Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
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FBI Catalogue: Jones Speaking
FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Sony C90/ “News of the Day April 7, 1978”
Date cues on tape: News events covered consistent with tape ID note
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Michigan)
Rep. Miller, congressman arrested for homosexual acts
Kurt Waldheim, UN Secretary General
US Ambassador to Colombia
Patrice Lumumba, assassinated Prime Minister of Zaire
Ian Smith, prime minister of Rhodesia
Abel Muzorewa, Rhodesian black leader who negotiated with Smith
Ndabaningi Sithole, Rhodesian black leader who negotiated with Smith (by reference)
Jeremiah Chirau, Rhodesian black leader who negotiated with Smith (by reference)
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Guyana Minister of Foreign Affairs (by reference) (either Fred Wills, former Foreign Minister, or Rashleigh E. Jackson)
North Korean ambassador to Guyana
Martin Niemöller, German pastor, critic of Naziism
A. Reginald Eaves, Atlanta Public Safety Commissioner
Mervyn Dymally, California lieutenant governor
Yosef Ben-Jochannan, American historian
Jack Anderson, newspaper columnist
Joe Spear, newspaper columnist
John R. Evrard, author of study on caesarean sections
Edwin M. Gold, author of study on caesarean sections
Leo Africanus, map maker and explorer
Scipio Africanus, military commander
Hamilcar Barca Hannibal
John Victor Stoen
Bible verses cited: None
Jim Jones reads the news for April 7, 1978.
This reading contains many of the elements of similar newscasts. The coverage of daily news events comes primarily from Western Europe or Soviet Bloc wire services, although he does read one UPI item datelined in Rhode Island. He also includes one lengthy commentary, the difference being that this one appears at the head of the tape rather than near the end.
In addition, as with almost every newscast, the United States is show in the worst possible light, and the words used to describe it – its economy is “monopoly capitalist” and its society is racist – are undoubtedly his own editorial interjections. So to are the description of US allies: Germany is fascist, whether he’s talking about the Third Reich, its previously-governed African colonies or present day West Germany, and indeed, the whole of NATO is fascist; the “pirate” regime of Rhodesia is led by the “monster” Ian Smith, and his few black allies are Uncle Toms; and the attacks upon socialist Ethiopia are from “Somalian reactionary leaders through US taxes, corporate capital ruling class money through the CIA, funneled through Egypt.” On the other hand, the forces of the Zimbabwean Patriotic Front battling Ian Smith’s government are “freedom fighters,” and the principal supporters of world liberation movements come from “the Cuban and socialist people, who are always the vanguard of Marxist-Leninis[m].”
Jones also raises the issue of the approach of World War III, another staple in the newscasts, and usually one which he interjects. This time he attributes the warning to United Nations General Secretary Kurt Waldheim, although this cannot be verified.
In general, Jones is upbeat in this reading. At one point, he says that the people of Jonestown are better off in their community, where they use the land productively for agricultural purposes, whereas in the US, “its beautiful acreage is turned into asphalt jungle, or big tall buildings for the corporations.” Moreover, the US suffers from either drenching rains or drought, both of which cause erosion damage. “So we had to go,” he concludes. “We had to go.”
Similarly, his declaration of confidence in their place in Guyana is buoyed by recent developments. They have good relations with both the Burnham administration and the national court system, which, he says, even understands Jones’ position on the child custody battles he has to fight. Perhaps addressing his critics back home, he says, “We are here not to create difficulties for US, but to represent the United States well as model citizens, but we are also here to keep our sovereignty, our peace and our freedom and our independence.” Even as he issues the familiar Native American quote that “this is a good day to die,” he follows it in the next sentence with “It’s a good day to live, and our children are going to live a long while, as our dream, our ambition and our pursuit.”
In addition to the lengthy reading from the Black Muslim newspaper on the origin of African names – which Jones reads in a snide tone, wondering why the article spends so much time on that subject rather than the continent’s current struggles – he covers the following news items:
- The USSR may have to develop its own neutron bomb to counter the US/NATO threat of developing and deploying theirs in Europe;
- Zimbabwean rebels pick up support from local tribes;
- The UN seeks a peaceful settlement for crises in Zimbabwe, Namibia, and the Ogaden;
- A black city official in Atlanta is indicted for fraud;
- President Carter vetoes funds for the B-1;
- Mexico protests US immigration policy and will stop cooperating in effort to destroy poppies used for heroin production;
- The US Children’s Bureau reports an increase in neglect and abuse;
- A rise in cesarean sections may increase risk to mothers;
- Three different flu strain affect the US;
- The US dollar skids, the trade deficit grows, and the standard of living drops;
- Georgetown suffers from electrical blackouts;
- Two progressives in the House of Representatives are set up and discredited.
Date of transcription: April 5, 1979
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 19, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B62 Number 59. This tape was found to contain the following:
A male voice that appears to be JIM JONES lecturing and informing on the following:
The history of Africa with emphasis on Socialism Communism and news items regarding Africa.
JONES went through several news items which he editorilized [editorialized].
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.