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. At the end of the journal is a list of persons and groups mentioned in this Journal.
1 August 1978 – Tuesday
Bruce Oliver, who repairs clocks and watches for members, gave back to me my clock which had stopped running a week and a half or so ago.
Worked on adult school records. On my list of those who have been attending I entered the info I have collected so far as their ages, level of schooling, disabilities which may interfere with reading and writing, and the dates attended during the last part of July. I have a column for indicating their level of competence.
Went to lunch.
Lois Ponts and I met our adult class. Another large group was in attendance. The day was very hot and we all sweltered under the school pavilion tent. I searched for another place; the rice pavilion tent is cooler, but the school classes met there at 1.00. We also needed more chalkboard space but I had to manage with the two we had. I wrote on the board statements summarizing the points in the questions asked by Jim and then asked a question to bring out knowledge and reasoning ability.
Lois meanwhile answered questions and explained backgrounds. We finished all but about six questions. Lois, with the assistance of MaryAnn Cassanova, moved to the place under Dorm 4 where the rice is sorted, the workers could listen as they worked. It is cool in this spot.
I took a shower.
I finished recording all the info I have at present on my adult class, in so doing, I have sorted out my files too, so that I am better prepared, know what I still have to do, and know where to find everything. A different problem as I keep all my writing materials in my crate, together with my typewriter, books I am using, high school records, teachers’ records, sewing materials and materials for personal care. Clothes I keep in my suitcase and under my mattress, as well as sheets and towels.
Went for dinner. Work ended at 6.00 tonight instead of 6.30, so I went early. We had chicken dumplings.
After dinner I went to the pavilion to listen to the (bonus) news. I had promised some of my class members to help them with questions I had not finished during class and went back to the cottage for them while they saved me a seat, but I had left my padlock key in my bag so couldn’t bring them back. As the news being played in the pavilion was the review material I went to the library to see what Teresa [King] had put on the board.
Signed in at the pavilion. Then listened to Jim’s newscast.
Jim came in late. He dictated the written exam. There were four main questions but 2 of them had numerous items. It was a good test, probably prepared by Dick Tropp and Jann Gurvich. I think I answered all the questions satisfactorily. The 2 class members sitting beside me, peeped at their notes and also asked questions of each other, though I warned them against this, people who finished early were asked to help those who couldn’t write.
The socialist teachers assigned graded the tests at the side of the pavilion, not all helped who were on the list; each of us had 25 to 30 tests. The light was poor and I had to give those in which the handwriting was poor or which were dimly written in print to someone else.
Meanwhile the meeting went on with discussion of some agricultural problems and disciplinary maters. The jury was used in some cases. One case involved hostile behavior by a March girl, Alfreda, on the banana crew.
The brooms made by Ken Norton from the materials were displayed. They looked very fine.
On most topics I could not concentrate.
At one point Jim made some remarks on reincarnation, which I did pay attention to. He was trying to discourage speculation concerning astrology and reincarnation also on the grounds that they make people think the universe works according to a plan, which will work out inevitably; it is not meant to do anything. He said he had insights that reincarnation is a fact but it meant nothing.
Useful except that it would prevent suicide if one realized he would come back for eons of time, so many generations. Poignantly Jim said that even though true, he did not understand why, as it seemed to him he just had to go through the same thing as before.
Athletes foot was mentioned. Most of the membership suffers from it. It seems to be a different type of fungus than we had in the States. Jim said several different disinfectants were being experimented with on the shower floor and research will be conducted on remedies, some of them obtained from abroad.
Although it was very late Jim took up another matter: Norman Ijames, after having been gone for six months, had informed the Temple he would be returning this week, he had not communicated with his wife Judy and child, had sent no money. He had been reported with another woman, some of our people had talked to him while in Miami, though he had been offered a job at the airport in Georgetown he was flying on lines that did not bring him in to Guyana. The fact that he is a pilot may have some significance with regard to his activities in view of the aerial surveillance of Jonestown by the National Enquirer plane and reports of planned mercenary attacks on us. Many members spoke of Norm’s characteristics: spoiled by his parents, cherished as the only son, avoidance of physical labor, pride in his appearance, which made it possible that he could have deserted to our enemies.
Jim said that the government had told us the CIA had a plant in our membership who might come here. Norm’s positive relations with his sisters, particularly Vicki Moore were discussed and various members told of incidents involving Norm. Ruth X [Edith’s X] when she was telephone operator in LA and Norm had told her he would be getting messages under an assumed name and when she received one she was to get in touch with him immediately. She had assumed he was on Temple business. She could not remember the name now.
I got on the floor and told of the episode when I gave Norm a letter to friends in Bechtel, asked him to mail it from Caracas where his new job would take him. His plans changed and the letter would have to be mailed from Florida, he had told me. Jim said Norm had been meticulous about giving him info concerning messages he had been asked to deliver. Jim said people would be assigned to be with Norm and no one else is to have any conversation with him.
The meeting did not end until about 3.30.
I was in bed at 4.00.
2 August 1978 –Wednesday
I slept until 10.00
Estelle [McCall] was cleaning up the cottage so I took in a dirty bowl, covered with food and greasy outside, which had been left (by Donna Lacy according to others) on the porch. Jonestown is preparing for guests.
I delayed going to breakfast until 11.30 so as to avoid a long line. We had biscuits. We didn’t have lunch.
I also did not hold my class because the school children were using the space from 12.00 o’clock on.
Worked at home on journal entries and almost finished my adult class records. The day seemed like Sunday.
Took my shower.
Went for dinner, we had curried fish on rice. I had a frustrating time in the pavilion and library trying to get the news. I wanted in particular the bonus questions which were asked on Tuesday evening while we were grading papers. Construction in the pavilion made it difficult to hear Jim’s news tape from which I usually take notes. The tape being played in the library had some mechanical defect which made it difficult to hear. I copied some items from the board, didn’t get the bonus questions at all.
Saw Danny Kutulas about my needs. He said I didn’t need to fill out a request again. The
workers would be around tomorrow night.
In the pavilion there were movies and entertainment for the people coming in on the boat. I later heard that Frances Johnson was one of them.
I worked on my sewing for several hours. Young people were in the cottage all eve. The conversation of Donna and some of her friends was annoying, that of Sonya Evans and her friends was less so. I made considerable progress on my shirt.
Inez Wagner was out again with [Gene] Chaikin and Estelle [McCall?] was out. They both came home later at about 11.00. They left for medication leaving me with the problem of getting the cottage quiet. I was helped by Donna and Laura who wanted to sleep before going to work.
Zuretti Langston was typing but took her typewriter elsewhere when requested. However Shirley and Sonya wanted to play cards and it required some argument before they turned out the lights.
I vaguely heard Estelle and Inez who came in around 12.30.
This was the first day in a long time that we have not had any rainfall.
3 August 1978 – Thursday
After breakfast I left my sandals for repair. Stopped to inquire about my laundry. It wasn’t ready yet but I had reason to fear there may [be] another mix-up.
Went to the library and took notes on the news from Teresa’s book because I had my commentary this afternoon before the Medical Department.
Was home late, have been trying to get a morning free for journal typing but something else is always coming up. I worked on my adult school records and corrected spelling papers from the last test.
Went to lunch. I saw Frances Johnson in passing; we had only an opportunity to greet each other.
The results of the news test have been posted. A larger number than before made “Excellent-plus” and fewer failed so Jim concluded the new system is working. Teachers scores were not posted but Tropp told me I made Excellent-plus.
Went to adult class, passed out book for a reading lesson for all, after a class discussion on our African mapping. We also had several new people to whom Jim had suggested my class. Lois told me she had looked for me this morning to coordinate our activities. She wanted to give definitions of terms used in the news. After we had had discussion on steps we need to take to make our map and had some nominees for certain jobs to be done, which I accepted, I allowed Lois to conduct the sessions on the definitions. We didn’t get to the reading; a heavy downpour caused further problems. People who were near the edge had to move, the books had to be collected to keep them from getting wet and on account of the rain many did not hear. In all fairness, the definition project was popular I stayed some time discussing ideas with Lois about conducting the class.
I went by to pick up from Joyce Lund the African map she made for me. She has not had time to finish maps of Europe and South America she started. I want to see whether the African map can be used as a model for our project. I had to hurry to the cottage to prepare for my Medical Department appearance. It went smoothly. I gave them the bonus questions we are to be tested on Friday seemingly, and then talked about the worst danger spots of the world.
Took my shower.
Spent a little more time on the spelling exercise of my adult class. I met Teresa [King] on the path and she made a proposal to me concerning a preparation of some news items for the adults in simple language, this could be typed (by Vernetta [Christian]) on a big type typewriter,
Her idea was to have me select and translate the items. I thought this a good idea though entailing extra work and said I would discuss it with Lois thinking she would approve. I had in mind at first taking the items down from the tapes as I do now.
When I saw Lois I explained Teresa’s proposal for having a simplified news summary for those who can’t read well. She was quite vehemently against the idea. She feels people will learn the hard words if they have to. She thought the simplified version of the news we to be put on the boards which Teresa [King] hadn’t mentioned although I think one or two boards with easy material would be advantageous.
I had dinner.
Went to the pavilion and tried to take down the news from Jim’s newscast, the first time I had heard it, had difficulty getting the ideas down and I despaired of getting my material for the new summary from this source. Later I spoke to Teresa [King] about it and she said she had to hear the tape several times. That being the case I told her I’d probably have to wait until I had her notes, we couldn’t hope to put notes out fast. I suggested once a week as a start.
Socialism teachers met but not many came. We were to make arrangements for Friday nights after classes. I felt and told Debbie Schroeder it is unfair that the same teachers have to take the extra classes all the time. Besides I had to be home to see my needs worker. Debbie allowed me to go.
Had an opportunity to talk to Lois again about the simplified newsletter, after a few remarks in the same vein she had taken previously she backed down, I wasn’t sure why.
The needs workers came shortly after I got home. They saw Laura [Johnston] too. They were young people; they asked to see the items we already had of the requested category. They gave me no indication of what the decision would be, after they had gone, I spent the rest of the evening sewing.
I hadn’t realized that Inez had come home from the office sick and gone to bed. Some young people coming in the cottage were noisy and she requested consideration but to no avail. The worst offender was Sonya Evans. [Gene] Chaikin came in to talk to Inez for a while. When 11.00 came I did my best to get visitors out and the residents quiet and at last succeeded but not before Inez told them how inconsiderate she thought they were. Ann was there but she did not do anything to help.
I was so disturbed myself that I took a long time to get to sleep. I was awakened by somebody at 3.30, went to the toilet. Inez and Estelle were talking which caused me another wakeful period.
4 August 1978 – Friday
(I did not keep a record of the day’s activities before the rally.)
Jim gave list of topics to be studied for test. Guyanese Prime Minister gave opinions on corruption in government, firm on government corruption and white-collar crime, space travel and enemies. On Ellsberg, who thinks nuclear war is inevitable, PM is very distressed over US policies. We had [Tim] Stoen in court in attempt to get his lie. He admitted crimes but said, “They did it too” as his defense.
Jim started calling on members for what particularly caught their attention in the news, several responded. I was called upon, topic of corruption in Housing Authority in SF in news, exposing finally what Jim had uncovered while there.
Last night Jim said National Enquirer listening last night. Jim involved a one-time supporter so they would get a good story. Jim on Korean news and speaking of Korean visitors here that we didn’t exchange money impressed them most. Jim said even if you don’t have to spend money, I do and don’t waste.
Chair made by Ken Norton.
Our ship is not being taken care of properly. Cleave [Swinney] got to go in to it, operation slovenly. Cleave will replace Richard Janaro who’s easy-going, something broken, partying on the boat. Helen Swinney will go too. If you look at her face you don’t feel like partying. Philip [Blakey] licensed our other boat, his girlfriend now, Carol (Kerns), we lost some how.
Norm Ijames revealed in audience. Jim gave him some attention.
