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(Note: This tape was transcribed by Seriina Covarrubias. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Jones: (Unintelligible word) tasty uh, cobbler that’s made with papaya, that tastes like apple pie. Mmmm?
Audience: (competing voices)
Man’s voice: Pumpkin pie-
Jones: Pork fried rice. Chicken fried-
Little girl: Cassava-
Jones: Chicken noodles, sala, curry-
Little girl: Eddoes-
Man 1: Ham and bacon and coffee.
Woman 1: Coffee.
Jones: Smoked ham and bacon. Okay, you pass.
Little girl: Thank you, Dad.
Jones: When they refer to me, what would you sa- when you- what- what would you call me?
Woman 2: Jim.
Jones: Pass. (Pause) When uh, you are to say, “Thank you,” uh, what- what- how will you say it?
Man 2: When-
Jones: (Pause) Bring them up in front so they (Unintelligible word)
(Man sings in the background)
Jones: Everybody has a tendency to say thank you something. How- how would you say “Thank you”?
Man 2: Thank you, thank you, Jim.
Jones: Just “Thank you” will be sufficient, I think. “Thank you.” Everybody’ll know what we’re talking about. Next. Uh- What would you say about the weather if you were asked about the weather?
Man 3: I would say that um, we have very- very nice weather here and everything, you know. Um, everything’s, you know, just fine. The weather’s just fine.
Jones: Well, wha- what is it? Does it get awful hot here?
Man 3: Um- No, we always- always have a nice trade wind to come along and cool us off.
Jones: That’s excellent, next.
Man 3: Thank you, Dad.
Jones: Always have the trade winds, keep the temperature mild. Shh. (Pause) What are some other bene- uh, benefits of the weather here?
Man 4: Ah, for one reason, we have uh, we had these nice rainy, rainy, uh- Well, rain comes at different time of day and it cools off the whole day here. Like you might be hot, and the rain comes by and leaves the whole air-
Jones: Not too hot, I wouldn’t talking about being too hot.
Man 4: I mean, well-
Jones: (Unintelligible word) atmosphere, you can take up- talk up with other people. All right, Charlie Touchette says he prefers this. It’s the best weather in the world for him. He always did like Indiana weather, August, July, and September. Uh, this is ideal. Some people prefer this in terms of sweating out the impurities. A lot of folk do. I would say about the weather – shush – I would say about the weather that uh, we always have some sunshine every day. That’s- that’s good. Pass. Always have some sunshine every day.
Man 4: Thank you, Dad.
Jones: “Thank you,” just say “thank you.” Stop the “Dad” now. Let’s practice. (Pause) Uh, what would you find wrong with this place?
Man 5: Um, I don’t find anything wrong. I’ve had more opportunities here than um, any other- than I ever did at the States. I have a chance to learn skills that I’ve never learned before and uh, I can- It’s just- It’s a fantastic place. There’s no-
Jones: You might say, before I came into this church, I was wasting my life on drugs and that sort of thing, you know, something like that.
Man 5: Sure. That’s-
Jones: Haven’t had any need for drugs, and haven’t committed a crime of any kind since I got in the church, ’cause my life is full- fulfilled. It’s fulfilled with happiness, everybody cares for everyone. You got the idea?
Man 5: (Unintelligible under Jones)
Jones: (Unintelligible word) ideas. Pass.
Man 5: Thank you. (Pause)
Jones: When you refer to Jonestown, how do you refer to it?
Man 6: I refer to Jonestown as a, uh, a, a ve- a very nice place. Umm, the we- I refer to it as a very nice place umm. The quality, people get along real- real well. Uh- There’s no crimes or anything that I know of. Ah, people get along, white and black all together and uh, I mean being equal, and uh, treating everyone right and helping each other in the a- in the any- any best way that they can now.
Jones: Good enough. I’d say it’s a community. That’s what I was after. Jonestown’s a community. To speak of Jonestown as a community, not the family, but that’s good. You gave good- good response. Next. (Pause) Um, for discipline, what do we do in Jonestown?
Woman 3: We, ah, take away uh, extra privileges like shows and uh, for the children sometimes the classes go on field trips and things like that.
Jones: Yes, I only do that a couple of days. Say, never have to do it more than a coupla days. Usually everybody straightened up and that’s about the b- getting the record anymore, people getting straightened up in that. Say that um, they- they just, some um, some treats, no, I wouldn’t- No. Don’t- We don’t deny treats. No, no, we don’t de- deny treats. Never. We never have, and so we don’t say that. Say, we never do it in the term of denial of treats. Say, in fact, in some of the younger people, the way of discipline is that they like to work so much that we set them aside and watch others work or do their class work, and that seems to have a greater effect on them than if we uh, would have some other form of the old antiquated- the old ideas of punishment. Understand? Pass.
Woman 3: Yes. Thank you.
Jones: Mm? Take them out of the uh- the class setting. I- The group is the word to watch and family watch and so forth. Out of their work project or their study project. Watch group and family. They’ve brainwashed America to make those words bad. They’re negative. You understand? You better all listen now. (Pause) Yes, we positively reinforce good behavior. When somebody’s got- When they’ve done something well, we give them merits, we give them special privileges, we give them special extra treats, and so forth and so on. (Pause) How do you refer to the uh, buildings out here?
Man 7: Umm-
Jones: What are they, those big buildings out there?
Man 7: Uh, we have uh, apartments. We have five apartments, and we have uh, cottages for our families and- and couples.
Jones: How many people live in the- on the average in the- in the house?
