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(Note: Transcript prepared by Seriina Covarrubias. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
(Tape runs briefly, unintelligible) (Tape edit)
Woman 1: Okay, now turn it off right now.
Man 1: (Unintelligible) you never had, you never had it (Unintelligible).
(Two brief exchanges, unintelligible) (Tape edit)
(Sound of windshield wipers for several moments; recording in a car)
Linda Amos: You don’t have a watch, do you?
Marceline Jones: Um-hmm. [Yes]
Amos: I wanted to see what time it is. Might be a good idea, you know?
Marceline: (Unintelligible) twelve, so seven o’clock it will be (unintelligible)-
Amos: How does this look?
Marceline: The one you fit, but sure you could sort of pull your- like this-
Amos: I’m not gonna button this button. How’s that?
Marceline: (Unintelligible) yeah. (Pause) Seven o’clock, they’ll be out.
(Sounds of car driving.)
Amos: She has any objections about the car, we’ll just talk to her outside. (Pause) She’s there. That’s her car.
(Car stops and is put into park)
Marceline: We got- (Unintelligible) in their car, if they’d feel better.
Amos: Oh, okay. (Pause) (Outside car) Hi, Clara.
Clara Phillips: Hi.
Amos: How are you?
Clara: (Unintelligible) (dog barks in the background). (Pause) Come on in.
Marceline: It’s (unintelligible).
Linda Swaney: Clara, you don’t want this one (unintelligible).
Clara: He’ll come back in. That’s (unintelligible).
Clara: They’ll get ya.
Marceline: Hi. They’ll get me, I’m not afraid of them. (Laughs).
Clara: They’re mean, mean, mean.
Swaney: Yeah. Sit down.
Marceline: You know I was- I haven’t got to talk to both of you for so long. For one thing, I felt like I really got to know you pretty well. You know, coming with me back and forth. Uh, yeah, I’ve always felt that Clara as a sister almost, you know. Down through the years, we’ve always been pretty close. I felt like I could kind of owed it to me to come see for myself, kind of see what happened, and I was telling Linda and she said, Well, I haven’t talked to them either.
Amos: I haven’t talked to you at all.
Marceline: (Unintelligible) you know I had, so probably we’d come and see (Pause) what happened? Uh- For one thing, I can’t believe that in the (unintelligible) round that we traveled between San Francisco and LA, that everything you told me was a lie.
Swaney: Linda, I- I can’t-
Marceline: I mean that I never would’ve believed if you wouldna almost taken your life for the cause (Unintelligible) what you said.
Swaney: I- I think I would have, Marcie, you know, if I would’ve really felt that there was a cause left and- and you know, I don’t think there is. Not out there. I really don’t. I think- I- I just don’t see the movement anymore there-
(Dog barks, growls)
Clara: All right, you two go out.
Swaney: (unintelligible) there- there’s no accomplishment in the movement.
Marceline: No accomplishment to see the people in the- in the – being helped in the court, the children are getting hope. The black women and men for the first time in their lives feel like men and women.
Swaney: No, I don’t.
Marceline: You, you don’t see that?
Swaney: No. Uh-uh [No].
Marceline: Well, I don’t know then.
Amos: Well, what did they have before? You know, I mean, I remember-
Swaney: What do they have now? What do they have-
Amos: They feel that they have a purpose, someone to care about them, that’ll fight for their children. They really do. I mean, if you- if you’ve had much chance to talk to them- When I talk to people, they- they feel for the first time that their lives have meaning. What- What did they have, you know, going to working on their knees day after day? They- They didn’t have-
Swaney: They’re still doing that, they’re still doing that, you know, and they’re dedicating their lives, and they’re giving it their all to something where nothing happens.
Marceline: Linda, it’s not time for it to happen and-
Swaney: When’s gonna be the time, though, when it’s gonna be the time?
Marceline: Well, it’s not the time when we’re not- I mean people aren’t- I think maybe we oughta go outside though and talk this out and talk about-
Marceline: -(Unintelligible, sounds like “something useful”). Could we go out?
Swaney: Yeah, well I don’t mind.
Marceline: Yeah? Or to sit in our cars (Unintelligible word as microphone moves) or whatever. ‘Cause I think, you know, I really think that uh, you have the (fades out as she moves out of range of microphone).
Clara: (Unintelligible) basically set in that car right there.
Amos: Yeah, that’s fine.
(Voices unintelligible as they enter a car)
Clara: (Unintelligible) He’s got a bone caught up between his two teeth. Take him to the vet last night, and the vet had to put him to sleep to get the bone out.
Several women: Oh (in sympathy)
Marceline: Who was that?
Marceline: Oh, poor thing.
Swaney: Yes, he was just tearing himself up trying to get it out.
Marceline: (Sighs) Well, for one thing, Linda, I think uh- I think I can really kind of understand, and I’m sure Jim gets very, very impatient. But you‘ve been at- at a disadvantage in that you haven’t been out in some of the meetings, and I think I saw more probably in the smaller meetings where I am, you know, in the San Francisco meetings and in the LA meetings, where there’s the less of the healing em- emphasis and more – because we’re more of a small family – more of the emphasis upon uh, human service and upon freedom. And of all the thing- all the things that I know, that you love and that Clara loves. I can’t believe, I just don’t believe that I could have been that brainwashed by you, all the miles I traveled with you. And I don’t believe that I didn’t know Clara. I don’t believe it, and uh, I can see, when we emphasize those things, that they do have more of a vision. And of course I’ve lived with Jim for 25 years, and I’ll have to be honest with you, I’ve said to him, “Jim, he who ler- lives to run away will learn to fight- live to fight another day.” But he has said, I cannot go, and I mean it, I swear on my Stephan [Jones], and Jimmy [Jones], and Tim’s [Jones] life, until every black person can go that I’m responsible for. (Pause) I- I- Iknow what his love is, and I believe you have the same love. But I think that uh, in the interim, it- you- we all tend maybe to get a little impatient and use our (unintelligible) to tend to hold things within you. When you can’t verbalize how you feel, well then, you know, it comes out in different ways.
