Q774 Transcript

This tape was transcribed by Shannon Howard. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.

If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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Side A:

Part 1:

Jones: We all like if we keep cool and relaxed, I’ll say nothing, (clears throat) they say I should say. That’d be the big (unintelligible).


Part 2:

Mike Prokes: Mike Prokes, P-R-O-K-E-S, and I’m at area 415-922-6418 or if that’s busy, 931-9107.

Woman: Reverend Jim Jones. Okay. I’ll see what I can do for you.

Prokes: Thank you.

Woman: Mm-hmm. Bye, bye.

Prokes: Bye.


Part 3:

Woman 1: – talk that way over the radio. Then um, I said, and I asked him who that was, (unintelligible) traffic (unintelligible) couple weeks (unintelligible). We also can do only personal type of busines. We cannot do things such as um, “we haven’t received so and so’s records.”

Woman 4: We can’t do personal business–

Woman 1: Lots of us–

Woman 4: ‘Cause small business is personal business.

Woman 1: Well, it has to be like Gene Chaikin, “Hi, David [Chaikin], how you doing?” I said, well, what about– I told him we had this missionary thing, you know, the Disciples and all this stuff, uh, and someone was talking about arrivals like, you know, I’m due in to so and so. That is–

Bowers: Borderline. (unintelligible under Woman 1)

Woman 1: Borderline thing, and they prefer an outlying area that’s not even (unintelligible)

Woman 4: So what the hell do you talk about on the radio?

Woman 1: Just, “How you doing, how are you, Joe”– (unintelligible)

Woman 4: (unintelligible)

Man 2: Well, what– what the hell’s the use of us even doing it anymore?

Woman 1: Anything else, well, it’s purely supposed to be a– you know, like an (unintelligible).

Bowers: Yeah, we know that.

Woman 5: (unintelligible)

Man: Well, what is an alternative area (unintelligible)–

Woman 1: Commercial.

Man: (unintelligible) solution?

Woman 1: As far as they’re concerned, we cannot do any commercial traffic. It has to go to commercial lines, in other words, a phone or something (unintelligible)

Woman 5: (Unintelligible)

Man 2: Yeah, what they’ve done is close us down. I mean if we’re ninety percent over power and we cut back, we won’t be able to hear him anyway, will we?

Bowers: Yeah, we will.

Man 2: We will?

Woman 1: But they–

Bowers: It will cut down. Instead of making a contact every day, you might miss one every once in a while and your time won’t be as long.

Man 2: Jesus.

Bowers: But then if you can’t– You know, if you’re not doing all the business stuff, it’s gonna cut down on your time.

Woman 1: He did not bring up anything about codes.

Bowers: Thank God.

Woman 1: No, I think he could have though, Ben.

Bowers: I think he could have–

Woman 1: Well, I mean, I think that the– the context was that he could have broughten that up. ‘Cause I also asked him, do you have any other recommendations for us, like things he hadn’t brought up. Like we told him, we would lock the room so nobody else can get in it, and (unintelligible) other activities.

Bowers: I’m not sure whether– See, I don’t know. We were picked up by Washington, we’re not picked up here locally. I guess. That’s the impression I got. He said Washington said these things ten days (unintelligible)–

Woman 1: No, no, that was b– I don’t think– I think that was when we were asking how they were testing us.

Bowers: You know, he worked in Washington before.

Woman 1: And we (unintelligible)–

Bowers: That’s because uh, Washington is not a normal­ (unintelligible). They can get out of Kingston, Texas, is an FCC place, but–

Woman 5: They’ve picked us locally too, right?

Bowers: Yeah.

Woman 1: Well, yeah, because they recorded it, right?

Bowers: Yeah.

Man 3: So what action are they gonna take?

Woman 1: Uh, they’re gonna –

Bowers: Cut the power.

Woman 1: We’re to cut the pow– they’ll be here, they’ll be–

Man 3: No citation, no fine.

Bowers: Well, they said they’d be reaching me.

Woman 1: They’d be reaching you.

Bowers: They’ll probably send me a written citation. I don’t know if there’ll be a fine attached to it or not.

Woman 5: A warning. Yeah, a citation or a warning.

Woman 1: The two things that they wrote down were no logs, number one, and number two, operator not always present.

Bowers: Yeah.

Woman 1: Now I think he did a good job about the– you know, the log, like, you said that you’d been keeping one, but, you know, that bit, and he talked with the old regulations. I thought I had to write down all these, you know, technical things. So I think they bought the idea that you had kept a log.

Man 3: That it was taken or missing?

Woman 1: Well– just, yeah, (unintelligible word) negligence.

Man: He even brought it up, he said, well, there’s kids running around all over the place (giggles)

Woman 1: Yeah–

Man 3: That’s good.

Woman 1: Yeah, they replie– they could have been a lot more– they started out more formally.

Jones: What about a uh, radio on a– in uh, Florida. There’s a phone, a phone that uh, patch, phone patch that beamed away from the States. Does it pick up, pick up?

Bowers: They’d pick it up. Florida’s right aligned with Washington. That’s be the worst part about it.

Jones: It goes out both ways.

Bowers: Basically you’re– they’re– they’re gonna hear you. If you’re putting up enough power so you can get good contacts in Guyana, they’re gonna hear you in Texas, they’re gonna hear you in Washington.

Man 3: Out at Washington, DC?

Bowers: Yeah.

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: A very open thing, and anybody can to listen to it. Not only us, Guyana or Cuba. If you’re in Cuba, we can go right over Cuba, we’d be very strong in Cuba. There or, you know, anywhere else, South America, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, you know what I mean, trials in Cuba. (Pause) But as far as they’re concerned, as long as you have an operator there, and you don’t do business, and you’re not over power, he said go ahead and operate. He said we could operate today if we wanted to, he didn’t– You know, sometimes he’ll say, well, don’t operate until we get back to you, but he didn’t say that, which kinda surprised me.

Jones: (unintelligible)

Man 2: I don’t know.

Baritone Man: What that mean, don’t do business? What does that mean? What–

Woman 1: The business–

Man 3: You got to just chit chat.

Bowers: It’s like–

Woman 1: We have to deal with– The amateur radio is supposedly for bullshit, it’s just chit chat, hi, how you doing, the weather is beautiful.

Jones: You didn’t touch ‘em and tell them about helping kids and feeding people?

Woman 1: We told them about it, we said missionary projects use this, you know, it’s very instrumental, they need it. They do run into problems with, for example, Antarctica needs a permanent station. Uh, other people need them, but you can’t have them. That’s not amateur radio.

Woman 5: When they talked to us, they said that reason is, you know, ‘cause obviously they give AT&T more money, they said that usually as far as the mission’s concerned, it’s worth it, you know. Just, you know, they’re not saying okay, but they sort of–

Jones: (unintelligible) again, hopefully we’re too far out.

Baritone Man: Can’t you say something like, “Hey, how you doing, how you– how you eating?” (unintelligible word) shit like that, (unintelligible word) is that considered chit chat?

Bowers: Yeah, if– the whole thing you gotta do is just couch it in causal talk. Like I thought one of the best things we ever did was when Paula [Adams] and I, or Paula and Jean Brown, were trying to talk about the last shipment. Jean and I kept talking about– We’d say, you know, we’ve heard it’s very difficulty getting shipments down there, have you ever– you know, have you ever had any problems like that? And Paula would say, yeah, one time I– you know, I had a problem with, you know, I had to have everything listed and I had to have serial numbers, and so she’s giving– you have the list of serial numbers. And Jean would say, well, you know, I was talking to someone who had done an overseas shipment to, you know, uh, some other country and uh, they had uh, a large shipment, and they had like 49 crates, and they– and they weighed them and measured them, and they used a certain line out of Texas. And if you do it, you know, you can do it, conduct a lot of information out of it. But the problem is you never really know, you can get off on a wild goose chase and it can screw you up. But as far as doing that, they’re never gonna ding you on that. It’s really hard to do.

Jones: That’s why in headquarters where we got somebody that’s got Paula and– let’s see, if Paula can handle it (unintelligible). What we really need, is just control a lot of it, both of you at the same time, that’s what I was trying to work out.

Bowers: If they– they can– they can hear them (unintelligible). Well, it shouldn’t be that much of a problem for us.

Woman 4: Well, it’s lucky both of their good radios are broken down. They’re using a little tiny one and it doesn’t (unintelligible)

Jones: Yeah, we don’t have, we don’t have a radio.

Bowers: Well, they– send them another radio, you know.

Jones: Yeah, there’s a radio, I saw a radio there. But I– it must not be–

Woman 4: That was in Yankton or– (unintelligible)

(People talk over each other)

Man 1: They said the problem– the problem with that radio, ‘cause when you pick it up, they say it bleeds, it– it bleeds onto other– other frequencies, and it doesn’t stay– stay in transmis– in transmission. So we tried to get someone to fix it.

Woman 4: We’re checking into nearby countries to fix it.

Bowers: I don’t know, for like seven hundred and fifty dollars, we can buy a brand new radio and send it over there.

Jones: But–

Bowers: I don’t know, I mean they’re gonna have problems with the radios breaking down. You either gonna have a whole bunch of them over there, or find some way to ship them back here to get ‘em fixed. Or some other country, Brazil or something. ‘Cause I can’t fix them (unintelligible). I mean I can tune them up, and they’re not gonna start, when you start talking about tearing down to the bare circuits and stuff, no. I don’t have the test equipment, I just don’t have the knowledge.

Jones: Well, some of the stuff you’ve put together (unintelligible)

Bowers: I– The only thing I do is connect plugs and plugs and put a ground wire down, and– well, I built a tower which I’m no mechanical genius by any means, and assemble an antenna. (unintelligible)

Jones: (unintelligible) You did some pretty sophisticated things (unintelligible)

Bowers: Hmm. Well, that’s not the same.

Jones: I mean there’s no way that can be learned.

Bowers: The antenna stuff?

Jones: No, I mean the repair of those uh, radios.

Bowers: Yeah, if you put somebody– if you get somebody and send them to electronic school for a couple of years, he’ll be able to do it. (unintelligible) But you still– you don’t have parts. The problem is, you can’t get parts. Well, if you’re in Guyana and you need a (unintelligible) transistor, you can probably get it here.

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: Well, yeah, you can get ’em, but like, we built a transformer out of that– that one, we’ve got one in the shop being fixed, and it’s been in there for uh, for probably six weeks.

Jones: Here?

Bowers: Yeah.

Jones: You can’t get parts here?

Bowers: We’re shipping them from Japan.

Jones: What?

Bowers: We’re shipping them from Japan.

(Microphone moves, unintelligible)

Bowers: (unintelligible) transformer go out, that went out down there because– I think because when (unintelligible) fluctuates too much, we shorted out something in the transformer and uh–

Jones: Well, we could try to get four or five of the radios in there.

