Woman 1: I knew they were rednecks…I knew they were (laughs)
Woman 2: You didn’t know
Woman 1: I didn’t know
Man: We are now in the official session
Jack Beam: They were Kentuckians and Tennesseans. Is it going now?
Jack Beam: They were Kentuckians and Tennesseans I know and the district was called Dogtown, Kentucky, I mean Dogpatch, eh, of the south side of Indianapolis, eh, that’s where the Somerset congregation was I think it was and, eh, but the he was told word had gotten around by this time that some, oh, what was the reference to all these people that never had no church home, they were Pentecostal people but they were but they run around all over and take in anything. Well anyhow, Jim had been in down in Franklin …
Jack Beam: huh?
Woman: The Latter Rain movement
Jack Beam: Yeah, the Latter Rain movement. Uhh yeah but anyhow, they had had a meeting down in Franklin, Indiana and Jim had been asked to come down there and speak, and uh,
Woman: It was Columbus, Indiana
Jack Beam: Columbus, you’re right Columbus. It was Columbus, Indiana and asked to speak down there and eh, and so his gift began to operate while he was down there and I mean he was and he called all people their problems, their number and a social security numbers eh payment numbers that would be filed away so that nobody could possibly know stuff like this, eh silly little insignificant things, he’d call people out and try and tell them to go down to the corner and make a right turn or something and there would be Nestle wrapper laying in the gutter and under that Nestle wrapper was eh, some kind of a colored stone. Just intricate little details that just a light, a flash and they would go good and blam and they would be healed. But uhhh
Jack Beam: In the meantime, John Price had heard about this and he went fishing and, and he got this vision out why he was fishing that Jim should be his successor that he was ready to retire, he was an old man. And he
Man: So he just realized that Jim would bring a lot of people into his church?
Jack Beam: Right, and his retirement is predicated, his retiring salary is predicated on what kind of good income come in there, and so if he had a money maker you knew he was guaranteed a good
Woman: Is he dead now?
Jack Beam: Oh yeah, he died horribly. She stood there and watched the old fucker die uhh of uhh false pains really. Not a god damn thing the matter with him.
Jack Beam: Hypochondriac, he, he fantasized him a heart attack. But anyhow, Laurel Street was comprised of Ben Adams, which was a contractor, uhh, I mean he build houses. He lived out in Beech Grove, out in that area. Heinz was another, I can’t think of his initials, but anyhow they had a big electrical place like light fixtures, they had a big store, which they done electrical work, wiring houses, uhh and all that commercially and for homes. So Ben Adams and Heinz and eh, a couple of the other people in the church with many means, was well-to-do, they put everything in there. Heinz put all the electrical work, Ben Adams done the masonry and build that sort of thing and uhh we had finish carpenters, I think it was old Dykus was a finish carpenter and uhh
Man: This is when Jim was in the church or before this?
Jack Beam: Uhh well I’m bringing you up to this. That just prior to Jim being brought in there, alright?
Woman: It sounds like they own the church
Jack Beam: See, so what I’m saying in each one of these god damn vultures had a piece of the church and they sit in their god damn corner where they get to admire every fucking thing
laughter and mumbles from everyone else
Jack Beam: They put in the church, “Alleluia,” “Praise God,” “Isn’t he wonderful” (sarcastically). “Don’t fuck with the picture, alleluia.”
Jack Beam: So, Price come in and made this proposal and it was fine so they bring in Jim, said, “Well bring him in and let him do his act, you know, and let’s see if we dig him.” I’m stating it cold-like but that’s the way it was.
Man: That’s the way they looked at it?
Jack Beam: Yes, yeah you’re damn right, and so all he did is heal about three people in one Sunday, he healed more than that but what I’m saying is he had healed about three people and, I mean, the word went out like wildfire. And eh the next Sunday afternoon, eh, it was crowded, the next Sunday afternoon you couldn’t even get in the place. It was packed out and people out in the parking lot looking in the doors and everything. And so, he laid this down.
Jack Beam: Well, I think about the third time that Jim had come there.
Man: They were all white, you were saying
Jack Beam: Oh yes these were all white people and some black people had come and they’ve been crammed way back on the back row and some didn’t even get in.
Rheaviana Beam: It was so crowded, that I didn’t realize we had ushers. And I didn’t know that black people were [mumbles]. You know it was one of those things
Jack Beam: So Jim told Marceline that, I found out about this later, that he said there was some black people coming and by god he wanted them right on the platform with him.
