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 “9/20/78”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with label
Jimmy Carter, President of US
Gerald Ford, former president
Nelson Rockefeller, former vice president
John F. Kennedy, assassinated president
former Sen. Robert Kennedy, assassinated senator
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Rep. Louis Stokes (D-OH)
David Boren, Democratic candidate for Oklahoma Senate seat
Ed Edmondson, defeated Democratic candidate for Oklahoma Senate seat
Ed King, Democratic candidate for Massachusetts governorship
Mike Dukakis, governor of Massachusetts
Griffin Bell, U.S. Attorney General
James Schlesinger, U.S. Secretary of Defense
Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State
Ray Marshall, U.S. Secretary of Labor
Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt
Menachim Begin, prime minister of Israel
King Hussein of Jordan
Steve Biko, South African political prisoner
Johannes Vorster, prime minister of Republic of South Africa
Pretoria’s Chief Magistrate Marthinius Prins (phonetic)
Anastasio Somoza, President of Nicaragua
Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana
Cheddi Jagan, leader of People’s Progressive Party, Guyana opposition party
Janet Jagan, wife of Cheddi Jagan
Robert Corbin, First Vice Chairman of PNC
Rashleigh Jackson, Guyana Minister of Foreign Affairs
Martin Luther King, American civil rights activist
James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of King
Alexander Eist, London police inspector involved in Ray case
Coy Dean Cowden, witness in Ray case
Thomas Wilson, witness in Ray case
Frank Rizzo, mayor of Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Representative Algea Dumas
Philadelphia Councilwoman Ethel Allen
Georgie Woods, radio announcer, anti-Rizzo activist
Pennsylvania Representative Davey Richardson, anti-Rizzo activist
Philadelphia Councilman Lucien Blackwell, anti-Rizzo activist
Milton Street, housing activist, anti-Rizzo activist
John Bunting, President, First Pennsylvania Corporation
Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of John Kennedy
Mark Lane, Temple attorney
Donald Freed, author and screenwriter
John Moore, United Methodist minister
Carlton Goodlett, San Francisco physician, newspaper publisher
Larry Schacht (by reference)
Bible verses cited: None
(Note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Jim Jones reads the news of the day. Among the items he covers:
• The Camp David talks, including snags between Egypt and Israel, the U.S. Secretary of State’s trip to the Middle East to promote the accord, and the Soviet reaction to it;
• Congressional debates of legislation for tax relief for low income Americans, and the natural gas bill;
• Police and firemen on strike in several American cities;
• A medical study on the effects of alcohol;
• A House committee hearing on the assassination of Martin Luther King;
• Protests in Philadelphia against mayor’s attempt for third term and police brutality.
He devotes the greatest amount of time to a lengthy article in a Guyana newspaper about a new Arab socialist democracy in Western Sahara, which includes a brief history of the region and of the struggle for liberation. The account includes much editorializing, although it is hard to tell whether that comes from quotes from African sources, from the newspaper, or from Jones himself.
More apparent are the editorial asides Jones makes about other items, especially when he draws familiar parallels or repeats familiar lessons. In his first reference to strikes by public safety workers, for example, he declares, “This is an encouraging sign when the law enforcement, which are always willing to do the dirty work of the oppressor, are beginning to realize that they’re being used.” He then adds his belief which is as apocalyptic and it is well known: “But it’s too late, because the buttons of the nuclear bombs are in control of the madmen of capitalism.” He follows a later story related to another strike by police officers with a prediction that, “You’ll soon see the army in the streets and the concentration camps set up, and they’ll just as soon put the police in the concentration camps as they will black, Asians and Indians.”
Some news items give Jones an opportunity to remind the people of Jonestown why they have the rules and prohibitions that they do. In the course of his tribute to Steven Biko – and his blistering attack both on the Union of South Africa’s apartheid policies and the U.S.’ support of it – he berates people for buying sandwiches or a piece of candy, and for going to the movies. When they do, he says, they “paid taxes that went into . the tax fund that helped to torture this brave-looking young man.” When they don’t work hard to produce in Jonestown, they reduce the community’s ability to assist black liberation struggles around the world. “[B]ut some of you are so lazy and have no black pride at all.. [Y]ou do nothing to try to make conditions better. you set on your duff and do nothing.” There is only one conclusion he can draw: “You are as bad as the killers of Steve Biko.”
More than any other message Jones has for the taped newscast is how much better life in Jonestown is than life in the States and – by extension – how foolish anyone would be to want to return. After reading the story of police brutality in Philadelphia, he exclaims, “This is horror. We should be so grateful that we’re in a place of peace where our little children can’t grow up to be in gangs and drugs and be beaten by thugs and end up in jail as all black youth do now by seventeen.” Similarly, after the report of ineffective protests against the administration of that city’s mayor, he cries, “That’s your USA. That’s your USA that you glorify.”
The tape ends with an exhortation to study the news, to understand what it means, and, most importantly, “to stand up for Peoples Temple and this great new community which can protect you from all harm.”
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 1B93-57. This tape was found to contain the following:
Reverend JIM JONES presenting news of world events to the People’s Temple members at Jonestown.
This tape was reviewed and nothing was contained thereon which was considered to be of evidentiary nature or beneficial to the investigation of the murder of Congressman RYAN.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted May 2009