168 - The Death Tape - 3 ('Get Dwyer Outta Here')

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I personally feel like the Miller exchange must go on for a while, half an hour perhaps, much longer than is recorded on the tape. But then that's just a feeling. As soon as Miller finishes, the tone and subject of the meeting changes very quickly, because it appears that almost concurrently with the quashing of the Miller insurrection, the Red Brigade return with their news.

When the congregation hear that Congressman Ryan has been murdered, the opposition deflates: that's it, they know now that more will come, they will take the children away, they will arrest and deport the rest back to America. And that's the best they can hope for. At least, this is what they believe.

You can hear a growing agitation on the tape just before Jones announces that Ryan has been murdered, which I suspect coincides with the Red Brigade visibly re-entering the area. And it's about this time that Jones says something that really gets the conspiracy nuts twitching:

'Take Dwyer on down to the East House.'

Dwyer is, of course, Richard Dwyer, the US Embassy man in Guyana and likely CIA agent. Now, what on earth is Dwyer doing in Jonestown right at the very end here? What role could he possibly be playing? Is this the secretive hand of the CIA controlling the death of this meddlesome cult right at the very end?

Well, no.

There is general confusion when Jones asks for Dwyer to be removed to the East House - a cottage used for visitors. Someone clearly asks Jones to clarify, because he repeats again:

'Get Dwyer outta here before something happens to him.'

Clearly, whoever he is talking to is confused and somebody asks:

'Ujara?' - referring to Don Sly, who had earlier attacked the Congressman.

But Jones is adamant:

'I'm not talking about Ujara, I said Dwyer. Ain't nobody gonna take Ujara.'

This, of course, is manna to those searching for a deep, dark reason for Jonestown beyond the simple and unpleasant explanation that it was just the tragic result of years of brutal conditioning. But unfortunately it's cobblers.

Dwyer was sighted by numerous witnesses at the air strip immediately prior to the shooting and then again shortly afterwards. There's no way he could have made it there and back in time. And the general bewilderment that seems to have accompanied Jones's mention of Dwyer seems to back it up.

Jones was, as you can clearly hear, off his head. Slurring and doped.

The most likely thing is that he meant either Garry or Lane, the two attorneys the Temple had brought in from outside and who had found themselves stuck at Jonestown for the big ending. They would wind up in the East House under guard, until they could sneak out to 'tell the story'. It just adds up too well, Occam's Razor and all that.

So I'm sorry, this little snippet of audio is not the smoking gun people have been looking for.

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