Transcript prepared by Fielding M. McGehee III. If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
Charles Garry: –press conference, and uh, the purpose of this press conference is to- for you to meet some of the people who have been to Guyana, to Jonestown, many recently, people who are not members of the Temple, and uh, you’ll be able to ask whatever questions you feel free to uh, ask, and I would like to introduce uh, uh, Mrs. [Barbara] Moore and Reverend [John] Moore on the end over there. And uh-
Female reporter: Could you identify which ones are members of the Temple and which ones aren’t?
Garry: Yes, I will.
Female reporter: Okay.
Garry: And uh, there’s uh, Mrs. Davis- who is it, is it your mother (unintelligible word) sister you’ve got there?
Mrs. Davis: My daughter and my grandson are there.
Garry: I see. And uh, are you a member of the Temple?
Mrs. Davis: I am a member of the Temple.
Garry: And uh, Mrs. Prokes uh, Ms. Prokes whose brother is Mike Prokes who’s there. Are you a member of the Temple? And uh, Mrs. Prokes who is the mother of Mike Prokes, uh, who is one of the active members of the Temple and who’s now in Georgetown, and he just recently left Jonestown. And uh, uh, Ms. Collier who is a member of the Temple, and Reverend [Guy] Young, you’re a member of the Temple?
Reverend Young: Yes, I am.
Garry: And uh, and uh, Jean uh-
Women’s voices: Brown, Jean Brown.
Garry: Jean Brown and (unintelligible word) and- and Jim McElvane, both members of the Temple, and I am the attorney for the Temple, and I am not a member of the Temple, and uh, I think we ought to start out first by having uh, Reverend uh, John V Moore, who is formerly a Methodist superintendent who is now an active- has an active uh, pastorship I believe, what’s that, Reno?
John Moore: That’s right.
Garry: That’s where this den of inequity is.
Garry: And uh, and he just recently came from uh, Guyana. Uh, tell us about it uh, your experiences there.
John Moore: I- I am John Moore. I am the pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Reno, Nevada. We have two daughters [Carolyn Layton and Ann Elizabeth Moore] who are members of the Temple. Obviously my wife and I are not members of the Temple. We uh, (aside) Do you want (unintelligible)
Barbara Moore: No.
(People whisper near mike – unintelligible)
John Moore: One of our daughters, our oldest daughter has been there been a member for perhaps eight years and our youngest daughter for about six years. One, the older girl, is a teacher, and the younger girl is a nurse. We were in Jonestown uh, just a few weeks ago. We were a week in Guyana. We were several nights at Peoples Temple house in Georgetown, and we were waiting transportation into the project – the agricultural project – and then uh, we were in the project itself uh, for three days, and the two words that come to my mind and uh, immediately while I was there and as I tried to reflect on my experiences were “impressive” and “amazing.” Uh, it is- it almost boggles my mind to see that great clearing and to understand how so much could have been done in the relatively short period of time. Uh, at least uh, several years, but the last year in particular when there’s been a large number of people there. My wife can share her impressions because she reacted and responded in the same way.
Female reporter: Sir, did you ever get any impression that anybody was being kept there against their will as charges have been made?
John Moore: Uh, neither in Georgetown at the house where there are probably 25 or 30 people living, coming and going with total freedom, nor at the project itself, did we have – did I have, I’ll let my wife speak for herself – did I have any feeling that anybody was being restrained or coerced or intimidated in any way.
Female reporter: You were allowed to talk to all of these people?
John Moore: We talked to anybody and everybody that we wanted to.
Female reporter: And they told you they were happy, content, and glad to be there?
John Moore: Well, it was so obvious, it seems to me that- you know, I didn’t go around with the intention of asking people, are you happy, are you not happy, uh, we talked about what they were doing and what they were interested in, and all of them were engaged in some activities or work which uh, was particularly important for them. They were about business which they regarded as important.
Female reporter: Were you allowed to tour the entire facility?
John Moore: We, we wore ourselves out walking around the facility. Uh, I think about a thousand acres, eight hundred acres have been cleared, and it’s in the midst of the jungle and that’s- that’s part of what was impressive that- and that all except part of the land uh, which has not been finally cleared has been planted with various crops. We went to the piggery, the chickery, through the uh, what, to the dairy to the mill where they uh, were refining uh, the flour the- the tubers from the cassava. We- we were first impressed – uh, certainly I was with seeing the older people at the time we arrived about noon engaged in calisthenics with an instructor, uh, keeping their limbs and joints and muscles limber and then we went to the nursery, the child care center.
Female reporter: Can I ask you-
John Moore: I- I had a feeling of uh, freedom, but Barbara, how about you?
Barbara Moore: I did, too.
Female reporter: Can I ask you first why you went there?
