Transcribed from her handwritten notes by Don Beck
The text transcribed here (revised 2011) from Edith Roller’s notes has some missing words or lines due to (1) unreadable, poorly xeroxed text or (2) unreadable writing. Blanks are left in the text for these areas.
1 May 1978 – Monday
After breakfast I went to the school office and copied the news from lists prepared for teachers by Bea Orsot. Inez Wagner had told me about them.
Worked a little on my journal. I had gotten behind the last few days. I am not up to date yet.
Met with the adult class, a large group concerned with passing the second news events test and many are afraid they failed the last one. I tried to show them the line-up of socialist vs. capitalist / fascist countries in Africa and South and Central America.
Took a shower.
Prepared for my afternoon class (I expected to observe Shirley Robinson in class she shares with Tropp). I was concerned about the talk Tropp was to have with the intermediate class and what discussions would be made about my teaching relationship with class members and so on.
The first period I spent on news events and let Billy Jones write at the board items given by the others. Some participated. Others read other books or started vacantly but did not give any trouble.
I had not thought of the class switch each week between Jann and me. Tropp told me to take the Advanced class. He and Jann counseled the intermediate group. I gave the advanced group the breakdown of socialist / fascist alignment in the world. Attention was good.
Got my dinner. Jann, Dick and I met in the school tent. Tropp got the usual reports from Jann and me then Jann suggested the results of the session with the intermediate group be given to me and she started. The way I presented material came in for some criticism. My impatience was mentioned. They had brought up to my detriment the episode involving moving the benches. However criticism seems to have been muted. Tropp frowned on Jann’s using news items as such in so many sessions though the political and social events of the world could and should be the basis for teaching many skills. He also was quite open to variations in our class procedure.
I went to the bakery and got my treat, peanut butter fudge. Went home and read a few minutes and ate my candy.
I went to the women’s meeting at 8.00.
Liane Harris presided, Marcy took a prominent part. Marcy pointed out that some younger people were sitting while older people were standing. Names were taken of those who are willing to spend some time with a child. Supervisors and parents who needed some help with children in their case were asked to raise their hands.
Ellen Klingman charged with neglecting April when she was supposed to be with her. Ellen says she is reading a book now on relating to children. A number of instances of Ellen’s neglecting April. Ellen was evasive. Marcy insisted that Ellen pick April up on time or get some one to do it for her. Carolyn Looman says Ellen’s boys need her attention too. Kim Fye will pick up April when necessary. Ellen is to help with William’s and Che’s (Todd’s) school work.
Jo Ann [Lourece Jackson] (mother) neglecting Richard Jackson, doesn’t pick him up. Anitra Green (his sister) said in front of him that she didn’t have time to take care of him, Marcy said some mothers given children are responsive to older children, Marcy asked her if she wanted to keep Richard. If not someone else would take him and give him the love he needs.
Marcia Simon on floor. She worked special care unit for a long time and her child felt rejected. She is still not picking her up: Camille, her child. Marcy says they’ve been through this before, talking about her aliments, one specific fault.
Comments on people on the floor last time. Vernetta wanted to know if Judy [Ijames] had stopped passing by Joe William’s cottage. Judy says Jason Gieg’s ill and sent for her. Joe could have taken Jason in.
Woman (Yvonne) treated badly by Ronnie Sines conflict between her and Ronnie. She accuses Penny of spying on her. Decision they have right to be together as long as he is treating her right. No comments on Tanya [Garcia] or Stephanie [Jones].
Sanitary napkins: two types were displayed. Have to be washed. Leaving them open believed to be more sanitary.
Those who were on the floor in previous meetings were asked to come up and make statements talking about how they feel now.
Janet Lenin (Tupper) on the way home from the piggery collapsed from what may have been heat exhaustion. Mary Wotherspoon and others carried her but probably would not have been successful in bringing her in, in time. The tractors happened to come by, turned around and took her to the medical office. She is going to be all right.
I got home at 10:00 after the meting. I read The Man Who Cried I Am until I went to bed at 11.00.
2 May 1978 – Tuesday
After breakfast went over the news items in the school office.
I made plans for my classes, trying in each case to have a really organized approach.
Wrote a little in my journal.
Went to lunch.
A large number attended my adult class. My plan went smoothly.
Jim on the p.a. system spoke extremely seriously about everyone’s effort and attitude in order to build up our community. He also spoke bitterly about the crimes of our enemies. He alluded to his own health (high blood pressure and low blood sugar) as he had been doing often.
When I reported to the cottage, Terri Buford, just getting up, inquired what Jim had said, specifically about his own condition. I did not realize that he had had any different emphasis than before, but I could see that she was worried.
Visitors were expected today and special provisions made, but heavy rain fell and the visitors didn’t come.
After my shower I worked on my journal.
Using my lesson plan worked very effectively with the first period group and several showed an increase in understanding world events, particularly Willie Malone. I told them I was pleased with them and would recommend praises for them.
In the second period class I had fairly good luck, was able to go farther with the same material then with the adults or the remedial group, as a basis for an essay to be written tomorrow. Some were talkative, though. Jim was on the p.a. system the entire time and though classes do not have to pay attention. It is hard to make one’s self heard over his voice. Jim unexpectedly announced a rally for tomorrow.
I reported on my classes to Tropp, recommended praises for them.
Jim had started to read an account of a man who had been in a Chilean concentration camp after Allende’s overthrow. He read several chapters while I ate dinner and went home to change clothes for the rally.
The rally was at 7.15. The tape Jim had just made was played again while all were to listen and pass a test on it.
Jim had read and put on tape (2 hours and 45 minutes) part of a report from a former political prisoner, Rolando Carrasco in Chile when Allende was overthrown. [Chile’s prisoners of war, by Rolando Carrasco, published in English in Moscow, Novosti Press Agency Pub. House, 1977.]
Jim had it played again at the beginning of the rally. Told us we would have to write on it and to take notes. Afterwards he had several songs by Victor Jara played. Peter Wotherspoon translated them.
Jim spoke of gaining sensitivity and knowledge. His condition. Of his own physical condition, Jim said his blood pressure is dangerously high and his sugar levels are alarming. Larry had diagnosed the difficulty as an insulin secreting tumor on the pancreas, which may or may not be malignant. If malignant the prognosis is very gloomy even at best, he is need of surgery. The Soviet Union may not have the technological development necessary to perform such an operation. Having it done in the capitalist world poses extreme difficulties. Besides Jim cannot leave Jonestown. Larry had consulted on the radio with expert endocrinologists and they agreed with Larry’s diagnosis.
Grow up! Offer to go with him. Rejected exception. Jim: help him. He named: learn, combat ignorance, behavioral problems. Geraldine “Jerry” Bailey: Can someone read for him? Answer: Possibly, but most don’t have that sensitivity. Show sufficient feeling.
Jim: The worst thing that could happen to me would be to see my movement come to an end.
Conspiracy: problems back there. We have some evidence of plot killing Chris Lewis. Names given last night tied in.
To child who doesn’t know anything, “You, people like you are killing me.” Tim Stoen is responsible for my death. Harriet says she combs her hair in class, never listens. Marcy says deal with all students who don’t pay attention in class. Jim infuriated with her, puts her on Learning Crew.
Jim: people not taking enough responsibility running the place. Mentions steering committee.
Jim: Ought to deal severely with those who cause trouble any place: in classrooms, everywhere, put them in jail not therapy.
Henry Mercer thinks all should have responsibility for learning. Jim says he does better without sight than many with it.
Mennonite, go back to Pennsylvania and drown yourself.
News: taking it down from the board. Jim: some damned selfish person depriving others of right to learn. Discussed methods of learning news.
Medical opinion from radio. Jim read it; the prognosis is better.
Teresa [King] suggests playing tape at 11:00 in the library. Jim agrees.
Report of analysts meeting. Tish Leroy: ones labor costs 5.50 an hour. Hand carts can be used instead of big machines. Intensive farming.
India went pro-soviet today. China now surrounded by pro-Soviet nations and turmoil in Iran and Pakistan. Iran surrounded as Iraq is pro-soviet; world war threatens.
Stephen emphasis on avoiding using chain saw. Use cross-out saw. Guys get “pissed off”, crew on floor. Lee Ingram warned against anyone giving any shit. We’re just giving advice tonight.
Livestock and poultry: Dorothy Solomon. Chickenry doing well. Need someone to plant trees. The piggery needs more people.
Nursery and Orchards: Wing beans doing well. Citrus losses from kushi ants. Lost coffee trees in the heat; doing better with rain and those in the shade. Planting large fruit orchard. Compost relates to intensive farming. Our soil lacks organic matter or humus. Peas or beans plowed under; plow under weeds. Requires taking land out of production, laying foliage and plowing under. Much work.
Perhaps most efficient materials compost, well rotted vegetation matter with animal manure. Eight tons per acre per year. Compost sheds needed for fields. Problem of who is going to construct them? Chaikin suggests one construction person with agriculture crew involved. Maggot control discussed again.
Sorrell, soap, bricks. Barron is burning bricks, which has to be done night and day. Etta Thompson is making soap. She has samples to show guests and is ready to start production.
Agricultural produce: great rumpus over sweet potatoes stored under dorm and according to reports, rotting. Then, question of how to use them. The kitchen crew says they would cook them but didn’t know they were there. Much rumbling in audience for some reason.
Peanuts: Ertis Jeffery needs building to dry peanuts. Tom Grubbs suggests a plan for a drying shed.
Bananas: Danny Kutulas
Gardens: cultivation of land: Philip Blakey thinks we should start horse plowing. Johnny Brown thinks we should do something with our horses. Wanda Swinney says Georgetown thinks we’ll have to make our own plows. Jim says hand plows used in half the world. Get in touch with Korean Embassy.
Michaeleen Brady has an insolent attitude. Hostile when she has to do physical labor. Jim sends her to the box.
Santiago Rosas after bad injury treated with antibiotic is back to work and worked hard.
Rory Bargeman: neglect of job. Jann Gurvich said good word for him at school. Jim gave him a break.
Jim: the box takes no supervision time now. It’s jail, just food and medical attention.
At closing Jim said a project had been developed which would help communism. People’s social security identity cards and any other passes, documents and keys they held in connection with their former jobs were requested. Turn them in to Terri Buford.
The rally ended at 12:15. I spoke to Tropp about praises for my class. He said they would have to have a good record for an entire week and would be put on the list next week.
I went home and searched my crates for my social security card and any other documents I had which might be useful. I couldn’t find my social security card. I may have turned it over in Georgetown. I took out my San Francisco library card. I have never received my driver’s license after reporting the loss of my old one and receiving a temporary license. I took what I had up to Terri in the radio room.
I went to bed at 1:30.
3 May 1978 – Wednesday
Spent a most frustrating and tiring day.
After breakfast during the morning, I had to make two extra trips to and from the central area. The first time to turn in to Terri Buford in the radio room a social security card given to me by a senior.
I wrote a note to Jim making a suggestion on his medical care. Later I wrote another note asking to be considered for reading the news and other material (in the rally last night it had been suggested that someone who reads well could help save Jim’s voice by helping with this on the p.a. system. He said he would consent to having try-outs.)
Did a little work on my journal.
I went to lunch.
The adult class came to hear news items explained, was overflowing. When I arrived I found some had organized as much as they could. I got books out for people to write on and started the roll around. The class went well.
I took a shower.
I prepared for my class.
At 3.00 I had an appointment with Shanda James Oliver to have my teeth cleaned. She took me to the guest cottage which is near Marcy’s cottage and some of the medical units. The dental chair was there as the dentist who was here on the weekend had used the cottage. Shanda examined my teeth, found them and the gums in good condition, though they are receding, she showed me how to massage them. She could not clean them as an electric cord she needed was either broken or missing. She has to wait on the electricians to supply her with one. I’ll have to have another appointment when she gets it.
I went up to the pavilion to wait for my first period class. We had had some rain and there was an atmosphere of unrest. I had expected great seriousness after tonight’s announcement on Jim’s health and last night’s news on attempts to kill Jim. There was not the usual announcement about the start of classes as Jim was reading more from Chile’s Prisoners of War.
Some of the members of the first class gathered. I went to the school office to get the composition book. My pencils were all missing when I got back. I had planned to give the class practice in writing news events. I had to have them recite, the performance was disappointing. Kenny Reed and Ronnie Dennis had been working on the boat and came in late as did Willie who had been in a conference with Marcy.
Tropp said I was late starting the class.
The second period class came in noisy, their restlessness increased as they realized they had to do written work. There was a mix-up of the composition books. I had some of Jann’s. I did not find Julie Guevara’s [Cordell] at all. She also could not find a pencil. I borrowed one from Jann. I gave the class a choice of two items on which to write and they finally got down to work but most of them will need another day.
Jann and I reported our absences to Tropp. He wanted to have a teacher’s meeting but we persuaded him not to as the political enlightenment teachers had to meet at 7:00.
I went to the cottage and got my political enlightenment folder and reported to the meeting. Several teachers and co-teachers were absent including Jann.
We drafted the tests for the seniors and those under 65. We made the tests harder than last time, giving each group ten questions with a short answer, five essay questions, and five review questions form the last test. Mike Touchette and Rob Christian conducted the meeting which was disorderly with people speaking at the same time
Mike said Jim had stated we would have the special class for those who failed the first test immediately after the second test, though some felt it was a bad time for seniors to have to think. No other time is available. Those who have to take the second class are to be divided into groups and volunteers were asked to teach the groups. I was relieved I did not have to teach them all although Teresa King thought it would be better if I did. I was also glad that at the moment at least it seems there will be only one session to have to teach those groups in a special session every week.
I was the first to volunteer. The final decision was that all teachers who did not have another appointment would take a special group.
I got home after this meeting about 10.15.
I read The Man Who Cried I Am about half an hour.
Inez was not home. Versie had gone to the library to study for tomorrow’s test. Ann Edwards and Anitra Greene had just started reviewing for the test and did not turn out the light at 11.00. I finally requested them to do so, telling them I had had a very bad day and faced another one. They continued to talk and argued when I told them to stop. They could have studied in the library or dining room. I started to cry. I think they went out. I got up and went to the bathroom. I saw Eleanor Beam making her security rounds. I did not mention Ann and Anitra to her but did speak to her about the noise after 11.00. She is very loud herself.
I went to sleep some time after 12.00.
4 May 1978 – Thursday
There was a heavy rain storm during the night and continued raining during the day.
Worked on my journal.
Went to lunch.
At my adult class not as many as usual attended. I gave a review, asking the class members to ask questions. Knowing the test questions I didn’t want to be in a position to reveal any. I had arranged for Jann to come in and explain the Chinese Third World Doctrine, which she did. I wanted her to do it more for my sake as I was not sure I understood what Jim has been telling us. Jann gave her usual full treatment to the matter, faster and with a more difficult vocabulary than I would have used. Took my shower.
Went to the Medical Department at 2.00 for an hour and talked to them for an hour about the week’s news again asking different questions so not to breech confidence.
I prepared for classes.
In the first period class I gave them a review of the most important points in the week’s news.
Jan suggested we put our second period classes together for a review of the news which she conducted very competently. I expanded on a few of the items.
Jim was on the public address system a great deal during the day with news and reviews of books, films and a stage play. He also said that a meeting was held last night in the Temple at San Francisco of Soviet officials and US communist leaders. Jim addressed them by radio and announced that he is a communist, receiving great applause.
I had dinner.
The high school teachers met. Students who have been causing trouble were called to appear and be questioned.
