Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
(Several moments of silence)
Jones: (Conversational) I have some information about Peoples Temple that might be of interest to the public. Uh, I uh—
Child: I uh—
Jones: I find— I’ve heard a lot about Peoples Temple’s programs, and they uh, seem to be doing, ah, the good work. However, I hear you have a— (Pause) different point of view. If you (unintelligible word)— ask uh, giving— sharing some of your views for my story.
Male: (Unintelligible word). Who do you write for?
Jones: It’s a good point.
Male: Free lance.
Jones: Well, free-lance writer, but I’ve got an opportunity to getting in— into uh, someplace where there’s no Rolling Stone.
Female: Who is it?
Jones: (Unintelligible word) little chance to get into the Rolling Stone, isn’t it, didn’t you say they were gonna send it to us?
Male: Yeah. Yeah. Who uh—
Jones: Had them even in the McClatchy chain. (Low voice) Actually, I don’t think McClatchy write a damn thing.
Male: How’d you find out about me and—
Jones: (Offhand) Well, I don’t know, you say, (Unintelligible phrase) reporter’s sources. You can say it was very confidential, sir. Um, but uh, it was someone who’s friendly to you, and said you’d befriended them, they were ex-members of the church. (Pause) Said you’d defended some ex-members.
Male: So I wonder (Unintelligible phrase).
Prokes: So, what are we supposed to (Unintelligible word)?
Jones: Well, find out what the fuck he will say to the press. I don’t think he pointed to me last night when we were discussing downstairs, it made me nervous. One thing I thought it lodged in my brain, (Unintelligible phrase), [David] Conn’s still out there. Now, it’s all right if he’s out there fuckin’ around with Biros (phonetic), because Biros— they have to— they don’t uh— they don’t make their determinations through the forum of the press.
Jones: But if the fucker gets really bizarre with this impassioned hatred, I was talking to newsmen like a magpie, we got us some problems.
Marceline: What have we heard from him, where is he?
Male: Somebody’s got his address. That’s all.
Recording: —Office, office will be open Monday morning at 8 A.M. If you’d like to activate the (Unintelligible name— Stapleton?) — the address is, Post Office Box 53757, Admiral, 28305. Or if you’d like to leave a message, you may do so at the sound of the tone. Thank you for calling.
(Balance of side one is blank)
End of side one
Unidentified Male: Who is it? Whose letter? Who is it?
Another male: (Unintelligible)
Prokes: (on phone) Uh, what letter did they print?
Male: Huh? (Pause)
Prokes: What was it in regards to, do you remember?
Male: To a column somebody (Unintelligible word). Oh, it was in the Sentinel, that’s where I read it. That’s right.
Prokes: The Sentinel?
Prokes: (Undertone) The Sentinel. Is that right?
Male: ‘S a gay paper, that’s—
Prokes: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they uh, had us in this column as a— what the heck they call us— something—
Male: Well, they’re supported fascists or someone—
Prokes: Yeah. It was absurd.
Prokes: Is— is— they had two columns, one says “On the Right,” and the other says “On the Left.”
Prokes: One week they had us as fascists, I guess, on the right, and then the next week, they praised us (laughs) in the column that said “On the Left.”
Male: “On the Left,” yeah.
(Both laugh over each other)
Male: All in the point of view—
Prokes: The ve— The very next week.
Male: It’s all in the point of view. (Laughs)
Prokes: That’s too much. Well, that— that says something, I guess.
Prokes: Well, okay, I won’t take—
Male: Okay. See you soon.
Male: Take care. Don’t work too hard.
Prokes: Oh. You too. Bye.
Part 4: Phone conversation between Mike Prokes and Mr. James
Prokes: Mr. James?
Prokes: This is Mike Prokes. I’m an associate minister to Reverend Jim Jones.
Prokes: Can I help you?
James: Right. Well, I was trying to get a— a— a interview with the reverend for two reasons.
James: One, uh, to acquaint him with the Post Street Academy, some of the types of things that we’re doing.
James: Okay, which I–— I— I know he already know about us.
Prokes: Yeah, he does.
James: Okay, and the third one is to try to develop some kind of outreach program between our kids and uh, some of the types of things that’s happenin’ over there. I think it’s about time for us to try to do that kind of thing.
Prokes: Very good.
James: Namely, uh, what we were thinking of, was uh, just probably something joint, uh, recreation or culture type activities during the summertime—
James: —and uh— and uh— maybe uh, just some, some joint dances or something like that.
Prokes: I see.
James: Is that okay? And then, uh, I went and I met with the Mission Rebels, which is next door to you—
James: Okay, about getting them to allow us to use their facilities (Pause) to do some things like that.
James: And so, they were very happy about that idea.
Prokes: Very good.
James: You know—
Prokes: Yeah. Uh, let’s see. Forgot what I was going to ask you. Uh— Reverend Jones right now is uh, in our agricultural mission.
Prokes: And uh, he’s there uh— now I think he’ll be there for uh— I hope for a couple of more weeks. He’s recuperating. I don’t know if you knew he had a collapse when he was—
James: Yeah, I read about it in the paper.
Prokes: Yeah, and he’s going— undergoing a series of tests which he should’ve really had a long time ago.
Prokes: And uh—
James: But I could’ve— could work just as easily with you—
James: You know, if you are the person who be handling community activities and community organizations.
Prokes: Yeah. Yeah. It would probably be either myself or uh, Lee Ingram. Or Johnny Brown.
James: Well, you know, Johnny Brown used to work for me.
