Soviets Consider Sending Russian Doctor to Jonestown, August 20

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


USSR Embassy meeting of Timofeyev with Marcie, Tony Walker [code name for Tim Carter], Sharon [Amos] and Terry Jones 20/8/78 [August 20, 1978]

– Fedor (timofeyev) said that in regard to J’s health, they could send the Embassy Dr. to Jonestown but he would have to come as if he were a guest and not as if he were a doctor (in terms of the govt. of Guyana thinking he was coming as a guest)

– he’ll be back shortly from Russia (where he went with the Russian Ambassador)

– he is a specialist in reviving people when they appeared to be dead

– he’s fully trained as a dr. tho he’s not a lung specialist plus having this specialty in reviving people

– he wouldn’t be able to stay too long because they need him to be available to the Embassy and they have missed their monthly check-ups with him since he’s been gone

– they need the diagnosis and all the details/ he will bring equipment that he does have [several words x’ed out] and medicine will be available for JJ also

– he said they are sending the doctor because they feel what JJ has to offer is very important and that the work is now known about in the USSR because of Alex [Aleksandro Voropaev, Tass Soviet news service correspondent] doing the story on JT

regarding the questions we sent to the USSR

– he said they need more specifics and he had told us in the past that they would want specific answers.

– when they don’t get answers they would feel that the Embassy wasn’t getting proper answers and that the Embassy should have communicated better with us

– for instance they would want to know how many of the delegation would consist of and how long they would say

– if we said 10 in the delegation, they might say they would rather we send only 3 as it might be too threatening in Guyana (I don’t know them why they just couldn’t tell us what they wanted in terms of numbers instead of us submitting a number and then they correcting it but I guess they prefer it that way)

– they want a one page succinct paper which gave the details as they prefer to have it summarized in the USSR as they have so many issues to work on and pages and pages (like we sent at first) doesn’t give them a 1 page thing that they can discuss and vote on easily.)

– they want to know how much money we want sent there, what system we have it under previously, why it wasn’t satisfactory and why we now want to change

– they want to know in terms of exodus, how many children would be coming, what ages, what grown ups would be with them, how long they would expect to stay in the USSR

– in regards to the delegation, who would they want to see (he later said he could tell us this), how many days would they stay (if it is 15 days, it would be intensive negotiation), if more than [then] they could have some cultural presentations to go to

– Marcie said we would be there for the negotiations, so that would be the main thing

– what is the stated purpose of the delegation (explain briefly)

– what is the approximate date, the delegation would want to come

– the Russians were interested in what we did have to present (in what we sent) but 10 pages was too much to deal with and they want a synopsis

– they have waited for an answer for months and moths

– he said that he would try his best to help us on this


– Grubbs submitted a list of russian books we wanted

– Fedor said he would run them down but most of them are 20 or more years old and they would be hard to find

– he suggested that we get a catalogue of more resent [recent] books for us to choose from, and we said that sounded perforable [preferable]


– we asked if we could see this movie and we wouldn’t tell anyone where it came from or would tell them it came from Yugoslavia or england and we wouldn’t show it to a soul outside of us

– he said it wasn’t worth the risk as someone might deflect [defect] from our group as Debbie Blakey had and might mention it and it was obvious for the film came from


– when we asked if the Russians could bring a team of doctors to check JJ, they said this was quite a problem as they had wanted to work out an arrangement with Guyana to bring doctors in but that was not worked out

– he said that the Cubans have doctors and they are paid $100 a month by the Guyanese govt.

– The Americans and Canadians are paid $5000 a month by Guyana and the hospital staff treats the Cubans like nurses because they figure if they are only



paid $100 a month, they mustn’t be worth very much

– the Russians were prepared to subsidize totally their doctors but figured that if they weren’t going to be treated with respect, it wouldn’t be acceptable to them because they feel they have an image to maintain of their country and it wouldn’t help them to accept this treatment

– so they told Guyana that either something would have to change, the treatment for the money

– (in general he was more critical of Guyana than I have ever heard him speak, in the past he was maybe subtlely critical or would mention one thing but not be committal on other things, but he was openly and outrightly critical this time/ I think ever since Guyana has refused to give USSR credit for the donation of polio serum when they give the US credit in the paper for a book donated, they have been furious) – also the following experiences make them furious


– he said that the Guyana govt. seems to be inconsistent in their policy and it is very hard for them to understand it

– they’ll give their ambassador protocol treatment but then one time when they requested it, they didn’t give an answer and make them wait on the phone for a long he said he realized our need was great of time, and just when he was ready to leave on the play they said “OK, it’s all OK” and gave a big apology but it was too late by then.