Man 3: Did you see Christine, Gene?

Chaikin: Yeah, I saw her before. Ten o’ clock. (unintelligible) ten o’ clock I was downstairs.

(People talk over each other)

Chaikin: She’s waiting for you now.

Bowers: I think going with– with the tube equipment I think is better, probably it’s easier to fix locally.

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: Well, I bought some older equipment, which was made with tubes instead of transistors to be sent down there. I think that would be maybe more reliable.

Jones: Old?

Bowers: Older, yeah, probably ten or fifteen years old.

Baritone Man: Can you get tubes or stuff, equipment out.

Bowers: Uh, it’s getting– getting tough, I’ve got a complete set of replacement tubes, at least one complete set, there’s only one tube I couldn’t get at least two of, and if I order, you know, if you order it, you can get it, you just might have to wait.

Woman 1: How long do tubes last?

Bowers: Years. That’s one of those things (unintelligible)

Jones: In there on the– in there on the– the dresser is um, a picture of the place, actually I get good reception. You can see we’re building this mammoth building. The picture that we show, it’s on my dresser.

(People talk over each other)

Man 1: There might be some more here (unintelligible) It’s locked, it’s locked.

Jones: (unintelligible) It’s a mammoth place and there’s nothing on either side of it. ‘Cause, you know, in Georgetown (unintelligible) don’t get reception here.

Bowers: Looks great. No obstructions or anything.

Woman 1: Might get much better reception here (unintelligible)

Jones: The kinda building they’re building down there, they’re really progressing. Now let’s see. Shit, couldn’t want for any more modern equipment. I imagine they all have trade agreements with, of course, Japan, is to the right so they may not (unintelligible). They’re developing a lot of Third World trade agreements. China is bringing in lots of work. But they’re very careful about who they trade with.

Man 1: Have you ever checked on China’s equipment?

Bowers: They don’t make it. It’s not available. The only– Japan makes equipment and the United States has two manufacturers. That’s about it. There may be some European stuff that uh, I’ve never really run across any European stuff. (unintelligible name) is handled in, started out European I think, but they’re now (unintelligible)

Jones: None of the socialist world has (clears throat)–

Bowers: No, they don’t usually have ham radios uh–

Jones: Security.

Bowers: Collins, which is an American manufacturer, you might as well (unintelligible)

Woman 4: Does Brazil have it, because Brazil has ham radio. We get (unintelligible)

Bowers: Yeah, I don’t know, if that– I don’t imagine, I just don’t know if there’s very many manufacturers down there. I have never heard of it.

Jones: They’re very funny, but they’re moving to the left. Brazil is moving to the left the last few– few weeks. Strange kind of happening because of something [Jimmy] Carter didn’t intend, is moving them to the left in their attitude. They– they (unintelligible) PLO, Palestin– Palestinian Liberation Organization, now has headquarters in Brazil. Very odd kind of situation.

Bowers: That is kind of odd (laughs)

Jones: Uh– and they’re moving to the left, and a lot of the military are talking left. But they still have some tight reins.

(Phone rings)

Woman 3: Hello?

Jones: [Guyanese economist] Vincent Hinds traveled and exited to, (unintelligible) the northwest province. (unintelligible) military at all.

Woman 3: Norman’s [Norman Ijames] on the phone.He said you (unintelligible)

Man 1: Tell him (unintelligible) thirty minutes.

Woman 3: He (unintelligible) thirty minutes.

Jones: Um, the uh, the uh– I doubt that at this stage that they would be building radios.

Bowers: See, there’s no market for them. The ham radios– the guys– there– there are ham radios there, but usually it’s the guys that are in– have electronic background or in the government service or they’re talking (unintelligible) and building it from scratch. You know, they’re– they’re qualified engineers and they can sit down and design a great deal and take, you know, a couple years and gather parts and go. There’s no market. There are very, very weak markets for like manufacturing radios or ham– ham station. Japan’s been able to do it successfully. The United States really hasn’t. Two companies, their prices are inflated and their equipment’s adequate, but it’s not, considering paying twice the price or something, it’s not that–

Jones: And we need some– some of the other islands we’re developing we– This radio thing would be most helpful if we could communicate it (unintelligible). Of course we then– and they won’t bother us there, we can communicate from our post in the Caribbean as we tone down operations here.

Bowers: Yeah, you’re not involved with the– (unintelligible word) FCC, the only place involved with our FCC is right here. When you’re in Guyana, they’re more relaxed.

Jones: Guyana doesn’t even give a shit, they’ve been very good. We’ve started this– He said bleeding in was affecting their maritime and their airport and everything else. Something went way, way haywire (unintelligible). You said that he doesn’t like Guyana. What happened to you that you (unintelligible)

Bowers: I– it’s not that I don’t like Guyana.

Baritone Man: Is it ‘cause they started makin’ money and shit? (unintelligible)

Bowers: No, I think it was that before. I was really ready to go, but I didn’t wanna– Uh, I thought it was a bad time when I– when I was working at Masonite. I– I was (unintelligible)

Baritone Man: This is the worst time– this is the worst time. It’s strange.

Jones: You were ready to go then?

Bowers: Yeah, I didn’t. If– I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and uh, I would’ve gone there but then I thought, hmm, things are getting really (unintelligible word), so I’ll stick it out until everybody’s gone so they got radio communication, then I’ll check out what I wanted to do.

Man 1: You know, to me it sounds kinda strange, ‘cause I remember in PC, you’re talkin’ about the job you were in was very, very dangerous.

Bowers: In (unintelligible word)– In Masonite?

Man 1: Masonite.

Bowers: Yeah, that’s why I wanted out of it.

Man 1: And– and now you have a easier job, and– and it’s not so dangerous–

Bowers: I know but this– Go ahread.

Man 1: Just a second, just– just a second. And it’s not so dangerous. And I really think you oughta look at yourself, because you weren’t there when he had a heart attack and a stroke, and he couldn’t use his whole left side. And you– you know what, in all that time if you’ve had a chance to look at yourself and reflect and– and rev– and review some down– down to earth thinkin’ and you mention about (unintelligible) and about (unintelligible), and I don’t ever remember you doing none of that shit.

Bowers: I never did.

Baritone Man: Right.

Man 1: So, so you know like for you to throw that kind of stuff out that you didn’t understand this or you didn’t want to get involved in that kind of stuff, I don’t understand it.


Man 1: And the last thing, while we were over there, he– he– he talked about how he felt about you, and you let him down.

Jones: Well, that’s uh, elementary but, what are you driving at?

Man 1: I– I just– I’d just like for him to, to– to think about all this stuff. He, he–

Bowers: I don’t think I’m doing anything (unintelligible), John. I don’t think I’m doing anything (unintelligible) by a long shot. You know–

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: I am trying to–

Man 8: Well, what do you want out of life?

Bowers: What– I don’t know.

Man 1: What are you doing, that’s what I– that’s what we want to know.

Jones: That’s what I want to know.

Man 9: Can I ask you a question. Do you feel that you have the right to leave?


Bowers: I don’t know. I don’t know what rights I have.

Woman 1: Do you think you have the right to answer that question?

Bowers: Sure. Sure, I have the right to leave. I have the right to (unintelligible)

Man 9: On what basis– on what basis do you have the right to leave?

Jones: Hold it, hold it, hold it. Based on so many people who are in misery out in the world, world (unintelligible word), by even our government’s admission, two out of three (unintelligible) because you have to constantly impress. People don’t hear, then they don’t hear. What do you– why do you think you have any rights? Why do I have any rights to do anything? As long as our brothers and sister are suffering as they are. How do we get above zero? I’ve never been able to get above zero, like the moment that– that (unintelligible name), mentioned before the uh– the tragedy of having to come back here, and the heartbreaking disappointment. I couldn’t enjoy the most beautiful ocean in the world I’ve ever seen, because I knew people here were not able to enjoy it.

Man 1: That’s right.

Jones: You follow what I’m saying.

Man 1: That’s right.

Jones: How do you– how do you– how do you give yourself rights in a world where some people don’t even have the right to eat?


Bowers: I–

Jones: Hmm?

Bowers: Like anybody else does, I just take them.

Man 1: Everybody else don’t take them.

Jones: Did you ever see me take them?

Bowers: I– I– I know you have.

Jones: And you (unintelligible) you work with people that haven’t taken (unintelligible)

Bowers: I know, and I haven’t taken a few of mine, you know–

Jones: I know you have.

Bowers: I’ve sacrificed a few of mine. (unintelligible)

Jones: That’s why I believed in you, that’s why I believed in you. That’s why it disappointed me so. Damn near killed me, you just damn near killed me.

Man 1: That’s the truth.

Jones: Which would’ve been hard in the terms of the oth– other people. It would’ve been a blessing for me. But it would’ve been hard in terms of the people who needed me.

Baritone Man: Why do you want take them at such a time now, when they know, you know, you know motherfuckers need a radio and shit and an operator. So, you know, like you gonna stop all of these other people. That’s what you gonna to be doing, if you take it now.

Bowers: Um, I–

Baritone Man: (unintelligible) shit (unintelligible)

Bowers: I think we can work out something. I mean I– I’m not trying to, you know, cripple the organization by any means at all. That’s why I wanted to stay but– I– I find– I don’t feel that uh, fine, I can sit here and say I’m gonna stay, but I won’t. If I’m in here, people know I’m out, and I feel uncomfortable, which is the way I feel and obviously the way anyone would feel. I can’t say–

Jones: (unintelligible)

Baritone Man: (unintelligible) hold on.

Bowers: Okay, this is– When I make up my mind, you know, it’s pretty much made up, and I will not argue, you know. That’s what I did in PC. Fine, you want to say that? I may agree, I may not. Fine, I’ll tell you if I agree. Great. And that’s– You know, the way I get along, I don’t– I don’t like doing it, but that’s just what I adapted to doing. And uh– so what I’m saying, is I do not want to cripple your organization. I– you know, let’s try to work something out, let’s see what we can work out with the radio, but uh, I cannot come back to the group.

Woman 1: Why?

Bowers: I do not feel I can go back to the group.

Baritone Man: Why?

Woman 1: Why?

Bowers: Why? Because I’m uncomfortable.

Baritone Man: You say everybody know, don’t nobody know shit.

Bowers: Well, I know. I–

Baritone Man: But you’re not everybody.

Woman 1: You haven’t lost (unintelligible word).

Man: (unintelligible) and there’s a lost face thing I’m hearing in you.

Bowers: Yeah, yeah, that’s it. And I just, you know– it’s like constantly flaunting something that I’ve done and I don’t respect myself. It would be very nice for me to go out and– and give my life for a noble cause, but it just– you know, it just doesn’t look right now I’m up to that.