Prokes: (Laughs) Oh, is that right?
Prokes: Oh, that’s fantastic..
James: And uh, Kay Henderson?
Prokes: Oh, sure.
James: Well, they— they both used to work for me.
James: Matter of fact, that was when—
Prokes: I knew Kay did, I didn’t know Johnny did.
James: Yeah, he was a— my street worker.
Prokes: Tremendous. Uh, right now he’s uh, coordinating our youth over at uh, our, our agricultural mission.
James: Well, I thought he was in Texas.
Prokes: Well, he went there, and then to see his uh— he had a sick relative, I guess, and uh, there he got a call from the— from the mission. Well, they called here, and they wanted some uh, coordination. See, he’d lived there for a year, about uh— I guess it was two and a half years ago, he was there for a year, and uh, I’ll tell you, it may be difficult to bring him home, (Laughs) because the guy really— he loves it over there.
James: Right. Umm-hmm.
Prokes: The climate is uh, nice, and it’s just uh— you know, there’s no racism, and it’s uh, it’s really different. So uh, I hope— I’m hoping to see him, though, I— I want to go over there myself and uh, you know— ’cause I— he— he— he and I have worked with— as a liaison between, you know, our project there and the government. And uh, of course, it’s mainly a black country, so he’s uh, uh— he may be there for an indefinite period, but uh—
James: Okay, what is it— Your name?
Prokes: Mike Prokes.
James: Yeah, I got the first name.
Prokes: And the last one is P-R-O-K-E-S.
James: Mike Prokes. Okay, and, and, and then also, uh, we’re interested in, in, in starting a bingo game.
James: You know, for, for that type of recreation thing, for even the older people, ’cause it seemed my grandmother loved to do that.
James: So these are the types of things that I’ve wanted to discuss. And uh, it seems as though I, I can get the Mission Rebels to, to participate, if I can get your organization to participate, and then I get uh, Hamilton and Booker T. Then we may have something for everyone going this summer.
Prokes: Yeah, that’d be great. Uh, and you know, we’d like very much to participate. Uh, what is happening here now is that uh, uh, we’re trying to arrange for like a uh, a summer uh, vacation, you know, for our kids and some of our seniors—
Prokes: —uh, in our mission. And uh, the ones who don’t, you know, already have jobs that they had, you know, in previous summers, ongoing jobs, will probably uh, all go, if arrangements can be made, uh, but right now, it’s not for sure. But it’s uh, uh, something that uh, everybody’s looking forward to, because uh, the place is being built up, and uh— yeah, we send a lot of kids over there that, that really had some troubles here, that uh, you know, came in off the streets, and it’s just difficult to do anything with them. And there, it’s been uh, a whole, you know, completely new experience, it just, you know, turned them around. For now they got their own work crews and uh, you know like some of ’em will manage our— part of our livestock uh, project, where we have chickens and cattle and uh, we have a big piggery.
Prokes: And also a, a lot of crops that we’re growing, and uh, John’s coordinating a lot of that, and uh, we’re putting in a park and stuff on our property. It’s in the middle of the, a jungle region there—
Prokes: —in uh, in Guyana. And uh, but uh, (Pause) we’ll know more, probably uh— oh, within a short period. I’m not in on the coordination of, you know, who’s going and who’s not, but uh, in any case— and I— it may not for, you know, the whole summer. But uh, uh— so, you know, we’d like in touch with you anyway.
James: Okay. Could I have your telephone number?
Prokes: Sure. It’s 922-6418.
Prokes: Right, or if that’s busy, 931-9107.
James: Okay now— (tape edit) —impact we’re having on future lives.
Prokes: Right. That’s right.
James: And uh— and uh— I think that it— it— it’s really wrong that uh, that we haven’t touched bases or, or co— coordinated services and we right in, in same neighborhood.
Prokes: Right. But ha— have you ever uh— Do you know Yvonne Golden?
Prokes: Yeah, uh, ’cause, you know, she’s uh, her— we got some kids in her school and stuff, but there’s a lot of other kids, too, I don’t know if uh, you know, you’ve worked much with her or anything, but uh, she seems to be, you know, doing good work.
James: Umm-hmm. Umm-hmm.
Prokes: At least she’s given them alternative, you know, to what they get in the regular school system.
Prokes: And I know she’s a fighter, which we appreciate. (Laughs) ‘Cause uh, in these times, you really gotta fight to get what you want, I mean, get what you need. So—
James: Yeah, to get what you need.
Prokes: That’s what I meant.
James: Because uh, no matter how hard you fight, sometimes you don’t even know just what you want.
Prokes: Yeah, well, we jus— we had a victory just today, you know, because uh, the uh— you know, that— there’s all that discrimination, the police department not of all, I don’t know, hundreds of sergeants, only about two of them are minority.
James: Umm-hmm. Right.
Prokes: And so, you know, we sent all our people into the courtroom, you know, because the white uh, officers tried to block getting uh, minority appointments, and uh— but uh, the judge today went in favor of the, the appointments, and so—
James: Oh, beautiful.
Prokes: —22 blacks and minorities are going to get appointed to sergeant, which is good. And that’s only the beginning. Then they’re gonna try— go for lieutenants and captains, and so forth.
James: Well, that sure is a big victory.
Prokes: Yeah, it really is. But I’ll you one thing. If— if that judge hadn’t seen a lot— a lot of black faces in the courtroom, I’ll bet the decision would’ve gone the other way.
James: Oh, you know it.
