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(Note: This tape was transcribed by Vicki Perry. The editors gratefully acknowledge her invaluable assistance.)
Jones: -to do with socialism and didn’t really find an appealing word until he got to know me. Guyana Forbes Burnham, Prime Minister, Georgetown, Guyana in South America, and all, to whoever it may concern. Dear Doctor Burnham. I want to share with you a matter of great concern to me. The concept- the concept of a politically-motivated conspiracy directed against an individual of organiza- our organization in an attempt to discredit and destroy one’s effectiveness in the political and social arena should be utterly foreign to a democratic society.
Unfortunately, however, such is not the case in the United States. Having myself been the subject of an ungrounded [unfounded] attack by the media and other agencies, I have first hand experience to how such campaigns against outspoken persons are launched and carried forward. Recently the Lieutenant Governor of Colorado, Lieutenant Governor George Brown and I joined the National Association of Human Rights Workers to announce the publication of an exhaustive study of organized efforts in the United States to discredit all black leaders and elected officials. When looking at the extensive body- bo- body of data, compiled after two years of careful research, the picture is unmistakably clear that conspiracies against black and Third World people- people are very (Unintelligible word) and serve to blunt the effectiveness of any person trying to represent the interest of the Third World people.
One such person to whom the media and several agencies of government have deliberately and considerably focused on resources is one of the most committed activist and finest human beings I have ever known: Reverend Jim Jones. Reverend Jones is the leader of a multi-ethnic, multi-faceted, many thousand member organization known as Peoples Temple. It is one of the most significant forces today in the area of human rights, social change and concrete social work. (Pause)
It is my belief that by the year 1980, the minority population in California alone will reach the sixty percent mark. Peoples Temple is a working solution to the problem that California can anticipate in the not-so-far distant future. Peoples Temple has managed to effectively organize minority and Caucasians as well into a va- viable (Pause) progressive force. We note where the future of the Peoples Temple program is its compassionate emphasis on the needs of the o- ever-growing senior population. This emphasis accurately reflects the (Unintelligible word) curve in the future, and meets that need with kindness, not conversation. Beyond that, Reverend Jones and Peoples Temple have helped every person who in recent years has been oppressed or jailed, fundamentally because of his or her political beliefs. Jim has never been reticent to speak his beliefs in non-violent cause- causes.
It is my confirmed opinion that this outspoken stance, coupled with the undeniable size and effectiveness of his organization, has made him a target of the most grueling and vicious conspiracy yet witnessed in the history of the United States. That which I know to be obvious, lies and (Unintelligible word) are presented to the public as thoroughly proven facts. Interestingly enough, the scurrilous nature of these lies were meted out to papers in whose cities throughout the world which has the highest concentration of Caribbean and in particular Guyanese residents. By doing so, the organizers of this conspiracy hope to have such information filter into Guyana, where Reverend Jones has established a remarkable and highly successful model community which I personally have visited and was awed. I stood in awe. I found that visit to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life. One of the key figures in this cruel scenario is a man [Joe Mazor] with a well-documented criminal background who has been described by several correctional specialists as a conman with an insatiable desire for money and notoriety. Also involved is a high-priced public relations firm whose job is to map out campaigns to discredit Reverend Jones and feed information pre-packaged to a supposedly free and objective press.
It is clear to me that a phenomenal amount of money is being spent by this conspiracy in an attempt to destabilize the agricultural project in Guyana and to apparently bring about the elimination of Reverend Jones. Evidence currently being gathered points clearly to rightwing forces of the first magnitude. One such force is known to have political affiliation with those remnants (Pause) of the Nazis in the United States who continued (Pause) to permeate- who continue to permeate the fabric of United States society today to a degree that would shock people unfamiliar with the growing move to the radical right in the United States. In fact, the last time I visited the San Francisco headquarters of the Peoples Temple a few weeks ago, a large Na- Nazi rally was taking place nearby. It was covered extensively by all media. Ku Klux Klan chapters continue to grow and flourish in all parts of the United States. It is likely that the Panama treaty will be defeated as a result of the well-financed campaign against its passage. These are but a few examples to give you some idea of the current trend towards fascism in the United States.