Amando Griffith working on charcoal which Guy [Mitchell] wants, doesn’t have a girl friend now, I had noticed Ann and he were not together recently.
Jim on black male cat who fights: fix him.
Continuation of news items to be questioned on rapid fire.
Daniele Mitchell [probably Daniele Gardfrey whose mother was Beverly Mitchell] young woman saying she wanted to return to Texas. Jim says she never smiles, why? Daniele reported saying she wanted to go back. Her friend Yolanda Brown covered for her. Daniele says she didn’t say this, she said, “If I went back.” Jim discusses in detail people who talk about what’s wrong with them instead of what’s right. Her dad Guy Mitchell and sister speak of what Texas was like. Jury finds Daniele guilty, gave her a week on PSU [Public Service Unit], must speak to 20 seniors a day and smile. Yolanda to get a warning, also to speak to 20 seniors.
Frances Johnson reported to want to go back to US, thinks she was tricked getting here Jim assured her of the circumstances under which she was brought here. She said her messages got crossed in SF and Georgetown and Bea Orsot reported Marcy says she feels Frances was insisting (I’ll flip out) if she can’t go back. Marcy says her reason for wanting to go back is that she wanted to be in an office managed by Maxine Betz. Jim hated to lose the money she was bringing in, salary of $1,000 a week plus her fund raising. She burst into tears and apologized. She said she saw the beauty of Jonestown and Jim exacted no penalty as she is new.
Gold worth $900 an ounce. Jim reminds staff to get to work on this. He explains danger if passing any messages to people going on back. Affidavit from post office employee of how post office tampered with her mail. Sent to freeze a mail delivery.
Betty Jean Gill: her past brought up, she says by Jerome Anderson. Mother reported it. Betty said she prefers Chris to Mark. Jim regrets if a woman moves from a man who is tender to one for sex alone. To women: seek the highest in men and encourage the highest. If you let them use you as a sex object they will desert you. Jerome can’t remember saying thing about Betty Jean’s past. She doesn’t cite it either. Matter is dropped.
Marlene Wheeler pleads with people not to remember past of the children in her group. Leave the corrections to her: pass them, smile at them, let them get a new image.
On PSU, Ricardo Arterberry, laughed at Jim’s broken finger. Jim explained how it was broken when he was defending a young black man. Jim said he should show more sensitivity, not because it was he.
Fight over a skateboard between two boys, David Chaikin and another bigger one. They came to blows. Got time on PSU for striking, using skateboards (on new Toddler floor) to be supervised. They had to kiss each other.
Tracy Stone struck Orlando Darnes, kiss each other and time on PSU.
Mary Baldwin: told people she wanted to go back to the states. She’s been here three weeks. She says she doesn’t like anything. She says too many bosses, doesn’t like the rain, has to work too hard. Jim says she will be condemned to a hospital bed. She says she’s sorry. Jim says show better attitude.
Shirley Fields on collard greens and should be encouraged.
Russ Moton: Compost heaps.
Darrel Divers: Farm manager.
Rob Christian: Reports on road. Jim emphasized the importance of finishing it by [the time] The Parallax View movie arrives. Enquirer made part of this road. We are building model cottages.
Jan Wilsey: Rice fields. Scaring birds successful. Beautifying some. Vegetable stand, making nicknames for decoration.
Nancy Sines: Graphics. Designs done on scrap wood sold to a store in town.
The new vehicles can be used for doing jobs in the region outside Jonestown. Gene Chaiken thinks it is no bargain considering what the trucks cost. We need them here and we perhaps should save them for running stock when unobtainable later. Try not to wear them out. Variables discussed, getting hauling contracts, who’s to drive them were questions brought up
The meeting was dismissed.
5 August 1978 – Saturday
I checked the boards for the latest items as to be prepared for the test which was to be given tomorrow or tonight.
Went to the warehouse to see whether I would get my needs but I was too late. I checked with Katherine Domineck about scrap paper to put our African map on for a pattern. She gets paper sacks in which our flour comes and cuts them up for toilet paper. She told me to ask at the vegetable stand.
I did my hand laundry and hung the clothes on the line near the cottages. The day was clear and not too hot.
Gave some thought to the news summary I am to prepare for the seniors who can’t read very well. Told Teresa [King] I would try to get her some copy on Monday.
Checked on news items again.
Lois had volunteered to teach news at a special session of the adult class and I observed her meeting with them in the Second School Pavilion (formerly the rice tent). She had a goodly crowd.
Took my shower.
Wrote my report on adult education to them to turn in to Ava Jones. Harriett Tropp let me borrow a book on history of Guyana. I read for an hour or so, though I nearly fell asleep.
Went up for my meeting with Ava and had a considerable wait for her with Zuretti and Lois arrived too. When Ava came I gave her my draft report, which she gave to Zuretti to type. Lois suggested we have evening classes for adults who can’t come to the lunch time sessions. I have no objection if she wishes to teach them but I have enough responsibilities now and I know from experience that finding a free evening is almost impossible.
Continued reading the History of Guyana for an hour or so.
Went to dinner. We had chicken gravy on cassava, very good greens and pumpkin pie.
Jim had decided we should meet in our old socialist classes and we were to be tested. The secondary teachers were called to a meeting in the pavilion. [Dick] Tropp conducted it. He and Jann [Gurvich] had been asked to prepare questions for the test. He had a list of topics and asked our opinions on phrasing. Most were essay questions requiring considerable knowledge.
We them discussed choosing teachers to replace some who have quit. Jim Pugh is one. It was decided that we would take some of the Socialism Class teachers from the classes.
Then we received word there would be no testing until 9.00. Classes were to meet for dinner at 7:30. If participation was not satisfactory, we would have a test at 9.00.
In our classes most of our old members were present. Few new ones came in. Don Jackson was taken to teach another class and I conducted our own alone. I asked the class for suggested topics. Participation was very good and most people made comments. Later I heard Jim had come around to observe how the classes were going but I didn’t see him if he visited ours.
At 9:00 Jim announced that he was satisfied participation had been good. We should go to the pavilion to see “Hearts and Minds”, documentary [movie] on the Viet Nam war, which was required, I got a seat in the back where I could not see well but I remembered it well from previous showings.
Went home to bed about 12:15.
6 August 1978 – Sunday
We got up at the usual time, had a half-day off. I had breakfast at 8.00.
I typed on my journal from 9.00 until 12.30. Brought in the chair from the back where it
has been taken and typed in a little nook between my bed and Laura’s and Ruth’s, putting the typewriter on my crates although people were in and out they didn’t bother me any and I made satisfying progress.
I also typed a 2 page statement in response to a request from Jim that everyone turn in
Their feelings about what he had said at a recent meeting. I was told this concerned the confrontation with Ricardo Atterberry and I had difficulty of thinking what Jim had said at that time. However, I went into the situation at the time, comments Jim had made on other occasions and my own observations.
I did some personal chores, took a shower and shampooed my hair.
Few people were in the cottage today, though the residents weren’t working in the yard either. I worked on journal entries.
Dinner was at about 5.00. We had cheese rice and greens.
I read news from the board. I sewed on my skirt all evening until about 8.00
I have pieces sewed all the way around, now have to work on getting it at the proper length. Went for my treat. I got an extra piece of fudge for my “Excellent-plus” paper; actually for some reason I was given three but I believe the young person handing them out was too generous.
Read Collected Poems by WB Yeats, the rest of the evening.
Inez is very unhappy over her supervisory role in the cottage. The determining factor, in my opinion is her anger over the lack of sympathy shown when she was ill. Also, some of the residents (we can’t be sure who they are) leave dirty dishes in the cottage, won’t cooperate with the request to keep the boot rack cleaned up, leave their belongings even wet clothes on others’ crates; the commotion in the evenings is annoying and also difficulties of getting the cottage quiet at 11.00.
Inez may be more disturbed then I by night workers coming and going. I rarely hear
them lately. Inez wants to give up her supervisory position. I don’t know when we may expect Versie and Eleanor to return from Georgetown.
I went to bed around 11.00.
7 August 1978 – Monday
Vernetta Christian asked me whether she could borrow my typewriter, as hers is out of order. Mike Lund who repairs typewriters has been on PSU. His release had been obtained yesterday to work on the typewriters in the office in Rita‘s cottage but there is a more serious problem with Vernetta’s typewriter. I told her I had promised Teresa [King] to get some news written up for our large type edition. She picked up the typewriter and arranged to bring it back to me this afternoon about 3.00.
At the adult class, I called the roll and filled in the missing info on each student: age, how much schooling, any physical conditions which interfere with learning. I explained to the class our plan to break it into two groups more or less according to ability, that I would take beginners and those with reading abilities to about the 3rd or 4th grade level and concentrate on language skills. Lois would take the more advanced readers and concentrate on the news. I emphasized that the final choice is up to the individual: each is free to join the class which he or she feels will do him the most good. I told them of Carolyn Layton’s request for material for the Georgetown exhibition, that we would try to finish the quilted map in time. Lois then continued with discussion in the news.
Took my shower.
Vernetta did not come with the typewriter at 3.00. About 4.00 o’clock there was heavy rainfall. I went to dinner. I spent the evening sewing, sitting on Laura’s bed.
8 August 1978 – Tuesday
I went over to Vernetta’s cottage to get my typewriter she said she had not retrieved it on account of the rain.
Stopped at the warehouse. Received a pink towel, a white wash cloth and two bras, plus a new comb. I had had two but can’t find one.
Started work in summaries of the news. I simplified as much as possible interspersed material on international events and heavy political topics with more emotional material in race relations, suffering of children, and so on, mostly in the United States I was not able to do very much.
Went to lunch.
Lois and I met the adult class as a whole. I took the lower ability group and she the more advanced. She occupied the space in the school pavilion we had used formerly and I moved my group to the second school pavilion as the tape playing Jim’s newscast was running at the other end of the school pavilion. We had to move again at 1.00 o’clock when the junior high class came in.
I explained to both groups what we were doing on the map, showing them the sheet given us by Ruby Carroll (she let us have a blue one), the paper sacks I had collected from the kitchen area and the small map of Africa made for me by Joyce Lund.
Curtis Winters had volunteered to trace the map, which he did using the glass on the aquarium. He did a good job. I then helped the class members with the statements which had been requested on their former life and their life in Jonestown. I think this for the book in which it is hoped the writer of the Parallax View will cooperate with our staff. In the case of younger people, many were on drugs, dealing in drugs, shoplifting, purse-snatching. Some had been in jail. In the case of the seniors, the misery of their lives in the ghetto is the predominant interest: fear of being mugged or stolen from, neglect by relatives, poor housing and so on.
I either corrected the papers written by them or I wrote down what they told me. I stayed an extra hour to finish there. The day was hot and I was very tired.
I took a shower.
Continued work on the news summary.
Eddie Washington saved me a seat in the pavilion for the rally.
Jim entered. He has been coughing badly. The doctor has determined he has lung cancer; with the strains upon him he can expect to live 3 or 4 years.
He appealed to the members to cooperate as much as possible not to make excessive demands so that he can serve the commune and prepare the leadership. An operation offers small hope of success and the government would be put in a difficult position if he left the city as they are under orders to arrest him. He was unemotional though he admitted he was in constant pain.
Mother says we’re going to have a doctor come in to check you and if he says operate, we’re going to operate. Jim says only time he remembered healing himself was when he jumped off the stage and his leg was healed. Don’t remember how I did it, perhaps can recollect.
Jim says he suffers when one of us hurts the other. Have to take some pressure from him. Recalls making his mind up to send Tommy Johnson to Jonestown. Eyes are to be tested while meeting goes on.
Corliss Boutte, [aka Corlis Conley] to go through audience and select people.
Jim received evaluation list proposed by Tom Grubbs testing knowledge of M-L [Marx Lenin] and socialist characteristics Jim went over some of it rapidly. Jim wants other kinds of evaluation to be considered than academic knowledge. He speaks of seniors who have skills the young are not learning, this to take off some of the pressure on those who have difficulties learning different concepts.
