Serial 2023

[Editor’s note: The FBI released two versions of this serial, with slightly different redactions. The text from the more-complete version appears below, with the additional text from the less-complete version added in red type.]

Airtel

Date: 3/27/79

To: SAC, San Francisco
From: Director, FBI
RYMUR

Enclosed for San Francisco is one copy each of internal FBIHQ memoranda dated 12/21/78 and 3/21/79, along with enclosures attached thereto. Enclosures pertain to captioned matter and are self-explanatory.

San Francisco insure that appropriate investigative personnel at San Francisco familiar with CPUSA [Communist Party USA] matters, are aware of the contents of enclosures, and any domestic security or FCI interest in the People’s Temple is coordinated with FBIHQ.

[Page 2]

United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Memorandum

Date: 3/21/79

To: Mr. W.O. Cregar
From: [name deleted]

Subject: RYMUR

PURPOSE:

To provide INTD observations regarding FCI interest in documents discovered at Jonestown, Guyana, as requested by attached memorandum of J.O. Ingram to Mr. Moore dated December 21, 1978.

SYNOPSIS:

Documents recovered at Jonestown reflect People’s Temple (PT) was openly pro-Soviet and had connections with the Communist Party, USA (CPUSA). High-level CPUSA assets furnished current comments reflecting CPUSA had a fraternal relationship with PT. This is logical since both are pro-Soviet. INTD is interested in reviewing any additional information regarding the Soviet involvement with PT.

RECOMMENDATION:

Refer to CID.

[Page 3 of serial; page 2 of document]

Memorandum to Mr. W.O. Cregar from [name deleted]
Re: RYMUR

DETAILS:

Attached to referenced memorandum was a document discovered at Jonestown apparently written by member of PT. It is the judgment of INTD that his [this] document was prepared for an official of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) of Guyana, which is aligned with the USSR. PPP leaders are Cheddi and Janet Jagan. According to the attached document the PT was openly pro-Soviet and had some connections with the CPUSA.

As advised by [name deleted], W.O. Cregar memorandum dated 1/18/79, captioned as above, INTD had sent leads to field offices where our top CPUSA assets were located. The following was reported.

CG 5824-OA advised that the CPUSA has in the past, assisted Cheddi Jagan of the PPP in obtaining financial support within the United States. The asset further advised that Attorney Charles Garry associated with the PT, was a personal friend of Dorothy Healey and Al Richmond, former leaders of the CPUSA who have since broken with the CPUSA.

NY 694-OA advised that Jagan has often visited the United States and that the CPUSA has an fraternal relationship with the PPP. It is noted that the CPUSA and PPP are both pro-Soviet.

San Francisco Office reported that CPUSA members connected with the American-Russian Institute have had contacts with the PT and the CPUSA members have aided Soviet consulate officials in contacting PT members in San Francisco.

[Page 4 of serial; page 3 of document]

Memorandum to Mr. W.O. Cregar from [name deleted]
Re: RYMUR

[Line deleted] also provided some comments regarding PT which are not set forth inasmuch as they are not believed relevant to RYMUR.

INTD notes that there has been numerous news articles linking the PT with the Soviet Union. INTD is interested in reviewing any additional information regarding the Soviet involvement with PT.

[Page 5]

United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Memorandum

Date: 12/18/78

To: Mr. Moore
From: J. O. Ingram

Subject: RYMUR

PURPOSE: To seek a review by the Intelligence Division of attached documents found in the Jonestown compound by the FBI technical team sent to Guyana. To seek observations of the Intelligence Division as to any FCI interest.

RECOMMENDATION: That the Intelligence Division review the contents of attached documents and furnish observations and recommendations regarding any FCI interest in this matter.

DETAILS: Attached are samples of documents from an unknown source within the Jonestown, Guyana, community which were recovered by the FBI technical team sent to Guyana to assist local authorities in the investigation of the assassination of Congressman Leo J. Ryan, California, by members of the PT led by Jim Jones. A review of these documents indicates a pro-Soviet philosophy and contacts with the Communist Party, United States of America.

[Page 6]

[First word illegible] putting some things in writing, as we do not know if wiretapping – bugs are a problem here or not. We feel it is for your benefit as well as ours – especially with the kind of conditions we are living under. It is more for you than for us, as we do not want to cause you any pain. We have to be very careful not to show our friendship to you or the PPP. We were told by some who said they were members of your party, to be very careful – extremely careful. Even someone in the PNC gave us a friendly warning and said that there were some in the government who are suspicious of us because of our connections with the Soviet Union and their Embassy here in Georgetown. We would have never dreamed of coming to your home at night if it were not for the friendly warnings. We did not know what to do. Right now, we may not even be able to stay in Guyana for even talking to you. We were told by someone in the US, who has since died, and who helped get us into Guyana, to be discreet when we contact you. He admired you very much. There are some of the cabinet members and people in the government who speak very well of you. At least, they have told us that. But they have also warned us that any contact with you would be the end our relationship with them.

