Q235 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 “6/2/78”

Date cues on tape: 2 June 1978 (notation on tape box)

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Adolf Hitler
former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
Assassinated Congo leader Patrice Lumumba
former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev
British Primer Minister James Callaghan
Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy
Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Tse-tung
Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko
Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro
Rhodesian leader Ian Smith
South African prime minister Johannes Vorster
Earl Browder, leader, Communist Party USA
Eugene Dennis, former general secretary, CPUSA
Peggy Dennis, widow of Eugene, author
William G. Foster, author
President Jimmy Carter
U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance
U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke (R-Mass.) (Part 2)
Gary, Indiana mayor Richard Hatcher (Part 2)

Jonestown residents:
Vernetta Christian

Bible verses cited: None


In this tape of poor technical quality, Jim Jones reads the news from a day in mid-May 1978, using Third World and pro-Soviet news services, and adding his personal socialistic and apocalyptic perspectives and analysis.

In reporting on the Italian Red Brigade’s assassination of Prime Minister Aldo Moro – whose kidnap ransom the Italian government refused to negotiate – Jones adds that the incident showed “capitalism’s disregard and total disloyalty to those who serve the great monster, the monolith of monopoly capitalism, finance capitalism or world imperialism, as embodied in the USA-controlled Trilateral Commission.” As for the kidnapping itself, Jones comments: “Certainly acts of terror or vendettas are to be held in disrepute by all Marxist-Leninists, but one must carefully decide when that which many apologists or revisionists would call terrorism borders on armed struggle that brings about proletarian, working-class revolutionary change.”

Later, critiquing a U.S. Supreme Court decision that news reporters could not protect their sources, Jones says the result would be that “no sources will be able to be kept secret, thus causing no one to step forward to ever tell of criminal actions taking place by the fascist government of US-financed capitalism, or as we know, imperialism.”

The international news Jones reports includes stories about Israel and the PLO; the trial of Red Brigade members in Italy; electronic bugs in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow; NATO vs. Warsaw Pact troop levels; the “so-called” human rights dissidents in Warsaw Pact nations; Euro-Communists serving as sellouts; the assassination of a Turkish ambassador in Spain; and SALT talks.

On the subject of Africa – as always, of special interest to Jones – he reports on the liberation of Chad; the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea; World Bank loans to South Africa; Somalian arms sales; fighting in Angola and Zaire; and Rhodesia.

On the domestic front, Jones reports on the Supreme Court decision on confidentiality of news sources and U.S. economics.

Following the news, Jones reads a lengthy review of a book about the history of the Communist Party USA, and again includes many editorial asides. In the course of discussing why the CPUSA must be strong, he relates the subject to the Jonestown community: “That is why, to avoid your utter destruction, materially of most of you, and murder of the rest, I brought you here to regroup, recoup, rehabilitate and gain strength, and militancy, and a proper education in Marxist-Leninism, which you had never picked up, even though I was avowedly, openly Marxist-Leninist and atheist.” In another aside, he predicts the “genocide and concentration camps in an outright fascist takeover [in the US], or the ultimate horror of nuclear war.”

Jones later characterizes the book’s lesson as something he had urged upon his own followers: “[T]his writer’s suggesting that no criticism be publicized to any degree of the Communist Party’s past mistakes, because this would only lend credence and flame the hatreds of communism, the anti-communist and anti-socialist feeling in the USA today.”

Jones adds a news bulletin later – probably even the same day – in which he says that President Carter was calling for the invasion of Zaire, although “[t]hat’s not his term.”

The newscasts were recorded over an older tape from Jonestown, and a few minutes of the previous recording remain. In the earlier segment, Jones laments the “terrible waste” of food at Jonestown, which he describes as “criminal.” Not only are people starving around the world, he says, but more specifically, the waste takes away resources that could be used to bring more people to Jonestown.

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 toU.S. Officials in Guyana and subsequently transported to the United States.

On May 29, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B70-21. This tape was found to contain the following:

A lecture by JIM JONES on international politics and U.S. imperialism.

Differences with FBI Summary: None

Tape originally posted May 2000