Ruth Lenin [Tupper], pregnant by Keith Wright who now doesn’t want to marry her. She wants to have abortion thinking she won’t be a good mother. Marcy and Jim say Keith had reputation of “lover boy” with both males and females His supervisor said he worked hard over past two weeks as he knew he’s in trouble. Jim says he’s absolutely homosexual. Diana Smith could have been one of his conquests but she wrote about it.
Jim read prognosis of his condition prepared by Dr. Larry [Schacht] he thinks this will give leadership time to develop selflessness, not to need recognition, and least of all to need appreciation.
Keith has good work record, decision Jim made: Ruth will have baby, they will be married and rear baby with love.
Teddy McMurry on floor because of escapade in ____ ___. He has spent 4 days on PSU. However, report from Georgetown that he worked well and willingly. Jim heard praise about Maria McCann, stayed 7 weeks while missing child. Teddy victim of erroneous report. Jim asked him not to hold grudge. Teddy thanked him for the work on his teeth in Georgetown. Jim says he can’t stand injustice, offers him to make up with time off. Jim says Maria can take child with her sometimes for duties in Georgetown.
Jim recounts story of planned trip to Cuba on our boat when some weighted themselves down with extra clothes. Two fell in water and survived. Jim: “We’ve done something that no other people have been able to do.”
Jim puts off tests until Friday or Saturday to include everything from last test till then. He pleads for greater dedication.
Jim wants more statements from people on experiences in states, wrongs they have done, even crimes committed or even loneliness. Too many have been superficial.
Ralph Jackson in some trouble in Georgetown, charges of reckless driving. Jim says we don’t want to go to court ever. On p.a. system use gentle language, not authoritative. Quit commenting on unpleasant weather, on food, call “Dad” “Jim,” show much gratitude. We’ll have practice answering questions.
Jim puts Brother Carl Hall on floor as if interviewed by reporter and Jim and the audience and suggested questions. Answers to be given were designed to counteract advice info given by conspirators.
Whether to order beans or wheat discussed. More wheat is to be ordered, 550 barrels. Smaller amounts of kidney and fewer pinto beans. There is reliable info that the whole world is going to have terrible food shortage. Jim had a government minister called to get Ralph Jackson out of charges. He hit a tree with a car. He said he didn’t want to get a person out of trouble who was guilty.
Piggery, chickens, and small animals want John Harris on a regular schedule. Questions came up on injection given by John on advice of Larry [Schacht] and Joyce Parks to a monkey of Nancy Sines. Amount of penicillin given was disputed. John’s priority schedule is between piggery and pathology and herbal kitchen. John says salmonella still affecting chickens. Becky Flowers has degree in lab tech work and should be used. Jim warns against gastro-enteritis which can wipe out all babies in a town.
Ralph Jackson, on floor, worked well on bananas.
Discussed Rita Cordell’s birth control method. She had been taken off the pill on medical advice. She is on diaphragm and foam on account of experience and sickness. Jim advises shift to diaphragm. Frequency of intercourse gone into. Jim advised for reasons of sex consciousness and consideration of women’s desires. Jackson boy’s case dismissed as he had a praise canceling warning and hasn’t been up much before.
Very good reports on working crews who unloaded shell.
Louise Shavers got two breakfasts though she’s on a diet. Jim saved her from paralysis.
Our cottage was on the floor because of Inez’s report on dirty dishes, wet clothes, and extra shoes on porch. As Inez and I had made complaint, the others were given a warning but she and I weren’t. Another cottage was cited also.
Steering Committee members, many, did not attend meeting the night of required movie although Jim had announced it. Steering Committee did meet; some were confused, others weren’t sure under new administration set-up if they still were members. They were told to go to Steering Committee.
Barbara Simon working nights on Public Service Unit. She says she doesn’t get along with supervisors. She is late to work. She wants to change jobs. Jim tells her to work two weeks well and her request for job change will be considered. Jim remembers Barbara had said her relationship with Diana Wilkinson was simply friendship but Diana said it was sex. She admitted it was sex.
Residents of one of the apartments were on the floor regarding their chores. There were arguments between the supervisor and some of accused. Jim reminded all of what he had said about his health early in the meeting. It was about 2.00 o’clock. We were dismissed about 3.00.
The rat in our cottage which we have never gotten rid of was seen and heard. He was running all around from bed to bed. The residents chased and hunted him to no avail. I wanted to go to sleep. When Inez and Estelle gave up, a toddler cried and kept me awake.
9 August 1978 – Wednesday
We were to have a very late morning today. Sleeping until 10.00, and breakfast would not be served until 10.30. However, I was awakened by a man who was discussing hours of work with Laura right at my head. I thought it was Hue Fortson but perhaps it was not. After last night’s disturbances I had only 2.5 hours of sleep.
I had breakfast about 11.00.
Sewed for an hour or so. Went to the library and read news items on the boards.
Finished the draft of the simplified news gave it to Vernetta who was in the library. Dick Tropp asked if he could borrow my typewriter, Frances Johnson is using his. I think she is typing copy which is to be given to the author of The Parallax View when he arrives. His plans are to write a book about Jonestown and numerous people are gathering material for him. Mike Prokes and Don Jackson were taking pictures the other day. Dick Tropp wants to use my typewriter while his own is in use. He will work afternoon and nights and he said he would return my typewriter by morning so that I could use it. I reluctantly agreed.
Met my adult class. I had the beginning readers and others up to third or forth grade ability Lois took the more advanced readers and those particularly interested in news. I worked with the beginning readers who had school primers. The others read books of their own choice.
Had a shower.
Listened to news in the pavilion after dinner. Extra socialism classes were held for those who failed the test. I didn’t have to teach. Laura has moved to a new cottage, No. 10. The same as mine. She and Phyllis [Chaikin] will be in the Loft. I couldn’t use her bed in order to sew, so I read Collected Poems by WB Yeats.
While cleaning out behind her bed, Inez discovered a dead rat in the corner. The women present acted hysterically. I told them I would dispose of the rat. I took him (or her) by the tail and found he was not completely dead, had probably taken poison and was fresh dying last night. I got a pail of water and drowned him, then threw him down the toilet.
10 August 1978 – Thursday
I spent most of the day packing and moving after I returned from breakfast. I took most of my belongings in my laundry bag in several trips. Dee Dee Smith, who is moving from the loft in No. 10 to my bed in 48 and who had been pressuring me to vacate helped me with the first load. She is one of the two young girls whom Edith Cordell has had so much objection the other is [Dottie] Shajhuanna Harris, Constance Harris’ daughter also moving to No. 10.
Inez is moving to No. 7, presumably with Gene Chaikin, although I don’t know what policy is to be followed with regard to the usual 3 month waiting period. Laura will share the loft with Phyllis Chaikin and 2 more girls or women can be accommodated there.
Estelle is staying at No. 48, which otherwise will be occupied by young people, she says she can get along with them. Edith Cordell had constant strife with the two girls who were loud, rude, careless about keeping the cottage clean and didn’t do any chores. Have heard only her side. She probably constantly scolded them. I am a little apprehensive about Edith’s propensity for talking and also about Mark Gosney who is a noisy, spoiled child, though bright.
I met my class at 12.15. Curtis Winters put half-inch squares on the small African map.
Took my shower. The day was very hot and there was no rain.
Continued moving my belongings. I moved everything except my crates and my big chair. Odell Rhodes had said he would help me but when I found him in the evening he had responsibilities with the PSU young people and could not leave until another supervisor came.
I went over to my old cottage. In cleaning out someone had put my crates out in the yard, which made me nervous though they were padlocked and it didn’t look like rain. I saw Odell several times and he was still not free to go. Finally he allowed one of the young men he was supervising to help me. I started carrying a crate with the young man but he picked it up and took it by himself. I found another man to help me with the other and together we moved it.
At No. 48 the girls told me they had asked for help in moving the crates all day but did not get any. Their own crates had not been moved out of No.10 which upset Edith. While I was at No. 48 earlier in the day I heard that a nest of baby rats had been found the previous night under Estelle’s mattress. Everyone had been frantic and went to Christine Lucientes to take care of the situation. She didn’t get there in time and the babies got away. In the evening when I came back a baby rat (or a mouse) was trying to run into the house. Donna Ponts was standing in the doorway shrieked and jumped on a crate. A kitten, which had probably been stalking the rat, made a jump on to the porch and pounced on the rat, held him in his mouth.
Phyllis has been in the bed I am to occupy and had not come from work to move into the loft so I put my mattress in the loft and slept there. Edith had a hard time putting Mark to bed. I went to bed about 11:00 but couldn’t sleep for some time.
11 August 1978 – Friday
I slept only until 5:30. There was much noise in the area. Went to breakfast. Stopped at the vegetable shed and obtained some more flour sack paper.
I worked at home in the loft on the paper grid. Tried to work out proportions. Dick Tropp came to borrow my typewriter. I enlisted his aid on the problem leaving until later understanding the mathematics. We laid out 3-inch squares to match the half inch squares on the small map. I taped the flour sack paper together.
Went to lunch
Lois and I met our classes. Lois taught the news to hers. I had the beginners read, then taught the news. I showed the class the copy of the Senior News and read part of it to the class.
In the afternoon, after my shower, I put away my belongings. I rested a little before dinner, was very tired. Went to dinner. Listened to the news for a short time in the pavilion.
A socialism teachers’ meeting was called for 6.30. Only a few people came. The necessary business was to choose teachers to teach the extra classes following the regular socialism class. I thought it only fair to volunteer.
The socialism class was in the pavilion. I saw the film “The Bombing of Dresden” which was about the last days of Hitler’s Reich. I monitored it. I taught one of the extra socialism classes with Pauline Simon. The response was very good. We were dismissed at 11.00.
Went home to bed.
12 August 1978 – Saturday
Had breakfast. Did some laundry, using Edith’s basket. Spent the rest of the morning putting away my belongings and rearranging them before lunch. Had a conversation with Lois on Barbara’s [Walker] desires. We are not sure what it is she is dissatisfied with, whether the administration is concerned that we divided the adult classes so that she has an equal share, and so on. I had suggested to Barb that she come to afternoon meeting with Ava and we discuss the matter together.
Had lunch. Got some supplies from Inez.
From 12.00 to 2.00 I worked on the school pavilion on the grid for the map, putting 3 inch squares on the paper sacks. Some of the adult students helped, especially Martha [last name to be filled in later]. When we were about half way through, Rob Christian came by and we questioned him about our materials. He said we were doing it right.
I took a shower.
Prepared my weekly adult education report. At 4.00 went to the pavilion to meet with Ava and
Lois. Barb didn’t come. Ava sent word that she could not make it. I went home and typed my report.
Went to dinner. Sat in the pavilion and listened to the news, became sleepy and missed some of it.
No paper arrived so we’ll have oral test. Much work to be done. So I propose early night so we can work full day tomorrow. Guests coming including Parallax man who has evidence CIA involved in conspiracy against us.
Don Jackson says he is a chauvinistic, manipulating male who is swearing off relationships with women for three months.
Jim started with alphabetical line-up, asking questions that a stranger might ask. Machinists were first, because they want to go early. Came out that a child has a bone problem the US doctors didn’t find. We’re sending him to Surinam.
After about finishing the “B’s,” Jim moves on to questions in preparation for visitors. Jim started news questions. The Guyanese judge in Jon’s [Victor Stoen] custody case turned over the case to another judge, saying he couldn’t make a decision. The arrest order is not in effect.
Tim Carter wanted Carolyn Looman on the floor. She said she was very disturbed about one section of a meeting in which she said something about unconscious treason. He
thinks she should have said this directly to Jim, must have been looking for sympathy from him. Jim says he thought that she thought Phil Tracy was overly friendly to the cause. He never was.
Jim describes problem we have with liberal socialists who are hedonists. We have reason to believe that one of the people who were out was an agent. She doesn’t remember saying those words. Jim questioned her closely, advised her to write up any such thoughts she had.
