"Paul can't trust anyone in that office except Tim."
So, let's learn more about Tim Stoen.
IT’S NOT FAMILY FARE...
Imagine yourself in Church. The Pastor speaks.
“You know how far I have told you to go and don’t go any further than that. You can sleep with her but do not fuck her. Tell her that you don’t believe in it, or that you are homosexual or something, but do not fuck her.” He is speaking to “Mark”. He continues: “Some people in here are wondering why I trust you with these sex assignments so I think you should tell about the time you asked me to fuck you.”
Mark’s dutiful reply (anything less would result in punishment): “I know that your teachings are that I am a homosexual. I appreciated your fucking me because I knew I needed it. I found the experience to be both physically and mentally painful. I know that the pain was an indication of how much I needed to be fucked. I am taking your advice and using a vibrator up my ass so that I can learn to enjoy it. Thank you for helping me realize what I really am.” Mark had said all the right words, wording his answer cautiously,
WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD STAY ANOTHER DAY IN THAT CHURCH?
In another incident, the Pastor forces a man to perform oral sex on a woman who is on her period - in front of the group.
WHO WOULD STAY ANOTHER MINUTE IN THAT CHURCH?
In yet another incident the Pastor tells about the women he is “fucking to keep them in the Cause.” But now he was being “forced” to perform the same service for some of the men. He referred to Eric as “The Noxema Kid” “When Eric asked me to fuck him, he said he always uses Noxema, and I believed him,” he said, laughing in spite of Eric’s blushing mortification. “As soon as we used it, we both knew it was a mistake.” Even in this act, he had to make himself look good. “As Eric was crying in pain from the burning Noxema on his rectum, I got a cloth and helped him wash it off. I didn’t even take the time to clean myself up, although I was also in pain.”
SHOCKED? These were regular occurrences in the meetings of the People’s Temple’s inner circle, known as “The Planning Commission.”
Long before this, Jim Jones had announced to his followers that John Victor Stoen, the then one-year old child of the People’s Temple head attorney, Tim Stoen and his wife, Grace was really his child. That Grace had not taken to the work very well, having come into the church only out of marriage to Tim. She was having marital problems and threatened to leave the Church, and slander Tim (the reason left vague, though some accounts say Grace was unhappy about Stoen’s transvestite tendencies. Jim had to prevent her from bolting, so he seduced her “to protect us.”
Meanwhile (again left vague), Jim had also gone to bed with (fucked) TIM. He said men needed this, too.
WOULD YOU STAY IN THAT CHURCH?
Tim Stoen did. And what makes Tim Stoen different than the others caught up in this story is that for 10 years he aided and abetted Jones as the mind-bending violence, rape and torture escalated. For 10 years. Tim Stoen. Second-in-command-right-hand-man-attorney to the People’s Temple. Head of the “Diversion’s Department” or “Dirty Tricks Department” of the People’s Temple.
Educated man. Former Assistant District Attorney in Mendocino County, Former Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco, both WHILE he was with Jim Jones, more recently former Assistant District Attorney in Mendocino County, former candidate for State Assembly, most recently the Assistant District Attorney for Humboldt County.
OVER THE YEARS, TIM STOEN PROVED THAT HE WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR THE CAUSE.
Most people take their kids to Church to foster a sense of community and morality, to teach them right from wrong.
In the Catholic Church, members are expected to unload their guilty consciences in the Confession Booth. The penalties exacted for sins committed and confessed are penitent recitations of Biblical verses - the proverbial “10 Hail Mary’s.”
In the People’s Temple, members were expected to confess their “sins” publicly at every turn, and if they had none to confess, they had to make them up. They were required to sign “confessions” - bizarre notarized affidavits, some of those blank, which could be filled in by Temple higher-ups at a later date. These were held to prevent any members from defecting for fear it would be used against them
Then, at best, they were subjected to humiliation and excoriation in sessions known as “catharsis” in the “Planning Commission Meetings.”
