Q770 Transcript

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

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Listen to MP3 (Pt. 1Pt. 2).

TV announcement: (Call letters unintelligible) presents Black Renaissance, an informal discussion of topics concerning the black community. Your host? Sam Skinner.

Skinner: Hello. Welcome to Black Renaissance. The title of this book, The Streetfighter in the Courtroom. Our guest this evening is a man that I have admired. There’s very few lawyers that I admire. And a man that I– I think that a lot of Americans who understand humanity have to admire. His book is called The Streetfighter in the Courtroom, his name is Charles Garry, and those of us who have uh, lived through the sixties and were involved in the sixties and the early seventies, know what Charles Garry stands for. The trial of Chicago, the Chicago Seven, there’s a trial that will live on forever, and I always talk about the – the Democratic Convention that year, that Democratic Convention did something that nothing else was able to do, it brought blacks and whites together in understanding, ‘cause for the first time, white people saw white kids being banged around by policemen. And we could tell ‘em all the time they used to do that, but until they saw it, they didn’t believe it. Charles, I would like to talk the Chicago Seven trial, and talk about an instance of your– your– your book about– about– about the trial. A man was taken to court and shackled with chains, because he told this judge [Julius Hoffman], that basically he had no respect for him, and I have not been able to figure out – uh, maybe you’ll be able to explain to me during the show – uh, if I had no respect for the judge, and I tell him, so at least he understands that he doesn’t have any respect to say, hey, because his robe does not represent justice, and he is only an instrument and using those books (unintelligible word), why did he feel it so necessary to then put Bobby Seale in chains automatically, without any doubt in anybody’s mind, if I’m a jury, say hey, those dudes are guilty. ‘Cause if I see you in shackles and chains, that means you are a violent and vicious animal.

Garry: Well. (Clears throat) That’s exactly what I tried to portray in the San Quentin Six trial, where all of the defendants, with the exception of one who– who was no longer in prison at the time of the trial, uh, the shackling and chaining the defendants in the courtroom uh, while we were picking the jury and from the trial thereon, that that immediately prejudiced the jury that our clients were m– men who had had nothing but force and violence propensities. And uh, going a step further in the Chicago Seven or the Chicago Eight case– there were originally eight, with Bobby Seale in the case, and I was chief counsel in the case, and uh, ten days before the trial, the doctors told me I had to have an emergency gall bladder operation, and we asked for a 30-day continuance, and the court said No. And uh, Bobby Seale said he would have no other attorney except myself, he didn’t trust anyone else, that I’d represented him in the past, I was going to represent him in this trial, and without me, he was not going to go to trial.

Now, to begin with– uh, let’s talk about the judge for a minute. The first time we went into that courtroom was in April of 1969. The first thing that the judge said to Mr. [David] Dellinger, who was one of the defendants, and he said, “You’ll plead guilty of course, don’t you?” And Dave Dellinger said, “Not guilty, of course.” Then the judge says– to the clerk, leaned over to the clerk, and he said, “Mr. Clerk?” He said, “Will you remind the defendant that that’s not the proper way to plead?” That was the beginning of our first entrance into that court.

Skinner: And the same (unintelligible word) au– automatically by the judge.

Garry: ‘Course. ‘Course. He was acting the part of a clown, but a clever clown, and he was playing up to the multitudes of the press and the media, and the trial from that day until the trial ended some months later, was a circus. And he was the clown, the circus master. And uh, every time that uh, there was a repartee between the judge and Bill Kunstler, and if Bill got the best of the judge in the repartee, he would hold him in contempt of court. So when the trial was finished, Bill Kunstler was facing some four years in the penitentiary. (unintelligible under Skinner cough)

Skinner: (coughs, unintelligible) He got the best of the judge that many times.

Garry: Right. And uh– But getting back to the beginning of that trial, the uh, judge did all of the questioning of the jurors, and it took less than four hours to get that jury, in a highly-controversial case, a case of first impression that was being tried in the United States. It was a conspiracy trial. And I’ll talk about conspiracy in a minute. But while picking the jury, he asked perfunctory questions. “Can you be fair?” Even Adolf Hitler could say he could be fair with the Jews, right?

Skinner: Right.

Garry: And uh– “Can you be fair?” And uh, of course the defense had submitted some uh, 17 or 18 pages of questions that he should ask, about their attitude of Vietnam War or what their attitude towards uh, Mayor [Richard] Daley, and all the other things, about the Democratic Convention, he didn’t ask any of those questions. And an interesting thing, uh, that happened in– while picking the jury. A black woman was one of the uh, prospective jurors. And he says to her, said, “What do you do?” And she said, “I work for the United States Attorney. I work–“ “Oh, domestic, of course,” says the judge. United States Attorney says, “No, your Honor, she’s my secretary.” Now that shows the mentality of this man. “Domestic, of course.” And so when Bobby Seale, who knew that he was being railroaded, and he could see all of the pictures of some of the slaveowners presidents on the wall up behind the judge in this federal court – by the way, I’ve never seen that before in any court, where they have pictures all over the place – and he sees all of these pictures, and uh– and the pictures of the men that he has posted up there were all slaveowners, and uh– and he wouldn’t let Bobby have his own lawyer. He said, “If you don’t let me have my own lawyer, who is Charles Garry, let me speak for myself.” “No, you’re not going to speak for yourself, either.” And finally after the fifth week of this kind of séance on the part of the court, Bobby Seale said, “I will not put up with this any longer,” so the judge ordered him gagged and shackled and chained. And he sat in that courtroom for ten days that way. And it reminded all of us – I was in the hospital at the time – it reminded all of us that the Dred Scott decision was being reenacted, and uh, it was pathetic. And we were outraged at that. Now that was in what, 1970.

Skinner: That’s right.