We expected to give the test prepared last night to political enlightenment classes at 7:00, but instead Jim announced that a rally was necessary and said he would give the test in the rally.
Jim’s health was better. He said it have been found that the medication he was taking had been to blame for some of his symptoms and the tumor in his pancreas may be benign.
The test was administered.
Jim questioned Ronnie Dennis and companion. Ronnie is a good worker but needs to achieve literacy. His companion X was asked to give him help and encouragement.
Guyana [government] refused to speak to Stoen when he was demanding it. And when he asked, we [had] said we would refuse to eat and [so] they [the Guyanese Government] didn’t do it.
Reason for this special meeting. Eureka Research Association, a communist front organization had signed a contract with Tim Stoen that they would perform reconnaissance operations in Guyana with the aim of killing Jim Jones. We got either the original or a photo of the document. He had to pay them money he could only obtain from CIA. We informed the Guyanese government. The American embassy told us to resist them. We have obtained extra defense equipment.
Rob Gieg reported in late tonight with Connie Frohm. Shirley Hicks reports they were working late on reports for Estelle Railback. Both Connie and Rob deny anything going on. Connie’s companion is Don Fitch.
Jim on Stoen: Liz Foreman [Forman], Neva Sly and Mertles spend all their time together, hate each other. Stoen always hated Liz Foreman [Forman] and now all these people are in close association.
Jim administered the test. He gave four different sets of questions in the main. People had counted off so that they did not have the same questions as the person next to them. The socialism teachers monitored, helping those who could not write or had other problems. I held Eileen McMurry’s (McCann) baby who squirmed so much she couldn’t write. I had to write the questions and holding the baby made it hard to do. The test was difficult. Many questions were essay type. The last questions to be answered by all were to tell what we felt guilty for, such as wasting money or not doing our job in San Francisco before we came to Jonestown explaining what services we would perform for the cause, even at the risk of death.
The political enlightenment teachers were called over to the rice tent where people who did work during the test had to take it. Tom was handling the tests and Debby Jensen [Schroeder] was giving the tests. They did not need my help so I returned.
The boat came in today. The entertainers were finishing on one of their performances.
Discussion then moved to problems of off-loading the boat. Unloaders were blamed for the condition of musical instruments and for damage to fruit. Boat workers say the damage is caused by the having to carry everything in the trailer and the condition of the fruit when loaded in Georgetown. The decision was made to make crates to carry things. Patty Cartmell and Jack Beam were critisized for method of giving orders. Jim said Patty was very loyal. If she were in the US she would get to the bottom of the conspiracy and wrap it up. But she makes those dollars work for us in Guyana.
Discussion of a young Guyanese who had written some songs, said he was a revolutionary and wanted to visit Jonestown. Jim questioned everyone who had met him to give their impressions. Jim concerned he may be a spy. Seems to be a musician and has connections with a school. Jim gives instructions on how to treat would-be visitors and get rid of them.
Jim inquires about Michaeleen Brady. She is in prison (the box) and acting badly. Marcy has given her many medical tests but no results. Chris Talley, her sister, says she has to be treated very firmly Jim wants her worked to death tonight, “but don’t give her a cutlass; she will kill you.” Keep her up all night and at work.
Jim reviewed people on Learning Crew, questioning some of them, he found that they didn’t do well on the news, lacking in skills.
Michaeleen was brought it. She was reported as having cried when he heard Jim’s life is in danger. He inquired why she was so hostile when Pat Patterson arrived. She still cares for Pat. Jim warned her against letting him know how much she cares. She’s possessive said Marcy, even with her children. She blames the church for taking the children from her. Maureen Fitch and Ray said the children had never been better off than they were in the Temple. She was responsible for putting her own brother in jail for 60 days over thanksgiving and Christmas. She lacks a feeling of guilt. Jim encourages her and Pat to go back together. Michaeleen to work for two weeks, if successful then resume their relationship.
Patty gave her version of trouble with boat loaders. She says they are very careless. Jim says she is a nagger and doesn’t give enough credits. Patty said crew was slow in lifting Helen on to a tractor. Jim says they should act friendly in public. The crew individually vowed to behave better. Stanley Wright gets remonstrances galore for making a racist statement in public. Jim says it was treason out there. Ruby Carroll says Stanley wouldn’t work. His behavior is so bad that he was asked not to return to town. He never smiled. Jim put him on the Learning Crew, told him to smile. He would smile or be on Learning Crew until he does. Jim: any person who makes any insulting remarks on any person or department in public will be dealt with severely.
Jim continues review of Learning Crew. Some moved from jail to our Learning Crew. Some were taken out to where the tiger is.
Rally ended about 1.00.
5 May 1978 – Friday
We got up two hours late.
Had breakfast. In the mornings after breakfast lately, since I do not have to wait for medication any more, I drink a cup of hot water, brush my teeth, go to the school office and read any news written up for the teachers. I sometimes talk to people for some reason or giving or getting information and then on the way home go to the bathroom. My bowel movements are fairly regular.
Started work on the political enlightenment test for the teachers. I typed it up. I think four pages on one side will be enough as a double-spaced page holds a good deal. I wanted to utilize the news items into an essay on polarizing forces in the world leading to a collapse of capitalism and perhaps nuclear war.
A large number came to the adult class today, though I had made no announcement. I resumed work on reading, telling my aim was to take care of three categories: with  those who can’t read and write,  those who can read and write a little, and  those who read fairly well but don’t write well. For this lesson I tried to give material which might interest all three groups. At the end of the class period I found that Liane Harris had been in the group. She realized I was going to need help and offered to give her services. She uses very innovative methods in the junior high and I hope she can work with me.
Took a shower.
I typed more on my exam. As Anitra was using the stool which I usually use on top of a crate for a typewriter stand, I had to pull out both of my crates and type on them. I finished a second page.
In my first period class I had the students read from a textbook of which there were enough copies with the students sharing a book. Jerome was at the front gate and Ronnie and Kenny were working on the boat. I have two new students, Alida Santiago and Marice Anderson. The class behaved fairly well but read badly what was probably the forth or fifth grade level reading. Yolanda Brown read the best. Willie is doing better, I think.
Though the second period class had not finished their papers started earlier in the week, I let them have their Friday reading period. I was not sure most of them used it for reading, as few followed my instructions to turn their books back to me at the end.
I had dinner and took my plate to the school tent where the high school teachers met with Dick Tropp. We had a long meeting. Tropp emphasized striving for reading ability based on Jim’s literacy drive. He made it plain that though instruction can be based on news, it should not be a mere dictation and writing down news items. When discussion turned to behavior problems and class inattentiveness, Tropp felt that it was possible to awaken motivation by various means. Their experience in the US schools and television had reduced their attention span. Liane Harris attended as she is going to help Jann, overburdened with junior high teaching with her basic class. I am not sure she will have time to help me with the adults. We spent a good while talking to students one by one who had misbehaved in class. We are authorized to be very strict, even to the point of calling SAT to deal with an obstreperous student. Several of the complaints came from Betty Fitch in her math class.
I was home at 7.00.
Typed the rest of the plain paper. Four pages in all. The first three were on politics. On the fourth, I put, as required, a second statement on the money I had wasted in the states and expanded on my opportunity to serve the cause in any way required. I finished and took it to the Radio Room just before 11.00.
Read The Man Who Cried I Am a few minutes.
Went to bed at 11.00.
6 May 1978 – Saturday
I did a number of errands and tasks: checked news lists in the school office, consulted Grubbs about ordering books for adult education as Becky Beikman had told me we would have a last opportunity to get orders in. Went to the warehouse to get a pair of boots in order to be ready for the rainy system. I had to go to the new building put up to take care of the supplies moved from the piggery. It was in charge of a young man named Charlie who was crippled. He was trying to chase out Vincent Lopez who was lounging around undoubtedly hoping to move in unobserved and seize something of value. I told Charlie I would back him up on the floor if Vincent caused him any trouble.
Jim gave us a flood of news all day. At different times, tapes would be played of previous readings. In the cottage I couldn’t hear very well and I found I missed some details while busy on my tasks. I did gather that South Africa invaded Angola three times. Libya had been responsible for a strike in Tanzania. It seems, as was my thesis in the paper I wrote for my test, that the pace of conflict between the capitalist and communist world is increasing rapidly. The Tunisian news touched me personally as Ryn de la Fuente may still be in the Peace Corps there. I know that if she is, Lor will be frantic. I had told her Tunisia was a quiet part of the world and Ryn would be perfectly safe.
Another item of news concerning our own people was a statement that [Howard] Oliver, father of Bruce and Billy had discovered where Bruce was 9 that he had been raped by a man. He wanted to kill the child who he thought would be a homosexual as a result of the incident.
I washed clothes, having borrowed a big pan from Rita. I was able to do the job very efficiently.
I went to lunch.
Did my personal chores. Took a shower and washed my hair. Put in a hem in my skirt and took up a pair of pants. I worked on my journal by have some entries yet to make.
Wrote a recommendation (as a money serving measure) that a stern policy be drafted to get dishes and silver returned to the kitchen (much time is wasted waiting for cups and glasses). Also written announcements for volunteers to help with the adult reading program.
I had changed clothes taking with me what was needed for the rally tonight. I got a pillow and read The Man Who Cried I Am. Found that what I read last night I had forgotten partially, probably because my mind was tired.
During the last few days Ruth Lenin Tupper had moved in to our cottage. She works nights on security and sleeps days. Patty Dennis [McCoy] has had to move back to the loft. Laura Johnston consulted me as to whether I knew anything about who was her supervisor now. I said I knew nothing about it except she had received little supervision from Ann. Since the episode the other night I have ignored both Ann and Anitra in the cottage and they ignore me except to continue to borrow my mirror.
Jim had warned us there would be another test on news items. I had thought it might be an oral sampling. Jim asked questions of each be demanded less of children and seniors and also made his decision partly on the basis of how the person had done on the written test.
One woman who seemed to be Brother Bridgewater’s companion who aroused Jim’s anger first by answering all questions except that the Soviet Union had concentration camps It turned out that she was so jealous of Bridgewater she could not concentrate on anything else.
Jim gave grades of excellent, pass and fail. Those who failed were assigned to take the special socialism class and in some cases told to learn how to read and write better in my reading class.
Jim either healed a woman who complained of lack of hearing or her lack of hearing caused by fear disappeared as he talked to her.
Jim: Read discussion of SF Police were watching all those who came in the Temple when Jim addressed community by radio. The names of all who are coming in.
People began to appear in lines who were not H’s. Jim discovered that Security was putting people in line who were asleep or guilty of other misbehavior. He sent them all to extra class.
Chaikin on intensive agriculture following sequential planting transplanting (particularly with rice).
Small Animals-Chris Talley: Female duck laid 13 eggs. Questions. 32 animals. Question on duck eggs. She thought duck wasn’t going to sit on the eggs and boiled them, fed to the monkeys. The eggs, fed to the monkeys.
Livestock-Guy Mitchell: some of the hogs are ready to slaughter. Jeffery Carey can salt and smoke them. Jim says slaughter four of them and eat them on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Rev James Edwards suggests we castrate the horses so they’ll work harder. Suggests that we train horses to pull carts before we get horse plows which we have radioed advantageous to leave cows out though tigers may get one, as they’re losing weight . Controlling fly population which comes from having manure. Chaikin describes a method which will save manure. Improving the floor also necessary. Have to get trees out of the bush. Decision to get crew to collect poles. Permanent crew was selected. David Solomon will show them how to “fell” trees. We’ve been using boat for government. Musicians want more time to rehearse in Georgetown, but Jim says they have to stay here.
Chickenry-Rob Gieg: Mortality rate down. Slaughtering for our meals. Losing eggs because lights go off in the incubators. Several problems with generators going off. Jim urges success in incubating our eggs so that we can avoid trouble we had with shipped eggs. Get 4 or 5 eggs per week for each layer.
Senior Gardens-Selika Bordenave: Distribution of vines to decorate East House for guests.
Insecticides-Ernestine Blair: Still short of sprayers. Medical restrictions on women of child-bearing age. Jim thinks medical department too restrictive. People can be alternated. Several women volunteered.
Tom Fitch forgot to report to protocol (Lisa Layton). Johnny Jones, Sr. said that Tom manipulated to get over here. He was put on Learning Crew for forgetting.
Maggots are big trouble, getting immune to the insecticide being used. Rob Christian says ditches can be directed to places away from cooking area. Ashes or lye recommended. Lye will be ordered.
We have wheat in shipment but we weren’t aware of it. Jim orders invoices to be distributed to the departments so that they know what we have coming in.
Bricks, Sorrel and Soap-Jack Barron: Bricks brought in but not strong enough yet. Jack says will be remedied. Progress of place for soap. Need people to weed sorrell.
Thresher for beans-Chaikin: Sees it done by hand. We have a machine. Tells where he wants to set it up. Chris Lund says possibility of overloading generator. Chaikin says threshing can be done whenever Chris informs that the load is not heavy.
Kidney beans: can expect 600 pounds on six acres.
Value of sweet potatoes, don’t waste culls or animal feed, rich in minerals and vitamins.
Dwarf coconut trees. Haven’t arrived so far. Are checking.
Lucy Miller and Juanita Green. Physical contact in fight over news on the board, both go to Learning Crew.
Several elementary and junior high school students sent to Learning Crew because of misbehavior in school. Mark Rhodes wanders all around instead of going to work site. He’s taken to see the tiger. Grubbs will make special contraption to lock him in place.
Brian Davis, working near vegetable shed, uses bad language to the seniors. He says he gets mad when inventory is heavy. Says he’s making up for it. Cynthia Davis was careless with tools. Jim doesn’t want Brian and Mark Sly together.
The ministry of Education is sending inspectors on Monday. Elementary school too crowded, need more chalkboards, which will be built. Arrangements agreed on.
Michaeleen Brady gets hostile when working outside and gave trouble when getting medical treatment. Jim went into her problem in depth as she had made progress. If she can make it longer she can return to her companion, Pat Patterson.
Ollie Harrington praised for adding citrus to tea.
My students in first period class were named as planned for praise. Someone also praised me for reading and news teaching.
The rally was adjourned at 1.00 after the majority had voted to have a regular day tomorrow, that is, rise at the normal time and get off at the normal time.
I was in bed at 2.00. It was more than usually noisy in our area, but I went to sleep before too long.
7 May 1978 – Saturday
We had a normal schedule today.
For breakfast we had biscuits and either gravy or syrup but nothing extra.
I filled out my schedule of activities for the business office (Tish).
I wrote a little in my journal, on which I had been somewhat behind.
Tropp requested to see the high school teachers in the school office not for a meeting but to give instructions on filling out the record books for attendance and course material covered for the Department of Education. We have to have these tomorrow for the inspectors who are coming.
I stopped at the library. Teresa King had in reserve the book from which Jim has been reading, Chile’s Prisoners of War, by Rolando Carrasco. There had been a big demand for it but on Sunday fewer people use the library. I read two chapters in it. I would have been able to cover more but several people came by who consulted me on my class or some aspect of the news events test.
Got my fried chicken dinner. Instead of standing in line, people sat at the tables and were served. I was opposite Shirley Baisy and several of her children. She told me she has nine. She gave me some hot sauce for my chicken and rice and told me how it is made from hot peppers which grow wild, onions and eggplant scraps from the kitchen. I presume kitchen workers give out vinegar.
I took my shower.
Patty Cartmell, whom I met on the path, asked me whether I would come to the meeting being held with the people who meet the public. She asked me the details about the criticism of her on the floor the other night. I think that she has some paranoia and may have thought some of those who spoke adversely about her might be there tonight. I thought perhaps I could contribute a little on finding out about people in conversation and guarding against those who might take advantage of the temple or endanger it, so I consented.
