Q972 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. Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1Pt. 2).

FBI Catalogue Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “10/24/73”

Date cues on tape: August 31, 1973 (Trial of Gainesville 8 ended in acquittal “today”)

People named:

People in attendance at Peoples Temple service
Mary (sings)


Public figures/National and international names:
Angela Davis, University professor, member of Communist Party, black activist
Billy Smith, black soldier accused of fragging (described in Q 968 as son of Temple parishioner)
Daniel Ellsberg, Defense Department worker who leaked Pentagon Papers
Harriet Tubman, black activist, organized underground railroad
John Tubman, husband of Harriet Tubman (by reference)

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.)

    “Have you seen one that had the power to separate the darkness from light, to cause dry land to appear.” (Genesis 1:1-10)

    “We’re looking like Abraham did, we’re looking for a city whose builder and maker is God or goodness. We have left the city of the Ur of Chaldees because it had nothing good in it, its foundations were poor. So we’ve left that old order. It was given to exploitation, Abraham said. It shed the blood of innocents. So we’re leaving the Ur of the Chaldees and we’ve got to move on to the Promised Land.” (Genesis 15:7, “And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.”)

    “Where did you find your salvation? And you will say, come and go with me to my father’s house.” (Genesis 28:21, “So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God:”)

    “The balm of Gilead.” (Genesis 37:25, Jeremiah 8:22, Jeremiah 46:11)

    “It’ll be like an umbrella, like it was a cloud that followed the children through the Egypt land, the cloud by day and a fire by night.” (Exodus 13:21-22, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” See also Exodus 40:38, Numbers 9:15-16, Numbers 14:14, Deuteronomy 1:33, Nehemiah 9)

    “The days of yesterday, it was said, God is a jealous God. I know no such characteristic. In this day, God is not jealous. God is love.” (numerous citations, including Exodus 20:5, Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 4:24, Deuteronomy 5:9, Deuteronomy 6:15, Joshua 24:19, Nahum 1:2)

    “Though they were to cut your throat or cut out your tongue, you will say, I know my redeemer liveth. And in the latter day, I have stood with him on the earth.” (Job 19, esp. Job 19:25, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:”)

    “Inside they’ll make a joyful 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)

    “And they will win souls by being wise Not be being forward, aggressive, harsh, but they will be winning souls because they’re wise.” (Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”)

    “I will have my way, saith God.” (numerous possible references, including Isaiah 48:17, Jeremiah 7:3, Ezekiel 11:21, and Ezekiel 18:30)

    “If you will free yourself of that, then everyone will know you’ve got a pure heart, and a pure heart will see God.” (Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”)

    “But I have just given the power and the glory to you. Now you live like you have known God. Let men see your good works, that they might glorify your heaven and your holy father. Let men see your good works… They’ll let their light so shine outside that men can see their good works.” (Matthew 5:14-16, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”)

    “[We] have a treasure that they cannot cast before swine.” (Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”)

    “My pastor is speaking in the hundredfold.” (Matthew 13)

    “My pastor has all the fruits of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 13:8, 22)

    “People stand around like it was in the Sonship degree, they were standing around in Jesus’ day, stand around and say, well, I’m he. Said many mighty works I would do except for unbelief.” (Matthew 13:57-58, “….But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”)

    “Have you seen one that had the power … to walk on water.” (Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21)

    “Have you seen one that had the power … to materialize food.” (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15)

    “But I said, as I heard it said of yore, when Jesus was ministering, he would say, go tell no man that I am the Christ. He said, don’t tell any man. And that’s what I tell you today.” (Matthew 16:13-20, esp. 20, “Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”)

