Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
Young woman: Well, what all have uh, people been asking you about Jim?
(Two voices compete)
Elmira: They won’t— they— they won’t talk to me much, ‘cause they know I— I’ll (mike move, unintelligible word) the phone, you know. I don’t allow nobody talk to me about Pastor Jim.
Young woman: That’s good.
Elmira: (Emphatic) No, sir.
Young woman: Like you say, if they won’t—
Elmira: If they want— If you want to know anything, you go talk to him. Don’t come picking it around me.
Young woman: Well, I’ve got nosy neighbors, that always are asking me stuff.
Young woman: How do you— Did you have in your neighborhood too?
Elmira: Well, uh, Mr. Case across the street there, uh, he said, do you know Father. And uh, I said yes. And uh, he uh, he been out uh, hinting around, you know, trying to get me to go out— Coughs). Do you mind if I set this down?
Young woman: No, go ahead, honey, you— this is your room too.
Elmira: So, I said well, now listen. I’m not like the squirrel that jump from limb to limb. Well, I don’t jump from church to church. I said, I been following Pastor Jim for many, many a-year, and nobody changes my mind, until he say, “You get out, Elmira [Mara?], don’t want to fool with you anymore.”
Young woman: Well, you know Father’d never do that.
Elmira: You know he ain’t gone do that.
Young woman: He couldn’t do that—
Elmira: Oh, you know he couldn’t—
Young woman: No way.
Elmira: So— excuse me— let me, Connie, you know, he never said any more.
Young woman: Wh— When did he ask you? Who—
(Two voices compete)
Elmira: When I first come— moved here. They come over and they asked me.
Young woman: Who— who is he? I don’t even know him.
Elmira: No, he’s uh— he— he used to live with uh, (unintelligible word) from Pastor Jim.
Young woman: Maybe it was before I came to church.
Elmira: Maybe so. And uh— I don’t have— You know what I mean to say, I don’t have no dealings with them, you know.
Young woman: What’d he want to know? I mean, if he knew Jim, what would he want to know from you?
Elmira: He— No, he didn’t want to know nothing, he wanted to know what church was I going to?
Young woman: Ohh.
Elmira: He wanted me to come to that church.
Young woman: Oh. So he goes to church now.
Elmira: Uh-huh, he goes over— What’s that church? (Pause) Oh, I think uh— that (unintelligible name), and uh, (unintelligible word: Willie?) Brown and Ashury, I think they all goes to that church with hi— with him.
Young woman: Umm-hmm.
Elmira: I don’t know what’s the name of it.
Young woman: Birdie said that there were going to— that uh— (Pause) Mother Brown was going to some church, right? You know, I don’t think she told me which one. But then, I don’t know that much about churches to know—
Young woman: —you know, I could have heard it and not remembered.
Elmira: So I didn’t pay no attention. And they won’t— they even talk to me, you know, ‘cause they know I don’t approve of everything—
Young woman: Who, (unintelligible name: could be Avery) and—
Elmira: I don’t—
Young woman: — or even Mr. Case.
Elmira: Oh, no, they— they won’t talk to me about Pastor Jim. None of them.
Young woman: Huh— (unintelligible balance of answer, as two women talk over each other)
Elmira: Because, you know, I got a word for them.
Young woman: (Laughs) What’s the word?
Elmira: Now— now, “That’s none of your damn business,” is what I said. “If you want to know something, you go and ask him.”
Young woman: Why’d they leave?
Elmira: (Emphatic) I don’t know. That’s what I would like to know. Why? Why?
Young woman: Have they ever said anything?
Elmira: They will not talk to me.
Young woman: You mean at all— about that or—
Elmira: No, honey. No, they won’t— They even talk to me. When— (coughs, then laughs) When they say, Winnie [probably Winneann O’Bryant, aka Zelline O’Bryant], where you going, when did I start being to church, I said, Sister, (unintelligible phrase), I taking sick at church with my legs, you know, and everybody practically knows I’m about there, and uh, so uh, “Oh, I see.” And I say, “Yeah. Going back just as quick as I can uh, get myself pulled together, just as quick as I can get better and the doctor turn me loose, to Jim Jones, I’m going.” (Pause)
Young woman: That isn’t what they expected to hear—
Elmira: You see? They wanted me to say, “No, I ain’t going.” Not for people like Etta [likely Etta Thompson], I got some of the funniest people in the world. Naya [phonetic], my mother (Pause) was a fine woman. (Pause) She just did not pull you (unintelligible word). Keep up a uproar, and being nasty and talking about the church from here to here, she just didn’t like that. And she always telling me, she said, “When you get to one place, you stay there.”
Young woman: Umm-hmm.
Elmira: “Don’t run from door to door.”
Young woman: Well, gee, I’d run from door to door until I found Jim.
Young woman: Then I knew I was home.
Elmira: Yes. See? Now when I— uh, when I found Pastor Jim, I was going to church over on uh, Mission. Reverend Green. (Pause) And I’ll tell you right now, he was the nastiest man I most ever had met, he just had nasty ways, you know. And uh, Brother Bagwell used to be the past— the minister of that church. And I say, “No, Lord, I’m not coming back here no more.” (Pause)
Young woman: Bet that surprised them.
Elmira: Umm-hmm [Yes]. (Pause) And uh, he looked at you like sometime, like you had dirt on you, you know, stuff like that. I said, “Well, I know, I am not gone come back over here to church no more.” So that Sunday, when I left, I told one of the members, I said, “Well, I won’t be back anymore.” She says uh, “Well, uh, well, why, Mara?” I said, “Well, I’m fixing to (unintelligible word).” No, honey, I haven’t been back there in that church for about a year and a half, because I didn’t like the way they done. (Pause) No quicker than they see you coming in, they go to writing notes.
Young woman: You mean, about you?
Elmira: I don’t know what they were doing, but they— when they see people come in, they go to writing notes and handing that to so-and-so. Uh, give that to so-and-so.
Young woman: Well, Father sure taught us well, ‘cause you know you can’t talk about anybody behind their back.
Elmira: No talking.
Young woman: It’s the only place in the world I know that you’re fo— you know, you’re safe.
Elmira: Oh, well, yes. I don’t care what they say (unintelligible phrase), I’m not dirt. I’m not gone forget Jim, I don’t care what they say. I can’t do it.
Young woman: He’s done too much for us.
Elmira: Oh, me?
Young woman: And you’ve shown too much character already, no matter what (unintelligible phrase)
Elmira: You know what?
Young woman: What.