John Moore: We went there to see our daughters. We-
Female reporter: Were you concerned about them?
John Moore: Of course. We love our daughters, and uh, we’d been separated them- from them. We haven’t seen them. We have a grandson there. We haven’t seen them for a year.
Female reporter: Do they have any intention of coming home?
John Moore: They have no intention of coming home, certainly at this time. They’re- They went- They’ve become a part of Peoples Temple because they chose to do that. That was their own free decision.
Male Reporter: How old are they?
John Moore: One is thirty-three- we can talk about children, they’re adults, they are both adults. Uh, the oth- uh, she will be thirty-three this summer and the other is twenty-four.
Female reporter: Did you find that any other people there wanted to leave the Temple, any of them having any intentions of coming back to San Francisco?
John Moore: Well, I would expect that in a uh, a community of over a thousand people that they’re coming from the United States and going into an agricul- cultural project such as that, that there would be people who would not uh, find that to their liking and who would want to come back and expect to come back. I didn’t talk to any particularly who- who wanted to. What, what did impress me was that people who were living in Georgetown, in the house there, were all eagerly waiting for the time when they could return to Georgetown- to Jonestown and the project itself.
Female reporter: Did you talk to uh, Reverend Jim Jones while you were there?
John Moore: Yes.
Female reporter: And did he express any concern about the charges being made back here?
John Moore: Yes, he did express concern. He’s concerned that uh, of what they are trying to do and of the time and the energy and expense involved in what he regards as totally unfair, unfounded attacks upon Peoples Temple and the project.
Female reporter: But did he say anything about coming back himself to defend themselves?
John Moore: No, he did not s- speak of that.
Garry(?): Why don’t you give us your impressions, uh, Mrs. Moore?
Barbara Moore: Uh, my impressions are having just experienced uh, our visit there, that this is a beautiful heroic creative project. It is absolutely miraculous. There are excellent medical services, excellent educational services, and it’s a community of caring and sharing with an- an added dimension and this dimension I would say is love, if you want to use that term. Uh, in a sense, it reminds me of uh, a New Testament community in the purist sense of the word, in the love and concern for all that we observed, and with complete freedom for creativity, those who want to uh, farm are uh, are farming, and those who wish to teach, teach. Uh, those who like to cook, cook. They have an excellent nutritionist who is working scientifically all the time to discover new uses for the indigenous uh, plants and growth there, and is in contact with the Guyanese experts uh, to discover new and useful uh, uses for these various uh, crops there. And that was very impressive to me. Uh, it was most uh, impressive to see the elderly people, the older folks who had their- their neat little yards, their little white picket-type fences and uh, their opportunity to take classes if they wished to or to garden or to just sit. They also have a lovely library of over eight thousand volumes from poetry to how-to-do-it, and uh, this is most impressive, that one could sit and read.
Female reporter: Mrs. Moore, what was your initial feeling when your daughters said that they would uh- they were going over there and that they were members of People Temple? How long had they been in Peoples Temple?
Barbara Moore: Let’s see. I think John said that one of our daughters has been with Peoples Temple about eight years, is that correct?
John Moore: That’s close enough.
Barbara Moore: And the other one –
Male reporter: Which one, the older one?
Barbara Moore: The older one, and the other uh, has been with uh, about five years. And my initial reaction- As- as one of the original Jewish-type mothers was, I would rather they would be closer to me, but I think my reaction was uh, that of anyone whose children have moved a long distance. I would be just as uh, lonely at times as if- if they had moved to France or England.
Female reporter: Well, when the charges were raised about People Temple and, of course, the project in Guyana, did you- were you ever concerned about it or had- uh, did you think that they knew what were doing and that they were dedicated to their church?
Barbara Moore: Uh, yes, there’s always a question in one’s mind when you read charges. This- this bothers one, and yet if one is concerned and knows the people involved and is familiar with their integrity and the kind of persons- uh, I don’t think that that- that the charges uh, bothered me so much as having my children so far away.
Male reporter: Did Peoples Temple pay your expenses to come down to Guyana?
Barbara Moore: Definitely not. No, we went on our own. This was a vacation.
John Moore: We paid our way to- here today too.
Barbara Moore: Yes. Yes.
Garry: By the way, until I saw you sitting at this table, had I ever seen you or have ever discussed this matter with you at any time?
John Moore: No, we’ve never met you nor talked with you.
Garry: Thank you.
Female reporter: Could you tell us what you know about how the place works in terms of uh, people doing different chores? You said people who want to farm, farm and- and uh, things like that, but are they paid for their labor?
Barbara Moore: Well, would you like me to answer, or J- or John? I think John is, is uh, more proficient in answering any technical questions than I am, I- No, they are not paid in a cooperative living situation, were they?
