[Editor’s notes: This report was transcribed by Heather Shannon. The editors are grateful for her invaluable assistance.
[This document retains its original spellings throughout, with corrections made only when the meaning may otherwise be unclear. In addition, where known, we have added first or last names in brackets to those identified by a single name. It should be noted that a number of names have not been annotated. The name is either unknown, there may be more than one person with that name or – most often the case – the name is in code.]
B-4 c (15)
Law Office Report #32
May 31, 1978
from June [Crym]
[Handwriting: “Passed June 8, 1978” “To Carolyn Layton – duplicate”]
1. Washington Sanders: Attached is a write-up by Andy [Silver] of a meeting that took place at [Temple attorney Charles] Garry’s office between Washington, his nephew, A.J. [Archie Ijames], Andy, and Garry, which was scheduled at the nephew’s request. Originally, the nephew called Garry and made the appointment and did not mention bringing any of us; Garry said when I asked him about it that he didn’t care whether we came but why not wait and see if Stiggers the nephew mentioned it, otherwise it was not necessary for us to be there. Well, Stiggers insisted that Andy go, and Andy brought A.J. for support, and judging from Garry’s statements, it was a good thing Andy and A.J. did go.
The nephew signed the attached statement, which he requested and which Garry insisted we prepare; I cleared it over the radio before doing it, and I did not do it on P.T. stationary as was requested by Garry cause we didnt think that was necessary.
[Handwriting: entire paragraph selected, “RUSH” written, “prepare the accounting” circled, “Chaikin signature req’d,” “sign and return in the mail immediately” underlined] The nephews attorney called Garry last week, telling him that [Eugene] Chaikin had never filed an accounting with the court of Washington’s estate. Well that is [t]rue, but we never knew quite how to approach it since the money was untouched and unused for a great while. Anyway, Garry told me to [p]repare the accounting, and here it is, for Chaikin to sign and return in the mail immediately. Garry proposed at the above conference that the nephew take the conservatorship back; the nephew said he didn’t want it.
It was suggested over the radio that we get Chaikin out of the record and pass the case back to Gross, the nephews attorney, to simplify things. Well, once Washington is overseas and still receiving his SS which is all [the] estate consists of, how will the accounting be done — send thefigures to Gross??? We already have a signed substitution of attorneys form signed by Chaikin making Garrison his own attorney in the case, but it has not been filed; perhaps we could file it once the accounting is done and over with in the court. But what happens then, a year from now when another accounting is due??? I suppose we could keep accurate records of the estate regularly over there once Washington does go over, and keep them at hand, so when Garrison ?? us or gets an attorney to contact us next year when he is requested by the court to file an accounting, we would be able to show that the estate was handled in order….
What remains to be done at this point is get a signed consent from Garrison.
Tonight in service I asked Garrison to sign a consent, and explained about the meeting between the nephew and Garry and that it was okay with the nephew for Washington to go. Garrison would not sign the consent, even after I got Leona to help ask. He had already made a phone call to the nephew’s attorney, but had not reached him yet. His concern he says is to be sure he has no further legal hassle from the nephew; he wanted a copy or the consent that the nephew had already signed; we did not want to give it to him, and he walked away mad. I reported this over radio; Jim said to tell Garison to talk to Garry; we had James tell Garrison, who said he would do th at and said further to Ames that he didnt like Leona telling him what to do. Leona said later Garrison doesnt like to be told anything by a woman; she is worried [a]bout him coming to service because he comes rarely and this episode shows how cautious he is nowadays
B-4 c (16)
Law Office Report #32
May 31, 1978
2. Melvin Lowery – now he’s started disappearing at night, and has been frequenting a gay bar in Oakland, where he’s trying to get a job. A.J. wanted us to tell his probation officer that he was trying to get this job and that we didnt approve, but Leona [Collier] and Maxine and I disagreed, because we figured that would be squealing on the guy and it would get him in troupbe [trouble] with his p.o. However, the longer we wait on this guy, the closer he gets to trouble. A letter is being sent to his probation officer, explaining that he has been working here voluntarily and that the p.o. might consider terminating his probation early. That is as far as Leona and Maxine want to go, and myself included; we’d rather not mention Guyana at this stage to the p.o. — his probation is due to be up in October anyway. Also, his attitude is rotten, he’s been saying the Temple has not helped him enough [“Temple has not helped him enough” underlined]; he’s not consistent in showing up for work with A.J., and he has a real problem sexually, acting out homosexual desires, and making it known loudly … A.J. has been pushing to gethim sent to Guyana, but this weekend when Leona, Andy, Vera, A.J., Maxine and I talked about the case, A.J. agreed that he would tell Melvin not to take the job at the gay bar; later it turned out that A.J. did not tell him anything and changed his mind, and recommended that we tell the p.o. instead and have the p.o. tell Melvin not to take the job. I think that A. J. just didn’t want to deal with disciplining Melivn at this point. The letter I am sending to the p.o. is very vague and does not commit us to anything other than recommending that his probation be terminated early. See attached. [“See attached” underlined; other handwritten text crossed out.]