Elmira: Well, it was on a Saturday night, when all my girls come in, and uh, I was making dressing, I believe it was (unintelligible phrase) Christmas or Thanksgiving. And I was making dressing. And (unintelligible word) I say, “Cynthia,” I said, “I believe I’ve got too much salt in here,” I say, “won’t you taste it?” And she said, “Yes, Momma.” She said, “No, Mamma, it ain’t got too much salt here.” So I was down here, little spoonful for her to taste it, I says back to myself, did you know I like (unintelligible phrase). Well, that Sunday — let’s see, that was on a Saturday night — that Sunday, when I went to church, Pastor Jim (unintelligible balance of sentence).
Young woman: Dad? Oh wow. He never told me about that.
Elmira: Sure did.
Young woman: Bet you felt like a new woman without the (unintelligible word)
Elmira: Ohh. You know what? And give that thing up? Woo. (unintelligible sentence)
Young woman: But it taste just as bad as it did—
Elmira: But it did (unintelligible phrase) on the floor. That was down at uh, Sacramento, when I passed that cancer from the throat. Well, honey, you ought to me why I pass (unintelligible balance of sentence)
Young woman: Another one?
Elmira: He got two. He passed the one from me, uh, when I was back there second time, I went to church.
Young woman: Wow.
Elmira: Uh, it covered up the whole palm of your hand.
Young woman: Ooo, what that must have been doing to your body.
Elmira: Uh-huh. There it was, the ugliest thing I had ever seen. (Pause) It had little—
Young woman: Tentacles?
Elmira: —green stripes, you know, blood, you know, in it? Oh, I couldn’t believe it, and you see, I didn’t know then at that time, Marcie and the other girl were going to take it in (unintelligible word), and so I said, oh, no, no, no, no, don’t show him that. (Laughs) I was so ashamed, I said, “No, no”—
Young woman: Well, it was thoughtful, though.
Elmira: Yes, I know, sugar. She said, yes, honey, we got to, this is our demon, we have to show it to— Oh, it was a terrible thing. You ought to know how that left my body, just left it so empty.
Young woman: Hmm. And being under his love keeps us that way.
Elmira: Oh, yes.
Young woman: And when we follow his teachings, the healthier we are.
Elmira: Oh, so true. And uh, we don’t know we’re dying of cancer.
Young woman: (Voice low) —So you really know what it’s like.
Elmira: Oh, yes.
(Several exchanges too quiet)
Elmira: So, I treated that, and I’m going to have to (Pause) be (Pause) you know, ah, (Pause) to let my momma to stay here and suffer with cancers, you know.
Young woman: Oh, yeah.
Elmira: (unintelligible phrase) (Laughs) This is something else I want to tell you. (Pause)
Young woman: What?
Elmira: (Pause) When I come up here, (Pause) I moved over on uh, Oak Street. (Pause) I had, let me see, one two three four five— I had five cats. (Pause) There’s nobody liked them cats. He knew. (Pause) (unintelligible word)
Young woman: Why not? ‘Cause uh, cats are fun.
Elmira: Says uh, (Calls out) “When you gone git rid of them cats?”
Young woman: This is your neighbors say that?
Young woman: Oh, neighbors. Yeah. They not in— in the teach— yeah—
Elmira: (Laughs) “Well, how many you got?” (Pause) Four— I got four or five. (Pause) My goodness. (Pause) “Well, I think they’re gonna cause a lot of trouble around here.” I say, “Well, the way I look at (unintelligible word under cough) the other night, I don’t mind (unintelligible words under coughs) or out there in the garage.” And I says uh, “I know they can’t be mine, ‘cause I let my cats out.” So, this old man—
Young woman: Yeah. Caused trouble.
Elmira: Caused trouble. (unintelligible word) And I just been thinking about that (unintelligible phrase). How can people be so mean sometimes? (unintelligible word)
Young woman: Do you want some more water, (unintelligible word)
Elmira: No, darlin’—
Young woman: —‘cause I’m gonna get some. I know (unintelligible phrase). Want some ice in it?
Elmira: No, sweetie. (unintelligible sentence)
Young woman: I guess I’ve been coughing too much.
Elmira: Uh-huh, that’s it.
Young woman: (Sniffs)
Elmira: You got to— What time do you go to work?
Young woman: Oh, I got another hour and a half.
Elmira: Oh, you have?
Young woman: My schedule’s nice. Also, I can see people. Some (unintelligible word) don’t like it. But, it’s good this way, ‘cause I can get out and do sh— you know.
Elmira: Oh, sure, darlin’—
Young woman: It has an advantage in that sense. (Pause) I just can’t get over all those people leaving the church.
Elmira: I don’t either. I don’t either. I just don’t know. That ain’t nothing but the devil. Do you hear me? That’s the devil, honey. Now, uh, uh, what (unintelligible word) says, that is a lie, and you shouldn’t say that, that there ain’t no such a thing as the devil. I say, “Yes it is, it’s the devil down here. To me, (unintelligible phrase), that ain’t nothing but pure hell.” Now the (unintelligible word) police— Now why didn’t they stay in?
Young woman: I don’t know. Why do you even talk to any of them to know?
(unintelligible exchanges, too soft)
Young woman: And you were such a good friend and mother, and— Oh, Mira.
Elmira: Um-umm, they wouldn’t talk to me. You know why? (unintelligible phrase, too soft) Pastor Jim. Shh. What did Pastor Jim care about them?
Young woman: Well, he’d care, because he loves them. He cares about them, ‘cause he doesn’t turn anybody away.
Elmira: Well, they better— They better try to get ‘em on back over there, I’m telling you, if they’d know what I know. They better get close to him (Pause) over when they might get back in the (unintelligible word). Shh. Pitiful. I think he’s a saint.
Young woman: What did they s— What did— I wonder what they have to say about him.
Elmira: (Emphatic) They— I don’t know. I can’t get to the bottom of it, to save my life, ‘cause they will not talk to me. As she was to (unintelligible), about Birdie or Daddy.
(Exchanges too soft)
Young woman: You’re probably one of the best friends they ever had.
Elmira: Never mistreat them or wouldn’t mistreat ‘em.
Young woman: Loyal—
Elmira: —for nothing in the world. (unintelligible sentence). How are you uh— (Laughs) (unintelligible phrase) (Pause)
Young woman: Hmm. I don’t know.
Elmira: I just don’t know. I just don’t know. (Pause) Does some funny things.
Young woman: People are just meaner (unintelligible word)
Elmira: I don’t understand it.
Young woman: (unintelligible sentence) What it is, and it makes us turn away from goodness and love. (Pause)
Elmira: Well. (Pause) (unintelligible sentence) You were to say—
Young woman: Mmm-hmm.
Elmira: (Pause) But uh, I know this much. (Pause) He’s mighty stupid to uh, (Pause) turn away from someone that love you.
Young woman: That’s what I mean. Why, you know—
Elmira: I— I— (Pause) I just don’t know what to make of it. Now— now— do— One thing. Do you think I could uh, get Jack away from there?
Young woman: Away from where?
