Q135 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. To listen to MP3, click here.
To return to the Tape Index, click here.

FBI Catalogue: Radio transmissions

FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Olympic MC-60 microcassette/in box labeled "when property under jeopardy, JJ speaking to the People" Jones stirring up the crowd about 15 minutes into tape & on radio. (Writing illegible) Charles Garry. Side B blank

Date cues on tape: Fall 1977

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:

    Uganda leader Idi Amin
    Dr. Kahn (phonetic spelling), “peace counsel from the Soviet Union”
    Lionel Luckhoo, Guyana attorney
    Ptolemy Reid, Deputy Prime Minister of Guyana
    Shahabadeen, Mohammed, Guyana Minister of Justice, by reference
    San Francisco Examiner reporter Katy Butler
    San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen
    Charles Garry, Temple attorney
    Carlton Goodlett, publisher of the San Francisco Sun-Reporter

Unknown persons named

    Mr. Clark, “our regular counsel for business affairs”
    Dean Galbreath (phonetic spelling)
    Steve Gavin (phonetic spelling)
    Bob Levaree (phonetic spelling)
    Rauol Ramirez (phonetic spelling)
    Art Silverman
    Skimmerhorn (phonetic spelling, first name unknown)

Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:

    Grace Stoen

Temple members:

    Marceline Jones
    Mike Prokes (speaks)
    John Victor Stoen (by reference)

Bible verses cited: None


This tape consists of three parts, made during a time of crisis when Jim Jones and his followers felt under attack, likely in the fall of 1977.

In the first segment, Jim Jones, along with a small number of Temple members, is on a small motorized boat on an unnamed river in Guyana. In this heavily-edited tape, Jones says that the Cubans have offered him, his family, and a few of his hand-picked leaders safe passage out of the country, but that not all of the people could go with them. That kills the deal, as far as he’s concerned. If they all can’t go, none of them will go. “They don’t understand what a socialist is made of, that I would go any place without you.”

Although Jones is angry for much of the time, there are numerous indications that the tape was produced for use other than mere documentation of Temple activities, and that the anger, therefore, might not be spontaneous throughout. First, there are numerous edits, many more than in a Jonestown community meeting. Second, Jones repeats his message numerous times, varying his words only slightly, as though preparing the tape for an audience other than the immediate dozen or so followers on board with him. Third, the cheers themselves become increasingly perfunctory and less spontaneous.

The second part is very short, as a man – probably Jones – makes references to different dollar amounts, to a child custody battle and to someone’s plan to “try to kidnap the child.” The recording is of poor quality, complicated by the sound of a chainsaw running in the background.

In the final segment, Jones is appealing over the radio for sanctuary someplace in the world where he and his followers can build and live in peace. He makes the appeal because he believes the Guyana government, acting under pressure from the U.S., has betrayed them. He says he is anxious to answer every charge, and even offered to put himself up for arrest, if that would stop the actions taken against the community as a whole, “but the people voted unanimously not to let me go.” He says that as a matter of principle, he cannot let Grace Stoen regain custody of her son because “of the most horrible things she did that you could ever imagine, that she did to him and said to him.”

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 3/14/79

JIM JONES appears to be very upset and states that if they take twenty people today they will take sixty people tomorrow. JONES further states that if “we all can’t go together we will die together.”

JONES transmits over the radio requesting any country to grant him and his people asylum. JONES also states that all his people have made a decision to die together if they aren’t given asylum.

Differences with FBI Summary: None

Tape originally posted January 1999