Q622 Transcript

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(Note: This tape was one of the 53 tapes initially withheld from public disclosure.)

Part 1: Telephone conversation between Jim Jones and John Maher of Delancey Street Foundation

Maher: Any Democratic person registered in the Fifth Assembly district can vote.

Jones: All right.

Maher: And my feeling was that we do Dennis Banks a favor, un, without him knowing it, by sending our guys down and (unintelligible word)— you— each person has ten votes.

Jones: All right.

Maher: Out of that ten votes that all the Democrats can vote, six people will be selected from each district to be the— the delegates to the convention.

Jones: Umm-hmm.

Maher: And I think if that I can get all my people and some other good people to just say to each of these people, "You’re a delegate for [California Governor and presidential candidate Jerry] Brown. Do you promise us that you will demand Mr. Brown — or, if you can’t demand, you will at least say, loudly — that uh, your overall friendship depends on his extradition situation with Mr. Banks."

Jones: And that’s where you’re vital to us. You’re— You’re very much more aware of the— the grassroots political process, so we will get all registered in the Fifth Assembly District, uh, to do the same.

Maher: Right. And I think— I think that if we could get one of your guys and make him a delegates— See, I can’t make my guys delegates, because they’re ex-cons, and what happens is, people think— when they see ex-cons do politics— so I was going to support one of the gay people—

Jones: That’s good.

Maher: And a couple of the straight people uh, like Ann Eliaz [phonetic], who are old timers, to keep the party intact, uh—

Jones: Umm-hmm.

Maher: Then I thought that I would send 25 men over to the [presidential candidate Jimmy] Carter caucus in the same district. See, the way they work it is, that each group of—

Jones: They’re going on at the same time, concurrently?

Maher: Exactly. And what happens is, all of the candidates have a caucus in each district, and then they select their slate of delegates. Then in the primary, what we really do, is vote for their slate of delegates.

Jones: I see.

Maher: Uh— I think Carter won’t have a crowd, so that a limited number of people here, we could get some delegates on that. And I know that Carter can’t do anything for Dennis, but what Carter can do — if he feels he might get him some support out this way, where he’s not known — is to really put the pressure on his people, that, "Listen, man, at least half of your delegates want you to make a strong statement on Dennis Banks."

Jones: All right.

Maher: And—

Jones: You will get your gentlemen to call us back, so we can get— We’re not savvy enough. You’ve been in this— I’ve been so busy, you know, when you maintain— we have our own health program, we— own legal services to our people, we’re practically running a kind of an independent socialist community—

Maher: Right. Right.

Jones: God, I— I just can’t see the tr— the forest for the trees. Uh, your— your savvy— your savvy is— is immeasurably helpful to me. I can’t tell you how much. Now I would’ve ov— I would’ve been guilty of an oversight here, and we— that would have been a shame, to not put our strength here, by just happening to talk to you would make the difference.

Maher: Yeah, my— my feeling, sir, is that uh— for myself and our people— because I’m in the same spot you are, I mean, we’re just battered, uh—

Jones: Yeah, I bet.

Maher: And my feeling is that our responsibility to the people is, while we wait for the good man or woman to come that we can support, who we feel will make real changes—

Jones: Umm-hmm.

Maher: —is to be manipulative on their behalf—

Jones: Umm-hmm.

Maher: —and to tie the enemy up, so to speak, in some minor debts here and minor debts there, and uh— and pin ‘em down. Uh, and I think we’ve— at least I know I have— I think if I’ve wasted a lot of time in the past mainly in supporting— in, in making choices between different kinds of unacceptable people—

Jones: Yeah, I agree.

Maher: —and then fighting my tail off for them, rather than sitting back and saying, well, how can we need three black building inspectors? How do we get them?

Jones: Umm-hmm.

Maher: And— And— And— And go about that process, and I think uh— (pause) I think, years ago, the old Chinese Communist Party was correct when they talked about the uh, the, the concept that if you take the small jobs—

Jones: Umm-hmm.

Maher: —that slowly power is transferred to the people.

Jones: That’s an— That’s an interesting concept. I’d forgotten it. I will uh, um— (stumbles over words) I almost forgot what I’m going to talk to you about. Now, you said you were grim about Dennis, uh, the extradition. We’ve put about ten thousand letters up to (unintelligible word). You think the governor’s [Robert Straub] going to go along with the extradition in— in Oregon, too?

Maher: Well, I don’t know. My— I— I really don’t— don’t know the Oregon situation very well. But my feeling with Mr. Brown is, Mr. Brown is an ambitious man.

Jones: Yeah.

Maher: He’s not—

Jones: He—

Maher: He’s not the worst of the lot, but he’s an ambitious man, and I— I was not particularly thrilled, even though Cesar [United Farm Workers organizer Cesar Chavez] feel— I— you know, I had lunch with him yesterday, and he said he’s happy with Brown now. There was quite a while where he wasn’t happy with Brown, where Brown hesitated, and my feeling is that (pause) I’m afraid Mr. Brown will feel so much support because of his farm worker bill and some other stuff, that the good guys will start coming over—

Jones: Yes.

Maher: —that unless we really get some wedges in there, he’ll be able to say, well, I’ve given them this and this, I can probably get by with hanging Dennis.

Jones: Uh, I— I— I think that’s probably a reasonable deduction.

Maher: And my guess is that uh, we’ve got to articulate that loudly. Now it may be—

Jones: How many people should we have at both these caucuses?

Maher: I really don’t know, sir. I would think uh— the last caucus they had — but I don’t know if that’s indicative — there were about 200 people who showed up, and about 200 of mine. I’m not going to be able to match that in any kind of strength this time, I’m only going to be— Because many of my people are registered in Marin [County].

Jones: Hmm. I’ve got a problem too, in— in registration number. This is off the record, but I’ve been moving my people out—

Maher: Right.

Jones: —of the rural communities, so they’re— How long do they have to be registered to participate in the caucus?

Maher: Uh, I believe they had to vote in the last election.

Jones: Oh, oh, well, we’re— we’re going to be— we’re going to have some problem. Um, then I don’t know how many fall in the Fifth Assembly District, uh. I’ll have to look at— I— I—

Maher: Well, now there’ll be— there’ll be caucuses in both, Fifth and Sixth—

Jones: All right.

Maher: —so that uh, we can split— I think the real thing is to— that I can see— My guess is that Brown or Carter, either way— and if Brown can’t do anything for Dennis, because he has a legal technicality to hide behind, he could at least make a public moral statement.

Jones: I would— I would (unintelligible word)—

Maher: It would say, I would do this, but I can’t by law.

Jones: Now, I understand you’ve put a hundred thousand letters in there and telegrams, we’ve put fifty thousand—

Maher: Well, I haven’t even— I don’t think I’ve even gotten to— to— to fifty yet, we’ve maybe got twenty—

Jones: Well, I heard what Dennis said. I was going by what Dennis said from the um, rally. And we— we— we— we have exceeded the fifty thousand mark, and it— it seems that, God, you’d hear something, some feedback. And not one of our people have gotten a damn word from this governor.

Maher: Well, it’s too hot an issue, sir. And he’s a very— he’s a very astute man. Uh, and—

Jones: I suppose so.

Maher: I think he just (unintelligible word)— (Pause) I think he’s walking that line where he can’t give our side too much, or the other side too much, but he wants to give us both enough to make us think he’s going his way and—

Jones: Well, you know, this Dennis is a— is a good chap. Uh, we’ve been having a little flak— I don’t know whether you saw what they did to Cecil Williams [pastor at Glide United Methodist Church, San Francisco]—

Maher: No.

Jones: Did you— Did you read this uh, we are playbay— Playboy, they, oh, good to say. They— they went into him with a— well, they went for the jugular, uh, this atrocious article.

Maher: Playboy Magazine?

