Friday, April 19, 2013

The Short Answer Is Yes, Unless You're Just a Tool

November 21, 1978, The Evening Independent - AP, page A-3, The Mass Suicide in Jonestown: Why? by Jane See White,


November 21, 1978, The Evening Independent - AP, page A-3, A Little Boy: Rev. Jones Said He Fathered Child At A Husband'd Request,


November 21, 1978, The Evening Independent - AP, page A-3,Their Kin: The Wait In Dear, Resignation and Anger For Word of Loved Ones


November 21, 1978, The Evening Independent, The Evening Independent - AP, page A-1, Macabre Cleanup In Guyana Begins,




Mr. BERDES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. With your permission, I would like to summarize our joint pre-pared statement. Chairman ZABLOCKI. Without objectIon, 50 ordered. Proceed.


Mr. BERDES. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. Based on your directives, Mr. Chairman, we are reporting today the results of the staff investigation you ordered into the assassination of Representative Leo J. Ryan and the resulting mass suicide-murder at Jonestown,Guyana on November 18,1978.
The complete report of our 6-month fact-finding investigation is before you. In addition,there is also a confidential appendix, necessitated by security concerns and the need to protect the confidentiality of

In presenting these findings we recognize that we are the beneficiaries of retrospect on the events which preceded November 18. In this respect, we have tried to utilize the advantages of retrospect without falling  victim to the pitfalls accompanying them. We have sought to be obJective and balanced, but not frozen from judgment. In attempting to /:le fair we have not been timid.

A.s outlined in Chairman Za:blocki's mandate to the Staff Investigative Group, the role and performance of the State Department in this matter was the central issue earmarked for investigation.

On the basis of the factual evidence we obtain;;d we render the following fir-dings on that point:


First.. The U.S. Embassy in Guyana did not demonstrate adequate initiative, sensitive reaction to, and appreciation of progressively mounting indications of highly irregular and illegal activities in Jonestown. The Embassy's one attempt to confront the situation and affect a solution did not occur until June of 1978. Essentially embodying what Could at best be described as the Embassy's heightened suspicion of problems with. People's Temple, the effort was made in the form of a cable-log 126 l_to the State Department requesting permission to approach the Guyanese Government and "request that the Government exercise normal administrative jurisdiction over the community, particularly to insure that all of its residents are informed and understand that they were subject to the laws and authority of the Government of Guyana." The State Department, failing to detect any linkage between log 126 and the then recent defection of Temple member Debbie Blakey and other incidents, rejected the request in a terse cable-log 130 2 because such an overture "could be construed by some as U.S. Government interference."

Second. The Department's negative response, t(i) log 126 had the net effect of reinforcing the Embassy's already cautious attitude in all dealings with the People's Temple. Despite the fact that an affirmative

1 For text of log 126, Bee appendix 1, p. /l8.
1 See appendix 2, p. 60 for text of log 130.

response was anticipated, the Embassy surprisingly made no effort to challenge the Department's negative decision. Equally surprising was the Department's failure to contact the Ambassador and determine what specifically triggered his request.

Testimony from Department witnesses indicates that the lack of specificity in log 126 was the primary reason for the negative response in log 130. Such specificity-for example the Blakey defection--was deliberately avoided, according to the Ambassador, because of Privacy Act considerations. The upshot of this exchange was a lamentable breakdown in communicatIOn with neither side making any further efforts to discuss or follow up on the matter.

Third. Absent in the Embassy's dealings with People's Temple were the vital elements of commonsense and an honest and healthy skepticism. Despite the acknowledged handicaps under which it worked, the Embassy could have exerted sounder overall judgment and aby fall more aggressive posture. One important result of such an effort would have been more accurate and straightforward reJ?orting on the People's Temple, situation which, in turn, could have gIven the State Department a stronger and wider base on which to draw on briefing Representative Ryan and his staff.

Fourth. State Department organization and day-to-day operations created a distinction between its consular activities and its dIplomatic responsibilities. Inadequate coordination between those two functions. led to a situation in which matters involving People's Temple were regarded almost exclusively as consular. DespIte mounting indications that the People's Temple issue was spilling over into the United States-Guyana diplomatic area, the mentality persisted of relegating it to the consular side only. '

Fifth. In the area of crisis management following the tragedy of November 18 the State Department and Embassy performed with distinction. Also commendable was the competent and' efficient work of the Department of Defense personnel in assisting the wounded and others and returning them to the United States.'

Sixth. There was a laxness in State Department procedures for distributing certain important documents relative to People's Temple, thereby inhibiting opportunity for taking appropriate action. Among these was U.S. Customs Services report on possible gun. shipments to Jonestown; the April 10, 1978, affidavit of Yolanda D. A. Crawford, a People's Temple defector, describing beatings and abuses in Jonestown; the affidavits of May and June 1978 by Debbie B)akey, another People's Temple defector, describing suicide rehearsals and other serious charges; and finally, the New West magazine article of August 1, 1977, which exposed Jones. A wider awareness of these and similar materials would have significantly enhanced the State Department's ability to evaluate the situation.


The significance of the State Department's careless procedure for distributing such key documents is best illustrated by reviewing the 1977 Customs Service investigation of reported illegal gun shipments and other contraband to Jonestown. The evidence on that subject warrants the following findings:

The investigation was begun in February 1977 and was based on an allegation that more than 170 weapons once stored III Ukiah, California had been transferred to the People's Temple San Francisco headquarters and then possibly on to Jonestown. .

The investigation was compromised 1 month after I began, not through any inadvertence on the part of the Customs Service  but when an individual conveyed some information on the matter to Denis Banks head of the American Indian Movement in an effort to dissuade Banks' from any further contact with Jones. That conversation.was apparently taped and word was passed to Jones. Complete details of the investigation's final report were further compromised when a copy of the report was sel1t to Interpol. From Interpol it was, by normal procedure, shared with the Guyanese police: According to information provided us, Guyanese Police Commissioner C. A. "Skip" Roberts reportedly showed a copy of that report to either Paula Adams or Carolyn Layton, two of Mr. Jones' most trusted' aides, one of whom passed the information to Jones.
Although the Customs Service investigation was not diluted or diminished in any way, it was clear that it was carried out in an unusually sensitive mode because of what was perceived to be Jim Jones' considerable political influence in San Francisco. Surveillance relating to the investigation was virtually impossible to carry out because of the tight security screen Jones placed around the Geary Street headquarters of the People's Temple in San Francisco.

The investigation was concluded in August-September of 197'7 after a shipment of crates destined for Jonestown was Opened and inspected by the Customs Service in Miami in August of 1977. Shortly thereafter a report on the investigation was filed ,with negative results  Nonetheless 1 investigators apparently felt enough residual suspicion to send copies of the report to Interpol and the U.S. Department of State "because the investigation disclosed allegations that Jones intends to establish a political power base in Guyana, and that he may currently have several hundred firearms in that country."

The copy of the Customs Service report was received in the State Department's Office of Munitions Control on September 1, 197'7, and on September 6, 1977, a copy was forwarded to the' Department's Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. Although standard routing procedures provided that a copy should have been sent to the U.S. Embassy in Guyana there is no indication that a copy was ever sent. In addition, only the Guyana desk officer saw the report; none of the more than 26 State Department officials we interviewed saw the report until after November 18,1978, although one professed an "awareness" of it earlier.


Another aspect of the State Department's and the Embassy's performance relative to the Ryan murder and Jonestown tragedy involves the pervasive influence on the entire matter of the Privacy Act, and also to a lesser degree, the Freedom of Information Act. On that issue the following findings are offered:

Officials within both the State Department and the Embassy clearly tended to confuse Privacy Act with the Freedom of Information Act, thereby inhibiting the comprehensiveness of written reports and exchanges of information.

Representative Ryan's legal' adviser contended that the State Department's interpretation of the Privacy Act was unreasonably narrow and restrictive and further felt. that.fact had ramifications in what the Ryan Codel wished to accomplish.

The State Department's interpretation of the Privacy Act led them to deny Mr. Ryan access to certain information and documents relative to People's Temple. That problem could have been avoided, or at
least alleviated, if Mr. Ryan had followed the Department's advice to obtain a letter from the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs authorizing him such access under an exemption clause in the act. That exemption provision permits disclosure to any committee of Congress "to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction." However, reflecting the State Department's lack of knowledge of the law and its application, It is pertinent to note that on February 28, 1979, the State Department was unaware of the exemption provision in denying to Chairman Zablocki requested information germane to this investigation. . .