The number of people involved in such public relations work was larger than I expected. It was in the rice tent and Mike Pokes chaired it. Precautions to be taken by those at the front gate and those who operate the boat were emphasized. The meeting arose out of recent incidents discussed in rallies recently. I made a couple of statements, doubt whether they were very attentively received.
I returned to the library and obtained Chile’s Prisoners of War again and read another chapter.
A required meeting for all teachers took place at 8.00 in the dining pavilion to discuss the visit of the Department of Education inspectors tomorrow. Carolyn Layton was in charge. The meeting was very short, being mostly concerned with physical arrangements. More tent space is being provided for the classes and additional chalkboards constructed.
I stood in line at the pavilion for my treat, getting an extra one this time because of having received praise. The band was rehearsing for the spring programs to be given in a couple of weeks. No special entertainment was presented tonight, though films were to be shown later.
I found that I had left my raincoat behind me somewhere and after going home, I retraced my afternoon’s movements. I have taken it off first in the rice tent at the public relations meeting and probably left it there. I did not find it.
I read The Man Who Cried I Am.
Conversed with Inez when she returned home. We were both a little concerned that Jim, who is usually economic, is allowing us to eat pork three times this week instead of freezing or smoking the hogs which must be slaughtered. He had said something about “giving some joy” to us. Having fried chicken and pork in one week seems a big deal and together with the ominous situation in the world which saw several new struggles break out in the past week or so may bode ill. I told Inez about my anxiety concerning Lor and Ryn though we agreed that if the whole of the Northern Hemisphere is going to be blown up by nuclear weapons, being in jeopardy in Tunisia is of small importance.
It was a very quiet evening and when lights were out at 11.00 Ann’s friend said goodnight from the front door step and she came in and went to bed.
8 May 1978 – Monday
Towards dawn I heard the p.a. announcements indicating that an emergency call had been made for a government plane. Terri and Harriet worked all night as did Jim and the medical staff. A little later Jim revealed that the premature baby of Darlene X [probably Ramey] had had respiratory trouble. Ruth told me he died but Jim revived him. He was being sent to Georgetown for further attention and with him on the plane Daisy Lee (formerly Stroud) and a woman from Port Kaituma requesting surgery for vaginal cancer.
The Ed Department investigators were expected but did not arrive at all in Jonestown. They were to inspect the Port Kaituma school first and apparently did not have time to come here. However, they could have come at any time.
I went through my normal morning routine. Got 21 pencils and paper from the school office to use in my adult class. The pencils were assorted stubs and the papers strips cut from large pieces.
I worked on yesterday’s journal entry.
Worked on notes for my classes. Found I did not have the legal names of the students. Prepared lesson plans for my adult class and two language arts classes.
Went to lunch.
Met my adult class. Strangely not quite as many came as Friday. I counted 55 and I took care of the routine matters: checked out pencils, distributed books and paper, explained what the class was and discussed possibilities for other classes and of getting assistance. Used as class material the list of words I took down from the last rally, for understanding and spelling. Then I reviewed the phonics cards I had been using in the beginning reading, gave the class a new one.
When I reached home I finished sorting all the papers and teaching materials in my crate and made a more orderly arrangement. Several papers that could be used for classes, for notes or even for toilet paper.
Nothing had yet been heard from the educational inspectors but we had to be prepared in case they did appear. I moved my first period class to a new pavilion structure, separated from the rice tent and school tent (which is therefore much quieter). During the period I also found that though one can hear the loudspeaker, the sound is less blaring. I had the students read silently the lesson they had Friday, intending afterwards to concentrate on what they found difficult. However, Jim came on the p.a. system with more information on the Eureka Research Association, the strong possibility they sought parachute men in to attack Jonestown and information on what the same group had plotted against Benin. I let the students listen and wrote on the board some of Jim’s words for use tonight.
The second period class still showed a bad attitude and indicated a sort of slow down and some used a disrespectful tone in speaking to me. The loudspeaker made it difficult for me to assert myself. I gave the class a spelling test on the words they had had during their last class period with me. I gave a few directions about a written assignment for tomorrow. Had planned to do more on it.
Got my dinner and went up to teachers’ meeting.
As there was no general meeting taking place, I had thought of calling a special meeting of the reading class for those who couldn’t or didn’t come at 12.15. However, we were notified that cottage No. 48 was scheduled for counseling at 7.30. I thought this might concern the report of the inspectors on our porch or perhaps be a result of former complaints of mine on noise in the cottage after 11.00, which the consellors were just getting around to. However when counseling started, I found Ann and Anitra had turned in a request for counseling about the incident on last Friday night when I had objected to their studying news items together after 11.00.
They confidently expected to be upheld in their view and must have been increasingly discomfited when the counselors delved into the past history of the whole matter. The chairperson of the group was Laura Johnston and others even Jan Wilsey and Joicy Clark who were sympathetic to make the rules not only require lights out and no noise after 11.00, but that all be home and in bed after 11.00, unless they have an authorized reason. Inez, who had some other matter to take care of, attended only briefly and made a statement intended to be conciliatory. The residents of the cottage told to have a house meeting on the next free evening.
A downpour prevented Inez and me from going home right away and we waited on the serving stand at the end of the rice tent until the rain had abated somewhat, then walked home.
I read The Man Who Cried I Am.
Went to bed at 11.00. Ann and Anitra were not here yet and I did not hear them come in.
9 May 1978 – Tuesday
I continued to have a 1.00 class after my usual 12.00 o’clock adult reading class, but Jim was on the p.a. system so that I could not make an announcement. A few people came. One was a young woman (Ruthie Quinn [Ruthie Mae Cain], 37) who had been told by Jim to come to one of my classes. I sat down with her and evaluated her knowledge of both news events and of writing. She had very poor ability in both, wrote on a second grade level at that. An attractive person, she had grown up in Mississippi, went as far as the ninth grade in Los Angeles.
With my first period class I worked on understanding their reading and gave them a vocabulary and spelling drill. They behaved well.
The second period class came to the new facilities rather quietly. It started to rain after I had explained the paper they were expected to work on about the news event. We all retreated to the school tent where they finished their papers next to a class taught by Dick Tropp, which may be the reason they gave no trouble. The rain poured down furiously. I had no rain gear except a rain hat. I went to the school office to put away my materials and was stranded there for quite a while. Eventually got my dinner and started home. The mud was hard on my shoes, probably, but I didn’t mind getting wet as long as my hair was dry.
At home I made a makeshift raincoat from a thin piece of plastic which I wore to the rally.
Jim: Redevelopment Agency visitors, US Consulate visitors tomorrow. Math officials here too this week.
Volunteer sought to marry a woman who would otherwise have an illegitimate child.
People whose last names end in “C” in aisle. Jim assigned three or four people to “Professor Roller’s class” or to have their abilities evaluated.
Close to end of quiz Jim not satisfied with results of classes. People not doing their job. He acknowledged that the vocabulary used in discussing current events was too difficult and that teachers needed to break the concepts down to a more understandable level. He also said it was clear that stories made a strong impression especially on young people ad that we should have more reading.
Our people promised asylum in Cuba. He reminds staff to make sure our people in States can come to Cuba if we have to go there.
Jim: talked to teach a young girl who doesn’t know the answers, plays around and was put on the Learning Crew. From socialism class today with Liane Harris – He condemns her to Liane’s class in morning and to programs Liane has at night with projector.
Report from the Steering Committee:
Johnny Brown proposes we work an extra four hours on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate Jim’s birthday which is on the 13th and Mother’s Day, the 14th of May. Supervisors will come up with special projects to go towards our $1500 a month it costs to support each.
Johnny Jones [Brown] presents new forms for job changes application.
Lee Ingram reads new list of coordinators: Johnny Jones and “Reb” James Edwards are Farm Managers. Jack Beam for livestock (Jack not here enough) and John Harris, for livestock instead of Jack Beam.
Got praises: Many including Brenda Parks, Walter Cartmell, Demosthenes Kutulas with others saved property from fire in generator. Barbara [Kemp] has had a good attitude on Learning Crew. Larry Schacht worked hard though he had a fever. Robert Paul caught fire over whole body while pouring fuel on logs but didn’t have a burn on his body. Peter Wotherspoon has had wonderful attitude. Sue Jerrom had been removed from Medical Staff on account of ripping off food, in now working X [blank, to be filled later]. Michaeleen Brady: day by day record, often hostile. Jamal Baisy had tantrum when guests were present, refused to restrain himself. Jim asks about restraint of children put under control less time. _____ recommended that they be kept inside dorm, given special food and worked under supervision.
Tanya Garcia, head of a crew, hollers at crew; takes no interest in agriculture; has no original ideas. Jim hints it is love interest that causes her behavior.
Betty Moore slow and moody, unconcerned. She is hesitant to talk. She feels hostility from fellow workers. Feels Chaikin thinks she is not a good supervisor. Communication between her and Becky is not good. She admits she left a coworker without shoes because of a mix-up. Jim let her off because she mentioned warning she had.
Robert Paul, says Jim, two women pregnant in the States, blame him, One wrote through the embassy. He admits to one. Testimony to effect but waiting for Sandra Marshall.
Rouletta, Paul’s friend, has a pattern of hypochondria. She says counseling handled matter.
Marcus Anderson sent to Learning Crew for calling Willie Malone dumb in math class.
Michaeleen given attention. Jim spoke to her after dreadful night with two babies near death and plot in San Francisco. She wouldn’t answer. Michaeleen says she does everything asked to do. She is asked why her attitude is so bad. Decision to (fill in) [Edith’s parentheses]
We were out relatively early, I got home at 12.00.
10 May 1978 – Wednesday
After lunch at my adult reading class I continued evaluations of persons Jim had told to come to my class. I tested for understanding of news events. One woman, an elderly black, I found knew very little about Martin Luther King. She thought he was a “revolutionary” but did not know what he was struggling for. From the questioning I could not tell what led her to the Temple unless it was economic self-interest. She is able to read at least simple English. I tested several others on reading and found they were at least able to read from a children’s text book.
The first period class continued to read about space stations from a textbook, probably about the forth grade level.
In the second period class I returned the papers I marked and graded in the morning. Some students inquired about specific comments. I started a discussion on coordinate and subordinate clauses by reading a good example from Patricia Houston’s paper, then taking Regina Bowser’s paper which, although well written, had a number of short sentences. I wrote them on the board asking the students to combine them when possible.
Got my plate and went to the teachers’ meeting. Students against whom any teacher had a complaint were called in to discuss the matter. In these cases a decision is made either by the student to do better or by the teachers to mete out a penalty.
I went home and prepared for the women’s meeting which followed.
Thelma Jackson, Fairy Norwood, Beatrice Henderson had arrived from the states.
Mary Lou Clancey: talk on feminine hygiene.
Floor open to questions.
Eleanor Beam mentions compromising situation in which Anirta Greene was with Ronnie Sines. She tried to get tea for Ronnie. Situation also with Ron Darnes. Marcy: We don’t want another generation of women who are handmaidens to men. Feeling she uses the news to go to Dorm 1, she is to wear a dress with a sign: “I Help Oppress Women.” Also go back to dorm, because it was found she was not in the cottage after 11:00. Said house supervisors should be sure their residents are in at 11:00
Pat Rhea missed security shift. She was asleep in Mark’s loft. She’s on three months relationship (without sex) with Mark. Admits she’s had sex without contraceptives. Marcy speaks firmly on the matter. Inez had said she had approved the relationship because she thought Pat might help Mark mature. Marcy doesn’t see her as mature at all. Proposed that she and Mark not see each other for two months. Referred to Relationship Committee for decision.
Tiny Turner (Solomon) for possible relationship with James Turner. Blistering attack. Washing diapers instead of having men do their share. Marcy says she’s getting back at her mother by not letting her hold the baby, preventing him from having one more person love him. Lois Ponts gives evidence on attitude of Eileen and Teddy McMurry. Shirley Marshall and companion Charles Marshall were also mentioned for a relationship which impedes women’s progress.
Marcy emphasizes necessity of washing breasts every time before nursing. Mother says failure to do this is causing outbreak of thrush.
Tiny too rough with the baby. Marcy: I have no respect for a woman who will let a baby suffer in order to keep a man. The men will be confronted in their meeting next week.
Connie Frohm, Estelle Railback, Toby. Accused by Estelle that Connie is in Rob’s loft.
Loreatha Buckley, Yolanda Brown and Alida Santiago accused of leaving dirty clothes around for others to pick up. Dirty kotex left around. Marcy speaks on those who resent this kind of discussion. We say we’re strong but we’re not strong if we don’t pick up her kotex.
Jim entered. Men have been admitting their attraction to men. Wonders what the commotion is about. He leaves.
Mother says she‘s tired and wants to give up leadership. Women don’t want to follow women.
Jann thinks we women don’t see ourselves as becoming educated. We’re failing the revolution when we don’t try to become educated. How do you expect to lead the revolution if you don’t become educated?
Carolyn Layton says many of us don’t assume leadership. They never worry.
Jim says he never trusts anybody whom he hasn’t tested. Come to terms with your sexuality. People who have played the roles we did, really do not tale the opposite sex. Have to work through to become comrades. We should be willing to share.
[An extra page of notes C-2-A-3 (54) appears as 10 May T-2… but actually is 16 May T-2, with another slightly rewritten version in that correct location.]
Marcy: There’s more to Loreatha’s hostility than what we’ve talked about. Loreatha says nothing. Marcy says sit down with some others and talk about what you like doing. Marcy objects to labeling people as “pissers,” “waiters” and so on, but [label them] by their names.
Jim warns against anyone who gives information on this meeting.
My check for April was given me to sign over it was for $244.20.
When the meeting ended we were told that curfew would be extended so that we could get our residences clean and the beds pulled from the walls so as to facilitate the work of the crew coming in tomorrow to spray for mosquitoes.
I was very tired and did not do much except help to pull my bed out. The others borrowed a broom and swept. I sat on my bed and read The Man Who Cried I Am.
The lights went out at 1:00.
11 May 1978 – Thursday
I was very tired today on account of the work last night to standing on my feet all the time to teach classes and not having enough sleep.
When I got home following breakfast I found Irra sweeping out the cottage. She had gone to bed early last night but she was annoyed because people had not picked up all their belongings nor swept under all the beds. She took clothing lying around to the warehouse although some belonged to Ruth Lenin who left it neatly folded on a spare bed.
I climbed up on my bed and worked on class preparations. Some junior high children were sent around to see whether beds were pushed out far enough for the sprayers. Several youngsters, with Patty Dennis, entered our cottage without adult supervisors. They said the sprayers were working on the cottages then. I abandoned the cottage and went to the library trying to write in my journal but too many people came up and asked questions so I accomplished little before lunch
In my adult class I gave a phonetics lesson, asking for examples of the various sounds.
Returned to the cottage. There was no evidence it had been sprayed but I was told the sprayers had finished with the cottages. I had only time to get needed material and I went to the medical office to give my weekly presentation on the news. They were not quite ready and had to finish treatment on the people still in the clinic. I was not very well organized myself and spent too much time on peripheral matters. I later received a criticism from Lisa that I had not spent enough time on important news events.
I took my shower and had to go immediately to my high school classes.
In the first period several were late. Kenny Reed and Ronnie Dennis often are working on the boat and do not come at all. When they do come they are usually late, saying they don’t get off early enough to be on time. Billy Jones is often late using some excuse about having to see the nurse or having worked at night and overslept. We finished the space station story.