Man 7: Uh four. Two ah, uh, two couples to a house.
Jones: No, I wouldn’t say that. I’d say four or five. Just don’t go into that. (Unintelligible phrase) some couple can say, yeah, well, I share mine. They have no- if the couple’s asked themselves that they have any chi- But we don’t have any children, we picked out a couple we wanted to share with, we wanted to share our house with. You understand? Understand. Just as long as you, uh- Okay, you, (Stumbles over words) good, good, good. No, no dormitories. Pass. (Pause) Don’t ever refer to Promised Land or freedom land, by the way. And what would you say about that big thing out there on the field. What is that?
Man 8: Um, I don’t- I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Jones: Well, that thing stands up in the air there.
Man 8: Oh, that’s a playground for our children. We’re gonna put slides and everything on there so they can play, have a place to play. And also it’s a place for the uh, the hot season where we can watch for fires.
Jones: Oh, thank you. Pass.
Man 8: Thank you.
Crowd: (Laughter, hubbub)
Jones: What do you call it? The pagoda? Do you remember, if you call it the pagoda, but I know so many people there having a potato.
Jones: I- it’s- they think and try to remember it, I’d rather- So uh- (Pause) One word don’t use is “comrade.” How do you speak to people here, how would call them by their-
Man 9: Either um, brothers or sisters.
Jones: I wouldn’t even do that. I wouldn’t do it at all. Falls into the family plan, of the brainwashing schemes that all interracial groups are a big family and dangerous. I’d call them uh, Jim, John, Joe or whatever.
Man 10: (in background) First name basis.
Jones: First name basis.
Man 9: First name basis. (He chimes in at the same time Jones does)
Jones: We ought to be on a first name basis with everybody. No revolutionary names, every revolutionary name better be dropped now. So you might at well- Don’t make an issue of being called Che [revolutionary nickname after Che Guevara], ’cause we’re not gonna call anybody Che. Nobody making that mistake. You hear me? We don’t want to hurt our people back there, we’re under CIA pressure. That can mean lots of trouble for our people back there. (Pause) Oh, what is it now? Wh- What is it they call that- what- what’re we supposed to call that tower, if we could remember it?
Man 9: A caboda.
Jones: Sounds very much like as- a form of (unintelligible word). Okay, let’s see, do you- do you have- uh, do you have any problem with worms here?
Man 9: Excuse me, Dad?
Jones: You have any problem with worms here? Excuse me, Jim.
Man 9: Jim. Ah, worms?
Man 9: I’ve never- I’ve never seen any worms.
Jones: I see.
Man 9: (Unintelligible word) worms.
Jones: Have you ever been sick while you’ve been here?
Man 9: No, I’ve been in perfect health every since the-
Jones: You gained-
Man 9: -day I arrived.
Jones: Have you gained weight or lost weight?
Man 9: Oh, I’ve gained weight.
Jones: I see. All right. Pass. (Pause) What are common complaints that you hear in this community?
Man 11: Ah, I don’t hear any complaints. All I hear are praises of ah, of our being able to be here in Guyana. Uh, I like it very much, uh, uh, my family’s here with me and I appreciate being here. I enjoy it here. I’ve had more opportunities for learning trades than I have uh, in my entire lifetime.
Jones: Yep. Thank you.
Man 11: Thank you.
Jones: Thank you. What do you think can be improved here?
Man 12: (Long pause) I don’t think anything can be improved.
Jones: Like what, what-
Man 12: It’s already, it’s already together.
Man 12: It’s already together.
Jones: It’s already together. (Pause) Well, that’s a- It depends upon what- what form of the neighborhood they come or you- but the white people be a moron if they’d have to answer our language, you know. The reporter. What would you say needs improvement here, anything? (Pause) I’d say something like, I wish more of my- if I were you- if I were you, that’s just for you. I’d wish more of my friends that are in gangs that were in trouble like I was when I was in cities were here. That’s what I wish. It’s a- What little- I don’t have enough complaints to even talk about it, they’re- they’re inconsequential, they’re- they’re nothing. Somebody- If they did say something about a complaint, uh, I’d say, I, I- you know I really- see I’m hard-pressed to think of anything I’d need. Hard-pressed to think of anything I need. Got everything we need, just uh, wish the fishing hole was a little closer. That sort of thing. You know, something like that. I’m afraid of getting into these complaints. I know (voice fades through sentence) (Tape edit) The money come from uh, to build this community?
Woman 4: Um, the people- Well, from um- They brought their own money with them and ah-
Jones: Oh, hold it, no-
Woman 4: -you spend it the way they wanted to spend it.
Jones: Well, you can say that, you can say that, you can say that, but-
Woman 4: And contributed it to this community-
Jones: As they chose.
Woman 4: -as they chose.
Jones: That’s all right. Be careful that you don’t ever admit that anybody took – but nobody did – go over five thousand dollars, because they’re guilty of a federal crime if they bring it to USA. Not on this side, but they’re guilty if they admit if they brought over five thousand dollars on their person out of the United States. You understand?
Woman 4: Yes, Dad.
Jones: (Calls out) How many understood that?
Jones: Okay. People had their own money and ah- then people like Jim gave a lot of money into it, and other people who want to see a community go. They get their- they get their kicks, some of you use your own name, we- we get our kicks by cooperative living. To each their own. Somebody else wants to uh, you know, be in business, that’s their bus- that’s their business. They like the competitive life, I don’t like that rat race. (tape sound goes out and comes back in) I’m now a decent mechanic, but I didn’t like that old com- that old competitive feeling. Here it’s a sen- a sense of cooperation, I like it so much better. (Calls out) Now all of you listen, ’cause this is the most important part of it. Next. (Pause) Don’t mention public services (Pause) by being on the floor in that sense. We can talk about counseling, sure. We counsel people. Uh, tell me something, uh, what does a person do here when he gets ready to get married or go- uh, to date someone?
