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: Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Tracs 90/ “Radio Broadcast” 3×5 card attached
Date cues on tape: (March/April 1976) Conviction of Patricia Hearst
Dr. J. Bruce Massey, Temple supporter (Part 1)
Public figures/National and international names:
former President Lyndon Baines Johnson (Part 1)
former FBI director Clarence Kelley (Part 1)
Ambrose & Olga Worrell, spiritual healers (Part 1)
Cecil Williams, San Francisco Methodist minister (Part 5)
Patricia Hearst (Part 9)
Adolf Hitler (Part 9)
Donald Cee (phonetic spelling) (Part 3)
Temple supporters, full name unknown:
David (radio engineer) (speaks) (Part 1)
Scott (radio engineer) (speaks) (Part 1)
Donny (radio engineer) (speaks) (Part 1)
Harris (Part 3)
Johnny (Part 3)
Dana (probably Lewis) (Part 3)
Liz (speaks) (Part 7)
Mike Prokes (speaks)) (Parts 1, 5, 9)
Eugene Chaikin (speaks) (Parts 1, 3, 5, 9)
Richard Tropp (speaks) (Parts 1, 9)
Chris (probably Lewis) (speaks) (Part 3)
Glenn Hennington (speaks) (Part 7)
Bible verses cited: Isaiah 1:18 (Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord)
This tape consists of segments of two recording sessions of the Peoples Temple weekly radio program in San Francisco, as well as numerous phone calls. More than half the segments were too short or out of context to understand what they were about.
In the first and last segments of the tape, Jones converses with several members of the Temple leadership about spiritual healing. The pacing is more theatrical than regular speech, due to the fact that they are recording broadcasts for radio. The sessions are largely unrehearsed, but there are numerous instances in which Jones stops the tape and goes back to re-record a section, either because there was something they left out, or something they wanted to retract.
The latter happens early in the first segment. The three men in Jones’ leadership circle — Mike Prokes, Gene Chaikin and Richard Tropp — speak about spiritual healing. Chaikin talks about how his visits to Peoples Temple healed him of a back problem and converted him from atheism. Jones follows up with the remark that Chaikin “maintains his relationship within the Jewish culture [and] we in Peoples Temple … do not require that people change their religious faith to affiliate with Peoples Temple.” At the next break, they question whether to leave in the reference to Jews — Jones says, “I think I’d start all over again, and don’t say Jewish background” — but in the end, the reference remained in the tape.
The break was precipitated when Mike Prokes speaks of his own healing which he went through after having witnessed Jones’ cures for cancer. There’s a pause, Jones stops the tape, and says, “No cancer.”
They critique other aspects of Prokes’ account during other breaks, with Jones approving a sentence that demonstrates his “intuition” that something was wrong with Prokes. The only rehearsed portion of the session comes when Jones coaches Prokes: “[You say] Jim knew … where my pain was, where it had been, and it was gone. And I’ll say I had forgotten that… I’ll say … I don’t retain that sort of thing, really, because there are many phenomena like that that have occurred.”
Following the discussion on faith healing, the men speak about the community services provided by Peoples Temple. At the next break, they consider whether they should re-cut the tape to say, those services are limited to Temple members, because of the numbers they already have. They decide to do that — to talk about services available to members — and close with a listing of other social service resources.
In the final segment, the same four men offer their views on a technological society. Jones gives his views on abortion, saying he sympathizes with the Right To Life Movement. “I also have certainly undoubted sympathy for the mother who has a child that she doesn’t want, and there’s nothing more cruel than children being brought into a world where they’re not wanted.” The most important element of the issue, he concludes, is prevention.
The discussion turns to the conviction of Patricia Hearst, whether her family’s wealth made the process harder or easier for her, and whether she had been brainwashed. Gene Chaikin says he believes few could endure what Ms. Hearst endured without being brainwashed, and yet there’s a need for personal responsibility. Jones replies that Chaikin is speaking as an attorney, but that as a theologian, “I have a great deal of empathy there. I think, but for the grace of God, could go any one of our children.” (At the break that follows, Jones compliments those who have disagreed with him in the broadcast, because it shows they’re not monolithic.)
The broadcast ends with a discussion about alternative sentences to jail. Jones points out that 50% of the men who enter jail emerge as “practicing homosexuals.” He hastens to add he isn’t condemning sexual orientation, just the aggressive, hostile and perverted conditions that lead to it. For the good of society, especially the families which need to stay together, Jones says, there needs to be new ways to rehabilitate.
Prokes picks up on the discussion by pointing out the numerous Peoples Temple programs which offer such rehabilitation. When he went to the church, he said, “I saw so many people from backgrounds of crime, militancy and drugs who had been rehabilitated effectively, and I saw no recidivism virtually.”
In Part 3, the only other segment of substances, Jones speaks with a young man named Chris — probably Chris Lewis — who is in a hospital bed with a broken leg. The man is in trouble and in discomfort, and can’t get back in high school, and the question arises several times about going to a lawyer or some other outsider. Jim discourages him — “God, don’t do that,” he implores — and tries to explain the problems the church is having and the pressure he’s under. Your problem is physical, Jones says, but ours is one of survival. At another point, Jones says the system is out to do them in, but they’re not after the church because of Chris… unless, Jones seems to imply, Chris does take his problems to the outside and gives the system more ammunition.
Chris ends up apologizing — several times, with increasing emotion — and says, “I can’t cross you… You the onliest person I can’t cross. I ain’t gone cross you.” Jones replies, “I’d think so. I never crossed you.” By the end, Jones has convinced Chris to stay in the hospital and don’t think about anything but getting well, and everything will work out.
Date of transcription: 3/14/79
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 1, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B47 #115. This tape was found to contain the following:
Side A: Consisted of Reverend JONES and various people speaking to a radio audience concerning their personal healing through People’s Temple and of spiritual healing in the ministry.
Side B: Consisted of miscellaneous telephone conversations and various discussions dealing with the right to life, the PATRICIA HEARST situation, jails, and spiritual healing.
Nothing was contained thereon which was considered to be of evidentiary nature or beneficial to the investigation of Congressman RYAN.
Differences with FBI Summary: None
Tape originally posted July 2000