Q225 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 “Aug 7”

Date cues on tape:     Tape contents consistent with tape note

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, President of US
Mrs. Rosalynn Carter, First Lady
John F. Kennedy, assassinated president [by reference]
Jackie Kennedy Onassis, former first lady, wife of Aristotle Onassis
Richard Nixon, former U.S. president
Cyrus Vance, Secretary of State
Andrew Young, U.S. ambassador to United Nations
Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security adviser
Frank Press, science adviser to Carter
Joseph Twinman [phonetic], US diplomat
Leon Jaworski, Watergate special prosecutor
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Sen. Robert Kennedy, assassinated presidential candidate [by reference]
Sen. John Stennis (D-MS)
Thomas Dawsey, Air Force officer allegedly working for Stennis
Leon Joly, Air Force officer allegedly working for Stennis
Unita Blackwell Wright, mayor of Mayersville, Mississippi

Pope Paul VI, head of Roman Catholic Church
Giovanni Benelli, rumored successor to Paul VI

Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Jeremy Thorpe, leader of Britain’s Liberal Party [by reference]
Patrick Keetly [phonetic], Manchester Guardian reporter
Nikita Khrushchev, premier of the Soviet Union
Natan Sharansky, Soviet dissident
Yuri Orlov, Soviet dissident
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Gamal Nasser, former president of Egypt
Menachem Begin, prime minister of Israel
Salim Rubai Ali, deposed president of South Yemen
Ali Nasir Muhammad, new president of South Yemen
Abdul Fattah Ismail, head of South Yemen’s socialist presidium
Ahmed Al Gashme [phonetic], deposed president of North Yemen
Sultan Qaboos, leader of Oman
George Habash, Palestinian leader

Julius Nyerere, President of Tanzania
Kenneth Kaunda, President of Zambia
Samora Machel, President of Mozambique
Alan Pizey, reporter for Johannesburg Star
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front
Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Michael Melany [phonetic], Namibian activist

Eva Peron, Brazilian leader
Juan Peron, Brazilian leader
Che Guevara, Latin American Revolutionary

Lloyd George Barnett, Jamaican High Commissioner
Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
Forbes Burnham, Guyana Prime Minister
Cheddi Jagan, leader of People’s Progressive Party, Guyana opposition party
Kay Rahaman, leader of Guyana People’s Democratic Movement
Lloyd Barker, Guyana Police Commissioner
Hopkinson, aka Lumumba, first name unknown, vocal opponent of Burnham

Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated civil rights leader
Malcolm X, assassinated civil rights leader
Paul Robeson, American black actor, musician, activist
Angela Davis, University professor, member of Communist Party

Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate, husband of Jackie Onassis
Christina Onassis, daughter of Aristotle Onassis
Sergei Kauzov, Christina’s husband [by reference]
Herbert Armstrong, founder of Worldwide Church of God
Garner Ted Armstrong, successor to father
Edward Durell Stone, architect of Kennedy Center
Valeria Niemi, woman who sued NBC over rape scene [by reference]
Mario Jascalevich, doctor who killed welfare patients [by reference]
Andrew Lloyd Weber, American composer
Tim Rice, American lyricist
Judy Collins, American singer
Elvis Presley, American entertainer
Julie Covington, American actress
C.T. Wilkinson, American actor
Robert Stigwood, American producer

Daniel Ellsberg, Defense Department worker who leaked Pentagon Papers
Carolyn Pickering, reporter for Indianapolis Star
Lester Kinsolving, columnist, Peoples Temple antagonist
Chief Salisbury, first name unknown, official in Ukiah

Temple members not in Jonestown:
Jean Brown
Vee Hollins
Archie Ijames
Florida Johnson
Jim Randolph


Jonestown residents:
Sharon Amos
Ava Brown
Lynetta Jones, mother of Jim Jones [by reference]
Teresa King
Jim McElvane
Esther Mueller
Charlie Touchette
Joyce Touchette

Bible verses cited: None


Jim Jones reads the news for August 7, 1978. The reading consists of three parts, recorded at different times of the day.

