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 Certron C-60/ News April (illegible, possibly 13) 1978″
Date cues on tape: News events covered consistent with tape ID note
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Ruth Carter Stapleton, sister of President Carter (by reference)
Harry S Truman, former President of U.S.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, former President of U.S.
Richard Nixon, former President of U.S.
Edgar Hoover, former director of the FBI
Caprillo, (first name unknown), FBI ranking supervisor
Rep. Miller, arrested for homosexual acts
Phil Taylor, American pilot who saw UFOs
Gordon Cooper, ex-astronaut, president of Disney Enterprises
Cheddi Jagan, leader of Peoples Progressive Party
Vibert Mingo, Minister of Home Affairs
Fred Wills, Guyana Foreign Minister (by reference)
Soviet ambassador to Guyana
Paul Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda in World War II
Sammy Davis Jr., American entertainer
John Wayne, American actor
Jimmy Stewart, American actor
Henry Fonda, American actor
Jane Fonda, American actor
Tom Hayden, husband of Jane Fonda (by reference)
Telly Savalas, American actor
Hollywood publicist Mike McConnell
Mae West, American actor
Dr. James K. Gray, director of the Douglas County health department in Oregon
John J. Gunther, executive director of US Conference of Mayors
Bible verses cited: None
Jim Jones reads the news of the day. While he does periodically include items from his usual BBC or Warsaw Pact sources, much of the reading on this occasion comes from a tabloid, with news and views – the latter supplied by himself – on Hollywood celebrities.
The tape begins, however, in the middle of a longer discussion of a report leaked by a mid-level FBI supervisor on the government’s development and use of television to control the habits and lives of the American people, to make them more acquiescent to governmental authority. At one point, his editorial commentary is fairly obvious, as he reminds his listeners of the basic premise of the article – “Notice all of the interest has to do with big business, big corporations, big government, the fascist using television all the way down the line” – but the origin of the conclusions that governmental agencies, including the CIA, planned and subsidized television for their own purposes, is unknown. The commentary at the end of the reading, that the government plans to commit genocide against segments of the US population, is also Jones’, one which is familiar to all of his followers and which indeed is repeated in another context in a segment of uncontextualized tape at its end.
The celebrity news includes items about Sammy Davis Jr.’s sexual dysfunction, John Wayne’s conversion to Christianity in his time of illness, the sell-out of the entire Fonda family to right wing interests, the complications of a breast-lift operation for Mae West, and the troubles of Telly Savalas some years after his successful television career. Jones offers comments – all critical – on each of them, but saves the most extensive to the hypocrisy of John Wayne seeking Jesus, describing the movie actor as a racist, a fascist, and now a coward.
Other tabloid news includes:
- Air Force pilots report an increasing number of UFOs, and one – a former NASA astronaut – believes extra-terrestrials have visited earth.
- Sharks off the coast of Australia seem to be organizing into groups.
Jones does give some more serious news, though, and offers commentary for this as well. After reminding his listeners of the bribery of US congressmen by South Korean officials, he discusses a US program to pay numerous foreign officials to tour the United States. “And you picked up the tab,” he adds. But the real hypocrisy is that, while white congressman get away with bribery, a black congressman “faces 175 years in the federal penitentiary,” and a progressive congressman will be charged with “soliciting boys for sex, for homosexual purposes.”
Much of the US domestic news continues in the vein of the longer report on the uses of television – including a second report specifically on the use of television to desensitize Americans to violence – and includes news items highlighting the gap between rich and poor in America.
- Most retiring Americans will have nothing but Social Security to live on;
- Kidney transplants are reserved for those who have something to contribute to society – that is, as Jones explains, the rich, the powerful, the scientists who build deadly weapons, etc – and “innocent people, poor people, common people, even middle class white, black or brown, are not to receive kidney transplants”;
- A rural doctor in Oregon is considered “a saboteur to American medicine” because of the low prices she charges for office visits “and is now facing some charge for illegal practice of medicine.”
Jones does incorporate two of his longstanding messages into the news. Commenting on two unrelated items, he references the inevitability of nuclear war and its approach “as a reality.” In addition, in the course of reporting on a development in Guyanese politics – a merger of the two main parties, which never occurred – he mentions the conspiracy against them, the support of the Jonestown community in thwarting it, and their ultimate control over the entire debate: “We have the will and solidarity to find solutions, so that we can live with dignity and if necessary, make the transition with dignity, never compromising the only purpose to life, the only purpose to existence, to try to be a good socialist and ultimately as pure a communist as possible.” Given its use over the years, there is no doubt how he defines the word “transition.”
In connection with the FBI’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 5, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B47-108 This tape was found to contain the following:
Side one of tape 108 consisted of Reverend JONES giving a politicized interpretation of current world events.
Side two of tape 108 consisted of Reverend JONES giving a politicized interpretation of current world events. The remaining portion of side two was taped music. 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.