Mar 20, 1980 • 1827 • Georgetown-State • 1265

O 201827Z MAR 80
FR AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1992
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 1265
E.O. 12065: NA
TAGS: CDES, GY (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE, LAYTON, LAURENCE J.) AND (BEKMAN [BEIKMAN], CHARLES E.)
SUBJ: TWO PRISONERS SUE FOR ASSESTS [ASSETS]

1. The Guyana Chronicle of March 11, 1980, carried the following story.

“Two members of the People’s Temple who are now in prison awaiting trial on charges of murder and attempted murder, have applied to the High Court for a summons to be joined as defendants in an action brought by the Board of Directors of People’s Temple against the Attorney General of Guyana.

“Charles Edward Beikman and Larry Layton, who were Temple members when the sect headed by Jim Jones destroyed itself in murder-suicide on November 18, 1978, filed the application yesterday through their local representative senior counsel, Mr. Rex McKay.

“The Board of Directors of People’s Temple and filed a writ against the Attorney-General seeking declaration that all movable and immovable property belonging to the Temple should be solely, absolutely and beneficially for the members of the sect.

“They had also sought declarations in relation to assets, both local currency and foreign currency held in banks under the supervision of the Guyana Government, and

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGE 01255 241331Z

for the appointment of a receiver to protect the property and assets.

“In a joint affidavit Beikman and Layton referred to the fact that some 914 members of the People’s Temple of the Disciples of Christ Church in Guyana committed suicide in the North West District of Jonestown, and that as a result the church in Guyana was de facto dissolved.

“They contend that they were at the material time members of the church who survived the disaster and have been so for more than ten years.

“Because of the fact that they were members of the church at the time of this de facto dissolution, they were beneficially entitled to share in the assets of the church and the resulting end and/or constructive trust.

2. The above information should be passed to the People’s Temple Receiver, Mr. Robert Fabian of San Francisco.

Roberts [George B. Roberts, Jr., American ambassador to Guyana]

UNCLASSIFIED

Originally posted on June 13th, 2022.

Last modified on July 27th, 2022.
Skip to main content