Garry: 1970, when that trial was going on, ’69 and ’70. And in 1975–

Skinner: Hold it. We’re going to take a break, and we’re gone pick up, we’re gone to the transferal from 1970 to 1975, with our guest, the streetfighter in the courtroom himself, attorney Charles Garry. Join us here in one minute, please.

[tape edit]

Skinner: Our guest today, attorney Charles Garry, who says in his book that it is evident that real justice is not easily obtainable in this country, until we can find answers to poverty, racism, I don’t think we can talk about justice. And we’re not exactly talking about justice. When we left, we were talking about Bobby Seale’s trial, and uh, being shackled in 1970 when that was going on, and the fact that we were reliving the Dred Scott uh, whole thing all over again and we’re now dealing with 1975, San Quentin Six, and nothing has changed.

Garry: Well, something has changed. Whereas in 1970 and ’69, we were shocked to see a Bobby Seale gagged and shackled and chained–

Skinner: We accept it–

Garry: –like a wild– wild animal, but in 1975, in the San Quentin Six case, the judge [Henry J. Broderick] decided on his own, without any evidence whatsoever, that those six defendants must be shackled and chained, and he told the prospective jurors, the fact that these men are shackled and chained, you’re not to take that into consideration. And uh, for 17 months, these men–

Skinner: Set there shackled and chained.

Garry: Shackled and chained. To give you one example of uh– of many that I could tell, but one that I’d like to tell you. Johnny Spain, the young man that I represent, was shackled and chained, and he had a back problem, and during the course of the time where we were picking the jury, he was uh– he had to be hospitalized at the San Francisco County Hospital for about six weeks, for examinations, they– he– they thought he had cancer, ‘cause he had this back condition that they couldn’t find an answer as to why that existed. So that during the course of the trial, he said– he said to me, “Tell the judge that I’ve got to go to the bathroom.” And so I said, “Your Honor, excuse me, Mr. Spain has to go to the bathroom.” He says, “Mr. Spain can wait for 20 minutes, we’re going to have our recess in 20 minutes.” So what does S– Spain do after about three or four minutes of squirming around, he urinates– uri– urinates right in the courtroom. And just remember that. And uh–

Skinner: The judge was incensed at the fact?

Garry: No, we won’t say anything about it at this moment. At the end of the trial, the judge is justifying why these men were shackled and chained. And one of the reasons that he gave for shackling and chaining the defendants was that Mr. Spain had urinated in the courtroom.

Skinner: (Laughs)

Garry: Now what do you–­ how do like that for logic?

Skinner: He justified urinating as reason that he should be shackled.

Garry: Yes.

Skinner: Well, wait a minute, (unintelligible)

Garry: He was shackled and chained all along anyway.

Skinner: Now wait a minute. Now wait a minute. You– You– You– You– You talking about people who sitting on the bench that are supposed to be college educated, uh, uh, supposed to be–

(men talk over each other)

Skinner: –intelligent people. And you’re trying to me that somewhere along the line, this judge did not understand, (unintelligible word) got his logic all mixed up?

Garry: Got his logic all mixed up. To give you an example of the difference in judges and human beings. Uh, long before the trial ever started, we had what we call pre-trial uh, discovery matters and so forth, and we attacked the grand jury in uh, Marin County as being unrepresentative of the peer group of our clients. And uh, in the course of that uh, hearing about the grand jury challenge, which took some six weeks, uh, I challenged the judge who was in the case – this same judge – uh, on the grounds that he was a participant in the legal process of the grand jury, and there should be another judge come in. Got that?

Skinner: Okay.

Garry: Now. In the meantime, all during the months that this judge was hearing these motions, the– the defendants were calling him all kinds of names. They couldn’t stand him. They would start with the alphabet and go through it, and you know how pungent those– uh, the vocabulary is. And the judge himself would act in such a way that would invite this. For instance, the defendants would say these shackles and chains are so tight, uh, our hands are getting numb, or our– our waist is getting numb, or we can’t write, we can’t converse, because our– we’re– we’re chained right to our belt. He wouldn’t say anything at all. He would just completely ignore it. And then after a few minutes, they would start with the alphabet again. They would call him all kinds of names. And it was just pungent. Now this had been going on for almost two or two and a half years in pretrial matters, so that when I made the motion that we ought to have another judge hearing the question of the grand jury challenge, ‘course he stepped aside, and they brought in a judge who had been retired. His name was Judge Stall. The minute Judge Stall walked in, the whole atmosphere was different. For instance, when he walked in, he sat down at the bench and he said, “How are you, fellas?” You know. Fellas.

Skinner: Mmm-hmm.

Garry: Human beings. And they said in response, “Fine, Judge, how are you?” And the judge says, “I’m not feeling so well.” And says, one of the defendants, “Take care of yourself, brother.” You see what I’m getting at? The attitude. And this went on for six weeks. And whenever they would complain that the sha– chains were too tight, he’d get off of the bench, and he’d come over there and look at it, he says, “This is too tight. Loosen it.” They– the– the guard would say, “Well– (fakes a stammer).” “Loosen it.” You see what I’m getting at? Didn’t cost him anything. And at Christmastime, at Christmastime, ‘cause this hearing was still going on in January, Christmastime of that year, these men, on their own, sent him a Christmas card. All of them signed it with all kinds of uh, cute remarks about, take care of yourself, right on, power to the people, you know, all this kind of stuff–

Skinner: Right.

Garry: And one of the reporters which was covering the story wrote about the contrast in judges, the contrast in human beings. And of course, after the judge– the judge found that the grand jury was not representative of the cross-section of the community, and declared the entire indictment invalid, and the state appealed, and then the uh, appellate court reversed this judge, and we had to go back to trial, before the same judge that we had all of this difficulty before. And for some 18 weeks– I mean, 18 months, we were on trial, which was the long– long– longest trial in American history, in a– in– in a criminal courts. Now the thing that I want to emphasize is where we were in shock when we saw Bobby Seale gagged and shackled and chained, in 1975, when that trial started before that jury, we accepted the idea of shackling and chaining (unintelligible under interruption)

Skinner: Because it had been set in Chicago.

