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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 14, Virtual Item 17 , Q380 - Part 1, Meeting addresses runaways, attempted suicide (10/14/78)

 Digital Record
Identifier: ms-0183_14.17 Part 1


  • Digitized: October 14, 1978


Summary Note

During a meeting in mid-October 1978, Jim Jones faces a Jonestown community that includes some members so unhappy and hostile, that they have attempted to run away or to commit suicide. The leader approaches the crisis in a number of different ways, reminding the would-be suicide that it doesn’t work – they’ll be back in another life – telling the people of his own problems, recalling the miracles he has performed over the years, and explaining how true socialists behave, but the theme he returns to the most is how to deal with dissidents. While Jones’ attention eventually focuses on the two young men before him, the tape opens with him addressing the crowd as a whole with his oft-repeated critique of how sexual relationships ruin people for socialism. He eventually includes other culprits, such as pop music – another familiar target – and explains how even buying an ice cream cone or Coca-Cola supports capitalism and detracts from their mission. But the most important message to the community at large that night is that they are avoiding responsibility – “All night long I’ve heard people covering their ass” – and that means, they aren’t communist or even on the road to communism. All that behavior shows how much each person looks out for himself or herself, and that means they still have ego. “Communism is the end of ego,” he says. “Replace socialist-centric behavior for ego-centric behavior.” 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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