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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 26, Virtual Item 18, Q974- San Francisco sermon

 Digital Record
Identifier: ms-0183_26.18


  • Digitized: May 1973


Summary Note

This tape of a service in the Peoples Temple church in San Francisco consists of two distinct parts. The first third of the tape features an unnamed black man who speaks passionately of the work of the church and its leader, Jim Jones; the last two-thirds is an address by Jim Jones that touches on several familiar themes, including the miracles he has performed, the problems he has with other churches, the reasons he feels he can claim his “Godship”, and the inconsistencies and mistakes of the Bible. As with most tapes of Jones’ addresses and sermons, it ends before Jones concludes his remarks. The tape begins with a joyful song of praise about Jim Jones, followed by equally effusive words, spoken by an unidentified black man who often uses the tones and cadences of a minister. Rather than being religious, though, the address is much more political and inspirational. He talks about fascism – which he defines as “rule by the most reactionary segment of organized financed capital” – but he also blasts what he calls the “allies of fascism,” or those who sit idly by while the problems of the community parade by them. Whether you ignore the litter at your feet or the toughs on the bus or the gangs painting graffiti on the walls, he says, you contribute to fascism, because someone will react, and “people will choose tyranny over anarchy.” Similarly, he tells people to educate themselves about the problems of their community. “I’m saying to you, Christian friends, you can’t afford the luxury of ignorance, because ignorance is an ally of fascism.” 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 audiocassette 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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