3. Ulich and Berneda Richmond – trucking business This is the couple that had the that failed, and Chaikin worked on the case for a long time—Ulich resented Chaikin’s handling of it –I’m sure both Chaikin and Sara remember this one well… Their business has been foreclosed on; their house has been foreclosed on since they made no payments since February 1978. Mrs. Richmond brought a loaded gun into service last weekend, concealed in her purse; she explained in counseling with Leona and others that she had removed it from her glove compartment so her husband wouldnt have it and she forgot to take it out of her purse when she came to service. She and Ulich both are drink9ng, come rarely to service; and last week she came to the Temple on a nonservice night, thinking we were going to have a meeting about the march at the Federal Bldg. The meeting was cancelled, so she took the time to talk tome and Vera about when she and Ulich had turned over the deeds on their house to us, and she remembered how they were told that theirs would be a communal house but that they could remain there because they were good people… She told how the house had beenforeclosed on and theycouldnt make the payments. She was implying but would not come out and ask directly, that since they had turned over the deeds, we had a responsibility to bail them out on the house problem. We told ther we would check with the Board. We discussed it in finance committee and decided to return all of the original property papers that belonged to the Richmonds back to them. This was done, by Archie and myself; and we got a signed receipt for each document returned. When Ulich and Berneda came by to get the papers, Ulich told us the night before he had been stopped by the
B-4 c (17)
[Law] Office Report #32
May 31, 1978
Calif. Highway Patrol for drunk driving, and that he knocked the officer down… was taken in, out on bail… He never did ask for our help, he doesnt now … both of them complain a lot about being down and out that if they could only get a message to Jim… but Leona was quick to point out to Berneda in the counseling session that they did not follow the advice that was originally given to them, which was to file bankruptcy and get out of the business. There is nothing further to be done on this that we can see; this is for your information…
4. Jack Barron pension tell Jack I have not forgotten about him; I have written to the West Coast office of the union to get an application form for him the same kind I did for Richmond Stahl, and when it comes, I will send it over for signature, etc. In all the rush on the taxes and stuff, his file got overlooked… [Unreadable handwriting in margin]
5. Willits Fuel Storage – tonight rummaging through the stuff left behind by Tish which we have been packing and sending over, Tom found the original signed lease between Bob Peters of Willits and Danny Kutulas. See attached. Nothing new on this item other than the guy still wont let us on the property to take a tap to check the condition of the fuel stored there, and we have made no payments.
Indianpolis property deeded to Cora Elliott by Marceline [Jones] [“Indianpolis property deeded to Cora Elliott by Marceline” underlined]- This should be checked on with Marceline; the letter attached from Martha Baldwin explains that the recording of the title [“recording of the title” underlined] of the property in Cora Elliott’s name which was started by Marceline before [“Started by Marceline before” underlined] she went over last time never went through because there was no [“never went through because there was no” underlined] power of attorney authorizing her to sign on bhealf of Lynetta. [“of attorney authorizing her to sign on bhealf of Lynetta” underlined] Mrs. Elliott’s attorney has to now draw up an “affidavit of survivorship”, to be signed by “a relative” of Lynetta. The facts that the attorney needs are in the letter [“that the attorney needs are in the letter” underlined]: the letter is self-explanatory. Please let me know right away over the radio how to proceed [“Please let me know right away over the radio how to proceed” underlined]; I can write a letter to Cora Elliott or Martha Baldwin and send the requested information so the attorney can go ahead and prepare the affidavit, which will have to be mailed here and then sent over there, and I assume it will have to be signed by Jim [Jones] or Marceline in front of a Guyanese notary public. [“Jim or Marceline in front of a Guyanese notary public” underlined] The letter from Cora Elliott was dated April 3 but did not get forwarded to us by Martha Baldwin til today; it just came in the mail today (June 1). [Unreadable handwriting in margins]
B-4 c (18)
Law Office Report #32
May 31, 1978
7. We have received the attached notice from IRS re Carebbean-American Friendship Association–I think Jean B sent a previous one down but we’ve had no response on it and neither of us have any idea what to do with this. to respond-to this? Is this an active corporation? [Handwriting: “request for information about fox farm”; other handwriting unreadable] [Handwriting on duplicate B-4 c (25): “Not ours E [Eugene Chaikin]”] Do we have this? Before we take it into Bentzman or Garry, or: if we do we’ll need more facts. Please let us know. [Handwriting on duplicate B-4 c (25): “Not our problem!”]
