Q644 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

To read the Tape Transcript, click here. To listen to MP3, click here.
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FBI Catalogue: Tapes Not Summarized

FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Certron C-60 / April 12 1978 Meeting #10

Date cues on tape:  February 16, 1978 (Edith Roller’s journal)

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Griffin Bell, U.S. Attorney General (by reference)
Part 2: Mahatma Gandhi

Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Stanley (either Stanley Gieg or Stanley Clayton)

Jonestown residents:
Carl Barnett
Angela Connesero (by reference)
James Edwards (“Reb”)
Isaac Edwards
Lee Ingram (speaks)
John Harris, aka Peter Holmes (speaks)
Stephan Jones
Chuck Kirkendall
Patty Parks
Versie Perkins
Chris Rozynko
Al Simon
Kivin “Freeze Dry” Smith
Charlie Touchette
Mike Touchette

Bible verses cited:

“Everybody’s got this white religious shit till it comes time to eat the flesh and drink the blood. And that’s what Jesus said. Jesus did say it. The Lord Jesus did say it. He said, they eat my flesh and drink my blood… That’s what Jesus said, eat of my flesh and drink of my blood.” (John 6:47-57. Also, Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20.)

“And when you look at it, one said, 2000 years ago, I looked at the last enemy, death. And I overcame it.” (1 Corinthians 15:26, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

“Neither– what? Death? Nor the grave. Nothing has any dominion over me. It’s lost its dominion.” (Romans 6:8-10, esp. Romans 6:9, “death hath no more dominion over him.”)

Part 2 (spoken by Temple Bible study leader, not Jim Jones)
“The Messiah arrives, Israel will rejoice for God will have (unintelligible word) dwell in their midst… Many nations will be joined to the Lord that day. They will be my people, and I shall dwell in your midst. Israel will be restored to its holy land.” (Zechariah 2:10-12, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.”

“Then follows an episode in which the messianic people would call the brand plucked from the fire, which means that they will have fire from the state of Israel, there will have been a tremendous disaster that has felled the Jewish people… [A] stage of purification may lead to the enduring messianic fulfillment. Israel will implicitly obey God’s law…. Then indeed will Israel walk among the angels and be men worthy of the miracles, again emphasizing the universal aspect of the messiah… that will affect all of mankind. All of mankind will get this universal peace, they will all benefit from it. Then every man will sit safely under this big tree.” (Zechariah 3)


The tape consists of two sections. The first part is the conclusion of a White Night in February 1978 – the most serious White Night since the previous September, Jim Jones says at one point in Q 642 – that extends over four tapes (preceded by Q 641, Q 642 and Q 643). The second part is an undated Bible study class, an older tape which was reused for the White Night.

The tape opens with a continuation of the conversation, started on tape Q 643, about repairing a pump which has failed due to human error. The momentary anger over the screw-up has subsided – except for a few recriminations expressed by several of Jones’ unidentified lieutenants – and it has turned into an administrative problem which is handled in a few minutes.

Following the interruption, the conversation turns back to the main points under discussion that night, which are the options the people of Jonestown would have, should they be invaded. It may be due to the lateness of the hour, or the fact that – by now – the arguments are repetitive, or the fact that people keep making choices to live rather than opt for revolutionary suicide, but both the residents expressing their opinions and the people in the Temple leadership questioning those opinions seem increasingly testy. When an elderly black man is asked to defend his choice to stand and fight, he replies brusquely: “What I would do, if it was just me is a different thing. Now I just came over to work, okay? People have been here, they work, they build this place up, I wouldn’t dare run away from all we built up.” The challenges continue, people pepper him with questions without allowing him to reply, other issues come and go, and finally, some time later, he gets in his last word: “I’m thinkin’ that if we stay here, we will win one thing. We’ll win the fight that we weren’t coward, and we believed in what we believed in to death.”

Jones also talks about putting up a spirited defense of the community, a shift from his advocacy of revolutionary suicide as the only option. He talks about undefined “tactical strategies,” but he also talks about their weaponry. “[W]e’d have some machine guns… we got better, more high-powered, longer range somethings than they have… we don’t have everybody equipped – would to goodness we had – but we’ve got enough firepower to make some use… [T]hey’d be a little more reluctant to come after us [if we had] some more automatic equipment.”

This line of conversation apparently makes people as uneasy as the earlier discussion of suicide. “I bet if some of the people knew they gone get in on this kinda shit, they’da jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge,” Jones says. “And I tell you, I didn’t intend for you to get any of this shit. But I knew one thing, we had to be true.”

Another uncomfortable subject – cannibalism – arises immediately afterwards. Jones talks about eating one of the invaders, if it comes to that. He reminds the community that they have done it before. “Hell, we been through it. We shot ‘em and we ate ‘em, the other time round… [S]ome thought they had beef, some thought they had chicken, some thought they had fish.” He asks if anyone is bothered by that, but – since he adds that anyone who won’t join in the practice is “going to join the pot too” – no one admits to any reluctance.

The meeting starts to break up, and Jones announces the breakfast schedule for the following day before the “strategy” meeting resumes at noon. He then reminds the people of the “four alternatives” they have been discussing throughout the night, and concludes with the one he has championed: “Or just say that there’s nothing moral we can do, but to lay our lives down, and see if we can trust a brigade to go back and help our people there [to do the same], ‘cause our people already know that possibility.”

He ends the meeting by returning to a thought he expressed earlier in the evening on Q 643, by belittling the dreams that people may have had in coming to Jonestown. “[W]hen we do build a revolution,” he says, “it’ll be a right one, because we started without dreams that were pipe dreams. We didn’t have illusions. We didn’t have hallucinations. It was based on reality.”

Part 2 of the tape is a short portion of an undated Bible study taught by an unidentified Temple leader. Jim Jones is not present during the study, but the theology is his. The leader tears down the notion of Jesus’ divinity, and alludes to another person who will come as the true Messiah. The contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible which the class discusses are in line with those in The Letter Killeth.

FBI Summary:

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 6, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B47-89, 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:

There is nothing to compare between the two summaries, since the FBI did not write anything for this, or 64 other tapes which bear the notation “Tapes Not Summarized.” These tapes seems to have little on them which the FBI could use for its purposes of investigating crimes arising from the Jonestown tragedy, but then again, that describes many other tapes as well. The difference seems to be that one or two FBI agents catalogued this set of tapes – as evidenced by the typewriter used in writing the reports – and that generally, the transcriptions were made early in the process, before someone may have asked for greater detail in the reports.

Tape originally posted April 2006