Swaney: Yeah, I- Yeah, you’re right. I do hold things within me, you know, and I have done it- I’ve done it for quite a few years now, you know, and haven’t uh, verbalized my- my uh- (Pause) disbelief in a lot of things that going- that were going on. I- you know, I don’t think that I uh, (Pause) lost faith in a- in a cause or a vision, but I think that I mainly lost faith in Jim, and he is the cause.
Marceline: Well, now what- what did you lose faith in? In what part?
Swaney: Just in Jim, you know, in the, in the-
Marceline: What did he do that made you lose faith?
Swaney: Just the manipulation, the total manipulation everywhere. It just seemed like everywhere we went, you know, it was just manipulation. Manipulation on people within, mani- manipulation on people without, you know, and-
Amos: You know, I wish you would talked this over with him as you felt that, because it’s sad to-
Swaney: I have done- well, yeah-
Amos: You know what I mean. While you were there-
Swaney: (Unintelligible word)
Amos: Yeah, because it’s though- it seems like it’s out of proportion now.
Marceline: I had- I had, you know, of course, uh- Whenever I had a question, I always asked Jim, and you know that I am not one who follows blindly. I hope you know that about me. ‘Course you haven’t known me down through the years, but I am pretty much a free thinker and I- in all cases, I can’t think of any that he couldn’t give me an explanation, and his first and foremost thought was to- to build a protective wall around his family, and that’s not- I’m not talking about our family, I’m talking- you know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the whole church family.
Amos: He certainly doesn’t live a life that gives him any- uh, it- it- it-
Marceline: It’s drudgery. He’s going to drudgery. In the first place-
Swaney: See, I don’t think it is. I think he enjoys it. I think he enjoys –
Marceline: You really do?
Clara: I think he enjoys people worshipping him.
Amos: All right, but they don’t- but the thing is that he takes on people’s hostilities. I’ve- I’ve been there when people go up and say, I have gas, will you uh, take care of it. I have a key to uh- you’ve seen how people plague him with- not – you could have, he could be in- in the most intellectual sets, and people could uh, admire him but he- he goes to the people that are sort of the- the runts of the world. He lets people like uh, Joe Helle and people like that prance on in. He doesn’t pick out uh, people that worship him. He spends hours andhours with people that are not of any benefit to him for any glory.
Marceline: Yeah, there’s no place he couldn’t have gone.
Amos: But I, I think he-
Marceline: He coulda gone to the top of the political (Unintelligible under Amos)
Amos: God, anywhere if he wanted.
Marceline: -if he wanted and played that- that game. If you want to- if you talk about playing games, you know, he didn’t choose to play a game that would benefit him. Hecould’ve gone to the top, the political top.
Amos: He would’ve-
Swaney: It seems to me that’s the only place where anything could be done, though, you know, is, is-
Marceline: You can’t go there without-
Amos: But you have to compromise your soul.
Marceline: -compromising your soul.
Amos: He’s been offered- it, was it, wasn’t it?
Marceline: He was offered a 25,000 dollar job in Indianapolis to get him out of the Civil Rights course uh, Commission. He was making 7,000 dollars and he was offered 25,000 to be the head of the Chamber of Commerce in Indianapolis and turned it down, because they wanted him out. He was tackling Bell Telephone and all the big people. I’ve seen him down through the years turn down a lot of bribes to get to the top, because he could not compromise what he’s believed in before.
Amos: And it doesn’t make sense for him to spend the time doing the thankless things he does, really. I- I don’t see why he would do the piddly agonizing things he does that take so much time that- We don’t even have that kind of patience. But even now, what- what concerns me is that I feel there’s- that the conflict that’s being caused, like- like I really wonder if you have any association with [John] Biddulph, for instance, because I feel that- that there’re people that’re getting really frightened that people that apparently have talked to you, and they’re liable to turn against you as- as- as well and I feel that-
Swaney: People are getting frightened that’ve talked to me?
Swaney: Who’s getting frightened?
Amos: Jim’s keeping people, uh, trying to keep them calm.
Swaney: The only (Unintelligible word under Amos) that would be frightened would be Danny Phillips and that’s because he’s been set up to, you know, to come here and to place calls here, and we had a fat ass argument the other night, and I mean it was big and it was very heated. And you know uh-
Marceline: What do you mean?
Swaney: -Christine Lucientes was set up to call me and try to and, you know, try to uh, get me to say things to her. And that was a set-up, and Jim said it was a set-up. Now why set me up to get me to say things to people, when I didn’t say any- anything to Christine when she called me?
Amos: Well, I-
Swaney: And Danny was sent- sent up here, you know, to get to Clara because of- of the closeness there, and you know, things were said to him, but then took off again Saturdaynight, you know. And that’s what I get tired of, you know, being set up, having people call and- and trying to see what we’ll do.
Amos: Well, I have no knowledge of-
Marceline: Linda, have- have you gone and talked negatively?
Swaney: To who? To Danny. Yes.
Marceline: No, but I mean to others?
Swaney: No, I haven’t talked to any- I haven’t tried to, I see Dan Kutulas every day. I see Sandy Parks, you know, uh, maybe once every other week or so, you know, and she doesn’t notice a thing. I haven’t said a thing to that girl.
Marceline: Something came back to me, something about Ruth Kerns being sent away because she knew too much, that you had said that to someone.
Swaney: That I said that?
Swaney: I didn’t say that.
Marceline: You didn’t?
Swaney: But I do think Ruth Kerns may know a lot- m- may know a lot.
