Q736 Transcript

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

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Male: Test, test.

(More background noise)

Woman: Quiet out there.

Harriet Sarah Tropp: (Shouts) Quiet!

Male: No talking. No talking.

Tropp: Not a fucking word. It drifts in all the way from out there.

Male: No talking. No talking.

Tropp: Okay, how do you copy me?

Radio: (Some radio disturbance) I copy you pretty loud and clear, over.

Tropp: Okay, let’s start.

(Unintelligible radio reply) (General noise of conversation)

Tropp: What happens if they start breaking in with questions in the middle?

(Male voice murmuring)

Tropp: Say, this is our— You have questions at the end, this is our turn.

Jones: Right, say you’ll have, uh, you’ll be able— you’ll get each one of these people some questions, and be given their statements.

(More background noise. Tape breaks off.)

Tropp: Roger, roger. My name is Harriet Tropp. I have a law degree and I’m currently teaching at the Jonestown community school. I have a statement to make on behalf of Peoples Temple in response to the grossly false and malicious statements that continue to be made about our community here in Guyana. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger. go ahead.

Tropp: Individuals participating in a self-styled group of (Scornfully) Concerned Relatives have now publicly threatened to hire mercenaries to illegally enter Guyana and use whatever means necessary, including armed attack and kidnap, to capture members of the Peoples Temple community. These threats were made public in a California newspaper. Peoples Temple has already alerted the President, the U.S. State Department, and appropriate government officials in Guyana. Do you copy?

Radio: (Unintelligible) —having trouble copying at that end. Stand by.

Tropp: (Upset) Fuck it.

(Background noise)

Tropp: One two three four five, five four three two one, one two three four five, five four three two one. How do you copy me?

Radio: (Unintelligible)

Tropp: Forget it— if they can’t—

Woman: That means, “how do you copy?” It varies (unintelligible word)—

Tropp: Okay, is the copy— uh, what is the signal report on the copy on that end, please. Over?

Radio: Uh, they did not copy, they did not copy. (Unintelligible)

Tropp: Roger, roger. My name is Harriet Tropp. I have a law degree and I’m currently teaching at the Jonestown community school. I have a statement to make on behalf of Peoples Temple in response to the grossly false and malicious statements that continue to be made about our community here in Guyana. Do you copy?

Radio: Stand by. We’re checking.

Tropp: This is gonna go— take a long time, and they’re going get pissed, but who gives a fuck? (On mike) Individuals participating in a self-styled group of (Scornfully) Concerned Relatives have now publicly threatened to hire mercenaries to illegally enter Guyana and use whatever means necessary, including armed attack and kidnap, to capture members of the Peoples Temple community. Do you still copy?

Radio: Stand by, let me check—

Tropp: I’m going to have to do each thing—

Male: Think about, slow down a bit.

Tropp: Okay.

Radio: Roger, but go a little slower, go a little slower, do you copy?

Tropp: Roger. These threats were made public in a California newspaper. Peoples Temple has already alerted the President, the U.S. State Department, and appropriate government officials in Guyana. Do you copy, and am I still uh, reading too fast, please?

Male: (Low) You’re speaking too fast.

Tropp: Umm-hmm.

Radio: Okay, go ahead.

Tropp: Umm-hmm. Okay. The group of Concerned Relatives is a cruel, monstrous hoax. The threat to send mercenaries, hired guns who will violate laws and resort to killing and mayhem to fulfill their contract reveals again the real nature of the efforts of these (Scornfully) Concerned Relatives. Do you copy?

Jones: And say, and they’re a small number compared to all the relatives who are planning to visit here.

Tropp: Okay, I have a long statement (unintelligible word) but I’ll put it in there, okay, I’ll put it in there.

Jones: Okay.

Radio: Okay, they copy, they copy, they want— they are uh, waiting to hear some responses from the parties involved. Do you copy?

Tropp: Those responses will be given when this statement is finished. (Off mike) Can I say that (unintelligible)?

(Several voices murmur and laugh)

Tropp: We demand to know where the money is coming from to get hired killers. We also demand that the media, which has shown such eagerness to attack our organization, show equal vehemence in condemning this criminal effort and exposing its perpetrators. Do you copy?

Radio: Copy— (Unintelligible)

Jones: I’m about one-third finished.

Tropp: I’m about one-third finished, and I will continue. Actually, this is not a new tactic in the moves against the Guyana community. Armed agents have already been sent in illegally and have tried to assassinate Jim Jones and others, as well as kidnap people. Those attempts have been successfully thwarted. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger. Go ahead.

Jones: Now you can say something, nothing has been— this is a small group—

Tropp: Okay.

Jones:nothing has been mentioned—

Tropp: Okay, okay, as soon, as soon as I get this sentence over with. (On mike) We hope that the public will see the cruelty and evil behind the pious masquerading of these public liars. The people involved have been brought together and given assurances that they would be backed up in whatever they would try to do against Peoples Temple. Their number is very small in comparison to the many relatives and parents who are coming here to visit the project. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Jones: (Murmurs) Good.

Tropp: Our community is a dramatic expression of our deep desire to build a meaningful future for mankind, based on cooperation and sharing and the eradication of class division. Our contribution has been recognized by many, many people who have come to visit our democratic socialist cooperative. Teachers, workers, government officials, people from all walks of life in Guyana as well as representatives from nations the world over have come and congratulated us for what is being accomplished. Do you copy?

