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: Labeled in part “10/8/73”
Date cues on tape: 1973
David Betts “Pop” Jackson
Lillian Neil (phonetic)
Richard Nixon, U.S. President (by reference)
Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho)
Sen. Walter Mondale (D-Minn.)
Karl Marx, German economist, father of communism
Marcus Garvey, Pan-African black nationalist
Harriet Tubman, black activist, organized underground railroad
Reverend Ike, radio evangelist, original name Dr. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II
Colonel Harland David Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
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.)
- “[T]he Son of Man has no form or comeliness, no beauty that anybody would desire them.” (Isaiah 53:1-2, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”)
“[T]he foxes have dens and birds have nests.” (Matthew 8:19-20, “And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”; see also Luke 9:57-58)
“[W]e’re expected to give of ourselves freely. As we have freely received, we should freely give.” (Matthew 10:8, “…freely ye have received, freely give.”)
“Says as it was in the days of Noah, so it’ll be in the days of the Son of Man. One shall be left and one shall be taken.” (Matthew 24: 37-40, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”)
“[T]he true vine, is like it was said of Jesus.” (John 15:1, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.”)
“There’s nothing else but false gods. This is the only true god that’s honored in this place. The only thing true in the whole church world.” (John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”)
“Now I don’t mean to be foolish, though you are saved by the foolishness of preaching.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-23)
“I’ve always become all things to all men, that by any means I might save the more.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23, esp. 1 Corinthians 9:20, “…I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”)
“I’m crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ that liveth in me.” (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.”)
“Now, in this consciousness, we’re expected to work out our own plan of salvation… They’re gonna learn to look after themselves and work out their own salvation.” (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.”)
“Now I seldom say a word like that, but Paul, he said a word worse than that when he said, I counted all dung. He called all that mess of lies and false prophets, he called that dung. You know what dung is. If you’re half a century old as I am, you know what dung means. That’s the dirtiest word you can think for that that you flush down you call number two. That’s what Paul said in the Bible, he said, I counted all dung. And that’s what I count Reverend Ike. Dung. He’s dungheap… But I’ll tell you one thing, if you want to get these goodies, you’re gonna set and get some of that crap outta your head. That’s still a nicer word than Paul. Paul said dung. Crap’s a nice word compared to dung. The Hebrew, it’s the dirtiest cuss word you can ever use, but Paul said, I look on that mess of false prophets, and he said, all these people like Ike, I count as dung. And you still don’t know what dung is, some of you, look around, wonder what dung is. It’s shit, baby, that’s what it is. And it’s in your Bible. Paul said, all these liars that steal and rob the people, 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”)
“Ike’s preachin’ out of that King James Bible. That’s why people have held down women. … Be subject, it says, wife, to your husband. That means be a slave.” (Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”)
“Ike’s preachin’ out of that King James Bible. … That’s why they held down blacks. Said, slaves, obey your master.” (Colossians 3:22, “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.” See also Ephesians 6:5, Titus 2:9)
“Everything’s under control of this 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.”)
“[Y]ou don’t go after tasting of this heavenly gift, you cannot find it possible to go back to such dead works.” (Hebrews 9:14, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”; see also, Hebrews 6:1)
“[W]e need to get the truth in us, because a double-minded man is unstable… You’re double-minded and you’re unstable in all your ways.” (James 1:6-8, esp. James 1:8, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”)
“[A]s Peter said, when the elements melt with a fervent heat.” (2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”)
“[T]hey’re gonna have enough sense not to trust in angel wings and false Bible promises and pearly white cities and the gates of gold.” (Revelation 21:21, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”)
In this sermon delivered in October 1973 in San Francisco, Jim Jones expresses concerns about two approaching disasters: the nuclear apocalypse, and the political dictatorship that may precede it. Fortunately for his followers, he has plans to take care of both.
