[Editor’s notes: The transcript of this document retains its original spellings, with corrections noted only where necessary for clarity.
[Likely in an effort to save paper, Temple members often used the reverse side of old documents. That is the case here, and the three reverse sides of the pages on this memo were not transcribed.]
[There is no date on this document. Based on the context of its contents – for example, the reference to the word “pragmatic” – we are placing it around April 23.]
– he said the Russians don’t use the word “pragmatic” as to them this word is interpreted as “selfish” – it is better to use the word “realist”
– they are very impressed with Angela Davis. You might mention all the close contact you had with her and some of the things she felt about her movement. How she had to calling us to bring people clear across the country to No. Carolina to protest the political pleasures such as Ben Chavis. How we were the masses behind every political activity. He was quite impressed with the fact that Angela had visited our center in SF. Mention Ben Chavis and other cases we worked for.
– Names sometimes seem to impress him. Even that you met with Mrs. [Rosalyn] Carter and talk to her about your views on Cuba etc. He seemed surprised to see Richard Janero [Janaro] with us at the bank. A couple of dignified older people would be good to include at least once in awhile [a while] in the people who talk to them. (strangely enough Russians are conservative in some ways)
– of course important to balance praise of JJ and JT (or descriptions of them) with a more inclusive mentions of our committment to USSR and to world communism – as they will be watching for hero worship (personality cultism). However, they seem less critical of this than the Cubans. (I think the Russians are more realistic about the difficulty one has in the US of keeping any group together and would understand better the need of a strong leader to make the transition, but I think you should explain the strategy of this anyway to them to show you see it is only a means to an end and not a ego need on your part.) Tt might help for them to see your house (or have one of the cottages made up to be your house so they can say they saw how you live when they went on tour. You wouldn’t have to stay at the cottage, just have it pointed out as your house. Mark Lane asked where you live and Mike Prokes wisely said “one of the cottages” which I think is a good idea to say. Tho your house is actually very modest for a leader and not even any socialist anyplace in the more developed nations would live as simply, and maybe many even in underdeveloped countries live more prestigiously.
Fedor [Timofeyev] has asked what our goals are – so he’ll want that stated. In person we have promised that you would really lay it out for them, so you can go into our hopes, some of us, to participate in liberation struggles (you might even want to mention your participation in something significant in the anti-war movement without going into the exact details of what you did). However, I’m not sure they are prepared for this/ you’d have to feel him out first as they are a very cautious people and don’t always let you know how they feel.
– he was impressed that we didn’t use work as a punishment/ but said they haven’t reached that state yet. They send someone to work with the soil if it is a person who is from a well-off family/ but since everyone gets a chance to work with the soil you can explain that this isn’t necessary.
– we had quite a dialogue about whether we would ever be more specialized/ as we told him everyone has some time in the fields. In Russia they have specialists. We said we have them too but
even some time, even if limited, in the fields helps everyone equalize which you need to do when coming out of capitalism as we have done (or some have done). He thought that was good.
– he wondered if people would ever miss their “motherland” – since some had come back to Russia because it was her mother land even tho they had left at some time. We should stress if this question comes up, the hardships ourpeople have endured (tho I think we have gone over that many times.)
– one thing I found them idealistic about is opposition papers in the US. He said there were such papers. I told him people hardly read them, or don’t react if they do as people are bombarded by TV and the sensational news in major papers.
– in the past he has been very concerned with no ruffling the Guyanese in anything they do with us. So that should be addressed. They say that one time that they might even have to stop seeing us if it would aggravate the Guyanese govt. However they seem more pissed in the last few mos. against the Guyanese because of the treatment they have received so they don’t mention that much anymore, but it is something to keep in mind.
– things have changed also with exodus because at first he had said it might be difficult to come from Guyana to USSR being US citizens which is complicated. Since their relations have worsened with both the US and Guyana, this hasn’t been mentioned
– my view is that he wants you to come to USSR with a delegation because they don’t make decisions independently and the few people at the Embassy can’t make the decision. The delegation meeting with the decision makers in USSR as well as their visit here – both probably would be necessary for a final decision.
