Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue: Unidentified individuals speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Audio Magnetics 60/ April 12 1978 Meeting #6
Date cues on tape : 12 April 1978 (notation on tape box, confirmed in context)
Temple defector and Concerned Relatives organizer Elmer Mertle
Joe Mazor, Concerned Relatives private investigator (by reference)
Temple members not on death or survivors’ lists:
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Anthony (several in Jonestown)
Chris (numerous in Jonestown)
Steve (probably Addison)
Momma Taylor (three elderly women named Taylor- Virginia (84), Lucille (80), and Lillian (72) – but none aged 97
Bible verses cited: None
(Note: This tape was one of the 53 tapes initially withheld from public disclosure.)
While portions of a Jonestown community meeting (or meetings) take up a substantial part of side two of this tape, much of it is unintelligible and impossible to place in context, given the combination of radio interference and popoular music tracks that overwhelm the conversation(s).
In a short segment near the beginning of side two, Jones presides over a community in crisis. Armed members of the security team have apparently been dispatched to the front gate of Jonestown, and phone calls are going back and forth to Georgetown to see how much trouble they’re in and how soon it’s coming.
Jones says the relatives of Jonestown’s residents are the ones responsible for the pressure against them, since they’re the ones who signed the petition of charges against the community and delivered it to the Temple’s door in San Francisco. “You don’t know how many of them are in [the petition],” Jones says. “Damn near everybody’s relatives is in the fucking petition.” Either repeating a quiet question, or posing it rhetorically, Jones asks what the relatives are trying to accomplish, and then answers: “Push the government on us, so we’ll all die. Get us killed.”
And while some people may believe the Concerned Relatives are after Jim Jones, he adds, the fact is that one leader of the opposition has declared that he wants to “destroy” the whole Temple movement. “That’s you,” Jones tells the community. “That’s not Jim Jones. That’s you.”
After a silence of several minutes, the tape picks up again with a meeting rendered almost incomprehensible under music. The conversation seems to revolve around what names people are using on the phone, whether they give their full names, and whether they mention Jim Jones. There are other snippets about relatives in the States and the people from other churches who were left behind. The tone of the conversation is alternately angry and defensive, especially as several young women try to explain themselves, but the action they took which landed them in trouble is unknown.
Date of transcription: 3/15/79
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 5, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B47-85. This tape was found to contain the following:
Side “A” is totally blank.
Side “B” contains an unidentified male, apparently talking to some people. He mentions PAULA ADAMS and the fact that they did not believe in white knights [White Nights]. He infers the end could be near. The remainder of the tape is foreground music with inaudible background conversation.
Differences with FBI Summary:
Aside from the fact that the “unidentified male” listed in the summary is Jim Jones — an oversight the transcribing agent may have made due to the fact that the tape was reviewed early in the process, and he/she might still have been unfamiliar with Jones’ voice — the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted September 2003