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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 7, Virtual item 11, Q50 Part 2- Jonestown community discusses Ryan's impending arrival (November 16, 1978)

 Digital Record
Identifier: ms-0183_08.50 Part 2


  • Digitized: 11/16/1978


Summary Note

In connection with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) 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 June 24, 1979, Special Agent (name deleted) reviewed the tape numbered 1B60-4. This tape was found to contain the following: JIM JONES holding a meeting and discussing the visit tomorrow of Congressman RYAN and newsmen. He describes RYAN as a right wing reactionary and the visit as a CIA plot. Expressed resentment of uninviting demanding nature of visit, discussing RYAN in derogatory street terms, the possibility of flying the Russian flag, refusing admittance to group, seizing NBC cameras, etc. JONES stated he would like to "shoot his ass" and rather die than move. JONES stated the Russians and PPP (phonetic) have promised support. He reminds members to speak positive and as little as possible and furnish all letters to security unopened. JONES states he is tired as he has been up 8 days and mentions dying numerous times and earlier stated they have been through 84 "White Nights". Taped within a few days of the arrival of Rep. Leo Ryan and his party - which is already in Georgetown and is negotiating with Temple attorneys Charles Garry and Mark Lane for access to Jonestown o?N this recording is in two parts. The first is of a community filled with uncertainty, increasing defiance, and dwindling choices. Jim Jones often speaks about taking his own life on this tape, to the point that he stops considering any other alternative for himself, but he holds out other option for other people. Neither does he brand those who are considering other options as traitors o?N just as his rhetoric about life in the United States seems less inflamed than other tapes of the final days o?N but his criticism of the relatives who have accompanied the congressman (as well of Ryan himself) is scathing. Full summary of the recording available at Alternative Considerations of Jonestown website, along with the tape transcript.

Rights Statement Note

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Physical Description Note

Original audio cassette tape recording digitized and made available as .mp3 audio file.

Publisher Note

Publisher: The Jonestown Institute

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

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