Nov 16, 1979 • 1906 • Georgetown-State • 5106

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1979GEORGE05106_e.html. The State Department FOIA release of 1981 withheld paragraph 3 of this cable. It is denoted in red type]

CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 01
GEORGE 05106 221334Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ADS-00 H-01 OCS-06 CA-01 JUSE-00 L-03 PM-06 NSC-05 SP-02 SS-15 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 /065 W
——————112907 221358Z /44

R 161906Z NOV 79
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1032
C O N F I D E N T I A L GEORGETOWN 5106

E.O. 12065: GDS 11/16/85 (DWYER, RICHARD A.) OR-M
TAGS: CDES, (PEOPLES TEMPLE)
SUBJ: GUYANESE GOVERNMENT REPORT ON JONESTOWN INVENTORY

1. (U) MINISTER OF HEALTH, HOUSING, AND LABOR, MAMILTON [HAMILTON] GREEN, WHO WAS ALSO CHAIRMAN OF THE GUYANESE INTERMINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON JONESTOWN , SENT THE AMBASSADOR ON NOVEMBER 14 A COPY OF THE LONG-AWAITED INVENTORY OF JONESTOWN, ENTITLED “FINDINGS, ANALYSIS, AND INVENTORY OF THE PEOPLES TEMPLE AGRICULTURAL SETTLEMENT.” THE REPORT WAS PREPARED BY EMERSON SIMON, WHO WAS THE GOVERNMENT-APPOINTED CONSERVATOR OF JONESTOWN UNTIL HIS APPOINTMENT SEVERAL MONTHS AGO TO HIS PRESENT POSITION OF PERMANENT SECRETARY OF THE MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. MINISTER GREEN EXPLAINED IN HIS NOTE ACCOMPANYING THE REPORT THAT ALTHOUGH IT WAS COMPLETED LAST MARCH AND REPRODUCED LAST SUMMER, ALL STOCKS WERE LOST BEFORE DISTRIBUTION LAST JULY IN THE FIRE WHICH DESTROYED THE MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.

2. (U) THE REPORT CONSISTS OF 52 DOUBLE SPACED TYPE WRITTEN PAGES OF NARRATIVE PLUS 459 PAGES OF APPENDICES, THE APPENDICES INCLUDE MAPS, LISTING OF FORMER RESIDENTS, AND INVENTORIES OF MATERIAL FOUND IN

CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 02 GEORGE 05106 221334Z

JONESTOWN (INCLUDING 274 PAGES LISTING ALL LIBRARY BOOKS BY TITLE AND AUTHOR). IN HIS FOREWORD TO THE REPORT, SIMON NOTES THAT “CARE WAS TAKEN TO AVOID DISCUSSION ON ISSUES AND OF WHAT HAPPENED AT JONESTOWN. THAT WAS NOT THE PURPOSE OF THE INVESTIGATION.” HE RELATES BRIEFLY THE FORMATION OF THE SETTLEMENT, THE CONDITION IN WHICH HE FOUND IT AFTER THE NOVEMBER 18, 1978, TRAGEDY, THE CLEANUP PROCESS, AND THEN PROPOSES A 43 MAN MAINTENANCE STAFF FOR THE SETTLEMENT UNITL IT CAN BE DETERMINED WHAT WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME OF IT. SIMON LISTS AS POSSIBILITIES A PERMANENT AGRICULTRUAL SETTLEMENT, A TOURIST AND RECREATION AREA, OR PERHAPS A COMBINATION OF THE TWO. HE NOTES, HOWEVER, THAT IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE CLEAN-KQ CAMPAIGN “… IT WAS DIFFICULT TO DESPEL RUMORS OF SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS FROM THE PEOPLE INTERVIEWED FOR WORK ON THE SETTLEMENT.”

3. (C) IT HAS BEEN RUMORED IN GEORGETOWN THAT SIMON’S ORGINAL [ORIGINAL] DRAFT OF HIS REPORT HAD BEEN HIGHLY CRITICAL OF THE WIDESPREAD LOOTING ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT BY MILITARY, POLICE, AND NEIGHBORING CIVILIANS BEFORE THE CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN BEGAN ON JANUARY 4, 1979. THERE IS, HOWEVER, NO MENTION OF THIS IN THE FINAL REPORT.

4. (U) MINISTRY OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PERMENENT SECRETARY SIMON AT EMBASSY REQUEST HAS MADE TWO ADDITIONAL COPIES OF HIS REPORT AVAILABLE WHICH ARE BEING POUCHED TO ARA/CAR – MR. MCCOY, BUT SIMION REQUESTS THAT IF ADDITIONAL COPIES ARE NEEDED THEY BE REPRODUCED FROM THOSE ALREADY PROVIDED AS

CONFIDENTIAL
CONFIDENTIAL
PAGE 03 GEORGE 05106 221334Z

COPIES ARE VERY LIMITED.

5. (C) COMMENT: THE REPORT TAKES CARE TO PRESENT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF JONESTOWN AS AN OPEN, COMPLETELY LEGAL PROCESS WHICH WAS TO SERVE THE DEVELOPMENTAL INTERESTS OF GUYANA, WITH SUITABLE QUOTES FROM PRIME MINISTER BURNHAM’S WRITINGS ON THE NEED TO DEVELOP THE HINTERLAND. SIMON COMMENTS FAVORABLY ON THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF JONESTOWN, NOTING THAT “IN MANY WAYS, JONSETOWN PRESENTED AN IMAGE OF A MODEL COMMUNITY IN GUYANA’S HINTERLAND, ATTRACTI G MANY VISITORS FROM TOWN AND COUNTRY, FAR AND NEAR.” IN ESSENCE, THE REPORT CONSISTS PRINCIPALLZ OF AN ACCOUNT OF THE CLEAN-UP PROCEDURES AND INVENTORY LISTS, WITH OCCASIONAL BRIEF DIGRESSIONS INTO SUCH TOPICS AS DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY AND THE GOVERNMENT REGARDING EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES.

ROBERTS

CONFIDENTIAL
NNN

Originally posted on October 25th, 2020.

Last modified on December 30th, 2020.
Skip to main content