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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 23, Virtual Item 03, Q805a- Jones’ phone call discusses conspiracy against church | Special Collections & University Archives

Peoples Temple Collection; Box 23, Virtual Item 03, Q805a- Jones’ phone call discusses conspiracy against church
Spring/Summer 1977

This tape consists of two somewhat-related phone calls – one between Jim Jones and an unidentified acquaintance, and the second between Jones and Yvonne Golden, a black woman educator – a few months before Jones left for Guyana. The complete context of the telephone calls is unclear, especially since the first phone call begins before the recording, as are some of the events involving Peoples Temple which they do discuss. What does emerge is the sense of paranoia – some of it due to the tenor of the times, some of it due to recent events, some of it due to Jones’ own worldview – which is gripping the activist community of San Francisco.

Two recent and recognizable events do find voice in the tape. In November 1976, Temple members caught two men in a parked car eavesdropping on a lecture given to the Temple by Unita Blackwell Wright, the mayor of Meyersville,  Mississippi and a civil rights activist. The Temple tracked down the men and identified them as communications experts working with U.S. Senator John Stennis (D-Mississippi). The discovery of this troubled Jones on many levels. While the spying could have just as easily been directed towards the activist mayor from Stennis’ home state, it could also have been directed at the Temple, and that’s what Jones apparently chose to believe.

Full summary of the recording available at Alternative Considerations of Jonestown website, along with the tape transcript.

Phys. Desc:
Original audiocassette tape recording digitized and made available as .mp3 audio file.
Special Collections & University Archives
Found in:
The Jonestown Institute
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