Site Search:

 

William Branham and Peoples Temple

02/17/2018
Seek The Truth Blog

William Branham and Peoples Temple:

Several questions have been coming in regarding William Branham's connection to Jim Jones of Peoples Temple. Multiple investigative reporters from multiple countries, each having a strong "Message" cult presence, have also been asking for the history that joined the two destructive cult leaders together. The most common question was asked again this morning on a comment thread on our Facebook page, after the Christian Post of Washington D.C. mentioned the ties between Jim Jones and William Branham.

First, we would like to apologize that the research is not yet organized and fully available to the public. We are still sifting through the information, and there is a great deal of information remaining to categorize and review. What has been made available to the public has been submitted to the "Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple". Due to similar time constraints, the Jonestown site has also not published all of the research material we have sent. As time permits, both seekyethetruth.com and (hopefully) jonestown.sdsu will provide as much research material as possible to the general public. For now, everything currently available to the public can be found in one of these three places:

Articles by John Collins on the Jonestown site:
http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=65290

Research page on SeekYeTheTruth.com:
http://seekyethetruth.com/jones/Jim_Jones_Message_Cult.aspx

Research Data on SeekYeTheTruth.com:
http://seekyethetruth.com/Branham/researchdata.aspx
(We apologize, this is largely unorganized at the moment).

Second, we would like to remind everyone asking for our research material that the work put into this project is unpaid and unfunded. To date, we have strongly refused funding of any sort, to the extent that all donations -- big and small -- have been refused. We have only received three envelopes of cash totaling $700, which was applied to the thousands of dollars spent in advertising and hosting fees already spent, and only because the donors refused its return.
In hindsight, this may have severely hindered the spreading of awareness, and may have been a mistake. To fully avoid the appearance of doing this research and publication for money, however, we continue to operate fully on time donated by myself and a handful of others.

Third, we would like to remind everyone of the history behind this research material, as there are multiple histories behind its origin. It is worth noting all researchers who contributed, whether directly or indirectly:

Nathan Rivera, "A Logical Refutation of William Branham and His Message": The very first piece of information I found critical of William Branham's "Message" cult was a book written by Nathan Rivera, freely available online. It was in this book that I first learned that the historical accounts of William Branham's ministry -- whether created by the cult or by other religious organizations -- were highly inaccurate.
http://branhamrefutation.blogspot.com/

John Kennah, "William Branham and His Message": After discovering that the claims made by the "Message" cult were largely exaggerated and in many cases inaccurate, I discovered a research forum started by a person who briefly joined the "Message" cult. It was in this forum that we learned the massive amount of information that has been withheld to the public by cult leaders both during and after William Branham's death. Through this forum, I came in contact with individual Christian apologetics and apologetic groups that had information concerning the very foundation to our William Branham / Jim Jones research: Manifested Sons of God cult, Kansas City Prophets, and Latter Rain.
http://people.delphiforums.com/JohnK63/home.htm

Peter Duyzer, "Legend of the Fall": Probably the largest contributing factor to our Jonestown research was started because of reading the book, "Legend of the Fall". While the previous two sources identified significant issues with William Branham's ministry, "Legend of the Fall" examined the honesty, motives, and intentions of William Branham using fully verifiable, detailed, and documented resources. By reading this book, I first realized that William Branham had a clear pattern of misrepresenting the truth for personal gain. More specifically, I learned that William Branham displayed clear, textbook signs of narcissism through using deception to make himself and his ministry appear more significant than is historically accurate. It was also through conversations with Peter Duyzer that I learned a large amount of history behind the Manifested Sons of God and other subcults that I would later realize were created by the Latter Rain movement.
https://www.amazon.com/Legend-Fall-Peter-M-Duyzer/dp/192758115X

