Temple meetings in Georgetown, Spring 1978


April 24th meeting with [Vibert] Mingo (Sharon [Amos], Mike [Prokes], Debbie T. [Touchette]): When we told him we need to be informed of any devaluation if we are to survive, he said the P.M. [Prime Minister Forbes Burnham] is absolutely against devaluation. He said the reason is that the Guyanese people could not afford an increased cost of living. We ask what alternative there was, particularly if Burnham’s trip wasn’t successful in getting assistance, and he said domestic savings would have to be increased. He said this might be done by selling bonds in order to improve the economic situation and bolster Guyana’s balance of payments position. He admitted that it’s going to be difficult. But he said he didn’t think there would be any turning to the right in a hurry in Guyana. He said that although there are rightist elements, the official line is left and he didn’t see any change in that. He said the rightist element would have to be controlled. He said the PPP faces the same problems with rightists in their ranks. He also said there is a strong capitalist influence in this culture which is hard to break. In meetings later in the day with Nick and [Fedor] Timofeyev, both said they didn’t see any major changes in Guyana’s government in the near future – only a tightening up as far as lifestyles and living standards. The Cubans on an earlier occasion seemed to say the same thing. Nick and the Cubans have both said that the fact that there has been virtually no looting during the blackouts is significant. They say this is due to the influence of their British colonial past (it made them a reserved people, according to the Cuba, Daniel Salas). Nick said, “I don’t think you have any real problems here, and I wouldn’t worry about the political situation.” He went on to say that there was no organization capable of engineering a coup. He said [Cheddi] Jagan can’t do anything as he learned what his people came out second best in the race riots in 1954. Jagan doesn’t have the organization it takes as shown by the fact that he was ousted as head of the government. Nick implied that Jagan just didn’t have enough support – “I wouldn’t follow Jagan to the toilet,” he said. Nick seemed amused at the idea of any real change in Guyana – as if things are in such a state of disarray among so-called leaders that no one has it together sufficiently to do anything. He seems to feel that Guyana’s big mistake was to close the doors to private investment. He said you have to deal with the economic realities of the day, and if the Soviets feel compelled to allow it (in the form of Pepsi, Fiat, Chase Manhattan Bank, etc.), then Guyana should get with it. He told us how Gulf Oil Co. almost single-handedly save[d] the government of [blank space]. Nick admitted unashamedly that he has stock in Gulf even though his remarks took a negative slant towards Gulf’s international dealings in that country.

Back to Mingo: I asked him how many people are leaving Guyana. He said he couldn’t give figures but we could see long lines of people every morning outside of Home Affairs and the American Embassy.

Did he see any change in Eric Gairy? He called Gairy a reactionary opportunist. Mingo laughed when we asked if he had seen any change in Gairy.

He said he felt that Nick might get information at receptions and cocktail parties from Guyana officials who have had too much to drink. He said the PM is against such functions and he (Mingo) never goes to them.



April 20th: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Cultural Exhibition

Significant contacts: A man who writes for the New Nation (PNC official paper) asked me about my background. After I told him he said he was suspicious whenever he hears of people (I think he meant white people) who leave the States to come here, then he said even more so when they worked in Journalism. He was obviously saying that he suspected I was CIA. As I was explaining why I came and trying to put things in perspective, another guy came up who knew the New Nation guy. The guy who came up second was with the Ministry of Education and Culture and worked with the Museum. He began asking about our religious beliefs. After I explained, he worked about 45 minutes lecturing me on how to “progress spiritually”. The man was Hindu. He said for me not to get caught up in the things he heard JJ saying on the radio, i.e., interracial community, agricultural production, medical services etc. He explained that I shouldn’t be concerned about doing things because I thought they were right; he said it was very important to believe – but he said I could reach the point of “believing” by continuing my present work with the project, only I must be aware of my thoughts and actions. It was a real bunch of shit which I presume is Hindu philosophy. I couldn’t stand listening to this guy and I missed a lot of what he was trying to impress upon me. I acted as if I appreciated the information and asked how I could get hold of him. He told me and I thanked him once again. SHOULD I GET BACK TO THIS GUY AND TELL HIM THAT I SPOKE WITH JJ AND HE BASICALLY AGREES WITH HIM, IT’S JUST THAT JJ MUST FOLLOW CERTAIN GUIDELINES IN MAKING THE RADIO BROADCASTS? The man’s name is Patrick Dial. While I was talking with Dial, the other guy talking with Dick Tropp about Jews and Israel. Both of them seem very friendly when we left.