Prokes: So, that’s why we got to, you know, you got to be in there every step of the way.
James: Okay, then, so I’m gonna stay in contact with ya, and if you don’t hear from me, please call me again.
Prokes: Okay, Mr. James.
(Tape cut off)
Part 5: Call between Temple member and receptionist at magazine (New West?)
Female Temple member: —please. Uh, I’ve been in—
Receptionist: In regard with what?
Female Temple member: Pardon?
Receptionist: In reference to what?
Female Temple member: Well, I’ve been uh, around San Francisco a long time, I was born and raised here, and I’m interested in your magazine, I’ve read it here and there, and I just recently found out that uh, one of your reporters is— seems to be doing a lot of uh, (pause) talking and it’s about a situation that I happen to know a little bit about. Uh, I understand he’s saying a bunch of negative things about uh, this Peoples Temple group, and I know for a fact—
Receptionist: Okay. Let me stop you— Let me stop you right there.
Female Temple member: Yeah?
Receptionist: Okay? We’ve been inundated with calls on this. Uh, the guy is not our reporter. All right? He is a reporter, he’s just free-lancer. We have not committed to do any article, we have not signed anything, uh, we have not committed ourselves either way. Uh, it— it wasn’t even an assignment that we’ve given him. Okay?
Female Temple member: I don’t see what— if he’s going to be doing anything, he at least ought to go and talk to somebody who knows a little something about the group, because one of my friends’, uh, sons was taken off of— of drugs and rehabilitated by this group—
Receptionist: No, I— We— We know that they’re—
Female Temple member: —and you know, they do a lot of good work.
Receptionist: Yeah. Oh, we know that. You know, and like I said, we’ve been inundated ah, with calls—
Female Temple member: Mmm, I see—
Receptionist: —by people, and they think that somebody— it’s actually somebody’s trying to slander us. (Laughs) They’re going around saying, you know, that we’re the ones that, you know, we’re— we’re ah, doing a cho— a story degrading ah, the reverend and the group and the Temple, and that’s absolutely untrue.
Female Temple member: Well, this— this particular person that I heard the thing from uh, was talking to the reporter, so you better check it out a little more closely.
Receptionist: So we had nothing to do with it, that’s the whole thing, that’s what I’m trying to convey to you.
Female Temple member: (Archly) Well, he’s using your name, so you better check it out.
Female Temple member: Thank you.
Receptionist: Thank you for calling.
(Silence for several moments)
Part 6: Phone call between Prokes and female reporter named Kerry Smith
Prokes: Gosh, uh, why— what— what is it you wanted to know?
Smith: I want to know about the availability of housing, just like it happened at the International Hotel, so that, in the, in, for people to be moved in San Francisco.
Prokes: Okay, well, uh, that— doesn’t uh, Scott have an assistant?
Smith: No. I mean, they referred us to, to Reverend Jones.
Prokes: Okay, let me— let me get you— I know who I can— If I can just get his number. Uh, it’d be the attorney for the hotel, is that all right?
Smith: No, I know, I’ve spoken to them.
Prokes: Gil Graham?
Smith: (unintelligible) I want someone in— Cecil Stavens in the housing department.
Prokes: Oh, I see.
Smith: So I need to speak to somebody in the housing department.
Prokes: Okay. Okay, um— (Pause) (Sound of flipping cards) How soon do you have to have it?
Smith: Now. (Laughs)
Prokes: Right now.
Smith: More than two hours ago. It’s eight o’clock here in New York.
Prokes: You at night?
Prokes: What’s your deadline, I mean?
Smith: It’s “was”. It’s tonight. I have to get it done tonight.
Prokes: I see. Okay uh— (Pause) Why don’t you, uh— it’d be easiest if, if I have someone call you, and I’ll get— I’ll do it right now, and—
Prokes: —and uh, just give me your number.
Prokes: 21— uh-huh.
Smith: 7777, extension 6350—
Smith: —or 6641.
Prokes: Or 6641?
Prokes: Okay. And they can call through operator six or collect?
Smith: Oh, they can call collect.
Prokes: Okay. And ask for—
Smith: Kerry Smith, K-E-R-R-Y.
Prokes: (Pause) Okay, I’ll get right on it.
Smith: Thank you.
Part 7: Phone call between Prokes and wife of Tony
Dial tone. Sound of dialing. Rings
Prokes: Is Tony there?
Woman: Uh, no, he isn’t. Could I take a message?
Prokes: Do you know where he can be reached?
Woman: (Pause) Uh— who’s calling, please?
Prokes: Mike Prokes.
Prokes: Mike Prokes?
Prokes: I’m associate to Reverend Jim Jones.
Woman: (Hesitates) He is in Albuquerque.
Prokes: Oh, he is.
Prokes: Okay. Hmm—
Woman: Um— yet— but you know, he may be calling tonight, we had one death in the—
Prokes: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
Woman: —you know, our uh, church, so he may be coming back early too. Is there anything that I sh— you want me to tell him, or—
Prokes: No, it’s just uh— some New York news program is calling, and uh, since Reverend Jones is—
(Tape cut off)
Part 8: Conversation between Mike Prokes and Marie Jackson
Marie Jackson: Hello.
Prokes: Mrs. Jackson?
Prokes: This is Mike Prokes at People Temple.
Prokes: I’m an associate to uh, Reverend Jones.
