Q181 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. 1, Pt. 2).
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FBI Catalogue           Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “News 10/31/78”

Date cues on tape:     Date specified on tape matches label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
President Jimmy Carter
Former President John F. Kennedy
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security advisor

Rep. John Burton (D-CA)
Mervyn Dymally, California Lt. Governor
State Sen. John Briggs
Harvey Milk, San Francisco supervisor

Ed Koch, mayor of New York City

Fidel Castro, leader of Cuba
Jose Lopez Portillo, president of Mexico

Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister
Adolf Hitler

Idi Amin, President of Uganda
Joshua Nkomo, leader in Zimbabwean Liberation Patriotic Front
Robert Mugabe, leader in Zimbabwean Liberation Patriotic Front
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Patrice Lumumba, prime minister of Congo
Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania
Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia
Menachim Begin, Prime Minister of Israel
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Yasser Arafat, leader of Palestinian Liberation Organization
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran

Takeo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan

Forbes Burnham, prime minister of Guyana

Anita Bryant, former Miss America, active in anti-gay movement (by reference)
Judith Hart, British overseas development minister
Victor Jara, Chilean poet and singer, opponent of 1973 coup
John O’Donnell, Air Line Pilots Association
Sidney Schwartz, comptroller of New York Emergency Financial Control Board
Edgar Spear, chair of US Steel
Valdik Enger, Soviet UN employee, convicted of spying
Rudolf Chernayev, Soviet UN employee, convicted of spying

Don Freed, screenwriter
Charles Garry, Temple attorney
Carlton Goodlett, newspaper publisher, doctor
Mark Lane, Temple attorney

Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
“young Klingman” (three young men in Klingman family)

Bible verses cited:      “Oh, the pain, when one is a internationalist… we all must be our brother and sister’s keeper… You are your comrade’s keeper.” (Genesis 4:9, “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ He said, ‘I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’”)


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

Jim Jones reads the news of 31 October 1978.

Among the news items:

• US Senate approves neutron bomb
• Air crash in San Diego could have been avoided
• Proposal to reopen steel mill under worker control is communism, official says
• Soviet employees of UN convicted of spying
• Arab League considers expulsion of Egypt over Camp David accords
• Paris and Brazil crippled by strikes
• USSR supplies Cuba with MIG aircraft
• Japan and Mexico reach deal on oil

As with other newscasts of the period, Jones seems to be relying most heavily upon Soviet and Eastern Bloc agency newswires, although most of the commentary reflects Jones’ worldview rather than one associated with a political or national ideology. An item about relatively simple measures which the airline industry could adopt to avoid collisions notes that the number of air passengers will greatly increase in the near future, to which Jones adds his observation, “unless there’s a nuclear holocaust which many fear will be the case.” Moments later, while discussing the more germane subject of the Senate approval of the neutron bomb, Jones comments, “That’s how little concern there is for human life and the dangers that menace the world through nuclear war. The increasing tensions that are bound, finally, to bring down, at least those in North America and Europe, widespread death throughout USSR and China.”

Sometimes, though, a news item leads the Temple leader to offer a message of hope and inspiration. He asks the people of Jonestown to look at martyrs of leftist causes, describing them as “great heroic efforts of the human spirit.” Without those who are willing to die for their belief in socialism, he says, “human beings would be nothing above the animals. There’d be no purpose to life and there could be no meaning to life.”

As Jones does in other tapes, he periodically uses a news story to offer a comparison between lives of desperation elsewhere in the world and the benefits of living in Jonestown. Children in Thailand are forced to work under slave conditions, for example, often after being sold to factories by their starving parents, but in Jonestown, people look after each other and have sufficient food and medical care. “So that’s the kind of care that’s given to you, and we all should take gratitude for it, while two out of three babies go to bed hungry.”

Even as Jones laments the pain of being “an internationalist,” he invites the community to think about that type of existence and to be grateful for what they have. He says he is not interested in expressions of thanks to him, but he does ask recognition of what he’s done, and a commitment to work harder so that others may join them. “You have a debt to pay…,” he says in the tape’s closing minute, “so let us now pass that goodwill on.”

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/21/79

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 30, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B69-7. This tape was found to contain the following:

A recorded reading of current world events by JIM JONES. The remaining portions of the tape were blank and appeared to contain no items of an evidentiary nature.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted April 2008