Affidavits of Barbara and John Moore regarding contacts with Gordon Lindsay

An Affidavit

Barbara C. Moore

On Wednesday, August 9, 1978 I was interviewed by phone by Gordon Lindsay following his interview of my husband, John V Moore.

As nearly as I can recall the following topics were discussed in the telephone conversation with Gordon Lindsay. As he attempted to distort my replies, I had the feeling that Mr. Lindsey perceived clergypersons as simplistic, pietistic and moralistic.

1. In attempting to question the reliability of the detractors of the Peoples Temple Project and Jim Jones, I mentioned the fact that charismatic leaders often attract somewhat disturbed people, in fact that every church attracts a few disturbed people. Charismatic leaders attract even more. They have a different sort of ministry from that of my husband, John.

His reply was to the effect that “by charismatic to you mean people such as Sun Moon  and Charles Manson?” I attempted to clarify the issue. I feel that I did a poor job of it.

2.  Mr. Lindsey placed  great stress upon the fact that he was “shocked” that I questioned a statement of the court regarding the parentage and custody of the child, John, allegedly belonging to attorney Tim Stoen.

He asked if the child resembled Jim Jones since I had never seen Tim Stoen’s wife.

I replied that the child has dark hair and dark eyes and Jim Jones has dark hair and dark eyes, I think.

When he asked more questions, I replied that I was familiar only with the stories I had read in the papers and did not know the facts of the case.

When Mr. Lindsey further asked how I would feel if my child were taken to a foreign country and brought up by someone else, I stress the fact that little John was very much nurtured and loved in Jonestown and that that was my greatest concern, having observed abused children here in the states.

3. I had the feeling that Mr. Lindsey felt he was dealing me a stunning shock by mentioning the case of incest in regard to Maria Katsaris  and her father. He described this quite in detail and then mentioned that Mariua was one of Jim Jones’s concubines.

I replied with words to the effect that I had chatted with Maria in Guyana and that she was a lovely young woman happily involved with the community there, and furthermore that I knew nothing about that sort of thing and I could not comment.

I get questioned the reliability of those from whom Mr. Lindsey had obtained his stories and he finally said “thank you” and hung up.

Under penalties of perjury, I declared the foregoing  is a truthful account of my conversation with Gordon Lindsay on August 9, 1978.

Barbara C. Moore

August 17, 1978


An Affidavit

John V Moore

Friday, August 11, at approximately 2:45 PM, Barbara called me to say that Tim Stoen  was on the phone, I think that he or she said the call was from San Francisco. It was my day off and the call came to my home.

I made some notes following the conversation, and have them at hand as I write.

The man on the phone introduced himself as Tim Stoen. His voice was moderate.

Tim said that he was calling to urge me to speak out against Jim Jones. I replied that I did not understand him, that he had been 100% for Jim,  and now he was 100% against Jim.

He said that Jim is power-hungry. He said that if I did not speak out, our daughters and our grandson would be hurt.

I said that I had known for years that people would be hurt before this matter came to an end. I was saying that his saying that people would be hurt came as no surprise to me. I had anticipated it.

He said that the door would always be open, implying that I could change my mind any time and speak out against Jim Jones.

He may have said “thank you,” and hung up.

Under penalties of perjury, I declared the foregoing is a truthful account of my conversation with Tim Stoen on August 11, 1978.

John V Moore

August 17, 1978

An Affidavit

John V Moore

Wednesday, August 9, 1978 at approximately 1:00 PM Gordon Lindsay called me. He had called several times between July 31 and August 3, according to my secretary. I returned his call late August 3, and called a second time early the following week. On August 9 he said that he was writing an article for the National Enquirer, and asked if I were willing to be interviewed. He said that he would be taping our conversation.

Mr. Lindsey sometimes asked questions. At other times he made statements. Sometimes he misinterpreted what I said and asked if I agreed. I replied that I would stand by my words, not his.

Insofar as I am able, I will follow the sequence of the interview. Since we talked about some issues more than once, the quotations may be out of chronological order, yet they are faithful to the substance of what we said. As I write this statement I have at hand notes of the interview which I have made within twenty-four hours of the conversation. I will not be using quotation marks, perhaps with some exceptions, because I want to communicate the substance of what was said without implying that I am making verbatim quotations.

“L” will indicate Gordon Lindsay, and “M” will indicate myself.

L: Identify yourself.

M: I identified myself as pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Reno.

L: How long have you known Jim Jones?

M: Eight or nine years.

L: You are in Guyana when? For how long?

M: We were in Guyana in May for one week, four days at the Peoples Temple house in Georgetown –

L: In Lamaha Gardens?

M: Yes, and three days in  Jonestown.

L: At which airport did you land?

M: I did not understand the question and said “Timehri.”

L: No, Port Kaituma or Matthews Ridge?

M: Port Kaituma.

L: Your pilot’s name was _____

M: I don’t know.

L: You flew in a single-engine airplane.

M: I don’t recall for sure. (I later checked some photos. The plane had two engines.)

L:  You stayed in the guesthouse. It is off by itself. It has a refrigerator. It has mosquito netting over the bed. It is Jim Jones’ house,  isn’t it?

M: That’s where we stayed. I don’t know if it is Jim Jones’ house. I don’t understand the reason for such questions?

L: The house is off by itself, isn’t it?

M: There are other houses nearby.

L: About how far is it from other houses?

M: About fifty yards.

L: I flew over the project. The people live in huts with corrugated roofs, and there are privies. Thirty or forty people live in each hut.

M: I’d call them houses. They are small. Corrugated roofs were common in Guyana and Trinidad. That’s one of the things I noticed in both countries.

