Edith Roller – August 3, 1975 – Sunday

Transcript || PDF from 89-4286-HH2-30-34


I woke at 7.30 when Beulah got up, soon went to sleep again. Beulah called me at 8.50.

I had for breakfast an egg, bacon, toast and grits.

Beulah’s husband drove us with numerous children to the Temple.

It was about 11.45 before I got into service. I wasn’t needed for taking the offering. I found a good seat in the center of the second section.

Testimonials were being given.

The congregation and choir sang fast numbers which raised spirits.

A tape of a former sermon of Jim’s was played.

Chris Lewis spoke: Father loves us all equally. There is no big “I,” nor little “u.”

Groups of young people performed some African dances. The San Francisco girls were first; then the small children, and a mixed group of boys and girls, the last two groups under the direction of Frances Johnson. Some of the symbolism was explained.

Jim entered during the dancing at 1.20. Releasing captives from jail is what we’ve been doing, he said. CBS-KNX said we’d better awaken to what’s happening in our country or we’ll find ourselves in the same situation as the Germans before Hitler. Some of Jim’s statements: I’m always a little afraid to have white people come who’ve forgotten what they’ve suffered. In this country you get no more justice than what you pay for.

It was announced that someone’s car is in a neighbor’s driveway. The person who did it is a lousy hypocrite, said Jim.

The jails are concentration camps already. Some of you have blinders on, spelled B-I-B-L-E. Jim said he had a great deal of respect for Jesus, who was an early revolutionary. Thomas Jefferson said the state will always do the people in; the country should have a revolution every twenty years. So did Paine and Washington. Jim made particular attacks on some educated stiff-lipped women. He spoke of the Bible as an agent of oppression. Church people are the only ones who will kill you thinking they do God a service.

Jim referred to his tiredness. He had had four days without sleep. “It’s a slow choo-choo today, but I’m going to reach a station.” Some people have to hear the truth today or they’ll go to a concentration camp. He gave instances of vulgar language in the Bible.

The preacher always led the lynch mob. Who crucified Christ? Church people. The Bible makes people complaisant. He spoke of the greed and evil of ministers. “I think this is an exercise of futility. People don’t want to listen.”

He described the devastation that will be caused by a nuclear bomb. “I hate to do this before I’ve taken the offering. But I can’t have you say, ‘You didn’t tell me.’” They killed Martin Luther King when he started marching with the working class, talking about how the rich were supporting the Vietnam War. The rich are the source of revenue for churches.

When Nixon is running around here free, I’m going to defend niggers if they steal the damned White House.

The Bible says, obey your master. If you’ve got a good master be thankful, if a bad one, endure him.

Jim went on to the topic of the lineage of Jesus. First he cast doubt upon his fatherhood. Why was he traced through Joseph? Then he showed the inconsistency of the accounts of Matthew and Luke of Jesus’ ancestors. “I’ll spend a whole sermon to convince one person.” He dealt with Mary’s lack of belief in Jesus. There is not one story on which the gospels agree. He gave the congregation three illustrations of points he was making: how he came to the realization when he was a mere boy, poor and ill, that “I’m the only God there is”; how some children in Redwood Valley found a round ball of buzzard shit which looked just like the earth, and he explained to them that maybe the earth is nothing more than buzzard shit; and he and a member on the platform with him acted out Lucifer’s revolt. “I don’t want to be a god, but I am a saviour, a liberator, a revolutionary.”

You will never know what you’ve had until I’m no longer with you. I know you need me. Someone started to wail. “That’s what I mean.” People take advantage of me, let me do all the work and raise all the money. He analyzed the account of the creation and of Adam and Eve.

I tried — it didn’t work — you’re going to try to find a way around it. If you don’t come today, it’ll be too late. He spoke of reincarnation and other planets. I wasted my time. It’s a waste of their time (to his leadership). Don’t bring me any new people. He finished speaking at 3.20.

He took the offering by sum.

There were healings. After two were healed, Jim asked any who didn’t believe to leave.

The service was dismissed at 5.00.

I got a place in the food line early and ate the communal meal.

I changed clothes and got on the bus. The buses left at about 6.30. The day was very hot. We had to stop once going over the Grapevine to let the buses cool. On the stretch before reaching the rest stop we were told to close our windows because of the smog.

I read To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson, slept a little. I was sitting beside a mother holding her baby. She was big and sometimes spread into my territory.

We stopped at Button Willow [Buttonwillow], where I ran a little, drank much water. Sylvia looked at my head, said it was doing well, and she didn’t think I needed to see Debbie Evans at the church Monday evening. I wrote a note for Debbie and gave it to Carolyn Looman.

I talked for a few minutes with Gene Chaikin.

Edie Kutulas and I were asked by Jim to talk to a young Indian girl from Fresno, who has just started coming to the Temple. Jim said she might get some opposition from her relatives, as Indians often think they’re better than blacks. She is a naive sixteen-year-old.

Bus No. 12 had had trouble, and when the other buses were loaded, we had to wait for it and bus No. 5, which had stayed with it. We were told that our bus and No. 5 would have to divide between them No. 12’s passengers. No. 12 and 5 arrived and we loaded. All children and young people gave up their seats and were put in the aisles. We must have carried some one hundred people. Small children were held by adults. I was fairly comfortable, except that I couldn’t put my seat back, and when I slept I twisted my neck.

Several Redwood Valley Council members — Don and Bonnie Beck and Lee Ingram — were on our bus, probably going to confer with Jim in San Francisco, as the emergency mentioned earlier was not resolved yet.

We left Buttonwillow at 12.00. I expected we would be late in getting into San Francisco, but we made very good time and arrived at 5.45.

Although I think No. 5 arrived before us, I did not see either Mary or Contonia. I took some others to Scott and Oak, arriving at my apartment at 6.15.