Q250 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 “7/14/78 News”

Date cues on tape: Day of week specified – Friday – was July 14

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, U.S. President
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations
Jody Powell, White House press secretary
Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State

John F. Kennedy, former U.S. President
Richard Nixon, reference to his role as vice president
Dwight Eisenhower, former U.S. President [by reference]

Sen. Barry Goldwater
Rep. Edward J. Patten (D-New Jersey)
Rep. John McFall (D-California)
Henry Kissinger, former National Security Adviser

Helmut Schmidt, West German Chancellor
Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during World War II
Charlemagne, 9th century emperor
King Frederick II, 18th century German king
Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor
Otto von Bismarck, former German Chancellor
Konrad Adenauer, former West German Chancellor

Natan Sharansky, convicted Soviet spy
Alexander Ginzburg, Soviet dissident

Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister of Guyana
Laurence Mann, Guyana Ambassador to [by reference]
Sir Lionel Luckhoo, Guyanese attorney
Harold Bollers, Chief Justice of Guyana’s Supreme Court
Derrick Boston, Guyanese judge
Clarence Price, Guyanese military leader friendly to Jones
Burnham, first name unknown, “a relative of the prime minister”

Lee Iacocca, American automobile executive
Sun Myung Moon, religious leader
Elvis Presley, American rock and roll star
The Beatles, British rock and roll group
Don Goldwater, Sen. Barry Goldwater’s brother [by reference]
Don Bolles, assassinated Arizona newspaper reporter [by reference]

Jonestown residents:
Paula Adams
Sharon Amos
Marceline Jones
Debbie Touchette

Bible verses cited: None


Jim Jones reads the news for July 14, 1978.

As in many of these broadcasts, the United States and its allies are characterized as fascist and racist, with West Germany – which Jones discusses as great length – coming under harshest criticism as the successor to Hitler’s Third Reich. In comparison, the Soviet Union and its allies are seen as uniformly benevolent and superior.

Even the news stories with seemingly non-political implications have lessons that can be drawn for the residents of Jonestown. A gas truck that blows up in Spain, killing several hundred people, could have had preventative maintenance, were it not for capitalism’s greed; a Japanese gang war wouldn’t have happened, had it not been for the decadence of American cinema to inspire the creation of these gangs.

As elsewhere, Jones raises the specter of an upcoming nuclear war, and – as elsewhere – places it in the context of a story which has nothing to do with military or diplomatic relations between superpowers.

His longest commentary is on the subject of religious freedom, which occurs near the beginning of the tape. “[R]eligious freedom [in] USA … is a joke, in that no one can be a socialist and survive in USA or get anywhere at all, and … religion all supports the existing monetary system.” Only conservative religious groups are tolerated in the US, and people who belong to such organizations as Peoples Temple are “blistered night and day.” The opposite is the case in the Soviet Union, where “Religion is greatly unencumbered and free.”

Among the news items covered by Jones:

• Jimmy Carter’s election fund is charged with receiving illegal gifts;
• A “Dump Carter” movement gets underway among establishment politicians;
• Andrew Young faces possible impeachment;
• The Soviet Union sentences dissidents;
• White collar crime investigation of Hollywood doesn’t go after big business;
• China makes trade agreements throughout Caribbean;
• Zaire and Angola try to normalize relations;
• Police in several US cities go on strike;
• Elvis Presley is revealed to be FBI informant;
• Sen. Barry Goldwater calls upon US to stop grain and computer sales to USSR;
• Ford Motor Company fires its eclectic president

In news related to Guyana:

• Guyana negotiates with IMF for assistance;
• The government investigates recent blackouts
• A government day-care center is modeled after the Jonestown example.

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 1B70-36. 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.