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Peoples Temple Collection; Box 21, Virtual Item 8, Q736- Press conference on Concerned Relatives | Special Collections & University Archives

Peoples Temple Collection; Box 21, Virtual Item 8, Q736- Press conference on Concerned Relatives
April 17, 1978

The Peoples Temple leadership in Jonestown – including Jim Jones – holds a press conference via a ham radio transmission to San Francisco, where reporters are gathered. Responding to charges made by Concerned Relatives, Harriet Sarah Tropp reads a prepared statement that condemns the actions of the Concerned Relatives organization, as well as the media attacks on the church. The statement also extols the Jonestown settlement as a beautiful place, a socialist collective, a place with a solid medical department for seniors, and an opportunity for society's malcontents to start again. Her description of Jonestown concludes that it is "a community for a significant number of people, now over 1000, who have been hurt, angered, alienated and victimized by adverse conditions that prevail in the decaying inner cities of advanced Western societies."

Tropp specifically rejects the charge that relatives cannot visit. "Within three to four weeks, several relatives and parents who are not members [of Concerned Relatives] will be visiting here... We do not ask that people who come agree with us. However, these relatives are not coming with an intention to harass, and so they are very welcome." At the urging of Jones, Tropp adds that what they object to are visits from members the "small committee" which talks about "kidnapping and mercenaries." Later – again at the prompting of Jones – Tropp speaks of the freedom of movement for Temple members between Jonestown and Georgetown.

Full summary of the recording available at Alternative Considerations of Jonestown website, along with the tape transcript.

Phys. Desc:
Original audiocassette tape recording digitized and made available as .mp3 audio file.
Special Collections & University Archives
Found in:
The Jonestown Institute
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