Serial 1741

[Editor’s note: One of the subjects of this serial whose name is deleted is Charles Garry’s assistant Pat Richartz. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]

FBI Airtel

Date 1/11/79

TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286)
FROM: SAC, SAN FRANCISCO (89-250) (P) (SQ. 10)
SUBJECT: RYMUR

Enclosed for the Bureau are two documents, one captioned, “Verbal Orders Don’t Go – Write It!” consisting of six pages and one captioned, “Memorandum” consisting of seven pages.

At the 1/5/79, Washington, D.C., meeting with Associate Deputy Attorney General, [Michael] Egan, one of the attendees, Stuart Schiffer, Civil Division, DOJ, indicated an interest in documents which showed a relationship between the members and the Temple. In particular, Schiffer was in hopes of finding a document which indicated a member would give the Temple all of his/her worldly goods in exchange for the Temple taking care of the member for the rest of his/her life – including burial. This would help Schiffer’s case of establishing the Temple’s liability for the debts incurred by the US Government.

The enclosures are part of a group of documents received from [name deleted] [Pat Richartz], Assistant to Attorney Charles Garry, the People’s Temple (PT) attorney. While they are not exactly what Schiffer is looking for, they do tend to indicate the relationship and proposed relationship of the members to the Temple and may be of some assistance to him.

REQUEST OF THE BUREAU:

That the enclosures be made available to Schiffer.

[Page 2]

Verbal Orders Don’t Go – Write It!

To: 1. Tish
2. Maria
3. Tim Stoen
4. Carolyn Layton
5. Return to Gene Chaikin

Date: 3/16/76

Please read the attached suggested forms for the Apostolic Corporation and note your comments.

[Handwritten addition] All forms as corrected OK by me. TOS [Timothy Oliver Stoen]

[Page 3]

Rough draft

Application for probationer’s status [The word “probationer’s” was crossed out, the words “senior members” inserted then crossed out, then the word “probationer’s” restored.]

I would like to apply for Probationer’s Status with the Apostolic Corporation. I have received copies of the parts of the Articles and Bylaws that deal with membership status and a copy of the Rules of Comportment and Discipline. I have read them. I agree with and subscribe to all of their points. I intend within two years to become a member if the Board of Directors consents. I am [blank] years of age. I will contribute the sum of $[blank] each month for the cost of my support [words inserted: “for that month”]. I will also perform such jobs or tasks of work as I may be asked to perform from time to time. I understand and agree that this is arrangement is monthly only and may be canceled by either party at the end of any month, [balance of sentence crossed out] and in addition, it will be deemed canceled unless renewed by the Corporation on or before the first day of each month. I understand that I will receive the same benefits as members with respect to food, clothing, and housing. I make this application

[Page 4]

and wish to participate because of my belief in the concept of communal living and my desire to aid this group in all of their activities.

Dated: [blank], 197[blank].

[Signature line]

This application is approved by the Board of Directors of Apostolic Corporation effective [blank].

[Signature line]
Secretary of the Board, Membership Committee

This form is to be used for all persons 60 years of age or older.

[Page 5]

[Editor’s note: This page has been completely crossed out, presumably because it was a rough draft.]
(rough draft)

Letter to Franklin Stark
Re Apostolic Corporation

Dear Mr. Stark:

Having begun to develop our membership, I have discovered that a number of our senior citizens wish to become members. Their applications raised a question as to whether the provisions of Welfare & Institutions Code §§16300 et seq. [handwritten addition “and Title 22, Chapter §33001 et seq., Cal. Admin. Code”] apply to the situation, and, if so, what may be done to stay out of the scope of this regulation.

I would appreciate your evaluation of this question. Please consider this letter a request for a formal opinion.

Very truly yours,
EBC [Eugene B. Chaikin]

[Balance of page handwritten, with note “add this, TOS”]

1) request re title 22 item

2) also request: Does this then (see attached probationers letter) become rental or room & board income? & does it become taxable – or would separate P&L be required on these items? or ?

