Q199 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 “6-11-78 News”

Date cues on tape:            News items consistent with tape label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
President Jimmy Carter
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Gerald Ford, former US President (by reference)
Richard Nixon, former US President (by reference)

J. Edgar Hoover, former director of FBI
L. Patrick Gray, former director of FBI
W. Mark Felt, former FBI official
Edward Miller, former FBI official

Leo McCarthy, California State Senator

Leonid Brezhnev, Communist Party General Secretary, Soviet Union
Josef Stalin, former Soviet dictator
Andrei A. Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister
Andrei Alexandrov, chief of Brezhnev’s personal staff

Walter Scheel, President of West Germany
Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of West Germany

Huang Hua, Foreign Minister of China (by reference)
Chiang Kai-shek, former president of Republic of China
Chiang Ching-kuo, president of Republic of China (by reference)

Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia by reference)
Saud bin Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister
Mohammed Siad Barre, President of Somalia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia

Forbes Burnham, Guyana Prime Minister

Roy Wilkins, head of NAACP, alleged FBI agent
Jesse Jackson, head of PUSH, alleged FBI agent (by reference)
Martin Luther King, slain civil rights leader
Coretta King, widow of Martin Luther King

Douglas Chang, liquor store owner
Steve Nelson, liquor store owner
Shin Quan Yim, liquor store owner (phonetic)

Jonestown residents:
Lynetta Jones
Gabriel Thomas

Bible verses cited:             None


As with many news tapes from the summer of 1978, this tape features one lengthy article of commentary, numerous shorter news bulletins, and a few familiar instructions – in the form of admonitions – to the Jonestown community.

As is also the case in most of the tapes, much of the news comes from unnamed sources. Here, however, Jones does credit part of the news as being from the Guyana Broadcasting Station, at one point noting that “there’s a strong socialist content to today’s broadcast” from the network. The reference makes it seem as though it’s a regularly-used resource.

The featured piece from an unknown publication centers on the complicated relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. There are editorial comments throughout the piece, although it is sometimes difficult to tell which comments are in the article and which come from Jones himself. The continued references to Saudi Arabia as a “fascist reactionary regime,” for example, could easily be Jones’, since it is typical of the rhetoric he employs to describes American allies. The representation that the Saudis feel that tensions in the Middle East “could bring confrontation between the Soviet Union and USA, and bring nuclear war,” is more likely that of the Temple leader, and certainly the conclusion of the passage – “he said nuclear war would be preferable than to living under atheistic communism, godless communism” – is almost undoubtedly Jones. (There are two places, however, where Jones allows that an editorial aside is his.)

The reading is laced with language such as this. The Soviet Union is always portrayed as the avant garde liberator, the United States is always a war-mongering bully driven by the profit-making motives of its puppet masters in the Trilateral Commission, Western allies are labeled as fascist, and mainland China is denounced as a renegade. Jones sums up much of his thinking at the end of a piece on small business owners being forced out of their livelihoods: “What they called free enterprise is a hypocritical lie. USA is a monopoly capitalist nation, where only a few white ruling families have the control, and also control the destiny of billions of people across the world, and cause two out of three to go to bed hungry every night, with our tax dollars raining napalm down upon black people, Asian people, and the poor of the world.”

As elsewhere, he shows the relevance of the news to Peoples Temple. Following a story of the IRS issuing new restrictions on tax-exempt organizations that report views of political candidates, he adds, “We were too effective in that arena, and they’re afraid I guess others will. You can see some of these laws are aimed directly at Peoples Temple.”

Among the topics covered in this tape:

• The US seeks to breaks is economic relationship with Taiwan
• The US and China interfere in Zaire
• The US and Cuba, and the US and USSR, trade charges on meddling in Africa
• The illness of Leonid Brezhnev has profound implications for world leadership
• Italians vote on two referendums on powers of police and political parties
• Guyana Prime Minister Forbs Burnham pushes for passage of new constitution
• Three top FBI officials are indicted
• Roy Wilkins of the NAACP is alleged to be an FBI agent
• The Los Angeles taxing agency was instrumental to the success of Prop 13 at the polls
• Small liquor store owners react to California court decision on fair trade laws
• The belief in astrology and UFOs is on the rise in America

The newscast concludes with his reminder that people are responsible for keeping Jonestown clean, and failure to do so has severe consequences. Not only would non-compliance result in fewer fresh fruits and meats coming to the community, “every time you waste food, every time you break something, every time you neglect this people’s property, you are killing someone.”

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 1B69-25. This tape was found to contain the following:

Sunday news by JIM JONES to include topics

1. Taiwan
2. Mainland China and Zaire
3. U.S. aid to Saudi Arabia
4. Strategic Arms limitation talks
5. Italian elections
6. Prime Minister FORBES BURNHAM
7. IRS
8. California Proposition 13
9. Fair-trade laws
10. UFO
11. FBI
12. USSR
13. Saudi Arabia
14. FBI/ROY WILKINS relationship

The tape concluded with an announcement by JONES re the pending visit of a news group.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted May 2012