Q678 Transcript

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

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

Part 1: Conversation between Temple member and aide to John Barbagelata

Sound of phone ringing. Whispers.

Barbagelata Aide: Hello. May I help you?

Caller: Yes, I’d like to uh, speak to Mr. Barbagelata about Jim Jones.

Barbagelata Aide: Uh, (Sighs) he’s not in right now. May I take a message?

Caller: Uh, is there a place I can reach him?

Barbagelata Aide: Not at the moment.

Caller: Uh, does he have an assistant or aide—

Barbagelata Aide: I’m one of his aides.

Caller: Oh, I see.

Barbagelata Aide: Uh-huh.

Caller: Well, uh, maybe you could take some notes or something to give him a message?

Barbagelata Aide: I certainly will.

Caller: Um, I understand that he made some negative reference to Jim Jones and Peoples Temple in a hearing last night?

Barbagelata Aide: Last night?

Caller: Um-hmm.

Barbagelata Aide: Oh?

Caller: And I, you know, felt that if— if he’s going to be attacking Jim Jones, he’d be— he’s going to be very embarrassed, because Peoples Temple actually supported his ballot proposal, (Pause) and— and uh, Jim Jones gave support to the proposal on the radio.

Barbagelata Aide: (Unintelligible— could be “Wait a minute”). Peoples Temple supported—

Caller: —his ballot proposal—

Barbagelata Aide: JB’s ballot proposal. Yeah?

Caller: —and gave it— and Jim Jones gave support to uh, his proposal on the radio.

Barbagelata Aide: (Taking notes) Okay?

Caller: —and uh, he— uh, Mr. Barbagelata mentioned Mr. Tim Stoen, if my information is correct, and Mr. Stoen is not with the DA’s office. (Pause)

Barbagelata Aide: What was this regarding? I— I left about six last night, so, you know, (laughs) I—

Caller: Well, it was information that uh, passed on to me about his comments, so that’s why, you know, I men— uh, am mentioning these things because some of his information is cor— incorrect, for one thing, because they uh— He should check the records, ‘cause Mr. Stoen did not marry a minor, which was— which Mr. Barbagelata s— stated, and that’s, you know, quite a, you know, um, error, and uh, another thing is that uh, Reverend Jones was very supportive of Mr. Barbagelata when he was victimized by terrorists.

Barbagelata Aide: Hmm.

Caller: Another thing is that uh, Jim Jones resigned from his position and further declined to give support to the mayor [George Moscone] in fighting um, Mr. Barbagelata’s ballot proposal.

Barbagelata Aide: ((Incredulous) He resigned from his commission?

Caller: His po— his position, (unintelligible word), I think, as— as I understand.

Barbagelata Aide: When was this?

Caller: Uh— It must have been just recently, because uh, he’s no longer in the position, he— as far as I understand.

Barbagelata Aide: Huh.

Caller: We can check into that, if—

Barbagelata Aide: Well, I’ve seen the—

Caller: —or he’s— he’s planning to—

Barbagelata Aide: —the news bulletins come through, and— and they said uh, the Reverend Jones has been absent, but it hasn’t said anything about, uh, you know, him resigning.

Caller: Apparently, he is planning to resign (short laugh) his position.

Barbagelata Aide: Huh.

Caller: And— but he— he declined to give su— his support to the mayor in fighting Mr. Barbagelata’s ballot proposal.

Barbagelata Aide: Declined to gi— uh, okay, I’ll certainly let the supervisor know—

Caller: And uh—

Barbagelata Aide: Declined to give his support to mayor.

Caller: And the church, uh, has 9000 members, and they’re— they’re not the kind of people I— I think he wants to take on. Uh, believe me, I mean, I— I personally have been through, you know, in favor of Mr. Barbagelata’s proposition, but I— I feel very strongly that if he’s attacking Jim Jones, he’ll lose my support, and a lot of other conservative people who appreciate what Jim Jones [has] done to speak out against terrorism on the left, and elements like the Nazis.

Barbagelata Aide: Umm-hmm.

Caller: I know, you know, he may be considered to be left of center, perhaps by some, but he’s done more to get anti-social elements off the streets and to rehabilitate drug addicts and militants than an— anyone I know.

Barbagelata Aide: Umm-hmm.

Caller: And uh, I don’t know if the source that he got some information was uh, Lester Kinsolving, but uh, that gentleman has been voted out of the press corps for accepting payoffs. This was reported in both the Chronicle and Examiner.

Barbagelata Aide: Who was that again?

Caller: Lester Kinsolving.

Barbagelata Aide: Do you know how to spell that?

Caller: (Laughs) It’s K-i-n-s-o-l-

Barbagelata Aide: Uh-huh.

Caller: -v-i-n-g.

Barbagelata Aide: Uh-huh.

Caller: And he’s been voted out of the press corps for accepting payoffs. And this was reported in both the Chronicle and Examiner, as I understand.

Barbagelata Aide: Oh. Uh-huh.

Caller: I— I just want to say that I’m— I feel strongly about this. I’m not a member of the church, but I’m uh— visited and I’m well familiar with the— their programs and uh, I think they’re doing a lot of good.

Barbagelata Aide: Okay.

Caller: So if you could pass that on, I’d really appreciate it—

Barbagelata Aide: I certainly will. Can I tell him who called?

Caller: Well, just— just give the message, please, I’d— I’d appreciate that very much. (Pause) I— I—

(Two women talk over each other)

Caller: —the Bethel AME church, if you’d want to state that.

Barbagelata Aide: The Bethel who?

Caller: AME Church.

Barbagelata Aide: AME Church. Okay.

Caller: Thank you very much.

Barbagelata Aide: Certainly.

Caller: Um-hmm.

Balance of Side 1 is blank

 

Side 2: Begins with several minutes of silence

Part 2: Short conversation between Jones and unknown male.

Sounds of people milling about

Jones: Yeah, the other one (unintelligible) as well as its industrial scheme (unintelligible). Uh, what else? Didn’t he tell you whatever the hell it was?

Male: I think something about a hotel or (unintelligible)—

Jones: Oh, yes—

 

Part 3: Phone call between receptionist in Ruth Stapleton’s office and Mike Prokes

Receptionist: Ms. Stapleton’s office.