John Moore: It is- it is a cooperative, and as far as I know there’s no exchange of money uh, within the project itself. Uh- The food is provided for everyone, there is medical care for everyone, there are educational opportunities for everyone, uh, there are work needs and opportunities for members of the community. And uh, I think obviously those people with certain skills and experience move into those fields. If it’s a tool and dye maker in a machine shop, or if it’s a- a man in agronomy, they work in those particular fields. On the other hand some people who’ve not had uh, experience in specific fields- One of the great things I think is the opportunity for some of the younger people particularly to be learning skills which were- That opportunity is not present here.
Male reporter: Do you recall-
Female reporter: What-
Male reporter: Excuse me. Can you recall anything uh, you don’t (unintelligible word) around the project, how happy they were perhaps? They describe it in any way?
John Moore: Well, they always write about it in ecstatic terms, uh, don’t they, dear?
Barbara Moore: Yes, they said they really weren’t interested in returning to the United States.
John Moore: Yeah, that was- you know-
John Moore: That was a little hard to take, but that’s what they said, and that’s what they feel, and that’s uh, where they are.
Female reporter: Are there uh, generally older, younger or is there widespread uh, in terms of ages?
Barbara Moore: Are you talking about my children or the community?
Female reporter: No, the community.
Barbara Moore: It’s a complete city of, uh- and one thing they do encourage is the nuclear family. There are families there with children, and you can choose to have your own home, or if you’re a single person, you may live in a dormitory, whichever you prefer. But they have a lovely nursery, for instance, they have a nursery uh, for toddlers and of course the fine educational set up.
John Moore: They have probably 35 uh, preschoolers, I don’t now how many they have in school uh- That’s- They have newborn babies – several babies have been born there – they have a day care or nursery. The parents work, and there are those who are caring for them. And then they have the older people. And that’s really a part of the beauty of it, as we felt-
Female reporter: I’m rather confused about just how many different uh, projects that you called in that Peoples Temple has there? You mentioned Johnstown but-
John Moore: Jonestown-
Female reporter: Jonestown.
John Moore: The agric- the agricultural project. Its called Peoples Tem- As we- I remem- recall the sign going in, Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, the other sign Jonestown. It’s all the same. The agricultural project is at Jonestown. The house in- There is a house in Georgetown uh, and as people come into the country, they of course come to Georgetown.
Male reporter: How many buildings are there?
John Moore: That’s uh- I would- I could only guess uh, you know, maybe 25 places where people- But this is just a guess, and it could be way off. The- The buildings are modest. That’s tropical climate, and uh, for example, where they cook and where they eat, there are roofs to protect them from the rain, but the sides are all open, uh, there’s a uh, a- a clinic, that is, the doctor [Larry Schacht] has his office, there’s a building for nursing supplies places for people to sleep, they have a whole kitchen area, the dining area, there’s a- they have a- a mill, a lumber mill, a machine shop uh, (unintelligible word) Then, in addition to that, of course, they have the- the buildings for uh, for the cows, for the pigs, for the sheep and where they do their grinding of the cassava.
Reporter: Do you have any uh-
Barbara Moore: There’s more buildings than that. Excuse me.
John Moore: Well, I s- thought of residences, but go ahead. Your-
Barbara Moore: Oh-
John Moore: Go ahead, ’cause your (unintelligible word) is better than mine.
Barbara Moore: Well, there- there are the shops and, and the uh, offices buildings, but there must be, oh, a hundred or so –
John Moore: Well, that could be.
Barbara Moore: And because of the residences, the homes that they live in, as well as the uh, I really couldn’t even hazard a guess. It’s uh, it’s a whole town.
Female reporter: You sound very impressed. Would you think it’s rather utopian there?
Barbara Moore: Oh yes, oh yes, definitely a lovely utopian community-
Reporter: Did you get any sense of how the authorities are (trails off- unintelligible)
John Moore: Uh, we didn’t- I don’t- We didn’t talk, as I recall, with any government authorities, but it’s my understanding that the school is accredited by the government of Guyana, that they have had uh, people in the department of agriculture in their agricultural stations there working with the- with the people of the project, and certainly they’re supportive of the health center. There’s no question in my mind but that the health center is the best facility in that whole region in Guyana. There is a government uh, I think, nurse practitioner in Port Kaituma a- a few miles away, but simply does not have even the personnel, their skills, nor the equipment that they have, and those- the health services are provided uh, for Amerindians or people who live in the community as well as members of the- the project itself.
Male reporter: What did you say the name of your church was in Reno, First Unitarian?
John Moore: No, First United Methodist.
Male reporter: First United Methodist.
John Moore: First United Methodist Church in Reno.
Male reporter: Reverend Moore, as your wife said, it was uh, so utopian there, seeming so utopian, why these negative stories it seems (unintelligible over a cough) that made you want you to go down there? Uh, why are the stories coming out like that?
