[Editor’s note: The interviewee in this serial whose name is deleted is Suzanne Jones Cartmell, an adopted daughter of Jim Jones, the former wife of Mike Cartmell, and a well-known defector. Her name, as well as other deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 12/5/78
On December 3, 1978, [name deleted] [Suzanne Jones Cartmell] was interviewed at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFKIA), Pan American Hangar 17, Queens, New York (NY), by SAS [names deleted]. Also present during the interview was Special Agent [name deleted] United States (US) Secret Service. Prior to the beginning of the interview, [Cartmell] was apprised of the identities of the interviewing agents and the nature of the interview. She expressed a concern for her well-being, if information related by her to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) became known. Thereafter, she provided the following information:
[Half line deleted] the Reverend Jim Jones, who up until the time of his death, was Leader of the Peoples Temple (PT), and on Friday, December 1, 1978, she was interviewed by Agents of the San Francisco, FBI Office. [Cartmell] advised that she was a member of the PT, but finally left the Temple [2 lines deleted] the Planning Commission (PC), which held general discussion meetings usually three times weekly and handled the administration matters of the PT. Reverend Jones was the Leader, next came the “Elite”, then the PC, next, the work forces or committees and finally, the remaining members of the congregation, who were also known as the dues paying members.
The “Elite” members were the ones closest to Reverend Jones and they came up with the plans and ideas for the PT. [Cartmell] vaguely recalls this group being also called, “Heavenly Angels.” She also stated that this other name for the “Elite” was not known to the dues paying members. As of 1976, the following people were in the “Elite”:
1. Carolyn Layton, nee Moore, Larry Layton’s ex-wife, who had the position of Confidential Secretary to Reverend Jones;
2. Michael Prokes, who was the Public Relations person. [Cartmell] stated that Layton and Prokes made the overseas deposits for the PT. [half line deleted] the PT had accounts in banks in London, Switzerland, and Panama, and she thinks these accounts were in the name of the PT. She also advised that the PT had two local banking accounts in San Francisco with the Bank of America and Barclays Bank, but she believes these deposits were small. [2 lines deleted] She stated that Prokes is presently alive and living in Georgetown, Guyana. Prokes, when he resided in the San Francisco PT, had the key to the woodshed or woodshop, which was the room where the weapons (handguns and rifles) were kept. [Name deleted] that Reverend Jones told everyone to bring all their weapons to the PT because the members did not need the weapons anymore for protection, as Reverend Jones would protect them.
3. Patty Cartmell, [information deleted]
4. Patricia Cartmell, [information deleted]
5. Linda Amos, also known as (aka) Sharon Amos, were the fact finders and provided information to Reverend Jones regarding the fake healings he performed. She advised that the two Cartmells and Amos are deceased.
6. Terry Buford, who was the mastermind of nationwide traveling, planner of violence and the enforcer. Buford is presently residing somewhere in the US, and has available to her unlimited funds for traveling, etcetera. [Cartmell] stated that she had information that Buford had met with [half line deleted] in the San Francisco PT, during October, 1978, and that the food was in the Washington, D. C. area during November, 1978. [Cartmell] described Buford as being a white female, tall, slender, sandy colored shoulder length hair, and in her late 20s.
7. Sandy Bradshaw, who is presently alive and residing in the San Francisco PT, was the number one marksperson, and trained other members of the PT in the use of weapons. [Cartmell] described Bradshaw as being a white female, fair complected, short blonde hair and in her late 20s to early 30s. [Cartmell] stated that Reverend Jones did not like Bradshaw, but did recognize her abilities, and would give
Bradshaw assignments that would take her away from the Reverend Jones. [Cartmell] stated that she considered Carolyn Layton, Prokes, Buford and Bradshaw as the most violent members of the PT, as these members and also the other members of the “Elite”, usually always carried handguns. [Cartmell] advised that these above four named individuals would also know the most information concerning the operation of the PT.
