Q189 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 “6/15/78”

Date cues on tape:   Contents of tape consistent with label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
President Jimmy Carter
Vice President Walter Mondale
Robert Strauss, U.S. Trade Representative
Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany
Giovanni Leone, former president of Italy
Aldo Moro, former prime minister of Italy
Sen. Amintore Fanfani, prime minister candidate in Italy
Leo Tindemans, Belgium Prime Minister (by reference)
Margaret Thatcher, leader of Conservative Party in Britain
Lord David Owen, British Foreign secretary
Juan Carlos I, King of Spain (by reference)
Sophia Margarita Victoria Frederika, Queen of Spain (by reference)
Francisco Franco, former dictator of Spain
Josip Broz Tito, president of Yugoslavia

Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister (by reference)
Emmanuel Erskine, leader of UN peace-keeping force in Lebanon
Ali Yassin, PLO leader in Kuwait

Huang Hua, China Foreign Minister

Ian Smith, prime minister of Rhodesia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Patrice Lumumba, assassinated Prime Minister of Zaire
Jomo Kenyatta, president of Kenya

Laurence “Bonny” Mann,  Guyana Ambassador to US

Frances Jay Crawford, American businessman arrested for espionage in USSR
Martha Peterson, US embassy official accused of crimes in USSR
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, executed U.S. spies
Ralph Nader, consumer activist
Don Freed, US playwright, author who visited Jonestown (by reference)

Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Debbie Blakey
Tim Stoen

Jonestown residents:
Jann Gurvich
Larry Layton
Lisa Layton

Bible verses cited:             None


While broken up into several distinct recording sessions, this news tape was likely recorded in a single day. Each segment begins with a few announcements and observations about visitors coming to Jonestown, traitors who have left Jonestown, and press reports about Jonestown.

In the first segment, for example, Jim Jones relays information from Guyanese officials that the recently-defected Debbie Layton Blakey has sided with Tim Stoen and is telling “horrible” stories about them. He then notes that both American Embassy officials and a television network have essentially contradicted what the critics have said, and the Guyana government is standing behind Jonestown as well, so they have nothing to worry about. On balance, then, the news is good, which likely accounts for Jones’ tone of voice, ranging from matter-of-fact to upbeat.

Jones does remind the Jonestown community, however, that neither they nor Guyana itself will ever be shed of their “unforgivable sin” of being socialist, of standing up to the United States, and – in Peoples Temple’s case – of expressly rejecting the American way of life in favor of creating their own society.

Nevertheless, throughout the tape, Jones issues his usual exhortations to work hard, produce more, and waste nothing. In addition, his tirades against the “conspiracy” resurrect his incredulity of its perfidy and vicious lies that would undo what Jonestown seeks to do.

For these reasons – as Jones says in a later segment – the people of Jonestown need to remember how to act around their guests and what to say in answer to any questions they might have. They might be asked about guns (they have none), food (they have plenty), and general happiness (just remember to “uphold the community”). After all, even if the visitors seem friendly, “you never know who is exactly in your midst for sure.”

These commentaries and admonitions notwithstanding, this is primarily a news tape, covering a wide range of subjects. The news services seem to be either Soviet or Eastern Bloc in origin – the United States and its European allies are consistently described as fascist, imperialist and capitalist; on the other hand, China is characterized as a renegade regime, teetering close to the “criminal capitalist element” – although some of the commentary undoubtedly comes from Jones himself. During an item about China rolling out the red carpet for “the fascist representatives of Spain” – that country’s king and queen – Jones alters the image. “It should be called the yellow carpet,” he says, “[the] yellow cowardly carpet of sell-out and appeasement.”

Among the items covered in the news portion of the tape:

• The Italian president resigns following a financial scandal;
• The Israeli prime minister may be forced to resign over his hard line stance on South Lebanon;
• Lebanon censors six of its major newspapers;
• The PLO leader in Kuwait is assassinated by the CIA;
• The International Red Cross is called upon to bury bodies in Zaire;
• The war escalates in Rhodesia, but the British government says Ian Smith will have to negotiate;
• Kenya establishes a new school honoring its freedom fighters;
• The Belgian prime minister seeks emergency powers to cut spending;
• The British Labour government survives a no-confidence vote;
• A US businessman is arrested in the USSR on espionage charges;
• Cambodia continues a purge that has already cost 100,000 lives;
• Vietnam expels ethnic Chinese;
• Protestors from the Dutch-held Mallacan Islands occupy buildings in their bid for independence;
• President Carter calls for lifting of an arms embargo against Turkey;
• Carter plans a trip to Panama to sign the new treaty;
• The US and India sign a pact on nuclear technology;
• The dollar falls against the Japanese yen;
• The Supreme Court ruling on press freedom leads the Carter administration to vow protection;
• A US official says doctor and lawyer fees are “outrageously high”;
• Ralph Nader accuses the airline industry of benefiting from corporate socialism.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/14/79

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 1B69-15. This tape was found to contain the following:

JAMES JONES speaking on administrative matters, i.e. keeping the place clean, planting shrubbery, and “tightening the belts” because of the conspiracy in the United States against People’s Temple.

The remaining portion of the tape was JIM JONES’ reading of current events and world-wide news.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted June 2012