Prior to the Coders departure, the U.S. Embassy in Guyana reflected its own acute sensitivity to the Privacy Act by urging that Mr. Ryan be fully informed of the act's limitations. That sensitivity was reinforced by the Embassy's request that a Department legal expert accompany the Codel, a request denied by the State Department because of travel freeze restrictions and the heavy press of other work. Among the Embassy officials interviewed there is almost unanimouS agreement that the Privacy Act is complex. difficult to understand', and confusing. Accordingly, they believe that regular guidance is required to guarantee proper implementation. Nonetheless, initial State Department guidance on the Privacy Act provided to the U.S. Embassy in Guyana was so highly technical and legalistic that it had little if any practical value; a problem compounded by subsequent communications.

Given the confusion surrounding the Privacy Act and the lack of practical and understandable guidance, it appears that Embassy consular officials in Guyana found the act difficult to implement properly. Also contributing to those officials' ability to effectively implement the Privacy Act vis-a-vis the People's Temple was the understanding they held that as a religious organization People's Temple merited added protection under the act. Disregarding for now the Question of whether or not People's Temple was a religion, few of the officials knew that the act's prohibition on maintaining records describing the exercise of first amendment rights also provides an exemption from mandatory agency disclosure of information pertinent to law enforcement activities.

The legal recourse which Jones and the People's Temple exercised ,under the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act to obtain Embassy cables had the chilling effect on Emb~ssy personnel of making their communications to the State Department on People's Temple less candid than they might have otherwise been. Not to be discouIted is the strong possibility that, knowing the law and the effect it could produce, JoneFl used the legal claim actions as a tactic in order to achieve the very effect that it did.

Overall, many State Department officials appeared to be highly aware of the civil and/or criminal penalty provisions of both acts.


That fact reinforced their perceived image of both acts as threatening and troublesome in that failure to comply could present them with serious personal legal problems. In turn, that thought made them doubly cautious in their dealings with People's Temple.


In concluding this summary of our findings on the performance of the State Department, the following mitigating factors require acknowledgement: " First. The Embassy did not have an investigative or judicial function.

Second. The Embassy tried to abide by U.S. laws as well as strict State Department rules and regulations, while simultaneously respecting the hospitality of Guyana; and Third. The Embassy's ability to break through the facade and get a realistic· and accurate picture of what was happening in Jonestown was severely hampered by the fact that Jones staged a show for selective visitors to Jonestown.


Citing reasons of protocol and their own internal investigation, the Government of Guyana refused to permit the Staff Investigative Group to interview Guyanese Government officials. That fact has resulted in a conspicuous void in our report.

Accordingly, we offer the following incomplete findings:
First. There is evidence of a strong working relationship between the People's Temple and some officials of the Government of Guyana, especially in the areas of customs and immigration.

Second. Support for People's Temple by senior Government of Guyana officials ranged from an ideological compatibility with People's Temple socialist philosophy to repeated charges of the exploitation of a sexual relationship between a People's Temple member closely associated with Jim Jones and a high-ranking Government of Guyana official.


The primary purpose of Chairman Zablocki's charge to us in this investigation pertains to the role and performance of the State Department. What became readily obvious to us, however, was that it was virtually impossible to comprehend and in turn to intelligently judge the Department's actions WIthout a keen understanding of Jim Jones, his tactics, the motivation of the Peoples Temple membership, and the
historical development of the organizatIon. Therefore, in an effort to offer a full and meaningful exchange present the following findings::

The mental dens and dIstortIOns, and the psychological attacks which culminated and were manifest in the holocaust of Jonestown on November 18 were rooted in Indiana and perfected in California.

Who and what was Jim Jones : We believe it is accurate to say that he was charismatic; in some respects in fact, he was a genius, especially in the area of human psychology. As we have studied him and interviewed those who knew him well .and had come under his influence, we have concluded that he was first

December 30, 1978, UPI Radio, 1978 Year in Review, Jonestown Massacre, by Brian McFadden, 

Brian McFadden: The most bizarre story of 1978 came from a place called Johnstown. A jungle cult exterminates itself after killing an inquiring Congressman. This is Brian McFadden, a recap of this cult of death after this message...

(message break)

Brian McFadden: California Congressmen Leo Ryan had gone to Guyana to look into a cult called the Peoples Temple, an American group with strict religious and left-wing political inclinations which had set up its headquarters in a place the group leader named after himself, Jonestown.

On his way out of Guyana, a few of the cult members asked Ryan and his party to take them along. The decision to say yes meant death for Ryan and four others. Three news people and would-be defector Patricia Parks were all shot in an airfield ambush, apparently by followers of cult leader Jim Jones.

NBC TV technician Steve Sung was one of those lucky enough to be only wounded...

Steven Sung: "It's this medic who shoot us. They didn't -- they didn't just shoot everybody. When the woman from the Peoples Temple tried to leave, her head got blown off. Don Harris, the Congressman, Bob Frond the cameraman and the still photographer from, Craig Robinson from Examiner, he got his head blow off. Basic -- and fortunately they blow the head off; otherwise, can you imagine bleeding to death in the jungle?"

Brian McFadden: Five other members of the Parks' family also survived, including 18-year-old Brenda Parks...

Brenda Parks: "While I was boarding the plane they started shooting at us, and they killed my mother and some -- a few other people. And after that was, after they quit, then we thought they were leaving. So about five of us got out and ran to the bush, and we'd been there for three days."

Brian McFadden: But back in Jonestown an even more incredible event was taking place, an event few would live to tell about. Hodell Rhodes was one of those few ...

Hodell Rhodes: "Jones tell the public there that these people wouldn't reach the States and that everyone there would commit suicide."

Brian McFadden: As the social scientists began studying Jonestown and all it represents, American helicopters removed the remains of more than 900 men, women and children who followed a man named Jones to a would-be Utopia in the steaming jungles of South America. The event brought this comment from the President of the United States...

President Jimmy Carter: "I don't think that we ought to have an overreaction because of the Jonestown tragedy by injecting Government into trying to control people's religious beliefs, and I believe that we also don't need to deplore on a nationwide basis the fact that the Jonestown cult so-called was typical of America, because it's not."

Brian McFadden: Just what the madness called Jonestown was really all about may never be known.

This is Brian McFadden.

Ex-congressman gives away Purple Heart
SAN FRANCISCO, June 11 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Rep. Paul "Pete" McCloskey said he gave one of his Purple Hearts to Rep. Jackie Speier for her sacrifice in the Jonestown massacre of 1978.
Read more:

The Notorious Incident in L.A. - Jonestown
But to still have this happening at such late date, and not even at the han

Revisiting the Jonestown Tragedy - Newly Released Documents Shed Light on Unsolved Murders, By Thomas G. Whittle and Jan Thorpe. Freedom Magazine, April 1997., Married and Partnered People in Jonestown, diigo,

U.S. Congress, The Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Foreign and Military Intelligence (Church Committee report), report no. 94-755, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1976), 394.

Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond by Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain.

The Frank Olson Project - a website created by Frank Olson's family to explore the issues surrounding his death.

The Coldest, by Ted Gup. The Washington Post, December 16, 2001, page W9.

CIA Official Sidney Gottlieb, 80, Dies, by Bart Barnes. The Washington Post, March 11, 1999, page B5.

Mk Ultra, by Mark Jenkins. The Washington Post, September 25, 1998, page N15.

New Study Yields Little on Death of Biochemist Drugged by CIA, by Brian Mooar. The Washington Post, November 29, 1994, page B3.

Tests Contradict U.S. Story of Man's Suicide; Family Suspects CIA Killed Researcher, by Brian Mooar. The Washington Post, July 12, 1994, page B1.

Canadians Sue U.S. Over CIA Tests Of Behavior Modification Methods, by Laura A. Kiernan. The Washington Post, December 12, 1980, page A44.

The CIA's Attempt At Mind Control: Bad Trips? The Washington Post, February 15, 1979, page C2.

Book Disputes CIA Chief on Mind-Control Efforts by Bill Richards. The Washington Post, January 29, 1979, page A2.

