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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 10, Virtual item 24, Q245- Jonestown meeting, discussion of suicide

 Digital Record
Identifier: ms-0183_10.24


Summary Note

Recorded in late summer 1978 – probably within three months before the mass deaths in Jonestown – this tape was devoted to statements by community members on their reasons for wanting to commit “revolutionary suicide.” With only a couple of notable exceptions, the people who speak are calm and forthright in their statements, even if the causes and travails they speak of fill them with passion. There are a few unifying themes – their relatives are hounding them, they cannot stay where they are, they have no place else to go, and suicide is seemingly the only way out – but there are many definitions of what revolutionary suicide means to them. Jim Jones is also calm and matter-of-fact about the process. He interrupts a few speakers to press them on a particular point or to clarify an issue, and he is very interested in a couple of the community members who have never spoken before on the subject. In general, though – again, with a couple of notable exceptions – he plays the role of a dispassionate interviewer, and does not ask leading questions. Full summary of the recording available at Alternative Considerations of Jonestown website, along with the tape transcript.

Rights Statement Note

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Physical Description Note

Original audio cassette tape recording digitized and made available as .mp3 audio file.

Publisher Note

Publisher: The Jonestown Institute

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

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