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: One Certron C-60/April 13 meeting
Date cues on tape: 13 April 1978 (notation on tape box confirmed in context)
Public figures/National and international names:
- Moms Mabley, comedienne
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Danny (last name unknown; may be related to Beams)
Kenny (last name unknown)
Richard (last name unknown)
Robin (last name unknown; may be related to Beams)
Virginia Arrends (by reference)
Jack Arnold Beam
Jim & Terri Cobb
Robert & Nadyne Houston (by reference)
Colleen Leigan (phonetic)
Wade & Mabel Medlock (by reference)
Alice Small (phonetic)
Tim & Grace Stoen
Jackie & Marvin Swinney
Temple members not in Jonestown:
- Moms Mabley
J.J. Tummells (Phonetic)
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
- Anthony (numerous Anthony’s in Jonestown)
Diane (numerous Diane’s in Jonestown)
- Steve Addison (speaks)
Brian Bouquet (speaks)
Walter Cartmell (speaks)
Joel Cobb (speaks)
James "Reb" Edwards
Shirley Hicks (speaks)
Ava Jones (speaks)
Nancy Jones (speaks)
Stephan Jones (speaks)
Carol Kerns (speaks)
Irene Mason (speaks)
Eva Pugh (speaks)
Joyce Touchette (speaks)
Mike Touchette (speaks)
Michelle Touchette (speaks)
Harriet Sarah Tropp
Janet Tupper (speaks)
Mary Tupper (speaks)
Rita (probably Tupper)
Greg Watkins (speaks)
Bible verses cited: None
(The editors wish to thank Don Beck for his assistance in identifying some of the voices on this tape.)
“Just tell us, what do you think should be done with your relatives?” While Jim Jones does not speak those words until midway through the second side of the tape – although the tape starts with the Jonestown community meeting in progress, so he might have issued the invitation earlier – this is the theme of the gathering. One by one, people come forward to the microphone, talk about what the church has done for them or their relatives, tell how the relatives then betrayed the church, and then describe increasingly graphic ways of killing them. The more well-known traitors – among them, the Stoens, the eight defectors from Ukiah, the Medlocks – also are tortured over and over with words. As one elderly woman says, the enemies of Peoples Temple “don’t know who they’re messin’ with.”
Jones acknowledges at one point that this is fantasy – “I might try to save ’em if I got down to it, but at least it helps you to talk about it” – and provides the therapy of laughter. Nevertheless, the tension in the community is omnipresent and not far below the surface. A woman who murmurs a dissenting opinion about relatives being burned up in a church finds herself as the target of derision. Another man who tries to stay awake by jogging in place receives a tongue-lashing. Even a member of the security staff who voices some of the criticism of the jogger finds himself having to explain himself.
Mixed in with the fantasies are their direct opposite, that is, descriptions of real events, things that happened to people who did cross the church. A woman says her daughter didn’t treat her well and wanted her mother to turn from Jim Jones. Because of that, the mother says, one of her granddaughters – one of her daughter’s daughters – died. “And so she got it,” the woman concludes.
One woman points out that they’ll never be able to satisfy the relatives back home. The people in Jonestown got on the radio for a press conference, but the relatives in San Francisco said the people in Jonestown weren’t really their relatives, so now they want to come. Later, Jones says if anyone sounded like strangers, they were the relatives in San Francisco asking their questions. “They talk about brainwashing,” Jones says. “You oughta heard them. They were brainwashed so much, they sounded exactly like each other.”
Those who committed injustices against the church and their relatives in Jonestown are not the only ones singled out for scorn. Others include people who heard Jim Jones speak and didn’t join Peoples Temple. “[I]f they had a chance to hear and to know the truth of socialism,” one unknown woman says, “[then] as far as I’m concerned, if they’re not here, they’re just like anybody else, they should die just like any other person who is foolish enough to stay in the same ass backwards situation.”
Date of transcription: 3/16/79
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 March 16, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 35, 1B47. This tape was found to contain the following:
JONES: …but we’re not sure about shooting that airplane (laughter from others)
JONES: … “How much shit can you take and reason with people, and reason and show mercy with them for bring em and entertain em and still do crap.
Temple Member: “MICKEY should die. I’m tired of living because of all these White Knights [White Nights].”
Temple Members discuss how to torture and kill (very graphic descriptions) their non-Temple members and former members who have left.
JONES agrees to the suggestions and to keep his blood pressure down it should be done slowly.
JONES: “Or been a deviate like STONE [Stoen] going around wearing women’s clothing”… COREEN LEGINS (phonetic) is back there… indicating that she could be used as a tool to get things (?) done?
Differences with FBI Summary:
Tape originally posted October 2000