Q219 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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FBI Catalogue: Miscellaneous

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “10/31/78 Entertainment”

Date cues on tape:     October 31, 1978 (note on tape box verified by tape contents)

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Lyndon Johnson, former U.S. president
Robert McNamara, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Dean Rusk, former U.S. Secretary of State
Maxwell Taylor, U.S. Army general and ambassador to S. Vietnam
Gen. William Westmoreland, U.S. Army general in Vietnam


George Jackson, imprisoned Black Panther
Amiri Raraka, poet
Victor Jara, Chilean poet, composer of song sung in Spanish

Walter & Charlotte Baldwin, Marceline Jones’ parents
Temple attorney Charles Garry
Peter Elsass, Danish filmmaker visiting Jonestown (speaks)

Jonestown residents:
“Jonestown’s Moms Mabley,” likely Bertha Cook (speaks)
Marthea Hicks (sings)
Marceline Jones (speaks)
Diana Wilkinson

Bible verses cited:      None


[Editor’s note: The editors of this site are grateful to Luis Ángel González Rocha for identifying and documenting the song “El Derecho de Vivir En Paz,” which was composed by Chilean poet Victor Jara, and performed on this night in Jonestown.]

This evening of entertainment in Jonestown consists principally of music, with some comedy, poetry, and dramatic readings added to it. Most of the songs performed by the Jonestown Express are covers of songs by, among others, Sam Cooke, the Jackson 5, Natalie Cole and Joe Cocker – sometimes with slight alterations to give them a more political message or to include references to Guyana, Jonestown, and Jim Jones – although there are one or two songs which may be original to the group. The dramatic readings are unabashedly political: a miner speaks of miserable working conditions, a political prisoner speaks of the inability of the “pigs” to shackle his mind, and a computer technician resists the effort to alter statistics from the Vietnam War to justify the slaughter and show a path to victory.

There are several guests in attendance, including Marceline Jones’ parents and a Danish documentary producer. The latter speaks briefly at the end of the tape about the experience of the people of Jonestown, who work in a socialist community rather than just talk about it.

In introducing the producer, Marceline mentions that her husband would like to be with them that night, but he has been sick and suffered a heart attack a few days before, “but we know that he’s going to be all right.” She continues that Jonestown would not have been possible if it hadn’t been for Jim Jones’ vision, sacrifice and tenacity to see it through. “I am indeed so grateful to say that I have lived to see Jonestown,” she tells the crowd, which responds with warm applause.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/11/79

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 28, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B70-5. This tape was found to contain the following:

A recording of an entertainment session in the People’s Temple at Guyana.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted March 2008