Follow-up Notes from Peoples Rally, 8 August 1978


8 August 78 – Tuesday

1) In future, Ava to bring in from Georgetown all persons involved when they are reported goofing up… bring in also the person writing them up… Teddy was misrepresented.

2) Evaluations of stateside happenings and life situations in to Jan Gurvich for the book: even one incident written in detail can be important – i.e., Joe Wilson when bus was surrounded by racists at Jack in Box in Santa Rosa.

3) Be sure Georgetown people know we don’t want to go into courts at all, only as last resort.

4) Get out of militaristic language: don’t say “report” to radio room, etc. and all should respond when called in gentle terms.

5) Don’t reflect on weather, food – or where negative connotations could influence others.

6) Don’t say, “Thank you, Jim.” Rather, say just, “thank you.”

7) Be prepared to talk to anyone that comes up and in the meetings, call on someone each time to quiz and teach.

8) What kinds of food do you have? Coffee, tea, fruits, salads, vegetables, and meat – rice, sweet potatoes – every kind of fruit you can imagine… oranges, grapefruit, pineapples, mangoes – we have peanut butter and cheese. Fish, pork, beef, chicken… we cook some and we smoke some of our meats.

9) Refer to the dorms as “apartments”…

10) If they ask what happens if you don’t follow the rules? Say that it is a community problem and is handled in our town forum – we have a total democracy: everybody has a voice. We deny them few privileges for few days.

11) Do not use the word family – because of the Mooney [Moonie] family, and the Manson family, it has a poor connotation to most US people – the capitalists have done this to weaken the family structure.

12) What privileges are denied them…? Well, movies, recreation, TV, etc. Never talk about public services. We don’t categorize people. We deny them “some” recreation privileges. Some extra things they like to do we take away for a few days. This will be the most important thing on the test.

13) The way we get the wonderful behavior is to reward people for good behavior. We give special meals they can select for themselves, trips, records or something they want very much.

14) If asked why you came here? Because I wanted to. I didn’t like the racism. I don’t have anything against the United States – my family soon will be coming here. However, we didn’t visit that much when we were there, so am not really lonely for them. I just love it here too much to go back…

15) If asked what kind of work you do. Caution if a senior… say “I keep up my yard… work in my garden… sew a little. Seniors aren’t required to work, but I like to do some things. We have planned exercise and recreation time – we have plenty to do – or we can just relax when we want to.

16) What do you do with your money? What do you mean? I have my money – but


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you don’t have to pay here. How much do I have? – Really!! That’s my own affair. Really, money doesn’t mean much here because you don’t need money. I can travel where I want to… I go into Georgetown occasionally, and other towns on the coast.

17) I hated the pollution and the crime in the states. We had several robberies in our neighborhood and there was so much crime. But it is like that in big cities all over the world.

The air is so beautiful here. The trade winds blow all the time and cool our days and nights. We have no earthquakes, cyclones or tidal waves here.

18) Snakes? We have none around here. We have never seen snakes, tigers or mosquitoes. We had a fly problem but we got on them without flyswatters. Now, they are greatly reduced. Right now there are more flies than we usually have.

19) We take a prevention against malaria in our foods.

20) Our health? It is very good. We have a clinic and a hospital; it is adequate… It is never all filled. Say – I can’t tell you how much better my health is… My blood pressure has gone down, my weight is normalizing – I see better, have more vitality.

21) Church? – No, we don’t “have” church here. We have town forum every week once, but never more than twice in a week. They don’t like you to go if you feel bad – we have nurses to check you can watch over any who aren’t well.

22) We have a lovely warehouse. I get all that I want right there. We call it Central Supply. And my loved ones stateside occasionally send me something. Everyone here gets the same treatment. If you don’t have relatives that provide you with things, you can get it from Central Supply, or they will order it for you if it is not on the shelf. All needs are met.

23) Recreation – well, we have TV, cards, checkers, dominoes – we have performances and entertainment, vaudeville type of things. We have special treats on Sundays: popcorn, candy, special cookies.

24) Do not say we came over here to avoid concentration camps. Make “no” reference to concentration camps at all!!!

25) Do you have weapons? No – we are a peaceful, nonviolent people. We have always been peaceful. We don’t beat or hit people – we have no brutality.

26) Do you hunt for food? Yes, we go fishing, otherwise hunting has not been needed – but we are learning about the jungle. You must go deep into the jungle to find the bush cow or wild boar – we have bows and arrows.