In the Sleep Room: The Story of CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada, Anne Collins, Lester & Orpen Dennys (Toronto), 1988.

Peoples Temple. What is the correct spelling of Peoples Temple? Answer How did Peoples Temple begin? Answer Who was the leader of Peoples Temple?

James Warren Jones (1931-1978) was the founder and charismatic leader of Peoples Temple. He began his career as a student minister in 1952 at a Methodist ...
Introduction. Peoples Temple was a religious-based organization under the leadership of Jim Jones. The church began in the late 1950's in Indianapolis, but the ...
The Good – Jim Jones, leader of Peoples Temple in Indiana, was seen in the eyes of many as a well respected reverend, an average person called to do ...
... leaders, as well as to fully immerse myself in the history of Peoples Temple... Peoples Temple was created and led by a man named James Warren (Jim) ...
The plan was discussed by the Temple leadership as well, both in Jonestown and in Georgetown. ... According to Terri Buford, some of the Temple leadership in Guyana – other than Jones himself – wanted to go to the Soviet ... Back to FAQ ...
The answer is with James Warren “Jim” Jones, leader of Peoples Temple, a radical new-religious movement that began in the 1950s and rapidly developed ...
The bully was Stephan Jones, the only biological child of Jim Jones, leader of Peoples Temple - the church Bobby's family had recently joined. So Bobby grew ...
The August 1, 1977 edition of New West Magazine included an article critical of Peoples Temple and its leader, Jim Jones. Written by Marshall Kilduff and Phil ...


Did Peoples Temple commit welfare fraud, especially with the foster children under its care?

 The short answer is no.

In January 1979, Senator Alan Cranston (D-California) scheduled a hearing on allegations of welfare fraud by Peoples Temple. Cranston acted on what turned out to be erroneous information.

The problem began when the California Social Services Department Director for Mendocino County claimed that Peoples Temple had cared for 150 foster children at one time or another. Cranston believed this meant that Peoples Temple had 150 foster children in its care on November 18 and, by extension, that most had died in Jonestown. The California Senator asked the General Accounting Office to learn if federal dollars had been spent on those children while they lived in Guyana. That kind of payment was illegal, since the children would have lost eligibility once they left the U.S.

Although preliminary figures came out a few months after Cranston’s hearing, the GAO’s final report didn’t appear until the end of 1980. According to the GAO, of the 294 children under age 18 who died in Guyana, 17 had been in foster care prior to their move to Guyana. However, only one child was in active foster care at the time of emigration, and that child survived the mass deaths.

While foster children ultimately did not pose financial or moral problems for the government, over twenty children in guardianship care did. The State of California estimated that $20,000 had been overpaid under Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Adults in the Temple who maintained legal guardianships received these payments. Overpayment occurred when checks were issued to guardians who had moved to Guyana. Although some unwarranted payments were made, they generally happened by mistake, and welfare officials quickly caught the problem. An investigation by the California Attorney General’s office also found that children in guardianship custody had permission to move to Guyana from at least one parent or guardian.

Because the Temple had extensive welfare dealings in California, the State Attorney General’s office studied the group’s relationship with local welfare officials. The Investigative Report, prepared by the Deputy Attorney General, concluded that there had been no collusion or unusual involvement. In addition to its own findings, the report noted the Mendocino Grand Jury’s investigation of the Temple after the suicides. “The county welfare fraud investigation was closed,” the report observed, “as no evidence of welfare fraud involving members of Peoples Temple was found. Welfare Director Dennis Denny agreed that no fraud had been found in his search of county social service records…

“All cases of welfare fraud uncovered by the counties were frauds perpetrated by individuals for personal gain and were not part of any conspiracy by Peoples Temple to finance its operations by fraudulently obtaining public monies.”

While there was apparently no evidence of welfare fraud, there are also reports that Peoples Temple took advantage of the system. According to Raven, Denny believed that one reason for the Temple’s relocation to Ukiah was Jones’ recognition – and appreciation – of Mendocino County’s policy on board-and-care homes for mental hospital patients. The Temple abided by county rules – the ten homes set up by the church were clean, and county inspectors found that everyone in the homes to be eligible for aid – but the homes also generated a great deal of revenue for Temple coffers.

Tim Reiterman also reports in Raven that the Temple went around the county to take custody of foster children: “with state aid, the Temple would set up foster homes housing orphans or problem children imported from the San Francisco Bay Area. Soon, as planned, probation offices from all over California were sending children to the Temple, bypassing Denny. The welfare director told the Temple that they had to license their foster homes. After twenty-four months of being stalled, he threatened prosecution. The Temple then circumvented the law by securing ‘guardianships’ for the children, obviating the need for foster home licensing.”

While undoubtedly manipulative, none of these actions rose to the level of fraud.

(The information above was adapted from A Sympathetic History of Jonestown, by Rebecca Moore (Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1985), pp. 363-364, 366, and from Raven by Tim Reiterman and John Jacobs (New York: E.P.Dutton, Inc., 1982) p. 155.)

Boston Daily Globe - Aug 20, 1895
And these sentiments were heartily in the People's temple yesterday, .... your thousands upon thousands of fraudulent votes. and those votes were cast, ...

Senator Hoar is Denounced by the Angry A. P. A. Orators. Serious Charges Made Against Public Officials, and Sweeping Assertions Affecting the Good Name of Boston. Boston, Mass.
Start Page:1 Pages: 2Text Word Count: 4895

GOVERNMENT POLICY OUTLINED.; Secretary Olney Tells ...
The Rosebery line of 1886 placed It west of the Guiana River, and about that time , ...brought to an end in 184 by the death of the 'Venezuelan Plenipotentiary. .... that the tjnited States would give him its opinion and advice, and such support as it .... the of which has been ,%ted by the experience of more than half a century.
December 18, 1895 - N.Y. / Region - Article - Article - Article - Print Headline: "GOVERNMENT POLICY OUTLINED.; Secretary Olney Tells Ambassador Bayard What Course to Pursue."

Soviet Intelligence Role In Latin America Rises; Soviet Activity Among[PDF]
About half the Soviet personnel accredited to Latin countries are intelligence open an embassy in Costa Rica and is negotiating for an em bassy in Guyana. ...a rural guerrilla movement in Bolivia and hisdeath there in 1967 delayed but contrast, hold the patronage ministries of finance, labor and socialwelfare, ...
December 7, 1970 - By BENJAMIN WELLES Special to The New York Times - Magazine - Article - Print Headline: "Soviet Intelligence Role In Latin America Rises; Soviet Activity Among Latins Is Growing"

September 10, 1972, New York Times, Obeah Is a Fact of Life, and Afterlife, in the Caribbean, by Lindsay Haines, In Georgetown, Guyana, a live black, chichen is found under the clothes of a ...appeared in a number of national . in matters of life and death and in day-to-day affairs. .... The head of a white rooster or a lime cut in half and left in a yard means that ...baskets of breadfruit, avocados and rum, partial payment for medical fees.

December 9, 1978, New York Times, Half in Guyana Deaths Linked to Welfare,
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 8 (AP)--California's Secretary of Health and Welfare has issued a report showing that half the 992 persons who died in the People's Temple massacre in Guyana received welfare payments from the state at some point in their lives.

December 17, 1978, New York Times, page 42, Followers Say Jim Jones Directed Voting Frauds; Busloads of Voters,‎ by John M. Crewdson,
Wanda Johnson, a former People's Temple member, has alleged that followers of Mr . Jones engaged in 
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 16--Determined to help elect politicians friendly toward his People's Temple, the Rev. Jim Jones ordered what former temple members say was an organized campaign of fraudulent voting practices that included importing busloads of illegal voters to cast their ballots in this city's 1975 municipal elections.

December 17, 1978, New York Times, News Summary; International Fraudulent votes in San Francisco's 1975 municipal elections, mere organized by the Rev. Jim Jones, leader of the People's Temple cult, to help elect,

December 18, 1978, New York Times,  Cult Leader Capitalized on Political Gains Made in Using Followers as Volunteers, by John M. Crewdson,
Cult Leader Capitalized on Political Gains Made in Using Followers as 'Volunteers'; Special to The New York Times 200 Workers for Carter Campaign Calls for Candidate A Show of Strength Vocal Stands on Issues Support for Jailed Newsmen Members Got City Jobs
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17--At every step along the path from his home in Indiana to his abrupt and bloody end in the jungles of Guyana, the Rev. Jim Jones bartered favor for political favor, building the groundwork upon which, until last month, his People's Temple stood.

