Temple, Timofeyev Hold Frank Discussion on Issues Facing Jonestown, September 25

[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 reverse sides of the pages on this memo were not transcribed.]


Deborah Touchette

September 25, 1978

USSR – [Fedor] Timofeveye

w/Jim, Terri [Carter Jones], Tim [Carter], Deb.

– I came a little late, because I was still typing a message we got at the last munite before the appt.

– He said it was a honour and a pleasure to here [hear] Cde. [Comrade] jim jones’ voice for the first time. I’ve never herd him before.

– I know he must speak strongly because of you, (menaing we have carried strong messages from you)

– when the tape first began to play, he chuckled because it started off in Russian.

– He listened intently, throughout, and took notes.

– I guess before I came he had agreed that he and the doctor would go up on Thurs and return on Mon. providing it worked out between the Home Affairs & the Foreign Affairs.

– he said they would rather go by boat then [than] plane, or speed boat if our boat was not possible

– we told him we would try, but we wern’t sure.

– I excuse myself for being late and told him I just received a message from J/town,

– I told him about the incident when the Minister had said you could not give food away to people in the north and you had told him to go to hell, not just in those harsh words, but in a diplocatic way, and you had tried to get him off to the side, but there was a flunky that told you you couldn’t speak to a Minister in that way. (I had the message in front of me so this isn’t exactly how it was said), and we did not feel that Guyana was on the road to a socialist course.

– he said this is where we disagree with Cde Jones, there are [a] couple of things we don’t agree on, but basically we have the same ideas, he motined towards the tape.

– he said they felt that Guyana’s future was promising, they had a long way to go, but they had hopes for them going socialist, whereas you seem to feel that there is no hope for Guyana to go Socialist.

– I told of Cde Jones’ feelings about Guyana’s policy with China, that it was disgusting, middle of the fence type policy that Guyana has, and China while talking about hedgmony [hegemony], was as hedmonistic and [as] the US could ever be.

– he shook hos head in agreement.

– he said but you got to be able to see Guyana’s view, as a non-alined nation, now if I were the Foreign Affairs Minister of Guyana, I’m not sure how I would handle the situation, to be non-alined means to not be ally of any nation but to maintain friendship w/all, that’s hard to do. (he was trying to be diplomatic), but I think I herd him say that it would seem that being on the road to socialism, they would have to aline themselves with a socialist country at some point.

– In ref. to China-Nuclear warfare – and the Doctrin [Doctrine] of the three worlds…

– he said, “for your own information, and to relieve your minds”, China does not have the nuclear machinery to-for massive, or long-range bombs-nuclear war heads, but she has so many people, if she killed off two thirds of her population she would still have seven million people?, several million any way to re-develop the destroyed lands and occupy them with Chinese, thats their way of looking at it.

– they have so many people they are willing to have people die, and hide a few million safely away to take over when it’s all over.

– they have a policy which is different then ours, he said. They feel if everyone has a radio, a bowl of rice and a bicycle to get around – shelter from the rain, he has enough.

– we feel that is good, but that is not good enough, were trying to raise everyones


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standard of living to the highest possible, raise the level of education, improve the housing

– in ref to Guyana’s relations with China, he said the Chinese had been in Guyana longer, and they have done more from Guyana in that sense. We have been here only a short while.

– we could give them a few million dollars to help the economy, but what would happen, half of it would be stolen, some wasted, some put on some project that would lose money, some percent would be helpful, but Guyana is not at the stage where we can do that yet. they have a long way to go

– he gave the example of J/town and that Guyana could not do what we are doing now in terms of giving away food and free med ect. that they were not in the position to do that neither economically or the mantality of the people.

– people here you are giving things away free in Guyana and they would be glad to come up and live with-off of you, they don’t yet see that it takes work and producing before you can reep the benifits

– so when word gets around that the Peoples’ Temple is given free this and med. ect. people want to know why the government is not doing this and they become disatisfied. ect. and the govt… in so many words gets threatened by what we are doing, they would be threatened.