    “And so Jesus woulda done well if he’da closed the Bible and not said this day is it fulfilled in your midst. Thing for him to’ve done was to read the Bible and reached out over the audience and called somebody out with a cancer and healed them. … They said after Jesus said this day, the Spirit of God is upon me, because he’s anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. That means to give good news to the poor. Well, the thing he ought to’ve done was to come in with some food. Not said anything. Or if he did indeed say it, after he had finished it there, in the Luke, the fourth chapter, and Matthew about the third chapter, he shoulda then, at the end of his sermon, instead of said this day, I’m the one, he should’ve not said that, but just said, bring out the food. We’re all going to share and have food here. And the poor woulda got the message. And if he said then, (unintelligible word), I’m here to heal the broken-hearted, he reached out like I have done in every meeting and healed somebody of cancer or took a crippling diseases away, or opened up the blinded eyes, or took in little poor children and– or older lonely people and gave them homes, everybody would know that he was there to heal the broken-hearted, but he got his words ahead of his actions, and they nearly throwed him over a cliff.” (Luke 4)

    “Remember when he went in there by Galilee, and stood up in the temple, and he said the spirit of God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He opened up the book of the rabbis, he opened up the tetrarch, he opened up the holy writings. He said this day, the spirit of God is upon me, or in me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. Well, the gospel means good news, and good news to the poor would have to mean giving them land, jobs, an end to war, and an end to economic and social or racial distress. He said he has anointed me to heal, what? the broken-hearted. To set at liberty those that were, what? bruised. To bring deliverance to what? those who were in prison. He was all right, (unintelligible word) he was all right till that point. He shoulda then just stopped, ‘cause now God learning more. Shoulda stopped and gone out through Galilee and done some work. But what’d he do? According to King James, he closed the book and said, this day is fulfilled in your midst.… He closed that Bible in (unintelligible word) synagogue before they’d seen anything. And all hell broke loose. It said that they took the body of Jesus and if it were possible, they’da throwed him headlong over the cliff. But he managed to escape. King James makes it much more melodramatic than it was, it was an awful job. I remember. And he had to leave Galilee– that’s what your book says, said Luke, the fourth chapter said he had to leave Galilee, because there was so much disturbance, and he said many mighty works I would do, but– but a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, and said he couldn’t heal anybody there, he had to go over where? to Capernaum. He had to get about a hundred and twenty-five miles away, down the road to Capernaum. He had to go clear around the other side of the Sea of Galilee, because he couldn’t do anything there.” (Luke 4:16-24)

    “Have you seen one that had the power … to cause the cripple to walk, the blind to see.” (Luke 7:18-23)

    “I am the door. Anyone that comes through any other means is a thief.” (John 10, esp. John 10:1, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”)

    “That’s what Jesus said when they took him, when he didn’t even know why, he said, for what good work do you take me? He said, for no good work, but because, you being a man, call yourself God. In that tenth chapter, he said, ye all are gods.” (John 10:31-34, “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shown you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”)

    “No man comes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”)

    “This day, it said, greater things shall you do, because I go to the Father.” (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.”)

    “And we know what that nature of God was, it was on the Day of Pentecost when they sold their possessions and had all things common.” (Acts 2, esp. Act 2:44-45, “And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”)

    “Go about with a magnificent obsession of this eternal goodness that I am, and that I have inculcated, and I am now incarnating. Take it abroad. Shed it abroad in people’s hearts.” (Romans 5:5, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”)

    “Let other man be persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:5, “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”)

    “Don’t preach Christ. Live Christ.” (1 Corinthians 9:14, “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”)

    “My pastor has the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12)

    “The Bible said women keep silent in the churches.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”)

    “As Paul said, I am one born out of due season.” (1 Corinthians 15, esp. 8-9, “And last of all [Christ] was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”)

    “As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive, but every man after his own order.” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”)

    “Their life will become a living epistle.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”)

    “This letter will kill you. Second Corinthians 3:6 says the letter of the Bible, Letter to Romans, Letter to Corinthians, the letter will kill you, the letter will murder you. Bibles murder, but Spirit, freedom, God is love, God is truth, God is freedom. Freedom will make you alive.” (2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”)

    “Knowing the undertaking that is before this humble band of people who have a treasure hid in earthen vessels.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”)

    “I’m not talkin’ ‘bout those in the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”)

    “[Jesus] was made conformable to the image of the cross– or the Christ through the death of the cross.” (Philippians 3, esp. Philippians 3:10, “…the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”)

    “To betray knowledge is to blaspheme. You’ve got to lock it up in your heart and keep it there as a mystery.” (Colossians 2:1-3, “For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, … and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”)

    “The Bible … said, slaves are to obey their 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.”)

