Letters from Lily

[Editor’s note: These two letters and a memo are typed. Most of the names are in code, including that of the letter-writer herself. While there are several candidates of who Lily might be, the most likely one – based upon the reference to being involved in a “mother fucking lawsuit from that ass-hole [parent]” – is Maria Katsaris.]

FF-3-151, A-C

Dear Julia:

Sorry it has been so long since I have even written a note. I am not one to write many letters, but I do think of you often, and miss our occasional talks. It was good to hear your voice the other day on the radio. I didn’t feel free to talk because there were a number of people in the room and I didn’t want them to think that I take advantage of being in the radio room to receive personal traffic – so I didn’t respond much – but I was glad to hear from you.

Things seem so busy around here – but yet I really couldn’t tell you just what I do here – now that Lola is in the apt. with me – a lot of what I do is listen to her. She does a lot of talking. We get along pretty well – I am solicitous of her and she seems to appreciate it. Things are ok. in that dept. She doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry get out of here – though I do believe that she wants to go. She wants to be sure that she has everything that she will need there – and is shopping in shifts – and plans on sending some things over before she goes – so Alice – or rather MJ can keep them for her. She wants to get well stocked up I guess.

Which is ok. because I really have my doubts as to what is going to happen when she goes. For one thing, neither bitch Vera or wishy-washy Maxine will take up Lola’s mantel [mantle]. They just push things off on her – even after she tries to get them involved and point out how things should be handled etc. they just don’t assume the responsibility.

When she goes – the projects will no longer be bringing in the money they do when she is here – and also the ‘message’ intake will be greatly cut – because they won’t do that. We can write messages and offering requests ahead of time – but I suppose they will run out and that will slow down. Vera and Maxine just don’t have it. Maxine could – but she is not sure of herself and goes with the strongest force around her – which is usually negative Vera or negative Frances. I will be worried when Lola goes where Nathan is concerned. So I say – good that she is taking so long to get ready – I hope she takes a long time for that matter. It will probably be sept. by the time she gets around.

And Judy has already told Lola that she won’t stay here after Lola goes. And Judy is one who could take over the counseling etc. but she won’t.

I can’t tell you just how much the shit stirring was cut back when Alice went over. I really found out a bunch of shit whirled around her a lot. I hope she has help (and supervision) on the other end there when she unpacks – because I don’t trust her to be fair on giving out things. She really fucked up Valisha to thinking she was in ‘charge’ of packing – because that is what Alice said. So Valisha won’t train anyone else here – and I wonder just what Alice is saying in the letters to Valisha – and what requests she makes etc. because Valisha can just send them from her directly to Alice. Valisha gives everyone a hard time here because of the things Alice told her.

We also think Jimmy is having a thing with Maureen O’dell – But who knows – he has had a lot of things for a long time. He told Lola that he was going in Sept. and Lola pounced all over him saying that he couldn’t go and leave the rest of us here – etc. and who was he to ask that – or rather demand when he was leaving. These people really piss me off… the nerve of telling us when they are leaving…

[page 2 of letter]

I am doing alright. At times I drag around a bit – and can’t seem to go for as long as I used to. But I haven’t had a ‘spell’ as I call it – in a couple of weeks now. The EKG and other tests came out ok. – Potassium level kind of low – but still in normal zone – but Deb said that all depends on what you have eaten the day or so before it gets tested. But I’m not used to feeling so run down that I can’t move to get things done. When I do feel that way though – I lay down for a while – and it’s ok. after a bit. Martha is really understanding about it – but every time I am down – it is more strain on her. She really has her hands full as it is. And my guilt level won’t let me be sick for too long – I just can’t stand it. But I do listen to warning signals and rest if I need to.

Please tell Neil not to worry as I really am taking care of myself. I know he won’t believe me – but I promised him I would – and I think I’m doing pretty well at it.

Say hello to my boys for me, and also Dana. I don’t get out to pick up anything from them or you anymore. That was one thing I did enjoy doing too – but can’t take the chance of going out much. As it is, I have to rely on Jenny to get things for me to send over – supplies etc. and Claire sometimes. But I don’t even like to do that… But I have no choice.

You know, I like Mildred very much, and I don’t really want to have to say much to her about her attitude and tone on the radio. I did write a little note last time. But sometimes she is downright nasty – and it is very alienating not just me – but everyone in the radio room. You know, if mild-mannered Martha gets put out by it – something needs to be said. I know she is caught in the crossfire and it is a lot of pressure. But if she could just remember what it is like here… It seems as if anybody could – she would since she was in this position herself. Even Tom says that she is doing herself what she always cussed people out for doing to her. I wouldn’t say anything if it didn’t come across bad here. She has been somewhat better the last couple of days – so maybe the note I added last time helped. But if not – then I would suggest that other people relieve her on the radio from time to time if she feels under too much pressure.