[Page 6]

APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP STATUS (rough draft)

I would like to apply for membership status with the Apostolic Corporation. I have received copies of the Articles, Bylaws, and Rules of Comportment and Discipline. I have read them and agree with and subscribe to all of these rules. I agree to be bound by them. I am [blank] years of age. I completely understand that upon acceptance of this application I will turn over all of my worldly goods to Apostolic Corporation (inventory attached). Thereafter, should I be employed, I will turn over all of my pay to the Corporation. I further understand that should I leave the Corporation I will not be allowed the return of any property or funds contributed by me. I desire to join the Apostolic Corporation because of my complete and wholehearted belief in the concepts of communal living and the goals and aspirations of the members of this group.

Dated: [blank], 197 [blank].

[Signature line]

This application is approved by the Board of Directors of Apostolic Corporation effective [blank].

[Signature line]
Secretary of the Board, Membership Committee

[Page 7]

Rough draft letter

Timothy O. Stoen
Chairman of the Board of Elders
People’s Temple of the Disciples of Christ
a California Corporation
(Mendocino County address)

To: Carolyn Layton [name crossed out, “Teresa Buford” inserted]:

Dear Carolyn [name crossed out]:

The Board was very pleased to hear the formation of your corporation which will enable you and many members so interested to live the Apostolic Life. We wish you to know the Board has authorized your corporation to use the kitchen and dining facilities in our church located 1859 Geary Blvd., San Francisco for a commissary for your members. You may utilize it during such periods of time as it is not being utilized by the Church functions. This will be without any cost or charge to your corporation.

Please realize, Carolyn [name crossed out, “Teresa” inserted], that this arrangement is temporary only. We wish you to have sufficient time to obtain your own facilities and understand that it may take several months, but the Board does feel that you are expected within a reasonable time to get on your own feet facility wise.

Best of luck.

[Signature line]
Timothy O. Stoen

[Page 8]

Memorandum

To: Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus & Jenkins
Attorneys at Law
Attention: Mr. Raymond L. Hanson

From: Timothy O. Stoen
Date: June 12, 1974
Re: Itemization of cases

Thank you for your letter of July 2, 1974. I would like to retain your firm to provide me legal advice in a number of areas, and I will hereby try to give you some background in each.

I. General background.

Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ is a California nonprofit corporation whose articles [handwritten insertion: “Exhibit ‘A’”] were filed with the Secretary of State in 1965. These articles were amended in July, 1974. A copy of the original articles and the certificate of amendment [handwritten insertion: “Exhibit ‘B’”] is attached. As set forth in the articles, the primary purpose of the corporation is stated as follows:

“The specific and primary purpose is to further the Kingdom of God by spreading the Word.”

The “Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ” is the official title of the corporation behind the church, which is commonly known as “Peoples Temple Christian Church.” The church is an officially recognized “member church” of a 1.5 million member

[Page 9 of serial; page 2 of letter]

denomination which is listed in the “cumulative list of organizations” exempt from federal income tax as:

“General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Inc. (formerly International Convention of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), member churches, agencies, and institutions thereof).”

The aforesaid denomination is structured in such a way as to be broken down into regions which have almost autonomous powers to recognize and have congregations as “member churches.” The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California-Nevada is such a region, and it did in 1965 recognize Peoples Temple Christian Church as a member church within the region. As a short historical note, Peoples Temple Christian Church started out as a small congregation in 1965 with approximately 150 people and grew to around 600 people as of 1969. From 1970 onwards, the church was asked to expand into the big cities, which it has, and currently the membership in the church is approximately 17,000 in the State of California. The congregation now has three main churches: Redwood Valley (where its headquarters is), San Francisco (1859 Geary Boulevard), and Los Angeles (1366 South Alvarado). The Northern California region of the denomination has continued to recognize our congregation in all of its manifestations, including its manifestation in Los Angeles, and in other states of the country. In 1973, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for Southern

[Page 10 of serial; page 3 of letter]

California, another distinct region and the national denomination, officially recognized our congregation. The practical result has been that our church financially supports both regional offices.

The aforesaid denomination publishers each year a “Yearbook and Directory” wherein are listed approximately 5000 churches officially recognized by the denomination (and ipso facto by a region of said denomination). Unlike many denominations, this yearbook publishes an annual income and expenditure statement for each congregation. In the 1974 yearbook, Peoples Temple was listed under both the Northern California region in the Southern California region and, correspondingly, a portion of its income and expenditures accordingly.