Searching For Vindication: Searching for Vindication was instrumental in helping the research take form and execution, as well as avoid preconceived notion. While the "Message" cult leaders had claimed for decades that all verifiable evidence supporting the claims made by William Branham were "destroyed" in the 1937 flood, the researchers at Searching For Vindication proved this to be false beyond the shadow of a doubt. All local history is well preserved in local, state, and national archives. By working with them, I learned how to make use of these archives, and begin the research:
http://searchingforvindication.com

Obstacles Researchers Face:

One of the greatest hindrances to the spreading of information is the textbook example of "Control of Information" used by William Branham and the cult he created. William Branham was not only a catalyst for the Latter Rain movement and the Manifested Sons of God extremist sect of that movement, he was a participating evangelist who continued to promote the destructive theology long after its 1947-1948 popularity. Since history has been written ... by ... the cult leaders, they also have the power to ... omit ... history.

The greatest example of this is found in the very first sentence of William Branham's currently available recordings. "We're getting some new gadgets for recording."
http://table.branham.org

According to the newspaper articles, books, and accounts by those involved, William Branham's popularity had a significant surge from 1945 and lasting to mid 1948. It was so popular, in fact, that it attracted "Faith Healer Exposer" James Randi. Randi made it a personal mission to expose those feeding on the innocence of the poor and unsuspecting. Randi personally interviewed those "healed" at a milestone in Branham's career, the Vandalia, IL meetings of 1946.
https://www.amazon.com/Faith-Healers-James-Randi/dp/0879755350

Though it is evident by the recording quality that Branham did, in fact, get those "new gadgets for recording", there is a surprising lack of recordings from his popularity during "Latter Rain". This is, of course, the greatest obstacle. For myself, it was the greatest eye-opener.

Another obstacle researchers face is the historical data concerning William Branham's prior attempts at creating a cult. Because history has been written mostly in alignment with his 1950-1965 attempt, one would not consider William Branham to be involved with "Latter Rain" or "Manifested Sons of God" unless a deep theological comparison was made between specific sermons of Branham and the destructive movements. The 1947-1948 recordings by those "new gadgets" are largely unavailable by the cult following today. One is forced to review newspaper accounts of Branham's campaign trails, and identify "Latter Rain" and/or "Manifest Sons of God" ministers who attended those meetings. The only confirmation of an evangelistic career prior to 1947 by the cult still available today is in one single pamphlet, "I Was Not Disobedient To the Heavenly Vision". (This pamphlet documents Branham's "healing" ministry as starting approximately 1936 or 1937)
http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/Heavenly_Vision

Without question, the greatest obstacle researchers will face comes from William Branham himself. As is proven in multiple research sites, Branham's historical and personal accounts cannot be trusted. From huge milestones in his life to trivial facts, hundreds of examples have been documented proving most of Branham's accounts to be nothing more than stage persona. In some cases, such as his own denial of agreeing with "Latter Rain" theology, the truth is only partially expressed. After the "Latter Rain" movement was largely unpopular by Pentecostalism, it is very clear that William Branham no longer publicly claimed to be one of the catalysts for and participants of "Latter Rain". This statement was partially true, because his theology branched away towards the "Manifested Sons of God" sect. Other cases, however, there is no resemblance of truth in William Branham's claims. Researchers must rely on verifiable, documented facts.

The Research:

Most historical accounts of William Branham's ties to Jim Jones stop at one single meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Cadle Tabernacle in 1956. It was not until recently that other newspaper articles surfaced, confirming the return of William Branham to events hosted by Rev. Jim Jones of Peoples Temple. Key figures from the Branham Campaigns were also present, including F. F. Bosworth, Joseph Mattsson-Boze, and more. These newspaper articles are available on our website.

Until recently, the best description of the connection between WIlliam Branham and Jim Jones was written in a book by Tim Reiterman entitled "The Raven". Reiterman connected Branham to Jones using the first Indianapolis meeting, as well as Jones' healing campaigns organized by Joseph Mattsson-Boze.