In the second period there was minor disorder but the situation was better than usual. I gave them some information on subordinate clauses, some examples and using items on Saudi Arabia suggested by the class. We started work cooperatively on an essay.
For dinner we had watermelon and pineapple salad.
The teachers met and talked to two or three students charged with unruly behavior.
No event was scheduled for community wide participation tonight. We had been told by the counselors to hold a house meeting on the first free evening, but Versie had some obligation. I would have liked to hold an advanced adult language arts class but felt I needed to rest instead. I lay down for an hour, tried to listen to Jim who was reading from the Chilean book, but the transmission was faint and several people entered the cottage and talked so I did not hear much. Inez lay down on clothes and slept all night without working.
I read The Man Who Cried I Am until 11.00.
12 May 1978 – Friday
I had a very bad day at the end of which I felt completely demoralized.
Jonestown was in readiness for visitors. Around 12.00 o’clock, the parents of Carolyn Layton and Annie Moore ([Reverend John and Barbara Moore] he is a Methodist minister) arrived for a few days’ stay.
In the morning I worked on my journal and did some class preparation.
I had lunch.
When I started my adult class I was asked if I could release the seniors when the visitors arrived as it is usual for them to be exercising in front of the pavilion area. I had intended to evaluate some more people as to knowledge of current events writing and reading ability but decided just to have class members read. We read a story in the school textbook. Several elderly women read very well. Among them was Nancy Clay, who, as I remembered couldn’t read a letter when she started in my class. (Dick Tropp says she probably once could read and forgot – then it came back to her.) She said she had been practicing at home. We were interrupted by the arrival of the visitors half way through the class and resumed ten minutes or so afterwards. I was held up for sometime answering questions on words I had written on the board and other matters.
I took my shower.
I put in a little more time on class preparation.
I took to class with me my clock and also a pillow as I thought I might have to go straight to the socialist teachers’ class after my high school classes.
The first period class was well behaved except that Billy was late and Kenny was said to be on the boat; I later found this was not true. We… [text indicated for insertion here was not found]
Liane Harris, who has been assigned to monitor the high school classes, was present at the beginning of the second period. They entered in a rowdy mood. Though I had come early and put material on the board, what we had prepared yesterday, some acted as if they had no idea what to do with it and wouldn’t give me a chance to explain. They were bored and insolent. While Liane was still there, I, very embarrassed, spoke indignantly of their attitude. Some, perhaps a majority, quietly tried to do the work, but the rest were uncooperative. I was very distressed, knowing the situation would be presented before Tropp and the teachers.
Returned my material to the school office and got my dinner plate. We had watermelon.
At teacher’s meeting Liane reported, in not too caustic terms, her impressions of my class. Tropp said they were testing to see who was going to control the class, a common situation here. When he faced the problem he shouted at them until they quieted down. Two students from Shirley’s class also took more of our time and we had to wait for Shirley, who takes care of toddlers in addition to school responsibilities.
I got away only at 7.00 and found that I had not even heard the announcement that there was a socialist teachers’ meeting at 6.30. I returned to the cottage and was barely able to make the socialism class on time.
Don Jackson took the first part of the class and I took the second.
I had not even thought there would be the extra socialism class this week because of the visitors. However, Bob Rankin informed me that he and I were to meet with those assigned to the extra class in the dining tent and from there to the first school tent. Some people attended, mostly adults, many seniors and some junior high students. We listened to the difficulties they had in learning the news and made suggestions. Someone, perhaps I, lost the list of those who were required to attend. Willie Malone and a few others attended who were not required to do so. We dismissed the class about 10.15.
When I got home I found I did not have either my clock or my pillow which I had taken with me in the afternoon. I felt sure I had forgotten both of them in the school tent and would have small chance of getting them back. I was very tired and also concerned about my disciplinary problem.
Read The Man Who Cried I Am but fell asleep and dropped the book. I went to bed about 12.30.
13 May 1978 – Saturday
Today was Jim’s birthday. Steering committee had made plans for work crews to put in an extra half day’s work as a tribute to him and for Mother’s Day. I had planned to work on resumes as I would be undisturbed in the cottage.
Worked on my journal.
Went to lunch and noticed there were a larger number of people than usual. I had not heard any announcement but Mary Ann Casanova told me all the field workers had been told to come in for lunch, which she said was a signal that there would be an alert. I discussed this with Rita who didn’t confirm it, but other people thought this was the case.
Thought I might have time to do my laundry so I started it and had to stop before I rinsed when the alert came about 2.00.
I changed clothes and took with me a water bottle, pillow, socks, and a bread and butter sandwich I had found.
People gathered into the pavilion. Attendance was checked. We had a long wait for Jim who was conferring with his staff. I was sitting beside Patty Parks and her little daughter who were having their first experience of a White Night.
When Jim did arrive, he said one of our people (name and sex not indicated) from Georgetown had defected, though the Temple had his passport he had gone to the Embassy for another, stolen some official Temple money to which he had access. He said he was going either to the US or Soviet Russia. His problem was sex and an impatience with our strict regulations (apparently regarded as an interference with his civil liberties). A long time member, he knew a great deal about our financial resources and security arrangements and could do more harm than Tim Stoen. Some radio codes were known to him. Though his intentions are not clear, he will inevitably be debriefed when he goes through customs. He will probably establish contact with Stoen. He has relatives in Jonestown and in and out of the Temple in the US.
Jim said we take for granted an attack could be launched on us at once. I gathered we had plans to move in on our enemies which the defector could reveal and in the discussion Jim confirmed this. Our radio communications were being interfered with and there may have been no way to conceal the present instructions.
Long discussions on the microphone followed. Jim proposed revolutionary suicide as the only acceptable answer. Some attention was given to putting our people on the boat we are purchasing and trying to go to Cuba but there are a number of obstacles and most do not want to go anyway. There was no enthusiasm for appealing to Soviet Russia. Our brand of communism is too advanced for either of these countries and we almost certainly could not continue as a group under the leadership of Jim Jones. The Guyanese government is turning to the right. The trend is toward passage of the proposed referendum which would result in continued rule by the PNC. A socialist democracy will likely be established and with pressure from Guyana and the US this will be all we can expect in Jonestown, a rejection of the pure communism we now enforce.
Statements on tape were made so as to attempt to reach the world’s press as to the reasons we resorted to revolutionary suicide. I participated in this because I intended to assent to whatever decision was made, and I felt it important to encourage other anti-fascists throughout the world, although I did not approve of the action.
Dinner was served to us.
There was continued discussion and votes were taken. At all times those in favor of revolutionary suicide were in the majority, however I felt that these were strongly influenced by his advocacy. Few young people expressed any opinion. The number of those opposed grew as thoughtful statements were made, one by Jann Gurvich was outstanding. I mentioned the world situation which seemed to be turning in favor of liberation movements against the US and might result in war, which could be helpful to us.
Heavy rain came and it was hard to hear. Jim had us rest for a while but I couldn’t go to sleep sitting up.
When we resumed, opposition to the proposed suicide declined, those in favor of carrying it out tonight seemed more determined. I became convinced by the tired eyes of Sharon Amos that I would be wrong to persist. Jim said he alone would commit suicide.
There were only a few score opposed when the question of what to do about our members in Georgetown (a large number have just arrived) down the river and in San Francisco was brought up. As for San Francisco, all were adults and would know what to do. It was at last decided to delay until others outside could be brought in. At first it seemed to be decided that our guests would be sent out earlier then planned while we would be under tight security.
I went home and to bed about 6.00. We were to get up at 12.00.
14 May 1978 – Sunday
I got up at 12.00.
Finished rinsing my laundry I started yesterday.
I went to breakfast. We didn’t have our usual good breakfast for Sunday. Instead we had a bare lunch consisting of a peanut butter sandwich. I stood in line a long time for tea, then field workers were given precedence and I would have had another long wait so I didn’t get any.
I did more laundry.
Jim on loud speaker with some veiled references, gave us latest information on defector’s identity. He or she had stayed with CIA only until Trinidad. Went to Caracas where our intelligence reportedly in Holiday Inn motel, had not met with our enemy, was enjoying himself (said Jim wryly “on our money no doubt”). Envoys from us would go and talk to him. His relatives had arrived in Georgetown. No immediate danger threatened us.
Perhaps that’s the reason the Layton-Moore relatives still with us. I heard later they are leaving Monday as planned.
Heavy rain fell at intervals and I didn’t get all my laundry dry.
I made up my activities schedule which should have been turned in this morning.
I worked on my journal. Decided to make brief notes on yesterday’s events.
The work crews were finishing at 6.30. I went to get dinner at 6.00. We had fried chicken. I traded plates with someone so as to get the leg and dark meat which I prefer. Hot sauce had been prepared and I had some of that.
I went to see the film, “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” with Joyce Lund, from the Carson McCullers book, with Allen Arkin in a leading part. In addition there was a talented young woman, whose name I did not catch. Joyce had made a nice-looking map of Africa by tracing and said she would make me one if I brought her paper. She is studying all the countries of Africa.
During the day I conversed with Rita Lenin, Dorothy Brewer and Bea Orsot on yesterday’s events, getting slightly different points of view. Later listened to a conversation between Inez Wagner and Irra Johnson from these I got a better idea of what Jim may have been trying to do in the White Night.
Was home around 10.00 and read The Man Who Cried I Am short while.
I went to bed after 11.00. I was not aware when the light went out.
15 May 1978 – Monday
On returning from breakfast, I stayed up at the library and looked up material on Brecht and Shakespeare to give to give the advanced class in language arts.
After breakfast I got my journal almost up to date.
Made lesson plans for my classes.
I am holding my adult reading class on a new schedule so as to accommodate those who don’t have a 12.00 o’clock lunch hour.
I am teaching the class at 1.00 on Monday and Wednesday and at 12.00 on Tuesday and Thursday both 12.00 and 1.00 on Friday. However people may attend at 12.00 and 1.00 if they wish. Today I used a list of the 465 words most used in English lent to me by Mary Castillo. She got it from Tom Grubbs. I am putting five on the board every day for recognition and spelling. I evaluated the abilities for reading and current events of Lore B. Parris, who is very good at helping me with passing out and picking up pencils and books. She, however, reads poorly and doesn’t understand the news. She didn’t know what the White Night was about. Furthermore, I found a good portion of the rest of the class did not either, so I explained it to them.
I took my shower.
I prepared materials for my afternoon classes.
In the first period class I used the same word list, that is, arranged alphabetically having the students read in turn what I put on the board. All students were present and fairly orderly.
In the second period all except perhaps two students were respectful and serious. I read a poem of Brecht twice. Told the class of novels with the same theme and of Brecht’s life.
The teachers met. It was mostly about the behavior of the students who were called in. I went to get my dinner as there was to be a rally tonight. When I came back the group was looking at Guyanese text books from which we can choose.
I went home and changed clothes. I went to the pavilion. I got a seat toward the front but without a back.
Started at 7.30. Audience singing, two numbers led by Apostolic Singers.
Jim: What’s on my mind? What am I thinking?
(1) Worried about conflict between Soviet Russia and China. Jim: I hope it happens. Surprise you? Like to have psychic impression of date so I can get some good people out. I stand between you and chaos. Russia and China are not going to avoid it. Takes a decade to cut through paranoia. Prime Minister of China said nuclear war inevitable between China and USSR.
2) Boy: strategies
3) Boy: person who left, why? Jim have relatives talking to them. They are already dropping false information. Dr. Moore and his wife made a very good speech. Some US sponsored commissions think they are coming in but they are mistaken.
USA is going to be in nuclear war. Has no protection for people. Are relying on one shot. 212 million people will die in the first 20 minutes. In this part of the world there will be little tribal communities. The US is highly narcissistic, takes no thought for the future. USSR may lose the war because of less population but has technology and backlog of bombs.
4) White Night and next we are in agricultural meeting. We win them all. Jim: first part.
5) Getting all the people over here. Jim: yes, always.
6) Not all the people are here.
7) Jair Baker: Prophetic inspiration of nuclear war, guesses 16th. Jim says no.
8) Appreciation towards you. Jim: appreciation should be to principle.
9) Anyone who might be leaving: Marlene Wheeler. Jim: you hit it; high and low, mostly low but highs have reason to know me. Total independence and irresponsibility becomes their god, I became their devil. History shows you can’t expect closest relatives and friends to stay. Nothing wrong with personification of the principle but most people mix it up with personality. Have to be sensitive and administratively skillful. This is individual being angry, fighting with friends. It’s undesirable for me to make decisions for other people’s lines.
10) Stephen: many anarchistic selfish people who might use what they think is difference of opinion between me and Jim himself. People in high positions can’t bear to be told they’re wrong. Jim: Mrs. White [Ed. note: Temple code for “final White Night”] drops by she makes us all equal. Should see Mrs. White now and then. Marcy apologized for seeming to disagree with Jim.
11) Martin Amos: What Stoen might try next. Yes. Don’t ever say, “Father, you look good.” There is a point at which your dead body is worth more than what you can do alive. Negotiate release of Wilmington 10, for instance.
Jim says defector already refuses to talk to relatives not from point where he gives information on our codes, equipment, our approach. He warns against getting too cocky.
11) Insensitivity: don’t know what next to leave.
12) Sue Jerram: People in the States. How we don’t come up to where we should be. Hope you had a beautiful day. Jim never has that. Every day is a White Night and Jim warns anyone who may be thinking of leaving. Hates to see band going to Georgetown must be able to use some students sometime. With war coming on, you’re not so well off going to the US (as warning).
13) Pauline Groot: How to take care of this family, save money. Jim: Sometimes, not just now.
14) Norman Ijames, who didn’t show much interest.
15) Where people’s mind and consciousness is. You are cramming us with knowledge. Want people to be trained to assume leadership. Jim: to be honest I didn’t think anyone will be better than me. I think I’m a mutation that dropped off some asteroid.
16) Marshall Farris: How to take care of us all. How to make strategy. Top people have left, conflict between everybody.
17) Chris Cordell: Wants to know how to take some of the burden off you.
18) Diane Wilkinson: The band. Jim: It wasn’t because it is the band. The kitchen would have been the same. Feels badly because in Georgetown they stamp the musicians as US. She finds some resentment against Jim and the project because we look so good. She thinks Mafia can be in Georgetown. She warns against band members getting off to the side and talking to Guyanese. This discussed in band meetings. Told to stay by themselves. Discussion of playing US music versus reggae, associating themselves with marijuana. Band members up on the floor. Which of the band has a tendency to get off to the side. All the Temple representatives danced with outsiders. Last try. All public relations as well as performers danced. Soul Steppers were included in the questioning. Decided all will leave the stage and accept no invitations to dance or talk, go straight to dressing rooms. Male and female rivalry brought up by Stephen. Type of music, dancing styles discussed. Giving rides came up. Wish expressed that band did not have to do house cleaning. Agreed that it may be necessary, other details discussed.
Chickenry-Rob Gieg: Raise broilers to have chicken once a week. Have layers so that each person could have four eggs a week. Would need to add people, have to get incubator in and put up more buildings. Sale of broilers would cover the cost. Supply and cost gone over. Analysis was made of the relative cost and income from broilers or eggs to be sold.
Oriental farming-Gene Chaikin: Take one field at a time, cut small roads. Try different techniques. Build a compost house and irrigate. Chaikin to read on the p.a. system what he wrote on intensive farming. Erosion control, a good part of farmland can run off in a year, particularly in the tropics. Measures that can be taken: make shape charts and use land for different crops accordingly. Community to start work on this tomorrow.
