Temple Discusses Background of Tass Reporter Visiting Jonestown, March 28

[Editor’s notes: The transcript of this document retains its original spellings.

[There is no date on this document. Based on the context of its contents – for example, the March 30, 1978 document at G-1-h-2a – 2d refers to the visit of the Tass reporter to Jonestown – we are placing it around March 28.]


[Handwritten notation at top of page: “Sharon Amos”]

Dear JJ


– he trained as a linguist (not as a journalist) so he probably is KGB

– but he seems (or pretends to be) somewhat ignorant of some things (like he didn’t know who Malcolm X was)

– she is very bored/ has nothing to do all day, was a librarian in USSR – turned to both Alex and me and said we were more fortunate than she as we both have jobs to do

– she stays home and takes care of the house, her mother lives with them but no-one else (as far as I understood) only the 3 of them

– he was in Cuba 6 years ago

– he speaks Spanish, Portugues

– they have been in Guyana 8 mos. – they are scheduled to stay here 3 years “if nothing happens”

– he is afraid of doctors/ won’t go to the Russian doctor (said the doctor puts limbs and splits or casts ? if anything goes wrong) and he said that it hurts too much

– he was upset about the boat trip (said he nearly died) and said he would die if he went back/ he said it was not our fault as he had been interested in the boat but said now that he’s experienced it he will tell [Fedor] Timofeyev and unless Timofeyev is a “natural sailor” he would tell him how it is (Timofeyev told me he is afraid to fly, doesn’t trust Guyanese pilots)

– he was afraid of a wasp on the boat

– she had a baby in Guyana but it had some trouble adjusting to the temperature here so was sent back to USSR until it is 1 year old (this summer) when it will come back

– she asked the Cuban Doctor Estenez  to do the caesarian across her stomach (not up and down) so it would be cosmetically better if you are in a swimming suit

– (I mentioned to them that we liked the Cubans but said Estenez  was a flirt – probably a mistake on my part) – but he said “humans will be humans”

– because she is bored, I asked her to teach me Russian and I’d teach her English/ on the boat we did that somewhat, exchanging words – but he said “you need a system for teaching” and he said it would be OK if either I knew a little Russian or she knew a little English (I wasn’t sure if they wanted that close a relationship or not??????)

–they both are from the country but don’t think they have much agricultural experience/ when I asked him he said “is it necessary”

– he is not as easy to talk to as Fedor Timofeyev whom we usually meet with in the Embassy, as Fedor is at times more familiar by now with our situation and is aware at least of the duty to act socialistic (like apologizing for smoking English and American cigarettes, and refusing to drink at our house because we are great and he said – for the “socialist image” he won’t drink either




– neither Marina or Alex would drink beer on the trip altho we encouraged them to feel free to do so but he didn’t seem quite so jovial about accomodating himself to things (maybe it is because Timofeyev has a very active young child and has become a little more mature from it)

– Alex is not sensitized to women’s rights on a personal level if I understood him right/ I made a remark about men enjoying the companionship of women more when they are emancipated and he said “I don’t know”

– she would like to talk (thru him who could interpret) to one of our librarians (I told him we had two Lisa and Rene Jackson ), I think she understands or speaks German

– when he was dining with Tim Carter and Mike Prokes, he made a comment about what would we do if there was a coup/ they said either leave here or die

– he made some kind of joke or comment when he first got om the boat (I dont fully understand, I think it is Russian) about “The man whose destiny is the rope (to die) the bullets aren’t meant for him” (or something like that)

– he complained so much on the boat about being sick, I was solicitous, but I did say once that sometimes one gets strong by some experiences like that (he didn’t argue with that but didn’t respond much to it either) – he must be quite spoiled

– he met his wife in Moscow/ has been married two years

– he seems nervous

– the head press man in the Ministry of Info (Ron van Dyke) said that Alex pretends not to understand much English, but Ron speaks a few words of Russian and spoke a bit of Russian to Alex and after that Alex spoke in English to him