Garry: Right. But it’s that erosion, you know, that uh– it happens a little bit at a time, and the first thing you know, it becomes the way of life. Just like the first time that I walked in to the uh, courtroom in Chicago before Judge Hoff–

Skinner: Hoffman?

Garry: They wanted us to be searched. I said to the other attorneys with me, we’re not going in. We’re going to be searched. So the United States Attorney came and got us, and we went through the chambers of the judge to go in, so we wouldn’t have to be searched. I remember in– in uh– in San Bernardino, when I was handling a case four years ago, when a court ordered that I would have to be searched, and my briefcase would have to be searched, I refused to go in. And the press came in, took pictures of me and so forth. Now four years ago. Two years later, in the San Quentin Six case, when the trial started, I had to be searched along with all of the other lawyers three times is before you even walked in the courtroom, you had to go through electric eye, and then when you got into the entrance to the courtroom itself, you had to uh, allow your briefcases and all of your papers, they would go through ‘em, they’d break ‘em up to see if there wasn’t some weapons in there. What I’m saying is, that we start out at first by rebelling, then eventually by erosion, we give up those basic rights, and uh– and that’s what I’m afraid is gonna happen in America. When we have a police state, it’s gonna come by erosion.

Skinner: Let me stop you just uh, at that point. We’re gone take a break, we’ll come back, we’re gonna talk about the process of erosion of one’s rights here in the United States. Join us in one minute, please.

[tape edit]

Skinner: The Streetfighter in the Courtroom himself. Attorney Charles Garry has a book out, it’s an– the book’s an important document that you read and get an understanding of, because it makes you think about those things which have– are going on in our courtroom. You know, and you think about it, uh, (stumbles over words), before, when I was telling you about the fact that I was raised as a kid to– to understand love and cherish the thing called justice. Fight for justice, believe that uh, you– you should– a man should– he must do that. But then you listen, and– on– on– on your television, you lo– read your newspapers, and you hear judges talk and you realize that justice has nothing to do with what is going on. Uh, so I’m saying that I’m wondering, uh, are we being sold a bill of goods in school about justice, and justice has really got nothing to with uh, what’s going on in the world?

Garry: Well, you see, uh, when you see the courtroom, they have the scales which is supposed to balance justice, right?

Skinner: Right.

Garry: And uh, I tell a story in– in uh– in my book about Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was a uh, justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and in 1900, he was appointed to go on the United States Supreme Court, where he stayed for many, many years. And uh, they gave him a dinner at uh– in Boston, a going away party or dinner. And at this dinner, uh, everybody extolled his virtues, and many of them said now that Holmes has gone to the United States Supreme Court, he’s gonna take justice with him. And uh, when it came his time to uh, respond to all of these many gratuities, he stood up and he said, uh, Friends, he said, thank you for the kind words and the salutations, but he said, when I go to the United States Supreme Court, I’m not going to take justice. He said, justice has nothing to do with our courts. He said, our courts are relegated to deciding rules and regulations, so that our society doesn’t run into each other. He said justice belongs into the ecclesia– ecclesiastics, the clergy and other areas, but not in the courtroom. And before Holmes ever said that, or before I ever heard about Holmes saying that, I knew that that was true. I knew that there’s no such thing as justice in the courtroom. It’s a question of who is right legally. It has nothing to do with justice. As a matter of fact, uh, uh, a person can win a lawsuit and be morally wrong, because morally wrong means that there’s no justice, right? And the question is, how do we get justice? Can we get justice? If we had justice in America, or in any part of the world, there wouldn’t be any hunger. There would not be any want, there would not be any deprivation. Because justice requires that human– human beings be equally treated, have equal opportunities, not only equal– equal– equal opportunities, but equal results. You know, we keep talking about equal opportunities, it doesn’t make any difference. You and I could have equal opportunities, and immediately you can do things that I cannot do.

Skinner: Right.

Garry: But equal results means something. Then you’re balancing the equities, and then you’re seeing to it that I would get a piece of that pie, and you not get all of the pie. I should get part of it. You see what I’m getting at?

Skinner: Right. Right.

Garry: And uh– and until we have that– if I was a judge tomorrow, there’s nothing I could do. There’s nothing I could do except give temporary relief to someone who finds himself into the clutches of what we call organized law.

Skinner: And yet the newspapers would say, because of your background and fight, that you would be so different, and you would be reigning justice to– to the courtroom, you understand the people, and as you say, uh, (laughs) if the ballgame has already been set–

Garry: The rules are there, and you have to follow those rules, and uh– It has nothing to do with justice. It has nothing to do with equity. Equity means justice. Uh, as a matter of fact, the uh– even in the old English law, equity was uh, judged on the length of the chancellor’s foot. If he had a short foot, that the equity was short, and if he had a long foot, it was somewhat longer. But it still depended upon his– the length of his shoe. And uh– and our world has been that way, it’s a dog-eat-dog society, and today, uh, where we uh, talked about Watergate and the Kent State and everything else, and assume that Watergate is behind us, and we’ve learned our lesson and we’re not going to have unlawful conduct on the part of the government, we just go into the ghettoes of America, any part, the white ghettoes, black, red, and green, it doesn’t make any difference to color. The ghettoes of America know that there is a Watergate constantly in their community. They know that the police and the oppression and the hunger and the want is constantly there, and until we solve that, and just uh– Shortly– A short time ago, the death penalty was reenacted in California. And the men that we elected to the Sacramento legislature, who are supposed by and large – because they’re Democrats – they’re supposed to be closer to the will of the people, or the need of the people. What did they do?

Skinner: They reversed it. And I hate to do it, Charles, but time has run out on us. We could go on forever. The book is The Streetfighter in the Courtroom, the man is Charles Garry, a man that’ll go down in history as one of those great lawyers and great human beings. Join us next week for another edition of Black Renaissance.