As a native of Trinidad, my bonds with the Caribbean are close and everlasting. I feel a certain responsibility to apprise you of my thoughts on Jim Jones and my interpretation of what I have seen of the attack on him and his organization in the past months. Jim is a deeply loyal and sensitive person, and he is a man who stands by his word and by those who look to him for guidance- and stands by those who look to him for guidance and leadership. It is this kind of loyalty that makes him a man to be trusted. I know for a fact that he will stand by his commitment to Guyana, just as he firmly now stands by his commitment to John [Victor Stoen], one of his children. I look forward to future visits to Guyana and extend to you my warmest personal regards.
Sincerely, Lieutenant Governor, Mervyn M. Dymally.
Jones: In the same breath I must tell you where we stand in the terms of the overall strategy. A few weeks ago – or rather I guess now it’s a few months – time passes. Well, one of our (Pause) associates was warned not to go to the United States because it would be very dangerous for him and be dangerous for all of us if he did so. That was namely Tim Stoen. Tim Stoen went to the United States against my judgment, as you all were told, all except those who have arrived uh, in this- uh, these late- latest days. He was told not to go because to do so would jeopardize his own state with the law and put him thus in jeopardy of jeopardizing all of us. He said he would go back and would be able to fight our cause because he thought he could get the system, the court system to see how unjust their attack on us was and so forth and so on. Well, as you know, and I apprised you, when he went back, in fact got himself into legal difficulty. Those of you who’ve just come in in the past few days, remember that he- the headlines of the Ukiah Journal and other papers, he spoke very, very favorably of myself, saying that uh, he indeed was a- a devoted follower of Jim Jones and Peoples Temple. In the meantime, the state’s evidence has grown increasingly heavy against him. And so he has now turned. He has turned to an abominable degree, and if anything happens to me, I’m sure that conscientious people will remember that for the rest of our days.
Jones: Many years ago, because of some things in his own past that Grace Stoen unveiled about him, namely one of which was that he dressed in women’s clothing and paraded in uh, Santa Rosa streets, and something about his past that was not uh, to his liking, and to anyone else’s liking or to our own good. She threatened to leave him and threatened to cause great difficulty. Also because he was playing with guns which was uh, not sane thing to do. She- he gave her a lot of things to go on. So he asked me at that point as uh, some of you know, to help him out of his dilemma by doing something with Miss Stoen. As all of you know, except those who’ve newly arrived, that I did. In great pain because I never had any- anything but the most clear revulsion for that woman. In no way do I convey to you, I don’t suppose, those of you who couldn’t do something like that, because only a principled person could understand what my principled heart is telling you.
Scattered in crowd: That’s right!
Jones: Unless you have ever had to do something with somebody you hated and deplored them and were disgusted with them, as I was disgusted with that woman from the time she came in, and she used to sit in our services back in Redwood Valley and have her long, ugly black hair down in her face, pulling on it, while black people would be testifying or anyone would be singing or doing anything, she’d be pulling at her hair, over her eyes, until I, in- in one government meeting, demanded that she cut it. I- my government board of course knew how much I detested her.
Scattered in crowd: That’s right!
Jones: I made that quite clear. I don’t know of any person ever caused me to rise to my feet and say, if you do any more of your threats- any more of your threats against my people or myself, I personally will take my hands and do you in. And for that moment, she began that- and uh, Joyce would remember where that was. Joyce just arrived tonight night. Where’s Joyce? Where was that when I told her that?
Jones: It was in your home, in your living room when I did that. That’s right, in her living room. I told her in her living room. Uh, the whole process out of it came a lovely and beautiful one who doesn’t know any connection with her and doesn’t recognize her as his mother, and the beauty of time has healed and taken care of that. His mother is Maria [Katsaris], and that’s the way it is here. If anyone ever makes any other issue, then you’ll have difficulty with me. John is my son. Anyone who could look at him would know that. Anyone looks at my baby pictures and his baby pictures, or look at him now. It’s very easy to discern who he is. And if you were listening in any church meeting, I’ve told you all through the years.
Scattered in crowd: That’s right!