One thing you should know – and please convey to Neil– I didn’t want to put it in my general report – since I know a lot of people read that, but it seems to Lola and to me – and Martha too – that the morale is low here. The old-timers are beginning to wonder about things. The news is an onslaught and the fuckers pick things that members can relate to as having a shred of truth of it – and then they lie from there. So members – like Judy F. [Flowers] – when the mass suicide thing – the fake liquid statement came out from Debbie [Layton] bitch – Judy said – she thought it was true – and that she never did see the purpose of doing it here – and thus she believed that it was true and then she was more likely to believe the other things in the paper. Patty C. [Cartmell] also reads all the negative articles. JR couldn’t wait to read the latest on Debbie – her affidavit – and Phyllis sat and watched Lola read it to judge her reactions. And even Tom – when the fact that Garry couldn’t find the reasons that Debbie left – Tom said he wondered too – he didn’t say it in a questioning way – just really wondering what happened? As if what they were told was not the truth – or the ‘whole truth’. I tried to explain the ‘pretty amerikkkan woman’ syndrome the sometimes our women go through in Georgetown etc. and that someone was blowing smoke up her ass – but he said – but all these years she stayed – and why would she leave now. I mean – it is hard for people to understand.

[Page 3 of letter]

One thing that I think would help it is for someone there to write tidbits on people. Human, touching details of what is going on there. Please not just how good the food is, or pleasant the tradewinds are etc. but FACTS about people there and how they have changed, and grown, and how happy and satisfied they are. Because I think with Debbie leaving the utopia bubble has burst for a number of old-timers. Our ‘promised land’ was no longer unscathed. So I think someone like Harriet and Mary Lou – someone creative should write a newsletter for all here to read – and to be read to the congregation.

Sometimes I feel my suggestions go unnoticed or you just don’t have the time – like the slides. I have asked and asked for slides of specific things – interiors of houses (even if you have to set one up), leisure slides of seniors etc. But it has been since last Oct. – and still nothing. It would not only help with morale – but it would help with the offering too. We just have nothing to go on here – and that is no lie… I mean nothing. I was told quite some time ago by Mildred that there would be a short tape coming – but still hasn’t gotten here. Even if you could send a cassette of JJ talking it would help. I am amazed that we even have as many people as we do – which is not a whole lot.

Well, can’t think of much more – sorry to go on and on. I can only imagine how bad things may sometimes get there – with all the crises that we send over to you, etc., and all the fuck-us and fuck-offs. I know that place is wonderful to most – but very hectic and stressful to you few. And you don’t need additional worries from us over here.

But I don’t usually say anything unless I feel it is pretty important – and that newsletter and a tape from JJ is in my opinion a necessity for morale here.

Give my love to all, and again – I am doing fine here – nothing to worry about. Please let me know your projected needs – and I can see to it that those things get purchased – and maybe even packed for surface shipment. I am trying to stock up on vitamins – but I know you can’t be far ahead. I just can’t get a lot of things out with so few people flying to carry the stuff. And since I can’t get out shopping – I have more limited access. But please let me know – cause if I have to leave – I don’t know who will be able to see it gets purchased. And let me know if you don’t need some of the things I sent – or if some are more useful and others not – just so I will have some way of knowing what to see gets sent.

Thanks for everything, much love to you…



from Lil 5/24/78

– speaking of areas of one’s “insanity”, funny how things work out. You know, I told you that 1 of my areas was that of taking care of business with George. I have been able to think of little else over these months. So much so, I guess that I have often considered just doing it, planning the party and just doing it. You know, I have thought about it so much – even dream about it. But trying to figure out how to leave Tony and family out of it. Then wondering if the bad PR now would balance out all that is to come from George – would it be worth it? Many times I got the answer that maybe it would be better to get it now and fuck the bad press.

– All this time, I have had to work hard not to just go and get it on. And I guess you knew that from the questions that you asked me one night late about visiting my parents. I told him the truth – not by myself”. Now, I am a daughter of a bastard, if I’m not involved in this mother fucking lawsuit from that ass-hole. Thus ends one area of insanity! Because you know, that I won’t let that son of a bitch have the thought that he ‘drove’ me to do something! He won’t ‘drive’ me to do anything that it is not time and not ‘right’ to do. I know you know what I am talking about. But that god damned mother fucking cock-sucking ass-hole is going to get his, sooner or later, that’s all there is to it!

– Well, again – it is time to send the stuff out and I have not more time left. Things seem not to let up much. I’m sorry for not getting around to writing before now. I will try to get something for next week – it has been so hectic around here. Not the people to do what has to be done.

I really don’t see how we can send very many more ‘workers’ and still pretend to maintain this work. Anyway, I’m doing fine – drinking my water… and pissing all the time. But that is what life is all about anyway isn’t it? Shit… oh, well. Just goes to show – J knows what he is talking about – I just found out – the grandmother that I am just like has had kidney problems and bladder problems all her life – she had kidney stones too. What a lovely thing to pass on – cancer, kidney, heart, high blood pressure, glaucoma, diabetes, arthritis etc. etc. – it’s a great life – I love every minute of it.

I am glad there is Jonestown. It really helps to know that it is there. I never have to see it again – just to know that it exists – is enough.

I send all my love to you – and I will write more the next time I promise.


[typed memo]

for George:

1 – send him literature from mortuaries… just to his house and maybe some others in the general neighborhood … as an advertising thing – send in his name “Stoener”

2 – call a funeral parlor as a third person – leave the number of his office to return a call about some particular of a prepaid funeral plan etc. and then the funeral director will return ‘his’ call about making the arrangements.

3 – more obvious things – floral wreath / hearse / ambulance etc. to his home.

4 – sugar in tank

5 – write in his name to radical magazines – to gay magazines – to right-wing senators supporting them – (so that record will be on file with them)

– generally let him know that we know where he lives etc. … people show up now and then…

– no more time – will get back to this later.