27) Do you put people in boxes or bury them? No – that’s ridiculous. Those who went out have told terrible lies about us. Some of those people stole from us. Others wanted to do violent and revolutionary acts – militant things – we said no, and so they left the church.

28) Do not refer to Guyana as the “promised” land – or freedom land. Say, if asked why you came here and did anyone make you… Say, “I made up my own mind.”


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I had heard about it from people who had been over there and returned to the States. It was far more than they had described it to be.

29) We should write to those back there. Tell them without spelling it out but they will gather what is going on (stateside) if they just read all sides of the issues he lets you are bound to see what is happening (the rise of KKK, etc.)

30) What’s the tower for? – Oh, you mean the Pagoda… well, we designed it to generate electricity and have plans for slides coming down from it for the playground… there’s nobody in it…

31) Do they tell you who you are going to marry? No. Boy, you people sure are listening to a lot of lies… We choose to marry as we please and whom we please and when we please. We don’t marry unless we want to.

32) Do you have security here? Why? There are no fences here – all of us know the free train, we know the engineer – we helped him and saved his baby’s life, the medical staff did… Anyone can get on the boats going out of here. We have no security against our own people – and are not bothered by  intruders out here. So why would we need security?

33) No children to go in grassy areas – there is great danger of snakes. The snakes will not go into our areas, they are coming out of the jungle due to the heavy rains and because it is so wet in there. Instruct the children… over and over… people aren’t showing enough gratitude.

34) Dad doesn’t want any dog that bites!! It is a matter of the attitude of the owner of the dog. They take on your disposition!

35) Do we talk of suicide? Do we take potions? – What? No – of course not. We absolutely do not believe in suicide. It is a selfish act. Leaves terrible pain and guilts on those left behind – it is a terrible thing to do.

36) What kind of schools? – We have only the very best. We have an exceptional student teacher ratio, also. Only 8-9 students per teacher here – but back in the states they have 40-50 in a class. Our teachers are trained in school guidance, counseling, remedial problems, fantastic audiovisual section and we have a library of 20,000 plus books when we get all of them that are en route. We have all kinds of books – every subject you can imagine, including fiction, history, sciences, art, music – every possible subject. We have all kinds of music, too – from albums and tapes we brought over.

Our teachers teach people’s minds and stress creative learning: they create logical thought and not just chance thinking. Our children are taught to reason and analyze for themselves.

37) Do the children have to work? No – they don’t have to work. Yes, we have a day care nursery. We have a lot of children from the outside, too. Some of our mothers are career minded and the best day care is provided their children while they are on their jobs or in training.

In the day care nursery, our children are there with good nurses, etc. They have games that teach perceptual motor activities. For instance, if you don’t learn to crawl properly they don’t develop good motor reactions


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in their bodies. The person who cannot control their body cannot control anything in life. It is giving the child the opportunity to succeed in everything in life.

38) The recreational planners should have regularly scheduled games and cards, etc., going on the time he is here.

39) Even the remediation for a lot of education problems goes back to these skills.

40) Do you have art? Yes – we have a lot of art – and a lot of artists. Aurora, a senior from our herbal kitchen, is a regular grandma Moses.

41) We don’t force children to walk before they are ready nor do we toilet trained into early… we let them take their time and come into these things naturally. We give rewards but do not believe in making them feel any guilt.

42) Do we have any bedwetters? – not that I know of. Of course I don’t know everything going on in the community – but I haven’t heard of any.

43) Do we vote? – no, we don’t vote in Guyana elections or participate in politics at all. We see good in all socialists and believe that every nation has nationalism. We aren’t pro-anything… we believe in cooperative living.

It is a form of the “kabutz” [kibbutz]. The Jewish practiced it.

44) We are not pro-Soviet; we are not pro-China – we are non-aligned. We are for the people and want them to be free. We are not against the US.

45) Those that work 8 hours a day. We have a lot of holidays… the country has holidays and we have weekends off. If they want to work extra hours, they do that. It is not required.

46) We have music playing in the pavilion much of the day, and it is played over the P.A. system during lunchtime. See that this is done!

47) We have plenty of meats – rabbit, chicken, lots of pork, beef and lots of fish and occasionally something caught in the jungle – acury [peccary], etc.

