Q938 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: [None]

Date cues on tape: Christmas, December 25, 1977 (follows tape Q 948)

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Robert C. Toth, Los Angeles Times reporter detained in Moscow [by reference]
Steve Biko, South African black activist


Temple apostates:
Rose Pearson


Temple members not in Jonestown:
Chris Lewis (recently assassinated in San Francisco)


Jonestown residents, full name unknown:


Jonestown residents:
Patty Cartmell (speaks)
Carol Dennis (Carol Ann McCoy)
Ellihue Dennis
Bessie Lee Dickson
Lynetta Jones
Penny Kerns
Sebastian McMurry
Tom Partak (speaks)
Richard Tropp


Bible verses cited: None


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

This tape is a continuation of Q 948, recorded earlier Christmas night, 1977.

The tape opens with a number of testimonials about the power of Dad’s miracles that have saved several people – primarily children – from being injured or killed in accidents in Jonestown. There are numerous tape edits of unknown duration between speakers, just as there are edits both before and after Jones makes a short statement to the people of Jonestown about how they should talk to children about death, and what the children themselves should say. “No child is to ask if anybody is dead… because there [are] none dead in the true sense of the word.” The question is before the community because there have been two recent deaths: that of Chris Lewis, a black Temple member assassinated a few weeks earlier in San Francisco; and in Jonestown itself, the death of Lynetta Jones, Jim Jones’ mother.

But most of the tape is taken up with the disciplining of Tom Partak, a white resident whose unhappiness with life in Jonestown had driven him to attempt suicide. Jones whips himself up into a white-hot fury as he castigates Partak for his desire to leave the community, for his unwillingness to work for the cause in Jonestown, and most of all, for his white privilege and its consequent effect on his inability to recognize the pain that the black members of the Temple have gone through.

The crowd joins in on the abuse, with insults and mockery and threats. The threats peak when Jones himself echo calls the Partak be shot, not so that he would die, but “through the hip” so he can feel genuine pain.

While separated only by a few moments, Jones then physically attacks Partak on two separate occasions in a flurry of fists and seething, hostile suggestions of more to come, and taunts that “you’re scared to death.” One other person joins in on the attack, and no one speaks up in Partak’s defense as it occurs. He endures the punishment, apologizes for all the sins of capitalism of which he has been accused, and promises to do better. The tape ends with Jones assuring Partak of his love and commitment, then dismissing him.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 8/28/79

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 August 20, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B102-6. This tape was found to contain the following:

Statements of thanks to “Dad” (JIM JONES) for various things he did for them.

JIM JONES reprimanding PETE (last name unknown), who was apparently so dissatisfied with Jonestown and wanting to leave that he tried to kill himself. JONES verbally assaults “PETE” with profanity and a couple of times actually physically beats him in front of congregation.

Differences with FBI Summary:

Other than the misidentification of Tom Partak, the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.  

Tape originally posted November 2022