Q758 Transcript

This tape was transcribed by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

To return to the Tape Index, click here. To read the Tape Summary, click here.
Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1Pt. 2).

Carol Park: Mr. Jones uh, the Peoples Temples I understand is involved in a lot of community activity, projects type things, could you perhaps tell us about some of them?

Jones: Yes, we have uh, several geriatric programs, we’re– we’re now sitting in the residence of one facility that I think is very interesting in that it’s self-managing. The seniors conduct their own affairs. Our professional people come in daily to render assistance and of course ma– maintenance people to do heavy work, but they manage their own program and dictate what they wish to eat, and do their own cooking. And it’s quite (unintelligible word). We have uh, one here in her nineties, and she’s functioning very well. 98, in fact. She makes the best lemon pie you can put your mouth to.

Park: (unintelligible  beginning) So they do their– their housekeeping and their cooking, and then the medical assistance when needed it– it comes by daily. Is that the idea?

Jones: Yes, the nurses come in to check regularly, because uh, the average age uh, in here is very high, but I uh– I– we announced a cleaning– we– we do have people who come in to do that sort of thing, because falls are quite easy to happen. But I’m– In terms of how their home is decorated, what they want to go on and what they want to eat, and their routine, they determine that.

Park: That certainly is a change from what most of the uh, convalescent homes and uh, geriatric homes in most of the country. Uh– I understand you also have a– a fam– to support a family care facility?

Jones: Uh, we have a couple of family care facilities, uh, where uh– I think most of the patients are non-ambula– are– are ambulatory, but uh, they’re not even members in those other two facilities, they’re actually managed by people, we believe in encouraging people uh, to get– get ahead in business, uh, people who have a sensitive conscience, and so the church owns the properties, but they’re managed by– one’s a Jewish couple, and in the other case, uh, uh, I think they Bap– they’re Baptist background.

Park: And do you give them financial assistance when they need it, or–

Jones: Yes, we do. Uh– In– We uh, maintain the properties in a very unusual way. I think if you go through any of our facilities, you’ll see that they’re very well kept up, the landscaping and gardening, and a lot of extra little things that sometimes are neglected, in the– in the private institutions.

Park: What exactly is a– a family care facility? Uh, who– who is it for, and it–

Jones: The people that are a step between uh, (stumbles over words) I’m not too familiar with all these uh, designations. Boarding home facility I think is a matter of just uh, one jurisdiction, uh, as to whose– who’s jurisdictionally in charge. The family care means that a person is not qualified for convalescent type of care. In other words, uh, geriatric hospital type of care. They’re still able to get about. And all of our people do. They putter in gardens, and we fixed an artificial pool in one of them, uh, that is stocked with catfish, and so they have a delightful time there, and a lot of uh, lawn furniture and uh, a croquet sets and that kind of thing, that keep them active and uh– we encourage a lot of activity, because one of the tragedies of American life is that it seems that there’s no place for people when they grow old.

Park: Yes, it seems that– that with the families– the families don’t want the parents of the– parents in the families, and the– I remember as a child, there was a great deal of uh, fun that I had between my grandmother and my– and myself, and she helped me get over many rough places that uh, in today’s family, the grandparents are uh, off living somewhere else and totally put away in a nursing home, and I think that “put away” is a good term for it.

Jones: Unfortunately in many instances, uh, particularly with the increase of uh, large corporations owning the geriatric facilities, and the small businessman increasingly being forced out by the high cost of operation, which disturbs me. Very interesting facet here is that uh, a person is uh, taken care of on their ability to pay. And we have one lady who has no funds, and she has the feeling that she doesn’t want to go to welfare, or any special services, she feels an independence, we honor that independence, we do not demand that people uh, avoid welfare uh, services, because that’s uh, right– their rightful– uh, it’s their rightful uh, position not to take the things, aid from the state, but uh, we have a practice in this facility that people can pay according to their ability.

Park: Uh, I mentioned that a children’s shelter or a children’s– some– something to do with a children’s home.

