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Fatherless

 

Combined with Branham's childhood stories was a claim that his father died at a very early age. According to Branham, after the death of his father, he was not able to finish grade school. Everything from his poor grammar to his childhood poverty was blamed upon the death of his father, forcing a young Branham to enter the wilderness to provide for his siblings. It was this death and these wilderness experiences that enabled the supernatural. According to Branham, he met God in burning bushes, whirlwinds in trees, and more. In most accounts, Branham describes God telling him "not to drink, smoke, or defile your body in any way, because there would be a work for you to do later."

 

But when you consider the fact that Branham's father, Charles, did not die until after William was a Pentecostal minister, these supernatural experiences are placed into question.

 

Because William Branham was also untruthful about his own birthdate, we cannot have an exact age for "young William" who "supported his widowed mother and siblings" - but the date of his father's death places his age at between 27 and 29 years old. Branham was married to Hope at the time, and had two children. They were living in Jeffersonville, and he was working one of three jobs depending upon which life story Branham told. To say that his grammar skills were the fault of his drinking father is nothing less than a slap to his father's face. If he did not receive an education as a man who is almost thirty, it is no fault but his own.

 

Both the newspaper and the death certificate clearly state that Branham's father died as the result of a ten-month illness. His father did not "drink himself to death" according to Dr. Sam Adair, one of Branham's closest friends. Charles died of rheumatic heart disease that progressively worsened until the last ten months of his life.

 

The Commissions

 

William Branham claimed to have been given several commissions throughout his life. Many times Branham describes an angel, or a "being," present during these events, though not all of them include descriptions of a supernatural presence involved. Some of these commissions are strikingly similar to stories found in the Bible, though in some cases the scriptural versions were focused upon Jesus Christ rather than mortal men.

 

According to Branham, these angelic visitations or commissions happened:

 

·      Before his birth

·      During his birth

·      1915 (at seven years of age)

·      1920 (at 12 years of age)

·      1923 (at 14 or 15 years of age)

·      1930

·      1931

·      1932

·      1933

·      1936

·      1944

·      May 6, 1946

·      May 7, 1946 (or on May 6, 1947)

·      1950 in Houston, TX

·      1963 in Arizona

 

 

Chronologically speaking, the earliest account of a commission by God given by William Branham is in a 1945 tract entitled "I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly Vision," the same title given to the sermon preached to the followers of the false prophet John Alexander Dowie in Zion, Illinois. In this tract, William Branham claimed that he received a vision by God, and this vision started his rise to fame in the Divine Healing movement.

 

Later in June 1947 in Vandalia, IL, William Branham held a divine healing meeting under the alias of Henry Branham. In an interview with the Associated Press, Henry [William] Branham claimed that his commission had been given to him 11 months prior (August 1946), and this is when he began his divine healing ministry. Elements of his story are similar to those given in recorded sermons between 1947 and 1965, although the dates would later change and additional details would be added. Ultimately, this version of the commission story would replace the first published in his religious tract.

 

In Chicago, almost seven years later, Branham claimed that this gift of divine healing and the commission to heal the sick came much later, on May 6, 1947 — less than two months prior to his Vandalia meeting. According to Branham, this date was significant, because at that time Branham believed it to be the same exact day that Israel became a nation restored to their homeland. Though Israel was actually established as a nation on May 14, 1948, Branham maintained that his ministry was tied to the Jewish nation throughout the rest of his time on earth.

 

And a strange thing of that, that you might not know, the very day the Angel of the Lord called me out, May the 6th, 1947, and issued the gift to pray for the sick, was the very same day that Israel become a nation for the first time for twenty-five hundred years. Oh, I believe there's something in it. I just can't keep from believing that we're near the end of time. That's right.

54-0718A THE.GREAT.COMING.REVIVAL.AND.THE.OUTPOURING.OF.THE.HOLY.SPIRIT

 

There are many other commissions, visitations from angels, and other supernatural events described throughout Branham's ministry, but ultimately, this version of the start to his divine healing ministry would be the one referred to by his followers. According to Branham and depending upon which story was given, this angelic visitation during Israel's restoration took place in either a house with windows, a cabin with an old drum stove and wood floor, or a cave with a dirt floor.

 

Moving Targets

 

William Branham's claim to be the return of the prophet "Elijah" is based on a series of prophecies that he claimed to have given in 1933. Though some of these prophecies seem to be fulfilled, the successful accounts of the predictions do not always match the original predictions.

