Temple Meets with Soviet and US Embassies, Guyana Ministers, Georgetown Lawyer, April 1

[Editor’s notes: The transcript of this document retains its original spellings, with corrections noted only where necessary for clarity.]


([former Guyana Foreign Minister Fred] WILLS SAID HE NEEDS B VITAMONS)

Wills 1/4/78 [April 1, 1978]

(Sharon [Amos] and Larry Schacht) – we stopped by to bring him some oranges and to chat

– he asked if you were in town/ we said you were but that you were incognito because of the security problem. He said he thought you were in town

– he said [Deputy Prime Minister Ptolemy] Reid sent his driver to him (Wills) Friday and wants to send Wills to England sometime soon maybe in April or May and that the govt. will pay for it

– re the decision on John, he said it was still positive on the decision, the question is time/ it may take time as [Judge Audrey] Bishop is wrapped up in the Bookers decision now

– regarding our popularity (which I mentioned to him) from the show etc., he said our propaganda is fine, we just tend to over respond to things

Re the immigration thing (what [US Embassy Consul Richard] McCoy said to us about John [Victor Stoen] couldn’t leave the country until the case was solved)

– I asked him if it was to benefit Stoen or us and if it would restrict JJ as well as Stoen/ I said there were no plans to take John out but I just wondered if

[Paragraph underlined] – he said that he knew for a fact that this rule was made for Jim and John not for Stoen by the “upper caucus”/ he said it is not a rule but an understanding but when I asked how immigration will reveal it to the Amer. Embassy, he said that they probably found it out from the CIA

– he said the understanding is that nobody could move John without Jim’s permission

– he said that the longer a child lives in a foreign country, the better it is for the case

– he said that if anything does go wrong in the case, we’d be surprised at the influence he (Wills) could have/ he said he won’t tell us more about this (as I asked him for details)


– I told him the Russians had come to dinner and wondered what this would mean in regard to their feelings about us/ he said maybe they are moving faster towards us than before

[Paragraph bracketed] – he said that the Russians move slow/ we want to cultivate us on the one hand because they never had dissadents leaving the US/ and the Ambassador Kotonev has a bonanza on his hands with 1000 possible dissadents (I AM TYPING THIS BY CANDLELIGHT DUE TO THE BLACKOUT SO I HOPE IT IS ACCURATE)

– Kotonev according to Wills coming to Guyana is either young or on the way up, and since he’s not young he’s on the way up as Guyana is not the kind of placement that represents a final step. He would be very nervous in his relationship towards PT and would inch towards us/ that way if it goes well, he has a bonanza and he gets credit, if it doesn’t he doesn’t lose so much

– he would go gingerly/ USSR can be slow to believe things – he said that USSR was slow to believe Hitler was a rogue, then when they realize that, they were inflexible

– he said they are friendly with Encomo (spelling) [Joshua Nkomo, leader of Zimbabwean Patriotic Front] and he’s no [not] left wing

– the Russians go slowly in generall as they are afraid that [Guyana Prime Minister Forbes] Burnham will say to them “you’re too friendly with [Guyana opposition leader Cheddi] Jagan, get out”

– and the Russians want to be heree – they have had satelites close to the USSR but have had no “children” under the US belly until Cuba and now they have Guyana and Jamaica

– regarding the charge that 80% of the press could be true, he said they might just be alleging that as a technique to find out our reaction

– he said that the Russians are probably checking us out in Guyana, in NY, Washington, and California (their representatives theree)



April 4th Tues Meeting with Charge d’Affairs of Russian Embassy

He asked questions such as is there any crime in J/town[?] Are any of your group members of the Communist Party[?] I said that some are but many came out of church backgrounds and weren’t politically oriented when they joined[.] He didn’t pursue it[.] His assistant attended our cultural presentation and said it was very good[.] He termed it semi-professional but meant it in a complementary way[.] Marcie gave a short run down on Jim’s and her history and then he asked us what life was like in Jonestown[.] We emphasized equalitarian living in which no one was paid because everything was free[.] She said we are Marxist Leninists[.] He asked about being a church org[.] We explained about religion being used to oppress and thus JJ used the church to get people out of the opiate of religion and the fact that we are all atheists

[Balance of original in all capital letters]

He said someone would probably be calling us to arrange a trip to Jonestown within a week or two.

They would like a bibliography on JJ which I suggest Dick Tropp write. He didn’t specify a link but I think I heard one mention 10 pages

They want slides of the project to show at the Embassy to the staff and also to send to Moscow. I will get those together.

I am to pick up a list of films from them on Wednesday. There are about 30 or so to choose from and we can use different ones for two weeks at a time

April 3rd Minister [of Information Shirley] Field-Ridley. She was pleasant but guarded. She didn’t see the possibility of the Guyana team making on [a] documentary on us this year because she said the team is trying to bring in money from outside and so no local films are being made. She doesn’t think this policy will change for the rest of the year at least.

She heard reports there our cultural show people work long hours and wished that Guyana performers would do the same. She said that although the show was long, the quality was good – but she wasn’t exactly effusive in her praise.

She said she didn’t think Hoyt [Guyana Minister of Development Desmond Hoyte]  has changed or affected the government attitude toward us which is favorable.

She said it would take time for us to assimilate and that we shouldn’t press too hard. She said she saw no problems that “can’t be sorted out.” She compared PT and Guyana to a man and woman getting married, as far as any difficulties we were having. She said we were good for Guyana because we help to dispel the ugly America image in the minds of Guyanese. She said the pace is slower here than in the US and it was bound to cause us problems (this was said when she was talking about not pressing too hard.) She was probably saying in effect, that we were expecting too much. She said we did not have to submit articles through [balance of paragraph handwritten] the Min of Info. She said the press can take care of it. She also said news but be separate from commenting on news articles we submit. So if we praise ourselves it means we must attribute the praise to some source.

Lionel Luckhoo. He doesn’t think we have a good case for abandonment because it would be difficult to prove. Also JJ would have to appear in court and make the application he said.

He told us he though [thought] McCoy should convey to the prime minister that we’ve gotten supportive mail sent to the State Dep’t. Luckhoo seemed impressed by that when we mentioned it to him

He said he didn’t see the need to lobby in Washington. He expects the decision will be handed down this month. He still doesn’t think the church will admit his original error and thus expects the decision to go against us and we would win it on appeal.

He said legally there is nothing to prevent the child from leaving the country, but he said he was speaking from a legal standpoint and he had no indication if other non-legal things could be a factor. He said the child is regarded as a free agent under no restrictions or covenants. [Handwritten sentence: “He said the Chief Justice was very impressed by our show.”