Q653 Summary

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          Unidentified Individuals Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Trans 90/ Don Freed 26 Aug 1978

Date cues on tape:    Tape contents consistent with preliminary note

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Don Freed, author and screenwriter (speaks)
Jonestown residents:
Mike Prokes (speaks)

Bible verses cited:             None


Donald Freed, a screenwriter and author, has just visited Jonestown in the company of recently-hired attorney Mark Lane, and Freed was impressed. Jim Jones considered the endorsement of the two men as a boost in legitimacy of the community during its time of travail, and – in the few months left before the events of November 1978 – reminded Jonestown residents and stateside audiences alike of their support of the ideals represented in the agricultural project.

This tape contains Freed’s endorsement, recorded as part of the Temple’s regular series of radio programs aired in Georgetown throughout its history. Freed describes Jonestown as a “very radical … human innovation,” adding that it represents a change in civilization that “comes like lightning.” And that change is on a measurable scale, he adds.

“There’s a core of love, of will, of a life force there which comes out of a community, many members of which are starting from scratch in terms of their own image and identity, as far as the outside world goes.”

After noting the aspects of the twentieth century which have threatened to destroy the planet – ranging from events like the Holocaust and Hiroshima, to the most long-terms trends of “super-industrial power,” Freed says, “survival is going to somehow depend on that kind of radical gamble of which Jonestown is the unparalleled example.” It is a community experiment which will be studied for generations.

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 #98. This tape was found to contain the following:

The recording of an interview of a visitor to the People’s Temple.

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