Carol McCoy Interview with Joe Mazor

Transcribed by Carol McCoy

The first part of tape is messed up, so this part is from memory. I arrived at his office/apartment and was introduced by his secretary. He was sitting at his desk, did not look up, and sat there for about three or four minutes without a word. Then he said, “You have two children in Guyana.” I told him, “No, I didn’t say that, I said I had four children in Guyana.” He waited a few minutes again, then asked me what their ages were. I told him Marcie-6, LeAnndra-7, Lowell-11, and Patty-13. (tape)

Carol: He said, “Oh, you got a girl that is older,” and I said, “Yeah, that’s what I told you.” He wrote down their ages, and then he said, “You didn’t wish for your children to go to Guyana?” I said “No.” Mazor asked me, “When did they go to Guyana?” I told him in August (77). He said, “Your mother sent them to Guyana,” and I said, “Yeah.” He said “What’s her mother’s name?” and I said “Edith.” He said “Edith what,” and I said, “Edith Cordell.” He just looked (my note: until that time he had not taken his eyes off of the paper since the time I came in) at me and then back down at his paper, then back at me and just looked for about two or three seconds, and then he said, “Harold or Rick’s wife?” I said, “Neither one, uh, it’s their aunt.” “Oh,” he said. He looked at me and then looked back down. Then he asked me if I knew what was in the guardianship papers, and I told him no that I didn’t pay any attention to them, that I trusted Tim. Then he asked me, “Who made out the guardianship papers?” And I said, “Tim Stoen did.” And he said, “Where was they made out at?” I said, “In Ukiah at his office.” He said, “You mean the D.A. office?” I told him if that was where he worked at, I don’t even know what office he worked in.

Jean Brown: What was his attitude at this point? Was it kind of testing or cordial? What was his attitude?

Carol: He seemed to be more testing than anything. He seemed more trusting than I thought he would be, I figured I would be in for a big long line of questioning. He then went on to ask me if papers had been notarized. I told him, “I don’t know, I guess.” He said, “Well, was it filed in court?” I said, I don’t know, I said the only thing I did was sign the papers. He looked at me kind of funny and he didn’t say anything, so I decided I better say something. So I said, “Well, you see it’s like this, I have always been one to do what I want, and when I want to do something, I just end up doing it, and I don’t like anyone to tell me different. I wanted to go back East, and I wanted to leave my kids here, so they told me that I would need to sign papers in case anything happened to the kids while I was gone. So he said, “Yeah, that’s understandable. That’s how most of the Temple children and adults have been got.”

Jean: Been got? By what, by just signing papers?

Carol: Yeah, and he said they trusted Tim. I told them, I trusted Tim to do whatever was necessary. And he asked me, or rather he looked at me as if to say, who else could it have been?

Jean Brown asked a question but it’s too garbled. Anything else about Tim Stoen?

Carol: Oh, no. After he asked the questions about the notary and stuff, he didn’t say anything for a while, he just sat there and would look up at me and back down at the paper. When he looked up at me, I was just sitting there looking at him. And then he said, well, had I looked at the guardianship papers at all, and I told him, not really, but that I glanced at them but I couldn’t remember what they said. I told him that I didn’t really care at the time and that it wasn’t that I trusted Jim as much as I trusted Tim. I didn’t mention Jim’s name any more than what I just had to.

Jean asked a question but the tape too garbled.

Carol: Oh, yeah, he asked me had I known if Mom, if the guardianship papers gave Mom permission to take their children out of the States? I told him I didn’t know, but while I was back East, the kids had gone to Mexico, if that is out of the country, and he said, “That’s out of the country.”

Jean: That really in fact is true.

Carol: Yeah, everything I said was true. Anyway, so he said the first thing to do was to find out if the guardianship had been filed, that he doubted that Tim had.

Jean: Did he say that he was going to do that or did he want you to do it?

Carol: No, he said if I decided to go ahead with it, but the first step was to find out if they had been filed. If I can get a hold of the papers, he could give me a lot more information, if he could read them. He said probably more than likely there was clauses in there that I just didn’t know about or read which could hurt me, like a clause could be in there that Mom had permanent guardianship over the kids and that he was talking about I would have, if the guardianship had been filed, then I would have to go to court and Mom would have to be served with papers and that the– that I would have to go to court and that Mom would be subpoenaed to go to court, therefore Mom would have to find out.

(This part in tape, Jean asked a question but I couldn’t make out what she asked nor what my reply was. She asked “What you’re saying is that if you ever get them back this is what you would have to do?”)

Carol: He said the first step was to get the guardianship papers and find out if they– check with Mendocino County to find out if they had been filed. If they was and there was a clause in them that she had permanent custody of them, then I was in trouble. We would have to go to court and go before a judge and have him clear it.

