Criticisms, confessions, notes of Jonestown residents


Viola Forts [Forks] was talking shit this morning about how she would like to kill Regina [Bowser], how she lied, what pain she went through to give her birth, all the work and money she brought in, in Pasadena




in general she’s weird – and seemed to have some inside knowledge about Rita L. [Rita Tupper] two oldest sons [Larry and Timothy Tupper]. Rita Che Guevara thought this was strange as few in the church know of this.

Jeff [Carey]




From Lucious Bryant – yes I got two pairs undershorts and two towels. Someone took two pairs shorts, two towels, and 1 pair of jeans.

From Fannie Ford – I apologize for eating food out of the garden (stealing)

From Patt Rhea – I stole bananas because I thought I was hungry enough to eat it. Also, I accepted fruit from Karen Harms but it will never happen again.

From Michelle Touchette – What I have stolen in the past was: two or three times when the boat has come in I have taken shampoo, soap and lotion that was to be used for PR purposes. I also ate sardines and some candy that came in. When I went to the bakery I fixed eggs, bread and made more than anyone else when they fixed cakes, cookies or special things for guests. When I fix Stephen [likely Stephan Jones] milo, I drink more than a taste to see if it’s ok.

I feel a lot of guilt for doing this and I can honestly say that I haven’t taken anything since that meeting when you said we should feel guilt. I’ve taken advantage of you, all the love that you’ve shown me. I’m sure I’ve stolen more but I can’t remember. I’m very sorry and I’ll prove it to you by working harder.

From Al Simon – I took 4 bananas one night about 3 months ago. Also I had some special privileges – for instance, extra egg sandwiches and extra coffee while on security. I felt guilty about this and also guilty about not working now during the day – that is why I went off of night security. I know that still goes on with security. I don’t know how the others can stand the guilt of their privileges and also not working now. This is elitism and I am trying to overcome it but it is very hard. But listening to principle (Jim Jones is principle) will help me overcome my fault. Thank you Dad.

From Geneva Beal – I stole 1 sheet, 1 cucumber, 2 tomatoes from Ray Jones. I will return the sheet to the warehouse. I got the tomatoes to make seeds to plant. I ate the cucumber. I am a selfish bitch to take the privilege to steal from the people. This will not happen again.

From Joicy Clark – I used someone else’s sheet and did not return it for a while, but now it has been returned.

From Larry Schacht – 1/30/78 – Dad, what I have done on many occasions, after I have been unkind, un-zero and selfishly feeling my own petty bullshit frustrations is to have them back again soon, or when I see them again I do something out of the way to show concern for them. Am trying to balance out my mistakes this way. I know full well the shoe has got me all too and I do attempt and will continue to correct often this elitist attitude.

I feel very sick about how I [illegible word] tonite. Was a subconscious hostile act. No one is more merciful than you are, I know. I thought today about your sermon and it fit me well. I am a terrible human being and I did vote for leniency because I want to cover my own ass. But I do [don’t?] care about anyone except myself. I am an evil bastard and that action tonight was an end product of a very negative train of thought that I indulged in today. Thought about how many times I’ve felt alienated. And it was only because I was so grossly unappreciative of you, and so demanding. It is true that there was an element of anticipation that you would give Jair [Baker] another chance because he came to the meeting late before the statement about one more was made. But no way could I convince myself it was not an act of hostility and



(From Larry S. continued)

treasonous. I do not trust myself; I’ve seen too many “white” Jews, educated scum, haughty, narcissistic, weak bastards not to fear that very same pattern in myself. The only way I can avoid it is to Change.

I want to take back what I said above – I do care about people. I do care about the cause. No way like you do but I refuse to be a fascist! I should really be disciplined, Pay For My Crime. That is probably why I voted so because I am an enemy (at times) of the collective good. I am delinquent as a thief or when I am unkind to the people. I am an elitist and deserve hell for this. But I fear humiliation because my self-image is poor at best. I don’t even deserve the privilege to explain my reasons and my negative attitude. I felt hostile because I could tell that others knew I had taken drugs and after all I’m the criminal, not you. I’m the selfish bastard, not you. You were merciful not to tell the entire collective and you told me not to do that. I felt enough guilt that I would have done just that, I think.

