Edith Roller Journals: September 1-15, 1975

Transcribed from her typed journals by Don Beck (October 2008)

RYMUR 89-4286-HH-2-70 through 89-4286-HH-2-91, Public Relations-PT Journal

List of people and groups mentioned in this Journal


1 September – 1975 – Monday
Beulah woke us a little after 4.00. There was some delay in getting all the children through the bathroom, but Beulah did very well seeing that all the children were dressed neatly. We left about 5.00, Beulah’s husband driving us.

We were told to bring our luggage into the church instead of loading it on the buses. Long lines formed for breakfast. We had fruit and a choice of hot or cold cereal. I sat beside Patti Chastain. I asked her what had happened to Mary Candoo, as I had not seen her for a long time. Patti thought she had left.

We put our luggage on the buses. Then we boarded buses with our group. All of my group had located each other at breakfast, and we were among the first to board.

We left about 7.30.  Our bus again had ninety-nine people on it. When we got to Disneyland we sat a long time on the buses while people were counted by age groups. Then we were told to get out and stand in lines near the buses. We were all ready to follow leaders into the park when we were again held back.

I saw Jim and the leadership conferring, and later Mike Prokes told us that the Disneyland management had wanted to pass each one through the turnstile and charge admission for all, but Jim was prepared to leave with the whole body, and they gave in.  We all passed through as fast as we cold walk, and apparently the supervisors bought only a certain number of admissions and ride books.  I didn’t understand the procedure and had to come back and get books for our group. We had seven people and got two books, giving us thirty rides to share.

Lillian Sills in our group was not able to walk much, so we took turns pushing her in a wheelchair. Others in the group did not care much about the rides. We had to share our tickets; usually two of us went on a ride together while the others waited.

While I was looking for a telephone in order to call Carl Green, who lives near Disneyland, Jim caught sight of me. He was recommending a show featuring American folk songs sung by puppet animals and gave me a ticket for it. I had found Carl at home, told him I would try to call him some day when I was in Los Angeles.

At first I was impressed with the otherworldly atmosphere in the park but soon became tired of 1t. I didn’t particularly care for any of the rides except the roller coaster, for which we did not have enough tickets. When I asked directions of the Disneyland security staff, who were the only attendants I saw, I got surly off-hand answers, even when not accompanied by our black and Mexican members. Our group vas very cooperative, and we had no trouble except that Lillian became tired and hungry. Lunches were to be distributed when we got back on the buses, but they could be obtained earlier (we were forbidden to buy anything inside the park). I took Lillian out. I could not take the wheelchair out of the park and was not allowed to take food in, so she had to walk with me to the picnic area. This was a most unprepossessing place. I ate most of my lunch too.

I left Lillian on a bench, joined the others. One of the group offered to stay with Lillian and another woman in a wheelchair, whom we had taken over from Jim. Just before 2.00 when we were to board the buses we received information that the time had been extended an hour. A younger man and I went to the Frontierland area and we rode the keel boat on the river.

Then I waited for him as he took two other rides. I gave my leftover tickets to the Shaw commune. I saw the telephone company show which was called “America the Beautiful” and had screens on all sides of a round room showing scenic and historical views of the United States. One felt as if in the midst of the scenes.

After we boarded the buses, lunches were distributed to those who hadn’t had any. We returned to Los Angeles. In the temple I went to the bathroom and washed my teeth.

A bag supper was passed out to all. We had chicken, bread, potato salad, plums and punch. The buses left Los Angeles at 7.00. My seat partner was Lorenza Tucker from Houston. We were very crowded and a child in the aisle was pinching her foot. I suggested she put her seat down, but Lela Murphy, sitting back of her, objected. Later on Lela wanted the window in front of us closed, but I told her it was not under my control.

Later on Lela asked me for a ride home and I refused, because she was unkind to our new member from Houston. She denied she had not wanted Lorenza to put her seat back. I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson.

Lorenza said she was going to live with Blanche Washington whom she did not know. Blanche had a cramped leg, and fearing a blood clot, the hostess had her get up and exercise. All adults were supposed to jog in the aisle but few did. The bus offering was taken. When it was over I went to sleep for an hour. We had a bathroom stop at Buttonwillow at 9.30.

I slept well all night.

We arrived in San Francisco at 3.45. I took home Valor, Contonia, Toby Stone and her two children. On Friday night Jim had saved Toby’s little girl, Tobianna, from a fatal accident. We talked about plans for the new hotel. Toby said what she feared about communal living was not having money to spend as she liked.

I reached home about 5.00. I went to bed for an hour.


2 September – 1975 – Tuesday
When I got back to work I found a note from Carol asking me to send her four boxes of documents and other belongings immediately.

However, both Betty Vasil and Koh were still on vacation, and no one else knew the procedure. Nicci had done Carol’s expense report. I will be working for Bob Garb and helping out Bob O’Neill. I spent the morning on the ATS computer making the week’s changes in the workload for Garb’s section.

I saw a film in the employees’ film series at lunch, one about the construction of a petrochemical plant at Ponce, Puerto Rico. I ate my lunch on the PG&E steps. The day was quite hot.

I had a hard time getting all of Carol’s belongings in the boxes. I finally took out some personal papers and sent them by pouch.

I spent some time making journal entries.

At the end of the day O’Neill gave me a page to retype from Garb’ s report on his Iranian trip and the contract of Bechtel with Iran Air.

On getting home, I ran in the park.

I prepared dinner, ate and washed dishes.

I unpacked my suitcase.

I typed in my journal from 9.30 to 11.30 and had to do another half hour’s work after listening to “In Conversation,” in order to finish four pages, although I was very tired.

On that program Nat Henthoff interviewed Lowell Weicker, who talked about Watergate and other governmental matters. He appears to be a conscientious man shocked by those who violate ethical standards, but naïve, as Jim had described him during the Watergate hearings.

I took a bath, finishing with cold water, as I have been doing lately.

Beulah had shamed me into taking cold baths, as she described how good it felt all day after sitting in a tub of cold water.

I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson.