Jean: Have the court nullify it?

Carol: Yes, and then after I did not– oh, I know what I was fixing to say, he said then that I would get my custody rights back. I said, what are you talking about, get my custody rights back, I never gave them up in the first place, I’ve always had them. And he said, no, you ain’t, you haven’t had no custody of them. I said, oh well, I didn’t know that, I thought I was still legally their Mom, and all of that. Mazor said they just more or less let me believe that, they never clarified the fact that I was giving up custody rights of the kids. Then he said from there, after we got to court and got these papers nullified, then he would take it to the State Department and get the necessary papers there to set up motions to get the kids back from Guyana. He said that the only way I was going to ever get the kids back would be to have abduction charges brought against Jim, but at first he said against the Temple. Then he said that the State Department would work with him. That was when I brought up the fact that I didn’t want to hurt Mom.

(Jean asked something about, did he say charges would be brought against Jim or the Temple?)

Carol: No, what he said was abduction charges would be brought and stopped. I looked at him and said, are you trying to tell me that I would have to have my Mom arrested, and he said no, that it would be Jim Jones. He said that your Mom is not there with them and he is. That’s when I told him that’s why I came to him, I guess looking for an impossible miracle, but then I was hoping there was some way that I could get around it without hurting my Mom. That’s also when I told them that I had an absolute involvement that no one knew about, and that he didn’t know where my kids were, and that as far as he knew they were staying there (in San Francisco).

Jean: Did you call it that, an outside involvement?

Carol: Yeah

Jean: Did you tell them here or in LA?

Carol: I didn’t say– well, I led him to believe that the guy was in LA. I told him that I met him year or so ago in LA and that I stopped seeing him and then started again and that I feel he can provide me with the kind of life that I really want. I looked around and said, “Shit, I want something like this someday.” I told him I always dreamed of having something like this someday and of my kids having this (talking about his swank apartment) and that’s what I want. He told me that there was going to be hurt involved, he said, anytime you work with (unintelligible word), there’s going to be hurt.

Jean: He said that?

Carol: Yeah, he said that. I just let him talk. He said you have to be hurt and to hurt. Whether the papers have or have not been filed, your Mom is still going to have to find out about it. He said do whatever with your outside involvement, but he’ll probably still have to know.

Jean: Did you say anything about the papers?

Carol: He volunteered then, he told me, you don’t need to worry about your name getting in the Chronicle or the Examiner on the front page, because it won’t be done, I can just about promise you that.

Jean: Did he ask you anything about the husband?

Carol: No, he never mentioned him. He said that the papers were filed, and in case I didn’t read them and there might be a clause giving Mom permanent custody, then in that case I would have to go to court, and once the papers were nullified, I could press charges against the Temple, and that it would finally come down to the fact that Jim Jones would send the children back rather than being served with abduction charges. That Guyana and United States had extradition terms and that Guyana would eventually extradite him back, if they were forced into it. And therefore before he would come back, he would let the children come back, and probably what would come to in order for me to get my kids back. That’s when he more or less kept on talking, he started telling me about how other parents had gone over on their own and had not gotten past Georgetown.

June: Did he say why?

Carol: He just said they got stopped in Georgetown, the parents that had gone over on their own. He said the government is very pro-Jones and that, or most of the government, is pro-Jones, and therefore nobody can get anywhere. He talked about a guy, he said that he had a person over there that had access to immigration files.

June: Access to immigration files in Guyana?

Carol: Yes. Mazor said that this guy, whenever parents like me show up wanting their kids back, then he can keep an eye on them and tell them through the immigration papers where ever they go should they be taken out of the country.

June: Is this out of the US or Guyana?

Carol: Out of Guyana. This is sending them out to Guyana either back to the States or another country.

June: What did he sound like when he said that, did he sound like he was sharing a secret or what?

Carol: He just sounded like he was sitting there talking. It seemed like the more I looked the more he talked. I just sat there like I didn’t know shit, anytime he would say something, I would– like he told me that this father went over there a couple of weeks or so ago, and he was afraid that he had jeopardized his getting his children back. He said that some children had already been sent back. I told him really, that I didn’t know that. To my knowledge, no children had ever been sent back, and he said, that’s a lie, that’s what they want you to believe, but that there has been four children sent back. He said that one was just brought back a week and a half ago, that was a girl. He said that all the parents that have gone over have not gotten past Georgetown.

June: Parents, like there were several?

Carol: He said that they had gone with papers and all of that, but that they just haven’t gotten anywhere. He said that there were several parents. He said papers were posted and torn down. I told him I had read about that in the paper. He said that Jones is very (illegible word), and that Jim Jones was very smart. He said the Jones figures out what they’re going to do, so they in turn have to figure out what he’s going to do. He says they try to figure out what Jones is going to do, so they can do the opposite, but that Jones stays ahead of them, and they can’t get ahead of Jones, but we stay up with them. Mazor said that this person that works with the immigration papers already has my name. I don’t know what he meant by that. He also said that this person can contact Mazor anytime.