Radio: (Unintelligible)

Jones: (Unintelligible) Some place you break and then you’ll have to repeat it all.

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Tropp: They have be— have praised us for the example of cooperative living and diligent development of this beautiful region. The chairman of the Guyana Livestock Corporation [Peter Fernandes], a man who is a member of one of the most important business families in Guyana, called this project, the purest form of socialism he had ever seen, a community without elitism. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Tropp: Just this week, 35 educators from the MacKenzie School District, together with a delegation of the most outstanding students in the entire nation, visited us unannounced and spent the entire day. They were overwhelmed by what we are doing. We are making hosts of friend here, building goodwill, providing a constructive presence that can only enhance cooperation and counteract negative stereotypes of North American people. Do you copy?

New Radio: (Breaks in) What is going on here, what is going on here on this frequency, what is going on here?

Tropp: What do I say to this, a press conference?

Jones: This is a press conference.

Tropp: It’s a press conference, sir. You might want to stand by and listen.

New Radio: If they start talking, I will.

Tropp: Okay, do you copy?

Radio: We copy.

Tropp: Our medical department is known far and wide for its excellent services, and many lives have been saved. Programs in agriculture, livestock development, a complete school system and a host of community projects are flourishing. (Emphatic) News media have visited here. Just a few days ago, representatives from one of the largest news agencies in the world spent several days with us. Representatives from other news agencies have been to the project as well, and have pronounced it a remarkable, impressive achievement. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger to that.

Tropp: (Off mike) Should I put this thing in here? (On mike) Within three to four weeks, several relatives and parents who are not members will be visiting here, coming even with a degree of cynicism, because they have been approached by this committee. We do not ask that people who come agree with us. However, these relatives are not coming with an intention to harass, and so they are very welcome. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Jones: The committee is very small.

Tropp: (Off mike) Okay, I understand that. There’s another point in there where I can put that in. (On mike) One is the leader of another church denomination. So that they cannot be harassed, most of them are on their way now. We object to the small committee of Concerned Relatives, because we have firm proof from an editor that all involved in that group have talked about kidnapping and mercenaries. That type of person is not welcome by ourselves or by the people of Guyana. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Jones: (Murmur unintelligible)

Tropp: I am nearly finished. Young people here are finding productive new lives, free from the pitfalls of inner city environments that would have caused a large percentage of them to be— become involved in one form of anti-social behavior or another, behavior which would have caused the U.S. taxpayers hundreds and thousands of dollars. We are tired of seeing people and organizations that are trying to develop constructive alternatives to build cooperative lifestyles being harassed unmercifully, lied about, falsely accused of crimes, and in many cases brought down. In recent months alone, there have been several examples of this in the Bay Area. Do you still copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Here in Guyana, we have come to build a community for a significant number of people, now over 1000, who have been hurt, angered, alienated and victimized by adverse conditions that prevail in the decaying inner cities of advance Western societies. Many who are not in such desperate circumstances have also come to join us and build, because of the peaceful, natural environment, ideal weather and the challenge to serve. The vast majority of our members remain in the United States and are perfectly free to do so. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Jones: (murmur unintelligible)

Tropp: This is WB6MID Portable 8R3 in an international phone patch with WA6DTJ. Finally, we would like to address ourselves to a point that has been raised, it seems, about some statement, supposedly issued officially by Peoples Temple, but whose authorship we here are unaware of, to the effect that we prever— prefer to resist harassment and persecution, even if it means death. Those who are lying and slandering our work here, it appears, are trying to use this statement against us. We are not surprised. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: However, it would seem that any person with any integrity or courage would have no trouble understanding such a position. Since it is clear that the persons who are actively plotting to destroy our organization have neither integrity nor courage, we are not at all surprised that they would find it offensive. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Dr. Martin Luther King reaffirmed the validity of ultimate commitment when he told his Freedom Riders, quote, we must develop the quiet courage of dying for a cause, close quote, and then he later said, quote, though I hope no one will have to die as a result of our struggle, if anyone has to, let it be me. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: And we, likewise, affirm that before we will submit quietly to the interminable plotting and persecution of this politically-motivated conspiracy, we will resist, actively, putting our lives on the line if it comes to that. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger. They are so— They want to hear the statements about the people there saying that they want—

Jones: They will very, very shortly.

Radio: Do you copy?

Tropp: They will hear the statements from the people very shortly. I am almost finished. This has been the unanimous vote of the collective community here in Guyana. We choose as our model, not those who marched submissively into gas ovens, but the valiant heroes who resisted in the Warsaw Ghetto. Patrick Henry captured it, when he said simply, Give me liberty, or give me death. If people cannot appreciate that willingness to die if necessary, rather than to compromise the right to exist, free from harassment, and the kind of indignities we have been subjected to, then they will never understand the integrity, the honesty, and the bravery of Peoples Temple nor the depth of commitment of Jim Jones to the principles he has struggled for all his life. Do you copy? I am about finished.

Radio: (unintelligible) —copy

Second radio: Stand by.

Jones: Last paragraph.

Tropp: Standing by. He said stand by.

Jones: And he said other (unintelligible). There’s freedom of movement among all those people. Now we will show you the freedom of movement.

