Serial 1305-9

[Editor’s note: The subjects of this serial whose name is deleted is Linda Mitchell, who survived November 18, 1978 by being in Georgetown. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type. In addition, many of the FBI interviews summarized in the FD-302s of the RYMUR investigation deleted the verb following the deleted name of the interview subject; most oftentimes, that word was “advised.”]


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/8/78

A woman identifying herself as [name deleted] [Linda Mitchell] was contacted upon arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and was advised of the identities of the interviewing agents and Secret Service Agent [name deleted], who remained present throughout the interview.

[Mitchell] advised agents of the following information:

From 1970, at the time she was ten years old, [Mitchell] and her family had joined the People’s Temple in San Francisco, California. In December of 1977, when she was 16 years old, she and her older sister decided to join the Church in Guyana and pursue a lifestyle in farming. This was upon hearing of the numerous opportunities available in Guyana and the existence of an agricultural program she wished to avail herself of.

(It is to be noted that the following paragraph describing the Church in Guyana as a “paradise valley” was subsequently admitted to the interviewing agents as lies by [Mitchell] she later corrected her statements).

[Mitchell advised] upon her and her sister’s arrival in Guyana, they were greeted warmly by Reverend Jim Jones and taken on a tour of the community. From the time she arrived, everyone appeared happy, helpful and kind, and there existed an atmosphere of freedom and choice. Everything was free: medical treatment, food, clothes, classes, entertainment, and she was never asked to donate any of her possessions over to the Church. [Mitchell] looked upon the Church as an opportunity and found that working in the Nursery there proved to occupy most of her time as she received much satisfaction from caring for the infants. A year had gone by before the rest of her family joined her from the United States but that during that year, she and her family had corresponded regularly with each other, with no interference or censoring of the mail by members of the Church. Meetings were held by Reverend Jones on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but it was not a religious worship service. Mostly, during the meetings, they discussed growth of the Jonestown community and agricultural programs and land development. Any personal problems in the Church, including complaints or disciplinary matters were not punished,

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but were referred to counselors especially trained to help the people and listen to them. No bodyguards, guns, or security force were ever seen, and people were free to come and go as they wished. Suicide was never discussed; people were never, to her knowledge sedated for control; the Reverend Jones was acting normal up until she left, and she knew nothing about the assassinations or suicides until she heard about it all in Georgetown via the news.

(The following was related to interviewing agents as an actual account of what happened):

[Mitchell advised] part of the People’s Temple program involved some extension of public relations work outside in Georgetown. When seeking volunteers for this program, [Mitchell] stated that she and her girlfriend, [name deleted] [Andrea Walker] (black female, 19-20 years, a survivor) asked if they could go and did, in fact, leave for Georgetown about two months prior to the assassinations. In Georgetown, they stayed at a housing complex located at 41 Dennis Street, entirely occupied by members of the People’s Temple.

She stated that prior to her two months’ stay in Georgetown, she did, in fact, work in the Jonestown nursery on a regular basis. It was comprised of three large rooms and a large clinic adjacent to it which was used for checkups and the administration of drugs for treatment. In charge of the nursery were Joyce Parks, Sylvia Grubbs and Phyllis Shaken [Chaikin]. There were two separate Special Care Units (SCU) and both under that title; however, one was especially for ill people, the other for those who were drugged for reprimand. Everyone knew which was for which.

People that tried to defect, such as one Thurmon [Thurmon] Guy, were brought back to the camp by the security force and isolated far away in a box in the ground. This was called “the box” or “the floor” and was greatly feared.

Other means of punishment were ostracism, such as having to eat alone at a table, public ridicule and humiliation before the congregation, and long exhaustive work.

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[Mitchell advised] Jim Jones would become especially upset if people expressed a desire to leave the Church. He would tell everyone that their relatives had lost concern for them, that they would be considered crazy and put in jail, and there would eventually be threats on their life.

Once she recalled hearing shooting on the outside of the camp, at which time Reverend Jones called an “alert”, and all were instructed to report to the Pavilion. These were called “white nights” or “white alerts” and would occur at times Jones felt the compound was being infiltrated or there was a threat of the Church being exposed.

At one time, Reverend Jones called a meeting and asked who would be willing to commit suicide for the sake of the Church or if he or the Church were threatened. [Mitchell advised] nearly everyone raised their hand in view of the fact they were fearful if they refused. [Mitchell advised] she, too, raised her hand. Those that declined were called to the front and brutally humiliated and chastised.

This punishment involves those persons instructed by Jones to drink, what he said to the congregation, was poisoned. Even though it never proved to be poisoned, [Mitchell advised] the person drinking it would actually come to believe it was so, and act delirious and feverish. This was also done in one suicide practice which occurred sometime earlier this year.

[Mitchell advised] Reverend Jones also had at least two bodyguards around him at a time. These people were guns on them everywhere but in the meetings. When the interviewing agent asked her if the guns were the size of his Magnum, which he showed her for a size estimate, [Mitchell advised] some were, in fact, that size.