He said that I [it] would cost a lot of money, and that he wasn’t trying to encourage or discourage me. He didn’t say how much, just that it would be a lot of money. He wouldn’t quote me no prices. He said that if I decide to go through with it – and felt that I would be dumb not to – he said that he would have to go deeper into the background if I decided to go through with it. He also brought up the fact that everything had to be done legally and that nothing could be done illegally. He said they had thought of getting a plane together a lot of other parents with children in Guyana, but they decided it wouldn’t work out, that they wouldn’t get no further than Georgetown, and that all it would succeed in doing is spending a lot of money that would be better spent in other ways. He said that it has already been proven that you can’t go over there, and whether you’re two or a dozen, it can’t be done.

June: In other words, it sounds like he is saying it may necessarily mean going over there but rather try to get them back over here?

Carol: Yes. He said something (garbled tape) about if someone changes and says come on over and get them, then we can, but until then it would be useless. He said something about, if all else fails, then of course one could always go the kidnapping, and I just looked at him and said kidnapping, but how are you going to get in? You said you couldn’t get in, and I read that there are fences and things like that around, and he said, oh, there would be a way, but we want to do everything legally.

This is not clear, but Carol says that what she was talking about was that Mazor said that he had a tape of Rick and Harold Cordell both threatening somebody’s life, but he wouldn’t say who it was. He was also talking about seeing movies of Jonestown, and that it was actually a government project, and that the photographer who had taken the pictures had proved that this is what it was, and it wasn’t anything that Jones had built.

Side two

He said that the photographer that had taken the movies had given him a written affidavit but they were (unintelligible) agricultural mission in Port Kaituma (unintelligible). He said that there was nothing in Jonestown, and that he couldn’t see how he was putting people up like he was – and putting 1000 people up – that’s what he said and that he must be doing something and he said that he had signed affidavits. (unintelligible) He asked me about my Mom and (unintelligible, something about your mother). I guess you don’t know what Harold said. I got tapes, of when he threatened people.” I told him that I didn’t know anything about it. He said that passports have been coming up missing – why, he doesn’t know, but he said that they suspect that they are selling them on the black market. He said, “We suspect that Jones is selling them on the black market. You know you can get five or six thousand dollars for an American passport on the black market.” I told him no, that I didn’t know that. He said that some names that were on the passports have turned up in different black-market countries and that– he said the name of one country and to me it sounded something like Liberia but it sounded like it started with a P. it could possibly be Manzania, Tangia, something like that, and he said, “And some other place,” but he didn’t mention the name of the place. When he got on a talking streak, I didn’t break in or anything like that. I figured I’d just let him talk and I would just shake my head yes or no and stuff like that, and he said that Jim was quite a con, was really a smart person and a con man, that he could con anybody into anything. He said that.

June: What did he say about staying in the country?

