Temple Presses Urgency for Soviet Doctor Visit to Jonestown, September 22

[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.]


Deborah Touchette

September 22, 1978

Russian Embassy

Deb, Terri [Carter Jones], Tim [Carter],

– we begin by telling him how urgent the situation was at this point in ref. to jim about the temp. everyday [every day] and it was important that the doctor come right away, that we were afraid he was going to die.

– at first Terri started to act like she was going to cry, but it seemed like it was an act, and he didn’t seem impressed, he just observed her… (Not that he didn’tbelieve her, or wasn’t concerned about Jims health) because he said he was very concerned, and he has been working on this, but there were a couple of things that had prohibited their doctor from comming up the next day after his arrival in the country [Handwritten note in margin: “I didn’t feel she was insincere but egar [eager] to show her emotions to encourage him to understand the urgency, & tears weren’t ready to flow…”]

– not sure in what order this was given…

  1. has been out of town for a long time and he has several patients at the Embassy, he said the Soviet Citizens were his priority – Embassy patients – someone’s children were having some skin problems since they came to Guyana, there were several patients with various problems…
  2. Their doctor likes to be thoural [thorough], he wanted to do some research of the information he had received regarding Cde. [Comrade] Jones’ med situation and not go up there with/out the proper equipment to do the proper checkups. He said that one of the instruments that the doctor had lost in transit was the stetha-scope, he said he had tried to carry on board the plane and the airlines made him take it off and put it underneith and it had come up missing. Our doctor is not a miracle worker, he knows something about Medicine in tropical areas because he has studied this, but he does not know everything. He said the doctor admits when he does not know, and likes to have books readily available to research anything that he may not be familure [familiar] with. The docotr had expressed the desire to sit down and go over all the history and was already doing research on the information he had about Cde. Jones right now. Even though it is supposed to be a priority that he deals with our patients alone before he sees anyone else, he has been doing this at my request, as I have explained the urgency of this matter.

– he said he intended to travel with the doctor to J/town and he hoped that we had the answers that he and his colleagues have asked in the past would be answered [Handwritten addition: “in J/town”] that we would do research of the previous meetings because all the questions have not been answered yet from apt. [appointment] that we’ve had.

– Tim asked him if we would have to get permission from the U.S. govt. to travel to the Soviet Union, or get a visa from the embassy – U. S.

– Timofeyeve said “No, of course not”, we do not have to get permission from the U.S., nor to live, or to visit.

Timofeyeve said, “We would not ever ask the permission of the state dept. of the United States”.

– he said he didn’t see any obstical [obstacle] for us to travel to the USSR – delegation

– he said “If some of our people could come and visit you, and to help you… you should think of who to invite from the Soviet Union”.

– he told us he had been approached by Dryer [U.S. Consul Richard Dwyer] any party with the Yogasalavs [Yugoslavs] and he had jokingly asked him when their doctor was going to visit J/town?

– he said the entire embassy was upset about this, that, that the things we discussed in confidence, can be an exchange at a social function… he said they were irritated

– he mentioned something about if someone was trying to set them up, they weren’t here to be set up, I didn’t quite understand what he ment by this…

– We told him practically in unionson that we had never spoken a word to anyone about this, and we were just as shocked and very pissed about it

Timofeyeve said, well, I wouldn’t want to believe that you had said this to anyone, but for our sake he was giving the critisim that we should be more careful

– I never tell you you cannot use the phone when you ask, I would not say no, but you should know that that is all that is necessary for them to know that you are here and how often you frequent this place without having to follow you here.

– Our phones are tapped here at this embassy, he said, and we know it, and I wouldn’t doubt if yours are too, but I think you speak to [too] much when you phone here. Sometimes you are trying to say that it is an emergency, then you don’t seem to get anywhere, so you start going into detail of how much of an emergency it is, and you end up revealing to [too] much over the phone, and you say it in such a way that anyone would know exactly what you want to see me about.

– thats why often when you want to talk to me on the phone, I tell you to wait and come to the Embassy.

