Q260 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 “News Oct 10”

Date cues on tape:     Contents of tape consistent with date on tape label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
President Jimmy Carter
Rep. Charles Diggs, Jr. (D-MI)
Rep. Charles Diggs, Sr. (D-MI) (by reference)
Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State


James Callaghan, Prime Minister of Great Britain
David Owen, Foreign Minister of Great Britain
Margaret Thatcher, leader of Conservative Party in Great BritainEnrico Berlinguer, leader of Italian Communist Party
Leonid Brezhnev, leader of Soviet Union
Marshall Josip Broz Tito, President of Yugoslavia
Louis de Guiringaud, Foreign Minister of France (by reference)

Moshe Dayan, Israeli foreign minister
Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania
Anwar Sadat, Egyptian president
Elias Sarkis, President of Lebanon (by reference)
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Johannes Vorster, Prime Minister of South Africa (by reference)

Huang Hua, Foreign Minister of China (by reference)

Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana
Salvador Allende, former President of Chile
Anastasio Somoza Debayle, Nicaragua President

Byron Barber, New York Times reporter (phonetic)


Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Tim Stoen


Bible verses cited:      None


(Note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

This tape consists of two parts: Part 1 is a short undated announcement from Jim Jones that some residents of the Jonestown community are going into Georgetown to file affidavits against Tim Stoen in support of their defamation suits against him. The detractors thought Jonestown would fall apart, Jones says, but it hasn’t and it won’t. The message ends with an exhortation to step up production and continue to prove the detractors wrong.

In Part 2, Jones reads the news of 10 October 1978, and offers periodic commentary. Among the news items he spends a little time with:

• US and Rhodesia seek all-parties conference
• Arab reaction to Camp David
• British military aid to Zambia
• South African government rules out black majority rule
• Shaky ceasefire in Lebanon
• Resignation of US arms negotiator
• Chinese envoy meets with Italian and British leaders
• Charles Diggs, convicted of kickbacks, surrenders congressional duties
• Top censored news stories of the year
• Somoza’s refusal to resign leadership of Nicaragua


The newscasts are serious business for Jonestown residents, as Jones himself notes at one point early in the tape. While it is unclear what he has just seen, he interrupts himself to call out, “Better stop and listen to the news. Don’t turn me off. It’ll hurt you. It’s you that has to take five extra days of classes if you fail.”

As is the case with many of the newscasts from this period, Jones relies upon Soviet wire services for most of his information, although he also quotes BBC on occasion. Most of the editorial comments are his own, though, and most of the comments have become familiar to the people of Jonestown. He refers to both Rhodesia’s prime minister and Nicaragua’s president as “dictators” and their governments as “fascist”, he calls the Camp David accord between Egypt and Israel a “sell-out,” he attaches the word “imperialist” to almost every mention of the US or a Western European power, and he praises the Soviet Union as the “avant garde” of world liberation.

Other comments seem to be more spontaneous. After reading an item noting the US need to support the South African apartheid government, he adds, “That’s true. That’s why US will do anything. They’ll murder half of black Africa, if they could, to be able to save it so they could exploit its minerals.”

He interjects a couple of comments about Rep. Diggs’ surrender of his congressional duties. While his conviction was a “sad thing,” it is also illustrative of the racism in the US, because “every white Senator does the same thing and does it even more atrociously.” A moment later, he blames the conviction upon the climate of the times. “His father [Rep. Charles Diggs, Sr.] before him was a congressman and was treated in the same way but there was more black solidarity in those days and his father beat off the charges… Where is the solidarity of our people?”

He also raises the specter of nuclear holocaust as punctuation marks to two unrelated stories, expanding upon it more on an item of growing Chinese influence in the world. “China is basing her entire doctrine [Doctrine of Three Worlds], you know, on the absolute fact that nuclear war will come, and she knows that US has no underground shelters. So USA will disappear from the face of the earth.”

Even as he closes the newscast, he offers one more indication of why the people of Jonestown should never want to return home. After describing the Nicaraguan government’s dependence on the US for survival, he concludes, “But that’s USA imperialism. There’s no longer any guessing about it. You can just see it acting right out in the open. US fascism is no longer subtle. It’s as open as the air that we breathe.”

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 30, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-6. This tape was found to contain the following:

A recorded message to the workers at Jonestown to step up productions and the news of the day by JIM JONES.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted April 2008