John Moore: Oh uh, uh- First we did not go down there because we were disturbed by stories. We- we’ve lived with criticism our children have been involved for a number of years and there have been criticisms through the years of Peoples Temple. We went down there, because we love our children, and we wanted to see them and our grandson, we believe in them and their integrity, and that they’re doing what they want to be doing. That’s uh- that’s why we went- went down there and wh –
Male reporter: (Unintelligible interruption) Why people’s stories uh, negative stories- (unintelligible)
John Moore: Uh, uh, obviously people have different opinions. That is, we as parents have made our decisions as to how to relate to our children, and when they become adults- and our youngest daughter was just out of high school when she went to live with her sister and chose to become a part of Peoples Temple. And as they made their choices to- about their lives, we have supported them in the choices which they made. Other parents, I suspect, have more difficulty, and uh, partly- perhaps my own history with my own family, but I (unintelligible) my parents related to me that I can relate to my own children in that way. So that I- When- If we’re thinking of other parents and their concern about their children, I can understand in a sense that uh, other parents are very different from us in what- how they relate, and have through the years I presume related to their children. In terms of people who are not parents that are critical, uh, I don’t know what their reasons might be. I think generally uh, the media is concerned with what is newsworthy, uh, whether that’s good or bad and what sells papers. That’s my bias. And uh- And in fact, you know, that’s whatever uh, seems gets people to read or hear, that’s what, uh, that’s what gets in print, so I suspect there are a variety of reasons why people are critical.
Barbara Moore: I think it’s fear too, a fear of- of something that is unknown. It’s a mystery.
Male reporter: But uh, Peoples Temple has always been open to you with information about-
Barbara Moore: Absolutely. Yes. Always.
Female reporter: You may have said this already before. The population was around a thousand. Is that right, or do you think it’s greater than that?
Garry: Well, we- it was about nine hundred uh, when I was there in October. I was there for four days too. And uh, now there is almost fifteen hundred uh, people there. I think about six or seven hundred uh, people have gone there since I was there in October.
Female reporter: About fifteen hundred, then?
Garry: Yes, and I- I might say that on the uh, house uh, they can- they put up a cottage in one day, it was all prefabbed in this mill that uh, Reverend Moore talked about. I saw them put up- put up a cottage in one day from- from the ground on up ready for occupancy. You might also- uh, I would also like to point out that the uh, uh, there were three wells that have been- three wells have been dug- uh, water is all over the place uh, both in the uh, in the kitchen area where the uh, pigs are kept. By the way, that’s almost a colony itself. That area is like three miles away from where the cottages are, so that you don’t have the benefit of the odors and whatnot. But where the pigs are, it reminded me of a very fancy uh, uh, building in a state fair.
Barbara Moore: Um-hmm.
Garry: Uh, didn’t it remind you of that, and was Charlie the pig there- still there?
Barbara Moore: Yes, Charlie and Ben.
Garry: My namesake.
Garry: And uh- and uh- For instance the chickens- we had- we had uh, chicken dinner one night- I think it was on a Thursday- and they butchered- I don’t think they use the word “butcher” but whatever the terminology is- they had 250 uh, chickens that they cooked that night. I might also point out that the kitchen is a universal kitchen and it uh- and it feeds the entire group and there’s- uh, everybody eats the same thing. And uh, the men- menu is different each- each and every night. We had pork chops one time, and uh, I- I- I uh, apologized to Charlie the next day, because it uh-
Garry: It was a matter of necessity, and I was particularly impressed. The day I got there- I got there on Wednesday late in the afternoon. I flew in from uh, Georgetown in a government plane, uh, within about an hour and half uh, a bumpy ride on a bus into uh, Jonestown. And I was impressed by the medical center particularly. All of the older citizens live right around the medical compound. Now this medical compound is something that you have never seen, and you probably won’t see unless you go there. It’s a- it’s almost a- it’s almost a miracle. This young doctor who was trained uh, from the Temple- graduated with high honors at the University of California in a uh-
Garry: Irvine. And uh, has performed miracles. No one goes there without first being thoroughly physically examined. Were you given a physical examination?
John Moore: We weren’t, but we heard many had been.
Garry: I- I went through a physical examination. Uh- For one thing uh, Jim Jones wanted to be sure that his lawyer was going to live long enough to represent him, and I think there was kind of a selfish interest there. Uh, but the doctors said to me that people who come there with high blood pressure- most of them come there with high blood pressure, uh, particularly the older citizens- and he said, we test their blood pressure three times a day. Morning noon and ni- night. And he said after the first thirty days, the blood pressure goes down at least twenty percent without any medication, just the diet and the atmosphere and the relaxation. And- And another thing that particularly impressed me was that the senior citizens cottages are right around the compound, that every morning at eight o’clock, someone knocks on the cottage door, and says, did anybody have any difficulties last night? Can you imagine the feeling of security that these folks have, to feel that somebody cares for, and is interested in them, and will do things for them? Uh-
Male reporter: Charles, I’m sorry I don’t mean to (unintelligible word)- You got others who’s saying the same thing as uh, Reverend Moore?
