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 “10/26/73”
Date cues on tape: Likely mid-September 1973
People in attendance at Peoples Temple service
Sister Tupper (most likely Rita)
Public figures/National and international names:
President John Kennedy, assassinated U.S. President
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Sen. Edward Brooke (R-Mass.)
Salvador Allende, deposed president of Chile
Hortensia Bussi, wife of Salvado Allende (by reference)
Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of John Kennedy
Jack Ruby, assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald
Martin Luther King, assassinated civil rights leader
James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Martin Luther King (by reference)
Billy Graham, American evangelist
Nystrom (phonetic), alleged head of secret organization
Colonel Buchanan, man with alleged proof of who killed JFK
Bible verses cited:
(Note: The verses appear in order of biblical reference, not as they appear in Jim Jones’ address.)
“I’ve got the same power that came out of the source, the same power that said in the beginning, let there be light.” (Genesis 1:2, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”)
Extensive discussion of Genesis 1 and 2
“Adam looked at Eve and Eve looked at Adam and said you don’t look the same. And then a little bit later, we got Cain and Abel. And a whole story and I’m going to quit right, there because there’s enough to cause you to have trouble believing. Adam and Eve are the first man and woman. They have Cain and they have Abel and Cain. What happened? Cain slew Abel with the jawbone of an ass. Now that’ll left only three. Any fool would know that left only three, but Cain took a walk over into the land of Nod and got him a wife. Where’d she come…” [Genesis 4]
“Now if I had said I am the I Am, you might have taken an issue with that… until you recognize who you are, I am that I am… I sure as the dickens am going to declare who I am. I know who I am… until you recognize who you are, I am that I am.” (Exodus 3:14, “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am.”)
“Many a time the heavens were brass, many times you couldn’t get your prayer above your head.” (Deuteronomy 28:23, “And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.”).
“If you would take me at face value and at surface value, if you would take what I’m saying, the holy truth that I’m giving you, if you’d get a pure heart, listen to what I’m saying, and take my word seriously, and heed my commandments, and get free of racism and pure of social injustices, and purify yourself from the love of money which is the root of all evil, the capitalistic whore-mongering system, if you would purify yourself from the love of money and the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, if you would purify your heart. The moment you get pure in heart, that moment – not tomorrow but today – that moment you will not think you see God, you will know you see God.” (Joshua 22:5, “But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul;”)
“If we only end up with just a Gideon’s number, if we only end up with a Gideon’s army of 300, I’d rather have 300 people got their good senses than 300 dummies.” (Judges 6 and 7)
“Cain slew Abel with the jawbone of an ass.” [mistaken reference to “the jawbone of an ass” is to Samson, who slew a thousand men, Judges 15:15-16]
Extensive discussion of Book of Job
“[The Bible] said, open your mouth, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10, “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”)
“You cannot be that. You can be exactly what you think you are. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. If in my mind, I desire to become God to you, I can become God to you… As a man thinketh in his mind or heart, so is he… As you think, so are you… Now indeed some have got the good judgment take the Word at its face value that, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23, esp. Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”)
Extensive conversation about Lucifer leading angels out of heaven. Lucifer fall from heaven in Isaiah 14; one-third reference is post-biblical
“Some of you’ve never even taken a look at me, much less listened to me, you’ve never even taken a look at me, and if you had taken a look at me, only a look would’ve saved you. Only a look would have saved you. Look and live, my children, live.” (Isaiah 45:3, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”)
“[I am] treading the winepresses alone.” (most likely Isaiah 63:3, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.” See also Job 24:11, Jeremiah 48:33, and Revelation 19:15).
“There’s a famine. I mean there is a famine. He said in the last days there would be a famine, not only for food, but there’s a famine for the hearing of the Word. Now if the Bible was the Word of God, there certainly wouldn’t be a famine because it’s the best-selling text in the nation today. It’s promoted by Rockefeller and Carnegie so that people will read the book, so it must not be the Word, because it said there’s a famine for the hearing of the Word, but the Bible is preached up and down America today, and up and down America tonight. On every radio wave, you’ll hear the gospel going forth, so-called. But it said in the last days there will be a famine for the hearing, so the Word must not be going to come out of these churches.” (Amos 8:11, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:”)
“Man cannot, must not, and will not live by bread alone, by tablets of stone or written scripture. He must live by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:3-4, “And when the tempter came to [Jesus], he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”)
“It is written, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God… if You would purify your heart. The moment you get pure in heart, that moment – not tomorrow but today – that moment you will not think you see God, you will know you see God. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see who? God. You understand the mystery. They shall see God. It doesn’t say, they will see God or sometime in the rapture they will see God or sometime in the great celestial (unintelligible word) they will see God, but it says blessed are – the present tense – blessed are the pure in heart, for now they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”)
“[The Bible] said ye are the lights of the world… When you recognize that ye are the light of the world, then I will go back into the ye.” (Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world…”).