Crewsdon, John M. “Followers Say Jim Jones Directed Voting Frauds.” New York Times. 17 Dec. 1978. Print.

Justice Dept. Ruled Out Inquiries Into Charges of Abuses in,
New York Times - Nov 24, 1978
The charges were similar to those made against thePeople's Temple, ...Physical Abuse Also Noted The Congressmen said they had evidence that physical abuse ..

November 24, 1978, The New York Times,

Justice Dept. Ruled Out Inquiries Into Charges of Abuses in Cults; Physical Abuse Also Noted Justice Department Ruled Out Inquiries Into Cults, by Nicholas M.. Horrock,
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23--The Justice Department has rebuffed several requests by members of Congress to investigate allegations of brainwashing and physical abuse in religious cults on the ground that such investigations would violate constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion, interviews and Government correspondence have disclosed.

November 18, 1979, The New York Times Magazine, Jonestown: The Survivor's Story, by Nora Gallagher "They told us that they weren't letting us out of Guyana, that they were going to send ...He went on welfare for a while (after forcing himself to till out "12 pages of ...A survivor has said that the funds were intended to pay for death contracts on .... The sales manager stood up, tore the application in half and said, 'I'm going to

December 9, 1979, New York Times, Half in Guyana Deaths Linked to Welfare,
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 8 (AP)--California's Secretary of Health and Welfare has issued a report showing that half the 992 persons who died in the People's Temple massacre in Guyana received welfare payments from the state at some point in their lives.

January 7, 1979, New York Times, Jim Jones and His People; Guyana‎, by James S. Gordon,
The Inside Story Peoples Temple Sect and the Massacre in Guyana. ... attraction to Jones's egalitarian doctrines and social-welfare projects. WITH covers of blood red and black on white, "Guyana Massacre" and "The Suicide Cult" greet us at airport terminals, supermarket and drugstore counters. Their appearance, 12 days after the events they recount, seems a miracle of journalistic energy and corporate greed, a grim tribute to the murders and suicide at Jonestown and our curiosity about them. Inside, we find a true hell of a story.

February 14, 1979, New York Times, Four Off Welfare Rolls Religion Problem Cited Lists of Possible Victims, by Wallace Turner, Print Headline: "G.A.O. Checks Jones Cult Links to Welfare; Four Off Welfare Rolls Religion Probe,

February 14, 1979 , New York Times, G.A.O. Checks Jones Cult Links to Welfare; Four Off Welfare Rolls Religion Problem Cited Lists of Possible Victims $20,000 a Month, by Wallace Turner,
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 13 The General Accounting Office of Congress has subpoenaed records of welfare payments made by the California Department of Social Services in an attempt to discover if significant amounts of public funds were siphoned into the People's Temple bank accounts.
18 that more than 900 members living with him at Jonestown, Guyana, commit ...a Jonestown death list match names of children receiving state welfare aid in the ...far that illegal payments were made while the children actually lived in Guyana. ...He said that 1 2 "matches" had been found last month between the death

Feb 6, 2009,, What the Sean Penn 'Milk' film censored
Kinsolving quipped that the Peoples Temple was 'the best-armed house of God in ... the Peoples Temple's massive welfare fraud that funded its operations. ..

May 30, 2012, WND, White House Opinion on USS Jim Jones Sought,

Press secretary doesn't allow inquiry about leader of mass murder-suicide cult

City officials in San Francisco have recommended naming a U.S. Navy ship after onetime city board member Harvey Milk, whose biography describes how he always was attracted to “boyish-looking men in their late teens and early 20s,” but the president’s opinion on the issue isn’t being made available.

Nor is what Barack Obama thinks about any such honor for the man for whom Milk advocated in San Francisco’s politics, cult leader Jim Jones.

Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House, had come to a recent daily news briefing prepared to ask two questions. The first was, “Does the president agree with the resolution from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors urging the U.S. Navy to name a ship after Harvey Milk.”

The second question was whether Obama would support a similar honor for Jones, the charismatic cult leader who had hundreds follow him to Jonestown, Guyana, where they all died in a mass murder-suicide in 1978.

But Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary, didn’t allow Kinsolving to ask a question.

WND reported just days earlier on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approval of a nonbinding resolution urging the Navy to name a ship after Milk, an open homosexual who was gunned down in 1978 by former colleague Dan White.

Milk also notably was a strong advocate for Jones.

When Obama in 2009 gave Milk, posthumously, the presidential Medal of Freedom, then-spokesman Robert Gibbs said he was uncertain if the briefing material given to Obama included Milk’s well-documented advocacy for Jones.

Kinsolving asked the question at the time.

Jones’ cult, which was founded in San Francisco, became notorious when 918 people died – mostly from cyanide – in the “Peoples Temple Agricultural Project” settlement in Guyana. The deaths were described as a “revolutionary suicide” by Jones and other members on an audio tape of the event.

The poisonings, including those of many children, followed by hours the murders of five people by Temple members at a nearby airport. One of the victims was Democratic U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan, the only member of Congress ever to die in the line of duty. He was investigating complaints about the cult.

Kinsolving, a journalist for the San Francisco Examiner during Jones’ ascent to power and influence there, shortly before he moved his cult to Guyana, recalled in a column at the time the relationship between Jones and Milk.

His writing concerned the Sean Penn movie “Milk.” Kinsolving cited columnist Dan Flynn’s concerns about “how Gus Van Sant could have made a film about Harvey Milk without casting a ‘Jim Jones’ role.”

The Flynn column accused Milk and “the San Francisco left” of allowing Jones to conduct his “criminal enterprise in San Francisco with impunity.”

“When veteran journalist Les Kinsolving penned an eight-part investigative report on Peoples Temple for the San Francisco Examiner in 1972, his editors buckled under pressure from Jones and killed the report halfway through,” wrote Flynn. “Kinsolving quipped that the Peoples Temple was ‘the best-armed house of God in the land,’ detailed the kidnapping and possible murder of disgruntled members, exposed Jones’ phony faith healing, highlighted Jones’ vile school-sanctioned sex talk with children and directed attention toward the Peoples Temple’s massive welfare fraud that funded its operations.

“Unfortunately four of the series of eight articles were jettisoned after Jones unleashed hundreds of protesters to the San Francisco Examiner, a programmed letter-writing campaign and a threatened lawsuit against the paper. The Examiner promptly issued a laudatory article on Jones,” wrote Flynn.

Kinsolving’s column cited reports that after Milk was killed, all mention of connections between Milk and Jones “were intentionally obscured.”

Cited was the fact Milk “was a strong advocate for Peoples Temple and Jim Jones during his political career, including the tumultuous year leading up to the Jonestown tragedy. Milk spoke at the Temple often, wrote personal letters to Jim Jones.”

Milk also has been documented as a “sexual predator” as well as a “public liar,” contends,which advocates for traditional family values and marriage.

On its website, the group points to a “favorable and sordid” biography of Milk by Randy Shilts, a homosexual San Francisco Chronicle reporter, “The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk.”

“According to this reputable biography Milk repeatedly engaged in adult-child sex, advocated for multiple homosexual relationships at the same time, and told a very public lie because he thought it would get him ahead,” the website explains. also is opposing California’s requirement that public school students honor Milk on one day each spring.

The report says Shilts’ 1982 book has accounts of Milk’s sexual relationships with a 16-year-old, a 19-year-old and other young men.

Some of the descriptions include:

“Sixteen-year-old McKinley was looking for some kind of father figure … at 33, Milk was launching a new life, though he could hardly have imagined the unlikely direction toward which his new lover would pull him.’”
“The phone rang. As soon as Harvey heard the voice, he rolled his eyes impatiently at Jim. ‘It’s Jack McKinley,’ he said. He paused and listened further. ‘He says he’s going to kill himself.’ … ‘Tell him not to make a mess,’ Harvey deadpanned.”

“It would be to boyish-looking men in their late teens and early 20s that Milk would be attracted for the rest of his life.”
“Harvey always had a penchant for young waifs with substance abuse problems.”

