Primary Project : Summaries
Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee, III. If you
use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
: Q 323
To read the Tape Transcript, click here. Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1, Pt. 2).
To return to the Tape Index, click here.
FBI Catalogue: Jones speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part "Nov 11, 78 SAT News"
Date cues on tape: November 9-11, 1978 (specific)
Public figures/National and international names:
W.E.B. Dubois, black scholar
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Martin Luther King
Angola President Agostinho Neto
Chilean President Augusto Pinochet
Former Chilean President Dr. Salvador Allende
Ghana's head of state, Lieutenant General Fred Akuffo
Indian leader Indira Gandhi
Iranian Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi
Mohammed Mossadegh, former Iranian premier, by reference
Iranian exile leader Ayatollah Khomeini
Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro
Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Khadafy
Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith
Rhodesian Bishop Abel Muzorewa
South African activist Steve Biko
Tanzania President Julius
Uganda President Idi Amin
Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko
Zaire former Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba
Zambia President Kenneth Kaunda
President Jimmy Carter
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance
Sen. Edward Brooke (R-MA)
Sen. Dick Clark (D-IA)
Sen.-elect Paul Tsongas (D-MA) (by reference)
Rep. Charles Diggs (D-MI)
Rep. Leo Ryan (D-CA)
California Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally
San Francisco housing authority director Walter Scott
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Steven Katsaris, member of Concerned Relatives, father of Maria Katsaris
"Klingman child" (several died in Jonestown)
Teresa (many in Jonestown)
Bible verses cited: None
This tape was one of the 53 tapes initially withheld from
This tape consists of several sections, all of which seem to have been recorded
on Thursday, November 9, through Saturday, November 11, 1978. Jim Jones broadcasts
the news, but as the tape continues, he adds more and more about the impending
visit of Leo Ryan and his party. The last section dispenses with the news altogether,
in favor of warnings.
As with many newscasts, Jones seems to rely upon Soviet or Eastern bloc news
sources. Most of the international news items speak of "liberation struggles"
and "black nationalist" movements, rather than referring to them as "guerrillas"
or "rebels" or "insurgents." The items themselves focus on more international
news than most Americans are used to, especially in their coverage of Cuba,
Africa and Eastern bloc countries. In addition, the editorial comment that laces
through the news when not that of Jones speaks of the bravery of the liberation
forces. Jones does add his own comments, though, putting stories in the context
of object lessons for the people of Jonestown, as well as his own apocalyptic
worldview which will finds its final voice within a week of the tape's last
As an example, he speaks of the striking government workers in Ghana, who, he
says, risk imprisonment through their actions. He then adds, "Many of you still
have not come to terms, as I said, with imprisonment, or death." After listing
the number of political martyrs who have died, he concludes his aside with:
"I cannot think that I am above these people, so I am prepared for anything
today or tomorrow might bring." He also describes the problems that other people
in the world face, as crises which the people of Jonestown have never known.
Also as with many of these newscasts, Jones presents the news in a "rip and
read" style, that is, taking the stories directly from the wire service, and
adding later bulletins as they arrive.
The stories include:
o Recent U.S. elections, the defeat of several blacks in Congress, and other
During the broadcast of November 10, Jones reminds the people of Jonestown that
they are in a state of siege. Ryan himself a fascist and a supporter of Chile's
president Pinochet is bringing a party of racists to the community. Temple leaders
had hoped they would get more cooperation from the Guyana government, but they
hadn't. In addition to their enemies coming by plane, "there's still persistent
rumor from our reliable infiltrators that they are planning to come in secretly
up river." As a consequence of the "onslaught of a direct move of a mercenary
fascist effort of the United States of America," Jones urges his followers to
forget their "little differences and ... deprivations," and unify.
o Ghana's state of emergency, a subject to which he returns
o Terrorist attacks in Italy
o The return of Indira Gandhi to India
o The Ugandan-Tanzanian conflict
o Unrest in Iran, and later, Iranian dissidents
o Israeli-Egyptian peace talks
o The involvement of the Union of South Africa against the Zambian struggle
o Aid to Zaire
o Famine in Ethiopia
o An explosion in Angola
o Fighting in Chad
o The "disappeared" in Chile
He returns to this theme on the news broadcast that seems to have been made
the next day. Following the latest news about Chile, Jones says that this is
the regime which Ryan supports, and that Ryan and 40 ex-members and relatives
are coming, "as a so-called liberation effort for us from socialism, if necessary,
by killing us to free us... We are in a battle, and that battle is never easy,
and we must be prepared to give all, and do not think that these people coming
have any mercy left in them."
When Jones doesn't speak of death as the final defense, he speaks of their inability
to return to the United States, a racist country that is killing its minorities.
"This is a picture that has not clearly enough come home to many of you, who
are citizens of Jonestown, that USA is an imperialist cancer."
The final section of the tape is "perhaps one of the most important announcements
you have ever heard." Speaking in an initially weary voice, Jones first speaks
of the proof that the CIA is backing the Concerned Relatives and Leo Ryan. He
repeats several times that members of the Ryan party might kill anyone who approaches
them, no matter how friendly the visitors might seem on the surface. He describes
the arriving party as vicious and paranoid who are intent on destroying them.
He warns that "there may be even hired mercenaries coming in also," and reminds
them that the plane that flew low over Jonestown the day before was looking
to locate Jones for an attempted kidnapping. He also reiterates their sense
of isolation by saying, he doesn't know how the Guyana government will respond.
As he did in earlier segments of the tape, when Jones doesn't speak of the need
"stay inside the community circle," he reminds the people that the U.S. is no
longer home, that his predictions of what would happen to minorities has come
to pass. The pieces that people think they miss represent "the sick side of
you," those sides more concerned about creature comforts and parties and music
than in socialism.
As the tape concludes, he summarizes his admonitions: "I wanted to warn you
again and again and again, to be together with the community, to stay in the
sight of the community, do not leave the central area, do not get away from
this circle of protection, because they would not hesitate [to kill you.]"
Date of transcription: 7/11/79
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 3, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-64.
This tape was found to contain the following:
JAMES JONES reading and commentary of the news of the day on Thursday and Friday,
November 9 and 10, 1978.
JONES states the community is under siege starting on Tuesday when the visitors
arrive. Congressman RYAN has voted as a racist and a fascist, and the community
is under an onslaught of a fascist American plot.
JONES states that only if you are prepared to die for what you believe in are
you prepared to live for it.
JONES told members of the community to stay in the central area of the compound,
as they might be killed by infiltrators.
JONES made the following points about visitors:
1. Ex-members are funded by and connected with the CIA.
Differences with FBI Summary:
2. These people will kill you if you went up to them.
3. There may even be hired mercenaries, who will kill you if you move towards
4. They are coming here to destroy Jonestown.
5. No matter how friendly they seem, do not go near them.
6. The airplane that flew over yesterday was trying to locate me and kidnap
7. We are under attack by mercenaries, stay together.
8. They have tried to kill one of my sons.
9. Some will have guns, you will not find safety by going to them.
10. Do not trust them.
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI's purposes.