Rheaviana Beam: He even knew their names
Jack Beam: Right he knew specifics, who they were, and by god Marceline brought them right up there. Well, shit that started right after the service, I mean the offerings were…Jim at that point did not mess with money. You know, I mean…
Jack Beam: That’s right, but what I am saying he never even took the offering. Laurel Street Tabernacle took the offering and they took it back in their room and they counted it and would tell him. And it would be measly because, you know, we would be stealing off of Jim Jones. And when I would say we…And I was in on all that went on, ya know. And all the money and all of that.
Man: And didn’t they give him a salary?
Jack Beam: They gave him a cut of the offerings, both of these —-. It was wacko.
Man: Yeah I understand.
Jack Beam: Yeah ok. So, but, right after that when the black people got put up on the altar. Right after that meeting, we had a meeting…a board meeting. I was on the board being —–. And they told Jim or we did because I was on the board, “Hey, did you know, don’t be bringing the niggers out on the front.” I mean it’s sophisticated, but that’s what they meant, “Don’t be bringing the niggers up front. I’ll tell you what we’ll do. We’ll build a church for the niggers, and you can minister to them and then you can come and minister to the white people.” And Jim said, “I’ll have no part of that and…”
Man: He leave the board meeting?
Jack Beam: Yeah, he walked out of that god damn thing.
Man: What did you think about when he walked out? What was your reaction?
Jack Beam: I thought he had a lot of god damn guts. Because here was a young guy, and well you gotta see the setting, Jim. Now, Laurel Street Tabernacle wasn’t no god damn shabby [ ], this was a Bedford Stone, brand new church and everything in it was brand new.
Rheaviana Beam: He was going to be the pastor
Jack Beam: And he was going to be the pastor and that constituted right off the bat about $40-50 grand a year.
Man: In those days that was a lot of money.
Jack Beam: Hell yes! In 1950
Jack Beam: I swear to god, there’s a man with balls, he’s walking out of the, ya know. But I didn’t like their shit anyhow. Their operations, their planning, shit of keeping everything in one church, even in their cross-town fellowship, ya know. I did…3 songs and a dry fucking sermon and then how you should give honor to an old fucking man who was drying up and never said nothing in his life anyhow.
Jack Beam: Right, and read all that shit and then him take out his wrath on everybody that he didn’t like in the god damn congregation…scripturally, ya know? But, as soon as Jim walked out of there and they said, “Well, you said, eh, that somebody….” They was tired of Price anyhow. And so a hell of a fight broke out in the god damn board meeting. And Price is there, the pastor. And Dykus …a fist fight.
Man: A fist fight?
Jack Beam: A fist fight.
Man: What were they fighting over?
Jack Beam: Well, Jim. Yeah.
Rheaviana Beam: I didn’t know this.
Man: Who fought who?
Jack Beam: Well, I am going to tell you this. The thing was that Price didn’t want just any fucker coming in and taking over on his retirement because he wanted his retirement guaranteed. And his salary would be predicated on the drawing power of who took his place.
Man: So he wasn’t going to be in the church, he didn’t really care who sat where.
Jack Beam: That didn’t bother him at all, and he was insisting on a money winner, which Jim Jones was the front runner, you know.
Jack Beam: He could out preach, at that time, in social commentary, and, and, and, and, and everything that he said was relevant and it made sense, and it would electrify people, and I mean, he would wrap it in the scripture in such a way –
Woman: mumbling, too quiet to hear
Jack Beam: Yeah! And he would wrap it in such a way that you had to look at it, you know, you had to look at it! And then, by God, you know, by looking at it, then he’d heal your ass, and it was the Word being accompanied by signs and wonders, which was their scripture! They couldn’t get away from it, but they didn’t like that shit sitting by niggers.
Jack Beam: You see? Alright! So a fight broke out then and Price said, “I insist on this man,” he said, “God shoved me!” And, and Dycus as much as said, “Fuck God! Man!” And took a swing at Price! And somebody said, “Wait, he’s an old man! He’s put his life in this church!” and Dycus said, “Fuck no!” He didn’t said fuck him but he said, “Let him go get a job like I did!”
Jack Beam: He said, “Go let him get it!” [inaudible]
Jack Beam: “Let him go get a job like I did!” He said, and Dycus said, “You work on a railroad!” He said, “I don’t care, so let him work like I did!” And, and then Kline(?) spoke up, he’s the [unintelligible mumbling]
Jack Beam: and then he [mumbling] and my lights cut out.
