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 60 min Compact cassette/ April 12 1978 Meeting #4
Date cues on tape : 12 April 1978 (notation on tape box, confirmed in context)
People named :
Public figures/National and international names:
Mrs. Chambers, mother of murdered sons in East Bay
Moms Mabley, black woman comedienne
Charles Garry, Temple attorney
Hamilton Green, Guyana Minister of Health, Housing and Labor
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Elmer & Deanna Mertle (aka Al & Jeannie Mills)
Grace & Tim Stoen
Temple members not on death or survivors’ lists:
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Jack (probably Beam) (speaks)
Jeff (several in Jonestown)
Kenny (Kennard Wilhite or Kenneth Bowie)
Laura (probably Johnston)
Lillie (probably Lillie Victor)
Mary (numerous Mary’s)
Patty (probably Cartmell)
Ruby (3 Ruby’s in Jonestown)
James “Reb” Edwards
Lee Ingram (speaks)
Janice Johnson (speaks)
Marceline Jones (speaks)
Laetitia Leroy (speaks)
Annie McGowan (speaks)
John Victor Stoen
Joyce Touchette (aka Carol Joyce Swinney)
Bible verses cited : None
Jim Jones touches on the familiar themes that have characterized the White Night: the desire to get back at their enemies, the sense of betrayal in the actions of former members, the underlying social “evils” of the racist US system, the strength of the Jonestown community to stand together as one, and the commitment to die if all else fails.
In the course of talking about problems with a Temple member named Kenny, one woman speaks of the allegations of child molestation against him. Jones points out the difference between a socialistic society like Jonestown and US society. “If you’re a child molester, we don’t isolate you, we just say, you’ve got a sickness in a certain area. We recognize you’re good. In the United States, you’re done. They lock you up, and put you away forever.”
Jones later goes through a lengthy differentiation between spontaneous speaking in a public forum, and answering questions. At the end, he asks, how many understood that? He then directs the classes in socialism to “better get them to know Jim Jones. Then maybe they might get to know socialism.” He concludes the thought with, “Know how I think. Then you’ll automatically be a socialist.”
Jones talks about getting the enemies, about the need to get one down to Jonestown for a public trial. After a moment’s hesitation, he adds, not a black enemy, but a white one. Some of the black ones are worse, he says, because they’ve suffered under whites and should know what Peoples Temple is fighting for. But he wants a white person to stand trial. He points out that no one in Jonestown should have any prejudice against race, whites against blacks, or vice versa. “Anybody treatin’ white people bad here ought to have their ass kicked.”
Jones says he knows these things because he studies his mind, he knows what’s behind his thoughts, and he’s trying to train his followers.
Jones singles out Deanna Mertle – even over Grace Stoen, who is a more public target, one they talk about more – as the person who should be tried for her betrayal. Vengeance is not the rule of law in a communist society, Jones says. Principle is.
Someone offers Jones some brandy. He says he doesn’t really want to get drunk, because getting drunk stops his feelings for the community, and “I love you too much” to stop being concerned about the protection of Jonestown. Still, he does start to drink, and soon becomes joyous. Everyone else does too. He acts drunk, although periodically his remarks are sober. In the course of his drunkenness, he tells a woman to laugh at his jokes, or she’ll have to fuck in front of the crowd; a man to laugh, or he’ll go on Learning; another man to laugh, or Jones will kill him.
The Attorney General is after them, Jones says, but he isn’t worried, because Temple lawyer Charles Garry is on the case. The community is also worried about Larry Schacht, the Jonestown doctor, getting his license to practice medicine.
Jones disparages the statements of the Concerned Relatives, and says they have everything wrong. Yolanda Crawford says Jones fucked her, and he didn’t; Grace Stoen says he didn’t fuck her, and he did. How else did Grace become pregnant with John Stoen, he asks rhetorically, through immaculate conception? Marceline adds that John Stoen looks more like Jim Jones than Tim Stoen.
Amid the serious talk of the White Night, there is laughter about Patty (probably Cartmell) coming into Jonestown, because she’s always complaining that whenever she comes to Jonestown, it’s in a White Night. On a more serious note, though, Jones reminds the community of the time they repulsed a military attack, staying up seven days and nights. He is also concerned about the status of his order to buy a large boat which would help them escape if necessary. In the meantime, he defies anyone to come in arrest them. “We’re all here, all thousand of us. Try to arrest us. See if you got big enough paddy wagon.”
Jones also sobers long enough to talk to Tish – Laetitia Leroy – about the accounting department getting the tax returns out through Jonestown before April 15. He wonders what will happen if they don’t make it out; will their checks be blocked?
Jones returns to the theme of being drunk. He asks for something to eat to ameliorate the effects of the alcohol, but says he feels guilty when he eats. He can’t get too drunk, he says, or he can’t protect the people. “I wish White Nights quit when I got drunk, but they won’t. If they did, I’d get drunk from now on forevermore.” He also promises that everyone will have a good drunk before the final night.
FBI Summary :
Date of transcription: 3/7/79
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 2, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B47 #83. 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 by the People’s Temple to obtain information via the shortwave radio in order to obtain certification for the camp doctor to pratice [practice] medicine.
This tape consists mainly rambling discourse by JIM JONES on a variety of topics including the taking of poison; an investigation by the United States Attorney General in order to return the children; statements by JONES as to his belief in violence and of force of arms; statements about paternity of the STOEN child; a statement relative to contacting the Soviet Union seeking asylum if need be by the People’s Temple; statement concerning the purchase of a 350 ton ship for escape purposes; a statement that TIM STOEN most deserved revolutionary justice. JONES is drinking brandy throughout the recording and frequently mentions his poor state of health. Several references appear on the tape to JONES having his blood pressure taken. Unintelligible radio traffic is heard in the background throughout the tape. Tape is replete with profanity.
No mention is made on this tape recording of United States Congressman LEO J. RYAN, or a visit by RYAN to Jonestown, Guyana, or any conspiracy to murder RYAN.
Differences with FBI Summary : None (see note on tape 635).
Tape originally posted May 1999