Q595 Transcript

Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.

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(Tapes cuts into ongoing meeting)

Woman: – moderate success –

Jones: Okay, (unintelligible) that’s good, the holly’s turned out well, and Monica [Bagby] did too. Good. Let them stir up a little shit over there tomorrow. They – They been asked to go?

Woman: I think (unintelligible) –

Jones: Yeah, you can count Medlock is smack-ass in the middle of it, you can bet that. [Ed. note: Former Peoples Temple members Wade and Mabel Medlock had filed both a civil suit and a criminal complaint against Jim Jones and other Temple leaders, alleging they had extorted the Medlocks’ property.]

Low voice in crowd.

Jones: Any old fucker look as sick as he does, half ready for death, carrying on like that. That old fucker been dying ever since I seen him, I’ve kept him alive by my breath. If I’d a blowed, he’d a fell over. I don’t know what people do, this ready to die. Wicked, right up their very point of death. (Pause) Huh, shit. That’s right, shut up. Slipt.


Jones: What’s that’s mean, “slipt.”

Laughter and hubbub.

Jones: (Shouts) Shift, you scunts.


Jones: (High laugh) (Off mike) I like that Guyanese phrase. (Laughs) (Voice too low for several seconds) Some of you ought to – I do think some of you ought to read, uh, write, because you’re imaginative. I think that’s beautiful, because they’re imaginative. Huh?

Voice in crowd: Real poetry.

Jones: Yeah, real poetry, profess – and that’s right, I like that. (Pause) All right, all right (makes doodling noises), that’s enough, I’ve read that one. I don’t know what that one is. (Pause while he flicks a page) I don’t want that one either. What the hell is that – I can’t read that kind of shit. (Pause) Okay, well, where in the hell are we now? We got, we got – I got caught up in this shit, uh, somebody wanting to find out about what relatives felt like, we now all found out, and what uh – (Pause) And what do we got to do that’s business? What the – give me the reports. I’ve forgotten what the goddamn reports were (unintelligible word). Uh, uh, I’ve got Mr. Cupper, Tupper sliced up, and they’re serving him to Virginia, the last I heard. Um, I tell you. I forgot it, it must be sure some need in me to get some of these pricks, ’cause (struggles for words) I’m remembering all these graphic descriptions. I wouldn’t. If I’d get over him, I’d try to save him, that’s the damn trouble with me, don’t let me do it. ‘Cause I’d be standing over their ass trying to save them.


Jones: That’s my fault. (Pause)

Low voice in crowd.

Jones: Eh?

Low voice in crowd.

Jones: (Laughs) (Unintelligible –  words fast and run together; only discernible phrase is “mother-fucking relatives”) Oh, goddamnit to hell in the morning. (Long pause) (Heavy, labored breathing) Uh. See if they didn’t do that by telephone, I hope so, Christ, not by letter. I hope they didn’t make that mistake. (Pause) We’re on our way to Cuba as an option. That option, if you don’t know, (tape distortion) take it back to the, to the Cubans. (Pause) (Heavy, labored breathing) But the likelihood, if you go to Cuba, but you can’t expect these days of distrust that I would be the leader. (Pause) I mean, you got to – well, we will try for that, we will try for that, but uh – (Pause) So, in view of that, we got (unintelligible word) numbers of people to take the floor. How many wish to consider Cuba as an option?

Low voices.

Jones: Now, understand, understand the, the terms that I told you. (Emphatically) I will not be your leader. (Normal cadence) So you got to understand that, when you (unintelligible word) the alternative, which is a great relief to me. It’s a great responsibility. I will if I can be, but I would doubt that any country’s going to trust a movement coming in this strong and allowed to have its total independence. They’ll give you all the educational facilities, they’ll take you in, they’ll give you their jobs, I’m sure we’ll be able to communicate with each other, and that sort of thing. They’re a very humane people. But I would doubt very much if they will accept me as the leader, or, in fact, leave you intact. They might. And if we give them several alternatives, and say we would like to be as a group, and would you accept somebody else as a leader if he stepped down out of concern that I had healed so much power that I um, you know, mi – might pull a White Night on them when I didn’t see something I didn’t – I – I didn’t like. Which I wouldn’t, because there wouldn’t be that need. There wouldn’t be that kind of a situation that I can –  as I visualize Cuba, from what I saw of it. So now we uh, we have this number voting for. How many are opposed to going to Cuba under those circumstances?

Low voices.

Jones: Now some of you folks are voting twice.

Hubbub. Low voices.

Jones: What’d you say? I didn’t hear what you said.

Voice (white male): Would you be going to Cuba?

Jones: Well, hell, I’ll go, if they let me. Sure.

Voice: Would you still be our pastor?

Jones: No. I doubt it. I doubt that – I doubt they’ll allow that. (tape distortion) If you use the word pastor, I can assure you I wouldn’t. They won’t take no religious (tape distortion). President of a cooperative? You’re just lucky. Large groups coming into countries that have been overthr – uh, attempted to be overthrown and subverted, uh, you know it’s not, uh – Now I’m telling you, I’m telling you, the exact way I see Cuba. I see its hospital care is at par excellent. I see its education as beautiful. I see a real, tremendous distribution of the goods and services amongst the people as a, as a vince – as a, as demonstrated (tape distortion –  sounds like “services”), and then large estates being turned over to uh, the seniors for beautiful houses and children, for very lovely schools and cooperatives. We are told by Dr. Fernandes [Peter Fernandes, head of Guyana Livestock Board] who came here, that he saw elitism. Elitism. He said that he uh – I was the only place he had ever been that he didn’t see elitism, that I was the only leader that was really down to the people and practiced what I preached thoroughly. He went to see see Dr. Castro, along with some others, and there were some that were invited into a, a special room where they were given more – better treatment than others. I know nothing of that. I never met Castro but once, in the early days after the revolution, and he was certainly out driving his own car then, and had just come from the interior, and he (unintelligible) could have been killed any moment from some high building because uh, Trujillo (pronounced American way, with “j”) was – had contracted to murder him, and he would drive right out in the open, and the people just sighed and sighed and sighed, every time he come in, they thought – thought he was going to get it. And he should have got it, because there was several assassination attempts. The CIA tried to kill him many times. I did see in a movie. Beautiful things. I didn’t like him playing with choo-choo trains, uh, in one movie I saw of Cuba, I don’t know whether some of you saw it, we showed it in the church, I didn’t like a man taking his coat off, a servant in white taking his coat off and hanging it up for him. I think everybody’s capable of hanging up their own coat. But those are little things. I didn’t like him smoking (pause) these fine cigars, no. But I’ve seen other things, uh, his interviews, some of his interviews showed a tremendous amount of um, compassion, I thought the way he handled the young students of Cuba that were coming back, that went over, that fled with the parents from Cuba to get away from him, and they came back – You know I read you some news about it. I gave you some news, uh, do you remember?