Radio: (unintelligible) —they are insisting that they want—

(Several people talk)

Tropp: We have one last paragraph and then they will hear from the people themselves. It is not our purpose to die. We believe deeply in the celebration of life. It is the intention of Jim Jones, and always has been, to light candles rather than curse the darkness, to find and implement constructive solutions rather than merely complain about problems. But under these outrageous attacks, we have decided to defend the integrity of our community and our pledge to do this. We are confident that people of conscience and principle will understand our position. We make no apologies for it. Okay, do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger. (Rest overtaken by Jones.)

Jones: Now say, you— we are preparing for the interview, we are preparing the interview, they have to prepare them for—

Tropp: Okay.

Jones: Now you’ll have the interviews, and you know we have freedom of movement.

Tropp: Okay, uh, now the people who have, uh, who supposedly Concerned Relatives are so vastly concerned about them are here and will give their statements, and you will know that we have freedom of movement, as proven by the article you have of our entertainment in Georgetown. It seems to me quite odd that uh, 100 people can go to Georgetown for two weeks to entertain at the largest cultural center in the capital, and uh— during which time there was actually a blackout for two days, and uh, people still insist they had no freedom of movement. It seems quite absurd to us. But here are the folks who would like to make their statements. (Off mike) Okay, very slow and very loud. (On mike) Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Wagner: This is Mark Wagner. I am 16 years old. I’m going to make this short and to the point.

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger. He’ll have to speak loudly.

Tropp: (off mike) Repeat it— (On mike) Did they copy that, or shall he repeat?

Radio: Repeat. Talk loudly.

Tropp: Real loud. Way up.

Several people and radio chatter.

Tropp: Okay.

Wagner: This is Mark Wagner, and I am 16 years old. I’m going to make this short and to the point.

Tropp: Do you copy that?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Wagner: I understand that my dad, Richard Wagner, is making trouble for me here in Guyana.

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Wagner: Why would I possibly want to come back to him when I am living very happily here with my mother [Inez Wagner] and sister [Michelle Wagner]?

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Wagner: He gave me pictures of him, laying in bed with naked women of whom he is old enough to be their father.

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Wagner: Not to mention the fact that at 60 years of age, he is strung out on drugs. I don’t consider this a healthy atmosphere for me to be in.

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Wagner: I tried to talk to him the other night on the radio, and he was stoned out of his mind.

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Wagner: He was so far out of it that he was totally unable to communicate.

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Wagner: I have no intention of leaving my home here and returning to live with this moral degenerate.

Tropp: Do you copy?

Second Radio: (Unintelligible — sounds like “I didn’t get”) your name there.

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Wagner: Why don’t you spend your time trying to find out where he gets his drugs and stop worrying about me?

Tropp: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Okay, that’s the end of your statement. Okay, uh—

Jones: Maria.

Tropp: Maria Katsaris is uh, next. She’s coming right now and she will uh, give her statement right now. Do you copy?

Radio: Go ahead.

Tropp: You know how to do this yourself. You want me to say, do you copy? (on mike) This is WB6MID Portable 8R3 in an international phone patch with WA6DTJ. Clear frequency is appreciated.

Radio: WA6DTJ. Go ahead.

Katsaris: This is Maria Katsaris. I am 24 years old and I am the daughter of Steven Katsaris who, I understand, is making public statements to the media that I am being held in some sort of state of captivity here in Guyana. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Katsaris: He has also said a lot of other things that are equally and totally false. I’m making this statement to set the record straight once and for all. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Katsaris: First of all, I am not being held in any sort of captivity. That is totally absurd. I have gone to several places on business for the church and have traveled alone. Obviously, I am free to come and go as I please. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Katsaris: You can check with the U.S. Consulate, Mr. Richard McCoy, who has visited our project and who knows about our work. I have been to his office on business many times alone, and I have flown with him in a private aircraft alone, and could have said to him, on any number of occasions, anything I wanted to. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Katsaris: This statement of Mr. Katsaris is an insult, not only to myself, to Jim Jones, to Peoples Temple, but to the integrity of the Guyana government and to the United States Consulate and State Department. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Katsaris: Now, let’s get down into the real reasons for Mr. Katsaris’ lies. First of all, this man has sexually molested me. He did this all through my childhood up into my teens. Do you copy?

Female Voice: Slow.

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Katsaris: He has always had a sick attachment to me. He is, indeed, a disturbed person and has had to go for several years to a psychotherapist about his problems. He is a highly manipulative person and, like many mentally sick people, he is an excellent actor. He can look you right in the eye and convince you that he is the model of virtue. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Katsaris: He is particularly hung up on me and cannot stand the fact that I have grown up, have left his household and refused to worship him. He has actually told me that I should worship him as an icon unto God. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Katsaris: Not only that, but the man was an ordained minister all during the time he was molesting me. What he put me through had so totally traumatized me as a child that I was for years terrified to even tell anyone anything about it. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Katsaris: Now I am telling everyone and putting it on the record. I don’t want anything to do any longer with this sick man. I am engaged and fully independent. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Katsaris: I resent deeply this man’s public lying, his various schemes against the Peoples Temple, against Jim Jones, and against me, in order to pursue his basically sick designs. At this point, I am fed up, and I am telling him now that I am leading my own life and want absolutely no part of him. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Katsaris: It is time he grew up, got over his pathetic hang-ups and desires to be worshipped. I am saying to Steven Katsaris, I want you (Slows voice) to leave me alone. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Katsaris: I couldn’t be happier than I am here in Jonestown in Guyana. This community is a great challenge and opportunity for me, and I have never felt better, been healthier, or been involved in more interesting and rewarding work. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Katsaris: (Off mike) The end of my statement? (On mike) That is the end of my statement.