I went to bed at 2.00.


3 September – 1975 – Wednesday
I arranged for the shipment of Carol’s boxes.

I helped with two items from Garb.

I did not have much office work to do. I brought my journal entries up to date.

I ate lunch outside on the PG&E steps.

At the end of the day Garb learned he had to go to New York in connection with the Iranian project. O’ Neill was busy preparing documents but did not need help. Garb was to leave tonight.

When I got home I slept for an hour.

I prepared food and ate.

I drove to the Temple service at 8.00. I arrived when the senior citizens’ bus was unloading and was slow in getting upstairs, but I got a good seat.

Much time vas consumed with the preliminaries, such as the introduction of those who have various moneymaking projects.

Jim reported on the weekend’s events such as the funds contest and the Disneyland trip. He gave more details on the saving he achieved by holding firm on entrance of our people, so that all did not have to be counted going through the turnstile. He also discussed news of the day, particularly the activities of vigilante groups throughout the country.

Jim took the offering.

The meeting was rather relaxed; no boxing matches were required.

Jim said Harry Williams had a defect in his heart which required surgery.  The muscles around his heart had been destroyed. Then it was found that the condition had changed and he did not need the operation.

Many commendations were announced. A few of them were: Marvin Sellers, a boy, who is so conscientious that he supervises adults at the children’s ranch [Redwood Valley]; Novella Sneed and Nevada Harris, who have been working at the pear shed; Gina Severns, who has been working at the pear shed as well as on her Homemaker’s job.

Nancy Sines was called up on a complaint that she was unfriendly to her co-worker, Mary Lou Clancy. Since Nancy got the job (it is in Family Planning) on the basis of Temple membership, there is no reason for the two not to associate. Nancy said she was not purposely aloof.

Maureen Fitch is her supervisor and also believed she is not friendly.

However, Jim found she was not intentionally unfriendly, that there was no need for discipline, but Nancy should try to be more outgoing.

Marie Lawrence wishes to move to San Francisco, to live communally, and study to be a veterinarian. Jim approved.

I had to go on an errand. When I returned, Ken Norton was on the floor. He had made negative remarks charging that in the work at the Temple production was slow, there was lack of adequate support and he got insufficient response to his requests. He especially had complained that he had not been furnished transportation which he needed. Bill Purifoy and others commented. It was the general opinion that Ken had either not channeled his requests to the right person or had exaggerated his problems. Again, Jim decided the case did not require a boxing match.  Jack Beam is going to be supervising work at the San Francisco Temple.

Jim read a letter from Lynnetta Jones written after her confrontation on the floor. She analyzed her attitude and behavior. She told how she had been taught to steal by a companion as a child. Comparing her lot with others, she felt guilty and wanted to be put in a situation with greater demands upon her. Jim congratulated her for showing growth and repeated his statement that one feels either resentment or guilt, and though it is uncomfortable, it is better to feel guilt.

Sandy Rozynko wrote a letter to Jim which he also read aloud. She said that, realizing her white mentality was a handicap in feeling sympathy for others, she had requested her fellow commune members at the Mertles to treat her for one week as a slave. They called her “girl,” ordered her around. She went barefoot and wore an old dress. Her loss of identity brought home to her what life was like for black people, not merely for a week, but all the time.

Jim said that ten of the children whose families moved down from the Valley are going to attend a progressive school, the best in California.

The school will give us a discount and afford our teachers an opportunity to be observers of their methods, so that we can establish such a school next year for all our children. Of the students entering the school, five are black and five white. Though they had suffered from poor schooling in the public schools, the school found them all qualified, having superior intelligence and vocabulary, and having obviously lived in a stimulating environment.

I took home Rosezetta and the children, who are back in Contonia’s apartment. Rosezetta did not tell me why Contonia had changed her mind. Contonia is spending a week in the Valley, helping to can produce at the ranch.

I read for an hour and went to bed at 2.00.

4 September – 1975 – Thursday
I moved the car from Mrs. Heitmeier’s driveway before 7.00.

With Bob Garb out, I had very little work to do in the office. Dorothy asked me to take some dictation from Jack Nemeth. This had to do with the federal law limiting campaign contributions.

A friend of Carol’s, a doctor from Sicily, came to the office. He had phoned yesterday, not knowing she had been transferred. He had a box of candy for her. He spoke very little English. I gave him Carol’s office and hotel phone numbers, called Carol but she was out to lunch.

Later I talked to her and she wanted the candy sent to her. I spent some time finding out the most expeditious way of mailing it.

A good part of the day I spent listing recent expenditures. Then I started to list all August expenditures.

I left for an appointment at the dentist’s office at 3.30. This was for a recheck on my cleaning methods and plaque control. The hygienist was still not satisfied, gave me more instructions.

I got home at about 5.30.

I ran in the park.

I did personal chores and washed and put up my hair.

I prepared and ate dinner. Tonight I had a salad of artichoke hearts, onions, tomatoes and cucumber, green beans, and a casserole of celery, onion, macaroni and cottage cheese with a cheddar cheese sauce. I washed dishes.

This meal took me longer than usual to prepare and I was late in starting my washing. I washed underwear and a few other items, starting at 11.00 and finishing after I had listened to “In Conversation.”

I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson. I fell asleep while reading so did not get to bed until 2.30.


5 September – 1975 – Friday
I packed my suitcase so as to spend the night at Lorraine’s.

I put it in my car before I left for work.

I made out my time card and submitted it. Betty Vasil signed it in Bob Garb’s absence. I had very little except overhead numbers.

Yesterday I had taken with me to work two of the skirts made by the Temple seniors which Mom Taylor had let me have Wednesday night. I was wearing the one I had brought. I thought some of the women in the office might want to buy one. Several people expressed interest, and I think I may sell some if I can have the seniors make the size and style desired.

Dorothy gave me a memo of one of the legal assistants to type. This was all the office work I had all day. I added my August expenditures on the calculator and tried again to balance my bank account, adding all bank deposits, checks and bank charges for the three months that I have been off $5.00, but at the end I could not even come close to the figure shown in my records. I took along the calculations to ask Lorraine to check them.