At worst, they were beaten… Most of the beatings took place in Planning Commission Meetings. "The beatings were intensely brutal. They used large people such as Jack beam and Ruby Carroll, both of whom weigh 200 pounds. Many times the beatings would be done on children four and five years old. The board they used ("The Board of Education") was three quarters of an inch thick and about two and a half feet long. Children were beaten the number of times decided by Pastor Jones, often as many as 150 times. During the beating, Jim Jones would demand that a microphone be held to the child's mouth so that the audience could hear the groans of pain. A microphone was unnecessary as the screams could be heard throughout the entire building.: (Al and Jeannie Mills sworn statement, Oct 18, 1976 - As Temple Attorney, Stoen was surely aware of that.)
In another "Planning Commission" Meeting in 1976, a man accused of molesting a young boy was beaten. Mills recounts: "While the boy, Searcy, was forced to watch, Peter was stripped naked and beaten with a board all over his body. His penis was banged until it drained blood. The nurse had to catheterize him, and a stream of blood and urine poured out. When the beating ended, all the P.C. Members had to walk past Peter, one by one, to see his bruised and bleeding body."
Telling on others became a means of self defense, self protection and advancement.
Special punishment was reserved for children. Jeannie Mills describes "The Blue-Eyed Monster" as related by a 5 year old - kindergarten age girl who had come back into her care..."I got in trouble in the church because I lied, and Father (Jones) said I'd have to go to the Blue-Eyed Monster. Then they took me in this dark room, and the monsters were all over the room. They said, "I am the Blue-Eyed Monster and I'm going to get you." Then a monster grabbed my shirt and tore it open. You remember, Mommy, that shirt I had in my suitcase when I came here, with the big tear in front? That's the shirt the Blue-Eyed Monster tore open." ... "Then all of a sudden the monsters started to say, "I'm going to get you again" and then one hit me right here," she said pointing to her chest. "Then it felt like a knife was going right down to my back, and my body started to shake back and forth like this." ... "Then my teeth were tied together so I couldn't open them." ... "I couldn't believe it - it hurted so bad." A five year old child.
In other books you learn that the little girl is describing a darkened room filled with adults armed with cattle prods (thus the BLUE electric light). They zapped the child with the cattle prods, the impact of the electrical current locked the child's teeth together as they were propelled across the room to be hit yet again.
Jeannie Mills describes this and other abuses and notes that, "Following such beatings and punishments, the Temple’s Attorney secured protective legal documents, notarized parental releases and “requests” for punishment. "
"The Temple's Attorney." "The Lawyer."
In Jonestown, the sadistic torture evolved:
Adults who were punished spent up to a week in “the ”box” - a wooden prison 3x3x6 feet... For Children, “Big Foot” awaited.” replacing "the Blue-Eyed Monster."
“Ordinary childhood antics and mischief resulted in a trip down a dark path, each child firmly escorted by camp enforcers, to where Jones waited at the side of a water well. White with fear, the children were hoisted and dropped by rope into the water. Other members waited in the blackness of the well, coached by Jones to seize the children and drag them underwater. In the darkness, cut off from parents and any possibility of help, the children paid for naughtiness, dunked again and again....
...Their terrified screams often reverberated through Jonestown, then faded into the lush, silent jungle.” ("The Suicide Cult," also mentioned in "Seductive Poison.
“Stoen was our head attorney. Any risk ever taken was cleared through him. The one who made sure that our legal department (you know, the legal department files complete with 'blank signed papers' and 'self-incriminating affidavits' and 'irregular notarizations' was all shipshape... ... it was Stoen who authored many of the transgressions of the law, as often as not, autonomously!.)"
Some 287 children died in the Jonestown massacre. Many were wards of the State of California who had been turned over to Jim Jones and other Temple members by California judges. All the paperwork was in order. All the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. All arranged by the Temple's lawyer. All in order to bring more money flowing into the Church's coffers.
Considering the physical and psychological torture the children of the People’s Temple endured - one could argue that they were lucky to have died.
And that's not all.
Note: Everything in quotes comes from the books on People's Temple. For those who would say I have selected the most salacious passages from the various books on People's Temple, you would be correct, for the purposes of this post. But reading those books is like descending into Hell, and these passages only reflect a numbing series of daily practices that went into the mindset of the people who ultimately ended up dead in Guyana.
Paul Gallegos hired him to be his Assistant District Attorney, said Tim was a "stud" - that anyone would be "stoked" to have him. And these are not the most disturbing passages.