Timofeyev Discusses His Visit to Jonestown, Jones’ Visit to Moscow, October 13

[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.]

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VISIT TO RUSSIAN EMBASSY (Sharon [Amos] and Jimmy Jr.) 13/10/78 [October 13, 1978]

– we started out talking about some matters that Jimmy could be in the room (Jimmy was very nice about being willing to leave the room later; he had no attitude of being threatened at all)

– we asked if they had received an answer on the bank and they said they hadn’t yet.

– he said he listened to the cassette tape of the songs we made for him in Jonestown but you can’t hear the band in it, just the voices so he wants a tape of the whole program made so you can hear both the band and the singer (also he has asked for a description of the numbers that are dances so he can submit that) [Paragraph circled, and marginal note: “Band”]

RE GDR [German Democratic Republic] DELEGATION:

– he said he didn’t have a chance to talk to them about visiting JT

– they were a very high-level delegation visiting and they have a lot of high-level business to do and they wouldnt have had time/also he feels it takes a couple of days to really see JT

– but he prefers that because when we want them to visit we deal with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because this delegation was with the govt. and their time was designated by the govt. or call the GDR directly (I said we had done the latter) but just thought since Fedor [Timofeyev] had visited he could have passed onto them that it might be interesting to come to JT

Re  Johnny’ Jones’ wife

– Johnny asked the Russian Dr. to consult with her on her situation/ Fedor said the Russian doctor has been very busy because they have had a tropical illness and their children are sick – an epidemic and he’s working night and day on that situation/ he suggested we could talk directly to the Cuban Dr. who is a specialist in elephantitis (tropical diseases) at Public Hospital. Nikolai is afraid to give the wrong advice as he’s not a specialist in this

RE  JJ’s hemoglobin: Nikolai said it must be a mistake. Some tests need to be checked again. That kind of difference so great in the hemoglobin doesn’t happen in one day – it’s impossible and it should be rechecked. It might be a mathematical mistake.

– he had some home remedy he wanted to give JJ/ but the PM requested some and was given to him so Fedor had to locate some more.

COMMERCIAL Consul: has been ill

– we should get the list together right away so we can meet with the commercial consul. Just have to give Fedor a couple of days notice and he’ll arrange it [Marginal note: “F.E.B. should prepare this!”]

MORSE CODE: he said they have no-one in the Embassy trained in Morse Code. At first he thought we wanted one of them to train us in Morse code but I explained we wanted it for communication and we already have people trained in it.

DAVID WOLPER: Film producer – mentioned how prestigious he is. He wanted to know the name of his film company as he said that just because he is prestigious it doesn’t mean he is progressive. I told him he would be a contact of Mark Lane and thus would be progressive. Told him we knew of a film producer that Mark had talked to in LA who had been blacklisted in the McCarthyite era.

MEAT IN JONESTOWN: told him not to worry about the meal in JT where they just that once had different food. He said he had already forgotten about it. He said that it’s just in the USSR they never have executives eat and others watch them. I told him in JT and I repeated again that that table wasn’t just the governing persons/ it was a mixture and the people were just watching as they wanted to see the program and had already eaten. I told him that was the only time it happened and we eat well, even snacks etc. He didn’t seem to be very concerned about it.

DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]: told him that the DPRK had treated us very well but we talk to them and others how close we feel to the Soviet Union (when we get a chance to really talk to people). He said that I should just read the article in the Guyana Chronicle during the time of the anniversary (30th) of DPRK because China had some things to say about DPRK and DPRK had some things to say about China and I should read it. He said that they too are friendly toward socialist countries but this article would explain their feelings.

ROUND TRIP TICKETS: he’s sorry he forgot to bring them. He left them at home. He would be glad to bring the next time or offerred to pay the money. I told him we’d be glad to turn in the tickets and not to worry he could bring them next time.

CONVERSATIONAL RUSSIAN: he said it’s the same. He said to learn the proper Russian and you can pick up the slang later but the russian we are

 

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would be fine. He hasn’t gotten any films that have translations, but if you tell me you want me to xerox the English for the Russian films, I will but it will be quite a few pages. He’s contacted Moscow about getting the tapes we want.

