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(Note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Woman: Test, test, one two, testing, testing, testing, testing.
(Mike Prokes’ voice taped over woman’s voice)
Prokes: Greetings from the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project from Jonestown near Port Kaituma of the Northwest District in Guyana. Music you’ve been hearing is by the Jonestown Express and one of the several senior choirs. I’m Mike Prokes and I’m here with Jim Jones, the founder and administrator of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project. Jim, I thought you might like to review some of the things that have been happening in Jonestown, including some of the recent prominent visitors we’ve had here.
Jones: Yes, we’ve had a number of people who have come to our satisfaction, and gone through the community with a thorough, microscopic eye. We wanted them to do this because there’re people who do not understand collective living or cooperative living, and they went away extremely impressed. Doctor Mark Lane, who’s written such books as Rush To Judgment, and Doctor Don Freed, who’s also written The Innocence about the Rosenbergs [Ethel and Julius Rosenberg] and Who Killed RF Kennedy [Who Killed RFK]. They make it their purpose to look into uh, various groups that uh, receive harassment, and we have had our share of harassment. We have not been in any way desirous of making a big issue of that. What we want was a inquiry, and it’s been– it’s to our satisfaction, because the truth always comes out in the end. We wanted them to be able to report what they saw. We had uh, uh, Doctor Paul and Doctor [Carlton] Goodlett, two that I had mentioned. President of the National Newspaper Publishers who owns several newspapers, Ph.D., medical doctor, and he said he was overwhelmed. In fact all of them said they were going to retire in beautiful Guyana, because they said they had never seen such a thrilling environment and thrilling community as Jonestown here in the Northwest District.
We are in love with uh, Guyana. And we hope that we can do more. We’ve just achieved some new breakthroughs. We found some inherbal remedies, and even one of the remedies were used by Doctor Goodlett himself that had brought down an edema, swelling that he had had for some years. We’ve had uh, some success, to say the least, in uh, making small industries uh, such as dolls and things of that– bunny rabbits uh, for the Christmas season that will help with our free clinic, as people come in by large numbers, and we of course operate on the basis of no monetary system. We don’t condemn those who do. Other cooperatives work very well who use a monetary system. I gather from what I’ve heard from various socialist countries who have visited us, or we have visited, that we’re one of the few where there is absolutely no monetary system in dealing with each other internally. And anyone who comes in to our clinic uh, gets all the free medicines that they need. It’s a heavy burden, and so we attempt to make up for that by uh, sales of our clothing. We– we’re clothing manufacturers. We are s– also good uh, toy makers, and make various furnitures, and we’re getting into other ideas all the time.
We’re into bricks now. We hope that we found something that will be helpful to the cooperative republic of Guyana in uh, building uh, brick houses. We think we have the potential of building a brick house a week and we’re in our long landscape or our long range view for Guyana uh, for Jonestown, (clears throat) and we intend to build a hundred and one new dwellings. Not that we’re bringing that many more people in, but we want to give that more– more expansion. More Guyanese are integrating in our community every day, and that’s a thing that makes us feel very good. We are Guyanese, but I say neighboring Guyanese.
We also are making our own soap, and that we’ve refined to the degree that it– I find it– I even shave with it. I find it to be very satisfactory in every sense of the word. We’ve had a number of other celebrated people come through, but I don’t just happen to remember them. I think we’re due to have a visit from some uh, Hollywood actors and a couple of movie companies who are fascinated by Jonestown to film it thoroughly and to live with us for some time, and that’s the way you can only– the only way you can catch the spirit of Jonestown. We are deeply appreciative of Guyana for allowing us to exist and to build along these pacifistic and socialist lines that we have found so satisfying.
Prokes: (tapes has echo in question) What significance beyond just the vacation uh, did the visits of Doctor Lane and Doctor Goodlett and Doctor Freed have? I know Doctor Freed, who incidentally referred to Jim Jones yourself as a saint, said that he wanted to bring anthropologists and sociologists and uh, even psychologists here. What is it that makes him want to do that?