Woman 4: Well, do you not respect Jane Mutschmann? Do you– how do you feel about Jane Mutschmann? Do you walk around and say, “Oh, this is the traitor,” all the time?

Bowers: I respect the hell out of Jane.

Woman 1: Why?

Man: Well, she walked out.

Bowers: I know she did.

Woman 4: So why, why are you isolating yourself. Nobody doesn’t respect Jane.

Woman 1: Jane walked out publicly. Everybody in the world knows where she was going.

Bowers: I know.

Woman 1: The reason we have a teacher is because we’re not perfect. We’re not expecting you to be. We’re expecting you to try to be.

Bowers: I’m not– Well, uh– Okay, that’s fine. I could come back if I was back, right? Okay, I feel Jane is here.

Woman 1: Yeah.

Bowers: Okay, and if I’m not here, and yet I’m still walking around pretending to be, that’s hard. I’ve done that, you know, like I’ve tried to separate, you know, like okay, I’d like to leave now, no, I’ll stay or, you know, I’ll stay, uh, till things get squared away, and I’ll leave somehow or another. And that’s hard to do, and it’s very frustrating and it’s– it’s just very hard to do. It’s not an easy thing to do by any means.

Baritone Man: Yeah, but you see, you haven’t yet took into consideration, if it wasn’t for them little old ladies down there that you would be stopping. They the ones that pushed you into this, in this fucking fear you got, where you’re making this big paper. So you owe ‘em more than that, just to get to makin’ paper and just say fuck it.

Bowers: Naw, it’s–

Baritone Man: And that’s what you saying.

Woman 5: The way you’re talking is, you’re– you’re better than everybody else here. You’re better than the black people– the little black mother that’s worked twice as hard as you have to earn half or a quarter as much money, and you’re saying that it’s okay, I have a right to go out and live my own life and make my own money and be comfortable, and they– they don’t, and it’s just that way, because we’re all born that way, and it just happened. Since that’s the way it is, and I’m gonna take life just as it is, you’re saying it’s all right. It’s all right for injustice to exist because it does.

Man 1: And– and you have no–

Jones: What are– what are you getting in return for it? What do you get in return for it? What do these guys uh, that you live with, what– what, what is the, what is the uh, association stimulation of living with, uh, three other guys? What uh, what uh, what do they offer your life.

Bowers: Well, nothing, I mean they’re just– that is just– that’s just somebody to share the rent.

Jones: Well, they look like– I know what they look like (unintelligible word). One of them’s very narcissistic, uh, very self-centered, very unfriendly.

Bowers: Well, I didn’t have any choi– I– I just said, look, I need a place to stay, and he said come over, we’ll split the rent.

Woman 5: Where’d you meet him.

Bowers: San Francisco (unintelligible)

Jones: (unintelligible) where down to earth real people, isn’t it. (unintelligible) and paying you.

Bowers: Yeah, it’s no– I’m not going out there to be, you know– I’m not expecting (unintelligible)

Jones: You’re the guy, you’re the guy that uh, talks about things that are I remember uh, utilizing my mind. Uh– You’re the guy talks about how to blow up a light bulb will destroy a house, you think in things, terms of uh, severe measures that one must face with oppression. Get a timer, that could have been beneficial, I remember, that’s some of the things that go through my mind.

Bowers: (unintelligible)

Jones: Why, have you suddenly changed from this guy–

Bowers: (Sigh) Boy, I don’t know.

Jones: –willingness to put your soul out there and your body, and then all of a sudden, now you’ve found something that’s captivating.


Bowers: (Sighs) I don’t know. Time? (unintelligible word) Feeling a little threadbare, I don’t know. I– I mean in terms of–

Jones: You used a term. It’s a strange thing, that you people who often want to deviate from the course of discipline, which is heavy. I know it’s heavy. Uh– Oh, how heavy, I know it’s heavy. But I’ve always known something far heavier, and that’s disappointment. That’s far, far more heavy. To know that you let down people. And you have the ideal time, that you’ve not let down people yet. Nobody’ll know it. If I were in your position, I know what I’d do. Um, anyway um, Harriet [Tropp] said “adapt,” you people keep using that word adapt and uh–

Bowers: I thought (unintelligible)

Jones: And uh, Harriet– Harriet is the one who’s made one of the most dramatic adjustments. Unfortunately, she had to be so honest in talking terms of adapt because I’ve heard that word more and more.

Bowers: Well, that’s just– I mean that’s just the way I uh, just adapted or adjusted uh– I mean it’s not easy. I do not, I’m not a very good liar in a lot of ways and, you know–

Male: You’re neurotic.

Bowers: There have been a lot of questions asked me, and it’s been– not been easy for me to, you know, not give a truthful answer, to hide my emotions and– But, you know–

Baritone Man: Ben, you– you– you– you say that you really started planning about this shit when you figure you was gonna get trapped over in the prom– uh, you know in the PL [Promised Land] okay. That’s what you said earlier.

Bowers: Hmm, no, I just (unintelligible)

Baritone Man: But it seems to me that this is more about the money, it’s more about the money. You like being able to travel, you like driving in a new car. You like the shit, you like the circus that you’re traveling in, you’re making big paper, you got American Express, Bank of America card or whatever kind of shit you got. You can eat way more and do what you want. I think that’s it, you know. But what you said–

Bowers: No, uh, that might be. I just– I know, I– you know, I’m not kidding you, that’s interesting. And you know that’s fun, for a little while. You know I figure I’ll get bored with that in about a month, probably.

Jones: What are you gonna do then?

Bowers: And I knew that, ‘cause everybody else is bored. All the other guys I work with, they don’t, you know, they just stay home, they have, you know, they keep quitting (unintelligible)

Baritone Man: So you, yeah, but you talking about that fucking month.

Woman 1: What’re you gonna do?

Baritone Man: You talking ‘bout that fucking month, but the night comes when our communication these black– you stopped all these black people from having ears, a lot of children from having a livable fucking life. Just because you wanna try a fucking month.

Jones: (unintelligible) you’re considered one of the most stable people.

Bowers: I don’t know. Well, I mean, I did maintain the station up here.

Man 8: No, Ben, the thing is that, because over a period of years, you’ve participated in this, you’re responsible for it. Just like everybody in this room has the responsibility that they’ve created by their participation. And you’ve got to think an awful long time before you can throw that responsibility away, because you’re going to throw yourself away with it. Because that’s the only thing you’ve got in your life is your integrity as a human being.

Bowers: Well, that– see– I– that– that– I have lost my self-respect. Okay. I have lost my self-integrity. Somewhere along the line–

Jones: What’d you do? What’d you do?

Bowers: Shit, the first time we stepped on the radio. Like I said I gotta work on the radio, and I can’t do this, and it was a lie, and I did that to get out of work and I wasn’t there. ‘Cause I had a niche. That’s when I lost my self-integrity.

Jones: (unintelligible) on the radio?

Bowers: No, when I got into it. I was working in prin– printing press with Deanna [Mertle] because one thing, we didn’t have any printer, so I– I was working on the printing press, so then they– you came and (unintelligible word) me to the radio. Well– So that was going to be my project, so I started saying to Deanna, look, you gonna have to find someone else to work on the press, ‘cause I hated working on the press. So she started training [Tim] Clancey, and I started working on the radio. At the time I liked it, I liked working on the radio, it was– it was like fun and I was very suspicious of it and I thought, God I– I’d like this, I enjoy it, there must be something wrong with it. And uh, I used it as an excuse to get out of something I knew that I definitely didn’t like. I don’t, you know– To me the radio’s no longer any fun but uh–

Man: (unintelligible)

Bowers: I’ve used it for– I mean it’s just like a crutch, it’s like anything else. If you work in the (unintelligible) you can say, well, I got to go be in the (unintelligible) or I could you know, I’ve gotta, you know, I gotta get on the early bus to get to L.A. for this or that. To me that– to me that–

Man 1: How did that cause you to lose all your self-respect?

Bowers: It just did, because I was lying and I (unintelligible)

Woman 1: What do you mean you were you lying?

Bowers: To myself, to others. (unintelligible) To hard working people that I respected.

Man 1: But do you know what, you know what (stumbles for words). You’re only looking at half– at half the– the problem. The other– and– and the solution is what was the end result and what will the end result be of your endeavor? Not– Not if you do offering.

Jones: That’s a good question. That’s a good question.

Bowers: (Laughs)

Jones: How many times do think I’ve walked in wanting to commit suicide, Ben, how many times did I lose self-respect? Thoughts– thoughts don’t make one uh, lose self-respect. How many times I’ve wanted to do various things to ease myself (unintelligible word) depression, but I didn’t. So you did uh– you say you got out of some work. Well, a number of people here has got out of some work.

Bowers: I– I know. It’s not that bad.

(Woman coughs)

Jones: But uh–

Bowers: The thing is, it makes me unpredictable, unpredictable to myself and unpredictable to others.

Jones: (unintelligible) How unpredictable–

Woman 4: You’re only as unpredictable as you want to be, Ben, you’ve got–

Bowers: I know, but I am, I am. You cannot count on me, you cannot count on me, and that’s the damn truth.

Man 1: Why?

Jones: Why? We did for a long time?

Bowers: Well, ‘cause that’s the way it is, and you did for a long time and you could, and you could up till, you know, I don’t know.

Woman 4: Up till when?

Baritone Man: Until you got the job, until–

Bowers: No, shit, six months ago, maybe even longer.

Woman 2: That’s when you were looking for a job. You were out looking for jobs somewhere?

Bowers: Oh yeah, I was– I didn’t– well, at the time I didn’t think I wanted to leave Masonite, I didn’t like Masonite, but I didn’t want to come down to the city, I don’t like the city.

Man 1: But now you wanna stay in the city.

Woman 2: Now you’re staying–

Woman 1: But now you’re staying.

Man 1: You, you’re so (unintelligible)–

Bowers: You know, I’m not going out there because I like that job or like the city, okay?

Man 1: So why you want–

Bowers: I am not doing that.

Man 1: Tell me again, why are you– why are you doing this?

Bowers: I know it’s–

Woman 2: (unintelligible)

Jones: I’ve got to understand this business, ‘cause I’ve got to make (unintelligible)

Bowers: I guess it’s ‘cause I–

Woman 2: Well, you’re saying anybody’s standing here could walk out the next moment.

Bowers: If you’re like me, you could.

Woman 2: You give all the right answers until they walk out the door, is what I’m hearing you say.

Jones: You mean you would do that?

Bowers: Obviously people have, and maybe everybody can. I don’t know that.

Woman 2: But–

Bowers: That’s something you don’t have to– you know, something that– As far as I’m concerned, people are changeable.

Woman 2: Right.

Baritone Man: It’s one thing–

Woman 2: No, wait, no. wait, no, you’re saying they’re not.

Jones: You don’t believe– You don’t believe in Marxist perfection then, you don’t believe it can be reached or attained.

