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 18 Peoples Rally”
Date cues on tape: Context of tape consistent with date on tape box
Vladimir Lenin, father of Russian Revolution
Leon Trotsky, Communist leader
Nikita Khrushchev, premier of the Soviet Union
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Al (several in Jonestown)
Wanda (several in Jonestown)
Rhonda Fortson (speaks)
Marceline Jones (speaks)
Bible verses cited: None
(Note: This tape was transcribed by Freya Kory. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Jim Jones leads a community forum in Jonestown in mid-April 1978 during what he describes at different times as a “crisis,” a potential “bloodbath,” and a time of “war” (the latter assertion made several times). Despite the dire nature of the descriptions, the conversation is casual and less confrontational than it is during tapes known to have been recorded during White Nights. Also belying the gravity of the words is that he makes only one reference to death, and it is offhand – “All I want is the final translation out of this miserable thing called life” – in the middle of a larger point he wants to make.
There have been several events in recent days which occupy Jones’ mind. Most recently was a tour of Jonestown by a contingent from the Soviet Union and/or members of the American press. Jones is unhappy with the conditions of some areas of the community, especially the livestock areas, which was “swarming with flies” and had “muddy and murky” water. The day was saved because the visitors could also see local Guyanese lined up for free medical services, but nevertheless, some Russians were “not impressed” with what they saw at the piggery. While there was a breakdown in communications before the tour so individual committees may not have received assignments to clean up the place, the fact remains, it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure the community displays well.
Near the end of the tape, Jones hearkens back to an issue which has been before them for the past week: the petition of grievances filed by the Concerned Relatives in the U.S. against him. He is still upset – but not as angry as in previous tapes – that Hue Fortson, the Temple’s assistant pastor in the States, accepted the petition from the opposition group.
But the bulk of this tape is about sex. Sex is at the root of the problems, not only in Jonestown but for revolutionary movements in general. If women appreciated how much pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood diverted them from the cause, they wouldn’t be likely to yield to a man’s advances; and if men had to bear the consequences of having sex, they would be less likely to make those advances.
Jones takes the opportunity to talk about his own sexual abilities. On the subject of organizational responsibility – and asking others to recognize their part in that – he complains he has shouldered the load by himself for 28 years. “I resent it because, you know, if a fuck was all that a person needed, I could maintain this organization by goin’ down … four hours and I’d have most of the people fucked that needed fucked.” He returns to the claim a few minutes later: “I could take care of people who needed to feel good about themselves, I could take care of thirty in a night.” Both times he refers to this prowess, however, he adds that people need more than that: “But that’s not what people need. They need talk, they need counsel, they need help, they need someone to hear them, to feel, to listen.”
Unfortunately, according to him, he is the only one who has this prowess. He criticizes some of the men as “two-minute wonders” – a reference to a White Night about a week before, in which a man confessed that he lasted about two minutes with his girlfriend before climax – as well as the woman who yield to this type of love-making. “You dumb bitches that go for two or three minutes, you’re sadistic, ‘cause you don’t even get warmed up and you’re the ones that’s gonna get the pregnancy.” With the encouragement of his wife Marceline, Jones suggests that women get their satisfaction instead with “a sugar cane, go down and get some sugar cane and cut it, and then make it sweet on top of it. And you can move it much faster than two minutes, I’m sure.” “Right,” Marceline adds. “Or a banana.”
Even worse for those who think they are getting something out of these “quick fuck” relationships, Jones says, they don’t even have a good sex drive, a point he reiterates several times: “You haven’t got any sex drive, and I keep repeatin’ it. You’ve got no sex drive.… You haven’t got any. You haven’t got a sex drive, and I’ve still got one, but I do not allow it, and it’s a strong one.”
All the diversionary asides notwithstanding – even though Jones is the one who returns to them on several opportunities – the problem as he sees it is how sexual obsessions affect the revolution. “I’m telling you,” he cries, “and I’ve fucked people for seven hours for this cause, but I’m going to tell you, if you don’t keep yourself at an operation zero in your sex life, it’ll affect all your other judgments.” A moment later, and in a calmer tone, he adds, “If you don’t keep humble in your sex life, male or female, it will carry over to everything.”
Even though they’ve talked about this before, Jones says, men continue to “walk around with your prick [thinking] that it’s greatly desired,” and women succumb. And even though it’s a miracle that all the babies born in Jonestown so far have been healthy, they still affect the parents’ vigilance against the mercenaries and other murderers lurking nearby.
There really is only recourse for the community, and that is to penalize both the mothers who have unapproved pregnancies, and the men who impregnate them. Pregnancies need to be planned and approved, although – given the tone of the conversation – such approval would seem unlikely. The penalties are unspecified, and there is no evidence that anyone was punished for becoming pregnant in Jonestown in the six months following this meeting.
Date of transcription: 3/23/79
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 #106. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES lecturing/reprimanding members, stating that they do not exhibit enough pride. JONES stated that a Russian visited the commune. JONES ridiculed/critisized [criticized] the press. JONES also reprimanded the members regarding promiscuity and stated the women who get pregnant will be penalized.
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 March 2009