Jack Beam: Ain’t that the worst, he’s gonna jerk the goddamn light fixture, he’s gonna jerk …
Woman: Do you remember how Dycus spelled his name?
Jack Beam: D, Y, C, U, S.
Woman: They had a fight?
Jack Beam: Yeah! They had the goddamndest fight, and then, politics begin to play. And uh, so, some of the young married people that had went to Springfield religious college, began to play politics you see. And they wanted Thornton, a William Thornton, to be their pastor.
Jack Beam: And uh, he was supposed to be a young [inaudible] fan, in fact, he’d come to California and he was over in Hayward a while, in fact he has a program right now, ah you, ah you can be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that’s a scripture in the bible, but anyway his program over KFAX is “Renewal.”
Jack Beam: Yeah. William Thornton. Ah but anyhow, “Willie” maybe, come there, and Jim was there, and he was by standing there.
Jack Beam: Yeah I, I hate that buck-toothed motherfucker, I think that [inaudible]
Woman: and uh, you didn’t come across any of these people [inaudible]
Jack Beam: Uh, yeah that what had happened, what I do know, I’m not too clear on this but uh, Bill, he finally got the church. He got the church, and we moved.
Jack Beam: Bill Thornton, he had the church for a while, but Bill got into trouble, with a young, molestation I think, Jim knows the full thing of that, and uh, and I uh, am pretty sure at one time, Marceline might know about this, [inaudible]
Jack Beam: and goddamn Bill’s wife went with him [inaudible]
Woman: Was it too many years later?
Jack Beam: No, it was right round in the same time, but uh…
Woman: So what ever happened at the board meeting?
Jack Beam: Oh! Rest of the board meeting, that they started this politics thing, after that board meeting, then the politics happened. They called in Bill, and uh, and one of the, and one of the [inaudible], and they tried out another minister there, so they uh, they called me on, on the phone, and wanted to line up, they were trying to line up votes! They wanted me to work, you know, on my campaign!
Jack Beam: Campaign to get [inaudible]. And Rheaviana, Rheaviana done got hit, and uh, she said to me, she said uh [inaudible]. Well, I said uh, “Well that’s one reason, I’m a little dubious about it now,” and I said, “I know they’re alright there, and I don’t give a shit what they’re really doing upstairs,” but I said there’s a bunch of little kids in there, [inaudible], never had anybody to care about them too much, you know, [inaudible]. And and and that sort of thing, and they kinda, she said, “Look, we can be [inaudible.]” And we was going home after a hell of a fight, they were [inaudible] those goddamn bikes, the following, the following week. In the meantime, Jim and Marceline went down, and uh, mortgaged their, whatever they had, got a loan someway, and and got the church on 15th and Delaware.
Woman: Right around the same time that this happened? Immediately after?
Jack Beam: Oh yeah! Because, because he had a hell of a following, that he had to…
Woman: He had to do something with.
Jack Beam: Yeah, he had to do something. So.
Woman 1: [inaudible]
Woman 2: No, he had, he had preached in Indianapolis before.
Jack Beam: Yeah, down in Somerset.
Jack Beam: Correct. The next Sunday we were on our way, she said, “We’re not going back there,” and I said [inaudible], and she said the kids could come with us. And the next uh, that afternoon, we went, we went, didn’t even go home.
Jack Beam: Didn’t even go home. We didn’t even go home, cause Jim was, us, they hadn’t gotten things settled on 15th and New Jersey yet, and there was one place over on Hoyt street and they were holding service, and she said, “Let’s go over there.” They’re a young couple. You know, I like them, I said “I do too.” But I was still a racist, and, uh, so we went in there. And we stopped at, you know, we went over to Hoyt street, where there was a little service, and, yeah like Randolph, and I went in there and set down… [inaudible] I don’t know how old she was at that time, either 9 or 10 I think. I don’t know where…
Jack Beam: Oh, uh, ok, but anyhow, anyhow, she was working, and [inaudible]
Jack Beam: And, uh, I went [inaudible] awful. Remember they had a trailer park down on west side, on Gilbert Drive
Woman: oh yeah!
18:48 through 19:30: [mostly inaudible, except for phrases]
Jack Beam: We were there, and then we moved into the 15th and North New Jersey, and, uh…
Woman: How big would you say that church was?
Jack Beam: There were two wings on it plus the main auditorium…[inaudible], then we had a basement full of Sunday school stuff
Jack Beam: Remember I bought that brand new 1958 Plymouth and the young people took it to [inaudible].