Jones: Well, I think it’s a social phenomena where you find, uh, as Doctor Lane said– after a few days he was struck in awe by the fact he never heard anyone raise their voice to someone else. Well, it was a factor that I had not observed but it does– it does exist. People are calm. Now– We are non-violent people, the community forum voted out from the beginning we don’t spank and uh, we reason and logic and uh, I think he finds it an unusual phenomenon.
Now about this saint business, I am sure that I am not a saint. It’s a compliment and I appreciate that, but I would think that uh, any anthropologist or sociologist would have uh, uh, real uh, insight from seeing Jonestown. In a world where two out of three babies are going to go to bed hungry, undoubtedly many are going to have to learn to live on collectives, or cooperatives as the socialist government here called them. I– I think too they need to realize it’s not unpleasant. If one lives in them and sees the benefits that you get, medical care, the recreation. Here we have this video television, tape television of the best television in the world and uh, dances, you know and all sorts of sports. Chess, uh, volleyball, soccer, football, softball, baseball, basketball, and they have a great library of thousands of books, and a tremendous medical staff here in the seventies, working very cooperatively, teaching others in a– the style of uh, some socialist around the world to learn as much as they can about uh, examinations, physical exams so it can be– they can be conducted by many. That way you catch things in time. We were shocked at the number of people who had gone through fine medical institutions, when they went through our own in– very intensive medical examinations and therapies by our practitioners and the MD, that they’d overlooked things that could have meant death. So how people can live together without strife and be every race under the sun represented. We have– You name the race that we don’t have. I can’t think of any. Chinese, we have Amerindian, East Indian, we have uh, Native American Indian of the North, from North America, Chief who has gone to a great history, and we are trying to keep his language alive here. He’s a Pomo, along with the uh, other languages that we are studying, which are diverse. We study many, many languages here. Uh, I would think that anyone would want to know how can this be and how can it work so easily? Certainly there’s a strain to get it started, and I feel that. I felt that, but you see leadership growing and taking responsibility, and we’re going to have to learn to live this way. Some segments of the world. That doesn’t mean everyone can live this way or to impose it upon everyone. But obviously when people are going to bed hungry, we’re going to have to learn a lot about collective and cooperative living.
Prokes: When you expressed the idea of wanting to build a community in this fashion, some people thought the idea was crazy, taking people from such diverse backgrounds and putting them in the middle of the jungle and trying to get them to live harmoniously in peace and productively with all their needs met, as is happening here. What– what is the key to this uh, beyond cooperative living? Is it the fact that you mentioned before? There’s no money exchanged and thus no human exploitation as a result, or what it– can you put your finger on?
Jones: Meanness is ex– extemporaneous and uh, impromptu. I’m not probably capable of giving you the quickest uh, answer or perhaps the most precise. I think that there is a lack of competition, that people relax when they realize that they’re working cooperatively for things. When we do things here, if we increase production, we have a feast. We have some new movies or– then there are individual achievements too. Books, traveling to Georgetown, uh, scholarship later for university.
But I think for the most part what has happened to the youth can happen to anyone in the large industrial sectors. The cities are asphalt jungles filled with dope, gangs, all sorts of alienation. Joblessness, so youth resort to crime and uh, seniors are not even safe to walk down the street to cash their Social Security checks. Uh– We read that in the most prestigious magazines. It’s inconceivable at first to be in a community where you don’t have to lock your door because no one steals and it– for a little while, some who came that had been accustomed to stealing, that was their way of life, they found themselves stealing silly things like toothbrushes, (stumbles over words), soap, you know, and what was the point of it? After a while they found out everybody has enough soap, everybody has enough uh, toothbrushes. And we reason with people. We find a very logical basis of uh, dealing with people’s problems. I– I couldn’t give you all the answers but I can say this: we’re not experts or geniuses, so if we can make a cooperative work, it can be done all over the world because you’re taking people from a system, a society that emphasized competitive struggle and a great deal of alienation existed, and a lot of these youth had tremendous backgrounds of self-destruction, and now we have no anti-social problems at all. So I believe in the cooperative life. It doesn’t work for the other person? It certainly works for us at Jonestown.
