Two versions of a New York Times article from November 30, 1978 by Joseph Treaster--one from the Times' online archive available to subscribers, and the other part of the official FBI record holding of newspaper clippings concerning the mass death ritual of Americans in Jonestown, Guyana on Nov. 18, 1978--give evidence that each has been separately altered with the intent of suppressing problematic information from the historical record.
Both archives are constructed in similar formats designed to mimic a traditional newspaper morgue, in which articles from printed editions of newspaper were hand-cut and placed in files. The FBI/DOJ files are photocopies of pre-printed boards, (reorder number: FD-350 Rev. 10-19-77), which instruct users to "Indicate page, name of newspaper, city and state," as well as the Date, Edition, Title, Classification, Submitting Office; and then to "Mount Clipping in Space Below." A revised document blank, 0-19, dated 1-27-78, gives a form for internal routing, (universally ignored by users,) lists seven newspapers by name, and skips the instructions.
The Times' archive is constructed of .pdf documents that replicate the often unwieldy size and shape of articles as they actually appear in a printed edition of the New York Times.
Differences in articles in separate editions of a newspaper published on the same day do occur regularly--for space reasons information is elided, or an article is appended or altered as fresh facts emerge--but it is easy to dismiss this as an explanation for the differences seen in Special Privileges Aided Older Members' Survival, published on page A-16 of the November 30, 1978, New York Times.
For instance, in an altered paragraph 3 in the Times' archive, the last sentence has been cut:
Only Miguel DePina, 84, who had been taken from a hospital bed and put on a plane to San Francisco last Sunday, had left before them.but vestigial print marks, apparently from the tops of the capital letters, remain:
A second altered paragraph, the fourth from last in the Times' archive, beginning "But I ended up mostly treating...", is missing four closing sentences:
"There was an epidemic of athlete's foot. Everybody in town had it. Everybody used the same shower. There was no ventilation on the floor and the lack of proper cleaning of the floor caused it to spread.and likewise, a remaining printing artifact, the top of the "T", can be seen beneath the word "mosquito."
The apparent malfeasance in the FBI archive is an attempt to hinder research and utilization of the file by giving an eroneous title to the article, and by failing to indicate a date on the board.
The title given, "'Seniors' Got Special Priviliges," would appear by its typeface to be originally a subtitle for the article, but no such subtitle appears on the article maintained by the New York Times, although the FBI board indicates this is the same article published on page 16 of the Times.
Simply neglecting to provide the necessary date is found relatively rarely in the FBI archive, where sloppy handwriting, or poor photocopying can be found more often as an obstructionist trick. In this collection however, several articles mounted to the new-form board have the date missing--supposedly clipped in FBI offices as distinct as the Los Angeles and the New York Times.
89-4286 Section 169 Newspaper Clippings Vol.5 - The Vault - FBII've yet to do a complete analysis, but the presence of two versions of the printed forms interleaved throughout a collection, composed by different FBI offices in different cities, but bearing the same or similar defects, may indicate that these sheets were later alterations.
FEDERALBUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. RYMUR. (JONESTOWN). BUFILE NUMBER :89-4286-881 (BULKY). NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS. VOLUME 5 ... Cache
Several complete paragraphs are included in the clipped article in the FBI's file, which are missing from the article maintained by the New York Times
paragraph missing between paragraphs 8 and 9
Her first thought, she said, was that the commune had been raided by the mercenaries Mr. Jones had warned of -- soldiers paid by the Central Intelligence Agency or by relatives who wanted their loved ones out of Jonestown. And she began to tremble.after paragraph 10, a missing header and paragraph
Thought She Would Starvemissing closing paragraph
The old woman said she was beside herself with fear. There was no food in the cabin she had shared with her 69-year-old sister and two others in the 16 months she had been in Jonestown, she said, and she could not make it on her own to the kitchen. She began to believe she would starve.
"There was also a lot of diarrhea and nausea," he continued. "Sanitation was very poor. You could hardly breath in the outhouses. We used cement bags, cardboard and newspaper for toilet paper. Some people even used leaves."There are two examples of information found in the New York Times' article version, which are not found in the FBI version:
Heading before paragraph 5 missing from FBI version
Slept Through the KillingsAnd an alternate ending in Times' version of 3 paragraphs
Mr. Evans said he never received enough food to satisfy his hunger. Once, when he asked for another helping of rice, he said he was ordered before the nightly "people's forum" and browbeaten by Mr. Jones.Anyone familiar with the discrepancies in the official account of what transpired at Jonestown can see the value in the information omitted from the Times' article, but interestingly, facts missing from the FBI version also carry revisionist weight. Did Hyacinth Thrash blissfully sleep through the ordeal unaware, as an old lady might, or did she hide under her bed, as an alternate versions of her story has it, with full knowledge of what was taking place? Was she so disabled she was at risk for starvation if no one came to her aid, or was she adlibbing to a reporter as she boarded a plane she was later to walk off?