“You can’t put any new wine into old vessels, you can’t patch up this garment. You’ve got to get a new garment of praise and a new garment of service and a new garment of thanksgiving.” (Matthew 9:16-17, “No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” See also Mark 2:21-22, Luke 5:36-39)
“You don’t take that Bible very seriously in there when it says, sell all you have. You don’t take that Bible very seriously at all. It says in there if wouldst thou be perfect, Jesus said. When the man came to him how to be saved, he said if wouldst thou be perfect, and he said sell all that you have and give to the poor.” (Matthew 19:21, “[Jesus] said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” Also, Luke 18:22)
“You won’t be able to wash your hands. You’ll be like Pilate trying to wash the blood off your hands, and there’s no way you’re going to get the blood off your hands, because they’re going to hold you responsible.” (Pilate in all four Gospels; specific reference to Matthew 27:24-25, “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”)
“You don’t take [the Bible] very seriously. It says when you go out in these days, he said in the days of the kingdom when you go out to minister, don’t take any purse, and don’t take any scrip. That’s scrip. That’s writing. That’s scripture right there. It says don’t take any Bible.” (Mark 6:7-10, esp. Mark 6:8, “[Jesus] commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:” Also Luke 9:3, Luke 10:4, Luke 22:35-36)
“[The Bible] says take no thought for what you will say or what you will do, for in that hour when the Spirit of Truth is come, he will lead you and guide you.” (Luke 12:11-12, “And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”)
“What is the Word? In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word is made flesh and dwells amongst us and you behold the glory, you’ll get no glory until the Word is made flesh, and now you’re getting some glory, because I have made the Word flesh.” (John 1:1-14).
“I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Also John 9:5, John 12:46)
“I said that Jesus said that we all are gods. Ye are gods, he said, [they] acclaimed him first for his healings, then after a while he began to talk about him being the Son of God, and they took him and persecuted him. When they took him up to task, Jesus said, ye are gods and sons. He said ye all are gods.” (John 10:31-34).
“Jesus said ye are gods. Now that is scripture. It said to whom the scripture, the letter of love has come, and it cannot be broken, it is written ye are gods. St. John the tenth chapter, I think it is. And it cannot be broken. It said then it is that ye are all gods.” (John 10:34).
“You say, well, Jesus’ day is a great day. No. This is a greater day than Jesus’ day, because he said these things shall you do – Jesus said this – these things shall you do and what? Greater. Because I go to the Father. So this is a greater day than the day of Jesus.” (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.”).
“My desire is to see a perfect utopia based on non-violence, based on apostolic socialism as it was on the day of Pentecost when they had all things in common.” (Acts 2)
“You see, there’s great truth in this Bible, but it has to be brought out by the prophet.… This Bible contains truth, and that truth cannot be brought out except without a preacher. How can you hear without a preacher or a prophet? How can he preach lest he be sent? How do you know he’s sent?… Without one that is sent with metaphysical, political, and sociological force of truth today, you won’t make it at all… You’re going to lose your soul thinking that you’re going to be saved by just reading.” (Romans 10:13-17)
“You should recognize the moving of the Spirit of God, for God is principle, and where God is, there’ll be mighty signs and wonders, miracles.” (Romans 15:17-19)
“[The Word is] going to have to come from a living epistle which is read and known of all men.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-4)
“Didn’t say you would live by this. Said you’d die by this. 2 Corinthians 3:6 says– What does it say? The letter killeth. The letter to Romans, the letter to Timothy, the letter to Thessalonica, the letters of Corinthians, the letters kill. 2 Corinthians 3:6, the letters kill, but the spirit. You see I’m in the Spirit. Love, truth. God is love, God is truth, and I’m right here in that Spirit. The Spirit will make alive, but the letter – all the Bibles – will kill, the Bibles murder, the Bibles destroy, but the Spirit maketh 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.”)
“I have yielded myself to God fully and completely. I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, Jim Jones but Christ that liveth in me. If I am dead, and Christ lives, that means this is the body of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 2:19-20, For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 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.”)
