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 “11/13/78 News”
Date cues on tape: November 13, 1978 (specified)
Alfred Hugenberg, German political figure of 1930s and 40s
George Bernard, German newspaper editor in 1930s
Heinz Paul [phonetic], German political candidate in 1930s
Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania
Kenneth Kaunda, President of Zambia
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Hafez Assad, President of Syria
Hassan al-Bakr, President of Iraq
Golda Meir, Israeli leader
Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli leader
Saad Haddad, Lebanese officer
Sami Chidiak, Lebanese officer
Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India
Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India
Anastasio Somoza, President of Nicaragua
Augusto Pinochet, President of Chile
U.S. President Jimmy Carter
former U.S. President John K. Kennedy
Sen. James Abourezk (D-South Dakota)
Rep. Leo Ryan (D-California)
Rep. Robert Carr (D-Michigan)
Rep. Thomas Harkin (D-Iowa)
Rev. Ralph Abernathy, president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Archbishop John Quinn of San Francisco
Mark Lane, author and Temple attorney
Rep. Leo Ryan (D-California)
Bible verses cited: None
(Note: This tape was one of 53 tapes initially withheld from disclosure.)
Four days before the arrival of Rep. Leo Ryan – and five days before the deaths in Jonestown – Jim Jones reads the news to the Jonestown community.
He begins with an account of an incident in Weimar Germany, when members of the fledgling Nazi Party threatened and then beat an opponent. For people who think it couldn’t happen in America, he adds, consider what is going on in Westchester County, New York, “where race riots are now taking place.” He says he himself would have resisted the attack, but described himself as “an eccentric … with a warped mind” to put himself in that position. The account includes a few of his own editorial comments, like adding “nigger” to the list of people whom the Nazis considered enemies of the state. He also repeats the warning that “people fail to see what history is, and those as we say so often who do not study history are doomed to repeat it,” and concludes the reading with the comment, “When will we ever learn?”
The stories about news of the current day include:
• Aftermath of the Camp David peace agreement;
• Protests, demonstrations and riots against governments in Iran, Ireland, Spain and Peru;
• Tensions between the African nations of Uganda and Tanzania;
• Indira Gandhi’s trip to London;
• Malaya’s refusal to grant asylum to Vietnamese refugees;
• Expulsion of a US-Arab student from Israel;
• Sedition trials in South Africa;
• Courts martial in Lebanon; and
• Meetings between Iraqi and Syrian leaders.
The Temple leader makes numerous editorial comments throughout the reading, although most have been repeated enough that they are familiar to the Jonestown population. He refers to Israel several times as “Zionist” and wonders why the people of Israel – who now occupy Palestinian territories – “did not learn from their own pain in Germany.” When he describes the unrest fomented in the world by the CIA, he notes that the agency is supported by “our tax dollars.” And, after one dismal news story, he adds, “This is the condition of the world we live in this day.”
There are two references to the impending visit of the congressional party headed by Leo Ryan. Early in the broadcast, Jones tells the Jonestown community that “[t]heir forces are not as large as first estimated,” but continues to insist that “we have the right to use all reasonable force to keep anyone out of our premises that we do not wish here.” At the end of the tape, he describes Ryan – as he has before – as a supporter of the Pinochet regime in Chile, then offers the “good news” that the Soviet Union has promised to “make Jonestown an international issue, if this congressman comes in against our will.”
The newscast ends, as most of them do, with a plea to stand true to socialism, and a call for sacrifice. His final words of the night are also typical: “I love you very, very much.”
Date of transcription: 6/13/79
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 June 1, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-56. This tape was found to contain the following:
News and commentary, November 13, 1978, by JIM JONES. During JONES’s commentary, he states, “There is no news upon the arrival of those who threaten our community. Their forces are not as large as first estimated. We are assured that we have the right to use reasonable force to keep anyone off our premises that we do not wish here.”
At the conclusion of the news and commentary, JONES states, “Stand true to socialism, it requires much sacrifice. I am preparing to make great sacrifice. I know what it requires.”
In addition, there are portions of the tape which have inaudible voices.
It is noted that JONES mentions that Russia will make an issue out of RYAN’s visit to Jonestown should the visit be against the will of Jonestown.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted March 2008