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/ “April 17 News Tape”
Date cues on tape: News items consistent with date on identification note; Jones specifies “Monday” news, the day on which April 17 fell
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State [by reference]
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Rep. Charles Diggs (D-MA)
Kenneth Crouse [phonetic], US Agriculture Department economist
LaBelle Lance, Bert Lance’s wife
Jackson Thomas Stephens, stockbroker and Lance friend from Arkansas [by reference]
Agha Hasan Abedi, founder of BCCI bank in London
George Brown, Lieutenant Governor of Colorado
Vladimir Lenin, father of Russian Revolution, first leader of Soviet Union
“Comrade Boropania,” Tass reporter visiting Jonestown
Lord David Owen, British Foreign Minister [by reference]
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Paul Robeson, black American singer
C. Delores Tucker, activist black woman leader in Pennsylvania [by reference]
Angela Davis, University professor, member of Communist Party
Enola Maxwell, San Francisco community activist
Paul Monaco, slumlord in New York
Ciprian Septimo, young boy shot by Monaco
Ciprian Septimo Sr., father
Jose Torres, former light heavyweight boxing champ
Bible verses cited: None
Jim Jones reads the news for April 17. As he does for many of these newscasts, he depends heavily upon news wires from the Soviet Union and its allies as his sources, and he offers periodic editorial comments. His tone is less vehement and his rhetoric less inflammatory than in other recordings from this period, however.
There may be a reason for this. The reading occurs near the end of the visit of two Tass correspondents, although, other than expressing his gratitude for their stay and his pledge of “solidarity in the international struggle for Marxist-Leninist principles,” there is no specific mention of the correspondents.
Their presence affects the newscast in other ways as well. The first item is a lengthy homage to the “the socialists’ way of life” and features a reading of a speech given by Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev to a Communist Party congress in Moscow. At the end of the first segment, Jones signs off with his usual plea for increased production, but the exhortation mentions nothing of the hellish conditions within the US that Temple members are trying to escape, but rather offers Jonestown as “a place of peace, where they can build and implement their socialist philosophy in this lovely agricultural project.”
As in the format of most of these addresses, Jones spends time on a longer story – in this case, likely from the British newspaper that broke it – and fills the balance with shorter news items on familiar topics. The story of the day is about Bert Lance, President Carter’s friend and early Cabinet appointee who was forced out of office over financial improprieties, and the new allegations of further misdeeds, including his connection to a troubled British bank. Jones contrasts the lightness of the consequences for the former Carter official to the penalties paid by the Temple’s political allies and supporters over seemingly-lesser infractions. His usual lacerations of the American political and economic system are missing, though.
Among other news bulletins and stories:
- Tensions lessen in the Ogaden region in the Horn of Africa;
- Rhodesian leader Ian Smith has not accepted the American/British peace plan for his country;
- Congress considers the new Omnibus Crime bill, the successor to Senate Bill 1;
- Prospects for legislation on national health insurance fade;
- Labor troubles affect tire production plants, coal miners, and several New York newspapers;
- The Guyana peace Council honors Paul Robeson;
- US farmland is considered attractive to foreign investors;
- A New York slumlord shoots a deaf-mute child.
Date of transcription: 3/21/79
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 1B62-62. This tape was found to contain the following:
Rock music followed by JIM JONES giving a taped lecture on the philosophy and benefits of socialism as contrasted to the corruption of capitalism.
JIM JONES then gives the news: The invasion of Ethiopia, problems in Rhodesia; layoffs is U.S. industries, etc.
JIM JONES is talking to his followers in a taped broadcast. States how honored the project has been to have the representative from TASS visiting them.
JONES gives the news. Indicates it is about April 16th. He discusses many topics including problems regarding BERT LANCE and his banking practices.
JONES speaks about Lieutenant Governor DYMALLY’s proposed visit to Jonestown “this July”.
JONES states that ANGELA DAVIS sends her warm regards.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.