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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 26, Virtual Item 32, Q987- Philadelphia sermon

 Digital Record
Identifier: ms-0183_26.32


  • Digitized: Spring 1977


Summary Note

Made in 1977 during People Temple’s last tour of the East Coast, this tape features an address by Jim Jones on the themes he has developed over the years: the authority in the Bible through which people can claim their freedom and divinity; the hypocrisy and ills of American society, especially in its treatment of lower classes and racial minorities; the danger of nuclear war; and the sanctuary they all have waiting for them in the Promised Land of Guyana. At the same time, it is an atypical address. While Jones’ message is familiar to the Temple members in the audience, the fact is that the address takes place in a church in Philadelphia, and many people in attendance are hearing him for the first time. As a result, his rhetoric is less confrontational, his claims of personal divinity less emphasized, his denigration of the Bible less pronounced. It is a political speech, a call to social action, a sometimes fiery sermon, but it is meant for public consumption, as opposed to the addresses he delivered during the same period in California before the household of the faith. 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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