Jones: Oh, one of them. I— I— I didn’t— I don’t like to listen to tripe about good people. But it— it was um, um— I probably should— you should know— Rappaport— Rappaport, be sure to be careful if that man comes around. I don’t know other than it was Roger Rappaport. He uh— Oh, I think the headline of it was uh— Cecil said the church should get fucked. And I— I agree wholeheartedly. The church needs to be pregnant with new ideas. But uh, it went in this— the— the scurrillousness of it was that he helped uh, disrobe women in the um, the meeting, and they were smoking pot all over the place, and he uh—

Maher: (Incredulous) What?

Jones: And— and uh, yeah, oh, I haven’t got to the worst of it yet, in— all the SLA [Symbionese Liberation Army] guer— It’s a guerrilla enclave, and the SLA people came out of it. It— It was a— It was uh, atrocious. Now this uh— We— we think we uh, we may be uh, in for an article, but— and Dennis called the [San Francisco] Chronicle and uh, got very disturbed uh— Someone told him we were having some difficulty, and he got very— He— He’s a good man, uh—

Maher: Yeah.

Jones: The Chronicle’s given him very good support. But he called in there, saying, an attack on Jim Jones is [an] attack on me. I wouldn’t have had him do it for the world. Uh— We seem to be faring very well. And by the way, if um, we’ve been advised by a number of the DA called uh, if a— a little letter could be dropped in, even by your office, saying that Peoples Temple has so much um, racist reaction in the um, the north — which they have well documented — uh, they— they would appreciate uh, not having uh— and their friends would appreciate not— just not having any article at this particular time. I don’t mind if they— if they— allegedly it’s going to be positive, but the woman has written on the uh, the others in the past, and um, what she calls positive, [San Francisco District Attorney Joseph] Freitas says is positive. He got into Mellankopf’s office and said it’s— it’s positive, and we’ve heard that from uh, feedback from [San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb] Caen, but what reporters call positive and what turns out to be positive is another thing.

Maher: Right.

Jones: Um—

Maher: So how would you want me to— What— What exactly would you want me to write, sir?

Jones: Oh, just something that, Peoples Temple um, has suffered um, the— their— eight— we have 1800 constituents in uh, this Redwood Valley section up in Northern California, and our people — not only our black, but our Jewish members, too — they’re— this is uh, something that disturbs me as much as a, a wave of anti-Semitism and anti-black feeling, and I can see throughout my church, uh, jurisdictions— and of course, the uh, (unintelligible phrase) I think it’s a phenomenon that’s a little different because of the— (voice fades out for two seconds) but whatever— the economic crunch, it— there’s a hell of a lot of, as you say, factionalism and ethnic prejudice. To the point of violence, though, up there. If we get good news or bad, uh, John, what— it doesn’t make any difference what kind of news we get. And we’ve had nothing but good for years, since they got rid of a character by the name of [former San Francisco Examiner columnist Lester] Kinsolving, who used to attack everyone around—

Maher: Right.

Jones: Um— Anything comes out, we’ll get shotgun through our— our facilities—

Maher: To— well, I should address such a letter to Mr. Mellankopf?

Jones: Uh— I would think that— that Mr. Pate might perhaps—

Maher: Okay.

Jones: He’s— he’s—

Maher: How do you spell his name?

Jones: Oh, Lord, I don’t— I— Let me look here in the uh, paper. He— He— The reason I say Pate, he’s written sympathetic— he’s written kindly letters to us, unsolicited, in reference to some of the things we’ve done in the community. So that’s just why I say he seems to be more friendly. And Mellan— Mellankopf has been um— Other people have talked to Mellankopf, uh, uh— and I think he’s probably been saturated and he seems to be friendly. Uh, let me see if I can get Pate. (Sound of riffling pages) Wouldn’t you know that editorial damn section, I can’t find it, uh— (Pause) Just a second, uh— In the meantime— (clears throat) That— That’s what touched me with— with uh, Dennis, uh, when he’s got so much at stake that he would call in that way. Gordon Pates. P-A-T-E-S. Assoc— Managing Editor. (Pause) P-A-T-E-S.

Maher: Okay, I’ll get a copy off today.

Jones: Thank you. If you could send us a copy to give us some ideas of how we uh, little things we might say. You’re— you’re a genius, in my opinion. I don’t say— I— I mean that. I’ve never seen a man with the— the mind that you have. And that’s why we’re very much interested in— not only the mind, but the sensitivity. If anything can save this country, it’s the people that think like you do, and— and then put the actions behind it—

Maher: Uh—

Jones: Anyway, something to the effect uh— We can’t be asking for prior restraint, but just say, the Peoples Temple uh, has done all these number of good works, we have their— we have a strong drug rehabilitation program — I don’t know whether you have any of our literature — legal services, free legal services, they have their own health examination facilities under the auspices of Doctor uh, doctors uh, such as [San Francisco Sun-Reporter publisher and physician Carlton] Goodlett. We have, you know, I don’t know, you know much of our program—

Maher: Right.

Jones: We have our physical therapist here, we give uh— about a hundred people getting treatment that would cost them thirty dollars an hour, the poor can’t afford it, so we got poor white, uh black, every— every ethnic background getting diathermy, ultrasou— ultrasound uh, treatments, which is so important to uh, people in advanced years, and there’s a lot of arthritis in this damn climate.

Maher: Right.

Jones: Uh, we do preventative me— uh, exams, sickle cell testings, uh, we have free meals twice a day here, uh, we have a commissary that gives emergency food and clothing — what else do we have? — we have our own children’s home, we have a home for retarded in Northern California, and uh— in that Redwood Valley area, and we have three geriatric facilities that are uh, unique in that they’re self-managed. The seniors only— They tell— tell us what to do, they ma— make their own menus, they decide the décor of their— their facilities, all they ask for is manual labor because some of them are— well, one of our managers, she’s so beautiful, is a hundred and one, there’s nothing so— so good for seniors uh, uh, as is getting them involved and keeping them involved, rather than a paternalistic approach of doing things for them.

Maher: That’s right.

Jones: So that’s just a— I— I hope that’s a capsulization that would give you some idea of the programs. And say that Peoples Temple, as a matter of— of record, it can be established, has um, suffered um, uh, harassment to their uh, minority members to the point of physical violence on several occasions when any kind of article comes out, and some of us uh, don’t uh, say that we’ve mentioned it, uh, the approach has been — at least, that’s what the DA approached, he— he wrote— uh, the District Attorney of that country wrote, who’s conservative, and it’s just saying uh, that uh, some of us feel that any— we heard that an article’s coming and— and uh, we feel that the best news for Peoples Temple is no news. (Pause) And that’s the damn truth, if we get uh— I— I don’t care if it’s positive or negative, I’d like to get my black people— although I’m not telling them that I’m moving the black people out, but by July, our black people want out of there.

Maher: Right.

Jones: And we’ll have them out. But it takes us, uh, a while, and if we get even a, a breather by something of that sort, uh, just like you’ve heard it through the— I’ll tell you who’ve written (unintelligible word) point, um, Mayor’s office made a call, the um, Mendelsohn made a call, um, um— [Fred] Firth would but um— (sniffs) Firth being that he’s got them tied up in his suit, he didn’t know whether I wanted him to, and I decided, well, better not. By the way, who are you for in the term of Firth or Mendelsohn?

Maher: I’m remaining neutral on that issue.

Jones: All right. That’s good. I— I— I’ve had ambivalence, and I wouldn’t quote you. Believe you, anytime I ask you, I won’t quote you.

Maher: Okay, my— my feeling on it— I’ll just give my back— background, sir. (Pause) But if [California State Senator] Milton Marks loses — and that’s not to say he should win, he’s half the time a do nothing guy — but if Milton Marks loses, all Republican power in the city—

Jones: Right.

Maher: (unintelligible word under Jones’ interruption) wing, that power will fall to [San Francisco Supervisor John] Barbagelata. The only other Republican of note is [San Francisco Supervisor John] Molinari, who is fairly good, but obviously didn’t have it even to get in the race this time.

Jones: I see.

Maher: My feeling— or at least my— my overall strategy, though I have— because I know Mr. Mendelsohn and uh, I have supported him in the past, and because certainly Fred Firth seems like a funny guy who at least could be used for the people, if we massage his ego.