[too many voices speaking at once]
Jack Beam: I know that, I’m just trying to put it in. This was about 54 or 55, that’s what I’m trying to say. Cause we were there, what, about three years? Think about all that _______…
Jack Beam: huh?
Jack Beam: Yeah
Jack Beam: Yeah. Well, I’m trying to think back here, well, ok. We started a, uh, we moved in there. And, uh…
Woman: So you pitched in with the church at that time?
Jack Beam: Oh, yeah.
Woman: Mumbling, too quiet to hear.
Jack Beam: Eva Pugh, Eva Pugh was with Eva what then, Eva Jackson and Ralph her husband. John Settle.
Woman: This was kind of a festive wall street ___.
Jack Beam: Eva…. Bradley was with Laurel.
Man: When he started over on 15th and Delaware, did his congregation begin to grow fairly quickly, or?
Jack Beam: Oh yeah.
Man: Was it in the Dogpatch area?
Jack Beam: Well, it was growing, but eh….
Rheaviana Beam: It wasn’t in the Dogpatch area.
Jack Beam: No we were downtown, uh. It was on what they call the east side. They went from the south side to the east side and it was growing just a little bit. A lot happened in that 3-year span. I think it was about 3 years it was there. His ministry was being heralded all over. At that time, his healing power. And offers were coming in from everywhere. Kulhman came there while we were there, Kathryn Kulhman, and tried to get him to go with her. You know, still maintain our church, but go on tour. In between…I missed a part. In between, I’m thinking back now, in between the transition from Laurel Street to Hoyt. You know I was talking like it was just boom, boom, boom, but there … Jim had been contacted for O. L. Jaggers.
Rheaviana Beam: Right
Jack Beam: Did you tell that part?
Rheaviana Beam: We came out to California, went out to California.
Jack Beam: That’s right. He’d contacted him and guaranteed him a hell of a price.
Rheaviana Beam: Several thousand dollars a week.
Jack Beam: Yeah, several thousand dollars a week. Jim come out and the first night, Jim was in backstage and he saw how Oral treated his dad.
Jack Beam: How Oral Jaggers treated his own dad. And Jim and her got on the plane and come home.
Man: They didn’t even stay for the meeting? What was he doing to him?
Jack Beam: He was unkind
Rheaviana Beam: He humiliated him.
Jack Beam: He humiliated his father. And that’s the same prick who in…
Woman: Jaggers ever heard Jim preach before anybody
Jack Beam: Huh? No, but …
Woman: Just heard by reputation.
Jack Beam: but his, eh…the effectiveness of his healings. Then he come back and that other thing falls in sequence there.
Woman: That happened with…..
Jack Beam: That fell in. Then Kathryn Kulhman come, at that time I’m trying to think of the God- damn, eh, one of those Pentecostal son-of-a-bitch—Pennington, no, eh. What was that fucker that fucked the girl on the Sunday school table, and his, and his superintendent caught him and they throwed his ass out, and Jim took him in. You know, said that, eh, you know the church I’m talking about, hon. It was a Oneness church.
Rheaviana Beam answers in background
Jack Beam: But anyhow there was a whole congregation.
Rheaviana Beam talks in background
Jack Beam: No, he was a white guy. He had a…. [pause] Anyhow. Jim took him in and let him use our church on an off night to hold his meetings. But this man had ridiculed Jim and talked about Jim horribly on the radio. It was an example of really turning your other cheek. This guy, I can’t think of his name right now. But he had done everything that was, eh. And Jim said this man will have to, eh. And his whole thing was over black people.
Woman: And this guy took Jim to task for what?
Jack Beam: For Interracial church.
Woman: On the radio he did this? On the race issue?
Jack Beam: Yeah. He would preach sermons like, ya know
Jack Beam: (mimicking preacher) God made all kinds of chickens. Speckled ones, white ones, and black ones. Now if he wanted them to be the same so they’d all get in the same chicken yard, said you wouldn’t know what was happening in your hen house.
Jack Beam: That kind of stupid fuckin’ sermonetics.
Woman: What kind of chickens would you get?
Jack Beam: I know, they love me
Jack Beam: But what makes a difference when you got a roll going, ya know? But anyhow, this character got caught fucking a young girl, his secretary, on the Sunday school table in the basement of his own church and it caught fine
Woman: His own congregation
Jack Beam: His own congregation
Jack Beam: Yeah! Caught him! And force the church to split down the goddam middle. And, uh, this man was being run out of the god damn town on a god damn rail. And he had nobody to befriend him but the very man that he ridiculed was Jim Jones himself…. Even though he went to him and pouted.
