Kilduff, Marshall: Jim Jones as commissioner


Marshall Kilduff: Well, at the time I was a City Hall reporter. I would cover the Housing Commission along with a number of other commissions. These were always sleepy affairs with about twelve bureaucrats and three reporters and fifteen to twenty people in the audience. Suddenly, they were filled with one-hundred fifty people; all of them bussed in by Jones who would be there twenty minutes early. This group rapt attention. Whenever Jones would say anything, whether it was approving the minutes or making a short speech about something, there would be thunderous applause for like a couple of minutes. It was way over the top. It was just too much. This isn’t the way life’s led. So that got me curious about Jones and who he was, and why this circus-tent buildup to everything. I tried to write stories about the guy, tried to interview him, and I was always brushed off or told not to bother, Jones liked things private, and he would just be judge on his good works. The whole thing seemed a little sketchy. I had a heck of a time getting through to meeting some of the Jones people who wouldn’t talk or the Jones followers or Jones himself. So the guy was a big mystery man to me.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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