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: Labeled in part “Wed News 9/6/78”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with note
Public figures/National and international names:
Richard Nixon, former U.S. President
Rep. Daniel J. Flood (D-Penn.)
Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Mich.)
Bert Lance, Director of Office of Management and Budget
Malcolm Toom, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union (by reference)
Kurt Waldheim, Secretary General of United Nations
James Callaghan, Prime Minister of Great Britain
Margaret Thatcher, leader of Conservative Party in Great Britain
Feodor Timofeyev, Consular of Soviet Union embassy in Guyana (by reference)
Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
King Hussein of Jordan
Kriangsak Chomanan, Prime Minister of Thailand (by reference)
Suharto, President of Indonesia
Sukarno, former President of Indonesia (by reference)
Anastasio Somoza, President of Nicaragua
Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana
Ptolemy Reid, Deputy Prime Minister of Guyana
Marie Haydee Ann Beltran Torres, leader of Puerto Rican FALN
Carlo Alberto Torres, leader of Puerto Rican FALN
Oscar Lopez Rivera, leader of Puerto Rican FALN
Francis Jay Crawford, International Harvester executive arrested and tried in Moscow
Huey Newton, leader of Black Panther Party
Daniel Ellsberg, Defense Department worker who leaked Pentagon Papers
Philip Agee, former CIA agent, critic of agency
Richard Hammerschlag, doctor at University of Calif.
Kathleen Sullivan Alioto, wife of Mayor Alioto, political candidate (by reference)
Joseph Alioto, Mayor of San Francisco
Katy Butler, reporter for San Francisco Chronicle
Joe Mazor, private detective hired by Concerned Relatives
Charles Garry, attorney for Peoples Temple (by reference)
Mark Lane, attorney for Peoples Temple
Don Freed, author and screenwriter
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Tom (numerous Tom and Thomas; likely Grubbs)
Teresa King (by reference)
Bible verses cited: None
Several sets of visitors are scheduled to come into Jonestown over the next few days – Guyana government officials, possibly as soon as the next day; a delegation from the Soviet Union; and Joe Mazor, the former conspirator who has switched sides and is now working in support of the Temple community – and Jim Jones wants to be sure people know what to say (and even more importantly, what not to say) to the various groups. These elaborate sets of instructions weave around each other as they highlight the last third of this tape which, up to that point, has been a straightforward news tape for September 6, 1978.
The Soviet Union has offered an opportunity to the people of Jonestown to emigrate to that Communist nation, because the Soviets have been impressed with the community as a community. Jones characterizes the offer as an “invitation” and as an “open door” that they can decide whether or not to accept, but “it’s good to know that that alternative exists.” They serve as a model for how socialism can truly work, Jones says, and the Soviets see the advantage of letting them stay together. “They might well name it Jonestown.” Still, it’s important that they all show their willingness to make that commitment, so when the delegation arrives, the people are to smile, to use the Russian they’ve learned – Jones gives them several phrases – and of course to keep Jonestown “in apple pie order for them.”
They are also to keep the place picked up for the Guyana government representatives. In addition, they are to praise the political party of the prime minister, they are supposed to say they love it in Guyana, and they are to smile. If they end up leaving the country, they want to make their exit as graceful and respectful as possible. In the meantime, they are to say nothing about the Soviets.
And then there’s Joe Mazor, whom Jones has not decided if he trusts completely, since he might be a double agent. “We want to be damn sure – damn sure – that we know what this man’s up to, and we’ll watch him like a hawk.” Again, they are to smile; again, they are to say nothing about the possible move to the USSR. In fact, they are to say nothing to him except hello, and to answer whatever questions Mazor puts to them in completely positive terms. Yes, they love Jonestown; no, they do not want to return to the US.
Throughout the instructions, Jones warns them not to “screw it up, don’t shit in your nest… [Y]ou better do what I’m telling you, or all hell to pay.”
The news portion of this tape is similar to others. He continually inserts unflattering characterizations of the United States, which, as he says at one point, is ruled by “the interests of the wealthy, bloodthirsty vultures of the ruling class of monopoly capitalism have been draining all of our brothers, sisters in the Third World nations.” While some of the descriptors undoubtedly appear in the pro-Soviet news sources he uses most often for his news, many of them are ones he provides himself.
This is most apparent when his reading of an item is interrupted, and he repeats it a moment later. In discussing the release of the Pentagon Papers, he initially says its “exposure was possible only when a section of the ruling class itself opposed the war for its own reasons, that they were not making enough money from Southeast Asia.” A moment later, the release has been transformed into “an exposure [which] was possible only when a section of the fascist ruling class of capitalism that is destroying USA, itself opposed the war for its own reasons, that the big military-industrial complex personnel and alliances did not have any more profit to be gained from Vietnam.”
The tape opens with the reading of a lengthy article about the fiction of media objectivity and the U.S. government’s “necessity of ideological control over the organs of information and persuasion that mold the political opinions of the masses.” Other items in the news include:
- Flooding in India;
- The USSR charge that the US wants to use the Camp David accord to build its own power base in the Mideast;
- The spin which each of the parties in the Camp David summit puts on their positions;
- Margaret Thatcher is likely to win the next election in Britain;
- US Customs Service to be more vigilant in inspecting cargo ships for arms;
- Indonesia tortures and murders 40, including 10 civilians;
- NBC editorializes against strikes by public safety employees;
- A liberal Congressman is indicted;
- Nicaraguan leader Anastasio Somoza stands defiant against the general strike;
- An American businessman goes on trial in Moscow after being turned over by US Embassy;
- Arrest warrants issued for Puerto Rican nationalists.
Jones uses numerous stories as a point of departure for complaining about the lack of appreciation and care which some Jonestown residents have shown. After talking about the bravery of the Puerto Rican nationalists, who would rather serve jail time or even die rather than betray their friends to the authorities, Jones adds, “And then I hear people stand up here, young people griping about their problems or young people won’t participate in lining us up.” After describing the devastation of the floods in India, he offers a familiar attack: “Then some of you have the audacity to think that USA is a great nation, when the only people that are helping the Indians with this terrible loss is USSR, the Soviet Union.” He expands upon that theme later: “People say they miss their life [in the US]. What the fuck is your life, when people are being bled to death, being tortured in jails wherever capitalism is, openly having babies and old people experimented on by even US law now. What the fuck problem do you think you have?”
Throughout the tape, he reminds his listeners how fatigued and ill he has been – he speaks of a temperature of 104 – and the miracle that he has survived some of the health problems he has had. Early in the broadcast, he asks that precautions be taken in preparing his meals, “that nobody gets around my food.” This concern that someone might be poisoning him would only increase in Jonestown’s last three months, as shown here. For the time being, his message is, “I’m on the ball, and continue to be on the ball, and all you who wish me dead, don’t like me, I’ll outlive you. Ha. Ha. Ha.”
Date of transcription: 6/20/79
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 2, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-78. This tape was found to contain the following:
A lecture on current events by JIM JONES.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.