I ate lunch with Barbara Gersh at the PG&E cafeteria, since she had to buy her lunch. She was happy that she is going to work half time at the Bechtel library. She is not active any more in the affairs of the BWAA, as she thinks “they are not going anywhere.” We talked of present-day sexual attitudes and family arrangements. Barbara comes from an upper middle class family in New York City.

I did some more work on journal entries this afternoon.

When I arrived home tonight I got my mail, didn’t go up to the apartment, drove to Lorraine’s. I made excellent time, arriving before 6.00.

“Star Trek” is being shown again on TV and Lorraine and Ryn wanted to watch it, so I joined them in the bedroom where they now keep the set.

‘The episode, an hour long, they agreed had an anti-climactic ending.

For dinner we had potatoes with a gravy containing tuna fish, green beans and a salad, and a custard with fresh peaches and whipped cream.

I told Lorraine of recent changes in the Temple, especially of my hopes of teaching in the Temple school when established and my plans to move in to the hotel commune and do without my car. Lorraine was particularly concerned that I would be discontented with institutional type food and lack of privacy.

Ryn had been writing a draft of her thesis.

San Francisco state students are registering this week.

Lorraine has a new tenant and another is moving in tomorrow. Both are young men.

Lorraine and Ryn went to bed early. I stayed downstairs and read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson until 11.30, then listened to “In Conversation.” A writer of Polish and Russian background but living in the United States and writing in English was interviewed.

I went to bed at 12.00. I was in the room at the head of the stairs.


6 September – 1975 – Saturday
I woke about 6.30, stayed in bed until 7.30.

I took a shower, ending with cold water, the first time I have been able to take a cold shower rather than a bath.

Lorraine and Ryn were still sleeping. I went downstairs, made some Sanka.

I went over my bankbook again, found the error I had made yesterday. But I could not find any mistake which either the bank or I had made to account for the $5.00 discrepancy I’ve been looking for.

I looked over some books of folk songs on Lorraine’s shelves. I was trying to find American protest songs, but these books did not have such a category. The closest that any came to meeting that description were work songs and some Negro spirituals.

When Lorraine got up, she helped me recheck my bank balance. The only possible cause of the $5.00 discrepancy that she could find was a $2.51 bank charge which I might have recorded incorrectly in connection with a previous bank statement.

For breakfast we had orange juice, whole-wheat cereal and toast.

I left for Berkeley about 11.00. I needed gas and fortunately got some at a cut-rate station just before going on the freeway. It was 57.9¢, two cents less than I have usually been paying, and often gas costs me 60.9¢.

I listened to the last portion of the Temple broadcast on the car radio.

I shopped for groceries at both the Natural Foods Store and the Coop food store. I bought two doughnuts which I ate with Sanka in the car before starting home.

I arrived home at 3.00. I unloaded groceries, then quickly cleaned up the apartment, running the vacuum cleaner over the center of the room.

I ate some leftovers and washed dishes.

I had a nap of forty-five minutes.

I dressed and left for the Temple service at 7.15.

During the service the San Francisco girls presented an African dance and a recital of poems they had written, from last night’s youth program.

A tape from part of one of the Los Angeles services held this week was played. It was the question period. The first question concerned what would have been the effect if President Ford had been assassinated. Jim said it would have made no difference – the rich run the country and would have continued to do so. The second question was: what kind of mentality would put poisonous substances in the drinking water? Jim said it was white mentality. Whites have operated under the capitalist system, which worships money and will resort to any cruelty to maintain itself. He said, “1 love socialism,” and would be willing to die to bring it about, but if he did he would take a thousand with him. He went on to castigate the white man’s religion and the Bible, saying that worse than poison in the drinking water is poison in the pulpit.

Jim continued in person in this vein. The question was often asked whether socialism would work. It was necessary to point out how capitalism works.

It causes widespread misery. The people must first of all have economic freedom. For the benefit of guests in the audience, he developed the theme that America is the anti-Christ. “Some believe all we need is a new Democrat in the presidency. We don’t need a new Democrat, we need a revolution.” Speaking to Aunt Janes and Uncle Toms and CIA informers, he said, “You want to start something? We’re ready.” We can’t get newspaper publicity for our beneficial activities. When we go into action, you won’t be able to open up a newspaper without seeing Peoples Temple on every page.

While the offering was being taken, Hugh Doswell was brought up. Be had complained of white leadership in the Temple. He shows a surly attitude.

He had also associated with Cleve Davis, against the advice of Temple counselors. He had to box. He was so hostile that three people had to fight him before one was capable of defeating him. He tried to evade punches, then bolted, striking everyone he encountered. After making two breaks, he was finally kayoed by his opponent.

There was a healing session.

When the church was opened to new members, Jim called out the names of scores of visitors, who came down front to join the church.

‘The congregation filed past the altar.

The meeting was over at 1.00.

Housing was arranged. Zelline O’Bryant was again assigned to me. I told her I had to attend the sisterhood meeting, and she waited for me.

The sisterhood meeting, under the direction of Sharon Amos, started with a discussion about women entering jobs traditionally closed to the female sex. Some of those holding such jobs or taking courses in the trades related their experiences with men on the job. Patricia Cartmell [daughter of Patty Cartmell] is working on highway construction, has succeeded, and got a promotion. She is making more money than Sharon Amos made when she started as a social worker. One of the Mertle girls is working in electronics. Discussion then veered to the way in which men are spoiled by women co-workers, such as nurses, and by their mothers, and how to counteract this situation.

At 2.30 after the meeting had been in progress an hour, there was no sign of its ending, and I thought Zelline and I should get home. I found Contonia downstairs with several children waiting for a ride home.

I gave Zelline a piece of cantaloupe and toast and jam. I had toast and peanut butter and toast and jam. We both had some Sanka.

We went to bed about 4.00.


7 September – 1975 – Sunday
We got up at 9.00.

For breakfast I served grape juice, pancakes with syrup, fried eggs, beef slices and Sanka.