Mr. Evans said three or four members of the cult leader's 40-man security force, armed with rifles, often marched through the nighttime meetings.
"He said we were facing external and internal threats," Mr. Evans said of Mr. Jones. "He'd tell us there was an infiltrator, but he didn't know who it was. He had us in an uproar about who it was. Some people didn't even trust their own companions. Several times, I saw a person turn in his own companion. You got to where you didn't trust anybody.
Were there only four persons to a cabin in an overcrowded commune, or was the census overstated?
I've determined that Thrash was a witting long-term shill in the fake-healings that Jim Jones employed as part of his successful ministry, going back to the days in Indiana. A few souls were required to be spared in order to tell the tale of this Masada (a point made explicit by Mark Lane) and Thrash seems a likely candidate.
The other two survivors interviewed by Joseph Treaster for this article, Grover Davis, 79, and Julius Evans, 30, share a common bond in that they both had avoided contact with the press until they boarded the plane home. Davis may be a true survivor, inasmuch as he seems incapable of adding to the narrative, and may have been frightened into silence.
Evans, on the other hand, could very well be the rare, if not singular example of someone who was totally unwitting to events, yet was somehow able to survive them. His description of the health and sanitary conditions is damning to any story of a socialist paradise. It took Tim Reiterman 30 years to mention the outhouses the commune used.
Evans is the sole source, to my knowledge, that the community was facing "external and internal threats;" and that "there was an infiltrator, but [Jones] didn't know who it was."
That Treaster could write in the same article about the same man:
"He had us in an uproar about who it was. Some people didn't even trust their own companions. Several times, I saw a person turn in his own companion. You got to where you didn't trust anybody."yet who could engage in a long-term conspiracy with impeccable timing:
"...he and eight others who had been planning to escape for eight months, slipped out of Jonestown on the morning of Nov. 18,"seems an impossibility, but that's the unreconciled overt record. That nine disparate communards could disappear under the fraught conditions prevailing the weekend of Representative Ryan's visit (they said they were going out on a picnic,) without any of "cult leader's 40-man security force, armed with rifles," coming after them by 5 p.m., when the community first learned of its need for an ultimate fate, is also a nonsensical tale.
But trying to determine which version of the article contains more truth, let alone "the" truth, is not worth the effort, since the federal crime-fighting agency is working hand-in-glove with the national newspaper of record to defeat the purpose.
For instance, the section of the FBI clipping containing the missing Hyacinth Thrash paragraphs at the bottom of the first column, has been so cut up and doctored that it would appear that it is the manipulated version. Every paragraph from the fifth through the tenth has been individually cut apart and pasted to the board, in a fairly obvious attempt at something. The fifth paragraph has been truncated to represent a column break, but no article could originally meander across a newspaper page like that.
This is an age-old trick to muddy the waters with so many layers of obfuscation and internal self-inconsistency that ultimately truth is unknowable. The manipulation within the New York Times' archive is further proof that all the self-congratulating of the profession as an honorable fourth spoke in the wheel of democracy is sham---they are no better than Goebbels' Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, but it should be stated for the record, they probably are no worse.
How many 30-year-old respiratory therapists could there be in a single commune? We have Julius Evans, above, being one, who walked out of the commune along with his wife and three young children, But approximately two years later, Dale Parks, from the hillbilly Indiana Parks', is also described as a 30-year-old respiratory therapist---since that would so please the court. Now we know where the snake-handling tricks comes from---down in the hollow.
August 29, 1981, Montreal Gazette, Temple's Leader Used Snakes To Terrorize Would-be Defectors,
There is something rather reassuring about Mr. Evans---if only for the fact that he rescued his entire intact nuclear family, consisting of a wife and three children, without leaving a string of half-step-first-cousins who were once first wives, but under assumed names to feed the maw of an insatiable storyline. I haven't dug into him yet, but it's clear he wasn't a featured interviewee with nothing to say, nor did he write a book which can be purchased used for one penny.