– we mentioned that they had done the same thing with [Carlton] Goodlett


– this ship had just gone thru a hurricane in the seas to study atmospheric conditions and that was quite a trip

– they came into rest and they were given very bad treatment/ they weren’t allowed off the ship and he said that even in the US they would have been treated as guests

– a Guyanese Research group came to look at the ship at the invitation of the Embassy and they refused entry by the Guyanese govt. and he said even in the US, scientists were allowed to look at the ship and of course were very curious about the work being done

– he said that the sailors and research people were very desirous of having a chance to get off the boat and relax and play volleyball (at the russian property) and they couldn’t

– Fedor spent each day at the boat trying to meet their needs

Fedor is acting ambassador because the ambassador is in Russia and the Next in line is in Russia also

Radio problem

– we told him about the attempt of the US to cut off our radio and how it was the medical traffic that they were objecting to tho we were cleared initially to do medical traffic (medical equipment) because we were a non-profit group

– told him that we had sent a petition of support to the govt (he misunderstood and thought this was to the Guyana govt and said he didn’t think it was a good idea to send protest to the Guyana govt) but when I clarified it was to the US govt, he said that was good and wondered if we mention human rights to the US govt) and I said yes that was mentioned because the people who signed it were concerned about the human rights of the relatives who they wanted to keep in contact with as well as others being concerned about our human rights, and he said that was very good


– Mother told him of our doctor’s findings of cancer like cells in JJ’s lungs

– he knew this/ she wanted to know if his findings on the possibility of JJ going to the USSR for treatment

– he commented that the Embassy doctor was coming back from the USSR in 5 days. He had accompanied the Ambassador in the USSR due to an illness

– the ambassador is in the hospital there and will stay there

– he said the Soviet doctor will come to Jonestown when he gets back and bring all necessary instruments for his examination

– he said that the doctor is a specialist in returning people back to life and is not a CA [cancer] specialist but could check JJ out because all Soviet drs. are general drs. besides being specialists

– he told us the Dr. will make an unofficial visit (in other words don’t tell anyone he is coming to JT just to check JJ)

– he commented that Guyana has not signed an agreement that the Soviets send some doctors here maybe because they want their doctors to get the same provisions that the Guyanese have given to the capitalist countries like the US

– he talked of how the Russian Ambassador was held up for 2 hours just because the Guyanese aid we weren’t informed early enough

– when the Soviet ship came here, the Soviets welcomed Guyanes (it was a scientific meteorological ship aboard that is designed to travel thru hurricanes)



and nobody came

– he told how some of those Soviets on the ship were trying to go to a place on land after being on the water so long, and they were also in the Ambassador’s car Amber stopped and not allowed to go by Guyanese. He called this a breach of diplomatic immunity

– Sharon asked him what was the answer about the Exodus and he said they had received no answer because we gave no specifics like when, how many, ages etc. He remarked that he had mentioned it when he was in Moscow and they asked him the questions and the same situation would be the question about JJ traveling

– he will have to know facts like tests and diagnosis because their’s is a system or a whell of motion that deals with the decision making and a lot of time and thought put into every problem that is why they like to know specifics not just broad ideas

(ADDITION FROM SHARON AMOS) – he told us that they had set up a trip for a Guyanese Trade unionist named Semple and he said he would be able to travel to Russia in July

– they felt it was very important that he come and he said in June he was kind of busy

– but he didn’t notify them until the end of July and said he wasn’t able to come because he had been too busy

– the USSR govt said they weren’t interested in him coming because they had planned his whole agenda and gone to a lot of trouble to arrange it


– he said that they regard Comrade Jim Jones and our movement very highly and like what we are doing and he will do what he can

– to me it seemed like if JJ had to travel they would permit him to do so/ we thanked him

