Q231 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).
To return to the Tape Index, click here.

FBI Catalogue            Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “6/6/78 News”

Date cues on tape:            News items consistent with tape label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
U.S. President Jimmy Carter
Former President Richard Nixon
Former President John F. Kennedy
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Adm. Stansfield Turner, head of CIA


Sen. John Stennis (D-Mississippi)
Rep. Charles Diggs, founder of the Congressional Black CaucusAldo Moro, former prime minister of Italy
Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia

Ptolemy Reid, Deputy Prime Minister of Guyana

California Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally

Karl Marx, German economist
Charles Dickens, English novelist
Art Young, American cartoonist and writer
Woody Guthrie, American songwriter
Steven Spielberg, film director
Cyril M. Kornbluth, science fiction writer
Frederick Pohl, science fiction writer


Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Tim Stoen
Wade & Mabel Medlock


Temple members not in Jonestown/ not on survivors’ or death lists:
Chris Lewis
Jonestown residents:
Tom Grubbs
Christine Lucientes
Kay Nelson
Cleyvee Sneed


Bible verses cited: None


This news tape from early June includes the reading of two lengthy articles constituting the second half of the tape.

The first article is a critique of a Maoist embrace of the figure of Jesus Christ as a revolutionary figure, a critique that Jones not only applauds but expounds upon on several occasions, to the point that it is difficult at times to know if the Temple leader is the reader or commentator. The theme of the piece – “The Christian gospel of brotherhood became the foundation for the ideology of class collaboration, and dissatisfaction with the realities of life was assuaged with the promise of a more rewarding hereafter” – is likely from the writer, and the rejection of the term “Lord” to describe “God” is likely Jones’, but the correction of Maoists could be either.

The second commentary from an unidentified periodical – which could be the same source as the first commentary – is a more fundamental attack on astrology, superstition, religion, and all other pseudo-sciences as diversionary from the class struggle. Science fiction in particular “serves to promote the political values and social urgencies of monopoly capitalism. That it does so frequently in the guise of pure entertainment or sheer speculation on what the future might bring… merely makes it more difficult to spot at times. “

Using the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a point of departure, the article points out how the seeming-fantasy reinforces class-, intellectual-, sexual-, and Western-oriented biases, yet the description of the movie as an “opiate to divert the people’s attention from working-class problems in USA and imperialist expansion of US monopoly capitalism in such places as Africa” is undoubtedly Jones’.

Still, Jones can’t escape his previous representations as having paranormal power. Right after saying – or reading – “Let us get out of our minds all references to stars, religion, superstition, signs and symbols,” he adds,  “I am a scientific socialist. I do have an extra dimension of materialism in my mind that enables me to heal, to protect.” He then seems to take responsibility for an earthquake in Los Angeles the previous day, saying that he had to get some of their enemies in that area  “to think.” Later, almost as an aside, he reminds people that he is a “representative” of an extraterrestrial intelligence.

There are several announcements scattered through the tape, mostly in the forms of exhortations to work harder, not to waste anything, to come up with more ways to earn money. Using almost identical language twice – and on other tapes as well – he says, “if we don’t do these things, if we don’t work … we are killing someone, literally killing someone that could get to freedom, ‘cause every time you waste, you’re cutting off somebody’s chances to be free.”

Although not voiced as often as his pleas for stepped-up production, or his encouragement for people to stay on top of the news, Jones does urge people who are frustrated or confused or upset with something going on in the community to bring the concerns directly to him. He hates the back-biting and the criticism for criticism’s sake – just as he dismisses “soft-soaping false praises” as inconsequential – “but direct criticism helps us grow, and we’re glad to receive it at any time… We will be alerted to be able to defend ourselves against our enemy by those who criticize constructively.”

Among the news bulletins of the day:

• Chinese forces amass on the Vietnamese border
• Chinese advisers, Moroccan troops bring mischief to in Zaire; CIA alleges Cuban involvement
• Zimbabwean liberation leaders dismiss Soviet threats to continent, appeal to West to leave Africa alone
• Guyana accuses the CIA of meddling in the Caribbean
• US black magazine says 50% of black leaders in US under criminal investigation
• Leaders of Red Brigade in Italy arrested for execution of Aldo Moro


FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/27/79

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 29, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B70-16. This tape was found to contain the following:

News and commentary by JIM JONES. The news included topics such as:

1. China/Viet Nam Border Conflict
2. CIA
3. Shah of Iran
4. FBI illegal activities
5. Guyana
6. Zaire

It was noted JONES stated that he had “Close Insights with Red Brigade Activities”.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted May 2012