YUGOSLAVIANS: told him that I learned from the Yugoslavians that Hippie (the word) in Yugoslavia (or so the Embassy told me) doesn’t have the same negative connotations it does in the US. But I told him that the Yugoslavian Embassy here knows we are not a hippie group. He said how did we find out about this and I told him that Igor  with the TUC International told us about. He would like to know the details of the date of the periodical and the name but I said we’d give it to him when we find out.

– he said Igor is a good friend of his but didn’t mention this to him. He said Igor had read about us being a very progressive group in the Soviet Union. Also, he said that the Soviet Women’s delegation had heard about us and wanted to come and see us but they didn’t have time. He said we are getting to be a big thing in the Soviet Union.

[Following paragraph circled, marginal note: “Stat”] NIKOLAI’S RECOMMENDATIONS: he said there needs to be by the kitchen and toilets more facilities for washing the hands (right as you come up to eat) as it could be a problem for contagion – he explained to Jimmy what the facility should be like – some kind of thing it looked like a drinking fountain spigot that comes out of the sink (Jimmy Jr. would have to explain it) – I told him we had a sink in back of the kitchen and by every bathroom we had a faucet but he didn’t think it was enough and felt sone [some] wouldn’t wash their hands unless it was right by the kitchen.

(JIMMY LEFT THE ROOM)

– he read the enclosed letter and studied it very carefully. One thing that he said was very important was that he didn’t think it was a good idea for me to carry typed information into the Embassy and show him and carry it home. He said “a little revolutionary like you” something could happen and you could get arrested with these papers and it would be very bad for you and very bad for us as it is negative to Guyana. He said “we already know all about the Cabinet Ministers although this about [Minister of Home Affairs Vibert] Mingo is new”[.] He said maybe Mingo was just cool to us as he might have been mad about something else. I said I didn’t think so because of what he said. But I said maybe I could write it while I was in the Embassy (but the problem then is he wouldn’t want me to carry it out and I’d have to ask him to burn it right there and then he’d say we don’t trust him etc. etc.) or I said I could just talk to him with the radio on, but he said it’s fine to write it as long as I do it there.

RE JJ AND JOHN [Victor Stoen] GOING TO THE SOVIET UNION

– he said of course JJ would be the first to go. But in terms of his asking about John right now and explaining all the complexities of the case, he hasn’t done so accept [except] to tell them JJ was harassed (or maybe he said blackmailed) on this situation and given a rough time with his child and put it in the way that said that JJ was in the right and he was given a hard time in the US about it. He said that right now we have to solve the big problem – get the answer on the big problem (the entire group) before we give them complexities to hinder that decision and once we get that main decision, then we can explain the other things.

– he said that this is the sort of thing that would have to be explained in person to the USSR and if he were to write it, it would take pages and pages to explain why JJ had intercourse with this diabolical woman [Grace Stoen] and that it might have been a frame-up from the beginning and that Russians don’t understand such a thing very easily anyway, about having intercourse with a woman outside of marriage.

– I said well why would they have such a problem, Lenin had a mistress – and he worked very closely with both her and his wife.

– he said “I’ve never heard of this.[“] He said that in the Soviet Union if you talk to maybe 100 people, none of them have heard this. He said he’s been studying the biographies of Lenin since he’s 8 years old and hasn’t read this. Not just biographies written in the Soviet Union but other countries as well.

– I said it was irrelevant but at the books I had read were very positive to Lenin and very positive to the revolutionary work he did. I said I read that he worked very closely with both his wife and Inessa In the revolutionary struggle, and whatever his reasons were, I am sure they were good ones.

– he said that capitalist propaganda was very cleaver/ it could write maybe much truth and then the 1 lie

– I said that perhaps since the society had changed so much, it was important to change that image of Lenin/ that it was hard to judge what a man had to do in a revolutionary period – a man that had to live under the old conditions and had to often do many things to bring about a revolution.

– he said he understood that

– he asked me if I had heard that Lenin had children

– I said well of course you know more about that than me. I have heard a rumor to that effect but not much about it.

– he said he would be very appreciative if I could show him a book about Lenin and Inessa.

