Q196 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 “25-Sept-78”

Date cues on tape:     News references consistent with identification

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Richard Nixon, former President
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security advisor

Adolf Hitler
Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda
Victor Jara, Chilean singer

Former Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) (by reference)
Sen. James S. Eastland (D-Mississippi)
Sen. John Stennis (D-Mississippi)

Wallace Muhammad, founder of Nation of Islam
Elijah Muhammad, longtime leader of Nation of Islam
Louis Farrakhan, then recently-appointed head of Nation of Islam
Muhammad Ali, professional boxer, follower of Nation of Islam

Hal Becker, behavioral scientist at Tulane University
Robert Hodes, professor of neural physiology, fired by Tulane in 1953
Ethel Rosenberg, executed U.S. spy
Julius Rosenberg, executed U.S. spy
Paul Robeson, American black actor, musician, activist

George Orwell, author of 1984
Horatio Alger, 19th century author
Daniel Ellsberg, Defense Department worker who leaked Pentagon Papers
Alexander Pushkin, Russian author

Adim Adalita Medina [phonetic], Puerto Rican nationalist
Thomas E. Engel, assistant US attorney, New York
Imari Obadele, President of the provisional government of the Republic of New Africa

Edward Hanrahan, Cook County Illinois State Attorney
Bernard Carey, Cook County Illinois State Attorney
Donald Freals [phonetic], Chicago police officer
Wallace Davis, victim of police shooting
John Johnson, victim of police shooting
Fred Hampton, assassinated Black Panther party leader
Mark Clark, assassinated Black Panther party leader

Benjamin Chavis, member of Wilmington Ten
Wayne Moore, member of Wilmington Ten
Connie Tindall, member of Wilmington Ten
Marvin Patrick, member of Wilmington Ten

William Kunstler, lawyer associated with radical causes
Mark Lane, attorney
Don Freed, author and screenwriter

Jonestown radio code:
Mrs. White (likely code for “final White Night”)

Jonestown residents:
Johnny Brown
Luna Murral Buckley
Phyllis Chaikin, aka Phyllis Bloom
Sharon Cobb
Donald James Fields (by reference)
Tom Grubbs
Pat Grunnett
Judy Ijames
Norman Ijames
Samuel Johnson
Eliza Jones
Stephan Jones
Tim Jones
Wanda King
Carolyn Moore Layton
Carolyn Looman
Diane Louie
Mary Love, aka Mary Black
Christine Lucientes
Annie Moore
Dale Parks
Odell Rhodes
Harriet Sarah Tropp
Al Tschetter

Bible verses cited:      Sodom and Gomorrah (numerous references throughout Bible)

Babylon (numerous references throughout Bible)


(This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

The first half of this tape is a news tape, with Jim Jones reading the news of the day, but then he turns to issue a series of instructions and stern warnings to the Jonestown community.

The news items include:

• Wallace Muhammad leaving his post as the head of the Nation of Islam
• The arrest of a Puerto Rican independence activist
• The denial of a new trial over trumped-up murder charges for the president of the Republic of New Africa, a black separatist group
• The decision of a Chicago prosecutor not to prosecute a police officer who shot two black men
• The release of two members of the Wilmington 10 on parole and the efforts to pardon all ten

As with other news tapes, Jones includes many editorial comments, with some coming through the news services which he uses as his sources of information – principally Soviet bloc in origin –  and some being his own. For example, the report that Wallace Muhammad’s resignation followed “serious charges and corroborations” that he had been with the CIA during his years with the Nation of Islam likely came through a news service. The description of Muhammad as being among “these evil Judases” is likely Jones’.

The daily briefing also includes a lengthier article about a scientist who is developing ways to plant subliminal messages in shoppers’ brains, and the potential for abuse in using the same technology to call upon whites to kill blacks or socialists. The scientist first rose to prominence during the McCarthy era of the 1950s, when he denounced a colleague at Tulane University who had spoken out against racism and Jim Crow laws. The colleague was fired, Jones said, and after a six-year self-imposed exile, returned to the US a broken man, and died shortly thereafter.