Bowers: I don’t know. But as far as I’m concerned, people are changing.

Woman 2: Then why can’t you change?

Woman 1: You’re– yeah, you say that on one side, that you can change from being here, to going over here, but at the same time, you just told us that you can’t come back here.

Bowers: Well, that’s right now, that’s why I’m saying, I’m not saying (unintelligible word), you know, eternity but–

Jones: Now what is this (unintelligible word) right now? You’re telling me that uh, you don’t like the city. You’re telling me you don’t really like the urban life, and yet you’re here smack ass in the middle of it. You tell me that you have good sense – it shows – that you could see others who see how empty it is (unintelligible). And you’re willing to loo– cause everybody a loss of face, your leader a broken heart over you. It’s what happened. It’s what really happened, ‘cause I’ve literally had a heart attack within just a matter of two or three hours after the– the situation hit me. Of course there are a lot of things that per– perhaps that built up to it, but you’ve had a hell of a stroke on me. Uh, you– Are you really gonna risk all those things, doesn’t– do you not– do you– do you hate me– do you dislike me, do you dislike people (unintelligible)?

Bowers: I can’t follow you as a leader for one thing.

Baritone Man: Why?

Jones: Why?

Woman 1: Why?

Bowers: And that’s just the way it is.

Baritone Man: Why?

Woman 1: Why?

Bowers: I– resentment.

(Sound of door opening)

Baritone Man: Resentment for what (unintelligible)

Bowers: For the– you know, you’ve been a competent leader, you’ve made me do things that I didn’t want to do, for– for the best, but there’s still that resentment there.

Baritone Man: But you know it’s one thing–

Bowers: And I guess maybe that’s because I have an exalted opinion of myself.

Baritone Man: Well, wait a minute (unintelligible)

Jones: (unintelligible) into a person’s life. That’s what makes a good leader, is one that can be– who can take the hate. Everybody has moments of hating me.

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: Right, I– I know that. I know it’s not an isolated (unintelligible)

(People talk over each other)

Jones: (unintelligible) I don’t understand, I’m not getting anything out of the pain so, you don’t have anything– you don’t have anything to be resentful of, you see, if you really stop to think, you’re not being– you’re not using that good mind. You resentful of me and all my pain?

Bowers: I’m not resentful of your pain.

Jones: Oh, you see, you see, you’re not really thinking, Ben. I’m miserable, being decent, but I’m less miserable than I would be being indecent. (unintelligible).

(Pause) (Microphone moves)

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: Okay, I understand what you mean, but you know, that– that if– that’s the way you feel.

Jones: You– you see, you must think I get something out of life, the– the uh, position, the power or the trip or something that you would have in mind. You must think I get something out of this. So is that– ?

Bowers: No, I don’t think– I don’t think you get any– I don’t– I– I don’t know. You– you– you’re a mystery to me. At first I thought I knew you and then it just– I– I don’t know. I just don’t know, I just–

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: I thought I under– I– I’m trying to think of an example but– (Pause). Um. Like the deal with the night– the night we almost, we– you know, took poison.

Man: Totally.

Jones: Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Bowers: That just, I thought– (Sighs) (Pause). I just didn’t understand. I– I– I don’t know. I–

Jones: Why don’t you understand this?

Bowers: (Sighs) I thought, this is pretty obviously a put-on. Now, if I get up and say I think it’s a put-on, you’re going to react and you know, in a very– you’re gonna– you’re gonna try and, you know, support the put-on. And I thought, well, I don’t want to do that, ‘cause that’ll hassle him. Uh–

Jones: Yeah, it could.

Bowers: You know, that’s gonna cause a lot of– I– you know, I just thought, I don’t want to break down your leadership in front of people neither, and I thought doing that would be supporting that thing. Uh, so I–

Jones: I did not expect–

Bowers: So that puts me into the position of, okay, I don’t believe it but I’m gonna go along with it. Which is totally– which is– Pardon me?

Jones: I didn’t always expect very many people to believe it. There were a few that I was trying to get to test their fiber.

Bowers: Well, see– That’s– That’s what I– you know I just thought–

Man 9: You went along with it. When you started saying you went along with it, which is obviously totally what?

Bowers: Uh.

Man 9: Let him finish. You went along with it, which–

Bowers: It– you know– it threw me into a quandary I just didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know, should I respond positively, tell you how I think it’s a put on? ‘Cause if I, you know, sit here and hide my feelings, again, and uh, go along with it and then, you know, get up and say, well, I thought I was gonna die and I was happy to die for the cause and– and– and uh, uh, in order that, you know, someone else who we’re trying to flush out or something or oth– I, you know, I don’t know why exactly it’s being done but you know– (unintelligible)

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: I didn’t know, you know like– shit. You know, here I am and we’re gonna spend two hours, and I’m gonna be lying the whole time, and I will learn nothing and– you know.

Man 9: Well, if it’s for the benefit of others.

Bowers: Benefit, no. Is this for me? You know, is this for me or is this– Who is it for? I don’t know, you know.

Jones: (unintelligible)

Baritone Man: Whatever the shoe fit.

Jones: Two hours– what’s two hours in your life, you know, son, (unintelligible word), just do what I wanted to do.

Bowers: I think as far as I, you know I don’t know what– I don’t know what you’re trying to do, I– Were you trying to flush out Patty [Cartmell]? I don’t know. I don’t know.

Jones: She’s grown considerably. She had to come to terms with that death, fear of death.

Bowers: I– I don’t know. That’s what–

Woman 1: But are those two hours any quote “more wasted”–

Bowers: No, it wasn’t, because of that two hours, you know.

Woman 1: – than what you’re gonna do two hours tonight when you get off work? I mean, are those more meaningful to you or something?

Jones: No, never mind the question, never mind.

Bowers: This is why I’m saying, this is why I have a hard time, you know. I just don’t– I can’t follow you any longer.

Jones: Here you’re telling me something bizarre. You can’t follow me any longer because of a uh, a issue that occurred (unintelligible word) a year and a half ago?

Bowers: No, that’s just an isolated incident. I’m gonna (unintelligible) I’m just trying to– I was trying to pull for an example.

Man 1: (unintelligible)

Bowers: I can’t– You know, there was another time when I said, because of this incident, this. This is a long drawn-out (unintelligible)

Baritone Man: What it seems like.

(People talk over each other)

Jones: (unintelligible) trying to find out, what the hell is it you can’t follow me for?

Bowers: Uh–


Man 9: Well, then– then how would you do it different, Ben, how would you do it different if you’re (unintelligible)

Bowers: I don’t know– I don’t know whether there is any different way I would do it.

Man 9: Is there a better way, would you do thing– uh–

Bowers: (Sounding frustrated) I don’t know. Hell, why are you trying– you know I just don’t know.

Woman 1: Okay, Ben, okay, what are– what are some of the things that you’re having– you’ve had problems with? In your immediate lifestyle, say? Or things that you think he’s asking–

Bowers: I– You know, I’d kind of like to sit here and not have to into L.A. I don’t like going on the bus the same thing everybody else doesn’t like to do, you know.

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: I mean, you know, I don’t like to get on a crowded bus and go to L.A. which you know–

Man 1: When was the last time you went to L.A. on a crowded bus?

Bowers: Is whenever I could not avoid it, that was the last time I went (unintelligible)

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: – four or five months ago.

Baritone Man: You did a lot of (unintelligible)

Bowers: Yeah, I had a reason I worked on Saturday.

Baritone Man: Yeah.

Woman 1: Okay, what else, though?

Baritone Man: But still– I still wonder, you know, why you can’t follow him no more, you know, ‘cause he– All this shit, it sounds like bullshit to me when you first say you had to lie to people but you– Wait, wait a minute, motherfucker. When you say you had to lie to people that you respected such as Deanna Mertle. and then you’re going with this kind of motherfucking shit and obviously you know what she’s doing and has done. So it makes me very suspicious of you goingout, when you throw a statement out like that.

Bowers: Oh, you think I’m going–

Baritone Man: I don’t know what the fuck a motherfucker’ll do.

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: I don’t have any clear cut answers for you, I really don’t.

Baritone Man: You say you don’t know what the fuck you’re gonna do, how in the fuck do you expect us to know?

Jones: That’s a good point. You just said you can’t depend on (unintelligible word).

Bowers: That’s true.

Jones: What degree does that–

Bowers: I mean, I– I wasn’t expecting you to depend upon me, you know.

Jones: What degree does that mean, what do you mean by that? (Pause). Can we not count on you to hurt black people by conniving with agencies?

Bowers: Oh, I think you can count on me for that.

Man 9: You think?

Baritone Man: You think, you don’t know.

Man 9: Geez, where does that leave us?

Woman 1: Why can we depend on you not to do that, as far as you’re concerned, for what reason? Why would you do it?

Bowers: Why would I do it?

Woman 1: Uh-huh.

Bowers: ‘Cause I think it’s wrong.

Woman 1: Why?

Bowers: Why?

Woman 1: I mean if it happens it happens, the nihilist view is, if it happens it happens. (unintelligible)

Bowers: I’m sorry I ever brought the word nihilist up.

Man 9: Yeah, I’ll bet.

Woman 1: Well, yeah, I mean it’s not used intellectually correct but I’m saying–

Bowers: I haven’t used it in a long time.

Woman 1: Whatever you wanna– I don’t care what word you call it– Really, I mean, what I’m saying–

Bowers: No, I– I know– I know if it happens, you know– if it happens it happens but–

Woman 1: If an agent comes up to you, why– you know, why not talk to him.

Man: Says we’d like you to testify da-da-da-da-da-da-da.

Woman 1: Well, just give me a little information. Why not?

Bowers: I’m not going to.

Woman 1: Why?

Bowers: Why?

Woman 1: Yeah.

Bowers: Because it’s not that–

Woman 1: Why not?

Bowers: I like Peoples Temple, I like a lot of things instilled here, and I really support it, but I’m just saying, I just can’t– at this point, I just can’t function. All right?

Woman 1: No, that, yeah, but I still want to (unintelligible word) the other thing. That’s still–

Bowers: Well, I’m not saying that, you know–

Jones: Is that all you feel just like?

Man 1: Yeah.

Jones: Just like– That’s all you can feel for an organization (unintelligible)

Bowers: Well, that’s about as deep as my emotions go. I mean I– If you want to talk about love, I mean uh, that’s– love is a funny thing for me.

Jones: Well, I know that, I’ve– I’ve been greatly disappointed with the number of people that I can see that are not capable of love.

Bowers: So uh–

Jones: But uh–

Man 9: What about respect?

Bowers: I respect you (unintelligible)

Man 1: What are some things you don’t– you– you– you don’t respect and you don’t like about it?

Baritone Man: Things that you have to done, not things you have gotten out of.


Bowers: Some of the things I don’t respect?