Man 12: Well, they just ah, (Pause) they just talk to the person and then ah- uh-
Jones: You ought to come with a quicker answer.
Man 12: They just get married to them.
Jones: I- I- I suppose they go up and ask them, they want to get engaged. That’s what I did my wife.
Man 12: Right.
Jones: You have to go through any committee to get approved to be ah, a relationship.
Man 12: No, sir.
Jones: No, we don’t. Our relationship committee is not for that purpose. It’s just that people have an understanding that we’re not breaking somebody else’s heart, and we’re not having uh- multiple games. Do you allow uh, extramarital activities here?
Man 12: Yes, we do.
Jones: (Cries out) Oh no, we don’t.
Jones: Oh no, we don’t. Extramarital activities- extramarital activities means adultery. Say No- no, no, no. Our community cal- our community – shhhh – our community voted that out because it would uh, tear up, it would tear up the community morale. We respect the family, we respect the family. Somebody wants to get divorced, they get- they go and get divorced. There’s laws here, very simple, to get divorced in Guyana, Guyana will divorce you in three months. But we don’t, uh- we do discourage strongly any kind of extramarital activities. Next.
Man in the crowd: (Unintelligible) so we won’t be confused. (Unintelligible)
Jones: Yeah, that’s what I said. We respect the family. We respect the family structure, and we don’t want the family- nuclear family structure broken down. We find that the stronger the family is, the stronger the community is. They’ll like that kinda talk. Both socialists and capitalists find something in common there. Only the family in the Soviet Union is biased on principle, and China too. All right, what is it now? What- what is that, uh- what do you- that place you come in the front. What do you call that?
Man 13: The- the place uh- in the front-
Jones: The place where you come into your property there, that- your property up there that- we came off up the road.
Man 13: Oh, oh, that’s uh- a place where we um- raise um, uh, animals and whatnot.
Jones: Where you’re come in off the road, there- you raise animals up there?
Man 13: Oh, oh. Oh, that’s our um, our- our entrance.
Jones: The front entrance. Don’t use gates. We don’t have fences – which obviously we don’t have – we don’t have barbed wire, we don’t have electronic cameras. No way. We don’t have surveillance, we don’t have armed guards. We don’t believe in suicide. We don’t bury people in boxes, and we don’t make people go naked. We never beat anybody. We don’t even believe in any spankings here. The community voted it out, and we don’t. So that- thank you, you may, you didn’t understand what I was saying. (Pause) Okay, never use the word “comrade.” It’s a lovely word, we don’t use it, ’cause the paper got all upset and said that the Guyanese government, one answered them, said “comrade” and they upset him. So that shews- that shows our red, the Inquirer said, that shows our red. (Pause) Do you have money to return if you want to go back to uh, the United States?
Woman 5: Yes.
Jones: (Claps hands once) What is it?
Woman 5: Yes, we do, but mostly everybody here doesn’t want to return to the States ’cause they enjoy-
Jones: I would say-
Woman 5: -they enjoy Jonestown.
Jones: I- I would say – that’s okay – I would say I don’t know anybody here that wants to go back. Don’t say “mostly,” ’cause then they’ll start you open another one. Say, I don’t know anybody here that wants to go back. You understand?
Woman 5: Yes, Dad.
Jones: Okay. The thing is to get your questions over with and be friendly, and chat with them and then if- finally if it gets too heavy, say I’ve got to- you know, different reasons, you can say I got to get back to uh, something I’m doing. I was uh, doing a- a project, I’ve got to go to the bathroom, excuse me. You know- What do you know, natural human things. I believe they do believe socialists piss and crap now and then.
Jones: I doubt it, if they uh, understand that. You’re- you’re pass.
Woman 5: Thank you.
Jones: Why do they call this Jonestown?
Man 14: Uh- One of the ah, local officials named it that way.
Jones: Wasn’t a local, says government official. That’s okay. Governmental official. You say, a governmental official.
Man 14: You think by- (Unintelligible under Jones)
Jones: Don’t say local. Local would mean somebody in Port Kaituma.
Man 14: I see.
Jones: Okay, pass. (Pause) Now tell me, (Pause) what kind of anti-social behavior do you have in this community?
Woman 6: We have very little anti-social behavior. Uh- None as far as I know of.
Jones: You mean to tell me, madam, you don’t have any anti-social behavior at all? Everybody’s perfect here? There’s no- there’s no acting out at all?
Woman 6: We have the squabbles between children and-
Jones: What do you mean, they get in fights?
Woman 6: No, (flustered, unintelligible) I don’t know.
Jones: That’s all right, my dear. Just be more relaxed. Uh- Don’t let them get- get you nerved up. Uh, no, not physical fights anymore. There used to be a few, but uh, since we’ve reinfor- we give rewards for not getting into fights and talk matters out to see that fairness is brought about – please listen – we don’t have any trouble. Okay, pass.
Woman 6: Thank you.
Jones: What’s the biggest health complaint in this community?
Man 15: I haven’t heard any health complaint. Uh- Uh- Funny that you should ask me that. Uh- Most of the people that have come down here has lost weight, and uh, their blood pressure has dropped and uh, they’ve found a new interest in life that uh-
Jones: Be sure to uh, preface that by saying, a lot of our people back there were terribly overweight.