Tropp: Okay, how are you copying, because she got a lot of the um— this QR, um— well, this QSB, you can explain that, it’s fading on this end, over.

Radio: (Unintelligible)

Tropp: Let me see how they’re copying.

Radio: (unintelligible) —slow down a little bit. Do you copy?

Tropp: Roger, did they miss anything of uh, Maria’s statement that they would like repeated, over?

Jones: That’s what the fuck it’s for.

Tropp: When you say, Do you copy, it means, do you copy (overrun by Jones)—

Jones: So when I’m saying do you copy, I mean does it— do they copy (unintelligible)

Radio: (garbled)

Tropp: Okay, roger, if, uh— you might check when— you know, when I say, do you copy, when the party says, do you copy, make sure you check to see if they are copying as well, that is uh, the whole point, over.

Radio: Roger, roger, roger.

Woman: Okay, Harriet’s notes—

Tropp: Okay, the rest of us are going to do it real slow.

Jones: When you say, do you copy, I want him to say, do you copy.

Radio: (garbled chatter)

Tropp: Negative copy.

Radio: They want to ask questions.

Jones: Say, when they get statements from all concerned—

Tropp: When we are done with the statements, they can ask questions.

Radio: Roger, roger, go ahead.

Tropp: Sit there, Wes, and make yourself at home.

Breidenbach: This is Wesley Breidenbach, I’m 18 years old. I heard my brother is now suddenly interested in me. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger (garble)

Tropp: Go ahead.

Breidenbach: He never was concerned before. That makes me sick. The only time he saw me is when I went to see him. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger.

Breidenbach: I know he doesn’t approve of my associations with blacks because I married a black woman [Avis Jocelyn Breidenbach, aka Avis Garcia]. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger.

Tropp: Go ahead.

Breidenbach: And he didn’t like it. Well, I don’t care. And I don’t like him either, because I love my wife. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Breidenbach: I think he’s tied in with those punks who are in the press conference in front of the San Francisco Temple. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger, go slow.

Breidenbach: He never tried to contact me before. Never. I know he’s used a lot of dope and drinks a lot, too. I don’t trust him. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger.

Breidenbach: Anyone who wants to tear this down is a sadist, a criminal or a neo-Nazi. They’ve got to be out of their minds. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger.

Breidenbach: Listen. I’m preparing to go to college, and there are all kinds of opportunities for me here, and I don’t want it messed up by him or anyone else. I’m not going anywhere. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger.

Breidenbach: As far as I’m concerned, he should leave me and my mom [Lois Breidenbach] and sister [Melanie Breidenbach] in peace. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger.

Tropp: Is that it?

(Series of high frequency beeps)

Tropp: This is WB6MID Portable 8R3 in Guyana, South America, an international phone patch in progress with WA6DTJ.

Radio: WA6DTJ here. Go ahead.

Tropp: Roger, roger. Uh, here is Liane— Liane Harris.

Liane Harris: I’ talked to my dad, Sherwin Harris, earlier this week, who sounded like a robot. And this statement is to this robot and whoever programmed him. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger.

Liane Harris: My name is Liane Harris. I am a 21-year-old adult woman. And I understand that my dad, Sherwin Harris, wants to see me. I have absolutely no desire to see him, and I want him to leave me alone. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Liane Harris: He never was particularly concerned about me. He divorced my mom [Sharon Amos] before I was born. My mom was the one who reared me and paid my expenses. He never paid child support, or helped me financially in years. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Liane Harris: Once when I saw him, he actually was upset because I didn’t drink or smoke. He called me a goody two-shoes, and that if I lived with him, he’d teach me a few things. That’s coming from a man who’s got a fiancée approximately my age. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Liane Harris: His former wife was mean. I didn’t visit them often. One time I visited with him, she hit me over the head with a baseball bat. She has locked me in the closet, slammed my head against the wall, slapped me for no reasons. My dad didn’t listen or do anything about it when I told him. That woman hated me. He knew it and didn’t even care. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Liane Harris: I want him to get this straight. I’m happy here, happier than I’ve ever been in my life, and I don’t want to see him or have anything to do with him (Deliberate) until he is reformed. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Liane Harris: That’s all I have to say. I hope he gets my message. I don’t know how to say it any stronger. He acts so concerned now, but where was he when I was growing up? Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

End of Side 1

 

Side 2

Liane Harris: — well-adjusted and capable kids. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Liane Harris: Anyone who would want to lie about this community and try to tear it down, as far as I’m concerned, is either out of their mind, or has some selfish, twisted motive. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Liane Harris: I don’t know what category my ex-father fits into, but whatever one it is, I am not interested in seeing him, tell him not to waste his time trying to see me, I do not trust him or his motives. That’s all I have to say. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Okay, this is WB6MID Portable 8R3, WA6DTJ, stand by.

Radio: WA6DTJ.

Tropp: Are you still copying?

Radio: Roger.

Woman: Slow—

Tropp: Okay, roger, this is Donna Ponts, Donna Ponts.

Radio: Roger.

Ponts: My name is Donna Ponts and I’m 15 years old. I’m living here in Guyana with my mom [Lois Ponts]. Do you copy?