– he probably won’t give you many answers. He is not allowed to give independent answers. They don’t work that way. He is a fact finder and unless he’s received answers to prior communications he won’t have that power. However, he might have answers to our prior communications. We told him we understood about this as we work that way too.
NOTE OF INTEREST: on his vacation, or after his 2 mos. in Moscow (June, July), he went to NY and had something to do with the US spy case… So that is something you might want to show your knowledge of. He is an international lawyer as well as a press representative for the Embassy and acting Ambassador while the Ambassador is getting medical care. He has a young child about 3 years old who is very spoiled (or maybe just obstreperous). He is very permissive with the child but admits the child is very destructive (this is Fedor Timofeyev the Acting Ambassador). The doctor I’ve never met. Fedor’s wife is very friendly and warm to us and both came to our cultural show and liked it. Tho he was surprised at the speech about the conspiracy and thought we’d be better off if we didn’t come off so strong.
– he heard Andrew Young speak on TV while in NY and saw Andrew capitulate after making the statement about the US political prisoners.
– it’s quite significant he is coming himself. As acting Ambassador, he has a lot to do. Also many people have gone on vacation such as the Charge de Affairs Katchinka (unless he’s back too), and so his coming means a lot!!! We should show our gratitude for this (tho he probably will say something like “it’s my socialist duty to assist socialist comrades” or something like that as they don’t always respond to praise as it is not taught to do so, but they like the praise of their country and recognition of carrying out socialist duty. [Marginal note next to paragraph: “yes”]
USSR EMBASSY CONT.
– it might impress him we have befriended Chief Justice [Harold] Bollers who now has our case. Your strategy in this is really outstanding as you told us to cultivate him (and Chancellor Haynes) and now Bollers has our case. (I know of no-one who thinks ahead as much as you like this). Also shows connections on a high level and an ability to deal with people of different types which shows you are not inflexible.
– we should think of what would be serving to them. “THE HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE” of course – our willingness to speak out in Russia about it. Our willingness to work on a one-to-one basis with even some dissident type people who might be helped by our pointing out to them the realities of life in the capitalist world. He said they have few people who work on a one-to-one basis with religious people which is what is needed Andrew ability to do that as well as some others who could help might be useful to them.
– he was very interested in our Peoples Forum and wondered if it was still being printed, so you should tell him that Goodlett is going to help us get it out again. They saw that as a way to educate people in the US as to the real Marxist issues.
– we should see if they now believe the conspiracy. once he suggested that TOS [Timothy Oliver Stoen] had a personal vendetta against JJ (May 15), but now I think the visits of Mark Lane, Don Freed and Goodlett might have put it on a different basis from them. If they believe it is a conspiracy against us, that shows how vitally we were working for socialism in the US – to be pursued so by the CIA. But of course that makes the danger greater in getting us out, so I’m sure they are deliberating all this. At first he disagreed that Guyana was going right-wing, but I haven’t heard that lately from them so we should feel them out on this.
– the fact that you have always been a strategist, even in your so-called personal relationships, might be of interest to them, not that you aren’t totally a loving person, but that you have always had to think in terms of the greatest good to the good, and of bringing people to socialism, rather than your personal satisfaction. Tho, we have to see what they can believe, they don’t have that kind of heroism in the present day, Lenin is a long time gone and the struggle is 60 years away, so it is hard if they can fathom it. They have come to rationalize personal comforts – and because all have them, in the socialistic to enjoy them and boast of their high standard of living. You might touch that cord [chord] of conscience and they can react two ways, one to want you around to help there, or two to worry you would impose your view on them. One should go carefully to see how much they can take in this area.
– that again goes for the DofP – they believe in it, but they have moderated a lot of it/ like allowing churches to collect money in the USSR, permissiveness of children, I gather etc.
– I think we should have available a few videos like Z, Battle of Algiers, the Harlan County Mineworkers, and Joe Hill. Maybe they could see a couple of sections of how we have educated people to US social conditions.
G-1-b-5b [Reverse side of G-1-b-5a, not transcribed]