[Several moments of unintelligible and non-contextual conversation.]

End of side 1


Part 2:

Several unsuccessful calls attempted on this side of tape; segments not transcribed

(Call 1: Marceline Jones and Mrs. Mike Davidow)

Dial tone, dialing, ringing

Mrs. Davidow: Hello.

Marceline: Hello, is this Mrs. Davidow?

Mrs. Davidow: Yes.

Marceline: This is Marceline Jones, Jim Jones’ wife from Peoples Temple.

Mrs. Davidow: How are you?

Marceline: I’m doing very well, thank you.

Mrs. Davidow: Good.

Marceline: How are you?

Mrs. Davidow: Okay.

Marceline: Uh, I was calling– I’ve been gone for about a month, and Jim wanted me to call you when I got back and thank you and Michael for all the good things you’ve done for us.

Mrs. Davidow: Oh, that’s nice. According–

Marceline: I’ve been–

Mrs. Davidow: Uh-huh [Yes]. I understand things are looking a little better.

Marceline: Yes, they are, and I am so impressed with what’s going on down in the project uh, you know, the health care– Well, you saw our slides with the– A lot has been accomplished since I’ve been there. And uh, we hope you can get down to see it sometime.

Mrs. Davidow: (Laughs) You know, I guess we all have the same trouble, getting around. It would– I– It would really be very interesting. Mike saw it too, the last time uh– I saw it twice, and Mike wasn’t there the first time, as you remember.

Marceline: Yes.

Mrs. Davidow: But he did get there the second time. So he was able to see it.

Marceline: Oh, that’s– that’s great. Well, we’ve had uh– we had a delegation from the Russian Embassy come down and see it, and they were very, very– highly impressed, and Cuba and (unintelligible)

Mrs. Davidow: Oh, great.

(women talk over each other)

Mrs. Davidow: You– You were there when they came down to see it?

Marceline: No, I wasn’t. Uh, when the Russian delegation (unintelligible word), I was.

Mrs. Davidow: You were there.

Marceline: Yes. I was very, very happy.

Mrs. Davidow: Oh, good. I’m very glad. Listen, Marlene [Marceline], while I got you on the phone, I’ve already told Jean [Brown], on March 12, we are celebrating International Women’s Day.

Marceline: Yes.

Mrs. Davidow: Did you hear about it?

Marceline: I hadn’t, ‘cause I haven’t had enough much time since I’ve been back to talk to–

Mrs. Davidow: Yeah, well, I’m sure. Well, if I can give you the particulars, uh, are you– well, Jean– I don’t know if Jean know– remembers the meeting (unintelligible word), I kinda gave it to her on the fly.

Marceline: Okay.

Mrs. Davidow: But do you have uh, uh, anything you can write this down on?

Marceline: Yes, yes.

Mrs. Davidow: Okay. On uh, March 12, which is a Sunday, at 2 pm, at the uh, meeting hall of the Homestead Savings and Loan Bank – sounds crazy, but it’s for nothing, it’s for nothing, but that’s why I like it.

Marceline: Oh, that’s great.

Mrs. Davidow: (Laughs) It’s– it’s uh– well, they–

(women talk over each other)

Marceline: –(unintelligible beginning) that’s right downtown, isn’t it?

Mrs. Davidow: No, no, this one is on West Portal. The address is 130 West Portal, and it’s near Vicente, the side street. Ne– Near Vincente. It’s– It’s– uh, if you drive, you come up 19th Avenue, and actually, uh, you– if you could make a left, you would just make a left on Vincente, and that goes right into uh, West Portal, but since you’re not allowed to make a left at that point, you have to make a right at the– the street before, you know it, and make like a U-turn– Yeah, yeah. And then it’s about three, four blocks from there. That’s all. You go right into West Portal. All right?

Marceline: All right.

Mrs. Davidow: Now, uh, we’re going to have Soviet women there from the consulate, and uh, we’re– we have uh, some speakers, we have uh, a Native– uh, Native American speaking, a young woman, and Vivian Hallinan. You probably know her.

Marceline: Oh, good. Yes, I do.

Mrs. Davidow: She’s speaking. And we’re trying to get one other. And a Soviet woman. One of the Soviet women will speak.

Marceline: Oh, it sounds great.

Mrs. Davidow: So we’re gonna have a film and we’re gonna have some c­– uh, entertainment, and we’ll have some refreshments, and it ought to be a very nice, nice afternoon, so–

Marceline: It sounds very good.

Mrs. Davidow: Bring– So you and Jean bring some of your people to that. Okay?

Marceline: Okay. We’ll– we’ll certainly work on it.

Mrs. Davidow: Very good.

Marceline: Okay. And thank you again for everything that you–

Mrs. Davidow: Oh, you’re welcome.

Marceline: And Michael.

Mrs. Davidow: I’ll tell him you called.

Marceline: Yeah, and Vic.

Mrs. Davidow: Yeah, how is Vic–

Marceline: He’s doing just fine. He’s very happy down there.

Mrs. Davidow: I’ll bet. Why not? Why not, I say.

Marceline: Yeah, that’s right.

Mrs. Davidow: (Laughs) Is he staying down there now?

Marceline: He’ll be writing to you.

Mrs. Davidow: Uh-huh. Is he gonna stay there for a while?

Marceline: Well, I don’t know. I– I really don’t know, but he’s very helpful. Very talented.

Mrs. Davidow: Good. I’m sure he is. Very fine like that.

Marceline: He– he certainly is.

Mrs. Davidow: Yeah. Well, thanks a lot for calling, and we’ll be seeing you.

Marceline: Take care, and if there’s anything else we can do, why, let us know.

Mrs. Davidow: All right.

Marceline: Okay. Bye-bye.


