Q169 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 “11/6/78 News”

Date cues on tape:     November 6, 1978 (specified)

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Adolf Hitler
Bruno Kreisky, Chancellor of Austria
Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Dr. Harlen Sung Jabi [phonetic], leader of Iranian National Front

Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Bishop Abel Muzorewa, leader of Zimbabwe independence
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Leopold Senghor, president of Senegal
Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of North Yemen

Ferdinand Marcos, president of Philippines
Imelda Marcos, wife of Ferdinand Marcos [by reference]

Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India
Mahatma Gandhi, Indian leader, practitioner of non-violence

Teng Hsiao-ping, Premier of China
Kriangsak Chomanan, Thailand Prime Minister [by reference]

Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Jonestown residents:
Stephan Gandhi Jones

Bible verses cited:      None


Jim Jones reads the news to the Jonestown community. The stories include:

• Protests in the Arab world to the Camp David peace agreement;
• The handover of power from the Rhodesian government to black majority rule;
• A border dispute between China and Vietnam;
• The decision to release most martial law detainees in the Philippines;
• An agreement between the Australian government and aborigines on uranium mining;
• The U.S. detention of alleged Soviet spies;
• The potential for a commonwealth of French-speaking nations
• Famine in Zaire;
• Riots and protests to the rule of the Shah in Iran;
• Tensions between the African nations of Uganda and Tanzania;
• Executions in North Yemen;
• A public referendum on nuclear power plants in Austria;
• The return of Indira Gandhi to power in India;
• Trade talks between China and Thailand.

In addition to the international aspects of the news and the issues which are covered, the rhetoric in the newscast demonstrates that Jones is using a Soviet wire service. The item about Red Cross relief programs to alleviate famine in Zaire includes the observation that “The Red Cross has been more supported by the Soviet Union than any nation on earth today.” The longer story about the alleged spying begins with the denunciation – “Soviet delegates and authorities have described as monstrous, the 50 years prison sentence passed on two Soviet citizens in the United States, accused of spying without any evidence” – and ends with the notation that the Soviet Union merely expels those who are accused of being spies for the U.S. The editorial comment that follows – “Shows who has mercy” – is likely Jones’.

The Temple leader makes other editorial comments as well, although most have been repeated enough that they are familiar to the Jonestown population. He refers to several world leaders as dictators, but reserves most of his criticism for Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith. “The lying honky continues. The white oppressor continues to break their promises… and they continue to lie between their teeth, supported and backed by U.S. Pentagon forces.”

Jones’ apocalyptic worldview also filters several times into his reading. In reporting a agreement between the Australian government and aborigines on uranium mining which will lead to production by 1982, he adds the caveat, “if we don’t have a nuclear war beforehand.” In discussing America’s increasing estrangement from the Near East and the African continent, he predicts the U.S. will lose access to oil and valuable minerals, and then “Americans will starve to death, because that’s the way they make their money.”

As with other newscasts from the last months of Jonestown, Jones seems to have trouble reading the words before him. He has numerous long pauses, he repeats sentences or items he has just read – sometimes with the comment, “as I said,” as though it was worth repeating – and he has difficulty finding his place on the page. At one point he says, “It’s hard for me to read my notes,” but his struggle seems deeper than that.

The newscast ends, as most of them do, with a plea to work hard, “to make money, to save our people from slavery.” His final words of the night are also typical: “Thank you, and I love you very much.”

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 5/30/79

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 1B68-20. This tape was found to contain the following:

A talk by JIM JONES concerning the Summit Peace Talks. He (JONES) states that Egypt and Israel sold out other countries. JONES also states that two Russians were arrested illegally by the United States.

Differences with FBI Summary:

Other than the distinction that this is a newscast rather than a “talk,” the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted March 2008