Cashew nut fruit is poisonous, will burn skin; children to be cautioned.
Four more acres of rice planted. One planted broadcast didn’t come out well.
Beans, many varieties doing well. Marcy spoke to advisability of eating rice unpolished. Tish says may get answer on radio where we can get it. Several people made suggestions. Gene Chaikin thinks we can get rice paddy which would solve the problem
Cassava. Some plants diseased. Russ Moton thinks dry spell is responsible. Thing to do is “wait and see.” Gieg thinks nothing done to implement. Russ Moton says may not be worth it to spray. Lee Ingram and Mary Wotherspoon emphasize necessity of immediate action. Chaikin says agriculturists think white fly is not harmful.
Bananas-Danny Kutulas: Quite a way to go to provide one banana to each person.
Land Cultivation-Philip Blakey: Report on tractor use.
Land Construction-Mike Touchette: Cleared site for area to put new buildings built by individuals and for sawmill construction. Build on crates that come in. Guy Mitchell says we need pasture for pigs. Decision: have to go to analyst. Chaikin asks how we ran out of diesel fuel so we can’t use heavy equipment. Answer: boat schedule and Mike says all drums aren’t picked up.
Paula says looking for more fuel drums. It was decided to ask Tim to give report on boat fuel situation. We don’t have enough fuel storage on the farm. Mike suggests checking for surplus storage tanks. Says weighs about 120 lbs. Figures industrial cost given. Jim said order from the states air freight. Long discussion on tanks for fuel storage.
Soap Factory-Etta Thompson: Factory almost completed.
Farm Manager-Rev James Edwards: Jim asks about program on hog slaughter. Edwards says chickens take up refrigerator space. Freezer can’t take it. Jim says pork out. It’s costing us money using commercial transportation. Decided to get slaughtered hog up to Kaituma by 7.00 so as to save tractor time for agriculture work by working tonight.
Cheryle McCall has been arrogant. Has had intense counseling. Put on Learning Crew. Ava says she has never met anyone who manipulated so badly behaved she can’t be handled on Learning Crew. Marcy says she should continue to work on pots and pans. Will sleep on Learning Crew at night.
Diane Lundquist wrote up herself because she gave corporal punishment to child. Jim referred to kindness.
Marcus Anderson bad record on Learning Crew. Marice Anderson off. Michaeleen Brady has to have twelve good days. She’s improving. Loreatha Buckley was good on Learning Crew. Off and recommended for supervisor. Chris Morrell [probably Chris Cordell], go for another week.
Praises to be read tomorrow by Vernetta on p.a. system.
Jim had become more and more exhausted. Finally his head fell and he gasped. “I cannot go on.” I was afraid he was near death. Marcy and Stephen tended to him. He revived sufficiently to end the meeting, but I was very worried. We were dismissed about 1:00.
I was in bed by 1.30.
16 May 1978 – Tuesday
Virginia Middleton arrived from the States during the last few days. She seems in good health.
I had done much thinking during the night. Serious world events and our own threatened situation, added to the danger that we may loose Jim, made me do much pondering. I decided to base class activities on what I felt. Emphasis was on both plight of the oppressed and on death. I looked up in Bartlett’s Quotations items from Blake, Keats and Shelly to use in second period.
The remainder of my books arrived from Georgetown. I sorted them out in the library to see what they are. My Russian books are among them. I took home my personal letters and old journal records which were packed with the books. I found room, for them in a footlocker.
I worked on my class records.
Met my adult class at 12.00. Continued with the 465 most commonly used words. Then drilled on phonetics, asking for words, both long and short, which began with the particular sound and discussed the meaning of different words mentioned.
I took my shower.
The weather was hot today and it didn’t rain.
Continued work on my class records.
In my first period class I had decided to recount some of my experiences abroad as Jerome used to frequently ask me to do. The class all of whom were present except for Billy Jones, did not seem very eager, but they became more interested in my talks of guerrilla warfare in Greece. I spent most of the time on Greece, little on the Philippines and India. One handicap was that this class does not know where any of these countries is.
The second period class entered with a disorderly attitude. When I had taken the roll, I got their attention and explained I was going to read excerpts from Blake, Keats and Yeats. They had very little interest in these poets. When I told them we would have Shakespeare tomorrow they protested. If there were any who did not agree, they did not make themselves heard. I agreed to let them read from black poets tomorrow.
Tropp told us we would not have a teachers meeting if none of us had any problems.
We had a big dinner, with a piece of roast pork
When I got home I found that Versie was suggesting we have a house meeting with Patty Dennis who has been giving trouble. She resented being put again under the supervision of Laura Johnston. She is rebellious with all the adults in the cottage; is suspected of having stolen cosmetics from Ann, food and soap from under Versie’s mattress and perhaps cosmetics from Harriet. She is hard to get up in the morning and arrives at rallies late; her whereabouts at night is often not known, she gets in too late for a child of her age.
In addition it is likely that she is responsible for hostile acts such as urinating in Laura’s clothing. Versie went to find Patty. Laura came in and we discussed the matter with her. However, Patty was not found and it was decided a report for counseling would be written.
About 8.30 I went to the library. The book Chile’s Prisoners of War by Rolando Carrasco was available and I read three chapters.
Teresa had written news on the blackboards and I read them.
When I got home it was already past 11.00. Two workers brought sheets for a new resident coming in from Georgetown, Anna B. Washington.
I went to bed and a mattress was brought in after I was asleep. The boat was due at 3:00. I vaguely heard Jim on the loudspeaker telling the new arrivals that no one was to give or receive any messages. Then at 4.00 I awoke when Anna was brought to the cottage. Inez got up and took care of her, went to the Coordinator’s office to get her a blanket, as she didn’t have one.
I got up and went to the bathroom and did not go back to sleep.
17 May 1978 – Wednesday
Had some conversations during the day with Annie B. Washington. She is suffering from the effects of jet lag and the heat and the distance she had to walk to the showers and so on. There was an orientation session at 10.00 for new arrivals. She is going to work in the rice tent.
Terri Buford has been gone for several days. No doubt she is one who has been sent to Caracas to talk to the defector.
Brought my journal up to date.
Wrote two memos for Jim. One was in response to a demand that all write on ways of making or saving money. I told of my aim to write magazine articles if I had some free time and made a recommendation that people leaving dishes in their residences etc be punished by sentencing to the Learning Crew (now to be called the “New Brigade”) as people lose time and thus production when they have to wait for food and drink. I also wrote a report on a conversation with Jean Lucas who yesterday told me she was lonely, liked cities, had expected to live independently in Georgetown, hadn’t known when she gave her money and jewelry to the Temple that she couldn’t go back and so on, that she is a senior, seems well educated, is not likely to try to leave the area, but we have orders to report all negative comments.
I went to lunch.
In the adult class I evaluated the knowledge of a senior on the important news of the day. It was nil. I spent the period trying to explain the two most important events: the border conflict between China and the USSR which might erupt into nuclear war and the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea in which the US is involved because of its interest in getting oil through the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula. I reminded the class that a couple of weeks ago Jim said he had a vision of radioactive fall-out over Ethiopia. I then went into the conflict between Israel and the Arabs.
I took a shower.
Michaeleen Brady had been reported missing (several hours late) and Jim alerted SAT to make a thorough search. She was found asleep in the jungle. Two people, one Marcus Anderson, had heard her threaten to run away. Jim the whole afternoon exhorted supervisors to report immediately when a person under their supervision was late and he warned the community again and again of the futility of trying to escape. He also insisted on reporting anyone who makes negative remarks.
For classes the present regulations are to be enforced more strictly. Any person late to the first period at 4.00 was to be sent to the Radio Room to give an explanation.
During the first period I conducted a discussion on what I had told the class yesterday. To my surprise several of the students remembered a good deal of what I had said. Willie was the best but Marcus also had shown great interest. Some asked intelligent questions.
The second period class was disappointing. They had done no planning and were behaving disinterestedly, even eating some seeds or nuts. Some throughout the period worked on homework for other classes. Some books on Black poetry were obtained from the library and five or six of the class took turns reading and seemed to enjoy it. With the noise around us it was hard to hear,
I had dinner.
We had a high school teachers meeting. The theme was maintaining interest in the material presented in the classroom. Liane Harris as a result of her observations of the high school classes gave as her conclusions that all of us need to use more varied methods to keep the students involved. Tropp agreed. The key should be more student participation and less from the teacher. Barbara Walker had critical comments about my adult classes. My students, she says, come to her and complain they can’t understand me. She teaches at 1:00 also. After some discussion on the extremely low level of understanding of some of the adults, Tropp decided I should teach at 12.00 and leave the field to Barbara at 1.00, that the students should be told they can join any class they want (he seemed to feel Jim had given me a prestige the seniors were unwilling to flout) and I am to try to bring my material to the level of understanding of the students.
Annie B. [Washington] was feeling a little better.
I expected we would have a Rally or a Women’s and a Men’s meeting. We had neither. Instead we went to a counseling session about Patty Dennis. After hearing the complaints it was decided she would obey rules and much closer supervision was to be maintained of her by Laura.
I again read Chile’s Prisoners of War in the library.
I got home at 10.50. The lights were out so I went directly to bed.
18 May 1978 – Thursday
Laura wakes Patty up in the morning before she leaves but Patty goes back to sleep. I called her again when I got up at 7.30. I left the cottage at 7.45 and she wasn’t up yet. Annie B told me later she went up to the loft and called her half an hour later but that she left before Patty did. I saw Patty eating her breakfast at 8.45 and told her she was late to school which starts at 8.30. She said, “Peter (Wotherspoon) knows where I am”. She said she had registered for her medications.
Worked on my journal.
We had the biggest rain we have had since my arrival. It rained heavily most of the day. I have never found my raincoat. I have my rain hat and boots and wore a piece of plastic around my shoulders. If my head and feet are dry, I don’t care if I get wet on other parts of my body but clothing is hard to dry in this weather.
Had lunch and went to adult class at 12.15. Attendance was down on account of the weather no doubt. I commented on what I had learned last night, that some are attending my class though they prefer Barbara’s because Jim told them to go to my class. I told them to attend the one they preferred and that I probably would give my class at 12.00, as Barbara teaches at 1.00. I plan to give them a written unsigned questionnaire tomorrow.
The remainder of the period we played a blackboard game combining practice in phonetics and practice in word usage. Kay Rosas helped a little. I had learned Marcy and other counselors placed importance on this for her rehabilitation so I put some pressure on her. Lore Parris who usually helped me pass books, paper and pencils was not present today. I was late leaving the class.
I returned to the cottage. I didn’t have time for my shower so I went to the Medical Department and gave them a briefing on the news. They were very busy and not many attended, but I could make myself heard. I was also better organized and covered only three items thoroughly, three or four others in less depth.
I took my shower. I had lost my plastic, so my clothes got wet. Though the rain subsided, I could not meet my first period class in the new tent, which leaks. We met in the pavilion. I gave them a spelling test on some of the 465 most frequently used words, after time for study.
I also moved the second period class, the advanced language arts group, to the pavilion as I planned to talk with them about yesterday’s experiment and it is too noisy in the school tent. The class and I agreed on those who really enjoyed and participated in yesterday’s black poetry reading but I could not engender much discussion from those who did homework for other classes or paid no attention to the reading. I told the class my plan to give them greater responsibility in running the class and choosing material. I started to read the objectives for their form three in the Guyanese curriculum which interested them. They asked for an explanation of “figurative language” and I spent considerable time talking about metaphors. They chose Anita March as their chairperson for the experiment, to start the week after next, in their taking a more active roll in the class.
Brought my dinner plate to the teachers meeting. We talked to a few students who had given trouble.
We had a meeting of the political enlightenment teachers. Jim had told us to draft another test to include the Soviet films, “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” and the news. There was some conflict about the meeting time, the usual arguments and lack of order in drawing up the questions and intensified bad feelings between Tish and Rob Christian, but we finally succeeded in writing ten questions for those under 65 and modifications of the questions for seniors.
I had been trying for several days to get, from Vernetta Christian, another list of those who have to take the second political enlightenment class after the regular one, as Bob Rankin and I lost the list we had last week. I accompanied Rob Christian home to get it.
On arriving home I had a conversation with Inez, Annie B. and Irra. We first talked about items we would have brought to Jonestown if we had known what was needed. Then I answered questions of Inez and Irra about particular news items.
I read The Man Who Cried I Am for a few minutes.
I went to bed at 11.00.
19 May 1978 – Friday
Prepared a questionnaire to give the adult class on what they needed and wanted from the class. Typed, making two carbons, the list of the people who are requested to take the extra socialism class.
Went to lunch.
Met the adult class at 12.15 and gave them the questionnaires. All the questions could be answered with yes or no or a one word answer except the last in which I asked for their criticisms of the class, any improvements they could suggest, etc. I asked them not to say their names. Kaye Rosas and Lore Parris helped me.
At about 1.00 when Jim started reading the news I went to the microphone in the Radio Room and read the names of those who had to take the extra socialism class. Jim arrived while I was doing this and I had the impression he was displeased, perhaps only because he wanted to use the microphone and was in pain, as he always is.
I stayed past 1.00 to let people finish their papers. Some had not finished and I told them they could finish later.
I took my shower.
I read through the adult class quiz. Most of the remarks made in answer to the last question were extremely laudatory, though there were some suggestions made.
I met my first period English class in the pavilion on account of the rain. Several students were not there. I brought several different reading textbooks from which each person should choose something to read to himself. Then I had them read aloud to me a few paragraphs so that I could see how they do. The books were approximately fourth grade level and all made many errors. Marcus had the most trouble.
The second period class was to have a day for free reading in the library. However, Jann gave a special briefing on the news because of the test tonight and most attended this session.
I ate dinner.
There was no English teachers’ meeting.
I went to the cottage and prepared for political enlightenment class at 7.30. The questions were read by Jim. He made a few changes. He read the questions very fast and it must have been hard to write the answers. I was writing the questions down. Don Jackson wrote them on the board. I had to help several seniors who could not write and read some of the questions again. At the end of the test Jim came on the microphone with an accusation that cases of cheating had been uncovered. The teachers went to meet with Johnny Jones Sr. and to go into these charges. In the meantime he appointed Lee Ingram and Jann Gurvich to conduct the extra socialism class. This met in the rice tent, with the hearing on the cheating went on in the school tent.
I wrote the letter for a while but decided to go to the extra class. The people accused of cheating were mostly high school students, but it was not clear to me how they had gotten the questions. I expected to teach a small group of the extra class and many were waiting for me but scores of people were attracted by curiosity and the group was not broken down. Jann, helped by Lee gave one of her intellectual presentations. I felt sorry for the seniors who could not get much help in this way.
The class was out at 10.00. I went home very tired and went to bed. Inez was disturbed by a second night of hammering on the windmill and platform being built at the end of the last row of cottages (our row). It is part of a children’s playground but I hear that it is really a camouflaged watch tower and that children probably will be allowed there only under supervision and or to impress guests. I went to sleep in spite of the hammering.
20 May 1978 – Saturday
Went to breakfast.
Laura told me Patty was being assigned to Dorm 1 to help with children on the New Brigade.
Annie B. Washington missed some for her belongings yesterday. Someone had gone through her baggage. Ann had borrowed her raincoat without saying anything to her about it. She saw some young women in the cottage visiting Ann. Inez, Versie and I discussed the matter and decided we should have a house meeting. We set it for Saturday night at 7.00.
