Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue Tapes Not Summarized
FBI preliminary tape identification note: “JJ Communication … CIA Intrusion”
Date cues on tape: None (likely late 1974 – early 1977)
Public figures/National and international names:
Ptolemy Reid, deputy prime minister of Guyana
Randolph Hearst, newspaper publisher
Peoples Temple members
- Teri Buford
Bible verses cited: None
In this short, undated tape recorded in the radio room in Jonestown, Jim Jones reads two different versions of a statement in support of the government of Guyana, defending it against allegations that “there are supposed to be Cuban troops and Vietnamese or other Communist troops in this country … training [and] preparing to intrude into the sovereign adjacent countries.…
“That is a ridiculous lie,” he concludes forcefully in the course of one statement.
If there is a danger to the sovereignty of Guyana, he says, people should look into the “common rumor here that there is CIA-inspired activity internally to subvert this government.” If that is true, he adds, “it’ll only succeed in driving the government by necessity closer to those uh, factions that are more radical and oriented to other superpowers out of the necessity of survival.”
There is no context for this tape, especially whether the statement had been requested by the Guyana government, whether it was an attempt to ingratiate the Jonestown settlement with the national leadership, or – seemingly less likely – that the community itself felt threatened and felt the need to make a detailed, but indirect defensive statement. Similarly, there is no reference to anchor the tape in time, although Jones’ references to the Jonestown settlement as being in development – and the Temple’s reliance upon advice from Tim Stoen – places it near the beginning of its time in South America. The language Jones uses to identify the ham radio station – a “large agricultural mission connected with the denomination of two million members in United States of America, non-profit, working with the government here to feed and clothe and house hundreds of needy people” – also suggests that the settlement is fairly new.
Date of transcription: 3/21/79
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 20, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B62-66.
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.
(A handwritten note reads: “CIA Intrusion”. A second four-word note with a single cross-out through it is partially legible, with only the name “Garry” fully readable.
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 July 2011