Scattered voices in crowd: Yes.

Jones: Few weeks ago. And he was, uh, he said, something – of course, words are words, but if we just, it was something like – if I said those words, they would have great meaning, he said, uh, we are honored, we will be so happy to have you return. Which showed a great deal of trust, because those children could all have been plants, being that they came from the families of the rich that fled. These were all Cuban children who lef – whose families were very rich, and fled and went to the United States, and they have now decided to go back on a work project. ‘Course, it’ll get them in a hell of a lot of trouble, and they were as –  they asked if they could stay, and he said, we would be honored to have you stay, and he said something else, I forgot what phrase it was, but it something that touched me. I saw (pause) elitism in this sense. When I went to the airport to get on the plane to go back to the United States, it was crowded with people who come from Canada who love the place, the island is just so beautiful in terms of its beaches, cheap budget, cheap – uh, vacation. I know they have vaca – the same things happening with s – stateside people, coming in for vacations, you won’t see many people from the States there, which I don’t –  they were fond of that, but they don’t honor stateside law, they have not returned any kind of person that’s ever been there for a crime, to the United States. Even hijacking, they have not. Except two hijackers that wanted to return. Two hijackers wanted to p – go to Cuba, ’cause Cuba thought they came there for criminal reasons, and throwed them in jail. If they come there for political reasons, they’ve never thrown um, Joan Brans, uh, that black woman who now represents uh, some government post in San Francisco, her uh, her son – State Department, where’s her son, her son’s in Cuba – It’s odd, that’s odd, boy. I don’t know how in the hell she ever got through there. What the hell are they all on our ass and –  and uh –  what’d she do? Sell out? Something –

Voice in crowd: They really tried to stop her.

Jones: Yeah, but they (struggles for words) they coulda stopped her. She had to make something. She had to make a deal, uh, because that’s government’s given us too much trouble. Or, the fact Carter is just slowly slowly slowly selling out his position, ’cause you see more and more hand of the government of USA against us.

Voices of dismay

Jones: Either he’s not involved, he’s not doing anything to stop it. But Carter did appoint Joan Bran, even though her son is in Cuba. Now she’s crazier than hell, Joan Bran’s crazier than hell. Crazy religious shilly – silly ass trip, um, only um, Vera Young and Jean Brown and Carolyn Layton who worked in Housing Authority could describe her. She uh, come to me always, was talking to me, wanting my help, but when we wanted her help, she didn’t give us no help. She’s kind when she meets us, but she wouldn’t write a letter on our behalf. But her son went to Cuba, hijacked an airplane, killed a couple of highway cops, but they said, uh, because they were black, harassed, and uh –  so they didn’t send them back. And uh, he was a shithead. Boy was (tape distortion), you can speak, ’cause you were there, but he was a shithead, he was a –  he got involved in what? Currency exchange? He was selling dollars? What’s happening with this son-of-a-bitch? Sound outside’s going off, and that makes it difficult for me, and I can’t hear anything. It helps me to hear. Out here. (Pause) I moderate. (struggles for words) I try to get my voice to pitch to what happens out there. (Pause) Mmm, ah, shit. Life goes on. So. She (Pause) sent him dollars, and he sold these dollars in the Cuban streets. (Pause) And the Cubans still didn’t – they put him in the farm for what? four months? Yeah, but they didn’t put him in jail, they don’t like jails, per se, they put him out in the sugar cane fields, like a Learning Crew, and then four months later, he’s back. (Pause) He give a lot of trouble and they, they, they never put him in jail. (Pause). The um, nightclubs, the rich nightclubs that used to be attended by – beautiful, beautiful places. Used to be attended by the rich, are now open to all the workers. Workers are brought in for special vacation, and in the, in the hotel I saw nothing but workers. (Pause) Wasn’t it, wasn’t it all, all workers? Night club was open to nothing but workers. (Pause) And you didn’t get in there. If you were foreign, it didn’t make no difference I was a dignitary and a guest, my God, if that worker was there, I’ll say on that thing, if (struggles for words) if that worker had that night at the night club, to hear their performers – and they were good performers in there – ah, you didn’t get in there. And they’d run your ass out. ‘Cause those seats were taken, and that they – they had to – they follow w – rather rigid law on that. Now the uh, other token was, that in the airport – the other side of the coin – I try to give you all sides of every picture –  the other side of the coin was that, when departing from Jose Marti, the Interna – (electronic buzz) Shit. Could you do something with this microphone? (Taps mike) And this P.A. system. When uh, that happened –  are you hearing me out there?

Low murmur

Jones: No difference, in other words. (Blows into mike) Is there a difference? Well, there’s some P.A. system that’s dropping out in here, then.

Low voice in crowd.

Jones: That one’s cutting out, and this one’s still on.

Male voice: Testing testing testing. Testing. This one’s, this one’s on (voice fades)

Jones: Is that the same thing?

