The days of death are over and the bodies are gone, but the tension and fear among the few survivors of the Rev. Jim Jones' Peoples Temple have been played out daily in small, unhappy sequels to the original tragedy that claimed at least 918 lives.
There are 78 members of Peoples Temple left in Guyana, all of them still here at the request of local police. Nineteen people who escaped from Jonestown and three former Jones lieutenants who say they were allowed to leave during the mass suicide have been housed in the Park Hotel, despite their protests about being together.
Another 46, some of them believed to have been trusted officials and security personnel in the cult, are still under guard at the Peoples Temple Georgetown headquarters about two miles from the hotel.
For years, many of these people subscribed to the same Peoples Temple creed and lifestyle. Now, all they have in common is that they are alive, they survived.
Most at the hotel are alive only with the help of good luck. Robert Paul escaped before the killing began. Odell Rhodes slipped out unnoticed amidst the dying. The Parks family - Gerald, 45, Dale, 27; Brenda, 17; Christ, 20; Tracy, 12, and Edith 64 - left with the party of Rep. Leo J. Ryan (D-Calif.) and managed to avoid the shots that killed the congressman and four others. Dale Parks lived only because the gun placed against his chest misfired. One member of the family, Gerald's wife Patricia, was killed.
Others, the ones called "loyalists" by some of the others, were simply chosen to live. Tim Carter, 30, Mike Carter, 20, and Mike Prokes, 28, say they were sent from the camp by a Jones confidante with a suitcase full of money, a gun and instructions to "get out before it's too late."
The 46 at the Georgetown residence, Lamaha Garden, were 120 miles away from Jonestown when it all happened.Some of them were there for medical treatment they could not receive at the camp site. Others were new arrivals in Guyana awaiting transportation to Jonestown.
Among the residents of the house, however, are a number of cultists whose image, fairly or unfairly, brings terror to many at the hotel.There are 10 or 12 members of Jonestown's basketball team, who have been accused by some of the other survivors as being part of the armed security force at Jonestown.
There are at least three persons who survivors say participated in public beatings at Jonestown. There is a person who handled many local administrative matters for the temple and a person who handled public relations for the temple, both feared primarily because they were so trusted by Jones.
Until the day before yesterday, another resident of the Georgetown house was a stocky ex-Marine named Charles Beikman, 43, who was arrested, jailed and charged with murder of Sharon Amos Harris and her three children who were found in the house with their throats cut the night the Jonestown suicides took place.
Finally, there is 19-year-old Steve Jones, the son of Rev. Jim Jones, and undoubtedly the man most feared now by many of the survivors at the hotel.
The house and its occupants have been under heavy military guard since last Saturday, Local authorities did allow several of the Peoples Temple leaders residing there to hold a press conference a few days afterwards, however. The press conference only intensified the bad feelings among the survivors.
At the press conference, one resident of the Georgetown house, Paula Adams, portrayed herself as a dissenter from the terror tactics Jones used to keep everyone in Jonestown submissive and confined.
"If people wanted to leave," she said at the press conference, Jones should have "let them leave."
But other survivors claim that she was one of those who administered public beatings to disaffected or misbehaving residents of the camp site. According to a Georgetown lawyer, she also was the one who telephoned him and tried unsuccessfully to get him to prevent the inspection tour planned by Rep. Ryan, offering the lawyer virtually unlimited funds to get that job done.
One of the men who appeared at the Lamaha Garden press conference, Lee Ingram, also had described himself as deeply disturbed by events at Jonestown and had issued an apology to the people of Guyana for disrupting their peace.
But other survivors remember him as the "coach" of the armed security team which they claim patrolled Jonestown with guns and doubled as the basketball team. Ingram and Adams were both described by survivors as among the "staunchest supporters" of the concept of mass suicide.
Steve Jones, who presided at the press conferece, also said he disagreed with his father's excesses. He portrayed himself as a man of compassion whose "entire life has been lived to better the lives of others."
Tr add five
Some of the survivors remember Steve Jones another way.
"He talked to people like they were dogs," recalled Jerry Parks. "He was also throwing his weight around all over the place because he was Jones' only natural son."
"When he came out on the basketball court," recalled Chris Parks, 20, "everyone would stop playing. If they didn't, he'd order them off."
Survivors say that Steve picked the basketball team, as well. But no one could remember any announcement for tryouts, although various people occasionally seemed to get "cut" from the team.
While everyone has said that only the most trusted were permitted to stay in the house, no one was apparently trusted very much.
"Everyone here in Georgetown had a relative in Jonestown, Paula Adams said at the press conference, "the reason being it meant you'd always return. How could you desert someone you loved?"
Other survivors also felt strongly about the presence of Mike and Tim Carter and Mike Prokes in the hotel with them until they were taken into custody for further questioning today about events at Jonestown.
All of them had operated close to the center of power at Jonestown. Prokes, a former California television reporter, was a top spokesman for the temple and an adviser to Jones himself. Steve Jones was said to have regarded Prokes as a competitor for future control of the camp.
Mike Carter was the radio operator, a strategic position because it was the sole means of communication at Jonestown.
Tim Carter said he was sent by Jones to "infilteate" the group of parents in the United States who were upset by reports they had heard from Jonestown.
All three men were allowed to leave the camp as the suicides were taking place. They were handed a gun and a suitcase full of money, gold and jewelry by Jim Jones' confidante, Maria Katzaris, they later reported and told to geto out of the camp in a hurry.
They dropped the heavy suitcase while fleeing, they have said, but removed the money with which they were found when arrested by police later.