THE JONESTOWN MASSACRE
The transcript of Reverend Jim Jones' last speech, Guyana 1978


How very much I've tried my best to give you a good life. In spite of all that I've tried, a handful of people, with their lies, have made our lives impossible. There's no way to distract ourselves from what's happened today.

Not only do we have a compound situation, not only are there those who have left it to me (?)... The Betrayal of the Century... Some have stolen children from mothers and are in pursuit right now to kill them, because they stole their children. I mean we are sitting here waiting on a powder-keg and I don't think that is what we want to do with our babies, I don't think that is what we have in mind to do with our babies.

It was said by the greatest of prophets from time immemorial: 'No man may take my life from me, I lay my life down...' So just to sit here and wait for the catastrophe that's going to happen on that airplane --- it's going to be a catastrophe --- it almost happened here, it almost happened, the congressman was nearly killed here, but you can't steal people's children, you can't take off with people's children without expecting a violent reaction.

And that's not so unfamiliar to us either, if we only look at the old Christians (?) who weren't communists...

World opinion [...] violence, and violence [...] force. (?) But if we can't live in peace, then let us die in peace.

I've been so betrayed. I've been so terribly betrayed.

We've tried, and [...] what he said right this minute was that, he said if it was only worth on day it was worthwhile.

(EDIT) Right then, what's going to happen in a few minutes is that one of the people on that plane is gonna, is gonna shoot the pilot, I know that. I didn't plan it but I know it's gonna happen. They're gonna shoot that pilot and down comes that plane into the jungle and we had better not have any of our children left when it's over 'cause they'll [...] on us. The point is that this plane. I dunno how to say it... I've never lied to you, I never have lied to you. I know that's what's going to happen. That's what he intends to do and he will do it, he'll do it.

What it means (?) I've been loaded with many pressures seeing all these people behave so treasonous. It was just too much for me to put together but I now know what he was telling me and it'll happen... if the plane gets in the air that is.

So my opinion is that you be kind to children and you be kind to seniors and take the potion like we used to take and ocean breeze and step over quietly because we are not committing suicide --- it's a revolutionary act. We can't go back, we won't lose it for long (?), we're not going back to tell more lies which means more congressmen, there's no way, there's no way we can survive.

Anyone that has any [...] opinion please speak.

You'd be making a strike but we'd be striking against people we don't want to strike against. We'd like to get the people that caused this stuff and if some people are prepared and know how to do that tell it to Timothy Stone but there's no plane, there's no plane. We can't catch the plane in time.

(EDIT) He's (She's?) responsible for it. He bought these people to us. He and Diana Myrtle. The people in San Francisco will not be idle over this. We do not take our death in vain you know.

'Is it too late for Russia?' Here's why it's too late for Russia. They killed, they started to kill. That's why it makes it too late for Russia. Otherwise I'd said [...] but it's too late I can't control these people. They're out there. They've gone with the guns and it's too late. And once they've killed anybody, at least that's the way I want it. I just put my lot with you. If one of my people do something it's me. When they say I don't have to take the blame for this well I don't, I don't live that way and if they deliver up [...] and try to get the man that's [...] it. And [...] was [...] mother's being lying on him and they've all agreed to kill us by whatever means necessary. Do you think I'm going to let them [...] ... not on your life. No you're not going, you're not going. You're not going. I can't live that way, I can not live that way. I've lived for all and I'll die for all.

(EDIT) I've been living on hope for a long time, Christine, and I appreciate you've always been a very good agitator and I like agitation because you have proof from two sides on one issue, on two sides of the question. And what those people going to get done, what they go through. They make our lives worse than hell. And make the rest of us not accept us [...] They tell so many lies there in that truck. We are not in as far as any alternative.

(More questions about Russia)

...But to me death is not a fearful thing, it's living that's fearful.

I have never, never, never seen anything like this before in my life. I have never seen people take the law... and do [...] and provoke us and try to purposely agitate mother of children. It is only... it's not, it's not worth living like this, worth living like this.

(Testimonial from audience)

There is one man there who blames, who blames Michael Stone for the murder of his mother, and he will stop that plane by any means necessary. He'll do it. That plane will come out of the air. There's no way you can fly a plane without a pilot...

(More talk about Russia.)

I haven't seen anybody yet that didn't die, and I like to choose my own kind of death. I'm tired of being [...] to hell, that's what I'm tired of... Tired of it.

So many people's lives in my hands and I certainly don't want your life in my hands. I've been telling you to this day without me life has no meaning.

I'm the best friend you'll ever have.

I have to pay. I'm standing with you people --- you're part of me.

I can detach myself... I [...] detach myself, no, no, no, no,no, I never detach myself from any of your troubles. I've always taken your troubles right on my shoulders... I'm not going to change that now. It's too late. I've been running too long. I'm not gonna change now.