Jones: Well, (unintelligible) it’s the honesty that stuck with me and I have no ego at all. You said that you lost faith in meor (unintelligible)

Baritone Man: For what, for what? (unintelligible)

Jones: Pull out one thing which I have very good reasoning for. That I’m–

Bowers: I– I just–

Jones: I’m just a li– I’m just a human leader ,and that makes me even that much more munificent, because I want to have peace and rest and quietude and isolationist (unintelligible word) type of existence. And I don’t. I persevere and discipline myself. I’m not a sadist, I’m not a masochist, so in fact I endure and carry on. (unintelligible) an area where I’ve made a mistake. Other than the risk involved. I mean, I did what I had to do. I would not have been able to gotten it any other way. Once I’ve triggered somebody else into getting out of our hair before they got more information. A very (unintelligible) person, very, very much that didn’t make a demonstration. Scared the shit out of me. You saw through it, others didn’t. Some did, some didn’t. You have to do what you– but that doesn’t mean perfection, but God, man, my successes in terms of helping people and my ut– utter willingness to endure pain, I will take that with me, ‘cause someone with a– anoth– maybe there’s nothing better in life than to work with that guy and help him bear his burden, it’s not like (unintelligible word) him it’s like helping him. What is there better to do? If I see something like that, I’d sure help. (Pause) Well, then, I don’t know what you mean by that.

Bowers: I– (Pause) Uh, you’re right. You’re absolutely right. There’s nothing better to do than follow you, but and I have done that for five years.

Man 1: So–

Jones: And resent it.

Bowers: I resent most the time, and now I feel like I’m– Look, okay, (clears throat), uh.

Jones: You might help me understand (unintelligible) decision (unintelligible) explain to me.

Bowers: The thing– I– you seem to wanna feel– you seem to wanna know, for, you know, why I left.

Jones: Absolutely, I wanna know why.

Bowers: And I– (Pause) (Sighs) I am rather at a loss to give you any coherent satisfiable answer. Uh- My main concern is to, you know, find out. I– I mean, this could go on forever, and very shortly I’ll start giving you answers you want.

Jones: I don’t want you to do that.

Bowers: They’ll be with no relationship to how I feel inside. Okay?

Jones: I don’t want you to do that.

Bowers: And I know you don’t want me to do that, and– or I think you don’t want me to do that, I’m really not sure sometimes. Uh, so–

(People talk over each other)

Bowers: What did you say?

Woman 1: (unintelligible), whoa, Ben.

Bowers: Hmm?

Woman 1: (unintelligible) pass, so why do you throw out that kind of shit?

Bowers: Well, I–

Woman 1: You know he don’t– What– what makes you think he wants (unintelligible) to get a pass, when he wants to know what’s going on.

Bowers: I’ve been giving (unintelligible) answers for so long.

Jones: I– I would like to not get me hurt anymore, but I’d rather hear the truth. I’d rather hear the truth than– than (unintelligible)

(People talk over each other)

Baritone Man: Hold it, now wait a minute. You’re not a fucking villain, wait a minute. You’re not a villain, and you saw–

Jones: Burned out, he says he’s burned out. What’s this (unintelligible) burned out.

Bowers: No I, I’d–

Man: How old are you?

Bowers: How old am I? Twenty-seven.

Woman 5: You don’t care about the (unintelligible)

Man 9: Burned out at twenty-seven?

Jones: Is that what you’re saying, you don’t care?

Bowers: I’m not– I’m saying at this point I cannot work at the level Peoples Temple works, and– you know, it just doesn’t, it just doesn’t– I– you know, fine, I could go out there and say I’m gonna do it and everything and everything’s gonna be fine, but I won’t.

Baritone Man: Are you afraid it’d interfere with your job and make you lose your fucking job? Putting in too much time here. Is that a factor?

Bowers: Uh, no. I think uh– I got a problem with the job because I just can’t­– I’m not in town occasionally. But uh, as far as– I’ve got more time now than I had before.

Baritone Man: Did you see the way he did it when– when– when we was in that law– when we was in the law office and he know somebody else was– he was gonna fix it but he didn’t know about this thing with you, you see the way he ke– started talking about the radio?

Bowers: Uh-huh. He covered my ass ‘cause I fucked up. He covered my ass ‘cause I fucked up. (unintelligible word)

Baritone Man: So see obviously, obviously you should’ve noticed that. And– and they had to cover up for Jean’s ass so, don’t use no loss of faith kinda shit. So don’t use that excuse. Just give him the truth, you know, ‘cause it ain’t no loss of face, ‘cause you ain’t got no face to lose in the first place.

Man 1: You know, and anoth– another thing, and another thing. You said that you didn’t think that he would come back here. And so from that point on, you just, you– you got more–

End of Side A


Side B

Man 1: –of doing what you know to be right. And you just been hedging your ass around us, and I’m getting mo– sick and tired of your fucking ass. Hedging– and you, and you haven’t given one precise clear answer on why, or what’s wrong, or what’s on your fucking mind.

Jones: It comes with pain and anger being black. You can understand this, or perhaps you intellectually remotely understand it. This is miserable, for black people to continuously see the disappointment of white people who just walk off. You don’t walk away from blackness.

Man 1: Damn straight.

Woman 1: What do you do when you see a black woman walking down the street getting hassled? What do you feel? You can’t avoid walking down the street and seeing black people in San Francisco, can you? Or do you see– what do you feel, Ben, knowing that you could help them and you’re not? Do you have any feeling at all?

Jones: You said your feelings don’t go very deep. Now, why– why not, son, why don’t you let them go deep?


Bowers: I– I don’t know why my feelings, but I basically I–.

Jones: What would you think was a– what– what would you think was a significant point of my character in that office? He said that I have saved you embarrassment from people, but that wasn’t no significant point of character.

Bowers: Well, the most significant thing is that you were there period, to make it–

Jones: No, there’s something more. In spite of how much you hurt me, I want that log– that log book, not in their hands. Friendship like that, you’re never gonna find. I’ve never found it, nobody’s ever given me that kind of friendship. And Ben, I see, when you– you hurt the person desperately, but they still think about you. You’re concerned about your well-being, ‘cause I don’t see people stamp (unintelligible word) of their problem in nine months, you know. In three years, we’ll either be dead or we’ll be there. And that world got more promising for my people, otherwise, but those times when I was trying an integrated mind, if we all ended up in chaos, because I didn’t think we had any hope. If it had to be, it had to be. I was trying to build, I was trying to do something. There’s no way to know. Now we are holding something, we have got something. A clear example are those kids’ lives. You can see it. And we’ve built contacts with government, different levels, high contacts, important contacts. People that can hear about our movement, just function in that society, guaranteeing being a region where there’ll be representation. We’ll be our own mayor, our own council, dignity for black youngsters that’ll never be able to hold their head up high here to get any kind of a job. And some white youths too. But that world is now very obtainable, not (unintelligible word) dropping in to see me in the middle of the night talking. Friendly, on a friendly basis because one intuition paid off. Not many do but one did. I suspect that somebody (unintelligible), they found out, you found out what I said was true. We backed up my intuition, my documentation. So you’re very loyal and devoted to us. And we have this other very important contact, and we’re gonna make more. The whole Caribbean is thriving with the spirit of socialism, it’s going. Nobody’s gonna stop it. America’s not big enough to stop what’s happening out there. And I don’t know what uh, what you could find that would be scintillating. So you don’t like to work so hard, so tell us you don’t like to work rather than pull your presence totally away from people and cause disillusion. And black people’ll say “Here’s another white person I trusted.” Don’t– it doesn’t matter what you’ve done to me, ‘cause I will get over that, you know I forgive it and I forgive very quickly. Surely you’ve seen that (unintelligible word) before anything about me. You may have not worked with me as closely as some. These people disappointed me, there’s hardly a soul in here, hasn’t disappointed me. But I– I presume they have, I don’t remember a one, I can’t remember a thing right now.

Man 1: It’s true, it’s true, it’s true.

Woman 1: It’s true.

Jones: I really am very, very uh– not a bit of vengeance in me, not at bit. (Pause) You say because– I hear you saying, I can’t live up to my eyes so I’ll not live up to anything. Well, that uh, that’s your choice.

Bowers: Well, that’s– that’s pretty accurate. That– that’s, it has uh– (clears throat) you know that’s what I– you know, I started trying to live up to my eyes and then, you know, I started sliding a little bit and a little bit more and– and uh, (Pause) where’s the end? Not somebody I just look up to. I– I don’t know.

Jones: The end of it is you were seen at all in the place by black people, it would be a– one less heartache. You know the uh, just your very– very presence is better than no presence at all. People who are hurt– I don’t know how our black people keep any faith. I really don’t know. Just constantly in this, things that go on, and then people don’t leave us alone. They won’t go out. I’m really not worried about you being diabolical, to level with you, I don’t think you’re a diabolical person. But I’m– I’m trying to find out what the hell’s happening. Because if everybody’s gonna let me down, I might as well make the best use of my body and let it destroy it someplace for some cause.

Bowers: I don’t– Well– You have– you have to make that decision, but I don’t think I’m typical in the sense that other people have left. I mean if I was typical this time I would try to get someone else to go with me I think. You know I’d try to, (unintelligible) contacts (unintelligible) my girlfriend.

Jones: I don’t think you are typical, but you have left. You left a guy that– you’ve not seen me yet. I don’t believe anybody can see me and know how much I care and how much principle, I’ve got to do this. So obviously you’ve shut off from me.

Bowers: Yeah, it’s– you know–

Baritone Man: And by you leaving, Ben–

Jones: So how many more are doing the same thing? How many more are sitting doing the same?

Bowers: I don’t know.

Baritone Man: Waiting for you to go before they jump.

Bowers: That’s something that’s– although I– I don’t think– I just don’t know.

Jones: And you think– and you jumping, who– who will you effect? Who will jump?

Bowers: I don’t know, I don’t–

Jones: (unintelligible) work that way and you know that.

Baritone Man: A lot of people– A lot of people said you could’ve stayed. You’re not an asshole like I have been, all right. So a lot of people, you know, come to the– you know, see you as a steady rock, everybody know I’m a asshole.

Jones: I don’t think that’s true either, but uh, that is true in– in contrast, you haven’t seemed as steady.

Bowers: I– I don’t– I don’t know.

Jones: (unintelligible)

Bowers: See, that’s why I wanted to, that’s why I wanted to.

Jones: (unintelligible) dirty overalls, you never worried about outward appearances, and that’s why I loved you so. Then all of a sudden you become interested in a fucking bourgeois.


Man 1: (Laughs quietly)

Bowers: Uh, that’s a problem. I don’t have any easy answers.

Man 1: Do you have any guilt? Do you think you owe a debt?

Jones: There’s so much guilt here.

Bowers: Yeah, I have some guilt.