Radio: Say it again, you got (unintelligible)

Tropp: There’s a lot of static. Say it over again.

Ponts: My name is Donna Ponts and I’m 15 years old. I’m living here in Guyana with my mom. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Ponts: A journalist has told us that my dad, Don Ponts, has threatened to hire mercenaries to come and get me, dead or alive. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Ponts: I would like to know how he can get by with this sort of thing. Do I have to be kidnapped or shot before someone stops this maniac? He had better just keep off my back. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Okay, stand by. (Pause) Okay, stand by. (Pause.) Okay, Billy Oliver, Billy Oliver has walked in and he had a statement to make.

Radio: Roger.

Jones: How many more statements do we have?

Tropp: Go real slow.

Woman: And loud, okay. And don’t we all say, “Do you copy,” okay?

Oliver: This—

Woman: Right into the mike. And loud. Real loud. (Unintelligible) Okay, ready? Say it—

Oliver: This is Bill Oliver, and I just want to say, that I’m sick of my parents [Beverly and Howard Oliver] trying to mess with my life and my brother’s [Bruce Oliver]. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Oliver: I told them once before, that I didn’t want to see them again, ever, and I meant that. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Oliver: Howard Oliver, my dad, he never did anything for me. All I can remember of my childhood is how he beat me with ironing cords or coat hangers or whatever he can get his hands on. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Oliver: I’ve hated him for as long as I can remember. He’s a mean, selfish person. Oliver’s Watch and Jewelry at 2050 Fillmore was used for a bookie front for gambling. And as for my mom, she knows what she did to me before I got in the church. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Oliver: If I’d done— If I’d done what they wanted me to do, I’d be in a life of crime today. They’re both sick. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Oliver: Me and my wife are both building a good life here. So I won’t stand for it, I made my choice, and that’s it. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Oliver: But by the way, I would like to know where all the money is coming from to hire someone to follow me and my brother in Georgetown. I know they don’t have th— this kind of money to do this kind of thing themselves. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Oliver: When my brother was recently in Georgetown, people came up to him and ask— and told us that our parents had sent them to keep an eye on us. I’m fed up with this. Leave me alone. And I hope that’s clear.

Tropp: Okay.

Radio: Okay, that it?

Tropp: Roger. He just— There’s a couple of more.

Jones: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, there’s more than a couple more. There are a few more.

Tropp: (Exasperated) What do you want me to say?

Jones: There’s a few more.

Male: There’s a few more.

Tropp: (on mike) There’s a few more. There’s a few more. Stand by.

Radio and low chatter.

Tropp: Wait a second. I’m counting. (Pause) Okay, here you go. This is Chris Rozynko. (Off mike) Okay, real loud, and slow. (On mike) Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Rozynko: I’m Chris Rozynko, I’m an electrician and I’m 23 years old. I understand that my sister Sandy wants to see me and has joined the people who are against Jim Jones. Do you copy?

Radio: Slow down, slow down.

Tropp: You gotta go a lot slower. Start all over again.

Woman: A lot slower. There’s no way—

Tropp: Shall, uh, shall he read, you know, go over whatever he was saying, over?

Radio: That’s all right, go ahead.

Tropp: Just go— Just go ahead, but slow down.

Rozynko: I never liked her. She was always degrading my black friends and insulting them. She’s a racist, and I don’t want anything to do with her. She has sex with Elmer Mertle, who has since changed his name to Al Mills, who is some 30 years older than her. She stood by quietly while they used a young black woman as a house slave. I don’t want anything to do with her.

Tropp: Did you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Radio and low chatter.

Tropp: Stand by a second, stand by. (Pause) Okay, this is Magnolia Harris, Magnolia Harris. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Okay, I’ll hold the (unintelligible) but go slow and real, real loud.

Jones: And I’ll tell you, when I do that, it means, do I— do you copy?

Magnolia Harris: Look, my name is Magnolia Harris—

Tropp: Wait, you gotta start all over.

Jones: Real loud, r-e-a-l loud.

Tropp: I want you to shout.

Magnolia Harris: Okay. (On mike) My name is Magnolia Harris. Look, I’m going to be brief. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Magnolia Harris: I have written my daughter several times and have even asked her to come visit. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Magnolia Harris: Now, she’s turned around and gotten nasty and is joining up with people who are trying to tear down this place, trying to tear down Jim Jones. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Magnolia Harris: My personal belief is that people have gotten to her and told her a lot of lies. As long as she’s playing along with people who have been trying to destroy our pastor and our church, I want her to know that she can forget about me. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Magnolia Harris: I don’t want to see her or have any communication with her. I’m happy here, and have never enjoyed life so much. If my daughter cannot respect my choice to live here, I’m sorry. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Magnolia Harris: She will have to choose her own path in life. I won’t interfere with her life, and I don’t want her to interfere with mine. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Magnolia Harris: At age 61, I think I have a right to choose my own life. I am not interested in going to the United States. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Magnolia Harris: I have a life here that is just wonderful. I also just want to say that I am sick and tired of hearing about the lies that are being told about Jim Jones. This is to me a conspiracy to destroy a great man, and the people involved in it are just twisted up inside. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Magnolia Harris: They were too selfish and probably too racist. If my daughter cannot see through that, it’s too bad.

Tropp: Say, thank— Say, thank you, goodbye.

Jones: Thank you, thank you.