I should be on the learning crew indefinitely. I should not think I’m indispensable. It really shows how weak my commitment is that I get hostile if my “trustworthiness” is questioned and how fucking ridiculous untrustworthy I really am.

Self degradation is also not productive. I’ll be more conscious of your position and know full well that you are what you say you are: the most just person alive.

I’m not sure what you meant when you told me I would get used to it? If you meant the pace of commitment to a revolution I hope I do get used to it. The debt I see tonight is tremendous, especially mine. Especially after all the time, love, backing and consideration you have given me.

I would appreciate it if I am not called doctor anymore; I will do so as you see fit however.




From Liz Ruggiero – I was not late to service because I was one of the ones on the medical staff that was personally cleared from you to read out of the meeting for a special meeting at 8 PM. After our medical meeting I returned to the service.

From Ellie Beam – I was late because I messed around at home and went to pick up J. Warren [Parks] late and then I stopped to talk instead of coming right to the rally. Also when I raised my hand for Jair not to go to the teaching crew it was because my name was also on that list and I was trying to cover my ass because I didn’t want to go back on the teaching crew.

From Joyce Lund – I was late because I was in a meeting creating policy for the new medical Supply House.

Tinetra Fain – I have no real reason for being late to the meeting. I had no idea what time it was. Also, I have been given some rubbers in the past that I knew were stolen. I found a pair of earrings in the place where I used to stay and kept them.

Chris Lund – I arrived on time before the steering committee had completely assembled. I think I was mistaken for being late because I went to get some chairs but I came back empty-handed because all of those type had already been taken.

From Patt Rhea – I was late to service yesterday for no excuse except I didn’t know what time it was.


Liz Ruggiero – I did not vote at the time Jair was on the floor, as I was not aware of what was happening at the time. I would have wanted him to be put on the learning crew because he has been given so many chances, and taken advantage of your love and concern.

Cynthia Davis – Voting for Jair was a bunch of shit, using our leader to make myself look good. I also avoid leadership and that is one reason I stayed in the tool shop instead of doing what I wanted to do. I hate what I did. I need to get more into black leadership. I’m staying in the tool shop for that reason and I’ll try my best.

Lugenia Morrison – I apologize for being stupid in last night’s meeting. Actually I wasn’t voting against you, and I wasn’t voting for Jair either. I didn’t realize what I had done until my hand was up, and it was too late to get it down. I’m sorry – it won’t happen again. I know I was only feeling guilt for my own ass because I am always late for Peoples Rally. It’s hard to get the food line to understand we want to be in the rally early too.

From Tom Katulas [Kutulas] – I was one of the people who raised their hand when you asked about Jair. I felt I wouldn’t have wanted to go on it, so I sympathized with Jair. I was too concerned with wanted to go home. If I had been listening I would not have voted this way. Also I was to write up why I was late. I had just gotten off work and was on my way, and then this happens often [Handwritten insertion “(?)”] I don’t know what to do about it.



Continued re: Jair

From Marvin Janaro – Tonight when you asked the congregation who thinks that Jair Baker should go on the Teaching Crew for being late for service I was one of the self-centered persons that raised their hands. I was trying to cover my own ass for when I get on the floor for being late to service.

Rose O. Sharon – “Peace” – I didn’t understand what you said last night. I almost didn’t put my hand up at all but I did and I thank you for everything. I have this buzzing in my ears and sometimes I can’t hear so well.

This morning they woke me up fussing about the lights on. I yelled peace and that I was sick and tired of having to go to bed in it and get up in it. One of the sisters came over and said that it was Selika [Bordenave] so I said piss on her – if you are wrong, you are wrong, I don’t care who you are. Julie [likely Runnel, could be Cordell] wanted the light to see how to make her bed or something. I got up and dressed and got out. I thank you that we learn to live in peace and love sometime.

Bev Livingston – Last night I was one of the assholes that voted wrong. I could live a 100 lifetimes and still wouldn’t be as merciful as you. I don’t even have a good excuse. I was late and I wanted to get home. I think I was afraid it might get discussed and we would be another hour. The whole thing was selfish and uncaring on my part. I also think in the back of my mind I don’t want to vote for anyone to go on learning because I’m afraid of going. I’m not afraid of work but I think Penny [Kerns] would get on my nerves more than anything. I also think I have been nicer than usual to Penny because I’m afraid. I voted right the 2nd time but it was too late. I’m sorry Dad. I will not be doing that again.

