Affidavit of Yolanda D. A. Crawford Showing
The Teachings and Practices of Rev. James
Warren Jones in Guyana, South America
I, Yolanda D. A. Crawford, certify as follows:
1. I was in Guyana, South America as a member of Peoples Temple from April 1, 1977 until June 29, 1977. Rev. James Warren Jones (“Jim Jones”), the leader of Peoples Temple, was in Guyana most of April and during the latter part of June, at which times I witnessed the following statements and practices by him.
2. Jim Jones said that the United States is the “most evil” nation in the world, referring to its political and industrial leaders as “capitalistic pigs”. He said he would rather have his people dead than live in the United States.
3. Jim Jones prior to June said that people would be coming to live in Guyana for a temporary period of time. In June Jim Jones stated that the people he brings over from the United States will be staying in Guyana “permanently”.
4. Jim Jones said that nobody will be permitted to leave Jonestown and that he was going to keep guards stationed around Jonestown to keep anybody from leaving. He said that he had guns and that if anyone tries to leave they will be killed (“offed”) and their bodies will be left in the jungle and “we can say that we don’t know what happened to you.” He also said, “I can get a hit man for fifty dollars. It’s not hard for me to get a hit man anywhere.”
5. While still in the United States, Jim Jones asked the Temple members to turn all their guns over to him. I also saw ammunition being packed in crates for shipment to Guyana addressed to Peoples Temple from San Francisco. I heard Jim Jones say, “If anyone tries to start anything, we are ready and prepared to die for our cause.”
6. Jim Jones said that black people and their sympathizers were going to be destroyed in the United States, that “the Ku Klux Klan is marching in the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and cities back east”. There was “fighting in the streets, and the drought in California is so bad, Los Angeles is being deserted”.
7. Jim Jones said that everyone should turn in their passports and all their money to him, that nobody is to visit any local Guyanese people unless on a “mission” and in the company of other Temple members, that nobody is to make any telephone calls to relatives, that nobody was to send any mail to the United States without first getting it “cleared”. All incoming mail was first received by Temple secretaries and read before being shown to the person addressed.
8. Jim Jones said that “I will lay my body down for this cause” and asked others to make the same promise, which they did by a show of hands, and also asked them to commit themselves to kill anyone attempting to hurt him.
9. Jim Jones ordered all of us to break our ties with families. He said that our highest and only loyalty should be “the cause”, and that the only reason for staying in touch with our families was to collect inheritances when “they died off” and to keep them pacified “so as not to make trouble for the cause”.
10. Jim Jones ordered us to “report” on one another to prevent “treason”. His technique was to have everyone report to him (or his two or three most trusted leaders) all suspicious talk or behavior of others.
11. Jim Jones ordered people punished when they broke his rules. The punishments included food-deprivation, sleep-deprivation, hard labor, and eating South American hot peppers. I saw a teenager, Tommy Bogue, being forced to eat hot peppers at a public meeting.
12. So far as I know, only one person (Leon Brosheard [Leon Broussard]) out of 850 or more residents has dared to leave Jonestown since my mother, husband and I left on June 29, 1977. Before Jim Jones allowed me to leave, I was forced to promise him I would never speak against the church, and that if I did I would lose his “protection” and be “stabbed in the back”. Furthermore, Jim Jones ordered me to sign a number of self?incriminating papers, including a statement that I was against the government of Guyana, that I had plotted against that government, that I was part of the PPP (Peoples Progressive Party), which is the opposition party in Guyana, and that I had come to Guyana to help the PPP. Jim Jones said the reason for signing those papers was to discredit me if I ever decided to leave the movement “and talk”. Also, before leaving for Guyana, I was ordered to fabricate a story and sign it stating that I killed someone and threw the body in the ocean. I was told that if I ever caused Jim Jones trouble, he would give that statement to the police. He further intimidated me and others in the congregation by saying, “I, (Jim Jones) have Mafia connections, and they will stand with me all the way.”
13. I heard him state to the congregation in Guyana that Marshall Kilduff, who wrote the first articles exposing him, was dead. He said, “The angels have taken care of him”. We all knew the “angels” were his people who would do you in if you crossed Jim Jones.
14. Jim Jones ordered all telephone calls to relatives in the United States to be made in the presence of Temple members and after coaching. When my mother tried to call her brother in the United States and get him to stop criticizing the Temple, Jim Jones stood by her side and told her everything she was to say and then faulted her for not being forceful enough. He ordered us to tell our relatives in the United States to stop criticizing him or we would not be allowed to return home.
15. On numerous occasions I was in the congregation when he told us “I am God” and “there is no other God, and religion is the opium of the people.” He stated he used religion only to get to the masses.
16. I recall several instances of Jim Jones stating he could silence critics or defectors by accusing them of being homosexuals, child abusers, terrorists or sexual deviates.
I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed at San Francisco, California on April 10, 1978 .
Yolanda D. A. Crawford