Serial 695

[Editor’s note: One of the subjects of this serial whose name is deleted is Temple member Zipporah Edwards, who died in Jonestown. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]

0 022150Z DEC 78
FM LOS ANGELES (89-436) (P)
TO DIRECTOR (89-4286) IMMEDIATE
INDIANAPOLIS 89-181) IMMEDIATE
SAN FRANCISCO (89-250) IMMEDIATE (SF VIA FBIHQ)
BT
UNCLAS
RYMUR

Re Indianapolis teletype to Bureau, December 1, 1978.

[Name and address deleted], Carson, California, interviewed on December 1, 1978, regarding captioned matter and furnished following information:

[Name deleted] advised he first met Reverend Jim Jones, pastor of Peoples Temple, in Indianapolis, Indiana, approximately 24 years ago when Jones established reputation for fighting injustice. Jones gained notoriety and subsequently in 1965, moved his congregation to Ukiah, California, and formed commune, nursing home, etc. As Jones gained popularity, he branched out to San Francisco

PAGE TWO (LA 89-436) UNCLAS

where he gained more popularity and new attention. [Name deleted] advised that this was when Jones’ philosophy changed erratically. [Name deleted] states that it is his opinion that Jones became both power and money hungry when he relocated to the San Francisco area. [Name deleted] states that Jones, at that time, asked members of Peoples Temple to contribute approximately 20-30 percent of their earnings. (For senior citizens, they were required to furnish Social Security checks and other fixed income.)

[Name deleted] joined Peoples Temple in January 1976 at the Los Angeles Peoples Temple on Alvarado and Hoover and terminated his membership in October 1976. [Name deleted] cites reason he quit Peoples Temple was because of Jones’ paranoia in that he believed the government was trying to kill him and his demands upon the members to contribute either a portion or their total income to Peoples Temple.

Jones purchased land in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1974 and told members of Peoples Temple that he was purchasing 27,000 acres of land so that they could relocate there to

PAGE THREE (LA 89-436) UNCLAS

better life. Jones requested members of Peoples Temple to contribute all income to him so that he could purchase land for them for relocation.

Jones, in 1976, established screening process, both in Los Angeles and San Francisco Temples, of all potential applicants for membership, inquiring into areas of the person’s position in life, income, religious beliefs, believes in socialism and racism.

[Name deleted] advised he had two aunts, [Name deleted] [Zipporah Edwards], female Negro, and Hyacinth Thrash, will also were members of Peoples Temple and relocated to Jonestown, Guyana, with Jones. [Name deleted] advised that [Edwards] was amongst those who committed suicide; however, Thrash was amongst survivors.

[Name deleted] states that he never observed any caching or [of] weapons by Peoples Temple members, no knowledge of “hitting squad”, no acquisition and shipment of weapons by Peoples Temple members, and he had no knowledge of any conspiracy to kill Congressman Leo Ryan or any other governmental official.

FD-302’s follow.

BT

Originally posted on April 14th, 2019.

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