    “God learns obedience. Jesus learned obedience through the things that he suffered. He was made perfect. That means he wasn’t perfect. It says he was made perfect through what? Suffering.” (Hebrews 5:8-9, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.”)

    “From now on, you must speak by the orders of that which we know to be the oracle of God himself. From now on, by the instructions of he who speaketh expressly what the Spirit hath to say to the church.” (1 Peter 4:11, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”)


In most of the sermons which have been captured on tape, Jim Jones is somewhat coy about declaring his own divinity. He often skates up to the edge of a declaration that he is God – or that he is his generation’s God in the body as Christ – and lets his congregation make the conclusion to which he has led them. And so it does, gauging from the cheers and applause.

In this sermon, Jones is less circumspect than usual. With language that is often in the form of biblical quotations – just as often in paraphrases – Jones tells his congregation that they know “where God is,” that they “must speak by the orders of that which we know to be the oracle of God himself,” that they know “my redeemer liveth,” that they know “the name of where the spotless, immaculate incarnation has taken place.”

“Say, I need no other voice to speak to me,” he says early in his address, and then expands upon the thought. “My pastor is speaking in the hundredfold. My pastor has the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. My pastor has all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. My pastor has that which I have looked for in Christ and I have found.” Nevertheless, he does not say the words, “I am God,” or “I am Christ.”

But the principal difference between this and most sermons is that Jim Jones keep asks the congregation to the news about Peoples Temple – and the mystery they have found there – to themselves. Rather than looking to other churches for people who might benefit from what the Temple has to offer, or encouraging the visitors who do come to stay for the message as well as the healing, Jones commands his followers to be silent. He uses language from the Gospels in making this command – “when Jesus was ministering, he would say, go tell no man that I am the Christ” – and similarly addresses the congregation as if they were his apostles.

“If they have not learned by now, they were meant not to know it. They were not supposed to understand it,” Jones says, then adds a moment later, “that’s what I tell you today, don’t tell anyone the treasure you have hid in earthen vessels. Tell no man the treasure that’s locked up inside of you. Don’t cast your pearls before swine. They’re not ready for it.”

He captures both of his messages for the day in a single sentence midway through the sermon: “I want you to shut your mouths and show me that you know God.”

Jones does declare himself – as he often does elsewhere – as the father to his flock, and a benevolent and unselfish one at that. “We’re living in a day where fathers are not jealous, fathers do not have to have credit, Father only wants … to protect his family.” And because they are under his protection, they are “beautifully privileged.”

The best way they can acknowledge their privilege is not to speak of it but to practice it. “Let it work for you,” he says. “Show people in deeds and actions. Don’t preach Christ. Live Christ.” The peace and holiness they have will manifest in a “pure heart that is free from racism, that is free from war, that is free from capitalism, and that is free from … fascism and ugliness of so-called communism.”

There is a final difference between this and most of his other addresses: while many of his sermons seem almost stream of consciousness in form, the message driven by an occurrence in the church or in the world – and while this one takes sidetrips with a political observation or two – there is a purpose to this speech, an organization of his thoughts, a conclusion he does want them to draw. In fact, it is important enough that he specifically repeats it: “We do not want to have a confrontation over the name of God, but we are going to have a confrontation over the nature of God. Now some of you did not catch what I just said. We do not wish to have a fight over the name of God, but we do wish to start a revolution over the nature of God.”

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 23, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B110-7R37. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES telling the people that he is God. JONES also talks about the Bible.

Differences with FBI Summary:

As outlined in the summary above, the first sentence of the FBI summary demonstrates that Jones succeeded in his message. But while it is not accurate, it does meet the agency’s purposes.

Tape originally posted July 2014