Magnolia Harris: Thank you. Goodbye.

Tropp: Okay, do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Okay, it’s fading a little bit on this end, but stand by. (Pause) Ready? You can now say, this is Albert Touchette. (Unintelligible) (On mike) Okay, here is Al Touchette, Al Touchette. (Pause) Al Touchette, Jr. Over.

Radio: (Unintelligible)

Touchette: My name is Al Touchette. I’m 23 years old, I’m living here in Jonestown with my family. We have been here for over three years and have helped to build Jonestown from its earliest stages. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: My sister Mickey Touchette was once in Peoples Temple and has left and has come out telling a lot of lies about us. She says she is concerned about me and my family. That is the biggest lie of all. Mickey showed where she was at several years ago when she forged checks on my Dad, and stole money from my family. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: She also ripped off a lot of money from the church. So how can anybody that has done all of this to her family be concerned about us? When Mickey left the church, she said she was going out to be a terrorist. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: Mickey— Mickey hooked up with a few of her friends who claim to be commandos. And I’m sure that Mickey hasn’t told any of you about their plans to blow up a bridge in Oregon, which our church reported to the sheriff of Mendocino County at the time. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: Mickey and this group finally left the Temple when they could not get anywhere trying to convince other young people to go along with their mad ideas. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: Now she’s coming out talking a lot of bunk about Peoples Temple and trying to tear down Jim Jones. It’s clear that something pretty weird is going on, and I’m sure that Mickey is part of the conspiracy that is trying to destroy Jim. And her so-called revolutionary trip was a— deliberate to make trouble for the Temple. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: Mickey has always been a devious person. I hope that someday the truth comes out about Peoples Temple and Jim Jones, about it— about how it has helped young people like myself, how it has given us an education and taught us technical skills like carpentry, plumbing and electrical work that I’m now doing. And I’m also in charge of heavy equipment. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: Jim Jones is the most forgiving man I know. Several years ago, my dad [Charlie Touchette] told lies against Jim Jones to a government agency. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: And he later admitted that they were lies, and that the reason he told them was he felt threatened because his wife [Joyce Touchette] and children were members of the church. Now he is one of our best project managers here. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Touchette: Peoples Temple and Jim Jones are the best thing that has ever happened to me. And it’s a terrible thing when someone in my own family tries to tear it down. All I can say is, that the attacks on Jim have made me stronger in my convictions, and that goes for the rest of my family as well.

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Roger, roger. (Pause) Okay, I gotta identify now. (On mike) WB6MID Portable 8R3 international phone patch with WA6DTJ. Please, uh, clear frequency is appreciated.

Radio: WA6DTJ.

Low chatter and radio static.

Jones: (Undertone) This is Mary Griffith—

Tropp: This is—

Griffith: This is Mary Griffith. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Tropp: Okay, slow and very loud, like you’re shouting.

Griffith: I just want you to know, this is the last time I am talking. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Griffith: I am tired of— I am tired of this. My daughter was on dope. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Griffith: She gave me her— her baby Dana [Truss] at birth. I raised her all these years. We are ha— We are happy here. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Griffith: We are staying here. Do you copy?

Tropp: Say it again, we are staying.

Griffith: We are staying here.

Whisper: Louder.

Griffith: We are staying here. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, roger, roger, go ahead.

Woman: (Laughs) Okay, good.

Griffith: I mean it.

Whisper: Do you copy?

Griffith: Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: (Undertone) Okay. Now, leave me alone.

Griffith: Leave me alone.

Tropp: Oh, well— She got up—

Laughter

Male: She got up and walked out.

Tropp: She got up and walked out. Uh, stand by a minute.

Radio: Roger, roger.

Tropp: (Unintelligible) —very loud and (unintelligible)

Kerns: This is Carol Kerns and I am 19 years old. I am living in Guyana very happily. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Kerns: I would like to address myself to my sister, Jeanette Kerns, who has spent a lot of time in Letterman General Hospital, the psychiatric ward. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Kerns: I understand some elements of the media are using her as a reference person. I don’t understand why anyone would use (scornfully) a mentally unbalanced person for this purpose. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Kerns: She professed to be worried and concerned about me? She has never shown any concern about me in my life. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Kerns: In fact, when I was a young girl, I was raped by my brother, and she stood and watched and didn’t even help. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Kerns: Now she’s trying to hurt the only thing that helped her, Peoples Temple. It was Jim Jones that got her off drugs and encouraged her to go back to school after she flunked out, and even arranged tutoring for her. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Kerns: She has joined with people like Jim Cobb and his sister Terry. It is ironic, because Jeanette said it was Jim Cobb who sexually abused her to the extent that she was traumatized so bad, she could hardly talk about it. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Kerns: As [far] I am concerned, she can live her life and I will live mine. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Kerns: I will live mine.

Radio: Roger.

Male: Four more.

Tropp: Okay, there are four more people, uh, four more people.

Low chatter and radio static.

Jones: Is it amoral or immoral (Unintelligible)—

Tropp: Amoral.

Jones: Amoral?

Tropp: Negative copy?

Radio: Roger, roger.

Tropp: Did you say something? It’s hard to copy you.

Radio: (Unintelligible) —appointments—

Jones: Say, there are only four more.

Tropp: What?

Jones: Only four more.

Tropp: There are only four more.

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Here is Bob Davis.