48) What is the function of the pharmacy? If they do not live with children, they have their own supplies – but if children live in the house we keep all medications in central care… in the states there are so many medicine chest deaths… We take medicine to those that don’t keep it themselves. The pain medicines are all brought to them. We have community nurses to go through to each of them from door to door. We have no medicine chest deaths here.

49) We have never had a snake bite in our community because we teach people to deal with nature.

50) We have no preservatives in our food and no artificial coloring – our food comes to us just as nature made it… it is far healthier.

51) We don’t sneak or trick people. We don’t make fun of people – we work for good character through positive reinforcement.

52) We are not religious – we don’t smoke or drink, not for religious


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reasons, but for health reasons. The US Health Department says that now it is even so conclusive with heart attacks and lung cancer and only about 4% of the people with lung cancer who don’t smoke…

53) How many places do you know where there are medical house calls?

54) If they ask about joining us… say: Yes, you can join, but we have a long list. The man at the head of our livestock never belonged to our church. We have a lad in now who had never been inside our church. He got engaged to a girl here and came with her and loves it here.

55) Does Jim Jones live higher than the people? No – he eats just the same as the people eat.

56) We get the news – from BBC and Voice of America and some other stations, and also the Voice of the Armed Services, Netherlands, England, Radio Canada… and we read the newspapers and magazines that we get.

57) Limited housing? – well, not all live in the central area. Some are of recluse types and we have people living further back in the bush area…

Some like Tom Kice who can tell them… No, he doesn’t want any visitors. That is why he lives out there. “I am just a loner and don’t want any people to bother or be around me.”

58) Do not use the word “comrade.” Rather, use the words Mr. or Mrs.

59) If asked where you keep your money, say, “why, I keep my money…” it is perfectly safe here – no one steals or thieves here. I have it secured… perhaps as I get to know you I may tell you where I hide my money.

60) If they ask if you have freedom of movement… ask: what do you mean? Tell them, “I go where I want to.” “Every week people go and come from Georgetown – they go to Venezuela, Trinidad, Surinam for medical and shopping trips… and on one occasion we sent someone stateside.

All must know every detail of this…

61) If someone passes, we do is call the person who takes care of deaths in Port Kaituma… and we bury them. We have been given permission in Georgetown to bury people here. Not many deaths here though.

62) All are to dump their shoes before putting them on – spiders and bugs…

63) Marital problems – relationships – We don’t believe that in the community this close a man can go from woman to woman without a lot of trouble in the community. You can easily get a divorce here – it only takes 3 months in Guyana law. We do have a code not to betray trust while in the marriage.

64) We keep wanting to improve what we have – we plan to build a floor in our central pavilion so the people can dance – we can dance on the dirt but it will be nicer to have a floor. That is planned for soon. We want to have more planting in our yards; we want to help the rest of the world with food – we have plenty for ourselves.

65) Are there any complaints – Well, I haven’t heard any myself.

66) All complaints must stop. Any who do not speak or smile must be reported.


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67) If asked how we named our town Jonestown… tell them: Someone in the government named it Jonestown. No, we didn’t have anything to do with naming the community.

68) When you came to do think it would be for good? Yes… we were told if we wanted to come back the church would not be in a position to pay our way… We are not required to stay, nor are we promised a return ticket. We were told that before we came – many times.

69) We are trying to help make Guyana self-sufficient. We are growing foods, making bricks, soap, folding chairs, toys… we give free medical care… Of course Guyana wants us to get our own people settled first.

70) In the US there was no land available and here we can lease for 100 years and we don’t have to deal with the crime and racism that you do in the industrial countries. We are glad to help the US in any way… but our political views are varied. We don’t make a difference about politics.

71) If Dad says PNC talk socialist.

72) Need schedule on John Harris… need him to work also with small animals and spend “some” time down at piggery.

73) In future, consult with doctor directly on the shots.

74) IS – is to be called the night helpers or the day helpers

J.T. [Jonestown] police to be called night workers and day workers

75) Give your original names when guest is here – do not use your socialist names such as Lenin, Che Guevara, etc.

76) All praises are to be signed.

77) Johnnie Jones Sr. was to try to tape and record some of the comments of the Guyanese about our brothers and sisters working together.

78) Weight watchers to work out the way to prevent double servings from being given.

79) Under the apartments, work place to be made neater and cleaner.

80) Medical department post so people can watch for early signs of cancer.

81) Every dorm to have a meeting and assign the chores to each person and see that each one knows and agrees to what she or he is to do… There is to be no favoritism.