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: None
Date cues on tape: late May, early June 1978
Fred Wills, Guyana Foreign Minister [by reference]
Commander Price, Guyanese military leader friendly to Jones
Johnny Moss Brown Jones
Tim Tupper Jones
Bible verses cited: None
Recorded within a few weeks of the defection of Deborah Layton Blakey – but more immediately prompted by the recent disappearance of a woman into the jungle surrounding Jonestown for a couple of hours – Jim Jones delivers the same message over and again for 18 minutes:
- People cannot leave Jonestown without facing several levels of danger. First, there is the jungle itself, with tigers, snakes, crocodiles, and spiders – creatures that do not enter Jonestown itself because of Jones’ protection – as well as quicksand. Second, whether a runaway makes it to Port Kaituma, or even less likely, to Georgetown, there are Guyanese military and police officers as well as American Embassy personnel who will capture, report and return them. Third, even if the runaway eludes these authorities, they would not be able to leave the country without proper documentation, which the runaway would not have. Finally, “we’re always at the airport and can do anything we choose if we choose.”
- People are responsible to report negative behavior and talk by anyone. While it might have been wrong to inform on citizens in fascist USA, it is proper – more accurately, “an honorable duty” – to let the Jonestown community know of such negativity. Moreover, people who don’t report will be held responsible for that inaction, just as though they had engaged in the behavior themselves.
- The structure of security within Jonestown needs to be enhanced, with new committees and procedures to keep track of people’s whereabouts at all times. Everyone needs to be where they’re supposed to be, and anyone who is missing must be reported immediately.
Underlying these demands is Jones’ insistence of his love and care for the community, as he catalogues everything he has done for them, including the work that has kept him up for five straight days: “I’ve been reading encyclopedias of reports from Georgetown and San Francisco and Los Angeles. Fighting battles, reading letters, going through mail, answering it, you have no idea. I don’t need this shit.”
The work is worth it to save everyone in the States from fascism and nuclear war, but the people need to learn to appreciate his efforts, and to demonstrate that by doing what they’re told to do. “Anything’s easier than loving a thousand people as intensely as I loveyou, with all my soul, and protect you. I don’t give a goddamn. Torture, jail, or death. That’s easier than this, by a million light-years.”
Date of transcription: 6/18/79
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 2, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-77. This tape was found to contain the following:
Classical symphony music on one track. Reverend JIM JONES comes in over the music at 25:30 minutes threatening those PT members who are treasonous and wanting to leave Jonestown.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted January 2019.