In December, 1970, the church adopted bylaws [handwritten insertion: “Exhibit ‘C’”] which are still in effect. These bylaws provide for two classes of membership: Associate members and voting members. The three original incorporators elect the voting members which meet annually in January. Although the bylaws permit any number of voting members, as a practical matter only nine have been elected. It is these nine voting members who have the sole authority to elect the directors of which there are seven. The directors have full powers to run the corporation including its finances. Associate membership is deemed to automatically terminate upon the expiration date listed on a card which is given to each

[Page 11 of serial; page 3 of letter]

associate member. A copy of the bylaws is attached[.]

Since January 1, 1972, the corporation has purchased five care home facilities which will be defined in an addendum to this memorandum. These facilities include a “resident facility classification ‘R’” for 14 mentally retarded ambulatory residents, ages 15 to 40, the license for which is issued by the Department of Health. A second facility is a residential care home known as “Hilltop Haven” which authorizes the care of 14 aged persons, ambulatory, male, license for which is issued by the State Department of Health. A third facility is identical with the second and is known as the Swaney Residential Care Home, which authorizes care of ten persons of either sex, ambulatory. A fourth and fifth facility are also residential care homes for adults licensed by the Department of Health through the County Department of Welfare. Two of the aforesaid facilities our deemed showpieces, one of which had the highest ranking of its kind in Northern California.

Of the preceding five home care facilities, the first four were deficit financed. Each is operated by a church member who has executed a five-year lease with the People’s Temple corporation. As a practical matter, each member gives all of his income public to the church except what he needs to live on. Each of these facilities is deemed to be a human service ministry of the church, and therefore the standard of care is exceptionally high.

[Page 12 of serial; page 5 of letter]

In addition, the churches purchased three houses which it makes available to poor people who come to it who have no place to go. They pay what they are able to pay, and church members stay in the dwellingsto make life comfortable for the residents. Peoples Temple church is primarily a human service ministry, and it takes literally Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned. It has taskforces around each of these concepts. It carries out a drug rehabilitation program, free legal counseling program, and a free education program whereby over 100 youngsters have received full or indirect financial support, and a host of other projects. Incidentally, the church has purchased two dormitories, one in Santa Rosa, and one in San Francisco, to house these students. Each of the students agrees to use his training to serve humanity and is expected to pay what he or she can from summer jobs to offset the assistance of the church.

In December, 1973, the church voted to establish an “agricultural mission” in Guyana, South America. Its primary purpose is to assist that country, which is one of the few in the world having spare agricultural land, in the growing of experimental crops under the auspices of its official “food-closing-housing program.” Accordingly, the church incorporated its venture in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana as the “Peoples Temple Agricultural Mission,” to which the government [of] Guyana

[Page 11 of serial; page 6 of letter]

has now leased 10,000 acres or so of land. The purpose is to help the people grow experimental crops and, secondly, to allow members of our church here who wish to devote part of their life to go to Guyana and help raise crops. The church would like not only to raise crops but to process the products raised and to engage in related commercial ventures, such as (1) lumber mill, (2) commercial fishing business, and (3) food processing, e.g., soybeans, limes, etc. As of the moment, there are approximately 30 church members who have gone to Guyana and have been clearing the jungle in preparation for planting. The church moneys [monies] have been utilized to purchase tractors and other equipment necessary for this mission. A congregation is being established in Guyana open to our members there as well as to anyone else who wants to come. Formal worship services are in the process of being initiated to take place on a regular basis.

In June, 1974, another congregation “member church” of the Northern California region, i.e., First Christian Church of Oakland, commenced negotiations for the sale of its facility to Peoples Temple in order to “revitalize” their dying congregation. The Board of Directors and the congregation have scheduled meetings for voting to sell to us, and we have verbally promised to try this as an ecumenical venture including, if possible, the establishment of a separate “East Bay People’s Temple of the Disciples of Christ” corporation holding title to the property

[Page 12 of serial; page 7 of letter]

[Handwritten note by Tim Stoen]

Remaining pages of this memorandum not yet transcribed and will be mailed to you forthwith.

Originally posted on August 3rd, 2020.

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