Q371 Summary

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

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FBI Catalogue           Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “7/12/78 News”

Date cues on tape:   New items on tape consistent with label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:

Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter
Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State
J. Edgar Hoover, head of FBI
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY)

Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister
Alex Ginzburg, Soviet dissident
Natan Sharansky, Soviet dissident

Moktar Ould Daddah, deposed dictator of Mauritania
Col. Mustafa Ould Salek, Mauritania head of state
Mobutu Sese Seko, dictator of Zaire
Agostinho Neto, president of Angola
Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda
Patrice Lumumba, assassinated Prime Minister of Zaire
Lungile Tabalaza, South African student murdered by police

Victor Jara, Chilean singer
Martin Luther King, leader in Civil Rights movement
Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King

Jonestown residents:

Vernetta Christian
Teresa King

Bible verses cited:   None


Jim Jones reads the news for July 12, 1978.

The reading includes most elements of these news tapes: the U.S. is consistently described as the center of imperialist, monopoly capitalism; and her allies are consistently labeled as aggressive, racist, fascistic puppets.

There is only a single reference to the possibility of nuclear war, but Jones does highlight the US’ role in “a madness of new cold war terror,” the shakiness of its alliances precipitating international unrest, and the emphasis of American displeasure with Soviet dissidents as a diversion to cover the real problems faced by the US.

The real target of his criticism, though, is China’s “renegade” foreign policy, a position which mirrors the views of Jones’ political motherland, the Soviet Union. China’s domestic policies, which are more in line with Marxist-Leninist thought,  contrast sharply with her support of dictators in Africa and of counter-revolutionary forces around the world.

Jones refers several times to his lack of sleep, but the cause seems to be his continuing work to “save” his people, rather than as a response to a crisis.

Among the news items in this reading:

  • The trial of two Soviet dissidents evoke responses from the US Congress and State Department;
  • A meeting of African foreign ministers expresses support for the Palestinian cause and attacks Israeli aggression;
  • A South African student leader is murdered “who conveniently fell to his death from the fifth floor window of a police headquarters”;
  • Twenty-five prisoners have died at the hands of police in South Africa in one month;
  • The NAACP calls for divestiture of US assets in South Africa;
  • The new leader of Mauritania, who came to power in a bloodless coup, calls for a ceasefire and peace negotiations with the rebel Polasario movement;
  • Separatist  movements by Basques in Spain and Quebecois in Canada will not have US support;
  • China and Vietnam engage in border clashes
  • New smears attempt to discredit Martin Luther King.

The tape ends with two minutes of a previous recording of a Jonestown meeting, in which Jones criticizes several members for not taking the responsibility for their actions. The snippet is short enough that there is no context for his remarks.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/20/79

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 3, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B93-104. This tape was found to contain the following:

News of the day and commentary by JAMES JONES

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted January 2019.