Prokes: He asked me if I would uh, call you. This uh, man who called you, asking all these questions has been doing it with other people as well—
Prokes: —and we were going to go in and, you know, explain exactly what he’s done, uh, with some of these interviews to his, his boss—
Prokes: —and we were wondering if you’d be so kind— I don’t think it will happen, but uh, you know, we were just going to mention it as one of the examples, that, you know, he said that if, you know, you didn’t answer his questions, that he would uh, (stumbles over words) as I understood it, uh, he said words to the effect that he would bother you until you— you gave him the information.
Prokes: And uh, we were going to tell him that, and say, you know, that Mrs. Jackson uh, you know, will confirm this. I don’t think that he’ll check it out. I’m sure he’ll take our— our word for it, ’cause we will have an attorney there, but uh, in case he uh, does, would you be willing to confirm that?
Jackson: Oh yeah, I would, but, just like I told him, I didn’t— we didn’t have anything to say about Jim, and we don’t want to be dragged into anything that will—
Prokes: Right. Right.
Jackson: —and we, we t— told him— his name was Marshall [Kilduff] or something, I don’t know. I didn’t even get—
Prokes: Yeah, it’s the same one.
Jackson: —get his name or whatever.
Prokes: See— he— he— and he’s going around, he— he’s badgering other people too. And y— you know, we were just going to uh, use your example as one of many. That’s why I don’t think they’d be calling, but just in case they happen to—
Prokes: —uh, we wanted to, you know, let you know or— first, you know, check with you to be sure it’d be okay.
Prokes: We don’t do anything without, you know, letting— or asking you first.
Jackson: Yeah, or, you know, letting us know about it, you know. Because, like I say, I wasn’t bothered about him coming back here again, ’cause what my husband told him, I can’t even repeat it in a sentence. You know, and my sister happened to be here too, and she—
Jackson: —they were out poking, and she, you know, told them something too, and my husband told him, if he printed anything, you know, uh, about what he said— because they print lies, you know—
Prokes: Oh, yes, I know.
Jackson: —and they’ll print a lie in the paper to say you did this, that or the other—
Jackson: —and my husband said he would sue him, you know.
Prokes: Right. Right.
Jackson: And uh, so—
Prokes: Did— did I get that essentially right, though, as— as far as what he said about uh, you know, how did he say it, but uh, if you didn’t ge— answer his questions or give him information, that he would continue calling—
Jackson: Well, he said he would call and, and try it again, and if we uh, decided to tell him more of uh— or tell him anything, to let him know, and he wanted to know who else knew you, that used to go to the church that had left. And um—
Jackson: Oh, just all kinds of things, and why did we leave, and— and he called Jim a—
Jackson: (away from phone) What did he call Jim? (Returns) Something of a, like a— I don’t know, a nut or whatever, something—
Jackson: —and— and my husband say, well, he must be a damn good nut, any time he’d have that many buses and doing all he’s doing, you know, he— he ain’t that big a nut. Some kind of way, you know my husband. You know—
Prokes: Yeah. The— the main thing, we’re just trying to get him to stop bothering people, because he’s told others, you know, similar things, like, you know, that uh, that he would keep calling if— if they didn’t answer his questions, until he got the information.
Prokes: And as I understood, that was basically what he said to you.
Jackson: Yeah. Well— well, that’s basically what he said, but just like I— I— my husband and I said, we just didn’t want to really get involved, because these people be printing all kinds of stuff—
Jackson: —and this is why I called and was going to, you know, just tell Jim about it or tell somebody—
Prokes: Well, we appreciate that.
Jackson: —a— a—- about it, you know.
Prokes: Because others called too, and— and— and they, you know, were upset as well—
Prokes: —and uh, you know, all I— I just wanted to, you know, let you know, that, on the chance that, you know, that the man who we’re going to see, uh, does want to confirm just one of these calls and he asked, you know, to call you, it— it— probably won’t, but if he does, you know, if you could just say, that, well, you know, confirm that he did say, if you didn’t answer his questions or give him the information, that he would keep bothering you, until he got what he was looking for.
Jackson: But he’s not gone get anything from us (laughs), that’s— that’s his problem (Prokes talks over her)
Prokes: Right. (Laughs) Right. Well, the fact that he— that he made that statement shows that, you know, he— he is a— harassing people and you know, people don’t want to be bothered like that.
Jackson: No, they really don’t, because uh, uh, like I say, what— what could I say about Jim anyway, you know?
Jackson: Uh, he— he— he didn’t have any business, and I don’t know who sent him here, he— uh, I forget what he said, uh, so I don’t know, just somebody that used to go there and doesn’t go there any more or something.
Jackson: Like I say, he didn’t stay here too long, because you know, we didn’t want to be bothered.
Prokes: Well, that’s— that’s no problem. We just wanted to see that, you know— I— I— we— we think that if, uh, you know, his— his uh, superior’s aware of what he’s doing that he— he— you know, he won’t do it— Because, see, he’s saying that he uh, he’s working for the uh, Chronicle or something like that. He’s not the— The— the story that he says he’s writing isn’t even for the Chronicle. The Chronicle isn’t uh— we found out through uh, the editor that uh, they’re not doing a story on us, and they won’t accept his.
Prokes: And it’s— it’s not right for him to say he’s with the Chronicle.
Jackson: Yeah, I— I don’t know whether he even say the Chronicle or the Examiner.
Jackson: (stumbles over words) ‘Cause like I say, I— I don’t know whether Marshall is his first name or last name.
Prokes: I see.