Zelline told me, as she had before, of the wealthy women she had worked for, for many years. Zelline’s eyesight has become very bad. She had previously told me how nice a person Rocki Breidenbach is, but this time she had nothing but complaints. More money was being taken from her disability check than the law prescribed for her lodging, Rocki bought only white bread and she wouldn’t listen if whole grain bread was suggested, and so on.

I did the dishes.

We left for service about 11.00, and I stopped for Magnolia and Kaye.

Magnolia wasn’t ready but Kaye came with us. Zelline was impatient about the delay, though the service was not until 12.00. She wanted to get a front row seat.

Kaye has been in San Francisco several times in connection with her disability claim from the post-office. An employee dropped a heavy object on her foot while she was employed by the post-office department. It has been decided that she cannot be paid for disability but she is entitled to be given preferential status for reinstatement. She has to pass the post-office examination.

Ginny Lambrev has been in the services lately. She was in the service today and looked well. She told me she is living in San Francisco now. She regains her Temple membership today.

In the service there were the usual preliminary events.

A tape from one of the Bakersfield services was played.

Jim took the offering.

Our corn crop in the promised land was menaced by dampness, and our drying equipment had not yet been obtained. Jim insured five days with no rain, and the corn dried. All forty-three tons are to be sold to the government of Guyana.

Tim [“Night”] Jones (not Jim’s adopted son, but a young black man from San Francisco) sang a song called “Lady Love” while other young men accompanied him with gestures. He endeared himself to Jim and the crowd by dancing with Annie McGowan, a senior.

Larry Swinney had used “fuck” several times while expressing a desire to fight a counselor.  He was to get his desire, Jim decided that he should fight with someone his own height. He had a hard fight and was defeated.

David Gallie was commended for undertaking hard and dangerous jobs around the Temple.

Glenn Hennington was on the floor for driving without a license for six months. He got a ticket. He had to fight a girl who knocked him out, which exhilarated the feminine portion of the audience.

Jim performed healings.

The congregation came to the altar.

The meeting was out at 3.30. I gave a ride home to Washington Sanders.

I ate a meal.

I left for the evening service at 5.30, it began at 6.00.

Sandy Ingram reported on her trip to the promised land. She and Helen Swinney have just returned. She said the approaches to our property resembled the entrance to a magnificent estate. Sitting on the porch eating a meal, as far as the eye can reach, one sees the land which we have cleared.

The congregation sang several songs and vibrations were raised to a high point.  When Jim appeared on the podium, he received an ovation for along period.

He took an offering.

Then he asked for members to give their opinions as to what his thoughts were while he was being praised so effusively. Most believed that he was wondering about the differences between our expressions and our performance: sacrifices, loyalty, offerings. Many took the opportunity to give their own opinions, not what he may have thought but what they thought, and some even testified about how much he meant to them until he stopped them. When my turn came, I said I was reminded of another great leader (Jim had me name him – Vladimir Lenin), who did not care what people thought of him, did not look at himself in the mirror of history. Jim said I was very close to what his thinking had been; it was true he didn’t care what others thought of him, and as for history, he only cared that history recorded he had done his best to establish socialism. I went on to say that I believed it was painful to him to hear himself praised, but that he knew we needed to do it. He said yes, you do need it. I added that I thought that when he became bored at the adulation, he looked at individuals and evaluated them as to whether they would remain faithful. Jim said he did so, he evaluated people and does so all the time. Earlier he had told someone that he already knew who would stand by him when under pressure.

Jim spoke of how he dislikes public acclaim, and that he was thinking it was impossible to live up to the charismatic demand made of him. The demand for character which he always fulfilled was in conflict with the demand for charisma, and he would always decide in favor of character. For instance, he would always tell the truth, though it might destroy the image of “God” which some of us expect of him. Nevertheless, everything done here in all media is very carefully planned.

He continued: People are very superstitious. Marx, when he said religion is the opium of the people, did not feel contempt for the people. He knew that the conditions of their lives are so hard that they have to have faith in a god to save them. He spoke of those who objected to using religion to bring about social change. I’d prefer to be in a union hall tonight, but the unions are all sold out to big business. When I was young I looked around for an institution which I could use to build socialism, and the church is the only place I could get in. The revolution doesn’t adapt itself to your criteria. Some of you are too smug to do what is necessary. As Paul said, I must become all things to all men that by any means I might save the more. He said, by any means. The end justifies the means – but the means must lead to a noble end. You cannot use people. I have the choice of playing God or being God. 1 always will be God and admit imperfections. But as long as people call on God, 1 answer, “Here I am.”

After Penny Kerns in her remarks called attention to what he sacrificed: sleep, food, companionship with his family, Jim stated that whatever he did, whether it was with his immediate family, the leadership group, or the congregation, his attitude was the same: consideration of the needs of the people involved and of the cause.  He told how he had become engaged to Marceline because she was the mayor’s daughter, and he wanted to tie him in with socialism although he felt a strong attraction to a beautiful black woman. “I could have been led by my heart or by my ass. Most of you let yourselves be led by your ass. But I had a commitment to Marceline.

She had suffered a great deal. Even white middle class people suffer. And what I did was right for socialism because she has made a good Mother for you.”

Anthony Beam (Sellers), the boy who was a gang leader and stole from people’s purses, returned a wallet with money in it which he had found. Jim gave the boy five dollars.

David Smith wheeled Jewel Runnels in a wheelchair on the Disneyland trip, and she appreciated it.

The congregation filed past the altar.

The service was out at 10.15. I took home Valor and two other women to the Henderson apartments. Contonia has been in the Valley a week and is going back.

I arrived home at 11.30. I read the Saturday and Sunday papers for an hour. I went to bed at 1.00.


8 September – 1975 – Monday
Bob Garb was still away and Bob O’Neill was out with a cold. I had little work to do. I spent most of the day on the weekend journal entries.

I brought to work the skirts given to me by Mom Taylor on Saturday and showed them to some of the legal and insurance secretaries on our floor and on the eleventh hour. I didn’t sell any of the skirts, but several people want to give me their measurements and to put in special orders.