Female reporter: Could we get to another question –
Woman’s voice: Yeah.
Female reporter: First about Kathy Hunter?
Woman’s voice: (unintelligible word) that again, Mr. Garry.
Garry: Feel, feel, feel free. Now, Miss- Mrs. Davis, she has children there, uh, Vicky Prokes has a brother there, Mrs. Prokes has a son there. Feel free to ask any questions you want.
Female reporter: Mr. Garry, one question. On a- Recent days, there’s been a whole bunch of talk about Kathy Hunter, a reporter who allegedly has been harassed by members of uh, from the uh, uh, project, because she might bring back negative stories about it. Now is this press conference in order to uh, being held to counter those kinds of negative reports you think she might bring back? And what about those- those allegations?
Garry: Uh- In the first place- In the first place, let’s get a few things straight. I’m- Ms.- Mrs. Hunter telephoned me one time, and she said, I am a very close and intimate friend of Jim Jones. And I would like to go there. I said, if you’re a close and intimate friend of Jim Jones, I said, I would suggest you go down to the Temple in San Francisco, and talk to Jean Brown or, or uh, Tim Clancy or anybody else, and have a telephone conversation, not a telephone but a uh, a uh, short-wave discussion with him, and I said, uh, I’m sure it can be arranged. I never heard another word from her. The only other time I heard, I heard from her husband about ten days ago. He said, my wife is down there someplace, and I don’t know where she is. Now we were quite concerned about this, so we con- contacted the Guyanese government as to where she was, whether she was there, whether she wasn’t there. The Guyanese government informed us that she came there without- under false pretenses. She was not invited there by the Guyanese government. And the Guyanese government resented the idea of her coming down there and making uh, representations. She made a representation that the premiere of Guyana [Prime minister Forbes Burnham] had invited her, and uh, they completely disowned that. And that’s all we know about it.
Female reporter: Do you know if she ever got into the project?
Garry: No, as far as I’m concerned, she never got into the project. Had she gone to the project, she would have been welcomed by Jim Jones, because there was a personal relationship between Mrs. Hunter and Jim Jones. As a matter of fact, Jim Jones has befriended her and her family and- over a long period of years.
Female reporter: Do you anything about the story of her being in protective custody?
Garry: No, I don’t know anything about it. All I know what the Guyanese uh, representative, the charge of affairs, has told us, and that is that uh, uh, said the charge of affairs the honorable minister Vibert Mingo, uh, he’s the minister of home affairs of Guyana, he said quote, we’ve investigated and found her – that’s Kathy Hunter’s – statement to be totally untrue, that she lied to gain entry- entry into the country, which is a violation of our law. End of quote. So that’s the official –
Reporter 1: Can I talk to Jones or anybody there to find out uh- (Unintelligible)
Garry: No one has contacted uh, Reverend Jones, and as far as Jim Jones is concerned, he would’ve been very happy to have her there, because there’s been this long relationship over a period of many, many years. Ah, there’s personal problems with Mrs. Hunter that I would just as soon not have to say.
Male reporter: Uh, Mr. Garry, uh, she’s known Jim Jones, Reverend Jim Jones- (unintelligible as Garry talks over him)
Garry: For many years.
Male reporter: For many years.
Male reporter: The family. Was she involved with Peoples Temple at any time?
Garry: Well, I don’t know any of the details, except that there were things that Jim Jones has done for her children, her grandchildren.
Jean Brown: Um-hmm.
Garry: Uh, t- tell us Jean.
Brown: Uh, well, Kathy Hunter’s been of course a long time resident of Ukiah where the Peoples Temple- we had a church up there for many years- uh, Jim paid for the birth of her grandson where her own children were in financial straits, and he’s supported her in unpopular causes that she took on over the years, uh-
Male reporter: Did you say-
Brown: It’s been a very strong-
Male reporter: –she was- she was a long time resident of Peoples Temple?
Brown: No, no, of Ukiah.
Male reporter: Oh, oh.
Brown: Her husband and she live in Ukiah. They have the Journal –
Male reporter: Oh, yes, that’s right, uh-
Brown: She’s a reporter. She’s recently –
Female reporter: Was she ever a member of Peoples Temple?
Brown: No, she’s never been a member. Just had an affinity, I think, a real affinity for both Jim (unintelligible word)
Garry: They’ve been good friends.
Brown: Um-hmm. He invited her to come. He invited her to come out to the project.