 

The Bible says that we are to test the prophecies. God knows the beginning and the end — because God IS the Beginning and the End. If a prophet's words do not come to pass, then this is not a prophet of God:

 

If we examine the "Prophecies of 1933" according to Branham's own words, we find that adjustments to their descriptions were made to align the prophecies with recorded history. William Branham made the adjustment to his own words; the Word from the Lord would need no adjustment:

 

And you may say in your heart, how shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Deuteronomy. 18:21-22

 

Prophecy of World War II:

 

Original: Roosevelt would cause the whole world to go to war

 

Repositioned Target: Hitler would cause the whole world to go to war

 

Prophecy of World Powers:

 

Original: One of the three world leaders would rise into power (Mussolini, Hitler, or Stalin)

 

Repositioned Target: Mussolini and Hitler will die.

 

Prophecy of Automobiles:

 

Original: Cars will be shaped like an egg.

 

Repositioned Target: Cars will have automatic guidance systems

 

Prophecy of American Government:

 

Original: A woman will be president.

 

Repositioned Target: President Kennedy will be president

 

Prophecy of Breakfast:

 

Original: Do not eat eggs in the last days.

 

Repositioned Target: Pray for your food; eat your eggs

 

Prophecy of Homestead:

 

Original:

 

Do not live in valleys in the last days.

 

Repositioned Target: Live where you want

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

When you examine William Branham's statements regarding government officials and those running for candidacy, it is very evident that there were political motivations behind some of the statements in the sermons. Though Branham claimed that he was "neither democrat nor republican, I'm a Christian," his rants against political leaders would seem to say otherwise.

 

While we do not have any recorded statements concerning president Roosevelt during his run for president or his time during office, we do have expressions of memories describing this time period by Branham on recorded sermon. As we've shown in other places, these memories are not always found to be truthful, however we can find a thread of truth in-between the lines of fiction. And this thread of consistency seems to be one having ties to Branham's former pastor, Rev. Roy E. Davis.

 

Branham describes his being at a Roosevelt rally as the election campaign made its way through Southern Indiana:

 

Well, it's just too bad. Well, we just have to put up with... Our day's coming. That's right. Our day... This — this is the day of man. The day of the Lord will come. That's right. That's when... I stood one time to watch the late President Roosevelt when he came into a little city of ours, in New Albany, Indiana. I was working out there on high lines as a lineman.

53-0907A

 

His memory of this rally was not a good one. He would often describe being upset because he had to stand in the back of the crowd with the "common people":

 

One time in New Albany, Indiana, when our late President Roosevelt was coming down to make a speech, and he came down by the train, and they stopped down at the river, I tell you, every place was filled up. And two or three of us preachers, little, what we call Holy Ghost preachers... I tell you, talking about a back number, we was. They wouldn't even let us get nowhere. So we had to stand way back up somewhere. But I thought, "Yeah, this is the day of man. But wait till the day of the Lord comes." Amen.

56-0403 SHEPHERD.OF.THE.SHEEPFOLD

 

When the late Mr. Roosevelt come to the little city (my city's too small for him), but when he come to New Albany, just below me... I think we got about twenty-one thousand; they got about twenty-seven thousand. But he stopped there in one of his elections and electioneering, and, oh, my, everybody just filled the whole country around there to see Mr. Roosevelt. Well, I was like Zacchaeus, I was too little. So I... to look over the crowd, so I got way up on top of the hill. And the train stopped near the river. And he stood on the back po — or the back part of the train to make a little speech. And so I backed my truck up to a shed and climbed up on top of the shed to look. I thought, "Well, you know, nobody knows I'm here now; probably Mr. Roosevelt doesn't either." Doesn't make much difference. But I want to live so that when Jesus comes, that He will say to me like He did to Zacchaeus, "Now, come down off of that shed." I'm sure we all feel that way, don't we?

56-1002E ELISHA.THE.PROPHET

 

I came down, and I thought... Well, they told us we could go down and hear him. He was going to make just a little whistle stop like when he came through the city. And oh, how everybody gathered out. Well, time us workmen got there, well, I had to get on top of a shed way back up here to even see the man walk out.

