Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
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Interviewer: Testing one two, testing one two, testing one two, testing one two, testing. (Edit) Testing one. Carl, could you tell me your in— initial impressions of Jonestown?
Carlton Goodlett: Well, uh, my initial impression of Jonestown was that uh, I had no impression, I had had uh, uh, unbelievable stories told to me. I didn’t know whether I’m dealing with fairy tales or people obsessed with the ultimate possibilities of the importance of what they were doing, or the true reality, the real thing. And when we went to uh, the airport that morning with the sky uh, crying and uh, with most of the members of the press uh, late uh, we were uh, oh two hours and about twenty minutes late in our departure, and then flying for over a hundred and some miles above the clouds and not being able to uh, get any bearing of where we were, uh, in fact, I had to assist the plane all the way.
Goodlett: But one of the most uncanny uh, experiences I had was that uh, at the proper time, when there was a break in the clouds, uh, the uh, co-pilot came uh, through a break and— and he knew where he was. He said, we— you know, we’re within a, a very few minutes of uh, the uh, landing strip. And uh, when we got uh, at the landing strip and s— found the delegation there waiting for us, and uh, even though as we moved toward uh, the uh, premises, the perimeters of Jonestown, the elements continued to shed their tears on us, uh, we were uh, buoyed by the fact that as we went along the way, uh, one of the uh, leaders of the project, uh, Brother Brown, began to describe what we were seeing and how uh, uh, many thousand of uh, banana saplings, you might say, had been planted, and how that the uh, banana trees were now beginning to bear fruit, and as we moved into the— oh, I guess its uh, approach of maybe three or four miles inside of the, the, the gate, uh, and when we reached the second uh, welcome to uh, Jonestown’s uh, Agricultural uh, Experimental uh, and Demonstration Project, we began to feel the— the vibrations or the beat or the pulse of, of the people who were, were dedicating this period of their lives to creative endeavor in collective activities, and even though we uh, we passed the uh, important part of the project, the piggery, the uh, uh—
Goodlett: —chickery, and where the, the cattle were uh, uh, grazing, uh, we could see that uh, there was a very upbeat— important upbeat in the undertaking. And we had to— we had to limit our activities to the uh, major uh, uh, administrative and living quarters, because the rain continued to pour. In fact, all of us uh, had to be given uh, new uh, wearing apparel, because we were soaked to the bone. But shortly after we got there and uh, uh, I was privileged to, to greet uh, Reverend Jim Jones, and uh, I knew that uh, the things he talked about and the stars I’d seen in his eyes three or four years ago, uh, were now a thing that had come to pass. And uh, we uh, we began to move from uh, one area of activity to the other. We went uh, to the uh, the medical— the Pollack [phonetic] Clinic, after visiting the— the— the doctor’s office, and we had some insight into the very uh, uh, serious uh, concern of the, the medical specialist, for the health and well-being of, of these people. And uh, then uh, how the outreach program, in terms of the Pollack Clinic where uh, every effort is made to practice uh, the highest standards of, of medical care, and uh, we— on our way to the uh, uh, center of Jonestown, we picked—
Male voice in background: (unintelligible)
Goodlett: Yes, uh, we picked up a youngster who had uh, in his exploits or activities had uh, inserted a bean into his uh, uh, nai— nose, into the (intelligible word), and uh, uh, and we were very pleasant— pleasantly uh, uh, receptive of the fact that uh, within a period of time, the doctor had extracted the foreign object, and he was br— breathing happily and was uh, prepared not to begin other uh, uh, journeys of exploration. Um— Then, uh, we uh, had a dinner, a, a lunch that was an extended dinner in the uh, reception and in, in the— I guess the banquet tent—
Male voice in background: Pavilion.
