Q969 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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FBI Catalogue           Jones Speaking

 FBI preliminary tape identification note:

Date cues on tape:     mid-November 1976 (Unita Wright Blackwell spoke “two weeks earlier”)

People named:

Members of Peoples Temple
Tim Carter
Marceline Jones
Joan Pursley (speaks)
Tim Stoen [by reference]
Richard Tropp

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, President-elect of the United States
Gerald Ford, President of the United States
Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State
Sen. John Stennis (D-MS)

Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain
Orlando Letelier, assassinated Chilean ambassador to US
Johannes Vorster, prime minister of Republic of South Africa

Bill Anderson, former soldier in army of South Africa (speaks)
Unita Blackwell Wright, mayor of Mayersville, Mississippi
Thomas Dawsey, Kessler Air Force Base engineer (by reference)
Leon Joly, March Air Force Base engineer (by reference)

William Farr, California journalist
Shirley MacLaine, American actress
Alfred Kahn, author (speaks)
Steven Kahn, son of Alfred Kahn
Unnamed wife of Alfred Kahn

Yvonne Golden, black educator in San Francisco (speaks)
Cecil Williams, pastor of Glide Methodist Church
Mr. Miller, member of San Francisco School Board
Dr. Goosby [phonetic]
Art Rosenbaum
Carlton Goodlett, San Francisco physician, newspaper publisher

Bible verses cited:     None

 Summary:

(This tape was transcribed by Nightrissa Crosby. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

 Over the years, Jim Jones invited a number of people to speak before the Peoples Temple congregation, and as the time grew closer to the mass migration to Guyana, the addresses delivered to the crowd became less and less religious in tone, and more and more political. This tape is an example of the latter. Recorded in November 1976, about eight months before the departures for Guyana began in earnest, this tape includes a description of the atrocities of the South African army and the conditions of blacks living in that country, given by a former soldier who was appalled by what he had seen during his service. The tape also has the beginning of a talk by Alfred Kahn, a writer of numerous books criticizing the US corporate/military/intelligence state, but the tape ends before he concludes. Also promised that evening was a talk by refugees from the dictatorship of Chile.

Jones himself lauds the Temple’s involvement in many issues of the day, an involvement which is almost unique among the churches in San Francisco. The Temple has become “an enigma” to the political establishment of the city, which doesn’t know “what the hell to do with Peoples Temple, they have never seen several thousand church people that are all radical socialist.” Among the church’s actions have been its participation in demonstrations against the Bakke decision, the California Supreme Court’s ruling reversing affirmative action policies in the state’s university system; its defense of jailed newsman William Farr; its hosting of black Mississippi mayor Unita Wright Blackwell (including a mention of the spies from Mississippi who were outside the church during Blackwell’s presentation); and its continuing support of San Francisco school principal Yvonne Golden, who also speaks briefly to the congregation.

The speakers deliver the messages that have become the currency in Temple discourse. Bill Anderson, the former South African soldier, states that any black man who attempts to stand up for freedom is dealt with harshly because of the threat he represents to the apartheid system, and declares, “the South African government is not of its own free will going to give away an inch of its power or its land and its domination, and the only way that change is going to come in South Africa is through an armed struggle.”

Jones picks up one theme from the speaker, that the Dutch Reformed Church has been a participant in the subjugation of blacks in that country. The Temple leader cries out that “what he said about the church in South Africa, is no different than the church in America.” In full rhetorical voice, he first returns to his earlier point – “[W]e are not like other churches” – and then expands upon it. “I hate the name of church, because it doesn’t even fit… I am not religious. I hate religion, and we’ll never have freedom till the damn thing is done away with.”

FBI Summary:

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 23, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B110-7R34. This tape was found to contain the following:

A lecture by JIM JONES on spying by the CIA on the PT and a speaker who tells about South Africa. Also a lecture by a Dr. RAHN (phonetic) on the Spanish government.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.       

 Tape originally posted March 2017.

Last modified on March 21st, 2017.
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