Male voice: This one sound, this one sounds (Voice fades)

Jones: Sounds different, no? Is that the same, the same way. (Pause) Well, anyway. When we went to Jose Marti Hotel, uh, uh, International Hotel, we were, we were uh, airport, and oh, Jesus Christ, we were late. Had to get on there, and US wouldn’t let us –  ’cause I was guil –  guilty of a crime then, that may be one of the reason they come down on me too. They never charged me with that crime, that’s one good thing, but I was willing to go to Cuba to help Huey Newton, which didn’t – he didn’t give a fuck, uh, he certainly didn’t show any appre – appreciation. But for me to go to Cuba, it was against the law to go to Cuba. We coulda gone to jail for that. I thought there’s a point where principle counts, and you better do what’s right. So I went to see Huey Newton and tried to help him. And he was living like a hog, they put up with him, I mean, living like a hog. (Pause) Wife was, uh, she’d had pre-surgery, and all them kids in that beautiful apartment. They had to have –  have a lot of freedom to let him get by with the shit he’s getting by, that was the dirtiest pig sty I have ever seen. (Pause) And he was setting on his ass, and honestly, I spoke more Spanish in one day than he had learned in three years he’d been there.

Low voice

Jones: Had to get he – had to get his son to talk, ’cause he could not talk. What’s with these fucking revolutionaries who won’t adjust. I’m not one of those revolutionaries who won’t adjust. (Pause) I don’t have to have a revolution to live. That’s phony shit. That’s adventurism. See, that’s an adventurer, when somebody’s got to have uh, be the hero and up in the limelight and be the leader, that’s adventurism. Something’s burning.

Low voices in crowd.

Jones: Oh, oh, thank you. Uh, so anyway. At uh –  That showed a great deal of tolerance. And I probed and I probed and probed. I didn’t like their attitude about homosexuals. Used to be, but that’s changed. Homosexuals have a gathering spot, and they don’t put them in jail anymore. They caught a man, an engineer, and another married man, a neighbor, in dead –  in bed. He’s dead, all right, sex is that. Uh –  They were in bed, these two men, and all the Committee of the Defense of Revolutionary –  Revolution did – wife come back from the store, or she was a nurse, she come back and caught them in bed, and so they all gathered, the neighborhood, and had them stand up and pointed at them. (Pause) That’s all they did to them. (Pause) Because they thought that was counter-productive. They think homosexuality (electronic buzz) the indulgence of homosexuality (electronic buzz) (taps on microphone)

Man: Testing.

Jones: What worries it –

Man: Test. (Buzz for several seconds) Testing. (buzz) Hello. (buzz)

Jones: There it is. (taps) You can always deny it then.

Low voices

Jones: (Loud, unamplified) Well, anyway.

Man: It’s on now.

Jones: Shit. (Taps). Anyway. (Pause) To give you the idea – shift. You want to shift? Always wave at me, if you want to shift or something like that.

(Electronic buzz) (Several minutes of trying to fix problem with periodic shouts about tolerance and Huey Newton)

(In the meantime, the radio overdub that periodically distorts tape has young woman saying she’s happy where she is, that this is her new home, they’re very healthy, she loves the person she’s talking to, but she’s very hurt that they don’t believe her.)

Jones: In fact of the matter, the bla – black woman who couldn’t speak any English at all, and had more powers in the party than either one of those two. And it was a black woman who spoke English who interpreted to me (tape cuts out for two seconds) right up in the central committee, right next to Dr. Castro. And there were two blacks. And sisters. And they said, No, we don’t have any racism anymore, as, as institutions, said, we can go as high in this party as we want to go, high in the government as we want to go. However, some of the old time Cubans are prejudiced, she said to me. Now, that sounded like a reasonable statement. Said, racism don’t die overnight. But she said the institutions, the law is against all forms of segregation and punish it very very very high, or very severely. So, at the Marti Airport, you could see how their power moves. The airport seemed like any other airport – we were standing over here, crowded, and we were late – I had an important – I was a guest of the state and had an important mission I had to get back to, to help uhh, general revolutionary things, some of the prouder things. I had to get back. But they didn’t know it, not that sin – not that member that was with me. Those two members didn’t know it. They just knew I wanted to get out of there, ’cause I couldn’t talk about some things there, to those, those people. You, you’re careful about some things. You don’t know where an agent is. But the moment they walked to that desk, that whole goddamn airline was if the King of Arabia had walked in. When those two black women walked up and showed their party card, everybody backed off and we were processed through. I mean, they showed their Central Committee Communist Party, uh, card. And that –  most people wouldn’t notice ’cause it was serving them, but it didn’t –  I noticed it. It bothered me. Because they didn’t know the gravity of my trip. (Pause) And there may have been a lot of people in that line that needed to get someplace just as bad as I did, you understand what I’m saying? In their minds. But everything moved, and is it my – am I being accurate about this, boys? – everything moved when this one black y – lady, young lady, 23 years of age, showed her Central Committee badge. And that was it. (Pause) So that’s all I know of Cuba, now you can make up your mind on it. The beaches are fantastic. I wanted to take the boys there, but we were too busy, as always, never no time to play. I was so dead, I thought, Jesus Christ, can I just lay down here, a minute, just a minute.

Young black man: There’s uh, there’s only one part of Cuba that I realized that was uh, uh wasn’t quite um, is that their driving is – their driving was very recklessly –  at one time, me uh, we had two cars, that is, when we went to Cuba, they had two cars that would uh, was driving us all the time, and one of the drivers actually tried to hit one of the kids, because he was given away, and he made light of it, and I just think that part of it, of Cuba –

Jones: He did that?

Young black man: Yeah.

Another voice: -‘member, ‘member?

Jones: I wasn’t there.

3rd voice: Yeah, I don’t – I don’t remember. I think he was messing with the kid, I don’t think he purposefully tried to hit him, but he swerved just short of the kid. But uh, and he sma – the kid was out, and they were playing in the road, like (struggles for words) they were dangerous, and the guy swerved and sort of, he, he was messing with the kid, but – if we’re going to talk about the driving, we might as well leave Guyana and go somewhere, because it’s just as bad here.

Voice in crowd: Worse.

Hubbub in crowd. (Tapes cuts off for few seconds)

Jones: That story, though, do you guys all give me witness to that, that, that – my drivers, my dr – the government gave me drivers, and tha –  they were not black, were they?