The threat of nuclear war is something he has had on his mind for over a decade. It was one of the factors – perhaps even the main one – which precipitated Peoples Temple’s move from Indiana to a part of California which reportedly would not be devastated by fallout (although, as he does note, the “nuclear holocaust” could cause an earth tremor that would drop everything west of the San Andreas Fault into the ocean). In the years since the move, Jones has taken additional steps to protect his people, including “a cavern deep, deep in the mountains that can take care of every one of you.” It is temperate, it is stocked with food, and most importantly, “no radiation can get to you.”
In the meantime, the nation is confronted with the possibility of a scandal-plagued president acting with virtually unchecked emergency power to set up the concentration camps for blacks, minorities and dissidents. In some ways, he suggests, the country has already embarked upon this path, by castrating black children, and experimenting on blacks with syphilis, and treating Mexican women with a birth control drug that produces cancers in everyone who takes it and dooms them all to death.
Jones already has one escape route planned to Canada, where he already has permission to go, but in this address, he makes a pitch to raise money to buy a jet airplane which would allow the Temple to evacuate hundreds of its members on short notice (and until that day comes, they can use the craft for their own cross-country trips or to charter out to raise money).
He has a destination in mind, he says, which he describes as “a little Shangri-La,” where the plane can take them. “You know, over there. Some of you don’t know where ‘over there’ is. But I do. … I know a place where I can take you, where there’ll be no more racism, where there’ll be no more division, where there’ll be no more class exploitation, I know just the place.” Although the Temple leaders and some of his lieutenants had visited several places outside the country as possible refuges by the time of this address, it is unknown whether he had Guyana specifically in mind at this point.
Whatever comes, Jones vows to defend his people, even unto death. If they can’t get out ahead of the coming dictatorship, he says early on the tape, “I told you – and I never have broke my word – I told you, not one of my children’s gonna end up in a concentration camp. I said they’ll have to kill us all first.” He repeats the vow near the tape’s end, when he says, “I don’t want to leave this country – this is our country – but I certainly don’t intend to stay here if they take it over with a dictatorship. … If they try to block us, they better be damn ready to kill all of us.”
Even as he talks about various plans of escape, however, Jones also speaks about the things in California of which he is proud or which he would like to have. The Temple in San Francisco falls into the former category: they have owned it a year, and it is fully paid for, “every fixture, every nail, every window, all the improvements, a new kitchen, … organs, equipment, and we paid for it.” As an example of the latter, even as he repeats his plea for funds for a jet, he adds his desire to get a kidney machine, which is transportable, and a hospital, which isn’t.
A significant portion of this tape is devoted to the differences between himself and Reverend Ike, a black evangelist who preaches the prosperity gospel and who bedecks himself in fine clothes. Jones does not spend as much time deriding his antagonist as he does other places like Q 957, but the similarity in his language on these two tapes suggests they were recorded about the same time in 1973.
Jones also compares the two congregations – the “dumb Aunt Janes and Uncle Toms [who are] so stupid, they’re so damned ignorant” in Reverend Ike’s church, juxtaposed against the love and caring found in the hearts of Temple members – but he also acknowledges the role of his followers in his own work. “I’ve got more power than anyone,” he says, “but my power’s dependent upon your faith and your willingness to serve others.” He returns to this theme later in the service, when he says, “you’re all one to me.”
But his ultimate compliment comes when he notes that they are all black, no matter what their skin color. “If they’re members of this family, they’re black,” he says. “Because anyone’s who got conscience or really Christ understanding, or Jehovah or Buddha or [Karl] Marx or whatever you want… they’re gonna identify with the poor. … [T]he whites in here are not white. They’re black.”
Date of transcription: 7/10/79
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 1B110-22. This tape was found to contain the following:
A sermon and rally by JIM JONES to a California congregation wherein JONES alludes to his fears of a dictatorship and a nuclear catastrophe. He reports he has available to him a place beneath the ground for the people at the church if there comes a dictatorship or nuclear holocaust. JONES refuses to provide further identifying data on the location of the cavern. This tape consists of 31 tape minutes.
The remaining portion of the tape is blank and contains no items of an evidentiary nature.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted July 2014