House Committee Report Table of Contents

Below are pages vii to xv (the Contents & appendixes Listings) from:

The Assassination of Representative Leo J. Ryan and the Jonestown, Guyana Tragedy, A Report of a Staff Investigative Group to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, US House of Representatives dated May 15, 1979.

Portions of the report listed in red are included in the classified version only.

CONTENTS

FOREWORD III
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL V
I. INTRODUCTION 1
A. Ryan trip background 1
B. Summary of events of November 14-19, 1978 3
C. Chairman Zablocki’s mandate for an investigation 6
II. THE INVESTIGATION 8
A. Preparation 8
B. Washington activities-I 9
C. California acttvities 9
D. Washington activities-II 11
E. Guyana activities 12
F. Washington activities-III 14
G. Information management 14
H. Miscellaneous information 14
I. Statistical summary of interviews 15
III. FINDINGS 16
A. Jim Jones and People’s Temple 16
Background 16
Tactics of Jim Jones 17
Motivation of People’s Temple members 19
People’s Temple as a “church” 20
B. Conspiracy against Jim Jones and People’s Temple 20
C. Opponents and media intimidated; public officials used 22
D. Awareness of danger, predicting the degree of violence 24
E. U.S. Customs Service investigation 25
F. Conspiracy to kill Representative Ryan 26
G. The Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act- 27
H. Role and performance of U.S. Department of State 29
I. Involvement of the Government of Guyana 32
J. Social security; foster children 33
K. Future status of People’s Ternplec 35
IV. RECOMMENDATION 36
(1) Review of exemption provisions under the Privacy Act and
(1) Review of exemption provisions under the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act 36
(2) Review of Internal Revenue Service rules and regulations regarding churches 36
(3) State Department organization and procedures 36
(4) Concentrated program of research and training on cults needed 37
(5) Inclusion of the subject of cults on the agenda of the White House Conference on the Family 37
APPENDIXES1
I. Introduction 39
A. Ryan trip background 43
1. Correspondence between Hon. Leo J. Ryan and various members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs 43
(a) October 4, 1978 letter from Hon. Leo J. Ryan to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 43
(b) October 12, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to Hon. Leo J. Ryan 44
(c) October 17, 1978 letter from Hon. Leo J. Ryan to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 45
(d) October 18, 1978 letter from Hon. Leo J. Ryan to Hon. William S. Broomfield 46
(e) October 18, 1978 letter from Hon. Leo J. Ryan to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 47
(f) October 24, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to Hon. Leo J. Ryan 48
2. Correspondence between Hon. Leo J. Ryan and the U.S. Embassy in Guyana, Jim Jones and Mark Lane 49
(a) November 1, 1978 letter from Hon. Leo J. Ryan to Jim Jones 49
(b) November 1, 1978 letter from Hon. Leo J. Ryan to Ambassador John R. Burke 50
(c) November 5, 1978 State Department cable describing conditions the People’s Temple had established for Ryan Codel visit to Jonestown 51
(d) November 6, 1978 letter from Mark Lane to Hon. Leo J. Ryan , 52
(e) November 10, 1978 letter from Hon. Leo J. Ryan to Mark Lane 54
B. Summary of events of November 14-19, 1978 57
1. List of People’s Temple. members who chose to leave with Ryan Codel on November 18, 1978 57
2. List of. injured persons during attack on Port Kaituma airstrip 57
3. Time chart illustrating the sequence of events on November 18, 1978, culminating in the attack on the Ryan Codel according to various individuals interviewed by the staff investigative group 58
C. Chairman Clement J. Zablocki’s mandate for an investigation 60
1. Correspondence between Hon. Clement J. Zablocki, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Department of State, and State Department materials provided to the committee at the request of the Staff Investigative Group 60
(a) November 21, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of State 62
(b) December 8, 1978 interim response from the Dept.of State to the November 21, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablock 63
(c) December 12, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of State 64
(d) December 13, 1978 final response from the Department of State to the November 21, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 65
(e) November 28, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of State 81
(f) December 19, 1978 interim response from the Department of State to the November 28, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 82
(g) January 9, 1979 final response from the Department of State to the November 28, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki; 85
(h) December 28, 1978 letter from the Department of State providing various materials requested by the Staff Investigative Group. (Materials include a chronology of significant events with respect to the People’s Temple settlement in Jonestown from 1974 to 1978, guestbook of the Jonestown settlement, and a list of the deceased’) 88
(i) January 4, 1979 letter from the Department of State providing information and materials requested by the Staff Investigative Group. (Materials include a series of memoranda detailing impressions of U.S. Government officials who had visited Jonestown since 1974 and a Department of State cable related to the visit of Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally of California to Guyana in 1976. (Other materials provided in the January 4, 1979 letter from the Department of State are retained in the committee files on a confidential basis.) 127
(j) January 31, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of State 150
(k) February 11, 1979 interim response from the Department of State to the January 31, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 151
(l) March 2, 1979 final response from the Department of State to the January 31, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. ZablockL 152
(m) February 2, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of State 153
(n) March 14, 1979 final response from the Department of State to the February 2, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki. (Materials contained in this response include statements of U.S.Embassy personnel in Georgetown, Guyana who had contact with the People’s Temple and a copy of the land lease for the Jonestown settlement agreed to by the People’s Temple and the Government of Guyana. (In addition to the documents shown here, a number of classified documents pertinent to appendix I-C-1 are maintained on a confidential basis in the committee files) 155
2. Memorandum from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Staff Investigative Group establishing the parameters of the Jonestown inquiry 183
II. The investigation 185
A. Preparation 193
1. (In classified version only.)