The documentation about the “public lie” also comes from the book:

“He had not suffered this disgrace [being removed from the military], he told a later campaign manager, but he knew the story would make good copy. If anyone said something to Harvey about his fondness for such stunts, he would gesture wildly as [he] launched into a lecture. ‘Symbols, symbols, symbols,’ he insisted. Sure, he had not been kicked out of the military … The point of the story was to let people know that service people routinely do get kicked out. Besides, he once confided, ‘Maybe people will read it, feel sorry for me, and then vote for me.’”

According to a report in the Chronicle,city supervisor Scott Wiener said: “We must support our LGBT soldiers past and present. I can think of no better way to do that than to name a vessel for a Navy officer who went on to become one of the most important civil rights leaders in history.”

Milk reached the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, during the Korean War.

March 9, 1979, Los Angeles Times, Foster children died in Guyana,


November 16, 1980, New York Times, The Beast in the Jungle, by Joe Klein, 

THE CULT THAT DIED The Tragedy of Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. By George Sherman Butler ...Jim Junes built a financial empire through welfare fraud.

IN the two years since the Rev. Jim Jones massacred his pathetic flock in the South American jungle, no fewer than eight books have been written about the tragedy of the People's Temple.

November 30, 1980, Lakeland Ledger,page 4-E, A beast in the jungle: Two new views of the Jonestown nightmare,

Merced Sun-Star - Nov 21, 1979
He also said county welfare fraudInvestigations so far Indicate that illegal welfare checks ... "failed to act on war nings of major Irregularities" InPeoples Temple

November 18, 1979, Los Angeles Times, State's Guyana Probe Contradicts News Story

December 7, 1979, St. Petersburg Times, Report: 550 Jonestown Victims Had Drawn Welfare.
Secretary of Health and Welfare Mario Obledo said california lost 36.000 to 40.000 in payment fraudulent' collected by Peoples Temple members and relatives. ...

The psychological massacre: Jim Jones and Peoples - Jonestown
As the leader of the religious group Peoples Temple, Reverend Jim Jones was responsible for the psychological massacre of his followers because of the ...

December 10, 2003, Times-Standard, (Eureka, CA) Stoen gathers moss on this campaign trail
In the late 1970s, he was a top adviser to People's Temple founder Jim Jones; ... to help the DA in battling the recall, with a vote set for March 2. ...It may have been the shortest political crusade in North Coast history.Assistant District Attorney Tim Stoen -- vowing to expose the "forces of evil" behind the ongoing recall attempt against his boss, DA Paul Gallegos -- launched his run Thursday as a GOP challenger for Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat.Forty-eight hours later, it was history. This Stoen, after making a big splash with his announcement, sank rather abruptly. But the ripples of

Oct 19, 1981, The Bulletin, Cult Leader Arrested On Sex Charges,
He charged that members are supported by welfare and food stamp fraud, ... control over the group to that held by the late Peoples Temple leader, the Rev. ...

June 29, 2006, Dirty Secrets of the Temple, by Stephen Lendman
November 14, 1986, Miami Herald, Editorial, If Yahwehs Act Like Criminals, Society Must Aid the Innocent,

June 17, 1981, Philadelphia Inquirer, Interview the Outsider Who Has Come Into the Fold, by Michael A. Hobbs Inquirer Staff Writer HARRISBURG - Not too long ago, she was on the outside, a vociferous, omnipresent housing rights advocate who was openly suspicious of the motives of government and who railed against its failed, misguided, and " racist" housing policies. Now Shirley M. Dennis, 42, sits inside government. But she insists that when Gov. Thornburgh appointed her in 1979 to his cabinet as secretary...

Article ID: 1993072038
Published: March 13, 1993, York Daily Record (PA)
Just the word "cult" can inspire fear and loathing, conjuring up images of crazed fanaticism and unhealthy devotion. The violence in Waco, Texas, with self-proclaimed Messiah David Koresh and his Branch Davidians adds fuel to the fear. But it's Koresh and not the word "cult" that people should be afraid of, say local professors and theologians. "There was probably a time when people considered Jesus full story, 894 words

Probe of Cult Finds Few Cases of Welfare Fraud
Los Angeles Times - Mar 15, 1979
SACRAMENTO (UPI)-State in- vestigators said Wednesday they found little evidence of welfare fraudamong Peoples Templecultists but are still looking into ...

November 17, 1979, Observer-Reporter, No Foster Children Died In Jonestown,

No foster children were among the 300 youngsters who died a year ago in the Peoples Temple in Guyana, a state welfare spokesman said Friday.


February 25, 1979, Press-Courier, Jones' Cult Probed For Aid Fraud,

SACRAMENTO Numerous cases of suspected welfare fraud involving members of the People's Temple cult of the late Rev Jim Jones have been uncovered by state


December 7, 1979, The Sun, In The Nation‎,

Temple, welfare fraud tied Los Angeles (API-More than half ihe 913 victims of the Peoples Temple massacre in Jonestown, Guyana, had been on California's ...

Five leaders of the Church of Scientology were sentenced to jail yesterday for directing a conspiracy to steal government documents about the church.

December 21, 1979, The Toledo Blade, page 28, Cultists Feared Ryan Working With CIA,


December 21, 1978, The Toledo Blade / AP, Cremation of Jones Questioned; State Official Says Documents Are Missing,


December 21, 1978, The Toledo Blade / AP, Alleged Confidant of Jones Testifies In Ryan-Killing Quiz,


January 25, 1979, The Milwaukee Sentinel, page A1, Child Support Funds Linked to Peoples Temple, [Continued: page A14]


December 7, 1979, St. Petersburg Times - AP, page 8-A, Report: 550 Jonestown victims had drawn welfare,


December 7, 1979, Lodi News-Sentinel / UPI, Jonestown welfare link denied,


December 7, 1978, ‎ Eugene Register-Guard / AP, page 13A, 109 Who Died At Jonestown Getting Aid from California,


December 22, 1978, Wilmington Star-News, Goldwater, Stennis, on Cults 'Hit List',


December 22, 1978, The Victoria Advocate page 8A, Goldwater, Nixon On Cult Hit List,


December 7, 1979, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, More Than Half Of Victims On Welfare,


December 10, 1979, Lodi News-Sentinel, page 13, Hard-fought SF Election Campaign Draws,


Nov 24, 1978, New York Times, Justice Dept. Ruled Out Inquiries Into Charges of Abuses in Cults,‎
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23--The Justice Department has rebuffed several requests by members of Congress to investigate allegations of brainwashing and physical abuse in religious cults on the ground that such investigations would violate constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion, interviews and Government correspondence have disclosed.

The charges were similar to those made against the People's Temple, ... such religious groups of veterans' benefits, welfare payments and the food stamp . ..

November 24, 1978, The Times-News - N.Y. Times News Service, Justice Refuses Cult Probes,‎


Jan 17, 1993, St. Petersburg Times, The Faces of Welfare Series: Behind the Faces of Welfare,‎
It has turned into people's livelihood," said counselor Audrey Young of Tampa, ...State officials reviewed more than 22000 cases of suspected welfare fraud in the .... She earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts at Temple University and a ...

November 17, 1982, Modesto Bee, There Will Always Be,
By 1977 when the Peoples Temple moved from San Francisco to Jonestown, ...agencies for the welfare of the foster children whose care was entrusted to ...

November 16, 1990, The Miami Herald, Politics, religion slowed probe of sect, by Sydney P. Freedberg and Christine Evans,

They should have had people saying, 'I done the same thing and I'm living. ... He talked about the bombing, murder, child abuse and welfare fraud -- all ... DOWNLOADED

November 16, 2003, The Oakland Tribune, 25 years after the horror of Jonestown‎, by Jill Tucker and Jason Dearen, Staff Writers,
Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. Of parents giving their children cyanide-laced.... "Religious deduction for taxes, Social Security fraud and welfare, ...

November 18, 1982, The Oakland Tribune, Jonestown: Remembering may not be enough, by Jill Tucker and Jason Dearen, Staff Writers, 

The white-washed chair is empty.
Several stiff bodies are face down on the floor in front of it, their arms wrapped around each other - a final attempt at comfort frozen in death.
Hanging above, a wooden sign with stark white words pierces the silence with its message:
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
This photograph is 25 years old, an indelible image from the Guyana jungle that vividly documents Nov. 18,
Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. Of parents giving their children cyanide-laced.... "Religious deduction for taxes, Social Security fraud and welfare, ...