Jones: Home for exceptional children, uh, polarized uh, towards the retarded level. And it’s amazing what the Jewish couple have done with these uh– these children. They uh– There’s room for a great deal of mind expansion, and uh, I’m just delighted with what’s happening at the children’s ranch. This ag– again is a facility that is– I’ve forgotten the institutional uh, category, but it’s licensed by the state and it is filled to capacity, none of our own church children uh– they come from various uh, church backgrounds, and non-church backgrounds, but a verywholesome program for them there.

Park: What– what ages does that cover?

Jones: I– I think most of them are uh, in their late teens, and we have some– I think most of them in their late teens.

Park: I see. Oh, that’s really good thing to hear– I know there’re an awful lot also of the (soft laugh) kids that have problems with uh, mental retardation that, once again, they seem to be put in a place where they can simply stay out of trouble all day. (Pause) I uh, heard that there’s an animal shelter. Is that true?

Jones: Yes. We do have. We have been uh, in the past, I think, averaging 20 animals either brought to us directly, which is humane, or dropped off in gunny sacks and in the most inhumane manner. We are–

Park: You mean, people just– just bring them and drop them on the doorstep of the church?

Jones: Or throw them in the ditch. The animal problem is uh, herculean. Local veterinarians have been very cooperative. The church budget– These are– these are times of economic depression for all of us in some ways, and the church finances are certainly not up to the par than they were a few months ago, we are just at the end of uh– I– we– I don’t see how we can take any more animals. We don’t like euthanasia, we’re afraid of what euthanasia can mean in a lot of things, start on the animal ledel– level and uh, then perhaps someday, people who talking about human euthanasia. So we’ve never had to put any– any animal to sleep, but we– our facilities are crowded. And if you’ll notice, we have a– I have uh, several cats, sev– few dozen, and they’re all very well taken care of, they’re all neutered, all the dogs here are neutered, and uh, they’re given every shot imaginable in the best– the very top-notch health condition. And we have uh, a chimpanzee, a coup– a monkey, uh, let’s– (stumbles over words) who are very well taken care in a zoo-like situation, we’ve built quite a large facility for the chimpanzee and the little monkey, that she did, (unintelligible ) come out in a cage, it’s about the size of this room. We have a parrot. Things that people discard after the novelty wears off. And a host of all types of little birds, pigeons that’ve been injured, little– little– every type of bird you can imagine that have their wings injured, but we nurse them back until they’re, uh, you know, able to maintain themselves, but not quite yet ready to be turned loose in the wild again.

Park: Well, that’s– that’s really beautiful. Uh, what did you do with the cats, if you uh, get them and you spayed or neutered them, and uh, you can’t find a home for them, do you just keep on trying?

Jones: At this point– At this point we have not had to uh, be put in that position where we haven’t found a home, but uh, I think I receive seven calls today, and I– I spoke to the secretary. We are at the end of ourselves, because uh, we have to study placement, and a lot of people take animals, uh, with a temporary in– temporary interest, and uh, it soon wears thin.

Park: And they don’t get their animals spayed or neutered, and so then, before they know it–

Jones: Well, we– we won’t place them. We neuter them before we place them.

Park: And that’s– you do that at your own expense?

Jones: Um-hmm [Yes].

Park: (Sighs) Oh, well, I knew the co– county animal shelter certainly is inadequate for its treatment of cats, uh, it– and it uh– kill for like almost the same day they get them in now, according to the uh, head person out there. Uh, let’s see– (Pause) Last week or so, I was in at the county courthouse, and I noticed that uh, a coffee and doughnut– sort of coffee hour was going on there, and I was told that was associated with the Peoples Temple church.

Jones: To maintain some of our services, uh, we at Christmas give uh, oh, I don’t know how many uh, gifts to non-members. We do a lot of things for non-members. We offer one of the attorneys, he’s uh– in our church, he gives free legal counsel to– to members and non-members, and he– of course, his workload is just about to the– the hilt too. Uh, we give clothing and food and all sorts of assistances, and these are m– measures in which we can help raise some of the necessary funding, and it’s really a tremendous job to raise the funds.

Park: Is that a regular event then?

Jones: Yes, I– I don’t know how regular, but it happens two or three times a year, at least, I think.

Park: I see. Okay, Well, thank you very much, Reverend Jones. This is Carol Park for Channel 13.


Balance of tape consists of segments of TV programs