– he said I understand you from the humanitarian aspect, I do understand that. but he was just pointing out how they’re looking at it.

– Jim handed him the note about the couple that was denied citizen ship, and about the word getting back about the Dr., the usage of the phone…

– he said, but your situation is differen’t, I’m sorry if I didn’t explain myself better, but you are political, and they are not.

– she is Russian yes, but she has been living in Guyana for some time, and she is not socialist, but she cannot get the material goods she wants here, so for this reason they wanted to go to the Soviet Union.

– the only point that I was trying to make is that I don’t make the final decission.

– Terri said she herd him say “If it were up to me I would say yes”… but I am not in that position, neither all of us in this embassy, even if we all agreed in the decission, it would have to come from the Soviet Union…

– Jim began to tell him how much that type of thing effects [affects] the people, they are studying Russian day and night, they live with the hope of going there someday.

– “You cannot live w/out hope”, Timofeyeve said, but you said your people were realist, or pragmatic, I’m not sure which…

– were both, Tim said.

– well were realist, Timofeyeve said, and I just wanted you to face the realities.

– someone mentioned [Joe] Mazor, and facing the realities of death, that he had spoken on a platform to all the people and told how he had planned to attack J/tosn, and the dates, ironically how they had coincided with what he was telling us

– Timofeyeve said, I’m sorry, but I feel that some of what he was telling you is fantasie, or stories, did you allow him to speak on a platform?

– we said yes, he spoke to everyone

– Timofeyeve siad that is a mistake you should not let him have the platform. (The inference was that he would make his stories bigger,) and he said it would cause the people to fear themselves of bombings

– I’m not saying that everything he said was not true, but I feel he told partial truths.

– Tim told him we did not by all means trust him, we thought he was a double agent, but what he was saying conincided with last Sept. when these things happened.

– he wanted to know if we had actually seen the airplane…

– I reminded him of the time the airplane circled the area several times…

– Jim told him that we understood what he was saying about expoisure, and that everything had not been discussed before the entire community, alot of the things had been discussed in private meetings.

– Timofeyeve mentioned that the support letter we had given them some time ago


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was not adaquate in our favor, he said he had not sent it to the Soviet Union

– If I had done that, they would have asked him if we were really socialist, and how soc. were we? he siad but I realize as you have told me, most of your people are athiest.

– we said all that are here are athiest.

– Tim said we have some in the US who are still somewhat religious, but you should remember that where most of us come from, when I came to the organization, I came with a bible in my hand and a white brotherhood card, I was very religious, but it is from that type of background that he has educated us to what we are today, and I am a positive athiest.

– Timofeyeve said, dont you say you are a positive athiest, so you are an atheist, nothing is positive (I think positive is the word that was used)

– he said they had almost gotton rid of religion in there country, but they still have at least 10 percent religion left in the country

– we said that was good,

– no its not good, he said.

– we said no, well we mean by comparison to the United States, about 90% of the people in the US are religious.

I think Terry asked what type of religions they had…

– he said it was a little different there, they had catholics, seventh day adventist and some other religions that I did not recognize.

– I gave him the letter of invitation

– he was very glad to get it he said, this is good, theres just one thing you don’t write it correctly, you add information that should not be in this type of letter, but anyway I will talk about the changes after I have spoken to Cde. Jones directly, then I will show you how to write this letter.

– Terri asked him if he had any special food he liked…

[Asterisk added in margin] – he siad he would eat anything, he was not picky, but that his doctor insisted he drink boiled water no matter where he is.

– he said he drank it once in the Kaiture falls, but then drank a shot of whisky, I guess to purify it as it went down.

– anyway we told him our water was pure, we had it tested,

– he was sort of insistent, so we said we would make sure the water was boiled…

– we will be meeting back with him on Wed. at 11:00 to hopefully conclude the arrangments, or almost conclude.


G-1-a-9f [Reverse side of G-1-a-9e, not transcribed]