Prokes: Yes, my name is Michael Prokes. I’m an associate minister to Reverend Jim Jones of Peoples Temple in San Francisco?

Receptionist: Yes, uh-huh.

Prokes: Uh— Rosalynn— Mrs. [Carter] uh, the First Lady suggested that Reverend Jones and, and uh, Mrs. Stapleton uh, meet. This was some months ago, but uh, at the time Reverend Jones had a conflict in his schedule which had him out of uh, state and uh, he was in South America up until a couple of days ago and he’s just returned, and I uh, see where Mrs. Stapleton is going to be in San Francisco tonight, and thought that perhaps, if her schedule allowed it, she would like to uh, meet with Reverend Jones uh, sometime maybe tonight or tomorrow, if she’s still in town.

Receptionist: Uh. I have no way of getting in touch with her. She should be calling me, uh, tonight. If not, it will be in the morning. Uh—

Prokes: Well, in that case, uh, we could probably just see her uh—

Conversation cut off.

 

Part 4: Ben Bowers, Jim Jones and other talk about radio problems

Male: Testing, one two three. Testing one two three four.

Sounds of people milling about.

Jones: The uh— We have a mutual problem, if we don’t have a mutual fellowship.

Male: That’s true.

2nd Male: Um. Tell him not to— (Pause)

Jones: Tell him what? I’ll go appear with what we think— (movement of furniture). See how he thinks about it. (Pause) (Movement)

2nd Male: To start with, I think— what we were thinking is that we need to take a position that uh, you’ve been in here supervising this most of the time, because the work is so important to the church, periodically you leave, you— you take a meal, you’d have to go to the toilet, occasionally you’d even go out to— to work but you always came in and turned it on, first of all.

3rd Male: Yeah.

1st Male: As far as the uh— and uh— They’ll— they’ll check it out and they’ll check the power application. If they ask anything about call signs, you know, do we use call signs, you just don’t know anything about it. If you’re asked, say simply, I don’t know a thing about that. I’ve done it, I don’t know anything about it. Uh, as far as the log book’s concerned, I think the only approach we can take, and it’s not a really good one, is you know, I kept one for— for quite a while and then, uh—

Prokes: Kids—

1st Male: Either some kids or something took it here, and I just—

Ben: Well, here’s the log book.

1st Male: Hmm?

Ben: Here is the log book. If we’ve been filling it for the last ten days, it would be reasonably accurate.

Woman: The thing is, we can’t, because if they’ve been monitoring us, it prevents us signing with— if they— they know what we’ve been doing.

2nd male: They probably only want to get (unintelligible) in print.

Ben: That’s it. Well, the thing I wanted to say was that— or the— the approach I thought, because obviously, they’re going to know that, too. I’m gonna say uh, well, right, you know, it’s— it’s, you know, verbatim from day to day to day to day, and I’m just going to say, it’s got, you know, monotonous, and I didn’t keep it up the way I should have, but you know, I thought it was, the week it was (unintelligible word) reasonably accurate (unintelligible word). If we can, you know— there’s more. The other thing I (unintelligible) more of is your starting time and your stopping time. Because they are going to be basic (unintelligible). The log book. To not have a log book is maybe— you know, at least have something. It would be, like, gross incompetence.

Another male: If we—

Woman: (unintelligible) gross incompetence, because you’re a qualified (unintelligible) and not unlocked facility.

Ben: Uh, if it’s unlocked, then that’s my responsibility. I mean, more— I’m the control operator. Whatever happens, okay, I’m responsible for.

Woman: Yeah. (Pause)

Ben: Now, you know, obviously I can’t say why I have the sole key to this room, and you know, I don’t know, somebody picked the lock or uh— I could say it got ripped off at— the guy was just extremely skeptical. He said, “Gee, that was just really suspicious, the way you just happened to disappear the minute we knocked on the door, you know.”

Unknown male: Yeah, really.

Woman: Well, maybe if you give him the log book and had (conversation overwhelms her)

Jones: (unintelligible as he interrupts)— acts like, what’s his mood. Was he hostile?

Ben: No, he was just kind of like— you know, if the state cop and he pulls you over and you were going 70 and they’re very cheerful and, you know, and uh— he said— He’s, you know— He warmed up, he— He said uh— I said look, I’ve been doing this for a long time and I said, I know I’ve been in remiss in a lot— you know, in a lot of areas, obviously, because you, you know, called on me. And he said, well, then you’re not trying to deny that you (unintelligible) mistakes, and he said, well that’s, you know— he kind of opened up to that, he said, well that’s—

Jones: (unintelligible) haul this stuff here, we gotta get in all this stuff right through you, if they— the power, (unintelligible) presence whatever, that’s all let’s say. What— what have you— have you met this man?

Ben: Yeah.

Jones: What— what do you— Do you know what you cost me, coming back here with this kind of a— I don’t uh— I’m really shocked that you would take such a stance. (Pause)

Ben: I just (unintelligible) it right now, but I just kind of got informed, I want to get out of here.

Jones: Well, what is it? Was it— (unintelligible, as two people talk over each other)

Ben: (unintelligible) wasn’t going over to the mission?

Jones: Hmm?

Ben: I wasn’t going to go over to the mission. What I want to do is stay here until everybody was more or less gone, and then just not go over.

Jones: (unintelligible) But I wasn’t trying to get you in the mission, I was trying to get some days off to get a radio built in the— in the headquarters.

Ben: Well. (Pause) I couldn’t say, “Well”— I couldn’t say, “Well, look, I’m not going to come, because I don’t want to go over to the mission and uh— If I have to, I’m gonna quit.”

Woman: Your ticket was round trip, Ben.

(People talk over each other)

Ben: I just—

Jones: That’s it?

Woman: I mean, your ticket was round trip, you weren’t going over, they keep you there a few days—

Jones: When we presented it, did you think you were going to stay?

Ben: I assumed that. I mean, my assumption was, I don’t care what you told me, that’s what I figured.

Jones: Well, why would you think— I’ve only got one operator here.

Ben: I don’t know. To me, it was lunacy to go over there in the first place, because Al [Touchette] can set it up as well—

(Several people talk over each other)

Jones: He can’t— He couldn’t— He couldn’t do it. He tried to do it.

