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 “Feb 7, 1977 Philadelphia, Penn.”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with label
Thora Brown (speaks)
Pamela Jo Keller (speaks)
Katherine Sawyer (speaks)
Essa Stevens (speaks)
Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Jr., Episcopal Bishop of New York (by reference)
(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.)
- Each to their own. If you wanna think you’re gonna die, you’ll die. But I believe it said, “As a man thinketh in his mind, so is he”.…As you think in your mind, so am I … Because as you think, so is it. As you think, so is it.“As a man thinketh in his mind, so is he” [Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”].
[Extensive comparison of Matthew 1:1-17 to Luke 3:23-38]
Jesus, the Christ, meant he came into the fullness of godship, he came into the fullness of the hundredfold [five references to hundredfold in Gospel, including Matthew 13:8, 13:28, 19:29; Mark 10:30; and Luke 8:8]
[The Bible] Said when the spirit of God comes, in the new order, he said you will feed the hungry and clothe the naked and take in the stranger and release the prisoners [Matthew 25:34-46]
I am saying you should do just exactly like Jesus. They came to him and said “it’s written,” and it is, in the old law, the Levitical law, said, “Man is made for the Sabbath.” One of his disciples come up and plucked him an ear of corn right on the Sabbath, started eatin’ it right there, eatin’ him some– he ate him some fresh popcorn. And they come and said “It’s written.” Jesus said “I don’t care what is written.” Said “It’s written!” The old rabbis, the old Bible scholars said, “It’s written! Man is made for the Sabbath!” Jesus said, “I turn it around.” He said, “The Sabbath is made for man! Everything is made for man. [Mark 2:27, “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:”; see also Luke 6:1-5; Matthew 12:1-8]
That’s why you don’t understand the teachings of Jesus. He said the kingdom comes on earth, amongst men [Luke 17:21, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”]
[It] Says search the scripture for in them you just think you have eternal life but these are they that testify of the living Christ of me and you will not come that you might have life. [John 5:39-40, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life”.]
The truth will set you free! [John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”]
In our Father’s house there are many mansions, hallelujah! [John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”]
Even your Bible tells you don’t worship an unknown god, apostle Paul said anybody who prays to an unknown god that they can’t see is ignorant and too superstitious. Said you are blasphemers to worship an unknown god. [Acts 17:22-23, Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.”]
That’s sin! That’s respect of persons [Romans 2:11, “For there is no respect of persons with God.”].
Heaven is nigh you. As you think in your mind, so is you, so are you… And said, the word of God is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart. This is the word. Not out of a book. He said, the word of God is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart” [Romans 10:8-9, “…the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”]
We don’t have a prophet, and he said, you cannot hear without a prophet… How can you hear without a preacher? How can he preach unless he’s sent? And if he hasn’t got the power to discern and to heal and to establish a church government, to do miracles, then he’s not sent… If somebody knows your thoughts, friend, you’d better take into account that they’re sent. And how can you hear without a preacher, and how can he preach lest he’s sent? [Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”]
He didn’t say, you’re saved by Bible-reading, it said, Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God! [Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”]
“Be ye transformed by the renewing of the mind.” [Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”]
He said, you are saved by the foolishness of preaching [I Corinthians 1:21, “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.”].
[The Bible] Says, “Women, keep silent in all the churches. Suffer not a woman to speak”… Be silent in the church. [1 Corinthians 14:34, “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.”]
You’d better become a living epistle. [2 Corinthians 3:3, “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.”]
The Bible will kill you, … the killer, the killer, the killer, the Bible, the letter kills! [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.”]
Where the spirit of God is, there’s liberty [2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”]
And you see, we’re not deprecating Christ. No, no, no, no, no, we’re not deprecating Christ, we’re not speaking against Christ. You’re not to know any man after the flesh, not even Jesus. [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.”]
Jesus said “Let this mind be in you” – not the Bible, said “Let the mind be in you.” [Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”]
[The Bible has] got lies put in there in the mouth of the apostles, saying “whatever state you find yourself in, therewith be content. Whether slave or free”… Whatever state you find– [Philippians 4:11, “for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”]
You got to find life in you, Christ in you. Christ in you must be your hope of glory. No Christ in the sky… He said, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”… You’re to know the Christ in you! [Colossians 1:27, “God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”]
He put in there, “Slave, servant, 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;”]
Who can know the thoughts of your mind? It said only the Word can know the thoughts of your mind. Said the Word is sharper than a two-edged sword, it discerns the thoughts, it knows the intents of the heart, it cuts away the bones from the marrow, and it quickens the body. Separates the soul from the spirit [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.”].