Elmira: From this church? Don’t you know he’d die afore we leave from there?
Young woman: With children, you know, (unintelligible phrase). Unless you come as a child— Children, no, they don’t— they haven’t learned all the games we have.
Elmira: No, he ain’t never gone leave from there.
Young woman: Uhh-uhh.
Young woman: No, I think if I tried to take my children away from the church, they’d leave me. I mean, I might be able to physically stop them from going, but I would never be able to communicate with them again.
Elmira: Uhh-uhh. No.
Young woman: They would just close me out (unintelligible under interruption)
Elmira: It’s the truth.
Young woman: And they would end up being so hurt, because they— you know, they would know where goodness was and not be able to go there, and—
Elmira: It’s pitiful.
Young woman: Umm-hmm.
Elmira: I couldn’t do it (unintelligible word)
Young woman: No, I know you could not. I— Not that you wouldn’t do it.
Elmira: Oh, Jesus, no. I’m not made up like that. Umm-mmm [no], not at all. Umm-mmm. No— (unintelligible sentences). Umm— I was gonna having a— a good old time, for getting shades. You know, I just hate these windows. You know why. You have a hard time getting shades.
Young woman: To fit?
Elmira: To fit. Now. I went down twice to get the shades for the windows. You know, I couldn’t find nothing.
Young woman: Where’d you try?
Elmira: I just looked in the plain stores, you know.
Young woman: You mean the kind you pull down, or venetian—
Elmira: Just— no, just the ones you pull down.
Young woman: Plain— Material that’s around the windows.
Young woman: Yeah. Uh, Sprouse-Reitz might have some.
Elmira: Well, how much are they?
Young woman: I don’t know really know. I haven’t gone there in a long time. But I know they cut ‘em there. I seen ‘em cut ‘em, you know, like if your windows are different, you know, those— the wood pull things?
Young woman: I could take you down. We could look.
Elmira: Well, one of these evenings, I was waiting on Red Ball to send me this check so I could get the shades— some, some shades up there, because I have no shades to fit the windows, you know. And uh, I been just waiting, I said, no, they don’t have it. Couldn’t find any, or it wasn’t wide enough, and uh, I had one big one (Pause) and— uh, it won’t do, it just goes about halfway up the window. So I say, well, I’ll measure up, and I’ll see what I can do, maybe I can get something up. If they don’t, maybe I have to take two and put ‘em together.
Young woman: Yeah.
Elmira: Uh-huh. Like that.
Young woman: Yeah, ‘cause if they’re as wide as these, I don’t think you could find one that wide.
Elmira: Oh, no, you’re going to have to use the drapes for them.
Young woman: Yeah. (unintelligible word) Well, we got— we’ve got one in our kitchen, you know, that one you can see from where you are.
Elmira: Yes, that’s what I was looking at.
Young woman: We’ve got a shade that fits that, so I know they make them.
Elmira: (Pause) Well, I’m gonna see about this. (unintelligible, too soft)
Young woman: Yeah, ‘cause— do you know how wide you want it?
Elmira: No, they about the same size.
Young woman: As this— this one?
Young woman: Yeah, we can measure ‘em and go down and pick ‘em up, and put them in the back of the station wagon. That way, they wouldn’t get, you know, bent around or—
Elmira: Sure. (unintelligible word) gone have to— gone have to get ‘em, ‘cause I don’t like people see clean through the house.
Young woman: Umm-hmm. Especially at night when they can see in and you can’t see out. All these, you know, kids runnin’ around the neighborhood.
Elmira: Oh-ho, you shoulda saw that place. (Pause) (unintelligible sentence, too soft). Honey, the leaves were so big. And there— the man cut the yard—
Young woman: Well, that’s good.
Elmira: Well, there in the back, it don’t look like it.
Young woman: Oh.
Elmira: So, there’s another man coming, I think he’ll be there Monday to rake this yard all up for me, in front and back. And you know that (unintelligible word) when you’re coming up there?
Young woman: Umm-hmm.
Elmira: I’m gonna have that all dug up, and uh, put some flowers in there, you know, and kind of make it look homely [homey]. There’s something about that place. I don’t know why.
Young woman: You don’t feel moved in yet.
Young woman: You don’t seem moved in.
Elmira: Uhh-uhh. I sure don’t.
Young woman: It’s a house, not a home?
Elmira: Just don’t seem like a home yet. (unintelligible) (Pause) No, I just think about uh, um— when I lived over there on the corner of Oak. (Pause) And uh— we was gonna stay there.
Young woman: Yeah.
Elmira: (unintelligible sentence)
Young woman: Why not?
Elmira: ‘Cause this old house won’t pass inspection. It leaks in it, rains in it—
Young woman: Oh, really?
Elmira: Yes. The basement runs full of (unintelligible word)
Young woman: I didn’t know you had that to fight.
Young woman: Oh—
Elmira: And I told him once, a hundred times to Martha, I told him a hundred times, (unintelligible phrase). (Pause) He never did fix it. Never fixed it. And you know what I paid him? Two hundred and twenty-five dollars.
Young woman: A month?
Elmira: A month. Yeah.
Young woman: And he didn’t fix it?
Elmira: No, no. (unintelligible word) stayed there one solid year. I paid him five hundred and fifty-five dollars to move in. (Pause)
Young woman: That’s a lot of money.
(several unintelligible exchanges)
Elmira: (unintelligible phrase) had to pay was what I have to pay for their rolling up the basement, so I couldn’t have the kids. I paid them $54 on that, and I just know that they (unintelligible balance of sentence).
Young woman: And they didn’t give it to you?
Young woman: Every time I hear something like that, I think, you know, like Jim’s promise that we’ll always have a roof.
Young woman: And that he will take care of it.
Elmira: I was saying just— like this one I did, so worried and so upset, I know when I— my dog went away (Pause) and uh, I was so worried about it. And I went into that room, and I called up Jim— Pastor Jim, to send Ron home.
Young woman: And that’s the dog?
Elmira: That was the dog. So the next 45 minutes, Ron uh, Ron was laying out there on the cement, when he come up— fixin’ to come into the house, he was so tired, his little feet down under there just was (unintelligible word). He didn’t come so far. And he couldn’t make it no further. He just laid down there—
Young woman: Oh.
Elmira: Birdie’s dog got away. So, (Laughs) I heard her say (unintelligible phrase), “If you don’t get that dog back out of the home,” (unintelligible phrase). She said she went back in the room, and called upon Father. (unintelligible sentences) (unintelligible name of dog) had been gone for five days. (unintelligible sentence)
(Pause of several moments; women leave room? Clock ticks)
(unintelligible exchanges, could be during medical treatment)
Young woman: Oh, you got a lot of pressure in getting the well, and moving in the house and worrying about two boys.
