Georgetown Temple Members Dine with Embassy Officials, Tass Reporter, March 30

[Likely in an effort to save paper, Temple members often used the reverse side of old documents. That is the case here, and the reverse sides of the pages on this memo were not transcribed.]

USSR dinner 30/3/78 [March 30, 1978]

[Fedor] Timofeyev and [Aleksandro Voropaev] Tass correspondent

– we showed them the article of the radio station – saying our programs weren’t religious enough/ he did what is the logical thing (but not the logical thing if you think deeply about conspiracies) and said well it did say you were going to be a religious program so (making a joke), he said – so talk about the “ghost” (laughs) – but later said it was obvious that they didn’t want socialism on the show

– said again about J’s method of bringing people to socialism being unique and the group is unique

– he said that (he claimed that we were not being “investigated” in general) but that they were just interested in the Soviet Union in the background of the press articles/ they feel that what is done is 80% accurate but the 20% that are lies colors the whole thing – he said that Internationally the US couldn’t release things that are totally lies

– he stated something about the USSR’s version of Radio America and said that what was done with the report of USSR Voice was not that the US lied, but they took something out of context when they critiqued the USSR propaganda

– apologized for his drinking/ said they wouldn’t drink tonight to present a good “socialist image”, but they are not victorians in this area. We said we are not either and they were welcome to have a drink (they said no) they’d have a soft drink or juice

– said USSR has a lot of problems still, religion and cannot compete with some of the technological advances of the US in agriculture/the press rep. argued with him on that but Timofeyev still maintained that that wasn’t an excuse (I wondered if he was trying to appear humble in this way. The press rep had said that some of the areas in USSR had difficult weather problems which made growing unpredictable

– he asked his usual question about whether we have any elitism or not/ do we have specialization or will we develop specialization

– do we have a classless society? Do we think at any time we will develop specialization to the point that one person might work as a doctor all day instead of spending a portion of his day in the fields?

– we said that of course one has specialization that the practice of having everyone somewhat familiar with the fields is very rehabilatative and given all the people a common experience and a common understanding which is important right now to start a foundation of equality and to remove the prior illitism [elitism] that some might have had/ he said “I see this is an interesting strategy of Comrade JJ” – he said that in China they had used a technique to punish the intelligentcia that had been friendly to the USSR and had recalled how the USSR helped China, they would send them to the “desert” areas from the cities to punish them

– but he said he could see that our idea was different/ we said that we did not use work to punish people/ he said in USSR they still use work to “punish” people if they are lazy/ we said we use positive incentives (this might sound too romanticized to them  if they have read our articles about slave labor camps), and Johnny [Moss Brown] said that we never use coercion to make people owrk but they work voluntarily (I thought that sounded unrealistic myself) and said something about peer pressure and self examination

– (I don’t’ think Johnny always comes off as that informed about socialist theory)

– Marcie told about Pat punishing a child by not letting the child work/ Timofeyev said at this poin with the children they use stories etc and the child is punished for not having the privelege of playing with the children but they might try the idea of having a garden for the children so they can learn to work in that way

– he said that Dr. Spock had been a great help to him with his understanding of his child (his child he has said before is very destructive or very wilful) and he said he wouldn’t bring his son to our program as the child might spoil our program

 

G-1-h-2b [Reverse side of G-1-h-2a, not transcribed]

 

G-1-h-2c

USSR pg 2

– he said that in regard to some of the bad articles that have been read in the USSR about us the press correspondent could do a story (the one with us tonight) and it could be a good story that would help the USSR see us better

– he said that perhaps some of our children who had been born in the US might some day want to go back there (he said that this happened to people who had left the USSR and collaborated with the Nazis but still wanted to return when they got old), we said this might be possible but many of our people had experienced such deprivation and oppression in the US that they really enjoyed a much better life here

– he asks what our goals and objectives here/ did we plan to be an example for the US or did we just want to live off by ourself and create our community

– we talked about the timing/ that the US wasn’t ready for us, that Lenin had gone into exile for awhile,

– we told them they were naïve in their view of the US (the publicity of 80% truth) in regard to us and other matters/ did they think things had changed since Carter

– he didn’t argue about being naïve, just said he didn’t think things had changed since Carter

– I mentioned Chilean refugees and how we help them and even offerred to have them come and stay in our prject in Jonestown/ he said “would Guyana go along with you taking in Chilean refugees?” and said he noticed that Guyana hadn’t taken in any Chileans

– when I asked if he thought it was a good idea about [Prime Minister Forbes] Burnham going to the USSR in regard to close relations, he said “We’ll see how it goes”

– he said they use competition to encourage people in being productive for socialism, we said we do the same, competition of crews in the fields etc.

– we talked about J’s character, is refusing to be sold out when he was offerred special jobs to stop him from standing up

“I think he said that they would be of any help that they could be but he said he was sorry he wasn’t an agricultural expert

 

G-1-h-2d [Reverse side of G-1-h-2c, not transcribed]

Originally posted on December 9th, 2021.

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