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 “9-23-78 Sat News”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with identification note
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
John Kennedy, assassinated US president
Thomas Jefferson, former US president
Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-NY)
Sen. George McGovern (D-SD)
Rep. Adam Clayton Powell (D-NY)
Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda in World War II
Leonid Brezhnev, President of the Soviet Communist Party
Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister
Vasili Kuznetsov, Soviet Vice President
Jean Canapa, leader in French Communist Party
Mao Tse-Tung, leader of People’s Republic of China
Hua Kuo-fenj, chairman of Chinese Communist Party [by reference]
Muhammad Shamsul Haque, Bangladesh foreign minister [by reference]
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Suleiman Frangieh, former President of Lebanon
Mohammad Mosaddegh, former premier of Iran [by reference]
Haile Selassie, former emperor of Ethiopia
Olusegun Obasanjo, head of military government of Nigeria
Robert Mugabe, leader of the Zimbabwean Patriotic Front
Joshua Nkomo, leader of the Zimbabwean Patriotic Front
Fidel Castro, Cuban president
Anastacio Somoza, President of Nicaragua
Santiago Roel Garcia, Mexico foreign minister [by reference]
Alfredo Stroessner, President of Paraguay
Grace Walden, witness to Martin Luther King assassination [by reference]
Marcus Garvey, Pan-African black nationalist
Malcolm X, black activist with Nation of Islam
Joan Baez, Singer/songwriter of the 1960s
Helen Winter, Communist Party USA internal affairs secretary
Carlton Goodlett, San Francisco physician, newspaper publisher
Mark Lane, Peoples Temple attorney
Don Freed, author and screenwriter
John Moore, Methodist minister, father of two Temple members
Bible verses cited: None
(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.)
“Touch not mine anointed, do my anointed no harm. Now remember that.” (1 Chronicles 16:22 and Psalm 105:15, “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”)
You are a hypocrite, and are condemned forever to judgments that you do not choose.” (Generally, Job, including Job 34:4, “Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good”; and Job 40:8, “Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?”)
“One day we’ll be able to sit under our own vine and fig tree in peace.” (Micah 4:4, “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”)
“Said, present your whole body as your living sacrifice.” (Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”)
“They [the slothful and lazy of Jonestown] are unable to be transformed but the renewing of their 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.”)
“Believe me, I know the thoughts of the mind, and I know the thoughts of the heart.” (Several references to Jesus “perceiving the thought of their heart.” e.g. Luke 9:47, but more likely 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.”
“Remember, it’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living god.” (Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”)
“But try the spirit and see if it be of God. Test those that you need to test, and find out what you need to know, to be satisfied.” (1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”)
Jim Jones reads the news and makes announcements in a series of tapings on September 23, 1978.
Much of the language Jones uses in the reading is familiar to the residents of Jonestown. The United States is consistently imperialistic and racist, most of its actions arising from the unsustainable social structure of class and economic system of capitalism. Its allies are lackeys, and the Third World powers that depend upon the US for military assistance are fascist. In contrast, both Cuba and the USSR represent the avant garde of liberation.
Jones also expresses familiar laments about the stories of repression around the world – the concentration camps of South Africa, the installation of the Shah of Iran, the 40-year old dictatorships in Nicaragua and Paraguay – which are made possible by US tax dollars. These conditions “should cause great guilt to our hearts and a desire to work as work never before to increase the land and finish the buildings … that we need to build, to take care of our full community.” There are just more of these references here.
In addition, Jones fleshes out a belief he has expounded in recent weeks that, in the closing weeks of World War II, the Allies had agreed to leave Adolf Hitler in power – even to allow him to retain the concentration camps – if he would turn his forces against the approaching Soviet forces.
Jones also gives voice to China’s Doctrine of Three Worlds in greater detail than he has most other places.
What is atypical – perhaps even unique among the tapes from Jonestown – is that Jones states that he delivered a sermon over the PA system that morning. He concludes one set of remarks near the end of the day with several biblical references which he has not made on tape since speaking to his congregation from the pulpit on California.
The final segments are also more barbed and pointed than most, as he asks for the same trust, consideration, loyalty and love of the people that he gives to them. The final segment, less than a minute in length, is an expression of frustration that ends, “Why don’t you try the shoe on your foot and see if you would like this hypocrisy.” What the immediate source of his irritation is remains unknown.
Among the other news stories included in the address:
- An American satellite plunging to earth presents danger;
- Political prisoners in Paraguay on hunger strike;
- Civil rights protestors march in Northern Ireland;
- Brezhnev seeks a halt to arms race, points out flaws in recent Camp David accord;
- Arab nations blast Camp David agreement;
- Demonstrations against the Shah are worldwide and in every city in Iran;
- Leftist political factions in Lebanon unite in joint leadership;
- Joan Baez refuses to perform at venue in Israeli occupied territory;
- African nations at UN ask for debate on Namibia;
- UN committee and African nations recommend oil embargo of South Africa;
- Nigeria lifts 12-year-old state of emergency;
- China tries to provoke war with Vietnam, has larger goal of incorporating all of Southeast Asia.
Date of transcription: 6/11/79
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 May 31, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-28. This tape was found to contain the following:
A recording of JIM JONES lecturing on current events.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.