Jones: Yeah. Well said.

Maher: Uh, my feeling is, the Republican camp must be kept split because if Barba— if it all falls on Barbagelata, that kind of leadership, (unintelligible word) nearly unseated George [San Francisco Mayor George Moscone]. And uh—

Jones: You’re damn savvy. I— I shoulda thought of that.

Maher: I think it should be split.

Jones: Well, we’ll go into— we’ll go into the final thing for Marks then uh— Off the record, off the record—

Maher: Yeah. Absolutely.

Jones: All right. I— I see your point, and— We’ve always supported Marks, uh— He hasn’t been all that bad a guy, and I don’t suppose it’d be a toss-up between all of them anyway. So I— I th— I see it. That’s where we need your input. I said to you that you— it’s too bad— I don’t know what the— your (stumbles over words)— Does now the criminal background uh, impair a man from politics? It’s a damn shame you’re not in the uh, uh— You oughta be a— a— Hell, I think you oughta be president, but of course, that’s dreamy-eyed nonsense. Um, what— what— uh, what impairment does it have? I’ve never even bothered to think in terms of people’s records, uh, does this um, impair one from running for any office?

Maher: Uh— not really, nowadays. It can be gotten around in most cases. It did until just two years ago.

Jones: Now they have a— Isn’t it a crime in the state of California if they refer to your records, even? I think it’s a misdemeanor if they even bring up your record.

Maher: Well, it’s— there’s different uh, different rules for different categories of crime.

Jones: Umm. I see.

Maher: For instance, the federal people have one set of laws, and various states and counties have alternating laws. Here in San Francisco, we got the right to vote in a referendum about two years ago. And it’s getting much— much looser. But uh—

Jones: Well, I’d hope so. I’d hope so. Well, that uh, that, in a nutshell— and if any— any— if— I know it’s an awful burden, knowing you, but we— being we have so much power of numbers, uh, we need your wisdom, if you— you write a memorandum, unsigned, I’ll know who it’s coming from, on a typewriter, with some suggestions. So—

Maher: Fine, sir.

Jones: Um— Directed to me personally, I— It would be ever so helpful, so that we don’t make mistakes. Now we would have made a mistake again about Marks. I— I didn’t think of this— of the total impact— and you’re quite right, Barbagelata is something out of the antediluvian period, uh— I— we— we don’t want to see uh, him have that type of control over the Republican Party. But I don’t think far enough— And I don’t have time to think, because of all the burdens here. Uh— It’s just— It’s just enormous uh— As I told you just— I told you a small proportion of the programs. I don’t know also whether you know we have an a— we have an agriculture mission in South America of 27,000 acres.

Maher: Mike Prokes had told me. That was a fascinating thing.

Jones: It’s beautiful. And by the way, if you have anybody that’s just bumming out— bombing out completely, um, it’s always an avenue. Some of my drug addicts that couldn’t make it, and uh— the— had been— uh, had criminal backgrounds, and just simply couldn’t make it in the urban situation, always seem to get back in the same patterns, they seem to do ideally well in a— in a jungle community twelve miles from the closest human contact, but a lot of good support that— it’s not a harsh type of communal situation there, and doesn’t have to be, because there’s so little trouble they can get into.

Maher: Right.

Jones: Um— But— And we’re producing. We just turned uh, this week, uh, past week, sixty thousand ya— uh, pounds of yams which help the uh, the malnutrition— not in that area, we’ve done a great deal about that, and we’ve given employment to about 200 people, and so with the radio station there and the radio station here, and I have our own radio broadcast, uh, I feel like I’m the jack-of-all-trades and the master of none.

Maher: Well, (laughs) you and me are in the same company, we are, ‘cause we— we blow it every time we do these things.

Jones: God, I— And we now have uh, ventured on this thing of our Peoples Forum, I don’t know whether it dropped by your place, or you saw it. We have— We circulate six hundred thousand— it’s a four page kind of a newsette. Uh, I did the first draft on it, because my journalists were pretty busy on something else for our denomination, and it— we got some compliments back. Well, we got about 300 letters back on it. And I— I really think that that may be one of our best buffers. It could be a buffer for you too, so anything you want us to support, I think they told you, we put (stumbles over words) Delancey Street’s Restaurant— Restaurant out— Uh, we—

Maher: Fantastic.

Jones: And uh, so 600,000 people know of your restaurant. (Unintelligible word) Our people are so beautiful. In four days, they had that on 600,000 doorsteps.

Maher: Oh, they’re good.

Jones: And—

Maher: (unintelligible word under interruption) crew there that’s very good.

Jones: Do you agree that— would a newspaper like uh, be a buffer, or would it be too threatening? We’ve got a hell of a circulation.

Maher: Well, I think— If— If I had a— a newspaper like that, my policy would be to give it a different name than anything immediately related to Peoples Temple, so that—

Jones: Well, unfortunately, it’s Peoples Forum. The Peoples Temple theology is never mentioned, uh, hasn’t been, depending upon if— unless we have to give it some interpretation, ah, in— in lieu of an article, uh, it’s been support of Dennis Banks, it’s been support of Hi-tell [phonetic] Clinic, it was mentioning your program, um, it— it— it— it doesn’t in any way— never asks for anything for Peoples Temple. It says send your moneys directly to those people uh— It can’t support legislation, because of the ticklish situation that the church is in—

Maher: Right.

Jones: Uh, uh, but unfortunately, we did name it Peoples Forum, um—

Maher: Well, I think that’s a— that’s a good name. The only reason I say that is this, that there are many things that no doubt you want to say, and uh, we’ll want to say, and always be restrained — or constrained — by the fear of reprisal or animosity to your parishioners constituents, and uh, I know there— I had planned at some point, if I ever got a printing press, to go right into the newspaper business and just deliver to doorsteps, and uh—

Jones: I think it’d be very helpful, but I can—

Maher: My feeling was that when I did it, was to put it in a different name so that whatever I said didn’t reflect on my people. You— You know what I mean?

Jones: I get you. Well, you’d be saying it probably s— you— you— you— you speak with such indictment on all of this— for our apathy and indifference. Ours has been a sort of kind of pabulum, other than that we support Dennis Banks, uh, which would be controversial, uh, wh— it’s— health clinics, programs like yourself that we feel that need to be— the voluntary programs that— and our appeal is, if you don’t support such voluntary agencies, then you’re going to see more and more big uh, uh, bureau— bureaucratic uh, experiments, right or left, that’ve shown their failures evidently across the world, uh, it’s that— that type of approach. We don’t uh, promote our own socialistic utopian— and we are an— and we’re socialist, but we in no way uh, see any socialist system that is uh— other than some of the Scandinavian countries, I think we could improve our lot if we were more like some of the Scandinavian countries. I don’t know what your feeling is on that.

Maher: I’d buy it.

Jones: But uh— uh, we don’t promote the political. We can’t promote the political, and I don’t think we’d serve anything if we did. I agree with you wholeheartedly, labels, uh, they’re passe, uh— Anytime you see it — and we’ll ch— arrange that you do see it — please, uh, don’t hesitate, John, uh, for my friends, the most important thing they can give me is constructive criticism.

Maher: Umm-hmm.

Jones: Uh— We want to do this. We want to represent the interest of the people well, and uh, I can’t tell you how measurably uh, it is—

(Two men talk over each other)

Maher: —quite frankly, Jim, uh. When I first heard Peoples Temple, I said, oh, goddamn, another fucking preacher, right? (Laughs)

Jones: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Maher: And uh—

Jones: I know the feeling.

