Q728 Summary

Summary prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

To read the Tape Transcript, click here. Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1, Pt. 2).
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FBI Catalogue           Unidentified Individuals Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: One Tracs 60/ News 2 Sept (illegible mark) 78/ broken when received, repair (illegible) & put in new housing

Date cues on tape:     Contents of tape establish it as October 2, 1978, the “Tuesday” after Pope John Paul’s death the previous Thursday

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:

Side 1:
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter
Lillian Carter, mother of Jimmy Carter
Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State

Mahatma Gandhi, Indian leader, practitioner of non-violence
Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Pope John Paul
Pope Paul VI (by reference)

James Callaghan, Prime Minister of Great Britain
Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Party leader in Great Britain
Erich Honecker, General Secretary of East Germany (by reference)
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, West Germany foreign minister (by reference)
Leonid Brezhnev, Communist Party General Secretary, Soviet Union
Alexei Kosygin, Premier of the Soviet Union
Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister

Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Elias Sarkis, President of Lebanon (by reference)
Hafez Al-Assad, President of Syria (by reference)
Saud bin Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia foreign minister (by reference)

Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Bishop Abel Muzorewa, black member of Rhodia’s biracial government
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Louis Lansana Beavogui, prime minister of Guinea (by reference)
Feleke Gedle Giorgis, Prime Minister of Ethiopia (by reference)
Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiry, President of Sudan (by reference)

Anastasio Somoza, Nicaraguan President
Carlos Perez, President of Venezuela
Forbes Burnham, prime minister of Guyana

Daniel Ellsberg, whistleblower who leaked Pentagon Papers

Jonestown residents:

Side 2:
Lucioes Bryant (speaks)
Don Jackson (speaks)
Lovie Jean Lucas (speaks)
Ron Sines (speaks)

Bible verses cited:     None


Jim Jones reads the news for October 2, 1978.

As is the case with many of the readings from this period, Jones depends upon Soviet and Warsaw Pact news wires such as Radio Moscow for the stories he reads, although he also identifies two Western sources – Radio Netherlands and Voice of America – by name.

He also adds several editorial comments along the way, most of which are familiar to the Jonestown community. It is hard to know how much of the praise he gives to the Soviet bloc and Third World nations is part of the news copy, just as some of the critical descriptions of the West and its allies may be included in the stories he reads. Nevertheless, some is undoubtedly his own. His portrayal of NATO as “the military adventurers, aggressive expansionist fascist imperialist lackeys of US imperialism” seems to be his own, as are the thrice-repeated characterization of Washington, D.C. as “the center of world imperialism” and – on the other side of the ideological coin – the mention of the Soviet Union as “avant garde of liberation of the world,” reiterated four times.

A few other passages reflect Jones’ own fears, such as his concern – voiced two times –that ongoing concerns in the Mideast, “could break out into the spark that would lead to World War III, which would mean the end of US society.” In addition, he takes advantage of the news of the second papal death within a month to mock “God’s representative on earth,” a phrase he uses more than once. Finally, as in other news tapes, he seems to delight in pointing out the hypocrisy of President Carter proclaiming the US as the arbiter of human rights while American foreign policy backs such repressive and murderous regimes as Rhodesia and South Africa on the African continent, and Nicaragua in Central America.

Nevertheless, the report is low-key. There are few direct addresses to the community, much less any direct lessons or correlations drawn between the news of the day and life in Jonestown.

Among the news items covered:

  • Anwar Sadat invites President Carter to come to Mideast for signing of Camp David accords, as US diplomats try to sell agreement to Arab world;
  • Lebanon tries to form a new government, even as fighting continues between Christian Phalangists and security forces;
  • The State Department considers issuing visa to Rhodesia’s Ian Smith;
  • Rhodesia closes black Zimbabwean newspaper, and publisher to be tried;
  • Flood rescue efforts continue in Bengal and India;
  • British Labor government rejects Prime Minister’s wage and economic plans, increasing likelihood of resignation and election of Conservative Party leader;
  • Pope John Paul lies in state;
  • Negotiations continue for Somoza’s removal;
  • US does nothing to counter Cambodian genocide; Vietnam and Cambodia open talks on new relations;
  • USSR congratulates Guinea on 20 years of liberation;
  • 60 countries meet at conference to oppose apartheid and support African liberation;
  • President of Venezuela to visit Guyana.

The second side of the tape consists of a Spanish lesson led by Don Jackson for members of the Jonestown community.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/27/79

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 20, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B62-45. This tape was found to contain the following:


World news Broadcast recording concentrating on Africa, given by an unknown individual.

Spanish lesson being given to a group of individuals.

Differences with FBI Summary:

Aside from the fact that the news was read by Jim Jones – whose voice should have been familiar to agents after three months of reviewing tapes – the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.