Man 15: Yeah.
Jones: Otherwise a reporter, if he was mischievous – and this one coming is not mischievous, obviously he’s already found a CIA plot against us – but we just don’t take any chances. You understand what I’m saying?
Man 15: Mmm-hmm.
Jones: Be sure you say, well, most of the people were just overweight and that, well that- that’s important to mention. Otherwise- and they’ll hake hay of that, not getting enough to eat.
Jones: And you’re relaxed, and the manner is appropriate. Be relaxed. Be relaxed like you would with a reporter with me. Okay. Next. (Pause) Don’t let them get you nerved. (Pause) (Tape edit) Where um, if you- when you came here, were you told that uh, if you wanted to go back, you could, and if so, how did they tell you you would be able to get back?
Young person: Yes, they said I could and um, if I wanted to go back, they said I was free to leave.
Jones: How are you gonna get back?
Young person: I had my own money.
Jones: Okay, thank you. But- (Pause) Yeah, I would say “we,” not “they.” We make us all “we.” It’s a good point. Say, we discussed that. And (Unintelligible word) If they asked you where your money is- money is? Why do you want to know where my money is for? Just laugh. Say, where’s your money, you know-
Young person: (Unintelligible word)
Jones: You say joking where- where’s your money?
Man in crowd: Anyone want to buy a dollar?
Young person: P- p- p- p- Patty?
Jones: Yeah, yeah, somebody could joke- uh, jokingly, you say you want to bother uh, you want to- you want to borrow a dollar. We don’t need any money here, but uh, we can- I can get you anything you need here. Okay.
Man 16: I was in an industrial accident, but we’ve made safety precautions now to no- to ensure that that will never happen again.
Jones: Oh, it was a cause of safety, lack of safety precautions? You walked in that uh- You shouldn’t have said that.
Man 16: I see.
Jones: Say, I didn’t follow safety precautions, but don’t say that there was lack of safety precautions.
Man 16: I see.
Jones: Be sure you put the onus on yourself. How did it happen?
Man 16: Well, I put too much air in a tire.
Jones: What is it?
Man 18: I put too much air.
Young person: (Unintelligible)
Man 16: I put too much air in a tire.
Jones: Yeah well, I’d- I’d even go so far as to say that- that it occurred before I got here and they’ve been doing repair work, ’cause they are having to do re- repair, and re- relay- lining of your bone. Said I got it straightened out here.
Man 16: That’s true.
Jones: I wouldn’t say it was here. Okay.
Man 16: Thank you, Dad.
Jones: Thank you. All right, uh, what’s your political philosophy, madam?
Woman 7: What’s-
Jones: Your politics?
Woman 7: What’s your political philosophy?
Jones: (Laughs) Pass.
Woman 8: What do you believe about him?
Jones: (Laughs) Well, well- (tape edit) believes in God, don’t they?
Woman 8: Well, I guess they do.
Jones: (Laughs) (coughs) Do you have a- do you believe your uh, leader’s a prophet or something like that?
Woman 8: No, I don’t.
Jones: Well, what’s he mean to you?
Woman 8: Uh, he’s a- He’s a very good friend.
Jones: Oh, excellent. Both you and Belle get uh, extra treat for that when we get them next week back, though- okay, seniors, I said (Unintelligible word) thinking on your feet. Okay, uh- do you believe in healing?
Man 17: I’ve never been healed before.
Crowd: (Laughs, hubbub)
Jones: Well, it wouldn’t be too bad if somebody said that, but I- I think I’d add, I haven’t, but I’ve seen plenty of it, don’t understand it- Our- The pa- What?
Jones: The pastor, the pastor, the- Jim, Jim rather. Jim has uh, has a very good uh, he can do a lot of things that way, but he’s- he’s very- he don’t put much emphasis on that, he- he doesn’t make much of that, he says, let’s go to the doctor. He said, God helps those that help themselves. Okay, okay. Good answer though.
Man 17: Thank you, Jim.
Jones: Say, madam, have you ever seen cancer spit up?
Woman 9: No, I haven’t.
Jones: That’s the proper thing to do. They won’t understand it. They’ll only make mockery of it. Say, but uh, uh, (Stumbles over words) have you ever seen anybody healed of cancer here?
Woman 9: No, I haven’t.
Jones: I’d think I’d say, well, Mrs. Jones has x-rays that uh, showed she had cancer, and even our attorney spoke of that fact. Say we don’t- Again I say, we don’t- That’s not important to me, but she had x-rays showed she had cancer, now she’s got x-rays and- that she had a- they went down with brushes and got the cells out and showed she had them. And now she doesn’t have it. Now you explain that if you will. You’d- That’s what I’d say. You explain it. Say, that’s not important to me. We- we believe in doing all we can medically. You understand? But don’t get into that spitting up business.
Woman 9: Okay.
Jones: Um, they’ll- they just, they just want to make hay with it.
Woman 9: Yes.
Jones: They just want to make hay with it. Okay, thank you. Very good, dear, very good answer. Senior thinking on her feet. (Pause) What- how do you, uh, surely must have to have some kind of patrol to see if people, neighbors don’t come in and rob or wild animals come in and- and do harm, uh, what, what does the community do about that? And then they trick you and say what does your family do about that? And then you catch those words. Don’t let those words pass by. Say what- you mean what the community does? Okay. Now tell me.
Woman 10: You mean what the community does? They have uh, their own uh, patrolmen that they go around and check on everybody, see that everything’s going all right.
