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 “7/21/73”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents place address later in 1973 (reference to Washington Post editorial of August 1973 as “a month ago”)
People in attendance at Peoples Temple service
Reverend Sister Davis
Lucy, last name unintelligible (speaks)
Sister Shakeschneider (could be Female 4, speaks)
Brother Sidell (phonetic)
The “Smith child”Matilda Alvarado (speaks)
Sarah Burton (phonetic) (speaks)
Eugene Chaikin (by reference)
Corlis Conley (speaks)
Kathleen Ellis, Temple member who recently died
James Jenkins (speaks)
Marceline Jones (by reference)
Marilyn Miller (speaks)
Catherine Morris, Temple member who recently died
Lucille Ponder (phonetic) (speaks)
Larry Schacht (by reference)
Lee Ethel Young (speaks)
Public figures/National and international names:
U.S. Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho)
Adolf Hitler, German FuhrerNorman Mailer, American writer
Marilyn Monroe, American actress
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Whitey Freestone, critic of TempleLester Kinsolving, newspaper writer, Temple antagonist
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.)
- “Abraham said to Sarah, lie and say that I’m your brother. He was a low grade. He wasn’t very high consciousness. He said, tell this king that I am your brother, so that he will not– What? Kill my soul. Soul is a body.” (Genesis 12: 11-13)
“I receive no gifts, because we are admonished by all the proverbs of the great world faiths, not to receive any kind of gift… I do not want to receive any question about your personal healing, because that would be a respect of persons and respect of persons is sin… If I allow people get up here now and tell me about their healings, I’ll be guilty of respect of persons, and I thus far have not been guilty.” (Deuteronomy 16:19, “Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.”)
“You will have life and life more abundantly if you’ll give yourself wholly unto God.” (Joshua 14:7-14; 1 Timothy 4:15.)
“Oh no, as for me and my house, I will serve God socialism. I will serve it.” (Joshua 24:15, “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” See also, 2 Kings 10:18-28)
“The Word is not a Bible. It is a living thing. And it always has a body. If it didn’t, God would be a respect of persons (Several, including 2 Samuel 14:14, “…neither doth God respect any person…”; 2 Chronicles 19:7, “Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts.” See also James 2:1-4.)
“And if people would follow my teachings, I don’t think there would be as it was when Moses brought them out, said they were like gold and silver, there wasn’t a feeble one amongst them. But people don’t follow my teachings, people don’t– Most people don’t like me, even, because people don’t like authority figure. That’s what it said of– You remember when Moses said it in Psalms, I think, the hundred and fifth chapter, he said he brought them forth also with silver and gold, and there was not one feeble one amongst them.” (Psalm 105:37, “He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.”)
“If God were to appear to Solomon– and Solomon said his hair was a black as a raven.” (Song of Solomon 5:11, “His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.”)
“If [God] were to appear to Isaiah, and Isaiah said after the final day, Isaiah 7:20 said, he will shave with a razor. God himself will shave with a razor.” (Isaiah 7:20, “In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.”)
“The way is so plain to us, that though a person be a fool, he need not err therein.” (Isaiah 35:8, “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”)
“The soul that sinneth, it shall surely die.” (Ezekiel 18:4, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Also, Ezekiel 18:20)
“But if God did not have a body in 1973, and had a body when Nebuchadnezzar saw him, that heathen, slave-owning king – Nebuchadnezzar owned slaves, as you remember, he was evil, a Babylonish king – and yet he saw God in the fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3)
“King James is not accurate even in the genealogy of Jesus. If you go home and read the first chapter of Matthew and the third chapter of Luke, you’ll find that King James doesn’t even know who Jesus’ grandfather is. One says Jesus’ father Joseph, both agree on that. But the other says that Jesus’ grandfather was Heli, the other says Jacob. The other says his great-grandfather was Matthan, the other says Matthat. Misspelling takes place. One says he has fifteen more ancestors as you trace him back to Abraham, than the other writer does.” (Matthew 1:1-16, compared to Luke 3:23-38)
“Jesus, after he was baptized, after he came into a higher consciousness of the ineffable union of the dove figuratively settled on his head in the River Jordan.” (Baptism of Jesus, Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22)
“[Jesus] went for 40 days into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Spent 40 days and 40 nights, but the same Bible tells you in another place, that after he was baptized, three days later, he was in Cana of Galilee, 80 miles from the wilderness, turning what? Water into wine.” (Matthew 4:1-11 and Mark 1:12-13, juxtaposed with John 2:1-10)
“[Jesus] said, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall– they– well, no, they will see God. They’ll see God. Not think they see God. Not feel God. But they will see God.” (Matthew 6:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”)
“But do not be anxious to cast your treasures 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.”)