Woman: Al said he has no idea—

Jones: They tore the roof off— tore the whole roof off. Holes that are there. He couldn’t do it. That’s— That was the reason I wanted you to come.

Ben: Well, I couldn’t— See, he set that radio up over there (furniture moved) beautiful tower. I’m not that good at building towers. And that’s the main thing, is putting up a big antenna. And that takes, you know, three weeks, a month, two months. You try to dig a six-foot hole, pour concrete, you know, and that’s—

(Several people talk over each other)

Jones: (unintelligible) Well, that he coulda done— he coulda done— he coulda done that. But we needed a person— well, the main reason we needed some help, I think, to help build it, to give it directionally. He wasn’t sure at all about getting the thing in position here—

Ben: I— I—

Jones: But he tried to get it on the roof and just tore the roof up. He had no way to do it on the roof. Two of the holes— (unintelligible) holes in it. (Pause) And we uh— Boy, for somebody that had (unintelligible) the antenna, I presume you knew more about it than anybody.

Ben: Well— that’s a (unintelligible phrase)— near as I can tell. (unintelligible) gotta be hung up for however long—

Woman: You know, they said the only way to get the radio in was if the license op[erator]— and our licensed op came with it—

Ben: Right, and I—

Woman: —because when you were going to send it, then Paula [Adams] said, well, it’s not going to do any good. Unless you came over, we would not be able to get it through Customs.

Ben: I relinquished all that stuff when I turned it over to Paula, though. As far as I know, I’m no longer a licensed operator in Guyana.

(Pause. Jones talks too low)

Woman: Uh— no, Paula said that she— that, see, the radio (furniture moved) around with it.

Ben: Well, they would let the radio through, but it would be hung up in Customs. Like the last time when we (unintelligible) transfer, that time I was licensed. Well, I was there for two weeks and it never got (unintelligible) it was there, I think it was about (unintelligible, as people talk among themselves)—

Deep-voiced Man: But I think they got a different relationship with them now, though. I think it might be able to be—

Jones: Did you know I was under legal danger coming back here?

Ben: I didn’t know you’d come back.

Man: Why?

Jones: Why? You think I’d not risk going to jail to save this movement? (Pause) Had enough with the double whammy, with all the paranoia with the FBI—

Ben: I don’t know. I don’t know what jeopardy— I do not know what jeopardy you are in. But I, you know— I assumed that, you know— you were under jeopardy, that’s why you went over there. (Pause)

Jones: That’s the only way I do (unintelligible) radio operator goes out, and all my people stuck back here, are some of them going into jeopardy too. (Pause) I have to make projections based on people. Where do you live?

Ben: Where do I live?

Jones: Mmm-hmm.

Ben: (Pause) Uh— I’d rather not say.

Jones: How about 94 (unintelligible) Terrace.

Ben: That’s right.

Jones: What about uh— See, that’s what I’m— See, I’m uh— Now, you make me very nervous. You ought to know that I will require an investigation.

Ben: (unintelligible with Jones speaking) —should be nervous, and I don’t like the situation, but— I can’t see coming back—

Deep-voiced Man: Not even—

(People talking over each other)

Jones: I didn’t say— I didn’t say you couldn’t. I have to base my uh, my stances though. ‘Cause we’re getting down the line of live and die. If you can’t depend upon some people that you believe in—

Ben: Well, check that on the “live and die.” ‘Cause that’s true.

Jones: Well, I know. I know that. But (unintelligible word) (Pause) Why did you— why did you actually give the ad— the address to the—

(People talk over each other)

Jones: Didn’t you think I had enough intelligence to have that and your Los Angeles and everything about you, in about, what, thirty minutes?

Ben: I— you know, if you want to do that, but I—

Jones: Well, why wouldn’t I do it, Ben? Why wouldn’t I do it? If you were (unintelligible) of the movement, why wouldn’t we— why wouldn’t we do it?

Ben: I don’t know. Why would you want it?

Jones: Why wouldn’t I?

Male: Because you left.

Ben: Okay.

Jones: You know, you’re hostile— (unintelligible as Ben and Jones talk over each other)

Ben: I know— but I don’t want to be— you know, I don’t like to be (unintelligible) followed around, either. (Pause)

Jones: Well, wait—

Man: We don’t know where you’re at.

(People talk over each other, furniture moved.)

Jones: (intense) (unintelligible) something could happen in this room now. You understand? This isn’t a matter of whether you’re followed around. Some of us are ready to die. It’s easy for you to decide to live in fascism, enjoy it, uh, the fruits of it. I don’t give a shit if you met with the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] or not. I don’t give a shit. I’m sick of this. I’m sick of people betraying the best friend that ever walked on the fucking earth. I’m sick of it. I’m just as ready to die as to breathe. So I don’t have no question about you (unintelligible) living or dying with us. I’m talking about us living or dying. We have to make projections. If there’s nobody you can depend upon, then you— your course is slightly— sli— slightly made out for you.

Ben: (unintelligible) difficult situation, and I would like to— where— (Pause)

Jones: Do you want to talk—

Ben: What do you want from me? I mean, that’s what I need to know. Is it— Is what you want is radio contact? You want a system worked out so you can maintain radio contact.

Jones: Yeah.

Ben: Uh— That’s a tough (unintelligible word). I don’t know what they’re gonna— I can’t predict the FCC. Now, as far as what you gonna be able to say over there and get away with, I don’t know. This is unexpected to me. I didn’t expect you to come to the door.

Jones: Well, neither did we, but you are expected (unintelligible). How do you, Ben, enjoy us— (unintelligible) you were real— you were not involved with material things, you didn’t seem. How do you suddenly turn and want to eat from the, the system that has drained the blood of uh, the Chilean (unintelligible, with furniture moved about)—

Ben: I don’t love the system, but—

Jones: Then you ques— question my organization, where we’re going. Are you saying—

Ben: I just want (unintelligible). I just have not— It’s just been a mystery to me for about a year.

Jones: What— what has—

2nd male: A year?

Jones: What is a mystery? It’s supplies to Zaire, or the Union of South Africa, or getting people out of Chile in refugee centers. Now what is— What is the mystery? What is the mystery?