Jones: No, no, no, no, no patrolmen. They have a-
Woman 10: Their own-
Jones: They have medical help, they- I think it’s a question they hadn’t thought of. It’s medical- Say, you know we have medical helpers going around night and day to check on people, and they also observe for anything like that, if there was anything that was wrong, but we haven’t had any problems here. Say, we don’t uh- don’t have to lock our doors here. We haven’t had no crimes, no rape, no mugging, so forth and so on. Got that?
Woman 10: Yes.
Jones: ‘Cause we do have medical helpers going around here around the clock. Got that?
Woman 10: Yes.
Jones: Okay. Next, pass.
Woman 10: Thank you.
Jones: That question not had been asked, not had been asked, had not been asked. (Pause) Okay, what kind of a school do you have here?
Woman 11: We have an excellent school at um- we start with- at a very young age with our babies and uh- goes right into uh, nursery care for uh, mothers that want to further their education, and uh, we go right on up into uh, uh, the junior and elementary schools. Excellent, we’ve gotten commended for our excellent educational program here.
Jones: Who commended you?
Woman 11: Ah, some ah, the local officials have.
Jones: (Pause) Okay, now uh, what do you do for your um, ah, do you mean you put children- uh, little children in the school?
Woman 11: This is all voluntary. It’s up to the mother and father if they want to put their children into school, but uh, most parents want to, because it’s such a excellent program, and they have the very best of nursing care, and uh, a trained personnel that knows exactly how to take care of-
Jones: But do they stay all night? Do they stay all night with their- uh, with the school or the nursery?
Woman 11: No, all- all children uh, go home with their parents, just like anywhere else.
Jones: I see. Uh, do- do more than one family of uh, mothers and fathers and children live together?
Woman 11: Well, we have some families that have adopted children, but uh, all families have their own children.
Jones: I see, (Stumbles over words) is there- are there more than one family in the home?
Woman 11: No, uh-uh-
Jones: You might say, well, only- there’re some couples have preferred to have retired and have no children, they- they share homes. You got what I’m saying? Okay, good, not bad, not bad. Okay, where are we now? Uh- Were you promised that uh, that you’d be gi- given help financially from the- the community of the church to return if you wish to return when you came here?
Woman 12: Yes, if I’da- uh, yes. No? (Pause) Oh.
Jones: Oop. You say, I- I got my own money. I’ve got money back there. Some could say, I’ve got money in an account back there. If I want to, I can draw on it, but don’t- I never promised that, and that would be a terrible thing to say, because they’d put us under a great deal of burden and uh, that uh, is a- That’s an error. I’m going to have to give you (Sighs) an extra class for that. Okay?
Woman 12: Thank you.
Jones: That’s a gr- great error. Don’t make that error. You hear? I want it to (Unintelligible word) on your mind. Don’t say I promised you, ’cause I never promised anybody that they would be paid their way back. You could say I got some money. If I want to go, I go. I got relatives that send me money, if I wanted to go. Or I got money of my own. I got money in the bank back in USA. If they start saying where, say, listen man, where do you keep your money? Let’s exchange information, you know. Be kind, but- Although I think (Laughs) better to say, do you need some help? Do you need some help- we’ll- we always take in folk. (Pause) Be creative, in other words. There’s a lot of creativity here. Some of the teachers, teach that in their classroom, will you? Teach the children to be creative, because it sounds so much better if people can come off with something other than a pat answer, the same answer. Oh, it sounds a hell of a lot better, there’s no comparison. All right. What’re you doing here, uh, for Guyana? Do you feel kinda bad that you left USA? Why’d you leave USA?
Man 20: Well, I- I’ve always wanted to come to South America as a child and there was an opportunity. I met Jim teaching school back in the States, and I thought it was a- a- an excellent I- uh, chance for me to uh, to see South America and the chance of traveling all over South America in fact, and uh-
Jones: Oh, you’re gonna travel all over Eur- South America? Where’ve you been?
Man 18: Well, I’ve- I’ve been somewhat in Europe as- as a young person and a-
Jones: Where- Yeah, but where in South America? You- you- did the church give you some idea you gonna get to travel all over South America?
Man 18: No, they hadn’t really, uh- (Pause)
Jones: Now you’re caught, so you’re gonna have to say, yeah, but I got my own money. I’ve- I later can travel if I want to, and uh, I’ve been up and down these rivers and I’ve looked into the nature and it’s- God, this is the most lush place you ever saw in your life. You ought to go out in that jungle, say, it’s absolutely fantastic, the things you see out there.
Jones: Say, you ought to go out there this afternoon. It’s perfectly beautiful.
Woman 13: That’s right.
Jones: And that’ll take care of one reporter. Right?
Jones: (coughs) Okay, it’s enough to pass. Uh- (Pause) Why’d you come over here?
Man 19: Um, I came over here um, my mom and uh, my parents they um, ’cause um, you know how, they heard about it um, so, you know I just I-
Jones: Did they make you come over here?
Man 19: No.
Jones: Why’d you come?
Man 19: ‘Cause um, uh, oh, I heard about it uh, and I understand, you know, my parents, they ah, telling me about it, so I understand them uh, that ah, you know, how Guyana um, um, you know a, like a-
Jones: Don’t try to concentrate on long questions. You don’t have to. Not very many of us that good at it. Uh- You just give the- you can give ’em some quick answer for that, say, well, I wanted to come with them – that’s a good answer – and I liked it when I got here. (Pause) Okay?
Man 19: Yeah um, I, I- we- I wanted to come with them.
