Q244 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 “8/8/78 News 7 ½” 

Date cues on tape:     Contents consistent with tape identification note

People named:

Public figures/National and international names:
Jimmy Carter, US president
Gerald Ford, former US president
Richard Nixon, former US president
Griffin Bell, U.S. Attorney General
Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State
Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Senator Mark Hatfield (R-OR)
Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Senator Robert Morgan (D-NC)
Senator John Sparkman (D-AL)
Andrew Young, U.S. Ambassador to United Nations
William Webster, FBI director
Gary Rowe, FBI informant in car with men who killed Viola Liuzzo
J. Edgar Hoover, former head of FBI
Meldrim Thompson, governor of New Hampshire [by reference]

Pope Paul VI
Pope John XXIII

Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer
Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister during World War II
Leonid Brezhnev, Communist Party General Secretary, Soviet Union
Lord David Owen, British Foreign Minister
Mário Soares, prime minister of Portugal
Oscar Fragosa Cramona, president of Portugal [by reference]
Manea Manescu, Prime Minister of Romania [by reference]
Nicolae Ceausescu, General Secretary of Romania [by reference]
Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
Menachem Begin, Israeli Prime Minister

Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia
Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front
Robert Mugabe, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front
Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire

Martin Luther King, civil rights activist
Paul Robeson, American black actor, musician, activist
Huey Newton, leader of Black Panther Party
Angela Davis, member of Communist Party, black activist
Jesse Jackson, black civil rights worker
Viola G. Liuzzo, slain civil rights worker
Leon Jaworski, Watergate special prosecutor
Victor Marchetti, CIA agent turned author [by reference]
Rockefeller family, American philanthropists and entrepreneurs
Natan Sharansky, Soviet dissident
Alexander Ginzburg, Soviet dissident

Jonestown residents:
Orde Dennis
Herman Gee
Lynetta Jones, mother of Jim Jones
Teresa King


Bible verses cited: None


Jim Jones reads the news for August 8, 1978. However – likely because the date is in between the anniversaries of the atomic bomb blasts over Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Jones spends more time than usual discussing nuclear war.

There is a news hook for context of one of the references. Towards the end of the tape, Jones reads an analysis from Radio Moscow that reports of the Soviet Union’s appeal to China to abandon its Doctrine of Three Worlds, which, according to Jones, has expanded beyond its original premise of economic influence to incorporate a belief that nuclear war is “a foregone conclusion.” More than that, says Jones, “Maybe [China] is just posturing to get the nuclear war that she says is inevitable, and … maybe she just wants to get it over with.”

Jones’ obsession – and it was a lifelong one – of the impending holocaust allows him to insert it into other, somewhat unrelated stories. Congress has passed a large defense authorization bill that Carter opposes; the Soviet Union meets with its Warsaw Pact ally  Romania to discuss disarmament issues. Both stories from earlier in the tape provide opportunities for Jones to press the claim that China is interested in a nuclear exchange sooner rather than later.

He also makes a couple of references to the neutron bomb – or, as he quotes US officials as calling it, “the nigger bomb” – but it is less heartfelt than his anxiety of nuclear holocaust.

There are other anniversaries as well, including that of the resignation of Richard Nixon from the presidency four years earlier. Jones also asks that people “remember the ninth, also, to give honor to Lynetta [Jones], my mother and yours, who risked her life, her job, her future, by resisting the FBI.” The context for the date is not known.

The lengthiest analysis Jones reads concerns the revelation that, as agents of the FBI investigated and infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan during the 1960s, they became members and incited or even participated in numerous criminal acts against civil rights workers.

Jones has a few announcements for the Jonestown community, including the repetition of a long-standing one to use flyswatters. Midway through he calls for classes for the few people of Jonestown who “talk of returning to the terrible Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon of USA,” classes that would be in “reorientation.” He also promises that the upcoming tests of community members will include questions on “their sensitivity in answering the questions than I said should be answered about me”: Dad’s life, Dad’s health, Dad’s sacrifice for his followers, Dad’s dedication to the cause, Dad’s love for all of them.

Other stories covered in this tape:

  • Minority prisoners have disappeared, many of them tortured, killed, and buried within prison walls;
  • Blood tests required for all residents near Buffalo, New York to check for chemical exposure;
  • Firestone gets off lightly for defective tires;
  • Varying costs for life insurance for US servicemen under investigation;
  • US mercenaries are being trained at an Air Force base in New Mexico;
  • Carter urges lawyers to assume responsibility for Legal Aid;
  • Senator proposes a military draft for all young men;
  • Southern Democratic Senator calls for review of foreign arms sales;
  • Congressional money is awarded for construction of nuclear reactors, despite their problems;
  • FDA refuses to ban use on antibiotics on animals;
  • Military coup in Honduras;
  • British charged with violating human rights in Ireland;
  • The Portuguese socialist prime minister is removed, but no replacement named;
  • Zimbabwean leaders ask that the British foreign secretary serve to negotiate peace in Rhodesia;
  • Ethnic Chinese are caught at the border between China and Vietnam;
  • The USSR protests anti-hegemony language in a China-Japan Friendship Treaty;
  • The USA charges that a Soviet space platform is for weapons; the Soviets counter the purpose is scientific research;
  • New Soviet constitution includes more voting rights, opportunities for democracy;
  • Ethiopian college students will get free education in USSR;
  • The prices of silver, sugar and coffee fluctuate on world markets.

FBI Summary:

Date of transcription: 6/27/79

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 1B70-31. This tape was found to contain the following:

JIM JONES reading news and announcements.

Differences with FBI Summary:

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