Medical Instructions from Jim Jones

On May 20, 1978, an anonymous typist – likely Sharon Amos or Penny Kerns – assembled a list of instructions from Jim Jones to the medical department. The list of 67 items focuses primarily on health issues – “12. We can’t afford to give medications away”; “21. All emergency cases should be told to all medical people”; “66. When people have a 99-Temp, you don’t tell people to come back later” – but there are numerous items related to medical issues directed to the community at large, as well as other unrelated instructions:

  • Safety – “27. Never carry hot pots too full anymore”; “54. Get gates with firm latches so that children can’t fall (for cribs in the nursery)”;  “56. All seniors are to have walking sticks in the rain”
  • Security – “42. People guarding showers and bathrooms are not to sit at doors but are to walk in and out constantly”
  • Sanitation – “7. Do not empty urnine [urine] cans nor urinate on the ground” “10. We have to get rid of maggots” “24. What’s been done about rodents?”
  • Nutrition – “31. We have to eat balanced meals”; “32. You have to eat all your greens”
  • General admonitions – “43. Report those who don’t help (at bathrooms)”; “62. No more accidents by neglect. I’m ordering it”

There are also several specific instructions regarding individuals.

  • “22. Barb Walker is to be kept in ‘No Capacity’. She has threatened to kill everyone that kept her away from Steven. Keep her under control in the infirmary.”
  • “23. Jerry Rae is an alcoholic. He can’t take one drink. His comrades are to watch him and help him.”
  • “65. To Thelma Jackson: You can associate with Renee but be positive.”

The memo was written at a critical time in the spring of 1978. Deborah Layton Blakey had just defected and made a statement to the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown which she would eventually develop into an Affidavit. The Concerned Relatives had filed an Accusation of Human Rights Violations by Rev. James Warren Jones, and Jonestown was still writing its responses to it.

Medical instructions from Jim Jones, RYMUR 89-4286-J-3-e-1a – J-3-e-1c