“There aren’t demons in the sense of the literalism of King James, where seven demons lived in one body.” (Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:23-25; also Luke 8:1-2)
“It’s called the hundredfold degree. There’s a Fathership degree called the hundredfold. Some are born thirtyfold, some are sixtyfold, some are one hundredfold. I am manifesting the hundredfold consciousness… That’s the hundredfold degree. It’s a commitment, it’s a life and a commitment. It’s a development. Hundredfold means one hundred percent devoted to God. One hundred percent given to God.” (Matthew 13:3-23)
“Jesus looked at Peter one time and said (unintelligible name, sounds like “Cephas”), the rock– I’m going to build a church on you, and I’m going to give you the power to remit sins or to retain them. Gave him the power to be a living Christ. On another occasion he turned to Satan, and said, get thee behind me, what? Satan.” (Matthew 16:18-23)
“You can never learn the spiritual matters, because they’re only revealed to children. You must become as a little child or you will not enter in to these more ascetic realms. (Matthew 18:2-3, “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”)
“He was the fulfillment, that all the law and the prophets is fulfilled in one saying: love thy God with all thy heart, mind, soul, and strength… You’ve got to give your whole heart, mind, and soul, strength to God principle as you know God to be.” (Mark 12:30, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” See also Matthew 22:37 and Luke 10:27.)
“[Jesus said] I’ve come in my Father’s name.” (John 5:43, “I am come in my Father’s name…”)
“[Jesus said] I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30, “I and my Father are one”)
“When your minds and your attention and your love and devotion is placed on the highest source of God manifesting in your life, then I tell you, you will get results. You will have resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”)
“Jesus said, when you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” (John 14:9, “…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father…”)
“He said these things shall you do and greater, because I go to the Father… And Jesus said, it would be greater today than it was in his day. He said, these things shall you do and what? Greater, because I go to the Father. Greater. Greater miracles will be done.” (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.”)
“If God didn’t appear in the likeness of man in every generation, he would be guilty of discrimination. And he proved that he did do so, because when Mary and Martha was coming back from the tomb, after they’d laid Jesus in the tomb, they came back by the roadside, and they were heavy at heart, and a man came up to them and talked to them by the wayside, and they called him the gardener because he had a different shape, a different likeness, different color of hair, different color of eyes, they called him a gardener, but your Bible says that he was Jesus. God. Every time one body’s laid down, God picks up another body.” (John 20:11-18)
“In a perfect society, as it w– should be on the day of Pentecost, where all were equal, you wouldn’t need lawyers.” (Acts 2:1, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”)
“Sometimes it’s good if we will allow God to be God.” (Acts 24:14-15)
“Anytime you identify with the underdog, those that’ve been oppressed, you’re one of them. You can be one. A Jew’s not a Jew outwardly, but one inwardly. That’s what the Scripture told you. So you can be identified with the sufferings of others.” (Romans 2, esp. Romans 2:28-29)
“You’re to call on no one after the flesh. You’re to know this principle bearer. As I said know no man after the flesh, not even Jesus.” (Roman 8, esp. Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”)
“So in order to interpret King James, how can you hear without a preacher, how can he preach lest he be sent? Faith doesn’t come by Bible reading, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. And that’s what I am. The Word… But you cannot find the gift of God, you– unless you have a preacher to lead you, to guide you.” (Romans 10:13-17)
“That’s what ancient scriptures says, you must minister to the necessities of the saints.” (Romans 12, specific reference to Romans 12:13)
“But the Bible does not save you. It says you are saved by Bible-reading? No. Saved by what? The foolishness of preaching.” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21, “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”)
“How would you know whether [the preacher is] sent? Because he has the nine faculties or gifts of the Holy Spirit of Truth, which are gifts of miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation, prophecy, discernment, wisdom, all those things which are uh, operative here if you are open to see it.” (1 Corinthians 12, esp. 1 Corinthians 12:28, “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”)
“Paul said, know no man after the flesh, and particularly one that’s dead.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17, esp. 2 Corinthians 5:16, “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.”)
“A generous heart touches God. God loves a cheerful heart. But when you’re not generous, well, whatever measure you meet, it’s measured back to you.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
“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.”)
(Extended discussion of Galatians 5:22-23, the nine gifts of the Spirit)
“The church must take care first of the household of the 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.”)
