Letter from Tim Stoen

Press Democrat (CA)/March 2, 2005

Dear Les,

I have wanted for a long time to write a letter of apology to you, and reading (on the Free Republic weblog) of the sad event of your recent heart attack, am prompted to do so now.

You were right about Jim Jones and Peoples Temple. I was totally wrong. If I had not been ideologically blinded by a utopian worldview, I should have been open to the truth you were trying to tell.

You were willing to confrontally take on the Machiavellian Jones when other critics were too faint-hearted to do so. You were able to see beneath the surface of the glitter. You deserve an award for both insight and courage.

From my heart I apologize for my mistreatment of you, including organizing the picketing, filing the lawsuit, and castigating your motives.

I have asked God to forgive me for my wrongdoing in being a part of Peoples Temple. He has mercifully given me a second chance. But the natural consequences of my wrongdoing - especially the death of John Victor and those temple members who joined because they trusted me - cannot be erased.

I am still a prosecutor but understand, far more than ever before, the reality of original sin.

In conclusion, I pray God's blessing on you for a speedy and total recovery. I also pray you can forgive me.



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