Serial 1780

FBI Airtel

Date 1/23/79

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

Enclosed for FBIHQ is a copy of a suit filed on behalf of the United States Government against the People’s Temple (PT).

The suit alleges the 500 people who died in Guyana expressly or impliedly contracted with the PT for the necessities of life and the incidents thereto, including proper burial. Because of the PT’s failure, the US Government perform acts with the intent to be paid therefor. The cost of these acts is $4,298,000.00 and that is what the suit asks.

Unrelated, today’s news media carried the story indicating the family of Congressman Leo J. Ryan filed a $5,000,000.00 suit against the PT.

[Page 2]

BARBARA ALLEN BABCOCK
Assistant Attorney General
G. WILLIAM HUNTER
United States Attorney
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, California 94102
Telephone: (415) 556-1126
DAVID EPSTEIN
JAMES G. BRUEN, JR.
Attorneys, Civil Division
Department of Justice
PO Box 875
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044
Telephone: (202) 724-7453

Attorneys for Plaintiff

United States District Court
Northern District of California

United States of America, Plaintiff

v.

Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, a California corporation, a/k/a Peoples Temple Christian Church, the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ Church in Guyana, a Guyanese Corporation; Peoples Temple Christian Church Company Limited, a Guyanese Corporation; Asociacion Religiosa Pro San Pedro, S.A., a Panamanian organization, Defendants

1. Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is based on 28 USC §1345 because this action is commenced by the United States of America, plaintiff.

2. Defendant, Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, a/k/a Peoples Temple Christian Church, is a California corporation formed under Section 9000-9802 of the California Corporation Code, with its principal place of business in San Francisco, California.

3. Defendant, the Peoples Temple Christian Church Company Limited, is a corporation organized pursuant to the laws of the nation of Guyana. On information and belief, at all relevant

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times the Peoples Temple Christian Church Company Limited was doing business in this District in its own name or through its alter ego, the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ.

4. Defendant, Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ Church in Guyana, is a corporation organized pursuant to the laws of the nation of Guyana. On information and belief, the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ Church in Guyana at all relevant times was doing business in this District in its own name or through its alter ego, the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ.

5. Defendant, Asociacion Religiosa Pro San Pedro, S.A., is an association or corporation organized pursuant to the laws of the Republic of Panama. On information and belief, this association or corporation was organized for the purpose of holding the assets of the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ or its alter egos and it is an alter ego of the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ doing business in this District.

6. On or about November 18, 1978, the defendant, Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, acting for itself or through its agents or its alter egos, did negligently or through willful and wanton conduct failed to take steps to protect from wrongful injury or death over 900 persons in Jonestown, Guyana, leading to an emergency situation which was a threat to health, safety and decency. On information and belief, James Jones as the alter ego, chief officer and agent of the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ and its alter egos did intentionally, negligently or through willful and wanton conduct abet or cause the deaths.

7. The more than 900 persons referred to in paragraph 8 [6] above were members of the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ community in Jonestown who expressly or impliedly contracted with the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ or its

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alter egos for the necessities of life and the incidents thereto including proper burial.

8. The defendant Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ or its alter egos failed to attend to the needs of its members in the emergency situation resulting from the deaths referred to above.

9. Among other things, the defendant Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ or its alter egos failed to protect or provide for the survivors of the events of November 18, 1978; it failed to search for and secure from harm the lives and property of its members; it failed to take reasonable steps to transfer the bodies of its deceased members to a suitable place for burial or to the relatives of the deceased; it failed to provide for the burial of its members or to protect the deceased from indignities.

10. The United States requested the government of Guyana to permit burial on its soil which request was denied. The Government of Guyana then requested the United States to remove the bodies from Guyana.

11. Because of the failure of the defendant Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ or its alter egos to perform its duties, including those described in paragraph 9 above, the United States of America, for reasons including public health, safety and decency, to perform such acts with the intent to be paid therefor.

12. The United States continues to perform such acts and is entitled to compensation therefore.

13. Thus far, the United States has incurred damages of $4,298,000.00. The United States expects to accrue further damages.

14. On information and belief, each of the defendants in this action and James Jones disregarded the separate forms and corporate status of the defendants and each defendant and James Jones are the alter egos of each other.

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Wherefore, the United States demands:

(1) Judgment against the defendants for the total amount of damages incurred by the United States in this matter; and

(2) Such other relief as is just and equitable.

Respectfully submitted,
BARBARA ALLEN BABCOCK
Assistant Attorney General
G. WILLIAM HUNTER
United States Attorney
DAVID EPSTEIN
JAMES G. BRUEN, JR.
Attorneys, Civil Division
Department of Justice
PO Box 875
Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044
Telephone: (202) 724-7453
Attorneys for Plaintiff

Originally posted on August 3rd, 2020.

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