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 Audio Magnetics 60/ April 12 1978 Meeting #1
Date cues on tape : 12 April 1978 (notation on tape box, confirmed in context)
Public figures/National and international names:
Coleman (?? – with Guyana government or opposition)
Cheddi Jagan, Guyana opposition leader
John F. Kennedy
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Members of Griffiths family
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Dan (Could be Dan Kutulas, 51; Dan Marshall, 24; or Danny Moton, 21)
Griffiths (grandmother); could be Mary Magdaline (born in 1927), or Mae Kathryn (born in 1941)
Eugene Chaikin (speaks)
Janice Johnson Clayton (speaks)
Stanley Clayton (speaks) Mary Ford
Debby Jensen [Deborah Schroeder]
Clara LaNue Johnson (speaks)
Janice Johnson (speaks)
Marceline Jones (speaks)
Sandy Cobb Jones (speaks)
Maria Katsaris (not named , but unnamed woman sounds like her)
Larry Schacht (speaks)
John Victor Stoen
Bible verses cited : None
(The editors of this website thank Don Beck for his invaluable assistance in identifying some of the previously-unknown voices on this tape).
Recorded during a White Night probably in April 1978, this tape alternately shows the anger, fear, and isolation within Jonestown. Jones feels under attack due to the pressure from the Concerned Relatives and the absence of some of his supporters within the Guyana government from the country. The danger of a fascist coup growing within the USA adds more tension to the meeting.
The tape begins with Jones talking about being under attack for holding a child named Dana Truss. He says the community needs to make its decision about what to do, but he knows what he wants to do for himself: he’ll take Dana and John Victor Stoen into the jungle, get to America, kill some enemies, and then die someplace. He faces death as a reality, he says, and lives with it every day.
Even though the community needs to make up its own mind, the first commitment needs to be to the children. “If you’re not prepared to die for your children, you will not stand up for your children.” He says he will die for the communist collective, he will die for principle.
Much of the meeting is about Stanley Clayton, and about lust and sexual love within the Jonestown community. “And that’s trouble. It’s trouble here also. All you that are in love, it’s trouble.” In times of crisis, he says, you’ll make the wrong decision based on personal love. He returns to this several times: “you people won’t even rise above your vaginas and your dicks,” he says at one point. Later, he says, “we ought to cut the pricks off so we can have fried sausage at night. We’d be better off.”
One thing he can’t understand is why one young woman – Janice – insists on being with a loser like Stanley, instead of Dr. Schacht. Janice is berated over and again, but Stanley takes most of the heat. Part of Stanley’s problem is that he sleeps around, but Jones also says Stanley is the class enemy, because he dealt drugs in San Francisco. Jones says he can’t figure it out, and ends his angry lecturing of Stanley by breaking off and saying, “I’m ready to die.”
Jones’ point on infidelity and, by extension, lust is, “when you won’t be loyal to a woman, how in the hell do I know, what the fuck you’re going to do on the front line” of the coming war.
Others join in the attack on the wounded Stanley and Janice, sometimes to the point of hysteria. The crowd is angry enough that Jones has to tell them not to tear clothes, because we got to replace them. Provided, of course, they get through the White Night. Which they always do, he adds with sadness or bitterness. At the end of the tape, though, he muses, “Don’t I’d like for one to come and not pass.”
The residents are going to have to get on the radio and talk to their relatives. Jones want them to speak with gut. He wants it rehearsed so they get it right.
Marceline says she’s upset that no one reacted when Jim said he would die for the cause. Jones chides her gently, saying, it’s their lives, it’s their decision.
Jim says he knows what Stanley is thinking, but he wants to hear Stanley say it. He continues with the observation that everyone there is a burden to him, that he’s had to sleep with men and women he hated.
Dr. Schacht speaks up and says he wants to die a revolutionary death. “Life is shit,” he says, “except for socialism.”
One unidentified man says the reason Stanley sleeps with so many women is that he has to be homosexual. Jones picks up on that. Stanley admits to the feelings, and Jones says he’s proud Stanley made the admission. Jones continues that if women were smart, they’d be lesbian and Amazons. Then they’d be ready to fight a revolution. As it is, whenever there’s a man around, they go crazy.
This White Night – including Stanley Clayton’s long appearance before the community – is specifically mentioned in Edith Roller’s journal for April 12, 1978, in which she writes:”
One of the first matters taken care of was calling of Janice Johnson and Stanley Clayton on the floor. Janice had gone to Jim to tell him that she “felt sorry for Stanley.” It developed that Stanley had come to her begging her to give him another chance. It also seemed that she had not admired Larry Schacht’s physical type, apparently thinking highly of Stanley’s. Jim was aghast at her traditional female attitude. He tested Stanley’s intellectual interests by asking him questions on current events. Stanley’s mind was vacant on these subjects. I wondered what he and Janice found to talk about.
The White Night continues on Tape Q 636 through Q 639.
Date of transcription : 3/8/79
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 6, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B47 #80. This tape was found to contain the following:
This tape appears to be a recording of a “White Night” in Jonestown, Guyana and concerns efforts to counter a petition by former People’s Temple members to obtain custody of children named JOHN and DANA.
Tape consists of rambling discourse by JIM JONES and others on a variety of topics including a statement by JONES that he will sneak out of Guyana himself and take care of these enemies, a statement that JIM COBB (phonetic) and MIKE CANTRELL (phonetic) [probably Mike Cartmell] were violent Trotskyite Terrorists who had planned to bomb the Masonite Corporation until JONES heard about it and stopped it. JONES mentioned that a group of former People’s Temple members had delivered a signed petition to the People’s Temple in San Francisco to have the two children returned.
The bulk of this tape is a lengthy criticism of an individual named STANLEY, who apparently attempted to leave Jonestown and of his girlfriend JANICE for sleeping with him when he returned.
No mention is made in this tape of United States Congressman LEO J. RYAN, any visit by RYAN or any conspiracy to murder RYAN.
Differences with FBI Summary:
None specifically. As is the case with many others, though, the general problem with the FBI’s abstract is one of tone and passages selected for inclusion in the summary. The reviewing agent didn’t know enough about Jonestown to realize that the “Stanley” who was on the Jonestown floor for criticism was Stanley Clayton, one of the few survivors of November 18. Knowledge would also have allowed the agent to put the White Night into context, i.e., the fearful reaction of the Jonestown community to events which threatened its existence. There is nothing inaccurate or even misleading about the summary. And, to give the FBI’s point of view, the agency was looking only for those quotes or pieces of evidence that would bolster any prosecutions which the US government brought against the Temple. Nevertheless, the fact that key witnesses who remain alive are not recognized for who they are makes the account incomplete.
Tape originally posted February 1999