The next time, you'll get to go to Russia. The next time round. This is... what I'm talking about now is the dispensation of judgment, this is a revolutionary suicide council. I'm not talking about self... self-destruction. I'm talking about what... we have no other road. I will take your call. I will put it to the Russians, and I can tell you the answer now because I'm a prophet. Call the Russians and tell them... see if they'll take us.

(Audience.)

I tried to give it to you (peace). I laid down my life practically, I practically died every day to give you peace. And you've still not had any peace. You look better than I've seen you in a long while, but it's still not the kind of peace that I wanted to give you.

A person's a fool who continues to say that you're winning when you're losing. Win one, lose two, what?...

(Audience.)

He's taking off, the plane is taking off... Suicide, many have done it... Stone has done it. If somebody oughta lis... somebody... can they talk... can they not talk to San Francisco, see that Stone is not here by [...] the sins of men... He has done the thing he wanted to do. To have us destroyed.

(Audience.)

We win, we win when we go down, they don't have nobody else to hate. They've got nobody else to hate. Many will destroy themselves. I'm speaking here not as the administrator but as a prophet today. I wouldn't [...] talk so serious if I didn't know what I was talking about.

Has anybody called back... the men... by now the damage will be done. But I cannot separate myself from the pain of my people. We can't separate myself, if you think about it (?) we've walked together too long.

(Audience.)

I saved them, I saved them, but I made my example. I made my expression. I made my manifestation and the world was ready... not ready for me. Paul says I was a man born out of due season. I've been born out of due season just like all we are and the best testimony we can make is to leave this Godamn world.

(Audience.)

Everybody hold it, hold it, hold it, [...] lay down your burden and I'll lay down my burden down by the riverside, shall we lay 'em down here inside of Guyana, what's the difference? No man didn't take our lives right now he hasn't taken them, but when they start shooting them out of the air, they'll shoot some of our innocent babies. I'm not lying... it's fifty, there's fifty but they've gotta shoot me to get through to some of these people. I'm not letting them take your child. Would you let them take your child?

(Audience.)

Four months I've tried to keep this thing from happening, but I now see that it's the will of Sovereign Being that this happened to us. And we lay down our lives in protest at what's been done. And we lay down our lives to protest at what's been done. The criminality of people, the cruelty of people, who walked out of here today. You know those people, who walked out, most of those white people. Most of those white people walked. I'm so grateful for the ones that didn't, those who knew who they are.

There's no point, there's no point to this... we have... we are born before our time.

They won't accept us. And I don't think we should sit here and take any more time for our children to be endangered and if they come after our children and we give them our children, then our children will suffer forever.

(Audience.)

You have to be honest, and if you say that you want to run you'd have to run with them 'cause anybody could have run today... I know you are not a runner and I'd... what I do I do with weight (?) and justice and judgment. and I have waited against all evidence...

Take ease, take ease, take ease, take ease, take ease...

Sit down sit down sit down.

I tried so very very hard... They're trying over here to see what's in it... what's gonna happen... who is it?

Get Dwyer out of here before something happens to him.

(Audience.)

It's all over, it's all over...

What a legacy, what a legacy, well the Red Brigade's the only ones that made any sense anyway. They invaded our privacy, they invaded our home, they followed us six thousand miles away. The Red Brigade showed them justice --- the Congressman's dead.

Please get us some medication... It's simple, there's no convulsions with it. It's just simple. Please get it before it's too late. The GDF will be here I tell you get moving, get moving, get moving. Don't be afraid to die. If these people land out here they'll torture our children, they'll torture some of our people here, they'll torture our seniors. We cannot have this.

Are you going to separate yourself from whoever shot the Congressman? I don't know who shot him.

They speak of peace, [...] they gotta right to how many are dead. Oh God, Almighty God...

(Audience.)

I don't know how in the world they are ever gonna write about us. It's too late, it's too late. The Congressman is dead. The Congresslady's (?) dead... many of our traitors are dead... They're all laying out there dead.

(Audience.)

I didn't but my people did. They're my people and they've been provoked too much. They've been provoked too much. What's happened here has been too... has been an act of provocation.

(Audience.)

Will you please hasten, will you hasten with that medication. You don't know what you've done...

I've tried...

...They saw it happen, ran into the bush and dropped the machine guns.

You've got to move, you've got to get that medication, you've got to move. Might be in about 20 minutes.

(Audience -- no JJ:) One of the things I used to do before I came here, was I used to be a therapist. It might make a lot of you more comfortable. Sit down and be quiet please. One of the things I used to do, I used to be a therapist and the kind of therapy that I did had to do with reincarnation and past lives...

Everybody was so happy when they stepped through to the other side...

JJ: You've gotta step that way. It's the only way to step. The choice is not ours now, it's out of our hands...

(Audience.)

And I do hope that those battalions will stay where they belong and don't come up here...

(Audience.)

It's hard, it's hard only at first is it hard. It's hard only at first. Living... when you're looking at death... it only looks... living is much more difficult... Raising up every morning and not knowing what's going to be... the night brings... it's much more difficult. It's much more difficult.

