Peoples Temple Meetings with the Soviet Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana, 1978
(A compilation of original source documents by Fielding M. McGehee III.)
Throughout 1978, members of Peoples Temple – especially those who worked fulltime at the Temple headquarters in Lamaha Gardens – met with officials of the Soviet Embassy on a regular, if unscheduled basis.
Two main items occupied most of the agendas on conversation. The first came from long discussions of the Temple’s proposal to uproot the Jonestown community from Guyana and transplant it en masse somewhere in the Soviet Union. While the plans were never solidified, they were still under discussion at the time of the deaths in Jonestown.
The second main topic, especially during the late summer and fall of 1978, was Jim Jones’ health and, more specifically, how Jones could get access to Cuban and Soviet doctors in Georgetown to treat him. The problems arose over the Temple’s request – even insistence – that the doctors come to Jonestown, whereas the Soviet Embassy’s position was that Jones should come to Georgetown for diagnosis and treatment in a larger medical facility than Jonestown could provide.
The two Temple members involved in almost all of these discussions were Sharon Amos and Debbie Touchette, and their notes form the bulk of the transcripts below. Other participants included Terry Carter Jones, Marceline Jones, Jim Jones, Jr., Terri Buford, Mike Prokes, and Tim Carter (sometimes identified as Tony Walker). The meetings principally were with Fedor Timofeyev, who served as Embassy consul, as well as Tass correspondent Aleksandro Voropaev and an embassy official whose last name was Kramarenko.
The PDFs and transcripts below of these meetings derive from three sections of the FBI’s release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents have been arranged in chronological order, not in the order as they appear in the sections themselves.
The citation for these documents should open with the FBI’s official designation of these records, which is “RYMUR 89-4286.” Each individual page in these records has a unique number. The first page of this section, for example, is marked “G-1-g-30a”. The complete citation for that page, then, would be “RYMUR 89-4286-G-1-g-30a”.
It should be noted that the transcript of these documents retain their original spellings, with corrections noted only where necessary for clarity.
In addition, likely in an effort to save paper, Temple members often used the reverse side of old documents. The old documents were not transcribed.
This research document is original to this site. Please credit this website for any use of this material.
Topics of discussion
G-1-g-30a – 30b
Temple Members Introduce Themselves to Soviet Embassy