Male reporter: So, he- he did talk to him on the radio here?
Brown: I defer the question to Mr.- Mr. Garry, though, about the- the personal –
Garry: No, I don’t think they spoke to each other on the radio, at least that was my- visit, but Jim was expecting her.
Female reporter: So you say she went there without an invitation by Jim Jones?
Garry: Ye- uh, no. Just opposite. Jim Jones had given her an extended welcome at any time to come down –
Female reporter: In- okay, but not in this recent (unintelligible under Garry)-
Garry: But she never made any plans to see Jim Jones, she never talked to Jim Jones, it was never cleared with the uh, the Guyanese government. You got to get permission to go there, I’m sure that- The Moores went there, you had to get uh, permission from the Guyanese government to come there.
John Moore: Well, we simply came through customs. They uh- they were- wanted to know where we were going to be staying, and we said we were going to People Temple, and the immigration officer uh, recognized that, Jonestown immediately. In fact, when we said Jonestown, he said Peoples Temple and wrote that on our-
Male reporter: (Unintelligible word) So –
John Moore: -document.
Female reporter: Well, that’s all she would have had to do then, is go through customs, right?
Male reporter: If there’s any harassment of uh, Mrs. Hunter at all, then it would be the Guyanese government.
Garry: I don’t think there was any harassment by the Guyanese government either. (Pause) Uh, there’re some personal things that were said to me by her husband and I would just as soon not have to mention this, not uh- These things happen to people and I uh-
Male reporter: You are creating a strange mystery by even bringing it up? Which leaves us in a, a-
Garry: Well (Unintelligible)
Male reporter: –some sort of quandary. Uh-
Garry: I am told that she has an alcohol problem. I- It’s been told to me by her spouse and been told to me by others who know her.
Female reporter: Could you repeat what the pretensions were that she went in there for, as you understand it?
Garry: I didn’t even know she was going to be there. I- I understood that she was going to talk to Jim Jones and work out the details on her going down there. The next-
Female reporter: But didn’t you say that when she entered the country, she said that uh, she was there by invitation of a minister?
Garry: She- She said that uh, that the prime minister of Guyana personally invited her to come down there, that she talked to him. The prime minister of Guyana knows nothingabout the- this so-called-
Female reporter: They have- they also have denied that they have her in protective custody?
Garry: Yes, as far as I know. We- we just- we found out- and I personally uh, contacted our lawyer today there to find out what’s going on. And uh, this is the report that we’ve gotten.
Female reporter: When did you get this report?
Garry: I got this this afternoon.
Female reporter: This afternoon.
Male reporter: Could you tell us again the- the name that you said, the minister of home affairs?
Garry: I can give you the whole details. (Unintelligible)
Male reporter: Could you spell his name for me?
Garry: His name is Vibert V-I-B-E-R-T Mingo M-I-N-G-O.
Male reporter: D- I- D as in dog, or B in boy?
Male voice: Which?
Garry: M like in Mary, I like in item, N like in Nancy, G like in George-
Male reporter: No, the first name, first name. (Unintelligible)
Garry: V like in victory, V- I-
Male reporter: Then D?
Garry: No. V-I-B– B- like in boy E- R- T.
Jim McElvane: You will find a copy of the things that are being said out on the table just outside the door (unintelligible) for later on.
Garry: You won’t have to write this down we have it xe- xeroxed for you.
Male reporter: I’m- I’m confused on a point. You’re- you’re talking about this minister’s name that uh, she lied to gain entry into the country, and yet the uh, the Moores were just saying, no, I just went through customs, like they go for any number of- as you enter any number of countries, but uh-
Garry: Before you go there, you have to- somebody has to know that you’re coming there and the circumstances that you’re going there.
Male reporter: You’re talking about the country as a whole, now?
Garry: Yes. Yes, the government of Guyana has certain immigration and visiting uh, rules and regulations, and uh, before I went down there in October uh, the Tem- the Temple people in Georgetown made arrangements and said that I was coming down there, so when I arrived there, all I had to do was to tell the customs- As a matter of fact, we were six, seven hours late because there was a strike at Kennedy, and I was six or seven hours late when we landed there about three o’clock in the morning, an ungodly hour to get there.
Female reporter: Reverend Moore, were those arrangements made for you as well?
John Moore: I don’t- I am not aware of any arrangements were made. However, our daughters and the Peoples Temple knew that we were coming and they may have, but at least when we- I’ve reported how we came there.
Female Reporter: When did you go?
John Moore: Uh, we went uh, we were in Geor- in uh, Jonestown itself two weeks ago, and we got into Guyana on Wednesday about, whatever that was, the eighteenth of- what is that, about the seventh- the ninth of May, I think, and we were there for about a week.
Male reporter: You didn’t apply for any visa or anything.
