Q158 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: Labeled in part “Sept 1 News”

Date cues on tape:     likely earlier, around August 25 or 26, 1978 (John Paul I to be enthroned as pope, Jomo Kenyatta to be buried August 27)

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Henry VIII, English king
Adolf Hitler
Holtz [phonetic, first name unknown], German spy in 1978
Generalissimo Francisco Franco, former ruler of Spain
Jimmy Carter, President of United States
Lyndon Johnson, former President of United States
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Rep. Ron Dellums (D-Calif.)
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown

Leonid Brezhnev, secretary of the communist party, Soviet Union
Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union
James Callaghan, Prime Minister of Great Britain [by reference]

Pope John Paul I, formerly Cardinal Albino Luciani
Pope Paul VI
Pope John XXIII
Cardinal Pericle Felici, Vatican spokesman
Cardinal Sebastio Bargio [phonetic], papal candidate
Paulo Bertolli [phonetic], papal candidate

Hua Kuo-fenj, Chairman of the People’s Republic of China
Park Chung Hee, President of South Korea [by reference]

Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Mohammad Mosaddegh, former prime minister of Iran [by reference]
Jaraf Sharif-Emami, prime minister of Iran [by reference]

King Hussein of Jordan
Elias Sarkis, President of Lebanon
Menachim Begin, Prime Minister of Israel

Jomo Kenyatta, president of Kenya
Daniel arap Moi, successor to Jomo Kenyatta
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia

Anastasio Somoza Debayle, President of Nicaragua
Anastasio Somoza Garcia, former ruler of Nicaragua, father of current ruler [by reference]
Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero, son of Nicaraguan President [by reference]
Michael Manley, Jamaican prime minister [by reference]

Arthur Chung, President of Guyana
Forbes Burnham, Guyana Prime Minister
Hamilton Green, Guyana Minister of Health, Housing and Labor
Frank Hope, Guyana Minister of Finance
Desmond Hoyte, Guyana Minister of Development
Herbie Harper, brother of Viola Burnham
Cheddi Jagan, leader of People’s Progressive Party
Persaud, Harry, member of PPP in Guyana assembly
Albert Howls [phonetic], president of Guyana pharmacist association
Courtney Bartholomew, professor of medicine at University of West Indies
Nassir Kahn [phonetic], President General of Guyana Muslims

Doctor William Beebe [phonetic], Cartaboo Ecological Research Station
Doctor Margaret Collins, Cartaboo Ecological Research Station
Doctor Alfred Emerson, Cartaboo Ecological Research Station

Emily Harris, Symbionese Liberation Army
William Harris, Symbionese Liberation Army
Patricia Hearst, newspaper heiress, kidnapped by SLA in 1974
Randolph Hearst, newspaper publisher, father of Patricia Hearst

Daniel Ellsberg, DOD analyst who leaked Pentagon Papers
Richard Hammerschlag, Univ. Of Calif. Researcher

Carlton Goodlett, black newspaper publisher, physician
Don Freed, Hollywood screenwriter sympathetic to Jonestown
Mark Lane, Temple attorney


Jonestown residents:
Jack Barron
Johnny Moss Brown
James Edwards
Joyce Parks


Bible verses cited:      None


(Note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

Jim Jones reads the daily news, offering periodic editorial comments and correlating the events in the world to conditions in Jonestown. Among the items he covers:

• The election of Cardinal Albino Luciani as Pope John Paul I
• The aftermath of the death of Kenya’s leader, Jomo Kenyatta
• The collapsing Somoza regime in Nicaragua and his threat to turn to the USSR for assistance
• The tour of the Chinese leader Hua Kuo-fenj from Iran to Belgrade
• An outbreak of smallpox in Britain
• Support for Puerto Rican independence voiced by Guyana and Cuba
• Numerous events in the Near East, including threats to peace in Lebanon and the possibility of US troops occupying areas then held by Israel
• A change in policy in policing prostitution in New York
• The defiance of Symbionese Liberation Army defendants
• Efforts to denuclearize the Indian Ocean and turn it into a zone of peace
• Developments of anti-cancer drugs in Guyana


(Since Jones refers to a few dates in late August as still to come – unless he is reading outdated copy – the note on the tape box may be off by a few days.)

Jones begins the broadcast with the observation that this is “the only news that we get,” an observation which allows him to insert comments which cannot be challenged by any other news source. It also allows him to focus on the news on nuclear weapons-related issues which correspond with his vision of an approaching holocaust.

In discussing the upcoming talks between Egypt and Israel at Camp David, for example, he quotes King Hussein of Jordan as saying “a failure at the Camp David talks will lead to Arab government failures and leftists takeover,” then adds more ominously, “What happens in Camp David … could very well affect whether or not the war will have nuclear World War III.”

Similarly, while Jones often criticizes Chinese policies – thus revealing that the major source of his news is the Soviet news service Tass – he repeats one representation which he agrees with: “China says nuclear war is inevitable, will happen, it can’t be stopped, it’s too late in the day, and so all of her policies are based on trying to bring it about as soon as possible.” Later in the broadcast, after concluding one news item which reads “Moscow said she would do all she could to avoid a nuclear war,” Jones adds a postscript: “But we are preparing for war because it seems that the war clouds are getting lower over our heads each day.”

Other items show a heavy Soviet influence on Jones’ selection of news items. In discussing a British study on the build-up of weapons in the Warsaw Pact, Jones reports that, while the US has both more missiles and more warheads, those of the USSR are more lethal. “The Soviet Union has the most powerful missiles on earth,” he reports.

Some of the news stories allow Jones to draw parallels to life in Jonestown. The story about a police crackdown on prostitution in New York City – and the politics of race behind the crackdown – allows him to offer Jonestown as a contrast. “We as a people oppose any such behavior: prostitution, drugs, any criminal act,” he says. “We are fortunate to live in a community where we don’t even spank our children, where no violence is allowed, nor do we have to make laws against it, because it just doesn’t happen, where we live without regard of race, creed or color.” Later, when he speaks about the development of an anti-malarial drug in India, he notes, “We’ve not had to worry about malaria here.… We don’t have to worry about the viruses that beset the USA.”

The broadcast contains several acknowledgments of their political benefactors in Guyana. Jones points out that the leading newspaper has had two complimentary articles about Jonestown in the last week, and reciprocates with glowing descriptions of recent Guyanese visitors. “It’s a long, long article of praise,” he says of the second piece. “And we’re appreciative of such articles.… And we are grateful for the recognition of our work and what we have rendered the community.”

Later he singles out Guyana Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and various members of his cabinet for praise, and – perhaps more significantly – criticizes Burnham’s most well-known political opponent, Cheddi Jagan, the head of the opposition party, even though Jagan’s views on the issues more closely mirror Jones’. And when the Temple leader reads an item from a Burnham-leaning newspaper that the prime minister “said that he had matter of documentation that [Jagan’s party] had received billions of dollars in an attempt to destabilize the socialist [Burnham] government from USA multinationals,” his only observation is that it’s “an interesting charge.” The news and commentary ends – without editorial embellishment – with the conclusion of the Burnham organ: “One point is clear: most Guyanese are convinced that there must be no turn back as government proceeds along the road to socialist development and progress.”

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 5/25/79

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 May 24, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B68-8. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES broadcasting the morning news to include topics such as the revolution in Iran, a spy ring in Germany, ghettos, PATRICIA HEARST, Rhodesia, and Prime Minister BURNHAM.

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 March 2009