Rita is back from a trip and was glad to learn I would be available for work assignments.

I ate lunch at my desk.

Late in the afternoon John Stewart gave me a short contract draft to type.

The weather was foggy and cold all day.

At home I did my exercises.

I prepared and ate dinner and washed dishes, made split pea soup for lunches.

I typed in my journal from 9.30 to 11.30 and after “In Conversation” finished my four-page quota.

I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson an hour.

I went to bed about 1.30.


9 September – 1975 – Tuesday
I had several items to type today, some research material for one of the legal assistants and two memos for John Stewart.

I brought a tape measure to work, and some of the girls took their measurements. Cathy Costello may order a skirt to fit.

I spoke to Carol on the phone. She wanted her chronological file sent.

I indexed it and put it in the pouch together with other items which had come for her.

I finished journal entries for the weekend and yesterday.

The weather was cloudy again. I ate lunch at my desk.

I saw a film in the Bechtel meeting room, “A Portrait of a Nuclear Power Plant.” This was one on the Susquehanna River. The film had diagrams illustrating the reaction by which electricity is produced from uranium.

Gail Carney, a new secretary who works for Steve Butler, bought one of the Temple skirts. She can’t pay for it, however, until the payday after next.

Tonight I exercised.

I prepared and ate a meal and washed dishes, finishing early.

I typed in my journal from 8.40 to 11.00, doing a little more than four pages. I had not yet succeeded in getting the typewriter ribbon correctly installed and had to rewind it by hand on each cycle. I tried turning over the spool on one side, which twists the ribbon, but the ribbon reverses as it should.

I was very tired so I took my bath before listening to “In Conversation,” planning to go to bed earlier than I have been.

“In Conversation” had Nat Hentoff interviewing the new president of New York University, who gave a summary of the problems in higher education today.

I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson, intending to go to bed at 1.00, but kept falling asleep in my chair and did not get into bed until at least 1.30.


10 September – 1975 – Wednesday
Garb was back. As he is going on his vacation next week, O’Neill predicted he would have much work for us. Garb started me off with a memo. However, more material was not given to me until the end of the day.

I took care of a number of personal tasks: recorded my expenditures for the last few days, made out a check for my telephone bill (including the long distance call charged to me in connection with Dorothy’s escapade in Chicago, as I have heard nothing from her), checked with Metropolitan medical insurance and with Dr. Schaupp’s office on Dr. Schaupp’s bill, and with Dr. Fudgen’s office on the bill for cleaning and x-rays of my teeth which should be paid by my insurance.

I took Carol’s expense account downstairs to Finance and Accounting. I ate my lunch at my desk.

At 12.15 I went to a lecture, sponsored by the Energy Forum, by Ralph Sheets, a chemical engineer who has been in charge of a study project at a White River, Utah, site exploring the feasibility of deriving oil from oil shale. He spoke on “Oil Shale: Its Development Prospects.”  Although he says the costs of production are comparable to the cost of imported oil, he seemed to be pessimistic that the resources would be exploited. Environmental considerations are partly responsible. Sheets felt the public and government are not facing up to the shortage of energy which is going to occur and the problems connected with dependence on foreign oil.

I took a short walk. I rummaged around at a shoe and panty hose sale but found nothing desirable. I tried to buy the kind of toothpicks Dr. Fudgen’s hygienist recommended but couldn’t find them. I bought a pair of panty hose on sale at the Bechtel building pharmacy for seventy-seven cents.

I wrote a memo to Mike Prokes on arrangements for turning over my car to the Temple the last of September.

O’Neill used me for an hour and a half on the ATS computer to make some corrections on a contract concerning the Rolligon vehicle.

Koh got back from her vacation. She cleaned up Carol’s office. She wanted me to remove the sample skirts I’ve been keeping in the bookcase in the room, indicating to me that it would save me embarrassment. It is likely that Betty Vasil has disapproved of my displaying the skirts and perhaps of m soliciting sales on office time. I put them in a box which Koh gave me and stored them in a cabinet.

When I got home tonight, I had an hour’s nap.

I prepared a meal and ate, then dressed for the Temple service.

I left about 8.00, arrived at the Temple all the buses were arriving.

Thus the security check took me a long time. I had a little difficulty finding a good seat but got one in the front row at the side. Wesley Johnson conveyed a change in announcement policy. Regular announcements will be made on Wednesday and not on Saturday and Sunday.

Jean Brown announced to Valley high school students that they must enroll in Carolyn Layton’s English classes and her own at Ukiah High School. Jim had succeeded in setting Carolyn’s job back (the school system had probably tried to let her go after her absence when she was abroad on Temple business).

Jim came on the podium at 9.30. He issued a warning to and about people who join communes without contributing all their assets.

He took the offering, remarking that the offerings have fallen oft twenty-five percent since he has been taking only one.

Birdie Marable has been served with a process in connection with a statement she made that Mother LeTourneau was dead. Mabel Dodge had shown disagreement with a statement Jim had made, and Jim challenged her. Though a good woman, she often disagreed with him. The only way to do this is privately in writing.

Nettie Fleck lost forty pounds, the most anyone had lost last month. She was given a gift.

A special appeal is being made for funds to fight a court case to insure Inez Wagner’s custody or her son, Mark. I had met Inez at the bus stop one morning some time ago, and she had told me that now that Mark is thirteen and capable of independence his father is trying to get custody of him. She was having to find private housing, as living in the Temple might prejudice her chances in the custody case.

The Skitsophrenics presented a skit, showing how various members behave in church and on the bus. Garry Lambrev, Vicki Moore, Patti Christian, Ron Talley, Don Casanova and others did imitations of Archie, Wesley Johnson, Mike Prokes, Polla Matteras, Penny Kerns, Don Sly and so on. The imitation of Wesley was outstanding.

Kaye Rosas was called up. She had called Vera Taylor (Mom Taylor) an obscene name, had screamed at her. Other bad-tempered and selfish acts were cited.