Jackson: You know, I— I don’t— I don’t even know, because we wasn’t interested and uh, he’s not gonna come back here, he— ’cause he hasn’t even called anymore or been back here or anything. He— He could— He could see what type of people we were. He— We were informed, you know.
Jackson: And uh, you know, I— I’m not even bothering about him, I just don’t want to be bugged by him, you know.
Prokes: Yeah. Okay. Well. Uh, I just wanted to uh, you know, let— let you know so you wouldn’t be uh, surprised on the chance that it did happen. I don’t think it will, but it—
Jackson: No, but— but just, you know—
Prokes: Just in case.
Jackson: —just— just in case, uh, whatever, you know, because I— those old newspaper men, I— I— I don’t trust them, because I know how they do, uh, with the news and everything else. They exploit it, they, you know, write all kind of stuff, you know, and— and they write lies, you know, and uh, I just didn’t want to be a part of— of it, you know—
Prokes: Well, that’s basically what— what, you know, you could say if he— if— if this man that we talk to, you know, calls or something, you could just say—
Prokes: —well, he asked questions, and I decided not to an— answer anymore, and he said, well, he’d keep bothering until, you know, he’d got the information.
Jackson: He— that’s right.
Prokes: And— and that’s all you’d have to say.
Jackson: Yeah, right.
Prokes: Well, tha— that’s sweet of you, and (stumbles over words)— If it does, and it happened, it would be helpful, but I think we ought to take the attorney’s word, because naturally, uh, we’re not going to be saying anything that isn’t true.
Jackson: Yeah, right.
Prokes: And so I don’t think he’ll be following up on it.
Jackson: But— No— No, I don’t think he will.
Prokes: But I— you know, I’d just decided it’d be right to let you know—
Jackson: Oh, yeah—
Prokes: So you wouldn’t be surprised if something did happen.
Jackson: Yeah, right, well, I’m glad you did, and like I say, you know, I— I just— I always do that, you know, ’cause I don’t—
Prokes: Did uh— Did Don get to see you?
Jackson: Yes, unh-hunh, he did.
Prokes: Yeah. Good.
Jackson: Yes, he’s real good.
Prokes: Oh, good.
Prokes: Tell him hello. (Laughs)
Jackson: I sure will. All right, then, well, it was nice talking with you, and give Jim my love.
Prokes: I will do that.
Prokes: He’s still in the mission.
Jackson: Yeah, I— I know.
Prokes: Uh, I— I talk to him periodically, we have a radio hook-up, and—
Prokes: Uh, I— I will do that.
Jackson: Oh, that’s good, he’s a lovely, lovely person.
Prokes: And Marcie too— Marcie too speaks very highly of you, she— she— she did to me, she said she talked to you before.
Jackson: Yes, Marceline did talk to me. Like I say, I’m not there, but I’m always there in heart, and they know that.
Prokes: That’s what she said.
Jackson: But I— I— I never— Nobody says nothing about Jim to me.
Prokes: Well, that’s sweet.
Jackson: You know, because I— I always let them know, you know, when anybody says anything about him, I always like for him to be aware of what people might— not that they can do anything—
Jackson: I just like for him to know, you know.
Prokes: Oh, it’s— yeah, it’s a matter of principle, (unintelligible word) we have a good reputation to uphold.
Prokes: People try to—
Jackson: —pull it down, you know—
Prokes: —just— just to make a name for themselves.
Jackson: Right, right, and people will go to any extent to make a name for themselves—
Prokes: Isn’t it the truth.
Jackson: —to make you look— to make Jim look small.
Jackson: And I— and I know this. And I just thought I would pass it on. I di— I did it as soon as he left here, you know, I— I called Leona [Collier]—
Prokes: Oh, that’s— that’s—
Jackson: —and— and Martha, so uh—
Prokes: Thank you for that.
Jackson: Well, you’re quite welcome.
Jackson: And uh, it’s— it’s fine with me.
Prokes: Okay, then, uh, uh, I’ll uh, thank Don for, you know, calling with (too soft)—
Jackson: Right. Yeah, because my number wasn’t listed, you know.
Jackson: So that’ll be fine.
Prokes: Okay. Thanks again.
Jackson: And— and have a good night.
Prokes: You too, ma’am.
Part 9: Conversation between Prokes and Marie Jackson
Marie Jackson: —about nothing. If the people wouldn’t tell him that shit, you know, excuse the expression.
Prokes: Yeah. No, it’s okay. (Laughs)
Jackson: But anyway—
Prokes: Okay. Well, thank you for— for talking and uh, if— I— I’m sure that uh, that this thing will be alleviated because uh, uh, we’re going to be talking with his superior. I— I’m sure it’ll be, uh— I mean, the way it sounded already when the meeting was set up, that, you know, he— he was uh, uh, really concerned that one of his employees was— was doing this sort of thing, I mean, in— in the manner that he did.
Jackson: Yeah, and the thing about it, they will reprimand him, whether you know it or not—
Prokes: Yeah, yeah.
Jackson: —you know, because they aren’t going to let you know what they do to him—
Prokes: Yeah, right—
Jackson: And things like that, but this is—
Prokes: Right, right, right, right.
Jackson: But this is their job to reprimand him, or— or let him go or something like that. You might not ever find out, but that’s what they’re gonna do, because the thing of it is, they don’t want their paper or— or anything else—
Prokes: Sure. Right. To look bad—
Jackson: —to look bad.
Prokes: —before us, yeah. Yeah.