Ben: That’s no mystery to me, but I just— I— I don’t know, it’s just the— the way that— I don’t know.

Prokes: Well, what’s different? What— what’s been changed that could cause you to think that there’s a mystery? I mean— Why do you say a mystery? (Pause) We’ve operated it the— the way we always have.

Ben: Well, I guess I just didn’t see it the same—

Prokes: What? What’s different about it?

Ben: Uh—

Jones: Any organization worth its salt gotta survive and help people. You can’t— you can’t do most of it alone (unintelligible as voice fades). What is it that you— makes you be informed?

(Voices too soft for several exchanges)

Ben: Just like going to LA every weekend, that kind of stuff.

(People talk over each other)

Ben: —newspapers, and— and uh— (Pause) you know, crowded and— hassle driving all over creation and—

Jones: What about— what about children that are crowded, as many as 17 in their (unintelligible)—

Ben: That’s trie. I get— I’m not (unintelligible word) you, it’s (unintelligible), to me, I— I don’t know.

Jones: Well, you oughta said that. ‘Cause you caused a great deal of risk to me, to me and the organization, bringing back across the border, ‘cause your— your statement was that you didn’t like for the organization (unintelligible as someone sneezes). Every time a statement like that comes out, it al— it always ends up one step— one that stepped— one step graduated down, till we get into this insidiousness.

Ben: Well, I’m not—

Jones: I’ve fought with such insidiousness, that uh, my heart’s broke and my body is pretty well scarred.

Ben: I don’t uh, you know, like I haven’t really talked (unintelligible as someone knocks) to anybody else, I haven’t talked to anybody else or (unintelligible as people talk to newcomers)—

Jones: But still the questions have to be asked. Everybody’s told us that— Grace [Stoen] told us with tears in her eyes, “What I’ve put you through, I’ll never hurt you.” She said she’d never hurt me. But she has. She’s got a court order. She has.

Ben: Well, I can understand your point, because it’s difficult— (unintelligible as voice fades)

Jones: (unintelligible phrase) —and win them. But a newspaper— our newspaper, to try to unite the left, I would think that that would be at least a conscientious thing one should attempt to do, is to try. It didn’t work, but you should try, before you (unintelligible as furniture moved) operational base as a— a facility too? Help in Africa is also going to get a facility to get some people clear. That’s what I have been doing, getting things clear for others to be able to get (unintelligible word) political prisoners, not just Peoples Temple. It’s fantastically influential on these youngsters, they all get their lives straightened out. Is that— Certainly one needs to continue to raise money. We have to raise money in order to do a damn thing. (Pause) So you (unintelligible word) you do anything you could to raise money. (Pause) You can’t know the disappointment that I feel with you. You just can’t know that. Then I have to make projections from that. Whose snitch (unintelligible phrase)?

Ben: I don’t know. I always tell my (unintelligible)— When I felt depressed, or really depressed, and this is probably general (tape edit?), there is usually somebody that leaves. You know, that— as a rule, but see— I didn’t leave out of depression, (voice too soft for rest of sentence).

Jones: What— what— what—

Ben: I didn’t want to leave now. So, I wasn’t leaving out of depression.

Jones and Ben talk over each other.

Ben: When I— When I finally decided, you know— This is what you were going to do.

Jones: You thought you were trapped into Guyana, you mean.

Ben: Yeah.

Jones: (unintelligible phrase) That’s a shame. (Stumbles over words) I think your logic— (unintelligible as microphone moved) I think you’re logically, no, we couldn’t operate here, without an operator here.

Ben: That’s— that’s what I would’ve thought too, but that’s why I couldn’t actually—

Jones and Ben talk over each other.

Jones: Because I had faith in you— because I had faith in you to (unintelligible), set up a (unintelligible word) in headquarters, uh, that would, you know, that would— I knew it would be done jo— your jobs are done well. And Al seems insecure about (unintelligible phrase, too soft).

Ben: I know he’s been doing it for so long, I don’t understand why (unintelligible as furniture moved)

Deep-voiced Man: But even— even you had to come— When we was over there, you had to come turn it, you know, we got the fucker up, but you had to come turn it.

Ben: Yeah—

Deep-voiced Man: So it gets the (unintelligible as things moved). We still don’t which way to turn the shit.

Ben: Well, it’s just a matter— I can write all— I— He knows. He has to know whether he’s taking it on or not, I mean, I told him this is how (unintelligible word) antenna essentially and turn it the right way. He put that big one up now, though.

Jones: He said there no way to get the antenna in there.

Ben: Pardon me?

Jones: He said there’s no way to get the antenna in there. (Pause)

Ben: Well, we can take the antenna over on air freight—

Jones: (unintelligible)

Ben: Pardon me?

Jones: How long will that be?

Ben: Ah, it’ll go over there fast. I don’t know how long it takes— (unintelligible as things moved)

Woman: You think this, uh, take it into the airlines 48 hours before your departure.

Ben: Right, right. You have to have 48 hours before (unintelligible as voice fades)

Jones: But you know, (unintelligible word), you must have realized that, when you’re talking with government people, we anticipated that the government, when we saw this— and this— (unintelligible word) nice home, (unintelligible word) bedroom, apartment below for different people. We— We anticipated that somebody might from their FC— their FCC, whatever it is, uh, uh, commu— communication control, might ask questions. Al doesn’t know an abominable thing to answer question (unintelligible as furniture moved). Paula’ll try, but she just don’t know this business at all, and Al acquiesces. Under pressure, he just seems to— He does know, and he does a good job, at least he’s knowledgeable on the ham radio, but he— he just doesn’t have the confidence to talk to anybody. ‘Cause we’re doing something that’s technically all right, but it’s uh, the zoning say no. We— We got a stamp of approval, and we can put the thing up, but we obviously expected somebody might want to come by and see we’re— just out of interest. Just talking about— I thought with a job like you have, which is always the death of anyone, it’s a job that— It brings in money, and then you feel you’re part of the system. But it hurts, son. It hurts more than you can possibly know. And I’ve got to project a long range plan. I’d die in the streets. That— That’s why I ask you these questions. These questions are hi— These questions are harder to me. You’re leaving this organization you chose—

Phone rings. General milling.

