[Editor’s note: The two subjects of this serial whose names are deleted are Jonestown survivors Tim and Michael Carter. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]
TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286)
FROM: SAC, BUTTE (89-166) (RUC)
Re Butte teletypes to Bureau and San Francisco, 11/24/78, and 11/27/78.
Enclosed for the Bureau and San Francisco is an FD-302 interview of FRANCIS EMMETT CARTER, aka Mike Carter, 206 West 42nd Street, Garden City, Idaho, on 11/24/78, by SA [name withheld] and SA [name withheld].
Armed and dangerous; suicidal tendencies.
Original FD-302 will follow by Routing Slip.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 11/27/78
FRANCIS EMMETT CARTER, also known as Mike Carter, 206 West 42nd Street, Garden City, Idaho, was advised of the identities of the interviewing Agents. He was also advised that this interview concerned a possible conspiracy in violation of Congressional Assassination Statute.
Carter furnished the following information:
Carter advised that he has been a widower since 1964, and is a retired Administrative Officer for the Internal Revenue Service. When the family lived in Burlingame, California, [2 lines deleted related to Tim Carter] and was honorably discharged after three years service. After he was discharged, [Tim] hung around with various “rock” groups in California, smoking pot, drinking and just drifting around. Eventually [Tim] became acquainted with members of a self-styled evangelistic group in San Francisco, California, became interested in the program and eventually joined them.
Carter advised that he never knew this group to be associated with People’s Temple and he did not at first consider it a religious or cult group, but rather thought of it as a community group. He later learned from letterheads used by his children it was a religion called Disciples of Christ.
Carter advised that he sold his house in Burlingame, California, in 1971, and rented an apartment in the same neighborhood so that his daughter, Terry, could finish high school and his son, [name deleted] [Michael] could finish the eighth grade. He moved to Garden City, Idaho, in 1972, enrolled Terry in Boise State College, Boise, Idaho; however, she decided that she did not want to move to Garden City and she stayed in California. Through [her brother Tim] she became interested in the same evangelistic group. She moved to Ukiah, California, lived at the Happy Acres Ranch outside Ukiah and worked at jobs in the town of Ukiah. One time he asked Terry how much it cost her to live at the Happy Acres Ranch, and she said they paid whatever they felt like. After high school, Terry went to
San Francisco to join and work with the same group there.
Carter stated that [information deleted] moved to Garden City, Idaho, with him [information deleted]. Carter advised that this group headed by Jim Jones had six or eight buses in which they toured the United States. During the summer of 1973, they took a trip to Washington, D. C. and surrounding areas. [Name deleted] Terry asked him if [Michael] could join the group for this trip. The cost of the trip for [Name deleted] was $100.00. He consented to allow [Michael] to go on the trip. When they returned from the East Coast, [Michael] wanted to return to Ukiah, California, to live at the Happy Acres Ranch and attend high school in Ukiah. This group would frequently travel from Ukiah by way of bus to their churches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California.
Carter advised that the group was not too well accepted in Ukiah, because some of their members were minorities. For this reason, the church built their own swimming pool behind the church for use of their members only. Because of the minority membership, the group received a great deal of adverse publicity from the news media. He feels that this is the reason the group, through their attorney Mark Lane, was attempting to fight back by filing civil suits against the press and the U.S. agencies.
Carter advised he visited his children at the Happy Acres Ranch on one occasion only, but he could not recall the date. He toured the compound and had lunch with a group of members. During lunch there was some kind of remark concerning religion. He could not remember who made the remark or exactly what was said. He told them that he had his own immortal soul to save and that as a Roman Catholic that is what he believed it. His children also have their own immortal souls to save and they should do it the best way they know how. His children were old enough to decide how they wanted to live and what religion they wanted to follow and practice. The compound of Happy Acres Ranch had some houses or cottages, which housed senior citizens and also the community took care of fourteen mentally retarded male patients.
