Q580 Summary

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: Jones speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Audio Magnetics 60/Jim Jones interview 9/21/72

Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with identification note

People named:
People Temple members:

Marxine Harpe (by reference)
Tim Stoen

Public figures/National and international names:

Harry Truman, former US president
Mr. Heddy, first name unknown, Ukiah rancher (by reference)

Temple adversaries:

Lester Kinsolving, reporter for San Francisco Examiner (by reference)

Bible verses cited: None


The series of newspaper articles in the San Francisco Examiner written by religion editor and Episcopal priest – and future bete noir of the Temple – Lester Kinsolving has debuted a few days earlier, and a Ukiah radio station has given Jim Jones a chance to answer the charges. In this 10-minute segment – it is unknown how long Jones has spoken before the recording begins – the Temple leader both defends the church, and criticizes the reporter for what Jones describes as “baseless charges.”

Jones’ defense includes a description of the services and programs which the Temple provides, ranging from senior citizen homes to animal shelters to drug rehabilitation efforts to support for college students. He also vehemently denies that anyone in the church was responsible for the suicide of a woman whom Kinsolving had profiled.

He defends the First Amendment – both the freedom of the press and “the right of religious assembly” – and says Kinsolving can write whatever he wants, but he has the responsibility to tell the truth.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 3/6/79

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 1, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1 B 47 – #21. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES lecturing on harassment received by the People’s Temple while in Ukiah, unjustified criticism received by the Temple from the “San Francisco Examiner.” Side B of the tape was blank with the exception of a child’s voice which appears on a brief segment.

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 May 2022.