Jim on seniors standing in the line: Sad, how callous people are. Read Pam Bradshaw’s letter on reaction from movie “Hearts and Minds.” People talking idly after seeing such horror as massacred babies.
Joicy Clark brings on the floor charges of favoritism in kitchen serving tea to night workers. Mumbling in audience against Joicy but Jim perceived that people “dump things” on Joicy and she is only one with gumption to get up and talk. Robin Tschetter, Mary Tschetter, Lew Jones in question.
Then attention shifted to Annie B. Washington who was said to have left a plate with food on it. She denies this but isn’t very precise. Alma Thomas complained that somebody had been eating fried chicken in the laundry overnight and left the bones there. Alma confirmed this that she and Ida [Clipps probably] were talking about it and Joicy overheard this. Mary Lenin Tupper charged Mary Griffith with theft of a pair of pants. Jury found Mary G. not guilty.
Jan Wilsey charged with preferring outsiders (Amerindians [native people in South America]) to our own members. She was outside of Jonestown on business and delayed longer than necessary said to have a friend outside. Evelyn Leroy had met a man who wanted to get a passport from her to join his wife in the United States. Jan had been out too late and Patty Cartmell was worried about her. Mary Wotherspoon said she had to push her. Their versions differ. Jim said we had to scrutinize everyone who had outside contacts. Debbie’s defection started in Georgetown with a man who set her up.
Review of people on PSU.
Jim had hoped to let us out by 12.00. Wants us to work full day tomorrow as time needed for preparing for guests. It however was 1.30 before we were through. We were to get up at 8.00, breakfast at 9.00. Also said we’d have to skip treats this week. Expense of sugar. Strain on supplies because of so many praises and excellents on tests.
Dinner was good tonight, a curry dish on a fried cassava cake. Still hungry after I finished mine. Didn’t get seconds. Came down after rally but couldn’t be served until snacks (for those underweight or with snack problems) were; then we got only rice and sugar.
Went home to bed at 2.00.
13 August 1978 – Sunday
Had breakfast about 9.00. We had doughnuts, rice with gravy, coffee.
I continued straightening up my belongings. At the pavilion from 12.00 to 2.00 I finished the grid on paper. No one helped but some looked at what I was doing and showed interest.
Showered and shampooed my hair.
Sewed on my skirt. The other residents of the cottage were interested in it. Mark was at home today. Edith was granted permission not to send him to school on Sundays. The young women who formerly lived in the cottage have left three steamer trunks. One is under bed of Lillian Taylor and myself. Consequently I had to keep a box under Mary Canada’s bed. Another of their trunks is at the foot of Betty Moore’s bed where a trunk of hers is to be moved. Edith thinks they don’t intend to move them until forced. She thinks they are still purposely aggravating her.
I had dinner at 5:00. No lines were permitted probably because of the medical guests, but I had only a short wait until being served. I had curried smoked fish on rice with hot sauce.
Ollie Smith had told me she had been given a pair of my pants by the laundry. I stopped by the baby’s nursery where she lives. I held the baby, who is Nancy Lake’s great grandson while she got the pants for me. Ollie is the Wideman girl who stayed in the Temple when the others left.
One of the men who has been coming to my class and seemed to be showing some interest in me asked me yesterday if he can come by my cottage and show me some pictures. I consented telling him I would be home about 6.00. I made the mistake of telling him I usually did not go up to the entertainment on Sunday evening. I intended to make some other excuse after an hour or so but he didn’t come.
Other residents of the cottage were home. I continued with my sewing. I planned to go to the pavilion about 8.00 to see whether “The Parallax View” was being shown tonight but I heard an announcement it wouldn’t be shown. Musical auditions would be held instead.
I sewed until 10:00 when those in the cottage went to bed.
14 August 1978 – Monday
Got up at 7.15 and had breakfast. Went to the nursery to find Gabriel Thomas husband of Alma. Had been told he is a good artist and that I might persuade him to come at 12.00 today and help draw the African map on the paper but he is handing out plants with which people are decorating their cottage areas and he said he didn’t have time.
Read the news in Theresa’s [King] book in preparation for my appearance before the Med Dept. The day of the week has been changed to Monday from Thursday. Last week I forgot.
Made notes for journal entries.
In the adult class I tried to get Curtis started drawing the map on the grid. He and Martha worked on it but were very slow and hesitant, I discovered, and made no progress. I shall have to do at least some of it myself.
Talked to the med people about the news at 3.00
I took a shower.
The primary school children were out of the space in the school pavilion at 4.00 and I drew most of the outline of the map.
Went to eat at 5:00.
Intended to continue work on the map but I heard that The Parallax View written by Don Freed was to be shown at the pavilion at 7.00. All are required to see it. Jim gave comments.
We saw “Night and Fog” on the Nazi concentration camps first, then The Parallax View. I had seen it in San Francisco but had not understood it very well even with Jim’s commentary. I still am not clear as to some details. The showing was over at 11.30.
15 August 1978 – Tuesday
Had breakfast. Worked on the map on my bed. There are some areas on the west coast from about Guinea to the Cameroons where I am not sure of the outlines. I ran into some trouble as the squares had not been exactly measured because of the overlapping of the paper, which I had taped together, besides the inaccuracy of my drawing
Of the different people in the cottage, Barbara Smith, who is being trained as a nurse is the one who seems to give the most trouble. Edith [Cordell] thinks she takes things that don’t belong to her. Yesterday in the morning she urinated in her can and left some urine on the floor, didn’t wipe it up. Edith didn’t want to speak to her about it, but I did. She said she hadn’t seen it.
The girls who moved to No. 48 still have their crates in our cottage and Edith is complaining. Marthea Hicks and her companion, Chris Lund, have moved into the loft of our cottage. They are occupying in the space above me. Laura and Phyllis are on the other side.
Lois gave current events to the adult class and are expecting a test tomorrow. I continued work on the map.
I took my shower.
Made yesterday’s journal entries. At 4.00 when the children were out of school, I returned to work on the map in the school pavilion.
I had dinner at 5.30.
Went home to get my pillow. Eddie Washington saved me a seat as she usually does in one of the front rows. I listened to the news.
Before Jim came in Jann Gurvich made an announcement canceling the use of typewriters for the personal histories being prepared for [Don] Freed’s visit with the aim of including them in the book he plans to write on Jonestown. She said the work was being held back because typists did not have enough typewriters. Some people had typewriters which they refused to lend for the process. She specifically named me, the only one I heard publicly mentioned. She asked people who would make a typewriter available for two weeks to raise their hands. I put up my hand, the only one I saw. When Jann came to me I told her I had agreed to lend it to Dick Tropp for afternoons and evenings use while I used it in the mornings. She said Dick Tropp had not told her (he has actually borrowed it only once).
News tapes were played in the pavilion.
Jim mentions radio ban against us. He has gone entire week without sleep. We can now call people in the states but they are under orders not to talk to us (even our own radio operators) though we are working out methods to get around the ban to some extent.
Paper was passed out for test.
Jim called for concentration on evil deeds of Tim Stoen, Deanna Mertle and Liz Foreman [Forman]. Songs, applause, shouts were used to bring justice down upon them. He implied that he would use his mental power on our enemies.
Test put off until later in the week. Jim goes over questions visitors might ask and possible answers. We don’t show horror movies or read horror books such as “ The Blood of Dracula”. We don’t make fun of people. We encourage good behavior by rewards. Jim teaches children not to cry when they don’t have a serious problem. Some children cry when they don’t get their way then no one will come when they are sick or need help.
Rosie Ruggiero turned in her sister for something she’d done against the cause. Liane Harris and Joan Pursely, carrying hundreds of dollars, were accosted by a robber who demanded it. They laughed, said they didn’t have any. He went away.
Word from doctor in Bobby Stroud’s case. two great and unusual aspects. Doctor encouraged. This child should have been dead or paralyzed for life.
Jim said we sent help to Africa children when no one else would help.
[Don] Freed said [Tim] Stoen was a CIA agent before coming to the Temple. He was healed early. He was a transvestite, that’s probably how they got him. Jim gave test questions.
Two teddy bears planned for exhibit for Prime Minister were stolen. Jim asked but no one confessed. Jim says he’ll meditate.
Brian Davis would not participate enthusiastically in demonstration against conspirators, witnesses testified. Jim said if we all followed this anarchistic example the first night we all wouldn’t sleep; the second day we wouldn’t eat. Terry Carter reminded him that Jim saved him, took him back into the Temple when he was on his way to Juvenile Hall.
Also specified as not showing any enthusiasm in the anti-conspiracy demonstrations were Vincent Lopez and Garnett Johnson. Hue Fortson told of Vincent selling or giving away much property in Georgetown and on the ship Mike Prokes told of more stealing Vincent did, but also of good work he did in kitchen.
Janet Lenin [Tupper] confessed she borrowed the bears to use them for a pattern. She didn’t ask Ruby Carroll but had put them back. Jury finds Vincent guilty 2 weeks in PSU.
Billy Jones guilty of fooling around during working time and had a snack while cancelled out a warning. Garnett: Jim gave a day for non-participation.
Willie Malone tore up some valuable paper though told not to. Johnny Jones said you can’t tell him anything. He can’t conform even on the floor. Jim said it used to be necessary to be a gangster when he was on the streets. It’s not necessary here and Tony Linton [Lacy] has same characteristic, always has smart answer. All his peers were required to come up and tell some truths to Willie. Jim speaks much of kindness and showing it. Older people should quit shouting at children and children should be kind to older people. We all have a problem of shouting when we can be kind. It is a general flaw. Tony Linton said he would change his attitude. Jim said little children are biggest responsibility you have. You don’t know what you’re doing for them to copy. Willie got a warning.
John Harris charged with not coming as soon as necessary to care for a complaint of some of the piglets keeping.
Some reported for not taking medicines or keeping appointments. Jim warned next time they did it they’d have quite an afternoon with Mother who is very severe.
Rose McKnight took sandwiches from a lunchbox. She has a weight problem. She went on PSU for stealing. Kenny Wilhite accused of stealing fruit from a tree; he said he was urinating. Keith Wade wrote him up. A witness to the front gate was called. Anthony Hicks used wrong toilet one day and used it again next day. He had praises which wiped out penalty.
Mary Rodgers got four doughnuts Sunday though she is on a special diet. She says she didn’t eat them; she gave two to Poncho [Garry Johnson] and another to a friend. Lois reported her weight is up. Jim says she is a hypertensive person and will have a stroke if she doesn’t get her weight down.
Herman Gee gave a worker a hard time leaving the movie the other night. He pleads guilty, gets a warning. Jim says not to let him get near a visitor; he’s one of the people who tells all their aches and pains. Five people reported not losing enough weight. Jim gave them warnings. He said he worries so over them when he passes them he puts a strain on the office and harms the community; medications will cost $40.00 a week.
Orde Dennis asks for special consideration. She’s still under surveillance at work. She attacked Jim and then attacked Jerome Simon who was giving her medication grand mal [seizures]. She said the medication made her sicker than the attacks. Jim reprimanded her for thinking she knew more than the doctors did. He said she would return to a normal work routine soon. I remember the day of the last alert on a day alone to it when Orde was up asking about release from surveillance and it was revealed then that she had attacked Jim physically–I believe with a cutlass. On the latest occasion she had bit Simon.
The witness to Kenny Wilhite’s case said she saw him put something to his mouth but she
couldn’t tell what it was. He still insisted he had not taken any fruit that day. Jim asked him if he had ever done so and he admitted he had. The jury dismissed the case for lack of evidence.
Jim dismissed the meeting about 1.30. I was in bed about 2.00.
16 August 1978 – Wednesday
I was up at 8.30.
I read the news, which was on the board, before eating breakfast. Worked again in the cottage on my bed trying to finish the outline of the different countries.
Took my shower. It began to rain while I was in the shower. I returned home. The rain continued heavily. I heard that the rainy season was finally over, as we have had several days without rain.
