hearst, newspaper publisher
Carlton Goodlett, newspaper publisher
Rev. Sun Myung Moon, head of Unification Church
Angela Davis, university professor, member of Communist Party
Walter Cronkite, CBS newscaster
Auguste Rodin, French sculptor (by reference)Anthony Sherman, British union worker (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.)

    “Old gossip, men and women dealing in fables and gossip, and nothing h– more hateful in the consciousness of this revolutionary God than talebearers.… But every time I find one of those nit picking talebearers, they’re always anti-socialist, anti-Christ.” (Leviticus 19:16, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the Lord.”)

    “Oh, Heaven came down, socialist heaven consciousness came down, and glory filled the place.” (2 Chronicles 7:1, “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.”)

    “It is evident that with the noise we’re making, it is evident that though there are many here from every strata of society with all kinds of degrees and intellectual achievement, it is evident that we have seen something or we wouldn’t make so much noise.” (Numerous references in Psalm to making a joyful noise unto God, including Psalm 66:1 – “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:” – Psalm 88:1, Psalm 95:1-2, Psalm 94:4-6, and Psalm 100:1)

    “Shall we now administer the important thing of giving substance to your vision, for where there is no vision, the people perish. You’re gonna have to get a vision that makes you lively to do this thing properly here and make sacrifices to get our money in the Promised Land before the whole bottom falls out of this country.” (Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”)

    “I’m just gonna keep right on preaching the truth, ‘cause I know where they place all people that stand for what I do. I know there’s a Golgotha, I know it. I know there’s a lonely garden.” (references to Christ’s arrest and crucifixion in four Gospels)

    “I’ve got a Promised Land, it’s a city set on a hill that cannot be moved.” (Matthew 5:14, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”)

    “I want to know why you go to those jackleg churches? Why do you go over to the thirtyfold when there a hundredfold right here in America today? Why do you go to the sixtyfold and the thirtyfold and usually the one and a half fold? That’d be closer to where you’re going. Those jacklegs might get one and a half, maybe 1.77. They wouldn’t come up to 2%, and here we have the hundredfold.” (Matthew 13:8, 23, “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold… But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” See also, Matthew 19:29, Mark 4:20, Mark 10:30, and Luke 8:8)

    “Jesus cursed the moneychangers out of the temple.” (Matthew 21:12, “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.”)

    “But if you want to be living by the sword, you’re gonna die by your damn sword.” (Matthew 26:52, “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”)

    “He’s merciful to the one (unintelligible word), on generation to another generation.” (Luke 1:50, “And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.”)

    “I am I, the light that lighteth every man and woman that cometh into this continent, into this world of America today.” (John 1:9, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” See also, Matthew 5:14, John 3:19, John 8:12, John 9:5, John 11:9, and John 12:46)

    “[W]hat I have to say is the truth that will set you free if you will allow it to do so.” (John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”)

    “I want our people to eat, not have to put some hash together. I want food of an abundance. In my Father’s house there shall be an abundance of every good desire.” (John 14:1-7, esp. 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”)

    “[W]e do not believe in respect of persons, and we know that respect of persons is capitalistic sin.” (Acts 10:34, “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.”)

    “No longer can death find anything of itself in me. No longer does death have dominion over me.” (Romans 6:9, “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”)

    “So now straighten yourself up. Lying upon lying and precept upon precept. Repent of your untowardness, or the next meeting you’ll be named publicly as a showpiece, as a demonstration for discipline for all of this holy cadre, because these are they upon who the ends of the world have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:6-11, esp. 10:11, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”)

    “Because I no longer live, I am crucified with the revolution. I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but in a thousand bodies, in yea ten thousand bodies, I live.” (Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”)

    “[S]in is to him that knoweth to do right and doeth it not. Capitalism. Anything that’s not of the faith of socialism, it is sin.” (James 4:17, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”)

    “And that’s the only kind of feeble mind there is, is when someone has once known the truth and turned away into darkness, having once tasted of the heavenly socialist gift and turned away to untowardness, they are the feeble-minded.” (1 John 1:5-6,  “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” Also, Hebrews 6:4-6, esp. 6:4, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost.”)

    “As Revelation spoke in typology – and we know the myths of all those things – but barley and wheat and oil is going to be the money of tomorrow.” (Revelation 6:5-6) “And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”)

    “If you want to be met by the lamb slain from the foundation of the world for justice and peace, you can be met by that.” (Revelation 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”)


(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Seriina Covarrubias. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

In this address before the Temple congregation in San Francisco, Jim Jones is in a combative mood. There is little context for the source of his displeasure – in fact, with the exception of one or two brief news items that he reports (and provides editorial comment on), there is little context for the sermon itself – but it is clear that he is upset with several specific people over several specific incidents. He refers to the game of chess a couple of times, perhaps having caught people playing chess instead of attending to Temple duties. He refers to people working only three-hour days and yet too busy to attend Temple services, and since the allusion recurs more than once, it is obvious he has someone in mind. Without naming names, he makes it clear who he’s talking about – “I’m looking at one” who has criticized the Temple, he says at one point; “you know who I’m talking about,” he tells the congregation at large at another point – and he is in no mood for dissension or argument.