Elmira: (unintelligible word) done all the packing. Done all the packing to move up here from San Francisco. Get rid of the trucks.
Young woman: You got a whole lot of stuff, too.
Elmira: Well, uh, half of it is over to Birdie’s. She’s using quite a bit of things. And uh—
Young woman: That’s sweet of you.
Elmira: Yes, ‘cause—
Young woman: Father always said you had a really nice— really nice spirit.
Elmira: Yes, it’s— you know—
Young woman: He knows inside, that sort of thing that we don’t know that he knows.
(unintelligible exchange) (Dog barks)
Elmira: Where’s he go— He’s mad about something.
Young woman: Oh, they like to yap.
Young woman: But, my neighbors don’t like ’em. So—
Elmira: Oh, ain’t that—
Young woman: Hey (unintelligible names) Lucy. Babies. Hey baby. Hey. (Pause) It doesn’t matter if their dogs bark—
Elmira: Oh, that’s the way it was with Ron.
Young woman: What?
Elmira: They didn’t want Ron to open his mouth.
Young woman: That’s your baby.
Elmira: Umm-hmm. (unintelligible sentence) Oh, Jesus.
Young woman: People are—
Elmira: People can be so cruel.
Young woman: They’re so two-faced, too.
Elmira: Ain’t they, though.
Young woman: Their dogs’ barking never wakes them up.
Elmira: Uh, huh, honey, but they sure don’t want yours to. Uhh-uhh.
Young woman: ‘Cause, you know, if you— if next door lived the mayor of the town, they wouldn’t mind either.
Elmira: No, no, no.
Young woman: How is our little boy doing in school — Harold — this year?
Young woman: How’s he like his teacher?
Elmira: He’s doing fine.
Young woman: Good.
Young woman: (unintelligible word)— Where’s he going? Right here?
Elmira: No— (women talk over each other)
Young woman: Special school.
Elmira: He goes to uh—
Young woman: Live Oak?
Elmira: He goes to Live Oak.
Young woman: Good.
Elmira: ‘Cause he has a little handicap.
Young woman: Yeah.
(quick, unintelligible exchanges)
Elmira: He’s a sweet guy.
Young woman: Yes.
Elmira: Umm-hmm. Very sweet. And um— (unintelligible sentence)
End of side one
Part 2: Broadcast off air, TV talk show with Jim Jones
Jim Dunbar: With the news, stashing his pipe out of sight, is Bob Marsh. Good morning, Bob. (unintelligible remark about ashtray)
Dunbar: Um, wild-eyed, uh, uh, uh (Pause) I got to be very careful about this, otherwise I’ll have to have him back on the show. Uh— (laugh) instead of Reverend Lester Kinsolving, (unintelligible) he said some awful things about the Reverend James Jones, and so Reverend James Jones is back again this morning, with some additions. One, uh, of which will look like a uh— one of whom— will look like a parrot? But don’t be fooled. One will look like a dog, but don’t let that kid you. And uh, and a third will look like a chimpanzee, and that one would be me. Anyway, stand by for the Reverend James Jones of Peoples Temple, after we take a look at this first.
(Tape edit) (Music)
Dunbar: Wak, says Polly. Polly wants part of my arm, I’m going to si— sit at a safe distance here from uh, the Reverend James Jones and friend. That is not the Reverend James Jones. He is the colorless one, holding this very colorful uh, parrot, whose name is what?
Jones: It’s awroak.
Jones: (unintelligible) another awroak. I happen to uh, be able to get them in our shelter, because he was quite a bad cusser, and he’s pretty violent. (unintelligible sentence)
Dunbar: He— he had a— a salty uh—
(Two men talk over each other)
Dunbar: Yeah. Could we bring some of those other people up there, uh, wh— while we’ve got all the animals (unintelligible word). You’re not going to take him away, are you? Or are you?
Jones: No, I— I have to take him away, in order to (unintelligible under Dunbar)
Dunbar: Oh, I see.
Dunbar: Yeah, that’ll be all right. Sure. If he doesn’t poop, doesn’t decide he wants to—
Dunbar: I beg your pardon. Let’s hope we don’t develop some sibling rivalry among the menagerie. We have uh— Look— Look what we have for you here, we have uh, in addition to Awroak, we have uh— who is this uh, person?
Jones: This is [chimpanzee] Mr. Muggs, uh, he uh, was going to be experimented on, we felt unnecessarily. So we uh— Whoop. So we thought we wanted to rescue him.
Dunbar: There goes a week’s work. Scattered about the studio—
Jones: This little darling here happens to be just our memo of— he, he (unintelligible word) and play with him to any extent, and we love him because of that. He is the—
Dunbar: But this is part of the uh, the uh, the animal population at your uh, at your shelter?
Jones: Part of the many, many— Most of them with us are ordinary little mutts and cats that have been abandoned, and we— we even im— immunize them and give them homes.
Dunbar: Yeah. Yeah.
Jones: I think (unintelligible phrase)
Dunbar: Any resemblance between Mr. Muggs and a well-known (Pause) pastor, and not this one, I— I hasten to point out, named Lester Kinsolving, is coincidental.
Dunbar: Lester Kinsolving was on this program uh, I don’t know, a couple of months ago, and as is his way, he said some things that we all regret about the Reverend James Jones of Peoples Temple, and uh, I wasn’t kidding when I held this mail up. This— this is part of the mail, this is just— just a sample of the stuff we collected. Uh, let me just read a couple of these. You probably know the kind of thing that your parishioners wrote. “As I was mostly, uh, I was most interested in the advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle of Sunday, July 22nd, concerning Pastor Jim Jones, who was to appear on your program. On the date aforementioned, I failed to view your program, until seven A.M., which was my understanding of uh, when Reverend Jones was to appear. Can you inform me when he will be on your program”— and a whole bunch of other ones. (Pause) Uh— similar notes, commenting about your— your last scheduled appearance, which I believe got cancelled because of Watergate.
Jones: Right. (unintelligible word)
Dunbar: Did it not?
Jones: Yes, I didn’t think there was any issue about that.
Dunbar: Yeah. Well, at any rate, we just wanted to let your— let members of your congregation and anyone else interested in the Reverend Jones—
Jones: Well, see, most of (unintelligible word) members would— would know— ‘cause we— they— they (unintelligible word) our membership, you know, probably—
Dunbar: Yeah, my stark reaction, is just uh— it’s just unbelievable. And that’s really just a small sample of the mail, I just collected that for over a period of, I think, two days. So, yeah, you could— or— or maybe just a day. I’ve forgotten. Just a day or so.
Jones: (unintelligible under Dunbar)
Dunbar: Well, you do, you do. And you’ve been in the news recently because of— uh, a most unfortunate um, fire at— at the Temple here in San Francisco.