Continued work on the map until dinner in the pavilion after 4.00 when the children were not using the tables. I decided to leave the section on the Cameroons undone to be finished later as I was tired and puzzled. I sorted out the scraps that have been brought in. We need some large pieces.
Eddie Washington watched my bag and held a seat for me in the pavilion while I went to dinner. We had rice with butter, okra fried in butter and greens.
Saw the film For Whom the Bell Tolls with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman which had come in on the boat. Jim, who monitored, said some of the more revolutionary parts had been cut out but it is still an excellent movie with good lessons in it for political activists and Jim admired it. The emphasis on the love relationship seemed unnecessary and silly. The picture was over about 10.30.
I went home to bed. There was heavy rain during the night. I was disturbed once by noise from the children who are in the PSU cottage across the way. Also heard Marthea Hicks and Chris Lund in the loft above me, the latter have moved their cases up.
17 August 1978 – Thursday
Started work on the large type news edition, choosing review items which I judged of importance and interest to seniors and typing them up. In the adult class I showed the map as I had outlined it so that they could see the size of it. I explained details how we had done the drawing itself and we discussed the kind of stitch to use to put the separate cities on the sheet. I left the committee to decide whether we should use machine stitching.
They are to bring a sample of machine and hand work I also suggested different types individuals should study so as to learn more about Africa such as countries that have been British, Dutch, German, French and so possessions, history, main products, leaders. Lois later told me that Jim frightened them; they didn’t have any idea how to obtain this info.
Lois carried on with the class and several people who wanted to come with me to the other end of the pavilion cut countries out and made an extra copy of each as I want to keep one complete pattern as a safety measure.
Took my shower. Had dinner.
A film, which was not mandatory, was shown in the second school pavilion at night. Then For Whom the Bell Tolls was shown for those who hadn’t seen it. I spent the evening sewing and made good progress on my skirt.
I had heard earlier that Dick Tropp was looking for me. I went to the school office and left word that he could find me in the cottage. He later came and borrowed my typewriter which he said Frances Johnson would use to write some of the book, good stories our members have composed about their past experiences.
I went to bed about 11.00.
Vern took Mark to the movie tonight; then to eat (food is served before bedtime to those who wish it) and brought him home late. Edith couldn’t rest until he was in.
18 August 1978 – Friday
Worked on the second installment of the large type news. Dick Tropp had returned the typewriter before I got up, but it was not working well. Several keys were sticking, and the white correction fluid had been used over the center of the machine. I saw Frances and asked her about it. She was enthusiastic about the typewriter; but told me some one else had used it last night.
Went to lunch.
Held class. I conducted a short reading lesson for the beginners, then we discussed the questions for the test. The main subject was the conspiracy against Kennedy, ML King and others including the Temple, “The Parallax View” giving a pattern which is followed in all such cases.
Took a shower.
I finished a second page of the large type news and took it to Teresa King.
Listened to news in the pavilion. The second class met in certain groups. We had instructions to spend time on the details of the Ethel and Julius Rosenberg case and to drill people on the answers to questions that visitors might ask. We did so. I conducted the class alone. Don Jackson took Jann’s. She is probably writing up masters for Don Freed. Participation was very good.
We returned to the pavilion to see a film on The Unquiet Death of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Jim interpreting it. This had been taped from KQED presentation. After this all those who haven’t seen For Whom the Bell Tolls were required to stay and see it.
The former residents of Cottage No.10 have finally moved their trunks. Edith had spoken to Joyce Touchette who saw to it.
I went home, went to bed about 1.30. Edith and the others got home about 1:30. I woke briefly, otherwise slept soundly.
19 August 1978 – Saturday
 Edith Cordell and
 Mark Gosney,
The other residents of Cottage No. 48 are:
 Mary Canada, a senior, very agreeable;
 Isabel Davis, seemingly warm and generous, though Edith has had some disagreements with her;
 Betty Moore, mother of 8 yr old Billy [William Moore] who has been working in the garden;
 Barbara Smith, previously described;
 Edith Parks, (grandmother) who is in the Med Dept, very friendly and helpful to me, a senior whom I knew in the Valley, related to Dale, Brenda [her grandchildren], Jerry (son) [Gerald] who in Med Dept spends long hours on the news;
 Lillian Taylor, agreeable spends much time resting but does a second shift at night on one of the generators.
In the loft are
 Marthea Hicks, on service with the PSU; and a singer and band director;
 Chris Lund Rozynko, electrician;
 Laura Johnston, on duty with PSU; and
 Phyllis a supervisor in Medical.
Edith Cordell does most of the work in the cottage sweeps and scrubs takes clothes off the line, notices everything, scolds a good deal but is very good-hearted.
Last week we have had more difficulties with Barb, especially complaints about her lack of cleanliness. She has claimed she has been sick for the past two days and didn’t go to work had food brought to her and kept her dirty plate covered by a towel; Mary Canada told me the day we discovered the pee on the floor near her bed, she said she hadn’t seen it; but Mary told me she was reaching for one of my towels to wipe it up when Barb noticed Mary was awake.
After breakfast I did some more rearranging, put most of my papers in the box under the bed, also school supplies and the materials used for our map; put my books on the shelf above our bed; left in my top crate only personal items, sewing materials and my typewriter. I intended to also put in it sheets and towels.
In my suitcase I will put most of my clothes which are under the mattress now. I have some of my sewing materials and scraps of material propping up my feet. I have hooks for other articles. Some are behind my trunks, as are spare shoes, raincoat, shower materials and bags. I washed some items I didn’t want to send to the laundry.
Went to lunch.
In the school pavilion until 2.00 I worked on the portion on the map which I don’t have right yet. Made some progress but didn’t finish.
Took my shower and it rained again.
Wrote my report for Ava Jones. Listed those who indicated that they could benefit from after school classes. This was in answer to a request to let her know persons who I thought needed the classes because of difficulties in socialism knowledge or attitude and I did not feel competent to make such a decision. In typing, I had even more trouble than before with my typewriter. Could not get it adjusted; it slowed me down.
Went to the meeting with Eva. Zuretti came and I gave her the report. We eventually saw Ava who didn’t have time to meet with us. I returned to the cottage and rested 15 minutes before dinner.
Went to the pavilion. Eddie Washington had saved seat for me – Gertrude Nailer usually sits beside us. Jim was broadcasting the news.
Jim announced that guests were coming in. He gave directions to feed them, provide entertainment for them, give attention to the appearance of the surroundings then clear the pavilion, so that they will not know we were having a meeting and wish to stay. We would be called back again, after they had left for the rally.
I went home worked in journal notes.
We were called to the rally about 8.00. Got a good seat between Gertrude Nailer and Eddie Washington. Guests: all heads of departments around Guyana. Jim started questioning on news. In course of it, he told details about Sen. Stennis of Armed Services Com. No accident that four days later after Fayetteville, Miss., Mertles, [Jim] Cobb and company hired public relations office. Jim says he doesn’t see that reporter going on tours without him because he thinks of little things such as not letting a black woman offer him water. She is in a subservient position. Guests can have that. Jim goes on with conspiracy against us. Attempt to get [Dennis] Banks to denounce us. Offered to fix his extradition orders. Speaking of attack on PLO in Beirut, Jim said some of you will never get over your differences until somebody bombs us and kills some of us. This attack united Arabs.
Jim brings up Pauline Groot’s writing to him on her moral aversion to China’s belief immediate nuclear war would be better. Jim was furious at young people particularly one young woman who couldn’t say one fact about the Rosenberg case when holes in the Rosenberg case were discussed. Jim gets on subject of jury system how black and poor who never get a fair shake.
Jim explained reason for conducting oral questioning. Paper did not arrive. Questions in connection with visitors. He surveyed plans for tour and entertainment and persons assigned and added people and suggested topics and methods. Some people are not at ease answering questions.
Then other questions to be asked on the next test were given. A period of time to be spent on PSU decided for individuals.
We were dismissed at about 1.00. I got to bed about 1.30.
20 August 1978 – Sunday
I was up at 8.00.
Read news form the pavilion boards. For breakfast pancakes and coffee worked on journal items.
At 12.00 I worked in the African map in the pavilion. I completed the outline for all countries, though there are some loose ends to be tied up. I still have a problem in the seacoast area where Zaire and Angola join. I plan to cut out the outlines of all the countries have a game in class in which the students looking at atlas maps can pin the outlines of the separate countries on a sheet, thus learning the position of some of them. Also we will be able then to ascertain where the map is insufficiently accurate. At the same time we can get a complete list of each country.
Had a shower and shampooed my hair.
Sewed, continuing with my skirt.
Ate dinner at 5.00 and we had rice with pork, okra, french fried eggplant in a batter.
Mark Gosney was giving Edith Cordell trouble; she had a cold. She turned him over to Vern Gosney.
The guest was expected tomorrow and entertainment was being prepared for him in the
Pavilion. Intended to go up about 8.00. People were gathering, but I didn’t hear any music so assumed he had not arrived yet. Then, I heard Jim in the loudspeaker. He was annoyed because people were waiting in the pavilion instead of being in the library studying the news.
I finished sewing about 9.30. I went up to the library, read as much of the news I could over the heads of the crowd. Dick Tropp and Jack Beam were explaining the backgrounds of some of the news. As the guest had not yet arrived, I went home and went to bed but I didn’t sleep.
Then we received orders to come to the pavilion. I went up. I expected to find it difficult to get a seat but Jim had earlier ordered young people to get up and give their seats to seniors. A young man led me to a seat in front, asking the little boy occupying it to sit on the floor with the other children. The guest, a young looking man, was seated with those assigned to talk to him at a table in the middle of the pavilion. A musical program was given.
We were dismissed at 2.00. A heavy rain fell.
21 August 1978 – Monday
The instructions given to us last night were that everyone should get up at 6:00, leave their cottages or apartments taking with them everything needed during the day. Doors and windows were to be closed at all times. The doors were to be locked from the inside all day today and no one was to go in them. More visitors were expected and I surmise that this procedure was to prevent one of the people coming in, any of whom might be a fascist or CIA agent from conferring secretly with any member of Jonestown or a private place.
We did not leave until about 8.00 as we had had a late night. I had breakfast. I went back to get something, found the door locked already. Seniors mostly went to the school pavilion where they sat in any place classes were not held. Some have brought sewing or other handwork. Children were with their teachers all day. Two apartments were left open for these meetings to lie down.
I worked in my journal most of the day as I had got far behind. The plane bringing in the guests came over. They arrived about 10.00. It was raining all day sometimes there was a downpour at times it was drizzly.
No one was to use the central pathways as the guests were to be taken on a tour of the cottage area and we were not to use that way to go to the bathroom. We were also told not to go past the main pavilion where the guest would be served his meals but were to go around by the dispatch office.
The area was very muddy. I went down once to the central area and talked to Dick Tropp at the school office. Some of the guests under umbrellas were being escorted to the cottage area. Dick Tropp said Jim was speaking with Carleton Goodlet. The others were Guyanese news and radiomen. They had visited the medical office. Dick Tropp said he would rather not talk with strangers.
We heard different information as to when dinner would be served. Finally some were told about 2.00 they could go down to eat. I went to eat around 3.00. We had chicken and dumplings.
We returned to the school pavilion until the guests, except for Freed, left in the late afternoon. We returned to the cottages. A young man climbed through a window to unlock our door
The lights were out in the cottage area. I do not know whether the reason was generator trouble or was on purpose again, perhaps to prevent secret meetings or prevent anyone from seeing anything.
I took a nap for a couple of hours. When I woke to go the dinning pavilion, about 8:00 the lights were still off. I had heard that soup would be served at 8:00. I believe that all were being served who were in the line. We were then told the food was for ‘snackers’ only. I told the young woman serving, also a young woman in the kitchen area, that I was hungry but was told unsympathetically to return at 10.00.
Hearts and Minds was being shown in the pavilion Jim said all should see it. I sat on a table in the back and watched. Jim was watching it with Freed
I did not know the time but when the film was over I went to the dining pavilion. Found it was 10.15. Was told there was no food left. Went home hungry. The lights were still off. I went to bed at 10.30. Did not give my news talk before Med today.
