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 “Aug 11 News”
Date cues on tape: References to day of week and to anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death are from August 16, 1978
Jimmy Carter, U.S. president
Rosalynn Carter, First Lady
Jody Powell, White House press secretary during Carter Administration
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Former Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin)
George Wallace, former Governor of Alabama
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations
Donald Mills, president of UN Economic and Social Council
Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda in World War II
Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Pope Paul VI, recently-deceased pope
Stefan Wyszynski, Polish Cardinal
Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain
Margaret Thatcher, leader of Conservative Party in Great Britain
Lord David Owen, Foreign Minister of Britain
Valery Giscard d’Estaing, President of France
Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares, outgoing prime minister of Portugal
Alfredo Millbrae de Costa, incoming prime minister of Portugal
António de Oliveira Salazar, former Prime Minister of Portugal
Marcus Arelius, Roman emperor
Morarji Desai, prime minister of India
Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India
Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran
King Hussein, king of Jordan
Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, prince in Saudi Arabia
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front in Rhodesia
Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda
Sarah Amin, wife of Idi Amin
Fred Wills, Foreign Minister of Guyana
Vibert Mingo, Minister of Home Affairs of Guyana
Gen. Clarence Price, Guyanese military leader friendly to Jones
Remigia Ferrari-Scacco, wife of Sen. Brooke
Theresa Ferrari-Scacco, mother of Remigia
Remy Brooke, daughter of Sen. Brooke and Remigia Ferrari-Scacco
Helen Seldon Brooke, mother of Sen. Brooke
Raymond Tye, Boston businessman
George Forbes, lawyer of Remigia Ferrari-Scacco
Norman Scott, Thorpe’s alleged lover
Andrew Newton, ex-airline pilot allegedly involved in murder plot [by reference]
David Holmes, allegedly involved in murder plot
John Le Mesurier, allegedly involved in murder plot
George Deakin, allegedly involved in murder plot
John Richard Green, 19th-century English historian
Jean de Venette, 14th-century Carmelite friar
Giovanni Boccaccio, author of Decameron
Huey Newton, leader of Black Panthers
John K. Singlaub, U.S. general fired by Carter
Elvis Presley, American entertainer
Patricia Hearst, newspaper heiress, kidnapped by SLA in 1974
Paul Erdman, author
George Meany, labor leader, head of AFL-CIO
John Head, Temple member who died before Jonestown migration
Ken Norton, aka Richard Grubbs
Bible verses cited:
(Editor’s note: The verses below appear in order of biblical reference, not as they appear in Jim Jones’ address. For a complete scriptural index to the sermons of Jim Jones, click here.)
Lengthy discussion of Genesis 3 and 4
“Cain slew Abel, hit him in the ass with a jawbone.” [mistaken reference to “the jawbone of an ass” is to Samson, who slew a thousand men, Judges 15:15-16]
“Husband has rule over the wife.” (Ephesians 5:24, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” See also 1 Peter 3:1).
“Slave, obey your master.” (Colossians 3:22, ”Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God.” See also, Ephesians 6:5, Titus 2:9).
“Woman are to keep silent, never to speak in public, have to go home and ask their husbands. That’s why we have chauvinism. Male chauvinism.” (1 Timothy 2:11-12, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”).
“That’s why we had slavery. Said, slave, whatever state you find yourself therein, be content. If you got a good master, be thankful. That means a slave master. And if you got a bad master, just endure him. Don’t question, don’t resist.” (1 Peter 2:18-21).
Jim Jones reads the news for August 16, 1978.
There are many elements of this reading which are typical of this period. He says that he gives the news “just as it is given to me, without any of my own personal feelings in it, other than what I tell you, and today I didn’t have any of that to do, I just gave you the views of the various nations directly as they were given over the air.” But this assertion is likely not accurate. His characterizations of the people and the countries he speaks of may reflect Radio Moscow his main news source: the US is always imperialist, monopoly capitalist, and racist; its allies are always puppets and lackeys; the Soviet Union and its allies are always progressive and on the side of freedom and socialism. But he also reads from American news wire services and several newspapers, and from other national radio networks, such as the BBC, which are not as likely to use those adjectives.
Uniquely belonging to Jones are the continual references to nuclear war and holocaust. Some are hinged to a news story, such as his reminder that China’s Doctrine of Three Worlds expresses her conviction “that nuclear war wouldhappen sooner or later,” and that – quoting an editorial – “thesolepurpose of China is to provoke a nuclear war between China and the Soviet Union so that they can pick up the pieces and build communism worldwide.” Other references are from Jones himself, such as when he declares that some Russians who are disaffected by the Soviet system “would all come back to international socialism, if it were not for the nuclear age.”
More distinctive to this reading is Jones’ somewhat lengthy aside into religion, although the substance of his remarks reflects his views from his final sermons in California. Following his report of members of a Pentecostal sect trying to take refuge in the American Embassy in Moscow, Jones says, “Some of you gettin’ back into that religious shit, by the way… The Bible is stilla book of lies and fairy tales.” After reviewing several of them, Jones warns the community, “You drop your Jesus shit, or we’ll drop you in the shit.”
Jones reads several long articles, including ones on the scandal in Britain involving a politician who allegedly tried to have his gay lover murdered; a similar tabloid-style story about the divorce proceedings of a U.S. Senator; and the history of the bubonic plague. The final item is in the context of a recent outbreak in New Mexico, during which Jones decides that the name should be changed from Black Death – “always anything that’s evil’s called black, you know” – to White Death. He stumbles over the new name a few times, but by the end of the story, it’s as much a part of his vocabulary as “whitemail,” “white market,” and – most famously – “White Night.”
The tape consists of several segments – all from the same day – but Jones completes each one with exhortations to work hard, to come up with money-making ideas, and to remember that they are working to bring people to freedom. There are also hints of shortages beginning to affect life in Jonestown. He announces in one segment that the leadership will have to stop giving out as many treats as they have – at least temporarily – and insists that the people stop making demands on the kitchen for more than it can do. Even as he pleads poverty elsewhere in the tape, though, he notes that the Temple has donated money to African liberation movements, something they should all be proud of.
He also raises the issue of the conspiracy against Jonestown, which he says is trying to trying to “manipulate DA’s offices” in connection with an earlier suicide of a “lunatic … [who] never was a member of our church.”
Among the other stories he covers:
• Portugal has a new prime minister;
• Tax bill in Congress favors rich;
• Problems of starvation in Ethiopia attributed to CIA weather modification;
• South African planes attack Mozambique;
• South African police arrest black leaders, and two die in custody;
• Zaire and Angola open railway connecting two countries;
• Period of mourning for pope continues;
• Chinese and Japanese complete work on friendship treaty;
• Indian government begins inquiry into own prime minister;
• Hopes for success of SALT talks may be overblown;
• Military draft is up for debate in the US;
• Cambodia seeks peace with neighbors;
• Vietnamese troops enter Cambodia, receive threats from China;
• Israeli students seek new, more Zionist government;
• UN council criticizes slow pace towards economic socialist order;
• Idi Amin blames car crash on conspiracy;
• Controversial US general forced to retire;
• US press attacked for criticizing nation’s weapons systems;
• Church of England conference considers ordination of women.
Date of transcription: 6/8/79
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 26, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B69-29. This tape was found to contain the following:
JIM JONES reading the Radio Moscow and Radio Havanna [Havana] news of the day and announcements.
Differences with FBI Summary:
The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.
Tape originally posted June 2019.