Q159 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).
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FBI Catalogue: Jones Speaking

FBI preliminary tape identification note: Labeled in part “Aug 28 News”

Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with identification label

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Richard Nixon, former U.S. President
John F. Kennedy, assassinated U.S. President
Robert F. Kennedy, assassinated U.S. Senator
Sen. George McGovern (D-South Dakota)
Harrison Golden, New York City Comptroller

Pope John Paul I
Pope Paul VI [by reference]
Margaret Thatcher, leader of Tory party in Britain

Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
Jafar Sharif-Emami, Iranian prime minister
Mohammad Mosaddegh, former premier of Iran [by reference]
Elias Sarkis, President of Lebanon
Agostinho Neto, President of Angola
Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire

Hua Kuo-fenj, chairman of Chinese Communist Party
Din Ba Phi, Vietnam’s ambassador to United Nations

Anastasio Somoza, President of Nicaragua

Karl Marx, German economist
Rupert Murdoch, newspaper magnate
Michael Evans, head of Chase Econometrics
Arnold Miller, United Mine Workers President
Tony Boyle, former United Mine Workers President
Jock Yablonski, labor leader
Malcolm X, assassinated civil rights leader
Martin Luther King, assassinated civil rights leader
Margaret Mead, anthropologist
Tommy Beale, lobbyist for National Cattlemen’s Association
Delbert Tibbs, black man falsely accused of rape
Richard Hammerschlag, Univ. of Calif. researcher
Francis Geldenheis [phonetic], church official in South Africa

Bible verses cited: None


Jim Jones reads the news for August 28, 1978.

After beginning with several short news bulletins on such familiar subjects as unrest in Iran, unrest in Nicaragua, border disputes between Vietnam and Kampuchea, the anticipated failure of the Camp David talks, the disconnection between the Catholic Church and its followers, and the worldwide tour of the chairman of China’s Communist Party, Jones reads several longer pieces, including:

• Inflation in America, especially on food items, threatens the nation’s poor;
• South African whites use Christianity to exploit and justify oppression of blacks;
• Margaret Thatcher, expected to become Britain’s next prime minister, calls for restriction on immigration.

In addition, Jones reads news stories on the following:

• Taxes to go up in US, even with Carter’s tax reduction plan;
• Grain is shipped to Vietnam;
• George McGovern is criticized for his apparent support of gay rights;
• Zaire and Angola re-open railroad, pledge to respect borders;
• A black man accused of rape – who protested his innocence, and who was eventually exonerated after Jonestown – takes his case to the Florida Supreme Court.

Characteristic of almost all of these tapes, Jones introduces his own editorial comments throughout, usually in the form of adding such adjectives as “capitalistic,” “fascist,” “imperialistic,” and “racist” in describing the US.

He also introduces several references to the approaching nuclear war, including putting his own fears in the mouth of an economist, who – according to Jones – said, “But the real bad years for consumers will be 1979 and 1980, on through ’83, if there’s not a nuclear war.”

As is also typical of these tapes, Jones uses a news story to serve as an object lesson for the people of Jonestown. In the course of an article about cutbacks in welfare benefits to the nation’s poor, Jones expresses his opinion that, “The New York Times does not believe that mothers of youngsters who are forced in crime, because there’s not enough to eat, should eat themselves. This is the mood of USA that some of you seem to lust after, to such a dreadful degree. I hope you wake up before it’s too late.”

Jones has several other messages to community residents, including his regular admonitions to tell guests and visitors that they are all happy, and that they do not wish to receive mail from the States. He closes the tape with his usual declaration of his love for them all, his pleas to keep Jonestown clean and beautiful, and his requests for what he terms “gratitudes… We have much to be grateful for, to live in a community without fear of violence. No one racist breathing down our neck. No fear that we have to lock our doors, no fear of the mugger or the robber or the rapist. No fear of pollution. No fear of the foods we eat.”

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 5/30/79

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 24, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B68-10. This tape was found to contain the following:

A talk by JIM JONES entitled, “News of the Day”. JONES states that Christianity oppresses the poor man with the promise of heaven.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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

Tape originally posted June 2019.