Q851 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: Music

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “1812 Overture”

Date cues on tape: January 1977 (specified)

People named:
Public figures/National and international names:

Martin Niemoller, German theologian in World War II (by reference)
Martin Luther King, Jr., slain civil rights activist
Cesar Chavez, head of United Farm Workers

Joseph Alioto, former mayor of San Francisco
George Moscone, mayor of San Francisco
Rev. A.E. Tony Ubalde, minister in United Methodist Church
Rev. Cecil Williams, minister in United Methodist Church (speaks)
Mac Lyons, recipient of MLK award
John Maher, founder, Delancey Street Foundation
Carlton Goodlett, newspaper publisher (speaks)
Bob Gnaizda, attorney (speaks)
Rodney Williams, black police officer honored on MLK Day
Dennis O’Leary, SF Fire Department

Peoples Temple members:

Johnny Brown
Loretta Cordell
Eugene Chaikin
Phyllis Chaikin
Sylvia Grubbs
Maria Katsaris
Tish Leroy
Mike Prokes (speaks)
Jim Randolph
Tim Stoen
Harriet Tropp
Richard Tropp (speaks)

Bible verses cited: None

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

In late 1976 and early 1977, Jim Jones was arguably at the peak of his influence and power in San Francisco politics. Likely as a reward for his efforts in the most recent mayoral campaign – but not without some controversy – Mayor George Moscone has selected him, along with Methodist minister Tony Ubalde, to serve on the city’s Housing Commission; Jones would also serve a brief stint as the agency’s chairman before leaving for Guyana in mid-1977. In an unrelated development, Jones was selected to receive the Humanitarian of the Year award on Martin Luther King Day in January 1977.

Both of these achievements play a role on this tape: Mike Prokes, who was in charge of the Temple’s public relations, has a private telephone conversation with Ubalde about the decision on the Housing Commission chairmanship; but the bulk of the tape is the ceremony at which Jones receives his Humanitarian of the Year award.

The audio on much of the tape is difficult. The recording of the ceremony was made by someone in the audience, far enough away from the platform that many of the remarks by various speakers are unintelligible. Only those of Jones himself – and the boisterous reaction from the Temple members in attendance – come through with clarity.

The tape also includes several other telephone conversations and meetings, but most are without context.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 7/3/79

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 14, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B107-2. This tape was found to contain the following:

Approximately 25 minutes of classical music on one side. The remaining portions of the tape were blank.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The tape consists of numerous phone calls and meetings. 

Tape originally posted May 2022.