Q417 Summary

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

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To read the Tape Transcript, click here. Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1Pt. 2Pt. 3).

FBI Catalogue Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “Huey Newton”

Date cues on tape: Article read by Jones dated July 10, 1978

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:

Jimmy Carter, U.S. President [named in article]
Richard Nixon, former U.S. President [named in article]
Rep. Ron Dellums (D-Calif.) [named in article]
Don Hopkins, aide to Rep. Dellums [named in article]
Jerry Brown, California governor [named in article]
J.L. Anthony Cline, legal affairs secretary to Gov. Brown [named in article]
Evelle Younger, California attorney general
Lionel Wilson, Oakland Mayor [named in article]
John George, Alameda County Supervisor [named in article]

Che Guevara, [named in article]
Mao Tse-Tung, [named in article]
Forbes Burnham, prime minister of Guyana

Martin Luther King, Civil Rights leader
Leonard Bernstein, composer [named in article]
Kingman Brewster, Yale University president [named in article]
Jane Fonda, actress and political activist [named in article]
Jessica Mitford, author [named in article]

Paul Avery, co-author of “The Party’s Over”
Kate Coleman, co-author of “The Party’s Over”
Steve Gavin, San Francisco Chronicle editor
Angela Davis, professor, member of Communist Party
Charles Gain, San Francisco police chief [named in article]
Charles Garry, attorney representing Newton (and Temple)

Names related to Black Panthers:

Huey Newton, leader of Black Panthers
Elaine Brown, Panther leader, Newton’s successor
Billy Carr, Panther allegedly involved in murders
Eldridge Cleaver, Panther leader
Carl Colar, Bobby Seale’s bodyguard
Len Colar, Carl Colar’s brother
Gwen Fontaine, Newton’s secretary, later his wife
Flores “Fly” Forbes, assassinated Oakland Panther
Michael Fultz, Panther newspaper editor
Fred Hampton, Black Panther assassinated by police
Robert Heard, Newton bodyguard
Larry Henson, Oakland Panther
Robert Hilliard, Black Panther Party co-founder
Pat Hilliard, wife of Robert Hilliard
Louis T. Johnson, Panther killed by other Panthers
Allen Lewis, Oakland Panther
Nelson Malloy, wounded Oakland Panther
Sam Napier, Panther leader in New York
Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, Panther leader in Los Angeles
Saundra Pratt, wife of Geronimo Pratt [by reference]
Rollin Reid, Oakland Panther
George Robinson, Oakland Panther allegedly involved in murders
Bobby Seale, Black Panther Party co-founder
Betty Van Patter, Panther bookkeeper allegedly murdered by Panthers
Jimmy Ward, Huey Newton’s cousin

Ed Bercovitch, Oakland businessman
Preston Callins, Oakland tailor attacked by Newton
Phillip Cole, owner of Black Knight Bar allegedly murdered by Panthers
Willie Ralph Duke, heroin dealer allegedly murdered by Panthers
John Frey, police officer allegedly shot by Newton
Rafael Garry, aka Crystal Gray, Oakland prostitute
Kenny Hall, white man beaten up by Panthers
James Harris, man allegedly murdered by Panthers
Tommy Jackson, doorman of Brass Rail allegedly murdered by Panthers
Michael Kennedy, friend of Sheldon Otis
Wilbert LaTour, owner of Brass Rail nightclub
Vernon McInnis, drug dealer allegedly murdered by Panthers
Mary Matthews, victim of Panther burglary
Howard Moore, attorney representing Callins
Tom Orloff, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney
Sheldon Otis, Panther lawyer
Helen Robinson, young woman harassed by Heard
Bert Schneider, Hollywood producer, friend of Newton
Kathleen Smith, Oakland prostitute
Diane Washington, young woman harassed by Heard
Willy White, man allegedly wounded by Panthers

Armelia Johnson, mother of Huey Newton [by reference]
Melvin Newton, Huey Newton’s brother
Walter Newton, father of Huey Newton [by reference]

Jonestown residents:

Eugene Chaikin [by reference]
Harriet Sarah Tropp [by reference]
Ebony Duncan [by reference]

Bible verses cited: None


Jim Jones reads “The Party’s Over”, an article about Black Panther leader Huey Newton which was published in the July 10, 1978 edition of the biweekly New Times Magazine.

The article is long, detailed and – most of all – highly critical of the Panthers and its leadership. Even before he begins reading, then, Jones disparages the author Paul Avery, a “liberal” who had witnessed some of Jones’ “unusual miraculous powers” and seemed to “understand our socialist course.” Because of the turnaround Avery evidences in writing this piece, Jones suggests that he might have been with the CIA. Certainly, Jones adds, it’s true that Avery “was high on dope and drinking all the time.”

Jones is also disappointed with the magazine that published the piece, saying that “New Times magazine has appeared to be progressive. But now it’s showing its true colors, in this horrible murder in press against Huey.” Those true colors have to do with the capitalist nature of any publication.

The reading is quite dramatic, and Jones inserts comic breathlessness and feigned incredulity throughout. He also provides a running commentary, almost all of which is obvious – by the tone of his voice, by the rhetoric that he uses – although he periodically declares that these additions are his own. After one editorial aside, he reminds his listeners: “That’s my commentary. Anything decent about Huey will be my commentary, because this is nothing but a total smear.”

Beyond that, there are periodic embellishments, extra details which are not in the original article, such as attributing one of Newton’s actions to his paranoia, or saying that a man’s institutionalization was in “an insane asylum.”

Most of the commentary pertains directly to the subject matter, although Jones does draw lessons for the Jonestown community. Early in the piece, Jones reminds everyone that this smear campaign is happening to Newton, despite the black leader’s influence and connections and respect within his community. Think of what the white power structure does to blacks, including everyone in Jonestown, without any of Newton’s advantages. “I don’t know why you think you could make it back in USA.”

Jones also compares those who left the Panthers to Peoples Temple apostates. “[T]hey left because they were cowards,” he says, “like a lot of people of our own traitors, that can’t take the heat for being a socialist.”

But Jones’ most acerbic venom is reserved until the end of the reading, when he attacks the writer for not having the courage to accurately explain the most important words in Huey Newton’s message. “He knew what those historic words [revolutionary suicide] meant. To die for the people means to give up your life for the people you love. And revolutionary suicide is an act of giving yourself – if it even sacrifices yourself – to bring down the corrupt racist capitalist system.”

In closing, Jones reiterates his underlying message: the article demonstrates “how impossible it would be for you to go back there.”

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/26/79

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 5, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B100-24. This tape was found to contain the following:

A speech supporting HUEY NEWTON by JIM JONES.

Differences with FBI Summary:

Other than the fact that Jones reads an article instead of making a speech, the summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.

Tape originally posted January 2018.