Jim recognized an imbalance in his system was occurring, called for sugar, made a lunge at Kaye, shouting, “1 can’t stand any more of you white bitches.”  Mother Talley Taylor is dear to his heart because of what she has suffered. The staff had to restrain him and carry Kaye out. Jim had her brought back and ordered her to fight four black sisters. Three whom I knew were Annie McGowan, Lossie Lang and Gerry Bailey, all of them seniors. They all gave her a bad beating.

A long confession and appeal had been received from Hugh Doswell, who was in disfavor because of his arrogant words and actions following catharsis. He was still charging white domination of the movement. Jim would not allow the letter to be read. He also said boxing was not of any avail. Hugh was already feeling the effects in his body of Jim’s meditation being withdrawn from him, would die if he did not show a change by Sunday. Hugh knew he was undergoing these effects, pleaded for mercy. Jim said he had not had a change of heart yet.

Lisa Layton’s daughter has left her husband, has expressed a desire to join the Temple.

Several commendations were given: A young woman stayed in the tower in Redwood Valley ten hours, taking others’ security shifts. Mother Lacy opened up her home to all of Mother Taylor’s commune after the latter had been vandalized.

Drew is the school at which eleven (one more than originally planned) of our children are students. Jim said they were enjoying it so much. After a healing and protection period, the congregation came to the altar.

I delivered my letter for Mike Prokes and saw Joyce Parks to consult her about seeing the nurses in Los Angeles for examination of my breasts.

I saw Terry Carter. She has been in the hospital, had an appendectomy and a growth removed from her uterus. She has lost much weight. She is living at Joyce Parks’ house on the Temple grounds.

The service was out about 12.30. I was supposed to give a man a ride but couldn’t find him. I gave to Gerry Bailey on the seniors’ bus orders for skirts I had received at the office and money for a little pillow sold to Nicci.

I took home two of Contonia’s grandchildren and Magnolia.

I washed dishes.

I read the newspaper for an hour. I went to bed at 3.00.


11 September – 1975 – Thursday
I did some overhead work for Garb.

I estimated my financial situation for the rest of the month, preparatory to saving out enough money from my paychecks to take care of my Temple commitment and deciding how much I could pay back on my bank loan. Not having received a statement from the bank yet, I phoned them and arranged to make a payment today.

I ate my lunch at my desk.

I went to the bank.

I telephoned Lorraine to see whether she could go to the open meeting of the Temple on Saturday, 20 September. Members can invite anyone they wish, with the only restrictions people who are tolerant of George Wallace or politicians of his ilk, people who believe every word of the Bible is true, and those not open to miracles. Lorraine said she was going to be so busy for a few months that she was not going out at all. At present she is interviewing applicants for her manuscript typing. She has to have a whole new staff. Everything in the apartment has to be packed away to prepare for painters in October.

I exercised in the apartment.

I took care of chores in connection with my complexion and teeth and washed my hair while dinner cooked.

I ate my dinner, which consisted of vegetarian patties, yam, peppers stuffed with spaghetti and mushrooms, and honeydew melon. I washed dishes.

I washed underwear and the pantsuit lent to us by Beulah Pendleton for the Disneyland trip.

I packed for the Los Angeles trip while I listened to “In Conversation.”

I read for an hour.

It was nearly 2.00 before I got to bed.


12 September – 1975 – Friday
I got my time card in; again most of my time was spent on overhead.

I was kept busy most of the day on work from Garb, as this was the last day before his vacation. I typed two memos on two jobs concerned with hotel construction in the Philippines. I also spent two hours on an Anaconda contract.

I ate lunch at my desk and went at 12.00 to the meeting of the Bechtel Women for Affirmative Action. A speaker, Dr. Marion Wood, discussed “Women in Management.” She is a professor of business management.

In the afternoon I typed the first part of an analysis by Garb of the contract he has been negotiating with Iran Air. I had to work from his difficult hand-written draft. I stayed an hour overtime. I had not known how late I would be getting to the Temple service and was prepared to eat out and take a taxi. However, I did not do so but went home on the bus when finished.

I got home at 6.20, prepared and ate dinner and washed dishes. I finished packing and dressed.

I left for the Temple at 9.00. I parked on Geary. When I arrived in the auditorium, Jim was already on the podium.

It. tape of a former sermon was played, his solemn words on the overthrow of Allende in Chile and the tortures of the socialists.

While he took the offering, Jim mentioned the Muslims, who, as in the zebra trial, don’t stand up for each other, get no benefits such as we have, but whose leaders have Rolls-Royces, and yet pay 33% of their gross income to their organization. Jim made a strong appeal to us to become communal, so that we can save money. New rooms are being made in the Temple. He asked for more people to move in, and some applicants had their names taken.

Tommy Moore and Bryan Davis are behaving better.

Derrin Purifoy was on the floor for threatening to fight. He was pretending to be tough. He is ungrateful after Jim had saved his life.

He had to fight a girl. He protected his head and wouldn’t fight back, was whipped badly.

Gary, small son of June Strain, had kicked a senior, wouldn’t obey his mother, made fun of a brother with a scar. He also had to fight a girl, but he stood up to her well. However, his nose was bleeding, and he too was beaten.

Gary Johnson, a teen-ager, had called Joicy Clark obscene names when she corrected him for sitting on the Temple tables. His mom and natural brother gave other instances of his negative behavior.  He had to box two men.

A number of youth were commended for cleaning out the Temple lounge so that it can be used again.

Joe Brown telephoned during the service. He wants to come back. Jim said we have not received any money from him. Jim instructed that he should be told to get a job and send money, which was the requirement. After some healings, Jim called people by name to join the Temple. Members came up past the altar and the service ended at 12.00.

I got a seat on Bus No.3, moved my belongings from the car, and put the car in the Temple lot.