Maher: It was a real shot in the arm, not only just to see the Temple, but to— to see some people out on the street actually doing some things for some real causes in a disciplined and adult fashion, instead of just a bedlam. I mean, it’s uh—

Jones: Well, I’m really heart and mind with you. I’m uh, you know, an agnostic. We have a— some emphasis on the terms of paranormal, because uh, it brings results, uh, there is something to therapeutic healing, all medical science has proven, but we don’t link that with any kind of causative factor of a loving God. Off the record, I don’t believe in any loving God. Our people, I would say, are ninety percent atheist. Uh, we— we think Jesus Christ was a swinger. He taught some pretty damn good things at feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, uh, maybe a little paternalistic, but it’s still uh— all the emphasis of the judgment of character— the only time he ever mentioned judgment at all was in Matthew 25, and it had to do totally with what you were doing for other people, so we— we emphasize the teachings of Christ, but um, we’re a— we are as um— we’re the most unusual church I’ve ever run into, in— in this sense, uh, and we state in the church— I would’ve loved to have been in the foundation. For some years, I’ve been talking to our attorneys to try to get in a foundation, but we have such an influence in the denomination— Our bishop was here Sunday, that’s why we wanted you to meet him and the president of our— of our denomination, I don’t know whether you’re familiar with the— the— the denomination, it’s called the Disciples of Christ. It includes the FBI Director [Clarence Kelley], [Former President] Lyndon Baines Johnson, I think, Senator Monsdale [Sen. Walter Mondale] to give you some background of it—

Maher: Oh, my God, it’s—

Jones: And see, we’re linked, not only as Peoples Temple have— I have my own bishopry of the churches I’ve founded, of about 70,000 members altogether, but (stumbles over words), I’m in official capacity, assistant DA [Tim Stoen] who’s a member is also in official capacity, in the regional denomination of two million. It’s— uh, that stateswide. So we— Giving up the church meant giving up that kind of influence, uh, our— our whole denomination comes out with the most radical kinds of postures, and it’s always Peoples Temple’s caucus that does that—

Maher: Right.

Jones: —So— Otherwise, I would have left the church. I—

Maher: I— I think you’re in the right place, because I think it’s exactly right, uh, because, you know, a lot of these folks have, through their education and their background has made them bigots and fools, that they can hear it from a collar, and they’re basically decent—

Jones: Unfortunately, I think you’re right.

Maher: —and— and that’s— I think that’s essential, because an awful lot of these little Christian people around, too. You know, they vote wrong all the time, and all this stuff, but fundamentally, they’ve— they— they’ve got some good ideas about principles, and if we could just reach them, and I think you’re doing it right, I think that’s the only way to reach them, is from— from— from positions where they— where they can hear it, instead of demanding that they listen to us on the street and—

Jones: Well, thank you for the feedback, ‘cause, I must say, I felt somewhat hypocritical for the last years as I became uh, an atheist, uh, I have become uh, you— you feel uh, tainted, uh, by being in the church situation. But of course, everyone knows where I’m at. My bishop knows that I’m an atheist. He— He knows that I— I— I recognize only love, when I say— I’ll say, "God is Love"— well, you heard my preaching. You know where I’m at.

Maher: Right.

Jones: Uh, I don’t keep it any secret, so when it comes to fundamentalists, I’m not much influenced, but it’s amazing how many liberal churchmen— and even, that you would think, orthodox churchmen— now, for instance. The head of the ecumenical council, I don’t know whether you know him, Dr. Lynn Hodges, it’s over all the Jewish, Catholic and Protestant churches in this entire bay region. Have you ever met him?

Maher: No, I haven’t, sir.

Jones: This man is American Baptist, an official in the American Baptist Church, he comes here, he knows how I feel, and he— when he heard of this article, he got in there, he went in to the Chronicle

Maher: Very (unintelligible word under interruption)

Jones: He said, now if you— if you bother Jones, I’ll have all— I’ll have so many preachers in here, that it’ll— it’ll bug you to death.

Maher: Very good.

Jones: Now, that— that— there— there are a lot of closet atheists in the church. I— He must obviously be, because he’s heard me say the most outrageous things, and he still supports me, because he said, you do— He— He told— He told the Chronicle — and gave me a copy of what he sent to them, also — he said uh, Jim— Jim Jones and his church does more by accidents than all the other churches do by design.

Maher: And that’s about correct.

Jones: Oh, well, I think it’s— it’s too— too much of a compliment. But anyway, um, I— I’m glad to hear you say we should stay in the church. I— I— ‘Cause I have the damnest ambivalence about it. But— But another fact, if we go into a foundation, we have a ticklish problem of what assets we have, uh, we— we were a church when we got them, and we have c— certain funds that— we have hundred young people under scholarship, and I guess my ticklish problem about going into a foundation—

Maher: Well, my— my thought, Jim— My thought, Jim, is that when an operation as large as you have and uh, as vulnerable as it is to many hostile forces—

Jones: Um-hmm.

Maher: —that you should have, you know— I— I always advise our people— I’ve never been able to do it, because I’ve never had the time in my battle, but I’m gonna do it, which is to— I think you should have four or five different organizations with different tax structures and different bases—

Jones: We’re working on that—

Maher: —uh, so that, if they close out one, or destroy one or ruin one, the others will make your people and the situation survive intact. And also to provide different forms of patronage for the decent poor that want to help you, but can’t—

Jones: That’s a good idea.

Maher: —in one— one regard or another.

Jones: We only have one, uh, for those who tend to live in a kind of cooperative lifestyle. We call it an apostolic society. But we are going to have to get one uh, for political action, which we don’t have, and we’re formulating that, the attorneys here in our free legal services. Um, I— Any— Any ideas of that too, John, we’d be— It’s be immensely helpful.

Maher: Well, the way— The way I handle that, sir, is I just set up Democratic and Republican clubs, like a private citizen, and I tell my people to join whatever party you want to join—

Jones: —and then send uh, give certain donations to that.

Maher: Exactly.

Jones: I get you.

Maher: And— And so that Delancey Street itself has never spent a penny or never done any political work, but because I’m involved, they think it’s Delancey Street, because what happens, if we just— It’s just like school teachers. When they leave their job, they go to their political party and they work. And I just set them up as normal clubs within the structure of the existing two major parties—

Jones: Beautiful.

Maher: Uh, my guess is — and I just pass it on to you, because I think you could do it even better, because you have a wider base of people — these people have gotten soft. They like to spend big money, but they don’t like to do the little work. They don’t like to type the letters, they don’t like to pick up the phones, they don’t want to do all that stuff.

Jones: True.

Maher: And I really think that a couple of hundred dedicated people could take over both parties from the— from the bottom, because, if all the secretaries and the typists and the door-knockers, uh, go one way, they will become dependent upon those people, and most of them are cowardly. As soon as they become dependent on us, they’ll switch their allegiance from the people who bought them to— to the people they’re dependent on.

Jones: Well, we need to get into, then, the precinct— I suppose you’re speaking of precinct level—

Maher: Uh, I have maps that I can pass on to you, sir, which are—

Jones: If— If— If you would. Now we worked that in the north. Again, we felt hypocritical. The Assistant DA is Republican— Well, he’s no more Republican than a grasshopper. But— and uh, so is the school teacher who’s head of the English Department, and the Republican Party is much under our influence. Of all the odd, uh, paradoxes, uh—

Maher: I think that’s good, sir.

Jones: Uh, so we— we— we haven’t done it here. Uh, obviously the majority of my parish is— (unintelligible as he speaks under breath) decidedly they’re registered Democrat. Ninety— I would say it’s in the ninety percentage— Uh, we’ve made a mistake, probably. So our— I— I would really— will— I’m going to act on a number of things you said today, and you— I have the deepest respect for you. To me, you are a man of character, uh, even in all this fame that you’ve gotten, uh, you could uh, kind of relax and side along, but the indicting things you say about the system, uh, you really are, uh, my mentor, and a lot of people feel— (unintelligible under interruption)

Maher: Well, that’s a little strong, because (unintelligible under laugh)

Jones: No, no, no, no, not at all. Uh, I— I’m a good at organizational man. I’m a very good administrator. When it comes to finances, I’ve got a tight ship here. I don’t owe a dime on anything. We— We— I’m as frugal— (stumbles over words) I must have some Scotch in me, (unintelligible word) to be joking about it, the ethnic char— uh, the ethnic jokes. Uh, I’m really tight on the dollar. And we’ve uh— I’ve helped our people prosper and get ahead by a lot of sane budgetary uh, in— uh, instructions, but when it comes to all the political savvy, and some of the foresight that you have, you’re— you’re way ahead, and uh, that’s why we need your input. And we will follow your direction. You can depend upon it, because we believe in you. And uh, thank you so much for taking the time to call. Is there— Isn’t there anything now that you can send to us, a little article of program or your own, that we could include in the next uh, issue of the Peoples Forum, we’d be so happy—

Maher: Well, I haven’t— (tape edit) We have some nuts who’re trying to get us, but I’ll get them first.