That William Branham was a catalyst for "Latter Rain" is without question. Almost every Christian Apologetics ministry that examines "Latter Rain" agrees that the movement was based upon William Branham's meetings in Canada and a book by Franklin Hall entitled "Atomic Power With God Through Fasting, and Prayer". An example of this can be found here:
http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain7.htm

Though it is difficult to find, there are still resources available describing Branham's direct connection with "Latter Rain". In fact, those who still have access to this history describe "Latter Rain" as the vehicle used to spread William Branham's doctrine. Not only did Branham participate, he personally trained key ministers in fundamental principles of the "supernatural gifts" that could be obtained by those who fully submitted. The best example of this is given in the testimony of the son of Raymond A Haas, founder of the "Assembly of the Body of Christ" sect. This account fully details William Branham's connection with Latter Rain, from catalyst to mentor.
http://abc-history.blogspot.com/2008/02/before-i-was-born-my-father-ramon-haas.html

The most important area of research, as it relates to the connection between William Branham and Jim Jones, is the history of the Independent Assemblies of God. With the above knowledge, and understanding that the IAOG was by far the most active supporter of "Latter Rain", one can easily start connecting the dots. A. W. Rasmussen and Joseph Mattsson-Boze, two close personal friends, supporters, and promoters of William Branham's ministry, were strong leaders of the "Latter Rain" movement. Mattsson-Boze's "Herald of Faith" newsletter cross-promoted William Branham, as did Branham's "Voice of Healing" newsletter Mattsson-Boze. Boze was an organizer of all of the Peoples Temple events in Indianapolis William Branham attended, as well as an organizer of Rev. Jim Jones' speaking engagements. When Jim Jones was ordained into the "Latter Rain" faith, it was through Joseph Mattsson-Boze.

Fortunately, Joseph Mattsson-Boze was very thorough in his own collection of research material. Even after William Branham abandoned his public ties to "Latter Rain", Mattsson-Boze was well aware of which sermons William Branham preached that furthered "Latter Rain". His collection of research material is still available today at Fuller Theological Seminary.
http://archon.fuller.edu/index.php?p=collections%2Fcontrolcard&id=6

All of the above research is of little importance, however, without specifically binding William Branham's theological mentorship to the latter years of Rev. Jim Jones and Peoples Temple. There were literally hundreds of "faith healers" at the time Jim Jones began his career in "Latter Rain", at least a hundred of which William Branham himself promoted through the Voice of Healing publication. For its time, "faith healing" was big business, and everyone wanted a piece of the pie.

To fully understand how significant William Branham's ministry was in enabling Rev. Jim Jones to convince over 900 members of Peoples Temple to commit mass suicide, one must compare Branham's extremist doctrines to the sermon transcripts of Jim Jones. Specifically, one must identify which of William Branham's sermons promoted the "Manifested Sons of God" theology, and compare his theological stance to that of Jim Jones.

Surprisingly, many Christian apologists today regard Jim Jones as an "atheist" in his latter years, even though Jones continues to preach (loosely) based upon the Christian Bible. Many of these apologists are not yet aware of the similarities between William Branham's extremist views and those used by Rev. Jim Jones, mostly because they are not aware of the subset of Branham's recordings that specifically promote "Manifested Sons of God". It isn't until one begins to realize that William Branham preached different theologies to different audiences that a pattern begins to emerge. Compiling this research is a huge undertaking, and it is only in its infancy stage. Researchers can find the beginnings of this study here:
http://seekyethetruth.com/Jones/Jim_Jones_Latter_Rain_Transcripts.aspx

More to come:

We will continue to make our research available as time permits us to review, document, and categorize. We publish research at extreme caution, as its accuracy is critical to the spread of information. Above all, we must present the information as unbiased, honest, and accurately as possible. Should you find any information published that is not accurate, and can provide evidence supporting your claim, we will announce a correction to the research material and update it for accuracy.


Thank you for your patience,
John Collins

http://seekyethetruth.com/Jones/Jim_Jones_William_Branham_About.aspx