(Call 2: Marceline Jones and Michael Snedeker)

Dial tone, dialing, ringing

Receptionist: (unintelligible)

Marceline: Is uh, Mr. Snedeker in?

Receptionist: Yes, he’s on the phone (unintelligible). Can you wait?

Marceline: Uh, yes, I’ll hold.

Receptionist: Okay.

Marceline: Thank you.

(Long pause)

Marceline: Hello, Mr. Sne– Is this Michael?

Snedeker: Yes.

Marceline: This is Marceline Jones, Jim Jones’ wife from Peoples Temple.

Snedeker: Hello, Marceline.

Marceline: And I just– I’ve been gone for a month, and I just got back, and Jim wanted me to call and thank you for all the support you’ve given. It’s a very difficult time.

Snedeker: Oh, well– You can uh– It’s easy for me to do. I think people, you know, I’ve got– I think when people are pinched like that, they deserve support. No problem whatsoever. (too soft)

Marceline: Well, we’re– we’re appreciative, and we want you to know that you have a standing invitation to the uh, agricultural mis– uh, project down there. There’s really some nice things going on down there. I was (static on line) uh, in the way of education and you, know, health care and so forth. We would love for you to be able to come down and visit sometime. Jim just wanted you to know how much he appreciated everything you’ve done.

Snedeker: All right. You know, my wife and I, we talk from time to time about taking a trip down to South America.

Marceline: We would love to have you come.

Snedeker: If we ever do, well, that’s extra incentive, you know, and the kind of thing we talk about in the late evening when we’re tired, right?

Marceline: Yeah.

Snedeker: But we might actually do it.

Marceline: Oh, we– we appreciate what both of you’ve done. And please do, because I– I think you would be impressed and I think she would be impressed with the school and some of the mental health care and so forth that we’ve done, and other health care. Uh, we’ve had a lot of uh, dignitaries visiting, and they’re impressed with what we’ve been able to hewn [hew] out of the jungle.

Snedeker: How are you relating to other Caribbean countries and to the government down there?

Marceline: Very well, very well. We’ve had visits from surrounding areas and uh, the government there of course is appreciative of the example that we’re setting in the way of uh, developing agri– uh, uh, agriculture in that area, you know, and– which is really the only way to feed the world.

Snedeker: Well, it’s one of the few decent governments on that whole continent down there.

Marceline: Yeah. Yeah, it’s– they are a beautiful people, and they’re very appreciative.

Snedeker: Well, I’m glad you called, and I wish you the best of luck.

Marceline: And if there’s ever anything we can do to help you, why, please let us know.

Snedeker: I’ll do that. I sure will.

Marceline: Okay. And thank you so much.

Snedeker: Bye-bye.

Marceline: Bye.


(Call 3: Marceline Jones and unknown man)

Marceline: This is Marceline Jones.

Unknown male: Yes, this is (unintelligible name). How are you today?

Marceline: I’m doing just fine. I just got back after being gone for a month, and Jim wanted me to call and express his appreciation to you for the support that you’ve given us through this very difficult time. And tell him, it’s– you know, to let you know how it’s made it easier for him to build and have strength in the Guyana area, (Laughs) knowing he has friends like you.

Unknown male: I appreciate that. How is everything going?

Marceline: Everything is going fine. God is really blessing down there. We have quite a community with uh– I was– I– it had been about four months since I’d been there, and uh, a lot has been accomplished in the– in the education area, the health area, the– the religious area, you know, we’re really uh, bringing a lot of people to Christianity in the way of life sharing life. So– Uh, it’s really becoming internationally known, we’ve had a lot of dignitaries come and see what can be done by hewing a community out of a jungle. So anytime you can go visit, we’d love to have you.

Unknown male: Oh, well, I’d like to go. I’d like to see what’s being done (unintelligible under Marceline)

Marceline: You have a– you have an open invitation, and uh– Again, he wanted you to know how much he appreciates your support.

Unknown male: Well, it sounds like a (unintelligible, too soft) – appreciate you calling me, and give him my regards, will you?

Marceline: I certainly will. And– and thanks again, and if there’s anything we can do–


(Call 4: Marceline Jones and John Maher)

Temple woman: Hello, may I help you?

John Maher: Yes, I’d like to speak to Rosalynn [Marceline] Jones. I’m returning her call. My name is John Maher.

Temple woman: Okay, just a second. (Pause) Marceline’s coming (unintelligible word)

Maher: Correct.


Marceline: Hello, John.

Maher: Hi.

Marceline: How are you?

Maher: Punchy, but otherwise okay.

Marceline: Punchy? (Laughs)

Maher: Right.

Marceline: Well, uh, I have been gone about a month, and Jim wanted me to call you and–

Maher: How is he?

Marceline: He’s doing very, very well. He’d like to be back here, but he’s working really hard on the project down there, and there’s been an awful lot accomplished. It’s really interna– internationally known, there’ve been people from all around coming to see this– this community that’s been hewn out of the jungle.

Maher: Fantastic. Very good.

Marceline: There was a Russian delegation that came down and–

Maher: Fantastic.

Marceline: So we’re very happy with that, and he’d like for you to know that, you know, if you’re interested in doing anything like this ever, you’d be happy to–

Maher: Well, I got something similar, it’s not quite as spectacular, but I– I bought a– a town down on an Indian pueblo in New Mexico.

Marceline: Oh, you did?

Maher: Right, and for some reason, Indians get along with us. They hate everybody else because they’ve been beat up so often, so oppressed, but they’ve got such a huge alcohol problem with kids, that they were just happy when we came, and in fa– fact have been our– like, our big friends. So it’s really nice. We’ve got a place, and of course, you and him, the kids, whatever, if you ever in the States, come on down, nobody can get to you, there’s an 18-foot adobe wall around the whole town.

Marceline: Oh, that sounds great.

Maher: And just relax, go fishing and swimming, whatever.