L: Well I didn’t. (His words clearly gave the impression that he thought corrugated roofs were the exception in that part of the world.) You had a privy, didn’t you? (There were two or three interchanges about privies.)

M: There are different kinds of privies. We used an outhouse. They had public or common restrooms which Barbour used upon occasion. I never did. I assume that they had tanks as ours did. It was very sanitary.

L: What did you eat? With whom did you eat? You wait with a small group, didn’t you. Did you eat in the dining area?

M: We took sack lunches at noon and ate where ever we were. In the evening we ate with about twenty or thirty people. The dining area could not accommodate all the people at one time. I saw people carrying trays from the dining area.

L: You didn’t eat with people – where they ate.

M: We ate one evening in the entertainment area where people were gathered for the concert. We had for breakfast pancakes, eggs, juice or fruit, coffee. They have a native fruit drink, which we also had in Matthews Ridge. We had chicken one night.

L: Debbie Layton says that the diet is primarily rice.

M: We had rice. I doubt that rice is the principle [principal] food source. It’s my impression that they do not produce enough rice for themselves. They must buy rice. I think that their diet is more from the foods they grow, such as cassava.

Debbie Layton lived with us when she was a junior in high school. She went to England the next year. She is the sister of our daughter’s former husband [Larry Layton]. Debbie had problems when she was with us.

L: Teenage problems.

M: Debbie was a member of our family. I have nothing to say about Debbie except that Peoples Temple was a stabilizing force in her life. Debbie is not as credible a witness as her mother or husband or brother.

L: Are the others credible?

M: I regarded her mother as very credible.

L: Your daughter is Carolyn Layton?

M: Yes.

L: You solemnized her marriage to [Mike] Prokes?

M: Yes.

L: She was pregnant at the time, wasn’t she?

M: I did not talk about Debbie’s personal life. I will not talk about my daughter’s. I’ve been a pastor to thousands of adults and children. I would not answer questions of this kind about any of them.

L: You wrote a letter to _____  praising Jim Jones.

M: No. I never wrote a letter to anyone praising Jim Jones. I did write a letter for the church expressing appreciation for the service ministries of Peoples Temple.

L: How can you speak highly of Peoples Temple when ____  (number) of concerned parents are so critical of Peoples Temple?

M: I can understand how parents are concerned. We raised our children to stand on their own feet, to make their own decisions, and to live with the consequences of their decisions and actions.

L: Maria Katsaris  says that her father had oral and anal intercourse with her when she was a child. (I felt that he was implying that Jim Jones was responsible for Maria making the charge.)

M: I don’t know anything about that. We saw Maria in Jonestown and Georgetown. In Georgetown she had complete freedom to come and go. She could have left as Debbie left.

L: She doesn’t have a passport.

M: All she would have to do would be to go to the American Embassy.

L: Did you see Jon Jon?

M: Yes. (In the course of this interchange I said that Jon Jon  looked like Jim. He responded, “oh come now!” or words to that effect. He came back to this issue once or twice in the course of the interview.)

L: Can you understand Tim Stoen  and his wife’s feelings?

M: I can understand. If my child were kidnapped or taken away, I would do everything in my power to get my child back.

L: Would you kidnap the child?

M: I don’t know.

L: Would you contemplate it?

M: It certainly would enter my mind, as would other thoughts.

L:  That’s contemplating it.

M: (He did not ask if I could understand Jim’s position. In the course of the conversation I referred to Tim and his wife as divorced. He objected with feeling, saying they were not divorced. He charged that I had treated Tim and his wife differently than my words about confidentiality about personal matters. As best I can recall, I apologized. He informed me that they were not divorced, and said: “people can be separated and not divorced, as Debbie Layton?” I responded, “of course.”)

L: What is your judgment on the medical clinic?

M: I think that it is good. (I had the impression that he felt about the clinic as he did about the “huts” and “privies” and “corrugated” roofs.)

L: Do you know the doctor, or meet him? Did he finish his residency?

M: I don’t think that he finished his residency in San Francisco, but I don’t know. (I told him that our daughter was a nurse. He asked: “what kind?” I replied: “registered nurse.” He asked about the medical supplies. I said that it was my impression that they had good medical supplies. Barbara commented over my shoulder: “excellent.” I said: “my wife says ‘excellent.’”)

L: What is your impression of Jim Jones?

M: Jim Jones is in touch with the pain and suffering of people.

L: What about the pain and suffering of parents?

M: There are lots of people in Jonestown who have known suffering in our society.

L: What about beatings? _____  people have pictures of beaten people.

M: I don’t believe the allegations about beatings.

L: But pictures don’t lie.

M: Pictures can lie.

L: Is Jim Jones a rational man?

M: I think that anyone who can lead 1000 people from their country to settle in a new country has got it together.

L: I’ve seen the same thing, in a prison camp in Malaysia.

M: Are you saying the Jonestown as a prison camp?

L: I didn’t say that.

L: You sound like a politician.

M: I don’t mind sounding like a politician. You sound like a reporter.

L: (Lindsay made some references to Congressman McCloskey, quoting him about “bastards” in the context of Peoples Temple. This was when we were talking about the custody issue with Jon-Jon [Stoen].

M: Once when I was expressing my views of  parents of grown children, he interrupted to say that he was not interested in them, but the three small children.)

L: (He introduced this as his last question, but the conversation continued.) How do you feel about your daughters?

M: We came home feeling good about our daughters and what they are doing.

L: You will be extensively quoted.

(I asked if you would like to talk with my wife. He said that he would. Our conversation had lasted more than an hour. I gave the phone to my wife.)

Under penalties of perjury, I declare that the foregoing is a truthful account of my conversation with Gordon Lindsay on August 9, 1978.

John V Moore

August 17, 1978

Originally posted on February 17th, 2013.

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