(Audience.)

Please for God's sake let's get on with it.

We've lived as no other people have lived and loved.

We've had as much of this world as you're gonna get.

Let's just be done with it, let's be done with the agony of it.

It's far, far harder to have to watch you every day die slowly, and from the time you're a child to the time you get grey, you are dying.

...Dishonest and I'm sure that they'll pay for it...

This is a revolutionary suicide.

It is not a self-destructive suicide.

They'll pay for this. They brought this upon us, and they'll pay for that -- I leave that destiny to them. (Screams.)

Who want to go with their child has a right to go with their child. I think it's humane.

I want to go -- I want to see you go through. They can take me, and they can do whatever they want to do. I want to see you go. I don't wanna see you go though this hell no more. No more, no more, no more.

We're trying... somebody relax... the best thing you can do is relax and you will have no problem. You will have no problem with the thing if you just relax.

(Testimonials from the audience.)

It's not to be feared. It is not to be feared. It's a friend. As you're sitting there show your love for one another.

Gone, let's get gone, let's get gone. (Screams.)

Who are these, we have nothing we can do. We can't, we can't separate ourselves from our own people. (Screams.)

For twenty years laying in some rotten old nursing home.

...Taken us through all these anguished years. They took us and put us in chains and that's nothing... That's... this... and that is... there is no comparison to that to this. They've robbed us of our land and they've taken us and driven us and we tried to find ourselves... We've tried to find a new beginning but it's too late. You can't separate yourself from your brother and your sister. No way I'm gonna do it. I'm... I refuse. I don't know who fired the shot. I don't know who killed the Congressman but as far as I'm concerned I killed him. You understand what I'm saying? I killed him. He had no business coming. I told him not to come. (Screams.)

Die with respect. Die with a degree of dignity. Lay down your life with dignity, don't lay down with tears and agony. There's nothing to death. It's like Mac said, it's like stepping over into another plane. Don't... don't be this way. Stop this hysterics. This is not the way for people who are Socialists or Communists to die. No way for us to die.

We must die with some dignity.

We must die with some dignity.

Before (?) we had no choice, now we have some choice. And you think they're going to allow this to done... and allow us to get by with this? You must be insane.

It's only... it's something to put you to rest... Oh God... (Screams.)

Mother, mother, mother, mother, please.

Mother please... please... please don't, don't do this, don't do this... Put down your life with this child but don't do this.

Free at last...

Keep... keep your emotions down, keep your emotions down... The [...] will not hurt if you will keep your emotions down, if you will be quiet. (Screams.)

It's never been done before you say... It's been done by every tribe in history. Every tribe facing annihilation... All the Indians of the Amazons are doing it right now. They refuse to bring any babies into the world. They kill every child that comes into the world, because they don't want to live in this kind of a world.

Be patient, be patient. Death is....

I tell you I don't care how many screams you hear. I don't care how many anguished cries... Death is a million times preferable to ten more days of this life. If you know what was ahead of you, if you knew what was ahead of you you'd be glad to be stepping over tonight.

Death, death, death is common to people.

If you ask the Samoans they take death in their stride...

Just be dignity, just be dignified....

If you'll tell 'em their dying... If you adults will stop some of this nonsense.... Adults, adults, adults, I call on you to stop this nonsense.... I call on you to quit exciting your children when all they're doing is going to quiet rest. I call on you to stop this now if you have any respect at all. Are we black, proud and socialist or what are we? Now stop this nonsense. Don't carry this on any more. You're exciting your children.

No, no sorrow that it's all over. I'm glad it's over. Hurry, hurry my children hurry. [...] let us not fall in the hands of the enemy. Hurry my children, hurry. There are seniors out here that I'm concerned about, hurry. I don't want to leave my seniors to this mess. Now quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly... No more pain Al. No more pain I said Al. Jim Cobb is laying on the airfield dead at this moment. Remember the moment... all of the moments that he...

[...] these are the people, the peddlers of hate.

All we're doing is laying down our life, we're not letting them take our life, we're laying down our life. We're sick of their lies, we just want peace.

(Testimonial from audience.)

All it is is taking a drink to take... to go to sleep. That's what death is, sleep. (Screams.)

Whatever. I'm tired of it all.

(Testimonial from audience.)

If you don't... don't fail to follow my advice you'll be sorry. You'll be sorry... if we do it then let they do it. Have trust in... you have to step across. We used to sing 'This world, this world it's not our home'. Well, it sure isn't. We were saying, it sure wasn't.

And we don't want to tell him... the only thing (?) to tell him... assure these kids, can some people assure their children of the relaxation of stepping over to the next plane.

We'll set an example for others... we set... one thousand people who've said we don't like the way the world is. Take our life from us. We laid it down. We got tired. We didn't commit suicide, we committed and act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world...

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