Serial 696

0 021714Z DEC 78
FM JACKSONVILLE (89-96) (P)
TO DIRECTOR (89-4286) PRIORITY
IDIANAPOLIS [INDIANAPOLIS] PRIORITY
TAMPA PRIORITY
BT
UNCLAS
RYMUR

Re Indianapolis teletype to Jacksonville November 30, 1978.

Ozora F. Pearson, P.O. Box no. 727, Inglis, Florida, was located at her residence in Inglis, Florida, Schoolcraft Road. Pearson was interviewed in the presence of her son, [name deleted] furnished the following information:

She is a w/f [white female], DOB November 7, 1899, SSAN 314-28-3512. She advised she first heard of the Reverend James Jones at Indianapolis, Indiana where she was a resident in about 1965.

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She came to know Jones through his reputation as a very good preacher. She attended services conducted by Jones and when Jones left the Indianapolis area, she remained behind following several months after he moved to San Francisco. She followed traveling to San Francisco and resided there with her sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Cleve Swinney.

While in Indianapolis, she stayed at James Jones’s nursing home. Jones attempted to obtain increased welfare payments for her while staying at the nursing home so that she might be able to contribute to him more. He was however unsuccessful since the welfare people at Indianapolis refused to increase Ozora’s payments. When she moved to San Francisco, Jones again attempted to have her stay at the nursing home but she declined such treatment and stayed with her sister and brother-in-law. She remained in California for only two months taking the first opportunity she had to leave the settlement there. The opportunity arrived when a letter from Florida advised

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her that her daughter [name deleted] was seriously ill with cancer. She showed the letter to Jones and Jones advised her that she ought not to leave California, she stated however, she knew she was going and had made the decision to return. Jones took a collection from the followers to obtain the money for her return to Florida with the understanding that she would return to the settlement. Ozora stated however, when she left she knew she would never return because she was not happy with the treatment they were receiving in California.

Ozora stated when in Indianapolis she recalls one incident which had upset her but did not cause her to stop following Jones. The incident involved a statement made by Jones to the effect that the Bible was not fit for the children to read. He then introduced a different book which would be their Bible. She does not recall the nature of the book and did not destroy her Bible as the followers were instructed to do. While in California, she received her Social Security payment and mtained [maintained] her own account.

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She did not give any funds to Jones. While in California, she attended meetings conducted by Jones with her sister and brother-in-law. She recalled no evidence of drugs of the present at any of the meetings or from any of the members. She had never heard of any connection with Guyana or any information concerning suicide pacts or any such philosophy. The name Don Sly is not familiar to her.

In regard to her return from California to Florida, Jones only stated “my spirit is grieved”, in regards to her leaving but did not attempt in any way to block her return and in fact had taken the collection for the money so that she might travel. After her return from California to Florida, she received a letter from Jones in which he asked her to hurry back. At no time did she ever become aware of any sports teams which the Peoples Temple had. Nor was she aware of any inner circles, angels, or any men selected to meet [mete] out discipline for Jones. She recalled Eva Pough [Pugh] as an individual who was close to Jones, being in charge of Sunday school.

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Ozora advised she did not know of any contingency plans or of any relocation plan from the California area.

She recalled that she made the trip from Indianapolis to California with [name deleted], a w/f, who was much younger than herself. She received one letter from her sister, Helen, after she had returned to Florida. In the letter Helen’s tone was less than friendly and she stated “you should have told me your daughter died.” She requested and [an] answer to the letter but did not receive one.

At no time did Ozora feel threatened by Jones nor did she feel any body been harmed by him.

Ozora advised that since she had heard of the tragedy in Guyana, she had begun to write down some of the names of some of the people whom she recalled being part of the Jones followers.

The following is a list as compiled by Ozora:

Mary Stall [Stahl]; Eva Pough [Pugh]; Edith Cardell [Cordell]; James Hines (b/m); Jack Bean [Beam]; Ross case; Sister Eddison or Addison; brother and sister Richardson, a black couple with two female children;

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Sister Joan; Israel, two older people first names unrecalled who went from California to Indianapolis before Ozora went from California to Florida.

[Name deleted] a relative of hers who resides at [address deleted], Tampa, Florida, telephone no. [deleted] followed to California last year and visited the Temple there taking pictures of Helen and other scenes.

[name deleted] Ozora’s son, DOB [deleted], w/m, [information deleted] who appeared to be [information deleted] advised he recalled being a follower of Jones at Indianapolis but did not travel after his mother left to go to California. He advised that he recalled attending meetings conducted by Jones and considered him to be a very good preacher until he spoke poorly of the Bible. [Name deleted] recalled one particular meeting at a small church in Indianapolis when Jones questioned the congregation as to whether or not they would lie on the floor if he asked them to. Jones then paused for a period of time and immediately requested everybody in the church to lie

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on the floor. [Name deleted] advised he remained in his chair for several seconds and watched everybody in the church lie down. He then stated he thought to himself he was no better than anyone else and also layed [lay] down on his chest on the floor until Jones told them all to rise.

Tampa at Tampa: will locate and interview [Name deleted], telephone no. [Deleted] regarding his knowledge of instant matter. Will obtain any photographs considered pertinent and possible evidence reguarding [regarding] instant matter.

FD-302 follows.

Armed and dangerous suicidal tendencies.

BT.

Originally posted on April 14th, 2019.

Last modified on December 30th, 2020.
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