Jones: What nuts?

End of side 1

Side 2

Maher: —today.

Jones: He was falsely what?

Maher: Falsely happy, if you know what I mean—

Jones: Yes.

Maher: —like, I could see he was—

(men talk over each other)

Maher: Yes. And— (tape edit) He’s one day ahead of schedule on the referendum on (unintelligible word) (silence for several seconds) push the concept of that initiative, uh—

Jones: All right. All right.

Maher: I think that would really be key, and it’d take a load off me too, because I have an awful lot of my guys, when they’re done with their day’s work, what we do is we go out and we get (unintelligible under interruption)

Jones: Now there— there’s where we run into some problems. Any legislation, directly or indirectly— I don’t know whether you’ve read the final (unintelligible word under interruption)

Maher: Oh, I see—

Jones: —the Christian, anticommunist, uh, uh, element, they— the tax people came with up with a finding that is absolutely mind-blowing. If you affect legislation directly or indirectly, your church status— uh, your tax-exempt status is automatically uh, nil, that’s all. It’s—

Maher: Unbelievable.

Jones: So, we’ve read the law back and forward, we’ve got uh, for— we have tax consultants here, we can’t seem to find a way around. I— I think that it’s time that the church ought to get away from that goddamn bribery anyway, but it will— it’d be such a heavy on us, with all the programs we’re carrying—

Maher: Right.

Jones: I— I think the church ought to say, to hell with your— stick your damn tax exemptions and your ministerial privileges and your ministerial deferments. I never took the ministerial deferment, and I’ve always felt pretty clean about that. I took my chances, and ran into a— a— a— a (unintelligible word)— I just took my chances on— on that. I never got drafted, because I had a number— I’ve adopted seven children. I didn’t do it to get out of the war—

Maher: Right.

Jones: But I— I— I think that the church tax-exemption, the ministerial deferment, all those damn things, are mere efforts on the government’s part to bribe the church into silence, so that it won’t speak out against the government or ag— policies.

Maher: I believe that.

Jones: And, uh, I’d like to see every damn church lose its tax-exemption. And I’d be glad to be the first, if I knew others were going to follow suit. But as long as the goddamn bunch of institutions that are doing nothing get tax-exemption, I don’t see why Peoples Temple should risk losing ours, unless we have to.

Maher: Well, I don’t think you should. I— I— I really think that you’re absolutely correct.

Jones: And IRS has left us alone up till now, I’m sure we’re over— vo— very much overdue, ‘cause Cecil’s under attack, I guess he’s been two years under surveillance. How’s IRS with you? Have you had any hassle?

Maher: They’ve never even said a word to me, but I know that uh—

Jones: (Short laugh)

Maher: I know that we’re under chronic surveillance and un—

Jones: I’m sure we are— most be— uh, must be, and of course, they— they can ser— be under— we can be under chronic surveillance, ‘cause I know, uh, like you, uh, uh, we don’t— we have nothing to hide. One thing I— I’m damn careful about is, to see that everything’s done according to Hoyle, and we pay exactly what we’re supposed to as individuals and— so the tax people would be wasting their time bothering with us, but uh, in this matter of legislation, we tried to play it cool, and if you know of any advice other than what we know, uh, how to get a— we will have to form a new corporation, and it has to be clear that no monies— it’s very technical. The finding on the— on the uh, Christian Anti-Communist Crusade that took away their tax-exemption— of course, I deplore Billy James Hargis, but I think he’s got a right to say what he— what he thinks — uh, they— they tied that man up, uh, six ways uh, to Sunday, uh, to uh, to the point that there’s just no way he could uh, do anything of a political nature anymore.

Maher: Yeah. Well, I think the model for all of this kind of stuff is COPE [Committee on Political Education]. (Pause)

Jones: COPE.

Maher: Uh, COPE is the political arm of the AFL-CIO, which is also tax-exempt.

Jones: Oh yeah?

Maher: And, (unintelligible name under interruption)

Jones: We better— better take a look at COPE, I suspect.

Maher: Uh, what they did, they call it, it’s the Committee on Political Education. And what it is, is in essence George Meany’s voice.

Jones: I see.

Maher: Uh, they have locals, uh, they endorse candidates, and then that is considered the labor— the labor endorsement in any local area.

Jones: I see.

Maher: Uh— They’ve set it up in such a way as that the COPE is completely corporately separate from the AF of L-CIO, and yet it is completely controlled.

Jones: Well, I— I— How— How would we uh, get some inside information on their structure?

Maher: I’ll have Sylvester Harring— uh, Sylvester is my kind of political man, so to speak—

Jones: All right.

Maher: —cause I’m much more of a philosopher than a good manager.

Jones: All right. You indeed are.

Maher: Uh, I’ll have Sylvester get to you just— (tape silence for two seconds)

Jones: It would be deeply appreciated, and anything we can do, in any way, John, please call and— I— I— (tape silence for two seconds) —and we will, we will look into this referendum and see if, as a church paper, there’s something— We might be able to present the facts in such a way without an open endorsement, but the law— the law is so tight, if it directly or— I re— remember one (word unintelligible under interruption)—

Maher: Ah, I wouldn’t take any— I wouldn’t take any jeopardy, then, because I’ll tell you something. Cesar’s going to need you for a long time. Not just for one shot.

Jones: We sent a good bit of money uh, to his program, and we will continue to do that, uh, and we— uh, then again, I suppose, we’re taking some chances, but we— we’ve got to take chances. Hell, I’m not going to set back and not take chances. What more now can we do for Dennis Banks other than this caucus situation? Do you see anything else in Oregon that uh, any— any ideas you have—

Maher: I’m not familiar at all, sir, with the Oregon situation. It’d be pure speculation, uh, (unintelligible word under interruption)

Jones: The governor there has failed to— on some occasions and controversy, to extradite. Even a Black Panther, I believe, though I don’t approve of their approach always. Uh, a Black Panther from Alabama, the governor refused to extradite him, and so I’d taken maybe, oh, probably too much pollyannishness, I’d— I’d taken a little encouragement from that, but again, I’ve heard nothing from our letters to the Oregon uh, governor, and we have only a couple of hundred members up there, uh, maybe 300, so that’s not significant en— enough to give him the feeling of support that he’ll need. I’m sorry to hear that your (unintelligible word)— I— I guess I haven’t wanted to face it, because Dennis Banks, unless I’m badly wrong, he’s one of the nicer people I’ve ever helped.

Maher: That’s my feeling.

Jones: (Stumbles over words) I thought, what— by thew way, what kind of a man is this who’s in it— broiled in hell up to his neck, that will take the time to call in to the Chronicle, who did a very good feature on him, I thought, and be— jump on that reporter, and tell him, get the hell off of Jim Jones’ back, uh—

Maher: Right.

Jones: That— That’s uh— It wasn’t wise, but what character. What character. I was— I was so— just overawed uh, by that— overwhelmed by his, his attitude, and— and— and to come back when we gave the money, he just kept coming back and thanking us, I— Very few people, when I help them— Hell, that’s the last you see of them.

Maher: That’s exactly right.

Jones: They— they don’t give a— They don’t give a damn if they say uh, thank you. In fact, they usually try to ignore you. But (stumbles over words) and then, when Angela [Davis, fired professor from UC-Berkeley] was here, he uh, stood up there— well, you were there, I guess, and— uh, maybe you’d left by that time— and gave five hundred bucks. I said, No, Dennis, I’ll do it. I didn’t— I didn’t feel up to putting 500 into Angela’s um, program either, because of the uh— being somewhat over— overex— extended. What do you think of Angela? Off the record, John.

