Peoples Temple Collection; Box 10, Virtual item 24, Q245- Jonestown meeting, discussion of suicide
- Jones, Jim (Jones, James Warren) (Person)
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.
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Physical Description Note
Original audio cassette tape recording digitized and made available as .mp3 audio file.
Publisher: The Jonestown Institute