Amos: Of what?
Swaney: You know, just from- just from things she said-
Marceline: The fact is though-
Swaney: -down in Los Angeles.
Marceline: -I couldn’t hardly believe you would’ve said that because I remember a long conversation we had about Ruth Kerns, and you were very critical of her because of her disrespect to Jim. I remember that. And I think you know that the least-last thing that anybody would do, if he was the manipulator that you think Jim is, to send someone away that knew too much.
Amos: Um-hmm [Yes]. Which made sense.
Marceline: You know. So that made it pretty hard for me to believe but uh- but this came back-
Swaney: Yeah, but she was spreading it around, though, so it makes sense to get her out of there.
Clara: Yeah, maybe Jim didn’t know she knows as much as she did.
Amos: Well, who told her something?
(Women talk over each other)
Marceline: What I heard she said, you know, was that Jim sent Ruth- that she was sent away. I’m not sure that Jim- Uh- I’m not- I believe you if you say you didn’t say it, uh, sent away because she knew too much.
Swaney: Yeah, well, maybe that’s her feeling, you know. I don’t know whether or not that’s her feeling, but I didn’t say that she had said it.
(Women talk over each other)
Amos: Well, apparently what’s happening is that there’s a lot of people that- there- there’re people that are- are frightened somehow ei- directly or indirectly, maybe indirectly.
Swaney: Well, I got that through Danny that other night, you know, because he called to get it across to us, if we did anything, that the people are not gonna stand for it. That was one message that I got out of his phone call. (Pause) And we hadn’t done a damn thing then, other than I called Jim one day last week and told him that uh, they were getting phone calls down- down below, and Janet [Phillips] was very upset about it, and she believed with all her heart that she recognized Patty Cartmell’s voice.
Amos: Well, nobody’s called- nobody has called down-
Swaney: Well, that’s what Danny called to tell us Saturday night.
Amos: -but is absolutely- We’re not trying to stir up trouble with you.
Swaney: But it seems funny to me that they never got any phone calls until Jim found out where they were-
Clara: Jim called up my name and-
Swaney: -you know, and he had to do some investigating to find out where they were.
Amos: Jim would’ve called it- You know Jim would call. If he had wanted to call, he would call directly. You know that, because he’s called-
Swaney: No, I don’t know that. I don’t know that.
Amos: –you directly many times. And if he wanted to get them back, it’d be the m- most wise thing in the world for him to call directly. Why would he have to-
Clara: Janet- Janet and Faith [Kice] have done these calls theirself, and they know how they’re worked and how they do it.
Amos: Well, I want to- I mean- I- I don’t know about anything you’re talking about, but what- what you- maybe you-
Clara: And Janet recognized Patty’s voice, and I was down there and I picked up the phone and answered it myself one time. And her number is an unlisted number down there.
Marceline: Well, then, how-
Amos: How are we, how-
Clara: Patty knows how to do it.
Swaney: Patty knows how to get the unlisted numbers.
Clara: She knows how to get from the- she knows.
Swaney: But I felt- I- I felt that there m- there might be
Marceline: What part- What part-
Swaney: -some (Unintelligible word) to have some contact with the children, and I don’t want any contact with those children.
Amos: Well then, why wouldn’t Jim call directly? Why would they call in Annie Ruth? How would Annie Ruth help?
(Women talk over each other)
Swaney: -to investigate to try and find out where they were.
Amos: Well how would-
Clara: He promised us, he- when they first (Unintelligible word), he said, well, I won’t try to find out where they are. Let them be in peace. And then, when about a week before they started getting calls, that Jim called here and said yeah, I know where they are, they’re in Texas.
Amos: Well, he gets by revelation. I mean that uh, he- he didn’t have to try to get it.
Clara: He didn’t say he got it by revelation.
Marceline: (Calm) Okay, well, let’s- In the first place, I want to assure you – and I know – that Jim loves your children. All of them. Laura and all of them. And you know that to hurt a child would be the last thing in the world that he would do, or any of this. (Pause) Don’t you know that?
Swaney: My children were hurt before they left here.
Marceline: Who hurt them?
Swaney: I would say the cause hurt them, because I dedicated myself so much, that I split myself from them, and Denise was in agony–
Marceline: But you’re not with them now.
Swaney: – she was in total agony. I know I’m not, but I will be. And I will be therepermanently, and I’m gonna stay with them permanently.
Clara: That’s why we (unintelligible word under interruption) our life, so we can be with them.
Swaney: And they are looking forward to it. And that’s another thing Danny accused me of, poisoning those children’s mind, and those children have not heard one–
Clara: They don’t hear a thing about (unintelligible).
Swaney: -bad thing about the church.
Clara: They don’t (unintelligible)-
Marceline: Yeah, why didn’t- why didn’t you- why didn’t you- I- I knew- You know, youand I talked about the situation with Denise-
Marceline: -at uh- where was she? Helen’s [Swinney]. Helen’s.
Marceline: And uh, I mean I could- I mean I voiced some of the things I didn’t agree with, but I didn’t get the impression that you were that upset, that you wanted to move-
Swaney: Well, I didn’t realize- I didn’t realize what condition she was in–
Marceline: If you had said something, I am sure we would have moved her, you know.
Swaney: But she’d been moved around so much, you know, and there was no place else to send her besides Helen. Helen was the only one that offered, you know.
Marceline: Um-hmm [Yes].
Swaney: And I took her up on the offer because she did and she was-
Swaney: -the only one when-
Swaney: -Maxine [Swaney] wouldn’t. Denise wanted to go to Maxine-
Swaney: -and she wouldn’t take her.
Swaney: And uh-
Marceline: Well, one thing I want to say while I’m here, uh- You say that you’ve said nothing negatively, you know, and that you’ve- you’ve not done anything to jeopardize-
Swaney: We haven’t.
