Q237 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 17-Aug”

Date cues on tape: Tape contents consistent with identification note

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, US president
Gerald Ford, former US President
Richard Nixon, former US President
Rep. Jonathan Bingham (D-NY) [by reference]
Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Michigan)
Rep. Charles Diggs, Sr. (D-Michigan) [by reference]
Rep. John Rhodes (R-Arizona)
Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio)
Griffin Bell, U.S. Attorney General
Joseph Califano, Secretary of U.S. Dep’t of Health, Education & Welfare

Ray Blanton, Tennessee governor
Dixie Lee Ray, Washington governor
George Wallace, former Alabama governor

Kurt Waldheim, Secretary General of United Nations
Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain
Josef Stalin, former Soviet dictator
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, President of France [by reference]
Ólafur Jóhannesson, Iceland prime minister
Manea Mănescu, Romanian prime minister [by reference]
Bulent Ecevit, Turkish prime minister
Menachim Begin, Israeli Prime Minister
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Elias Sarkis, President of Lebanon
Mohammed Daoud [Dawood] Khan, President of Afghanistan
Abdul Qadir Dagarwal, Afghanistan defense minister [by reference]
Morarji Desai, Prime Minister of India
Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India
Hua Kuo-feng, Chairman of Chinese Communist party
Park Chung Hee, President of South Korea [by reference]
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia

Virgilio Gonzalez, Watergate burglar [by reference]
Bernard Barker, Watergate burglar [by reference]
Eugenio Martinez, Watergate burglar [by reference]
Frank Sturgis, Watergate burglar [by reference]

James Earl Ray, convicted assassin of Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King, civil rights leader
Rockefeller family, American family of great wealth
Muhammad Ali, prizefighter
Veronica Porché Ali, wife of Muhammed Ali
Benjamin Hooks, Executive Director, NAACP
George Jackson, black activist, author of Soledad Brother
Stephen Bingham, lawyer arrested in George Jackson case
Charles Lindbergh, renowned aviator
Charles Lindbergh, Jr., kidnapped child of Lindberghs [by reference]
Ingrid Bergman, actress
Gary Cooper, actor

Carlton Goodlett, San Francisco physician, newspaper publisher

Jonestown residents, full name unknown:
Evans child [several in Jonestown]
Rhodes child [several in Jonestown]
Wilson child [several in Jonestown]

Jonestown residents:
Norman Ijames
Bob Stroud
Rose Peterson
Rose Shelton

Bible verses cited: None


Jim Jones reads the news for August 17, 1978.

The news tape is typical of others from late summer 1978. Jones relies principally upon Radio Moscow as his source of information, although it is unclear whether the descriptive adjectives he uses are his own or those in the copy before him: the US is always capitalistic and imperialistic; its allies are racist and fascist puppets and lackeys; and the Soviet Union is a force for liberation and freedom in all foreign countries, and an example of sensitivity, respect and justice.

As in other tapes, Jones interjects commentary on the failings and corruptive nature of capitalism at every juncture. At the conclusion of a story about the decision by the American corporation Honeywell to reject the US request not to sell computers to the USSR, for example, Jones adds, “They are in the business of making profit. That’s one of the beautiful things that you can count on in capitalism. They will finally go down because of their competitive nature, the contradictions of fighting against each other, they finally look after theirselves and let the devil take the hindmost.”

Jones also stresses how much these stories affect him personally, and should affect every resident of Jonestown. Early in the tape, Jones talks about the bloated size of the defense budget, “which is better than 80 percent of the American taxpayer’s money. That’s how much money we have put out. And every time I say it, I make sure I make my heart feel guilt, and you should make your heart feel guilt. Eighty percent of all of our taxes go to war.”

Another characteristic of these tapes – also present here – are Jones’ continual references to the inevitability of nuclear war, sometimes inserting them into stories which have nothing to do with the subject, and just as often attributing the reference to a person or a nation or a political body which didn’t make the assertion. According to Jones, for example, a report made by the Geneva World Conference Against Racism, sponsored by the United Nations, said that “all black and Puerto Ricans [in America] live in colonies that are ready-made for extermination by the neutron bomb.”

Finally, Jones closes his reading as he almost always does, with a call for people to appreciate their surroundings and each other. “What a beautiful sunset. Look around you at the beauty, and give your gratitudes now to people. That’s what keeps the faith high.”

Among the stories Jones covers:

• President Carter to veto the defense bill, calls for cuts in spending for education and health;
• Croatian nationals seize hostages at consular office in Chicago;
• Soviet Union charges that purpose of worldwide tour of Chinese officials is to set up spy networks;
• Israel promotes “permanent partial peace”;
• Lebanon accuses Israel of interfering with sovereignty;
• The AMA calls for cuts in ties with Soviet medicine;
• Moscow accuses American reporters of libel;
• American hot air balloon lands in France;
• CIA tries to overthrows government of Moscow-backed Afghanistan;
• Soviets criticize US for failure to sign human rights, genocide treaties;
• UN calls for Micronesian independence from US;
• Iceland drifts towards communism;
• Muhammed Ali indicted for tax evasion;
• Federal court orders postal workers to return to work;
• Bakke decision produces civil rights crisis;
• Bread lines form in Seattle;
• Memphis teachers refuse to cross police picket lines;
• House committee accuses drug companies of overcharging;
• Cancer-causing sodium nitrate found in most meats.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 5/29/79

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 29, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B70-24. 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 June 2019.