Jackson: Right. So— So I don’t think anybody’ll have any trouble out of him anymore since— since— since me and others spoke up about it, you know. And that’s all I wanted him to be aware of, people uh, don’t want to be bothered with that uh—
Prokes: Right. Okay, well, thank you again, Marie, and—
Jackson: And— and you— you really— you really welcome, and anytime they ask me anything or whatever, I— I’ve always let Jim know about it, you know, I— I— I— I told him about another reporter about two or three years ago, you know. And I always tell him these things. I just tell him so he can be aware, and know what to tell his congregation, what— when— when he’s talking to them and telling them to keep the damn mouth closed—
Jackson: You know, (Prokes overruns her)
Jackson: This is why I do that.
Jackson: Just to tell him that they either in there, or they’re not, and if they’re in there, and they take out information, and all this kind of shit, just stay out of there.
Prokes: Yeah. Right.
Jackson: Something— you know. That’s— that’s why I be letting him know it.
Prokes: Well, we— we appreciate that more than we can say.
Jackson: You know, well, I— I know you do and uh, I’m glad to do that, but like I say— I— my husband, he just— you know, ’cause people can really get you involved in a lot of stuff, and you— you might not know how to get (laughs) out of it, you know. And uh, I— I just wouldn’t want my name all dragged in the paper and all this stuff.
Prokes: No, it— it won’t be, I’ll guarantee that, I’ll guarantee that.
Jackson: You know, but I don’t care about the man himself, you know.
Prokes: Yeah. Well, uh, I’ll guarantee, that there’s nothing going to happen like that.
Jackson: Yeah, but if there’s anything else I can do or whatever, you know, I’ll always be—
Prokes: Well, like I say, I doubt that, you know, anything will uh, be followed up on—
Jackson: Right, right.
Prokes: But if it is, you can just, you know, say what— what happened.
Jackson: Oh yeah, well, I will, you know, just like I say, I’ll say it, but like I said, I just want to be very low-keyed on it, you know.
Prokes: Well, really, the only thing that— that has to be said is what, you know, what you told us, that he said he would bother until he got the information.
Jackson: And that’s all that I— I will tell them that.
Prokes: And say, you know, you really— you just say, after that, I really don’t want to say any more about him, I’m tired of being, you know, talked to.
Jackson: Right, I— I don’t want to see him anymore.
Prokes: That— Say, that’s all I want to say about him.
Jackson: That’s all, and that’s all I’ll tell them, you know.
Prokes: That’s good.
Jackson: So I’ll tell them (Prokes overruns her)
Prokes: Okay. Thanks so much.
Jackson: You welcome.
Prokes: Take care now.
Jackson: Sure, you too.
Prokes: Thank you.
Part 10: Conversation between Prokes and author named Paul
Paul: Thanks for giving me a call back.
Paul: Uh— I was calling, ’cause uh— (Pause) There’s a la— young lady I met, 24 years old, whose name is Pam Jones, and uh— (Pause) she’s come out of a, you know, fucked-up childhood, uh, uh— (Pause) near— near abandonment by her family, into drugs and hookin’, and uh, uh, was in Delancey Street, got cleaned up, went down to uh, to L.A., got involved with the Moonies down there last fall.
Prokes: The Moonies?
Prokes: Oh, gosh.
Paul: And uh— just briefly, but that, coupled with, I think, you know, a whole bunch of other things in her life, uh, uh, you know, kind of flipped her out for a while.
Paul: Uh— Anyway, she’s uh, she’s religious in a way that uh, the Peoples Temple is, you know?
Paul: And she [is] a really nice lady, and uh, I told her that she oughta just take a look at Peoples Temple as uh, as something to uh, you know, get involved with and uh, you know, she— what— what you guys are doing is— are the kinds of things she’s interested in. She’s also an incredible singer.
Prokes: Oh, yeah?
Paul: Yeah, got a really nice voice, kind of a, a Janis Joplin uh—
Paul: —uh, voice, and uh, she just— she’s sweet and she’s troubled, uh, and uh—
Prokes: Where does she live?
Paul: Well, she’s living in Marin [County] now.
Paul: Uh, I gave her your card, which you’d given me and told her, you know, to uh, to get in touch with you. And I don’t know whether she’s going to, but if she does, uh—
Prokes: You just wanted me to be aware of the situation.
Prokes: Did uh— I mean, uh, she live alone?
Paul: Yeah, she’s uh, she gets like money from the state, in other words, you know, conservatorship things, uh, where— where somebody is kind of doling out money to her, uh, that the state provides, for, I think, being flipped out, uh, but I just— I just see a lot of— lot of good and worth in her.
Paul: And uh— (Two talk over each other) If she has— If she has something to latch onto, uh, that’ll, you know, help her keep up her own strength, where the Moonies just, you know, freaked her out.
Prokes: Yeah, sure. Okay, we’ll do it. Uh, I hope she calls.
Paul: I hope she does too. She’ll probably be getting in touch with me in the next couple of days, and I’ll— I’ll uh—
Prokes: Tell her (unintelligible; sounds like “you have to chat”).
Prokes: Okay. How are things with you?
Paul: Pretty good.
Prokes: What are you up to, now that your book is out?
Paul: Well, I’m job hunting. Uh— (Pause) I’ve talked to the Examiner, but I don’t think there’s uh, much going on there. Uh, I burned my bridges at the Chronicle. The uh, Sacramento Bee is a possibility uh, at some point, maybe, uh, the Oakland Trib is a possibility in— if it— if it gets sold to the right person.
Prokes: Yeah. Yeah. Sure.
