Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “6/25/78”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with identification note
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security advisor
Josef Stalin, former Soviet dictator
Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire
Patrice Lumumba, assassinated Prime Minister of Zaire
Ernesto Geisel, president of Brazil
Henck Arron, prime minister of Suriname
Forbes Burnham, Guyana Prime Minister
Charles Garry, Temple attorney
John Stockwell, author, former CIA agent
Phyllis Chaikan, aka Phyllis Bloom
Dick Grubbs, aka Ken Norton
Lynetta Jones (by reference)
Larry Schacht (by reference)
Bible verses cited: None
There are a number of things on Jim Jones’ mind as this tape opens – Guyana is under siege from unfriendly neighbors like Suriname and Brazil, Peoples Temple is under attack in the U.S. through lawsuits and parties seeking to seize its property – but Jones makes these announcements as if they are minor irritants or, more likely, demonstrations that the people of Jonestown really need to develop more money-making ventures to ensure their own survival.
Indeed, in a departure from many of the tapes from this period, Jones speaks of very specific improvements that the community’s leadership is proposing, and of the million dollars which they are willing to spend to do it. There will be more and better food. There will be more single family housing, with two existing dorms being converted into a geriatric hospital and a theater. They have plans for a new library and a new sports field.
Even as a building expansion seems to loom on the horizon, Jones discusses a proposal through which people would be able to structure their work days that would result in fewer, instead of more, hours in the field. This increased leisure time and personal space would likely result in more sexual encounters. That doesn’t bother him – also a departure from other pronouncements – although the potential number of new pregnancies does, and he urges closer attention be paid to birth control methods.
The impetus for this planning seems to be a pending influx of Temple members from the States, a year after the mass migration of 1977. More than 100 people are on their way, he says, about a third of the anticipated population increase.
The motivation behind this growth seems to be an effort at consolidation. The Guyana’s government difficulties with its neighbors to the east illustrates what role Jonestown has had in reducing the nation’s previous run-ins with the country on the west. “Our presence here as US citizens in solidarity is a deterrent to any intrusion … by Venezuela on this Guyanese territory. So we have great security in Guyana and great purpose.” That security and purpose allow them to think about expansion.
Similarly, the growth would show how wrong the critics and defectors back in the States are. “They will become their own worst enemies when we are gone, and we’ll leave them no purpose, their lives are empty, their greatest curse to them is to be left alive, to face their own conscience,” Jones says. “[They] counted on us killing ourselves and then probably killing them. But we do not operate that way. We are interested in building, lighting candles, not cursing darkness.”
The bulk of this tape consists of a reading of a dense article on revisionism versus dogmatism within the new communist movement, with equally impenetrable commentary and attempts at relevance to the Jonestown community offered by Jones. He also offers a few news items concerning CIA interference in nations around the world (especially Africa), increases in US military spending, and both federal and state cutting of social programs. But he says he does not wish to elaborate upon these latter items, “because I want you to understand the concept of dogmatism and revisionism. I broke it down in such a way that I think you could understand it.”
Date of transcription: 6/25/79
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 6, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B100-35. This tape was found to contain the following:
JAMES JONES speaking about administrative matters in Jonestown, i.e. work schedules, leisure time activities, production, construction, and schools.
News of the day and commentary by JIM JONES.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted June 2012