Q437 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 “Back Africa”

Date cues on tape:   Likely late August 1978 (refers to recent  election of Dominican Republic leader after August 16, 1978 election)

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
President Jimmy Carter
Henry Kissinger, National Security Adviser

Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Siegfried Buback, German attorney general murdered by Baader-Meinhof group (by reference)
Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor  of West Germany (by reference)
Lord David Owen, British Foreign Minister

Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, leader of Libya
Olusegun Obasanjo, leader of Nigeria
Kenneth David Kaunda, Zambian president
Brian Bunting, South African journalist and activist  (quoted)

Ernesto Geisel, military leader, President of Brazil (by reference)
Fidel Castro, leader of Cuba

Forbes Burnham, Guyana Prime Minister
Hamilton Green, Guyana Minister of Health and Labor
Vibert Mingo, Guyana of Home Affairs
Ptolemy Reid, Guyana Deputy Prime Minister

Part II:
President Jimmy Carter
Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State

Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Vladimir Ilich Lenin, father of Russian Revolution
Margaret Thatcher, leader of Conservative Party in Great Britain
Manea M?nescu, Prime Minister of Romania
Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister
Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia

Andreas Bernd Baader, leader of Baader-Meinhof group (by reference)
Ulrike Marie Meinhof, leader of Baader-Meinhof group (by reference)
Kurt Meyer, member of Baader-Meinhof group
Siegfried Buback, German attorney general murdered by Baader-Meinhof group (by reference)

Antonio Guzman, president of Dominican Republic
Forbes Burnham, Guyana Prime Minister

Mao Tse-Tung, leader of People’s Republic of China
Ferdinand Marcos, president of the Philippines
Imelda Marcos, wife of Ferdinand Marcos

Jonestown residents:
Part I:
Christine Lucientes
Kay Nelson
Clevyee Sneed

Bible verses cited:     None


(Note: This tape was transcribed by Kristian Klippenstein. The editors gratefully acknowledge his invaluable assistance.)

Jim Jones reads the news of the day in this undated tape; the date is likely from late August 1978. There are two parts to the tape, but in context, the second half was undoubtedly recorded later the same day.

As with most news tapes, the sources tend to be from Soviet or Eastern bloc news wires, with periodic references to the Voice of America. The news items tend to be more international in scope, and cover many more of the liberation and independence movements which were prevalent in the world during that period. Moreover, whenever the home country of the USA is mentioned, it is always put in a negative context.

There is editorial commentary throughout. Some of it is undoubtedly from the news sources themselves, but much of it comes from Jones. The United States is always capitalist and imperialist, its allies are always lackeys – an epithet which extends to any nation critical of Soviet policy – the motives of the west are always based in fascism and the motives of insurgents against existing governments are always fueled by desires for liberation and carried out with bravery and heroism.

Oftentimes it is hard to tell what the source of the editorial commentary is, although sometimes it is obviously from Jones. When noting the US had broken its pledge of “eternal unity and solidarity” in protecting Taiwan, for example, he notes that “the word of a capitalist does not matter. Capitalists would sacrifice their own mother or children to save their own ass in the finality.”

So too is the reference to thermonuclear war, which pervades most of Jones’ discourse throughout the Jonestown period. Nigeria may institute boycotts against Western products and – more importantly – cut off exports to the West, with disastrous consequences.  “USA is even willing to go to a thermonuclear war, because they cannot survive without bleeding and sucking the rich ore mineral deposits from all of Africa.”

The centerpiece of the tape – as with other news tapes – is a longer, more analytical piece, this one entitled  “Black Africa in the Balance,” which appeared in a leftist publication based in London. While it discusses several contemporary events in Africa, its point, as Jones reiterates more than once, is that “[US President Jimmy] came to Africa to strike a claim … for the right to influence developments on the continent comparable to that exercised by the former colonial masters.”

Among the news items:

• Members of the Baader-Meinhof group in Germany are sprung from prison in a daring jailbreak;
• The Red Brigade in Italy – a sister organization – remains active;
• The Japanese Red Army paralyzes the train system;
• Egyptian President Anwar Sadat suppresses dissent as he exercise his new dictatorial powers;
• Egypt foments war fever against Libya;
• Katangan rebels continue fighting in Zaire;
• South Africa may release a moderate black newspaper publisher;
• Ugandans kill an Israeli general;
• Congress may appropriate funds for Carter to spend on weapons in West Africa;
• China asks Vietnam to negotiate on the rights of Chinese citizens in that country;
• The new government of the Dominican Republic insists that military officers be removed from positions of political power and influence;
• Peru and Chile both experience internal turmoil;
• Sweden praises Soviet disarmament efforts;
• Elections are called off in the Philippines;
• Scotland demands independence from Britain;
• The Liberal and Labor parties go their separate ways in England, leaving the door open for Tory rule;
• The NAACP targets 146 congressmen for defeat in the upcoming election;
• The US refuses to sign the genocide treaty at the UN;
• The US charges North Korean interference with the South Korean naval fleet.

The only news item affecting Jonestown directly is worth breaking into the reading of the longer article: Jones receives word that Guyana will allow their medical supplies to enter the country duty free. He praises Guyana and says this is part of the nation’s pattern of standing up to the US. He points out that Guyana recently declined to accept money from the International Monetary Fund since – as Jones quoted Prime Minister Forbes Burnham as saying –  “it would’ve brought this country back under colonialism.”

The first half of the tape ends with a familiar exhortation for the people of Jonestown to study their current events in preparation for testing at the next People’s Rally, to turn in their ideas for saving money, and to describe “your reasons for guilt” that they would undoubtedly have after working for American companies or paying taxes in the States that funds weapons against black people. The second half ends with a simple expression of thanks.

FBI Summary:

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 1B100-41. This tape was found to contain the following:

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 January 2013