Jones: I— I am surprised you want to pull out of the only— only thing that gives meaning in life. Is there some love affair or something? What is it?

Ben: No.

Phone rings. General milling. Pause for several seconds.

Jones: Who is?

Woman: For me? Just tell her I’ll call her back.

Jones: (unintelligible name: “Marsha”?)

Woman: I’ll call her back.

General milling

Jones: Thank you. We got to calculate human beings. I can’t think of myself as a mutation. If I’m a mutation— if I’m the only one that’ll give and suffer and die, (unintelligible word as things moved) then I have to die. If nobody else is going to— You said the thing that hurt very much, is that I didn’t think you were coming back, so you left.

Ben: Well, it wasn’t that. I mean, it wasn’t because I didn’t think you were coming back that I left. I mean, had you been right here, I woulda left. (Pause) I mean, that— that didn’t— that didn’t— because I didn’t— (unintelligible phrase) —you were deserting us.

Jones: Hmm?

Ben: I didn’t think you were deserting us.

Jones: No, I’d hardly think so. You ought to have known I left under the most ominous type of threats, but threats that do not now have much meaning, as long as there’s solidarity by some people. I built up quite a network. I have quite— quite a bit of connections, quite a bit of contacts. I wouldn’t be able to find out where you are. I mean, the idea that I shouldn’t find out where you are would be (unintelligible as things moved). We need to know what they’re up to. (Deliberate phrase) In view of the past. These people are not shadowed (unintelligible word). Only when they start stuff. We’ve never done anything to anybody. We’re not a— a— A true socialist is not a vengeful person. They’re pragmatic— They’re pragmatists. They face only the one thing, is the survival of all the people who depend upon us for life (unintelligible word), from Zaire to South Africa to Chile, to those precious children that are over there in the middle of that jungle, building what’s to me— and what you haven’t seen in some time. I think you might maybe have decided your life’s going to be rather empty, compared to what’s happening there. But you— you’ve got to take— Every person who’s been in that configuration, (unintelligible phrase as things moved). And I would think that’d be logical to you. Because a person said today, they’re with you, they don’t want to do any harm, they just want to leave, we don’t bother them. We don’t probe them. But then two weeks later, they start some action. We have never initiated any action against anybody. Not once. Never once. The action’s always been (unintelligible as things moved)— You slept too much. If— If you listen, you always heard that everything we discussed where somebody did something. (Pause) Now I have to tap your mind (unintelligible phrase), how can a person be a socialist, how can they be a sacrificial, hard worker and then suddenly give it up, and be back into the system? You must know how crushing that is on my— my whole— my being.

Woman and Jones speak over each other. Pause.

Another male: Any response? (Pause) Any response? (Pause)

Ben: Um—

Jones: Question, is what he means, that I just asked you. How do you— How do you make these adjustments to go back into the system? (Pause) What is it you want out of the system? You said you’d—

Ben and Jones talk over each other

Ben: Um— I’m not— (Pause)

Jones: I remember everything, I nearly died when I heard it. That’s how much it affected us.

Ben: I don’t have any great (unintelligible word)

Jones: Well, why do you— what do you want in there then, son? Well, why do you want— Did you believe in me—

Ben: I— It’s just that I have— I guess I want independence. I guess that’s what I want. (Pause)

Jones: Whoever’s freed anybody, son? Whoever freed anyone by hedonistic indifference? Who, with anarchy, ever did a damn thing for a soul? I— I— Like a classic anarchist myself, I hate the system, but I— but you can’t replace it with anarchism. It takes organization to replace it.

Ben: I guess I—

Jones: Where did you see me misuse power? Where do you see it? Where do you see it?

Ben: I didn’t say you misuse power.

Jones: Well, then, what do— My God, isn’t it then significant that you’re not identifying with the— the blacks, the people that’ve been drug out of jail, that crippled little boy accused in this city of shooting police— at police, and body been broken and— and uh, distorted, uh, Melvin Charles is, is his name, Melvin’s brother. The police wanted to get him off, or get him off, and the judge who, with a long lecture— he sent him over to the Promised Land. But police meet him up the street and said, don’t let us see your face again, or something’ll happen to you. Do you feel involved with the pride of freeing people like that? Or (unintelligible first name— “Talia”?) Johnson, who was— was running around in— in clothes, in transvestite with no purpose, and reeking— freaking out, head of a whole garden and is as responsible as could be, like a rock of Gibraltar? And just go on down the list. But there’s Kenny— even Kenny, the most sordid amongst them, a deviate, a child molester, but who made him a child molester? The fuckin’ white system. It never makes a black person feel his self. (Pause) Where have you been philosophically? You see, I have to have great trust in that special love for you. Where have you been?

Ben: I think uh— (Pause) I don’t know, I’m kind of a nihilist. Whatever that is—

Jones: Well, explain.

Ben: Just pessimistic. Like I feel whatever—

Jones: Well, I am too, son.

Ben: —happens mostly happens purely by accident. But I think if you work very very very very hard, and you happen to get a— purely accident that happens your way to really change things. Apart from that, I think that things more or less stay the way they are.

Jones: How did you stay here being a nihilist? Have you been to Cuba lately?

Ben: No.

Jones: And you call yourself a nihilist in Cuba?

Ben: Um, I don’t know what a nihilist is (unintelligible word). I mean a person who just basically— I guess I’m just really a pessimist, if you want.

Jones: But— but my God, with two out of three babies going to bed hungry, you don’t even want to just take those chances? We’ll take our chances on those people being tortured while we’re sitting here? (Pause) We can’t do that.

Ben: I— (Pause)

Jones: That’s all right. Go ahead, have a dialogue, I’m rea— I’m only making projections from you.

Ben: I don’t claim to have— you know, I don’t have perfect empathy— (Jones talks over)

Jones: I would— I would hope that I could— I could— I could hope— I could hope with all the hope in the world that you’d change your mind. But that’s not the primary reason I’m probing you.

Ben: Okay. Well, that’s— Yeah. I feel like uh— (Pause) I’m willing to have a dialogue with you so that you can (Pause) understand me maybe a little bit better, but I don’t really feel I’m open to make a decision otherwise. I— I feel that the most likely thing that make me connect or reconsider or really start working through this (unintelligible word) would be uh, to go out for six months and uh, then just be truly bored. And I think that would make me come back.