Jones: So there were things that had to be do- uh, done. But the old parable, any so-called christening, if you are Christian, not a communist, and we’re supposed to be communists, you’d have understood that I become all things to all the people that by any means I might save them more. And I had to rescue Tim Stoen, because I knew then Tim Stoen was too weak to be able to take public humility- uh, public humiliation and uh, in any way to be made disreputable. So now Tim Stoen has turned to the other side and going in a joint effort to try to get John from me by saying that John is not my son, that she never had an affair with any man in her life. There’s another side of the chapter that I’ll tell you, uh, that I had to go through someday, that I had to undergo and endure because of Tim Stoen’s intrigue. So I tell you at this point, who deserves the worst wrath yet, beyond- beyond the wrath of Grace, because he started it. He’s the one that asked for the despicable situation that I was put through and the agonizing months in which I was trying to get her to do something about the situation, and she wouldn’t, demanding to keep it. And found it a little difficult for her to prove, though, remind them that at the hospital- she called me at the hospital, and it was I at the hospital, and the nurses would remember. Just remember that in our case, that nurses could be subpoenaed. I was introduced as her husband. She introduced me as her- as a- her husband. (Pause) Because she didn’t want him present. I think that’s an ace in the hole. And I- I endured that too, as much as I displored [deplored] her and despised the very ground that she walked on. (Unintelligible word), I love my son. You’ll never find such love as I possess. Uh, though I didn’t plan that son, and if I’da planned anything, I would’ve not planned in such a way. But I certainly love, and whoever I have a loyalty to, I have a debt to. No matter that it came out of serving you, he’s my son. And before I give him up, I tell you, no matter what you decide to do, I will die.
Jones: -different situation, and I’d like [Eugene] Chaikin to take uh, (unintelligible phrase) different situation now because the court case will step up, and we may- well, we have the assurances of the government that uh, they will make moves to finally, they- they’re going to have to use the court system apparently, because if they don’t use the court system, the United States will charge them with some kind of uh, misuse of human rights- gross misuse of human rights and thus will put them in a uh, bind. And they’re in a terrible enough bind with the imperialists all the time, and so they’ll have to go through the uh, façade of the court system, even though at the end, certain moves, which I’m certainly not going to tell in public, can be made that will forestall it. But we may go through the same situation of process service, so no one should be taking any papers. If anyone comes in and asks to anyone, though the federal government has committed to tell us secret to (Unintelligible word), they cannot openly, like they originally intended to do, to interfere with the court system. Even if the courts go against us, though, they have a plan at the end – the federal government, the leaders of this country, have a plan at the end – that would save John. And uh, if they didn’t (Unintelligible phrase), I’ll save John, ’cause I- there are certain things that I’d just as soon face than to live on any longer, be no problem to me- I’m- I would not allow a woman who did not wish him and faded in my hands and said he’s yours, I don’t uh- you know what I mean. Don’t (spells out) w-a-n-t – uh, I don’t (spells out) w-a-n-t h-i-m. I- so uh, nobody going to come along- Now she’s being paid. She’s received, according to our attorney now, it’s up in the fifty thousand dollar mark that she’s been paid for her- uh, her evil. Although it is interesting that uh, she’s had an accident, and also Deanna- Linda Mertle’s all laying up in a hospital all cracked up in an accident.
Jones: So money- some thing money can’t buy.
Jones: – and some (Unintelligible word)- some things we can’t protect you from. (Pause) But I uh- I’m not surprised. Tim Stoen was always too white and too weak and too much an attorney. I knew if he ever got in a corner, that’s the (Unintelligible word) main reason I didn’t want him to go back, ’cause I knew if he got in a corner and got in trouble, (unintelligible) started accusing him, as you- you let the states know. Charging him with extortion for signing papers and making us all conspirators, because we’re in the same organization, thus making any one of us eligible to go to jail if we went back to the United States, because we were conspirators with him. So now he’s trying to pass the buck, and uh, with state’s evidence, hoping that they’ll go light on him. They may go light on him, but I can imagine there’ll be people who won’t go light on him.
Jones: They know that this- that no matter that he has given this kind of evidence and gone over to her side and playing into the hands of the conspirator, that the Lieutenant Governor called Nazis, it’s been proven that they’re Nazis, members of the German American Bund in the uh, 1940’s. The actual Nazis involved, Hitler-ite worshipers involved in this conspiracy. It’s very fascinating to find, that even though he’s gone over to that kind of a mess, and uh, then sold his soul just to get a little easier burden, that one agency of government is still investigating him on another crime. So you get very little for selling out.
Scattered in crowd: That’s right!
Jones: But I want to tell you- I’ve always told you I’d tell you the good news with the bad news and uh, that makes our case here more difficult in our defense of the- of the little one, because they’re trying to state that I’m now a disinterested party and uh, not involved. But the agony that I went through to have my son, I guess by God, I shall keep him.
Scattered in crowd: That’s right!