Jim had earlier told us that some newsmen might be arriving and had even instructed the children what answers to give to some possible inquiries. This morning he said that a Mrs. Hunter, wife of the publisher of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, for whom he had done some important favors, had become a member of the conspiracy. She was so dangerous that the Guyanese government had issued an expulsion order, an extreme step. She is to leave by 9.00 tomorrow but at present, cannot be found.
I borrowed Rita’s pail and did my laundry. I found space on the line behind the cottage. Although there were a few showers during the day, the sun came out sufficiently to dry everything.
I made notes for my journal entry.
Read the adult questionnaires.
Had lunch at 12.00.
Tropp had called for a meeting of the English teachers from 1.00 to 3.00 today for curriculum planning. I thought he said it was to be in the pavilion and I went there at 1.00. I found no trace of Tropp there and he was not in the school tent or the rice tent. I inquired at Radio Room and they didn’t know where he was.
I did personal chores, took a shower and washed my hair.
Finished reading the adult class quiz and tabulated the results. Some answers were not clear in spite of the simplicity of the questionnaire, but on the whole I think it gives a useful indication of the state of mind of the class. I typed a two page report for Jim. I also turned in praises for Lore B Parris and for Nancy Clay who has made much progress in reading.
I went to dinner.
A rally was held at 7.30. I wore boots but took them off and sat with my feet on my plastic bag as the blisters have formed again. Hot and perspiring feet cause the fungus infection to revive.
The news on the p.a. system which had been broadcast earlier opened the rally.
Singing loudly. Jim said Mrs. Hunter can’t be found. It would be naïve to think she might not be with mercenaries out in the bush. Had us sing loudly.
Teachers put on floor for news quiz.
Quiet on China and USSR conflict. Russia has superior armament. China can’t invade Russia, Jim doesn’t believe. Won’t survive unless in underground shelters. Russia can destroy with laser beam incoming missiles.
Jim on the necessity of learning so we understand what we’re fighting for. Otherwise people become traitors. Led with discussion of “doing your own thing,” capitalists taught us this so we wouldn’t unite. A lot of “shitheads” are here, not all children: wasting clothes, leaving around dishes, etc, stealing food, cheating on exams.
Were heard after completion of exams in line.
Edwards on trench site for compost. Horses for hauling. Plans to castrate horses to make them more useful. John Jones, Sr. recommends keeping them uncastrated to cross with donkeys for intensive agriculture. Oxen recommended. Jim says need more research. Compost to be put in ditch on edge of the bush. Discussion on what for horses to pull.
Budgets-Tish Leroy: new system. All departments using people have to submit one for people and money. Analysts’ meeting on Friday night after socialism meeting. All persons have to be reported, cut out emergencies by planning.
Gardens-Shirley Smith: Vegetables picked and planted, other tasks.
Agronomy-Russ Moton: working on soil samples, various diseases, fungi.
Livestock-Shawanna: slaughtering schedule. Lucioes Bryant needed but can’t be spared from the banana crew. Richard Clark now is assigned.
Poultry-Rob Gieg: Trouble about two chickens, crippled, which were cooked and fed to dogs which should have been eaten by people. We had generator failure this week, so lost some eggs in incubator. 275 chickens required for one meal, up to $5,000.
Jim has remarked on incentive plan for those wishing to build their own house. Analysts will work on it.
Small animals-Chris Talley: reports on second dog who looks as if he has been burned. Jim: I despise torturers. I torture torturers. John Harris looks at the dog.
Senior Garden-Selika Bordenave.
Insecticide control-Ernestine Blair: Got more people to spray, if it doesn’t rain too much hopes to catch up with spraying. Thanks Mike Lund for service as he has retired.
Jim says he has twice caught the tool room unsupervised.
The soap manufacturing building is finished. Etta Thompson started on her work.
Jim: Can’t afford free medicines for outsiders. Worries about effort stateside. Perpetrators can get help from the government and Stoen has us up for a million dollar suit. Will have to sell every property we have, so that we can’t pay as we’re going to lose this suit in Mendocino County
Question on purchases. Fish is in. Jim says should be used for our food.
Alice Ingram will be switched to warehouse before completing her required two weeks in the fields as she is badly needed there. Jim’s decision.
Thurman Guy and another lets generator run down due to laziness. Assigned to New Brigade.
New policy: 3 days on New Brigade for every time one has been on the New Brigade before, starting tonight.
Michaeleen Brady threatened to run away again. Jim says keep her under constant supervision, night and day. She uses Marcy’s concern to get what she wants. Jim: she manipulates.
Newhuanda Darnes [Newhuanda]: cheating. Mary Griffith, Jr and Mary Griffith Sr. Newhuanda: got answers to test in school tent. Denise Johnson taken off because of her attitude on Mothers Day. Mabel Jones [Cordell] for cheating. Anita March for stealing? [Edith’s question mark] Theft will be dealt with severely in the future. Two weeks. Cheating, stealing, thievery come under the two weeks heading. Kim Fye cheating. Cheryle McCall doesn’t like being asked what she’s doing: one more day. Jerome Anderson for cheating. Sue Jerram for cheating on food again. Marcy recommends a cucumber to chew on. Pacifier recommended by someone else. Think Jim decided on cucumber.
List of people who missed medications and received warnings.
Long list of praises.
Meeting dismissed. I got home about 1.00.
A dirty plate and fork had been left on top of Annie’s bed. I questioned each person as they came in but Ann was not in by the time I went to sleep. It was obvious she had done it. That and the thieving from people belongings were discussed and it was decided to try to hold a home meeting tomorrow.
I went to bed about 1.30.
21 May 1978 – Sunday
For breakfast today we had biscuits and syrup with nothing extra. I was hungry before dinner was served in the afternoon.
Ann had left a plate and fork in the cottage since yesterday. I saw her at breakfast and reminded her they should be retuned to the dinning room as Jim had been very firm about this last night. She said she wasn’t in last night’s rally.
At home I made journal notes.
Jim on the p.a. system announced that Mrs. Hunter had not appeared by the hour set for her expulsion and an order for her arrest had been issued.
As I had a free morning with everybody else out, except Harriet and Ruth, until 12.00 noon, I typed in my journal. I made considerable progress.
When the others arrived for their half day off, I put the journal away and went through the papers in my crate. I sorted out what I wanted to keep, read or use in teaching. The others cleaned house, dried out their beds and mattresses (which had gotten wet from the rain) and so on. There was a discussion of putting curtains on the beds and decorating. Inez wanted to put up curtains around her bed and wants me to do the same to balance the appearance of the room.
Rain fell this afternoon.
I went to dinner about 4.00. We had boiled chicken and dumplings.
I read some of the papers I had sorted out, newspaper and magazine articles and so forth. I kept out some for instructional purposes.
There was music in the pavilion, movies in the dining room. At 7.00 I went for my treat.
Eleanor Beam moved in to our cottage tonight. She is occupying an upper bunk across from Ruth. Like Ruth she works nights on security.
I read The Man Who Cried I Am tonight.
I was in bed asleep by 11:00.
22 May 1978 – Monday
Heavy rain fell most of the day.
The fungus on my foot has grown worse and is blistering. Inquired of the medical office and was told to get treatment at 11.00. I had too much to do to come back so early this morning and decided to wait until tomorrow.
Worked on my journal.
Met with my adult class both 12.00 and 1.00 today. Gave some instruction on phonics for beginning readers. Then talked about intensive farming, listing the main items on the board. The students paid good attention and copied the material. I made a few remarks on the results of the quiz and announced a few changes I was making. I told them I would teach the class both at 12.00 and 1.00 on Monday then alternate between 12.00 and 1.00 the rest of the week.
I took a shower.
I prepared for my afternoon classes. It was necessary to think of something they could do without the blackboard as the rain prevented us from using our new area. Both classes I held in the pavilion. I gave the first period class reading books again and had them read to themselves. I answered questions about words, mainly helped Willie who is making some progress but guesses at words instead of sounding them out. At the beginning of the second period, Peter Wotherspoon reported to help me, as I had asked. Last week he was co-teacher with Jann in their class and I thought he could enliven the procedures. We invented a game for the class to play with (hopefully) amusing subjects and predicates to prepare them for work on subordinate and coordinate clauses. The class behaved well, although they were not very excited about the game.
I tried to find out more about the cheating in the socialism test. Dick Tropp said he did not know. Peter told me Newhuanda Darnes had been in the area next to the one in which the teachers drew up the test, copied the questions and presumably distributed them to friends.
I got my dinner and took it to the teacher’s meeting. Tropp told us he planned to graduate at the end of this term all students 18 or over regardless of their achievement. They can continue to take classes but will not be listed on Guyanese school rolls. Most of these students are the ones who suffered most from the US school system, don’t take learning seriously and have low abilities. Betty brought some of her students before the meeting again for disruptive activities. One was Keith Wade who seems to take an insolent attitude.
I talked in the pavilion for some time with Peter. We discussed teaching methods, specifically. He told me how he teaches poetry. He seemed not to want to let me go. I had to escort home to the library and turn him over to another responsible adult as he is not allowed to be alone. He reported to Becky Beikman.
I reached home about 7.45. I did not think our planned house meeting for 8.00 would take place and it did not. Versie had to go to steering committee. Several people including children were in the cottage off and on. Eleanor was getting settled. She had gotten material and sticks and made her curtains and put them up. I looked through my papers again and read some of them.
I went to bed early before 11.00. I was very tired.
23 May 1978 – Tuesday
At home I worked on my journal.
Took my shower early as I was going to get my foot treated at the medical clinic. The fungus infection on the same foot and about the same place as before. I have a blister back of my third toe. Wearing boots is necessary now because of rain is the main factor. Feet get hot and perspire. I was told to come at 11.00 today. Wanda treated it. She scolded me for not coming in sooner as earlier it may have been cured by simpler method; the ointment necessary now is expensive and scarce.
Held my adult reading class at 12.00. Did the phonics review first. I had all the beginning readers sit in front, also those who cant see well. Christine Jones (Cobb) had spoken to me about helping with my adult class. She works nights, has spare time during the day. I suggested she visit this week and see what we are doing. A flurry of rain drove us inward in the school tent where we had less space and not all could see the chalkboard but we did the best we could. I skimmed over an article on apartheid in South Africa.
At home I worked on my journal and made preparations for my afternoon classes.
I took with me to classes a pair of clogs (thongs) planning to wear them inside as they give my feet more air but I was so busy with all the classroom details that I did not put them on. The first period class sat on benches with no tables or desks. I led a discussion on intensive farming, giving details on which they took notes, planning to have the students discuss it tomorrow. For the second period class we had a table. I read a McCabe article from the San Francisco Chronicle on telephone abuse and asked them to select sentences with subordinate or coordinate clauses. The class behaved well because I threatened to bring those who misbehaved before teachers meeting. However only a few participated and some were noticeably inattentive.
At the teachers meeting following classes we merely reported absences.
I went home and changed clothes for the rally.
Yvonne Golden: our people had to save her from a mob of Nazis who were threatening her though she has not stood up for us.
Called on by Dr. Reid to do some intelligence work on one of his own members.
Oreen Poplin coming in tonight on plane. She’s been a hell-raiser. She had liquor and snuff in suitcase, was drunk when she got off plane. Carl [her dead husband] probably died to get away from her. Hue Fortson sent with a woman to get her and bring her back.
Amanda Edwards explained what is going on this rainy season in agriculture. Jim said work crews must be given education, instruction on agriculture. Getting wheat made into cracked wheat. Corn ground into grits. Ron Talley and three others assigned by steering to see if vacuum seals still hold. Jim bought it in 1974 for use in the cave.
Radio report. Parallax View and Executive Action film man broken in the States. They won’t let him sell anything. Wants to involve himself in our story and doesn’t have a penny. Jim wanted to bring him in if we cut back through.
Discussion on method of testing the vacuum.
Peanuts- Jeffery: Three acres, 946 pounds per acre. Many wasted as they started to sprout in rainy season. Prevention of this planned. Disposal of peanuts not needed for planting discussed.
Land clearing-Mike Touchette.
Use of machinery-Philip Blakey.
Don Fitch says work on the horse wagon can be started in a week.
Fields-Jan Wilsey: 8 acres trouble with larvae. Going up river to get new stock. She’s already going to get coffee trees. Rice doing well on burnt field. Haven’t had to use commercial fertilizer.
Sorrel and brick: Progress report on both. Producing bricks. Weeds are getting ahead with sorrel. Sidewalk to have been built to Lynetta’s grave. Jack said science class was to do that and it was disbanded. Suggestion that it be done by agricultural workers in rainy season. It is too wet most of the time but can be done on clear half-days.
Soap-Etta Thompson: needs more wood to make ashes. Roosevelt Turner says he can get it, can make soap last week in June. Jim says we need to mass produce it. Analysts should help. Colton Moton, Sr. [unknown name] said we should investigate slaughter house in Port Kaituma for grease. Jim approved.
Safety committee: Little progress reported as Julius Evans supposed to do it, he is in Georgetown. Marie will do it.
When agenda was announced as completed, some clapped. Jim objected. Don’t ever insult this community by clapping for end of the agenda. If all involved as should be, wouldn’t have to be a general rally. Work would flow through other channels.
Review of New Brigade, some of them off. Darell Keller threatened suicide. Said to Richard Clark who just came. Says he wanted to be a supervisor. His companion says she doesn’t get anything out of his relationship. Reported he won’t take directions from a female. Jim orders him to shape up, don’t talk about suicide, and take orders from sisters.
Paul McCann wasn’t in line for volunteers to give news tonight, says he didn’t know any news this week. Jim says some nurture cripples and let them weaken us. Jim risked going to jail to save him. Paul had said he didn’t like to stand up and speak in public. Instance of his callousness with his wife while she is in hospital. I proposed he make a special report on intensive farming in socialism class, some additions made.
Ronnie Beikman and Danny Beck: two weeks on new brigade for stealing boots.
Ricardo Arterberry stole a clock. A woman thought it her clock, sent him back for the cover. It was a different clock and he was caught.
James Johnson stole a tape recorder. Tony Linton [Lacy] admitted the two stole it together. James got only one week for being loyal to another. Tony let off for telling on himself. Jim: “We don’t need any more enemies, we got enough outside.” Tony caught Jim’s suffering as few do.
Jamal Baisy: most disruptive child in Dorm 1. Decided he go to new brigade.
JonDeshi Baisy and Ronald Campbell teasing Bobby Christian about involuted naval. Two weeks on Learning Crew. Jim said teachers warn all children two weeks for teasing.
Complaint about nature of directions given by Gene Chaikin to mulch citrus trees. Some on crew, Glenda Polite and Becky Flowers, say his instructions not demonstrated well. Told to write instructions. He says he’ll spend more time with crew and give better instructions and drop superior attitude.
Long discussion with one of the crew, Dorothy Rollins, who said something to Sebastian McMurry with regard to approach to her of Tim Jones, Jim’s son, appeared blurry. Sebastian brought from sick bed to testify about Dorothy’s words. Another young man gave his version and Tim stated what he had said and how he treated her. Jim says she and other sisters unemancipated don’t appreciate principle, talk to other men about the brother. Jim says she doesn’t understand herself. Jim said, “My son worshiped you and you talk about him. This hurt me” Jim asks her to give her opinion of Tim and Sebastian. She says “Tim is nice, you know, Sebastian is an ass. He asked her what is revisionism and what are the principle enemies of communism”. She could not answer.
Keith Wade reported walking around and not working. Jan Wilsey says he has this habit.
Praises given. Dismissed at 1.00.
24 May 1978 – Wednesday
We rose and had breakfast two hours late this morning. Heavy rain fell most of the day.