Marceline: Well, I’d love to do that, and maybe sometime you and your family can come and see what’s happening in Guyana–

Maher: Oh, I’d love to. Jesus, I’d love to.

Marceline: So. Uh, right now we’re– uh, you know, our main problem with– with Tim [Stoen] and this child custody thing.

Maher: Well, I thought from the papers and from my conversations with folks that everything was going to be okay with that, but I– I mean, I don’t–

Marceline: Well, Tim– uh, we– we think so, but he’s uh, trying to get [Joseph] Freitas, I think, involved uh, in the thing. I hope Freitas will stay neutral.

Maher: I can’t imagine that he would. I mean, uh– you know, that– that Mr. Freitas would be­– you know, take a side like that, I can’t imagine he would.

Marceline: Yeah. Well, I would hope– hope not, because it’s a– a– you know, the mother [Grace Stoen] left the child [John Victor Stoen] about two years ago, and it would be a devastating thing, not only for us–

Maher: No, but for the child. Children can’t be abandoned and then picked up later, (unintelligible word) that’s just too devastating.

Marceline: That’s uh– that’s exactly right.

Maher: Yeah, but I– my– my conversations with the folks you’re talking about and everything, uh, and the quotes that I’ve seen, are– have all been positive, you know what I mean, that there was no possible uh, criminal situation by any stretch of the imagination or anything like that, so–

Marceline: Very good. Good. Well, we appreciate your letting us know when, you know–

Maher: Oh, if I get– if I get a different uh, rumble, I– I’ll have somebody over there 15 minutes later to let you know what’s going on. That’s no problem.

Marceline: Very good, and the– the reason– My purpose, though, mainly for calling was to let you know that Jim appreciates so much your support (unintelligible under Maher interjection) time, and he gets concerned, you know, we see what’s happening to Synanon, and these other organizations, and–

Maher: Oh, man. Well, Synanon halfway deserves it, uh, Marceline. I mean, it’s not that they’re terrible fellows, you know what I mean?

Marceline: Yeah. Oh, I–

Maher: But uh, some of the things said about them are true. Tell– tell yourself and Jim to– to watch your close association there, because the– What happened is, they went so paranoid that they themselves became a bit like the enemy. You know?

Marceline: Yeah, I–

Maher: And I can understand it happening, but uh– Should– If I were you, I mean, just as advice, I would stay out of that uh, ball of wax, ‘cause it’s not clear-cut, good guys and bad guys anymore.

Marceline: Okay, well, we appreciate your time very, very much, and uh, you know–

Maher: Well, how– how’s any– does the Temple need anything in town, or should we do anything or–

Marceline: Oh, things are going very well now. I mean, you know, we’re all kinda battle worn.

Maher: We’re gonna have a big benefit uh, one of them ghastly hundred dollar a plate dinners and stuff, I’ll send you a ticket for yourself, and if Jim’s in town, him or whoever you want to bring, you know, to be our guest and please come. It’ll be April first down at Hyatt Regency. I haven’t got the tickets printed yet, but I’ll send them out in a coupla weeks.

Marceline: That’s very kind.

Maher: And if you’re in town, I’d certainly appreciate it if you came and (unintelligible word) joined us, because I’d uh– that would show why– I imagine all the politicians and them people will be there, and I think– I think what we can do is to just show them that the Peoples Temple still has quite a few friends in the community, and that it’s not something that’s gone to Guyana.

Marceline: Very good. Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate that, and it’s nice to know that we have friends like you around. It certainly gives us, uh, courage, you know–

Maher: Is everything okay with the Temple and the work and all that?

Marceline: Everything’s fine. Just fine. So–

Maher: Very good. ‘Cause I worry with all of you guys gone that that’s– that’s the time the animals always take advantage, right? The– the local politicians and nuts.

Marceline: That’s uh– ever– we’re– everything’s going– you know, our programs, we’re still holding up, and everything’s going strong. And uh, as I’ve said– you know, Jim and I’ve been in the battle for a long, long time, and– but one of the very positive things that comes out of this kind of harassment, which, of course, this has been the worst we’ve ever been through, is to find out who the truly quality people are, and who will stand with you, and there are a few, and you’re one of the very few, and we appreciate (voice fades)–

Maher: Well, you’ll have a lot of friends. I– I– In fact, I don’t uh– most of the little people I talk to, your fa– the– just little normal working people, got nothing to do with politics or anything, uh, they’re pretty unified on the idea that uh, you got a raw deal. You know, the little– the little simple guys. And uh, I think in the long run, that’s where it counts.

Marceline: That’s right. Those are the great people. They may not be famous, but they’re great. So–

Maher: And if anything comes up, whether you have some problem in town in any kind of way at all, you know, and Jim isn’t there, please don’t hesitate to give me a call and uh– if I’m not here, call Mimi [Silbert] and uh, we’ll do whatever we can to– to be of assistance.

Marceline: All right. Thank you very much, and the reverse is true. You feel free to call us if we can ever help you.

Maher: Okay. Okay. Bye-bye.

Marceline: Thank you. Bye.


(Call 5: Marceline Jones and Tony Williams)

Marceline: Tony Williams?

Williams: Yes.

Marceline: This is Marceline Jones, uh, Jim Jones’ wife from Peoples Temple.

Williams: Oh, whoa, how are you?

Marceline: I’m doing very well, how are you?

Williams: Fine. Where are you, in uh– in the city now?

Marceline: Yes, I’m in the city, and I’ve been gone for about a month, and Jim wanted me to call you as soon as I got back and thank you for all of your support and help that– (unintelligible under interruption)

Williams: (Laughs) I wish I could give some more, because I am really going through it. I am thinking of moving from here, you know, the rent? Oh, I have to, the rent is 550 now, and it going up 200 dollars more, and I just can’t make it.

Marceline: Oh, I’m so sorry.