Prokes: Thank you, Jim. We’ve run out of time, but we’ll be back again, next week at this same time. Until then, we invite you as always to write us or call us. Our phone number in Georgetown is 68787. Our address is Post Office Box 893. On behalf of Comrade Jim Jones and all of us here in Jonestown, all the best.
(Several moments of silence)
Prokes: Greetings, family. This is Mike Prokes, and I’m here with our leader who we refer to as Dad here, and we are looking out over the Jonestown community which has grown by leaps and bounds, and all the modern conveniences that you could imagine. As Doctor [Walter] Thain was here recently, he said it’s like a town in the USA with all the public conveniences. I’d just like to have Dad describe some of the things that’ve been done lately and tell about the visitors we’ve had and what those of you who are– still have the– uh, still have the unfortune [misfortune] to have to be there can expect when you get here.
Jones: We are looking out over Jonestown, by the way, my beloved family, at four-thirty in the morning, and the nights are so delightful because they’re just right for sleeping. Breezes, gentle and all that lovely perfume of the flowers about us, and the daytime the same. This is a land that doesn’t know earthquakes. It doesn’t know typhoons or tornadoes or any natural disaster. I looked out over our tables and chairs here in the theater that’ve been made by us. We’re into the doll-making. I look over to my left, I see Ruby [Jewell Carroll] still supervising the evening shift of uh, doll-making. We’re making dolls and uh, bunnies and things of that sort for Christmas that’s going to help the project, because we need all the help we can get. We’ve adopted a number of little children who’ve been brought, some of them, miles thruogh the most gorgeous creeks. The people in Venezuela even, where they didn’t know– uh, they didn’t know uh, anything about medicines like we do.
Guyana is a modern and a deeply rich country. We have, you know, our small boat and the bigger boat that we lease. Small boat we send back and forth nearly weekly with people from the neighborhoods for medical purposes where Dr. [Larry] Schacht can’t do the surgery. He does most anything though anymore. He’s becoming a powerful doctor, and we’re developing what we call the barefoot doctor after the socialist example, and that is that everyone will be able to examine under that program, everyone for all major illnesses. The reason for that is that we’ve had too many people arrive from the States here, and I want you to go and get those exams and be sure you have. We have– and not be just content with one. We’ve had too many arrive here with diseases after they’d gone through the best medical so-called centers in USA, and mostly those diseases we’re talking to about is cancer.
To talk about Jonestown would take a lifetime. We’re making soap. Etta Thompson looks like she’s regained youth. Life has been renewed. It looks like aging in many instances has been turned back. She’s being assisted by the new white sister who just came and joined the family, Sister [Donna] Stanfield. And (clears throat) you name the activity, and we have it here. Bananas everywhere– we don’t have our yards like ordinary people do. We– Why should we, when we can grow pineapples and bananas or coffee trees in them and they all blossom. Or lemon or lime or tangerine or orange or grapefruit or breadfruit. You can go on and on and on, not to mention that delicious eddoes and oh, I love the– the cassava which we make our bread out of. And from that also comes a– a– a base that can make (unintelligible word) and a medication for athlete’s foot. And oh, our tasty bread. You can smell off in the bakery section out here going on quarter of five nearly in this uh, Sunday morning. I’m making this rather rapidly to go back with Jean [Brown]. You’ll see how beautiful Guyana is, to see how pale she looked and how well she looks now that she’s gone back.
The miracles, the miracles, the miracles. We’ve had so many this week, I can’t even count them all. A ship was lost at sea, and I prophesied it was all right. But it looked like it was total disaster, but in spite of the fact that uh, there were some broken parts, they got home safely, just as the words spoken brought it about.
Prokes: They saw a light, they said, that uh, flashed twice and then disappeared, but they followed the direction of that light, and that’s what led them back.
Jones: That’s indeed true. All things are possible to them that believe. Now you’re learning from people who are intellectuals like Dr. Mark Lane who’s written Rush To Judgment and Doctor Don Freed, Who Killed RFK, Robert Kennedy, and Innocence, a book on the frame-up of Rosenbergs. Now you’re beginning to see how much a frame-up all this has been. All the lies. Truth will come out in the end. You can press it down and beat it down, but finally truth does triumph.