Marceline: -the children here.
Swaney: We told ’em a big fat lie to get ’em out of here.
Marceline: No. But as far- Have you- have you been telling our members here anything?
Swaney: No, I have not.
Marceline: You haven’t been talking (Unintelligible word)?
Swaney: Not one damn thing. No.
Marceline: Because I’ll tell you this much. I know this much about Jim. He would give his life to save and to protect the people that’re in this group. And he’d do it for you too, and he’d do it for your children. And I want you to know that. Anytime you need anything for (unintelligible)-
Marceline: -it is not cut, and I cannot forget what you’ve meant to me. Both of you. But if there’s anything– Jim will- Jim would give his life. What- what would you like for him to do? What would make you feel better and- or make you feel that you have been (sighs) -uh, what’s the word I’m looking-
(Women talk over each other)
Clara: We- we just don’t see him now as we did. We’ve lost all confidence in him.
Amos: Do you want him to die right now? Would that make you feel that-
Clara: That’s not the point, I mean. He built (Unintelligible word under interruption) the cause-
Swaney: I don’t think of him as a God.
Clara: -but then we saw underneath and he’s not what he built hisself up to be to us. To see him as a man, and that’s it.
Marceline: Well, look honey, Linda knows, and I think if you had been in some of the meetings – I’m talking about Linda Swaney knows – that in any group like this, he doesn’t like to be up there, but in any group like this, somebody has to call the shots. You know that. You know there’da been anarchy. There never would’ve been able to built any protection, if he hadn’t been uh, in a position where people would listen to him.
Swaney: But he calls the shots, and then he says he doesn’t call the shots. Like when- Okay, when I talked to him, you know, a couple of weeks after (unintelligible under cough), if there’s anything we can do for you, you know, if we can do anything financially. I asked him for one thing. He wanted to know if we can do anything financially. I said okay, yeah, and I gave him the figure. Next time I saw him, he wanted me to sign papers, one of the girls to sign papers, for past services rendered. A bunch of crap like that. Uh, you know uh- Told me I wasn’t gonna be taped when I was taped, uh- When I- I don’t care about that (unintelligible under interruption)-
Amos: That was Danny that did it, that was not Jim.
Swaney: But I don’t believe that. I don’t believe Danny Phillips was anywhere around that goddamn church. I don’t believe it. Because first of all, it was supposed to’ve been the meeting where there was just Jim, Carol [Stahl], and Sandy, and I, and then next thing, it’s the other meeting before that where we were all setting out in back. I don’t believe Danny Phillips was anywhere around there, I don’t believe he did the taping, I believe it was one of you-
Swaney: But I- that’s- you know, I- I expected it. You know, I said at the time, I said, well that’s okay, you know. I don’t care nobody has to prove- Uh- (Pause) But that’s all, and we asked to be left alone, you know, and then he gives me these phone calls, you know, testing me.
Marceline: Well, look Linda. It’s true that you have given a lot of service. It’s true that bothof you, and I believe that you believe whole-heartedly in what we stand for. I- I can’t believe any differently and I- I know that your children are never gonna be happy. Uh- Well, I don’t know that, but I- I’m sure that they know enough of what we stand for and we’re teaching what you stand for that they’ll be-
Clara: Well, right now they’re in an integrated school, they have black teachers where they live, its department’s full of blacks, and they’re making good grades. Laura’s made honor roll this time. She never made that here.
Marceline: Yeah, well, what I’m saying is- what– what can we do to recompense that would make you feel- What can Jim do? What can be done, do you want?
Swaney: Well, just- you know, just leave me alone. Don’t give me any more phone calls-
Amos: Well, we’re- we’re willing to and we- the only thing I’m concerned about is, I’m worried that if you speak of how you feel to- that- that- I don’t understand. I mean if you say you haven’t, okay, but if you have talked to people, you are so integrantly, you’re so involved in every part of it. You and- and uh, and uh, all the girls are- are so involved, and there’s no way that you couldn’t be implicated in what you say that we’re doing-
Swaney: Sure, I know that.
Amos: -and you’re gonna pull your whole family down.
Amos: No, I don’t know.
Clara: I see Miss Mitchell, and I- she doesn’t know a thing.
Amos: No, I’m not saying you have. I’m just saying that, I- you know-
Marceline: You haven’t told anyone about- anyone about any of the operations?
Swaney: No, I have not.
Marceline: Not anyone?
Marceline: Okay, because one thing I am concerned about. Of course, there are two facets of our church, as you well know, and we- you know that our main- main objective is to bring change, and Danny has really been involved in trying to bring change and be careful, you know. We don’t want to bring anything down on his head or any other people. You know.
Amos: ‘Cause some of the things he’s done that are in the avant garde, you know- you know what I mean.
Marceline: But- (Stumbles over words) This is the truth, the main reason I came here, is because I said I don’t believe that Linda Swaney (Pause) could keep her true self from me all the hours we traveled between San Francisco and LA. I don’t believe it.
Swaney: I did, though, Marcie, I did. I kept my true self from everyone for a long time.
Marceline: I don’t believe that.
Amos: That, that seems so hypocritical to me. (Unintelligible).
Swaney: Okay, I’m a hypocrite.
Marceline: Linda, I don’t believe that. (Emphatic) I don’t believe it.
Swaney: Well, it’s the truth, Marcie. It’s the honest to God truth, you know. I started losing- I- I- (unintelligible)-
Amos: But you don’t make any sense.
Swaney: I started losing (unintelligible) years ago.
Amos: I sat- I sat where you were, and you said you had no character. You said youweren’t going for the sake of your children, you were going for you. I heard you say that.
Swaney: (Unintelligible) lift up my ego with Jim Jones, yeah.
Amos: -that you were a capitalist, and that your ego, and- and now you’re sounding like you’re judging-
Marceline: (Unintelligible) your children.