Jones: Okay, now tell me, uh, you want to go back to the United States?
Man 19: No, I don’t have no ah, reason to.
Jones: What’s that?
Man 19: No, I don’t have no um- No, I like it here.
Jones: I see. Do you have any trouble when you’re back in the United States?
Man 19: Yeah, but- yes, I had trouble back there but now I don’t.
Jones: Ah, what kind of trouble?
Man 19: Like getting into trouble with the police and the law.
Jones: I see. Was that while you were in your- in the church?
Man 19: No.
Jones: Now, that’s good. You see, the kid’s thinking on his feet. See, don’t let them trap you. Said oh, the church got me out of trouble. Okay, next.
Man 19: Thanks. Thanks.
Jones: I like the way you’re- you’re doing thus far. Okay. What kind of medical care do you get here?
Man 20: Some of the best.
Man 20: I get real good medical care.
Jones: Well, what do they have here? What kind of medical care do they- what kind of things do they have in this medical program of theirs?
Man 20: Oh, well, it depends on whatever you, uh- problem that you have. They might be able to take care of.
Jones: They might be?
Man 20: Yeah, they might.
Jones: Say I, uh- they got some, some program from- for everything here. If they don’t, if it’s a specialist they need, if you need a specialist, they send to you to the best in Georgetown or the best in the world. That’s what the community does for you. (Pause) Do you know the doctor’s [Larry Schacht] not licensed?
Man 20: Yes.
Jones: No, no- No-
Man 20: Yes, I-
Jones: That’s okay. Say, I don’t care whether he’s licensed or not, that’s what I’d say. Course, he is licensed.
Man 20: I don’t care whether he’s licensed or not.
Jones: Say I don’t care, I don’t- he- he- sure, he- we’ve got licensed the- the practitioners, dispensers. We got all we need. And when he does- he has any problem, he consults with other doctors, and he’s getting licensed- or he’s licensed right now by the health department. He’s under license, and under training for full permanent license. You got that? (Pause) So tell me he’s a doctor. He graduated from medical school, you know. Some could say that. No, you don’t have to get into that, I don’t suppose. I’d say, well, I’ll tell you, he’s a mighty fine doctor. I’ve seen what all he does. He does everything, consultation, talks with doctors on that amateur radio, he sends people in. If he’s got any doubts, the doctors in the capital or as far away as the United States, or Surinam or Venezuela. You hear me?
Jones: And that’s the damn truth. I’ve spent, I’ve got a cha- child tonight I’ve got to- we got to decide, we got to tighten up, that’s one reason I’d vote for tomorrow. We’ve got a child here that U.S. never noticed anything about. Is it the Newson- What is the child? What child is it with the bone?
Jones: The bone that will deteriorate the hand after (trails off).
Woman from crowd: Lonnie-
Woman from crowd: Lonnie Newman.
Jones: Lonnie Newman. Any self-respecting doctor at all in the United States would’ve found the situation. Any one. But you gonna take specialized kind of surgery to save his arm. He would’ve ended up a cripple, but no doctor ever bothered to look. It’s obviously what they didn’t do, but we found it here. You understand? A lot of folks say, yeah you want- I want to tell you something. A medi- American medicine’s good, but do you know, we had over thirty some people, some could say twenty- twenty, forty people, uh, that come over here, have been through medical examinations, and by God, you know, they found cancer in their breast here, and they went in, surgeons confirmed it – you always having somebody, this doctor’s confirmed it – and they got them saved. Cancer in the uh, cervical area, the female area if you can’t remember that, and even the rectal area of the male. Say, they give us tests, they give us immunity shots every- right in the town forum meeting, like tonight, we’re giving who- tetanus shots. Say we- they give you immu- immunization I get for everything and we get a three-month medical test. Every one of us gets a three-month medical test. What’s some other things we do back there? (Pause) I wouldn’t say examine breasts in town forum.
Woman 14: Eyeglass repair.
Jones: Eyeglass repair, we do our own eyeglass repair. Then-
Man in crowd: Dental-
Jones: And we can do our own eye checking, but we send people in for fittings. Dental work, and if it takes special dental care, we bring in- pay a dentist to come in here. Say, we’ve several times we paid a dentist- (Calls out) Hear me now. You better not make no ass of yourself on that date. We’ll let you take a trip through the woods, see if you can find a dentist.
Jones: Now you better hear me. That’s all we want, that’s all we want is just to keep some of your traps right now, ’cause you can hurt our people back there, the CIA’s on their ass and they could get ’em framed, put ’em away, they’re trying to frame ’em, and put them up on murder charges of people who never even got murdered. God damn bunch of miserable sons of bitches. (Pause) How do you feel about USA, sir?
Man 21: Oh, I feel it’s all right, for those who want to be there.
Jones: That’s good enough. That’s a good answer. Pass.
Man 21: Thank you, Jim.
Jones: Don’t say anything against the United States, just say- That’s very good. All right, now tell me, uh (Pause) what were you doing with your life before you got here?
Man 22: Um, really nothing. I had no um, plans on doing anything other than feeding myself.
Jones: What was that, sir?
Man 22: Really nothing other than feeding myself, trying to keep a job.
Jones: Any kind of difficulties back in States?
Man 22: Um, small traffic tickets, nothing really big, but uh, I stayed in- in and out of courts with uh, small tickets and stuff.
