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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 27, Virtual Item 36, Q1032- Los Angeles sermon

 Digital Record
Identifier: ms-0183_27.36


  • Digitized: 1972


Summary Note

This Jim Jones sermon before the members of the Peoples Temple congregation in Los Angeles contains many elements of Jones’ oratory from the period of the early 1970s. There is much political commentary, there are references to his healing powers, and there are reminders of the benefits that people have within the Temple. Most of the sermon is devoted to the Bible, though, and Jones uses it both to demonstrate his mandate to speak for God and to mock it as a source of hypocrisy, inaccuracy and oppression. Indeed, he combines these two concepts by denouncing the "Skygod" of the Bible — a reference he makes over and over here, as well as in other addresses of the period — and by proclaiming himself as God. In his political moments, he criticizes President Nixon for opposing an increase in Social Security benefits, which, he says, will bring hardship to the people in his church. Later, Jones speaks of the administration’s plan to "take over by dictatorship, and … yield electoral process … yield the Constitution." While he was not the only person in 1972 who circulated the allegation that Nixon planned to cancel the 1972 elections due to national emergency, Jones does add the warning that "it’s our CIA, our American Central Intelligence Agency that’s doing it." 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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