Preston Wade – It was very foolish and selfish for me to vote that Jair not go on learning. I’m very sorry. I will not ever underestimate the love and concern you have for us. I will be willing to be on learning myself for two weeks.

These are the things that I stole: large sheet from Ruby Carroll. The sheet was left in my cottage and instead of returning it to Ruby I kept it. I also stole a sleeping bag off the laundry line.

Gabriel Thomas – this is my confession for holding up my hand when I did not understand all of the rules. I haven’t been here long – I’m trying hard to learn all the rules, so please forgive me for this.

Marlene Wheeler – Last night on the vote about Jair I voted with the minority. I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you were giving him a chance for some reason “one more chance and if he did one thing wrong would then go on the crew.” This is what I thought you were saying so I was agreeing with the decision. It was my fault for not listening close enough. I did not follow the crowd because they are mostly like sheep and follow the majority anyway. If I had voted the other way, it would have made you more loving to be the only one to give him leniency. So either way I was wrong. I will give up dessert for a week and take on confronting more people for principle and 2 hrs. extra work with the children non-meeting nights for 2 wks.

Michelle Touchette – The reason why I raised my hand for Jair was because I felt that you really didn’t want him to go. By asking us to vote then I thought that you might not have to put him on. I really didn’t care if he went on or not.



RE: Jair going on Teaching Experience CONTINUED

From N. Darnes – I am an ass because I was one that changed my vote on Jair’s behavior. I was again too stupid to think for myself, all just to save my own ass. I know I can’t save an ant’s ass, less Jair or myself. I know that I have no mercy and I’m not loving at all. I’m very angry for responding the way I did and also for being caught.

I am very much guilty for writing and asking for pictures. I was unauthorized and immature to do such a thing. I really didn’t think it was wrong. I’ve always been a picture freak. I’ll never do that again. I’ll go on the learning crew for this. I also wrote up to you about taking aspirins and Maalox and Vicks vapor rub for my notes. Annie [Moore] knew about the Vicks.

From James Turner – My decision re: Jair was highly wrong and anarchistic. I should have been more aware after years I’ve been with you. I know I wasn’t feeling for Jair, but for my own foolish self. I was also late but my name wasn’t called. I will get out of that bourgeoise state of mind. I will also go on teaching crew for a week for my unawareness and not be concerned enough in this case.


Wanda Swinney – I would like to be one of those allowed to watch Dad in the radio room tomorrow night.

From Tobi (Stone) Mtendaji – I am interested in learning to operate the ham radio.

Corlis Boutte – When you asked me to write up who we missed, I warned about a 4-yr-old girl named Shannan, my niece. Well, I recently received a letter from her mom. She asked me if she could come down here and live with me and Mark. I asked Sharon Amos how I should answer the letter (she knows the situation about Shannan, etc.) and she suggested that I write you and see if she should be encouraged to go to the services in SF. I am not at all concerned with my so-called sister. I am concerned about Shannan. She was living with me in the church. She was visiting her cousin and while she was there I left to come over here. I don’t know, I just wonder if I would have stayed longer she might have been able to come. But on the other hand it took a hell of a lot to get me here. Besides I would hate to bring in another court case to add to all of the others. I don’t know if Shannan’s mom is just trying to see what I’d say or if she’s serious. She is 20 yrs. old. She’s run the streets since she was 11 yrs old. She said in her letter that she was tired of SF. She knows about the church communal living, etc. But she doesn’t know that that’s how I am living now.



November 15, 1978

To Whom It May Concern:

This morning Julius Evans came to the diet window and demanded to Rocki Turner that she fix his breakfast, because there was an office full of people in the nurse’s office. Rocki replied that she had three orders ahead. He replied that’s all you had to say. Rocki replied you want to jump on me too. I just got jumped by someone else. He replied it’s the way you said it. At this time Alida  Santiago (Rocki was waiting on her at the time, the three plates) said, Why don’t you stop, Julius. She told you she had three plates to fix. Julius replied, Fuck you. Just keep your nose out of it. Just fuck you. He and Alida had a few words. I asked that they all stop it from the beginning. I feel Julius should be off the list to go to Russia for his attitude was totally out of line. All of us at the diet window have our faults, but what Julius did was not called for. Spa see ba [transliteration for Russian “Thank you”], Bea McCann