Jones: But they’re trying to say legally that uh, I was a disinterested- I- I have no right to him because that they have had a blissful marriage. (Pause) Some of us happen to know how blissful it was.
Scattered in crowd: That’s right!
Jones: The church board, when they arranged her for the night, when they asked her point blank, when he asked me to do something with her, to uh, have sex with her to save him because he couldn’t stand the ridicule, he couldn’t stand the shame. Uh, it’s very interesting, it is most fascinating that uh, they try that sort of thing when several witnessed and actually got her prepared and put in preventions trying to prevent this very thing from happening, that they were witness to the very act itself, because, being that it was done for moral reasons, I literally was not going to do it- do it without people knowing about it. Very fascinating that they would try that kind of a story, that they’ve lived in blissful accord. (Short laugh) Shit. Blissful, virtuous ac- accord, and neither one of them broke any vows. Doesn’t that make you sick now?
Jones: If you knew of the shit that both of them put me through. Doesn’t that make you sick? That’s the way it’s going. So I’m preparing you. I’m preparing you for what- the way- the way it’s going, so you can be ready for whatever may come. Yes, Tish [Leroy]?
Jones: -to come see that some prick- because nobody’s got any honor, nobody’s got any principles, somebody’s going to miscalculate and step on too much territory and get on the other fellow’s (unintelligible word) too much, and them fucking bombs are going to be dropped.
Jones: That’s why I’m here. Not because of principles. I want to give our babies a chance. Goddamn it to hell, I’da soon died in the streets and taken about fifty motherfuckers with me.
Jones: I didn’t come over here for me, I came over because the young people that oughta had a chance to live! Twenty- 25 years, this is- this is (Unintelligible). This is the greatest experience of a lifetime, you fuckers out there belly-aching about it. You’re young men still belly-aching about this country and the whole goddamn place. All of us are really disciplined now. We’re gonna be working every day. Talking about next Sunday- then- the week after Sunday, it’ll be half days off and then starting from then on- regularly- Jesus Christ, man, we’re trying to get 300 people over here!
Jones: Naturally we have to work a little harder to get that done. One day there’ll be all kinds of freedoms given to us, but fuck, with this, gotta get an economic basis established.
Jones: Got to make some money. We gotta know how to do it until we’ll be- be able to feed ourselves.
Woman’s voice in crowd: That’s right!
Jones: I- I think anybody can understand it, but shit, it’s a good life compa- comparably. I still pay for movies to get ’em in here, I still get best goddamned TV equipment. I didn’t have to do that.
Crowd: (Agrees with Jones)
Jones: I coulda waited till we made the money, and we coulda afforded it. Do you have any idea how much fucking money it takes to get this shit in here?
Woman’s voice in crowd: Quite a lot.
Male in Crowd: I don’t hear any comments on what (Unintelligible)-
Jones: They had (unintelligible word) for stealing a loaf of bread. Black leaders framed. I don’t know how in the hell you think the lieutenant governor comes out for us. We’re certainly not the most popular cause, and we’re not doing him any good, we’re five thousand- six thousand miles away from him. But he sees the handwriting on the wall. Fucking country’s torn upside down. The right wing is on the front page of Newsweek. ‘Cause I have my- my copy around, and Charlie [Touchette], when the other one comes in, show it to them. It’ll be in the new- no, I want everybody to see the front page, Newsweek, “USA: Sharp Turn to the Right.” And then you read the goddamn article. It’d be enough to make your stomach turn on the conservative. The bigotry coming and (Unintelligible word) everybody. Even poor whites are being the subject of this bigotry. The middle class against the poor blacks, poor whites and the poor Indians. I get goddamned mad at you people, that you can’t appreciate a place like this- I don’t know what the fuck you think is so important that you can’t appreciate the beauty of this place.
Jones: (calls out) -a rat infested dumps. You tell us that you like to have your music when thousands and thousands and multiplied millions cannot even afford enough food to eat. You tell us you want these comforts, like that justifies what you want. I’ll be goddamned if I understand where you’re coming from.
Jones: -with long hair was pulled out of his expensive car back home. Pulled out of his car and stomped to death, right in the streets, and nobody did anything about it. (Emphatic) Wealthy white young man. And by white people, not black people. So I would think that people would be glad to be out of a miserable mess like this.
Jones: All right, she’s charged, and you- you will have uh, stressed that you don’t-
(Voice in background for few seconds, unintelligible)
(End of tape)
Tape originally posted May 2009