3rd voice: No.

Jones: They were – they were – they were more Indian. Now what was the color of the children that they came up to?

3rd voice: I don’t know, it was dark. It was dark.

Jones: You don’t remember what the color of the children were?

Low voices.

Jones: Hah?

Low voices.

Jones: You thought he was playing.

Low voices.

Jones: Well, by God, mo – vehicles, when they run over you, it – you may be playing, but if they hit you, they – you end up awfully crippled.

Low voices.

Jones: I don’t think that they – that Castro knows what – of himself what I know of myself, I, uh – in a million years. I don’t know – I don’t think ’cause he hasn’t had to suffer through so much shit. He hadn’t had to fuck for a revolution. He hadn’t had to play in the church, he hadn’t had to do all these things that brings out all sides of your personality, you get to know yourself, you know and analyze, and you become capable of leadership. It either makes you, or breaks you. I don’t think he’s had enough. As far as willing to die, he did that. He went to prison, by God. And he wasn’t afraid – he wasn’t afraid of the fascists in the sense that uh, they put him in prison, and he said that history will absolve me, he, uh –  no attorney would defend him, and he stood right before Batista’s [Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista] court and said, history will absolve me. All right. Uh, I can’t think of anything else, uh, somebody else maybe want to make some points about Castro for and Castro against. But I love Cuba, because Cuba put their presence in Angola, and helped free our black comrades there, they put their presence in Ethiopia, and helped free our black comrades there, and um, but as – as – as far as them trusting us to move in as 1000 strong people, and giving us land like this, we won’t have – they don’t have that much land to give us, I’m sure. Not – bu – not that we need that much. But whether they put us in there, I, I, I doubt it. I just doubt it. Because of security. Primarily security. They don’t know what the fuck we are. We’re the only – the ki – the Russians have been over and again, over and over, where they’ve had to talk, they’ve had to come and come and look and talk, we been to the Russians so many times, they can’t get over us. (Pause) They didn’t know that there was a Communist group in America. (Pause) And in a church?

Low voices.

Jones: Huh?

Low murmurs.

Jones: Who said that?

Voice: They was in America, somebody say.

Jones: Who that?

Voice: Somebody back there say, they were in America – (unintelligible)

2nd voice: We’re not in America –

Jones: Well, yeah, that’s true, that’s true. Well – well – if they couldn’t imagine we ever were there, and uh they – they – it’s just been hard for them to get it, get used to it. Plus, [Guyana political figure Cheddi] Jagan is such a fuck-off too. He’s (unintelligible word) is too comfortable. And –  I’d be glad to go to four o’clock in the morning, one of our White Nights, talk to him, he told – he talked to them about being bothered at four o’clock in the morning. And so they worked through that shit, which I don’t like –  I think that’s petty shit, when people ’bout ready to die, some fucker disturbed ’cause somebody visited him at four o’clock in the morning. If he’s any kind of communist, he, he wouldn’t object to it.

Low voice.

Jones: But I tell you, there’s no communist like me. But then this – this communist, compared to Cuba, compared to United States, which is death for black people, you (unintelligible word – sounds like “probably”) won’t see no racial genocide there, ’cause you got a, a blending of the races. Ain’t no way you gonna kill black people there. As a race. Hun-unh.


Jones: [Black Panther fugitive Eldridge] Cleaver accused him of, of, of re – prejudice. But Huey has never, in his (struggles for words) wildest moments, Huey Newton seems to be hesitant to speak against him. He won’t say that much for them. He said, well, we work for – the Cubans may not work for us, and we can make capitalism work. He’s trying to get his ass safe from the electric chair, uh, the gas chamber, and it may be that um, he also won’t – maybe he does have some criticism of Cuba, but he may have to at the last minute flee again, wants to get back there. (Pause) You can look at that either way. You can be a cynical devil’s advocate. (Pause) But don’t count on me being the leader. I think you’re being stupid and I – (struggles for words) you look at these people, they might as well not even vote, because uh, I – I’m telling you, you’re in trouble, some of these people going through, ’cause they will screen you. They’ll screen you. And it’s called a –  and it won’t be as easy as going into Guyana. They gonna ask you some shit. And the first fucker that calls me God, (Pause) that’s it. (Pause) ‘Cause they don’t believe in no god, they’re atheist, they’re dialectic materialist, and the first person that says he healed me, that – that’s – you gotta give them time on that shit. They won’t be able to take that. They don’t believe in nothing, but what you can do with your hands and what you can see with your eyes. (Pause) And the first dumb ass that says – I’m just being pr – frank – the first dumb ass that comes up with some religious shit, and – and some of you will do it, ’cause they never stay awake, and they come up with some dumb shit, and the first thing they’ll say is well, why you’d come with Jim Jones? He healed me.
And I was in the service, and he turned water into wine. And he caused a turkey to fly from Mississippi to uh, San Francisco.

Low voices.

Jones: No you don’t – don’t you think they won’t do it.

Voice: Yes, they will.

Jones: And then we’ll all –

End of side 1.

Jones: (Excitably) I – I – I can’t operate that way. I have to look at all kinds of angles. If I get there, and some dear old black sister calls me God, they say she can’t come in, ’cause she’s, you know, not there for good reasons, and they say she can’t come, now I’m not – I ain’t gonna stay. (Pause) I – I’ll – I’ll be at the dock, that’s where I’ll be. So I can’t promise you what the hell I’m going to do. I can’t promise you. Life don’t – Life doesn’t – Life doesn’t offer you the simple solutions you want. Some of you people hunting simple solutions, and if you stay awake, we only have to have one night to show you that there are no simple solutions. (Cries out) Where are the guards going? These people are sitting, standing up, sitting, sleep –

Crowd murmurs.

Jones: So we can g- – quit tomorrow and rest in and go back to production, goddammit. (Pause) We’ve got, got enough reasonable uh, accords that don’t look like we’re on the verge of death in Guyana at this moment, so we get this thing settled tonight so we can go back to production, be ready for Tass, and once they get us to Moscow, we got uh, a real publication in Moscow, we’ll have more security that they won’t kill us here. Son of a bitch, though, I – I – I can’t talk to a bunch of people who are asleep.

