May 4, 1979 • 1607 • Georgetown-State • 1988

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979GEORGE01988_e.html. The State Department FOIA release of 1981 withheld substantial portions of this cable under the national security exemption. They are denoted below in red type.]

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ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ADS-00 OCS-06 CA-01 L-03 SSO-00 SS-15 /041 W
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O 041607Z MAY 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 9581
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 1988
FOR CONSUELOR FROM AMBASSADOR

E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CASC (PEOPLES TEMPLE), GY
SUBJ: CRIMMINS/CARPENTER REPORT ON PEOPLES TEMPLE.

1. YESTERDAY (MAY 3) I LEARNED FROM PRESS INQUIRIES, WHICH CAME TO ME LOCALLY AND FROM THE UNITED STATES, THAT REPORT ON PEOPLES TEMPLE PREPARED BY AMBASSADOR CRIMMINS AND STANLEY CARPENTER HAD BEEN PUBLICLY RELEASED BY THE DEPARTMENT I HAVE NOT EVEN SEEN A COPY OF THE REPORT. I BELIEVE THIS EMBASSY SHOULD HAVE BEEN INFORMED IN ADVANCE OF THE PROPOSED PUBLIC RELEASE OF THIS DOCUMENT AND, AT THE VERY LEAST, THAT THIS EMBASSY AND I PERSONALLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW IT PRIOR TO ITS RELEASE. I WOULD ALSO HAVE WELCOMED THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT ON ITS SUBSTANCE AS WELL AS ON THE TIMING OF ANY PUBLIC RELEASE.

2. I AM NOT OBVIOUSLY IN A POSITION TO COMMENT ON THE U.S. DOMESTIC ASPECTS OF ITS RELEASE, BUT I CERTAINLY CAN OFFER THE FOLLOWING JUDGEMENT FROM GUYANA: WE HAVE BEEN PRESSING THE GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA TO PROCEED WITH ITS OWN ALREADY ANNOUNCED INVESTIGATION OF PEOPLES TEMPLE AND THE GOG HANDLING OF THIS PROBLEM. IN VIEW OF THE RELEASE OF THE CRIMMINS/CARPENTER REPORT, I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT

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THE GOG WILL NOW RELAX ANY EFFORTS TO MOVE AHEAD PROMPTLY WITH ITS OWN INVESTIGATION AND WILL BE STORNGLY INCLINED TO DISMISS THE MATTER AS A PURELY AMERICAN PROBLEM. IN SHORT THE “HEAT” HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM GOG AND THE RESPONSIBILITY WHICH THIS GOVERNMENT HAS VIS-A-VIS PEOPLES TEMPLE COMMUNITY WILL NOW BE IN ALL LIKELIHOOD FORGOTTEN.

3. I WOULD HOPE THAT THIS EMBASSY WILL BE PROMPTLY AND FULLY INFORMED REGARDING ANY FURTHER PUBLICITY ON THIS REPORT, INCLUDING ANY BRIEFING WHICH MESSRS. CRIMMINS AND CARPENTER MIGHT GIVE.

BURKE

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Originally posted on October 23rd, 2020.

Last modified on November 15th, 2020.
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