WILL YOU HELP US FREE OUR FAMILIES?
WHO ARE THE “CONCERNED RELATIVES”?
We are individuals having only one bond in common; relatives isolated in the “Jonestown” jungle encampment in Guyana, South America, under the total control of one man, Jim Jones. We espouse no political or religious viewpoint. Our only concern is for our families. We are bewildered and frightened by what is being done to them. Their human rights are being violated and the fabric of our family life is being torn apart.
These are the sad and terrible facts:
- *All decisions in Jonestown are made by one man, Jim Jones. There is no democracy. There is no dissent permitted.
*Armed guards are stationed around Jonestown to prevent anyone leaving unless given express permission by the leader. 200 guns have been transported in. A “SWAT” team patrols the borders of Jonestown:
*Passports and monies are confiscated by Jones upon arrival of his members in Guyana so that they cannot be “cleared” by the Immigration Officials to leave Guyana.
*Long distance telephone calls to the United States are prohibited as part of Jones’ campaign that all family ties be cut in favor of his “cause”.
*All incoming and outgoing mail is censored.
*No one is permitted to leave Jonestown except on business for the “cause” and then only in the company of other residents who are required to spy and report back to Jones.
*The residents are told that if they try to leave the Peoples Temple organization, they will be killed and their bodies left in the Jungle.
*Their leader, Jim Jones, says publicly that a “unanimous vote” of the 1,000 residents at Jonestown (including children) was taken to put “our lives on the line” if the alleged “harrassment [harassment]” continues. Jones has held mock “mass suicide” sessions to condition his members to die for “the cause” at the moment he gives the order.
Because we are desperate and don’t know what else to do. Neither the Guyana government nor the United States government thus far has been willing to intervene. Jones simply ignores court orders.
We want our loved ones to be allowed to live in freedom. There appears to be only one way to achieve this – to publicize the truth and to pressure the Prime Minister of Guyana both directly and through the U.S. State Department. We sent a petition on May 10, 1978, to Prime Minister Burnham requesting him to:
- 1. Order a governmental investigation of Jonestown with inspectors placed there around the clock.
2. Order Jones to stop violating the human and legal rights of our relatives. Specifically to order Jones to:
- a. Remove all guards preventing people from leaving Jonestown;
b. Return passports and money;
c. Permit our relatives to mix with local Guyanese as individuals;
d. Stop censoring mail;
e. Permit our relatives to return home for a one-week visit at our expense, return fare guaranteed, to show they are not being held against their will;
f. Abide by the lawful orders of the courts in the U.S.
g. Expel Jones from Guyana if he refuses to abide by these orders.
*Pray for the safe return of our loved ones soon, even if only for a one- week home visit at our expense, return fare being guaranteed, so we can know they have free will to choose.
*Write to the two officials with power to force Jones to respect human and legal rights:
- Honorable Forbes Burnham
Prime Minister of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Georgetown, Guyana, South America
- Honorable Cyrus Vance
Secretary of State of the United States
2201 “C” Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
* Give as you feel led to help defray expenses, which are considerable. Send your check to:
- CONCERNED RELATIVES AND CITIZENS
120 Montgomery Street, Suite 1700
San Francisco, California 94104
(An application for tax-exempt status will soon be filed with I.R.S. Our attorneys say “Concerned Relatives and Citizens” meet all the requirements and that approval by the I.R.S. will be retroactive to include donations made now.)
THANK YOU FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEARTS
(Editorial note: Rikke Wettendorff transcribed this flyer for this page. The editors of this website are deeply grateful for her invaluable assistance.
(The text for this flyer may also be found on pages 92-95 in Dear People, edited by Denice Stephenson (Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday Books, 2005).)