22 August 1978 – Tuesday
Now that the large group of guests have gone, conditions are more relaxed. We are still supposed to keep the cottages closed up, but the doors were not locked today. The electricity is still off.
I wrote a memo to Eva [probably Pugh] on yesterday’s meal service. Edith Parks put in another note to Eva about Barbara Smith’s habits. She kept her pee bottle in the cottage today uncovered.
For lunch we had soup, bread and an orange.
Lois and I met our separate classes. I gave my group some reading print first, having each one read a page or two so that I could see whether they were reading books at the right level. Then I went over the news, expecting a test tonight.
Don Freed was expected to visit the school today. Becky told me but he didn’t get up till 2.00 when he had lunch. I heard he didn’t feel well, probably suffered from ‘jet lag’ and was treated by the med dept. Edith Parks told me he inquired about our policy on dating. She thinks he may be interested in Annie Moore.
I had my shower.
I worked on the African map sitting on my bed which was difficult because the lights were off. I counted the outlines of some of the countries which did not fit when put on the sheet. Made some copies of the ones which seem to be right.
Went to dinner at 5.15. It was an excellent meal: cassava cooked in a batter with gravy
pieces of pork and vegetables and greens, pudding and an orange.
Went to the pavilion to be ready for the rally.
Was in a seat saved for me beside Eddie Washington and Gertrude Nailer. Jerry Bailey [Geraldine = Gerry] was moving people around. She didn’t want anyone in front near Don Freed who would go to sleep. She asked me to take a seat directly behind the front row on the left in which she was to sit.
Jerry and Amanda [Fair] changed peoples seats so as to remove from the front rows those who a tendency to go to sleep. Instructions were passed on that we were not to stand or salute when Jim came in. The orchestra opened with what seemed to be a semi-classical number. Other musical numbers included Apostolic Singers. Jim came on platform in red shirt. Don Freed with escorts entered, sat in row in front of us. We sang United Forever. When we got to the “V” signal, Jim told us to put away our Vs. “He’s a socialist.” We put up our fists. Variations did several numbers including our beautiful Soulsteppers and Bowled Move. Soulsteppers danced,
Don Freed- city of truth, invisible government, in Jonestown have transcended a revolutionary reality, set up a correction assume America became the “name of a new disease.” War in Vietnam, Watergate scandals, organized violence, part of state, common denominator, concept of the right to know: Greeks, an absolute need.
King, like other tragedies that call out for retribution. Years of have not. 90% of the people reject the official explanation. They are metaphors for an everyday explanation. Grace Walden, story how she was recused. Ray was a small time crook, had a code not to inform. Book by George McMillan, The Making of an Assassin, connection with Mrs. Priscilla McMillan Johnson. Connection with Stalin’s daughter, paramilitary journalism. The anatomy of a lie, diet of lies, subterfuge. House Select Committee set up. FBI had King in electronic cage. King executed, when he had become a world leader. Had attacked Vietnam, and discussed African nations; FBI, etc., called him pre-revolutionary. FBI spent $7 million on King, called him most dangerous man in America. “Destroy King” squad centered in Atlanta. “Zorro” King’s code name. Black members being blackmailed. Sex: most of the evidence faked. King had come out against imperialism, emphasized economics. In Memphis American workers strike turned violent. McCullough: undercover Memphis FBI provocateur. Robert Byrd said MLK lose trail of violence. Charge MLK with conducting a lay in. Gave news services stories to be fed to the press. Forced him into black hotel.
Mark Lane puts in his own money. Hopes for use of truth. No doubt Ray will receive a trial. Ray has a clear clean consciousness. There is treason in the land. But not a foreign stab in the back. 10-20 million people identify with the ruling class. Intend to ventilate these murders. 88% of American people fear most intelligence agencies using? For their own purposes.
Question: If your own life in danger. First question; always assassination is a last option. It signifies weakness. Kennedy assassination meant to unleash Cuban attack. Depoliticized American became a madhouse. Orwell. A few people kept their sanity. Freed: “Why would a peaceful community offer a threat?” Jonestown a threat but why should it lead to violence, instead of political struggle?
Jim: Postpone agricultural reports until we have something success. Mentioned weather.
Not so optimistic as he is. Jim not as hopeful as he. Offers sanctuary to Freed’s son and any others.
Jim: on necessity of money raising.
Jim: on possibility of getting Stoen in court. His leadership depends on Stoen’s respectability. Defaming project of conspiracy. Dollars to every minister in Guyana, etc. Possibility of Jim’s going back to some states to raise money.
Jim appealed to creativity for getting money. Agricultural not the only answer. Have to have something to mass produce.
We have eliminated racism, sexism, nearly elitism. Have to keep our eyes open for it. Your children have to get the same treatment as others.
Guyana Chronicle editor left note when he left: “An example all should follow.” Another wrote, “Astounding.”
“In some ways I am glad they did shoot at us.” Or in this little paradise we might have forgotten the fight.
Freed offered at the end of his talk to continue to talk and answer questions of those who were interested. My general impression was that Freed was too optimistic, too naïve in expecting that an investigation, no matter how thorough, would be permitted to affect the political climate appreciably. I thought he underrated the lengths to which the capitalist establishment will go to assure their profits and favored economic position Jim talked at some length. He used a great many obscenities, no doubt to convince Freed that we are not religious.
Mentioning the owl movie which is shown every night, Jim said he was concerned that the people who attend, work well on their jobs the next day. He asks for checking on this.
Jim said he wanted to have some conversation with Freed and went away with him. It was only about 11.00 o’clock.
I spoke to Dick Tropp on the way out, told him I would like to have him bring Don Freed around to my class. He could see us play a game in connection with our African map. Dick Tropp said he might be able to but complained that Don Freed was “erratic.” Probably he was reflecting only on his rising hour.
The lights were on when we got home. I wasn’t very sleepy. There was much noise outside. I got up to go to the bathroom once. Finally went to sleep.
23 August 1978 – Wednesday
Had breakfast. Worked on the African map on the floor of the cottage. I cut out the separate countries. Some portions of the map are not completed yet and I do not have all the countries. Made a list of problem areas.
The members of both countries met together. We spread the sheet on two tables put together. I gave one or two of the cut-out patterns to each person. We started at the top of the map and called out the names of the countries and had the possessor pin the pattern on the sheet. The group got a good deal of fun out of the experience and it was a good learning experience. They were deeply impressed with the size of Africa. Lu Ester Lewis wrote the names of the country on the board and some copied them.
Took my shower.
Worked again on the map after 4.00 trying to complete the areas left unfinished.
In the evening there was a fashion show and a skit with Don Freed as the guest of honor.
A table was set up so that dinner could be served to Freed and the people assigned to meet with him. Various products such as preserves and herbal remedies were displayed on the table. The young women who served the table were dressed in long gowns made by our seamstresses. On the stage in front of the table were various products made by our people in Jonestown: a cradle, chair, toys, for instance.
After Freed and his companions entered and sat down Dick Tropp asked me to come over and meet Freed. I did so. I had suggested to Dick Tropp that he visit my adult class to see the game we played with the patterns of the countries, but he had apparently not got up early enough to visit any classes.
Freed was very interested in our project of teaching seniors to read and was touched when Jim told him how much it meant to the self-esteem of a person who had reached an advanced age to learn to read.
Clothes made in Jonestown were modeled by all ages, from toddlers to seniors, males and females, many made by the wearers. They were all quite stylish and well made. Clothing manufacture is likely to be one of our most profitable enterprises. Many toys were displayed. I was just back of Freed and Jim and they were engaged in conversation most of the time. Freed seemed charmed and excited by Jim. The play consisted of episodes about poor people around the world. Frances Johnson directed it.
After the show I had to go with others to the rice pavilion to write a letter under the direction of Carolyn Looman, to the DA of LA with regard to a charge of the Medlocks charging that Jim McElvane with assault and fraud
Got home at 12.00. Lights out, stepped in puddle on the path to the bathroom.
24 August 1978 – Thursday
Heavy rains have fallen in the last few days and continued today.
I had noticed that an old suitcase left out by Irra Johnson at my former cottage was still hanging on the line there. I asked her if I could have it to use to make book bindings of it and she agreed. When I got it home I found that only the zipper was missing and I decided to use it for storage in place of a cardboard box.
Isabel Davis moved suddenly. She told Edith someone had stole from her. She told me there were too many bosses, I got the idea she found Edith too dominating.
Edith was given custody of a broom, which she was to make available to several other cottages. It disappeared a few days ago. She had inquired in the neighborhood but had not located it. She enlisted the area’s children in the search promising the finder her week’s treat. Today 2 of the local children reported it was in cottage No.12, which turned out to be that of Willie Malone. Both Marthea and Edith went to No. 12. They denied it was there but the children told us they had rubbed out the cottage number. Edith recognized her broom. Willie should have been charged with theft and fraud but Edith did not follow through with this.
Meals have been extraordinarily good while Freed has been here, although his table was served even better food, we have had new recipes. One was eggplant fried in butter. At another meal we had cassava French fries with chicken giblets in gravy, okra, greens and an orange.
In conversation with Lillian Taylor who is in the berth beneath me, I learned that she had worked as an extra in Hollywood for several years. Among her pictures were “Gone with the Wind” and Clark Gables’ “Too Hot to Handle.”
In the adult class Lois Ponts taught the news while the quilters and I made some corrections in some of the problems and pinned the patterns on the sheet supporting our scraps of material and discussed how we would do the quilting.
During Freed’s visit there have been several acts of violence between members. The worst was another attack by Barbara Walker on Stephen. She had attacked him. She fought like an animal and scratched his face, damaged a fence. Several people were required to subdue her. She had to be tranquilized with injections and two security men were posted at her bed in medical quarters. Joyce Lund described the event to me. Another fight took place at dinner tonight between two young men. One knocked the other over; the other had to be taken in a stretcher, in spite of Freed’s presence. Jim on the loudspeaker this afternoon denounced these fighters.
I sewed on my shirt too.
25 August 1978 – Friday
Sat on the floor in the cottage and worked in the African map. I redrew some countries in Southern Africa with which I am not satisfied yet.
Met with the adult class. Lois and I exchanged space. Those of us working on the map used the end near the apartments and put the sheet on two tables pushed together. Several women in the class cooperated in cutting out the countries from paper patterns. Eddie Washington directed this operation. I tried to make headway in the portion in which I am having trouble but didn’t have much success. I took it home to the end of the period to finish over the weekend.
Had a shower.
Worked on journal entries. Lay down for an hour and dozed a little. There was a rain storm, the first rain we have had today.
Went to dinner.
Went to the pavilion to listen to the news. I heard the tape twice and took notes. I had my usual seat with Eddie Washington and Gertrude Nailer.
Jim says oral testing to be conducted. among those called: Jean Lucas, Nancy Jones, Herman Gee, Rosa Mae Hines, Pauline [Pearl] Land, Lore B. Parris. Jim said Don Freed planning to move here, get job in University with our help, leave his child here, and establish a conference center here for students, experts of nuclear war, classes of all people of color. Terry [probably Carter] said he respected Jim Jones more than anyone he had met in his entire life.
People named were quizzed by Jim in questions they might be asked. We have to think about 100 cataract surgeries.
Asked Nancy Jones why did you swat at somebody yesterday? She claimed she didn’t get her mail and refused to write a letter to counteract a false report. She swung at Jerry Bailey. Jim had a revelation in her case. We haven’t had a fight for six months and then have four in one day. Several told of various misdeeds of Nancy. She talks about going home. Jim said he was speaking for the last time. Jim held out hopes for peoples relatives to come, urged them to write about the good life here. If Nancy persists in her behavior, she will be very sick.
Jim explains why he wants seniors to say they have their own money. Wants them to think we don’t have our money in the bank so they cant think they can cut us off from our funds.
Dr. Goodlett’s reaction: going to create an article for a medical journal. He wants to come here, save him a place. Will do everything he can to come here.