8. Anthony Lopez – attached is the citation that’s come in the mail for Chaikin to appear and explain why an accounting has not been filed. I’ve received instructions to have Dr. Iverson tend to this; will talk to him in next couple of day; have not til now because of press conferences, etc. He is in LA today (June 2).
9. Have received the attached bill from Stockton treasurer for property which is in our name there, formerly Loren Roberts’ property. Delinquent taxes. $32.20. Shall we let this slide by? Looks like it’s being sold for nonpayment of taxes. (Leona and myself and others think Loren Roberts may be working with Concerned Relatives–he comes to service once in awhile, his daughter told Robin before she went over that he would not let his children come to service anymore. He was counselled last month when he came to service by himself after a long absence; Jean may have already written it up and sent over. He was hostile and resentful of Leona because she had made a general statement about informers in service and he said she meant him. Alice was there and can give more particulars about the meeting with him. He still comes, but rarely, and none of his family does; his sister Lorine Davis also has been acting strangely, questioning who handles the money and talking a lot with David Smith. Robin can fill you in on this. SHOULD WE PAY THIS TAX BILL or ignore? [Handwriting on duplicate B-4 c (18): “ignore” is circled “we are letting it go for taxes. E”] Our name is on the title. The property is rundown; may have been demolished. I think Jack Beam might know about it.
B4 c (19)
May 25, Thurs 11:40- 1:00
written up by Andy and checked by
Present: Charles Garry, Pat Richards [Richartz], Archie, Andy, Washington Sanders, Charles [Handwriting above names: “CG” “PR” “WS” “CS”]
CG: It is a paradise, I was there. How long ago was it? November? PR No, October. Ok, October. I was there for 4 days in J nestown, and 2 in Georgetown. I have [Handwriting: “been”] after these people to do a film documentary, but they are “ dragging their feet.” They had 4000 acres, with 1000 acres cleared. There were 120 or 150 there in the beginning, 950 when I was there, and over 1500 there now. It has the best entertainment. I arrived on a Wednesday night and was seeing the radio room; a small room , Jim was showing me the radio room, and it was raining, and I heard all this noise and music. I asked Him was was happening and asked to join this event. Now let me see… Monday is the talent show nightwhere everyone who feel they have some talent get up and do something… So far Garry has received one or two phone calls and is still holding the file and write up Jean delivered at 9:15 this morning. [Handwriting: parentheses written around last sentence.]
CG: I am looking over the file, (he says peering over the top of it) and I can’t figure out why there was a conservatorship in the first place. There aren’t any finances, are there? Did the conservatorship used to be in your name?
CS No, there aren’t and I have my own work so I dont need the finances, but I started to file the proceeding for a conservaotrship (implying that he never held claim to the actual original conservaotrship) when it was suggested that the owner of the conservatorshp be someone in the church. You see, when Washington’s wife died, I wanted to know (either who was going to take care of him, receive his checks, etc etc).
CG Well [Handwriting:text crossed out, “we don’t care if you keep”] the conservaotrship and Henry Gross as the attorney.
CS I don’t want to be the conservatorsh [Handwriting: “sh” crossed out]. I just want to be sure that Washington is ok
Back to Jonestown
CG let metell you about this medical aspect, the clinic… a brilliat young doctor, Temple educated. (talks about the senior citizens sense of security, knock on the door at 8 am each morning, blood pressure check 3 x day if pressure too high). mentioned government air lifet [lift] when he was there of appendectomy, broken leg cases to go to Georgetown 1½ hours away, first class care in Georgetwon, blanket health insurance policy that the Temple has created.
now let me tell you about the education there. Th e finest in the world. 50 PhD’s. 50 I said. Her daughter, (pointing to Pat Richard’s) wanted to go so bad, it is the finest place for youth, just perfect, but her father (they are separated) wouldn’t allow it. (mimics his voice). that son of a bitch.
Talks about the walls [Handwriting: “in his offices – pictures”] faces of only Black revoltionaries. I wouldn’t defend anyone I didn’t believe in. I have been there. I have seen it. “I am a tough hard boiled trial case lawyer And if you know anything about trial lawyers,” (something like you know that if I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t say I believed it. Has a laugh over Shakespeare quote, about kill all the lawyers
Back to Jonestown.