Davis: My name is Bob Davis. Liz Forman, who was a member of Peoples Temple, has been active in the smear campaign against Jim Jones. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Davis: I shacked up with her, and she is a very, very self-centered person. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Davis: When her grandfather had a serious operation, she told me that she hoped that he would die so she could get the money in his will. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Davis: This shows how cold-blooded and inhumane that she is. She had sex with a teenage boy and molested a young girl that we were taking care of. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Davis: When I found out about this, I was appalled. Liz Forman is a completely amoral person. Do you copy, and out?

Radio: Roger.

Woman voice: Slow. Real slow.

Low chatter and radio static.

Tropp: B— Okay, Marcie and Barbara Simon are here. They’re twin sisters. Marcie and Barbara Simon. Barbara is, uh— This is Barbara, okay.

Radio: Go ahead.

Barbara Simon: My name is Barbara Simon.

Tropp: Real loud. Really shout.

Barbara Simon: My name is Barbara Simon. I am 22 years old. I’d like to address this to Leon Simon. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Barbara Simon: You’ve got a lot of nerve, being a lying, thieving, pimping, rip-off preacher. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Barbara Simon: — who goes around stealing from poor people in your church. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Barbara Simon: You drive around in fancy cars, live in a mansion, once you stole money from the church treasury. It was common knowledge. Grandma even told you— told me you took money. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Barbara Simon: — from the church treasury, so lay off and make headlines on your time, not mine. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Marcie, let me say something. Now— real loud.

Marcie Simon: My name is Marcie Simon, Barbara’s twin sister. And I agree with everything she said about Leon Simon, and all he ever did was just drive around in big fancy cars and never care anything about me or Barbara. So I wish he’d just leave us alone and don’t— just forget about us.

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Roger, roger.

Low chatter and radio static.

Tropp: Cassandra? (On mike) Okay, here is uh, Cassandra Minor, Cassandra Minor. (Off mike) Okay you’re going to have to stand and talk real, real loud, and slow—

Jones: Real loud.

Cassandra Minor: I hear that one of my brothers is showing a sudden interest in me. I am not interested in his concern. I am 21 years old, I am married, going to be a mother very soon. I am very happy here. I will be— I want to be left alone. I am studying to be a dietitian. I like my work. Goodbye.

Tropp: Who’s next. (Pause) Christine Young. Christine Young. A professional nurse, a professional nurse. (Off mike) Okay, ready. He said stand by?

Jones: One minute.

Tropp: Do you want us to stand by for minute?

Radio: Roger.

Young: Okay, it’s Christine Young. Jim Cobb is my oldest son. I am not his daughter. You copy?

Radio: Roger.

Young: He appar— He apparently wants everyone to believe that he is the— my, uh, dad. He had a lot of mixed-up ideas. I have always known that, along with the ah— violent streak. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Jones: That he’s always had.

Young: That he—

Tropp: That he— he has always had a violent streak.

Young: He has always had a violent streak. He has a lot of nerve also. It takes a lot of nerve to even think that I would return from beautiful Guyana where I am totally happy. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Jones and others talking.

Tropp: — with my five—

Young: I’m here with my five—

Tropp: Start again. I’m here with my five—

Young: I’m here with my five lovely children, and why does he think I would want to be with him and his unstable, violent ideas. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Jones: Say it, do you copy? Good, get in another sentence before you say, do you copy?

Young: Peoples Temple assisted Jim Cobb financially through over four years of college. He promised to repay the money. Instead, he joined a anti-Peoples Temple gang. Joining gangs in typical of Jim Cobb. While in college, he joined a guerrilla-type gang. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Young: They stole guns and rifles and many— and manufactured ammunition. When we heard about this, we reported this to the county sheriff. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Young: And then he left—

Tropp: Wait a— wait a minute, start all over again.

Jones: And then he suddenly left.

Tropp: And then he suddenly left.

Young: And then—

Tropp: Wait, wait, let me talk. Press down the button. Wait, go.

Young: And then he suddenly left. Now he is requesting that I return. I would like to ask this question: you want me to return, Jim Cobb, to where and for what?

Radio: Roger.

Jones and others talking.

Tropp: Stand by.

Jones: Last one. This is the last one.

Tropp: Should I say this is the last—

Jones: This is the last one.

Tropp: Okay, this will be the last comment, the last comment. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Low voices and radio noise.

Marceline: I am very happy for the opportunity to speak. I am Marceline Jones. I have been married to Jim Jones for nearly 29 years. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger, go ahead.

Marceline: He is a man of the highest integrity. I am tired of the lies that have been told about my husband and our family, and when I get back to San Francisco, I am going to sue for defamation of character, every person who has participated in the conspiracy to destroy Jim Jones, a man who has always been an advocate of the poor and the oppressed. Do you copy?

Radio: Roger.

Marceline: Please understand, I have full intention of suing for defamation of character unless the lies are retracted and corrected immediately. (Pounds table for emphasis) Do you copy me?

Radio: Roger.

Tropp: Now what do we do? They want questions.

Low voices and radio noise.

Jones: (Unintelligible) —what the questions are. That’s how you—

Tropp: Okay, uh, give me a count, give me a count first.

Radio: One two three four five six seven eight nine ten nine eight seven six five four three two one. Do you copy?

Tropp: Try it again, try it again.

Radio: One two three four five six seven eight nine ten nine eight seven six five four three two one. Do you copy?

