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 “6/10/78 News”
Date cues on tape: News items consistent with tape label
President Jimmy Carter
Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State
Admiral Stansfield Turner, director of CIA
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan
Ferdinand Marcos, president of Philippines
Emmanuel Erskine, commander of UN peace-keeping forces in Lebanon
Mobuto Sese Seko, president of Zaire
Ian Smith, prime minister of Rhodesia
Johannes Vorster, prime minister of Republic of South Africa
Huey Newton, leader of Black Panther Party
Paulette Cooper, author of The Scandal of Scientology
Greg Layton, spokesman for Scientology
Virgil Roberts, attorney for Cooper
Paul D. Rheingold, attorney for Cooper
Harry Shorten, publisher of The Scandal of Scientology
Wade & Mabel Medlock
Bible verses cited: None
This news tape from early June 1978 follows a familiar pattern for the people of Jonestown. There are news bulletins, most of them taken from news feeds from the Soviet Union and European countries (in this case, though, with a notable exception of a longer piece from The Washington Post); there are a few announcements and instructions to the community, almost all inspired by a story in the news; and the tape concludes with a longer commentary.
This day’s lengthiest piece from an unattributed publication looks over the seven-year-old publication history of a book attacking Scientology. The publication led to threats and intimidation against the writer, lawsuits and counter-lawsuits, and numerous other efforts to stop distribution of the work. The article includes commentary, and while some of it is Jones’, other remarks are not so clear, as when he says Scientology is under attack because the church “has revealed how high the Nazi influence goes in the police work of USA, USA Customs, Treasury Department, and the police of the entire world.”
Jones’ praise for Scientology’s response is definitely his own, as he applauds the church’s tactics, and suggests the Temple look into the ideas to see how they can be adopted for their own use. Commenting upon a settlement to one suit that precludes the author from writing more on Scientology, Jones adds, “That’s what it helps to put people on the goddamn defensive. Let’s think about this, our attorneys and our staff here.” After reporting on the rumor that Scientology went through libraries on the East Coast and removed offending pages from a number of books, Jones applauds the action: “Well, if they did, bless them for trying to cut away the lies.”
Jones offers comments on the earlier news stories as well, most of them quite well known by the Jonestown residents. After reading the first item on the tape, Jones not only chides China for its anti-Soviet stance on a number of foreign policy issues, but charges that “It’s been China’s policy for years that nuclear war was going to take place, sooner or later, and it is now evident that China is trying to provoke that nuclear war.” He returns to the subject less than five minutes later, following another story concerning the “renegade” nation: “China was trying to provoke World War III. A nightmare for our people in the United States, in which the living would envy the dead.”
At another point, following one attack on the capitalist system, Jones reminds the community of how safe everyone is in Jonestown, under socialism, under his protection. “[W]e’re a thousand strong to guarantee you medical care and food resources – the greatest guarantee we have – [and] division from within is the only thing that can ever hurt us,” he adds, before offering yet another prediction of “nuclear annihilation that would turn all US cities into flaming dust bowls.”
Among the news items on the tape:
• A former Pakistani prime minister appeals his death sentence;
• The US and Britain express concern over Soviet build-up in Angola;
• Israel reneges on its promise to withdraw from Lebanon;
• Mercenaries from several countries – including the US and China – will fight liberation efforts in Zaire
• Ethiopia attacks the breakaway province on Eritrea;
• Prison riots shut down a Spanish prison;
• The US government is building concentration camps;
• An accident in West Virginia that claimed 71 workers’ lives is blamed on the lack of safe working conditions, and on the corporations priority of profits over consideration of its workforce.
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 1B69-20. This tape was found to contain the following:
JAMES 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 May 2012