Paul: That’s the only one at the moment, uh—
Prokes: You want to stay in the area, Northern California, I mean?
Paul: Yeah, I really would like to.
Prokes: I don’t blame you.
Paul: Uh-huh. I mean, this is where my roots are for a whole bunch of years, lot of friends, good feelings.
Prokes: Yeah. Yeah. Well, good. Uh— uh—
Paul: I’d like to sit down and uh— (Pause) talk with you and Jim one of these days, just to, you know, sit down and shoot the bull—
Paul: —see what’s been happening. I haven’t had a chance to get that book by for him.
Prokes: Well, when you can. Uh—
Paul: I’ve been running a little short on the copies. But that’s my problem. But uh— (Laughs) I’ve discovered that most of my friends can’t afford the book.
Prokes: (Laughs) What is it, eleven dollars?
Paul: Fourteen ninety-five.
Prokes: Fourteen— gosh. That’s uh, quite a price. (Laughs) Is it uh, being promoted at all?
Paul: Oh, a certain amount uh— (Pause) When it didn’t take off like a skyrocket, I think the publisher uh— they were— they— they spent uh, several thousand bucks on uh, one ad that ran uh, in the New York Times, and— half page ad in the New York Times, book section, L.A. Times book section, and the Chronicle. Uh, so that was a fair investment. I haven’t talked to anybody back there in the last couple of weeks, to find out, you know, what, if anything, that did.
Prokes: Umm. Let’s see, what was I going to say. What about— have— have you done any interviews or anything?
Paul: Yeah, I’ve done a bunch of those. I uh— uh, here and in L.A., and my co-author has done some on the East Coast, and uh, you know— again, you know, I don’t know any direct sales (unintelligible word), but they tell me it’s sold around ten thousand copies at last count, which is, uh, quite respectable, so I— But— But not, uh— But not making Alex Haley shake in his boots.
Prokes: Yeah. Let’s see, I was thinking. If you want— We’ve been publishing our— our paper regular, I don’t know— I don’t know if you’re familiar with it.
Paul: The little one, yeah.
Prokes: Peoples Forum.
Paul: Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen it.
Prokes: But it— it goes all over the place.
Paul: I know.
Prokes: And uh— you know, we could put something in there about it.
Paul: Oh, that’d be really nice.
Prokes: Yeah. In fact, if you want to— I mean, we could do it, or if you want to write something up—
Paul: No, no no no. That— I— That would be—
Prokes: Well, I mean, we wouldn’t say who did it, though.
Phone rings in background, at Prokes’ end.
Paul: Yeah, well, I’d rather somebody write it anyway. (Prokes and man talk over each other) After— After— After you read it, I mean, you know— Let me— Let me get a book by, and I— I’d sure like to, you know— (Prokes overruns him).
Prokes: Okay. Can you hold just one second?
Paul: Yeah, sure.
Prokes: (On second line) Hello? (Pause) Yeah, let me call you right back, okay. (Pause, back to main line) Okay. Yeah, that’d be good.
Paul: In fact, uh, uh, I’m coming into the city, and maybe what I’ll do is just stop by and, I mean, there’s always somebody there, right?
Prokes: Yeah, just tell them to give it to the receptionist.
Paul: Yeah— Yeah, and I’ll put it in an envelope addressed to you uh— to uh— to you and, and uh, Jim.
Paul: And, I mean, I’ll put in, you know, a little hello in there to Jim.
Prokes: Thank you.
Paul: And that should be there this afternoon.
Prokes: Very good.
Prokes: Okay, Paul.
Paul: See you later.
Part 11: Conversation between Prokes and Guy Wright at Examiner
Prokes: Yes, it is.
Wright: Ho— How do you pronounce it? I’m sorry.
Prokes: It’s P-R-O-K-E-S.
Wright: Well, I got—
Wright: Well, I’ve got it right. Uh, this is Guy Wright at the San Francisco Examiner, Mr. Prokes.
Prokes: How are you?
Wright: How are you today?
Wright: Is you getting wet?
Prokes: (Laughs) Yeah, I did.
Wright: (Laughs) Uh, listen, uh, somebody was telling me that Jim Jones uh, (probing tone) is sick, collapsed in South America, is what I wrote down on a note here. Do you know any—
Prokes: (Sighs) Who told you tha— Oh, I’m not supposed to ask you that.
Wright: Well, well, no, it’s just some woman who uh, uh, called up and uh, had been trying to get in touch with him or something.
Prokes: I see. Uh— Well, uh, the Chronicle did a story, uh, I guess, uh, well, it must have been three or four weeks ago, when he was— you know, he, he chairs the uh, Housing Authority.
Prokes: And that’s— that when he collapsed, and uh, uh, the doctors in— (stumbles over words) It’s uh, purely from, from uh, uh, exhaustion. And the doctors insisted that he get some rest, because uh, besides being ch— chairman of the Housing Authority, he, you know, he heads the program here, which is 24 hours, seven days a week, and it’s just a lot of pressure, and they insisted that he get away, which he— he never— he’s never taken a vacation in, in the 25 years that— since he started, and so we got him a plane ticket and sent him to uh, you know, insisted that he go to our agricultural mission, where he’s uh, been recuperating. He’d gone through a series of tests that uh, he— he actually should’ve taken long ago, but uh, so far, you know, that’s all that, uh, they’ve found wrong, and uh— See, Mr. Wright, he just uh— (short laugh), he gets two hours sleep a night, if you can believe it, and uh, that’s what led up to it, it’s all the—
Wright: Yeah, you can’t do that for too long a stretch, can you?
