On the tape, Jones's manner is cool and patronizing. It is chilling to hear his invitation to his several hundred followers to kill themselves after first killing their children and to hear the wide applause. How desperate must have been the Jonestown experience for these people to make them willing to consider destroying themselves and their children. The full transcript of this tape is included in Dear People: Remembering Jonestown.
"Well, someday, everybody dies. Some place that hope runs out, because everybody dies. I haven't seen anybody yet that didn't die. And I'd like to choose my own kind of death for a change. I'm tired of being tormented to hell, that's what I'm tired of. Tired of it. [Applause] Twelve hundred people's lives in my hands, and I certainly don't want your life in my hands. I'm going to tell you, Christine, without me, life has no meaning. [Applause] I'm the best thing you'll ever have... It's not to be afeared. It is not to be feared. It's a friend. It's a friend sitting there; show your love for one another. Let's get gone. Let's get gone. Let's get gone. [Children crying]... Where's the vat, the vat, the vat? Where's the vat with the Green C on it? Bring the vat with the Green C in. Please? Bring it here so the adults can begin... We said -- 1000 people who said, we don't like the way the world is. Take some. Take our life from us. We laid it down. We got tired. We didn't commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world."
The tape ends.
Dear People: Remembering Jonestown. Denice Stephenson, editor. Heyday Books, Berkeley. 2005. $16.95.