The reading is familiar to the residents of Jonestown, and is similar to most of the daily briefings in the months to come. Jones’ news sources are familiar – principally the BBC, Radio Moscow, and the Voice of America, with news of their adopted nation coming from the Guyana Broadcasting Network – as are most of the editorial observations he makes along the way. The United States is consistently racist, sexist, fascist, and monopoly capitalistic – so why would anyone want to go back? – her European allies are lackeys, and her involvement in foreign affairs, most notably in Africa, are based on imperialism and corporate greed. By contrast, the efforts of Cuba and the Soviet Union on the African continent are in support of liberation efforts. China, as always, can boast of following communist principles at home, even if its foreign policy is incomprehensible, especially when it falls in line with that of the U.S. And the neutron bomb, a new weapon developed by the West that has the capacity to kill people without destroying property, can be targeted to kill people of color in their ghetto neighborhoods, with such precision and for such purposes that it “has been jokingly called in military circles, the nigger bomb.”

In addition to his rote descriptions, though, Jones inserts jibes at every opportunity, including seemingly innocuous ones. As examples:

  • The effect of the U.S. launch of a spacecraft to Venus will be “to pollute that planets with capitalism.”
  • The General Services Administration investigation of government use of fleet vehicles is part of a larger conspiracy by government bureaucrats, private business, and the GSA itself “to defraud the American taxpayers.”
  • The press is “the arm of the reactionary multinationals that rule the United States and even rule the president by intimidation.”
  • A fire in a chemical plant in North Carolina may be an accident, or an act of “subversion,” but the larger point is what it shows of “the danger of nuclear war and chemical-biological warfare.”

The theme of nuclear war is the most common in much of Jones’ rhetoric, bolstered by his interpretation of China’s Doctrine of Three Worlds, which – according to Jones – suggests that China accepts the inevitability of nuclear war, and thereby promotes it in order to get it over with and rebuild from its ashes.

The reading includes two lengthy commentaries, which is also a familiar part of Jones’ format. The first is an analysis of what the recent referendum in Guyana means for the country, which – since the government promoted it, and a government media outlet reports on it – offers hope to the country, especially compared to the programs offered by political opponents on the left and the right. The second commentary is a review of the musical Evita which appeared in an unnamed socialist-oriented publication.

There is one mention of suicide: extending his remarks about the international expressions of condolence over the death the previous night of Pope Paul VI, Jones laments death in general, but especially for socialists, because “you ought to know that when your work is gone, the burden is on others. And that’s why it is immoral to think about dying all the time, and suicide is immoral.”

Jones does have specific reminders for his people. Beyond the testing on what they’ve heard – also a familiar feature of these tapes – Jones directs people to watch two politically-oriented films. He also insists that they finish writing their autobiographical sketches of themselves, in preparation for a book and film to be made about them. The “interviews,” as he refers to them, are also to confess the crimes they have committed in the past, to show how the church movement has helped them.

He also makes periodic announcements during the taping. Some are associated with what he has read in the news, such as his order that people who want to return to the U.S., in spite of the horrible news coming from it, are “to be in a controlled setting, getting the news and helping hand from a teacher so they can understand what’s happening.” Other announcements comprise his messages as he begins or signs off each session, as he exhorts people to work hard, produce more, clean up various eyesores, and use their flyswatters. As is also usual, he ends each session with his declaration of love for his people.

Among the other items mentioned in the broadcast:

  • Inflation has knocked out wage gains for the year;
  • Japan has taken steps to prop up the American dollar;
  • The FBI issues its annual report on wiretap surveillance;
  • President Carter and Sen. Edward Kennedy clash on several policy issues, including health care, criminal justice, and deregulation of natural gas;
  • Former Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski is himself being investigated;
  • The US and China open government-to-government talks on science;
  • Beirut is under heavy arms fire from both sides in civil war;
  • A South African newspaper gives surprisingly positive coverage on a neighboring socialist country;
  • Angola – also with a socialist government – is targeted for destruction;
  • South Yemen drifts closer to the Soviet orbit, clashes with North Yemen, as both countries experience change of governments after respective leaders assassinated;
  • Zimbabwean guerillas attack mercenary force of Rhodesia;
  • Rhodesia may be getting nuclear weapons as US tries to save access to chrome and cobalt;
  • Vance tries to broker talks between Israel and Egypt;
  • A Soviet space station may be building a laser weapon platform;
  • NBC is sued over a TV movie about teenage rape;
  • Demonstrators are arrested for anti-nuclear protests on Hiroshima Day;
  • Protesters also march in opposition to political prisoners in US jails;
  • The leader of the Worldwide Church of God declares his son and would-be successor a “moral reprobate.”


FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/2/79

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 28, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B70-11. This tape was found to contain the following:

News and commentary; a reading of current events by JIM JONES.


Differences with FBI Summary:

The summary is accurate and meets the FBI’s purposes.     

Tape originally posted April 2020.