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 “Peoples Rally [illegible] 77”
Date cues on tape: likely late Fall 1977 (reference to recent developments in Olivers suit)
Public figures/National and international names:
John F. Kennedy, assassinated U.S. President
Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Che Guevara, Latin American RevolutionaryGeorge Moscone, mayor of San Francisco (by reference)
Charles Garry, attorney for Peoples Temple
Carlton Goodlett, San Francisco physician, newspaper publisher
George Jackson, imprisoned Black Panther
Jonathan Jackson, imprisoned Black Panther
Enola Maxwell, San Francisco community activist
Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:
Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Janice [likely Janice Wilsey, could be Janice Johnson]
Bible verses cited: Extended – and mocking – account of Moses lost in desert 40 years (Numbers 14)
During this late-night meeting of the Jonestown community – likely late in the fall of 1977 – Jim Jones brings his followers up to date with several developments regarding both their supporters and their opponents back in the United States.
The Temple still has much of the San Francisco political power structure behind them, but Jones sees much of it as lip service. The mayor had given Marceline a kiss during a demonstration and told her that he was with them, but “we’d like to see some cash.”
He is also upset with his attorney, Charles Garry, who wants to make peace and reach compromises with their opponents. Jones doesn’t see how their enemies with Concerned Relatives can go from socialism to fascism, or how they can use agents of INTERPOL – a Nazi organization – to investigate them, “and I goddamn well refuse to talk to them.”
As for Garry himself, Jones wonders if the talk of negotiation means that the radical lawyer is “afraid.” Maybe the man should move to Jonestown – which he had described as “paradise on earth” – and let the Temple get another lawyer.
As Jones warms to the subject, he declares that the only choices are between fascism and communism – that democracy cannot exist until the people have the type of conscience that can be understood only through communism – and that Jonestown represents the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Even many Jonestown residents haven’t fully reached that conscientiousness, but he has. “I know that I have been consistently conscientious in doing that job, and I’ve found nobody yet able to take the hell that I’m able to take and give out equality with the justice that I give it out, and so I have become the dictator of the working class interest and well-being.”
One of the unknown subtexts of the meeting is an incident in which the Jonestown leadership asked an apparent newcomer to the community to turn over his flashlight batteries to the community, but Jones raises the issue several times. He reminds everyone how fortunate they are to be in Jonestown, how they are safe from nuclear war, so why should they complain when someone asks for their batteries. At another point, he reminds everyone – likely including the person who had the batteries – that they’re fine accepting the benefits of food and medicine, but they’re too selfish to turn over their batteries. At yet another point, Jones says that the boats need lights, the security forces need lights – “that fellow that’s got that weapon has got a light so he can protect you”– and no one needs a flashlight. “I think it’s a shameful thing that you’d come in here with so many, many goddamn demands.”
The second half of the tape consists of Jones reading a passage – likely written by martyred Black Panther George Jackson – about homosexual sex in prisons. Although the tape edit makes the transition unclear, Jones then talks about his experiences with sex in high school – how he was humiliated by two classmates, a boy and a girl – but how the incident helped transform him into a communist. “In a sense, she was a blessing in disguise, though. She taught me not to depend on people. You’re mistaken to depend upon people. You better depend upon principle.” The other lesson he learned was that, “I would never let sex direct me, but I would direct sex to the achievement to my goals, which were pure goals.”
Date of transcription: 6/29/79
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 9, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B102-10. This tape was found to contain the following: A recording of a People’s rally where JIM JONES talks about how much he does for the people.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted May 2016