[Editor’s note: Serial 1958 is among scores of FBI documents which contains so many deletions as to be nearly incomprehensible for researchers into Peoples Temple and Jonestown. This is a partial transcription, pending final resolution of litigation on these documents.]
TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286)
FROM: SAC, BROOKLYN/QUEENS MRA (89-495) (P)
Enclosed for the Bureau are five copies and for San Francisco two copies of an LHM classified “Secret” captioned “People’s Temple Christian Disciples of God”.
The LHM contains information provided by [name deleted] referred to as the “Confidential Source” in the LHM as furnished to the Brooklyn-Queens Metropolitan Resident Agency.
For information of Bureau [name deleted] was afforded repolygraph examination at NYO [New York Office] on 2/12/79. Results of polygraph concerning information furnished by him as set forth in attached LHM indicated no deception.
[Page 1 of memo]
United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Queens, New York
February 21, 1979
People’s Temple Christian Disciples of God
During the period December 27, 1978 through January 23, 1979, a confidential source, in a position to furnish reliable information concerning the People’s Temple Christian Disciples of God (PT) and the Government of Guyana was interviewed at the Brooklyn-Queens Metropolitan Resident Agency (BQMRA) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The People’s Temple Christian Disciples of God is publicly known as religious encampment in Jonestown, Guyana, South America. In November, 1978, PT leader, the Reverend Jim Jones and 914 people were killed after the assassination of Leo Ryan, a United States (US) Congressman and others in Guyana by members of the PT.
[Paragraph 2 heavily redacted]
The source stated that he believed if he remained in Guyana, he and his family would be killed on orders of Prime Minister Linden Forbes Burnham of Guyana. Source stated that he feels this development occurred because he [line deleted] with Paula Adams, an administrator of the PT party at
Georgetown in Guyana.
Source advised that Prime Minister Burnham came into power in Guyana in 1953 under a coalition Government still under British control. Burnham, a communist, hence the People’s National Congress (PNC), the party currently in control in Guyana. Burnham’s primary opposition,, Cheddi Bharatjajan [Cheddi Jagan], leader of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), was overthrown when Burnham came into power. The only viable opposition party in Guyana today is the Liberation Party held by Dr. Conrad Ganrhakumar. Source stated that Burnham has maintained power by “rigging” elections.
Source advised that East Indian Hindus represent 52% of the population of Guyana. He stated that [5 lines heavily redacted]
[11 line paragraph about Paula Adams heavily redacted]
[Half-line deleted] Source stated that when [line deleted] Adams refused to discuss it with him. Source advised that at one time, Burnham had a farm for growing Ganja, a drug resembling Marijuana, near the airport in Georgetown. The Ganja was being grown and exported for profit by Burnham. Some Ganja subsequently found its way into local markets and the farm became public knowledge causing embarrassment to Burnham. The farming was done by an elite number of soldiers in the Guyanese Defense Force (GDF). When the filing became public knowledge, for officials of the GDF disappeared. Source stated that he had heard Jonestown had taken the place of this farm and was the largest producer of Ganja in Guyana.
Source advised that Guyanese Indians called “Buck People”, told him that political enemies of Burnham were killed openly at Jonestown. These political enemies were brought to Jonestown by the GDF. Source said that the ” Buck People” told him there were acres of Ganja being grown at Jonestown. Source advised that Burnham owned two seagoing trawlers and that with two ships owned by the PT, frequent trips to Miami, Florida were made smuggling Ganja into the US.
[5 line paragraph about Burnham associate heavily redacted]
[1st paragraph of page 4 deleted]
Source feels that Adams has used her relationship [2 words deleted] to get preferred and special treatment from Burnham’s government for the PT.
Source advised that he was not in Guyana at the time of the assassination of Congressman Ryan, however, from his knowledge of how Burnham operates, he feels the Jonestown “suicide” is more complex than has been portrayed in the news media.
Sources stated that he feels the initial body count of the dead was correct. He stated that he feels a great many Jonestown occupants fled into the surrounding bush after Jones announced his plan of mass suicide. They were then tracked down by an elite force of the GDF, which was permanently stationed around Jonestown to keep the occupants inside of the settlement. Those PT members who escaped were killed by the GDF and their bodies subsequently positioned in the area of the main pavilion at Jonestown.
The source stated that Burnham’s delay in letting US officials into Jonestown, was to allow the bodies to decompose so that a discrepancy in the times of death of up to 12 hours between the first group of 400 and the final count of over 900, could not be detected. Source said that he felt the aircraft being guarded by GDF leaders at the end of the runway at Port Kaituma, when Congressman Ryan and his party were gunned down, contained narcotics ready to be flown to Miami. Source stated that Ryan or his party gone nearly airplane, they would have been killed by the GDF.
Source advised that Burnham is supposed to be very friendly with Russians and Cubans, yet he is also bringing in Chinese. The Chinese are building a glass factory, a clay brick factory, and a palace for Burnham. Source stated that he cannot understand why the US Embassy just sits there doing nothing.
Source advised that in February, 1977, [balance of paragraph redacted]
[Six lines deleted] stated that he heard that from July, 1977 until [several words deleted] August, 1978, unloading of Cuban ships took place on the Essequibo River, the western border of Guyana.
Source advised he ascertained that the above material was being purchased for the GDF from funds outside of normal established defense accounts. This in effect would conceal these purchases as being military related and are outside the scope of normal auditing controls.
A drawing of these [several words deleted] which the source has characterized as “accurate and reasonable” is heretofor attached.
[page 7, deleted in entirety]
Source advised that [2 lines deleted] and that they seem to have entered into Georgetown and vanished.
Sources said that he has heard that three large ammunition dumps exist in Guyana [5 lines deleted]
Source said that when passing this area by automobile, he observed black GDF soldiers in jeeps. On some occasions, he observed white males traveling by Jeep in groups of twos and threes. Source stated that these white males were definitely not Cubans. Source said that he has heard rumors that Russians were being flown into the interior of Guyana. Source related that when he resided in Guyana, [2 lines deleted]
The source advised that an associate of his told him that he had observed two trucks explode with terrific force while transporting material to the above mentioned dump. Source stated that [2 lines deleted]
[2 lines deleted]
Source stated he [2 lines deleted] advised that the Cuban presence is very low-key in Guyana, with the exception of the Cuban Embassy.
Source advised that Adams told him she held the position of Administrative Assistant within the PT. [2 lines deleted] she slept and lived in her office at the PT Georgetown facility at all times indicating that she had little to do with the other PT members who according to source lived in very cramped quarters with 50-75 people occupying a standard sized dwelling.
[5 lines deleted] Adams left Lamaha Gardens for Jonestown for approximately a four month period between February and June, 1978. When she returned to Georgetown, source stated she had lost a lot of weight. It appeared she had been working very hard and had gone through some type of ordeal.
[Page 10 of memo]
During Adams’ absence, Debbie Touchette performed her duties in Georgetown.
[two paragraphs deleted]
He stated that PT members [half line deleted] Adams, Touchette, Tim Jones, and Pat Cartmell. They explained [3 lines deleted] Guyanese citizens could not have possibly been given the same privileges.
According to source, all out of country calls are monitored and recorded by Burnham’s government and therefore all PT business conducted by telephone must have come to the attention of the Guyanese Government.
Source advised that the day following the Jonestown killings [balance of paragraph deleted]