8. Maria Kitsaris [Katsaris], who is deceased, was the Treasurer and Reverend Jones’ mistress;
9. Tim Stone [Stoen], who is presently residing either in Georgetown or San Francisco, was the Legal Officer or Attorney for the PT;
10. Richard Tropp, who is deceased, was the letter writer;
11. Harriet Tropp, who is deceased, and sister of Richard Tropp, was in the Legal Unit;
12. Karen Layton, who is deceased and was the wife of Larry Layton, was also a fact finder and planner of the fake hearings;
13. Eugene Chaiken [Chaikin] was also an Attorney for the PT.
[Cartmell] stated that while a member of the PC, she made a trip to Guyana, [half line deleted]. This trip to Guyana was in [line deleted]
[Cartmell] advised that, as of 1976, “Going to New York” meant that the mass suicide plan was to be put into effect. Suicide drills were discussed in the PC meetings. [Cartmell] advised that Reverend Jones banned the membership from all alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, but that during one PC meeting, Reverend Jones brought wine to the meeting and advised the committee that he was going to test their ultimate loyalty. Reverend Jones gave each member a small paper cup containing the wine and told them to drink it. [Cartmell] stated that this was unusual, as Reverend Jones always condemned the use of alcoholic beverages. She advised
that the drink tasted like homemade grape juice mixed with wine. Everyone drank the liquid, and when they finished, Reverend Jones told them that they were all going to lay down and die, but would feel no side effects or physical pain. [Cartmell] stated that one woman member jumped up and ran out of the room, but two security guards brought her back. Reverend Jones then lashed out at this woman. Reverend Jones had plans of a mass suicide of the dues paying members, but the PC and “Elite” would remain alive to carry out the contingency plan. [Cartmell] stated that she believed the people who lived through the Jonestown suicide were not supposed to live. [line deleted] someone killed him, thinking it was a service to him. [Cartmell] thinks that the reason the contingency plan did not work was because Reverend Jones and the other residents of Jonestown were caught off guard by the happenings relating to the visit of Congressman Leo Ryan and his party. As of 1976, Reverend Jones’ contingency plan was that 200 members would remain in San Francisco after the mass suicide plan was carried out. She thinks that presently there are 30 to 40 people at the San Francisco PT. She believes that the remaining high-up members will carry out Jones’ contingency plans even though he is dead. This plan would be carried out either individually or as a group.
Reverend Jones also advised his members that if he were ever caught or arrested, that the members should protest by committing acts which would put them in jail. There would be so many people arrested that the jails would not be able to hold all of them. Reverend Jones stated that politicians should be taken as hostages to get him out of jail. He also called his security force and bodyguards that [if] he ever died or the Church ever collapsed that the members would take down the defectors (former members), politicians and the bad press.
[Cartmell] advised that the following politicians’ names were mentioned in general terms [words deleted] but nothing specific was said concerning these people:
Assemblyman Willie Brown
Mayor Mascone [George Moscone]
First Name Unknown (FNU) Mendelsen
[Half line deleted] did mention Richard Nixon’s name concerning the happenings related to Watergate.
[Half line deleted] wanted to make a place in history and often spoke about becoming President of the United States (US). He wanted to be a martyr and die for his people. Reverend Jones had visited Cuba twice, once in the early sixties and the other time was the early 70s. [Half line deleted] would have ever relocated his people, it would have been either to Red China, Cuba, or the Soviet Union. Reverend Jones discussed in his PC meetings, germ warfare and expressed a fear of a nuclear holocaust. [Half line deleted] talk about a device which would shoot something into the skin to kill his enemies.
[Half line deleted] had taken medications for years and that he always carried a ladies’ makeup case full of medications with him. He always encouraged the membership to fill their medical prescriptions over and over again and then turn them into him. The nurses were used to obtain as much medication for him as possible.
She stated that during one PC meaning, Paula Adams, telephoned Reverend Jones and advised him that she had been approached by a Customs Official in Guyana concerning sexual favors. Jones instructed her to go ahead and do what she had to. [Cartmell] further advised that she believes Adams did sexual favors for the Guyanese officials and US Embassy employees in Guyana. Paula Adams is described as a white female, 5’5″ to 5’6″, medium build, dark brown wavy, shoulder length hair.
[Half line deleted] defectors had met with Ryan’s administrative aide’s son, prior to Ryan’s visit to Guyana. She advised that she knew that Ryan plan to go to Guyana, but she did not know exactly when this was going to be. She further advised that the defectors did not go to law enforcement agencies because the defectors thought the contingency plans would be too incredible for law enforcement officials to believe. She advised that the Human Freedom Center in Berkeley, California was helping the PT defectors and that the center had once been able to break these radio code transmissions of the PT in San Francisco to Jonestown.
