Primary Project : Summaries
Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee, III. If you
use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
: Q 805
To read the Tape Transcript, click here. To listen to MP3, click here.
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FBI Catalogue: Identified Individuals Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Realistic C-120/ for JJ Statements
Date cues on tape: (Part 4) Summer 1977 (shortly after David Conn met
with Dennis Banks at house of Lehman Brightman)
Public figures/National and international names:
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Mao Tse Tung
President Jimmy Carter
Gen. George Armstrong Custer
East Indian leader and pacifist Mahatma Gandhi
Dennis Banks, leader of American Indian Movement
California Governor Jerry Brown (by reference)
President Jimmy Carter
Huey Newton, Black Panther leader
Peoples Temple members:
David Conn (probably, by reference)
Bonnie Beck (speaks)
Jean Forester Brown (speaks)
June Crym (speaks)
Harriet Sarah Tropp (speaks)
Richard Tropp (speaks)
Eugene Chaikin (probably) (speaks)
"Mr. Cordell" (probably Harold)
Jim McElvane, black Temple leader
Temple attorney Marshall Bentzman
Native American activist Lehman Brightman
Yvonne Golden, black educator in San Francisco
Cecil Williams, pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church
Bible verses cited: None
Kay Acando (phonetic)
Clarence Brown/Clarence Jones
Marie, niece of Kay Acando (speaks)
"a woman by the name of Ridgeway"
This tape was one of the 53 tapes initially withheld from
disclosure.This tape consists of four parts. The first side ends after part 1, a series
of revolutionary messages from a number of Temple leaders, all but one of whom
identify themselves. The last three parts, which comprise side 2 of the tape,
are a series of phone calls.
In Part 1, six Temple leaders read statements which they have apparently composed
themselves, but all of which have the same message: They are loyal to socialism,
they are loyal to Jim Jones, but they are tired of pacifism. They are all ready
to go out and commit acts of terrorism against corporations, utilities and government
entities. Several advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government; two
recite the Maoist rhetoric that power "comes from the barrel of a gun."
They would all act, they say, were it not for the calming presence and advice
of Jim Jones. "The only thing that has kept me from going ahead and doing this
is my pastor, Jim Jones," one says. "I thank him for keeping my temper under
control and one of these days, if I didn't have him, I would let loose and do
what I have had in my mind for years.
In Part 2, a woman who identifies herself as Marie (last name unknown) complains
to a Temple attorney (probably Eugene Chaikin) about the Temple ripping off
her elderly aunt, by charging her outrageous amounts for services, and by tapping
into the older woman's checking account. The attorney tries to soothe the woman,
but she just wants the financial problems settled. When the attorney asks her
to separate out the "legitimate" expenses, she replies that there are none.
Later, when he tries to concede a point by telling her, "I wouldn't argue with
that," she replied hotly, "No, I'm not going to argue any of these things."
Nevertheless, by the end of the conversation, the two speak more cordially,
as the woman acknowledges what the Temple has done well for her aunt, and they
agree to try to work out what's best for the elderly woman's future.
Part 3 is a phone call in which a young woman within the Temple calls a relative
in order to demand that they cease all future communication with each other.
The phone call is hostile in tone, one-sided, and brief.
The last part is the most significant. In it, Jones and a Native American activist
named Lehman Brightman talk about a gathering during which an unidentified man
approached Dennis Banks, a leader of American Indian Movement, to talk about
Jim Jones. The approach seemed heavy-handed, and the motivation was unclear.
According to Brightman, the man was nervous, then became bold and aggressive.
The stranger revealed that an investigation of Jones had been ongoing for six
years. However, he didn't recognize pictures either of Jones or of Temple leader
Jim McElvane, even though, according to Brightman, the man said McElvane "had
committed about eleven murders."
The conversation leads to a discussion about Treasury agents infiltrating political
movements, and how many activists are neutralized by running afoul of tax laws
rather than being arrested on more serious charges. Jones makes the connection,
saying that they shouldn't have anything to fear from either the firearms nor
the Internal Revenue Service divisions of Treasury.
The "frightening" part about the matter, according to Jones, is that someone,
"allegedly the wife of this man," called the Temple to say that Brightman had
set up the interview between Banks and the stranger, even though it was a story
that could be easily checked out.
Jones and Brightman try to figure out what's going on. They conjecture that
the unnamed man was hoping Banks wouldn't know his legal position, and could
therefore intimidate him. Brightman wonders what they should do. Jones recommends
they do nothing. "My own opinion, off the record, is that when you got a devious
mess like that, the best is to leave it alone. The more you stir shit, the old
saying goes, the more it stinks."
The tape ends as Jones tells Brightman about the coming economic crash, the
unrest in Africa leading to thermonuclear war, and the imminent placement of
blacks in concentration camps.
The context of the call makes the actions of the unnamed man who is likely
David Conn even more mysterious. The state of South Dakota wanted to
extradite Banks from California and try the AIM leader on weapons charges arising
out of the occupation at Wounded Knee in 1973. Through both financial contributions
and an intense letter-writing campaign, Peoples Temple led the successful campaign
to block the extradition. Approaching Banks with an obvious attempt to get some
dirt on Jones was short-sighted at best.
Eventually, Peoples Temple and the Native American activists decided not to
follow Jones' initial advice to drop the issue. Banks filed an affidavit in
September 1977 in which he described the meeting with Conn at the home of Lehman
Brightman the previous May. In the affidavit, Banks asserted that Conn asked
him to denounce Jones and to meet with a Treasury agent; in return, according
to Banks, Conn said the battle against extradition would be an easier one.
As Tim Reiterman and John Jacobs note on page 589 of their book, Raven, Banks
"logically considered Conn's approach a blackmail attempt, so he informed the
Temple" (The phone call on this tape certainly seems to be one of the efforts
to let the Temple know what was going on). "Soon Temple members began eavesdropping
under the home of Conn's former wife, and were able to confirm the existence
of the Treasury investigation before many of the guns had been shipped"
[emphasis in original].
Date of transcription: 3/29/79
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 March 28, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B68-11.
This tape was reviewed and the following is a transcript of side one:
[The transcript is almost the same as Part 1 of the transcript for Tape Q 805
found elsewhere on this site.]
Voices terminate and the rest of the tape is blank. Side two contains telephone
call from what appears to be a female complaining to a People's Temple male
concerning excessive and unjust use of her aunt's funds. Side two also contains
some short phone calls and one call from LEE to JIM JONES about DENNIS (apparently
DENNIS BANKS) and Treasury investigations.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The first part of the summary is a transcript of side one and is therefore
complete. Indeed, it is the only full transcript other than that of the so-called
death tape, Q 42.
The descriptions of the phone calls on side two are accurate and meet the FBI's
limited purposes. However, the last phone call is important to an understanding
of Jones' rising paranoia about government investigations of the Temple. Indeed,
it is among the earliest indications that such investigations were, in fact,
occurring, and that Jones had reasons to be paranoid.
This tape is among the 53 tapes which the FBI initially withheld from public
release, pending the outcome of its investigation and the Justice Department
prosecution of Larry Layton. However, the statements on side one which seem
to have been the reason for the withholding are much less significant than
the final phone call, which the agents reviewing the tape didn't have the knowledge