Maher: Hard for me to say, sir, I’ve never really encountered her personally, except at like meetings and stuff, I’ve met her at Glide [United Methodist Church] and here and your place—

Jones: She seems to be sensitive, but what I— She’s doing that old communist party bag uh, uh, I— that’s the only thing I have— maybe— maybe she’s serving a purpose in— in being in the Communist Party. We need every uh, segment of representation, I sure, but I— I’d appreciate your uh, judgment because she uh, contacting us more and more for uh— She’s not asking for outright support, I— I don’t really want to portray her as that, but— in monetary terms, but (stumbles over words) the North Carolina situation’s much on her mind, so she’s wanting to meet with our people more and more. (unintelligible word under interruption)

Maher: Right. Well, I don’t really know.

Jones: You just don’t know, so that’s fine.

Maher: No, I don’t. Uh, I— My— I only have my impression which has been that uh, whenever I’ve met her, she’s acted like a lady. And—

Jones: That she has. That she has.

Maher: Uh, I know that’s old-fashioned of me, but uh, when— when— when people act (Pause) concerned for others, I somehow—

Jones: That I see consistently, in my contact with it, but like you, I’ve not had all that much contact with her. This is the first time she’d been in our church, though we helped— the only negative article we ever got— And interesting to know how much there is of communications on the— the— I don’t what the level, what agency— We sent a few thousand dollars for her defense fund when she was really under attack. In those days, the United Presbyterian Church sent some money to her, and they had to withdraw the money, because the members were irate. So we stepped in, picked up what she was counting on from them, and we got our bishop to go along with her, he’s a real swinger. Uh, you’d like him. I do want sometime, for when he’s here, for you to meet him, because he needs uh— he needs to be exposed to you. He’s so lonely, (unintelligible word) he’s over 200 churches, and pro— well, about a hundred thousand people, which is a signifi— significant influence. Anyway, we sent the check through him to Carlton Goodlett. No one else knew about it, other than a telephone call. I mean, forty-eight hours later, this Kinsolving—

Maher: That’s right.

Jones: Was— was up in our uh, Northern California headquarters, at our community center, where we have our indoor swimming pool, and so forth, and uh, he mentioned that damn check.

Maher: (Laughs)

Jones: Uh, nobody on earth knew about it, but— my bishop said he didn’t tell a soul, Carlton said he didn’t tell a soul, so—

Maher: (Unintelligible sentence)

Jones: It was done very, very Q.T., it was on a low (unintelligible word), because boy, when you come out for Angela in those days, it was hell, and so he tarred and feathered us, he went after us with a fanatical zeal, and I don’t know whether you remember the background. We marched around the Examiner and uh, he got out and he— he libeled us, uh, so uh— We had a lot of Fifth Estate [Fourth Estate is the press] sympathy, it seemed—

Maher: Very good—

Jones: —amazingly so, and uh, he— then when he libeled us, the paper came down, and they said, "Uh, how long we gonna march?" We said, "Forever, if you don’t stop this damn series, forever."

Maher: (Laughs)

Jones: And uh, they did and printed a retraction, and it burned— and then fired him. We didn’t ask. I— I— We didn’t ask for him— his dismissal, but they got so much heat, and my good friend the Ecumenical Council, a number of clergymen and civic leaders came and uh, went up there to the uh, the publisher and— and it was [San Francisco Examiner publisher Charles] Gould in those days, and he— they fired him summarily, but uh, uh, that shows you how much of a tap they have, boy, that was ironic. Iro— (stumbles over words) Last point, and I’ll let you go, um, two months thereafter, he had two reporters— a two— a telephone operators — we didn’t have direct dial in those days — uh, how we found out, a little woman, kind of a primitive Baptist, but she didn’t like the smell of it. She got wind— she was a— a colleague in the uh, telephone uh, section where this was being done. Two operators were monitoring my phone all night, lawyers and members, the DA, uh, who’s a member of our church, monitoring our phone around the clock uh— the two coordinators, there were more operators involved, ‘cause that’s a— a little valley of bigots, uh—

Maher: Right.

Jones: —much of it imported from Oklahoma and Texas, uh, most of the residents up there are not native Californians. And uh, this woman said, I can’t stand it anymore. So we got the telephone investigation people, and they said, oh, we’ll do something about it, but this woman has to come forward, and knowing the redneck mentality, we couldn’t expose her, so— so we had Kinsolving, (unintelligible word) God, I was tempted, but I—I had to feel for that woman. She had the bravery to step out, and I asked her, I said, "Do you— can you face the music?" She said, "I— They’ll hate me, and I’ll probably live in such hell that I’ll have to give up my job." And I said, "Well, I won’t do that to you," so we never could prosecute him, and uh, at least we got, uh, the— the telephone company got on to it, and we didn’t have any more surveillance. But that’s uh, that’s the kind of power that man wielded, Kinsolving wielded, and money— he spent money to come to our conventions, he tried to get us out of our denomination, he tried to prejudice people at every region. We calculated— the head of our entire church, who’s very friendly to our program, said that he must have spent twenty thousand dollars traveling around, hoping to get my denomination to remove me, because I was so uh, atheistic and so involved in such unholy uh, c— uh, efforts as Angela Davis. So now, uh, what uh, Mr.— who’s the anchorman for CBS now that’s been taking [Walter] Cronkite’s place. Dan Rathers [Rather]. Dan Rathers said a few days ago on the tomorrow show that uh, he was indeed a— a CIA agent. Now I know Rathers enough that he wouldn’t say anything he couldn’t substantiate.

Maher: Right. He’d get sued to death if he did.

Jones: So there must be a lot of these jerks running loose who have a— an interconnections.

Maher: Well, I’m convinced— I’m convinced, uh, Reverend Jones, that uh—

Jones: Call me Jim. Don’t ever call me that "Reverend," I can—

Maher: Okay. I’m— I convinced that half of the people who show up at all these rallies that me and you go to speak at, and all of this?

Jones: Yeah.

Maher: I don’t mean half, but a substantial number— I’m convinced we’re infiltrated everywhere with provocateurs, uh—

Jones: I believe we are.

Maher: The kinds of statements that are made in the name of doing good for human beings, uh, (pause) are uh, are so rash and so unthought out and so silly sometimes, that I can only believe that they are pumped into our environment by people who want us to destroy ourselves and other people.

Jones: I— I thank you uh, for that comment. We— We had always considered the SLA, for instance, a provocateur. Uh, I don’t believe anybody that— of the left is that insane, uh, to do— to do this—

Maher: That’s right.

Jones: —and then with the background that we know from a police inspector, who’s a member of my Los Angeles congregation, that Cinque [alias for Donald DeFreeze, member of Symbionese Liberation Army] was palsy-walsy with everybody in the glass house, so I— I couldn’t agree more, I thought what you said, these rev— revolutionaries, rev— what’d you call them, revo— revolting, instead of revolutionaries.

Maher: (Laughs) Right.

Jones: Uh, keep on the good work, John, and th— thanks for the time, and anything you can have sent to us, to give us bearing and direction, uh, we— we want to do the right thing, and if we don’t, it’ll only be because we don’t— we’re not properly informed, and I think you could be of immense help. I hate to put the burden on you, but if you—

Maher: We’re at your service.

Jones: Thank you so much, John.

Maher: Okay.

Jones: Bye-bye.

Maher: Bye-bye.


Part 2

Woman: Hello.

Jones: Yeah. (unintelligible word) Did I handle that all right?

Woman: Yeah, you did fine. He gave a lot of good— good information.

Jones: We got a review (unintelligible word)— He’s a smart fucker. He’s a smart fucker.

Woman: He sure is.

