Q185 Summary

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

To read the Tape Transcript, click here. Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1Pt. 2).
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FBI Catalogue           Jones Speaking 

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Marked in part “Aug 10, 78”

Date cues on tape:     Tape contents consistent with identification note

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, President of US
Jody Powell, White House press secretary
Pope Paul VI
Adolf Hitler, German Führer
Alfredo Nobre da Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
Leonid Brezhnev, Communist Party General Secretary, USSR
Nikita Khrushchev, former premier of the Soviet Union
Menachim Begin, Israeli Prime Minister
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Elias Sarkis, President of Lebanon
Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India
Sanjay Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi (by reference)
Mahatma Gandhi, practitioner of non-violence
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Ndabaningi Sithole, Rhodesian black leader who negotiated with Smith
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
General Emmanuel Erskine, leader of UN peace-keeping force in Lebanon


George Wallace, former governor of Alabama
Rupert Murdoch, newspaper magnate


Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, executed U.S. spies (by reference)
Rockefeller family, American family of great wealth
Daniel Ellsberg, Defense Department analyst who leaked Pentagon Papers
Martin Luther King, assassinated civil rights leader
James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Martin Luther King
Grace Walden, witness to Martin Luther King assassination
Wayne Chastain, Memphis Press-Scimitar reporter


Duncan Fraser, meteorologist


Mark Lane, Peoples Temple attorney
Don Freed, author and screenwriter


Jonestown residents:
Eugene Chaikin
Jann Gurvich
Richard Tropp
Jan Wilsey


Bible verses cited:     None


(This tape was transcribed by Adam Whicker. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.) 

Jim Jones reads the news for August 10, 1978.

There are two segments to the tapes, but they are likely separate by only a few minutes or hours. In both segments, Jones begins with the announcement that guests are on their way to visit Jonestown, and everyone needs to be on their best behavior, and their quarters and surroundings must be clean. He identifies the guests in the first segment as Mark Lane and Don Freed, an attorney and screenwriter respectively whom Jones will eventually lean upon to expose the conspiracies against him.

The second set of announcements includes Jones’ request that people complete their writing assignments to show how they are “aware of my feelings and sensitivities.” The residents also need to assistance in a writing project – likely the one by Dick Tropp – “so that we can write this book, show what this place has done, what Jim Jones has done for you.”Failure to write these evaluations will result in penalties in the form of additional classes.

The news cast that follows mirrors many from this period. Much of the news comes from Soviet or Eastern bloc services, although it is unknown whether the periodic editorial descriptions are in the copy or interjected by Jones. The governments of the US and Western Europe are consumed by greedy capitalism, their allies in Africa and elsewhere are fascist, and the people who oppose Jones’ view of the world are Nazis and/or racist. On the other hand, the socialist and communist countries of the world are portrayed as beautiful and progressive, and supportive of legitimate liberation struggles throughout the world.

He makes several declarations, such as that the world needs to learn that the only way to true peace is through socialism; he asserts that Hitler succeeded only because of capitalist nations; and the fact that Zionists are training rightwing Christian Phalangists in Lebanon demonstrates they don’t care about the Jews murdered in World War II.

The half dozen references to nuclear war are almost all undoubtedly Jones’, and most certainly his insistence on its inevitability. On one occasion, for example, he speaks of Israel’s well-known stance of not surrendering “one grain of dust, one grain of sand of [its] conquered territory,” but the postscript assertion that the country “would rather go down the dust of a nuclear war first” is the Temple leader’s hyperbole.

In one comment on the news, Jones compares what is happening elsewhere in the world to what has happened to them. Declaring that the US’ concern for Vietnamese refugees who have supposedly been mistreated by the Chinese is a pretext for war, he describes “the same old story … the same propaganda” as “just Peoples Temple all over again. How they beat, how they deprived them of food, and how they torture, oh so, so so, so and on they go.” In addition, his characterization of Rupert Murdoch as a strikebreaker includes the reminder that the magnate is the owner of New West magazine, the expose in which helped to accelerate the Temple’s migration to Guyana.

Among the stories Jones covers:

  • Guyana brings in Soviet advisers to discuss development of electrical power;
  • A man in Georgetown is arrested for selling cigarettes, now illegal after recent passage of the referendum;
  • The UN, African organization call for end of racist policies in Rhodesia and South Africa;
  • World Council of Churches grants aid to blacks in Rhodesia, angering US churches;
  • Black “Uncle Toms” in Rhodesia who support Ian Smith are killed;
  • Congress refuses to cut off aid to apartheid regimes;
  • The UN says colonies around the world must be granted independence;
  • Common Market exploitation of Africa might be played out;
  • No progress ahead for PLO in Mideast talks;
  • Mideast talks criticized by both American rightwing and by Soviets;
  • Rhodesian mercenaries torture children of people suspected of participating in liberation efforts;
  • US military budget soars much higher than that of USSR;
  • Wages are lower in US for blacks and Indians;
  • Wages not keeping up with surges in inflation, including 18% in meat prices;
  • George Wallace blasts blacks and communists is a speech;
  • Portugal has a new prime minister;
  • Flight controllers in France go on strike;
  • China launches an unsuccessful incursion into Vietnam;
  • China makes territorial claims of land inside Soviet Union’s borders;
  • Soviet Union conservation laws protect natural resources
  • The Soviet Union reports a good harvest and advances in medical technology.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/14/79

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 May 25, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B69-11. This tape was found to contain the following:

A reading of current events and world-wide news by JAMES JONES.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted January 2022.