53-0907A

 

Before Branham started promoting the idea that he prophesied regarding president Roosevelt, his statements concerning the late president would clearly display his political viewpoints. Some of them were with mixed emotion, but generally speaking, they were negative:

 

But let me tell you, when Mr. Roosevelt... The man is dead. Let him rest; I trust he is. Come in, and run in three or four terms, and taken over, just a preliminary dictatorship. I can prove to you, that in the Scripture, where That said it'd take place. That's right. We haven't got no more constitution. She is broke to pieces. Everything is all smattered. The Republicans is just as bad. It's six of one, and a half a dozen of the other one. 204 For, every kingdom is going to be smashed, but the Kingdom of Jesus Christ shall stand and reign forever. That's right. Upon... Daniel saw the Rock hewed out of the mountain, and hit the political world back there and mashed it into a grinding powder like that, like the wheat on a threshingfloor of a summertime. But that Rock grew into a great mountain that spread over the hea-... filled the whole heavens and earth. That's it.

54-0509 THE.INVASION.OF.THE.UNITED.STATES

 

Why is it each day you make a mistake, each day you do wrong? But if you're borned again, man or woman, as soon as you make the mistake, God knows you're sorry for it. You'd stand in the Presence of — of President Roosevelt or anybody else and say, "I'm wrong; God forgive me for this thing." Why? And there's where the Blood atonement... You notice that s-i-n-s. A sinner is a sinner; he does not commit sins. But the church commits sin, does wrong, gets a wrong thought, wrong impression, makes scruples, wobbles like a little child walking, trying to learn how to walk. He just don't know how to walk good yet, 'cause he's a little boy. But we have a hand that reaches down if we — gets us and steadies us, and say, "Make this step this a-way, son." He doesn't pick us up and spank us because we made a mistake; He doesn't beat us to death because we're trying to walk. He loves us like we love our children.

60-0522M ADOPTION.3

 

Over time, Branham starts to claim that he was speaking against Roosevelt during his time under Pentecostal pastor Roy E. Davis. Like other recorded statements regarding Branham's personal opinion, these negative statements against Roosevelt later turned into a description of what he called "prophecy." But remember, there is a thread of truth that can be found between the fiction. Branham started claiming that he "prophesied" of the downturn in Roosevelt's policy:

 

The president which now is, President Franklin D. Roosevelt... (Now remember, this is twenty-eight years ago.) will cause the whole world to go to war; and the new dictator of Italy, Mussolini, shall make his first invasion towards Ethiopia, and he will take Ethiopia; but that'll be his last. He shall come to his end.

60-1113 CONDEMNATION.BY.REPRESENTATION

 

The irony is found in Roy E. Davis himself. Davis was Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, recorded in the United States Senate giving testimony in his establishment of the White Knights throughout the Midwest. Branham was Davis's assistant pastor.

 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran for office under the disguise of a Klan supporter, and even pushed Klan agendas from time to time. Roosevelt is viewed negatively for nominating Hugo Black for the Supreme Court — while it was public knowledge that Black was affiliated with the Klan.

 

While we do not find recorded statements to confirm this, it is this author’s opinion that WMB supported Davis during a portion of his run for election. Simply based upon his memories of Roosevelt, there was a combination of supportive statements and very negative emotions. Generally speaking, the Klan itself supported Roosevelt until they realized that he was using them as a tool for election.

 

Towards the end of his run for election, Roosevelt started making decisions that angered the Klan. He started accepting the support of the Catholics, Jews, blacks, and union organizers. Trying to sway the vote against Roosevelt, the Klan issued this statement:

 

"Don't be fooled. Farley is ROOSEVELT; Tammany Hall, Catholic controlled, is ROOSEVELT.... EVERY PROMINENT ROMAN CATHOLIC YOU CAN FIND IS FOR ROOSEVELT..... The Underworld is a unit for Roosevelt. The gangsters of Chicago, St. Louis... and New York are for Roosevelt.... Roosevelt, their subservient tool, will turn our country over to Tammany and thus we will have CATHOLIC CONTROL OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND LIFE, if he is elected.... BE AWARE OF THE 8TH OF NOVEMBER!"

Wade, The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America

 

This statement, issued by the Klan, pretty much sums up Branham's political agenda for years to come. One can easily take this same statement, change the name "Roosevelt" to "Kennedy," and apply the same position towards any of the politically minded statement Branham made concerning President Kennedy before, during, and after his presidency.

 

The problem is that Branham tied these politically motivated statements to what he called "prophecy."

 

1933, one morning going to the Baptist tabernacle, I went into a trance, saw a vision. I saw President Roosevelt was going to help lead the world to a world war, told it that morning. They was going to lock me up for it.

