Mazor correspondence on weapons for Jonestown

[Editor’s note: The following pages have been arranged in chronological order.]

H-1-d-9a, p. 79

[Letterhead of Joseph A. Mazor & Associates]

September 26, 1978

Dear Gene;

I received your most welcome letter today and am pleased and happy to hear that Jim is feeling better and to know that my coming to Jonestown had something to do with his recovery. Hopefully, things will commence to work out better for you in the future. I will continue to do whatever I can to solve some of the remaining problems which face you, so that all of you will be able to do your thing, without interference from outside factions.

With regard to my going to London, I think the communications got somewhat fouled-up when I tried to pass information along to you. I cannot go without charging fees if, I am simply going for the Temple business. However, that is not the case as of this writing. I am going another business and therefore, I will be able to do what I have to without charging the Temple for the trip. Also, it is my understanding that ABC in London will have a camera there to document my findings and actions so that a news story can be made from the material. So that should be helpful to you, as well as myself.

With regard to my not working with Charles, again, I think there may have been a communications problem. For the past 18 months, I have worked openly and I do not want to be placed in a position where my activities are the work product of an attorney and particularly not Charles’ since credibility is important and he is the Temple attorney. As an attorney, I am sure you will understand my position. There are still several UNANSWERED questions in this mess and I must have the freedom to find the solutions without restraints. As I said, if the Temple is clean, I will be the first to come to your side on the issue at hand.


H-1-d-9b, p. 80

Page two

Mr. Eugene Chaikin

Regarding the matter of security, I am ready and willing to train Hugh [Hue Fortson] in the matter of protecting Mrs. [Marceline] Jones, but so far, he hasn’t called me. I am more than willing to give up my time for that matter.
I am also willing to give my time to setting up security at Jonestown, but you people will have to pay for the equipment and get the necessary permissions for guns, mace, etc. and I think that this is a fair deal. I estimate a five-man security force fully equipped will cost approximately $1500.00, give or take $300.00 which depends on where the weapons are purchased and how they are shipped. I estimate the training at 7 to 8 days and I am willing to donate that time for such a cause. I do feel that you should consider the security of Jonestown as a prime activity. If you can purchase weapons in Guyana and get whatever permission you need, it might save time. You will also need permission for Mace (tear gas) which is effect[ive] but not harmful.

If you decide to do the above, I would like to be able to do the training during the last part of October. Please give me sufficient notice.

Gene, as I told you all when I was there, I am not sure of many issues and there are a lot of unanswered questions, but I am impressed with what you are doing and as long as you are straight with me, I will back you 100%, even though I do not like your politics, I like you as human beings and will go to bat for you in clearing up the problems. I will even donate my time to you from here on out, but not expenses because I cannot afford to, not that I don’t want to. Secretarys and investigators on staff cost money.

As of today, I have Jim’s best and will give it to San Francisco this week for shipment. Make sure he wears it immediately for a day or two so that he gets use [used] to it. By the way, it is a gift.

I would appreciate hearing from you on the matters of security and others.

Joseph A. Mazor

[handwritten PS] Sorry I type badly but just read between the lines –


H-1-d-9c, p. 81

Photocopy of envelope of letter from Mazor to Chaikin


H-1-d-8b, p. 77


My suggestion is that I write him that I feel good about the clarification of his relations with us and with Charles, that I do understand his position and feel that it is in everybody’s best interest, and will be looking forward to seeing him when he comes down. About his arrangements, we have begun the machinery for getting permits for the things that he has requested, and hope to hear from the authorities soon, but that I don’t see any point in his coming down till such time as we have the permits. We’re pushing and will let him know just as soon as they come through. We are very concerned with security, appreciate the jacket and his concern for Jim’s safety and the safety of the group here.

STRATEGY: He is concerned that we be 100% STRAIGHT with him. I think that he will check up on us to see what we have done, or more precisely I do not think that we should take the risk that he might check with government. Accordingly I feel that we should actually make the application for 5 AR 16 rifles, 500 rounds of ammunition, 5 standard mace police sets, with an additional 10 spare cartridges. Of course they will not give us the permits, and we might even tell them we are not too eager. It would make a record for us. Mark [Lane] did not like this idea when I presented it to him. At that time we did bring Mazor’s name into it and I think he felt that might compromise us somehow. We might just say that we feel the need of some security because of past history. Harriet [Tropp] doesn’t like the idea either… She says we can just be vague about what we have done about it, but I think that is just another type of not being “straight” and if we are going to put him on we had better cover our bases.

gene [Eugene Chaikin]

[handwritten address of Police Commissioner Lloyd Barker at bottom of page]


H-1-d-6, p. 74

October 13, 1978

Commissioner of Police
Lloyd Barker
Eve Leary

Dear Sir:

As you must know, in the past few months Jonestown has been the subject of several attacks, presumably for the purpose of murder or kidnap. We, of necessity, must take these matters very seriously. Accordingly we have ask the advice of several Security Consultants in the USA for suggestions on how to best protect our community from such a threat. On their [illegible word] we are making the following request.

We are requesting permission to possess the following arms and ammunition, which we would like to purchase in the United States and bring down:

5 AR 16 Automatic Rifles
500 rounds of ammunition for same
5 standard law enforcement Mace sets
10 Mace replacement cartridges

The quantity of ammunition requested is primarily for training purposes. All equipment will be used by five of our men who will be specially trained in security methods.

Your favorable consideration of these matters will be greatly appreciated.

Cooperatively yours,
[blank signature line]
For Peoples Temple Agricultural Mission


H-1-d-7, p. 75

October 18, 1978

Joseph A. Mazor & Associates
Post Office Box 99717
San Francisco, California 94109

Dear Joe:

Thanks for your letter of Sept. 26, which I just received. I am very glad for the clarification of your relationship to us and also to Charles. I think that your position is intelligent and well taken. As far as I am concerned it is the best for all. Certainly, by not assuming a “partisan” position whatever you find will not be distorted by questions of influence and the like.

By the time that you get this letter I suppose that you will have been to England and returned so you should have some idea of what is to be learned there.
Needless to say we are very interested. The source of his [Tim Stoen’s] funding is of great interest and concern to us all. If there is any way I can help just let me know.

We have set the machinery in motion to get the permits to import the things that you recommend for our security. Although things have been quiet and peaceful, we are really concerned with security and will continue to be so. The bureaucracy, however, moves at its own speed. As yet we have had no word back about it. We are pushing. I think that the very best thing that we can do is to wire you when we have the permits (or a negative response to our request if we are not fortunate) so that you can begin to make your plans accordingly at that time. I have been here for some years, and my experience is that they really are slow on this sort of thing. Please be assured that we do not minimize the need for security or the value that your input can provide. We feel that it is a matter of prime importance and are dealing with it as fast as local conditions will permit.

I also want to thank you for providing a [bulletproof] vest for Jim. We will see that it is used at once. My thanks is personal as well as organizational. I have great respect and admiration for Jim and wish everything possible done to secure him and his family.


H-1-d-8a, p. 76

[Draft of letter from previous page, only change is a deleted sentence at the end of paragraph 1, which read “I say full speed ahead.”]