The reference to chess is among several that gives the address an anti-intellectual flavor throughout. At the beginning of the tape (which starts with the service underway) during the praise portion, Jones calls out over the applause and music, “that though there are many here … with all kinds of degrees and intellectual achievement, it is evident that we have seen something or we wouldn’t make so much noise.” Later in the service, he includes in his criticisms those who “nit pick” at the church after receiving an education at the Temple’s expense. Finally, he lists categories of people who would “dissolve” the integrity of the church, and includes cheaters, people who could be arrested for immoral acts, and two people “with academic privilege and academic position.”

As occurs in numerous tapes, Jones pauses on many occasions to take up collections, and – as in other tapes – someone (perhaps Jones himself) switches off the recording during the pitch for funds. Most of the solicitations begin after describing “the Promised Land” in Guyana, which is both a beautiful place and a haven to escape to, leaving the fascism and racism of America and other Western nations behind. At various points in the address,  he calls it a “refuge on 27, 000 acres with every kind of berry and fruit and vegetable growing, and all the wild beasts of the field so that no one will ever will go hungry”; as “the best place in the world to be, [in a] nation where the press functions freely, a rich country [where] two-thirds of its people have moved from abject poverty into sustenance in the past few years;” and as a place of “peace [where] we are going to be uninterrupted and our people are not going to be taken in concentration camps.” But getting to the Promised Land costs money.

Jones tries other pitches as well. He reminds them of the Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, whose followers commit to earning hundreds of dollars a week, but adds that as a church, “[t]hey don’t have anything. All they have is a 54 room mansion for their leader in New York. Half of the budget of seven million dollars or eight they raised last year went to their leader for Rolls Royces and a mansion over in New York.”

In another attempt to raise funds, Jones cautions people about what happens if they don’t come through on their financial commitments. One woman had pledged $500 – this after the church had helped her get four times that amount – but she “didn’t give that. The last time I saw her, she didn’t have her mind, did she?” An even more extreme example followed: a woman was “thinking she was going sue us for her money that she’d given free will offerings to this church, and the date her suit was to take place, she died.”

As he concluded one exhortation for funds, “We should give freely, and not try to cheat. You should make pledges and keep them.”

But the bulk of the address is one of confrontation. He blasts people who “criticize this house,” those who have “the audacity to question that I can materialize anything,” those who nitpick and backbite and backslide and gossip. Worst of all are those who see the Temple as a “parasitical host,” people who want to live off the church and take advantage of its gifts – sleeping in its dormitories, eating its food, using its facilities – and then not pulling their weight. But Jones knows who they are, he says,  “and I also know you that sleep with them.”

The theme recurs throughout the address. Towards the end, he warns people who try to fool him, saying he’ll treat them like a cat would a mouse. He’ll play with them and bat them about, shaking them up. “I won’t just chew you and swallow you,” he adds. “It’d be easier if I just swallow ya, but that wouldn’t teach you anything. I’m out to save you – even the mice.”

His fuse is a short one, and when one person seems to interrupt him, he is quick on the attack: “Now I’m speaking, I will allow you to speak in just a moment. I certainly will not infringe upon your right to speak, but do not impose upon mine… see, it’s always bad to do that, … [Y]ou do this, then I figure that what I’ve got to say means nothing to you.”

He eventually turns to the ones who are faithful – the ones who appear at the Temple “night after night, giving me their heart, giving me the spirit of socialism, their love” – and reminds the rest of the congregation why they are faithful: “They’re not doing it for a man. They’re doing it because I’m no longer a man, I’m a revolution. I am the I am, I am the mighty wind of revolutionary change. I am the spirit of deliverance. I am the spirit of liberty.” Later, he puts the political statement in more religious terms. “I no longer live, I am crucified with the revolution. I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but in a thousand bodies, in yea, ten thousand bodies, I live… No longer I, but Christ the revolution.”

Beyond making his statements demanding the equality that the revolution would bring, though, he demonstrates his own personal commitment to it. “I want to break this class system. Don’t you realize, that I’m socialistic, I cannot stand it?” he says, and then tells the staff that neither he nor they should have extra food or special privileges that are not available to everyone who comes to the Temple. Everyone already knows that he doesn’t own new clothes or new shoes, but he wants to be sure they’re aware, “you’re not going to be able to feed me unless you feed my people… if [the food is] there we’ll eat, and if we don’t, then we’ll all go hungry, ‘cause we’re all gonna do whatever we do together, aren’t we?”

He is dedicated to the cause of socialism, and he asks others to join him, even if the vehicle to launch the revolution – or even to get to the Promised Land – is flawed. “You say this church must have problems. Honey, … this church even with its blasphemers and defilers and adulterers that I was talking to, makes your church look so unholy.”

The tape concludes with a final statement of his own commitment. “I’d rather go with a knife or a gun for standing what I believe… I’m gonna make a beautiful melody for truth while I’m at it. So you can’t intimidate me, you can’t threaten me… No longer does death have dominion over me.”

It isn’t until then that he works to prepare his followers for that commitment as well. “[Death] holds no fear and I think some of you are getting that way. You’re getting that way.”

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 7/6/79

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 22, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B110-30. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES criticizing the members at a church service.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted January 2006