Jones: How much guilt? That’s what keeps me going.

Bowers: I can’t– I don’t function on guilt.

Jones: Yeah, but that’s–

Bowers: Right from the beginning, you said, how many people function on guilt, and I raised my hand, but I don’t.

Jones: But you can. I do. Uh, (unintelligible)

Bowers: I feel– No, I’m not saying that you don’t. But uh, she functions on guilt. She functions very well on guilt, she can’t function without it, it seems like. And I know she works very well, and that’s always, she– she’s always worked very well.

Jones: But you’re saying that classic bourgeois thing. Ben, you’re saying that you can’t function on guilt.

Bowers: No, I’m not.

Jones: The best production in the world has come from me caring and giving, and I function on guilt all the time. Be in an ocean, twelve minutes, it’s an exaggeration of guilt (unintelligible) might as well get out (unintelligible word). Loveliest beach I’ve ever met, but I might as well get out of it. But I’d rather have too much than not enough. You can’t function– You say you can’t function on guilt. What is it, this guilt overwhelms you?

Bowers: No just, I mean just– (sighs)

Jones: What’s it do, just overwhelm you or something when you let guilt come in?


Bowers: Uh, I think guilt is something that you need and– and I have guilt. And uh– but I don’t think, for me at least, it doesn’t make ve– doesn’t make a very good motivating point. If I’m doing something out of guilt, uh–

Jones: How else would you motivate me?

Bowers: Well, that’s–

Jones: (unintelligible) hurts (unintelligible)

Bowers: See that’s– if we function on guilt or, you know, responsibility to me, so I started (unintelligible) which was something I liked, and that was the first thing that I had liked for years.

Jones: Okay, okay, so you’re not me. So you like the radio. That made you a bad person all of a sudden.

Bowers: No, but that made me– uh, put me in a position of like separating me from the rest of Peoples Temple (unintelligible)

Jones: (unintelligible) the rest of the Peoples Temple.

Bowers: Uh, uh– oh Well, you know, from where I wanted to be, or the image I have of myself.

Woman 1: (unintelligible)

Jones: That’s good, that shows conscientious. That’s what– that’s why I think it’s a terrible waste to see you go back and support these motherfuckers and hurt black people who looked up to you. And you– you won’t hurt me, and you know I’ll over– I’ll override it. I’ll override it, I’ll live through it. I’ll override it. It’ll always be there. The problem is I have to make certain deductions about people you say you can’t depend on, you can’t depend on them. How many people feel like that, you can’t depend on them? Jesus, (stumbles over words) you can imagine where I stand here having to try to save people’s lives, and if I can’t depend upon people, I don’t know– I don’t know how to do it.

Bowers: I– I– I had always assumed more or less that you had kind of evolved a system of depending on people when they were dependable, and when they weren’t dependable, they just weren’t dependable, and you just had to go around it some way.

Jones: That’s good for a personal standpoint, as a personal standpoint I can do that. I can take care of heartaches as much as I’m willing to take them. But I’ve got to talk in terms of organization now. I’ve got to begin to think in the long run organization. Already your exodus has created a situation which I’ve come back and taken great risk. Who knows when and where the– the process server can be at any second, or that actually may not be that unit at all. But that’s that risk that’s there. There’re things I’ve done that are very good, that saved a lot of lives, a lot of places in the world. But there are enemies out there who’d try to– Yeah, they’ve gotten so devious. I don’t know what it is, but I guess it must be resentment.

Bowers: It’s guilt, it’s guilt.

Jones: Guilt?

Bowers: That’s what it is. Guilt for leaving a good thing.

Woman 1: Why.

Man 1: (unintelligible)

Jones: So you want to destroy it?

Bowers: I guess.

Woman 1: Why doesn’t the same guilt– if the guilt operates out there, why doesn’t it operate (unintelligible)

Jones: Well, that’s an interesting point. I’d like to hear this. Do you think–

Bowers: I mean, you know, that– it was your idea. I mean that’s what– and I think that’s the way it works.

Jones: Well, I–

Bowers: They see something good, they turned their back on it, they can’t fix it themselves so they try to destroy what’s bothering them.

Baritone Man: Well, I’ve been seeing a lot of niggers go out, and they don’t do nothing but go out and do their thing and try to leave it alone, but every time a honkey go out thinking he got some motherfucking sense, that’s when the shit start. And I’ll put you in that same category, ‘cause you think you got some sense, motherfucker.

Jones: There’ve been a lot of blacks have gone out, and they’ve been trying to do a lot of shit. They’re there. They just don’t get the sounding board. It’s whites the world listens to. That’s unfortunate. Reverse prejudice. And there are blacks who’ve walked away peacefully. Unfortunately very few whites. Can’t think of anybody offhand except uh, Virginia Arrends who died. But then (unintelligible) when we had a man, this atrocious man, we had him clearly locked in the corner for what he’d done with Leo. In the name of the Lord, having Leo fuck him in the name of the Lord, if you recall, (unintelligible) and he’s this evil bastard trying to destroy us. We had him clearly nailed to the wall, but they got him clear out of the community. Didn’t want to, but then I don’t like to see anybody hurt. He’s a very, very devious person who’s trying to destroy us. Too many, too many people (unintelligible) make me sick. I get a– I get a feeling of heaviness in my chest. So we had him– only one– we didn’t want to get arrested, we wanted him out of the school system. And Virginia Arrends went in and testified on his behalf. (unintelligible) clear proof, but we never got to talk again. But he’s still there, he’s still at good old Redwood Valley stirring up hell, creating confusion. Organized Lois Ponts the other day, was at her mother’s home, and she picked up the phone and he finished talking to her, he went on, “Now if you’ll do this, (unintelligible) you’ll be able to get them. You’ll be able to stop Lois and you’ll be able to stop that child from getting to go over there.” Just insidious. Goddamn this business. I think I am right, but I don’t know how to deal with this business of guilt. The people go out, and then they feel guilty, and they got to put the light out. I just– it just overwhelms me. I don’t know what to do with it.

Baritone Man: Well, they better hope their light shines, ‘cause a lot of people, some have you, a lot of motherfuckers are gonna be fucked up, that’s for goddamned sure. You’re the only one saving a lot of fuckers.

Man 1: And Ben, by you saying that you don’t know where you are, you– you’re in a book.

Bowers: You want me to say I know where I’m at?

( Man 1 and Ben speak over each other )

Man 1: No Ben, no, no, no Ben, no Ben, no Ben.

Bowers: That’s what I mean (unintelligible)

Man 1: I want you– I want you to have some actions, I want you to say shit. But I just want you to know that you– that you’re down.

Jones: Hear, hear black people, hear that. They only– they don’t give a shit what you think. Don’t hurt anymore, that’s what they’re saying.

Bowers: (Muffled) I won’t.

Jones: Don’t be– don’t make the action. He don’t give a shit what you think, what you feel, to be black. Who– Who would– they went after who– who got the brunt of at the Los Angeles affair. He was one, beating that deni– denigration, Jackson, him.

Man 1: Plus they beat me down at the station. So you don’t, don’t– don’t tell me about what– what I want you to– what I want to hear. Fucker.

Jones: All they’re saying is, make yourself a prisoner like the rest of us. Identify. It doesn’t matter that you’re gonna like it, don’t expect it, I don’t expect you to like me. I wouldn’t uh, expect that, I know nobody does. I would if I had– if Iwould if I knew somebody like me. I’d like them, I wouldn’t give a shit what they did. (unintelligible) for me because I see what they do and what they are and what they mean and what they give, and how they care and don’t even forget any little detail. Suppose it’ll happen sometime, I (unintelligible word) aging, it’ll– it’ll finally get to me, but I have tried very hard not to lose any detail for protecting them, fulfilling their needs. But I don’t un– I must admit I can’t offer you the bourgeois life. You know (unintelligible) will never get anyone to the Promised Land. I’m not able to say they can go out and do their thing, wouldn’t be any organization. But I’m able to do my suffering bit and let everyone else do their thing, it wouldn’t bother me. I wouldn’t have any (unintelligible) you people, I don’t have any resentment for the children in this. Fucking with what I’d do for the black people. But I suffer as much as any black person has ever suffered, or any human being ever suffered. I need to feel the pain I feel at this moment, and I analyze my thoughts all the time, is a pain I feel of having blacks hearing this. Be familiar with it. That hurt. But if only it were to live the bourgeois life, if I could do a successful contribution for humanity, I wouldn’t care. I mean uh, you– you wouldn’t cause me resentment. I have to live with me, and you have to live with you, but there’s more than that at stake. We are in an island in this little fucking raging ocean. We can’t afford to lose many more, if any more. When I stood up there in (unintelligible), I thought why don’t we just all die in here. I didn’t give a shit whether they met FCC or not. This is just ridiculous. Stable people walking out, and that is impossible. That’s the only thing that bothers me is that sometime, in that moment, you’re saying, out of desperation, you make a desperate move. (unintelligible) analyze you say. (unintelligible) ‘cause I have a number of disappointments, a num– number of treasons. I’m not likely to have done anything with you, but if you stirred up something and some others, (unintelligible) awfully, awfully (unintelligible). But it turned out not to be. And me, I’m a cynic. You say you– you think that I believe you’re pessimistic. Well, you couldn’t be as pessimistic as me. When I have seen what I saw that day in the­– in the last few days in Guyana and in uh, Grenada and uh, some other islands. The wholeCaribbean is good that way, so this contract ought to be good. And it’s really encouraging. He said that country used to be a private island. He suffered to be a part of giving a black kid– look at their poor little faces when they stand up for these catharsises. That’s why I was really hard on him last night, but they act out. Jesus Christ, what of his new black kids in the school system, one of his new black issues at off streets. And were you here the other night when I just– the night I left. I felt such agony having to leave that damn black man standing up and saying how his so-called white friend pushed him uh– always into believing he was his friend, and in a cafeteria and standing, but then a couple of white engineers stand up, surround his stool and start talking about cutting off the balls of blacks and skinning them. His white friend left him, and he had to stand there for the sake of this cause. And he wanted to die right there, wanted to get it over with. For a man to stand that degradation for one fucking hour, those sons of bitches whites, they certainly, certainly put him through that bombardment. Nice looking chap up there. Were you there that night?

Bowers: No.

Jones: He wears glasses, something like you do. You need to meet him, you need to hear these people. Need to know what it is to be nigger. (unintelligible) Your dad didn’t care that much apparently, although you probably had some pampering by being uh, from your real mother. I don’t know. Uh, you’re not the typical only child syndrome. ‘Cause you were– were you afraid to feel, were you afraid to care? Afraid to care or not to care.

Bowers: I think that’s probably the basis of it all. You know, fear is pretty much the origin of (unintelligible word) any kind of blockage, whether you don’t feel as deeply as you should or, it’s, you know– it’s all basically fear (unintelligible). For uh, you know, for what ever reason.