– You seemed to understand the problems involved, I mean when you came here, you took proper percuation [precautions] in not talking about certain things, he motioned to the radio, but I must criticize you, and you me, so take this as a critisim

– he said he hoped this type of thing would not happen again.

– he would have to tell Moscow this in his report, and they would have to take this into consideration when making any major decissions.


G-1-a-13b [Reverse side of G-1-a-13a, not transcribed]




– he went on to explain that it is not easy for people to go to Moscow to live, he told of an incident of a Guyanese man that was married to a woman who was Russian and had Russian children, and he had applied for citizenship to the Soviet Union, but the Soviet Union had turned him down. I could not say why, I don’t know why, but I have to trust in their judgment. Perhaps they know something about him that I don’t, or the effects that it may have I am not aware of, do you understand?

– I don’t have the final say, he said; neither any of us at this embassy.

– he said even if all of them felt that everything would be o.k. and send a positive recommendation in our favor, it is possible that it would still be turned down because they may know something that we don’t know of how it may effect [affect] us, or the effect it may have in general.

– he was telling us that he did not want us to get our hopes up.

– Terri said if they thought (meaning the CIA and whoever else is involved in the govt. that might want to restrict Jim’s movements) they could destroy our movement by killing our leader, they are wrong, we will stick togather.

– I said that there will be a lot of people that will regret they have a part in this if Cde. Jones dies because he has been prevented from receiving med. care because of this order, that there would be 1400 very angry people

– Timofeyeve agreed.

– we both asked him if this issue with the doctor was going to prevent them from comming.

– he said no, they had made a promise, and they would keep that promise, but they wanted us to be careful.

– Terri started to cry them with obvious sencerity and deep emotion and asked again if they couldn’ come sooner then next week, then a man of so much talen should die because of lack of care, when he had done so much for other people and given other people hope

– Timofeyeve reacted to her crying sternly, he said she should not cry, he did not like crying, he said the only time he had ever cried, was when his mother had died, that was the only time… I thought he said something about being strong…

– he said something about thats what his wife likeed in him was his strength…

– we all jumped in at once to sya there was nothing wrogn with crying…

– I said it’s one thing for you to cry for yourself, and it’s another to cry when you are crying for others, when you know that the future of hundreds of people lie in your hands…

– he said that was true, correct me if I say something wrong too, you must criticize me, and I will criticize you, thats the way it should be he said.

– he appoligized for his statment, “pardon me if I said the wrong thing” he said.

– Terri said well it’s o.k. actually, I’m glad you said something rather than not, but it’s just that I dont have a real mother, and Jim is my father in law, I feel that he is my father, as he is to many others, but I do have a personal interest in that I am married to his son, and the thought of my father lying there and not being able to recieve care, you could understand, you said you cried for your mother…

– Timofeyeve said something about his mother being a docotor…

– earlier in the conversation he mentioned that he was worried, he had spoken to Mark Lane about a delegation going to Soviet Union without knowing if we were trusting of Mark, he asked if we trusted him?

– we told him, well Tim told him we trusted him as much as we trusted anybody that we trust, he admitted that we had not known him that long, just several weeks, but we did have a certain amount of trust in him and told him that Mark was going to be our attorney [handwritten addition: “& This was not general knoledge”]

– I said that the part about the delegation was proboably o.k., but we had not told him of our future plans

– he asked that from now on, Timofeyeve did, that we advise him of whom we are bringing to meet him, and how much we trust so he will have some guidelines, he said he was worried about this after he had mentioned it.

– he said something about all the questions he had asked have not been following up and answered, from him or his collegs, and said something about having one person they were familure with comming to the embassy each time so there would always be someone who had background and could advise him how much he could talk about in front of the new person that we bring in, I think he was saying even new members of the P.T. that he did not know, because he did not know how much we trusted them… I thought this was a very good point because we feel the same way towards them, we always want to talk to Timofeyeve because he is familure, and we are finally building up some type of relationship with the first secretary, although it is not as extensive as Timofeyeve nor does the first sec. seem to have as much understanding of us, although friendly.


G-1-a-13d [Reverse side of G-1-a-13c, not transcribed]