Jonestown Death Tape Quote:
Inaccuracies vs. Facts Part 1

by Jolene McDonald

(Editor’s Note: This blog was originally posted here.)

Misquote: Death is not a fearful thing, it’s living that’s cursed.

​Actual quote: Death is not a fearful thing, it’s living that’s treacherous.

I’m not sure why this particular part of the Jonestown death tape has been misquoted so frequently. Jim is very clearly saying, “it’s living that’s treacherous.” The amount of times I’ve seen the “cursed” version of this quote, on art pieces and even a tattoo, is unreal. I’ve had debates with people, even linking them to the tape for them to hear for themselves because they would not accept what he was actually saying. It was used at the beginning of Go Outside by Cults, so if it will take too long to find on the death tape, it’s easy to hear Jim speak those words in the song.

Originally posted on January 4th, 2020.

Last modified on January 6th, 2020.
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