 December 17, 1978, Milwaukee Journal, Temple Accused Of Voting Fraud .


December 18, 1978, New York Times, Cult Leader Capitalized on Political Gains Made in Using Followers as 'Volunteers', by John M. Crewdson,
 200 Workers for Carter Campaign Calls for Candidate A Show of Strength Vocal Stands on Issues Support for Jailed Newsmen Members Got City Jobs
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17--At every step along the path from his home in Indiana to his abrupt and bloody end in the jungles of Guyana, the Rev. Jim Jones bartered favor for political favor, building the groundwork upon which, until last month, his People's Temple stood.

December 22, 1978, New York Times, Ex-Aide Links Threats and Violence to Jones Adviser; 'All...
 Mr. Stoen "suggested that the People's Temple poison the water system of ... Assigned to Voter Fraud Unit Mr. Stoen was put in charge of the voter fraud

December 20, 1978, New York Times, page A-20, San Francisco Is Shifting Inquiry on Voter Fraud,‎
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 19--San Francisco's District Attorney, Joseph Freitas Jr., today asked the State Attorney General, Evelle Younger, to take over the investigation of possible voter fraud that may have involved the People's Temple in the 1975 election here.

December 17, 1978, New York Times, page 42, Followers Say Jim Jones Directed Voting Frauds; Busloads of Voters,
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 16--Determined to help elect politicians friendly toward his People's Temple, the Rev. Jim Jones ordered what former temple members say was an organized campaign of fraudulent voting practices that included importing busloads of illegal voters to cast their ballots in this city's 1975 municipal elections.  ___________________________________________________________________________________

January 7, 1979, New York Times, Jim Jones and His People; Guyana, by James S. Gordon,
WITH covers of blood red and black on white, "Guyana Massacre" and "The Suicide Cult" greet us at airport terminals, super market and drugstore counters. Their appearance, 12 days after the events they recount, seems a miracle of journalistic energy and corporate greed, a grim tribute to the murders and suicide at Jonestown and our curiosity about them. Inside, we find a true hell of a story.
The Inside Story Peoples Temple Sect and the Massacre in Guyana. .... have invoked a variety of statutes against fraud, kidnapping, assault, ...

December 4, 1978, Lakeland Ledger -  Special N.Y. Times, Treasury Agents Knew Of Illegal Gun Shipments, by John M. Crewdson,

Leo Ryan said that members of the People's Temple sect were illegally shipping ... that temple members were being subjected to physical abuse and brainwashing.

No Evidence of '75 Voter Fraud Found
Los Angeles Times - Oct 13, 1979
"Accordingly . . . the allegation of massive voter fraud by Peoples Tem- ple at the ... The Peoples Temple, under the leadership of Jim Jones, left San Francisco in ...

Peoples Temple .Its Leader Played Politics With The...
Evening Independent - Nov 22, 1978
Jones, who was white, controlled a good part of the city's black votes. ... earlier appointed a Peoples Temple member to investigate charges of vote . fraud ...

Guyana's President Expected To Win Another Five-year Term .
Lakeland Ledger - Dec 15, 1980
GEORGETOWN, Guyana - The Guyanese vote today in a national election which ... Other than thevote fraud charges, the People's Temple has not been an issue ...

Guyana Goes To The Polls .‎ Lawrence Journal-World

Guyanese To Vote Today .‎ Daytona Beach Morning Journal

Campaigns In Frisco Races So Hot That Voters Complain About...
Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Dec 10, 1979
Freitas was criticized for employing a Peoples Temple lieutenant as a top assistant and for not finding any evidence of voter fraud or other wrongdoing by 

Dec 22, 1978, Bangor Daily News,  Goldwater And Stennis Reported On Cult's 'hit' List,
Administrator of the Peoples Temple, claimed Thur that Sens. ... position to quash a 1976 investigation of the Peoples Temple in connection with alleged voter fraud ...

 Dec 22, 1978, Observer-Reporter, On ,
On . On . Buford, once a top administrator of the Peoples es Temple, claimed ... of the Peoples Temple in connection with alleged voter fraud bragged about his ...

Us Prefers 'lesser Of Two Evils' In Guyana Election .
Dec 15, 1980, Virgin Islands Daily News -
Other than the vote fraud charges, the Peoples Temple has not been an issue in the campaign. Britain, which granted Guyana independence in 1966 has sent in ...

Sex, Corruption and the Kool-Aid Massacre » Counterpunch:... - Nov 18, 2011
Potential recruits for People's Temple were checked out in advance by Jones' .... Freitas appointed lawyer Tim Stoen to look into possible voter fraud. At the time ...

Cult Member Testifies Why A Man Would Develop On Congressman...
Star-News - Dec 21, 1978
SAN francisco - Terri Buford, a Peoples Temple member who was reportedly a ... general's task force investigating voter fraud involving Temple members.

Cambodia's longtime PM expected to coast to election... - Jul 27, 2008
Hun Sen's ruling Cambodian People's Party brushed off allegations of vote fraud by the opposition. "We don't need to commit fraud to win," party spokesman ...Cambodia's Ruling Party Takes Large...‎ Fox New

A cult leader's role in California politics
Boston Globe - Nov 22, 1978
... s black votes His Peoples Temple congregation which was 80 percent black was ... appointedPeoples Temple member to investigate charges of vote fraud in ...

San Jose Mercury News - Nov 16, 2003
And when reports began to surface of abuse, threats and fraud within the Peoples Temple, few leaders of official San Francisco were willing to investigate. ...

Goldwater On 'hit List .
Spokesman-Review - Dec 22, 1978
None of the people on the purported hit list was killed. ... his position to quash a 1976 investigation of the Peoples Temple in connection . with alleged voter fraud ...

Atlanta News, Sports, Atlanta Weather, Business News |...
Atlanta Journal Constitution - Nov 11, 2008
How would you react if people you work with made up crap about YOU in the same manner and ...Their campaign against voter fraud is, well, a fraud. ...

Death & Politics 15 years ago, the killings of George...
Los Angeles Times - Nov 21, 1993
Just nine days before, 912 members of the city's People's Temple died in the .... He demanded a recount, raised allegations of voter fraud and launched an ...

Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Nov 18, 1998
Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple are a fading image for most people in .... The Temple faced a government investigation for tax fraud and a pile of lawsuits ...

Suicide Cult .The Hidden Horrors Of Devotion To Jim Jones...
Spokesman-Review - Dec 5, 1978
During the close race for mayor in December 1975 some 800 Peoples Temple members walked precincts to get out the vote in places where winning candidate ...

December 7, 1978, Lodi News-Sentinel, Jonestown, Welfare Link Denied .
The fraud and forgery amounted to 35,00 would say the possibilities of the Peoples Temple operations with welfare moneys are unsubstantiated,". ...


May 7, 1979, People Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 18, 'Kids Are Being Warehoused for Profit,' Says Kenneth Wooden, Crusading for Foster Children, by Richard K. Rein

Growing up in Burlington, N.J., Kenneth Wooden was a truant and a vandal who was once arrested at gunpoint for stealing a car. He avoided reform school only when his working-class parents pleaded his case before a sympathetic juvenile judge. When he graduated from high school, his reading and writing skills were so minimal he was unable to get a job at a local soap factory. "I couldn't get past the guard shack," Wooden says, "because I couldn't fill out the employment application." Drafted into the Army (which, incredibly, assigned him to the typing pool), Wooden embarked on a self-improvement regimen. Tutored by his wife, nurse Martha Braun, he graduated with honors from Glassboro State College at age 26 and returned to teach history at his old high school. His study of the reading levels of juveniles in the New Jersey prison system (they averaged from third to fifth grade) led to his first book, Weeping in the Playtime of Others: America's Incarcerated Children (McGraw-Hill, 1976). Now living in Morrisville, Pa. with his wife and their four children, aged 7 to 18, Wooden is director of the National Coalition for Children's Justice. He is currently completing an investigation of child care abuse by the late Rev. Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in Guyana. He talked with Richard K. Rein for PEOPLE about the plight of children who populate the nation's reform schools, foster homes, orphanages and other child care facilities.