Goodlett: — uh, pavilion, where we were uh, serenaded uh, by the, the Jonestown uh—
Goodlett: —Express, made up of the nucleus of the very uh, majestic uh, orchestra and uh, choir director at the— the Jones Temple uh, in San Francisco. Uh, during our uh, meal, we also had an opportunity to see uh, excerpts of various uh, audio-visual tapes of uh, roots, and uh, we were know— we were knowledgeable of the fact that uh, even though these people are miles away from highly-industrialized society, they had brought the best of uh, that society back to, to say to uh, their young people that, while we’re here, we’re not isolated, because our thoughts and ideas uh, know no bounds of geography or time. Uh, after we had a meal, uh, we uh, we had uh, uh, a— an abbreviated uh, show with some of the most uh, uh, gifted talent I’ve heard in a long time perform. A very interesting thing, many of these people who are— who are excellent musi— musicians uh, this is a hobby, this is a, a part-time endeavor. Everybody there uh, is involved in something creative. And uh, the uh, woman pianist, I forget her name, uh, uh, the organist—
Male voice in background: Diane.
Goodlett: Diane is a, a master uh, mechanic, uh, dealing with rebuilding and— of tractors, working in the machine shops, and that type of thing. Then uh, we moved into the area of seeing uh, the various uh, uh, social and uh, uh, medical uh, services rendered in the administrative complex. Uh, one of the most fascinating uh, uh, journeys was into the— the nursery, where young people uh, uh, the preschool child— In fact, uh, shor— shortly after uh, birth uh, youngsters are placed in this facility, and the— the uh, tremendous amount of uh, uh, paraprofessional skills shown by persons who I’m sure prior to their arrival here uh, did not know that they had latent in them, uh, the capacity to, not only care for the young, but to uh, in a psychologically— but to, to participate in the caring, the taking care of the young. And uh, another uh— As we moved along rather hurriedly, we went to uh, the uh, uh, learning uh, center uh, limited to the conser— [con]cerns for young people who uh, are uh, slow learners but uh, this uh, demonstrates that uh, the Jonestown uh, uh, council believes that every child is educable. Every child represents a precious opportunity to make a contribution to man’s eternal struggle to develop community. And uh, then uh, we went uh, from uh, this location to the machine shop, the central supply uh, (unintelligible word), uh, then we uh, we saw persons who uh, were the— the uh, uh, looked upon as worthless or inhuman uh, material in San Francisco, uh, less than two years ago, uh, being master cabinet uh, makers uh, people operating die machines. And one of the interesting things that I found was that uh, uh, Jones uh, Temple— Jones uh, town, uh, the Peoples Temple, they found a tremendous merit in the uh, dynamics of— of uh, educational procedures that uh, are now spreading over the Caribbean from uh, Cuba. Recognized the one must learn uh, a certain part of the working day, but the best way to uh, maintain the capacity to acquire—
Interviewer: Carl, we’re at the airport, and you’re going to have to uh, get going I know really quick but what in— what do you think is the most significant accomplishment of the Jonestown community?
Goodlett: The very fact that the Jonestown community gives people hope, and it demonstrates in— in uh, a very few years, that people can dream great dreams, and put in blood, sweat, tears, and a little personal sacrifice, not in terms of the uh, uh, uh, uh, personal sacrifice due to suffering, but to the conveniences of uh, industrial age. But they can see before their eyes, dreams come true. And this is a— This is a hope. This is a message. And uh, I’m hopeful that uh, this message will be propagated and spreaded, and I for one, plan to do everything possible to spread the message, and I have come to Jonestown, I have seen the wave of the future in terms of living in the present, and uh, about what I found, I find very intriguing and challenging.
Interviewer: Thank you very much.
Goodlett: Thank you.
End of side 1
Part 2 at end of tape
Tim: This is a test. This is Tony and Tim, and we’re tired, and it’s 5:40 in the morning, and we want to see if this microphone works, and say something. Tony?
Tony: Hello. Gonna sit around and get it done!
End of tape
Tape originally posted February 2003