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 “11-12-72”
Date cues on tape: Contents of tape consistent with note
Gene Chaikin (by reference)
Tim Stoen (by reference)
Col. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
Rev. Nathan Urshan, United Pentecostal Church
Louis H. Deere, Indianapolis physician
Reno Batlomey (phonetic), Mendocino County sheriff
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.)
“[The Bible] Said that the hypocrites in the last day, they’ll stand up in the synagogue with a loud voice. They’ll be seeing ‘em then. Said they’ll pray so that men can see them. But he said, Beware. They already have their reward. He said, You want to do something? Go home and do it in your closet. Said, You want to pray? Go and pray to your God in secret, who will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:1-8).
“[The Bible] said the church would be your worst enemy. Those in your own household will be your worst enemy.” (Matthew 10:34-36, esp. 36, “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”)
“Now you want to know what the judgment day is going to ask you for? You want to know what it’s going to ask you for? He’s not going to ask you how many prayed. Matthew 25, verses thirty-four, I think, says that uh, when the king shall– then– then the king– uh, the Christ shall say to them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my father. Inherit the kingdom on earth prepared for you from the … end of the world. For I was in need of prayer and you prayed. Or I needed you to get baptized and you got baptized. I need you to speak in tongues and you spoke in tongues. Never said a cotton-picking word about that, and you know it. Said, I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came unto me. And they said, Jesus, when did we ever see you sick, naked, hungry or thirsty? He said, Oh, you didn’t. In that you did it unto the least of these, in that you did it to the poorest white mother or the poorest black mother, in that you did it to the poorest among men, in that you did it among the least of these, you did it unto me…”
Later in service: “And you never want to get out and feed the hungry and clothe the naked. And I’m telling you, you don’t know your scripture. You don’t know what God said. You are the one that’s wrong, ‘cause you’re never going to see Jesus until you get concerned about every hungry, naked, every stranger, everybody in prison, everybody that’s mistreated” (Matthew 25:34-40)
“My soul has no peace. [You] Say, Well, that can’t happen. Oh, yes it did. It happened in the scripture, just as sure as you’re living. The rich man came to Lazarus. He spoke to him. Spoke to him. Don’t tell me it can’t happen. The rich man came to him and said, Go. Save my brother. At least warn my relatives. Warn them. I’ve been a devil. Save my relatives.” (Luke 16:19-31)
“Yesterday’s message was vital. If you’da got that, you’da been free. You’da been free. You’da known the truth, and it would have set you free.” (John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”)
“[The churches] tell you, love some lie, and they’ll tell you to give so they can have a Cadillac. And then they’ll tell you to get ready to die. Now that’s some message. You come to church to hear somebody to tell you to get ready to die. (Calls) I say, let’s get ready to live! Let’s get ready to live! I have come to give you life and freedom and life more abundantly!” (John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”)
“Why on earth can’t we raise the dead? Why can’t we stop dead? Why can’t we stop the death from taking place? Jesus said, He that liveth and keeps my sayings shall never die. That’s what he said. Though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”)
“That’s what church people do. They’ll even kill you, thinking they do God a service. It’s not alcoholics you need to worry about. It’s not the street worker or the street walker or the whores or the pimps you need to worry about…”
[Later in service] “Anybody that tries to do this, they’re going to persecute, they’re going to lie on, they’re going to try to kill them, and what’s the scripture say? They’ll think they do God a service. Now you know no prostitute or drunk is going to think they do God a service.” (John 16:2, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”)
“I believe Christ is in you, the hope of glory.” (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”)
“It’s gone be good church members, good old holiness types, good old Pentecostal types that act like they got something, but all they got’s a form of Godliness denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5, esp. 3:5, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away”)
“Hebrews 6:1 said, Let us leave the principles of the doctrines of Christ baptisms. Laying on of hands, eternal judgement. That means talking about how hot hell is and how many streets there is in heaven and pearly white cities, leaving baptisms, doctrines of eternal judgement and resurrection of the dead. You hear what I’m saying? Hebrews 6:1, Let us leave. Didn’t say, Let’s stay around and grope around and nose around. It said, Let us leave the principles of the doctrines of baptisms, laying on of hands, eternal judgement and the resurrection of the dead.” (Hebrews 6:1-2, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”)
“If you don’t get what Jesus’ brother said, James, first chapter, the twenty-seventh verse, he said, ‘Pure religion was undefiled before God, and the Father is to minister to the orphans and widows in their affliction.’ Didn’t say nothing about jumpin’ up and down and prayin’ and frothin’ at the mouth and speakin’ in tongues or gettin’ baptized. It said, minister to the orphans and the widows in their affliction. That’s what it said.” (James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”).
(Editor’s note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
The subject of this 1972 sermon is life: the life-affirming aspects of the Peoples Temple ministry, the number of resurrections that occur on practically a daily basis, and even the messages of hope and life contained within the Christian Bible. Its periodic references to death – and there are several – most often focus on the hypocrisy of the churches around them as well as the contradictory message of those that offer classes in how to prepare your will. “I’m not telling you how to get ready to die,” Jones cries out early in the service, “I’m telling you how to get ready to live.”
Jones declares several times that he hates death. He hates graveyards, and claiming to have worked in one, says that no one is going to rise from them, especially after the forces of decomposition have their way with flesh and bones. That hatred of death is why he performs miracles, and why no one in the church has died.
The principle of the Temple for life has brought succor to both the living and the dead. He reminds the congregation of the manifested spirit which visited the sanctuary one day, and begged for forgiveness so that it might find peace.
Jones uses the theme to differentiate between what the Bible says about life, and how the churches run by the “jackleg preachers … with their Cadillacs” use the same Bible to get their parishioners to prepare for death. “They tell you love some lie, and they’ll tell you to give so they can have a Cadillac. And then they’ll tell you to get ready to die. Now that’s some message.”
In contrast, the Temple builds on the future, by adopting children and offering foster homes and education. It offers life to middle-aged believers, with legal services and medical care, and its healings – while for everyone – most pointedly helps the elderly. Followers of Peoples Temple get the true Christian message. “[The Bible] didn’t say nothing about jumpin’ up and down and prayin’ and frothin’ at the mouth and speakin’ in tongues or gettin’ baptized. It said, minister to the orphans and the widows in their affliction. That’s what it said.” And that’s what the Temple does.
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 1B108-3. This tape was found to contain the following:
A sermon given by JIM JONES where he speaks of his healing powers.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.