Jones: Well, I hope so. I’ve never seen anybody that ever happened to you before.

Ben: Well, I’m not— I’m not expecting you to be, you know, happy, basically.

Jones: No, I’ve never seen it happen to anybody. For us. I wish I could see some people who’d seen the system and come back. But their pride won’t let them (unintelligible with movement in room).

Ben: I’m not necessarily— I— (Pause) I— I— You know, I can see positive role (unintelligible word). I’d rather know it. I— To me, it’s premature to talk about anything.

Jones: What do you mean, (unintelligible) at this juncture?

Ben: I mean, I don’t (unintelligible word)— I mean, there are ways that I can work or help Peoples Temple. Small ways, that might be a little help.

Jones: Well, what kind of thing do you have in mind?

Ben: Well, I don’t— you know, I don’t have anything particular in mind. (unintelligible phrase)

Deep-voiced Man: (unintelligible)

Jones: Well, he’s already said he couldn’t handle the radio. Didn’t— Didn’t you say that?

Ben: Pardon me?

Jones: Didn’t you say you could already handle the radio problem?

Ben: (Laughs) I— I don’t know whether I can handle the radio problem. It depends on—

Jones: You mean—

Another male: What works— See, we’re (unintelligible word)— If it answers, you gotta listen to us, great, we can have the radio (unintelligible under movement), we’re not going to do any business over it, we’re not going to (unintelligible under movement)—

Jones: They didn’t uh, they didn’t seem to be worried about content. Did he say that to you? Did he say it to you?

Ben: To me, it’s very funny, if the FCC can suddenly come out here and with— and investigate on site. That is, you know, not right.

Another male: They had gotten a lot of complaints because of the—

Prokes: Interference—

Several people speak

Ben: It’s smart for them to ascertain that, but I mean basically—

Jones: Can you do anything to mask that up there—

Ben: (Sighs) If I had the (unintelligible name) manual, I couldn’t find the manual (unintelligible word).

Jones: (Under breath) Oh, God. (Normal tone) Here’s the thing, son. That they— they apparently were here for the— the usual diabolical intrigue, but (unintelligible word) letters, and the personal handwritten letter from Mrs. Carter blew their minds, so they got off the substance of the thing and all the other— just all they were worried about was the power.

Ben: Well, that’s why—

Jones: Allegedly. I think— I think they’ve been after us ever since we championed Unita May Blackwell Wright, when quite likely they were here and not to, to uh, uh tap her, because anybody could do that without being out there with a little black satchel. Probably kill her. So I know the deviousness of the bastards. But they think we’ve probably got too much of a hold. That’s the only reason the FBI doesn’t move in me for certain things. The only reason why the (stumbles over words) printer pushout, they— In immigration, they burn up, they want to arrest so badly. But they can’t arrest, because they’re afraid of a bunch of angry niggers in the streets. That’s the whole basic thing in a nutshell. And that’s why when everybody who goes out, it weakens that thing. Group solidarity is the only thing that can stand up to fascism. Jews— Jews who did survive. Elements of socialism in [Adolf] Hitler’s Germany did survive. Even to the last. But when you break, you break your solidarity, you have no— Uh, you can’t— So I’ll have to make projections based on moves like yours, and I keep seeing these moves, every two, three months, a person that’s been at some meeting— been a long time since (unintelligible word) your meeting, though. A long time that I’ve been (unintelligible word under movement) like this.

Ben: I just burn out. (Pause)

Jones: Well, it always helped me to realize I didn’t have the right to burn out. That’s all that I— kept me going. I get tired and weary and (unintelligible word), awful and frequently and (unintelligible word) every night and every day. Hostile. ‘Cause I’m just exactly like all the rest of you. You keep very clear in my mind, some people who’ll— I’ve never had that opportunity to burn out. And I may burn out, but I’m not going to give out. Because that’s a terrible feeling, to feel that you let people down. That’s what I felt I woulda done if I had stayed there. Sure, I wouldn’t be in jail, and I didn’t care about going to jail in the first place. I thought it would be organizationally unsound for me to risk going to jail, because I’m still quite influential in this movement. But I— I couldn’t— I didn’t— Our people would have never understood if I hadn’t have come back in these kinds of situations. Even per— perhaps some here wouldn’t have understood it. They wouldn’t understand it. But I had to take the personal risk— I’d rather take that risk than risk letting anybody down. And even if I let most painful, unless I’ve totally miscalculated, (unintelligible word) let somebody down that needs you, trusted you, or believed in you. I don’t know what there is in life. I’ve tried it all. Never being able to do anything for myself. Glad to go, with everything I own, I’ve got my body or mind. And still I know what’s out there. You learn vicariously. I don’t know what possibly for you to enjoy (unintelligible phrase) lived in the system, hobnobbed with all those assholes in this city. For this cause, you see. There’s nothing there. So what’s the difference? Pain is pain. Why not be painfully loyal, rather than painfully dissident?

(Movement of furniture)

Jones: (unintelligible under movement) —nihilist. Sitting here as a nihilist, I wonder how many others—

(People move, commotion)

Jones: Don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that.

Woman: Chaikin [presumably Gene Chaikin]. Chaikin.

Jones: Um, Dee’s having a little— little problem and that was the only reason um—

Deep-voiced Man: Dee?

Jones: Dee. She’s having a little problem (unintelligible phrase), we’ve asked that uh, talk with some people (unintelligible phrase)

Woman: Sure.

Jones: —try to explain it, ‘cause I think they need explanations. (Movement) Anyway. So uh— (Pause) You don’t think there’s any way to— for the radio to sur— to survive. What time is it?

Woman: It’s—

Another male: Quarter to ten.

Jones: I can’t survive without communications.