Williams: Yeah, so I have– Well, that’s all right, I wanted to kind of semi-retire anyway, so I uh, got a small bakery out on Third Street and uh– You– you would know about my coconut bread I’ve been making. So, I’m trying to put that on the market. Someone is helping me to do it, so–

Marceline: Well, if we can be of any assistance, you know, give us a buzz.

Williams: Oh, right, where–

Marceline: What is the address of where you– (unintelligible under interruption)

Williams: It’s 4912 Third Street.

Marceline: 4912 Third Street.

Williams: I wanted to talk to someone there. Who can I talk to about this bakery that I’m doing, and give me some advice and some help or something. Who can I talk to?

Marceline: Mmm, let me think. Uh, I could have uh, one of our ladies call you next week. (Pause) Yeah, I’ll have her call you. How would that be? Okay.

Williams: That would be fine. I need to talk to someone and– you know, and get some advice and some help or something, because, you see, this bread (coughs) is really not a commercial bread, you know, and uh, I had three different bakeries order to put it out for me, but they all wanted me to cut up– down on the ingredients, you know, and– and they say, oh, you can make a lot of money, I said, oh, I’m not– I said, I love money, it’s true but– (laughs) like everybody else, I said, but I’m not interested in that and, you know, ‘cause I couldn’t face my friends, you know, after they know what kind of bread I’m making, to make this so–

Marceline: There are a few people like that.

Williams: Yeah, well, of course, I know. My God. (Laughs)

Marceline: You’re a beautiful person.

Williams: Thank you. Even Herb Caen had me in the column once, and said I coulda made a lot of money on the bread, if I wanted to, you know, but that’s–

Marceline: Well, we’ll have uh– we’ll have our lady here–

Williams: You– yes, if she would come and– and talk to me, I– I’d– Let me talk to her, rather, and tell her the difficulties I’m going through, and see if she can help me in some way.

Marceline: All right. I certainly will. And again, uh, Jim wants you to know how much he appreciates what you’ve done, and things are moving–

Williams: Oh, well, he’s such a beautiful way– I hope everything moves all right now for him.

Marceline: Well, things are moving beautifully in Guyana, we have quite a community where–

Williams: That’s what I heard. You know, I wanted to take a trip to Trinidad this year, but I just couldn’t make it, but I’m open–

Marceline: When you do, now, you go–

Williams: Oh, sure, (unintelligible word)– ‘cause that’s my home, Trinidad. You know. Have you been to Trinidad?

Marceline: I certainly have, and that’s just one hour’s flight from Georgetown.

Williams: Yeah, that’s what I heard.

Marceline: So whenever you get down there, why, you have an open invitation–

Williams: I have to go down and see my par– No, I’ll never go to Trinidad without going to Guyana, you know that. (Laughs)

Marceline: Okay.

Williams: Well, thanks a lot for calling me. And will you do that right away for me, have her come and see me?

Marceline: Yes, I will. I will.

Williams: Gee, you know, this is a blessing that you called me to tell me, ‘cause I was going out of my mind, I wanted to see someone I can talk to and just talk– tell, you know, this is really a blessing. (Laughs)

Marceline: I– Well, I’m so glad (unintelligible under interruption)

Williams: It really is.

Marceline: We’ll get in touch with her and send her over.

Williams: Okay, thank you, then. Bye-bye.

Marceline: Bye.


(Call 6: Tim Clancey and office of Senator Paul Sarbanes)

(Editor’s note: Aside from Tim Clancey’s introduction of himself to an aide for Sen. Sarbanes, this six-minute call is virtually inaudible, and its remaining segments were not transcribed.)


(Call 7: Marceline Jones and Rodney Williams)

Marceline: This is Marceline Jones.

Rodney Williams: Yes, this is Rodney Williams, returning your call.

Marceline: Yes, Rodney, I just uh, returned after being gone for a month, and Jim just wanted me to call you and tell you how much he appreciates the support you’ve given us during this very difficult time.

Williams: Oh, okay. How is he?

Marceline: He’s doing beautifully. Uh, he’d like to be back here, but of course, wherever he is, he makes the best of it, and uh, there is quite a community being built in Guyana that is really– people from all over the coun– uh, the world have come, you know, from different nations and they’re highly impressed with what we’ve built there, so we uh– we like to see ourselves as really doing a good thing in public relations for the United States down there. But having friends like you, you know, gives us courage and gives him the strength to keep on struggling. And uh, if you ever want to go, you know, you have an open invitation to be there.

Williams: Okay, I keep that in mind, I (unintelligible under Marceline)

Marceline: Please– please do, because I know your struggle’s difficult too, and if we can ever be of any help, just call.

Williams: And vice versa.

Marceline: Okay.

Williams: Okay. Thank you for calling.

Marceline: Yes, and thanks so much for returning my call.

Williams: Okay.

Marceline: Bye-bye.

Williams: Bye.


(Call 8: Marceline Jones and Joe Hall)

Marceline: Marceline Jones.

Joe Hall: Uh, yeah, Marcy, Joe Hall. How are you?

Marceline: Yes, Joe, well, I’m doing very well, and I just came back after being gone for a month, and Jim just wanted me to call and express his gratitude and I want to express mine too to you for your support during our very difficult time.

Hall: Okay, well, I certainly appreciate–

Marceline: –everything you’ve done. It’s been difficult but, uh, some good things happen, you know, like finding out who your friends are and who will stand with you. (Laughs)

Hall: I– Sure– I understand.

Marceline: So. I appreciate your returning my call.

Hall: Okay. Well, anything I can do, Marcy, just let me know.

Marceline: Okay, and if there’s anything we can ever do, why, Jim wants you to know– And of course, you have a standing invitation to go to Guyana and see (unintelligible under Hall)

Hall: (Laughs) Okay.

Marceline: –community that’s being built down there.

Hall: Yeah, I understand it’s quite fabulous.

Marceline: It certainly is, and we’ve had some rather prestigious uh, visitors from other countries there, and they’re really impressed with what can be done in a little jungle. So, I appreciate your returning the call.

