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: Labeled in part “July 29, 1978 News”
Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with identification note
Jimmy Carter, U.S. president
Richard Nixon, former U.S. President [by reference]
Cyrus Vance, US Secretary of State
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass)
Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI)
Gen. Geryld Christianson, staff aide for Senator Pell
Rep. Philip Crane (R-Illinois)
William Webster, FBI Director
Edwin J. Sharp, head of the FBI’s Organized Crime Section
Robert M. White, director of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr. Gordon J.F. McDonnell, Pentagon official
Dr. Robert McCullough, technical adviser, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
Pham Van Dong, North Vietnam’s premier
Indira Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister
Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi [by reference]
Charan Singh, Indian Minister of Home Affairs
Menachim Begin, prime minister of Israel
Idi Amin, president of Uganda
Ian Smith, prime minister of Rhodesia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Johannes Vorster, Prime Minister of South Africa [by reference]
Desmond Christian, Guyana regional minister
Michael Manley, Jamaica Prime Minister
Fidel Castro, leader of Cuba
Robert Heard, Newton bodyguard
Michael Moriarty, actor
Gerald Green, screenwriter
Dr. R. Lee Clark, president, University of Texas medical school
Debbie Layton Blakey
Bible verses cited: None
Jim Jones reads the news for July 29, 1978.
The reading is familiar to Jonestown residents. Using principally Radio Moscow and Radio Havana as his sources of news, he invariably describes the United States as fascist, capitalist, or imperialist; American allies as racist lackeys and puppets; and Soviets and Cubans as the forces of liberation and freedom. He also invokes the specter of nuclear war several times, even going so far as to place the threat in the voice of someone besides himself.
As he does in other readings, Jones periodically relates the news to a message he has for his followers, oftentimes – as in this case – comparing Jonestown favorably to the outside world. Following up on a story about the role of nitrates as a cancer-causing substance, he notes, “we don’t have much of those chemicals here, so it wouldn’t have as much effect. We don’t have all those chemical additives which cause cancer in our foods. One of the things we should be grateful for.”
Before he begins his reading, however, Jones does inform his listeners that the word “dictator” is sometimes overused, and that “I am not a dictator.” After listing the attributes of a dictator, he adds, “don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that the dictatorship of the proletariat means in any way the dictatorship in the sense of tyranny or fascism, because only one time … do you disagree with a dictator. One time, and that’s the last time.”
Among the stories Jones covers:
• Price control abuses in Guyana
• 18,000 youth – including numerous Guyanese – attend Youth Festival in Havana
• Sen. Edward Kennedy criticizes President Carter on health care
• Government red tape contributes to cancer deaths
• Jogging reduces depression and psychiatric ills
• Suicide rates for blacks climbs
• Holocaust TV miniseries employed Nazis as consultants
• FBI uses news reporters as informers
• Black Panthers charged in assault
• IRS reverses position on tax-exempt groups presenting views of political candidates
• Arabs and Israelis build weapons stockpiles
• US faces problems of radioactive waste
• CIA uses weather modification as weapon
• USSR calls on China to stop playing into US’ hands
• Algeria considers becoming first Muslim nation in Warsaw Pact
• US business leaders protest curtailment of trade with USSR
• UN supports free elections in Namibia
• Jamaica faces bankruptcy after IMF devalues currency
Date of transcription: 6/13/79
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 1B68-9. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES reading the international news from Radio Moscow and Radio Havanna [Havana] and music.
This tape was reviewed and nothing was contained thereon which was considered to be of evidentiary nature or beneficial to the investigation of the murder of Congressman RYAN.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted June 2019.