Letter of 23 August 1977 to Alexanders

Aug 23, 77

Dear Freda & Herbert

It was a great pleasure to hear your voices on the telephone Sunday. We were happy to hear you, & glad that your trip was rewarding.

You probably will be busy these first weeks after your return – reacquainting with your grand circle of friends.

Our major travel plans have sort of evaporated for this year but we are still planning & trying to get away for two weeks to So. Calif. the same trip we planned for last year & for Feb. but we aim for the end of Sept. or Oct. We will make it yet, we do look forward to seeing you again and many of our friends.

In your absence a rather unhappy story broke – in newspapers about the “People’s Temple.” Apparently Jim Jones got a bit too much exposure of late as an appointee to the S.F. Housing Commission and in the newspaper the Temple was circulating in the neighborhoods. For certain someone was out to attack Moscone for the appt. of Jones to housing commission and Jones was apparently vulnerable. He subsequently has resigned the Commission. The New West magazine Aug 1 issue & Aug 15th issue first opened the story – and in the newspapers went on the bandwagon. I’ve enclosed many of the clippings. The story hit to Sunday editions of the Chronicle front page story. It blasted the Temple wide open & Jim Jones tactics. Most of the stories came from ex-members & from other sources. It’s hard to tell what is the truth as Jones is in Guyana now and there was no confrontation of what the facts really are, but all that said, we guess that the “Temple” indeed left itself open for that event with all its secrecy – and we do surmise (based on the fragmentary contacts we had) that there is a certain substance to the charges but then again all these “so-called church groups” practice similar patterns – maybe not to the extreme that the “People’s Temple” practiced. They really went out on the limb with all their projects & methods of keeping the group in tight control. The church claim to help a lot of people and different causes with the money they collected – but it what a price to the followers of the church. Jim Jones was their god who could do no wrong – (political leaders such) as Mao in China and Stalin in Russia. The line of truth is so hard to find where is the truth? Under a blanket of such secrecy & methods of control – How the project in Guyana will work out is another story – but enough for now.

We haven’t heard from Phyllis & Gene since the story broke in newspapers.

We hope to see you soon and hear all about your trip.

Our love & regards,
Bill & Peggy