Nation: Following the Flock

He had called the press conference, he said, to charge that the U.S. Government was withholding a tape recording that would show that no one had coerced the members of the Peoples Temple colony in Guyana into killing themselves. On the contrary, contended Michael Prokes, 32, who had been one of Jim Jones's top aides, the tape would prove that "they chose to die because it was an act of courage and a commitment to their beliefs."

Eight newsmen crowded into the motel room in Modesto, Calif., to hear Prokes read his statement. A former TV reporter, he had gone to...

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