This is a community not only where we ridiculously don’t eat rice. I can’t see anything but bananas right now from my left out through the windows of the theater, and we have all kinds of bananas. Not only is that stupid, but we have thousands of chickens, hundreds of pigs and the same of beef cattle. We’re not producing quite as much milk with the beef cattle we want to yet, so we’re going to mix them a little bit more, and breed them a little bit more. But you’ll see– Brother [Richard] Parr will be back. He has seen this glorious example of unity as it was on the day of Pentecost when they brought their possessions and had all things common.
We’ve had remarkable healings like Sister [Rosa Lee] Peterson, who had been given up with cancer, and cancer was all through her body and they gave her up to die and she now lives, made whole because she knew from whence came her strength. She knew that her Redeemer lived and stood on the latter day on this earth. We’ve had the remarkable blessed and wonderful things that have happened that uh, go beyond uh, human imagination to describe. Julius Evans and [Sandra Evans] his wife’s child fell off the house and was a vegetable for life, they said, medically. I said, “no.” And in a moment, the child was restored. So we have all these beautiful healings, and I could just go on and on. Ava Inghram went up to uh, had an infection that she’s had some problem with for years. She went up to the point where her brain should have been baked. I said, “It– It’ll come down, she’ll be normal.” She had not the slightest bit of damage, though she had over a hundred and six degree temperature this week.
I– I won’t go back many weeks. If I went back many weeks, it would tell– I could give you a thousand miracles, to say the least. Trees falling on people, explosion in a garage. ‘Cause people at first didn’t learn the safety precautions that they’re now following. We’ve got really good safety committee and tremendous follow-through in that order. But Tommy Beikman was blown to pieces, his body just a shamble of bones and his eyes blinded and his body just looked like something that had been crushed by a steamroller. But I spoke the word and Tommy is every (unintelligible word) whole. Yes, there’s the (draws out word) same redeemer, and he lives and he does work miracles, the same liberator, the same great non-violent social revolutionary.
You couldn’t see the end of Jonestown. I look over here, I see one apartment building oh, what, uh, nearly half a mile. I can look further down and I can see buildings a mile away. And I can look through over by our schools, past our library, and see buildings as far as a mile and a half away. And then if I turn around in my chair, I see all that remarkable medical facility, laboratory, x-ray and the warehouse, the tool and die shop, the machine shop, the furniture-making shop, the woodshop, uh, what can I not mention? The bakery, herbal kitchen, yes, the chemical lab where they test foods and test funguses that uh, we get on plants to see they don’t spread, and test disease. We have had such remarkable results. Like Mother [Marceline Jones], who somehow, the enemy had given her cancer. I also had been diagnosed with cancer, but I didn’t see fit to lay down my body. No man takes my life from me, because it was written long ago by Jesus that these things shall you do and greater, because I go away, so obviously if he said no one took his life from him, I’m not going to let anyone take my life away from me, and I’m reporting to you the victory that’s in the name of Christ socialism. It has never failed us yet, and to the doctor’s amazement, but not to mine, I have no cancer.
You’d be surprised to see people. You should look at the pictures of some who were due for strokes. Over a hundred people have lost their blood pressure problem. An– nother two dozen have lost their sugar diabetes. Kay Nelson couldn’t eat any sugar at all while having it in her urine and her blood. She eats anything she wants now, our fudge and our pies, and I’m telling you, you never ate anything like the pastries that come out of this bakery.
It’s a remarkable place to be able to look as far as your eye can see, and see peace and your land and to have tranquility and justice. To live in a country where people are not judged by race, creed or color, but are judged on the basis of their commitment to social justice, to egalitarianism, to socialism. Yes, it’s a fantastic community, and you’ll love it. You’ve got everything you need. Our circuit television here brings the best of movies, and people who do extra things for the community get special books and trips to Georgetown and special extra things they want to have made for them. It’s a remarkable community, and you have no doubt wondered, has it been worth it all? Not only has it been worth it all, it’s worth ten times what you paid. Everything we ever took, we put right to use here. They could never make that accusation, could they? They tried everything about lying on all sorts and varieties, but they never could say Jim Jones took the people’s money, and nobody can say it now, when they look out over these thousands of acres and sees all kinds of buildings– soap factories, brick factories, making– able to now nearly make a brick house a week. Garment factories and various other household industries, so we can make funds to help liberate you quicker.
