Dec 5, 78 • 1239 • Georgetown-State • 4106

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE04106_d.html.]

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GEORGE 04106 051433Z
ACTION NODS-00
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 /001 W
——————018363 051437Z /46

O 051239Z DEC 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 8330
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 4106
NODIS

E.O. 12065: 12/4/83 (FORTUNE, T.) OR-M
TAGS: CGEN, CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJ: JONESTOWN TAPE

1. EMBASSY OFFICIALS, FBI PERSONNEL AND L REPRESENTATIVE LISTENED TO TAPE TAKEN FROM RECORDER NEAR THE SITE WHERE BODY OF JONES WAS FOUND. PRELIMINARY EVALUATION IS THAT TAPE MAY HAVE SIGNIFICANT EVIDENTIARY VALUE IN CONNECTION WITH PENDING PROSECUTIONS IN GUYANA. STEPS WERE TAKEN TO AUTHENTICATE CHAIN OF CUSTODY, AND COPY OF TAPE WAS MADE.

2. GOG IS AWARE OF EXISTENCE OF TAPE AND HAS REQUESTED ACCESS TO IT. EMBASSY INTENDS TO MAKE EITHER COPY OR ORIGINAL AVAILABLE TO GOG. QUESTION OF ULTIMATE CUSTODY OF ORIGINAL HAS NOT BEEN RAISED WITH GOG, BUT SHOULD BE ANTICIPATED. EMBASSY INTENDS TO PROPOSE THAT GOG BE SUPPLIED WITH A COPY, AND THAT BOTH PARTIES HAVE ACCESS TO ORIGINAL AS NEEDED.

3. EMBASSY BELIEVES THAT THE EXISTENCE (ALTHOUGH NOT NECESSARILY THE CONTENTS) OF THE TAPE SHOULD BE DISCLOSED PROMPTLY AS ITS EXISTENCE IS LIKELY TO BECOME KNOW AS MORE GOG AND OTHER OFFICIALS BECOME AWARE OF IT. PRIOR TO ANY SUCH DISCLOSURE, HOWEVER, EMBASSY STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE BE INFORMED THAT SUCH A TAPE EXISTS. EMBASSY WILL AWAIT INSTRUCTIONS ON THE

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QUESTION OF DISCLOSURE.

4. THERE IS ALSO THE ADDITIONAL/QUESTION AS TO/ULTIMATE OWNERSHIP OF THE TAPE, PARTICULARLY IF IT IS MADE PUBLIC AT SOME STAGE. BECAUSE OF ITS CONTENT AND THE HORRENDOUS EVENT WITH WHICH IT DEALS, THE TAPE COULD HAVE AN IMPORTANT COMMERCIAL VALUE IF IT WERE REPRODUCED AND SOLD. THE DECISION AS TO WHETHER IT FALLS WITHIN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN IF IT WERE TO BE MADE PUBLIC BECOMES VERY IMPORTANT, PARTICULARLY IF THE HEIRS OF JIM JONES OR THE OTHER IDENTIFIABLE VOICES ON THE TAPE LAY CLAIM TO IT.

BURKE

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Originally posted on March 23rd, 2020.

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