How many foster children died at the Peoples Temple in Jonestown?

Of some 300 kids who died in Guyana, I believe more than 50 were foster children. Among the 248 bodies still unidentified, 64 are in three-and-a-half-foot coffins. Those babies were murdered. They didn't take that poison voluntarily.

How did the Peoples Temple acquire foster children?

Jim Jones encouraged members to set up foster homes. In California you can get six kids to live in your house, and for each you get a minimum of about $150 a month. Jones also received thousands of dollars for Happy Acres, an institution run by temple members for 14 "developmental damaged" children and adults. These little streams of dollars fed a river of millions to the Peoples Temple.

Was the Peoples Temple unique in cashing in on child care?

No, Jim Jones used the system just like all the other bastards have in warehousing kids. We have a large industry that feeds off kids in trouble. The captains of this industry shrewdly foresaw a large market created by government programs that aren't properly monitored.

Where does the money come from?

Local, state and federal agencies. There's money for the educationally handicapped, for learning disabilities, for the physically handicapped, for vocational education. If you're hustling the money, you know where all the pockets are. Some private child care facilities charge $2,000 per month per kid, and the cost is usually picked up by the state or federal government.

How does that work?

I recently approached the Milwaukee County Welfare Department to find out how much it would cost to place a child at Eau Claire Academy, a private facility that charges $2,317 per month. I told them I was not poor—I made over $40,000 a year. They did some checking and told me I would have to pay only $4 a day; federal and state funds would handle the rest.

Where do the kids in such facilities come from?

Juvenile judges commit most kids. But in some cases parents can place their children without a hearing.

Why are kids cut loose from parents?

All the usual things: divorce, delinquency, the breakdown of the family, lack of government services for the family. What intensifies the situation is the tendency of the courts to move in and grab the kids with little family counseling.

Do parents view juvenile courts as a convenient dumping ground?

In some cases, yes. When a friend died 20 years ago, she left five children. The father told New Jersey he couldn't take care of them anymore. The state willingly took them. He in turn remarried and started a new family. No one said, "Hey, mister, they're your kids and you raise them, or we'll nail you for neglect." The kids still suffer the consequences.

How many juveniles are there in the child welfare system?

We're talking about a floating crap game of at least two million.

Are they primarily juvenile delinquents?

No. Only about 200,000 kids have actually committed crimes. Another 500,000 are dependent and neglected children, whose parents could not or would not support them. Another 500,000 have some sort of mental handicap. Some 500,000 are "educationally handicapped," a new term for kids who become problems in school because they don't have basic skills. Finally, there are about 300,000 "status offenders."

Who are status offenders?

They are kids who hang out in unruly crowds, who drink too much, are having sex, are generally out of control. They are frequently truants or runaways, but they have not been convicted of any crime.

Should all two million of these kids be institutionalized?

In some cases families are disasters; incest is real. These children should be taken away. But I have seen surveys which maintain that one-third of all children in foster care should go home. Another third could go home with adequate family counseling. The last third can never go home.

Should youthful criminals be treated differently from adults?

I'm not a bleeding heart. If a teenager commits rape or murder or armed robbery, then that little SOB ought to be locked up. I don't want him in my neighborhood. On the other hand, with the same intensity, I don't want a kid who is a truant or a runaway to be kept with the criminal kids.

Should kids have the same rights as adults?

No. Kids are immature and they do stupid things; they need some kind of protection. But let's give them the most basic human rights.

What rights are denied foster children?

In many cases they are denied due process. Their mail is censored. They can make no phone calls. The physical abuse is incredible—from quack medicine to drugs to beatings. Pregnant girls are put in solitary confinement because they won't take abortion medication.

What's the future for such kids?

I once wrote Charlie Manson in prison to get information on his childhood in Indiana, where he spent four years in institutions. He wrote back, "You have seen me in the eyes of 10-year-olds. I was just an early warning." He's right. I've seen the hate in these kids' eyes.

Are we, as a nation, growing weary of children? Is that why they are mistreated?

No, it's not because we dislike children. It's because these are kids who have no power. They can't communicate, they can't organize, they aren't a political constituency. In this, the International Year of the Child, President Carter is proposing to cut juvenile delinquency funds by 50 percent. It's a political liability to be seen as a coddler of criminal kids.

Has there been any progress?

Yes, the federal Runaway Act passed in 1974 is excellent. It provides shelters in several cities, staffed by people trained to work with runaways. But that bill went no place until they found 27 bodies in Texas—all runaways who had been sexually assaulted and murdered.

What other legislation is pending?

Two bills before Congress now would be a fitting memorial to the children killed in Guyana. One would require the review of the placement of children in foster care every six months. The other would authorize the Justice Department to intervene for young people where there is a clear pattern of denial of basic human rights. Both bills were killed last session.

What still must be done?

We will not have reform in juvenile justice until two things happen: The doors of these institutions must be open 24 hours a day to the press and anyone else, and the financial books must also be opened. What's been missed until now is the economics behind the incarceration of neglected children.

If your children were orphaned, would you want them in an institution?

Interestingly, I asked that same question at a recent meeting of the National Association of Private Homes for Children. I asked members individually if they would ever place their own ch

January 4, 1989, San Jose Mercury News (CA) page 8B, U.S. Attorney Russoniello Says He'll Quit Soon,
U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello, an outspoken and controversial conservative, says he expects to leave office soon after seven years as the chief federal prosecutor for coastal Northern California. The San Francisco Banner Daily Journal quoted Russoniello on Tuesday as saying he believes he will resign shortly after finishing his defense of immigration workplace raids in search of illegal entrants. Trial of that case began Tuesday in San Jose and is likely to last several months. If...
The investigation produced no prosecutions for voting fraud, but prompted a ...handled the retrial of former Peoples Temple member Larry Layton and won his ...

February 16, 2004, Sacramento Bee, page A=1, Humboldt DA: Lumber firm's out to get me, ‎But foes say they're pushing a recall because he's soft on crime, 1,777 words,

** The Humboldt County Courthouse is closed for the Lincoln's Birthday holiday, but District Attorney Paul Gallegos is there before 9 a.m., putting in another day on the job he loves.

He's dressed neatly: dark pants and suit coat over a knit sweater, shined shoes. And he's very polite as he prepares to return 48 phone messages that undoubtedly will include vitriolic crank calls. Miles away, in a makeshift office filled with

Read more here:,100C693BE6066A50.html

Read more here:

The 20 days are up March 2, when voters will decide whether the district attorney they .... Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple cult that perished in Guyana. .

Humboldt DA: Lumber firm's out to get me

But foes say they're pushing a recall because he's soft on crimePublished on February 16, 2004, Page A1, Article 1 of 1 found, 1777 words.

* The Humboldt County Courthouse is closed for the Lincoln's Birthday holiday, but District Attorney Paul Gallegos is there before 9 a.m., putting in another day on the job he loves.

He's dressed neatly: dark pants and suit coat over a knit sweater, shined shoes. And he's very polite as he prepares to return 48 phone messages that undoubtedly will include vitriolic crank calls.

Miles away, in a makeshift office filled with________________________________________________________________________________

December 16, 1980, The News And Courier (Charleston, SC) AP, Voting Irregularities Claimed,
Burnham, head of the People's National Congress, has led this small country on... could indicate fraud in the preparation of lists of those voting by mail. ...


... a six-term incumbent who got 80 percent of the vote against a primary foe in 2002. ... He was a legal adviser to Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple in the 1970s but split ... For the past year, Stoen has been leading a corporate fraud civil case ...
Contra Costa - Apr 13, 1997
I thoroughly enjoyed the "People" column that often contained his byline. ... by the Clinton/Gore Citizenship 2000 Program in their effort to swell Democrat voting ranks. ... To students of the fraud, Lord Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx was a gentle ... The Jim Jones' Peoples Temple members did not plan their deaths in advance.

The Innovators: people moving big ideas in 2007.
Colorlines Magazine - Jan 1, 2007
Disenfranchisement combined with fraud was so high that there was no chance for a ... We're doing all this to make sure people are voting. ..... Till and in 2006 released the critically acclaimed Jonestown: Life and Death of People's Temple.

