Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “6-13-78”
Date cues on tape: News items consistent with tape label
President Jimmy Carter
Martha Peterson, US Embassy official in Moscow
William Colby, former CIA director
Admiral Stansfield Turner, CIA director
John Stockwell, former CIA agent
Rep. Phil Crane (R-IL), congressman implicated in South Africa scandal
Rep. John Dent (D-PA), congressman implicated in South Africa scandal
Manea M?nescu, Prime Minister of Romania
Karl Marx, German economist, father of communism
Aldo Moro, former prime minister of Italy
Huang Hua, Foreign Minister of China
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Kenneth Towsey, director of the Rhodesian Information Office
Hilary Squires, Rhodesian Justice Minister
P. K. Vanderbaugh, Rhodesian Foreign Affairs Minister
Elijah Njandora [phonetic], Rhodesian legislator
Endlaid (phonetic, first name unknown), reporter who wrote extensively about Rhodesia
Luta [phonetic] Dhlamini, condemned Rhodesian prisoner
Donald Dekieffoher, Washington lobbyist for South Africa
B.J. Vorster, prime minister of Republic of South Africa
Agostinho Neto, president of Angola
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire
Kwame Nkrumah, former president of Ghana
Emmanual Erskine, leader of UN peace-keeping force in Lebanon
Fonji [phonetic] family, relatives of a former Lebanon prime minister
Joaquin Balaguer, former president of Dominican Republic
Antonio Guzman, president of Dominican Republic
Anastasio Somoza Debayle, President of Nicaragua
Huey Newton, leader of Black Panther Party
Angela Davis, member of Communist Party, black activist
Terns (phonetic, first name unknown), death row inmate in California
Albert Schweitzer, physician, missionary
Dr. Wall, first name unknown, physician who assisted Schacht
Wade and Mabel Medlock
Mike Prokes (speaks)
Larry Schacht [by reference]
Bible verses cited: None
While principally a news tape, this daily reading of bulletins and commentary to the people of Jonestown includes several lengthy asides of more relevance to the community, and more editorial rhetoric on some of news items themselves. Jones also speaks more distinctly and with more animation in this tape than in others from previous days.
The source of all of this could be his early announcement that former Peoples Temple attorney – and now “class enemy of the people” – Tim Stoen has filed two lawsuits against the Temple. The two suits – one for $18 million filed by Wade and Mabel Medlock for fraudulent deprivation of property, the other a $15 million defamation action by Steven Katsaris – are intended to “starve” the people of Jonestown, Jones says, and to turn the press against them. The Temple is no longer considered to be the source of healing or even religion, but rather a nest of socialists, and while that’s good, it opens them to press attacks. “[T]hey have all this self-righteousness about exposing socialists and trying to make them look bad, headline after headline. There’s nothing in the news except Jim Jones, Huey Newton, and the cooperative named Synanon, and now a new wave of attack on Scientology.”
Much later in the tape, after Jones has read numerous other items showing how socialists are persecuted in other countries, both by their governments and the press, as well as how some socialists have succumbed to the pressure and become revisionist, he notes that death will come to all of them – “revisionist, apologist, opportunist, capitalist” – as it will someday come to them. The only difference, he says, is in how you die. “[T]he only thing that makes nobility is in what we stand for,” he says, “but that dying then cannot be noble unless it is a revolutionary death.” They have the will to live, the strength to go on, the desire to build the community for a lifetime, but if they are attacked by “the enemy of the people, a class enemy” – i.e., the same description he gave for Stoen and the Concerned Relatives – “we are certainly ready and able to meet revolutionary death.”
Worse than that kind of death, he says, is abandoning the struggle, and this is something he sees infecting Jonestown. The symptoms are many: people waste food, destroy property, break tools, don’t take care of themselves, and are driven by “your own animal and sexual appetites.”
It is a theme he has built on for weeks, and throughout this session. Commenting upon a news story on the seven liberation movements in Africa – all of which have the support of the Soviet Union, according to the Carter Administration, but which are really are outgrowths of the people’s demand for freedom from oppression, according to Jones – the Temple leader chastises his own people: “Some of you will never relate to it, because you’ve always had Father to provide your every need.”
The sentiment drives the concluding minutes of the news portion of the tape. “How much do we have to hear to be inflamed in our motivation to build this community, to be inflamed with a passion to protect it, for socialists’ sake, to build it instead of wasting every day,” he admonishes, then again a few moments later, “I don’t know how some of you do it, how you stop struggling for people, when they still can’t determine their own destinies,” and then finally, “Please, for socialism’s sakes, awake out of your lethargy, out of your self-indulgence… Try to identify with the struggle.”
Jones’ emotional critique of his community plays out in his reading of the news as well. The session opens with a lengthy reading on a half million blacks in Rhodesia being placed in concentration camps, with hundreds of political prisoners being hanged each day, and hundreds more babies dying in their mothers’ wombs due to malnutrition and lack of health care. He returns to it over and over, reminding his listeners that the camps are modeled on similar camps the US erected in Vietnam. “There should be nothing but an incensed indignity, a hatred, a passion that goes deep to our soul against that system that … has its hold on the throats, strangling and murdering and killing and torturing, by the hour, untold tens of thousands,” he demands, then adds, “We should hate US imperialism.”
Other items covered in the news:
• A US Embassy official in Moscow is arrested for being in possessions of explosives and poisons;
• 400 Americans are arrested outside the UN for protesting war preparations;
• The press reports that the CIA helped overthrow a national leader in Africa ten years before, and the CIA admits that it is currently involved in the covert war in Angola;
• South Africa is paying off members of Congress;
• The national police is overthrowing a legitimately-elected – but leftist – government in the Dominican Republic;
• Two referendums curbing police powers in Italy fail, in part because of “revisionists”;
• Honduran peasants revolt to seize control of land.
Part 2 of the tape is the end of an undated recording in which Jim Jones and Temple publicist Mike Prokes talk about the beauty of Jonestown. Intended principally for an audience in Georgetown, where the Temple aired regular promotional material, these tapes were also used in the US to entice more emigrants to the Promised Land.
Most of the conversation between the two men consists of plugs for the jungle community – the air is fresh, the diversity of crops under cultivation is amazing, the medical care is outstanding, construction of new buildings is booming, new cottage industries are emerging, the interest of local Guyanese in joining the American settlement is encouraging – and is non-controversial. The only political stand which Jones takes during the broadcast is his opposition to a proposal to grant sanctuary to people from South Africa who have been part of the apartheid system, but since that view echoes that of the leading Guyana newspaper, as well as the governments of Guyana’s closest neighbors, Venezuela and Brazil, he doesn’t run the risk of alienating his benefactors.
Date of transcription: 6/7/79
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 25, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B69-14. This tape was found to contain the following:
News of the day by JIM JONES specifically dealing with Rhodesia, followed by discussion of a lawsuit initiated by TIM STOEN and then a return to the topic of Rhodesia. A continuation of the news concerned such topics as Israel, the U.S. Africa Policy, the arrest of U.S. Embassay [Embassy] employee MARTHA PETERSON by the Soviets, Information about the arrest of 400 demonstrators at the United Nations in New York, and then a statement by JONES about revolutionary death.
The tape ends with an interview of JONES by an unidentified male individual regarding background information of Jonestown.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted May 2012