No, you know the truth. I told you long ago that, enjoy the good days from the press, because the press was the arm of the– it was the very arm that smashes the opponents of the ruling class. And we are in opposition to the ruling class. We are the liberators. We never recommended violence but peace. Our way was to help people out of drugs and criminality and gangs, and we saved the US people tens of m– millions of dollars in taxpay– taxpayer dollars, but that doesn’t matter, because there are elements in society that feed on dope even if it has to drug– destroy the minds of our children, and elements in society that feed on our young women being prostitutes, and elements that feed upon our young, our seniors being mugged. Can you imagine a community that stretches two, three, four miles across that doesn’t have any crime? Where a child’s never spanked? I don’t care what the liar [Debby Blakey] said. She was probably turned into a culprit by her old drug habits. Very easily done and the CIA played plenty of tricks when you go into the capital, and she stayed in the capital for about three months. But we’re way out here, in the midst of paradise, Shangri-La. You can’t hardly get people to go to town. Several had to go to town tomorrow to sign some affidavits against these liars, (unintelligible words) these conspirators– conspiracies so we can take them to court, and it was like pulling teeth to get these people to go on that boat. (Emphatic sentence) They just did not want to go whatsoever. So, I’m looking forward to your working, en– enduring and doodling– doing like we do. We’re doing extra things now, especially so that you can get here sooner and be with us, because this is a little bit of heaven. I never dreamed it could be so heavenly as it is, and I’m sure I speak for the over a thousand that are here. And to my– my knowledge right now, I don’t know anyone that– where there’s a sick one amongst us. No one passing in the meeting tonight. We have a People’s Rally each week where we discuss the business. We don’t have to go through all the folderol of churchanity. Healing is automatic. I just send the word, and healing takes place, but I didn’t see a one in the meeting tonight that was not smiling and beaming and in perfect health. So, you knew, and I knew in time, we’d win. It’d come out. Fascism had to try its best to destroy us, because we were a light and we’re still a city set on the hill which cannot be hid.
Prokes: It’s no wonder after seeing this community that Dr. Donald Freed who is a very sensitive man and certainly one of the most articulate that we’ve met, called our Dad a saint and said that he wants to see sociologists and psychologists and anthropologists come here and study this community. And it’s no wonder that Dr. Goodlett, who has long been our friend said, “I have lived today in the future.” And the same with Mark Lane, the prominent attorney and investigator of conspiracies, who said this community is beyond one’s imagination, and you could go on and on with the descriptions given by our visitors, such as the head of the Guyana Livestock Corporation [Peter Fernandes], who said “this is the purest egalitarian community I’ve ever seen.” And he’s traveled all over the world. And the same with an embassy, high embassy official, who said this is the– the purest form of egalitarianism he had seen throughout the world. And it’s just no wonder, once you’ve seen it, and we can’t wait for you to come. You don’t know what you’re missing. Pictures can’t tell the story.
Jones: No way, but I will tell you one thing. The liars and deceivers that have risen up to touch this movement, they are the ones that will lose in the end. They can’t possibly tell such wild-haired schemes and lies without being shown up. People are here, you see? They know. Nobody is want– trying to get out of here. We have no fences. We’ve got all kinds of walkways that go right to the road and to the free– rail– railway track. You can go down and catch any boat. Our boat’s leaving in a little bit now. Our people go on the boat forty and fifty a week some time, take care of one matter or another.
No, they’re too ridiculous, and though Mr. [Tim] Stoen and some like that have tried. Truth on our side. They’re the ones that have so much to lose because they’re trying to maintain a false image. They’re trying to live something that they cannot be and be pure and be good. There’s only one way to save a world where there’s two out of three babies going to bed hungry, and that’s through socialism.