Woman: Where did Jim find him?
Jack Beam: Oh in our church! He’s allowed to go in there and hold meetings with his old sleezy ass congregation that come with him.
Jack Beam: Evidently they were war mongers so they
Woman: What church are they at now?
Jack Beam: It was the, it was the United Pentecostal Church
Woman: Was it a church he was interested in?
Jack Beam: No he was not! Our church at 15th and Delaware where he allowed him to bring….
Woman: How long was this going on for?
Jack Beam: Uh, for about uh, uh, maybe about uh month and a half or two months till this motherfucker got his second wind and then he left and came right back, you know.
Jack Beam: His nasty ass again. That was one of the things, eh. Then we had an apartment put in, and we fixed it up. And I moved into the apartment and maintained the boiler and everything there, but the race issue was getting hotter and hotter at that time and people would come and, by God, they would just do everything. And Jim was just really preaching on the sermons out of one’s life, God made all nations to rule on the face of the earth and ya know how can you love God whom you have not seen when you have not loved us. You know the whole racial thing from a biblical standpoint, boom, boom, boom.
Jack Beam: and these fuckers just be like pour out the door and Jim just work until he’s falling on his face.
Jack Beam: Right, at that time we had gone through every black house in Indianapolis and knocked on their door and invited them to church if they had no church affiliation
Woman: Now, Now Jim did this because he basically got you guys start a congregation
Jack Beam: Right
Woman: and also he was was getting sick of the way these people was acting…
Jack Beam: Oh yeah! He would tell them! He would tell them! You know and he would finally just get frustrated well and you know how he would get
Jack Beam: God damn it you know! And what he wanted to say but they were religious people. God damn it! You want the fucking healing, well stick your money up your ass if you don’t love these black people is what he was really wanting… and he’d have to call all-loving and you know physical work but that’s why it doesn’t help this ya know he’s friends with all of these…
Woman: Mumbles inaudibly
Jack Beam: Yeah
Woman: He really got disgusted with white people…
Jack Beam: Well, there was other thing that feed into this you think that happened. I went down to fire the boiler there one night. And it was a hopper type boiler where you put your coal in the hopper and the damn thing augured it in, it would feed itself all night long, you know. And when I opened up the hopper to put more coal in there, some motherfucker had put two big sticks of dynamite in there. Which, if it had got down in that augur bin under pressure it would’ve pressured them things right in there and when it hit that hot flash it would’ve blown that whole fucking burner off and all of us together, too. And, on that corner…
Woman: Mumbling… timed for people to be in church
Jack Beam: Yeah, and I just went down to check it. I don’t know why I went down to check it. But I don’t know why, do you know what I mean?
Woman: Yeah I know what you mean?
Jack Beam: Like I’m going, I’m all dressed up in a suit and for no reason I would go down, but I did and I saw the … and we cleared the people out until we could check around and see what the fuck else they took from
Woman: And these were people that you imagine were people who had heard him speak and
Jack Beam: Yeah
Woman: And they said that was no good
Jack Beam: Yeah, because they didn’t like it, well what was that church called
Woman: “Latter Day Saints”
Jack Beam: Yeah, Latter Day Saints said that they had some
Woman: People in the area
Jack Beam: And they were coming in and having inaudible and well sure well we got there
Woman: Well you got there and inaudible
Jack Beam: No, I mean
Woman: Well thought this was a trick well other churches had services, too
Jack Beam: No, they had had, it had been a Seventh Day Adventist service
Woman: Well, I see, I thought the church was being to -ain as necessary
Jack Beam: Well, the neighborhood thought goddamn it, there’s no way to have church if you both go in there and prays and …..
Woman: well continues to speak inaudibly
Jack Beam: Get your ass up and go home
Jack Beam: And you know you don’t have goddamn racial riots on the goddamn corner people saying, you know,
Woman: speaks inaudibly in the background
Jack Beam: Yeah
Woman: Have you heard were tearing this place up?
Jack Beam: Oh yeah!
Jack Beam: And over a loud speaker, and you know how Jim speaks like at top level,
Jack Beam: (Mimicking Jones preaching) “And if he does not love a black man he must burn eternally in hell!”
Jack Beam: And it’s just getting it rammed at 24 hours… but we had the.. you know, whenever we had church that son of a bitch went on 24 hours doing something