Q243 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: Jones speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “10/13/78 Suicide 10/14/78”

Date cues on tape: October 1978 (notation on tape box, confirmed in context)

People named:

Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Joe Mazor, detective hired by Concerned Relatives
Elmer & Deanna Mertle, aka Al & Jeannie Mills

Jonestown residents:
John Victor Stoen

Bible verses cited: None


In this short tape, Jones urges the people of Jonestown to follow his teachings and obey the rules. Adherence to the rules will keep people from falling into harm. He says that a boy that went into the jungle three times — thereby violating the rules — is back again with a temperature of unknown origin. He adds that the boy should be glad it was the Temple that found him and not the bounty hunters that are out there.

And they are out there, he emphasizes. They won’t come into the community, and they won’t do anything in the daytime, but they’re there, waiting to take people back to the States.

Jones talks about Joe Mazor, a detective hired by the Concerned Relatives who came to Guyana and lurked in the jungle for a week. Mazor had a mortar trained on Jonestown, and was “ready to kill as many as he needed to kill, to get however few back to the United States he could get.” But then he saw the smiling faces of the children and the seniors, and “he knew he’d been had,” that the Concerned Relatives had lied to him. What did Mazor see when he looked into Jonestown, Jones asks later in the tape. He saw a “new look, Father’s look.” That’s what had protected them, and made Mazor decide to join forces with the Temple instead.

The protection Jones offered extended to animals as well. Surrounding communities had lost animals to tigers, but none of the Jonestown animals had been attacked. “I say that’s a miracle.”

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 1B70-30. This tape was found to contain the following:

Lectures by JONES re the physical surroundings of Jonestown, world current events, and the ramifications of personal suicide and subsequent reincarnation.

Differences with FBI Summary:

However short and general it may be, the FBI summary seems to be describing a different tape. There is no lecture — it has much more of a casual conversational tone than a “lecture” — there is nothing about current events, and there is no mention of suicide or reincarnation. The physical surroundings of Jonestown are mentioned only in passing, as a jungle to be avoided for the members’ own safety.

Tape originally posted May 2000