(Movement; people talk over each other)

Jones: —mission and have a few things, and we said, well, the people do business, and they said what we said, and they said, we know that. We know that. Uh— So they didn’t seem to argue at that point on. And God, if he’d been monitoring for two weeks, he’d heard it all— most— same kind of codes. So uh—

Male: We could not challenge this on the content. In other words, (unintelligible under movement). I was surprised, because I always thought it was one of (unintelligible phrase), they were going to bust us on the content and we would’ve been in deeper trouble. I was shocked that—

Jones: He would— he would’ve, except there’s that letter from Mrs. Carter saying she thanks me for what I’m trying to do in Cuba. And they don’t know what the hell to think. They may think the whole government’s going communist, but that’s not what she was really saying. She was really saying, uh, I think it’s good that you tried to get hospital equipment into Cuba. I was trying to get a commitment from her (unintelligible word), (stumbles over words) she can open certain— certain doors in the Caribbean. And that handwritten letter, which we didn’t expect to get, was very helpful, from the president’s wife. It’s been helpful ever since we got it.

Ben: Well, if we keep our power (unintelligible under movement) train signal, and uh, identify.

Jones: Yeah. What bothers me slightly is this uh, false signal, this false signal.

Man: Worth shifting to valley.

Jones: Shift to the valley?

Man: Use that (unintelligible word) antenna up there.

Woman: They shift to the valley at the same time.

Jones: They do?

(Several people talk)

Prokes: They— they went in there, and same time they came in here.

Ben: Well, I’m sure they know about it. That’s what (unintelligible under movement). But uh, as far as them listening— see, that’s what they asked me about, that—

Jones: Well, nobody’s ever told me this little bit of information.

Ben: No, that— that’s why I didn’t want to— That’s— I was (unintelligible word) down in the first place, because we got, you know, I mean, you know, probably a thousand ham radio operators right here within our primary signal area, which is about 10 miles. And we got an umbrella area which— They can probably hear us in L.A., but uh, if we’re up in the valley, they— the only people who can hear us there are like 20 or 30 miles— (Jones talks over him)

Jones: I never heard this. I never heard this. Never once. Well, you can see how vital communications are. We have to have no communi— communications, since I had to rush all that— that jungle, we’ve had no communications since the day of the (unintelligible word).

Ben: Did they say not to operate (unintelligible word)?

Jones: Yes.

Several people talk, microphone moved.

Jones: What’s happening?

Ben: Well, I was— I kinda— I was— he never said that to me on the phone. And I was surprised that he didn’t call.

Jones: Well, I suspect he’s probably— that he’s probably learned more (unintelligible, as movement recurs)

Ben: I was surprised that they came—

Jones: Did you see it? Do you know the letter? Do you know the letter?

Man: No, I haven’t seen the letter.

Prokes: I’ve seen the letter.

Several people talk, microphone moved.

Ben: (Speaks too far away from mike) —came to pick it up. And then they send you another slip saying, you’ve had a second— a pink one, that says you’ve had a second offense, and then if it’s really bad, and you fail to comply, sometimes when they shake your (unintelligible word)—

Jones: If they— they wanted to do us in, they’d have arrested you, they’d have arrested everybody on that radio. Of course, we know that. I’m not doubting, you’ve made your (unintelligible word). They won’t arrest us. (Pause) But that letter, even as innocuous as it is, makes— it makes for nervousness.

Prokes: Especially when it starts out, “Dear Jim.” He could have easily said, “Dear Reverend Jones.” But, looks like there’s a close personal friendship there.

Jones: Let me see it again, so I can know what we’re talking about— (voice fades)

Man: So we’re going to tell them we don’t have any long (unintelligible word) violation?

People talk over each other

Man: (unintelligible phrase) I— I had throwed it up the (unintelligible word) last two weeks, because then it’s— Since they’ve been monitoring— (unintelligible phrase) Basically, we’d have— we need to have (unintelligible word) at 5:30 and 2:30.

Movements. People talk over each other

Jones: What are you saying? How we would do it without lying, if they’re monitoring? It’s (unintelligible word) we can say. If they really monitor us, we’ll— I don’t want to put you in jeopardy, you’re the one that’s in jeopardy (voice fades).

Ben: You know, I was— I don’t intend to— I think it’s foolishness to say, well this is the log, and it’s totally accurate. You know, I just say, well, I went back over the— over the (voice fades), but I just haven’t kept it up, like I should have—

Jones: That’s why I question why we shouldn’t lose it. It was my idea to lose it. But you say not to. And I trust your judgment. Things in writing can damage you. What you put down there becomes— if these people turn and change their mind and want to go after us, which I’m afraid— I— I’m afraid that’s down the road, undoubtedly, but I don’t know the way it is right now, because of their attitude, (unintelligible word) attitude. So that doesn’t indicate to me that they want to— they got the legal, uh, criminal sanction against us. They even said, if you were here, and uh— as I understood it, now if the people correct me if I’m wrong, that— that you were here and the power was all right, they wouldn’t even cite you, whatever that means, what “cite” means, that just means— that’s— that’s a civil way— that’s a civil way, that’s all.

Man: There are sanctions against them, but I don’t— I mean, I don’t know how they do it with all the citations.

Ben: The sanctions for a false entry are more severe than making none at all. I mean, from a technical (unintelligible under movement).

Jones: Anything that you put in writing is just evidence. It’s just right there for them. If that’s accurate. (Pause) Then we always have to deal with the paranoid possibility that they’re just playing with us, you know. They want to get more information from us.

Woman: What’d they say when you talked to Ruth?

Man: They said uh—

Another man: What happened was that Ben uh— how come it— said we couldn’t understand it. There you were, and we were listening. You know, we heard your signal, you knocked on the door, and all of a sudden, the signal disappeared, and they said you just left. It made us awful suspicious, Ben.

Ben: I said, well I was uh— I said it was because (unintelligible sentence about being sick)— I always came to back on welfare.

Jones: Is that consistent with what you said about him, that he was sick?

Ben: No, they said— I told them, I said, that I had, you know, I would just leave something, because (unintelligible under movement), but actually, I thought it was different, so maybe not so bad.

Another Woman: I told them that you got (voice fades to softness)

Jones: Well, I hope your nihilism— it’d be interesting if your nihilism and my socialism put us in the same cell. (Laughs) I was laughing, but you think about it, you may— you may get a chance enough to be bored. Christ, I don’t give a shit anymore.

Man: This cite basically (unintelligible under movement) just to test his will. And he’ll go back, and make a report to this— these two guys that were there before that (unintelligible under movement)

Jones: (unintelligible under movement) —what’s going to happen then.