Jones: Oh, I suspect that somebody could say that, somebody can say that. Most of you ought to say, yeah, I had a lot of problems, I was getting angry from, uh, guy- you always (Unintelligible word) being in gangs, and if you did well in school, you got made fun of by other fellas, and there was always dope, and I was, I’d- some could say I got involved in dope, and here I wouldn’t, wouldn’t have dope if they’d give it to me. Uh- huh? (Pause) You didn’t join a gang, you got shook down, you know, the- the usual. Say- and then somebody could say, my wife and I, we didn’t get along at all, here we uh, we had happiness. We got more time for our child. That type of thing. You understand? Something a little unique to yourself. You follow what I’m saying? (Claps once) Time to read, time to study the news, and that you can say without a shadow of a doubt.
Crowd: (Agrees, laughs )
Jones: What do you know about the news?
Man 23: Today’s news?
Jones: Well, yes, uh, but uh, but there- but there may be a lessening during the- the time they’re here. There will be news, but there may be a lessening. But we’ll still go through testing, ’cause they- they’ll- a lot of people will even be impressed with the fact that we put an emphasis on world news. We just don’t want to say we’re pro-Soviet or we’re pro-Chinese, or we’re against America. You got that? Obviously we’re a cooperative. Obviously we’re practicing a- a- as pure a form of socialism- of socialism as we know, but it’s a nonviolent socialism, and we don’t feel other people are bad who don’t want live the way we do. You follow what I’m saying? (Pause) So where do you get the news?
Man 23: Oh, from the uh, radio, you know and-
Jones: Oh, you got, uh, you got radios?
Man 23: Yes, we have radios.
Jones: And I’d say, newspapers, yes and- and uh, uh, different ones, if they- if we ever have any static that keeps it from getting in, we’ll- they’ll- occasionally people will tell us the news. They’ll put it up on the blackboard, for the highpoints of the news. And they’ll not give one side, they’ll give B- Voice of America, BBC, and uh, they’ll even put down what Radio Moscow says, Radio Peking. Put it down. But normally, say, we listen to Voice of America and (Claps once) BBC. What’s BBC?
Crowd: British Broadcasting-
Jones: British Broadcasting Company. Okay. Thank you. Pass.
(Silence with radio static for several moments)
Man 24: Well, I planned on becoming like a physical therapist.
Jones: Oh, I see. You’re getting trained now in that compartment?
Man 24: Yes, I am.
Jones: You also go to school?
Man 24: Yes, I do.
Jones: What do you do? How- How- do you get uh, in the physical therapy department and also go to school?
Man 24: Well, that’s part of my teaching.
Jones: Oh, I see. Well, that’s good enough. Good. Excellent. Now. (Pause) Uh, how do they feel about having s- uh, how do you feel about having sex before marriage?
Woman 15: I think it’s awful.
Jones: No, no, no. Sounds too religious. I’d say, that’s up to the individual. We- Our community does say that strong- we- our community says- our community says that it- it’s best to wait and- and be- be sure of ourselves because we bring babies. We want to be sure it’s with somebody we want, but uh, we- it’s not- not a matter that we’re too pious to do it, but that’s up to the individual. I haven’t got a right to dictate to other people’s lives. You understand?
Woman 15: Yes.
Jones: For me, I don’t want it that way. I’d rather have it with my partner. Are you married?
Woman 15: Yes.
Jones: Yeah, that’d be the next question that they’d ask you. And I- I’m talking about a hostile press. This is probably as bad, and somebody else might want to get up here and help my voice a little bit. Okay. Next. Or some- maybe some more cramping questions, even harsh questions that I’m getting at. (Pause) What do you do for a, do you have any, what do you do about the arts and the music here?
Woman 16: Well, we have um, entertainment and video tapes, we can come and see them. We have music played entertainment so we can come and see whenever we want to in the evening.
Jones: I see. You have- Don’t you teach music in the cla- schools?
Woman 16: Oh yes, they teach music in the junior high, and the high schools, and in the- in the elementary-
Jones: What kind of artwork- artwork did they teach?
Woman 16: They have crafts, they have uh, clay art, make bowls and things out of.
Woman 16: Macramé, oil paints.
Jones: All right, that’s good. You all get that? You better listen to this, ’cause you’re gonna get it on writing. Your going get this test on writing, so all of you better be listening to this. You gonna get this on writing Tuesday. Can’t go no later. We’ll have our paper then. Hear me now, hear me now, hear me now. Okay. (Pause) Do you have a band or an orchestra here?
Man 25: Ah, yes, we do, in a-
Jones: What do they do with them- what do they do with the- do they just play for this group here, I mean just for the community?
Man 25: No, they don’t, they uh, play for in- in uh, Georgetown in ah- Uh-
Jones: Shhh. Don’t talk, please. Oh, they do? How do they get there?
Man 25: Uh- On the, the boat.
Jones: Uh-uh. I’d say, well, sometimes they go by air, or they go by boat. Isn’t enough room on the boat – and there’s not – some of us go by air. Don’t give the idea that we have to travel under any restriction. ‘Cause we don’t. We sent people to the airport today, travel alone. You understand what I’m saying?
Man 25: Yes.
Jones: (Claps once) ‘Cause they’ll- they’ll- they’ll- they’ll pick at anything if you’ve got an enemy. Follow? Okay. Next.
Man 25: Yeah, thank you.
Jones: And you also should say, the band, yes, is popular, one of the most popular bands in- in Guyana. That’s a matter of record. And it plays up the river at Mombaruma. (Phonetic) (Pause) Uh- Tell me how do you feel about Guyana’s (Unintelligible word) government?