Jones: This is where I would like to— I wish I could get across to our critic, the necessity of watching his sources, because we couldn’t even recognize in the article— the negative article from him, (unintelligible word under noise at recording end), I think more than a coincidence that the two churches that uh, the fire inspectors have now said undoubtedly were connected, those came under a blistering attack by this (unintelligible word). I think that— not to say— (stumbles over words)— in fact, it encourages me, fan up the flames of passion of a pyromaniac, uh, at least I think is a good (unintelligible word) look at it, and we’ve had other suggestions, too. If I hadn’t had uh, a deep feeling on Wednesday night, (unintelligible phrase) for our congregation of 700, it was just a kind of a feeling that hangs on to you, I just simply could not let them go, and I held them till two o’clock in the morning. Otherwise, forty young college students that would’ve been in there, they said they couldn’t have possibly survived—
Dunbar: You had a premonition.
Jones: I had a feeling, deep feeling, yes, a premonition—
Dunbar: Of fire, or just some vague—
Jones: (unintelligible under Dunbar) The thing about the paranormal with me, I didn’t recognize it— I mentioned fire, but the congregation— (Unintelligible word under Dunbar)
Dunbar: —remembered that you said fire—
Jones: — said fire. But all I could feel was this eerie feeling and— I do remember the remark that (unintelligible phrase) the people that, we— we must stay. We must stay.
Dunbar: So when you say stay, stay where, sir?
Jones: In our congregation in Redwood Valley.
Dunbar: Oh, I see (unintelligible under Jones interruption)
Jones: We’d normally be out about 10:30, and we stayed till two something— (unintelligible under Dunbar)
Dunbar: I see—
Jones: Otherwise they’d’ve all been bedded down. He slipped in through the— the basement (unintelligible word), it’d been easy to put the gasoline— or they put gasoline up the stairwells, and— and three— three minutes, no one could have escaped.
Dunbar: The fire department thinks it— or, has, has confirmed that it was arson—
Jones: Arson, and they suggested that, at least to us, that these fires are connected with the Lutheran Order of Man, which also was blistered in the same—
Dunbar: —by a Kinsolving article, huh?
Dunbar: Yeah. You think there’s some kook running around out there who is causing—
(Two men talk over each other)
Jones: I think that there’s (unintelligible word) partly encouraged at least by this type of thing. I can’t say. Let’s just— I’m just not sure about that.
Dunbar: Yeah. Well, I was sorry to learn about the— the fire.
(Men talk over each other)
Jones: It burned it down. It burned it almost—
Dunbar: Yeah. What do you suppose, um— (Pause) I think this mail and— and the response to uh, your last appearance, which as everybody I guess now knows was, was uh, obviated by, by Watergate. We were stuck— Not stuck, really, but you know what I’m saying, Jim.
Jones: Mmm. Sure.
Dunbar: We had no choice on Watergate. Uh, what do you think accounts for the— the uh— I don’t want to use the word “fanatical,” because that’s maybe overloading a little bit, but the uh, the devout loyal following that this sort of mail represents. One uh, one failure to appear and we, we get flooded by mail, wanting to know what we’ve done and, or uh, or, or when will be your next press (unintelligible word as Jim interrupts)— What accounts for that, do you suppose?
Jones: As I say, the, the parish very well knew why I (unintelligible as voice trails)—
Dunbar: Yeah. Now, assuming— a lot— a lot of this came from people who were not members of the parish.
Jones: But uh, I don’t know uh, (clears throat) depending upon what type of criteria you’re mentioning, maybe it’s interest, maybe it’s curiosity, uh, these people, I don’t— our regular mail is from people—
Dunbar: Well, I’ll be glad to turn this over to you. It’s uh, it’s all kind of the same, the same letter. I don’t want to make it sound like it like a formula. Let me just— I’ll just pick one out at random here. This comes from San Francisco. Uh— “You— your intent to have Doctor Jones on your uh, talk show this morning is uh, commendable, and I appreciate you— uh, you for it. I had read in the uh, Sun-Reporter newspaper that he would appear. I was tuned in at 7:15, only to discover Watergate was on,” and so forth and so on. Signed, Je— Jeffrey Resnick of San Francisco. And there’re just dozens and dozens of these letters. Well, listen, ah, a lot of people want to talk to you, and there’s no point in, in me talking to you when we could be talking to them, so let’s punch up the phones and give them a chance. Caller, you’re on the air with Doctor, or with the Reverend Jones. Go ahead, please.
Caller 1: Yes, uh, a lot of things (unintelligible word) about to be uh, you know, really rudely awakened, on Thursday, when a young child (unintelligible sentence). You know, when the hour passes. And uh, I would like to uh, ask this uh, person, what his feeling is when a person’s died. Do we have any conscience, you know, when he tells the person that they will be healed, you know, and they aren’t. You know, where— where— where does it— where does his conscience lie? Uh, I really would like to know.
Dunbar: All right.
Jones: He makes a great mistake in putting everyone in the same category. First place, I don’t tell anyone that they are healed. I tell them to go and seek the (unintelligible word), the test of empirical evidence. We do not ever in any way oppose medical science. We teach— (unintelligible under caller)
Caller 1: If they die, (unintelligible word) are they waiting for some evidence? Just like this child—
Jones: We don’t— we don’t ask them to wait one minute. We don’t ask them to wait one day. We tell them to go immediately to their doctor.
Dunbar: How do you uh— I’m glad the caller brought this up, ‘cause I think lots of us are wondering about this. Uh— this was in Barstow, a youngster uh, suffering an insulin uh— needing insulin was um, through a faith healer’s recommendation, was taken off insulin—
Jones: Well, that’s fanaticism—
(Dunbar and Jones talk over each other)
Jones: Complete— complete fanaticism—
Dunbar: I would— I would agree. Would you disagree with that, caller?
Caller 1: Uh, I— I agree with (unintelligible word) take anyone in a real world going round. Medical science (unintelligible word). I mean, you know, if you don’t believe in evolution and all, that’s fine. But medical science has saved a lot of persons—
Jones: Well, indeed.
Caller 1: (unintelligible sentence) And this is, this is uh, one of the uh, the human tragedies, where two parents, supposedly suffering from the same, you know, temporary insanity, I hope, will— who— who allowed their child to die. I mean, this— this child had a right to life, and here you have two parents, both over 18, who allowed this child to die. That’s— That is— That is the saddest thing I ever heard of.
(All three talk over each other)
Jones: —I feel that no parent should impose their religious opinion to this degree upon their child.
Dunbar: Let’s keep this alive just one more moment. Sorry for that choice of words. Uh, we’ll break here for a moment. I’d like to talk more about faith-healing, as you understand it, and some of the, the resurrections or whatever they are that you, you have uh, you have performed. The Reverend Jim Jones is our guest, and we’ll have some more today, as AM rolls along right after a few announcements.
