X-3-e-43a – 43c •
Kathy Tropp letter to Dick Tropp, May 1978

Dear Dick:

It’s hard to write you without making this a progress report. On PT, USA. But before I get into responding to the many matters you last wrote about, let me just bring you up-to-date on some of the things that happened today. It’s been an exciting day, and I want to relive some of that excitement.

The somewhat unexpected UPI story about Kathy Hunter’s misfortunes in Guyana, which pictured her somewhat as a little red riding hood with notebook and camera … That story made our planned press conference on Sunday much more noteworthy, in the press’s eyes. The turnout was good: Channels 2, 5, and 7 with cameras; and the Chron & Examiner, all came and stayed throughout. They were much politer than usual. Rev. Moore took questions beautifully, better than our attorney, who kept playing up this “personal” relationship between KHunter & Rev. Jones, which I guess was to infer that it was highly unlikely that such hostility on our part could be believed, in light of it. Who knows what people thought?

The channel 2 reporter, Isabel Duran, asked most of the questions and they did the longest story on us tonight, and the most equitable coverage we’ve had in a long time. She started with the press conference, and Garry paraphrasing the Minister of Home Affairs’s quote, and explaining that KH had entered the country claiming she was sent for by the “premier”, and the newscaster then added a couple of other comments, including that Garry had said KH had “an alcohol problem”, and that “a Guyana spokesperson for PT” had said KH was inebriated for her entire stay. Cut to KH at airport, sobbing incoherently (!) (Really!) babbling about bomb threats, fires in her hotel, fearing for her life. She was hysterical during the entire time she was on camera. (About 3-4 min.) At one point, after the newscaster had mentioned to her that PT alleged she was drunk in Guyana, she said, (naturally) “Oh yes, that’s why people told me they would say anything … to discredit someone who tried to talk against Jim Jones.” (Or something like that), then casting her eyes to someone beside her and out of the picture, she said – get this – “Oh, Tim,”* [marginal note: “*A story in the Examiner the next day confirmed that Tim Stoen had met her at the airport!”] I’m sorry I didn’t believe you, I didn’t believe how bad it is,” and then she collapsed, sobbing and blubbering. Cut back to the press conference at PT. John Moore telling about Guyana, how amazing that we have cleared and planted all this land, how everybody was happy, busy, etc. They showed this reporter (Isabel Duran) asking him if anyone there look like they were being held against their will, and his entire response, which was very good, he said: “No, obviously not. Well, I didn’t go around asking people, do you want to be here – do you not want to be here. I talked to people about what they were doing, and what they were interested in. People were doing what they wanted to do, they felt what they were doing was a significant… (Or something like that.) Then Duran summarized other points of the conference: Moore’s high praise of the medical and educational quality, and that they had paid for the trip to Guyana themselves, and had attended the press conference that day at their own expense also. The end.

I hope you will be able to listen to the press conference in its entirety, for your book, as well as some of the tapes of newscasts today. If you can gauge by my evaluation of the coverage above, which I say is the fairest we have gotten to date, just about, you get some idea how they usually butcher a story on us. My credulity has run out, I keep thinking it is impossible to become even more cynical about the press, and I vow that nothing will surprise me, only to be surprised at my



surprise, disappointments, and hurt when they do it again. (Proof that I had allowed myself to hope, or believe – even worse.)

But today was good. There was a very warm feeling among us after the press had left. Mary Prokes made Jean B. [Brown] promise to call on her again if anything like this came up. Mike’s sister Vicki was there – she is very sick, and she looks a lot like Mike! The Moores and the Prokes’s and Chuckie and Louise hung around for a long time, watched the 6:00 news together.

We pitched back into the mailer, which had been left hanging in light of this day’s priority, stopping at intervals to crowd into the office for the next newscast. Funny coincidence: Today also, these officers in the Church of Scientology were indicted by the Federal Govt. Well, here it is, hours later – 5:00 AM, and looking back being an exhilaration… battle fever.

I was just thinking how grateful I am to Jim for the privilege of being here now, and being able to in my small way participate in these historic events. I’m so grateful for the communal environment here, for being safe in the treadmill of marriage, motherhood – in its archaic sense – and slow petrification into middle-classness. So grateful that through this environment, so advanced a form of communalism in this crazy country, has freed my energies to work, create, and feel in harmony with these principles.

So much for my exhilaration. Probably the hour. The revolutionary in me doesn’t trust exhilaration, and besides there are a lot of things you will want to know so…


I called Buckley, gave him your regards and messages. The Oak Leaf (campus paper) didn’t run your article after all. He had expected them to. Said he would ask them about it. He said he would send you Thomas’s address, also the educational materials you mentioned.

If the article “Notes from the Frontier” has been used otherwise, I’m not aware of it. Jean B. said it had gone to a couple of places as a press release, but I think she may have been thinking of something else, as I wasn’t aware it went. Yes, I outlined the three versions you gave instructions for, and we talked about using it in a community mailer, but other priorities have come up. Emergencies, I should say, but it’s still good material, and I will keep it in mind, and mention it again to Laurie [Efrein] for Sun-Reporter release.