Carter stated that just before Christmas, 1974, his daughter, Terry, advised him she had a chance to go to
Jonestown, Guyana. Terry and Clair [Claire] Janaro flew to Jonestown to take Christmas gifts to people already living in the church agricultural community. He knew they flew, but did not know whether it was a charter flight or a commercial flight. They stayed only a few days and then return to Ukiah, California, where Richard and Clair Janaro are managers of the Happy Acres Ranch.
Carter advised that his daughter, Terry Jones, went to Jonestown, Guyana, sometime early in 1977, probably March. Her son, Chae O. K. Jones, was born in Jonestown on April 4, 1977. Terry had flown to Guyana from the United States, but he did not know that the flight was commercial or charter. She flew from California to New York and then to Georgetown, Guyana, and then took some kind of a ship up the east coast of Guyana to Jonestown. He did not know who or how many went with Terry Jones, and he did not know if her husband, Lew Jones, preceded her to Jonestown or followed her later. He knew nothing more about her trip.
Carter stated that [Tim’s] wife, Gloria Carter, was the next to fly to Jonestown, Guyana. He does not know when she went, but their son, Malcolm Carter, was born on August 10, 1977, in Georgetown, Guyana. [Tim] stayed in the United States. [Information identifying Michael] had been working as a radio operator in California after graduating from high school, to enable him to be able to operate radio equipment in Jonestown. He was the next one to go to Jonestown. He did not remember the dates that [Michael] or [Michael’s wife] Joycelyn [Jocelyn], went to Jonestown, but he recalls that [Tim’s wife], Gloria, gave birth to a son, Malcolm, during August, 1977, and [Michael’s] wife gave birth to daughter, Kaywana, during September, 1977. [Tim] and [Michael Carter] were not in South America at the time of the birth of their children. He recalled [Michael] went to South America late in 1977 and had asked him for $300.00 to help pay his air fare from California to New York and then to Georgetown, Guyana, which he gave to [Michael].
Carter explained that as far as he can understand the reason the group went to Jonestown was merely a matter of course. He understands that it was voluntary on the part of each individual. He never heard of anyone being forced to go to Jonestown and never heard of anyone being forced to stay after they got there. They wanted to participate in a community
type agricultural life at a location away from the pressures of everyday life in the United States and particularly the aggravation the group suffered at Ukiah, California. The Government of Guyana had given the group 27,000 acres north of Georgetown, which they developed into their own community of Jonestown.
Carter advised that he understood from Reverend Moore of Reno, Nevada, the only disciplinary action taken against anyone at Jonestown for infractions of regulations would be “peer pressure”. By “peer pressure” he understood punishment was in the form of “silent treatment” or “avoidance” of individuals being punished. He never heard of any incident regarding dissenters or discontents.
Carter said that he frequently corresponded with his children, perhaps on a monthly basis, and more often from his daughter, Terry. He especially enjoyed receiving letters from [his son, Tim] because [Tim] had an exceptional ability to express himself. All the letters he received from his children were general in nature and contained news about the family. Never did any of these letters contain anything of a political or philosophical nature. They never discussed any long-range plans of the community of Jonestown and definitely never mentioned anything to indicate a conspiracy of any kind or any physical mistreatment of members or anyone else.
Carter said his children probably would not have been involved with guns. [One line deleted, likely referring to Tim’s military service] and was knowledgeable of guns, because of his active duty experience. Terry and [Michael], to the best of his knowledge, had no experience with guns. He never knew any of the children to do any hunting or even showed any interest in guns.
Carter said it is just that not the nature of or disposition of Terry and [Michael] to ever become involved in a conspiracy or anything of that nature. On the other hand, [Tim] could more easily be so involved; however, if he did, it would be strictly an innocent involvement.
Carter explained that would not be beyond [Tim] to develop information of any nature, including the number and identities of any visiting groups, such as Representative Leo Ryan’s group; however, if [Tim] ever sensed or learn this information was going to be used to conspire or to plot murder he would immediately revolt and possibly detect.
