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 “8/20/73”
Date cues on tape: Contents of tape consistent with identification note
Archie Ijames (speaks)
Larry Schacht (by reference)
Lee Ethel Younge
Sister & Brother Morris
Richard Nixon, U.S. President
John F. Kennedy, assassinated U.S. President
Edmund “Pat” Brown, governor of California
Malcolm X, slain leader of Nation of Islam
Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II (Reverend Ike)
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 can eat at our vine at any time you choose.” (2 Kings 18:31, “Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern:”; also Isaiah 36:16, Isaiah 37:30, Isaiah 65:21).
“If you don’t believe we ought to run for safety to the rock that is higher than you, you ought to listen to this man… Then you tell me we don’t have to run to the rock that is higher than you?” (Psalm 61:2, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”)
“If you don’t believe you should seek out the rock that we know to be a refuge in the time of storm… You don’t have to find the shelter in the time of storm?” (Isaiah 25:4, “For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.”)
“But the prophets lie, and the people would have it so.” (Jeremiah 27).
“I had a lot of doubtin’ Thomases.” (John 20:24-29).
“All these type of people reap what they sow.” (Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”).
“You have to work your way into a salvation. You have to work with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”).
“That’s the antichrist system, the love of money which is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”).
“[S]omeone will get up and testify about making five hundred dollars a week and having a selfish wife, a Babylonish wife, a Jezebel for a wife… [Y]ou weren’t selfish, … you weren’t like that Jezebel I saw this morning on his program, that had to have fine jewels.” (mainly in 1 Kings and 2 Kings, but greatest condemnation in Revelation 2:20-21, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.”)
Recorded in Los Angeles in August 1973, this sermon is little more than Jim Jones’ comparison between himself and Rev. Ike, a black evangelist whose national broadcasts urged listeners to send in donations in exchange for blessings and promises of prosperity.
The criticism of Rev. Ike is unrelenting throughout the tape. Jones refers to the man himself at one point as a “lying dog,” and describes his ministry as “the greatest crime done to black people today.” Not only does Ike take money from gullible people who believe they will get some benefit from their contributions, but the minister uses them to buys expensive cars and clothes and furnishings for both himself and his church. The worst past, Jones says more than once, is that the white man looks at the trappings of Rev. Ike’s church and believes that blacks have made it in American society, that none of them need welfare or housing or educational assistance any longer. More than that, Jones says, Rev. Ike’s ministry is part of a master plan against minorities and the poor in the US.
“I believe that the Ku Klux Klan and activists of the militant right, of the far radical extreme right, the fanatics of bigotry, the fanatics of prejudice, I believe they put money in that outfit,” Jones says. He expands upon the theme later in his address when he says Ike is a tool of big money, “You’ll find racist money, big money, the kind of money that’s killed [John] Kennedy, the kind of money that’s killed Malcolm [X], the kind of money that’s killed Martin [Luther King, Jr.]. You’ll see it right behind him, that put these TV cameras and the big church, because if Ike had his way, he wouldn’t give a crust of bread to a dying person.”
In comparison, Peoples Temple has a ministry that reaches out to the people who have nothing and provides them with physical facilities and emotional support that they’ll find no place else (and especially not with Rev. Ike). As for Jones himself, he owns only two pairs of pants and a few shirts, and everything else he receives, he gives away. “What do I need with that stuff? … I don’t want it, when I see people in hunger.”
The people in the congregations are different too; where those who follow Rev. Ike seek prosperity for themselves, the Temple has members who donate their own homes to the church so they it “could be shared by black and white alike.” The people of Peoples Temple sacrifice their wealth “to the cause of human beings.”
Moreover, Jones suggests that the people whom Rev. Ike calls out for success will fail. “[Ike] said this man will prosper that’s going into business this morning. That man’s going to lose his shirt, … [he’s] going to lose everything he’s got.” That’s because “to visualize for selfish reasons is death. Did you hear what I said? If you visualize to be selfish, you’re gonna die, because those that are selfish always end up losing.”
Near the end of the recording, Jones predicts that Rev. Ike will have troubles of his own because of the Temple leader’s meditations on him. “I did not think on him unto death, but I thought on him long enough, that there’ll be some problems for him in a matter of hours.” As the applause dies down, he adds, “I did not intend to do so. I’m sorry that I had to do so.” The remark is reminiscent of one made by Father Divine in the aftermath of a 1932 trial in which a jury convicted the black religious leader of disturbing the peace. The jury recommended leniency in his sentencing, but the judge denounced Father Divine as a fraud and “menace to society,” and issued the maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $500 fine. When the judge died of a heart attack four days later, Father Divine was reported to have commented, “I hated to do it.”
The only other subject Jones spends any time on in the service is a story of a miracle he performed the previous Thanksgiving. The Temple provided chicken dinners for everyone in the church, but when the kitchen started to run out of food, Jones manifested extra chickens at the expense of a farmer in Mississippi who was a member of the KKK. “I would rather you did not make me work that way,” Jones explains in a light tone as his congregation cheers. “Least I thought I’ll kill two birds with one stone, I looked over at Mississippi, and I said, I need some chicken. … More chicken came, just like that, … [and] there’s a man still crazy in Mississippi, ‘cause his chickens went flyin’ by him.”
Date of transcription: 7/3/79
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 1B110-21. This tape was found to contain the following:
A sermon and rally led by JIM JONES in California in which JONES belittles the Reverend IKE consiting [consisting] of approximately 27 tape minutes. The remaining portion of the tape is blank.
Differences with FBI Summary:
Except for the fact that the sermon is closer to 47 minutes, the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted July 2014