Jones: Well, what’s the difference? As long as you care, if people hurt that care, what’s the difference. Living is a pile of shit. There’s not enough there to inspire you for two days, if you’d– and you’ve seen that. Friends leave good paying jobs and try to find other communes. You’ll never find a commune like this. You’ll never find a leader like this, never again, never will find another leader. ‘Cause I know that about me, whatever guilt I’ve seen, I know nobody’s got the goodness that I’ve got. ‘Cause I’ve done a lot of testing and a lot of analysis and a lot of comparison. I criticize (unintelligible) and weigh it very, very thoroughly. I compare my life to others, my lives – that’s Freud – the many lives I have lived, and very thoroughly look at me. I got too many precious people, and I am not gonna fuck them up easily. I’m overwhelmed with pain, physical pain. (unintelligible), and no sleep pushed back into a situation that I didn’t plan for. This is not good planning (unintelligible). But I– I don’t doubt Father’ll ever do anything at all of that great interest. It is the least deliberated act (unintelligible) so hopeless. You mention that night, and that night was hopeless, pretty hopeless night. I had to correct some things. I had to eradicate some situations, or we would’ve been doomed. The biggest test– not just Patty, Patty and I needed to be at work, she could be doing some fantastic things now, if she only got over that goddamn miserable fear of dying. I’ve been exposed to death so many times, it’s a very pleasant experience. I don’t know what you’re holding on to, what the hell do you want? It’s a loss of face. Jesus Christ, and where else is your loss of face gonna lead you? What next?

Bowers: You know, I– (Pause) I’m trying to figure out where we can– where– where are we, where can we work from?

Jones: I hear that, I hear that, I hear that’s where, I hear that, but you– I hear this resolute, “I will not change, I have made up my mind.”

Bowers: That’s true.

Jones: And uh, this is what– this is what overwhelms me in the face of such love as I have for you, that you could keep saying that. But you’re not willing to negotiate it at all. It’s nonnegotiable.

Bowers: Yep, (Pause) that’s true.

Jones: Well, but why? Why is it nonnegotiable?

Bowers: Because I am–

Jones: What’s the importance about your (Claps hands once) pride in your decisions? How do you count so much (unintelligible)

Bowers: Well, actually, you know what, I want– Okay. What I intended to do and all this month (unintelligible). At the end er– everyone got off all right, then I’d go off and do something else.

Jones: Then what?

Bowers: Well, you know, I didn’t have any– you know, I didn’t have any plans. But uh, uh, and then six months, a year (unintelligible). Can I live here, can I not live here, do I live there, or I do not live there. And then from there (unintelligible)

Jones: You oughta take another– you oughta take trip there. You’d see a new situation. If my Stephan [Jones] who’s an anarchist, ‘cause he happens to be in the shadow of a leader, leave here, and he loved that life and not want to come back here, and leave it up to Jim to help and couldn’t stand it. (unintelligible) out there last evening, he– he’s out there building buildings, unloading ships and doing it in four hours as (unintelligible name) can verify. He’s bearing the biggest weight in the world, and my God, it has to be something very, very worthwhile, ‘cause he’s a genius. He’s got a very, very keen mind, and at seventeen, he’s looked at this fucking life out there, and emptied himself of it. You really ought to have a look at Guyana.

Bowers: Well.

Jones: (unintelligible)

Bowers: The way I feel is uh, you have to– you know, at that time I decided Peoples Temple wasn’t really where it’s at after all, and uh, I was helping there. If I didn’t work here, (unintelligible) that would be.

Jones: See, Peoples Temple there is not running up and down road in busses and having meetings. They don’t have church meetings there. Never had one yet.

Bowers: (unintelligible under microphone movement)

Jones: Well, what’s more nice about it for some of us is that the goddamn river leads into Venezuela, and the revolution’s gonna– the whole subcontinent’s gonna go socialist and you can play a part in something significant. There’s no alliances here. (unintelligible) all Old Testament point of view. I wanted to be sure. So I put the press out to see if we can do anything. Didn’t do anything. Nobody wants to work. This is a miserable country, nobody gives a goddamn, nobody cares, it’s all plastic. There are places in the world that care, that stop in the streets. Grenada, though, Caribbean islands, friendliness, offer you assistance, come use my telephone. (unintelligible word) Don’t even ask you if you’re gonna put a pre-charged or if you’re gonna put it collect. They don’t even ask you. The switchboard. Notice when you go into a hotel today, you know the switchboard in that lovely fantastic hotel on the sea. No charges for the call. No monitor to see whether you put the phone on them or put the phone on the United States. It’s a different world. You won’t get by that here. They verify and check everything, nobody trusts anybody anymore, nobody gives a shit about anybody. You could drop dead and the owner at the inn, take us all around for drinks (unintelligible) fucking bar, if we were drinkers. Friendliness, friendship, warmth, relationships count. Nothing counts here. Everybody uses (unintelligible under microphone movement)

Bowers: (Stumbles over words). As I said, I’m not expecting (unintelligible)

Woman 2: Well, your reasoning, though– you’re going out on– on the basis– okay, you thought this thing out and you know what you’re doing is right.

Bowers: No– (sighs) no, I didn’t–

Woman 2: But do you really– First of all, do you really that you have– are the best judge of your own personality? I mean, can you effect– it’s not– it’s not the fact that maybe other people, considering all of us come from a very warped frame of mind, growing up in a capitalist society, and you perhaps even more so through your whole growing up environment, can you accept the fact that maybe Jim who loves you a lot more than anybody else outside ever could, would not want in fact what’s best for you?

(People talk over each other)

Woman 2: I don’t think it’s a matter of will, it’s more of what your end results’ going to be.

Bowers: Well, you know (unintelligible)

Woman 2: What– What is the end result of you’re going off moving? Why are you– what– what do you do– what rightdo you have to have these so-called higher intellectual pursuits, when you know you have a responsibility to other people? (Pause) You can’t avoid that. Just because you don’t believe in it, doesn’t mean you can’t avoid it.

(Phone rings)

Woman 3: (Answers phone). Hello?

Jones: You say you’re telling us the truth, but I think you’re bullshitting, so I think there’s more that you’re not telling us. Because it’s not making sense. You told us, you told us (unintelligible) so I don’t want to work with the Temple. I think– I think that (unintelligible) I think what you want to do is get away from uh, I think this fear. You know (unintelligible word) controlling. If I’d say a word, he’d kill you right there.

Bowers: Uh-huh.

Jones: I think you– I think that’s what was really talking more that– So you’re really not giving me all the truth yet.

Bowers: I think you’d get a different story from (unintelligible) alone, yeah. I am very influenced by groups.

Woman 2: That is where I have a problem.

Jones: (unintelligible) so you see, I’m not trying to protect myself over here (unintelligible) if anybody does have this illusion of me tomorrow.

Bowers: I’m just– You know, I think that’s just a basic group dynamic, you take any one of us here and you set them in front of a group and you start asking questions, you’ll get a different story than if you sit them down, and why.

Jones: Why? Why?

Bowers: Because it’s what– people are that way. They are in fa– you know they are, whether they like to admit it or not, or allow to whatever extent.

(People talk over each other)

Woman 2: Ben, does that mean–

Jones: What do I have to give– you see, I’m the one who has to lose. You’re critic– cri– criticizing me. I have to deal with people and keep everybody harmonizing together. So if I don’t care, why should you care? (unintelligible) I’m the one that’s got something to lose ‘cause everybody uses everything.

Bowers: Well, I–

Jones: (unintelligible word) That word, that word “adapt”– I’ve had that fucking word stabbed at me fifty thousand times.

Bowers: Oh geez.

Jones: And the one that created it–

Bowers: I wasn’t even there when Jean said that, so I don’t even know what her argument is.

Jones: That we’ve referred to (unintelligible) again adapt, to adapt. Honestly, it’s come up all the time I’ve had to deal with it constantly. She had a pretty good case at the time, though she admitted that she was doing it for all the wrong reasons, it was a pretty good case. Yeah, what’s the difference whether you adapt or you don’t adapt, if I adapted so I don’t hurt you, shit, what’s that matter to you. I know that’s– I– that’s irrelevant to me. If one person’s adapting or really evolved or if we can do something significant. Now do– you don’t have any idea. See, I don’t put every goddamn thing out that I’m doing, you can’t do that. You were with people you trust, but you were always out someplace else anyway. So it wasn’t, wasn’t a matter of just trusting. You’d been a great you being more involved. But you–

Bowers: Well, I– You know, I did that on purpose, you know, I didn’t want to get involved. I mean that–

Jones: Well, I’d think (unintelligible word) involved with something meaningful.

Bowers: Well, that’s a– Well– (Pause) Support it, but–

Jones: (unintelligible) in case you find some challenge like getting somebody out of jail? We’ve done that. Somebody out of the– out of the uh– out a concentration camp, we’ve done that.

Bowers: No.

Jones: Would you find some challenge in something like that? Would you find some challenge (unintelligible) It stops the system.

Bowers: I mean, yeah, yeah, there’re challenges. But I don’t know whether that’s– you know, there are many, you know– there are many, many challenging things. I’m not looking for something that’s challenging.

Jones: Then what in the hell are you looking for? (unintelligible) You think I’m just–

Bowers: I– I think, I just want, you know, I want some time to regroup my thoughts and breathe a little bit and look around the world to see what’s going on and make a decision one way or the other, am I gonna be here, am I gonna be there, you know, what am I gonna do. That’s it.

Jones: What in the meantime do we do? You didn’t go– you didn’t go five hundred miles, you didn’t go (unintelligible), that would have been easily taken care of. It is time, but here you are walking up and down the streets. How the hell do we explain, here’s Ben Bowers taking six months, how do you explain that to poor struggling black people who are beating their ass to try to make some of their dream possible.

Bowers: Well, that’s what we’d work out. Can we work out something here?

Jones: What?

Bowers: I mean that– that’s the point.

Woman 1: And then you–

Woman 2: And also on the other hand you’re influenced by a group and you said what the group wanted. Well, you’re going out with the damn honkeys, you’re not going out with anybody black, so that means you’re going to go along with whatever they say. I don’t trust you anyway, (unintelligible). Fuck, man. That means if they all get up and talk about P.T., you’re gonna go along with it, negative, because everybody in your group’s going along with it.

(People talk over each other)

Woman 2: (unintelligible) I’m saying you’re going out with all white people, right?

Bowers: Yeah.

Jones: It is gonna be an all-white, all-white (unintelligible)

Woman 2: All right, so if they talk against us, you’re going to go along with it.

Jones: (unintelligible) all white goddamn apartment now. You have never liked uh– how do you feel living with a bunch of white people.

Bowers: It doesn’t bother me.