Jones: I don’t know how sincere he is, but I— at times— I— I think he’s very sincere, uh, one part of him, but in— when he gets in the media, he— he— I don’t think he says it like he ought to say it. But hell (sighs), we’re all trying to survive. Oh, Jesus. He lives too plush. That bothers me. He has elegant antiques and shit in his— and he drives that fucking Cadillac. Um, but— hell, maybe I’m too critical. (sighs) Maybe he needed a— Maybe he needs to drive something that looks like success. I think not, though. I think the people are— They may— They may look upon that, uh, out of the indoctrination and conditioning, they may look upon it with envy, but I— I— I think we’re again— (sniffs) Wouldn’t you say?

Woman: Oh, yeah. Sure.

Jones: Will you glean this with a fine-toothed comb?

Woman: Yeah.

Jones: Uh, particularly COPE. We got to study that shit, and uh, uh— (Pause) Well, a number of things he said. Hell, you’re— you’re—

Woman: Well, I can go through it, and transcribe it.

Jones: I really need you, bel— boy, I tell you, I would write one more letter, but I thought Delancey Street might be—

Woman: The least intimidating. There’s no way they’ll think that’s a joke.

Jones: No. Uh, he probably will do it, I— I’d hope he will do it, anyway. Uh— uh— (Pause) uh, I think that uh— (Pause) I think I better get back to Freitas now. That’s what I thought about. I knew I’d called you for some reason. Anything else happen? (tape edit?) Well, how would you know? You got (unintelligible)

(tape edit)

Woman: Yeah—

(tape edit)

Jones: (unintelligible word) of exactly what he has, I’ve go to have.

Woman: Okay.

Jones: And uh, he can have the whole bit, like in uh— I don’t know about Andersonville. No, don’t give him Andersonville, ‘cause he’ll say something about the Lord, loving the Lord, and a bunch of bullshit.

Woman: (Unintelligible)

Jones: Give him— Give him Oakland. Give him the Oakland Tribune and uh, oh, I don’t know, bullshit like that.

Woman: Okay. Oakland, but no Andersonville.

Jones: Uh, that covers it, some of the things I did to bring peace. And underline that— That would be a (unintelligible word) shit to talk about, it would seem to me. And— In other words—

Woman: Underline what?

Jones: Underline the part of where I uh, brought through kindness, conciliation, (unintelligible word under interruption)—

Woman: Oh. Okay. I see. The South part.

Jones: Yeah, the South part. Uh— And be sure we give him the kind of material with numbers that impress but that uh, some— some sort of statistical (clears throat) uh, consistency. (Laughs) Um— Programs— I don’t know what the hell— Hell, you can— you guys can fix— Prokes doesn’t always make good judgments. He thinks he does, but he doesn’t always make good judgments on what should be given, so could you just ask to see it? He will never confer. I’ve told him to go to two or three, but it’s a tendency, he does not do that. (Pause) I don’t know, I tell everyone to do it, but uh, ve— very few people will confer with others. They will— I wouldn’t trust my judgment far as I could throw it. And I’m the leader, and I’ve made a lot of good decisions, I think, through the years. Uh, we need— I wish you’d beat that into their heads, and make a routine message, that I demand, that before anything— decisions made, that you consult with two other uh, government people.

Woman: Umm-hmm.

Jones: (Pause) And then I want to know too. Uh, they better— ‘Cause otherwise, we’ll have a hell of a lot of leniency to see (unintelligible phrase)— something I’ve assigned you to do, I want it uh, uh, (clears throat) checked out with others. (Tape silence for few seconds) —[Eugene] Chaikin uh, you do it. You’re careful, uh, tell him (unintelligible word) Chaikin, Prokes, uh, who in the hell does any strategy work? (Pause) Well, you know the strategy people. I’ll leave that with you. Okay, we better call Freitas back.

Woman: Well, what I’m going to do on these calls (unintelligible word fragment)

(Tape edit)

Jones: (unintelligible word fragment)

Woman: She’s on the other phone. (Laughs)

Jones: Uh, what uh—

Woman: What’s the— what’s the problem?

Jones: Uh, what is the problem with her now? I would tell her that we are having— you are having him brought up here, aren’t you?

Woman: Right. She’s on the phone— the other phone (unintelligible word under Jones) the doctor.

Jones: What’s the— What’s the number? What’s the goddamn number, and I’ll dial her. Get your ass out of that.

Woman: Hang on a second, okay?

Jones: Umm-hmm.

Woman: (Puts phone down. Pause. Picks phone up) Maria [Katsaris] just hung up.

(Tape edit)

Jones: (unintelligible word) the world settle with her.

Woman: The whole world, when her family gets involved, I don’t know?

Jones: Maybe, it’s— it’s true. They never gonna change it, I suppose. All right um— I’ll have to get (unintelligible name) out— Usually that person— A person of that type doesn’t— sophisticated enough to have a will. I doubt very much if she has money. If his dad is still living, I don’t know whether his dad is living, uh, he won’t be getting any money anyway. Goes directly to the dad. I don’t know whether his dad is living. I don’t know a thing of that. (Pause) But we take great risk in sending him back there. We— We got Walter [Cartmell] out of Kentucky, tell her, but all of Kentucky’s not out of Walter. (Pause) We got him out of the family situation, but that blood tie’s still damn strong in him. And I think we take a chance sending him back there.

Woman: Yeah.

Jones: With anybody. (Pause)

Woman: (Whispered aside, unintelligible)

Jones: So I think I— we better talk to him, but if I— worse comes to worse, I see he’s going to do it anyway, I’ll do it. But he’ll have to go with somebody. Undoubtedly.

Woman: Okay, we’ll—

Jones: Set him up on some basis, that they might to poison him or something, to get the money or some goddamn thing. Tell her I’ll— we’ll think of something to scare his ass. (Pause) Okay?

Woman: Uhh-huh.

Jones: Thank you, and I— I will relax until I hear from Freitas, then, for a while—

(two talk over each other)

Jones: —possible. I told him to call me back. I don’t know whether the fucker will. I suppose he will.

Woman: He will. He’s a call— caller.

Jones: All right.

Woman: Do you want to be bothered if he calls?

Jones: We got to get on that Republican thing, and we gotta get on those uh— uh— uh, he mentioned, uh, some people having a caucus to help Dennis Banks. I think we ought to be in those caucuses, the Carter caucus and the Brown caucus.

Woman: Yeah.

Jones: I think we ought to try to get um, into the uh— both the Re— the Republican and the Democratic Party. I agree with him, wholeheartedly.

Woman: I think that’s (unintelligible word under Jones)

Jones: I think we need to organize that, uh—

Woman: Yeah.

Jones: —who in the hell can organize it. And Carolyn Looman’s pretty damn good in follow-through. Ask her to do a rundown on our registration and see who in hell’s in the Fifth and Sixth Assembly districts, that can vote, that has a resident that won’t get us in some fucking trouble.

Woman: Yeah, we have a problem. All of our fucking communal people—

Jones: Yeah—

Woman: Well— If they want to run for the city offices around— I don’t know if we’d pulled out of that or not, or whether they have any of these so-called jobs. None of us can vote, ‘cause we— none of us are registered, right, and if there’s any type of— We were told not to vote this time.

Jones: Well, I agree wholeheartedly.

(microphone dropped? No recording for several seconds; could be second recording overlapping)

Jones: —law, I think there’s so many people can only live in a dwel— dwelling, but uh, I don’t know if that holds for church groups or not. We’ve got to find that out, so we can get indeed registered properly. (Pause) Okay?

Woman: Umm-hmm. We can really do that for the next presidential election or—

Jones: Huh?

Woman: It’s all done for the next presidential election. Everybody that— that had voting records down here, that’s now communal, will lose their uh— (laughs) lose their resi— not residency, but you know, they didn’t vote in the last election, so they’re not eligible for shit.

Jones: They have— They have— They have to be reregistered, that’s all.

Woman: That would be (unintelligible names; "Susan and Anna"?), hopefully other people.

Jones: Well, anyway— Anyway, let’s keep that in our mind. Put that on your agenda up there, loud and clear on a sign, so we don’t forget that, some high points and looking at COPE, the agricul— the— their arm of the A— AFL-CIO uh, looking at how we can help uh, Cesar Chavez, uh— There’s a number of things— of points he made— and how we helped Dennis Banks by getting the caucus delegates, uh, we’ll give them their support, providing you do— speak out for Dennis Banks. That kind of thing.

