Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
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(Newscast, first items unrelated to Peoples Temple)
Newscaster: The leader of the Peoples Temple has been charged with ignoring court orders to relinquish custody of a five-year-old son of one of his former followers. The San Francisco attorney says he went to Guyana in South America where the Reverend Jim Jones has apparently relocated his Peoples Temple in an effort to arrange the return of John Stoen, the son of a woman [Grace Stoen] who left the church last year. Jeffrey Haas claims however that even though he had orders from courts in both in U.S. and Guyana directing Jones to relinquish custody of the youngster to his mother, his three-week stay in the South American country was unsuccessful. The boy’s father [Tim Stoen], a former Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco, has been serving as a legal advisor to the Peoples Temple. He has now reportedly split with the church, but has not taken any active part in the custody fight. Attorney Charles Garry, who has been speaking for the Temple since Jones went to Guyana, claims the court order for the boy’s return has been withdrawn.
(Unrelated story follows)
Sandy Bradshaw: Marge?
Bradshaw: Hi, this is Sandy Bradshaw, how– (tape cuts off)
George Hunter: Hello.
Sandy Bradshaw: Hi. Mr. Hunter?
Bradshaw: This is Sandy Bradshaw from Peoples Temple.
Bradshaw: Uh, I wanted to get back to you about uh– I guess Sharon Amos had called you uh, some time ago.
Hunter: Yeah, it was uh, I think a week ago Sunday.
Bradshaw: Right. Right. Uh, we were on uh, alert notice at that time, and uh, I wanted to thank you for standing by. The situation seems to have been resolved uh, somewhat down there uh–
Hunter: Oh, I was under the impray– impression that uh, Jim had some statement to uh, make for the record, you see, uh, when the– when the girl called me. I could just assume, because she said they were trying to patch through a call from Guyana to uh, the lawyer’s office.
Bradshaw: Right. Right. Uh, we were on alert for a– a possible statement, uh– There had been–
Hunter: And I thought I wou– And I thought it would relate to uh, attempts on his life.
Bradshaw: That’s right.
Hunter: But that was just conjecture, you know.
Bradshaw: That’s– Well, there had been. There had definitely been there, in two attempts that week, and the uh, conspiracy had apparently, from the looks of it, spread down there, because there had been an illegal court order issued – uh, illegal by the advice of the top officials in that country – and it was a lower court judge uh, by, what we found out afterwards, had gotten uh, paid for making an order, so the– it seems like that there is some uh, big money involved. We’re not sure how it all ties in with the total conspiracy, but uh, we’re– we’re still investigating and uh, the order was since rescinded when it– the other top officials got back in the country uh, the following Monday, but yes, we were ready for a statement to be made that weekend.
Hunter: Yeah, now, is uh, Garry uh, contemplating in a– another press conference?
Bradshaw: Now, uh, that I don’t know, but I– I do believe he is uh, in the near future. I’m not sure exactly when. But I know that– that he is planning on uh, having one at some time– some point in time, because uh, Mike [Prokes] was doing the– the filming of the project down there, and that was Mike’s purpose for going down there, so we’re still working on that. And uh–
Hunter: Where is Tim Stoen?
Bradshaw: Tim Stoen is not here right now, but the article– I saw the article in the Press-Democrat, and that is a bunch of lies. Tim Stoen–
Hunter: Well, no, I wasn’t– uh, I’ll tell you, if I could just hew to the line here for a minute.
Hunter: Uh– uh– What happened is, of course, Tim was up here, and I interviewed him. I got a picture.
Bradshaw: Uh-huh [Yes], right.
Hunter: And uh, this is based on his suit against the uh– his intent to file suit against the Mendocino Grapevine and– and possibly others. Now, I followed up about a week later, and I was informed by Pat Finnegan, who was representing Tim, that he had received a call from Vincent Hallinan announcing that uh, there would be no suit filed, and of course–
Bradshaw: Pat Finnegan received a call from Vincent?
Hunter: Vincent Hallinan, yeah.
Hunter: Who apparently is representing Tim in some respect down there. Otherwise I, you know, couldn’t understand why he was making the call. So I was mighty curious to uh, talk to Tim, find out what happened.
Bradshaw: Oh, I see. Yeah, I can see–
Hunter: It put me– You know, it put the paper in a very bad position.
Bradshaw: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I– I haven’t– I don’t know anything about that– that end of the suit or anything like that, but uh, the– the article that I saw in the Pet– Press-Democrat really was distressing.
Hunter: Well, I’d say I don’t (short laugh) pay much attention to what the other rags write. (Laugh) I’m more concerned [with] my own publication and– and I re– really was concerned about uh– because uh, you know, I hadn’t– Not a call from Tim or anything else to explain.
Bradshaw: Umm-hmm. Umm-hmm. Well, Tim has been traveling quite a bit, that I do know, but uh, uh, I don’t know specifically what’s happening with the lawsuit. I’m not involved in that aspect of it.
Hunter: Well, it’s hard to– it– it’s hard to divorce Tim Stoen, you know, from the church.
Bradshaw: Oh, sure.
Hunter: I realize that he was proceeding as an– as an individual in– in this matter.