(Editorial by station general manager on San Francisco police youth fishing program)
Dunbar: It’s 25 minutes after seven, the Reverend Jim Jones is our guest. If you want to talk to him, give us a call. East Bay, you’re next with the Reverend Jones. Go ahead, please. Hello! Caller!
Caller 2: Hello.
Dunbar: Yes, ma’am. You’re on the air.
Caller 2: Pastor Jim?
Caller 2: I was in a meeting uh, run by a reverend who criticized you, said that you have practiced black magic along with several other groups. And another thing I heard him say, Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, Mary Baker Eddy, (unintelligible word), the Methodist even, uh, Jean Dixon and Edgar Cayce, and you said they’re all practicing the (unintelligible word) of modern black magic. (unintelligible short sentence). What is your connection with it?
Jones: I didn’t hear that comment, but uh, it’s ludicrous. Uh, I— I have— I take deference to that word “black,” too, uh, there’s no magic in faith, and we uh— we certainly have no interest whatsoever in any kind of witchcraft or occultism in that sense. I think he— However, on the last program was that we mentioned youth’s interest in cults and Satanism, and he blocked me along with some others, but I don’t remember. His remarks from— about Mrs. Kuhlman and Mrs. Eddy, I think they’re separate from that particular package. Uh, I have no connection with any magic, uh— That’s uh, that’s all I can say on this— on this subject.
Caller 2: Well, I—
Dunbar: Well, what would you call— Let me ask both of you, caller and uh, Reverend Jones. What would you say uh, would be an ac— an accurate description of uh, an ability to resurrect the comatose, the dead, uh, or what— or whatever it is that, you know, your faithful claim for you? Isn’t that magic? I would call it magic, or— or a mira— miraculous—
Jones: Yes, in a sense, I suppose. We— We’re very uh, humble about this, we say that the uh, the vital signs are not apparent to the medical people that have been at hand. Doctors or the nurses.
Jones: But of course, we don’t have an encectogram, we— we don’t have any way to take a brain wave test. There have been unusual phenomena reported to us through faith, using uh, on one occasion, a (unintelligible word) picture, where he was waiting for the ambulance to come to get her daughter. And we checked that out, and it seemed quite accurate. But um, I don’t think this is as unusual a term to be a science today, and we find that, (unintelligible sentences). And uh, the healing of wounds, I think, has stopped at Carol Nash [phonetic], a woman biologist that mentions how rats and rodents have responded to the— to healing touches, in a disproportionate sense that we show (unintelligible word) love force or magnetic force that goes from the hand. Uh, I think it’s just an extra dimension of science, the paranormal—
Dunbar: Do you think you’re psychic?
Dunbar: Do you think you have a psychic power (unintelligible under Jones)
Jones: (unintelligible under Dunbar) —been proven that I have had awareness of things that are going to happen.
Dunbar: I guess this premonition would be an example of that. Caller, how do you feel about this?
Caller 2: Well, now, I don’t— I don’t believe (unintelligible phrase) mentioned to Pastor Jones the connection to black magic, because my uh, mother-in-law’s sister has five cataracts, and she wrote to (unintelligible phrase), and uh, when she came back, uh, they were gone.
Dunbar: They were— They were gone?
Caller 2: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. They were gone.
Dunbar: Well, what do you call that?
Caller 2: Well, I don’t know. Ask Pastor Jones, I—
Dunbar: Well, I want to ask you. I mean— You know— We’ve just heard from the pastor Jones. What do you call it?
Caller 2: Well, I— I think it’s wonderful. I—
Dunbar: Well, I do too, but uh, is it not miraculous? Is that not magic?
Caller 2: (unintelligible) I— I don’t know, magic. I think “miraculous” is uh—
Dunbar: I’d call it a miracle.
Caller 2: Yes, indeed, I do believe it’s a miracle.
Dunbar: If it indeed occurred. And I’m not disputing it, I just wasn’t there, so I can’t affirm that it occurred. I just have to take your word for it.
Caller 2: The man used his powers for the (unintelligible)
Dunbar: Sure. Okay, thanks very much. San Francisco, you’re next with the Reverend Jones. Go ahead, please.
Caller 3: Hello, Mr. Dunbar.
Caller 3: Uh, I’m calling in as a member of Peoples Temple, I’ve been a member for four years now—
Caller 3: And I want you (unintelligible phrase)
Caller 3: I’d just like to share some of my experiences with you that I’ve had since I’ve become a member of the church.
Caller 3: Uh, I uh— I was an atheist when I first came to church. I was attracted by the human service ministry that I saw. But when I went to the healing services, the many miracles that happened at each service changed my opinion. In fact, I myself was healed by Pastor Jones.
Dunbar: Of what? What were you healed of?
Caller 3: Well. I had suffered with constant kidney infection since I was a child. And my mother had taken me to so many specialists that I was losing faith in, in medical science.
Dunbar: How did the Reverend Jones uh, cure you? What did he do?
Caller 3: Well, the very first healing service that I went to, uh, Pastor Jones called me out through the gift of revelation, and he told me facts and events that happened in my life that I had not mentioned to anyone in the room, and (unintelligible word) and thoughts that I had that I never even verbalized to anyone.
Dunbar: Yeah, well, that didn’t— That didn’t cure your kidneys, did it?
Caller 3: Well, then— this was— this built my faith, and I realized that the— God was working so tremendously through Pastor Jones. And uh, then, Pastor Jones spoke the word of healing to me, and I felt that relief in my body, and I have never had um, trouble with my kidneys since then, and I—
Dunbar: You had a certified kidney complaint? I mean, this was something doctors could— could verify?
Caller 3: So I did—
Dunbar: This wasn’t just stuff in your head there, it was a—
Caller 3: No, when I was a— a young child, it was something (unintelligible phrase)—
Dunbar: And you’ve had no problems since.
Caller 3: No. None since.
Dunbar: I’d call it a miracle.
Caller 3: I surely would too. And (unintelligible word) to me, I remember an older woman from Los Angeles, Roxanne White, came to (unintelligible word) his service, and she had been in a wheelchair for five years with arthritis. And Pastor Jones called her out though the spirit of revelation, and uh, within seconds, she had got up out of her wheelchair, running around the auditorium, jumping and praising Mr.—
Dunbar: You know, we’ve seen so many— Now, I’m not talking about the Reverend Jones here, and I hope you understand this, and I hope the caller understands it too, and I hope our viewers do, too. We’ve seen so many examples of fraud and trickery and deceit. Uh, they call that kind of thing uh, ringing in the— well, that— that’s what they call a ringer. You know, I mean, there’re a lot of ways I could explain that. In fact, I could perform that too. Ike (unintelligible name) and I could do that right now, could we, Ike, if we put Ike in a wheelchair, and he claimed to have been crippled for the last 12 years, and then suddenly when I lay my hand, up he jumps and runs around, and there might be a lot of folks suffering who would take that to be some sort of a sign. And it would be nothing more than just a— just a— a trick. How do you— how do you know it wasn’t a trick?