– he said she was from Russia

– I said I thought she had come from another country and had left a very middle

 

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life and even had left husband and children to join the revolution

– I said that I had read Krupskaya’s book and had been very interested in the fact that she showed the great work done by women in the revolutionary struggle

– I explained that I hoped the USSR would understand the necessity in a revolutionary struggle to do certain things. I said it is much different to be in that situation like in the US when we are surrounded by an enemy culture and even getting members you have to be so careful. I said that if Grace Stoen had exposed the whole thing about PT at that time it would’ve been very bad. [2 lines struck out]

– he said maybe it would have been better just to expell Tim Stoen and Grace and not gotten pulled into a trap

– I said that JJ of course feels very sorry about the situation and he certainly didn’t try to have a child by Grace but I feel that if he hadn’t of done something to delay the problem of Grace and Tim becoming enemies at a time when we weren’t ready to have people go to Guyana we would have been destroyed like the Black Panthers

– he looked kind of dubious about this

– I said it’s hard to understand such a situation unless you are in it/ you do the best you can and we all studied the situation and made the best decision we could under the circumstances but it was a very difficult decision

– he said in the Soviet Union the morality is very strict. If a woman reports that her husband is having an affair he is thrown out of the party as they feel if he is living a dual life, he could be doing so in other ways. You can get a divorce and remarry if you are not happy but it is frowned upon strictly to have a relationship outside of marriage

– I said we have the same type of morality. We strongly feel that a person should not be promiscuous and it would have been easier if jJ could have had his marriage and a normal family life without having to go through all this and he certainly didn’t expect that Grace wouldhave a child.

– He said he understood

RE MARK LANNE [Lane] AND THE NEWS ARTICLES: told him about all the positive press and radio and TV coverage and how Mark Lane was able to stop the National Enquirer sotry by threatening a suit with them and they admitted they were going to be paid to write lies about us. He said that he would be most appreciative to have the articles about us and how the US covered the Mark Lane situation (I think he wants to see if Mark is doing the suit or not and if he is stirring up the US)

– he said that he thinks but right now we should be producitve and keep things as quiet as possible around us until we get an answer

MONEY:

– he didn’t have any answers to our questions about money but thought he had some time on this as we said there was no rush on transferring the money. He said that he had submitted all the info and the info on the Swiss banks. He said that had been quite a surprise to him but maybe wouldn’t be so to others in Moscow

IMF LOAN and the situation in Guyana. I told him I had talk to someone connected with PPP (didn’t mention name or profession) and he thought, I said, that things were getting quite dangerous in Guyana because of the IMF loan. He said he didn’t think so. I asked if this was just his opinion or what and he said he knew that was the case. he said that some countries take IMF money because of economic need they don’t get too far into the situation. He said it might be more dangerous if [Guyana Prime Minister Forbes] Burnham goes to the US. I said that I had been worried because of the amount of propaganda involved. Guyana says there was no loan available from the Soviet bloc which I understand not to be true. He said that is not true. Also, the paper had implied there was a deficit in the Socialist loan and when the paper mentioned there were some erroneous things in the article they didn’t really give details to clarify this. He didn’t say much to this but [one line of type struck out] looked intently.

LIONEL LUCKHOO: he said [Guyana attorney] Lionel Luckhoo worked for the American Embassy. He had asked me who our attorney was. I said are you sure it is he and not his brother or relative and he said very firmly “yes I’m sure.” He said be careful on this because of the American Embassy tells him to do something, he will follow his connection to them before he will his connection to us

– he asked why he was a sir when the connection with Britain is no longer valid in Guyana/ I told him it meant a lot to Lionel and that Lionel was very conservative but we had been referred to him because he had a lot of connections and he had never lost a case and because he had to fight for his children when his wife had the children in England

 

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With the Guyanese attitude of not wanting to give Jim Jones written assurance on travel and with Guyana saying that Jim Jones would have to play a hide and seek game while in Georgetown – if worse came to worse would there be some way that Jim and John could go to the Soviet Union. This is important to us because if Jim demanded that the majority of people go to the Soviet Union without him, it would be like we were dead (if he didn’t go also). However, if the issue comes up, Jim wants his family (Jonestown) to go even if he and John cannot go. We know we don’t yet have a formal invitation so we want to know, and people asked me to ask you, if Jim and John could go to the USSR.