Our enemies have cost us a million and a half.
The low-down methods they used to prevent Mona sent her back to an institution rather than let Rev Guy Young have her. Fifty cases like it. Tell lies and have said many stories on us. Took us a year to get Ruthie Quinn to Jonestown. Good thing to have Russian classes.
Teresa King and I went to library for Russian books. We spent several hours learning the Russian alphabet, pronouncing each letter. Record played with English words (long words) which are pronounced similarly.
Calvin Douglas and Danny Marshall had a fight. Dee Dee Lawrence and Dee Dee Smith. Addie Jones and Vennie Thompson. Latter two argue all time, each accuses the other of stealing from her. They have been moved. Jim warned that if either used loud voice or created disturbance they on PSU.
Calvin and Danny were calling each other names. Danny struck first blow. Misuse of authority in question but Jim says no justification for violence. Security now called Peoples’ Helpers. Night police are “Night Workers”. Calvin volunteered to be on PSU. He is off PSU. Calvin and Danny had to kiss each other 20 times. Anyone, two weeks on PSU who was using violence or egging on or not giving respect.
The young women had an argument; one punched the other. They rolled down the hill near the toilet. Jim said people wandering around after 10.00 will be noticed and reported.
Barbara Walker angry with Stephen because he wouldn’t date her. She scared Ronnie. Stephen fought back; said he would have killed her. Jim says she’s a lunatic. Jim says sedate her; she did same thing with Ronnie Dennis. He says she stays. Stephen thinks she’s rated too high. Jim says we can’t afford a confrontation; someone will be killed.
Bertha Cook will handle the gymnastics for the seniors. Jim says she’s sick and should be protected. Jim said she could even be a plant of the conspiracy.
Ben Robinson [aka Otis Mitchell] companion of Paulette Jackson argued with her when she was his supervisor. He also refused to get wood. Report by Jack Beam. Wants to break off with Paulette without giving a valid reason. Otis’ attitude seems to be based on what he thought was unfair treatment of karate team. Willie Malone gossiped about an administrative meeting which caused bad feeling.
Jim remarked any belief that either the band or karate team will make money is an illusion. The expense including uniforms and instruments overbalance any income besides time missed from work. Public relations may be served. We have over 1000 people and only 20 in agriculture. Jack said people turn all their opportunities to get on to some other job or activity to get out of the field. We have to get a living out of agriculture or some other money-making enterprises. Otis acknowledged his error. Willie and another get warning for tale-bearing.
Danielle accused of tale-bearing. In Dee Dee Lawrence and Dee Dee Smith case. Jim decided to put her on PSU for three days for insolence.
Lexie Davis given a warning on questioning regulations in regard to having windows closed.
A long hearing took place about lab technicians who don’t get along with Larry Schacht. They are dissatisfied with their work. Jim says get back on the job and don’t worry about whether you like the doctor or not. All concerned got a warning.
Brian Davis broke hack saws and had one locked up at home. Stanley Gieg didn’t report this though they were needed. Jury gave Bryan and Stanley two weeks on PSU. Brian said Stanley was at piggery, not his fault. Gieg taken off PSU.
Jerry Wilson climbed in loft, pulled Glenda Polite’s pants down. She protested and shoved him away jury gave him three weeks. Shanda James on floor for leading on a man. She doesn’t want a relationship she says. She finds him attractive but doesn’t even want a three-month relationship. Isn’t settled. Relationship committee will hear the case.
Nedra Yates made a statement concerning socialism which interpreted as an aspersion. She got warning. She is to smile and be pleasant for a week.
Praises: Alleane Tucker. Problem is she sings slave songs in field which caused others to object. Jack says Alleane interfered with Shirley’s supervision. Told not to do so, she started singing; she was told to hum to herself. Tina Turner Bogue, her supervisor, says she presents Aunt Jane image which irritates others on crew, though she’s a good worker. Though Alleane insisted on having Jim hear the case, Johnny Jones prevailed and sent it to counselors.
Jim gave us 9.00 tomorrow as rising hour. We’ll work all day on Sunday and have the whole day on Tuesday off. Paul Robeson records were played as we left the pavilion.
We arrived home about 2.30. I was in bed about 3.00.
26 August 1978 – Saturday
9.00 and 10.00 were hours set respectfully for rising and first breakfast. I got up early (around 8.00) and worked a little on journal entries. Stopped in school pavilion and checked the news items on the board by eating breakfast at about 10.00. We had pancakes.
The laundry isn’t taking any clothes this week. While the visitors were in Jonestown, they couldn’t hang clothes on the lines. Then there was trouble with the electric power and washing machines. Soap can be obtained from the laundry to wash one’s clothes. I did a good-sized washing again this morning including a sheet. It was a very hot day.
I intended to work but didn’t accomplish much. Tried to take a nap but didn’t actually sleep. I forgot about taking a shower until it was too late.
When it was about time to meet Ava Jones for my regular 4.00 o’clock appointment it started to rain. The rain came down heavily for half an hour and I arrived about the same time and Ava, a few minutes later. She was concerned about Barbara Walker’s classes. We told her that we had not seen her holding class much lately and Lois thought her failure to attract students may have contributed to her outbreak the other day. We assured Ava that her students would probably join our class. We discussed the projected evening class to teach reading for those who don’t come during their lunch hour. Lois wants to participate and she believes a firm policy of attendance must be maintained. I intended to hold class on Wednesday night as I promised Patty Cartmell (for Walter). However with Ava we decided to make an announcement and see who responds.
I had taken with me my map-making materials hoping to work on the discrepancies that still exist at the School Pavilion. However, I did not have time, as it was already time for dinner. After I ate I went home by way of the toilet, brushed my teeth, put my map-making materials away and went back to the pavilion where Eddie and Gertrude were holding my seat for me.
The news was played several times and I took notes. Socialism classes were held in the pavilion. Rob Christian opened the meeting telling us to get out paper and prepare for a written test. As the paper supply is almost exhausted in Jonestown, people complained they had nothing to write on. Everybody who had extra paper was asked to share and I gave away all I had with me except a page for my own test.
Jim came in. He asked who had not heard the news. A considerable number had not, so he agreed to have the tape played again. I filled and tied together some loose ends.
Jim dictated the test questions. There were ten on questions visitors might ask; some agencies have indicated that we may have a CIA spy arriving here with a group of our own people and it is important that we all appear happy and exhibit satisfaction and know how to avoid the warning kind of question or not give information which can be used against us. The remaining ten questions were on the recent news; the first was a series of items on diverse subjects which we were supposed to reproduce as well as possible after Jim read them rapidly to us. A great many people had not tried to take notes so Jim went through the items again. I got most of it. There followed a bonus section. If we pass it we don’t have to take the next test.
After finishing our tests we were supposed to help those who could not write. we moved to the rice pavilion as a movie was to be shown in the theater pavilion. I helped Joicy Clark and Gertrude Nailor. They both did well on the Jonestown questions and poorly on the others.
I couldn’t find my raincoat when ready to leave went back to the pavilion for it. I had to wait until the end of the picture to try to find it. The picture was The Diary of Anne Frank. It seemed very slow moving and considering the honor of its theme rather undramatic. Perhaps styles have changed enough since it was made to make the difference.
The lights were off in Jonestown when I went home, probably about 2.00. It was difficult going to the bathroom. Somebody told me the lights are going to be off every night from now on.
27 August 1978 – Sunday
Today was declared by Jim to be a work day with regular hours. We are to get a full day off Tuesday instead. Reason may be that we are to have guests on Monday for whom preparations have to be made.
Had breakfast as usual about 8.00 I got some loose-leaf paper 3-hole punched for my notebook as socialism test had depleted my supply.
Chaikin gave me some cards with Russian alphabet on them. He said he can’t speak Russian but knows the cadence.
Worked in journal entries.
Went to lunch.
At 12.00 I took my map supplies to school pavilion and prepared to work in the southern countries of Africa. Got them fairly well drawn but now they didn’t fit in with countries immediately above, particularly, Zaire. It was very hot. Some of the women in the adult class helped me cut out of scraps some more countries and which on their own quilting. I became frustrated after being on my feet two hours, decided to quit. Others were still there.
Took my shower.
In the cottage I had an argument with Barbara Smith. Called attention to glass she left with orange peels in it and not emptying pee bucket, plus spilling pee on floor. She denied she had left any on floor. Others were present but said nothing. I intend to have two witnesses next time and turn her in.
Went to dinner. Heard the news tape in the library where Teresa King was taking notes from it.
Got home about 7.00 and sewed on my skirt.
In an hour or so, Curtis Winters come by. He wanted one of his colored pencils to do a drawing for a letter home. I got down from my bunk to find his pencils. They weren’t in the usual place. I searched everywhere I could think of and had to conclude I probably left them in the library and inquired whether they had been turned in but they hadn’t been. Curtis who waited for me was very gracious about the situation. He said he liked to share things. He tried not to be too much affected by disagreeable circumstances. He stayed for several hours talking to Edith Cordell and Mary Canada as well as me, recalling events in the old Temple days and singing some of the old songs. He said Jim was called “Brother Jones” by his members then. Curtis came from Indiana with the Temple. He said he never remembered having parents who cared for him.
I was concerned about the other items in the bag I had evidently lost, pins from Ruby, scissors from the education office and items of my own such as Scotch Tape, but may be that Eddie Washington or another of the women in my class took the bag home. I can’t finish the map without the supplies. I feel I forgot them because I was too tired and decided not to work in the map tomorrow.
I continued my sewing during Curtis’ visit and after he left.
Went for my treat about 9.00. Movies being shown. Got an extra piece of fudge for giving help on test night. Read Collected Poems by WB Yeats, before going to bed around 11.30. Chris Lund installed a catwalk over Barbara’s bed for more storage space.
28 August 1978 – Monday
I was successfully seeking not to be too depressed about losing Curtis Winters’ pencils and the other items lost yesterday, as I have often found calm and confidence in Jim results in favorable outcome.
I also decided to try again to have something sent to me by Dor or one of my sisters although a package seems to take several months to arrive. I told Curtis when I saw him that I would replace the pencils if I did not get his back. He was still very pleasant about the matter.
I worked this morning on the next edition of the large-type Senior News. I had to write it with a pen as the electricity is off during the day in the cottage area until some parts arrive for repair of a generator.
When I went up to lunch I found that Eddie Washington had taken my bag of supplies home. She had noticed I had forgotten them immediately after I left yesterday.
I taught my reading class today. Using the pre-primer I followed the instructions to the teacher with allowances for the age and experience of my students and we had conversation about the story in the book. I was also able to branch out into a discussion about events in Nicaragua.
Took my shower.
Continued work on Senior News.
Went to dinner.
Listened to news in the pavilion. A film, “Harlan County USA”, about union activists in Harlan Co, Kentucky, had been obtained and Jim made it mandatory to see it tonight as we are expecting a visit from some union officials. It was a long film in color. Showed the way the miners had been exploited since the 30’s and were still suffering from capitalist mistreatment.
Socialist teachers were supposed to grade the tests done at the last meeting after the film but only seven of us came. Dick Tropp wanted us to get started grading any way but Jann Gurvich prevailed upon him to put it off until tomorrow at the Rally.
I went home at about 10.30. Read Collected Poems by WB Yeats, for a half hour before going to bed.
29 August 1978 – Tuesday
Jim decided to give us two half days off to make up for working last Sunday. We had the afternoon off today and are to get the morning tomorrow after the rally.
We had breakfast (doughnuts and coffee) at the usual time.
Read the news items on the library board. Talked with Lois. I had to turn in a statement in the Adult Education Department about the personnel, hours of work, classes taught and work skills whether or not related to teaching. I turned this in today for both of us. In addition I have to turn in a weekly time sheet for my staff but it is less comprehensive then the one I used to do. I had obtained the forms and directions from Jessie McLain.
I have made plans for the Russian Classes in which a number of us wish to study the language more intensively. I have collected the names of some 12 to 15 people who have some knowledge or intent and have set 6.00 o’clock on Sunday as the first meeting hour.
