Temple Considers Affiliation with Russian Orthodox Church, Banking in Moscow, October

[Editor’s note: 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.]

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USSR Embassy Cde. Timofeyev [Comrade Fedor Timofeyev]

– Debbie and I (Sharon) went into find out if he had read the letters to him (the ones addressed to the Ambassador from Jonestown) and if he had an answer on the letter I showed him about donating money to the Russian Orthodox church and if he had arranged for us to meet the Ambassador

RE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

– he said that maybe we could write the Russian Orthodox church directly (write to Moscow as they are completely separate from the govt. and even keep their money separate. I told him that is too bad as we were hoping that if anything happened to us, the money could go to the USSR Govt. (perhaps that could be a stipulation that would be addressed to the church but I am not sure they would deal with us on that basis????) – The only time the govt gets involved with the church with money, is if the church is a monument and they have a govt. fund to restore and preserve monuments which has people on its board from the govt, and working people and a variety of type of people to work on this.

– In regards to the questions tho in general that we asked him in the letters, he said even his Ambassador hadn’t been able to answer them and they had to write Moscow to get answers

AMBASSADOR MEETING WITH US

– he plans to meet with us/ he’s been busy but when he has more time he will meet with us

– he is busy right now

IMF AND DEVALUATION

– Debbie asked him if he thought there would be a devaluation

– he said that with the IMF there is traditionally a devaluation

– he said do you have an external account (Debbie said yes we do), he said well then you could transfer your money out to another country and wait until the money situation is OK here and then bring it back (he didn’t mention USSR in that context offering that we could transfer it there)

– he said however that they (Russians) are not transferring their funds out

(the thing we didn’t talk to him about is that the US money is no problem to transfer out and that’s what’s in the external account as it is not legal to put Guyanese money in an external account, it is the Guyanese money that would be a problem)

(he saw us in the bank today Bank of Guyana when we went in there to talk to the man about securing our money)

– he said the reason that IMF requires a devaluation is that the US wants to be sure that the money is devalued before and not after the loan is made so that they can secure their investment and not lose money on the loan when the money is paid back

(I showed him an article that [former Guyana Foreign Minister] Fred Wills loaned us which said that the IMF had already decided on the loan and that devaluation was a possibility – a copy of the article is included with these notes) – he said that he’d like to borrow the article/ I said I had borrowed it from Fred Wills and had promised to get it back to him. He said he’d check if he had a copy of it and said he found it had already been translated into Russian)

– when he wanted a copy I told him he’d have to ask Fred for it himself as I had to get it back. He said “it’s rather difficult to see Fred Wills these days.” I said “why is that, he’s always home.” He repeated, “It’s just rather difficult”, I said “That’s funny, I thought he was at your place just recently.” I said “Is it because he’s persona non-grata right now with the government.” He got very embarrassed for about 5-10 minutes and then mumbled something about the problems of diplomacy but he said “When someone is a friend of the Soviet Union we still manage to keep in touch no matter what.” I said, “I like to be direct so I’ll ask you, is that what the problem is with us.” He was standing up and so were we to go but he sat down again and started to explain that this isn’t a problem with us, that they had planned to go but each time something came up.

– I asked again about [Foreign Minister Rasleigh] Jackson and is that what they are waiting for, to check with him. He said yes he was and also Jackson’s secretary, (I can’t remember her name for sure, we’d have to check but it might have been Miss Harry????? and he said she had asked several questions also about them coming. I said that we had a young woman

 

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who was a good friend of Cde Collins in the Foreign Affairs Ministery and if it would help we could ask him about the situation. (I tried to do a lot of namedropping since he was making the point about our relationship with the govt.) When I was looking for the letter to show him from Angela Davis, I said “I just showed this to Min. Mingo [Minister of Home Affairs Vibert Mingo], I wonder where it is.” and when we talk about Ambassador McDavid,  I said, “Oh he’s a very sharp young man, we just had lunch with him last week. Is [Does] this mean a closer relationship with Guyana and the USSR that he’s going to be the permanent Ambassador in residence.” Timofeyev said that the relationship of USSR was very good and he thought it was a good sign about the permanent residence.

Re  the filming of our cultural show

– he said that they didn’t have a film crew here/ they had a film crew here to film for TV in USSR but they weren’t here now

RE VISITING

– I told him again that we would be very hurt is they couldn’t visit because some people had asked a few questions (in foreign affairs) and if we had to stand alone with no friends it would be painful for us/ he went thru his usual reassurances on this

(oh another thing I noticed, I asked if he wanted to xerox the article that Wills had loaned me – for one thing I wanted to know if they have an xerox and possibly xeroxed the letter I showed them the other day, I think he realized what I was asking because he said their xerox machine was out of paper right now)

– we talked about progressives in the US is supporting us and I showed him the letter from Angela Davis/ he said he wanted a copy of it because in the USSR Angela Davis is highly thought of and they used to wear buttons (free Angela Davis) – I mentioned how she said we had supported her when it was not popular to support her. He said, “it was always popular to support her”, Debbie and I said that it was not true that Angela had openly said she was a communist and a lot of people, in fact most people, had been afraid to openly support her. I mentioned how Angela had often consulted with JJ and asked him for his advice, that she was very humble and had realized that to some extent she was a figurehead of the party and was a drawing card but that it wasn’t easy to keep a movement together and she had asked J’s advice because she knew he had this capacity and was very good at strategy. He agreed that in the US it is very difficult to keep a movement together. I told him that when I was in socialist organizations in College they were very divided, one will be pro-Soviet, one anti-soviet, one anti-soviet and pro-Chinese and they had trouble getting anything done. He agreed. I said that Angela had come several times to PT and we had helped her on things such as go[ing] across country on our busses to support her fight for political prisoners. I mentioned that she had been in PT And I had talked to her there and she was very impressed with JJ. He seemed quite impressed with this.

– I told him that we had the support of progressives in US and even Pres. and Mrs. Carter had been supportive. I showed him the picture of JJ and Mrs. Carter and the letter which Mrs. Carter wrote saying that she had been interested in J’s remarks about Cuba. I told him that when Marcie had talk to Pres. Carter, he said that since Mrs. Carter had dined with JJ, all he heard was Jim Jones, Jim Jones, Jim Jones, and I said JJ spoke quite openly with Mrs. Carter about what we stood for. He seemed impressed (????) with this. I also told him Mrs. Carter had intervened in the SS [Social Security] situation so that was rectified (I had the feeling that if he feels we are persona non-grata, he should be given some feeling that progressives and liberals are supportive of us). I said that it was reactionaries that were fighting us, and reactionaries that Tim Stoen  was appealing to and I showed him the letter from the state dept and Congressman Burton, Assemblyman Willie Brown, Supervisor Harvey Milk to show that some people who are progressive are willing to put themselves out for us or at least show they won’t interfere. I gave him a copy of the letters from Willie Brown and Milk to carter.

– he mentioned after seeing us in the bank that he saw some new people with us that he hadn’t seen before. Richard [Janaro] and Karen [Layton] were with us and I have the feeling that he was impressed with Richard because Richard looks more like the Russians do, kind of

 

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distinguished and conservative (funny but Russians seem so conservative in some ways) and I told how Richard had been a very successful businessman for many years and he had given that up because he wanted some meaning to his life other than financial and had managed the ranch in RV [Redwood Valley]. I told how the church ran this ranch for Retarded young men and it was considered one of the best by the State of California who paid for the care of the retarded young men. I mentioned that it was cooperatively run and give employment to our members so that none were out of work but all could be productive.

 

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Originally posted on December 10th, 2021.

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