Skip to main content

Peoples Temple Collection; Box 14, Virtual Item 1, Q353-News and Commentary (Spring 1978)

 Digital Record
Identifier: ms-0183_14.01


  • Digitized: Spring, 1978 and late 1972


Summary Note

Jones reads the news in the first part of the tape, lasting the entire first side and part way through the second. The tone and style of story suggest that Jones is engaging in "rip and read," that is, reading stories from wire services as they come into Jonestown. Several stories -- those of James Earl Ray, the CIA spy caught in an espionage scandal, the Croatian nationalists, and the Canadian bus crash among them -- are breaking stories, and Jones updates them as the tape goes on. The last half of the second side, over which the news portion of the tape had been recorded, is a sermon most likely from the fall of 1972, after newspaper columnist and Episcopal minister Lester Kinsolving had published the first of his articles criticizing Peoples Temple. The sermon contains many elements of a Jones address -- including references to his miracles, pleas to his members to follow his example, and descriptions of socialism as the only economic system -- but it also speaks to the passages in the Bible as positive and important messages for them to understand, albeit with the understanding which he alone can bring them. 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

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US