John Moore: There was no entry visa, no visas.
Male Reporter: Mr.- Mr. Garry is there someone- Who is the highest Peoples Temple member here?
Garry: I don’t know. You see the organization is uh, uh- I was going to mention that the organization doesn’t have what they consider to be who’s in charge or who’s the highestofficial, uh, uh, it’s- it’s not an elitist organization in that sense. And uh-
Female Reporter: Well, (unintelligible word under Garry) we have corroboration –
Garry: So that I don’t. But anybody can answer any of your questions they want to answer.
Male Reporter: Well, I don’t know who to direct it to.
Garry: What’s- what’s your question? Anybody can –
Male Reporter: I want it to be someone other than yourself, Charles.
Garry: I see. Just ques- Shoot the question.
Male reporter: Well, I’m just wondering what, what Peoples Temple reaction is to this uh, Kathy Hunter uh, uh, story uh, I mean are you- are you angry, upset, baffled or- or what?
Jean: Yes, all those. Angry. Ah, it’s a misrepresentation of- of the facts. Mrs. Hunter, as uh, Mr. Garry said, did call. She did call in person and talked to me. I talked to her at length. She expressed her desire to go down to South America, and as much as we knew, she was planning to do that, but she- Evidently the- the next time I talked to anyone from the Ukiah Daily Journal talked to Mr. Hunter, and he said that his wife was stricken and she wasn’t traveling anywhere, I don’t know in the interim what happened but, from my –
Male Reporter: But she did call you and decided she wanted to go down?
Jean: She said she wanted to go, yes, and then we said, as Mr. Garry said, there is no problem. Only thing is that uh, we didn’t hear from her after that, there was no further communication, and the next thing we knew, she was in Georgetown.
Female Reporter: When was the last time you heard from her?
Brown: Oh, it would’ve been easily two months ago.
Female Reporter: Two months ago.
Brown: Um-hmm. The thing is that- that I think that- that it’s being projected uh, as (unintelligible word) the Temple not only harassed her but, somehow, an element of terror brought into this by (unintelligible word) is upsetting to us, because it’s not the case. Uh, Jim, when she- when she did come to Georgetown I think it was – thank you – her own personal behavior that- that was the problem uh- It put the Guyanese in a difficult position as well, uh, but I- I think we’re- I- As a matter of fact, I’m saying that we’re outraged that the representation has been uh, that we have in any way tried to impede her or hold her or whatever. She would’ve been- she would have gone from there several days ago, but there’s been an airline strike.
Male Reporter: Did your people in uh, Georgetown talk to her?
Brown: Yes, they did, (unintelligible). I think the best thing to do frankly uh, I think the best thing to do would be to call. I think that might be wise, Charles, to call Mike Prokes in Georgetown, uh-
Male Reporter: (unintelligible)
Garry: Why don’t you- why don’t you give them the telephone number uh, of Georgetown and ask for Mike Prokes, and he’ll talk to you. Uh- (unintelligible).
Brown: I am finished. I- You- I wanted a reaction, what- what’s that? As a matter of fact, uh, Mr. Garry made a very emphatic statement to the [San Francisco] Examiner, which she- carry the statement was that there were- that there was an element of terror involved and uh, put them for notice for that –
McElvane: (unintelligible word) I would like to add a little bit to that. I’m concerned about how the media seems to take every opportunity to run away with any kind of sensationalized situation like what Mrs. Hunter’s husband. All the complaints that I’m seeming to hear comes from him that what he said went on. And uh, I don’t know what his relationship might be with some of these Concerned Relatives in seeming to cause harassment continually against our organization. If it was coming from another point other than George Hunter, I probably wouldn’t be saying what I’m saying this this morning. Uh but since he has such a close relationship with Tim Stoen and the other Concerned Relatives, uh, it would be- if- if I wasn’t a member of this church, it would be very difficult for me to believe anything (unintelligible)
Female Reporter: So you are saying once again, someone is lying about-
McElvane: -harassment. I don’t think the Guyanese government is harassing them in any way. Certainly they have no reason.
Male Reporter: So it’s the- it’s the other way around, in fact. It’s not uh, Peoples Temple who has been harassing Kathy Hunter, it is the Hunters who’ve been harassing Peoples Temple.
McElvane: I would say that. I believe- I don’t hesitate at all to say that. Now, I’m not speaking necessarily of Kathy.
Male Reporter: Mr. Garry, was this- was this conference called specifically to counter these weekend re- reports that came out.
