Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
Silence for several moments.
Jones: –we’d have to go. I said, don’t you realize that that could bring about thermonuclear war, and they said– one little lady in the Central Committee said to me, we all have to die sometime. You can’t start compromising your principles. You have to live by your principles. And I hope that America wi– is aware of that, that Cubans are not the type of people you will change by bluffing, no more than you’re going to change America. And we do have some realistic difficulties out there. We need– We need a new change in foreign relations, we’re going to have to have dialogue, we’ve got to have disarmament, my God, uh, (Struggles for words) every minute it’s increasing, the dangers of war by accident, and no one wins in a thermonuclear war, and uh, I’m all for Carter’s efforts to uh, (Struggles for words) re-emphasis of moral values, rather than thinking pragmatically whether we have uh, two more missiles than the Soviet Union. In the first place, if we had just a limited number of missiles, it’s enough uh, of a deterrent.
Hare: You know, millions of people visit Washington, D.C. every year. But why did your church get the tourist of the year award?
Jones: Well, The Washington Post gave us that, because when we go in to any area, we– we’re ecology-minded, and so we cleaned up that uh, little uh, pool that they have, and uh, it was a terrible thing that many tourists come in to the city, they throw all their paper and their debris–
Hare: You mean, you literally got out and cleaned–
Jones: We got in it. We got inside that pool, some of us 70 and 80 years of age–
Prokes: Rolled up their pant legs.
Jones: –rolled up the pant legs and got in there and cleaned that city up like it’d not been cleaned up. We do it every year, but it just happened to be noticed uh, by The Washington Post that time.
Hare: Do you do this in most of the places you stop on the way to where you’re going?
Jones: Everywhere we go. And as a result, we have– it’s– I didn’t do it for that reason, but we have found that it has won some people. In Georgia, they closed off– Was it Georgia?
Jones: In Georgia, they closed off uh, entire rest area to us. Wouldn’t let us in, and we were so hot and tired in the summer last, uh, year, last year–
Hare: Why did they close it off?
Jones: Oh, racism. Racism.
Hare: The home of our uh– The former home of our present president–
Jones: Yes, yes, yes.
Prokes: They saw our buses coming with all those people integrated, and they felt threatened by it, and so they closed the facilities, but we got off the buses and began picking up paper, and the man who operated the rest stop–
Jones: Three hours, though, we had to do it. It isn’t– isn’t the easiest thing to break through. But finally, the– the chap got a bit uh– (short laugh) he felt guilty, I guess, came out, opened it up and uh, disgruntled, but he watched us the rest of the day, because we had a breakdown as a result of it, we– we needed some water badly for one of the motors, and we had a breakdown in the bus, and uh, he watched us for ten hours, finally he come out, old white Southerner, typical, he looked like– just like one of the rebel of– rebels of the Confederate– Confederacy, and he come up and he said, there’s somethin’ I want to do for you folk. He pulled out a card, it was his Ku Klux Klan membership, and tore it up in front of our eyes. That made me believe that it’s possible to communicate. I could not believe it.
Hare: Well, how did you contain the people on the bus, you know, to work so many hours without anyone getting angry or really starting a hassle there?
Jones: That– that comes from that long tradition of pacifism, you know. We are a gentle people that will overcome– do any measure to overcome evil with gentle measures and enduring measures, because we’ve seen it work with people. We have people in our congregation who are former members of the Ku Klux Klan, a John Bircher in our congregation. It pays to try to persist with people. Love does overcome evil, if you can endure. And it isn’t my doing, it’s a consensus, uh, that we– we want to try so much to uh, break down the barriers. And it did break down a barrier there. It was fantastic.
Prokes: But you certainly provided the example. And I think people need to see an example, because that man that operated the rest stop, he was raised all his life, uh, he was taught racism, but he was touched. He saw uh, older black woman walking hand-in-hand with a small Caucasian child, and he was touched by it. He saw integration working, and it moved him to (unintelligible word under Jones) his membership in the Klan, which is unbelievable. But it happened.
Jones: We called him. We called him– call (unintelligible word under Prokes). They called to the newspaper of the little segregationist town, and they took a picture of (unintelligible word under Prokes).
Prokes: Even had his picture taken.
Jones: Our oldest black woman [Ever Rejoicing] and our oldest– uh, which was 106, black – and a hun– ninety, ninety-seven white, and uh, he took a picture right between them. (unintelligible word under Prokes)
Prokes: I don’t know that he still lives in that area.
Hare: I believe we should– Yes, well, they probably run him out following that kind of act. What do you ultimately plan to do with Peoples Temple? No, before that, I understand that at one time you were very ill. Um– Was it cancer or leukemia or something that you had, but somehow through your psychic healing powers, you sort of healed yourself. Is there any truth to that?
Jones: Well, that was what I was diagnosed. Yes, I was diagnosed, uh, many years ago.
Hare: Did you have cancer?
Jones: I believe that mi– Yes, I believe that mind is an untapped resource. We– when we see the Soviet Union who are uh, atheist and materialist, dialect– they believe in dialectic materialism, when they’re spending a million dollars, as some people say, a day studying uh, the uh, phenomenon of paranormal, we better consider it. Doctor Helen Flanders Dunbar said that uh– uh, she speaks of all these remissions, you know, one of our most eminent psychiatrists, just by attitude. So I– I think we under-estimate the power of mind, we have seen a number of people in our congregation healed through love therapy, as we call it, and I– I would consider that uh– (Pause) that we’d– haven’t even begun to touch this resource. It happened for me. Uh, I’m not saying there’s any panacea, I don’t think it has a thing to do with goodness, I don’t think that it should exclude medical science, it’s very important that we realize that spiritual healing or psychic healing uh, is not a panacea.
Hare: All right now, where do you see Peoples Temple going?
Jones: Right on, trying to plod wherever need calls us. The last few days, it called us to the International Hotel. It’s important that the system work for little people. And there’s been a terrible, terrible blight on uh, San Francisco, if there’d been a confrontation there, ‘cause those little people were going– uh, lay down and die. They were not violent, there were no weapons there, contrary to the statements of some, because I’d done a thorough investigation. They invited me in. We put 3000 people around there, and we’ve heard it said that uh, people uh, realized that– that there’d been a volatile situation, and they stayed the execution. I hope the community will allow little people at least the times to feel the system works, but if we don’t, we going to have a– it’s going to be a– there’s going to be a combustion.
Hare: You mean, uh, they refer to your church as the International Hotel because you were so actively involved in that?
Jones: Well, I think some people do. They think we’re the headquarters of the International Hotel. But we didn’t even know the International Hotel until we saw their need.
Hare: That’s better than being called Hotel Hanoi, which I can remember something very special in this country being referred to.
Hare: I’d like to thank Pastor Jones and Michael Prokes from the Peoples Temple. And as you know, this church, the Peoples Temple and the Reverend Jim Jones, have never failed to respond to public or private appeals for assistance in the pursuit and protection of individual liberty and freedom. Thank you so much for joining me tonight on Reactions, and I’m Julia Hare for KSFO.
Jingle: KSFO in San Francisco.
End of tape.
Tape originally posted June 2010