Amos: -people like ah-
Amos: -you’re judging a group that has gotten people off Death Row. And what are you doing now? What for the sake of- of brotherhood? You say your children are integrated school. What are you doing, though, when the- if the country- the way it’s going, and you- I- surely you’re following the newspapers. What protection in their little school, what protection is that for them, when, with what’s happening-
Swaney: I’m not doing- I’m not doing a damn thing right now, Linda, and I won’t be doing a damn thing, but I bet ya I’ll be sitting here five years from now, and you guys will still be sitting in the same place.
Amos: But (stumbles over words)- this country is not sitting. It’s heading towards-
Swaney: That’s right. The country isn’t sitting.
Amos: What’s gonna happen? How are you gonna protect your children? Jim has-
Clara: And how’s he gone protect us?
Amos: He has- What about- what about what he’s uh, trying to do to protect them? Youknow some of the things he’s done to protect them.
(Women talk over each other)
Clara: What? That’s what we say, I mean what?
Amos: Well, you know some of the-
Swaney: No, I don’t know.
Amos: -attempts to-
Swaney: I don’t know.
Marceline: Well, for one thing I know – and I don’t think even knows how much – but there are funds put away for an exodus.
Clara: For who?
Marceline: For the whole group.
Amos: For everybody. If he wanted funds for himself –
Marceline: You know-
Amos: -he could have left a long time ago.
Marceline: You know what-
Amos: Why didn’t he then?
Marceline: He said to me, he said, Marcie- and you know, if anyone’s gonna get the axe, it’s gonna be him, it’s gonna be my husband that’s gonna go to prison, to jail for what he stands for. And I- He said (cries) you can go with the children, but I can’t leave until every one of these black people can go with me.
Amos: Why didn’t he go when he got the attacks from uh, [Lester] Kinsolving? Why did he stay?
Marceline: He said that to me so many times.
Amos: Why did he go through all that? Why- why has he stayed? Wh- uh-
Marceline: Sometimes it’s so hard – and I’m guilty of it too – it’s hard for us to imagine that anyone’s like that.
Amos: I think that’s the truth.
Marceline: Sometimes I’m projecting other people what’s in us, and I’ve done it, but I- he said that to me many, many times, and I’m-
Swaney: But who’s he gonna take with him, Marcie?
Marceline: -ashamed to admit that I’m-
Swaney: Who’s he gonna take with him?
Amos: He couldn’t have taken- if he wanted to take a few people-
Swaney: (Unintelligible) so many times he has gone- come- People have come and gone somuch, we don’t have any of the same people that we had, you know, a year ago.
Amos: What do you mean any of the same-
Swaney: They come and they go.
Amos: We have a basic group of people that’ve been here years, black people and- and people that’ve been here years.
Marceline: (Unintelligible) there are many that have been here for years.
Amos: My goodness, yes. How you found a group of- of thousands like our group has?
Marceline: Would you- would you want- uh, uh, wouldn’t you want him to take the people that’ve stayed for years and years?
Swaney: I’d want him to take the people that (unintelligible) believe (unintelligible)-
Amos: Then why didn’t he leave?
Swaney: -that get to go.
Amos: Okay, why didn’t he leave? With Kinsolving attacking, he could’ve taken a fewpeople and gone. Why didn’t he? He hadn’t- if he had uh, money, uh, why didn’t he do it?
Swaney: ‘Cause he’s still pulling money in.
Amos: Pulling money in. But it’s getting so hot, how’s he gonna uh- What makes the senseof pulling the- how much could he use? How much is he pulling in anyway? And what he- he never touches it. It goes to Eva [Pugh].
Amos: What does he have control of it? Has he used it for himself?
Amos: If he was so egomanic, why wouldn’t he enjoy some of it?
Marceline: Linda, were you there when-
Amos: Why wouldn’t he enjoy it now?
Marceline: -when he was planning to- when he made all those arrangements to get a plane, and he’s been looking to some other-
Amos: The buses? What about all those buses and spend money, when he could use it for himself?
Swaney: Yeah, but there’ve been other times they made arrangements when- when we were gonna get a plane, we didn’t get a plane. We were gonna get a ship. We didn’t get a ship.
Clara: We was gonna get a boat and we didn’t get a boat. We was gone get general hospital. We got money for that.
Amos: We tried. We made an offer on it.
Clara: And uh, people ask me, well, what happened to that money?
Marceline: Well uh-
Clara: I got three thousand dollars from (Unintelligible name) and uh-
Clara: -and I say, well, what happened to the money? Where’s the hospital?
Marceline: Well, we- Jim tried to get the hospital.
Amos: He did.
Marceline: I know he (unintelligible).
Clara: Well, where’s the boat? Where’s the airplane? Where’s the special bus to (unintelligible).
Swaney: See, I don’t believe that any of these things are gonna come about. I don’t. Just like I didn’t believe uh, when the Mert- when we started making plans for the Mertles [Elmer and Deanna Mertle] to go. I didn’t believe that they would ever go, and they didn’t. I didn’t believe when- when Archie [Ijames] and them were uh, getting set up to go to Africa to find a place there. I didn’t believe they’d ever go, and they didn’t.
Amos: One thing I want to ask you though-
Swaney: These things just don’t come about.
Amos: -one thing I’m concerned about is, are- are you- are you have any ties with Biddulph?
Swaney: No, I do not.
Amos: Because there are people in the church that’ve uh, gotten, you know, furniture and that, you know, Jim has kept people from making any negative comments on Biddulph. The only reason Biddulph is out now is because, you know, Jim has fought for him. You know that.
Swaney: Yeah, I heard about that.