[Mitchell advised] the security guards carry rifles around the grounds and that the weapons were kept in Cottage 14. However, she never saw weapons being delivered into the camp.

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The security force was designated the title “SAT” which was later changed to “Day Helpers” and “Night Helpers”.

[Mitchell advised] these individuals were green, military-looking uniforms and patrol the grounds for either renegades or possible infiltrators.

[Mitchell] knew to be a member of the SAT were as follows:

1) Steve [Stephan] Jones
White male
6 feet, 4 inches
19 years old
170 pounds

2) Tim Tupper also known as Tim Jones Day
White male
6 feet
19 years old
Medium build

3) Tim Jones, Jr. also known as Tim Jones Night
Black male

4) Lou [Lew] Jones (probably dead)
Chinese or Korean
5 feet, 7 inches
20 years old
Small build

5) John Cobb Jones
Black male
6 feet, 2 inches
18 years old
Slim build

6) Calvin Douglas
Black male
5 feet, 8 inches
18 years old
Medium build

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7) Bob Ranken [Rankin]
8) Joe Wilson
9) Billy Oliver
10) Bruce Oliver
11) Jim Cobb
12) Johnny Jones, Jr.
13) Tony Walker
14) Ron Talley
15) Joe Wilson

[Mitchell advised] the only person she knew to be on the Planning Committee was Johnny Jones, Sr.

When queried regarding any knowledge of drugs in Jonestown, [Mitchell advised] she occasionally saw duffel bags being loaded or unloaded on the two ships there but only surmised they could contain drugs. There was an “herbal kitchen” in Jonestown, run by Fanny Ford, [but Mitchell] never knew whether drugs would be formulated there or not. Stuffed animals were made by the members of the People’s Temple and sold to the children in Georgetown.

[Mitchell advised] all mail was censured and corrected by those in charge, if necessary. The person in charge of the mail was Rita Tupper.

All members of the People’s Temple required to turn over their property to the Church and send in donations before they established themselves in Jonestown. [Mitchell advised] her family was on welfare before they left the United States and that the Church probably kept their welfare checks because her family no longer received checks. They would siphon off these welfare checks upon delivery of the mail to Jonestown.

The radio room at Jonestown was operated by those of some influence in the Church. They were: Sarah Tropp, Carolyn Layton and Maria Carasis [Katsaris]. The radio was used for communication to and from Georgetown in the United States, specifically San Francisco. In Georgetown, the radio was operated by Sharon Amos. [Mitchell advised] she was occasionally permitted to speak over the radio.

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[Mitchell advised] residing in Georgetown the last two months, she recalls seeing Congressman Ryan talking with Sharon Amos before he left.

[Mitchell had] no knowledge of Paula Adams’ personal life or sexual compromises, but advised that Adams often stayed in Georgetown, and, in fact, resided in the same complex as she, at 41 Dennis Street.

Upon a search of [Linda Mitchell] by interviewing agents, which was consented to [by Mitchell], 13 Polaroid color photographs were observed.

When asked if the men in the photos for members of the basketball team, [Mitchell advised] all men photographed, with the exception of two, were, in fact, members of the team. They were:

1. Johnny Cobb
2. Johnny Cobb and [name deleted]
3. Herbert Newell (two photos)
4. Cleveland Newell (two photos)
5. Karl [Carl] Barnett
6. James Jones, Jr. and [Name deleted] (two photos)
7. Preston Wade and [name deleted]
8. Dawn Mitchell, Stephanie Jones and [name deleted]

The two who were not members of the team were designated by an “X” [several words deleted] by their person on the photographs:

1. Clifford Geig [Gieg] (two photos)
2. Eugene Smith

[Mitchell advised] she knew most of them while she was with the Church in San Francisco; however, they left for Jonestown long before her departure. She stated they were all “good friends.”

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[Mitchell identified] each person photographed by writing their name on either the front or back side of the photo. [Mitchell] then initialed and dated each photograph.

When asked when the pictures were taken, [Mitchell advised] they were all taken subsequent to the suicides and that all the individuals, along with her, were staying at the complex at 41 Dennis Street.

[Mitchell advised] the coach of the team, Lee Ingram, was also staying there.

Also disclosed in the contents [several words deleted] was a stenographer notepad in which she had written the following names and addresses:

Le Hora [LeFlora] Townes
[3 lines deleted]

Michael Simon
[3 lines deleted]

“Dad’s phone”
[3 lines deleted]

Webster/Hays (Lisa)
Burrell Wilson
[line deleted]

[4 lines deleted]

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[4 lines deleted]

On a piece of paper was written the name of a person [several words deleted] had asked her had suggested she contacted; however, she advised she had never contacted this person.

Frank Vickerie or Vickener
[3 lines deleted]

The following description [of Linda Mitchell] was obtained through observation and interview:

[Editor’s note: Balance of page 8 and entirety of page 9 giving description, education, employment, and relatives, all deleted]