Primary Project : Summaries
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Tape Number : Q 154
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Tape Number Q 154
FBI Catalogue Unidentified Individuals Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “10/26/78 News & Comments”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with tape label
Public figures/National and international names:
Joseph “Reds” Perreira, Guyana sports broadcaster (by reference)
Temple members not in Jonestown/ not on survivors’ or death lists:
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Richard (likely Janaro)
John Victor Stoen (by reference)
Bible verses cited: None
(This tape was transcribed, and the summary written, by Katherine Hill. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Speaking in a voice in a much higher register than usual – one that seems hampered by fatigue or illness – Jones gives instructions and issues warnings to the Jonestown community, starting with the observation that he is very much aware of what goes on around him, in part because “I will sneak up on you at any night, any hour.… I know I can stealthily get into your house and observe what you are doing and you won’t even hardly know I’m there until you see me.” He also chastises those in relationships who are not faithful to their partners, saying that they are not “a bunch of whore or whoremongers.”
A guest is due to arrive within a few days, and Jones has specific instructions for beautifying the community – trimming trees, cleaning bird excrement, putting up new drapes – but he is most insistent upon addressing a longtime bugaboo, that is of fly control.
The greatest concern that Jones spends the most time on in this tape is profligate spending. He admonishes those who travel on the boat around the Caribbean and pick up supplies to stay places other than hotels and not to waste money on showers and fancy meals. The Jonestown community doesn’t have money for that kind of luxury, never has and never will. Any Temple members who have family or friends in Trinidad should provide those contacts to people traveling on Temple business, and if the travelers cannot make friends in Trinidad who’ll provide them food and housing, there’s no reason they can’t just sleep on the boat.
Jones also chides people for talking about his health and for acting as if they think that he is incompetent or incapable. “Father’s health is in good shape,” he says. This stands in contrast to many other occasions in which Jones complains of ill health, and indeed, a moment later in the tape he admits to having a fever. Nevertheless, he assures his followers that he will be around for a long time, that his current fever is no cause for concern – although they will be giving him x-rays and there may be an operation – and he will “outrun you when some of you’ve fallen in the grave.” What Jonestown residents should be concerned about, he says, is following “Father’s regulations and rules.”
An unidentified male individual talking about the living relationships between people, suggestions for improvements of living conditions, and frugality.
Differences with FBI Summary:
Other than the fact that the “unidentified speaker” is Jim Jones – a voice which, despite its higher register, would have been instantly recognized after three months of reviewing Jonestown tapes – the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
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