Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
FBI Catalogue: Jones speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Tracs 60/ "April 15 News"
Date cues on tape: 15 April 1978 (notation on tape box, confirmed in context)
Public figures/National and international names:
- Maureen Bacchus, representative of Viola Burnham
Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev
Guyana Prime Minister Forbes Burnham
Viola Burnham, wife of Prime Minister
former president Dwight Eisenhower
former president Gerald Ford
Cheddi Jagan, former Guyana Prime Minister
Dr. Vibert Mingo, Guyana Minister of Home Affairs
Australian publisher Rupert Murdoch
Christopher “Kit” Nascimento, Guyanese official
former president Richard Nixon
Tommy Payne, reporter for New Nation magazine
Boyer Ramsevet (sp.), representative of German Democratic Republic
Dr. Ptolemy Reid, Guyana Deputy Prime Minister
Dr. Walter Rodney, Guyana activist
Yuri Sabdominakov (sp.), Russian writer
Johannes Vorster, prime minister of Republic of South Africa
Representative of Tass and wife (by reference)
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
- Jack Arnold Beam
- Maureen Fitch (AKA Maureen Talley)
Members of Parks family — Edith, Dale, Joey, Pat
Bible verses cited: None
This tape consists of Jim Jones preparing the Jonestown community for the arrival of an important visitor from the Tass news agency of the Soviet Union (which he refers to as “the great vanguard of liberation… the true mother of the revolution of October 1917”), expressions of concern that the Guyana leadership is out of the country, and warnings of arriving mercenaries. Jones also gives news summaries, and reads from several long articles about economic and political theory from the Guyana Chronicle and other publications.
Jones lauds Dr. Vibert Mingo, Guyana Minister of Home Affairs, for removing the hurdles to allow the Tass representative in, since there are government factions that don’t want anyone to visit the interior, especially Jonestown. Later, Jones adds that the Guyana government isn’t afraid itself of Soviet visitors in the interior, but is afraid of how the US feels about it; there is always news of a Cuban build-up when Soviets visit the interiors of South American countries, he says.
In encouraging news, Jones says that Kit Nascimento, a deputy prime minister who sympathizes with the Stoens, is being transferred out of country. Known as CIA, Jones says, Nascimento tried to destroy them, “[b]ut we resisted, running our children into the woods, keeping them there, and we resisted even their armed invasion, and won successfully.”
When the Tass representative comes, Jones wants people to greet him with the upraised fist in salute, to show unity and cordiality. “Anyone causing difficulties during this period will indeed get more than the usual discipline.” Later, he says that during the visit, there will be a short work day, an agricultural session (which is how many meetings of the community were billed) and entertainment.
In the news, racial strife is increasing in Harlem, and the U.S. is aiding South Africa (which leads Jones to muse, why should anyone miss the USA; “the more news you hear, the more aware you are of the evil, the insidious evil of the system”). Jones also expresses his long-standing fears about the “nuclear tightrope” the world is on, wondering whether the war in Southeast Asia between Vietnam and Cambodia will eventually ensnare the USSR, China and the US.
Jones says the foreign press is being used to try to destroy Peoples Temple. On the other hand, he says the Guyana Chronicle had a long, positive article about Jonestown. “That was one of our demands of the White Night,” he says. Later, he says the newspaper accepted the article as he prepared it, and repeats that it was a successful result of a White Night.
In discussing dangers to the community, Jones warns that members of Concerned Relatives — which he also does mention by name — have hired mercenaries (“[not] a mercenary, they would hire mercenaries, more than one of the murderers”) who would take by force, dead or alive, the parties they wanted. He adds that the community is taking precautions, but that everyone needs to be on alert.
In general, though, Jones specifically says “I think the tone of the news is encouraging.” Jonestown has crises every day, but the prospects of growth are better than ever. As for the threats, he says people of Jonestown have nothing to fear, that they are protected.
Jones ends the hour long tape with a call for stepping up production, and says, “You’re killing those that want to be freed if you don’t.” He then elaborates upon that: Jonestown can’t take more people — others are stuck in the USA, away from the Promised Land — until he sees how he can feed them indefinitely.
He also returns to another bifurcated theme of his speeches. On the one hand, a community of a thousand “strong” can negotiate anything. But, while they cannot be hurt from without, they can be hurt from within. “United we stand, divided we will fall. As long as we’re united, no one can hurt us.”
As he signs off, he asks everyone to get out the fly swatters and to use them before the Tass guest gets there.
Date of transcription: 4/11/7
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 April 3, 1979, Special Agent reviewed (name deleted) the tape numbered 1B62#76.
This tape was found to contain the following:
A news broadcast by JIM JONES about several topics, including:
(1) The arrival on this day of TASS and PRAVDA news correspondents.
(2) Readiness and tactics for Jonestown inhabitants against mercenary kidnappers.
Nothing was contained thereon which was considered to be of evidentiary nature or beneficial to the investigation of the murder of Congressman RYAN.
Differences with FBI Summary: None
Tape originally posted May 1999