So he serves as a contrast to another story so foul and reprehensible that I'm glad it finally ended in 2010 with an obit. Robert Paul's story as told by his matriarchal Louisiana cousin is so mean and lopsidedly stupid it's no wonder he was kept away from microphones and reporters' pens on express orders from somebody. I post it in its entirety below.
When the obit speaks of his "then-girlfriend Ruletta Paul" and their one-year-old child, this doesn't imply he went on to marry her later---only that he had subsequent girlfriends, plus children, and he left them too. How "Ruletta" came be Ruletta "Paul," is of no interest in a world without actual autopsy reports.
But how a man could leave his family to go off on a "picnic," knowing full well he was leaving them to "suicide," is one thing, but making up an excuse by mixing up narrative elements is unforgivable. It is said that Robert Paul would have taken his son along on this picnic if it weren't for the fact the boy was engaged in a performance for the visitors:
"He tried to leave with his child, but Robert Jr. was putting on a play for the congressman."While a community performance is one of the few indubitable facts from that weekend, even a lugubrious cycle of Ibsen would have been finished by 11pm Friday night. Then it was cheese sandwiches and cyanide for lunch on Saturday.
The survivorship of the Evan's family also neatly mirrors the horror of the slaughter of Sharon "Linda" Amos "Harris," and her three children in Georgetown. Government authorities and the media bent over backwards conspiring to hold no one but the dead as being responsible for that speciality killing.
July 22, 2010, The Daily Iberian, Local who survived Jonestown dies, by Justin Hall,___________________________________________________________________________________
For New Iberia resident Robert Paul, being a survivor of one of the worst mass murders in American history did not win him a million bucks on some television show but rather something more valuable:
Only 33 at the time, Paul was one of 33 survivors of cult leader Jim Jones' Jonestown massacre Nov. 18, 1978, a mass suicide that killed more than 900 people in the South American country of Guyana.
Paul, 64, died Saturday in New Iberia, after a life that was, in his cousin Geri Brown's words, "a living hell."
"I know he really went through a lot, he always put his head down when he talked about it," Brown said. "He really had a lot of hurt."
Born Nov. 3, 1945, on Jefferson Island, Paul moved when he was 5 to live with Brown, her mother, Lena James, and their grandparents, Ida Vincent Davis and Robert Davis, in New Iberia.
After serving in Vietnam, Paul made his way to California, where he joined Jones’ Peoples Temple church, a predecessor to the compound Jones built south of the equator.
Brown said Paul joined the church with his then-girlfriend Ruletta Paul and their 1-year-old son Robert Paul Jr., who was born at Iberia General Hospital (now Iberia Medical Center).
"At the time, it was just like a regular church," Brown said.
Paul eventually rose through the ranks of the church, becoming a security guard for Jones while in California. When Jones went south to set up his compound, Ruletta Paul took Robert Jr. with her in February 1978 and was "brainwashed" by Jones, Brown said.
Brown said Paul missed his first two flights to Guyana but was successful on his third try, making it down to Jonestown in the spring of 1978.
Brown said Paul quickly discovered Jones had taken the church in the wrong direction and repeatedly tried to leave by telling Ruletta Paul he was "going to wash their clothes," a code phrase for trying to escape.
Paul eventually joined a group of 11 members who escaped through the jungle and caught a train out of Jonestown before making it back to the United States. Ruletta Paul and Robert Jr. were among the 900-plus people who drank the cyanide-laced Flavor Aid drink and died at Jonestown.
"He tried to leave with his child, but Robert Jr. was putting on a play for the congressman (U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan, D-Calif., who was assassinated while in Jonestown on a fact-finding mission)," Brown said. "That really hurt him a lot."
Upon returning to New Iberia, Paul raised a son named Javon with then-girlfriend Sandra Monique. While Paul and Monique did not stay together, Javon considered Paul to be a father figure in his life.
"He was like my father, more like a role model to me," Javon Monique said. "We went fishing and watched football games. He taught me black belt karate."
Back home, Paul worked as a janitor at New Iberia Senior High and Park Elementary School until his retirement.
Through it all, Brown said while Paul tried to live a normal life, the experiences he had in Jonestown were something from which he could never escape.
"He spent a lot of his time mentoring, wanting children to know his experience," Brown said. "But he never went to any survivor's reunions. He just couldn't participate in that."