Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue Jones speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: “News March 31, 1978, Noon News March 31, 1978, Night. Good tape.”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with note, including Jim Jones’ healing of Rose Shelton, noted here
Public figures/National and international names:
Richard Nixon, former U.S. President
Abraham Lincoln, former U.S. President
Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Michigan)
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations
Bert Vance, Director of Office of Management and Budget
Gloria Carter Spann, sister of Jimmy Carter (by reference)
William Carter Spann, nephew of Jimmy Carter (by reference)
U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim
Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana
Fred Wills, foreign minister of Guyana (by reference)
Vincent Teekah, Guyana Minister of Culture, Education and Social Development
Chedi Jagan, leader of People’s Progressive Party, Guyana opposition party
Eric Williams, Prime Minister of Trinidad
Edward Seaga, Prime Minister of Jamaica (by reference)
Foreign Minister of Cuba, unnamed
Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister candidate
Raymond Barre, French Prime Minister
Francois Mitterand, leader of French socialists
Aldo Moro, former prime minister of Italy
Renato Curcio, leader of Red Brigade in Italy
Benito Mussolini, Fascist dictator of Italy
Muhammad Hussein, former Egyptian minister of works
Shukri Ahmad Mustafa, head of Takfir Wal-Hijra in Egypt
Mahir Bakri, Shukri Mustafa lieutenant
Anwar Ma’Mun Sakar, Shukri Mustafa lieutenant
Ahmad Tariq ‘Abd ‘Alim, Shukri Mustafa lieutenant
Mustafa Ghazi, Shukri Mustafa lieutenant
Lt. Gen. Mordechai Gur, Israeli chief of staff
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistani Prime Minister
Nawab Muhammad Ahmed Khan, Pakistani politician whose murder was ordered by Bhutto (by reference)
Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith
Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, unnamed
Ferdinand Marcos, president of Philippines
Imelda Marcos, wife of Ferdinand Marcos (by reference)
Richard Hammerschlag, doctor at University of Calif.
Joan Jeffries/Jeffreys, nurse convicted of murder in Detroit
California Judge Kennedy
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Jim Cobb [by reference]
Teresa Cobb [by reference]
Temple members not in Jonestown/ not on survivors’ or death lists:
Robert Christian (speaks)
Nicky Lawrence, aka Ronald Charles Duckett
Chris Lund, aka Chris Rozynko
Mike Lund, aka Mike Rozynko
“Comrade” Mercer (likely Henry, could be Mildred)
Callie Mae Mitchell
Christine Cobb Young
Radio code names:
Bible verses cited: None
(This tape was transcribed by Rebecca Virgen. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Woven throughout this news tape of late March 1978 are Jim Jones’ usual editorial comments – most of them familiar to the residents of Jonestown by that time – as well as extended commentary on the reality of Jonestown as a communistic society, where everyone works for the common good, where all possessions are held in common, and how everyone benefits as a result.
The address also includes his description of a healing miracle performed on an elderly woman who would have died without his intervention – an event which allows him to remind his followers of the protection that his unique paranormal powers provide to this community – but the description includes an acknowledgment of the physical toll that the healings take on him.
Most of the news coverage concerns international stories, although Jones is able to relate some of the items to domestic U.S. concerns, especially for anyone who might have dreams of returning to the United States. A new anti-terrorism law in Italy, for example, is similar to Senate Bill 1437 – the successor to Senate Bill 1, so often a target in Jones’ sermons in the U.S. – in its crackdown on dissent and resistance. The execution of five Islamic opponents of the Egyptian regime and President Marcos’ “murderous operations” in the Philippines leads Jones to lambast President Carter’s hypocrisy on human rights. The demonstrations in Amsterdam against the neutron bomb allow him to remind everyone of what the American neutron bomb would do.
His attacks are less on the U.S., though, than they are on capitalism. “Only capitalists would think of making such a bomb, that would kill every form of life, … but not touch their sacred God, property,” he says at the end of the news item on the neutron bomb. “Capitalism, an early grave or the torment of hell all the time,” he concludes following his report of the deaths of 50,000 of Marcos’ opponents.
But there are general comments, too, condemning capitalism and praising communism. “[T]he nature of capitalism … [is] dog-eat-dog cut-throat competition. There’s no way one can overcome it,” he says. “Capitalism is death, lethal death. It’s the law of the worst kind of animalistic jungle existence.” On the other hand, “Communism brings cooperation.”
This is especially true in Jonestown. “So it’s so much more peaceful, and enjoyable for that matter, to retire into the consciousness of the collective and build a collective… All the goods and services are held in common and shared in common. All the means of production and distribution of all of our wealth, are in the hands of the people. This is an important thing and perhaps basic to all communist or socialist discussion.”
Other news items include:
- The trial of leaders of the Red Brigade in Italy continues, even as the group holds former Prime minister Aldo Moro;
- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is sentenced to death;
- The U.S. abstains in U.N. vote condemning Rhodesia’s latest efforts to preserve white minority rule;
- European nations propose to repatriate blacks;
- Israeli forces push towards Tyre;
- Cuba and Ethiopia discuss more Cuban aid and troops to the African nation;
- Jamaica worries about the deal it has made with the International Monetary Fund;
- Rastafarianism threatens the economy of Jamaica;
- Two nurses in Detroit are convicted of murdering 54 of their patients.
There are also a couple of extended segments on Guyanese news, including the report of potential unity between the two major political parties in the nation’s struggle against imperialism and capitalism.
The tape includes a few instructions, including several reminders that everyone must attend the new classes in socialism being organized that day, and that there will be testing on “the advantages of communism, just practical, real advantages of living in a communist society, as opposed to a capitalist society.”
Jones also has a more specific demand for people to take care of the property in Jonestown, especially – on this day – the fences that the community has built. Children and adults who lean on it or even touch it will be brought up. At first he gives a pass to the seniors, but a moment later, he admonishes them to “get a stick that gives support” rather than leaning on the fences. The fences cost money, and the community has so many more beneficial uses for money than making repairs.
Date of transcription: 7/6/79
In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the assassination of U.S. Congressman LEO J. RYAN at Port Kaituma, Guyana, South America, on November 18, 1978, a tape recording was obtained. This tape recording was located in Jonestown, Guyana, South America, and was turned over to U.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.
On June 26, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B68-C31. This tape was found to contain the following:
This tape is labeled “News March 31, 1978, Noon News March 31, 1978, Night. Good tape.” JONES reads current events and the world news to his followers with occasional editorial comment.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.