“But Christ didn’t say it, because he said, in Christ we’re free. There’s no male nor female, no bond no free.” (Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”)
“He’ll have nine gifts, just like I’ve got. He’ll have the fruits of the Spirit. He’ll have boldness, compassion, gentleness, meekness, courage. He’ll have all the fruits of the spirit and all the gifts of the spirit, and if he doesn’t have it, you won’t know your front end from your rear end.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
“If you’ll get a hold of this principle, it will come forth in you in due season.” (likely Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”)
“You are promised that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you were able to even ask, much less to think. Said he is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you’re able to ask or to think.” (Ephesians 3, esp. Ephesians 3:19-20, “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God, Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”)
“And if you have that eye, and you have that boldness of the preaching ministry, you’re perfected with what? Apostles, pastors, teachers, evangelists. You must have apostles, pastors, teachers, evangelists, so forth and so on, without which there is no what? Perfection of the saints.” (Ephesians 4:11-12, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”)
“Purify yourself from 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:”)
“I looked into her mind and I separated the bone from the marrow. I’m sharper than a two-edged sword. You feel it already. If you’re in this room, you feel the sharpness because I cut deep. I cut into your old traditions. I cut into your old ways, I cut into your old lifestyle, I cut, I cut, I cut, and I cut. I am sharper than a two-edged sword. I am a discerner of the thoughts, and I surely know, I surely do know the intents of the heart, and that is what the Word of God is. Hebrews 4:12 tells you, that’s the only way you can know the Word of God. When the Word of God comes, it will be sharper than a two-edged sword, and it will discern the thoughts, and it will know the intents of the heart, and I ask you if I’m not doing it.” (Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”)
“Say, I have trouble believing it in you as the author and finisher, but you’ve never had any trouble believing in Skygod, you mean?” (Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”)
“In King James, it says servants, slaves, obey your master. That’s why Indians and blacks and poor whites have been slaves for hundreds of years, because it says slaves, obey your master. If you got a good master, be thankful, if you’ve got a bad master, endure him.” (1 Peter 2:18, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”)
(This tape was transcribed by Nightrissa Crosby. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
While this address by Jim Jones to the San Francisco congregation of Peoples Temple eventually turns into a traditional Jones sermon – with numerous references to his singular ability to save them in his personification of God – the first half is much more political, with dire warnings about America’s future course under the embattled President Richard Nixon.
(The sermon takes place in mid-September 1973, likely September 12. While the tape box dates the sermon as October 26 of that year, Jones makes reference to “yesterday’s” assassination of Chilean President Salvador Allende, an event which took place on September 11, 1973. In addition, if the tape box were accurate, the focus of Jones’ political commentary would be the “Saturday Night Massacre” in Washington, D.C. of October 20, an important date in the Watergate scandal.)
There are sinister forces in America, many of them secret and unseen, but some of them – like Nixon’s threat not to abide by a Supreme Court decision on the Watergate tapes – open and brazen. In the context of the recent Allende assassination – which, Jones says, was backed by the American intelligence agencies and military, including the military equipment furnished to the Chilean generals involved in the overthrow – Nixon’s stance portends what Jones says would be a “bloodless coup.” The real problem, according to Jones, is apathy on the part of the American public to the events taking place in both Washington and Santiago. In fact, “the only ones really concerned about liberty tonight in San Francisco are in this room,” although it’s also true that “half of the people in this room are not concerned at least.”
More than that, it is Jim Jones virtually by himself who stands in the way of a fascist takeover. According to Jones, the head of a secret organization – who was fleeing the country for Australia – arranged a clandestine meeting with Jones to tell the minister that “the powers of the master design that plan to take over this country consider [Jones] to be the only threat… he said people in high places in this nation fear you – and I think this is exactly as it was quoted – fear you as if you were a god.”
The plan is one Temple members have heard before: “the actual plan [is] the extermination of all brown, black, and yellow people in this country.” And for the people of Peoples Temple, “It’s already too late. They’ll look you up six months after you leave here. You are already finished. You love liberty enough to come in here, and some of you didn’t even know why you came in here. It’s already too late. … No matter how much you tell, no matter how you sing, no matter how many lies you would try to create against this holy work, there is nothing you can do.”
What they can do is to stand by Jones, to recognize his power and protection and ability to work miracles. He details many – cancers he has cured, people he has raised from the dead – but includes a more political one as well. A bomb was thrown at the Temple’s property in Redwood Valley, “and I had to stop it in midair. It made a flash like the sun but didn’t move a lock on anyone’s hair. People coulda been killed all over the place, but I had to stop it metaphysically.”
Recognizing that, “the best thing” his followers can do “is to get with us and cooperate and unite in this mind and spirit and go on forward to liberty.… Without one that is sent with metaphysical, political, and sociological force of truth today, you won’t make it at all.”
The second half of the address is much more of a timeless message for Jones, in that he makes many of the same arguments about his divinity – and about his followers’ potential for divinity – as he did the last years of his active ministry in California, and the last quarter of the tape is a repetition of Bible stories he has told elsewhere about God’s relationship to Lucifer, to Adam and Eve, and to Job. As he does elsewhere, he uses the Bible to demonstrate that he has a spiritual foundation for his beliefs, to castigate God for his inconsistencies, all-too-human foibles, and even cruelty, and to berate the whore-mongering slave-holding author of the King James version of the book. “You understand,” he says at one point, “there’s a difference between the Word of God and King James. King James is not God.”
At some point in the address, then, Jones has metamorphosed from presenting himself as their political savior into being their godly one. Quoting the Gospel of John as his authority, Jones says “the Word is made flesh and dwells amongst us and you behold the glory, you’ll get no glory until the Word is made flesh, and now you’re getting some glory, because I have made the Word flesh.”
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 1B110-7R36. This tape was found to contain the following:
A lecture by JIM JONES on the Bible.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted January 2018.