And you remember now, be careful. Don’t listen to those people that come along uh, with their different voices and say, “Oh, we’re going to make changes.” If you read your own Penthouse magazine, not long ago, Playboy too, you read where [Zbigniew] Brzezinski, the Chief Security Aide, the Chief Advisor to the president, [Jimmy] Carter, is actually the ruling force of the United States. He represents the top of the Trilateral Commission. That multi-national conglomerate had picked both presidential candidates. So you don’t have a president that represents you. You don’t have a government that represents you. As [Thomas] Jefferson said, “If the government did not represent the people, it was the duty and the right– not only the right but the duty of the people to alter or abolish it.” They said any government that lasted more than a score of years sh– should probably be overthrown. But we’re non-violent and we’re not recommending that. We’re recommending to come out from amongst the unclean thing, because you know they don’t care. All around you, you see what’s happening, you see the food crisises, the unemployment, the cutbacks like Proposition 13 and now they’re getting ready to do a federal-level one.
Don’t listen to these voices. The system will remain the same. As Dr. Goodlett once said, “You can change the faces and you can change names and call them Republican and Democrat, but it’s two sides of the same coin, two complexions of the same old capitalist erection.” Remember the enemies of socialism are revisionism, Trotskyism, uncalled-for violence, anarchy, doing your own thing like some of you’ve done and you’re going to feel so guilty that you didn’t put more of your money and time here because we’ve had people cry when they reached this ground and kissed it because it’s like a Mecca, it’s a holy ground. They said, “Oh, if I’d only saved more and not wasted so much.” So I’m sure that you’re not going to get involved with revision– revisionism and decide that there’s anything better than so– socialism, pure sharing. It’s the only answer to us folk anyway. We don’t have enemies because they don’t agree with us. That’s other people’s right to live their style, and certainly you know that social democracy – the voting process – is not going to bring the change. So why don’t you get out from a– amongst the unclean thing and start getting your house in order, and don’t look back like Lot’s wife to Sodom and Gomorrah. Make every penny you can make while you can, cooperate with all your workers, coordinators, like Leona [Collier] and the other many good people, and listen to the words that Mother’s spoken so wisely. She’ll be coming back and forth, and who knows when you may be seeing me because this is a Universal Principle. Here I am, and there I am, and the world cannot hinder. The world did not make me. The world did not create me. The world did not shape this socialist concept – the word made flesh – and the world cannot take it away. Don’t have any fears about rumors or suggestions that things are any way negative, just laugh. I told you it would be so. I said they that live goodly in Christ– what’s Christ mean? The anointed, the revolutionary Jesus, the revolutionary body. I said, they that live Godly in that– goodly in that revolutionary body shall suffer persecution. They’ll say all manner of things against you falsely, for the namesake. What is the namesake? Why, it’s socialism. The day of Pentecost, that’s all they built. They sold their possessions and had all things common. That’s socialism. That’s what the church was about. Jesus Christ established his church upon that foundation. The first thing after they’re in there from a union and baptism with fire, was they went out and sold their possessions, brought them to the apostle’s feet and shared and had all things common. We know why we’re being persecuted. Let them bay at the moon, the little dogs bay at the moon. They cannot stop this fire. It’s alive here, and we mean no harm to anyone. We’re not going to be involved in any violent activity. (Ministerial cadence) We are peace-loving people. But you cannot put out the light of socialism. It sprung up everywhere and every day you look at it, children, it’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And no matter how many corrupt alliances are made, or how many kind of patchworks are made in the systems that don’t believe in sharing, s– it will come tumbling down, because the truth is that God is love and love is socialism, and it shall prevail. That cannot be denied. I wanted to tell you at this hour of five o’clock in the morning, I am in good health. This leaves me in the best of mind and spirit. The same power is in this name. So call on it and run into that power and follow what I told you to do, to go forth and shed your– shed that old system. Shake the dust from your feet and march forward, and don’t look backward and run into the ark of safety while you have time, because I know who is that shelter in the time of storm, and you know also.
Prokes: From Dad and all of us here in the beautiful community he’s built for us, hurry home, family. You don’t know what you’re missing. You just don’t know. Our love to all of you.
End of tape
Tape originally posted March 2009