Fares were collected. We had a long wait. The hostesses gave instructions to passengers to keep quiet and let people rest, but young people in the back continued to chatter and giggle. The hostesses warned them again and again that offenders would be put out on the sidewalk. but they were still noisy. I expostulated angrily, as I had had a very hard day and had looked forward to going to sleep on the bus. Finally John Miles was sent in to the Temple; the others became quiet. The bus left at 2.30, and I got to sleep and didn’t even wake at the rest stop.


13 September – 1975 – Saturday
The bus arrived at the breakfast stop at 8.15. I washed, ran, ate my food, brushed my teeth.

I talked to Ray Godshalk, who said his daughter, Elizabeth, had broken up with her husband, Dennis Toth, had come back and stayed with him and Viola for a while. But she had no inclination to return to the Temple and Viola finally reconciled herself to letting her go, though she hated to give up the twins. Elizabeth is working as a counselor at Trinity School in Ukiah.

Garry Lambrev told me who did the various imitations in the skit Wednesday night; He did Penny and David Smith, Vicki Moore did Archie, Tiny Solomon did Wesley Johnson, Patti Chastain did Mabel Hinds, wife of Maurice, Ron Talley did Don Sly and Mike Prokes, Gerry Bailey did Patty Cartmell.

Elaine Keeler (Pat) had told me she wants to move in to the Temple but she had pets they wouldn’t allow her to keep. I told her I’d mention this to someone 1n the Council as a problem for many who want to enter communal living. I saw Jack Beam and asked him about Temple policy. He said they had had very bad luck when they allowed people to bring animals in to the Temple, and at present they would not accept them. He said there were going to be three or four people to a room in the Temple building.

I apologized to Carolyn Looman for being so bad-tempered on the bus last night, but I suggested to her that she made a mistake in threatening what she was going to do to the young people and not carrying it out.

I read the newspaper and a little in To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson. After the bus offering was taken, I slept. We arrived in Los Angeles at 12.30. Security was better organized than two weeks ago, and seniors were allowed through the line first. Consequently, there were fewer people in the bathroom, and I was dressed in half an hour and got a good seat.

Jim when he came on the podium referred to supposed intended attacks on President Ford with skepticism. The purpose was revealed the next day when Ford came out with a proposal for stricter police regulations. The result will be further interference with civil liberties of blacks. The capitalists will fight among themselves. We will have two years of concentration camps and tortures until the people finally achieve their freedom.

The skit parodying a Temple service and a trip on the bus was given again. New items had been added and some replacements made. Archie was done by Lee Ingram and Hugh Doswell by Jack Beam. An imitation of Paul Flowers was added.

A list of those who lent their cars for use by the Temple or for pamphleting was read.

Carolyn Wideman’s behavior is much improved. She cleans the bus and assists the hostess.

Frances Johnson is doing an excellent job as recording secretary in Los Angeles.

Gary Johnson had bragged that he could have won his fight Friday night. He had to fight again. Everybody is to fight the best he or she can and not talk about the fight afterward. Gary had to fight four men. He was knocked out.

The service, after healings and altar call, was out about 6.30.

I had been asked to supervise Judy Houston and Lerna, daughter of Brenda Jones, of the Shaw-Houston commune. Brenda is head of the San Francisco ushers. I went downstairs where the children were eating to get Judy and Lerna, as Maxine Thomas, who was talking Beulah and her group home, was not inclined to wait. We were out of the Temple while it was still daylight, which is unusual. I had intended to have the nurses examine my breasts, but there was to be a nurses’ meeting before examinations were done, and I could not wait.

For dinner we had franks, canned corn, bread and watermelon. Beulah told me her husband was in jail for drunken driving and driving without a license. He has not had a license for fifteen years, has been convicted of drunken driving many times. Beulah didn’t have the money for bail. Her daughter and children are still in the house. Beulah told me that, as Jim said, we don’t need hell, this life is already hell.

Beulah called five families, mostly relatives, concerning the open service tomorrow, as Jim had stated. They have all been in services previously. Two said they probably would come.

I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson, went to sleep about 12.00.


14 September – 1975 – Sunday
Beulah got me up at 8.30.

For breakfast I had fried eggs, bacon, and toast.

One of Beulah’s grandsons came to take some of us to the service. Beulah and the others would go later with Maxine.

We arrived at the Temple at 11.00, but the line was long and security check very time-consuming. Chris Talley told me the check was particularly strict, as we had so many visitors. The visitors, she said, were also being admitted first. I didn’t get into the service until 12.00, having missed the announcements, testimonies, and most of the music.

I had to take a seat toward the back.

Jim when he came on the podium asked first for any questions. A member asked, why don’t people stay after hearing the truth? Jim used the question as a basis for his entire sermon. He said it was a great mystery to him. “I think it is because people do not like to think.” He then covered the usual points he makes when talking to new audiences. Some of them were: when you see God, you will be like him, God always has a body; ye are all gods; these things shall you do and greater. He had the congregation indicate by raising their hands the number of people who were brought back from the dead and those healed of various diseases or given prophecies which saved their lives. Naturally, jackleg preachers say I am the devil; they called Jesus the prince of devils, but devils cannot cast out devils. He went on to other themes: he who loses his life shall find it, you can’t love someone you’re afraid of, the only criterion set by Christ for being saved was the commandment to feed the hungry, free those who are imprisoned, and so on. Those who expect to see Jesus split the eastern sky will not see him, but he will be seen drunk lying in the alley. Jim attacked the King James Bible, explaining that the letter killeth, therefore the Bible murders. He wound up by specifying some of the errors in the Bible.

The nurses in the back of the auditorium gave a signal that someone was dead. Jim did not move from his place but brought the man back. It was Danny Kutulas, who came forward and embraced him.

Jim took the offering. It seemed to me that even members gave very little.

Very few healings were performed publicly, and the congregation, after being asked to file past the altar, was dismissed at 3.30.

I got into the food line early and was served relatively quickly. I brushed my teeth and changed clothes. I boarded my bus.

Jim met with the leadership group outside near his bus.

The buses left about 5.30. I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson, had a few minutes’ sleep.  Then the bus offering was taken, and the second time around we raised the budgeted offering.

We drove to the park, but the lights were off, and Jim decided not to risk anything happening to our members, there being so much hostility.