Caller 3: Well, I was close to the woman. I saw the tears in her eyes, I saw the look of joy on her face.
Jones: You can— You can give the address.
(Jones and caller talk over each other)
Caller 3: —the spirit, it was so strong, that if you had been there to witness it, as I have many times, you’d know that this—
Dunbar: Well, you certainly know that the— the relief you felt in your— in your kidneys, in your system was not a trick.
Caller 3: That I do know.
Dunbar: Right. Okay. Thank you, ma’am.
Jones: (unintelligible under Dunbar) —remember that case, and I hope we mentioned it the last time. I said, whatever may have p— out there, I wouldn’t, you know, be so speculative to say what condition may have put her there.
Jones: But she is— she’s a person we can easily give you for documentation—
Dunbar: This is the lady with the arthritis.
Jones: Yes. She was there five long years, and something inspired her in that service.
(Jones and Dunbar talk over each other)
Dunbar: —services for five years?
Jones: No, no. She had been coming for some time, though, in a wheelchair, but she’d been five long years in a wheelchair, and this is a matter that we did document. So we have— I know who she’s speaking of, I can give you uh, information (unintelligible word under Dunbar)
Dunbar: I’m asking the question, Reverend Jones, only because uh, skepticism is uh, is kind of a healthy condition.
Jones: I think so. I think so.
Dunbar: And uh, in the past, we have been uh, we’ve exercised a healthy skepticism with respect to other psychic occurrences on this program. Uri Geller is an example. And lots of us have come away puzzled, confused, about what we saw. Not quite so skeptical as before. And if it’s possible with Uri Geller, if he can indeed bend a nail by touching— by laying on hands, maybe you can cure a kidney problem by laying on hands, too, or ministering to the needs—
Jones: (unintelligible under Dunbar) —I’m convinced that faith can heal.
Dunbar: Well, I’m not in a position to dispute it so stoutly as I used to. The Reverend James Jones is our guest, and we’ll have some more as AM rolls along, right after this.
Tape edit. Music.
Dunbar: Uh, what— what’ve we got up next. Okay, here’s Peninsula. You’re next, Peninsula. Go ahead please. Caller?
Caller 4: Hello.
Dunbar: Hello, you’re on the air, ma’am, go ahead.
Caller 4: (unintelligible question)
Dunbar: Yeah, go ahead.
Caller 4: I’d like to know, uh, (unintelligible question)
Dunbar: Let me ask you a question before we ask the Reverend Jones to comment on that. Are you a member of the Peoples Temple?
Caller 4: Hmm?
Dunbar: (Louder) Are you a member of the Peoples Temple?
Caller 4: I am not.
Dunbar: Have you ever heard him speak on uh, combating totalitarianism?
Caller 4: Well, I— I’ve read the article, and it’s— you know, there’s some—
Dunbar: Yeah. Well, listen, I— what I’m getting at is, we’ve got 12 lines in here (unintelligible preposition) Reverend Jones, and every one of them is from people who are uh, I— I think confirmed in their belief. Uh, what we would like to get is some folks who want to ask some honest questions. I think you already know the answer, don’t you, caller?
Caller 4: Pardon?
Dunbar: You already know the answer to the question you’ve asked.
Caller 4: I’ve never heard him speak.
Dunbar: Oh, you haven’t.
Caller 4: —read the article—
Dunbar: I see.
Caller 4: Yes, and I (unintelligible balance of sentence)
Dunbar: Okay. Well, I’ll tell you. We’ll give you your answer on the air. And thanks for the call. Well, how do we combat totalitarianism?
Jones: (unintelligible)— hear?
Dunbar: How do we combat totalitarianism? Fascism. Communism. ‘Cause she said she has read some of your comments on that.
Jones: (Pause) How do we combat it?
Dunbar: Yeah. Apparently you’ve spoken out on this, or— (unintelligible under Jones)
Jones: Well, I— I’m concerned about totalitarianism, and I feel that if the church does its part in taking care of, of the necessities of its people, as the Scripture acknowledges, take care of the household of faith, I suppose we would be able to bring about the Jeffersonian dream, of the government that governs least, governs best. I— I don’t know. I have no real (unintelligible under Dunbar)
Dunbar: Is political orientation part of your uh, your daily ministry? Do you— do you feel the need to comment on politics?
Jones: Well, we’re concerned about the basic freedoms, basic freedoms, not partisan politics, no.
Jones: Oh, we were concerned very much about the role of the free press recently, and of civil rights in general.
Dunbar: Sure. Umm-hmm.
Jones: But uh, as far being as being a panacea, again, we don’t— we just feel that the church will do less edifice building and— and do some of the things that we are doing and others aren’t doing. This— their own senior citizen homes, their own convalescent homes, early children’s homes, take care of the animals, and this type of thing that we’re doing, provide— as we do 109 youngsters in pursuit of education directly from our parish. Five are studying to be doctors. That shows the respect—
Dunbar: How many members in the parish now, do you—
Jones: Over 10,000.
Dunbar: Is that— that confined mostly to California, or is that nation—
Dunbar: In California? How do you— Well, that church up there in Ukiah isn’t big enough to house (unintelligible under Jones)
Jones: Well, you’re talking about— you’re talking about in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Redwood Valley church.
Dunbar: Yeah. Yeah. I see. You must have huge ser— How many services do you have on a Sunday?
Jones: Oh, it’s— Each week, I minister in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Redwood Valley. So it’s a job.
Dunbar: Umm-hmm. Yeah, I bet.
Jones: And my voice is showing a little bit of it today. Fact is uh, one of my doctors think it’s very miraculous that my voice continues. I use it about 12 hours a day.
Dunbar: You do see a doctor once in a while.
Jones: Oh, I believe— (unintelligible under Dunbar)
Dunbar: Yeah, I’m not— I know I seem very skeptical, even asking that question that way. You do.
(Men talk over each other)
Dunbar: —put a hand on your neck—
Jones: I’m probably a poor doctor’s patient. I don’t go as I ought to, but I do recommend it strong, and uh, the— the fact that my voice— as much as I use it, 12 hours of public speaking, is miraculous that it continues, so— And I don’t have any treatment for that. That’s something I’ve had to learn.
Dunbar: Sure. Yeah. Okay, let’s take our next caller. East Bay, you’re next with the Reverend Jones. Go ahead, please.
Caller 5: Hello.
Dunbar: Good morning.
Caller 5: Um— I’d like to ask the reverend, I heard you a couple of months ago that he’s in favor of abortion. And that really surprised me, because I mean, I’ve heard a lot of really nice things about the church.