Tropp: Okay, we’ll try now, we’ll try it now for questions, over.

Radio: Roger (unintelligible) questions.

Tropp: Can he relay them?

Male: We want to know who’s asking the questions—

Jones: We want to know who’s asking—

Tropp: First, we would like to know of course who is asking the question and perhaps, uh, you can relay it through, over.

Radio: Roger (Unintelligible)—

Tropp: Like, we’re going to have some thought on these.

Low voices and radio noise.

Jones: Get the copy.

Radio: Bob Pope (phonetic), Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Stand by.

Jones: Stand—

Tropp: Bob Pope (phonetic), Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Tell me what I say.

Low voices and radio noise.

Tropp: Can I say something first of all, we categorically deny all charges before the questions begin?

Jones: No, wait, wait— wait a second.

Tropp: All right.

Radio: He would like to know, he would like to know, do you copy?

Tropp: He would like to know, roger?

Radio: (Unintelligible) —going to take up the invitation of (unintelligible) to come back, over?

Jones: Negative.

Tropp: Repeat, repeat.

Jones: Negative copy.

Tropp: No.

Jones: Negative copy.

Tropp: He would like to know—

Jones: Negative copy (more insistent). I’m doing it for (Unintelligible)

Low voices and radio noise.

Tropp: He wants to know— (Pause) Okay, do you (Unintelligible)

Jones: Say, say, no one wants to take it up.

Tropp: No one wants to take up the invitation. Do you copy?

Low voices and radio noise.

Radio: Okay, stand by.

Tropp: Don’t turn it on.

Low voices and radio noise. Laughter.

Tropp: Can I say something like, you know, you real— you guys are really on the wrong track. You really should—

Jones: Say, you know there’s freedom of movement. With 100 people, as I told you, in Georgetown—

Tropp: Umm-hmm.

Jones: —living for two weeks. You repeat the damn thing, they (Unintelligible word) dumb asses.

Radio:San Francisco Progress, for Maria, do you copy?

Tropp: Maria. Roger, roger, stand by a second. (Calls off mike) Maria. (Normal tone) This is— Say, this is Maria—

Katsaris: This is Maria, go ahead.

Low voices and radio noise during very long question.

Tropp: It’s a long one.

Jones: It’s a negative copy, get out of this shit (unintelligible)

Low voices and radio noise.

Radio: —he says that he has letters from your father, do you copy?

Tropp: She has letters (Unintelligible word) her father.

Katsaris: She has letters from my father, is that what I’m hearing?

Radio: —from you to your father, do you copy?

Katsaris: Roger.

Radio: He would like to know about (Unintelligible)

Katsaris: Negative copy.

Radio: He wants to know about those letters—

Tropp: —between those—

Katsaris: (Desperate tone) Shit, I was doing that to keep him off my back.

Jones: (Undertone) I— I— Other people told me, I should be civil to him, but I couldn’t take it anymore.

Katsaris: Uh, other people have told me that I should be civil to him, but I couldn’t take it anymore, do you copy?

Radio: Stand by.

Tropp: Not when it comes out after—

Low voices and radio noise.

Katsaris: Roger. Other people had told me, to be civil to him, but I’m—

Whisper: —tired—

Katsaris: —I’m tired of it, I’m really fed up with it. Over?

Low voices and radio noise.

Tropp: Civil, civil.

Jones: To be civil.

Katsaris: Civil. Civil. Do you copy?

Low voices and radio noise.

Katsaris: Roger, I am fed up. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Radio: You were fed up. (Unintelligible)

Low voices and radio noise.

Tropp: Let’s have a couple more negative copies, though, it looks like the band is really getting bad.

Radio: (Unintelligible) —question from (unintelligible) Progress.

Tropp: Negative copy and uh, who is the question for?

Radio: Uh, the question of Malone from the Progress.

Jones: To whom?

Radio: He wants to know about the Sly boys, Don—

Tropp: He wants to know about Mark Sly?

Female: Mark Sly.

Tropp: He wants to know what? Over?

Female: About Mark Sly?

Jones: Want us to get him?

Female: Want us to get him?

Tropp: Would you like up to get him?

Jones: Get Mark Sly. Mark Sly, immediately.

Tropp: Mark Sly. Would you like us to get him? Over.

Low voices and radio noise.

Jones: He talked to his mother and told her to get lost.

Tropp: (On mike) He talked to his mother and told her to get lost, over.

Radio: (Unintelligible) and get lost.

Jones: We’ll get him, we’ll get him.

Tropp: But we’ll get him. Stand by and we’ll get him. It’ll take a minute. Stand by. (Pause) Tell him to go on with any other question while we’re waiting.

Female: No (Unintelligible)

Low voices and radio noise.

Male: No, we could say he’s here now and get the question.

Jones: No no no no no.

Tropp: This is WB6MID Portable 8R3 with WA6DTJ, standing by.

Low voices and radio noise.

Jones: He’s watching a movie, just a minute, he’ll be here.

Tropp: Mark’s watching a movie, just a minute, he’ll be here.

Jones: Now he’s here.

Tropp: He’s here now, go ahead.

Low voices and radio noise.

Radio: Okay, never mind, never mind.

Jones: Okay, here, I— just for the record, just for the record. Tell— Tell— My mother, my mother (Unintelligible)

End of tape.

Tape originally posted November 1998

Originally posted on June 16th, 2013.

Last modified on December 18th, 2014.
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