Meeting between Richard McCoy & Laura Johnston,
Sept 2, 1977

[Editor’s note: This document appears at both A-1-a – 1-b and at P-1-C-10a – 10b. The second copy is more legible than the first.]


Meeting with Mr. McCoy from the US embassy on [Handwriting: “2”; “August” is crossed out] Sept. 1977—

Laura Johnston

Issue- McCoy wanted to meet with me because my “mom” had written to the US Ambassador to Guyana and asked what was going on with me, and would they check on my health, general wellbeing.

McCoy’s statements:

If there was an unofficial inquiry about someonw [someone] with PT in Guyana, He’d call the Georgetown office to confirm that they live here.

If there was an official inquiry from the Washington office, then he’ll have to visit the person himself.

He recommended in his reprot [report] to Washington that he visit every 6 months, since so many US citizens are there, and plans for his next trip in February, ’78.

He said that he was very impressed with the hard work that has been done there, but that it isn’t the life for him. He said that it was too isolated– he couldn’t jump in a car •and move around if there, and on the other hand, there-was-tee— he couldn’t do his own thing there. He said that he is comfortable, and didn’t like privations, tho he has been through some, like the marines for 4 years, and the Korean war, and he has chosen Guyana because he can work as a free agent here, in his own office and doing things his way– not like some of the big embassies which have alot of supervision. He said that the US almost broke relations with Guyana last October, and he was the Charge ‘de [Charge d’] Affairs, and at that time was tied to his desk. His predeccesor [predecessor] had had some problem, and he had been training 2 other staff, and he hadn’t been able to visit when he would have liked to.

He said that the custody problems and the inquiry problems would continue, because for a group getting started in Guyana, not in the well-known parts of the world, parents got alarmed over not having more information. He said that Jim [Jones] may or may not lose over the custody of John Stoen.

From McCoy to JIM—-McCoy told Washingon that he had visited, and that he was impressed with Jonestown. He wrote then that everyone was free to come and go. People were happy healthy and that even in his short visit, he saw that no one was fearful, and there were no armed guards. He wrote that much work had been done in 3 years, and that altho he couldn’t know everything in just 2 ½ hrs., none were ther involuntarily. Everything was in the open. He wrote tthat everyone was free to come and go, as with [Leon] Broussard, who went to Port Kaituma, to Matthews Ridge, and then into Georgetown, and is now awaiting travel arrangements home( In other words, he didn’t know that Leon had left already.) He said that he couldn’t state categorically that no one was beaten, but his own observations show that he couldn’t categorically say that they were. THIS WAS HIS REPORT

He said that in with his regular visits every 6 mos. he’d take care of registering babies (must be done *ith in the first 5 years ofage), of seeing personally those getting social security– requirement that they be seen yearly; and he’ll notify us ahead of time when he plans to visit so we can organize that part. Also, we must notify him of any deaths.

He has 7000 applications for visas to US, out af a country of 88000- 10% he pointed out.



He said that he asked Carolyn Looman if she wanted to go, when they were in private, and he had his vehicle right there, and she said no. He said that he included this in a report.

He said that the Embassy could be helpful to us if we had a medical emergency and needed GDF to get someone out, or if someone had an emergency in the US that they had to go back for, or if someone had to go to Trinidad for a medical problem, etc. He said that the Embassy didn’t just look into people’s lives, that it would be helpful.

He said that Jim was very, very upset about the custody contacts, and the inquiries, and said that McCoy’s own feelings were that he wouldn’t investigate custody unless officially asked to because he felt that if we were able to get passports for the children, that obviously the parents had participated in that.

He said that if a lawyer, or a private investigator asked him to extradite someone on a charge, or for investigation, he would not, only if an “official court” sent him word would he turn the matter into the Guyanese officials for returning a person to the US.

A man from the US has called him, and talked to him since he’s returned fromfrom J/tn. When McCoy told him that he’d been impressed, the man didn’t want to hear that. He said that the man had given him a list of names, he couldn’t place the letter right then, but he wasnt’ too worried about it, of children that were problem with custody. He said that he’d told the man his honest opinion.

McCoy said that he didn’t like J/tn for himself because he didn’t like cooperative living for himself. [Crossed out “He”]

He mentioned Joyce [Parks] several times- not by her name, but as the medical practitioner. He mentioned in the context of the help the embassy could be– that he’d noticed alot of seniors there, and also alot of children.