You need to give them the truth, ‘cause we’re gonna have shakin’ of truth over there. ‘Cause God is shaking up everything that can be shaken, so that that which cannot be shaken will remain! [Hebrews 12:27, “And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.]
[The Bible] says, obey those that rule, have rule over you… Obey those that have rule over you. [Hebrews 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”]
[The Bible] Says, “you got a good master, be thankful. If you have a bad master, endure him.”… It said “If you’ve got a good master” – I’m talking about the book – It said if you’ve got a good master, be thankful, but if you’ve got a bad master who kills your children, rapes your wife, endure him… Obey your master. If you’ve 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.”].
“Obey your husband. [1 Peter 3:1. “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands…”; See also Ephesians 5:24].
John said, I see a new heaven coming down out of the sky, coming down as a bride is going for her husband. Heaven on earth [Revelation 21, esp. Revelation 21:2, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”]
City foursquare– King James’s taken those Bible verses and made them so ridiculous, any child would know something’s wrong. City foursquare? Can you imagine all of us goin’ someplace for the rest of eternity in a city that was only four squares? Can you imagine all the folks that have ever died in the faith going to a heaven where there’s only twelve gates to the city? [Revelation 21:10-21]
(This tape was transcribed by Kristian Klippenstein. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.)
This tape consists of the latter part of a sermon which Jim Jones delivered to a church in Philadelphia in early 1977, just a few months before his permanent self-exile to Guyana. It includes many elements of a typical Jones address, including its fiery delivery – at several points, his cries into the microphone overwhelm the ability of the tape recorder – and the repetition of his stock biblical references.
If anything, this address is a distillation of how Jones has preached for the previous five years. He speaks of the errors and inconsistencies in the Bible, and asks rhetorically how they can consider such a flawed work to be their path to salvation. “[W]hen I’m countin’ on going someplace by a book, if I took a roadmap and it told me to take [Interstate] 40 and I’d get to Chicago, and I end up in Kansas City, I would put that roadmap away.”
Jones also focuses on the Bible’s atrocities – such as its repeated endorsements of slavery and subjugation of women – but also points out how King James, the man who produced this version of the Bible, was a drunk, a child-molester and a slaveholder.
But the Bible and King James aren’t the only ones keeping black people in bondage. The “jackleg” ministers with their fancy cars and fancy teas, are ripping them off. “[W]e made money, we worked hard,” he cries, “but where is our money? Where is black people’s money? Look up and down Broad Street! It’s in these big old churches, that’s where it’s at!” Jones also tells the story of an 80-year-old black man who said he wished he had heard Jones’ message earlier. “For forty years,” he quotes the man as saying, “I’ve been taking up anniversaries for preachers. I’ve been singin’ that song ‘Take the whole world and give me Jesus’. They done taken the whole world and given me nothingbut Jesus!”
Because he is speaking before an audience which is unfamiliar with him, it far is less political than many of the contemporary sermons he gave in his home churches in California. There are also no references to himself as God, or as Jesus reincarnated, or as “God in a body” (the latter of which find resonance is the location were Father Divine’s Peace Mission in Philadelphia; the other indication that no Peace Mission members are in the audience is that the people whom he calls out have standard names).
After his closing remarks – which last 20 minutes – he turns to the healing portion of the service. This model is the same as he used throughout his career: he calls a person from the audience, confirms that he doesn’t know the person, establishes his own bona fides as a healer by telling them facts from their lives which no one without his talents would know, and then cures them of their illness. As he explains near the end of the tape, “The sister tonight got healed, that was crippled in her back, because she said, ‘I perceiveyou’re more than a pastor.’” In some cases, he says he has relieved them of a longtime problem, but other times, he cures them of an illness that they didn’t erven know that they had, or protects them from a heart attack or a fatal automobile accident which would have happened in the next few days.
A underlying purpose of the address, though, seems to be to recruit new members for Peoples Temple. He tells the congregation about the Promised Land of Jonestown, although he exaggerates its size and amenities. He tells them how easy it would be for them to get on the bus that’s going back to California – “if you want to go home, if you want to go to freedom” – adding that he will take all comers, that they don’t need money or clothes. “We’ll hold up the bus long enough you to go home and get your little bit of things. You can take your wraps and put ‘em in a gunny sack and come on with us.”
Date of transcription: 6/29/79
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 9, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B102-13. This tape was found to contain the following: A recording where JIM JONES speaks out on the lies in the Bible and organized religion.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted February 2019.