STATEMENT OF MIKE PROKES TO CHARLES R. GARRY
MAY 30, 1978 PER TELEPHONE CONVERSATION FROM GEORGETOWN, GUYANA
M.P.: A woman by the name of Pat Small is said to have been on hand to meet Kathy Hunter at the airport. She is Portuguese by background. She is under investigation by the Guyanese for being a suspected CIA agent; she sold information to the Embassy.
Some Peoples Temple members accidentally met Ms. Small at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown who informed them that a woman from their area in the United States was currently in Georgetown. When they inquired who, Ms. Small told him it was Kathy Hunter from Ukiah. The date was May 18, 1978.
Members of the Temple saw Ms. Hunter on May 19. They called her at the Pegasus Hotel and told her they had no idea she was coming to Guyana. They confirmed with Ms. Hunter that they were surprised she had not let them know she was coming.
Temple members Tim Carter, Terry Carter Jones and Michael Prokes visited Ms. Hunter at the Pegasus Hotel at her invitation on the same day, May 19. They welcomed her to Guyana. She said she had come to do a story and that she had been invited to come by the Temple some time back. Mr. Prokes observed that Ms. Hunter had been drinking when the Temple party arrived at the hotel. As a matter of fact, Mr. Prokes stated that she was inebriated when they saw her. She came down from her room and joined the Temple members at the hotel pub.
Ms. Hunter informed Mr. Prokes and the Temple members that she wanted to go out to the Jonestown project to see the Rev. Jim Jones. She complained to them that the hotel where she was staying was too expensive, and that she wanted to talk to the manager. She claimed that she had met Ms. Pat Small purely by accident, which Mr. Prokes observed seemed very unlikely since Ms. Small was seen frequently with Ms. Hunter and spent a considerable amount of time with her in Ms. Hunter’s hotel room.
Mr. Prokes said Kathy Hunter invited them to join her for lunch the next day. On May 20th they met with her again. Mr. Prokes informed Ms. Hunter that he had been in touch with the project and that Rev. Jones was not at the project but was traveling up the river. He invited Ms. Hunter to come out to the project to do her story anyway.
Upon hearing that Rev. Jones was not available at the project site, Ms. Hunter became very upset. She stated she did not want to visit the project without Rev. Jones being there. Then she made what Mr. Prokes described as a “not even veiled threat”: Ms. Hunter said that if she did not get what she wanted, it would not go well with Peoples Temple. She began crying.
Mr. Prokes said he tried to deal very rationally with Ms. Hunter through her emotional outburst and asked why, if she had counted so much on seeing Rev. Jones, had she come all that way without letting him or anyone else know first. He tried to be reasonable with her.
Ms. Hunter replied that she had just been operated on and that her husband would not have permitted her to travel to Guyana so soon after her operation. She informed Mr. Prokes that she had sold her mother-in-law’s diamonds to get the money to travel to Guyana. She made a point of telling Mr. Prokes several times that she was writing for the Press Democrat from Santa Rosa, Cattleman’s Magazine, and a few other journals which Mr. Prokes did not recall by name.
Ms. Hunter left the table crying. Mr. Prokes had again asked her to come see the project but she refused.
Sometime during the day on the 20th of May Mr. Prokes recalls there was a bomb scare in the hotel. He also recalled there was a series of fires during the days of her stay at the hotel. None of the fires occurred in her room, but in the hotel in various locations. People were said to be calling in bomb threats to the hotel and there were several evacuations.
C.G.: How long did the fires continue?
M.P.: There was one bomb scare which caused the building to have to be evacuated for one to two hours.
(Mr. Prokes said he would check on the actual dates and times of this series of fires and bomb threats.)
Mr. Prokes said that he and the other Temple members saw Kathy Hunter again late the afternoon of the 20th of May. At that time she apologized for carrying on earlier that day and for threatening the Temple with her statement. They went together with Ms. Hunter to get a soft drink; again at that time Ms. Hunter imbibed in alcoholic beverages.
Mr. Prokes invited Ms. Hunter to the Temple’s cultural show which was to take place on May 21. He gave her tickets to attend. He remarked that she did not attend the event at the Temple headquarters on the following day.
Mr. Prokes stated that the Temple headquarters received several strange telephone calls the next day. He said it was evident the person who was calling was affecting a Guyanese accent. The callers ask questions like: Where is Rev. Jim Jones? When will he be back on the project?
At this time, to Mr. Prokes’ understanding, the Guyanese government contacted Ms. Hunter to inform her she would have to leave the country. It had been determined that she had lied to the Guyanese authorities, stating falsely her intentions for visiting. She had said that
she was a personal friend of the Prime Minister and that he had invited her to come to Guyana. It was confirmed by the government that the Prime Minister and in fact NOT invited her to come and had told her she would have to leave for making false representations; this was a violation of Guyanese law.
Mr. Prokes and the Temple members saw her again late in the afternoon several days later. They learned that when she was told she would have to leave the country she had “suddenly become sick and been placed under a physician’s care.” The doctor had established that she was not well enough to travel, and that she would have to stay in the country until she was well. Because the Temple members had not seen her for three or four days, they had assumed Ms. Hunter had left the country.
The strange, unidentified phone calls to the Temple headquarters continued. When Mr. Prokes saw Ms. Hunter again she was sitting at the poolside of her hotel. At the time she was drinking. Mr. Prokes said he approached Ms. Hunter to invite her once again to visit the Temporal agricultural project, and that she was hostile to him. She told Mr. Prokes she did not want to discuss it with him, and she went back to her room.
The last time they saw her was either Wednesday or Thursday.
C.G.: Was Jim Jones at Jonestown?
M.P.: No, he had not returned. I don’t know the exact date.
C.G.: How long was he gone?
M.P.: I am not exactly sure when he left and when he returned.
C.G.: What did the government say?
M.P.: The government concluded that she had come to do something negative because of a statement she had said. She had gotten into Parliament with a contact provided by Pat Small. The government thought that either way you would go negative. If she stayed or if she left. So they decided to ask her to leave. Then she got sick.
C.G.: Did the government issue an official statement?
M.P.: I am working on that, on getting that. I will call it in to the Temple in San Francisco when I have it. She made the statement about protective custody the second day she was there. It is strange because she talked to Richard McCoy (US Consulate) but she never mentioned it to him. All that she told him was that she was sick.
C.G.: Did she see McCoy?
M.P.: I think so.
C.G.: What did the Chief of Police say?
M.P.: He said that she should be able to go out to the project.
C.G.: There was no protective custody?
C.G.: Get that statement from the Chief of Police. Get [Vibert] Mingo’s statement. Let me know when you have them.