April 22: Meeting with School board members. We met with only 5 board members this time, including Armstrong and Cde. Jarvis, the Deputy CEO who chaired the meeting in Cde. Low’s absence. (He had to attend some other meeting.) First we were asked for our reactions of the three day seminar. Everyone made positive comments about it. Cde. Jarvis then asked for any differences we had. She said she wanted to pinpoint any differences so that any problems could be resolved. She said “What is suitable in your area (interior) may not be suitable in another area (urban). So we’ll have to adopt a flexible approach.”

Dick said that the curriculum guidelines were very helpful but we needed examination syllabuses. They agreed to get them to us.

Jarvis brought up the matter of changing teachers. She said a few words to introduce it then referred it for details to Armstrong who said the idea came from the CEO Low. The proposal was to attach three specialists at each level (Nursery, primary and secondary) to our staff. We, in turn, would send three persons to Kaituma in exchange. They want to know if we could provide teachers in the areas of music & dance, and business education. We said we had a very good person in business education but she was presently involved in tax work. Apparently, their plan was not well organized or thought out yet because they mentioned only the above two areas when they were asking for three teachers. They said this would be on a daily basis but the teachers would not be live-ins. They then asked us about transportation possibilities and we said all our vehicles were very much tied up in agriculture. They had no present solution which led me to believe that they were relying on us for transportation. They said they would discuss the matter with their Permanent Secretary to see what could be worked out. We suggested the possibility of sending a teacher in on Thursdays when we [illegible word] to PNC and have the teacher hold a class for a block of three hours. We suggested this as an alternative. It wasn’t rejected or accepted – it will depend on whether they come up with transportation. They wanted to begin the exchange as soon as possible



using teachers who are now teaching in Kaituma. We told them we would have to take the matter to the full community since it was something that hadn’t been seriously considered in detail. We did say that our work schedules are quite intensive and others might not be used to it. We gave them an example of the hours our teachers work in various capacities (on paper) to prove our point.

For all practical purposes our school has been approved. It becomes official when it is printed in the Gazette. The wording has been submitted but the Gazette has a backlog of notices due to the blackouts. They said they would let us know when it gets published or will be published. They gave us texts, and papers for record-keeping which would indicate that approval has been finalized. The meeting was friendly and one of the officials, Cde. London, drove Carolyn [Layton] and I home even though it was out of his way. London had been over to the house after our initial meeting before our educational people came in. We came with Cde. Armstrong and they came in for refreshments. Overall, I would say the educational board is impressed with our school and what we have to offer, and the [illegible word] and meetings seemed to come off without a hitch as far as blunders on our part.



Sharon Amos

Chief Justice Boilers [Harold Bollers] (Sharon, Anita, Tim C. [Carter])

– we visited him and his wife at home to ask him about what we could do about pressing charges against Debbie Blakey for stealing money

– he didn’t remember Debbie at first but when he asked if he had danced with her at the Pegasus and we said yes, he recalled her and asked if she was the one that had been educated in England and we said yes / he said she was quite an attractive girl and he had been impressed by her

– but he felt that we could take action against her / he wasn’t sure if Guyana had an extradition agreement with the US but thought Guyana did (we kind of hoped Guyana didn’t in the case of JJ)

– he said you couldn’t bring action against her in the US but could do it here but would have to have her address so she could be picked up in the US and brought here / he didn’t know who would pay for her trip / would depend on the agreement

– asked about the money – why did she have the money for safekeeping / said we’d have to be more careful in the future who took care of the money

– he hadn’t been feeling good / had the flu but was friendly / reminds me exactly of Mr. Magoo – seems like he’s not quite all there at times

– his wife is Guyanese but lived in England for some time / she said her whole job in life is to take care of her husband and son / she called him “daddy” and is quite a bit younger than him but is matronly and nice / we said we’d drop over and see her sometime and she said to do so and that she really meant it (she asked us first herself to come back) and I offered to call them if we had a film at the house that they could watch with us

