Q944 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 Radio transmissions

FBI preliminary tape identification note: [None]

Date cues on tape: late 1977, early 1978

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:

Part I:
Joe Mazor, private detectivePart II:
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Jerry Brown, Governor of California [by reference]
Mervyn Dymally, Lieutenant Governor of California [by reference]
Willie Brown, California State Assemblyman from San Francisco
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations

Dennis Banks, leader of American Indian Movement
Cesar Chavez, organizer of farm workers
Angela Davis, University professor, black activist
George Meany, labor leader, head of AFL-CIO

Charles Garry, attorney for Peoples Temple
Carlton Goodlett, San Francisco physician, newspaper publisher [by reference]
Joe Mazor, private detective [by reference]
“head of the Council of Churches” [likely Rev. Norman E. Leach, could be Donneter Lane]

Temple adversaries; members of Concerned Relatives:

Part I:
Deanna Mertle
Elmer Mertle
Don Ponts
Tim Stoen
Mickey Touchette
Tupper family
“Mary Griffiths’ child” [likely Wesley Griffiths]Part II:
Tim Stoen [by reference]

Temple members not in Jonestown:

Part II:
Norman Ijames [by reference]

Jonestown residents, full name unknown:

Part I:
Lula (three in Jonestown)
Richard (several in Jonestown)

Jonestown residents:

Part I:
Irene Edwards
Toi Fonzelle
Mary Griffiths
Penny Kerns
Beverly Livingstone
Bruce Oliver
William Oliver
Lois Ponts
Laurence Schacht [by reference]
Al Simon
Le Flora Townes
Charles Touchette [by reference]
Joyce Touchette [by reference]
Rita Tupper [by reference]
Part II:
Ever Rejoicing (speaks)
Mike Prokes (speaks)
Laurence Schacht [by reference]

Bible verses cited: None


The two parts of this tape were likely recorded about the same time, in late 1977 or early 1978. The first part consists of the closing moments of a nighttime community meeting in Jonestown; the second consists of two radio programs recorded at Jonestown to be broadcast in Georgetown.

The tape opens with Jim Jones reminding his followers of how much strength and unity they have, and how their commitment to the community – and more especially to him – continues to make them strong. They have stood up to pressure before – he evokes the memory of the Six Day Siege in the fall of 1977 – and they have won on their demands. Still, he feels the need for them to remind the world, that if he dies, a bloodbath will follow. But he’s healthy tonight, he tells them, and they don’t have to worry about him dying anytime soon.

He is not afraid to die. He certainly isn’t worried about being shot by an enemy firing at him from the jungle – he could have been taken down any number of times, if that fit into their plans – but instead, he speaks of the harassing nature of the conspiracy, how they try to drain the energy from the community and himself, how they hope that they will eventually turn against him.

While he isn’t afraid of death, he does ask the residents about their own fears – an inquiry which seems to have started earlier that evening, if not at a previous meeting – and implores them to be honest about their feelings. There will be no discipline, no recriminations towards anyone who acknowledges the fear. “We want to help you,” he says several times.

He also asks who misses the United States and why. There is apparently a larger response to this question, as people express their desire to see their relatives. Even Jones’ reminder that some of their relatives are Temple enemies doesn’t seem to be enough, and he amends the query to “how many miss nothing more than loved ones? Anything else you miss?”

The second part consists of two radio programs recorded for broadcast in Georgetown. In the first, several seniors talk about the shortcomings of retirement homes and care facilities in the United States, and what they have in Jonestown. Jones joins the conversation in progress with a reminder that their efforts to take care of seniors in Jonestown have the blessing of the Guyanese government – the broadcasts are, after all, intended for a Guyanese audience – and Temple spokesperson Michael Prokes, who hosts the radio program, describes the activities that the seniors have, ranging from gardening and sewing, to volunteering in the school and medical clinic, to “just doing whatever they want to do.”

In the second radio program, Jones talks to Prokes about the conspiracy against them and expresses surprise that a church which does so much good, which has helped so many people, and which has the support of such a wide section of American society – including several names that he lists – could be subject to so much harassment. Prokes asks whether “this conspiracy was initiated against us because we tried to live as socialist in a capitalist society,” to which Jones replies that “[if] a group is practicing socialism 5000 miles away, if it is a model and succeeding, … that is a threat to certain reactionary elements in the United States.” As before, this aspect of the commentary is directed to the Guyanese audience.

Jones completes his description of the Jonestown community with a recitation of how it is contributing to the welfare of the population of the country’s Northwest District, by donating “thousands of pounds of rice weekly for some time now … and thousands of pounds of fish on other occasions.” It has also adopted several Guyanese children, and offers medical services to its neighbors.

The broadcast ends with a performance of several songs by Jonestown’s school-age children.

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 9, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B102-12. This tape was found to contain the following: JIM JONES conducting a “People’s Rally” question and answer session wherein he states “…to kill me or do anything against this movement would create a very bad bloodbath…” JONES then polls the membership to take the names of those who “still fear death and miss America” in order that they receive “special counseling”. This is followed by portions of two radio broadcasts with JONES and MIKE PROKES concerning the life of the elderly at Jonestown and the “conspiracy” against People’s Temple.

Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

 Tape originally posted May 2016