Mr. Garry: This uh- this uh, conference was uh, initiated uh, was some days ago, and the uh- and the uh, Hunter incident has just been added to it. Because I didn’t hear about this Hunter incident until a couple of days ago, and it- it came to me as a surprise because uh, when I talked to her, she was very anxious to go there, she said she was a personal friend of uh, of uh, of uh, Jim Jones and he said she said uh, I wrote that article uh, regarding Tim Stoen and Jim Jones, and I said uh, and she said what did Jim Jones think of it? I said Jim Jones respects your uh, integrity as a uh, reporter and whatever you wrote that he- that he won’t find fault with it, but I said he tried to give both sides of the uh, of the story, and I said that’s all that Jim Jones and any other person can ask for, so –
Male Reporter: So, let me ask just ask this (unintelligible word)- How, how are the Hunters – apart from the wife – how have the Hunters been harassing-
McElvane: Well, if, if you’ve seen the Ukiah Daily Journal, and you’ve seen the headlines that seem to hold Peoples Temple as some kind of terrorist organization, and that’s absolutely ridiculous. I would like to see uh, some headlines couched around some of the statements made by some of the positive people who have- some of the positive statements made by the people who’ve been uh, that are not relatives of, of uh, who are not members.
Male Reporter: That’s the only, the only –
McElvane: That’s one of the- that’s what I was relating to.
Male Reporter: (unintelligible word), the entire paper?
Male reporter: (unintelligible word) Were you suggesting that uh, we could get (unintelligible word) a phone number (unintelligible word) from Peoples Temple that we could contact?
Garry: Yes, you can talk to Mike Prokes in uh, Georgetown.
Male Reporter: What’s- what’s his last name? How do you spell it?
Garry: Just like theirs. It’s spelled right there.
Male reporter: Oh I see, I see.
Male Reporter: What is the phone number?
Woman’s voice: 711-719-24. You have to call the overseas operator and ask for Georgetown, Guyana and then you call 719-24 and ask specifically to speak to Mike Prokes.
Garry: By the way, Mike Prokes was with CBS for a number of years.
Male Reporter: Wel- And did he see uh, Mrs. Hunter when she was down there?
Brown: You will have to ask him that, I think that we
Garry: I- my impression is that he has spoken to her. Whether he has or not, I don’t know. I have not spoken to Mike since I was there in October, and uh-
Male Reporter: But you’ve talked to uh, to him to others in Georgetown, and they have talked to Mrs. Hunter. Did they- What happened, I mean? What- What’s (unintelligible question) I mean, did uh, did they seem to extend the invitation or- or?
Brown: (Unintelligible) A very warm invitation was extended to Mrs. Hunter to come down to the project.
Male voice: In Georgetown?
Brown: (Unintelligible) They had a party, and I don’t think she attended. But again, it goes back to a personal problem, and I –
Garry: Here’s an article that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the early edition of Saturday, yesterday. But I didn’t see it in my home edition. Uh- You might look at this. Is anybody here from the Chronicle?
Chronicle Reporter: Yes I am.
Garry: Here is- This is your own uh, story on Prokes.
Chronicle Reporter: Well I didn’t- You know, I didn’t even know it got in the first edition, I thought it was just-
Reporter: On Prokes?
Garry: Want to take a look?
Reporter: This is the Examiner. (Unintelligible)
Female Reporter: I was told it was the Chronicle. (Unintelligible phrase about theExaminer)
Garry: This is the Examiner. Sorry. But that has-
Woman’s voice: Two articles that are both the same.
Garry: And this talks about Prokes and what he said and what he didn’t say, if you’d care to see it here, I thought it was in the Chronicle.
Male Reporter: So basically everybody else is- who’s come back from Georgetown- I mean Georgetown, Jonestown, is uh, painting the same utopian picture?
Woman’s voice (Mrs. Davis?): I was there for one month last year and uh, I feel the same as the Moores and uh our attorney here. (Unintelligible word) a very beautiful place, and it is a place that I would like to live in.
McElvane: I have- I have a sister [Kay Nelson] and I have a niece in Jonestown. I’m looking forward to taking a trip down there myself. I have no qualms, no quarrels, no- noconfusion about what kind of life would be going on down there because (unintelligible)
Garry: There’s two attorneys down there that went down there, and won’t come back.
Garry: And I didn’t stay but four days. I didn’t want to get uh, acclimated. I feel I have too much to do here.
Male Reporter: Okay. Thank you very much.
Garry: You are entirely welcome.
McElvane: Feel free to help yourself to what you see here, too.
Male Reporter: What was that number of Georgetown? Was it (unintelligible)
Male voice: (Unintelligible)
Female voice: (Unintelligible)
Woman’s Voice: (Unintelligible) American Indian Movement, Mary Jane Robertson, we would to tell you how pleased we are to have been invited to be present here.
Various voices: Good to have you here. Thank you for coming.
Woman’s voice: And how tactful you were in not mentioning (unintelligible).
Various voices begin to talk at once: (Unintelligible.)
End of tape
Tape originally posted April 2004