Worked in journal entries.
The children were out of the school area at 12.00 for the rest of the afternoon.
I took the map materials up and spread them on a table and worked on the doubtful ones. I was still having trouble making them fit and at one point became very discouraged. However, Lois who had been teaching news came over at 2.00 and Eddie Washington was there too. Together they helped me. Lois is particularly good at patterns and with her skillful eye, the map finally went into better shape. I still have several countries to redraw.
Estelle McCall moved to our cottage. She told me several days ago that the girls in No. 48 were too much for her. She complained partially of the noise at all hours. She brought much luggage causing Edith Cordell some dismay.
Took a shower. Went to dinner
Went to the pavilion and took news down. The gathering and was so noisy that I sat on the platform to hear the p.a. system. I wrote an announcement about the adult reading class planned for Wednesday evening, checked it with Lois and gave it to Mike Carter who was going to announce it.
However although Mike started to read it, Harriet Tropp came in and asked cooperation in assembling material to aid in getting the Bar Association to cancel Tim Stoen’s membership on a charge of perjury. He said in court that he had not given legal advice to Temple members. Jim, when he arrived, explained more. All who had ever received any advice or any other legal services from Tim or know of any legal services had performed for the Temple were to put their names on a list and would be called to give affidavits. Workers came around to get names and I put mine on as I remembered in Ukiah, Cleave Jackson and I had requested Stoen’s help with regard to NCO’s [North Coast Opportunities] efforts to let me go. Also I went to ask about any possibility that he may have kept any of my journal I turned over to him or used it for any other purpose. I also remembered and told Gene Chaikin that I believed I had made Stoen the beneficiary of my will on instructions from the Temple.
Robert Gieg, who had written a letter to Jim which was read aloud over the p.a. system earlier, said he had had most of his remarks dealt with but he wanted to apologize for having gotten false info about Harold Bogue [Cordell] The letter was about questionable practices at the chickery. Jim added that he wanted to encourage people to write up any complaints too and observations. Gieg was to be praised for doing so.
News tape played.
The socialist tests were graded at the beginning of the meeting. I waited for a while to see whether my announcement about the evening reading class would be read and I would have to take names. I then got some papers from Dick Tropp and marked tests while Jim administered the written test. At the end of this he gave an oral test to those who hadn’t had one. I couldn’t take the test. Jim went in with Russian instruction and I stood on the platform to help. He indefatigably rehearsed the membership in practicing the alphabet Russian names and geographical names and Russian words which are similar to English words.
When we were finished with this I continued with grading the tests. Several discipline cases were brought up. Robert Paul and his companion were charged with taking unauthorized time off at work and covering for each other.
A note from Jerry Wilson’s mother had been read saying that information she had gathered showed her son was not guilty as charged previously led to a rehearing on this subject by she had talked with Patty Dennis and reported Patty said she had flirted with him. A note from Tommy Bogue stated he felt Jerry was not guilty. In the first instance Jim said Patty was a child and not competent to state how she felt. Besides it was wrong to put the child through the public ignominy interviews with Tommy and Glenda Polite revealed inconsistencies. The situation remained as it was by except that Tommy was disciplined because he had not been willing to get up on the floor when Jerry was up and the jury found him guilty of gossiping and threatening to use violence. He got two weeks on PSU.
Consent was given to the terms of those on PSU. Whether they were to be dismissed or continued on the unit.
Jim took a vote on whether people wanted off tomorrow morning or afternoon. Some wanted one and some wanted the other so he compromised, said we would start work after a late breakfast and work until 3.30.
Jim asked for the Paul Robeson records which we have obtained to be played as the audience filed out. They were reported missing. Someone had taken them, it was feared to use for recording their own music. Jim angrily demanded that all cassettes be turned in and people should request what they want to hear.
I got home and went to bed about 2.30.
30 August 1978 – Wednesday
Got up at 9:30.
Checked the news on the board before I had breakfast. By the time I went for mine at
10.30 the pancakes had run out again and our names were listed to get them tomorrow.
Wrote more of the big type news, then worked on my journal. Lunch was not served.
Took a shower.
The people who agreed to sign affidavits that Tim Stoen had given them legal advice were being called to go to he pavilion and talk to the attorneys: Eugene Chaikin, Harriett Tropp and Jann Gurvich. I got my call and was interviewed by Gene Chaikin. More then the advice Tim had given on the NCO (North Coast Opportunities) employment case Gene was interested to know if in my intimate conversations with him he had ever talked with me about Temple cases. I could not recall that he ever had. We discussed thoroughly my relationship with him. One other matter. I mentioned I remember signing a will at the Temple’s request deeding all my property to Tim, as I believed the Temple would receive it rather than my relatives. As far as I know this will is still in affect.
Went to dinner.
Sat in the pavilion until the socialist teachers meeting scheduled for 7 o’clock. Very few came to this meeting which was for the purpose of assigning teachers to the extra classes which were to start tomorrow I thought it was decided that two of us would teach each hour of the three hour class. I started the first hour with Robert Rankin. He has a tendency to take control and lecture way over the heads of the class and I interrupted him several times (I found the next day that only one teacher was supposed to teach each hour.)
Those who attended my class and Lois’s were excused. I was relieved by Laura Johnston. I went to the school pavilion read the news on the boards, then, went home. The lights were out and with Edith Cordell and Mary Canada in bed. I turned the lights on and sewed on my skirt. I couldn’t tell the time and had to guess at it as Edith keeps her clock behind her curtain and Betty‘s clock doesn’t run well any more and mine has not run much since I dropped it one day. At one point, which I later found was 10:30 Jim’s voice came over the loudspeaker. It seemed that the socialist teachers had dismissed the classes early and some of the class members had complained to Jim that they were supposed to have 3 hours instruction and didn’t get it. I supposed that Laura had not been relieved and had closed the class.
Went to the bathroom. I asked Lee Burger Dean who was a senior what time it was. She said she didn’t know but that it was about 1.00 or later. I went to bed but later I heard the p.a. announcement that it was around 12.00 so I had gotten to bed shortly after 11.00.
31 August 1978 – Thursday
I had been especially tired yesterday. Slept soundly but was still tired today. Have had a very tight schedule lately. Got up at 7.30. Went to breakfast on the way reading the news on the boards which I had not been able to see clearly the night before and taking notes that I needed.
Had my blood pressure taken and my foot treated. Have had a little trouble lately with my athlete’s foot probably because of the humid weather. It is never completely cured and breaks out again every now and then.
Came across Lois who seemed disturbed but I couldn’t find out what was the trouble. I took to the school office for Tom Grubbs, a test given to me in the rally of people who need extra instructions in multiplying and dividing. Jim had discovered that many did not understand these operations.
Inez told me that Irra Johnson was dissatisfied with Cottage No. 48 too. I left a message for Tom Grubbs on the Sunday Russian class and also one from Sylvia Sly (formerly Grubbs) to give to Dr. Larry Schacht in the class. He has good Russian pronunciation, probably was raised in a Russian Jewish family. I have now spoken to almost everyone who had expressed an interest in earning Russian. I wrote Senior News for an hour or so. I have had to do it in handwriting this week as the electricity is off during the day in the cottage and I can’t use my typewriter. I got it done almost as fast.
Went to lunch.
As expected a number of new people came in to Lois’s and my class as Jim had especially designated many to attend our classes when they failed the socialism test. Lois and I agreed they should be assigned to our classes on the basis of their previous education in general and it seemed to even out fairly well. I asked my class to vote on whether we should concentrate on reading news or a combination. They voted for a combination. We distributed the books and discussed the story we had said the other day. Quite a few got on their feet and told their personal views and experience. Brother “Rev” James Edwards who is in charge of a new device instituted by Jim to make certain that people learn (to get their plate at meals they must answer a number of political questions or say a phrase in Russian or Chinese) came into the class to illustrate a method for improving their memory. He drew diagrams to show China’s Doctrine of the Third world. The class enjoyed it.
The day in the beginning was hot but rain came.
Took my shower.
Worked in my journal entries, then on the time report for the adult education department
Went to dinner. We had chicken and dumplings with fairly good-sized pieces of chicken
Guests and new arrivals were expected. The band was rehearsing for entertainment and tapes could not be heard in the pavilion. I went to the library and copied news from the boards. There was another showing of the film, “Harlan County USA” [1976 movie on coal mining conditions in Kentucky] which I stayed to see.
Carolyn Looman asked whether I’d write a couple of letters. One was to a doctor from Florida, a cancer specialist who visited us. He now has cancer himself. I was to write a short letter to him. Another was to be written to Harvey Milk, SF Supervisor who is a homosexual. His companion of many years committed suicide. Milk may come to Jonestown.
Had a conversation with Joyce Lund who was writing news. I told her of Lois’s distress today. She told me everybody had trouble with her in the medical department. She is very dominating. She had been told not to set foot in the nursery department again.
I started home, got undressed, went to the bathroom. When I returned I learned that everyone was being ordered to come to the pavilion for the entertainment for the guests and new arrivals. Most of the people in our cottage were in bed. I went to bed prepared to get up and go to the pavilion only if the helpers came to the cottage to get everyone up. No one came.
[End of August 1978 Journal]
Temple / Members
Jerry Geraldine Bailey
Philip Blakey [S]
Harold Bogue [Cordell S]
Tommy Bogue [S]
Corlis Boutte [aka Corlis Conley]
Mary Ann Casanova [S]
Tim Carter [S]
Eugene [Gene] Chaikin
Ida [probably Clipps]
Orlando Darnes [N]
Lexie Smith Davis
Lee Burger Dean
Patty Dennis [McCoy]
Calvin Douglas [S]
“Reb” James Edwards
Sonya Evans [S]
Betty [probably Fitch, teacher]
Betty Jean Gill
Vern Gosney [S]
[Dottie] Shajhuanna Harris
Rose Mae Hines
CJ Cleve Jackson
Frances Johnson [S]
Garry [Poncho Johnson]
Laura Johnston [S]
Billy Jones [Dean]
Marceline Marcy Jones
Stephen [Jones] [S]
Nancy Lake [SF]
Pauline [Pearl] Land
Dee Dee Lawrence
Lu Ester Lewis
Tony Linton [Lacy]
Lovie Jean Lucas
Chris Lund Rozynko
Joyce Lund Rozynko
Daniele Mitchell [probably Daniele Gardfrey son of Beverly Mitchell]
Betty Karen Moore
Bea Orsot [S]
Edith Parks [S]
Dale Parks [S]
Brenda Parks [S]
Jerry Parks [S]
Joyce Parks [S]
Lore Bee Parris
Robert Paul [S]
Mike Prokes [S]
Odell Rhodes [S]
Mary Rodgers [prob Mary Johnson Rodgers]
Benjamin Robinson [aka Otis Mitchell]
Dee Dee Smith
Diana Smith [?]
Sylvia Sly [Grubbs]
Jon Victor Stoen
Robin Tschetter [S]
Janet Lenin Tupper
Mary Lenin Tupper
Tina Turner [Bogue] [S]
Annie B. Washington
Nedra [Johnny Mae] Yates [S]
Becky [many Rebeccas, likely Flowers or Beikman]
Second School Pavilion (formerly rice tent)
Senior News (large type)
Non Temple Names
Priscilla McMillan Johnson
PM [Prime Minister]
Film: Harlan County USA
Film: The Diary of Anne Frank
Film: Gone with the Wind
Film: Too Hot to Handle
Film: The Unquiet Death of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg,
Film: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Film: The Parallax View
Film: Hearts and Minds
Film: The Bombing of Dresden
Film: Night and Fog
The Making of an Assassin by George McMillan
Collected Poems by WB Yeats
Music: Paul Robeson records
Armed Services Committee
Aunt Jane image
China’s Doctrine of the Third World
“Destroy King” – FBI squad
House Select Committee
NCO – North Coast Opportunities in Ukiah
“Zorro” King’s FBI program code name