Serial 1856

January 17, 1979

Assistant Attorney General
Criminal Division
Director, FBI

PEOPLES TEMPLE

Reference is made to your memorandum of December 15, 1978, captioned as above in which you make certain requests relative to the scope of FBI investigation into the activities of the Peoples Temple. As was discussed in the meeting of January 5, 1979, between Associate Attorney General Michael Egan, United States Attorney William Hunter, San Francisco, yourself, your staff, and representatives of the FBI, the criminal investigation that you have requested has already been implemented. All field offices have been alerted to potential violations involving the Peoples Temple. All field offices have been instructed to properly investigate all allegations coming to our attention involving FBI jurisdiction. Our field offices have also been instructed to promptly advise identifiable potential victims of threats received, and render appropriate dissemination of information to Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Your request that this Bureau conduct a limited domestic security investigation is being held in abeyance pending the conclusion of our ongoing criminal investigation. All matters involving the Peoples Temple that would be addressed by such an investigation are currently being explored in the criminal inquiry. At the conclusion of the criminal investigation, and assessment will be made as to the need to initiate a limited domestic security investigation of the Peoples Temple.

Note: Above referenced memorandum of 12/15/78 is attached hereto for information.

This investigation has been carried out with regular contact and liaison with Assistant Attorney General Philip B. Heymann, Departmental Attorney Michael Abbell, Criminal Division, and staff attorneys of the Civil Division.

[Editor’s note: Referenced memorandum not attached.]

Originally posted on August 4th, 2020.

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