Q241 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 “Aug 27 News”

Date cues on tape:   Contents of tape consistent with label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
President Jimmy Carter
former President Richard Nixon
John Kennedy, assassinated US President (by reference)
Benjamin Civiletti, deputy attorney general
Michael Blumenthal, treasury secretary
G. William Miller, Federal Reserve Board chairman
Sen. Robert Kennedy (D-NY), assassinated presidential candidate (by reference)
Sen. John Stennis (D-Mississippi)
Sen. George McGovern (D-South Dakota)
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations


Nelson Rockefeller, former governor of New York, U.S. Vice President
William Baxley, attorney general of Alabama (by reference)Hua Kuo-fenj, chairman of Chinese Communist Party
Leonid Brezhnev, Communist Party General Secretary, USSR
Vice Admiral Vladimir Sidorov, commander of USSR Baltic fleet
Gustáv Husák, leader of Czechoslovakia
Alfredo Nobre da Costa, Portugal prime minister (by reference)

Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India
Jomo Kenyatta, president of Kenya

César Augusto Sandino, Nicaraguan rebel, namesake of Sandinista National Liberation Front (by reference)
Anastasio Somoza Debayle, President of Nicaragua
Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero, son of Nicaragua President (by reference)

Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana
Ptolemy Reid, Deputy Prime Minister of Guyana
Samuel Day, Guyana housing administrator
Richard Butts, Guyanese attorney
Peter Britton, Guyanese attorney
Odell Adams, Guyanese attorney

Francis Jay Crawford, International Harvester corporate businessman (by reference)
Gary Thomas Rowe, FBI informant
Viola Liuzzo, slain civil rights worker
Alger Hiss, Accused spy for the Soviet Union
Hayward Lucas, reported victim of police brutality in Buffalo

Malcolm X, black activist with Nation of Islam
Martin Luther King, slain civil rights leader
James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Martin Luther King
Huey Newton, leader of Black Panther Party
Johnny Larry Spain, member of Black Panther Party
Preston Collins, tailor of Huey Newton, allegedly beaten
Kathleen Smith, prostitute allegedly murdered by Newton
Kenneth Hall, alleged assault victim of Huey Newton
Bill Kelsay, Municipal Court judge in Newton trial
Robert Heard, Huey Newton bodyguard
Nathaniel Jackson, inmate who committed suicide at Santa Rita prison
Angela Davis, University professor, black activist
Belva Davis, San Francisco TV reporter
John Van De Camp, district attorney of Los Angeles (by reference)

Don Freed, author and screenwriter
Mark Lane, Temple attorney
John V Moore, Methodist superintendent, father of Jonestown residents


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


Jonestown residents:
Jim McElvane


Bible verses cited:             None


Jim Jones reads the news for August 26, 1978.

As with most of the news tapes from this period, Jones seems to rely upon news wires from the Soviet Union and its allies for his information. The coverage is more international in scope – and with greater emphasis on liberation struggles – than most US news sources, and the choice of adjectives in describing various nations of the world shows a pro-Soviet tilt, even if the anti-US rhetoric is considerably reduced as compared to other contemporary tapes.

Nevertheless, there remains some commentary, some of it reiterated several times. After reporting on efforts to indict an FBI informant/agent for the murder of a Freedom Rider during the 1960s, Jones expresses his “doubt as to likelihood of conviction in the right wing climate and racist climate of USA in this hour of this day.” After returning to observations about the “right wing mood” within the US two more times, he summarizes what their own reaction to that American mood should be: “We do have the blood on our hands too, and we can’t wash away the spots, but we can compensate and make up for those years by building a haven, a sanctuary for people who are harassed.”

Another theme – not unique to this tape by any means – is his repeated invocation of the approaching holocaust. He declares “that China hopes to bring about … nuclear war,” although this is as much an exaggeration stemming from the Soviet Union’s sense of tension with its Communist neighbor to the east. He describes a model resort city built in the Soviet Union as including “underground shelters for the potential or likelihood of nuclear holocaust.” He quotes a Soviet scientist as saying “he is not sure that the world will be able to avert nuclear disaster, but all steps must be taken by peace-loving people.” There are other references as well.

Finally, there are object lessons that Jim Jones takes from the news and applies to the people of Jonestown. After reporting that President Carter is vacationing in Idaho “to get away from the humdrum of civilization,” Jones reminds his followers that “[w]hat we have every day is such an experience, to get away from it all, and we should appreciate this wonderful vacation.… We should constantly work to make it possible for others to enjoy this great land of plenty and freedom.”

As with many tapes, there are a couple of longer stories featured here. One is a block of stories highlighting scientific, technical and even architectural innovations within the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. A second feature is on “the new Iraq,” a story which attributes much of its recent success to its warm relations with the Soviet Union.

Among the news stories Jones covers:

• NAACP protest police brutality in Buffalo
• Alabama seeks indictment of FBI agent in murder of Freedom Marcher
• US sell part of gold reserve; Carter concerned with falling dollar
• Carter vacations in Idaho
• Disgraced President Nixon polls higher than Carter
• DC Statehood initiative faltering
• James Earl Ray charges FBI conspiracy in Martin Luther King assassination
• Soviet leaders meets with Czech counterpart
• USSR criticizes Japan-China treaty
• German Baader-Meinhof gang escapees elude recapture
• Sandinistas take control of parliament building in Nicaragua, demand prisoner release
• Earthquakes damage Costa Rica
• Brazil loses one-third of coffee crop
• Union of South Africa attacks Namibia
• Chinese leader calls for coalition of socialist, Third World and non-aligned nations
• Carter rejects call for intervention in Cambodia
• Huey Newton goes on trial; Black Panther member seeks reduction in sentence
• Alameda County grand jury declares prison facility inadequate
• Guyana condemns US for manipulating sugar market
• Man accused of forging Guyana passport fails to appear for trial
• Guyana government investigates fraud by officials
• Guyana and Cuba lauded as leaders for revolutionary change in Latin America


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 1B70-28. This tape was found to contain the following:

Twenty-six minutes of news briefings by Reverend JIM JONES.

Differences with FBI Summary:

Other than the fact that the tape is closer to 45 minutes in length, the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted January 2013