Crowd murmurs.

Jones: Now, shift, please.

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: (Angry) Well, wake ’em up or get ’em up, by God, something –

Voices in crowd too soft. Long pause of several minutes, with radio broadcast).

Jones: (Sentence garbled by radio overdub). (Pause) Come back here, please. Fuck these people, I’m telling you, shoot ’em, that’s the best way. Shoot these sonsabitches. They took our tax exemption away, and then we got it back, from the state, (fragment garbled by radio overdub), goddamn bunch of (unintelligible – sounds like “fighting”), we got that back, but it can be taken away again. They took our name, our corporation, everything, they took it away, but we got it back from the state of California. (Fragment garbled by radio overdub) fight the federal government.

Long pause. Periodic coughs and movement indicate people are still there. Tape stops, restarts.

Jones: Get it all written down, see (fades off). Okay, we’re standing in line about Cuba.

Male voice: We’re standing in line about Cuba.

Jones: (Pause) I guess. I don’t know what the hell we’re standing in line about. (Pause) I guess that’s what we’re talking about, isn’t it?

Crowd: Yes.

Carrie [Langston]: Um, uh, uh, I – I –

Jones: Did you shift?

Carrie: I don’t want to go no – nowhere without Dad. Uh, he don’t want to go – leave without us, and I don’t want to leave without him. So, I’m – I’m – I mean I’ve been studying about this real hard, and um –

Jones: Remember, people come from different experiences and perspectives and education (phrase garbled by radio overdub) and elderly and different levels, and so, always keep that in mind, any approach you make with the, with the, with the person you’re talking with. (Pause) Go ahead, Carrie, you’re doing all right.

Carrie: I’m getting on with (unintelligible word – sounds like “interviews”), and I don’t feel like I have –

Jones: I know you have, you’ve worked your ass off.

Carrie: – and I feel like I have one more working year, so I think I – I’d be more productive, see, of more benefit to the cause if there was some way if – that I could get back to some of the enemies, and kill until I get killed. I mean that from the depths of my heart because – I didn’t come here to live always, and I’ll stand up for my child –

Jones: This is fantastic.

Carrie: – and I never wanted to live –

Jones: This is fantastic. Now I want to show you an example of why – my loyalty. Um, Carrie? What am I to you?

Carrie: You – you’re Dad, you’re mother, you’re just, just everything beautiful to me.

Jones: What have I done for you?

Carrie: You healed my body, you’ve healed me of cancer –

Jones: Right there. They block her. Right there. But yet, what would you do with such a woman as this who says I don’t think I should go to Cuba, I should go back, I’m a senior, my working days are over. What would you do? Would you go on into Cuba, when they block her?

Crowd murmurs No.

Jones: Think about it. That’s why you people who make these simple-minded quick decisions, need to think. (Pause) That’s the most beautiful testimony I’ve heard, that people with college degrees that won’t make it.

Voice in crowd: That’s right.

Jones: Um-hmm. That’s why you treat my people with civility when they come up. And know who they are and get to know them, ’cause she worked her ass off, been a slave, domestic servant, worked her ass off in our rest home. Anybody that can work with Helen Swinney has to have a lot of temper.

Another voice in crowd: Right.

Jones: Uhh-huh. That’s true. Helen’s got her good points and worked their ass and faithful, but that – it’s not easy to work for Helen Swinney.

Voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: And then being black and having been taking orders from white folk all your life, that makes it double hard.

Voices in crowd: Right, Dad.

Jones: So there I – that’s my answer to you. If they say, well, I, I, I, well, I don’t know about this woman, or if they say to somebody, well, I don’t know, you got too many seniors, I don’t know whether we can handle it, you don’t have any – how much income you’re going to have, and – I don’t know what they’re going to say. I just heard they say they’d take us. They don’t know how many – how old our age, average age is. I don’t know they’ve gone into that. You better go into it. (Pause) I don’t believe in dreams. I’d rather know facts. (Pause) I ain’t going no place that – I can’t drag, if I have to carry Mother Everett (unintelligible), if I have to put one on my shoulder, if I have to lead, uh – and then there’s some countries won’t take the blind. This country wouldn’t take the blind. They going to stop [Henry] Mercer. Most all nations will not take the blind. Mercer got here, I said, fuck it, White Night. We had a White Night over Mercer. Till they –  she –  she changed her mind right there.

Crowd murmurs.

Jones: I said, he ain’t coming in here, we’re going out. (Pause) Man been blinded by the fascist. (struggles for words) Every country in the world has the disabled, the handicapped, the blind. Now that’s socialist – you name it, they’re all – they’re the same. Capitalist, or worse. (Deliberate tone) But they do want productive people. (Pause) And some of my young aren’t productive. And some of my seniors are too old to be productive. And some are too senile to be productive. And I could go further and say some are too mean, but I don’t know that, for sure, because you can’t judge what’s senility, and you don’t know all the past. (Pause) We got to have a hell of a contribution here, when the Cubans come. When Russia comes in here, we want to see the goddamndest working force you ever saw. If they see that work force, and every senior moving that day, I think that’ll make a difference, because Cuba will be told to do what, by what Russia tells her to do. If Russia says do it – And I mean, Cu – Russia tells Cuba what to do, and they got – shit, they got all kind of things in Cuba that Russia doesn’t have, sh –  shit on TV and movies and some of the American movies you want to see, the bullshit, they, they got a lot of that stuff. But um – and the, the different attitudes on homosexuality than the Russians. I’m going to tell you, you go to Russia, don’t try no public homosexuality. ‘Cause Russia believes that it is non-productive, and that it’s (struggles for words) the country needs to produce, and they don’t want nobody going homosexual because they won’t have babies and they want production, ’cause the capitalists will outnumber them. It’s that simple fact. (Pause) Now Cuba’s more understanding of it. ‘Cause they do allow it. They just point at you, and shame you, take you out of a sensitive job, if you’re in a classified job.

