(Note: Rikke Wettendorff transcribed the memo “Analysis of Future Prospects” for this page. The editors of this website are deeply grateful for her invaluable assistance.)
Portions of “Analysis Of Future Prospects” may also be found on pages 105-106 in Dear People, edited by Denice Stephenson (Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday Books, 2005).
ANALYSIS OF FUTURE PROSPECTS
I. THE TURN ABOUT CONVERSION AND POSSIBLE RETURN
– the biggest problem in this is how to secure John [Victor Stoen]
– how could we get a guarantee that JJ [Jim Jones] could have him?
JJ has no legal rights to him in the U.S. At best only a partial custody settlement could be arranged and John would be ruined.
– you could leave John here with someone, but then you would not see him very often and that would make his life miserable. Then, when you visited him you would have to be very cautious as you would not be supposed to his whereabouts.
– would they make a deal with you? would they trust you?
– what reason would they have to trust you as a convert?
– they know you are clever and they might think it was a trap/Maybe not since this is the worst possible thing a person can do in the eyes of the left.
– they could make a deal and then go back on it. I am sure there are precendents [precedents] where this has happened before. They could give you immunity, but then you would have to give them something. In your case you don’t have anything to give as you have no one in the cause you would fink on and all the others are on their side.
– the only selling point you would have is purely the idea of repudiating communism, the conversion thing. I do not know how valuable this is to them.
Provided you did get the deal, what would we do with the people?
– let the ones go who want to and maintain a communal structure for the rest
– what about the stories the ones who leave would tell,
- held against their will
- money taken
- forms of discipline
– would we not be in for a lot of suits, money to return and terrible publicity.
– were would we go where publicity would not follow and how would the children survive this?
– what would the effects of all this be on the remaining children
they could never go to a public school and would have to live a very sheltered life to avoid all the pain of the rumors and stories.
(one thing I have been wondering – I guess we have been having problems with SSA for a long time. IF NOt, I would worry that our D’s struck up curiosity for maybe they thot [thought] that was are sole source of income and that would be the way to the way to get at us.)
– if we ever lost our tax exemption on returning we would have to pay enormous taxes – I do not know how we could make it financially with these taxes. I also imagine that the IRS would hone in on us and we would be involved in civil tax matters unless that were a part of the deal.
II. WHAT HAPPENS IF WE STAY HERE
- eventually we will have some defection, perhaps a young person leaving or a senior as you mentioned in an interview blowing off.
- [U.S. Embassy Consul Richard] McCoy may enquire as to the way the seniors are depositing checks. (I think what we are doing is perfectly legal but do not know how State department would look upon it but it doesn’t violate social security requirements so far as I know.)
- if an older person did leak to McCoy that they wanted to return or worse, could we say that we did not realize this and send them back, or would the whole thing trigger a ton of investigations. (Knowing McCoy who is so devious I wonder if what he would cook up). I am convinced he caused the trouble with Emmette’s death [Emmett Griffith Sr. died of natural causes in Jonestown prior to November 18, 1978]. The police in Matthews Ridge want to protect their ass from what John said and it is not a question of them really caring one way or the other)
Gene [Chaikin] thinks that we should just everyone that wants to go back go and that that would solve our financial problems. It is obviously not that simple for seniors are an economic base we need and the youth are a labor force we need. Tho [Though] a good number would I think stay – the breakdown in the structure whould [would] have terrible consequences for the discipline of the group as a whole. This does not include possible PR and legal problems – PR here and legal in the U.S.
THE CRUX OF THE QUESTION SEEMS TO BE JUST HOW MUCH WILL THE PRESENT PNC STAND ON CRITICISM OF US?
- the elements of the right obviously would use it to the hilt.
- it would really be helpful if we knew who that element is for sure, not just by guess.
I do not agree with Gene that they don’t mind seeing us go down as long as they can let somebody else do it.
The feedback from [Guyana Foreign Minister Fred] Wills and [Temple barrister-at-law in Guyana Lionel] Luckhoo was too strong that many considered us a strategic advantage being on the border where we are. They must consider the border dispute pretty serious. So obviously they are still considering us Americans or we would not be much of an advantage. Maybe they don’t care how discredited we are as long as we retain that American citizenship.
- however I do not think that is true.
- but I do think they feel we are an advantage to have where we are.
(they are using us – maybe the left of the PNC [Peoples National Congress, party of Guyana Prime Minister Forbes Burnham] used this argument to convince the right elements)
- it seems that there is a good chance of civil war or disruption of a serious sort. If we could hold off things until that time we might, just might have a chance. They really would not have much time to worry about us up here with major disruption in the city and surrounding and they sure could not afford to alienate us too much at that time.
– our remoteness is a real advantage
- sometimes it seems to me that if we do not mistakenly provoke a preemptive violence in playing brinkmanship (which I agree we have to constantly do) then we might be able to survive for awhile with close scrutiny of the group itself.
- if we pre-empt something with McCoy that will bring in the U.S. full force as he is the Embassy and they will never tolerate it.
- if we decide to die, then of course that will not matter because it would not hurt us historically since he is a real pig anyway. (I know we can’t worry much about how we will be interpreted, but I still like to think about it because I just hate to see the end happen before we get anything in print. At least tell our side and maybe in some 50 years someone will understand and perhaps be motivated. I don’t have much illusion about all that. I just hate to see it all for naught.