We went to the Buttonwillow rest stop instead, where we had about an hour’s recreation. The children organized games and Jim, in a pajama suit, walked around observing.

I talked with C. J. [Jackson] about the significance of Bechtel’s having hired George Shultz, former Secretary of the Treasury, and Casper Weinberger, former head of Health, Education and Welfare.

1 talked with Carol Stahl about Temple intentions to establish our own school, and she invited me to submit any suggestions I had.

The buses left the rest stop about 10.00. Getting the bus quiet required some effort. I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson about an hour.

I slept very well, waking only at the rest stop.

We arrived in San Francisco at 3.45. I took Toby Stone and Marie Lawrence with their children home. I got home at 4.45.


15 September – 1975 – Monday
I pressed clothes from 5.00 to 6.00.

I moved the car from Mrs. Heitmeier’s driveway.

With Garb on vacation I didn’t have much work. I typed a memo for John Stewart. John, who has been appointed the department’s coordinator for the United Way campaign asked me to be one of his canvassers. The campaign will open this week, and all members of the department are to be solicited starting 1 October. No “hard sell” approach need be taken. I worked on journal entries.

Glenn Hennington and I intended to sell Temple pamphlets today on our lunch hour. However, both of us forgot to bring them, so we will go tomorrow.

I ate lunch at my desk, as the weather was cold. At home I exercised.

I prepared dinner. I was eating when I got a call from Tim asking if he could drop by. He was in the City for a Disciples’ meeting. He came about 7.00. He had already eaten at the Temple. This was the first time I have talked with him since Jim restored him after he was shot, except for a few words after a meeting and at the rest stop. He did not give me any information as to who might have shot him. I told him about my plans to give my oar to the Temple. I discussed with him the possibility of my moving in to the hotel which the Temple might acquire and problems I might have in communal living, especially in writing this journal. I told him that I had had no communication with my sisters since my call to Mabs following Dorothy’s escapade in Chicago, and that I felt relations with them are probably broken off. Tim left about 9.00.

I washed dishes.

I read the newspaper and To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson. I had talked with Tim about this book, particularly the description in it of Lenin.

I went to bed at 12.00.


Temple Members
Sharon Amos
Gerry Bailey
Jack Beam
Rocki Breidenbach
Jean Brown
Joe Brown
Mary Candoo
Patricia Cartmell
Patti Chastain
Mary Lou Clancy
Joicy Clark
Bryan Davis
Cleve Davis
Mabel Dodge
Hugh Doswell
Maureen Fitch
Nettie Fleck
Paul Flowers
David Gallie
Kaye [Gibbs]
Ray Godshalk
Elizabeth Godshalk
Viola Godshalk
Nevada Harris
Glenn Hennington
Mabel Hinds
Maurice Hinds
Judy Houston
Archie Ijames
Lee Ingram
Sandy Ingram
CJ Jackson
Frances Johnson
Gary Johnson
Wesley Johnson
Brenda Jones
Lerna Jones
Lynetta Jones
Marceline Jones
Tim [“Night”] Jones
Elaine Keeler (Pat)
Penny Kerns
Danny Kutulas
Mother Lacy
Garry Lambrev
Ginny Lambrev
Lossie Lang
Marie Lawrence
Carolyn Layton
Lisa Layton
Mother LeTurneau
Carolyn Looman
Mertles [family]
Polla Materas
John Miles
Vicki Moore
Tommy Moore
Lela Murphy
Annie McGowan
Ken Norton
Zelline O’Bryant
Beulah Pendleton
Mike Prokes
Derrin Purifoy
Bill Purifoy
Kaye Rosas
Sandy Rozynko
Jewel Runnels
Washington Sanders
Anthony Beam (Sellers)
Marvin Sellers
Gina Severns
Don Casanova [Sheid]
Lillian Sills
Nancy Sines
Maxine Thomas
Dennis Toth
Don Sly
David Smith
Novella Sneed
Tiny Solomon
Tim Stoen
Tobianna Stone
Toby Stone
Gary Strain
June Strain
Helen Swinney
Larry Swinney
Chris Talley
Ron Talley
Mom Taylor
Mom [Vera] Taylor
Lorenza Tucker
Carol Stahl
Inez Wagner
Mark Wagner
Carolyn Wideman
Harry Williams

Shaw-Houston commune
Sisterhood Meeting
Temple Skirts (made by Mom Taylor)


Birdie Marable


Non Temple Names
[Salvadaor] Allende
Aunt Janes & Uncle Toms
President Ford
Dr. Fudgen
Carl Green
Mrs. Heitmeier
Nat Hentoff (“In Conversation”)
Vladimir Lenin
Paul [Disciple]
Dr. Schaupp
Ralph Sheets
George Wallace
Lowel Weiker
Dr. Marion Wood, Prof Bus.Management


Edith’s Sisters/Relatives
Lorraine [de la Fuente, friend from SFSC]
Ryn [Kathryn, Lorraine’s daughter]


Bechtel / People / Edith Work
ATS Computer
Steve Butler
Gail Carney
Cathy Costello
Bob Garb
Barbara Gersh
BWAA – Bechtel women for Affirmative Action
Jack Nemeth
Bob O’Neill
Rolligon vehicle
John Stewart
George Shulz
Betty Vasil
Casper Weinberger


Disneyland, Anaheim, CA
Buttonwillow, CA
Berkeley, CA
Bakersfield, CA
Houston, TX New York City, NY
New York
Ponce, Puerto Rico

To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson

Film: “A Portrait of a Nuclear Power Plant”
Lecture: “Women in Management” at Bechtel, Dr. Marion Wood
Radio Show: “In Conversation” ABC
Bechtel Energy Forum: White River Project, Oil Shale on Susquehana River
Show: “America the Beautiful” at Disneyland

Coop in Berkeley
Drew School [Drew College Preparatory School], SF
Iran Air
PG&E Steps
Star Trek
Trinity School, Ukiah, CA


Black Muslims
King James Bible
Disciples of Christ