FF-1 Temple members’ statements on critics

[An early draft of this affidavit appears on this page at FF-12-A-78]


Cooperative Republic of Guyana

Affidavit of
[blank signature line]

I, Carol Kerns, being duly sworn, declare:

I used to visit next door to Birdie Marable’s licensed care home on Snuffin St. where the front door faced Oak St. Birdie used to show me her freezer’s full of meat and food bragging to me that they were never empty. She was always cooking plenty of food. She was obviously lying when she said Peoples Temple took her money and wouldn’t take her home enough to eat. I have seen her drunk on one or two occasions that I remember specifically. Her husband was staying with her in the little house off of the big house. Birdie used to stay out there with him away from the patients who had no means of communicating with her if anything went wrong. She was drunk at one time and screaming and shouting real loud outside of her back door at her husband. She used to drive to the store leaving the patients on their own. She yelled at them and insulted them frequently.

Carol Kerns
Dated July 29, 1977
[illegible signature]



I, Cynthia Davis, would like to have certain descusting [disgusting] truths known about Linda Mertle.

People meet each other sometimes in very strange ways, but I must say, that this relationship between Linda and myself was very well planned – by Linda. She told me many times that she always got the girl she wanted; all she had to do was to set it up. For example, me. She would always stick around me, even after telling her I didn’t want to be bothered. She’d call or come by my job just to be near me she said. What she told me how she planned all of our meetings and how she waited for me to break off my relationship with my boyfriend so that she could have me all to herself. She would ask me all the time to stay at my parents apt. on weekends. When I finally gave her the O.K., she came over and spend the night with me. I was sick that night with a fever & vomiting. But Linda always gets her way. She admitted to me that she was an active lesbian and that she wanted me to be her girl. She at that time reached over for me to kiss her. I didn’t know what to think of it all, I had never been involved with the girl and it was a bit frightening to me. She wrote lots of love letters to me and made many long-distance phone calls. I burned all but 2 pictures, 1 letter and 1 card. She bought me things all the time and never tell me where she got the money. She had a habit of getting in bed with me after I went to sleep. She told me about these two guys she had sex with, she said she just did to have something to do. I asked her many times how she really felt about me. She told me she hated them and that men couldn’t do anything she couldn’t do. As time went on I got to know the real Linda Mertle and what she was all about. Once at 4:00 AM she left her house and walked to my apt., came in my room and got in bed with me, reached over and grabbed me and kissed me, when I asked her why she did it she told me just thinking about you, so I had to be with you. Sometimes she wouldn’t go home, she’d wanted to stay with me.



May 31, 1978

To whom it may concern:

My name is Maria Katsaris and I have been living in Jonestown, Guyana for about one year. I love my life here and I wouldn’t leave for anything. I see this is the most ideal existence I could ever hope for, because people here care about each other, everyone’s needs are met, and life is fulfilling for young and old alike.

My dad, Steven Katsaris, is a very possessive person and did not want me to come here to live. He has even lied to try to force me to come home. But I am happy here and choose to remain. I don’t know anywhere else that would take in society’s so-called outcasts and poor, and enable them to become persons with dignity who can take pride in what they’ve become – respectable and productive human beings. It takes courage and sheer hard work to achieve that, and I don’t know a better way to describe our program and the sacrifice and commitment of the man who inspired it – Jim Jones, who is the founder and administrator of People’s Temple.

Very respectfully,
/s/ Maria Katsaris
Maria Katsaris



[Handwritten note at top: “Rough draft 9/2 [September 2, 1978] HT [Harriet Tropp]”]

Affidavit of Carol Ann Kerns: (1 of 1)

I am a student. I have been a member of Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ since 1969, and have known Timothy O. Stoen since he joined later that same year.

My brother Phillip Kerns was, at one time, a member of the Church. He left to join the US Army, was sent to Germany, went AWOL there and return to the United States. I was present when he met with Tim Stoen who gave him advice on how he could. best protect himself under the circumstances. Tim Stoen also gave my mother Ellen Louise Kerns legal advice from time to time when I was present.

[Handwritten footnote: “OK. E.C. [Eugene Chaikin] 9/5 [September 5, 1978]; OK, HT, 9/5”]




I could have done something then, but I felt like I might catch Jim Jones ire, and the Temples ire for involving ourselves in that. These people that we had, had intricate plans. We have people in our church who can tell you how they cut their cords, their telephones, so that they could escape with the rifles. Some of these very people that you dignify in the press, stole money, you name it, they’ve done it.