61-0312 JEHOVAH.JIREH

 

As time progressed, and a better understanding of the war was given to the public, Rev. Branham would change his views on the instigator. In later accounts, Branham would proclaim that he had prophesied that Hitler was the one in his vision that caused the whole world to go to war. The vision was said to have even predicted the country of origin for Hitler, where he would become a dictator, and the mystery around his death.

 

The next vision foretold that an Austrian by the name of Adolph Hitler would rise up as dictator over Germany, and that he would draw the world into war. It showed the Siegfried line and how our troops would have a terrible time to overcome it. Then it showed that Hitler would come to a mysterious end.

BRANHAM, LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE

 

Now, look what happened now. In... President Franklin D. Roosevelt took America to England's tea party. That's right. Germany never picked on us; we picked on them, throwed the whole world into a war, to cause a world war.

BRANHAM, 60-1113 CONDEMNATION.BY.REPRESENTATION

 

But the truth is that Roosevelt was not the instigator, and did not lead the world into war. World War II began in March 1939, and United States finally joined into the war after over 2 years of battles between world powers — in 1941. The United States joined into the war after several other countries, even major world powers, had entered into the war.

 

These are the dates each country entered into the war:

 

Australia 3/3/39

Germany 9/1/39

France 9/3/39

Great Britain 9/3/1939

New Zealand 9/3/1939

S. Africa 9/6/1939

Canada 9/10/1939

USSR 9/17/1939

Italy 6/10/1940

Japan 9/22/1940

Bulgaria 4/24/1941

Romania 6/22/1941

Hungary 6/27/1941

India 12/7/1941

Panama 12/7/1941

Yugoslavia 12/7/1941

Costa Rica 12/8/1941

Dom Rep 12/8/1941

El Salvador 12/8/1941

Haiti 12/8/41

Honduras 12/8/1941

Nicaragua 12/8/1941

Manchukuo 12/8/1941

Netherlands 12/8/1941

 

Five world powers were already at war as either Axis or Allied forces. Though it was necessary for the United States to get involved to stop Germany as their forces grew, Roosevelt was hesitant to join the fighting. Instead, Roosevelt insisted on preventing Japan from becoming a part of the war or a supplier of military supplies. It was Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor that ultimately led to the United States joining the war, and only as retaliation from a first strike.

 

John F. Kennedy

 

Branham's political agenda continued through is ministry, and like the statements regarding President Roosevelt, Branham's agenda towards President Kennedy turned into prophetic statements. Many of those statements are very similar in agenda when compared to the Klan's issued statement against the election of Roosevelt, and clearly have a racial bias. This is quite obvious when we compare the Klan's statements previously mentioned with

 William Branham's statements against Kennedy:

 

Now, look what happened now. In... President Franklin D. Roosevelt took America to England's tea party. That's right. Germany never picked on us; we picked on them, throwed the whole world into a war, to cause a world war. The Germans built the Maginot Line, which there — any veteran here knows what she took there at the Maginot Line. Women, given the right to vote, elected President-elect Kennedy — with the woman's vote, the wrong man, which will finally be to full control of the Catholic church in the United States; then the bomb comes that explodes her. There's seven things predicted, and five of them has already happened. So you can judge yourself how far away we are. We're near the end. If them five things happened, these other two things are bound to happen. It's just got to happen. I do not think that Mr. Kennedy will have much effect now, because he'll make a wonderful president in order to bring in the others to get a scene set just like they have in England, like they did Mexico, like they did everywhere else, like that. And the American people, so unstable, not spiritually; they're smart, but too smart for their own good. Intelligence swings backward sometime and backfires. So they... (I'm preaching on that this morning, in a little bit.) So we find out we're — we're right on the verge... The reason I said this, that's the reason I pressed that the other day so hard the way I did, but it was that that did it. That's right. Women's vote that put... Did you notice the rallies on the television? Nixon to be pretty near all men. All of them wanted to kiss Kennedy (the women), jumping astraddle the cars and everything like that, jumping up and down.

60-1113 CONDEMNATION.BY.REPRESENTATION

 

One of the greatest mistakes that the colored race ever made was down in Louisiana and over in there when they voted for Kennedy the other night, and put him in.

60-1113 CONDEMNATION.BY.REPRESENTATION

 

 

With a group of Pentecostals, William Branham attended a breakfast that included President Nixon as a guest speaker. When you follow this story chronologically, details are added, such as Branham's personal acquaintance with Nixon, a visit from president Nixon to Branham's house in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and more. It is evident, based upon the statements describing Nixon, that William Branham was a strong supporter. At the same time, Nixon was also strongly supported by the Klan. During the televised debates between Nixon and John F. Kennedy, a Klan leader publicly endorsed Nixon and gave full support.

