Letter to Embassy from Jonestown resident, January 24, 1978

Mrs. Lenora Perkins
Georgetown
January 24, 1978

Ambassador John Burke
Embassy of the United States of America
31 Main Street
Commingsburg, Georgetown

Dear Ambassador Burke;

I am writing to you because I want to express my hope that you won’t be partisan in the Stoen case. Your statement about the paper signed by Tim Stoen that it didn’t prove Jim Jones was the real father gave us some concern. You will see by the enclosed paper that John Stoen’s birthdate is mentioned on the form so Tim Stoen certainly knew who the real father is. Doesn’t the word of 1000 people mean anything to you on this matter. If you are fair, their word will count for something.

Also, in terms of blood tests, we challenge Tim Stoen to take a blood test as that would prove who the real father is. Tim Stoen could not possibly pass all the tests for paternity and one look at John Stoen’s pictures which show who the father is. It pains us that you would not see the obviousness of it, in terms of physical resemblance.

We deeply want to work with you. We have been the victims of a conspiracy that even government officials have clearly confirmed is being brought against us. Because of this, there is a great need of trust right now to overcome alienation that is in our community.

We are hoping that you take into consideration the things that I have mentioned in this letter as John Stoen’s welfare is at stake. Grace and Tim Stoen abandoned John. Tim left John in Jonestown to go to the United States; Grace left John when she had an affair and didn’t bother to even visit him. Now their interest in John could only be because they are being paid or pressured to use John as a tool to harass the group. This child will not be used as a pawn; we will not allow that. We have witnesses that they are using the child as a means of harassment trying to provoke us to action even if it means our death and the child’s death. Some who the Stoens thought were their friends told us this. It is a tragedy that they are harassing a group that has succeeded in being a working democratic and cooperative interracial community. The Stoens very well may be paid to do this because they have no visible means of support yet stayed in the best of hotels and conform to jet over here to Guyana.

Tim Stoen in the past made headlines out of the visit he took to East Berlin. He was arrested and thrown out. [Illegible word] then told in the United States his

-2-

criticism of East Berlin. He didn’t have to be ashamed of this but denied to us that he did it and always gave the image of being a radical socialist. We do not feel that it is in the interest of either Guyana or the United States for him to cause this kind of strain between two countries that are trying to have good relations. We obviously have a lot to lose if there is conflict between the countries because we are building an extensive community and members are visiting from the United States and some are relocating here, but he has ambitions to get ahead and will exploit others to do so. We would like to be free to develop our program without this constant harassment from people who have no interest in their children until coincidentally they all get together and get funds to persevere in bothering even adult and married young men like the Olivers and then leave a paper to be signed so they can get an inheritance that was left to the young men.

All we ask is that the American Embassy and Consul remain neutral so that 1000 Americans are as equally considered as two Americans who have no permanent interest in Guyana and who only create difficulties for all involved. John Stoen Internet Guyana legally and with full permission. August of 1977 Tim Stoen praised Jim Jones in an article in a US paper as being a great leader and then all of a sudden a month later he made 180° turn. He must have been paid off to do such a thing, as Tim has asserted that Grace is a poor mother and he did not want John with her.

Tim Stoen states in the enclosed paper that he tried but was unable to father a child. He would not be a fit father for John. In Grace’s own handwriting is a note in which she requests counseling for Tim because of his compulsive pattern of transvestitism. She was worried how it would affect John. We were contacted by four different people in Guyana (Guyanese friends) who told us that Tim Stoen was spending his time in Georgetown this time with a black prostitute and this disturbed our Guyanese friends because they felt he was exploiting her. His pretense of reconciling with Grace is thus obvious.

John went through a very cruel rejection from Grace in the first place. She threw him and Jim Jones’ arms and said to him, before witnesses both inside and outside the church, “I don’t want him. Take him, he’s yours.” Since the lies came out in the newspapers it seems that some people are hesitant to accept the truth when we have all the evidence in the world on our side. We would rather die than destroy this child. Anyone would rather die than see a child like John and a child like Dana Griffith destroyed. For the sake of good relations between the United States and Guyana, you should talk to the child for yourself. He would tell you the torturous things that she did; how she had sexual intercourse with that man, Smitty, in John’s presence and she locked him in the garage. He always tells these stories over and over again because he endured such horrible traumas. Jim Jones refused to marry her which he frankly said, for the sake of everyone, he wishes he had as it would have been much less paying for everyone except himself. She was purposely cruel to John every chance she had.

Many of our friends both here and there say it does no good to talk to you, because you have made up your mind and do not want to be confused with the facts – claiming that Bishop Jones is a devotee of President Carter. However, if you will let us work with you, Bishop Jones wants to work in any way possible with this new era of detente and goodwill. If we had any utopianism in us, this harassment has sure made realists out of us. Our only goal is to be of some help to Guyana and be good representatives of the United States.

Sincerely yours,
/s/ Lenora Perkins
Lenora Perkins

Originally posted on June 16th, 2020.

Skip to main content