Q176 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 “News Oct. 20, 1978”

Date cues on tape:     Items on news tape consistent with label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State
Hodding Carter, State Department spokesman
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter national security advisor
Paul Warnke, US arms negotiatorMohammed Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Samora Machel, president of Mozambique
Ian Smith, prime minister of Rhodesia
Leabua Jonathan, prime minister of Lesotho
Johannes Vorster, prime minister of South Africa
A.N.C. Kumalo, South African poet

Pierre Trudeau, prime minister of Cabads
Anastasio Somoza, president of Nicaragua
Juan Pereda Asbun, dictator of Bolivia
Hugo Banzer, former dictator of Bolivia
Augusto Pinochet, dictator of Chile
Salvador Allende, deposed president of Chile

Pham Van Dong, prime minister of Vietnam
Albert Henry, prime minister of Cook Islands
Tom Davis, leader of Cook Islands opposition party

Mother Jones, U.S. labor organizer
Tony Boyle, president of UMW
Jock Yablonski, UMW organizer, opponent of Tony Boyle
Fred Wright, union activist
Maxine Klein, director of play on Mother Jones
Ellen Field, actress portraying Mother Jones
James Oesterreich, composer
Philip Agee, CIA critic

Jonestown residents:
Jocelyn Carter


Bible verses cited:     None


Jim Jones reads the news on October 20, 1978.

The second half of the recording features regular news items, but during much of the first half, Jones seems to be reading items from a leftist publication published in the United States. There are several reviews, including of a play about militant labor organizer Mother Jones, as well as of several books and pamphlets which are available through addresses in the U.S., which Jones includes in his reading.

As is characteristic of most of these readings, Jones’ references to the United States are accompanied by such epithets of imperialist and monopoly capitalist; American allies are described as fascist lackeys and dictatorships; and the liberation movements in Latin America and Africa are popular, and are most often Marxist-Leninist. He also bemoans American tax dollars going to prop up the authoritarian, racist regimes of the right.

Also typical of these addresses, Jones uses several news items to express his opinion – at least once inserted into the news story itself as though it is among its facts – about his longstanding apocalyptic view that nuclear war is “about to break out” or is inevitable.

His only message to the community at large comes at the end, when he urges people to figure out ways to get ten hours’ worth of work into eight hours, which would allow them to have more time off. Regular days off seem to be in the past, though, since he specifies that those will be announced, usually the evening before.

There are only two reference to death during the 45-minute reading, the more significant one in his closing remark. “I love you very, very dearly, enough to live for you,” he concludes. “It would be easy to die for you.”

Among the longer news items:

  • Popular resistance to the Shah of Iran, and the armed response to it;
  • Sandinistas demands in Nicaragua, the Somoza government reaction, and responses from Central American governments;
  • A review of a play based on the life of Mother Jones and of union organizing in the minefields.

The reviews of leftist-oriented pamphlets, periodicals, and books which Jones reads include:

  • Speeches by Mozambique’s Marxist-Leninist president;
  • Connections between blacks in the US and South Africa;
  • Efforts to declare Hawaiian independence from the US;
  • Covert actions by US intelligence agencies;
  • South African poets;
  • Women living under apartheid in South Africa;
  • The Zimbabwe liberation Front.

Shorter news items include:

  • US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance travels to Moscow for SALT II talks;
  • A Canadian postal strike continues;
  • The New York Yankees enjoy a ticker-tape parade;
  • The US will press ahead with plans for a neutron bomb;
  • The worldwide problem of rats;
  • The new Bolivian dictator cracks down on peasants and progressive movements;
  • The high court of the Cook Islands orders the ruling party out of power;
  • Lesotho seeks closer relations with Mozambique;
  • NATO plans to seek closer ties to South American regimes run into resistance;
  • Rhodesian troops launch raids into neighboring Zambia;
  • Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith on speaking tour in US.

FBI Summary:

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 May 31, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B69-1. This tape was found to contain the following:

Broadcast of Friday news by JIM JONES to include topics such as the revolution in Iran, Angola, Hawaii, SALT/Middle East Talks, Postal Strike in Canada, Stock Market Report, and Rhodesia.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted February 2019.