The schedule was changed for the junior high school, because they had the space. I could not hold my adult class.
Christine Young had come for the class. I invited her to walk home with me and talk about the class. I told her my usual procedure, described the class to her and showed her the results of my questionnaire. When I told her that I had difficulty keeping the roll, she offered to do this as one of her tasks. We agreed she would attend the rest of the week and see what other way she could most satisfactorily help. Christine told me about attending Angela Davis’s class at SF State just before she came over here. It was decided she [Angela] should teach “Feminism” as the most safe topic. Her appearances were hedged around with all kinds of restrictions. Most amazingly there were only three black students in the class.
I wrote in my journal and made preparations for my classes.
For the first period class I managed to get the space in the pavilion at the chalkboard. I decided to spend the hour on the definition of certain terms starting with socialism and communism I told the class that under perfect communism there would be no military, no police and no laws but some of the students disagreed with me. An argument developed between Jerome and Willie. Most of the class were passive listeners, if that, even Billy Jones. Seeing Lee Ingram, I called him in to define the terms. He thought it unrealistic to expect a society with no laws and no police.
Peter Wotherspoon came into my second period class today and read poetry to them. It was modern poetry and he worked hard to appeal to their interests but they showed little enthusiasm.
Yesterday I had been prevented from taking my plate to the pavilion for the teachers meeting because of the new rule. So Dick, Jann and I ate on the steps of the school office and discussed a little business.
There was a sister’s meeting at 7.30. The brothers met at 8.00 in the dining pavilion. Jim spent at least half the time at our meeting. Dorothy Rollins was on the floor again for persisting in her attitude toward Sebastian and numerous other unemancipated females followed her including Anitra Greene. Ava who conducted the session complained that women were still building up John Jones’ ego. The worst offenders were put to the new brigade and some were required to wear an ugly sack dress with a sign, “I oppress women”. Jim went into some detail describing as to how the homosexual male goes from woman to woman because he really hates women, told what he had had to do to make men accept their own homosexuality.
The meeting was finally dismissed at about 12.00 but before I got out of the yard we were called back for an alert.
A crisis of unknown proportions had occurred because Leona Collier and Jean Brown in San Francisco had told Albert Kohn, a pro-Soviet friend of ours, about the Guyanese government’s intention to expel Kathy Hunter. Kahn had called the Santa Rosa Press Democrat which employs her and suggested they send a more sympathetic reporter. The result was apparently to embarrass the Guyanese government and to alert forces which persuaded Guyana officials to ground the plane which was to evict Mrs. Hunter. Moreover four of our people who were conducting a surveillance of Mrs. Hunter. Terry Carter, Debbie Touchette, Don Scheid and Daisy Lee were interrogated by the local Georgetown police at some length . The others held out against admitting anything but Daisy signed a document and can not remember what she had signed. She does not read English well and was intimidated. The police threatened to arrest them all and said they would come back later tomorrow. They had not as yet returned. Jim had ordered they all be taken into hiding. He said he would not ever consent to leave any of our people subjected to court process. Our money was also removed. The danger is that police may be ordered to search our premises in Jonestown. If they try, it will mean war, for which we must be prepared. A hunger strike was mentioned as a method of signifying our commitment to our intention. Dick Tropp and Carolyn Looman were instructed to draw up a statement to this effect and when it was ready, all, 16 and over, filed out to sign it.
At one point in the evening Oreen Poplin arrived. She was preceded by reports that she had given trouble not only in Georgetown but on arrival in Jonestown. She would not eat the food offered her, wanted a brand of cereal called “malt-o-meal.” She wore a diamond ring and wore a money belt, both of which she refused to turn over. She was dressed in a fashion displayed in San Francisco.
Jim had her up on the floor and much discussion took place about the above-mentioned pieces of property. After counseling, argument and other forms of persuasion she finally accepted the necessity of being more agreeable.
As I had worn boots on account of the weather, my foot was giving me a great deal of trouble and though I took the boots off during the two meetings I was afraid the blisters would be worse. We were dismissed at about 5:00 with instructions to stay in bed until 11.00, have breakfast and return to the pavilion.
25 May 1978 – Thursday
We got up and had breakfast at 11.30. Then we returned to the pavilion for further discussion of our situation.
A new method of revolutionary suicide was tested in case we did not have time to use the potion alone. We would pack ourselves into particular buildings and these buildings would be blown up. The demolition material was tested.
The windmill which is being erected as a watchtower was discussed. It is intended to look like part of a children’s playground and whether this instruction was carried out was questioned. Jim suggested some changes. The device actually generates some electricity. Whether the structure could also be taken as a radar device from the air was discussed but it was decided that no one familiar with radar would be so deceived.
Many people were put on the floor initially some referred from the women’s and men’s meetings. Several were put on New Brigade.
Mention was made of Norman Ijames, who was going to get a piloting assignment which would allow him to visit Jonestown occasionally. Instead he had turned down a Georgetown job, had flown other routes at a good salary; we have not seen any of his money and he is reported to be involved in romantic affairs.
On the basis of many reports, including one written by me, Lovie Jean Lucas was put on the floor. She is seemingly well-educated, refined black woman whom I had heard declare her loneliness and lack of interest in Jonestown. She is a barber and had hoped to practice her profession in Georgetown. She said she had expected to travel. She didn’t know she was turning over her property and jewelry to the Temple and couldn’t get it back. Testimony from many others revealed her background as a maid for movie stars. She had then taken care of an old man whom she neglected. She stole some of his retirement checks and a diamond pin. Her house was filthy and her animals neglected and government action was even threatened. She admitted those facts only after Jim reminded the questioners she deserved the same treatment as the other senior (Oreen Poplin) had received last night and it was given to her. It was demanded she use her talents as a barber for the community.
Proposals were made that preparation for jungle warfare begins. Stephen will conduct classes. Jim asked for anyone who had suggestions to get on the floor. Among those who did was Annie B. Washington who had been a follower of Martin Luther King, Jr., but had never believed in pacifism. She had carried a loaded firearm with her.
In the evening Jim gave an hour and a half for dinner and rest. I ate and read the news on the blackboard in the library. I had been sitting during the meeting with my boots off and my foot was much better.
When the meeting was resumed, Jim told us contact had been made with Home Affairs Minister Mingo who had been meeting with others in the government. They had concluded they may have called off the arrests and may inform us in the morning.
We were dismissed at 12.00.
26 May 1978 – Friday
Annie B Washington moved today to a dormitory (called “apartment” now) so that she would not have to walk so far to work, meals, shower and so on.
During my breakfast trip to the central area, I took care of a number of errands. I stopped at the warehouse, got shampoo and a sweater as I have been a little chilly sitting on my bed in the cottage. The only one they had is a little too big for me. I lost the one I bought just before I left the US.
At the mending room Alma Thomas measured me preparatory to making a raincoat for me out of a plastic bag I brought with me from the States.
My foot is healing nicely.
The weather was clear in the early part of the day.
Marshall Farris made and installed a shoe rack on our cottage porch, which will help keep the porch and consequently the house cleaner.
I took my shower before lunch today so that I could have my foot treated directly after my adult class.
I had planned to look up some material for my second period class but before I went to lunch there was an announcement that high school classes would not meet today. High school students were to continue at their projects in order to bring productivity up.
I met my adult class at 1.00. Christine Young did not come. I gave some phonics study first then started to define some of the terms Jim had put emphasis on in giving the news lately.
Went to Margaret James at the pavilion for treatment of my toes. She used Irish vine.
Wrote a note to Jim on a strategy matter I had thought up in connection with guerrilla fighting.
We had a teachers meeting at 4.00, high school with junior high and elementary school teachers. Tom Grubbs talked to us about lesson plans. Junior high and elementary school teachers best to make them up early for all classes. He showed the form and discussed it. Tom had ordered 6000 forms from the States. Tropp decided we would begin to use the forms in the high school.
We broke for dinner. After we ate, high school teachers reported to the pavilion. It was decided we would have meetings on Sundays from 3.00 to 5.00 every week.
Jim announced that we had finally made connection with the Guyanese government. The plan to arrest our people was rescinded and those who had conceived the idea (a small fascist group in the police) had been identified and would be punished. They had CIA contacts. The plot was definitely that of the CIA and Burnham made a strong denunciation of it and of the US policies. Also he rejected all International Monetary Fund aid with its unacceptable requirements. Jim told us that meanwhile the situation in the world had become very serious, pointing more and more to nuclear war. The US had concluded an agreement with China, abandoning its protection of Taiwan, has attempted to force the USSR to desert Cuba. The so-called “free” world is making a concerted attack on Angola, while they continue their efforts to keep control of the assets of Zaire.
Jim told us the Examiner had run a story that Mrs. Hunter had been held in protective custody whereas the truth was that she had been drunk the whole time. Guyana knew that she had entered the country under false pretenses. She said we threatened her, wherein she threatened us. Guyana did not bow to US demands.
The incident concerning our four people who were detained was caused by a small fascist group in the police who have CIA connections. Dr. Mingo who is head of Home Affairs and Immigration helped us. He said this was an attack on socialism and all socialist countries. He acknowledged this was a conspiracy.
I didn’t go home as we were to have political enlightenment classes in the pavilion at 8.00. I had my clipboard and paper with me and worked a little on my journal.
Jim suddenly announced that he was giving out the name of the traitor who had left our ranks. It was Debbie Blakey. She had been proven to have taken an active roll in the conspiracy. She had fine socialist relatives: her mother, Lisa Layton, brother Larry Layton (recently arrived) and husband Philip Blakey all of whom showed an admirable attitude.
Jann Gurvich conducted the political enlightenment class. She wrote on notes on the chalkboard, not visible very far back. Her material which was on communist theory, definitions and examples of the terms used and examples, and an assessment of the conflict in Zaire as it, is related to Communist theory. She talked very fast which drew some protests. Jim circulated through the audience and made comments and there were other remarks and questions from the floor.
The meeting lasted until 11.00.
Our cottage area took a long time to settle down. I did not get to sleep until after 12.00.
27 May 1978 – Saturday
Yesterday Patty had asked me to lend her some sewing materials. I had just climbed up on my bunk and didn’t want to get down and open my crate. I may have later left my crate open with the lock and key on it. Later in the day I had missed my key, intended to hunt for it when I got home.
When I got home last night Patty told me as if she had just noticed it that I had left my key on the bed. I noticed me sewing materials seemed jumbled, but I thought I may have done it myself. It was late and I was tired. This morning I arranged my sewing materials and missed my card of needles. I immediately suspected Patty, went to the loft to investigate. On cursory examination I did not find the needles but did find a spool of thread which was mine. Irra and I had also both noticed that Patty when she came in yesterday had inquired “Irra?” as when her curtain is drawn, one cannot see if Irra is here.
I looked for Patty at breakfast and questioned her. She denied taking the needles or the thread. I arranged with her and Laura to meet with them both at the cottage when Patty finished school at 4.00.
I did my hand laundry, using Rita’s pail. Standing in the damp grass near the benches at the water faucet caused another blister to appear on my foot.
I worked on my journal.
Took a shower.
The elementary, junior and high school teachers met at 2.00 in the school tent. Tom Grubbs talked about the learning process. It was abstract though interesting. I had to leave a little before 4.00 to meet with Patty and Laura.
Patty had come home early. She went through her belongings as Laura and I watched. She admitted nothing though I told of the evidence, pointing out that we would have hidden the stolen needles. Laura found another spool of thread among her belongings. She remembered seeing the needles and perhaps my key in the loft. Patty cried but denied guilt. Laura reminded her that Harriet had also missed blouses which she later saw Patty wearing.
I was supposed to talk with Annie B Washington about articles she had missed from her luggage but I didn’t have time. I went to dinner and on my return told the others in the cottage about the episode involving Patty. Harriet thought she was suffering from a psychological problem and when I wrote my report up I suggested counseling for her. I gave it to Sharon Amos, considered the best of the counselors. She, however, said she might be going soon to Georgetown.
Library notes stolen from Teresa. Jim called for them to be returned after the meeting under threat of paranormal punishment. Office hours and regulations given.
Jim: commitment of Guyana to Soviet Socialism. Burnham refused to accede to demands he stop refueling Cuban planes. Burnham told Kissinger to fly over and not land. Our liaison Mingo informed that Burnham will not accept International Monetary Fund money. One rumor he is getting help from North Korea and East Germany. Amazing decision refused $1 billion. Explains Hunter episode. Charge against us was to bomb her hotel. US Embassy tells us we will have some hard times. Army is strong control, no danger of a coup. They transport us a military plane free of charge at no charge. Present attempt of US to kill us off economically, though Jim has assured we will eat. We’re low priority for invasion. We will get last energy. 300 of our people remain in the US. Problem is housing them. Senate Bill 1437 will pass. High in children and seniors. Most energies directed to medical care and caretaker functions.
All our chickens died today of Ariz [Salmonella Arizonae] disease with which they were infected in Florida.
(1) Housing, begin equipment for industries.
(2) Purchase of supplies and equipment here or in Trinidad. chickens, sawmill, electrical equipment.
(3) Sawmill – some personnel channeled to this from medical and education, etc.
(4) Bring additional people but needed for few months in US.
(5) Bricks. etc. to make money and help Guyana, and pull out of lethargy of some who don’t give a shit. In each program to get licenses necessary.
Necessary hard work and tightening belt. Time table presented.
High level conspiracy abroad greatest problem tying us up in court. Cutting us off from friends, activities will be stepped up even framing us. Considerations on who to bring. Hard to find industries to make money. Whether to use new boat to go to US in eight weeks, get purchasing agents in other places than US.
News: Norm Ijames coming few weeks. Been saving up so he can stay longer (sarcastically).
Jim called for discussion. Russ Moton confronted with charge of procrastination, didn’t do a favor for a man who has been very helpful (Jupiter [head of Guyanese crews that work for us]). Chaikin admitted fault for not pushing Moton. Jupiter most knowledgeable Amerindian in area, can find good stands of wood close at hand, finding sleepers (railroad ties) profitable.
Charlie Touchette suggests can spare some men from security to other positions where needed and replace with some women. Discussion by Jim of sex with reference to people who approach him.
Jerome Simon doing badly in field, transferred to medical department. Jim objects to this way of manipulating to get the job he wants. Settled by giving extra hours to him in medical.
Pauline Groot suggested a possibility to join electrical crew in medical. She is now working in chemical engineering. Charlie Touchette says what Chris Lund wants is three men to work on his crew to catch up so his present staff can plan for special equipment we will be getting. Numerous reasons given for not wanting to release personnel which could help in electrical crew.
Somehow a great to-do about rags: whether to be used for toys, pillows etc to sell or to make varnish as Pauline Groot says she knows how to do. More material is coming form the States for sewing project given to us by Synanon. Decision to make varnish but also what we need for sewing until new material arrives.
Discussion on using new boat. Go to States for cargo and people and which route?
Using extra space in cottages. How many potential beds do we have left? Jim asks. Joyce Touchette says she’ll get figure.
Question of using aluminum in factories: too hot? No, not if ventilated. Jim asked which industries are sure money-making. Mentioned: food such as cassava, sewing, printing.
Question of feasibility of using troolie. No answer. Can be used for temporary building. Do we want permanent buildings?
Sawmill: location, different points of view.
Show manufacturing Grubbs opposed except for repair because of source of leather. Photographic film, print processing. Don Jackson suggests mail order business.
Jim: Tim Stoen now preying on people. Told Verdella Duncan’s daughter that Verdella is starving; caused heart attack of Janaro relatives. It is necessary to do something about Stoen.
