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 11 (16?)”
Date cues on tape: News events covered consistent with April 11 date, including day of week
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Gerald Ford, former U.S. President
Richard Nixon, former U.S. President
Pat Nixon, wife of former U.S. President (by reference)
Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger, former National Security Adviser, Secretary of State
Ronald Reagan, former California governor
Helmut Schmidt, West German Chancellor
Klaus Bolling [phonetic], German government spokesman
Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Vladimir Lenin, father of Russian Revolution, first leader of Soviet Union
Francois Mitterrand, French political figure
Robert Bradshaw, Prime Minister of St. Kitts-Nevis
Paul Southwell, acting premier of St. Kitts-Nevis
Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
Dr. Carl Carstone [phonetic], West Indian lecturer
Simón Alberto Consalvi, foreign minister of Venezuela
Anastasio Somoza, President of Nicaragua
Kjell Laugerud, president of Guatemala (by reference)
Omar Torrijos, Panamanian leader
Kaiser Daliwonga Matanzima, prime minister of Transkei (by reference)
Olusegun Obasanjo, head of military government of Nigeria (by reference)
Hamilton Green, Guyana Minister of Health and Labor
Vibert Mingo, Guyana Minister of Home Affairs
Kit Nascimento, Guyana government official (by reference)
Walter Rodney, leader of the Working Peoples Alliance
Prem Persaud, Guyana magistrate (likely unrelated)
Lionel Stuart [phonetic], Guyana prosecutor
Gilbert Temmet [phonetic], traffic official in Guyana
Mohammed Hakkim Kahn [phonetic], petty criminal in Guyana
Owen Williams, petty criminal in Guyana
Robert Reisner [phonetic], petty criminal in Guyana
Robert Weizel [phonetic], petty criminal in Guyana
Joyelyn Pile, petty criminal in Guyana
Marvin Sandy, petty criminal in Guyana
Keith McGibbon, petty criminal in Guyana
Rudolph Hayward, petty criminal in Guyana
Angela Corbin, petty criminal in Guyana
Adolphius Peters, petty criminal in Guyana
Errol Williamson, petty criminal in Guyana
Charles Adams, petty criminal in Guyana
Lennox Bristol, petty criminal in Guyana
Patricia Barnwell, petty criminal in Guyana
Carol Eastman, petty criminal in Guyana
Jennifer Dawson, petty criminal in Guyana
Donna Dempster [phonetic], petty criminal in Guyana
Mike Henry, gunshot victim in Georgetown
Bible verses cited: None
Jim Jones reads the news for April 11, 1978.
Different than many of the news tapes of the period, this features several lengthy segments of local items from Georgetown, Guyana, especially reports of petty crimes such as marijuana possession and black market sales (which Jones refers to as “white market”) of cigarettes. There is also significant coverage given to a meteorological report for the country, the news of a homicide of an American in Guyana, and the negotiations between the government and taxicab drivers.
Jones gives several reasons for the local emphasis, most of them to show the differences between Guyanese and American ways of handling issues of crime and punishment. Guyana treats its prisoners much more humanely, he says, with small fines for misdemeanors and negotiated payments instead of jail time for those who can’t pay. He also wants to show that Guyana does not deserve its label of bigotry in its relations between the races, noting that the large number of people arrested for drug possession were of African descent, and had been arrested and charged by a government made up principally of blacks. The news of the shooting death allows him to discuss the lack of an extradition agreement between the US and Guyana – “which is of course the proper thing, that no socialist country should have such a law with a capitalist country” – although he also sounds the warning to Temple members living in Georgetown to take care on the city’s streets, especially late at night.
What is similar to other news tapes through Jonestown’s history is Jones’ depiction of the two Cold War superpowers and their respective allies. The United States is ruled by business interests that are concerned only about money and property, “which is the capitalist god.” Its allies are equally corrupt, especially West Germany and the Union of South Africa, the latter of which is described as “the dreaded fascist, racist concentration camp regime, upheld by US corporate ruling class elite.” On the other hand, the USSR is “the vanguard of Marxist-Leninist liberation forces assisting people throwing off the shackles of colonialism in Africa,” and East Germany, a member of the Warsaw Pact, is “one of the most prosperous nations on earth.”
Other news items covered in the tape include:
- 17 officers involved in the aborted coup in Somalia escape to Ethiopia, while others were rescued;
- The Transkei region province of South Africa maintains its independence, as food supplies are parachuted in;
- Nigeria voids all oil agreements with the US;
- The Soviet Union has a new weapon to destroy spy satellites and attacking missiles;
- Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev will visit West Germany;
- The new French government must consult with communists in forming cabinet;
- The prime minister of St. Kitts is home after cancer surgery in London;
- Jamaican citizens approve the amount of force used by the country’s police;
- A Venezuelan drug ring is broken;
- US steel companies yield to pressure from President Carter, and will roll back proposed price increases;
- Former President Gerald Ford considers run in 1980;
- Carter asks the Panamanians to accept the treaty as written.
Jones finds several opportunities to laud Jonestown – during the discussion of Guyana’s recent weather patterns and the effect it has had on local water supplies and quality, for example, he notes that in Jonestown they do “not know what it is to experience shortage of water, one of the few places in the world that has clean water” – but other examples are more confrontational.
Remarking that Jonestown enjoys good relations with its host country, and recognizing that the entertainers from the community are a large reason for that, he presents a “demand that our entertainment receive proper cultural coverage, that it be given its prominence that it deserves. This is the demand of the leader… [W]e want it known that it was a socialist, Marxist-Leninist practices of Jonestown that contributed to this entertainment, … or we will not be performing for certain governmental-related meetings and organizations.”
The tape ends with some announcements to the community. He reminds everyone that there is an amnesty on returning items that people may have stolen from one another – “no questions will be asked” – but if anyone misses the deadline in eight hours, “you will be receiving the most difficult kind of punishment and discipline.”
He also reminds his followers that “I will not be predictable” in enforcing the law, an observation – some considered it a warning – he made both before and after. “The law of Jonestown is just but not predictable,” he says at the tape’s closing along with his usual declaration of love for the community.
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 #111. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES lecturing on “last months” weather as reported/published by CONRAD PERSAD (phonetic), Meteorologist. Also lectured about world politics and news reports from Georgetown, Guyana. JONES expressed strong distaste for capitalism and the U.S., expressing adulation for socialism and the USSR. JONES admonished People’s Temple members who were stealing.
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.