Q978 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

To read the Tape Transcript, click here. To listen to MP3, click here.
To return to the Tape Index, click here.

FBI Catalogue:          Music

FBI preliminary tape identification note: None

Date cues on tape:     None

People named:

Members of Peoples Temple:
Julie Runnels

Bible verses cited:      None


The people of Peoples Temple sing five songs. Jim Jones leads two of them, and an unidentified woman leads two. The two led by Jones extol socialism and the community’s leader – i.e., himself – and all speak of freedom, struggle, and unity.

As with other songs performed by Peoples Temple, at least two – and perhaps others – are gospel songs adapted to relevance to Jones’ followers. The lyrics of the first song, “Climbing up the Mountain,” for example, have been changed from “I can see Jesus/ Standing there to meet us,” to “I can see Father standing just to the left.”

Given the poor quality of the recording, and the single organ as instrumentation, and the number of voices participating in the singing, it is likely that this is a recording of the Peoples Temple congregation in song, with a single microphone set closely to Jim Jones or the lead vocalist.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 7/6/79

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 June 24, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B110-7R43. This tape was found to contain the following:

A recording which contains approximately five minutes of music by the Jonestown Express with the remaining time on the tape being blank.

Differences with FBI Summary:

This music recording is not of the Jonestown Express.

Tape originally posted March 2009