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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 18, Virtual Item 27, Q644, White Night (continued from 641 through 644) | Special Collections & University Archives

Peoples Temple Collection; Box 18, Virtual Item 27, Q644, White Night (continued from 641 through 644)

The tape consists of two sections. The first part is the conclusion of a White Night in February 1978 – the most serious White Night since the previous September, Jim Jones says at one point in Q 642 – that extends over four tapes (preceded by Q 641, Q 642 and Q 643). The second part is an undated Bible study class, an older tape which was reused for the White Night.

The tape opens with a continuation of the conversation, started on tape Q 643, about repairing a pump which has failed due to human error. The momentary anger over the screw-up has subsided – except for a few recriminations expressed by several of Jones’ unidentified lieutenants – and it has turned into an administrative problem which is handled in a few minutes.

Following the interruption, the conversation turns back to the main points under discussion that night, which are the options the people of Jonestown would have, should they be invaded. It may be due to the lateness of the hour, or the fact that – by now – the arguments are repetitive, or the fact that people keep making choices to live rather than opt for revolutionary suicide, but both the residents expressing their opinions and the people in the Temple leadership questioning those opinions seem increasingly testy. When an elderly black man is asked to defend his choice to stand and fight, he replies brusquely: “What Iwould do, if it was just me is a different thing. Now I just came over to work, okay? People have been here, they work, they build this place up, I wouldn’t dare run away from all we built up.” The challenges continue, people pepper him with questions without allowing him to reply, other issues come and go, and finally, some time later, he gets in his last word: “I’m thinkin’ that if we stay here, we will win one thing. We’ll win the fight that we weren’t coward, and we believed in what we believed in to death.”

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

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