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 Unidentified Individuals Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Craig C-60/ Jeanette Kerns 11/9/74, 3- 4×5 cards
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with identification note
Christine (likely Lucientes)
Karen (likely Tow Layton)
Russell (possibly Moton)
Lovie De Pina
Carol Kerns (speaks)
Jeanette Kerns (speaks)
Martin Luther King
Bible verses cited: None
(This tape was transcribed by Nicole Bissett. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
In a 50-minute telephone conversation, Jeanette Kerns – who has recently left Peoples Temple and whom the leadership of the church wants to return – speaks with her sister Carol and with Linda Amos, who are recording the call from within the Temple.
At varying points in the call, Jeanette says she bears no ill will against the Temple, that her concern is for her family members (with the exception of her mother, Penny, who reportedly had difficulties with most people), and that she may return after she does a few things she wants to do, like getting an education or working on her own to aid people in need. But when Linda takes over the call from Carol, she tries to knock down Jeanette’s arguments, pointing out that the wayward member would be more effective in the context of the Temple.
Jeanette also reveals that she had difficulties expressing viewpoints which are counter to the Temple narrative – that she doesn’t believe in the healings, in reincarnation, or in replacing God with Jim Jones – and that she had taken some verbal abuse over those views during the two years she lived in a Temple dorm. At several points, Linda says Jones respects dissent – and the strength of character to express it – but at others, suggests that perhaps Jeanette shouldn’t express views which are so antithetical to Temple teachings.
Neither Jeanette nor Linda concede anything to the other, although Jeanette insists on her respect and appreciation of Jim Jones. “I’ve always admired him,” she says at one point. “You know, I don’t have anything against him,” she says at another.
Nevertheless, there is an undertone of caution from all parties – what would be the terms for Jeanette to returns? what would she do if she didn’t return? – and in the end, neither Jeanette nor several other family members (her sister Ruth; her brother Phil) stayed with the Temple. Her sister Carol and her mother Penny did remain as members, and died in Jonestown.
Date of transcription: 3/12/79
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 2, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B47 #101. This tape was found to contain the following:
Telephone conversations between three unknown females.
This tape was reviewed, and nothing was contained thereon which was considered to be of evidentiary nature or beneficial to the investigation of Congressman RYAN.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted February 2021.