During October, 1978, [Tim] traveled from Jonestown to San Francisco, California. [Tim] arrived in Garden City, Idaho, on October 19, 1978, for a personal visit with his father. [Tim] merely said he was a group coordinator and the nature of his visit at the San Francisco was to deliver affidavits for a pending lawsuit against the news media and some U.S. Government agencies. Carter said [Tim] did not elaborate any further, and they did not discuss the Jonestown community or his activities any further. He and his son, [Tim], are not real close in that they discuss their personal lives or activities. [Tim] remained in Garden City [information deleted] and departed October 29, 1978, en route to San Francisco. He knew nothing further about [Tim’s] itinerary.
While [Tim] was in Garden City, he authorized [Tim] to purchase $800.00 worth of clothes on his charge account. [Tim] was to take these clothes to members of the family in Jonestown. After careful consideration, he considered [Tim’s] activities with this group to be rehabilitative. After [Tim] was discharged [information related to Tim’s military service], he just drifted around San Francisco and Los Angeles and seemed to be going nowhere and had no goals in life. This movement gave [Tim] a chance to work in his life and develop purpose and meaning for life.
Carter said that Clair Janaro left New York and arrived Georgetown on the night of November 18, 1978. Before she left San Francisco, she purchased $700.00 worth of clothes to take the group members in Jonestown, out of a check for $1,000.00 he had forwarded to her. Janaro left the balance of $300.00 with another group member in San Francisco. Mrs. Janaro called him from New York before her departure and explained these details to him. He told her to forget about the $300.00 balance.
Carter advised that he is very strong in his convictions that the group in Jonestown was an extremely happy group, but he is at a loss to understand what took place that resulted in the mass suicide-murder incident. He was so much pleased with his children’s happiness he obtained a passport and planned to visit them for approximately three weeks during January, 1979.
Carter said that he is not aware of anyone else in Idaho or nearby, who in any way is connected with this group. To the best of his knowledge, this group is active in Ukiah, San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. His only connection with this group is through his children, Reverend Moore of Reno, Nevada, and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Janaro of Ukiah. He is not familiar with the structure of the People’s Temple and, in fact, knows nothing about them and did not realize that his children and the Happy Acres Ranch were associated with the People’s Temple.
Carter said as far as his children were concerned they were all married in San Francisco before they went to Jonestown. He met his son-in-law, Lew Jones, only once several years ago in Garden City, Idaho. Lew was born in Vietnam and was an adopted child by church leader Jim Jones. He knows nothing more about Lew Jones or when he went to Jonestown or what type of work he was doing there. Lew and Terry’s son Chae O.K. Jones, was born April 4, 1977, at Georgetown, Guyana. His daughter-in-law, Gloria Carter, married [Tim] in San Francisco; however, he never met Gloria and knows nothing about her, her maiden name or where she is from. [Tim] and Gloria’s son, Malcolm Carter, was born August 10, 1977, at Georgetown, Guyana.
His daughter-in-law, Joycelyn, married his son [Michael] in San Francisco. He never met her, but believes she lived in Palo Alto, California. [Michael] and Joycelyn’s daughter, Kaywana, was born on May 10, 1977, at Georgetown, Guyana. Carter said that he never saw his grandsons or his granddaughter.
Carter furnished the following description of his children:
Name [Timothy James Carter]
Date of Birth [August 24, 1948]
Place of Birth [information deleted]
Military [deleted] honorable discharge
Name [Michael Julian Carter]
Date of Birth [information deleted]
Place of Birth [information deleted]
Hair [information deleted]
Eyes [information deleted]
Education [information deleted]
Name Mary Theresa Carter Jones
Date of Birth October 4, 1956
Place of Birth Helena, Montana
Education High school graduate
The following description of Francis Emmett Carter was obtained through interview and observations:
Name Francis Emmett Carter
Alias Mike Carter
Address 206 West 42nd Street, Garden City, Idaho
Date of Birth January 16, 1904
Place of Birth Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania
Social Security account # 557-20-4543
Occupation Administrative Officer, Internal Revenue Service (retired)
Education LLB, Loyola University, Los Angeles, California
Marital Status Widowed, August 11, 1964 (Betty Coblentz Carter)