Jim spoke of the enormous costs we are incurring. If nuclear war is imminent, we will have to move all our people here at once.
Mark Wagner up for insensitivity to a person’s handicap. His attitude is bad. He doesn’t want to do little things. Jim asks why the change in him, his relationship? He was given a warning. Jim reverses the sentence because of two praises and attempt to appeal to his conscience.
Ben Robinson: case of personal vengeance for injury done to him. He brought up other day in sexual situation. Jim had ordered that amplifier be gotten for him in the band. He says he’s affected by love of Jim and Stephen. Jim’s analysis involves Ben’s homosexuality. Jim on softness: also the potential to care. On Allende: too trusting. Jim gave him a warning. He had all the signs on oppressing women removed.
Brian Davis on the floor charged with using a magnet to open book cabinet in library. He says he just seeing whether he could do it. Jim asked him whether he liked it here now. Bryan said he did.
Jim read from Senate Bill 1437 for benefit of those who want to go back to the US.
Jim gave Bryan a warning believing he meant no harm.
Jim released some from brigade. Michaeleen Brady said she had been on for two months, wanted to be released or some indication of when she could expect to be released.
Praises read, long list.
Meeting dismissed ten minutes until 2.00. Jim had us go out with talking while listening to Victor Jara records.
I got to bed about 3.00.
28 May 1978 – Sunday
On account of the late hours last night, we rose and ate breakfast two hours late this morning.
I washed my sheets which I had not done yesterday.
I shampooed my hair.
A black cat came to the cottage this morning and made himself at home on my bed as I worked. He stayed until evening. He was a very agreeable cat.
I made journal entries.
I wrote a memo to Jim. I offered to go to the States to take care of the matter he had mentioned last night, as I had previously. Also told him I thought I could get back my job at Bechtel’s and help the Temple’s finances.
The weather was clear early in the day but there was a big shower at 2.00. Jann had wanted me to meet with her and Peter to discuss lesson plans for next week and I had intended to go at 2.00. I had hoped to get at typing in my journal today but didn’t succeed.
I went at 3.00. Jann, Peter and I talked a little about class plans but did nothing precise. I got some material from Don Jackson on Senate Bill 1437. I watched Jim play with one of the toucans in the pavilion.
Dinner was not served until late at 5.30. We had a Guyanese dish called roti, probably originally an East Indian dish. It is curried pork with vegetables wrapped in a tortilla-like bread. During dinner I conversed with Marshall Farris. He told me of his experience in the Longshoreman’s Union, of Harry Bridges and of his service during the war, in which he was wounded. He first heard Jim about the same time I did.
I went home and read The Man Who Cried I Am.
After dark and more rain had fallen, I went to the pavilion to get my treat, candy this week.
The cat had gone when I returned.
A young girl, Sonya Evans, is moving in to the cottage. She will sleep in Ellie’s bed at night.
Inez got cloth from the sewing room to make her curtains and increased her efforts to get mine. Irra also got cloth and talked of her plans to make tops. A large amount of scraps have been sent from the States. Many are being used to make items for sale but apparently individuals can obtain pieces for their own use.
I continued to read a The Man Who Cried I Am until I went to bed at 11.00.
29 May 1978 – Monday
Rain fell almost all day, at times furiously.
After having breakfast and following my morning routine I wrote up lesson plans for the week for my two Language Arts classes. In the remedial group I plan to continue the work on political definitions and intensive agricultural and to deal with the Senate Bill 1437, intermixed with some spelling lessons. In the advanced group which I will have this week, I plan a week’s work on metaphors of different types.
I did a little work on my journal.
Went to lunch. I was a little late and there was a long line probably because word had got around there was some roti left over. It was gone before I got to the window, but I got some very good soup.
One of the older women told me she had seen my lost rain coat. A woman who works in the rice tent has it. My name and cottage number was in it but the woman whose name is Martha Turner had made no effort to return it. Later Mary Castillo told me that Martha had told her she had it and to let me know. She apparently became concerned I would learn who had it.
I held my adult class from 12.00 to 2.00. The majority of students stayed for both sessions and I took the roll each time. I worked on phonics the first part of the period and on political definitions. Perhaps on account of the rain, perhaps on account of Lore Parris not being there to help me at first, the class was noisier than usual.
I took my shower.
I met my afternoon classes in the pavilion. I managed to get a table and benches and a blackboard. In the first period I went ahead with political definitions. Marcus made some thoughtful comments. I introduced the subject of metaphor to the second period class, then turned the class over to Anita March as chairperson. She was to have the class members give proverbs and explain then while I recorded and evaluated the proceedings. The class showed constant interest but their general attitude toward me was not good.
I ate dinner.
Attended the high school teachers meeting in the pavilion. Tropp told me that Peter Wotherspoon would be teaching the advanced Language Arts class, taking over from me, as he understood I had expressed dissatisfaction with the students to Peter. I could have argued the case but was really relieved to be free of the responsibility. I accepted the arrangements as I can devote more time to the adults. Jann will teach the intermediate group. The math classes were also reorganized. I showed my lesson plans to Tropp and they pleased him. We discussed the school composition book situation. Many are being lost or stolen. A method of issuing new books and making teachers responsible for them was adopted. Tropp had surveyed the list of high school students and found several who were not taking the right classes. David Goodwin, who was not in the socialism class, was brought before the group. He had also been caught obviously trying to steal a composition book.
At home I brought journal entries up to date, then read The Man Who Cried I Am for about an hour.
Went to bed at 11:00 but had a hard time going to sleep as there was much music outside and I was a little troubled in losing the advanced class
30 May 1978 – Tuesday
The boat got in early this morning having been delayed by the rains. Robin Tschetter and Estelle McCall arrived on it from the states, plus several other members from Georgetown.
Patty is still living in the cottage. I had thought she would be staying in one of the apartments to help with the new brigade. She still fails to get up and go to school on time. This morning we exchanged some hot words and I told her angrily she had better return my needles. What makes me especially angry is that the card contained my needle-threader and with my weak eyes I found it very difficult to thread a needle without it. Sentiment in the cottage is that Patty needs more supervision and that she should be moved.
After breakfast I worked on the library an hour or so collecting books with samples of metaphors for my second period class. Brenda Parks one of Teresa’s assistants opened the cases and helped me find some of the books. All books are locked up now, since there has been so much theft. She saved the books for me until class time.
I saw Martha Turner in the rice tent. I expressed myself rather firmly that it was odd of her not to see that I got it back, since my name and cottage number were on it. She thought I was lucky she had saved it, though she made no effort to return it when the rainy season came.
I stopped at Ruby Carroll’s cottage where the seamstresses work, hoping to get some scraps of material for curtains and to make some little cloth bags for containers of my cosmetics and sewing materials. I am using mylar bags which break. I was told my cottage mates got material through a “misunderstanding.” Ruby was back and I’d have to ask her.
Made my journal entry.
Went to lunch.
Taught the adult class at 12.00. I gave some spelling words and had a few people show their ability in public. Nancy Clay again astonished me by making no errors. I then gave the details on Senate Bill 1473 which Jim said to emphasize in all classes. Christine Young did not come today. Later I saw her and she said she had been ill but would come tomorrow.
Took a shower.
All afternoon I kept hearing in the loud speaker about a Guyanese Defense Force plane which was coming in from Mathews Ridge to take six of our people to Georgetown. Some were patients and nurses. Mike Carter was going in to take charge of radio traffic. Marcy was going in to talk to government officials and appointments had been made for her. Later comments from Jim becoming more and more urgent showed that the tractor was not being made ready to leave on time and finally that it didn’t leave. The military plane flew out not taking our passengers. Jim was indignant as these GDF flights were a favor, very costly and no charge made to us.
Only a few were present in my first period class. I again gave them the material on SB 1437.
In the second period I presented the material on metaphors, reading to the class from different types of literature and discussing the metaphors found in them. The class was interested especially in revolutionary sources and paid fairly good attention, though not perfect.
We were to have a teacher’s meeting but it never got underway and I went home. Laura had asked of she could borrow my typewriter again. I was reluctant, though I told her she could but she’d have to wait until I got home. By the time I got to the cottage I must have missed her.
Went to the rally and got a good seat. Tape of news played. Lee Ingram made announcements.
(1) Gist of an impassioned statement made by Jim. I had been very sleepy and though I heard it, I forgot it. I wrote something about discrimination between the rich and poor;
(2) Main points of HR 1437. I wrote all I had time for;
(3) News Jim had given today. Of the newest questions given I had forgotten much but remembered enough to write until time was called. I then had to help a senior who had trouble writing.
Hearing on what was hold-up for tractor to leave. Charlie Touchette says fixing up the tractor so that it was suitable. Jim said it was going to be costly to make up in presents for the discourtesy. Jim kept asking for hurry-up, he never got any response. Carl Barnett had been responsible for getting the tractor ready but he had left Wesley Breidenbach in charge and had gone back to his cottage. It was not clear to me why Wesley couldn’t finish on time. No body gave Jim nor Marcy and the other passengers any explanation as to what was wrong. When Marcy came to see what was the matter Wesley seemed arrogant to her. Marcy made it clear that she could have proceeded with the original equipment and Jim emphasized that he should be kept fully informed at all times of problems that come up.
A report probably written by Shirley Hicks on band offenses in Georgetown and two other towns was read. Some members had behaved exemplarily but Shirley spoke of rivalry, lack of cooperation between her sister Marthea Hicks and Diane Wilkerson.
Also told that many of band accepted alcoholic beverage at home of Guyana national who entertained them the guilty confessed reluctantly. Ruby Carrol and Jimmy Jones were sent as watchers but job was too much for them.
Praises were given, people taken off and assigned to the New Brigade.
The rally was dismissed at about 1.00.
31 May 1978 – Wednesday
Rising and breakfast were at the usual time.
Had had a talk with Ruby Carroll about getting cloth for curtains. She said those who had obtained it previously had been given it without authorization. Inspectors would take it away from them. On my way home I stopped at the rice tent where the sewing project is conducted. They gave me some scraps of material for my little bags.
The day was mostly clear.
I cleaned out my crate hoping to come across my needles but didn’t find them. Worked on a journal entry.
Went to lunch.
Taught the adult class at 1.00. Gave a phonics lesson first, then we had a discussion on South African treatment of blacks based on an article about apartheid in the Atlantic Monthly which I had started reading to the class some time ago.
I stopped at the rice tent and got my raincoat from Martha Turner. She didn’t admit any failing in ethics in keeping it so long though she could have easily found me.
Took a shower. On my return I saw Patty Cartmell. She mentioned Lisa Layton, that she did not know whether to mention Debbie Blakey’s defection. She had an idea Lisa didn’t want to talk about it. She told me Debbie had acted strangely in Georgetown and she should have been suspicious. She had remarked to Debbie that she seemed to be gaining weight and Debbie’s reaction was hostile. (Jim had told us in the rally that Debbie was pregnant. She had been influenced by the attentions of an outsider who probably was assigned to persuade her to leave the cause. Jim warned all that any of us male or female could be the subjects of such a purpose.)
Patty doesn’t have a rain coat and later I made up my mind I could let her have the one Anne Thomas made for me, but I could then couldn’t reach her.
In the first period class we discussed Marxist-Leninist terms. All were present except Billie and Willie. They were fairly cooperative.
In the second period I gave illustrations from books I had assembled of metaphors taken from different types of literature. The class seemed fairly interested. I explained what we would do tomorrow.
Pineapple was on our dinner plates.
Teachers meeting was at 6.00. Eleanor Beam had asked to make a complaint against Corliss Boutte. She couldn’t learn math in her class she said and wanted to be transferred. Several other students including Ava Ingram spoke against Eleanor who they think causes trouble in the classroom. The teachers had trouble getting to the bottom of her complaint. She seems to be suffering from hurt pride. We advised she get help and stay where she is.
There were movies and counseling tonight. Inez and Versie have been appointed counselors.
Patty returned my needles. She had apparently been counseled by Sharon Amos and said that Sharon was requesting me to say no more about the incident. I agreed.
Irra had borrowed my scissors two days ago and had not yet returned them. I had wanted to sew on my bags.
Read The Man Who Cried I Am.
Temple / Members
Paula Adams [S]
Martin Amos [Killed in Georgetown, 11/18/78]
Sharon Amos [Died in Georgetown, 11/18/78]
Jerry [Geraldine] Baily
Philip Blakey [S]
Jean Brown [SF S]
Terri Buford [left Temple 9/78 S]
Mike Carter [S]
Mary Ann Casanova [S]
Mary Lou Clancey
Richard Clark [S]
Leona Collier [SF S]
Velma [Najuandriene] Darnes
Ron Darnes [N]
Newhuanda Darnes [N]
Patty Dennis [McCoy]
“Rev” James Edwards
Shirley Ann Edwards
Julius Evans [S]
Hue Fortson [S]
Mary Griffith, Jr
Mary Griffith Sr.
Julie Guevara (Cordell)
Liane Harris [died in Georgetown 11/18/78]
Helen [Probably Swinney]
Norman Ijames [S]
Lee Ingram [S]
Sue Jerram (Noxon)
Shanda James Oliver
Debby Jensen [Schroeder]
Joanne [Lourece Jackson]
Billy Jones [Dean]
Jimmy Jones (Jim Jones, Jr) [S]
Lynetta Jones [Died JT before 11/18/78]
Mabel Jones [Cordell]
Marceline Marcy Jones
Stephen Jones [S]
Tim Jones [S]
Laura Johnston [S]
[Martha] Ellen Klingman
Demosthenes [Danny] Kutulas
Lisa Layton [Passed away in Jonestown before 11/18/78]
Daisy Lee [Stroud]
Tish [Laetita] LeRoy
Chris Lewis [Went to Guyana May 1974; in Guyana 2+yr, returned to US; died in US before 11/18/78]
Tony Linton [Lacy]
Lovie Jean Lucas
Chris Lund Rozynko
Mike Lund Rozynko
Shirley Marshall [N]
Guy Mitchell [S]
Chris Morrell [probably Chris Cordell
Colon Moton, Sr. [unknown name]
Terry Norwood [probably Fairy Norwood]
Bea Orsot [S]
Carl [Poplin dead husband of Oreen]
Brenda Parks [S]
Lore B Parris
Mike Prokes [S]
Robert Paul [S]
Mark Rhodes [Marquess]
Shirley [probably Robinson, teacher]
Toby Tobiana Stone
Charlie Touchette [S]
Debbie Touchette [S]
Mike Touchette [S]
Robin Tschetter [S]
Janet Lenin Tupper
Ruth Lenin Tupper
Tina Turner Bogue [S]
Versie [Connesero Perkins] [S]
Anne B Washington
Diane Deanna Wilkinson
Christine Young Cobb
Debbie Blakey [defects 5/78]
Elmer and Deanna Mertle (Al and Jeanne Mills)
Lor (de la Fuente)
Ryn de la Fuente
Non Temple Names
Keats Martin Luther King, Jr
Home Affairs Minister Mingo
Rev John and Barbara Moore [Carolyn Layton, Annie Moore’s Parents]
Prime Minister of China
The Man Who Cried I Am, by John A. Williams
Chile’s prisoners of war, by Rolando Carrasco, published in English in Moscow, Novosti Press Agency Pub. House, 1977
Film: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Film: Parallax View
Film: Executive Action
Chinese Third World Doctrine
Department of Education Inspectors
Eureka Research Association
IMF: International Monetary Fund
Port Kaituma School
San Francisco Chronicle
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Senate Bill 1437