[Cartmell] stated that the weapons were transported from the PT in San Francisco to Jonestown by packing them in crates containing pots and pans and other household items. Michael Prokes made frequent trips between the PT and Jonestown during the time these weapons were transported. Prokes also married Carolyn Layton to give her son, Jim John [Jim Jon], a name. [half line deleted] was the father of this child.
[Half line deleted] was smart in his running of the PT, in that he gave only bits and pieces of information to certain people, but he never gave the overall picture of the activities of the PT to any one person.
Regarding Doctor Lawrence [Laurence] Schacht, Reverend Jones had cured him of a drug habit and then sent Schacht to medical school. Schacht was at one time a member of the PC.
[Cartmell] stated that during 1977, Lieutenant Governor Dimally [Mervyn Dymally] of California, visited Jonestown. She stated that she read about this in the PT Church paper. Concerning Mark Lane and Charles Garry, the attorneys presently representing the PT, [Cartmell] stated that she did not know Mark Lane very well, but that several members of the PT had praised the work of Garry. She stated that Garry had provided the defense for Angela Davis and Hughie [Huey] Newton. The PT had also provided money for the defense of Angela Davis and Dennis Banks.
As far as code words existing in PT, [Cartmell] advised that the word “hit team” was not a code word used in the PT at the time she was in it. She is not sure if a hit team does presently exist and does not believe that the term, “hit team” and the basketball team are synonymous. She believes that the basketball team is legitimate. [Sentence deleted] Another codeword which was used, as of 1976, was “Bible”, which signified guns and weapons. Jones would announce to the members to “have your Bibles ready.” Another term used was “eggs”, which signified the money which was taken up by the Church.
[Cartmell] stated that as of 1976, the real estate dealings of the PT were handled by Tish Leroy and Harold Cordell. Cordell also did the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for most of the PT members.
[Cartmell] stated that during late August or early September, she had contacted [Name deleted] and expressed a desire to see them, but she advised them that she would not go to Jonestown, nor would she meet them at the San Francisco PT. [Name deleted] [Marceline Jones] telephoned her directly at work and expressed a desire to see her and he would like for her to come to Jonestown. Approximately two hours later after this phone call [Name deleted], he telephoned her again and told her not to come, [four lines deleted].
She further stated that approximately two weeks before Ryan’s trip to Guyana, Tim Carter, contacted [line deleted] in San Francisco. Carter told them that he had defected from the PT and wanted them to help him look for a job. They did not quite believe what Carter had to say and after Carter had left, they realized that [Name deleted]’s file relating to the PT was missing.
[Cartmell] stated that information had been received that contracts had been put out on [Names deleted].
[Cartmell] provided information in the following names, noting that some information was as of 1976 and other information was secondhand:
black male, large build, member of security force
Sandy Bradshaw’s sister
Tim Tupper Jones’ natural sister
[2 lines deleted]
Guard, security force
Guard, security force, Bruce’s brother
Pancho Jonson [Poncho Johnson]
Guard, security force
Guard, security force
High up in security force, military mannered, enforcer
Tim [Tom] Adams
Radio operator at San Francisco PT
High up in security force, bodyguard, planning
Johnny Brown Jones
Married Johnny Cobb’s sister
White male, tall, dramatic, forceful, military background, former bus driver
Strong build, black male
Christie [Christine] Eloise Cobb – mother
James Cobb, Sr. – father
Johnny Cobb – son
Ava Cobb – married Johnny Brown Jones
Sandy Cobb – son
Joel Cobb – son
Jim Cobb – went with Congressman Ryan to Guyana. Nonviolent, leader of a youth group. Left PT years ago.
Terry Cobb – Leader in youth group
[name withheld] advised that Jack Beam [line deleted] was a faithful follower
Ravena [Rheaviana] Beam – wife
Ellie Beam – daughter
Joyce Beam Parks – daughter, was personal nurse of Reverend Jones at the San Francisco PT, was demoted to a regular nurse in Jonestown.
Annie Moore – Personal nurse of Reverend Jones
The following description of [Cartmell] was obtained through observation and interview:
[Information related to date of birth, place of birth, height, weight, etc. all deleted]