I have entered the second list of corrections to the Rosalie Wright letter. Copies of it have already gone out to the selected media. I was going to get the list from Jean, but forgot. It went out uncorrected, I will retype it, make sure it gets to those you suggested, if it hasn’t already.

Before I go any farther, I will try to give you an idea of our schedule. After we finished the mailer, some of the jobs waiting to be done – the biggies – are: reprint the “model of cooperation, USA version”, finish second printing of Mary Warner’s book, that we told her would be done by May; the Marco Net mailer, by then, another monthly mailer, ad infinitum. In the typesetting department, I’m almost done with the second book of Tish’s [Tish Leroy] (project), and I will now set that aside, since Jean and I discussed your book, and she decided she would never have time to proof it, so I just better go ahead and start typesetting. All I have been waiting for all this time is to get the copy from Jean to typeset. So Patti [likely Chastain] & I will start working on it. Do me a favor. Bury all the copies you have there, don’t show them to anyone else to read. I ask this because I had finished typesetting all the pages of Book 1, and when I saw all those little fucking corrections – two per page, on the average – I couldn’t believe it. When I finish typesetting, I will send the sheets to you, several copies of the entire manuscript, and you can go to town on it, and everyone else, and I will incorporate all the corrections at once. OK?

I like the “Rebirth in Guyana addition – very logical sequence”

Project stationary will go into the basket with all the other little-shit jobs that need done. We’ve been out of our own purchase orders for over a month.

I’ve talked to [Jim] Randolph about rechargeable batteries for you, and to Laurie about stationary. Will follow-up to see they send it/them.

Now, about your books. Some bad news. They were in the crating room, and at some point, I forgot my offer to catalog them & send you the list, and I told Dennis to go ahead and treat them as he was the other books there. (That means have Carole Stahl go through them, and crate ones to be sent.) Dennis & I looked for them, and were able to find only a couple of boxes that I recognized, but I am going to be looking as they should all still be in there somewhere. Carol said, when I described them, that she would send all such books anyway, not reject them,



so at worst they may end up getting there 6 months from now … crating speed being what it is, and shipping speed adds another 4 months. But, again, I am still going to try to dig up more boxes. I’m sorry, hope this will not set you back too far.

Did you get the recent copies of the magazines you mentioned? They were sent a week ago, or so.

Well, I guess that’s about all. Don’t feel guilty about making requests of me/us here. We’re glad to do what we can, and know you over there are busting your asses too.

As soon the mailer is out, I will start working with Pattie on the layout for the book, & typesetting it right away. She has a way of reducing very complex details to a logical sequence – a wonderful talent – and I know your book will see the light of print someday. We, too, share your excitement about it, and want it to happen.

I hesitatingly offer my opinion about how these special sections, past, and future, should be handled. Rather than hold up the treatment of the subject like the “Concerned relatives” or “Letter to Pres. Carter” until the entire book is done, I think these parts should be printed in a pamphlet form, like the “model of cooperation” booklet, (which is just 3 pages, 11″ x 17″, folded, stapled and trimmed. These separate subjects could be plainly and attractively, and uniformly presented, with a striking cover, and sent out singly or in combination as needed. When it comes time to put the book together, they can be easily bound right in with it, or re-pasted up & re-shot (still much easier the second time around). That is my only problem with the way the book is coming. I get a feeling of too much repetition, as if you want so badly to convince the reader of the rightness of our cause and the demerits of our attackers as you come off desperately emphatic. The facts speak for themselves. But that is only in the couple of places. I really don’t know that much about how books should sound, so maybe I’m way off base.

Speaking of books, I’m enclosing an article about [Richard] Nixon’s book – they call it a “tome” in this article. It’s not selling at all! What the article does not say, that came out in the news, is that: “The leather-bound volumes of Nixon’s book, a limited-edition of 200 which sell for $70 each, recently found to have been autographed by a machine that duplicates handwriting. As always, promising the best of himself for those who love him most, and delivering instead the cheap imitation.

I’m so glad you and all our family are there; pitch for yourself and realize you are really there, will ya? And be glad!!! Bye for now…

Kathy Tropp

[Handwritten PS] I’m sending you a xerox copy of your “Open Letter” as it has been re-typeset, with all your corrections. I made one change, pg 2, pg 3, line 3: when it says “Some kind of power-hungry and sinister cult, filling, etc.”, your copy read: “Some kind of murderous, sleazy, conspiracy, filling, etc.” I changed it because Leona [Collier] objected to throwing out “murderous,” seeing as sarcasm, and “conspiracy” is a word we have to use very accurately & sparingly if folks are going to take us seriously – I thought a more descriptive thing was in order…

Also, the paragraph you had wanted transferred to page 11 – it makes some good points, but in the spot you warned me to stick it, it just didn’t fit. The tone & whole thought process of the paragraph are so weighty compared to the slashing crescendo of your finishing pages that I didn’t want to break them up by putting it in. So I left it out –