Carol: Well, he said that, “I don’t know, maybe Jim Jones will want to become leader of the country someday. Maybe that’s what he wants.” He said “Evidently he’s going to get shot down and we’re still going to be without a leader,” and didn’t say anything for second, and I said, “Yes, a lot of seniors and a lot of children will be without a leader,” and he said, “I know, especially when they don’t have passports, when their passports are all gone, you can’t get back into this country.” And he said, “Then they are going to kick them out of the country over there, and without Jim Jones around, how are they going to succeed?” I just sort of shook my head, and he said he felt that I stood a good chance of being with my kids. I said, “What do you mean a good chance?” And he said, “Oh, about 70%,” and I said “Yeah?” I said, “It seems like I would be in that 30% that wouldn’t get the kids back.” And he said, “Well, you can’t ever tell until you try,” and I said that I always seem to fall into that lesser percent, and he started giving me a lecture about the kids and being American citizens, (unintelligible) this country and that America may not be all it’s supposed to be, may not have all the freedoms that it should have, but that America was still a better place to bring them up, than a country that was apolitical and that could change a moment’s notice, and he said today they might be socialistic and free-minded, tomorrow they might be a dictatorship and decide to kill off everybody. That’s what he said, and he said that, “I wouldn’t want my kids brought up in anything like that.” He said, “I don’t think anyone else really does either.” I said, “No, I don’t like to see my kids brought up like that.” (Someone commented that Mazor’s kids are on welfare.) Oh, he kind of paused after commenting that Guyana is apolitical and stuff – I asked him what does apolitical mean, and so he went on to explain it, but I didn’t pay any attention to him because I started thinking about getting out of there. It was getting boring, it was literally getting boring, I decided that he wasn’t going to come up with any more shit and why keep him– I got this feeling after a while that he was going over the same issues and he had already told me what he could do and we would have to go to court, check out (unintelligible). He never ask me any questions – that really stumped me, he didn’t ask any questions at all – when I got here, where I was born, where I was staying, how long I was going to be, when I was going back to LA, had I been around the church since I’ve been here, he didn’t ask me anything (when you were there did you drive?), she replied that she took the bus. But it crossed my mind that he was just telling me that shit too – I felt for the most part that I thought I was being led on – I told them that there were a lot of things I dig about the church and a lot of things I didn’t dig and that sort of thing. I told him that I want when I want – I must be selfish, whatever – he said, “I wouldn’t call it selfish because you want the kids back. I would just call you a parent.” I had made a reference (about filling the papers out) about “We”. I meant Bill and I, and he never once asked me who the “We” was. When it dawned on me that is what I was saying – is that maybe he will ask me – but he didn’t ask me how he could get in touch with me, he didn’t ask me if I was going to go to the Temple tonight or anything like that. That part stunned me because he didn’t ask any more questions, and he asked a few questions at the beginning and then he stopped and started talking. When he first started talking about the abduction charges, he read me some kind of code, abduction code, to me that Jim could possibly be gotten on, but I can’t begin to remember the code number, but he just went down a law book and opened it up (unintelligible) the way he opened the book, I figured that he done got it right there, it looked like he was planning – Sandy asked me if I – and Tom asked me if I had been taped and I would say yes, I am pretty sure that he had two tape recorders. He was talking. One was in back of him and one was at the side of him. He was talking and he glanced around to the side and the tape was up – ejecting – and he turned it over and pushed it down, but I pretended like it was nothing.

Question: How for a long were you when he did that?

Carol: About a half hour. It must’ve lasted around 45 minutes. I got off the bus and went into the doughnut shop, and the time was a quarter to 10, so I went out – the appointment was for 10 – I looked at the headlines on the paper and walked real slowly around the block – I had to walk a block up and then in the building it took me five minutes to find my way up. (she explains where the office was in the building and her problems with the elevator. She describes his apartment and office, the confinement of the building – completely enclosed.) When I came in, the secretary introduced me to him. He wouldn’t get up. He just sat there. I just walked over and sat down. He didn’t say anything for probably the first minute that I was there. He started off with, “You got two children in Guyana,” and I said, “No, I’ve got four.” When I left though, when I left, he was a lot more friendlier than when I went in. He walked me to the door and told me if (unintelligible) had the guardianship papers and if I could get a hold of him and get some place to get them Xeroxed, if I could get them, to call him, that he would be in his office any time after 4:30, for the rest of the evening, and if I could get a hold of him [them], to call him and let him know and I could just run on over and he could take a look at them and he said, “Otherwise you can call me when you make your decision,” and then I left. (Unintelligible) talked and whatever he said, I just let go and acted like a big dummy, I told him that I had a– did not immediately realize what a big legal hassle it was going to be to get my children back, but maybe if I waited a little while longer that something might come up, and he said, “Well, you’re not going to get a miracle, we can’t just click our fingers.” I said, well, I was hoping before I came here that you could because you guys know more of the situation. Yeah, I definitely was (unintelligible) and I told him, “I know that you are a busy man, so I don’t want to take up anymore of your time.” (Unintelligible) he said, “I wish that I could tell you more and give you encouragement but I can’t.” He said (unintelligible).

Question: Did you say anything about your involvement with deprogramming or anything like that?

Carol: He talked about brainwashing – I mentioned to him, I heard my kid crying over the phone, “I miss you,” and I told him that I heard my youngest daughter has a medical problems and then I was worried about that, and he said “Yeah.” I said that they had assured me that it was being taken care of. He said that they don’t have any medical facilities over there to take care of anybody, and I said, “Yeah?” Something like that. Most of the conversation consisted of yeah and something like that. Everything was “I don’t know.” I don’t know if he will. He told me too that when he was– it was towards the end when I was getting ready to go, he said, “You are going to have to realize the fact that the only way you are going to get your children back is through charges.” He said, “That’s the only chance you got, is getting some (unintelligible) charges on Jones, but if you do it any other way, you stand a very good chance of losing your children for good. And the other way you are going to get your children is for you to go back into the Temple and stay in that light.” But I was just really glad that he didn’t ask me no questions about the Temple and I didn’t have to go and say anything about Jim. The only thing – I think – is that I knew Jim for a long time and when he said something, I said, yeah, I’ve known Jim for a long time. That’s what he was talking about Jim being smart, being a con man and could con anybody out of anything, and I just said, “Yeah, I’ve known Jim for a long time.” I feel that I have to face him again, that I can face him again–