– their house is not ostentatious though the furniture is very nice but the building is quite simple and the furniture is not overly plush though nice

– he said we should let Skip Roberts know so he could look into the situation / he said it’s too bad we didn’t report the incident earlier and said if we have reported it before Debbie had left, they could have arrested her immediately (of course we told him we didn’t know the money was stolen until after she left)

– we told her about her prior drug habit and that she had a romance in town (hurting her mother’s and brother’s and husband’s heart) that she had stolen the money of seniors and her mother’s

– (I didn’t hear Boilers say this as he was talking to Tim but Tim said that Boilers told him that he was going to say something about the Stoen case to Aubrey Bishop though it was a little touchy for him to do so / Tim asked if there was any average time when decisions are made and Boilers brought up the Stoen case, but he said it was ridiculous to takes so long)

– he said he’d call Skip Roberts for us and then we could see Skip in the morning



Sharon Amos

J.T. Clarke (visit to his home) Sharon, Tim, Anita (18/6/78 [June 18, 1978])

– he was his usual friendly self / acted like he enjoyed our visit / show us articles he had written over the years in the paper / had his own column, said he wanted to visit Jonestown soon and then would get a couple of columns in the paper and write about us / his wife said she’d like to visit too

– he played records for us, served us a few little orderves (?) [hors d’ouvres] – miniature sandwiches actually and sponge cake and marbi drink (his wife of course is the usual Guyanese glorified slave but well taken care of in a luxurious house / he owns the house next door to him too which humans out for $300 a month

– he said about Debbie B. (He never met her) that this kind of thing will happen occasionally / that he didn’t know if US and Guyana had an extradition agreement but he didn’t think so (said he’d research it tomorrow and write it down for us)

– he said that Interpol is the one that helps people on things like this (shows where he is at) / said that Hewey Hinds was once questioned for taking money – a great deal of money, but he’s paying it back a little at a time through Clarke’s office (he took it out of the country apparently and Interpol talked to him / he said there [are] about 3 Interpol agents in Guyana, one is Skip Roberts and we could talk to him

– you thought Interpol could help in tracking Debbie down and making the charge against her

– he said the reason people didn’t like us is because we are interracial / he told a story of the Bishop of Lanford (or someplace in England) and his daughter Margaret was in love with J.T. and wanted to bring J.T. to her house and at first her parents had difficulty accepting him (he was a houseguest at her house for a few days) but her mother admitted to him that she had been prejudiced but would make it up to him and realized the error of her ways (J.T. loves to tell these stories were rich or important people learn the error of their ways through his patient lessons in Christianity) – after that he said he would visit them frequently and they got quite close and when he went to his post in Uganda they said they were going to visit him there but he said it would cost [cause] trouble because of the division of the races but the Bishop of Uganda told J.T. that these people would stay with him (he was white) and not with J.T. /  J.T. didn’t argue but the guests insisted on staying with J.T. and the Bishop was invited to come too and he later saw the error of his ways and apologized to J.T. J.T. had to go to the native services at the Bishop’s church and not the English services but the Bishop put an end to all that

– he was upset that lies were being published about us / I told him that even the American Embassy said that the lies were being told because sensational stuff sells more papers than the truth and the good things that you are doing does / and that [Vibert] Mingo was upset because the lies were an attack against Guyana and not just at us

– told J.T. that we would interview that young girl that had a drug problem that he said he wanted to come and stay in Jonestown (her aunt Cecily Beard is one of the heads of the University of Guyana) / he said he’d arrange that

– he said he’d have us over sometime to stay a few days and said his wife Nancy was involved in this invitation too that she is very sincere / she looked tired and said ” J.T. involved me in something else recently. He volunteered me to clothe the dead body of a neighbor.” (J.T. likes to show how hospitable and Christian he is by offering his wife’s help to people)

– by the way when we said Debbie took money brought in by people from the US and her mother’s money too(which was on the instructions to tell him), he said that American money was to be turned in within 48 hours and that it was illegal to hold it that way / we said it had been in 48 hours yet, it was going to be turned in which she took it

(I think it will be a mistake for us to press charges because they will use that as an excuse to investigate us as much as Debbie and exhibition of her, if they can do so, could boomerang and later they could justify extradition of JJ)