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: So that’s – there, there, there’s one case. There’s a case and example. And I wasn’t coming with heavy questioning, I was coming with easy questioning. She said, you’re my dad, my mother. That might get them right there, threaten them. But when she said you healed me of cancer, that’s it. Said she’s not a Marxist-Leninist –

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: I know you wouldn’t, honey, necessarily, I mean no criticism of you, ’cause you said the best thing I’ve heard tonight. You don’t need to feel bad about that. You said the best thing I heard tonight. ‘I’m at the end of my life, I don’t know that I could do any good there, I’d like to go back and kill all the enemies I can kill, until they kill me.’ What more can you say? (Pause) What more can you say than that? (Pause) So you ask me to make a decision, if I’m going to Cuba, somebody ha – hollers over there, are you going to Cuba with us? I will go to Cuba with us, unless they keep anybody out. (Pause) And then I will sit on that dock until they throw me out or throw me into jail. ‘Cause the moment they say ‘No’ to anybody, that’s it.

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: That’s all I got left. (Decisive) I think I’m the only pure Communist, I’ve had a pure loyalty to this entire family, and I’m not now going to start splintering off which ones I’m going to take care of. I’ll take these children, I won’t take that, you can do with those children what you want? Nuh-uhh. Fuck it. It’s all or none. That’s my motto. I’d just as soon die – and prefer to die, oh my, how much most of us would – prefer to die tonight anyway than to take the chances with fucking human beings, ’cause they’re too insensitive, and they’ve not come down the communist path I have, and uh, whole lot of (struggles for words) the leaders haven’t come down the communist path that some of the rest of you have. So that, that’s my opinion. I’ve told you exactly as I know about Cuba. Now you can make up your own mind. (Pause) But I can’t, I can’t promise you what the hell’s going to happen when our boat gets there. You can have a White Night in the harbor. (Pause) We can do that. (Pause) Set the sonofabitch afire, they refuse to take somebody. (Pause to drink). Once you land, and you’re not a solid movement, you don’t have that flexibility of, of making White Nights. (Pause) They don’t want to take some blind person, they don’t want to take some handicapped person, or they question somebody’s communist understanding? I don’t think they’ll be that insensitive. I don’t think, but I don’t know. I know my morality. I don’t know these fucking people’s morality. I know mine. (Takes on tone of preacher) Some come blind, some come halt, some come maimed, but all come calling their Father’s name, and Father treats you just the same.

Scattered voices in crowd: That’s right.

Jones: That’s, that’s, that’s my socialism, that’s my communism –


Jones: – but I don’t know about other people’s socialism. I haven’t tested theirs yet. I’ll know it, and I’ll believe it when we’re in the dock, and we’re landed, and we got some land, and they treat us all the same. That’s what I believe. I believe that there’s some opportunism there – they see us as a large American group they can make political hay – if they can weigh that against uh, all the other odds, and I think one of the odds will be Jim Jones, say this fucker is courageous, he is a leader, he will do anything for his people, we better not let him have that much power. (Pause) And that’s what I think they’ll say. They won’t tell us that officially, but I think that’s what – that’s what’ll come. (Pause) And that don’t bother shit from me, if it gets you all there. But (struggles for words) we better make our stand on the fucking boat, because, if we –  if we don’t get our way on the boat, once you get in the dock, they can do with you what you want, when they send you – some over here and some over there. Cuba’s small, we can be in different parts of Cuba and wouldn’t –  we could get to see each other, but it’s uh –

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: Huh?

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: It’s hell. I make you think, I know, it must be awful painful. I wasn’t talking to you. I wasn’t talking to you. Shit, you been around me. I know what you want to do. You told me plenty of times. You want to go home and kill ’em all too. My k – my kids are all wanting to go back to kill them. (Pause) Every blessed one of them, they don’t want to go nowhere, but go back and kill all these sonsabitches and wipe it up and let them kill them. Haven’t had a kid – Haven’t had a one kid – I haven’t talked to Lew [Jones] so much about it, but I –  he may have a little different ver – perspective, he’s got a little boy, but uh –

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: Uh-huh. Well, I didn’t think there was, but I was just saying, I haven’t uh – So you got the – you got the (unintelligible), you gotta think, you just can’t get, (Takes on rube’s accent) “Well, going to Cuba.” (Back to normal voice) Life ain’t that simple.

Scattered voices in crowd: That’s right.

Jones: By God, I didn’t get here that simple. I fought to (unintelligible word) what Jesus – well you see, that’s what I mean. You know ‘Jesus.’ Don’t forget to wipe Jesus out, honey. (Lectures) You better wipe him out of your vocabulary if you want to get someplace else. Now, when I got down here, to get you here, and I saw this shit coming before it hit the fan, I went – this first time, I knew it was coming. I got it solved one day before the shit hit the fan, or nobody had been here. ‘Cause this government wasn’t going to let nobody else in. ‘Cause Huey Newton wanted to come in, they refused him. (Pause) And we barely made it. (Pause) So don’t think it’s that easy to get someplace you want to go. (Pause) And what is the old saying? The pig in the – ? Oh, no. The bird in the bush –

Voices in crowd: A bird in the hand –

Jones: A bird in the hand is worth two birds in the bush. And I see the Russian bird and the Cuban bird as the two birds in the bush. I got this bird in the hand, and for me, well, I – I – I – I’d, I’m in a hell of a dilemma. I’d do damn near anything – (Pause) I’d do this, I’ll tell you this. I’d do this. If the seniors will go along with me. If some senior’s blocked from getting in, we’ll, we’ll make a – we’ll die, we’ll all die right there on the boat, and the rest of you can go on in. I’d rather do that, than face killing every baby in this house. (Pause) Now I’m going to tell you, the ones that are refused, I’m staying with them and I’m dying with them. I’m not going in. Whoever’s refused, I’m not going in. I ain’t going to change that. Because if I changed that, I’d be immoral, and I couldn’t live with myself, and I wouldn’t – and that’s all I’ve ever had. Didn’t have good looks, don’t have no money anymore, g – I was a millionaire, gave it away. All I’ve got is my principles. And I’ve lived by those. Some of you think you’re good looking. And I know all this shit you think about yourself. You think you’re a big fuck, and I could fuck still. As old as I am, I could fuck any wife away from any one of you.