– Sharon asked about the Maoism film and she said we wouldn’t show it to another soul. He replied that what if another person like the woman (debbie) told of films we gave you like this one. It would put us in an international situation. We told him we understood. He said that what he will do is show them to Guyanese officials and if they are favorable (or curious to see them and then feel the movies are worthwile) then he will give them to us

– I gave him the book list and asked him if he could get the books for us. He told us that most of the books are old publications and just because they are published in the USSR doesn’t mean they are in English

– he said he can get us a recent book catalog and get it to us and we said fine. We thanked him and left. I thought he was willing to help and he seemed far more willing than the cuban Embassy

– we also asked about delegation going and he again asked for specifics before we present  it. He portrayed to us then it may be possible if we give him specifics like wenn, how many etc.


G-1-a-8d [Blank]


G-1-a-8d (second page numbered)

Meeting with Timofeyev/ Russain Embassy

Marcy Tony Sharon and Terey

Marcy started off with asking about the Dr. he explained that as soon as he returned from Russia he would be allowed to come up to J/town. He said he realized the need was great and as soon as he got there he could come up. He made it a point that their Dr. was not a specialist in the field of Lungs or CA but his specialty was reviving people from Cardiac arrests after they died. He was saying this I felt as for us not to have our hopes up to [too] high as that he would have all the answers. Sharon asked if he would have unlimited amount of time and he said he could stay as long as he needed to check out the situation but he did have to get back to treat differnt ones at the Embassy. He said something to the effect “like you have in J/town we to get monthly check ups by our Dr.” He explained that he had traveled with the Ambassador back to Russia because he has some Medical Problem and he was in the hospital. He said he would come as a guest an unofficial visit not to disturb or ruffle Guyana. He said he expected him back by Friday and to get the details from our Dr. as to what equipment he would need to bring, he couldn’t gaurantee that he had everything that was needed but would bring everything he could. We told him how much we appreciated it, And he said He felt you were very important, what you are doing that only from the standpoint that you were from the US but for the total cause of Socialism. We then asked him about exouss and he said he had been questioned by some officials when he was in Russai for specifics. Such as how much money, how many children we have and what ages how many adults did we plan just to send our children etc. But Marcy did make him say it again evidently someone got our letter in Russai and he was questioned about it. Also for the delegation he said he needed more specifics how many we wanted to send in our delegation for how long what specifically we wanted to talk about what was our problem etc. he said for us to look at our letter and redo it. It was just to [too] unspecific he said they expect he as the



representative to the embassy to do as much of the detail work as possible. We asked him about the book list and he is going to give us a current list of books written in English the list we gave him were old and it would be easier to give us the catalogue that is current and go from there. We asked him about the movie the Chinese one, and he said no wonder if someone left and went back to the states and said something about the Embassy speaking negatively about China. Sharon asked if we could say it was from England or somewhere and he said you could definitely tell where it came from. He didn’t want to budge on this point. He mentioned about the Russians wanting to send Drs. to help here and Guyana not wanting to negotiate this, he didn’t want to get into it but then explained, that their Dr.s wouldn’t be treated as nurses, that the Govt was paying US Canada and Sweden $5000 a year as well as their own Govt. giving them money. And China was giving them a grant and giving them doctors work towards some of that grant, but when it came to paying the cuban Drs. they gave them only $100.00 and one house to live in. they wanted to do the same fro the Russian Drs. and they were disturbed becasue of the level of consiousness here in Guyana also the standard of living was differnt and it made him mad that there was still this conditioning that the US had the good Specialists and Socialist countries would be substandard. He also mentioned that the Russain Ambassador was made to wait 2 hrs. once and not given protocol because they failed to contact the foreign ministry in time. (He told us this after we mentioned we can get protocol fro Goodlet) He also told us about this Russian boat that came in to dock and because it was a boat having to do with Scientific Research that you would expect Guyana to allow their scientists to go on the boat for the benefit of their own profession and also perhaps give members of the boat some kind of entertainment? [Handwritten insertion: “After being out at sea for a long while”] But no one was allowed on and the members of the crew were not allowed off. He said even the US would have done this if they had okayed it to come into the dock in the first place not suspecting anything. [Handwritten addition: “User friendly & warm”]