Man 26: Uh- it’s a fine government. I don’t know uh- (Pause) I feel uh, they’re doing some beautiful things uh, you know, for the, for the country.
Jones: Well, what do you feel about this referendum? It’s been said that the referendum was rigged, that- that p- give them a, a new con- constitution. They call it a socialist constitution, but what do you think about that, sir?
Man 26: Well, I- I like it, what I heard over the news that it was uh, they had an election and the people voted for it.
Jones: All I can say – and I’d say – all I can say about this is, sir – that’s right, that’s good – all and all I can say is, you got plenty of freedom here. Nobody’s ever interfered with our freedoms. People free around the community. All I see and all the people, they’re free, they’re free to criticize the government. You got this? (Unintelligible word) Another question you want to come up with, come up with it. Okay. Thank you. Tell me, uh, uh, what is the uh, party that’s in power here in this government?
Man 27: Uh, the Peoples National Congress-
Jones: What, uh, what kind of a party is it?
Man 27: Uh- It’s a cooperative government.
Jones: Ex- excellent, it’s a cooperative government. That’s what they- How do you- how do you feel about the- that go- cooperative government? Doesn’t it uh, doesn’t ah, (Stumbles over words) how, how is it, how does it feel towards, uh, how does this government feel towards the United States?
Man 28: Uh, the government maintains relations with the United States and-
Jones: You say, I don’t know all ah, about foreign policy, but they always speak well of the United States here, something like that, do you hear? You’re not supposed to be an expert on that. Uh, well, what do you feel about them taking over there all- all the- the sugar and the bauxite and that kind of thing, nationalizing it? Isn’t that some kind of form of socialism?
Man 28: Um, I don’t know all about the industry of Guyana, but (Pause) I think that the Guyanese should own their own industry.
Jones: Said, yes, that’s what I say. All countries own their own industries. Don’t we in the United States? You got what I’m saying? We don’t, but uh, the U.S. sure wouldn’t let no foreign company control their big corporations. You understand what I’m saying? We don’t, the people don’t, whereas here in Guyana, we the people do, but don’t let them get you trapped in that political business. (Pause) Ah, why aren’t there more Guyanese people here?
Man 29: We do have Guyanese people here. We have um-
Jones: I’d say, we’re gonna have a lot more, ’cause there’re folk dating Guyanese, but we’re trying to build uh, extra housing and we only have a few families now and several children, several children. That sort of thing. (Pause) And how many housing units? I don’t know exactly, goodness knows I don’t know, but we’re getting- I know we’re building over a hundred more. You say they can see it on the wall in there, the design the uh, on the uh, wall of the pavilion where they’re building their houses, building a lot of new things. And say, that’s one of our first things. We’ll be bringing Guyanese in to uh, assimilate. We want this very strongly. Total assimilation, total mixing, and that’s one of our chief goals. We almost took a Guyanese woman in this week, but she just a little too promiscuous, and we were fearful that we wouldn’t have the time to give her the counsel support that she needs, although I think it might be discussed in council, and get a little more background on her. She wants to give us her baby. She wanted to give us her baby, and wants to live here too. And I- I see at this stage, while we’re trying to get our people freedom, that’s a little- little risky. You have to take it (voice trails off). Say, we- and we do. Say, we’re interviewing- I would say also- Here, here, here, here, here! We’re interviewing Guyanese right now, we have a, a waiting list, and we’re interviewing Guyanese for whether they want to live in a cooperative lifestyle. Say, obviously anybody living here would wan- would have want- would not be happy unless they liked living in a cooperative lifestyle. You understand what I’m saying? (Calls out) Wake up. (Moderates tone) Thank you. You pass. (Pause) Uh, can you go to Georgetown and work if you want to?
Man 30: Yes, you could.
Jones: Yes, I could.
Man 30: Yes, I could.
Jones: Uh, well uh, do you like living out in the country where you- Didn’t you come from a city?
Man 30: (Pause)
Jones: You’re pausing too much. You’re pausing too much, hesitating too much. Can’t do it, son. Can’t do it. What do you- What do they do for punishment?
End of side one
Jones: Well, if you- what- what does a guy like you like the- the country here. You don’t have a nightlife, you don’t have any of the ah, enter- entertainment, do you, that the ordinary uh, uh, city has?
Man 30: Yes, I have- I have enit- I have entertainment- I have entertainment.
Jones: What kind of entertainment do you have?
Man 30: Well, I have- I have- we have a, a, a orchestra that plays for us every- every- every evening.
Jones: Well, don’t you miss television, that sort of thing, and movies?
Man 30: We- we have- we have television here, we get to watch uh, any movie we wanted to.
Jones: That’s good. Uh- You ought to mention some sports, and say, and I like playing football. Now that’s one thing we’re safe in playing here, isn’t it?
Man 30: Right.
Man 31: And you also see more movies-
Man 30: Softball.
Man 31: More movies than you ever saw.
Man 30: Volleyball-
Jones: Now you could easily say that. Say, (Laughs) I know some of you- Say, I, I’ve seen more movies here than I’ve ever see. And free.
Woman in crowd: Right.
Jones: Now, I know some of you ha- you have to say that (laughs). Don’t mention you take notes on them. Although if anybody was a s- half decent capitalist, they’d appreciate that. People who build a soc- a society have to be educated. Okay. Pass, son. Oh, by the way, what kind- Did you have trouble before you came here? (tape distorts, last portion of tape repeats). People who build a soc- a society have to be educated. Okay. Pass, son. Oh, by the way, what kind- Did you have trouble before you came here?
End of tape
Tape originally posted February 2005