 

Branham's condemnation of Kennedy did not end with the campaign, and continued through Kennedy's time in office and long after his death. In fact, one of the prophecies that Branham claimed to have been given by God in 1933 was reworded and refocused upon President Kennedy. This "prophecy" was originally focused upon the lifestyles of women and their growing freedoms in the United States.

 

In 1956, Rev. Branham added a prophecy to the list of his "1933 visions" claiming that God had let him peer into the future to see that a woman would be President of the United States immediately before the End of Days.

 

I didn't mean that to do any harm, women; I don't mean you Christian women. But just to see women coming into politics and everything, it's a disgrace; it's a breaking of the American morale. And remember, this is... America will... A — a woman... I — I better leave it alone. But just remember this. I predict this: that a woman will be president before we're annihilated. That's right. I said that in 1933 by a vision.

56-0428 GOD'S.COVENANT.WITH.ABRAHAM

 

Before the election of Kennedy, this prophecy was solely focused upon women, describing how the United States would begin to worship women as idols. Adding inaccurate statistics to the statements, Branham would describe the sins of Hollywood by claiming that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had documentation in an investigation of a prostitution ring involving female actresses. Though some of these stars were worth hundreds of thousands (and sometimes millions) in the 1950's, Branham promoted the idea that any of the women in the film industry could be bought for as little as $25-$50 a night for prostitution.

 

And I predicted that America, their number one god would be women. That's what it is. Everything is fashioned after Hollywood. I have things on records from the FBI file that would shock you to pieces just to tell you right where, and the scandal on these movie stars, there isn't a one of them, hardly, but what's prostitutes. And the FBI exposed it just recently; I have it from their own file. And so all of them living out, even these movie stars, where they've proved they went in and picked them up, living with men, twenty-five and fifty dollars a night, of men, all up and down, in Hollywood and everywhere, had private homes and men back in there where they would send them out to these people.

56-0513 TEACHING.ON.MOSES

 

This continued until it became a "prediction," one that he clearly states was not given from the Lord. In his "prediction," Branham describes a woman rising to President of the United States before 1977, which he predicted to be the "total annihilation" of the world:

 

And then, there'll be a great woman rise up, 'cause America is a woman's nation. And it'll... A great woman will rise up and be president, or something like that in the nation, and then there will come a total annihilation, the entire nation will be wiped out. And that, I predict — now this is not the Lord saying this — the other about the woman and this, is the Lord. But I predicted in 1933 that the world would be total annihilation before '77.

BRANHAM, 58-0720M BY.FAITH.MOSES

 

And I said, "Remember, in that day, before the end time comes, before the end time comes, that a woman... Now, you all keep this wrote down. There'll be a great powerful woman raise up, either be President, or dictator, or some great powerful woman in this United States. And she'll sink under the influence of women. Now, you remember; that's THUS SAITH THE LORD."

58-0927 WHY.ARE.WE.NOT.A.DENOMINATION

 

This prediction continued in various statements throughout his sermons, changing ever so slightly to include other options. Branham would begin to entertain the idea that his "prediction" could possibly include a woman as Vice President, or even the Catholic Church — ideas also promoted by the Klan. In desperation for success, the "prediction" changed to include a man, wrongly elected by a woman. This minor change would ultimately be the grounds for future statements against President Kennedy.

 

And so, this... I... I won't have time in this meeting to tell you. In 1933, this is a woman's nation. It's the number thirteen. It appears in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation: thirteen stars, thirteen stripes, thirteen... Everything's a thirteen. Everything is a woman. And remember, THUS SAITH THE LORD there will be a woman rule before the end time. She'll either be President, Vice President, or it'll be the Catholic church as a woman.

60-0716 FROM.THAT.TIME

 

I said, "Then I seen a... They're going to permit women and are permitting women to vote. And by voting, they'll elect the wrong man some of these days." And you did at the last election. It was the woman's votes that elected Kennedy. We know that, see, between the crooked machines and things fixed up, that FBI exposed.

