Serial 1205

FBI Airtel

Date 12/13/78

TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286)
FROM: SAC, JACKSONVILLE (89-96) (P)
SUBJECT: RYMUR

Re JK teletype to Bureau, 12/12/78.

Enclosed for the Bureau are five copies each of two FD-302’s setting forth investigation at Inglis, Florida. Enclosed for Indianapolis are two copies each of the foregoing FD-302’s.

No further contact with [name deleted] will be made unless specifically requested by the Bureau or origin in view of the length of time since last contact with Jim Jones or the Peoples Temple (15 plus years).

FD-302

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/13/78

Ozora F. Pearson, Post Office Box 727, Inglis, Florida, having been located at her residence in Inglis, Florida, on Schoolcraft Road, was advised of the identity and official duty capacity of SA [name deleted]. Pearson, who was interviewed in the presence of her [name deleted], furnished the following information:

She is a white female, date of birth November 7, 1899, Social Security Number 314-28-3512. In about 1965 she became aware of the Reverend James Jones at Indianapolis, Indiana. James Jones came to her attention since he had a reputation as a very good preacher. She attended services conducted by Jones on a regular basis and became one of his followers at Indianapolis. While at Indianapolis, Jones convinced Pearson to stay at a nursing home operated by Jones. While at the home he attempted to obtain increased welfare payments so that she might be better able to contribute to his cause. The Welfare Department declined the attempt to obtain increased payments, however.

When Jones traveled to San Francisco with his followers, Pearson remained behind.

After a short time, she traveled to California with [name deleted], a white female who was much younger than herself. At California, Jones again invited her to stay at the nursing home but she declined in favor of living with her brother-in-law and sister, Helen and Cleve Swinney. She remained in California for about two months, taking the first opportunity to leave. The opportunity arose when she received a letter from Florida advising her that her [information 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 she recalled Jones stating that “his spirit was grieved”. She advised however Jones took a collection among his followers to obtain money for her to travel to Florida with the understanding that she would return.

JK 89-96
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Ozora advised that after she left California she knew she would not return because she was not happy with the treatment she was receiving in California. She stated however, that she was not mistreated in any way.

Ozora advised that she recalled in Indianapolis one incident which upset her but which did not cause her to stop following Jones. She described the incident as having involved the statement made by Jones to the effect that the Bible was not fit for children to read. Jones then introduced a different book, which would be “their Bible”. She does not recall the nature of the book nor did she destroy her Bible as she was instructed and as other followers did.

While in California she received her Social Security payments and maintained her own account. She advised she did not give any funds to Jones at that time. While in California she did attend meetings conducted by Jones with her sister and brother-in-law.

And no time was she ever aware of the use of drugs at any of the meetings nor had she ever heard of any relocation site such as Guyana or any information concerning a suicide act or such philosophy.

Pearson was not familiar with Don Sly.

She was not familiar with any sporting teams operated by the Peoples Temple nor was the term “Angels” a significant term regarding Jones or his followers. Pearson stated that she was not familiar with an inner circle or any men who were selected to mete out discipline for Jones.

She stated that Eva Pough [Pugh] was an individual who was very close to Jones being in charge of the Sunday School.

Pearson advised that she received a letter from her sister Helen, which was of a very harsh tone in which Helen stated that “You should have told me your daughter died”. Although the letter called for an answer, Ozora did not furnish one. She advised she also received a letter

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from Jones in which he stated that he was looking forward to her return.

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

The following is a list as compiled by Pearson:

Mary Stall [Stahl]
Eva Pugh
Edith Cardell [Cordell]
James Hines (a black male)
Jack Bean [Beam]
Ross Case
Sister Edison or Addison
Brother and Sister Richardson, a black couple with two female children
Sister Joan (last name unrecalled) and Israel (no further name recalled), who were two individuals who returned from California to Indianapolis before Ozora made her trip to Florida.

[Name deleted], a relative of Pearson, residing at [address deleted], Tampa, Florida, telephone number [deleted], traveled to California during 1978 and visited the Peoples Temple there taking photographs of Helen and others.

FD-302

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/13/78

[name and address deleted], date of birth [deleted], having been advised of the identity and official duty capacity of SA [name deleted], furnished the following information:

He is a white male, approximately 5’6” tall, weighing 135 pounds, with red hair, blue eyes.

[Name deleted] advised that he did not travel from Indianapolis to California as his mother did when Jim Jones left Indianapolis. He advised he stayed behind since he had a good job and was not going to leave. 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 congregation as to whether or not they would lie on the floor if he asked him to. Jones then paused and after a short period of time requested everybody in the church to lie on the floor. [Name deleted] stated that he remained seated in his chair for several seconds and watched everybody in the church lie down. He then stated that he thought himself to be no better than anyone else and also layed [lay] down on his chest on the floor until Jones told everyone there to rise.

[Name deleted] reiterated what his mother had stated in regard to the use of force or firearms and drugs by Jones and the followers of the Peoples Temple in regard to the fact that he never became aware of anything unusual nature concerning the activities conducted by Jones other than the incident described. He advised that he was attracted to Jones because he considered him to be a very good preacher.

Interviewed on 12/3/78 at Inglis, Florida

Originally posted on August 22nd, 2019.

Last modified on December 30th, 2020.
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