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. 1, Pt. 2).
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FBI Catalogue: Jones speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “Sun News”
Date cues on tape: Likely Sunday, September 3, 1978 (Pope John Paul recently elected; Charles Boyer death)
Public figures/National and international names:
Walter Mondale, Vice President of US
Thomas Jefferson, former US president
Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV)
Rep. Larry McDonald (D-GA)
Rep. Parren Mitchell (D-MD)Andrew Young, U.S. ambassador to United Nations
Pope John Paul
Pope John XXIII
Pope Paul VI
Joseph Stalin, Soviet leader
Lord David Owen, Foreign Minister of Britain
Leonid Brezhnev, Communist Party Chairman of Soviet Union
Josip Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia
Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel
Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Jafar Sharif-Emami, Iran prime minister [by reference]
Hua Kuo-fenj, Prime Minister of China
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan
Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria [by reference]
Lolita Lebron, Puerto Rican nationalist who fired shots in Capitol
Rafael Cancel Miranda, Puerto Rican nationalist who fired shots in Capitol
Irvin Flores Rodriguez, Puerto Rican nationalist who fired shots in Capitol
Andres Figueroa Cordero, Puerto Rican nationalist who attempted to assassinate President Truman
Ronald L. Humphrey, American spy for North Vietnam
David Truong, American spy for North Vietnam
F.J. Crawford, American who went on trial in Moscow as spy
Anatoly Natan Sharansky, Soviet dissident
Alexandri Ginsberg, Soviet dissident
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Soviet dissident
William Raspberry, columnist for The Washington Post
Reverend Ben Chavis, member of Wilmington Ten
Allen Ray Hall, witness for prosecution in Wilmington Ten trial
Fred Hampton, Black Panther slain in Chicago
Charles Boyer, Hollywood actor
Pat Paterson, Hollywood actress by reference
Tuesday Weld, Hollywood actress
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Exia Marie Duckett, aka Marie Lawrence
Ronald Duckett, aka Nicky Lawrence
Bible verses cited: None
(This tape was transcribed by Nicole Bissett. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Jim Jones reads the news for a Sunday early in September 1978, likely September 3.
About a third a way into the tape, Jones pauses to read a lengthy note submitted to him from Rob Gieg, detailing numerous problems with Jonestown’s livestock, particularly in the chickery. Most of the problems apparently have solutions, if he can get some decisions. Jones prefaces the note by saying that, “We have total democracy. Everyone participates in a total democracy here.” Nevertheless, he ends the reading without comment and then continues with the news.
As opposed to many of the broadcasts from this period, Jones does not provide much editorial comment along the way, which means – as part of that – he does not use as many politically-charged adjectives. The US is still characterized as racist and imperialist, but to a lesser degree; only once does he describe a US ally as “lackeys.” Cuba and the Soviet Union are still represent liberation movements, but not as a paragon; he even reads, without comment, a criticism of his hero, Josef Stalin.
He does evoke the image of nuclear war on numerous occasions, however. The USSR is preparing for it, China believes it is inevitable, and the ills of American society, especially as reflected in the drug usage of its youth, reflect “the hopelessness and despair of living every day with racism, and every day, not expecting for sure whether tomorrow will begin because of a nuclear war.”
The centerpiece of the broadcast is a lengthy commentary by the Voice of Sweden about political prisoners around the world. The context are the remarks by Andrew Young, the US ambassador to the UN, that American jails hold thousands of political prisoners.
Other items in the news:
- The Roman Catholic Church has a new pope;
- Iran has a new prime minister, but the Shah’s days are numbered;
- Britain says Rhodesia must work with the Patriotic Front;
- Charles Boyer died within days of his wife’s death;
- The USSR and German Democratic Republic launch a satellite;
- A leak at a missile silo in Kansas kills livestock, threatens human life;
- A postal workers’ strike will start in the US;
- A US businessman is about to go on trial in the USSR;
- Drug use increases in US;
- Chemical additives and preservatives cause heart attacks and strokes;
- The Soviet Politburo criticizes China’s foreign policy, calls for bolstering the Warsaw Pact;
- Talks between Vietnam and China collapse.
Date of transcription: 6/18/79
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 1B93-95. This tape was found to contain the following:
Reverend JIM JONES gives the news and world events to PT members at Jonestown. Also discusses some of the problems in the Jonestown community.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes. =
Tape originally posted May 2022.