Soviets Ask About Life in Jonestown, April 18

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

[This document was duplicated at G-1-h-18a – 14b. There are several differences: The “original” is dated  April 18, whereas the duplicate strikes the date with the date March 17 substituted; The later version notes the four subject areas of the memo, whereas the earlier strikes out the final three, a deletion likely made by the Temple rather than by the FBI in processing the document for release under the Freedom of Information Act; and the earlier version has a notation at the top: “gave original to Deb B [Blakey] to read over radio”.]


[Handwritten name at top of page: “Paula [Adams]”]

DEBPRAH TPUCHETTE [Deborah Touchette]
APRIL 18, 1978

[former Guyana Minister of Foreign Affairs] FRED WILLS

– CDE. TIMOFEYEV: Visited us, March the thirty-first at our home with Marceline J. [Jones], Lew [Jones], Jim [Jim Jones Jr], Johnny B. [Brown], Paula A., Sharon A [Amos], Deb T.,

In ref. to answering to alligations, Timofeyev said his country may receive neg news about us, and they should be able to contradict the accusations with the positive aspects. He asked what our goals were. Marceline told him that Jim would best be able to answer that. He said everyone should be able to answer that in your group. It is important that all people know what there [they’re] working for. Marceline explained that overall, all people knew what they were working for, but (in so many words) our future depended on our surroundings, and made ref. to the letter we had shown him about lucinda [unknown code name]. Johnny said we did not use work as punishment. (implication was that we were self-motivated) Timofeyev siad they had not reached that state, because in his country they use work as punishment e.g. If someone came from a faimly that was well off and had a tendency to not work at all but try to sit back and live off of what was made by their families, they would send him/her to work with the soil. He asked us what we plan to do when we developed to ten thousand people, do we still plan to have everyone involved in decission making? Would all people work in the feilds? He said in his country, they had to have some people specialize in differnet areas of planning and research. explained they had people highly developed in the feild of astronomical reasearch, as well as the medical feild. They have a doctor here who specializes in bringing people back from the dead after the period of ten munites where it should be impossible. I mentioned that a schedule could be worked out so that each person could work perhaps six months in the feild they specialized and three mos in the feild. Larry said he felt as a doctor that he would be able to work along in both areas. Timofeyev siad, o.k., that’s fine for a thousand people, but when you have a whole country to worry about… He said for a thousand people, you may make one mistake in agriculture and it would not be so serious. but for a whole country like Russia, one mistake we cant afford to make production wise. He said although they were highly advanced in areas of technoligy, they were far behind the US govt. in the area of Agriculture. He said production was important for them and they could not afford to release people from their various areas of study. How would we then keep people from elitism? Sharon said we would have to specialize, yes, but now in the beginning stages, we are all starting at the same level so we will have come from the same background and struggles and therefore identify with the oppressed. She said education was important to us and that Jim had taught us that we should know why we are working, what we are working for, and that those who came from the (intelligentcia) (as thye say, or upperclass) were at that state at the expense of the poor mothers who scrubbed on their hands and knees. (the working class) and that is was the duty of those priviledged to work harder to be an example. Timofeyev siad that was good. He also made a comment abot people and their mother land. He said even people who move away from Russia, request to come home when they are ready to die because it is their home land. Sharon [Handwritten marginal note: “Marcie”] said that the people were very happy here, but perhaps when their [there] are ten thousand people as you say their [there] will be a few that want to return, but at this time we have none told about Dick McCoy taking people off to the sides and the opportunity being there.




Timofeyev asked for a biography of Jim Jones, a couple of pages so that they can use it in their paper.

During the course fo the evening, we asked him why he was asking us to answer to alligations; (ref. to Angela Davis being persucuted and receiving bad press) He said Angela Davis was popular, well known, her struggles were well known, there was a campagine for her in Russia at the time and slogans to free Angela. (The ref. was that she was a popular communist), but he was surpprised to here [hear] about us. mentioned again that he had read our newspaper and was amazed at the way we boldly spoke of Soc principles. asked us if we still printed our news paper and what was the circulation Johnny explained how character assanations are doen in the press (ref. to Lt. Governor [Mervyn] Dymally, Martin Luther King, and a lone black senator who had spent most of his time finding the press to prove his innocence and had to leave office culd not run again because of his health.) Timofeyev agreed to this and siad but you cannot just listen to the press you have to realize that 80% of what they say is true and 20% is a lie we asked how he could say this when the press lies on people all the time. Marceline pointed out that if she had not of known P.T. for all these years and know the character of Jim Jones she wouldn’t have recognized what she saw on /T.V., it was all lies. Timofeyev explained that on the international level they are not allowed to print all lies …so they will use 80% truth and the 20% to their advantage eg. (his friend from the press said) There was an article in the papers stating that the United States had alot of people on welfare and this was bad, people making up to 300.00$ per mo. This article came out in Guyana and the people see this knowing that they in Guyana only get at the most 100.00$ per month, and this looks very bad, but the cost of living in United States as opposed to the cost of living in Guyana. No one could live on 100.00$ per mo. in the U.S. But what happens, that looks good to those people not living in the U.S. It’s the truth, but it was written wrong. This could happen to you, and that people that have left take a good situation and add lies to it, take it out of context and youre misrepusented. The situation of the New West article was explained to him, in that none of that was true. It was just a situation set up to shine the lights on PT so that we could be used as a target for scrutiney and persucation.