Q740 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           Radio Transmissions

FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Kmart 60/ “Press conference April 17”

Date cues on tape:     Remarks consistent with tape note

People named:

Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Neva Sly (by reference)

Temple members not in Jonestown:
Hue Fortson (by reference)

Unknown name, perhaps radio code:

Jonestown residents:
Mark Sly (speaks)

Bible verses cited:      None


This short tape, made in the radio room in Jonestown, shows the Temple in the early stages of preparing a response to the Concerned Relatives petition of mid-April 1978. Jonestown has not yet seen the petition, but has heard about it. The community also knows that Hue Fortson, an associate pastor for the Temple, accepted the petition when members of the Concerned Relatives delivered it in person, but it disowns the acts, saying that Fortson “does not speak for the people of this project.”

(In another tape made about the same time, Jones expresses his anger over the pastor’s decision: “Hue Fortson made a mistake, went out and took their petition, I’d a throwed the petition in the goddamned face, hit the camera, shoved their asses off.”)

The response to the petition is at this moment still scattered and ad hoc. Feeding instructions line by line to the unknown woman speaking on the radio, Jim Jones says that members of the press will be invited to Jonestown, then a moment later adds, “those who are objective.”

The invitations were never issued.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: April 5, 1979

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 19, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B62 Number 57. This tape was found to contain the following:

A phone patch from Jonestown to someone (unknown) regarding a petition a few families of residents of Jonestown had obtained.

The female voice representing Jonestown was relaying a message from a male voice in the background that went as follows:

“This is MARK FLY (phonetic) and just for the record, my mother beat me the last time I was with her, she beat me and I don’t want to go back to her anymore.”

Female voice ‑ “Malone ‑ same woman as before would like to know why . . .

Female voice ‑ “He does not speak for the people of this project, they speak for themselves.”

Female voice ‑ “In the first place we have never seen any petition ‑ we just heard on the radio the families involved.

Female voice ‑ “In a little while some members of the press from the Bay Area will be invited. The ones who show objectivity.”

Female voice ‑ “They will be allowed to interview.”

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted June 2010