Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
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FBI Catalogue Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Tracs 60/ April 15 meeting
Date cues on tape: Spring 1978; Tape contents consistent with note
Ava (likely Inghram, could be Jones)
Bruce (likely Bruce Turner) (speaks)
James (several in Jonestown) (speaks)
Karen (several in Jonestown) (speaks)
Sharon (likely Amos, but several in Jonestown)
Marceline Jones (speaks)
Bible verses cited: None
The people of Jonestown are taking votes on how relationships within the community should be governed, i.e., when a man and woman can live together, or when they would have – as Jim Jones puts it – “the privilege to live apart.” Nevertheless, as Jones also says early in the tape, “[i]t’s wonderful to talk about in theory, but I don’t know how in the hell in practice we’re going to be able to enforce it.”
The meeting has been going on for some time when the tape begins, and everyone is tired. As he tries to move people to take a final vote, Jones points out that it’s almost three in the morning, there are still 14 people who want to talk, and at this rate, he won’t be in any kind of condition the next day when the Russians come for a visit.
The bulk of this relatively short tape is a discussion on what to do following the collapse of a relationship between two people, and more specifically, whether the community should require a period of abstinence for some period. Bruce initially volunteers to be celibate for six months – “impossible,” one voice from the crowd calls – and even when he suggests reducing it to three, Jones is doubtful. “I don’t know how you can take a guy from where he’s at, and put him in three months like that,” he says, then adds later, “I’m not wanting to torture him. And I don’t think he’s emotionally up to going three months without companionship.”
Karen has agreed to the split and freed Bruce. Of course she would, Marceline Jones points out, after he has stood there for a while saying he doesn’t want her. Bruce has been using women for a long time, Marceline says, and “I think the sisters in here have a duty to help him emancipate himself, and I don’t want to see any of you chasing him.” Jim Jones doesn’t quite see it that way, saying that he doesn’t “trust some of these women” not to contribute to his delinquency.
The meeting ends with Bruce agreeing to the three-month period of celibacy, with the caveat – proposed by Jones – that if he finds himself weakening, he will return to the community for reconsideration.
Date of transcription: 3/6/79
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 1, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B47 #44. This tape was found to contain the following:
A general discussion between JONES and his followers on the topic of male/female relationships and the plausibility of each pair living separately until a pregnancy occurred.
This tape was reviewed, and nothing was contained thereon which was considered to be of evidentiary nature or beneficial to the investigation of Congressman RYAN.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted May 2013