Murmurs in crowd.

Jones: Yeah, no no no no no no – Wanna gamble? Want to gamble a little bit? If you’ll give me – if you – if you work 22 hours a day – let’s just gamble with me. (Pause) Yeah, I don’t see nobody putting up. (Pause) You better not. Don’t be too sure of yourself. Say, my wife don’t like you. Let her spend the night with me.

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: Hmm?

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: (Reprimands) You pri – you pricks. I’m just – I don’t like him talking ’bout it. Sex makes me sick. But I just know some of you people. You’re so stuck on yourself.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: You’ve never developed any other characteristics, ’cause you think all you need is a dick. And your dick wouldn’t be worth nothing else tonight, only we’re slightly hungry, we would fry it and use it as sausage.

Cheers and clapping.

Jones: That’s why you don’t have the principles, you don’t have the character, because you always thought you – all you need was your good looks. And you’re ugly as I am.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: Every blessed one of you. Young or old.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: How many of you say, that – I mean, that’s right? Seven or eight say that’s right? Seven or eight people said, that’s right. Well, you watch, you watch how quickly somebody drops you someday. Hmm. (Voice lifts) But I ain’t dropping you. I been dropped, I’ve seen people dropped. I ain’t dropping nobody. So when it stops anybody there, I stop, and that point, I don’t go. They can say, yeah, Jim, you can come in, we got a nice job for you in the government, we’ll put you here, there or some – I’ll say, “Fuck you.” If – if my little lady here, down here, can’t go, if she can’t go, then I don’t go. (Pause) (Short laugh) You understand what I’m saying.

Scattered voices in crowd: Yeah.

Jones: If some ki – kid with a criminal record or some child’s custody p –  papers are in question, I – I’d say, Hmmmm. (Pause) All or none, that’s it, that’s the way it’ll be.

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: Hmm?

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: So now, what I –  I don’t know how you going to do, you want to, you – I know, it’d make it easy, if you want to go in, that don’t bother me. (Tolerant tone) Go on in. I’ll stay on the fucking boat. Some of us will stay there.

Scattered voices in crowd: That’s right.

Jones: And we’ll go out to sea like those uh, just floated out to sea on that thing, when they put all the Jews, and sent them out, and Hitler knew that nobody’d take them in. He said they – He said, yeah, said, you people don’t want them, said, we’ll send them from port to port, see if they’ll take them. Sent the Jews all around from port to port. What was that book called? That ship’s story? Hmm? (Pause) What?

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: No, no Exodus. Wasn’t no exodus, with that boy. They sent that goddamn boat around with Jews. And he, and he sent them from port to port, and nobody, nobody’d take the Jews in.

Voice in crowd too soft:Ship Of Fools?

Jones: Ship of Fools? Yeah. Well, whatever. I got my stories mixed up here, but anyway. Whatever. That’s what I’ll do. We’ll just go out to sea, and let – just float, float, till we can’t float no more. I think too much of communism to try to embarrass the communist port. We wouldn’t do that to Cuba, ’cause she done something for Angola, we just float on out to sea. (Pause) And there’d we die peacefully. And the rest of you, you can go in there and save some of these babies from having to die. You can take the babies. And I’ll go with the ones that can’t get in. That’ll be my decision. I got a right to my decision, just like you got a right to yours.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: How that – how’s that – how’s that go over? What’d I just say, Christine Miller? Huh? What’d I say? What’d I just say?

Voice in crowd too soft.

Jones: No, I mean the whole subject.

Miller: Um, you were saying that, if we got there and they wouldn’t take uh, one of the seniors or one of the uh, young people or some of them that were disabled, uh, that you just wouldn’t go, you’d stay on the ship. We could go on if you, you know, if we wanted to –

Jones: Yeah.

Miller: – but you wouldn’t go if one couldn’t go.

Jones: Well, what would you do?

Miller: (Pause) What would I do?

Voices murmur.

Jones: Hmm-hmm. You know, Father never asks a question without a reason. (Pause) Father never asks a question without a reason. He’s the all-knowing mind.

Miller: (Pause) Mmm, I – I don’t know, I haven’t thought on it yet.

Jones: That’s why I asked you. That’s why I am who I am. I know the mind. I knew you hadn’t. You’re standing in the gap of the hedge, and there’s others, but you’re honest. Some others would tell me a lie.

Miller: Mmm. No, I –

Jones: But you always know, always know who I am. I don’t talk about all I know. But I can look right through your mind and know what’s going on, know when you – what – what you’re halting between two opinions. (Pause) So why isn’t somebody going to say, when he walks in there, he’s (whispers) God. So you can understand how they’re gonna make that mistake. (Pause) Who else can know your thoughts? That’s all they ever knew that could know your thoughts. (Pause) When I asked you a question, honey, I always got a reason. Not for her benefit – I’m not saying – she knows it now. I’m telling you. (Pause) And don’t think ’cause you – I –  I look at you and you may be thinking something, and you may be thinking evil of me, and I may smile at you, that I don’t know what you’re thinking. I’m not talking about her in this regard. You – you don’t – you don’t know how much I know about you. If you did, you would shit right there in your drawers.