“We are to take care of the things that are at hand, to work out our plan of salvation on earth, in fear and trembling, to build the kingdom of heaven on earth.” (Philippians 2:12-13, “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. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”)
“In Scripture, the gifts that came, that were imparted by the laying on of hands, God has to be incarnate in a body to express his gifts. So you remember when the Scripture spoke of receiving gifts by the laying on of hands?” (1 Timothy 4:14, “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”)
“…when they free themselves of 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…”)
“Study to show yourself approve, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”)
“Hebrews 4:12, you go home and read it. I fulfill, as no one you’ve met before, fulfills, 4:12. I discern thoughts, know the intents of the heart, sharper than a two-edged sword, separate soul from Spirit, I’ve resurrected the dead and brought the soul and the spirit back many times, I can separate the bone from the marrow – there’re all kinds of people here that’ve been in body casts, that were suffering from broken bones like she, just this morning, corrected instantly – so I’m fulfilling the Word.” (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.”)
“Double-minded man, woman is unstable in all their ways.” (James 1: 1-12, esp. 1:8, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”)
“One of the vials, the seven vials, are gonna be open, and we have to be ready for it. We know the date, the minute, the hour, the year. And we’ve got another vial we’ve got to prepare for.” (seven vials “full of the wrath of God” in Revelation 15-21)
“And I think Moses had something. He said I’d rather suffer affliction with the children of God, than to enjoy all the pleasures of being the kingly son or to be the son of pharaoh’s daughter, even for a season. That’s what Moses said.” (Reference uncertain)
“Only the minds that are fully evolved to a sensitive, compassionate, Christ level, to be perfect as the Christ is perfect, in the sense of giving oneself, or as we have seen Christ in the Fathership degree today.” (Reference uncertain)
(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Georgiana Mamlakah. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
This Peoples Temple service from late 1973 includes several testimonies and miracles, but it is more notable for the question-and-answer session that Jim Jones has with his followers. Indeed, he asks that the people who approach the microphone not ask for an individual healing or intervention in a personal problem – “I would have to then allow every one of the over thousand of the people that are here ask a personal question about their healings” – and most abide by his wishes.
The miracles that he does perform, especially at the end of the tape, are more protective and pre-emptive than actual healings. One man’s profession of faith, for example, leads Jones to anticipate and extinguish a fire in his house. In addition, the same man will be healed of a condition he wasn’t aware that he was suffering, if he places an anointed cloth on the affected area.
Because there is much interaction between Jones and his congregants, there is less ministerial fervor in his delivery. There is also greater discussion of the Bible, since several people have very intricate and perceptive questions about seeming incongruities in Jones’ message that he does address.
The questions vary widely: Is “doing your own thing” by definition selfish, or can it be a description of following your higher conscience? Which of the fruits of the spirit relate to being shackled by materialism? Are demons real? A few are blunt and personal, and take Jones aback. One woman says she heard Jones speak to her in the middle of the night, and wants to know, “So why did you wake me?”
Perhaps the most detail he provides for the understanding of his followers is how he can be God in a body. Drawing upon the Bible as both a sword and a shield, he points out several Scriptures which indicate that God is present as an incarnate being in every generation – otherwise, God “would be guilty of discrimination” – and more specifically, “Every time one body’s laid down, God picks up another body.” Moreover, if God can appear to a heathen, slave-owning king like Nebuchadnezzar, as it says in the Hebrew Bible, he can appear in a man of principle and character in 1973. His claim of the mantle for himself is sometimes coy, more often direct.
“God always is present,” he declares at one point. “He always has a body, and when people have a pure heart, free of racism, free of the worship of things, free of materialism, free of all those possessive characteristics… they will see God. Not think they see God. Not feel God. But they will see God.”
While all of these assertions have foundations in the Bible, he bluntly states that it is full of errors, and cites several passages which are familiar to the Temple membership to support that contention. One woman challenges him on that – “You don’t agree with what the Bible says?” – to which he replies, “I agree with the true Bible, I don’t agree with King James.”
Although it is a question-and-answer session, during which he says people can ask anything they want, and to expect an answer, he does note that “all religious questions are of no importance. The things you need to concern yourself is my apostolic, egalitarian, equalitarian, socialistic nature. That’s what you need to know more about. That’s the only thing that’ll take you through.”
Jones describes some of own abilities – in addition to the healings and miracles, he has walked on water, and he has caused clouds to block the sun’s rays – just as he also extols the many tangible assets of the Temple. “That’s why I say to our brother, you need this church, not because Jim Jones is a special person, but because he’s got special things built into this church to take care of his people.” But the only way to receive these gifts, as he reiterates several times, is to recognize that need and become part of the church. That means to follow his teachings, obey his instructions, and be generous with both time and money. There are people who show up once every six weeks at a service and expect to be healed; they will not be. There are people who hoard their cash or give it to less worthy causes; their deaths, when they occur, cannot be considered surprising.
Date of transcription: 6/21/79
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 6/14/79, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B107-24. This tape was found to contain the following:
A Temple service including a question and answer session between JONES and the congregation. Also included are “healings”.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted January 2018.