There is no sexiso, no ageism, … the young and old .. all are treated the same. no elitism.. Do you know what elitis[m]. is.. CS shades [?? shakes] his head “No, I am not familiar with the word” CG everybody has the same, everybody eats the same. Jim [text xx’d out] is the pstor or leader, but refuses to be called Mr or Rev Jones. He is Jim, he is available, anybody can talk to him. You don’t have to go around Red Robin’s barn to get to him. He is “as common as an old shoe.” There is no racism there. None. It is a community based on socialism, communism,
B-4 c (20)
Archie spoke up: about Acts 2: 38
CG: Jim Jones work goes back 30 years when in Midwestern hospital, wheeled in for a surgery operation, wouldn’t proceed when he saw segregation. Archie: I was there Andy Jim was Mayor’s Director of Human Rights, and could have made the newspapers but refused to even call in the press.”
CG: A champion of Black America. There are 60% Black there now.
CS: Why 60% (implying such a high number
CG: Only black and poor American is interested in him. Ghetto constituency. When I spoke there the only two times I was at Peoples Temple, there were 3000 peple there and 70-80% were Black.
Back to Washington
CS: Will I be notified if Washington is sick or dies?
CG There have been tow who have died. Mrs. Lynetta Jones, emphsema [emphysema].. Was in Oxygen tent in SF, but no need of one there. Before I left I asked her if she was glad to have come to Jonestown and She said “Oh yes, I feel much better here than I did in SF”)
An older man, who died of old age. Mrs Jones was buried in Jonestown after special permission was requested. The wife of this older man took her husband’s body into Georgetown for the funeral and then she returned to Jonesotan [Jonestown].
CG added: I don’t know what they’ll do (implying Jonestown residents about notifying
CS if Washington got sick or died.) I don’t know, But I understnd [understand] what you’re feeling and I sympathise. It’s only right that you know.
CG to Archie and Andy: All the relatives should know these things.
Archie and Andy assured CS about ham radio phone patch.
CS talked about grievances, coldness (treated coldly when he came to SF Temple), the time and expense in coming to SF to inquire unsuccessfully about his uncle.
Then he really blasted Chaiken who had threatened CS if CS didn’t leave his uncle
(or really PT alone), that CS could take uncle back toLA. CS called them”threatning
CG asked Can we plead guilty? (CG / laughed [inserted above], and a moment later CS laughed) CG asked, can we throw outselves [ourselves] on the mercy of the court.? more laughter.
Archie: Cahiken [Chaikin] had brilliant talents, but no diploamtic [diplomatic] skill.
CG: Cahiken gets up at 4:30 am to work in the citrus. Has nothing to do with the law
Pat: I think CS wants a certain list of things signed.
Archie to CG: You’ll direct our office to take care of this?
CG yes, I will.
moments later to Archie and me, CG says: Please type this up and sign it on Temple
stationary. Also give CS a tour of the building including the “wireless.”
Pat [Handwriting: “to CG”] What year were [Handwriting: “you” inserted] born anyway, 1802 [Handwriting: question mark] The wireless? You mean the ham radio.
CG: ok [Handwriting: comma] the ham radio.
added by Flo: Andy also said that Pat and CG carried on their usual banter in front of Stiggers, Pat saying something to CG about “you might lose an assistant” meaning she wanted to go to Guyana, and he said something about how he wasnt going over there — then he stopped and said, you’d mean you’d go there without me, what about me? and she answered what would I need you for if it’s paradise? [Handwriting: parentheses around entire paragraph]
B-4 c (21): Notarized statement on behalf of Washington Sanders and his request to go to Jonestown
On May 25, 1978 Washington Sanders in his nephew, Charles Stiggers, met with Charles Garry, attorney for People Temple, and Mr. Sanders told Mr. Stiggers and Mr. Garry that he wants to travel to Guyana, South America, to stay in the Mission Village agricultural project of Peoples Temple. Mr. Stiggers ask for the following to be put in written form, summarizing the meeting.
As it is with anyone who stays in the agricultural project in Guyana, if Mr. Sanders were to go there and then at a later date decided he wanted to return to the United States, he could certainly return. Mr. Stiggers would like to receive mail from Mr. Sanders every month when he goes to Guyana.
Mr. Sanders is 84 years old, and appears to be in good health, but if the time should come when he is staying in Guyana that he might die, Mr. Stiggers, his next of kin here in the States asked to be notified of such death. If Mr. Sanders wished, his body would be returned to the United States. Mr. Sanders also has 2 sisters living in Texas:
Mr. Sanders said he didn’t want to visit them in Texas before he goes to Guyana, but he would talk to them on the phone instead.
[Signed by Washington Sanders; Andrew Silver, Peoples Temple; and Charles Stiggers. Two witness signatures illegible.]
B-4 c (22-26): Duplicates of b-4 c (15-19)