Hall: Okay. How’s Jim doing, by the way?

Marceline: He’s doing great. Just very well. He’d like to be back here, but wherever he is, you know, he’s busy uh, trying to build a better world.

Hall: Surely.

Marceline: So he just want– asked me to be sure to call to call you and thank you for what you’ve done.

Hall: Okay, Marcy, well, I certainly appreciate your call, and I’m always wishing the best for you, Jim and the whole, uh, uh, Temple effort, you know.

Marceline: Thank you.

Hall: So whatever I can do, just let me know, and I’ll do it.

Marceline: All right. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Hall: Okay, Marcy.

Marceline: Okay. Bye.

Hall: Bye now.


(Call 9: Marceline Jones and Christine Vasquez)

Vasquez: (unintelligible name) Can I help you?

Marceline: Yes, is uh, Christine Vasquez–

Vasquez: Yes, this is she.

Marceline: This is Marceline Jones from Peoples Temple.

Vasquez: Oh, hi, how are you.

Marceline: Hi. Thank you so much for answering my call so quickly. Uh– And what a charming child answered the phone at your house.

Vasquez: Oh, thank you, my daughter.

Marceline: Really cute. Anyway, uh, the reason I’m calling, I’ve been gone for about a month, uh, to Guyana, and Jim wanted me to call and thank you for the support that you’ve given us during a very difficult time.

Vasquez: Oh, no, no. It’s a– All I can say is, it’s no obligation, so this, you know–

Marceline: Well, but there are very few that have, you know, stood like you have with us, and uh, he wanted me to call you and I want you to know he appreciates it, and I do beyond words. And if ever you can make a trip to Guyana, I would like for you to see the beautiful project down there.

Vasquez: I would love to do that. I would really love to do that.

Marceline: So you– you plan for it. You–

Vasquez: Oh yes, I will.

Marceline: Okay.

Vasquez: And uh, I tell you one thing. It has been a pleasure for me to be able to help in any way, the Peoples Temple, and anytime, you know, we’ll always do it.

Marceline: Thank you. And feel free to call us if we can ever be of assistance. (unintelligible word) I’ve been married to Jim for 28 years, and– and he– his life is working for the oppressed–

Vasquez: I know that.

Marceline: And uh, we are available anytime we can be of any assistance.

Vasquez: Thank you very much. Thank you, Ms. Jones.

Marceline: Okay. Thank you very much for calling.

Vasquez: Okay. Bye-bye.

Marceline: Bye.


(Call 10: Marceline Jones and unknown male)

Marceline: –Jim Jones’ wife.

Male: Yes, yes, yes.

Marceline: How are you?

Male: Oh, how nice to hear your voice.

Marceline: Well, it’s nice to talk to you, and I have been gone for a month, and it– Jim wanted me to call you as soon as I got back and–

Male: So how is he feeling? How’s his health?

Marceline: Well, his health is fine, and he’s doing very, very well. They’re building quite a community down there. It’s gaining na– international uh, recognition. People have come from all over to see it. So you, you know, have a standing invitation to go and visit.

Male: Oh, boy, I cer– good gosh almighty. Uh–

Marceline: Uh, he wanted me to call and especially thank you for the support that you’ve given during this very difficult time.

Male: Yeah, I wanna write another letter to that Health, Education and Welfare person.

Marceline: Uh– Oh, I wanted to tell you, that that has worked out. We got an apology from them. We thought we might have to go and do a class action suit, but uh, that has worked out. So, you don’t have to do that.

Male: Oh, okay–

Marceline: Okay. (Laughs)

Male: Well, again, (unintelligible word) it’s seems as though, uh, right after you left, I had a little bit of uh, uh, uh, gangs and gangs of papers on my desk and everything. (Coughs)

Marceline: Yeah, I under– I understand that so well. You sound like you’ve got the flu.

Male: No, no, no, no. Uh– I’ve been working nights, and I guess I’m still partially asleep.

Marceline: Oh, I’m so sor–

Male: No, that’s fine, that’s fine. I had– I wish my voice was like this all the time. (Laughs)

Marceline: I really hate to wake you up.

Male: Oh, that’s fine. That’s fine. Uh, gosh almighty, I– so things are going very well out there, huh?

Marceline: Yes, they are. I was–

Male: What is that weather? It’s– it’s tropical there, it’s warm all the time, isn’t it?

Marceline: Yes, it’s uh, about 70 with a nice tropical breeze. It’s a beau– very beautiful place. Uh, the thing that hasn’t been done, you know, is to really try to develop agriculture in tropical areas, and this is what we’re trying to do, to– Rhat’s the only way we’re gonna feed the world, you know. And uh, a lot of that has been done, and there’s also a beautiful school, and uh, the medical uh, care that’s being given in Jonestown and of course surrounding areas by our doctor and our– and our health staff is really outstanding.

Male: Well, this is what I call real missionary work.

Marceline: Well–

Male: This is real missionary work, and like, I suggested– like, I suggested to Jim, uh, at last time, there’s no defense for slander.

Marceline: Well–

Male: They– you so– allowed yourself to be judged by your work, you can’t let them get away with too much, but you can’t be used. Just show your faith by your work.

Marceline: Well, this is true, and if you get down trying to even answer that kind of slander, you know, you– well, it–

Male: Get bogged down.

Marceline: That’s right. It keeps you from going ahead with (unintelligible under interjection) kind of thing. And uh, good things happen out of uh, difficult times like this, you find out who your friends are and who will stand with you.

Male: I’ll tell you– I’ll tell you this. I’ll tell you this. When you’re doing the kind of work that’s– that’s being done by your great organization, you can not– being attacked, you better take a look at your hole card. You better take a look around and see what’s happening to you. If you’re not being attacked–

Marceline: I– I know that’s true, and uh–

End of tape