Amos: Okay, well, what I’m concerned is uh-
(Women talk over each other)
Amos: -what uh, it’s gonna get really cloudy if there is any mixture there. ‘Cause there’re people in the group that, you know- you know-
Swaney: What’s that? I don’t understand- I don’t understand the connection of-
Clara: I don’t know where they are.
Amos: Well I (Unintelligible word)-
Swaney: -people getting furniture. What’s the connection?
Amos: Well, because he’s been charged with-
Marceline: (Unintelligible) with stealing furniture from a furniture company.
Clara: Well, what’d he do with it?
Amos: That’s- that’s what-
Swaney: What would he have done with it?
Amos: -well- Think about it, you know. I- But- No- Well, how do we-
Swaney: He’s gonna claim that the people in the church have the furniture.
Clara: I bought some furniture but I got (unintelligible) paid for it.
Amos: I know.
Marceline: Yeah, but he’s going to claim that-
Amos: But they’re claiming he did it on his own, I mean, that he-
Marceline: I got a television, too, and I paid him for it, you know.
Clara: You know that this is (Unintelligible name) furniture and I mean uh, (unintelligible)-
Amos: Well, you’re not the only one that has gotten furniture from him.
Clara: Yeah, Helen got a whole lot.
Swaney: Oh God, as long as (unintelligible).
Amos: But the thing is, they have a charge, and they were ready to prosecute him until Jim stepped in, and it’s gonna get very cloudy if that, you know, you’re involved, because they had- they were ready to get him. They- they put out an order to get him.
Swaney: No, no.
Clara: No, no, how would we get involved with them? They left afore we did.
Marceline: I’m only saying that it (Unintelligible word) get cloudy-
Amos: No, I just wondered if it- if it- if it was, I mean-
Marceline: -if- if uh, Jimmy- Jim- (laughs) Jimmy- I haven’t called him that since he was sixteen. (Sighs) Uh- We’re only saying that he’s the only protection that they might have-
Marceline: -so I believe you if you say that you’re not saying anything negatively, but if- if anything would come up, and Jim’s name were clouded in the community, he wouldn’t be any protection for John Biddulph, you know. And I don’t think there’s anything we can say to convince you otherwise. Uh- I- I know- I’ve never known Jim to make a decision just for himself and for our family, you know, we don’t have vacations or anything. It always- He always involves everyone else.
Amos: He sure- If he was pleasure-oriented or glory-oriented, that he sure wouldn’t live way.
Marceline: But I believe that you care enough about black people, and I think – as I’ve said before – if you’ve been disadvantaged, that you haven’t been able to be in some of the meetings where black people would stand up and say, for the first time since I met Jim Jones, I’ve feel like a man. Uh-
Amos: Or their- or their uh, kids out of jail. I mean, look at what’s-his-name, Melvin Johnson. What- He was ready, he’s a two-time loser. Now you can’t say Jim didn’t do something for him. And what glory did he get out of it? He went for hours of counseling (unintelligible).
Marceline: But that’s- Linda, I made up my mind back when Kinsolving was attacking us, and you know, everything just looked like (sighs) it was hopeless, and I thought, now the ultimate beautiful things can happen is that there’ll be complete change, we’ll have uh, socialism, we’ll have a- a beautiful heaven on Earth, and then the other – the very minorgood thing that we have and would be – that one child had hope where there was no hope. And I decided it was worth it. If one child had it. And I- I don’t think, you know, I- you- It’s awfully hard being a mother, I know, it’s a strong, strong nesting instinct, and I- I question whether you’ve done the best for your child, but every mother makes that decision. But Istill don’t believe that all these things you told me about- You told me one time that you’d go to a certain place if you had to. You know- Remember, I said, wouldn’t it be great if we could get- go some place and take all the children-
Swaney: Uh-huh [Yes].
Marceline: -and you said I’d dig ditches.
Swaney: I would. I’d be much happier out somewhere digging a ditch, you know. But I’d be doing something, you know, and I’d be doing-
Marceline: But not just any place, Linda.
Swaney: That’s right. That’s right. Not just any place.
Marceline: (Pause) ‘Cause I believe, that- that uh, both of you have, you know what westand for.
Clara: Have we got real socialism here?
Amos: Have you ever seen a place, though, where black and white could be, and yet you talk about a little school, but we have people now that first– for the first time, they can stand up in a- in a meeting and say their feelings or- or walk- and walk with people down a street and know that there’s a place here where their children are not treated disequally, where a cripple man like Joe Beam, he’s determined to write uh, ten thousand letters a year, and he- Where would a man like that go? Where would Joe Beam- Helle Beam? Where would a- a person like that? I mean I’m at- as a social worker, I see people coming in, and they have no housing. Their relatives don’t help them. They can’t go to school, and you don’t have an- an organization outside that’ll help them. You know what I mean, like our group, we’ll- we’ll get money together. Just uh, last night uh, when- what did they, they raise- gave some money for a lady because her payment was due on a house. They raised money right in the service and gave it to her, ’cause her house payment was due.
Amos: And- And where would you find that? I- I know as a social worker, Linda, the- the heartlessness of outside, and okay, right now you feel like you can give your children something, but what if you lose your job and- and I know the trouble about getting a job again, you know what I mean? You don’t know out there that anyone will care for you.
Marceline: Clara asked a question I think we should we deal with.
Amos: Oh, I’m sorry, I’m-
Marceline: That’s fine. It was good that you- You said, do we have real socialism here. (Pause) You consider-
Clara: Is everybody equal there? I mean does people have- Is it equal?
Marceline: (sighs) I can only say, you know, that- Yes.
Clara: Do you think Helen lives equal, same with Jackie [Swinney] or with uh, some of the black people.
Amos: You know, I’ll tell you, the black people, I’m-
Marceline: I’ll tell you one thing, an awful lot of black people live a lot better than I do.
Amos: Very (Unintelligible word)- Live a lot better than Helen.