We have heard that they are dangling Jim’s court situation to hold Jim in the Interior because they know of his influence. They see him organizing more people to be Marxist-Leninists – in the way that he does – using the church, and working through religion etc. Peoples Temple was told this by [former Guyana Foreign Minister Fred] Wills and also by one of his Secretaries and even Minister [Vibert] Mingo said it would be possible. This was some time ago but Minister Mingo did say it was possible. We think that Jim has concluded that the USA and Guyana my [may] put too much pressure on Peoples Temple and that Jim will have to remain and die before he’ll be able to go to the USSR. Jim won’t sacrifice John as a political pawn when he knows Grace and Tim Stoen never showed any real concern for John. It’s not something that Jim talks about much but Jim always tells us that we will be happy in the Soviet Union. Jim has often expressed the desire to have that opportunity of going to the USSR and once or twice he has cried and asked if there wasn’t some way that John could be carefully taken to the USSR even if Jim Jones had to remain here. Jim doesn’t like people to cry and he stops the tears. One member said he had never seen him cry before in all the years.

Jim would go into the jungle if he can’t go to the USSR. He is no idealist and knows about that type of environment. He knows he wouldn’t live very long. But at least John would be better off going to the USSR then back to Grace if Jim Jones died. You don’t know how evil Grace Stoen is – devious and diabolical.

John was made by Grace to listen to her having sex and also she made him kiss her on different parts of her body, the child remembers it vividly.

We don’t know if people would go to the USSR without Jim. It makes a very difficult situation, not because of any personality cult but merely because of his character and a sense of loyalty. He has sacrificed in physical ways to help all the ones he loves financially.

When Peoples Temple members were being framed in the courts, Jim would see that the courtrooms were filled. We wouldn’t do anything threatening – just sit there and look at the jury and the’d [they’d] know which side Peoples Temple was on. Many people were freed from jail and false charges. Jim would stand behind anyone who was being framed in the courts no matter who they were – even if they were a total stranger. And as far as his own life – when Salvadore [Salvador] Allende was killed and Chilean refugees came – Jim stood by them when they were being framed and harassed. Jim doesn’t expect to enjoy life in the USSR – he would love to but he doesn’t count on it. It’s too painful

 

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to count on but it’s important to him that his people be gotten to the USSR.

Minister Mingo had not been friendly and it correlated with the time you visited Jonestown. But the next time we saw him he was warmer and friendlier but he still wouldn’t give us any assurances. And he said that although we have the word of Dr. Reid [Guyana Deputy Prime Minister Ptolemy Reid], he still can’t put anything on paper. We have seen other people in the PNC who seem friendly so maybe it was just coincidental. It doesn’t make any sense to us unless as we said it is coincidental.

We have seen Minister Mingo get awfully upset when he has been in the office with other people. We have never seen him talk roughly to us like he did at the time of your visit. It is almost as if he was trying to force us into bringing Jim into Georgetown and he put the blame on us for telling him about the problem. We did not tell Minister Mingo or anyone else that Jim does not have a terminal illness that the slide was sent to the laboratory indicated. We didn’t tell him that the cells were not there on subsequent tests as we were just trying to see how far they will go thinking that Jim is dying. Minister Mingo by the way, as we told you,, as told us that we should not have anymore [any more] to do with the World Peace Council.

We were told several times by people who seem to be friendly to the Soviet Union that your embassy is bugged. One of these people Wills is gone and he told us about the bugging before we even started seeing you.

In regards to other people in the Guyana government, Minister Hoyte [Guyana Minister of Development Desmond Hoyte] never speaks and tragically one who was the most kindly to us, Minister King [Guyana Minister of TradeGeorge King], was a thief and he used to seek Peoples Temple out. Minister Hope [Guyana Minister of FinanceFrank Hope] we understand is also a thief. [Guyana Minister of Energy and Natural Resources] Hubert Jack and [Guyana Minister of Education Vincent] Teekah  are both friendly to us but Peoples Temple has always been told to talk to Minister Mingo.

Originally posted on December 10th, 2021.

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