Man: (unintelligible) If the signal’s clear, then they’ll probably say, write us a letter, and— you know, with the citation is what I’m saying, you’re given a warning. But they’re going to be nice, you know, that you’ve been— your signal’s unclear, and if you got two weeks to get your signal straightened out, and then uh— See, there may be something wrong— They’re ah— To me, there must be something wrong with it, I— I don’t know. I’m anxious to see if this guy comes up with anything with his equipment.

Woman: Something wrong with the— what?

Man: With the signal, yeah.

Man: He said it was uh, broadcasting (voice fades)

Woman: Ten K—

Man: Ten KC’s? Well, it’s too bad. That’s not the way it’s supposed to do, and that’s certainly one reason (unintelligible phrase)—

People talk over each other

Man: ‘Cause that’s what that other guy wrote two weeks ago, was that we were in (unintelligible as voice fades)

Woman: He said the antenna— Because of the antenna had some areas that were (unintelligible word)—

Prokes: He said it wasn’t the best installation he had seen.

Ben: He said it wasn’t?

People talk over each other

Ben: Well maybe— I don’t know. We’ll just have to see.

Woman: (unintelligible as she breaks in) —do a— a log book there, you know.

People talk over each other

Prokes: It just disappeared, you know. Kids running in and out. Could have left the door open.

Ben: Yeah, I could say I—

People talk over each other.

Jones: They could use that at some other time. Even though now, they see our power, they do not want to. Nine months later— I don’t know what the statute is for this. Probably, what, two, three years?

Man: Three years.

Jones: So later, they’ve got something in writing. That’s why I don’t want for you people to keep things in writing. The argument should be— here that we’ve been praised by the mayor, the Senators, what we’re doing is getting troubled people off the streets, and it’s perfectly fantastic, we got the literature here, read this and (unintelligible phrase), say, we have to have communications, but— but we were told by different officials, and we have (unintelligible phrase), it won’t matter, they’re not that strict about it in the FCC, here the people can talk on the— on the thing, there’s not that much of a problem. I mean there isn’t any problem. I’d put it that way. And so, we didn’t— all we were concerned about was getting things— non-profit, obviously, as a church— we— we— things that needed, medical supplies, we stopped gastroenteritis, I hope you’re listening, in that whole area, which we have. That’s a fact, and we document it. By our supplies and equipment and some natural remedies. There’s no more kids dying in our area of gastroenteritis. So the thing— the human thing— not to try to talk savvy to you, being highly sophisticated. I’d just make that kind of approach. (Pause) When are they— When— Will you notify when they’re coming in?

Man: Yeah, is there something wrong with it?

(Reply too soft)

Jones: They know who (unintelligible word) rapping at the door.

Man: He said uh, boy, that place is like Fort Knox. He said— as I understand it, it’s been tried to be bur— it’s been burned down a couple of times.

Jones: He said you said that?

Man: I didn’t say it. You did.

Woman: You told him that when they came here.

Man: You told him that he said, oh, you got a lot of security, and somebody said, well, you know, we’ve had the church burn down, and so (unintelligible word) concerns us.

Man: They may monitor and not tape, they may be so inefficient.

Jones: Well, let’s hope that’s been the case. What’s bothering me is these call signals. Huh? What bothers me is the call signals, that we— they— they didn’t mention that to you either, did they?

Man: (unintelligible phrase) —monitoring for two weeks, and for a while there, you weren’t even called for that. Or you weren’t identifying, or something.

Jones: So they’ve missed—

Prokes: They may have missed—

Jones: (unintelligible word) of the paranormal again.

Prokes: It’s very possible.

Ben: Well, they’re in a hard place—

People talk over each other

Jones: If they can miss— If they could miss— If they could miss those call signals, they’d really have to— Something’s working with us at least for a little while.

Woman: Maybe— it says here—

Jones: ‘Cause those call signals are in choke, choke, choke— We just choke them with those call signals. Well, I already— I already stopped (unintelligible word), four days before they come in. (Pause) ‘Cause Tim Stoen thought we ought to give ‘em a call signal. He thought a call signal there, then go along without anything. (unintelligible sentence)

Prokes: No, that doesn’t make sense, really.

Jones: (same unintelligible) —So I already—

Ben: Yeah, if they can’t— if you’re looking— If you figure they’re not going to come after you for three months, then that’s fine. Uh, obviously, they don’t operate that way. (Pause) It’s just (unintelligible phrase).

Jones: I wish I had known about the umbrella.

Ben: Hmm?

Jones: I wish I had known about the umbrella. In Los Angeles, you’d be in the same position, I suppose.

Ben: Right. They’d be able to hear you like 20— 20 miles—

Man: You were saying they could hear us, they were picking us up in Washington.

Ben: Yes, so you get an umbrella effect to like— It can be like 20, maybe 100 miles— After you go out 20 miles and after you— and then after like 100 miles out, you get dead air, and then after that, the signal starts to come back down (unintelligible under movement). They probably come— They probably come like gangbusters then. (unintelligible phrase) They said in Washington—

People talk over each other

Woman: Did you see anything else that they might bring up that we haven’t talked about, or should think about?

Ben: Uh— I don’t know. I’m not up on the regulations they have— See, we’re not licensed at this location. (unintelligible phrase) secondary— primary location is up in Redwood Valley, but I just moved down here, and uh, I haven’t got around to applying for a primary station location down here, because I’m not sure— (unintelligible phrase under movement)

Jones: Well, wha— what’d you have in mind (unintelligible phrase)

Ben: That’s what I was going to say. Because they don’t have to— I don’t have to uh— If this is a secondary station location, I don’t have to give them any written notice of it. And I don’t have to get a separate call sign for it (unintelligible under movement), so I can still— still primary station location in Redwood Valley, and this is secondary location.

People talk over each other.

Jones: Well, I think you better show them that too. You can talk afterwards in there, because I’d like to have more dialogue with you to get my bearings, me when I’m back here, know to what I’m doing here. (Pause) Things are happening over there.

End of tape

Tape originally posted April 2002

Originally posted on June 16th, 2013.

Last modified on April 8th, 2014.
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