Letter to Guyana Embassy in Washington from Temple, May 24, 1976


[Envelope from Guyana embassy in Washington to Jean Brown of Peoples Temple]


[Peoples Temple letterhead]

May 24, 1976

Hon. Mr. Claude Worrell
Embassy of the Republic of Guyana
2490 Tracy Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Dear Mr. Worrell:

I am writing to follow-up on the conversation of last week when our associate minister Michael Prokes called you from California. I believe he addressed himself to two points: one, the trouble we are having in regards to radio licenses in Guyana and two, the expediting of procedures we must comply with in order to import our agricultural equipment.

The first issue is particularly troublesome to us since our link with Jonestown is dependent entirely upon our radios. I have enclosed for you a copy of Paula Adam’s [Adams’] radio license as issued in the US. Albert Touchette’s call sign is WB6-MID/8R3.  Mrs. Adams operates the radio based in Georgetown and Mr. Touchette operates the radio based in Jonestown. The fact that there US licenses have not been officially recognized by the government in Georgetown not only puts us in some legal jeopardy, but also causes us a great deal of uneasiness (as I imagine you can understand). We have proven ourselves sincere in our intentions. Our desire is to work in complete cooperation with and on behalf of the Guyanese government. We are concerned that our own commitment of time and money is not reciprocated in this small matter of improving the radio licenses so vital to the continuation of our project.

Further, we have requested that items related to the development of the project, in particular agricultural equipment, be allowed into Guyana without the extensive importation procedures that we must deal with. We can certainly understand the need to declare what we are in fact importing into the country, but since the goods are not to resale and have specified use in our non-profit project, time-consuming and complicated documentation required of our Georgetown co-workers. I have referred to you a copy of the letter from the Ministry of Agriculture which was forwarded to us by Mrs. Adams. Another matter of concern

Another matter of concern in regards to importation of goods is the difficulty we have in sending such items as typewriters, tape-recorders, personal hygiene needs, and small gifts from family members



to loved ones there. Items such as these are “contraband,” however is it possible that an agreement could be reached whereby our co-workers traveling to Guyana can bring a necessary amount of such items into the country without putting themselves in jeopardy doing so?

As I have stated, we wish to comply with the government regulation, since our intentions are completely and fully to serve the Co-operative Republic and government. I believe we have been able to provide jobs for a great many Guyanese, and that our current payroll list numbers 75 citizens of the Port Kaituma area. Whatever you can do to facilitate both the radio licenses and the importation of goods, we would appreciate most sincerely.

Mr. Prokes informed our office that you would be traveling to Guyana during the month of July. May I prevail upon you for assistance in one more area? If it all possible, can you see to the needs of our co-worker of English citizenship, Mr. Phillip [Philip] Blakey? When Phillip first volunteered for the agricultural project, he had not intended to stay as long as he has. But he has literally fallen in love with the country and the work there. His standing in the US was as a Permanent Resident, and he carried said visa. (He is married to a citizen of the US, Mrs. Deborah Blakey, who was also a member of our church.) He failed to apply for a re-entry card before his departure, and since he has been in Guyana for more than one year, he has technically abandoned his visa. We understand that he must re-apply for said visa as though he had never entered the US. However, since his Permanent Residence was once investigated and approved, we had hoped that it would be merely an administrative matter to reinstate his standing. The results of Philip’s visits to Georgetown and the US Embassy have been quite the opposite. He is now having to solicit statements of marriage, mirth [birth], police records and employment confirmation in the US. In regards to this case, I have written to our own US Congressman, Mr. Donald Calusen [Clausen].  he in turn referred the matter to Mr. Robert McCloskey and Mr. Krebs, then Ambassador in Georgetown. At that time, Philip had been unable to travel out of the interior to Georgetown, but since then has made the proper contacts and his file is on record with the US Embassy in Georgetown. I have followed up with another letter to Mr. Clausen. I wondered, then, whether a call from you, in your official capacity with the Guyana government, might not also expedite the matter for Philip. If you would be so kind, would you please call Congressman Clausen on behalf of Philip Blakey.

[Two-line  typed paragraph deleted,  handwritten substitute: “Enclosed are the letters that have been exchanged in regards to Phillip’s situation. For all you have done and continue to do on our behalf, our deepest thanks go out to you. Pastor Jones since his kindest regards.”]