Amos: Really. I know that’s true.
Marceline: You- If just one of you- You- you are a socialist.
Clara: I believe in socialism, yes, in equality, and that people have a right to choose [what] type of work they want, because they want to work there and not because of the money or anything, but ’cause it’s equal.
Clara: Because they love to do things like that. Like a doctor. He that wants to help people, not because they’s just gonna get rich.
Marceline: That’s true.
Clara: I believe in socialism-
Marceline: And we have- and we have youngsters-
Clara: -in everything equal.
Marceline: -in college that are working towards that.
Amos: Gosh, look at the dorms, yeah.
Clara: Yeah, but the kids work and pay for their-
Amos: They don’t- they can’t work and pay ’cause, you know, I know kids that try to-
(Women talk over each other)
Amos: No, but- but they can’t make it all. They can’t get a building, they can’t buy a building.
Clara: Well, I know the first, he went down, he and Dale put in twice as much as Mike Cartmell.
Clara: And Mike Cartmell-
Marceline: Okay, what is socialism?
Clara: -made twice as much as they did that summer.
Marceline: What is socialism? Well, if that happened, we should talk to Mike, we should (unintelligible) about that.
Clara: Mike (unintelligible).
Marceline: Socialism is to each- from each- according to his ability-
Marceline: –to each according to his need. I can only say this much. There’s a real effort-
Amos: Um-hmm. [Yes]
Marceline: -to bring equality. Uh, it’s pretty hard, and as you well know and Linda well knows, to keep on top of everything- because there’s an awful few people that do an awful lot (short laugh) of the work – you know that – and I’ve gone into situations that I knew were not, and I’ve talked to Jim, and very quickly it was corrected. It’s a matter of finding it and knowing that it was happening, you know. But I’ll say this much for Jim. He’s a socialist. (Pause) He’s a socialist. He has no greater love for the few that happen to live in our house and he- than the others out. The only problem is, he as one person can’t meet all the needs of the people. There are very few. He is an example of socialism, and hopefully we will become what he is, you know, and when that happens, it’ll be easier to bring equality, because there’ll be more hands and feet and legs to bring it about.
Amos: He’d do it right now, but you know, when you think about it- and trying to get the cooperation of people who’ve lived in a standard of life that’s totally capitalistic, and trying to get them to cooperate somewhat and give somewhat. You know what I’m saying? In other words, you wa- you accuse him of being a manipulator. If he was a total manipulator, he’d determine just how everybody lived. He’d say, look you gon- all gonna live the same way. But he’s trying to educate people as he’s bringing them into a situation where they can share, you know.
Marceline: I do think we need to uh- and I know this is what he wants when he sees children that don’t have clothing, but- and don’t have it as well as some others and-
Amos: He gave all his clothing away. He- after was furious, he went down and he said, go down-
Amos: You- you can look. He went down, he said, give it away. He- he kept, what, two pair of pants and two shirts, and he didn’t even choose which ones. Honest to God, I swear, he- they gave all his clothes away. Esther [Mueller] was furious. She said, you can’t do this, and he said, go ahead. (Laughs) He did. Honest to God.
Marceline: And most everything he has is something someone’s given him, or he just had for years and years and years and- He never goes (unintelligible). But anyway uh- (Pause) the one thing that I- I want you two to know, that no matter how much you say, I know that inside you, your- (Pause) you can’t get away from what we stand for. It’s there. And you may say, you- you may- you may’ve hidden your doubts from me, but you didn’t hide the true you from me. Not altogether, Linda.
Amos: And it’s hard. I can’t believe that, I can’t believe (unintelligible). I can’t believe it, I know.
Marceline: There’s too- there was too much going on. I’m not that much duped. Now if- if you did, talk about a manipulator, you top them, and I don’t believe you did. I don’t believe it. (Laughs)
Amos: Did you-
Marceline: Never in a million years (laughs).
Amos: Did you manipulate that one?
Marceline: That was uh- I think you oughta win an Academy Award, I really do. I think I’m gonna see your name in Hollywood.
Amos: I can’t understand it.
Swaney: (Unintelligible, sounds like, “Call me Sarah.”).
Marceline: I don’t believe it.
Amos: And Clara, I re- I mean, you know, I remember-
Marceline: As far as Denise, I’m sorry. I feel guilty about that, ’cause I feel that I should’ve been on- more on top of that. ‘Cause she had a- a bad situation there. In the first place, she was sent with Edith Cordell, and I would tell Edith to her face, you know, that she’s just not that wise, especially with adoles – this is putting it mildly – she’s not that wise with adolescent children.
Swaney: No, it goes back even further than that, you know. When I first, you know, moved out of the uh, (unintelligible name, sound like “File”) house when I lived in town and- and uh, let the File crew take them over. That’s when it uh- I think that’s when it began.
Amos: Do you- Oh-
Marceline: Well, I- I apologize to you for not being more on top of that. I- It just should scream, should scream louder.
Amos: I still-
Marceline: It wasn’t that we didn’t care, you know, and I know that doesn’t make you feel any better, but I do care a lot about youngsters, and Jim cares about youngsters, and an awful lot of people do, you know. (Unintelligible)-
Amos: I still wonder about outside that- It seems to me- You know, I’ve thought about this a lot, ’cause of my children, but uh, you can give them a lot of time and attention, but the environment outside is so corrupt, I mean I- I still believe you see that, you know what I mean, that what’s happening outside uh, uh, even with- Sandy and I were talking today, the abusive things we see that’s happening uh, to children, you know, the child abuse. Do you follow that much, the- they see a lot of sexual crimes on little children and stuff like that and-
Clara: I know there’re sex crimes on there too.
Marceline: Like what?
Clara: Well, Janet sure went through it enough.
Marceline: Like what? (Pause)
Amos: That’s incredible.