Hunter: But (unintelligible word under Bradshaw) you know, but it is uh– it is difficult to uh, you know, separate him from the entire action, and so that’s why I was curious about– as to his whereabout. Now he told me at the time he left here that he was planning going back to New York City.
Hunter: Now, you got no idea where he is at all.
Bradshaw: No, the last I knew he was in New York City, uh, and then I know he was getting– looking into different things needed for the project. Now beyond that, I don’t know.
Hunter: And you don’t know anything uh– uh, you don’t know any reason uh, that would’ve been behind uh, uh, Tim’s apparent uh– apparently changing his mind.
Bradshaw: No, I don’t. I don’t. But I do know his action was independent. It was not a church action.
Hunter: Oh yes, that was– that was explained very carefully in the article that I wrote.
Bradshaw: But you obviously would know from talking with him that–
Hunter: But I’m curious, because, you see, I never– I never did receive any word from him personally that he was contemplating this action, and I’m getting it uh, secondhand from Hallinan to Pat Finnegan and back to myself, because I was pressing Pat about it. And then he was– Then he had no choice, he had to tell me at that time that– that he had received uh, notice from Hallinan that uh, there was no uh, suit contemplated, in other words, to drop it.
Bradshaw: But isn’t it true that anytime in the future it can be picked up? I mean, aren’t those– those kinds of things vague (unintelligible word under Hunter)
Hunter: Yeah, but you know, I’ve had a long close relationship with Tim Stoen. Naturally the editor of the newspaper and the assistant district attorney, you know, are going to know each other, and I’ve had a long relationship with Tim, and I was, you know, just sorta disappointed that he didn’t uh, get back to me, because he– you know, it put my paper in a bad position.
Bradshaw: Yeah, I understand.
Hunter: Don’t want to write on the front page, you know, that uh, he– he’s gonna bring suit against Grapevine, which at the moment happens to be uh, filing a suit against us.
Bradshaw: Against you?
Bradshaw: Why so?
Hunter: Oh, it’s the uh, uh– Antitrust suit. (Pause)
Hunter: Because we have a large number of newspapers, of course, around the county. And uh– So it’s an antitrust suit. And so uh– In a way– in a way, uh, when I talked to Tim, he was incensed. He was, you know, livid with rage. And uh, so as I’m– I’m mighty curious. I don’t know. I don’t pa– It probably wouldn’t do me any good to call Hallinan. He would just plead lawyer-client privilege. He probably wouldn’t tell me a thing.
Bradshaw: Well, the only thing I can uh, uh, think of is how much Jim has always supported freedom of the press. I mean, the– the first rights amendment, so I don’t– I don’t–
Hunter: Oh boy, I hardly think that’s appropriate.
Bradshaw: Well, I don’t know– Tim’s reaction–
(talk over each other)
Hunter: I– I should– I– No, I should think that the relationship that this newspaper’s had with the church and with Tim would be paramount to even freedom of the press. And there wasn’t any question in uh, Tim’s mind. He was uh– he was incensed, and you know, uh, that– that’s not the Tim I know, uh, I’ve never seen him blow his cool before. (Laughs)
Bradshaw: Oh, yeah, (laughs) I– I haven’t– I haven’t talked to him since he came back. (Laughs)
Hunter: You know, that– You know, Tim is not– uh, by temperament, he’s not the same person that he was when he uh, left here to go to San Francisco to uh– to uh, prosecute those uh, voter registration frauds. And I’d say, he’s a uh– and of course, I– you know, I’m just talking, and I know and– I’m putting you on the spot, uh, but uh, I can only ca– accomplish something by talking to Tim. But then again, I have no idea where to reach him. He left no word with uh, Finnegan, his local attorney, as to where he could be reached.
Bradshaw: How do you see that he’s changed?
Hunter: Oh. (Pause) I don’t know, he– he used a good deal more profanity than he ever did before.
Bradshaw: Of course, the article against him was– was uh–
Hunter: Oh, yeah–
(unintelligible, as two talk over each other)
Hunter: I’m just– I’m just relating, you know, that– that uh, that I can uh– I can see a change. But uh, but as I say, I am– I’m– I am certainly curious as to what prompted uh, Tim to change his mind.
Bradshaw: Um-hmm. Maybe he just second-thought along the way, I don’t know, I haven’t uh–
Bradshaw: I don’t know.
Hunter: Second thoughts, or pressures from above. It could be either, you see.
Bradshaw: Well, who do you think would be pressuring–
Hunter: Well, I just don’t know. I’d hate to say. And I refuse to make any statement along those lines (laughs). But it has to be one or the other, obviously. Because there wasn’t any question in his mind. It was just as baffling to his attorney as it was to me, so you see, I’m not alone, and uh, so– It all comes back to the same thing. Just trying to find out where Tim is, I’d give him a call.
Bradshaw: Yeah. Well, we certainly haven’t–
Hunter: Well, if he hasn’t–
Bradshaw: –weighed his mind one way or the other, so–
Hunter: Yeah, okay. I’ll tell you what. One of you– If he happens to wander in there, uh, would you have him get in touch with me? I’d sure appreciate it.
Bradshaw: I– I sure will.
Hunter: Yeah, or if he’s in touch with you in any way, would you tell him I’m extremely anxious to talk to him.
Hunter: And thank you (unintelligible word)
End of tape
Tape originally posted May 2013