BRANHAM, 60-1211E THE.LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN

 

 

It was in the year 1961 that this "prediction" that had turned into "prophecy" fully exploded. President Kennedy in office, fear of control in the hands of the Catholic Church, and a very popular First Lady was the perfect setting for the perfect storm. According to Branham, the United States was watching his prediction-turned-prophecy in action:

 

And I said, "In voting they'll elect the wrong man." I'm neither Democrat nor Republican. I'm a Christian. Both sides is rotten. But they made their fatal mistake the other day. Women done the works.

61-0312 JEHOVAH.JIREH

 

Now, that brings us then to the election of President Kennedy, and this car coming on the — on the scene, bringing five things out of the seven that has happened exactly.

61-0806 THE.SEVENTIETH.WEEK.OF.DANIEL_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN

 

He give seven things in 1933, would happen. And now every one of them has come to pass but two things, perfectly, just exactly. How that even President Kennedy would be taken in. It's right in there on my books right now, told thirty-three years ago, exactly. How that the Maginot Line would be built, eleven years before it built. How that Hitler would rise up, and — and Fascism, and — and Nazism, and all to bind in communism, and communism would destroy Catholicism. And it will, yes, no matter what they do. And showed, said there would be an Ecumenical Council, and how that all the churches would come together and would form the image called the Mark of the Beast. You see them right on the road, right now. Exactly right. It's got to happen, 'cause it's never failed to be. Anybody that ever knows it, anybody, take them around the world, it's never failed one time. Months and years ahead of time, it's just perfectly right on the spot. It's God among you, people; God in us, the Holy Spirit. Notice, Jesus said that the royal Seed would be identified by the same thing, here in Luke the 17th chapter. "Oh, return, O dispersed, from your denominations, to your own."

64-0403 JEHOVAH.JIREH.2

 

As with the other prophecies given by William Branham, this "vision" is a moving target — one that started as a personal opinion rather than the Word given by the Lord. Through political motivation and promotion of theology, this minor prediction grew into a much larger topic of discussion. Had President Kennedy been in office to fulfill his entire term, there is no doubt that we would have several more "predictions" made into historical "prophecies." Sadly the death of President Kennedy took the wind out of the sails.

 

What began as a minor prediction that a woman would be president before 1977 grew into a political agenda that involved the same anti-Catholicism motivations promoted by other extreme organizations in the United States. It quickly raises the question: Was William Branham involved with those organizations?

 

Reverend Jim Jones

 

When Jim Jones needed a headline act for the opening of Peoples Temple in Indianapolis, Indiana, who better would fill the bill than William Branham.

 

Rev. Branham, a healing evangelist from the 1940's through 1960's, was credited by some for starting the "Latter Rain" and "Word Faith" movements as well as other fringe groups. In March 1956, when Branham announced a new campaign to be held for four days in June that year, Jones promoted the event through the Herald of Faith newsletter, the Open Door newsletter, local newspapers and mailing lists. The strategy was successful: Branham's name attracted some eleven thousand people to the Cadle Tabernacle, and the evangelist performed numerous miracles through his alleged gift of discernment which facilitated healing the sick. In the months to follow, Jones too, became a familiar name within the Healing Revival Movement for possessing the same supernatural gifts.

 

Jones, like Branham, claimed to be "The Word. The Spoken Word. The Living Word." But while Jones and Branham practiced similar gifts during their meetings, they did not necessarily see eye to eye on things. In Jones' taped sermons recovered by the FBI following the deaths in Jonestown, the Temple leader alleged that Branham admitted to not believing the Bible, and that he advised Jones not to preach from it. In describing Branham's 1965 fatal car accident, Jones scoffed at the evangelist's prediction that he would "be around, while you [Jones] will be in trouble." Evangelists like Branham were not truthful, Jones added, because the Bible was "the greatest money train they've ever been on."

 

From 1960 until his death in 1965, Branham proclaimed that 1977 would be the year that the world would end, basing his prophecy upon a disputed 1933 vision at the Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The truth of the prophecy might have been limited to Jones himself.

 

On Memorial Day of 1977, when Jones and 600 of his followers attended a large demonstration on the Golden Gate Bridge to advocate for improved suicide-prevention measures, the Temple leader confessed that he was in a depressive state, which included suicidal tendencies. "Suicide is a symptom of an uncaring society," Jones said. "I have been in a suicidal mood myself today for perhaps the first time in my life, so I have personal empathy for what we are doing here today." It was one of Jones' final appearances in the US before the mass emigration of 1000 Temple members to Jonestown.

 

Special thanks to Peter Duyzer, author of “Legend of the Fall” for co-writing this section.