San Jose Mercury News - Aug 4, 2008
... personality, that's not my style and that's not why I was elected by the people in my district. ... on a visit to Jonestown, Guyana, to investigate the Peoples Temple cult. ... Speier's experience chairing a state Senate committee investigating fraud in ... Her motivation, she said, comes from voters, whose urgency matches hers: ...

Rainy Season Brings Somber Mood To Guyana .By Jon .Nordheime...
Anchorage Daily News - Dec 14, 1978
However history treats the madness that snuffed out more than 900 ives at the People's Templecommune, and claimed nine other lives in related violence, ...

UPI. “Personality Spotlight: Rev. Jim Jones, Founder of the People’s Temple.” Florence Times. 23 Nov. 1978. Print.

Mears, Walter R. Is Religion Too Free? The Milwaukee Journal. 30 Nov. 1978.

In The Name Of 'religion' .
Lawrence Journal-World -Nov 24, 1978
The fantastic series of events involving members of thePeople's Temple sect in Guyana has ... for people who engage in theft, tax evasion, physical abuse .

Cults That Steal And Kill, Daytona Beach Morning Journal

For Ryan, Independence Meant Having To...‎ St. Petersburg Times

Us Soldiers Find Bodies Under Bodies...‎ St. Petersburg Times

November 24, 1978, AP - Ocala Star Banner, page 12A, U.S. Prepares To Remove Remaining Bodies, by Lew Wheaton,


November 25, 1978, The Bend, Ore Bulletin - AP, Jones felt control was slipping away, by Lew Wheaton,


November 25, 1978, The Bend, Ore Bulletin / AP, page 11, Officials defend inaction toward cult,


November 25, 1978, The Bend, Ore Bulletin /AP, page 5, Belize sects offer contrast to Peoples Temple in Guyana,

December 4, 1978, Lakeland Ledger, Cause-of-Death Questions May Bring Jonestown Suits,


December 4, 1978, Lakeland Ledger, page 8D, 'Concentration Camp', by George Esper, AP Writer


December 7, 1978, Edmonton Journal, page A5, How Did We Fail The 900 In Guyana?,


August 29, 1981, Montreal Gazette, Temple's Leader Used Snakes To Terrorize Would-be Defectors,
SAN FRANCISCO -People's Temple leader Jim Jones would become so enraged when a follower asked to see a family member or visit the United States, he would impose such cruel punishment as beatings and threats with guns and hissing snakes, a defector testified yesterday.

 The physical abuse would be followed by work duty on a "learning crew," consisting of hard work in the hot sun with constant verbal abuse from a loyal supervisor.

Dale Parks, a 30-year-old respiratory therapist


August 27, 1981, Ellensburg [WA] Daily Record, page 5, Temple's 'prison camp' described,

August 21, 1981, AP / Daily News [Bowling Green, KY] Peoples Temple Residents Feared Retribution,

August 21, 1981, AP / Free Lance-Star, by Lisa Levitt, Witness Says Cultists Were Afraid To Complain, ‎

 Nov 16, 1979, Modesto Bee -State Ignored Warning On Cult,
... and other irregularities and mental and physical abuse of Temple members by ...Ortiz began to investigate allegations about the Peoples Temple in ...

November 24, 1978, AP / Ocala Star-Banner, Brainwashing Ruled Out,

November 24, 1978, Spokane Daily Chronicle / AP, Cult Probes Barred,

November 24, 1978, AP - Ocala Star Banner, page 12A, U.S. Prepares To Remove Remaining Bodies, by Lew Wheaton,

December 4, 1978, Lakeland Ledger, page 1, Guyana Story Continues, From the N.Y. Times, Temple Members Fear 'Hit Squads',

December 4, 1978, Lakeland Ledger, page 1, Guyana Story Continues, Reporters Urged: Get Show Moving, by Charles A Krause and Laurence Stern (Second of a Series)

December 4, 1978, Lakeland Ledger, page 1, Synanon Leader Charged In Murder Conspiracy,

November 24, 1978, Sumter Daily Item / AP, page 1, More Bodies Found In Death Commune: Count Expected To Exceed 775,

November 24, 1978, Sumter Daily Item / AP, Fingerprints Identify Jones' Body

Boca Raton News

November 27, 1978, Pittsburgh Press, US Must Stop Cult Criminals,
Jim Jones' Peoples Temple community in Guyana, you have some serious thinking... brainwashings, physical abuse and, most of all, of con games to strip new

1995, Deep Black Magic, History of MK-ULTRA. CIA Program on Mind Control, by Thomas Porter,
2007, WGBH American Experience. PBS Home Video,  Transcript, Nelson, Stanley, Producer, Director. Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. 
November 16, 2008, Moore, Rebecca. The Sacrament of Suicide. Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple.  
November 16, 2008, Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple, Culture, Charisma, and Peoples Temple, by Devin Ross,
1996-2008, The Rick Ross Institute, Jonestown: Jim Jones and the People's Temple, by Rick Ross,
January 25, 2009, Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple, Leadership Styles: Martin Luther King vs. Jim Jones, by Tina Parrish,
September 14, 2009, Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple. Lester Kinsolving Series on Peoples Temple,

Gazette, The : GUYANA They're still asking why
The Gazette - Nov 19, 1988
People can use the existing legal structure to probe whether groups such asPeople's Temple engage inphysical abuse, tax fraud or tax discrepancy, he said. 

Jonestown Horror .‎ Victoria Advocate

San Jose Mercury News - Nov 16, 1998
Twenty years later, religious thinkers, cult experts and Peoples Temple survivors say... But an expose in New West magazine about Jones' physical abuse and ...

San Jose Mercury News (CA) - November 16, 1998 - 1A Front
For a brief and terrifying time in November 1978, the world appeared to have gone mad. In two days that stunned the globe, a popular Bay Area congressman investigating the Peoples Temple commune was shot dead on a muddy runway in the South American jungle and the group's paranoid, drug-ravaged leader ordered the mass murder-suicide that claimed the lives of 913 followers. Nine days later, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by...
 Purchase complete article, of 2198 words

Utopian nightmare
Published 4:00 am, Sunday, November 8, 1998

Kilduff, Marshall, and Phil Tracy. “Inside Peoples Temple.” New West. 1 Aug. 1977: 30-38.

Lindsey, Robert. "Enigma of Jim Jones: A 'Saint' Becomes a Devil." The Day [Eastern Connecticut]. 29 Nov. 1978, 126th Ed, sec 1:1+.

Jeffrey, Jason. “Who Was Jim Jones?” New Dawn Magazine. Jan. 1995.

Ksander, Yael. “Jim Jones | Moment of Indiana History – Indiana Public Media.” Indiana Public Media. 25 June 2007.

Ledoux, Sarah. “The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior.” Serendip (2001).

AP. “Jonestown Questions Persist.” Bangor Daily News. 18 Nov. 1981. Print.

AP. “Papers: Jim Jones Used Sex to Rule, Blackmail Followers.” The Evening Independent [St. Petersburg]. 24 Nov. 1978. Print.

Brinton, Maurice. “Suicide for Socialism? Brinton on the Jonestown Massacre, 1978.” 25 July 2005.

Chidester, David. Salvation and Suicide. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2003. Print.

Cockburn, Alexander. “‘Unabomber’ Ted Kaczynski Was CIA Mind Control Subject!” The Revelation @ The Forbidden Knowledge.Com. 9 July 1999.

Dittmann, Melissa. “Lessons from Jonestown.” American Psychological Association (APA). Nov. 2003.

“Find A Grave – Millions of Cemetery Records and Online Memorials.” Find A Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records. Jan. 2001.

November 26, 1978, Lakeland Ledger / AP, Jimmy Jones: 'Either Lots of Good, Or 'Hitler', by Sid Moody and Victoria Graham
November 26, 1978, Lakeland Ledger / N.Y. Times, Death Causes May Be Hard to Determine,
November 26, 1978, Lakeland Ledger / AP, Guyana Citizens Criticize Government Over Jamestown,
November 26, 1978, Lakeland Ledger / AP, Jamestown Toll Reaches 910,

Standing center is Karen Layton, Larry's one-time wife.

1974, Stephen's first trip to Guyana

Don Harris, a.k.a.Roy Humphrey

1 comment:

Joyce A said...

Hi. One of your photos says Karen Layton is pictured, waiting next to the steps to the plain to Guyana. It is not Karen, it is Maria Katsaris. :-)