Q976 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: Labeled in part “6/20/78 News”

Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with identification note

People named:
Public figures/National and international names:

Jimmy Carter, U.S. president
John F. Kennedy, slain US president
Robert Kennedy, slain US senator
Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State
Andrew Young, American UN ambassador
Donald McHenry, America’s deputy UN ambassador
William Colby, former head of CIA (by reference)
Stansfield Turner, head of CIA
Sen. Edward Brooke (R-MA)
Sen. John Stennis (D-MS)
Rep. Ronald Dellums (D-CA)
Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX)
Rep. Parren Mitchell (D-MD)

Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Adolf Eichmann, SS leader in Nazi Germany
Francisco Franco, former dictator of Spain
António de Oliveira Salazar, former dictator of Portugal
Aldo Moro, prime minister of Italy executed by Red Brigade
Santiago Carrillo, Spanish writer

Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Saad el-Shazly, Egyptian ambassador to Portugal
Mordechal Gur, Israeli Chief of Staff
Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Abdul Fattah Ismail, leader of United Political Organization National Front in Yemen

Idi Amin, President of Uganda
John Vorster, South African Prime Minister
Ian Smith, Rhodesian Prime Minister
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwe Patriotic Front
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwe Patriotic Front
Janice McLaughlin, American nun deported by Rhodesia
Jeremiah Chirau, Rhodesian black leader who negotiated with Smith (by reference)
Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Rhodesian black leader who negotiated with Smith (by reference)
Ndabaningi Sithole, Rhodesian black leader who negotiated with Smith (by reference)
Alvis Gomez, Mozambique magazine editor

Kim Dong-jo, Korean ambassador to U.S.

Anastasio Somoza, President of Nicaragua
Omar Torrijos, president of Panama
Antonio Guzman, president of Dominican Republic
Joaquin Balaguer, former president of Dominican Republic
Joao Goulart, deposed president of Brazil
Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana
Ptolemy Reid, Deputy Prime Minister of Guyana
Vibert Mingo, Guyana Minister of Home Affairs

Malcolm X, slain black activist
Martin Luther King, slain black civil rights leader
Huey Newton, leader of Black Panther Party
Martin Pulich, judge in Newton trial
Bert Schneider, filmmaker, friend of Newton
Charles Garry, attorney for Newton and Peoples Temple
Mark Lane, attorney for CIA whistleblower and Peoples Temple
Rev. Arte Marin, spokesman for Scientology
Tom Jason Johnson, lynched black man
Larry Flynt, publisher of LA Free Press
Frank Snepp, author of CIA expose (by reference)
John Stockwell, author of CIA expose

Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:

Debbie Blakey

Jonestown residents:

Teresa King


Bible verses cited:     None


Jim Jones reads the news for June 20, 1978 in two separate newscasts.

The reading is typical for the period. He identifies the source only for the second segment as the Guyana Broadcasting Studios; the first part likely comes from Radio Moscow or a news service from a Warsaw Pact nation, in that it takes a hard stance against both the West and the “renegade” Chinese. The United States – its domestic policies, its international commitments, the law enforcement agencies within various cities and states – are uniformly fascist, racist, and capitalist, the “bastion of oppression.” Its allies are imperialist puppets and lackeys. The foreign dictators it supports would not be in power without the support of American tax dollars, which, as Jones adds elsewhere as well, should cause them great pain and grief.

The Soviet Union, by contrast, is consistently on the right side of history, the avant garde leader, and together with its ally Cuba, the force for liberation throughout the world.

It is unknown how much of the editorializing comes from the text and how much comes from Jones’ own spontaneous commentary. What does almost certainly come from Jones are the predictions of nuclear war and racial genocide that the US faces.

Very little of the reading relates directly to issues affecting Jonestown itself. He does weave in the fact that Debbie Layton Blakey – a trusted financial secretary who made a high-profile defection about a month earlier – is the “class enemy,” who is now saying that Jonestown is a “Cuban and Soviet outpost,” a lie that may bring military action down upon them.

He concludes both readings with exhortations to work harder, produce more, do what they can to bring their families to freedom. “They’re hanging on our efforts. We hold them in the balance. We can decide how many will live and how many will die, in the fascist genocide that is taking place back there.” He expands upon that at one point into a warning about dissenters and slackers in their commuity. “Be careful what you say, how you try to goof off, who you plot with, because we do have committees for the defense of the revolution, and we are safeguarding, and we probably, without doubt, know more about you than you think.”

Among the stories Jones reports on:

  • Secretary of State Cyrus Vance calls for reduction of tensions between US and USSR;
  • Members of the congressional Black Caucus are persecuted and smeared;
  • Amendments to cut defense budget fail in Congress;
  • The Senate crime bill stalls in the House;
  • More Koreagate bribes are exposed;
  • An Italian jury is still out in deliberating on members of the Red Brigade;
  • Egypt’s ambassador to Portugal is recalled for his remarks opposing Sadat;
  • Student protests rock Iran;
  • Rhodesia may eliminate race laws, and the prime minister may resign;
  • American nuns deported from Rhodesia speak out;
  • OPEC may change its medium of exchange from away from the dollar, causing economic collapse in the US;
  • Several strong unions strike in Brazil;
  • The military threatens to take over vote counting in Dominican Republic;
  • The Skylab satellite threatens to fall to earth;
  • A California trial judge rules against defense motion in Huey Newton’s case;
  • Back activists in San Francisco demand community control;
  • The KKK is active in Mississippi and Texas;
  • Scientologists launch a network against government abuse;
  • Whistleblowers and government critics in the US face arrest;
  • Guyana referendum would eliminate opposition to socialism.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 7/6/79

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 June 23, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B110-41. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES reading news, commentary, and announcements.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted May 2022.