- if civil war goes the wrong way: the right is gaining power then it will be easy to make a decision to actively change that course. That would certainly give more meaning to some of our young people than the other alternatives. If declention is inevitable as it seems then I think we ought to make very serious consideration of this if the signs get clear the the right is winning.
IV. WHAT IF THERE IS NO CIVIL WAR AND THE U.S. PUTS HEAVY PRESSURE ON THE GOVERNMENT LIKE
- trying to extradite Jim on the Roses or any charge – then there is no other route than a show down to the very end.
- puts pressure on the govt. to return Jon [John] and they back down on their established commitment – then show down to the end.
- tries to get at our funds (not just here, but reserve)—then it would seem we are doomed. If they do try to do this I believe it will take awhile since they have to do some research to do to get at it and we have no felony convictions.
- they could try to get us on fraud in the U.S. Why didn’t they do this before if they had any kind of good case? I think they must not have had enough to get you on this. Or, they would have.
One thing that [private investigator Joe] Mazor might have caused was an increased vengeance for you by notifying the agencies about Roses. I doubt that they can really prove anything, but they will hate you all the more for having been so clever and [blank space; word missing?] for using force. You really must seem a threat in their eyes. But I think that Mazor and all the old enemies must have know about this for a long time, just perhaps they didn’t get federal agencies informed more recently.
Someone must viciously hate you and think you a threat or the shootings and assignation attempts would not have taken place. I think logically it must be CIA there. They may have some false notion that you really are starting to arm Guyana (if they believed the report) and that you are working towards making it Marxist as the report also indirectly indicated – involving yourself in Guyana politics. The traitors may have convinced them of this – they may really think it is all true and that is why they see us as such a terrible threat to be destroyed.
V. A FINAL STAND IF DECIDED ON
– If there were a good way to insure the deaths of everyone I would consider it about the best alternative in that all would be spared who wanted to from live. I know if we do ourselves – the youngsters that some people who would have liked to will be left out, but as you said they can continue and their lives won’t be wrecked.
– I think we concluded before that (1) there is no good, sure way to do this, (2) a number of people would rather sell out and denounce us than die, (3) some young people who would not mind dying for some tangible ideal cannot reconcile themselves to planning their demise. To me #3 is the most humane and generous but then I am 33 and have had plenty of convincing experiences to frighten me about what can happen in unplanned crises where you cannot insure your ultimate fate and especially the fate of those you love around you. That worries me about taking a stand – if I did not have a child, it would not even cross my mind.
You have always seemed sure that we could do away with ourselves and the babies we are worried about. Yet, each time MJ [Marceline Jones] gets totally freaked out at this and I have no seen you yet consider it without letting her know which under different circumstances she has a right to be informed and a part of. (Maybe she doesn’t worry about the future about the older ones because if she dies, they perhaps can take care of themselves. And she has the resources to do thi [this], but with the littler ones I have to survive to make sure they can and you too, if you want them to be really secure.)
What I am trying to say is if we make a stand or decide to die how are we going to do it?
- How would you convince Stephan [Jones], or would you?
- How will we have the knowledge to know now is the time to ahead and do it?
- Do you give everyone pills – that is not possible if we were to do something like with McCoy. It would I presume have to be kind of a last minute thing.
Perhaps planning is the answer to all this – maybe there is a practical way all this can be arranged. I wish I knew because there are things I would and should burn and things which should be kept if we do choose death. I guess I am so anal that I would like to have everything all organized before I die including what I would like people to come along and find about you and the organization after we are gone. I wish the book were done too. I wish documents could be organized that need to be kept. I guess this is all stupid and unrealistic, but those are some of my feelings on death. I would so much rather have it planned, but like you said life is cruel and death comes at the very most awful times when a person is totally unprepared or the last moments are so untimely.
I will keep considering the althernatives [alternatives] and write more, and follow up with the suggestion of trying to keep taps on loose ends. I talked to Terri Carter and Annie [Moore] about it tonight and told them to write up reports on who they talk to and what they hear, but did not make any specific assignments – tho I mentioned Lovie Jean [Lucas] and the Motens.
One alternative you have never seemed to seriously considered is you and the children going to Cuba as you probably could get in there in that small a group. We could try to hold the project together here and I would hope that I could see Kimo [Prokes, son of Carolyn Layton and Jim Jones] every now and then and perhaps he could visit here too with me. It would be a hell of a life but at least I suppose the little guys would have a chance and if you made inroads, maybe more could join you there in time. That way they could not get John and if you were not the focal point here, perhaps government agencies would stop honing in on the project here and some heat would be taken off the government here.
I really think Cuba would take you with just your immediate family. The language problem would not be very difficult with your Portuguese.
The project could go on here if it can maintain and if the people leave, then they could just go and we could see what happens. There are a number of people who would love it here if the group size were smaller and more manageable and without crowding, less people to feed the economic strain would be less. They could not claim you are taking the money when you are not even here.
I am not saying the group as it now exists could hold together, but a group might and the farm would even have a chance at self-sufficiency.
I could spend some time in both places – Cuba and here if this place needs me which I suppose it would. We could rotate some.
We would have to close down the US altogether before this would be possible and I know hat the order in this place would go to hell without you, but it may go to hell anyway if the agencies close in and the government capitulates.
I was just trying to think of a way the little boys could have a dad for awhile.
This is probably full of flaws and from my personal point of view I would rather be dead than have this kind of separation, but I would do it for the lives of the little guys if there is any possibility that it might work.