Jones: If you knew how much I know about you when I take a look at you, (unintelligible – sounds like “What I know”) you’d shit in your drawers. You try these silly-ass games with me, and the o-o-o-old fox is just looking right through you.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: Stand there and tell me all this shit about how loyal you’ve been, how faithful you been – I know everything you did in the States. I know how quick you – and how even some of you planned to go against this cause. (Parental tone) Don’t tell me no shit, don’t lie to me. You’re – you’re killing yourself when you lie to me, you’re cutting me off from that which I can do to you, to help you when you’re down in the valley, and nobody else can lift you up.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: Just as long as we know that, when you’re getting up and lying in my face – She didn’t lie. She told me. Lot of you say, oh, I don’t know why you call me out. They sit up and they, they (unintelligible word) try to second guess me, I, I, I would stay with you, Father. But she didn’t know. (Pause) And I would say, that, that’s what makes me such a loving emancipator. I’m not telling her what to say. (Pause) I know what I must do. (Pause) (Speaks gently) To thine own self be true. And I don’t care who follows me, unless it’s in their heart. (Pause) It must be persuaded in your own heart, that every man, that every woman be persuaded in his own heart. And while they sleep, it’s the same old situation. You’re in the garden. (Pause) (Quietly) You talked about Jesus, and you used to cry. And you’re in the garden tonight.

Scattered voices in crowd: That’s right.

Jones: And he’s facing crucifixion. And you’re asleep. (Pause) (Shouts) Would thou not stay with me awake a moment? (Normal voice) Would you not keep yourself awake in these trying hours? And I’m not trying to save me from crucifixion. I’m trying to save you from crucifixion.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: (Shouts) What is the crucifixion I’m trying to save you from? Not the crucifixion of your body, but crucifying your conscience, (gentle voice) which makes you more dead than anything ever can be dead, is when you crucify your principles.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: That’s a death worse than any White Night. (Pause) Now I’ve spoken in that degree that nobody else has, that doctor of metaphysics. (Pause) I would say other terms, but they’re all misused and abused. (Pause) Okay. Next person.

Woman: Uh, Dad, uh, my first thought is uh, to um, try – try to take every measure to – to remain here. And if we couldn’t, if you felt that we could go to Cuba for the sake of the babies –

Jones: Yes.

Woman: – uh, that would be beautiful.

Jones: Hmm-hmm.

Woman: But, if, as, as uh, you say, we cannot go together, I would rather not. One reason I’d uh, like the idea of going to Cuba, and if you did not have the uh, full responsibility of the group, if you could say manage it in a managerial, uh, position and we could be together, that would be beautiful, and you would not have the, the heavy burden that you have now!

Jones: That’s sweet of you. That’s sweet of you.

Woman: I, I think of it in that respect –

Jones: Well, my love, you have this option. If we could not – if you could not be – it –  if – if you have to stand with me and my conscience, and your conscience is like mine, and you have to stand with me in that hour, we can still let those go on in that can have a life ahead of them, the children, who won’t feel that much – they’ll forget us, in time. Time heals. And then those of us that want to drift to sea can drift into the oblivion. (Pause) We have no ego. What are we seeking? We’re not seeking a page of history, are we? Only egotists se – seek – only capitalists, only some kind of revisionary socialist seek to be a page in history. (Asks simply) Why do we care? We can drift on out to sea. (Pause) It’s better than killing every baby that we ever created. (Pause) I’m not – (radio overdub) (Shouts) And I hope that each of you, though I called out one who I knew her thoughts, I hope that each of you that was still debating like she was, (lowers voice) know that I know you too, so don’t start dressing it up.

Scattered voices in crowd: Right.

Jones: Don’t come up here and stand like the angel of goodness, ’cause I know where your mind is. I know where your fears are. I know how tired you are. Mmm-hmm?

Voice from crowd too soft.

Jones: Okay.

Woman: Uh, Dad? Uh, I did – I didn’t think that point through, uh, but while you were talking, I did, and I think uh, we should have it negotiated before we uh, make the decision. In other words, we, we get uh, Cuba’s agreement to admit everybody that Dad wants to bring along. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t go if they don’t, but I’m saying that then we have to rethink the situation. Uh, there’s a couple of other points I’d like to make. Is that a little too close (radio overdub)? Can you hear me well? Um – thank you, dear. Um, I um, (Pause) I think there’s one angle to it – I hope that Dad doesn’t mind my mentioning this – but that is that I think, if we had to split up to be assimilated into Cuba, uh, into Cuban life, the opportunity that Dad would have uh, would be even more than he is now, a, a leader of world communism, because his talents could not be hidden, and uh, anybody on the world scene would see that he was a, a great world leader, and I don’t think life would be any easier for him – probably be harder, if that’s possible, than it is now –  but, but I think uh, the scope that would open up for him and for us –

Jones: Shift, please.

Woman: – to deal with such things as Africa, for instance, the African nations. The um, the close union there is between Soviet Russia and Cuba, I think, would offer him an opportunity, and besides, I think it would offer a great opportunity for our young people. Uh, I, I think there’s uh, all kinds of possibilities that would open to us. I’m not oblivious of the fact that I think it’s a great misfortune that we can’t stay together as a group. I would hope that we could, but I doubt it. But I think there are advantages on the other side. Uh, there’s one other thing that I don’t think has been emphasized enough yet, and that is that uh, some people will be handicapped in uh, having the language Spanish, and some of the – uh, some people might find it difficult to learn, and they might be lonesome for an English-speaking country. I’ve been in the situation where, where you don’t speak the language, you sometimes get homesick, uh, and this is a factor to be thought of. Our young people would learn it, of course, very easily uh, but those are the comments that I (voice trails off).

Jones: Now if you are thinking and it wasn’t so late, someone could, her beau – beautiful thoughts and rationale, could uh, there could be an advocate of the other side (radio overdub for sentence). I believe, I believe I heard her say there could be advantages if our group were broken up.


Jones: That’s where I’d like to really be satisfied on. That – I really would like to be satisfied of the advantages.

Voices in crowd too soft.

Jones: Quiet, please. (Pause) (Struggles for words) How can you – You’ve got to relate to (unintelligible). She’s uh, 80 years, okay. Quickly (radio overdub). – need for dialogue. She give us a need for dialogue. So I think we need to remember her positions –  if I don’t know, I will remember them all – one, she said that I’d be a great, great – I could be a more expanded, extensive world leader. Second was um, high point was that uh, the language problem was going to be a problem, and um, I tell you, if you don’t learn – try to learn the language that –

End of side 2.

Tape originally posted January 1999