Dunbar: That he was in what? I didn’t hear that.
Caller 5: I’m sorry. He was in favor of abortion.
Dunbar: Oh, in favor of abortion.
Caller 5: Yes, and uh, I have a— a lot of respect for (unintelligible phrase) Washington D.C., and he sent me an article about his church in Washington, D.C., and how they were cleaning up the Capitol and stuff, and as I said, (unintelligible word), really fine thing about it, I just couldn’t understand his point of view.
Caller 5: And I wish he would elaborate—
Dunbar: Well, all right, how about it?
Jones: I— I do not take this stand, what’d she say, against— (unintelligible under Dunbar)
Dunbar: And in favor— in favor of abortion.
Jones: I— She said I took a stand in favor of abortion.
Dunbar: —in favor of abortion. She’d heard. She said.
Jones: Well, I take a stand that a body— that a woman’s body is certainly is a part of her. I’m not ironclad in the uh, position, I’m— I’m concerned that, with any form of uh, human uh, murder, uh, I mean, when we start on the fetus, I’m wondering where we will go next. Uh, I think there’s a permissiveness about it that frightens me terribly. But I don’t— I have not championed any view either— either one way or the other.
Dunbar: Umm-hmm. Well, that doesn’t sound like a pro statement to me, caller. I— I’ll give you a pro statement, if you want to hear one, so you can compare it.
Caller 5: No, no, I think— I guess I (unintelligible phrase) misrepresented, ‘cause I—
Dunbar: Well, maybe. Well, you’ve heard it from the man himself.
Caller 5: I beg your pardon.
Dunbar: I say, you’ve heard it from the man himself. Any questions further?
Caller 5: No, (unintelligible statement)
Dunbar: We just did!
Caller 5: I just spoke that I have not taken that kind of position.
Dunbar: Are you a member of Peoples Temple?
Caller 5: No.
Dunbar: All right. Are you thinking about it?
Caller 5: Oh, no, I feel gloomy. I feel— I think it sounds really interesting.
Dunbar: Umm-hmm. Yeah. Okay. Thanks very much. What about— Let’s— Let me just ask you this, uh, the snake people down South someplace who’ve been passing rattlers among the faithful as a test of faith, you know, test by the fire, and all that sort of business. And as a consequence, you know, the little fellow who died because his parents took his insulin away. Well, there’ve been some people die because they’ve been bitten by rattlesnakes. Now, it seems to me there’s a great danger that uh, (sighs) I hate to use the word “fanatic,” but I think some of the fanatics, I guess, have— feel that the only way to affirm— it’s not enough to just affirm it, affirm my faith in whatever, I have to hold a rattlesnake, to prove that I— I really can pass that test, and people die.
Jones: (unintelligible under Dunbar) —sincere—
Dunbar: Well, I’m— Yeah, I guess that you’d have to be sincere to hold a rattlesnake. But how do you feel about that? Aren’t you concerned that—
Jones: I think that— I think anytime you take a (unintelligible word) position on matters like this, you’re going to end up with this type of fanaticism. And I don’t— And I think biblical evidence does not support it. Because all good things come from God. Now that would include medical science. All things that are positive and good, empirically proven. Now uh, snakes— I— I think they distort the Scripture in Mark, about handling of snakes, uh, (unintelligible phrase). Whether that be to the response, the church does not involve itself in the (unintelligible word) of healing, it’s only one small portion of our work, really. There’s more involved in human service than there are in spiritual healing. But the responsible church does not. It’s going to be then left open to all these who uh, have sincerely fanatical ideas that end up in a tragedy like this, where people [were] waiting on a little boy to be resurrected in four days. And what pattern they— And why they picked four days, I don’t know. (unintelligible sentence)
Dunbar: Yeah. Well, you see, Lester Kinsolving— not to defend Lester here, Lester’s long gone. And I must say, in lots of ways, I’m relieved. (Laughs) But to defend— Not to defend Lester, but to uh, to account for his— I think his antagonism, Lester feels the same thing and puts you in the same group with the— the saint people.
Jones: Well, he didn’t come when he was there, visiting us.
Dunbar: Yeah. Well—
Jones: So I don’t know—
Dunbar: I think that’s the implication of what he’s saying, you know, I’m not trying to put words in his mouth, or—
Jones: Just show us another (unintelligible word) program that has, uh, free legal services for the poor. Housing for its people, guarantee to its people that they will never be left lonely in their golden years. Senior citizen homes, college dormitories, this kind of thing. I don’t know of any group that involves itself in the mystical— or so much that it does what we are doing.
Dunbar: Let me ask— Let me ask about um, something that always comes up, so let’s ask about it. These folks who receive free housing. Do they give up anything in exchange for that? For example, do they give up—
Jones: Uh, not at all. Not at all. Not required—
Dunbar: No, not required, but do they voluntarily—
(Two talk over each other)
Jones: No. We have not had any property turned over to our church (unintelligible under Dunbar), generously, uh, but there’s no arbitrary rule about that. The fact that last month, we have saved three of our members’ homes. We’ve saved a lot of people’s homes, by paying back payments, (unintelligible word) people who were disadvantaged economically, and uh, I can recall that this point that no property being transferred to us.
Dunbar: I— I— I say that, ‘cause I know of one congregation— not yours, but it’s up, uh, it’s up your way—
Jones: Yes, I know.
Dunbar: And uh, part of the arrangement is, in order to uh, to uh, receive certain types of benefits, is the members of the congregation turn out over all of their worldly goods, all their real property, to the uh, church, and it’s incorporated, it receives a— a blanket— Apparently if it receives a blanket uh, tax exemption as a consequence, the church doesn’t real— realize that this property, and then, then allows you and me to live in the house that we formerly had title to, and I would turn the title over to— they— they now hold the deed and so on. And it’s kind of a tax dodge, it’s not— again, I’m not talking about the Reverend Jones. It’s kind of a tax dodge, it provides the church with what it needs, uh, real estate and uh, and it increases its net worth—
Jones: (unintelligible under Dunbar) —clear on this point? I would be happy to see all churches would lose any kind of tax privileges and ministerial privileges to avoid war. Then I think the church is consciously returning, and uh, it would be— it would do a great deal for uh— to boost the uh, the life and the spirit of the church.
Dunbar: Let me uh— Let me turn this over to you. You’d be interested I think in some of this mail. We’ve saved— That’s just a portion of it—
Jones: Thank you.
Dunbar: All right, I’ll uh— any— any more mail that we get, I’ll pass along to you. Good to have to you here.
Jones: It’s a pleasure.
Dunbar: Sorry about Lester.
Jones: Well, I hope we won’t have to be (unintelligible under Dunbar)—
Dunbar: Well, he’s in Washington, so I don’t think we have that to worry about.
End of tape
Tape originally posted February 2003