Prokes: And— No— And he was doing it for quite a long time, and, and here, like I said, we’re uh, we’re taking in ah, drug addicts and, and people off the street who are off into drugs and crime and so forth, and trying to rehabilitate them, and he’s personally involved in those types of things and uh, plus a myriad of other problems that, you know, we face and just trying to get less-advantaged people, you know, an opportunity. And uh, finally it— it caught up with him, so— I’m hoping that uh— we’re hoping he’ll uh, stay a while longer, but I don’t know if we’ll be successful.
Wright: Uh, well, okay. Well, then, this— Uh, it isn’t as bad as uh, as I had— as this woman uh, got the impression— (Prokes over runs him)
Prokes: No. No.
Wright: —got the impression that he was down in South America, and had a heart attack, hear he was stranded or some such thing as this, so uh— (laughs)
Prokes: It’s— No. There— Um, uh, there may have been heart prob— He didn’t have a heart attack, but uh— in fact, he— he’s active now, he’s— he’s busy now, but it’s— it’s just that, you know, it’s— he’s not under the pressure that he was here.
Prokes: But we have quite a project over there, uh, that uh, we have several thousand acres over— growing a variety of crops.
Wright: Where— where is this?
Prokes: In— in— It’s in Guyana, South America.
Wright: Oh, yeah.
Prokes: And uh, we’ve sent some of our members who— who live there and uh, uh, they’re growing food and shipping it to critical hunger regions. And uh, we’d had an unexpected success with it, in that uh, some of the problem cases we’ve taken in here, kids that uh, just incorrigible, that uh, needed to really get out of the urban environment, we sent over there.
Prokes: And we— one kid, uh— two kids, one was a child molester and another was a kleptomaniac, no problem with them now. And in fact, they’re managing their own work crews, and, and they’re just, you know, two examples of—
Wright: I’m a son-of-a-gun.
Prokes: —of many— yeah. And it— it’s amazing what that change of envi— environment has done, and we’re very encouraged by it, and we’ll probably be sending more of our young people, and some of our seniors now want to retire there, it’s a—
Wright: Hmm. I’d like to do a story about that.
Prokes: Oh, really? (Laughs)
Wright: Get some material together, yeah, that sounds like a, you know, a— that’s a, a new kind of a new approach— Well, not really a new, but it’s a rather dramatic version of, you know, change the environment and you change the person, uh, and uh—
Prokes: Right. Well, uh, when he comes back, would you like me to ha—
Wright: I— I— I sure would.
Prokes: Okay, well, [I’ll] be happy to do that.
Wright: Well, I’m glad to hear that this isn’t the, uh, the way I thought it was then, and uh— So you do expect that he’ll be uh, picking up and getting—
Prokes: Yes, uh— Off the record, I don’t know if he’ll stay on the Housing Authority, uh, that hasn’t been decided. He, you know— See, he— he was first offered the Human Rights Commission, which he turned down because of his schedule, and then they ma— you know— they wanted him to— to take a post, and so he cut back on his— his speaking schedule which was— helped raise some money for our programs, and it kept him close to the home, and he cut back on that, so he did take the Housing Authority, but it— I think it may be just too much.
Prokes: It— it’s not sure yet, what he’s gonna do, but you know, that— it’s off the record right now, if you would.
Wright: Yeah, all right, I won’t say anything about that.
Prokes: Uh, because he— he may stay on it, it, uh— I think he wants to discuss it with some others.
Wright: I think he oughta— If, uh— I don’t know the circumstances, maybe he oughta get out, because I think there may be some problems developing in the Housing Authority (Laughs).
Prokes: Oh, is that right?
Wright: And there won’t be anything that uh, you know, uh— It’s stuffed with (unintelligible word), tenure there, certainly, but he’d be the guy who’d be getting in them next, so—
Prokes: Yeah, yeah.
Wright: (Too soft)
Prokes: What is it— is it— I know that he’s exposed uh, even some of his uh, fellow commissioners who are travelling, you know, first class and wasting money, which doesn’t endear him. He— he’s not much of a compromiser when he sees something wrong, he’ll— he’ll say it, and uh, it— it’s, you know— (Laughs) it makes it difficult sometimes to— to work, you know, together, but uh, you know, because uh, you know, (stumbles over words) it was really a waste of the money, but I don’t supposed that’s what you’re referring to.
Wright: No, uh-— No uh— I— I don’t know whether this will ever develop or not, but it— there seem to be some movement in that direction, so uh, you know, uh— it’s a thankless job in the first place, so—
Prokes: Yeah, that’s for sure. He— It’s unbelievable, the calls he gets from tenants, wanting to meet with him and— He— He’ll do that, you know, it’s just— It’s very uh, exhausting.
Wright: Yeah. Well, okay, uh, I— I’m glad that uh— and the story I had is not true.
Wright: And uh, uh, when he comes back, I really would like to— to talk to him about this program you got, because that sounds like it’d make a, a really good and upbeat feature, that uh, we’re short on these days. (Laughs)
Prokes: Okay, I’ll do that.
Prokes: Thank you, sir.
Wright: Thank you.
Prokes: Have a good day.
Part 12: Conversation between Prokes and unknown receptionist
Man: City desk.
Prokes: Is uh, Connie Kang around?
Man: Uh, let me transfer you. Hold on.
Sound of phone transfer. Rings few times.
End of tape
Tape originally posted July 2001