There are a couple of lessons from the article for the people of Jonestown, which undoubtedly comes from Jones. The ability to plant these subliminal messages demonstrates how technology has developed faster than people’s ability to fight it. “US has too much technology,” he says. “Technology is out of hand. … But that’s the certainty that we face. That’s why we must get as many people out to freedom as we can.”

The other is a theme that echoes through the balance of the tape: “People talk about going back to the US today, going back to make changes. You must be out of your loving mind.” The Jonestown suggestion box has apparently yielded several  requests to consider returning to the States, and Jones chastises the people who submitted the proposals. Rather than writing to their relatives to encourage them to come to Jonestown, they have disobeyed Jones and instead want to go back. “Now you have lost protection for the time being, and you must see the results of that in your own life,” he warns. “I lift my protection from you, so that you might learn.”

There are numerous other topics from the suggestion box that Jones addresses, spending several moments on each. He discusses the questions that people have raised about emigrating to the Soviet Union, especially the concerns about how black people would be treated in “what is appeared to be a white culture,” and even more especially since there are places in Africa where they could go instead. Jones talks about the advantages that the Soviet Union has over Africa, the privileges and freedoms they would have. He then adds that there are 50 nationalities in the USSR, many of which are black. As a result, he says, “racism as a problem has never been noted…. There is no anti-black feeling within that socialist community.”

Jones also issues a demand to the medical staff, although it is unclear whether this follows on a submitted suggestion or something he himself has noted. As part of his guarantee that all the people in the community have proper health care, he wants “full physicals done on everybody in this place.” These need to happen quickly, he says, and insists that the medical staff train others to become “barefoot doctors” – a concept he says he has discussed in the past and that he eventually raises in two later tapes, Q 359 and Q 309 – whereby, as he says here, “even lay people can be trained in simple diagnostic work.”

Another issue discussed without context – he doesn’t describe the circumstances or identify the person – Jones warns against “ever [using] my name as an excuse for not working when I haven’t said one damn word to you, not giving you one instruction to do one damn thing to me.… [Y]ou better not quote my name unless, by God, you know what you’re dealing with.”

There are other instructions as well – adults should treat children with love, respect and affection; in order to teach Russian to the people of Jonestown more quickly, language tapes should be played over the PA system when Jones himself is not talking; people should not be afraid to review the decisions they have already made – and Jones issues them with a combination of threats and praise. In an illustration of what some surviving Jonestown residents describe as a mantra of the final months, to continually step up the pace of productivity and output, Jones reports on the praise of the medical clinic that he has heard from outsiders. But as good as it is, he says in the next breath, “it is no excuse for us not to be doing the best job in the world. Though we do a good job, we need to be doing the best job in the world.”

The other recurring theme is Jones’ continuing reports of his own infirmities and illness, and how he rises above them. He has a temperature, he says early in the tape, but “I continue with my work and writings, or getting some preparations for memoirs that’ll be later used for the glorification of this community, and I work, and I’m on this telephone carrying business with the radio on every minute, and go out from time to time to stroll to see how people are doing their work.” Later, in castigating the disorganization and wasted time of others, he says, “By God, I push myself when I’ve got a temperature of 104 and 105, and I want to get the hell out of this damn lethargy and running around in circles and get our ass together.” The subject comes up several more times in the hour long tape.

FBI Summary:

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 26, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B69-21. This tape was found to contain the following:

News of the day talk by JIM JONES regarding topics such as:

1. Nation of Islam

2. Work/discipline problems in the community

3. Tulane University in New Orleans and subliminal message experiments by HAL BECKER

4. Joint FBI/U.S. Postal Inspector arrest of MEDINA

5. Republic of New Africa

6. Conduct of people when guests visit, specifically JONES opined the people take advantage of the visit to do less work

7. Mosquitos [Mosquitoes]

8. Physical examinations/barefoot Doctors


Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted December 2009