Jones: It doesn’t bother you?

Bowers: I mean, you know– I don’t try not to look at people as whether they’re black or whether they’re white. (unintelligible)

Jones: But with black people, you know where they’re at.

Woman 1: But there’s so many–

Jones: Even a white Gallup Poll said they’re ninety three percent racist.

Bowers: I believe– You know, as far as I’m concerned, everyone, maybe except you, except you is a racist. That’s it. Period. If you are human, you are racist.

Woman 2: What, if you think–

Bowers: A priori, a priori, a priori, all humanity, everybody is racist. They are concerned with other people, they are concerned with other people that are different, they’re concerned for people that are alike, and it makes for racism. That’s just the way it is.

Woman 4: Okay, so racism exists, so do you act on it, because you’re racist, do you act like one?

Bowers: No.

Woman 4: Or do you control it?

Bowers: You control it.

Woman 2: Please stop feeding black people, if you’re white, you stop feeding black people who are hungry, because you’re a racist, you stop feeling– (unintelligible under Jones)

Jones: (unintelligible) I can’t believe I’m the only one not a racist. You– you go and be one (unintelligible)

Bowers: Well, I– you know, it’s a– a matter of degree.

Woman 6: No, you just keep coming up with all these rationalizations so you have an excuse for everything you’re doing.

(Phone rings)

Woman 3: (Answers phone) Hello?

Bowers: Obviously, I’m going to have an excuse for everything I do.

Woman 5: (unintelligible) –fact that you think you have a fucking right to make a choice. You have the fucking white right to make a choice.

Woman 1: I mean I just look at your white face and know you couldn’t have walked out if you were black.

(People talk over each other)

Woman 4: You got any other money coming in?

Bowers: Any other money coming in? No, I’m just working.

Jones: Well, I’ve never seen a man amount much (unintelligible). You’re a disappointment– You– you could kill me. Now, I’m being honest. You won’t be honest, you could kill me. You physically could kill me. You gave money, you went along with an arrangement to get some money from a woman, we never would’ve got it. (unintelligible under microphone movement) I may be sitting here acting calm, but inside I’m just in a turmoil. (Pause) I don’t know where in the hell you’re coming from.

Bowers: I don’t know.

Jones: And you say, I am not negotiable, I have made my decision, I mean, it may be a bad decision, but I’m going– I’m going out there. You don’t know what the hell’s out there. You say you want to find out there, so that shows you’ve never listened to anything or really been watching. For once I’d be really saying is that you don’t know what’s out there, because you said at one point, “Well, my friends, uh, some of the people at my job, they– they find out there but then they go communal.” But you’re really not sure they’re– they’re right either. You think– maybe you think there’s something out there.


Bowers: I mean– (Pause) I think there’s something to be done.

Baritone Man: Such as?

Jones: (unintelligible) ask you now tell me why?

Bowers: Well, you know just like what Peoples Temple does.

Woman 5: Where?

Woman 2: Where are you gonna go to do that?

Jones: Boy, I’ve heard this over and over. Tell me where. Tell me with who.

Woman 5: What where? Now tell us where and tell us what.

Jones: Tell me with who and how.

Bowers: Probably with no one. I’ll probably never do it, okay? I don’t feel–

Woman 2: You’re just saying that, ‘cause that’s what we want to hear.

Bowers: No, that’s true and I have not spent any time thinking (unintelligible)

Jones: I’d rather hear this than just another lie I just did, ‘cause that’s the biggest fucking lie it ever gets, and it gets me angry. People say there’s something can be done. Jim Jones (unintelligible) listen to anything so goddamn well, I’m even willing to– been willing to step down out of positions and commissions to formalize this in this fucking city, and you can do nothing that would (unintelligible) our own street fighter who don’t know shit about politics, put him in his place that we’ll kill for each other if we have to, if they’re gonna come for our jugular vein. You can’t get these political fools to do anything. Our enemies– our worst enemies are those who are socialistic who are goddamn jealous of the fact that we’re getting things done. And if that isn’t horrible. And they admit it. We get down to, well, I don’t like it, you could always say then, well, what’s– what’s your problem? Boils down, you were getting things done. First it starts, I don’t like your– your way, that you’re too tightly knit organized, you– you’re all too– you stand up for each other. Well, what the hell’s this, what the hell’s different? What are we using– misusing power? Are we going down beating brains and busting out anybody’s property? Are– Are we doing anything wrong? No, but I just don’t like your– What it boils down to always is that we can produce. We produced at the International Hotel, we stopped those people from being mutilated by the riot squad and the sheriff’s department. And a lot of the issues are over and over and over again, (unintelligible) You’re not gonna have nothing to do, nothing to do. That’s one thing. You’d know better, if you would have any sense. This fucking society don’t give a goddamn. You would have to have been reading Peoples Forum, it was a pretty good piece of paper.

Woman 4: Did you ever read it?

Bowers: Yeah.

Woman 4: The last issue?

Bowers: I don’t know which the last one was.

Jones: Well–

Bowers: The last one I saw was like a compendium of uh, previous issues.

Jones: Now that, what was what, what were some things talked to you?

Bowers: Uh, you know– I think uh, deal on Nazism and uh–

Jones: Yeah, that’s, that’s–

Bowers: It was just, it was just well-written and it’s presented a very, you know, good viewpoint of what socialism–

Jones: The strong, strong attacks against Huey Newton, turned out that they can (unintelligible) defending him and getting under Cu– Cuba uh, trying to get some goddamn people to waken. Even though Huey may have made his mistakes, that you help people when they’re in their alliance for change. Fucking not a soul rallied, not one. All we got is hate mail (unintelligible) and governmental threats. It took a lot of courage for me to go see Huey Newton. That’s the way I feel about any human being that tries. And you talk about what I’m trying.

Bowers: No, I’m not–

Jones: (unintelligible) you, and I went to goddamn Cuba and saw the wrong person in the world, for the– the least popular person in the United States today in terms of the public’s eyes. It did no good, nothing whatsoever. (unintelligible). In fact, they’ll probably kill him. Even the person in who’s charge of his– charge of his organization don’t want him back over what he’s doing. But that’s what it– I felt for him, he’s a black man stuck away in a position he feels like he wants to be in the struggle, it’s my duty to try to help him. I warned him. I warned him he ought not to come back. You see, I’m not a dictator. I may be a leader but not a dictator. I just tell you, here’s the way it is, friend, as I see it from my vast experience, you go back to America, your ass is grass. But if you want to go back, I’ll try to help you. Very human quality, very good quality, and nobody gives a shit. All I got from even so-called liberals, don’t tell Newton, they’ll– they’ll get you and get– and they– they know we associate with you la-la-la, leave Newton alone. And Cuba, presenting Cuba – as it was, as it is – a beautiful prospect for a emerging socialist democracy. What the hell do we get nothing but hate letters? The left should’ve been enthralled. There’s no chance out there, man, there’s no chance. This country will go fascist without any resistance. This is a sick culture, I don’t know what the hell’s made it sick. I don’t know what’s affected the humans in this country different than anyplace else. But even in goddamned– in Germany, men and women laid their fucking lives down on the railroad tracks after [Adolf] Hitler had full power, to stop the trains from going into Poland. No, you don’t see that here. Never gonna see it, and you know you’re not gonna see it. You’ve lived around here too long to see what we’ve tried to engender and get no cooperation. Dog eat dog uh, uh– ruthless goddamned. Shit, we– we’re facing one with the press now. He’s got his fodder from blacks and liberationists, a socialist writer, jealous because we’re doing a better paper than he is. We’ve blocked him and three times, after two times it’s– some place you can’t block him, so finally it gets– gets through. Our organization. You got to owe that to organization. Your organization has saved black children that’ve been in jail. Say, Joe Wilson was in jail when I got home. Goddamn it, this organization pulled him out, my presence on the scene. That’s one good thing to feel bad about, causing me to be back. I could’ve still done it without getting back. But the organization got in on it, Joe Wilson. Organization stopped when Jim Jr. [Jim Jones Jr.] would have been beat probably by police. But he dropped the name of Peoples Temple, he was still over, (unintelligible word) not on this side of the Bay, on Oakland’s side, the highway patrol escorted his ass here rather than getting in any more trouble. They sure didn’t do it because they loved us. You say you want to be independent. Well, who the hell wouldn’t– What– what can you defend in life for anybody, for yourself or anybody you may ever care for? What can you to do be– uh, to defend the people you love unless you have a fucking organization that’s tight knit, a family. Nobody didn’t like each other all the time. Oh my God, don’t mess with Ben Bowers, don’t mess with Chris Lewis, ‘cause you’re messing with me. I think that’d be the most motivating first purpose and reason to live that there could be. (Pause) And all this six months shit, what the hell you wanna do in six months? What the hell you wanna try out that you’re talking about? What is this– (unintelligible)

(People talk over each other)

Jones: What’s this magic six months? We’ve heard that shit.

Bowers: No, I just think– No, I just think– (Pause) Uh, I made that– I think someone pointed out was that you get the impression like I made a decision and it’s not ever gonna change right now, and that’s the way I feel. Well, I know that’s why wanted to do.

Baritone Man: (unintelligible) Just answer this question, what you want to try out. Fuck that other bullshit.

Jones: (unintelligible) the frustration it is to uh, be out here. Um, thousands of dollars a day are coming back, bringing my kids, the one kid was in tears and agony, shaking like uh, somebody in epilepsy. Uh– He had to come– I had to bring him. It cost a son of a bitch and I come back over this huge goddamn (unintelligible). You know, I have to love you or I would be irate, so you know I had to love you. You’d have to know I had to love you, ‘cause I’m sure not afraid on one goddamn thing. And if I just can’t get through, I don’t understand. You say nothing negotiable uh–

Bowers: I’m not telling you nothing’s negotiable.

Woman 1: He risked the organization for you, Ben, and that’s where it’s at.

Jones: All I’ve poured out to you, all I’ve poured out to you, and you still say, “I’ve made up my mind, made up my mind, made up my mind.” This is– this is– it’s irrational to say that it hasn’t altered any? It hasn’t altered any– anything that’s been said hasn’t altered your– your– your thoughts at all?

Bowers: No.

(People talk over each other)

Woman 1: (unintelligible) and two, that the hope for all of those people downstairs and everywhere else rests with him, ‘cause nobody else would take over. He risked that, he knew that. With his guilt, his love, he knew that it was worth coming back to talk to you. Well, I sort of hope that you could do some sort of contribution. Does that have any sort of feeling, or does that say anything to you about what he thinks about you or you don’t want to admit it–

Bowers: Yeah.

Man 8: You don’t want to face it, you don’t want to face it.

Jones: If I love him then, that means he’s gotta be responsible.

Man 4: That’s right.

Jones: And that’s where I just feel like going out and jumping off a bil– building.

End of Side B