Q403 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 “7/15/78 News”

Date cues on tape: News items consistent with date on tape identification note

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:

Part 1
President Jimmy Carter
Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations

Sen. Richard C. Clark (D-Iowa)
Sen. John Stennis (D-Mississippi) [by reference]

Helmut Schmidt, German Chancellor
Andrei Gromyko, foreign minister of the Soviet Union
Benito Mussolini, Fascist leader of Italy

Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, foreign minister of Egypt [by reference]
Haile Selassie, deposed emperor of Ethiopia

Jerry Brown, governor of California
Harvey Milk, San Francisco supervisor

Muhammad Ali, prize fighter, member of Nation of Islam
Wallace D. Muhammad, leader of Nation of Islam
Natan Sharansky, US spy in Soviet Union
Alexander Ginzburg, Soviet dissident

Part 2
Sen. Edward Brooke (R-Massachusetts) [by reference]
Judith Hart, British Minister for Overseas Development
Hamilton Green, Guyana Minister of Health [by reference]

Huey Newton, leader of Black Panthers
M.A. Farber, New York Times reporter
Mario E. Jascalevich, New Jersey doctor tried for murder [by reference]
Theodore Trautwein, judge in Jascalevich murder case [by reference]

Bible verses cited: None


Jim Jones reads the news of the day to the residents of Jonestown.

Unlike many of his newscasts, the stories in this edition do not seem to come from Soviet Union or Eastern bloc news services. There is little anti-Western rhetoric in the coverage, and almost all of the editorial asides and commentary seem to come from Jones himself.

Nevertheless, the commentary is there, on virtually every item. Following a report of a court ruling that the press cannot go inside California prisons because of its potential disruptive effects, Jones pauses and adds: “Interesting. How could news people in USA who never print the truth create any kind of incidents?” In the course of the next item – a CBS report that majority of black teenagers think that the government of the United States should be destroyed – Jones notes that the story was first reported in the middle of night, when it’s safe to do so. Following the first line of the next item, that prize boxer Muhammad Ali is undergoing a tax investigation, Jones comments, “Oh, what did we expect differently? Obviously, because he had praised the Soviet Union and praised Cuba.”

Jones also uses one news item to expand upon his longtime conviction that nuclear holocaust is imminent. President Carter is reshuffling the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US armed forces because – according to Jones – the current leaders “said that nuclear war was unacceptable” and they do not “have the strength, the will to retaliate [in the event of] the nuclear war.” As Jones then adds, “We have a president, apparently, more willing to do the fascist will of the establishment of monopoly capitalism, big business, than even the military.”

As is the case with a number of newscasts, Jones reads one extended story. In this case, the story is on the history, geography, population, and culture of Ethiopia – now led by a Marxist military government which deposed a longtime ruler, emperor Haile Selassie – with a focus on the country’s relationship with a breakaway province/rebellious colony of Eritrea, and a denigration of the latter’s support from two antagonists of the Soviet Union, the United States and China.

Other news items include:

• The San Francisco black community considers a boycott of public schools
• San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk attacks police corruption in the city
• Proposition 13 effects on state employees begin to emerge
• US presses for release of Western spies from USSR
• US prepares to block trade agreements with USSR to protest treatment of Zionist dissidents
• SALT talks proceed

A second newscast – likely made later the same day – adds several more stories, with little commentary. They include:

• Senator Brooke divorce in public eye
• Police crackdown in Japan
• Reporter for New York Times arrested for refusal to disclose sources
• Guyana and China reach agreement on tile-making plant
• Caricom nations move towards metric system.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/26/79

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 5, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B100-12. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES gives U.S.A. and international news to people at Jonestown. This is followed by symphony music.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted January 2012