Q290 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. 1Pt. 2).
To return to the Tape Index, click here.

 FBI Catalogue           Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “9-18-78 Mon News”

 Date cues on tape:     Contents of tape consistent with label

 People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President

Lord David Owen, British Foreign Minister
Leonid Brezhnev, Communist Party General Secretary, Soviet Union
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister
Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Hua Kuo-fenj, chairman of Chinese Communist Party
Johannes Vorster, prime minister of Republic of South Africa
P.W. Botha, defence minister of Republic of South Africa (by reference)
Pik Botha, foreign minister of Republic of South Africa (by reference)
Petrus Cornelius Mulder, Minister of Interior Affairs (by reference)

Forbes Burnham, Guyana Prime Minister
Ptolemy Reid, Guyana Deputy Prime Minister
Vibert Mingo, Guyana Minister of Home Affairs
Cheddi Jagan, leader of Guyana People’s Progressive Party

Sidney Poitier, American actor
Charles Boyer, French actor
Patricia Paterson Boyer, wife of Charles Boyer
Marjorie Everett, friend of Boyers
Muhammed Ali, boxer
Veronica Porché Ali, wife of Muhammed Ali (by reference)
Dr. W. M. Ringsdorf, author of health books

Mark Lane, Peoples Temple attorney
Don Freed, author and screenwriter

Members of Peoples Temple:
Leona Collier
Frances Johnson
Chris Lewis

Jonestown residents:
Ever Rejoicing [Amanda Poindexter]
David Betts “Pop” Jackson

Bible verses cited: None


(This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)

Jim Jones reads the news for September 18, 1978. Among the items:

• An earthquake hits Iran;
• Camp David negotiators meet on final day to hammer out agreement;
• South Africa reportedly accepts neutron bombs from the US;
• South Africa meets with representatives of five nations to discuss Namibian independence;
• The UN moves to set up security systems for Israel and Lebanon;
• The Presbyterian Church endorses the Nestle boycott;
• The USSR declares equality for national minorities;
• Charles Boyer’s death was a suicide

As with many of these news broadcasts over the Jonestown P.A. system, Jones includes feature-length pieces. There are two on this tape. It opens with a lengthy piece on Guyana’s consideration on whether to accept the conditions of a loan from the International Monetary Fund, and closes with a discussion of the benefits of calcium in combatting depression, insomnia, nervousness and irritability.

Also as in other tapes, Jones periodically makes comments on the side, oftentimes connecting the news of the day to a message he wants to give his community. The apartheid conditions in South Africa and the control of the country by the U.S. corporate elite remind him that the people of Jonestown need to work “so that we can make money. Not only to save the people here, but so we can reach out and touch those that are struggling all over the world.” He reiterates the point a few moments later: “Let us think how much we can give to the struggle, how many people we could liberate. We have over a hundred sixty-three [people] from the prison systems alone, begging, … begging through church people who are our friends to please let them come over here to start a new life.” More than that, though, Jones promotes the work ethic throughout, highlighting the joy and medical benefits of labor without exploitation.

The apparent suicide of Charles Boyer, who killed himself two days after his wife’s death – “He wrote the script, produced and directed it and in fact arranged for both of them to die with dignity” – leads Jones to consider how empty life is in Western society, how much it is missing for people without socialism. The people of Jonestown aren’t like that, though. They know how important they are to each other, to their children, to the world wide struggle. “We have so much to live for, that we don’t die based just on one person’s passing.”

This tape was made two weeks after Mark Lane last visited the community, and apparently he had fallen ill. Jones takes time out several times to extend good wishes to the attorney for a complete recovery, and expresses his appreciation for how much their advocate has done in chasing down the conspiracy against them.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 5/31/79

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 May 31, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-35. This tape was found to contain the following:
News and commentary by JIM JONES. News items included topics such as:

1. International monetary fund;

2. Rhodesia;

3. Lebanon;


5. CHARLES BOYER’s death;

6. Calcium deficiencies

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted March 2017.