Chronological List of Annotated Documents

 

1930s-40s

The Life and Times of Jimba the Kid – a collection of stories told by Jones’ mother, Lynetta, and likely circulated among the Peoples Temple faithful as tales of his exploits as a child. Little historical information can be culled from these legends, rather they reflect the beliefs and sentiments of Peoples Temple in the 1970s.

1957

Q-1058-2 Part 2 – transcript of an early sermon from the years of Peoples Temple in Indiana. In this sermon, Jones discusses traveling around Indiana visiting other communities and focuses his sermon on the Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 27.

Q-1058-2 Part 3 – transcript of an early sermon from the years of Peoples Temple in Indiana. This partial recording focuses on the themes of faith and perseverance.

Q-1058-2 Part 4 – transcript of an early sermon from the years of Peoples Temple in Indiana. In this longer recording, Jones explains his views of the Trinity and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1959

Pastor Jones Meets Rev. M. J. Divine – a 26-page booklet written by Jim Jones highlighting his admiration of Father Divine and his theological difference.

1960

Articles of Incorporation for Wings of Deliverance – the legal documentation for the Wings of Deliverance church, this was the name of the church in 1955. The papers seem to have not been filed until April 1960.

1972

Kinsolving Articles – In September of 1972, Lester Kinsolving, the religion reporter for the San Francisco Examiner, published a series of articles exposing some of the inner workings of Peoples Temple and the leadership of Jim Jones.

1973

Q-1059-1 – In this sermon, Jones explains his claims to divinity while castigating belief in the Skygod of the Bible for inaction in the face of suffering and inequality. Jones expounds on so of his common themes of socialism in the early church, the evils of capitalism, and his utopian vision of a society fostered by socialism.

1974

Farm Plan of 1974 – By 1974, Peoples Temple had authorized renting a large swath of jungle territory in the Northwestern District of Guyana. Part of the process involved the leaders establishing a plan to build and operate an agricultural commune. This document, submitted to the government of Guyana, reveals the early vision for Jonestown and is a kind of benchmark for their aspirations and achievements.

Q-1053-1 – Jones Sermon from October 1974

1976

The Fresno Four Incident – In September 1976, four journalist were held in contempt of court for refusing to reveal their sources in a public corruption case. While the event garnered national attention, Jones and Peoples Temple continued their campaign to support the freedom of the press by picketing the Fresno courthouse until the issue was resolved.

1977

The Conspiracy against Peoples Temple – Sometime in 1977, the leadership of Peoples Temple began collecting and organizing their case to prove that their was a government conspiracy to infiltrate and undermine the radical politics of Peoples Temple. A manuscript of this case was discovered among the documents in Jonestown.

Inside Peoples Temple” – On August 1, 1977, Marshall Kilduff and Phil Tracy published a scathing expose of Peoples Temple and Jim Jones in the New West Review. Incorporating the stories of several defectors from the Temple, Kilduff and Tracy insisted that a deeper investigation was necessary. Jones and many of the members of Peoples Temple went to Guyana as a result of this negative publicity. Peoples Temple put out a point-by-point refutation of the article without much effect

1978

Dear Dad Letters – Throughout the time that Peoples Temple members were in Jonestown, certain members would regularly write to Jim Jones. In these letters they would confess, point out the misbehavior of others, provide self-evaluation, or explain their plans to rid the Temple of its enemies.

February 1978

February 16th White Night – Several of the “White Night” emergency meetings were recorded. This meeting is particularly important because the members of the Agricultural Commune participated in a suicide drill before Jones alerted the community that there was no longer a threat. Edith Roller’s journal account of this episode is a particularly powerful insight into her thinking as she approached the moment of suicide.

July 1978

The Diary of Paula Adams – The Temple desired to surveil and infiltrate the government of Guyana in order to learn details that would help the leadership make decisions and know their status among the officials in the country. For a short time in July and early August, Paula Adams recorded in her seduction of a government official and the information she was able to gather for the leadership of Jonestown.