There was immediate resistance to People’s Temple because we had been friendly to you. They knew that Jim Jones had gone to Freedom House and that he had spoken with your wife on one occasion. We had a hell of a time because of this and because we had spoken positively about you. They knew we also had other contacts. We were not hesitant to come to you for advice in the early days, but we have been advised to be careful because the time has not come for us to be affiliated with the PPP. We are friendly with your Party, and to whoever comes into our project and medical clinic. We do not ask who is friendly to the PPP or PNC. But for your sake as well as ours, it would probably not be good for us to make our friendship known. We have no ties here.

We are in no position to help you overtly, as we are not Guyanese citizens. We would come out more, but we were told by some Soviet officials and members of the PPP, that it would not be wise because the situation of our citizenship has not been settled. Our attempts to become naturalized have not been responded to. When we have discussed it, we have never gotten any positive feedback. Until the situation is resolved, we have no real security – unless you might know of some magic way of getting it done. If you are a citizen, you have bargaining power. Because of this, it would create a problem if we were to attract a lot of attention. You can understand why we have to be care-

[Page 7 of serial; page 2 of document]

ful. In fact, one person told us reliably, that if we were to be caught speaking to you, we would have to leave Guyana.

We were asked by PNC government officials to come out in favor of the referendum with the Council of Churches, and we refused. It was also brought up locally in the Northwest. Of course we did not come out, and they wanted to know why. We took a great risk in doing this. We do not know what the repercussions of not coming out in favor of the referendum may be. It took a great stand to resist all of the pressures we encountered over the referendum. The PNC gave us hell because they wanted us to vote and we did not want to do that. If we had done so, you know what we would have voted.

We know that there are people in the PNC who hate us because we are Socialists. We have been told by someone in the cabinet that there is one cabinet member in particular who hates our guts, and does so just because we are Socialists, and because we have Soviet connections. We have been openly pro-Soviet, and have a strong Soviet alliance. We never speak against you or your Party. We are pure in our Socialist commitment. We are Marxist-Leninists. TASS representatives came to Jonestown and did a remarkable story. When we spoke to them, we also spoke well of you and we did so at the Russian Embassy also. We disagree heartily with the Chinese these days, and we are disgusted. We have discredited China’s doctrine of the Three Worlds in our school.

Our best friends in the US are also your best friends – like Carlton Goodlett. Our people are taught to respect you fully. The Mirror had something to say about People’s Temple, and our people do not understand it at all. We haven’t even let the people at the project see it yet, and they normally read the Mirror from cover to cover. They will not understand why they have been attacked by people they have praised. We know that you did not give this to the Mirror, but it would be alienating to our people if they read it. We wanted to come to you about it, so that it could be remedied. We mentioned it to our friends at the Soviet Embassy who said they would speak to you and your wife about it, and about our concern. Everyone there respects you.

We were told by leaders in the CPUSA, that we were about to be destroyed in the US. Even Carlton Goodlett does not want us to go back to the US now because he thinks that Jim Jones and others in our organization will either be framed or assassinated. We have sent money (in the form of cash) to several African liberation movements. Jim did not want to leave the struggle in the US, and he

[Page 8 of serial; page 3 of document]

still has a strong part of its membership in the struggle there. But he did not know what to do. Had he remained, he would have been thrown in the sea. He had to use some sort of discretion – that is the only reason he did it. He did not like doing it, so please tell him if you have any solutions on how we can survive in Guyana and get along. Particularly now since the referendum, they have all the power. We are catching so much hell because of our work in liberation struggles back in the US. We are doing our part and you can check with the people at the Soviet Embassy here. They know we are doing our part – and we cannot do all that we want to do.

If they were to come down on us, we would resist. We have more loyalty to you than some of your own Party members. We have written letters and made phone calls on your behalf when people were saying you had illegal guns and were trying to frame you. We were trying to help you at the time. No matter who comes in to Jonestown, and no matter what they have said, we have always defended you. No matter what anyone says negatively, Guyana needs to be unified. If the struggle comes, we would be one of your strongest assets because we are all committed Socialists and pro-Soviet. Come to Jonestown and see if you aren’t kindly and cordially received. (Those who have come and professed to be PPP, have just raved about it). The only thing is that your coming might be a problem to both yourself and to us. It might get us all thrown out. So what if it does – but we have to be realistic. Please understand our position.

[Page 9]

July 3, 1978

To: Heads of Security
From: CAO
Ref: Front Gate Security

Effective immediately all Jonestown residents (and this means everybody) must have a travel pass in order to leave Jonestown. This pass must be signed by the Security Duty Officer in one of the three Chief Administration Officers.

Instruct Front Gate Personnel:

1. To take the passes when people arrive at the front gate.
2. Look for the proper signatures;
3. Write down on the pass the time of departure.
4. When people return again write down the time.
5. When their hour of duty is complete at the front gate they must turn in all travel passes to the dispatcher on duty;
6. Front gate personnel must call into dispatch before people leave out of the gate.

Originally posted on August 6th, 2020.

Skip to main content