Marceline: You might as well still have, ’cause I don’t think that you’re gonna tell ’em anything I don’t know.
Clara: (Unintelligible) know it.
Amos: All I-
Marceline: I know this much. (Pause) I know this much, that I never felt that (slow, deliberate) my life was any more precious than Janet’s life, and she had no image of herself whatever. She didn’t even think she was a beautiful woman, which she is, a very beautiful woman.
Amos: That’s true, ’cause I remember when she called me-
Marceline: And the least I could do was to say, give her (unintelligible).
Swaney: (angry) But she didn’t get it. She didn’t get it. She had the worst image of herself right now.
Swaney: She hates herself for having sex with Jim Jones, and for having sex with him when, especially when uh- when you were around.
Clara: She loves you so much.
Swaney: She does.
Clara: And now that hurt her more, it- it hurt her as much to have sex with your husband as it would her own mother. I mean she loves you as much as she (unintelligible)
Amos: But- but she was willing to kill herself. I remember, I came over.
Clara: But not over that.
Marceline: He knew that I would-
Amos: No, but that- the thing was that the only one that could quiet her down was Jim. Iremember. I was here. Remember when- when I called, remember when I called your house and I came over-
Clara: Yes, but he didn’t have to make advances at her.
Amos: But no, no, he didn’t want to. The thing was, she wouldn’t quiet down.
Clara: She told me about it, she told me about it. I (unintelligible)-
Amos: You couldn’t quiet her down, Clara. Who did you get?
Marceline: I know I didn’t (unintelligible).
Amos: I remember, she had a scissors and- I remember.
Marceline: I was up there with her when she (Unintelligible word) –
(Women talk over each other)
Amos: And you know, he’ll do anything to keep her life going. What do you have? So she has a low self-image, but at that time, she was insane. I remember, Clara.
Marceline: What kind of advances are you talking about, honey? And- And I’m not- I’m not trying to get information, ’cause I know Jim well enough. I know. What good would it’ve done Janet for her to have to make the advances, or to say I’m (unintelligible). Don’t you think that he was trying build up her ego and let her see it-
Clara: I- She was here- Jim- Every boy that she ever had interest in, he’d down, he said they’re homosexual, even outside. I even-
Amos: Outside of-
Clara: You know what I mean? If you really want to date, go on outside, if there’s none inside-
Amos: ‘Course she didn’t (Unintelligible word)-
Clara: -I mean, for your own health, but-
Amos: She wanted to date- date Curtis, and nobody stopped her from dating Curtis.
Clara: She didn’t want to. Jim told her, to get him in the group.
Amos: No, she wanted to. I heard her, I swear on my children’s life.
Amos: I sat in the car when she told me how uh, how much she like Curtis.
Clara: Yes, I know she said-
Amos: And that one time, Jim said, be careful.
Clara: She left after Hammy, uh, she could have gone out with Hammy, he fell for her (unintelligible) take her.
Amos: Jim did not force her in any way, he-
Clara: No, he didn’t force her, but he-
Amos: Nor did he even push it.
Clara: -(Unintelligible word) all the others that she couldn’t, and he told her she’d never get married, to never expect it, and (Unintelligible word) a normal life, that that kid had no hope of a normal life, and then he- he takes advantage of her.
Amos: Do you know who she was attracted to, and she told me this, I swear on my children’s life? John Harris. And you know what he would’ve done to her? I swear, she told me she liked that body build and that she liked that guy.
Clara: She- she even likes black men, yes, but she wouldn’t have gone (unintelligible).
Amos: But you know what- yes, she told me, she was- uh, uh, liked him.
Clara: (Unintelligible word) boy, she could have married him. You know?
Amos: But there was some incident with a guy in college that Jim uh, protected her from. It was not because he didn’t want her, because he- uh, there was no feeling, that he wanted her to be happy, ’cause I remember with Curtis, I remember him saying, if she wants to, it’s all right, but she- you know, whatever she wants to do with Curtis. ‘Cause at one time, she even said I kinda feel guilty about going- uh, liking him, and- and I remember saying to myself, well, whatever you want, Janet, ’cause, you know, I thought on one hand, you know, uh, you can’t trust what a guy outside would do, and I- I didn’t want to encourage her-
Clara: Can’t trust them inside either.
Amos: Well at least there’s some control, you know, they don’t beat their-
Clara: (unintelligible) sex between man and wife, but everybody else is having sex with everybody else.
Amos: Oh, this group has less sex. I- I know people out there. They have less sex going around here than people outside. It’s incredible what they-
Clara: Jim said he had to have sex with Danny to keep him in.
Amos: I don’t know anything like that.
Marceline: I don’t know.
Swaney: Linda, you were in the meeting last Monday night (Pause) when he said that. He told Janet to face that-
Clara: Uh, I- I faced Danny with it, (Pause) and Janet just learned to steal, she’s learned to do things to get information for this group and stuff. What else could they learn outside besides dope?
Clara: (Angry) She has had sex, two miscarriages. What else could that kid go through? It’s a wonder she’s even got a decent mind on her.
Amos: (Unintelligible) Clara-
Clara: For an image- And Jim put up as God and then use her sexually. That’s worse than anything.
Amos: He saved her from suicide when he got that revelation about that uh, wall.
Amos: Why would he-
Amos: -do this-
Marceline: Wait, just a minute.
Amos: Yeah, I’m sorry.
Marceline: Now we’ve known down through the years that Janet was attracted to Jim. Now-
(Women talk over each other)
Clara: -attracted to her. She-
Marceline: Well. This- this is quite possible. And I have no strings tied to Jim, but I want to tell you honestly. Nothing was done for Janet-
(End of Side One)
(Side Two has muffled conversation, unintelligible, for twenty minutes)
Tape originally posted May 2009