Mailgram to Lee Ingram at Peoples Temple, 4/15/78

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Mailgram Service Center
Middletown, VA

4/15/78

Peoples Temple Attn Lee Ingram
1859 Gary [Geary] Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94115

This mailgram is a confirmation copy of the following message:

President Carter
White House DC 20500

Dear President Carter. An alarming article appeared in yesterday’s April 13 Ukiah Daily Journal. We want to quote the salient points for you:

“A potentially explosive situation is brewing in Jonestown Guyana. On Tuesday of this week, some 25 relatives of Jones’ followers who are residing in Jonestown, were led by Steve Katsaris to the People’s Temple headquarters in San Francisco. Katsaris, whose 24-year-old daughter, Maria, has resided in Jonestown since last summer, has indicated through letters to her parents, that she is satisfied to stay in Guyana. Katsaris accuses Jones of violating human rights by holding relatives as virtual captives.

One father has even threatened to hire mercenaries to raid Jonestown and liberate his son by force. Trouble that could lead to an international incident may lie ahead.”

These people are talking about hiring mercenaries to kill, and yet they dare talk about Rev. Jones and the Temple as trying to control lives. The lives of people in Jonestown are not controlled. Just two weeks ago, there was a national cultural show to which over 100 Temple members traveled by boat and train to attend. There was even a blackout, one like in New York, where the whole capitol [capital] city was dark. The Temple young people behaved so well, they were so mild, which shows how these young people are rehabilitated. Surely if people wanted to leave Peoples Temple in Guyana they could have gone to the US Embassy during this time. The cultural program itself was written up in the country’s largest newspaper as the most exciting Guyana has ever seen. Participation in this program demonstrated the freedom of movement, creativity, and practical concepts the residents of Jonestown enjoy.

Each week about 50 people travel back and forth to the project. Some

 

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people with various skills, some in education, specialized areas in medicine, orthodontists and some come just for entertainment. Marie [Maria] Katsaris’s father claims she is “captive” or “programmed”. But she flew along with the US Consulate [Consul] from the interior to Georgetown. Surely, if she had wanted to leave she would have had every opportunity.

In our project, our cultural presentation, our entire relationship to Guyana, we are building unity between the two nations. In our program, we praised on nationwide media coverage the Carter Administration and the US Embassy for allowing us to live in this cooperative with our free medical clinic, an agricultural project that has done so much to help build good will between the US and Guyana.

The threat of mercenaries to destroy such a beautiful people and work is unthinkable, yet those who would destroy for the sake of personal vendettas are planning to do just that.

Please see the character that it has taken to build Jonestown. How can anyone miss seeing the personal sacrifices Reverend Jones has made to take responsibility for the welfare of so many people. (There are over 1000 people currently living in the project). Why would he risk of reputation and standing as a minister to protect a child that were not his? What kind of love is it that makes him willing to sacrifice at such great personal cost, to see eternal same from being used as a pawn by people who have no interest in him? Why are cynics and Trotskyites so loathe to believe a model human community could actually exist – where people are fulfilled, people and very happy.

For Gods sake, please don’t let these people carry out their terrorists plans…

Members of People’s Temple

Originally posted on May 23rd, 2022.

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