Woman: Okay.

Jones: Another five hundred dollars cash, I want to go — treasurer’s check — to Dennis Banks. Say, "Jim said I wish I could do more, Dennis. I really wish I could do more. I want to"— Hell, and if we go down, I want to do something for that guy.

Woman: Okay.

Jones: Say, "Jim said he’d want to do it. He just had to do it. Hard-pressed, but he just had to do this."

Woman: Okay.

Jones: All right?

Woman: Mmm-hmm.

Jones: Thank you—

Woman: When is this start going through?

Jones: Huh?

Woman: I (unintelligible word) everything that you gave, except for that first thing this morning on the healings and the metaphysical thing, and um—

Jones: To— to— to Miss uh, to Miss uh, Su— to—

Woman: To Julia—

Jones: To Miss Priss, yes uh—

Woman: Anna—

Jones: We’ll have to get that damn thing out. I promised her, and we ought to have something like Carolyn’s letters and—

Woman: Carolyn who?

Jones: Oh, Carolyn Layton was supposed to have written the goddamn letter. I don’t know whether she did or didn’t.

Woman: Oh, yeah, I got the rough draft here. We can type it— (voice fades)

Jones: Um— (Stumbles over words) these people wanted to mention some of their— their healings to sort of acquaint you with it. It’s not— not important to them. It’s not important to them— It’s not all that important to them, but just to show you the effectiveness of therapeutic healing, and this can give you an idea of Julie of how a scientific approach, a sane approach to the whole matter.

Woman: Okay. You want excerpts from all their letters?

Jones: I would rather think that that would be it. Uh— better, better do it that way, yeah, rather than send a whole bunch of— packet of letters—

Woman: (unintelligible)

Jones: Huh?

Woman: (To someone at other end) What’s wrong? (Pause) We got Penny [probably Penny Kerns, aka Ellen Louise DuPont] on the phone again, so she’s keeping time.

Jones: Oh, son-of-a-bitch. (tape edit?) Well, don’t do a hand deliver. We hand-delivered once to a, uh— Kinsolving, we don’t want to repeat that. But by God, we— they’ll have to be mailed special delivery to her.

Woman: Okay, I’ll give it (unintelligible word)

Jones: Uh, right away, uh, uh, as soon as possible or something, and then be careful what the hell we put, and we have documentation and no way—

Woman: You have documentation?

Jones: Huh? That— No, we have excerpts— Uh, all these things that Carolyn Looman brought up, that we be sure to give articles, where they came from, where the information came from. (Pause) You know, on all this paranormal shit.

Woman: Yeah, and like (voice too soft). Hopefully, you guys are working on it for two days.

Jones: Well, you hope so. Well, I don’t know. Okay, what’s her number? (Pause)

Woman: Can I go get it?

Jones: Yeah.

Woman: You really want to talk to her? She’s crazy.

Jones: How do you know?

Woman: I mean, she— she— I mean, she’ll live through it, I’m sure.

Jones: All right. Give me the goddamn number.

Woman: (Phone placed on table, momentary pause, phone picked up) 863-6191. By the way, that’s not a pay phone, either.

Jones: 863 what?

Woman: 6191. So if she tells you it is, it’s not.

Jones: Who is it? Who is that?

Woman: That’s Patty, but—

Jones: Well, what— What number is that? Which number is that?

Woman: I don’t know, but pay phone numbers is— you know, in the second set of four digits there, always begin in 9. This is a six, so—

Jones: 863-61—

Woman: 91.

Jones: Umm-hmm. Thank you.

Woman: Okay.

Jones: In terms of— not metaphysical, the paranormal, the therapeutic healing, and that kind of stuff.

Woman: And they— they sent the goddamn fucking file up to the fucking valley to the newspaper, which is dumb.

Jones: (Whistles)

Woman: So we’ll get it down on the Greyhound tonight, if we have to.

Jones: Well, okay. But— God (unintelligible phrase) be in there, because Saturday— and said it she don’t get it by— maybe we could send it to her home.

Woman: Yeah.

Jones: Umm-hmm. All right. Get me the uh—

Woman: Who? Sammy?

Jones: Oh, yeah, get me Sammy.

Woman: Okay.

Jones: Thank you, hon.

Woman: Bye.


Part 3:

Phone rings.

Jones: Terry, what’s that other—

Man: (answers phone) Hello?

Jones: Hello?

Man: Hi.

Jones: Uh, Jim Jones, um—

Man: Hi. How you doing?

Jones: —bothering you. (Laughs) How are you?

Man: Okay.

Jones: Now I— I hope I didn’t waken you, or—

Man: No, uh-uh, I— I just was coming inside and heard the phone ringing and dashed for the door.

Jones: All right. All right. That’s— that’s kind of you. Uh, I just thought I would check with Sammy to see if she had heard anything back on this article, which seems to be (Pause) being delayed uh, more and more.

Man: Right. No, well, she’s not here right now.

Jones: Cecil— and it looks— it looks like it’s kind of a conspiracy up— Did you see the art— awful article on Cecil?

Man: No, was it in today’s paper?

Jones: No, it came out in um, Playboy, I think, a horrible

Man: Oh! Oh, oh, you know, I saw one of those that was saying, uh, next issue, we’ll have this article (unintelligible under Jones interruption)

Jones: God, it was— it was outrageous. It was outrageous.

Man: No, I haven’t seen that.

Jones: Accused him of uh, something I think (stumbles over words) as I recall, the heading was uh, Cecil Williams says, Fuck the Church.

Man: (Unintelligible)

Jones: And— and uh, it went on into the— it was a hotbed of guerillas and SLA— All the SLA came out of it. There’s something uh, really nasty afoot, and— and the ax job— (tape distortion for several seconds) —press getting a little concerned about people who are trying to do things within the system, to bring change.

Man: Right. Right.

Jones: But, uh, I thought I would just check back. I’m— I’m really tired of worrying uh, about it. I don’t— I personally don’t worry about it, but some of our people are apprehensive, because of our black constituents up in Northern California. Every time we even get good news, we have to double our security.

Man: Um-hmm.

Jones: How are things going with all of you?

Man: Oh, pretty well, I think. We’re gearing up for this uh, affair that’ll be here Saturday, and—

Jones: Oh, beautiful—

Man: —that’s taking up most of our time, and uh—

Jones: Oh, good. I won’t take much of your time. I— I’m— We’re going to be seeing all of you, I guess, tomorrow evening anyway.

Man: Yes, we’ll be over there.

Jones: All right. Uh, if she has any in— input from uh, I (stumbles over words)— I’ve forgotten the name— Howes [phonetic], um, let me— you just give me a ring. Otherwise, uh, don’t worry about it. Say, uh, Mike has good news. We’ve— The DA’s called in there, and— on our behalf, uh— well, and even the District Attorney up in Northern California, who is really conservative. I was amazed. Uh, he wri— He wrote, and the head of the Ecumenical Council of Churches, our bishop and uh, Delancey Street, a whole lot of people have written the word in, so— and now we got our paper out, 600,000 cir—

Man: Yeah, I just saw a couple of copies of that.

Jones: You did? Well, I— I did that first draft, so don’t uh— Our journalist uh, in our church didn’t get (unintelligible word) at it, so it’ll be— it’ll be much more refined. What’d you think of it? Was it all right, uh—

Man: I thought so, yeah, I think the message uh, came across, and in terms of what you’re trying to do and what you’re about and everything, and—

Jones: Good. I’m not a journalist, and I— I— I had to throw the thing together, because our journalists are caught up on something we’re doing for our denomination. So I hope it wasn’t too, uh, too unprofessional.

Man: No, uh-uh.

Jones: All right. And good luck in everything you’re doing.

Man: Fine. Okay. And we’ll see you tomorrow night.

Jones: Bye-bye.

Man: All right. Thanks. Bye-bye.

End of tape

Tape originally posted September 2003