2. Correspondence between Hon. Clement J. Zablocki and various executive branch agencies and information and materials provided by various executive branch agencies at the request of the Staff Investigative Group. The December 11 letter from Chairman Zablocki to Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and other related materials do not appear in this appendix. They appear in appendix III-J-2 in connection with the Investigative Group’s findings entitled “Social Security, Foster Children” 193
(a) December 11, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of Justice 193
(b) December 28, 1978 letter from the Department of Justice to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 194
(c) March 30, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of Justice 195
(d) April 12, 1979 interim response from the Department of Justice to the March 30, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 197
(e) April 19, 1979 final response from the Department of Justice to the March 30, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 198
(f) December 11, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of the Treasury 200
(g) January 5, 1979 letter from the Department of the Treasury to Hon. Clement J. ZablockL 201
(h) March 21, 1979 letter from the Department of the Treasury providing information and materials requested by the Staff Investigative Group. (Materials include a synopsis of the investigative activities carried out by the U.S. Customs Service concerning the People’s Temple.) 202
(i) March 30, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the U.S. Customs Service 205
(J] December 11, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Federal Communications Commission 206
(k) January 5, 1979 letter from the Federal Communications Commission to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 207
(l) December 11, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the National Security Agency 208
(m) December 29, 1978 letter from the National Security Agency to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 209
(n) December 11, 1978 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Central Intelligence Agency 210
(0) December 28, 1978 letter from the Central Intelligence Agency to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 211
(p) February 28, 1979 letter from the Department of State to the Staff Investigative Group providing materials requested by the staff investigative group. (Materials provided include two Department of State documents related to the Stoen Custody case.) 212
(q) April 19, 1979 letter from the Department of State to the Staff Investigative Group providing materials and information requested by the Staff Investigative Group. (Materials include the lease agreement executed by the People’s Temple and the Government of Guyana, the December 19, 1978 visa application of Mrs. Pat Small and Department of State memoranda and cables concerning various aspects of the Jonestown incident.) 217
3. Legal opinions concerning constitutional limitations on Congressional investigations of religious groups and the feasibility of distinguishing between bona fide religious groups and religious “cults” 236
(a) December 21, 1978, letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to Prof. Richard Delgado 236
(b) January 8,1979, letter from Prof. Richard Delgado to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki. (Professor Delgadoalso provided materials related to the issue of defining and investigating religious “cults.”) 238
(1) “Religious Totalism: Gentle andUngentle Persuasion Under the First Amendment,” Richard Delgado, Los Angeles Daily Journal Report, December 1,1978 241
(2) “Investigating Cults,” Richard Delgado, New York Times, December 7, 1978 273
(3) “Psyching Out the Cults Collective Mania,” Louis Jolyan West and Richard Delgado, Los Angeles Times, November 26, 1978 274
(c) Staff Investigative Group summary of January 15, 1979, letter and enclosures from Prof. Richard Delgado to Hon, Clement J. Zablocki 277
(d) December 21, 1978, letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to Prof. Norman Dorsen 280
(e) January 25,1979, letterfrom Prof. Norman Dorsen to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 281
(f) Staff Investigative Group summary of January 25, 1979, letter from Prof. Norman Dorsen to Hon. Clement J. Zabloeki , 283
(g) March 8, 1979, letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to Leo Pfeffer, attorney at law 284
(h) March 26, 1979, letter from Leo Pfeffer to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 285
(t) Staff Investigative Group summary of the March 26, 1979, letter from Leo Pfeffer to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 289
(j) March 8, 1979, letter from Hon, Clement J. Zablocki to Prof. Arthur Mille 291
(k) March 19, 1979, letter from Prof. Arthur Miller to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 292
(l) Staff Investigative Group summary of the March 19, 1979, letter from Prof. Arthur Millerto Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 293
B. (Washington activities-I: In classified version only.)
C. (California activities: In classified version only.)
D. (Washington activities-II: In classified version only).
E. Guyana activities 294
1. Correspondence between Hon. Clement J. Zablocki and the Government of Guyana 294
(a) March 2, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, Government of Guyana 294
(b) March 13, 1979 letter from H. E. Dyett, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Guyana, to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 296
(c) March 16, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, Government of Guyana 298
(d) March 28, 1979 letter from H. E. Dyett, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Guyana, to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki 299
2. (In classified version only.)
3. (In classified version only.)
F. Washington activities-III 300
1. (In classified version only.)
2. Relevant newspaper and magazine articles, key documents, and affidavits 300
April 10, 1978 affidavit of Yolanda [Yulanda] D. A. Crawford 300
May 12, 1978 affidavit of Debbie Layton Blakey 304
Letter from Jeffery Haas, attorney at law to Elizabeth Powers, Special Consular Services, Department of State, enclosing the affidavit of the June 15, 1978 affidavit of Debbie Layton Blakey_ 306
“Inside People’s Temple,” Marshall Kilduff and Phil Tracy, New West Magazine, August 1,1977 319
“Ukiah Weekly Target of $5 Million Lawsuit,” George Hunter, Ukah Daily Journal, August 23, 1977 327
“Charles Garry Visits Jonestown: ‘I Have Been to Paradise,'” the Sun Reporter, November 10,1977 328
“Scared Too Long,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, November 13, 1977 329
“Jones Temple Asked to Return Child,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, November 19, 1977 335
“People’s Temple in Guyana is ‘Prison,’ Relatives Say,” Bob Klose, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, April 12, 1978 337
“Grim Report From Jungle,” Marshall Kilduff, San Francisco Chronicle, June l.’5, 1978 340
“People’s Temple Harassed,” San Francisco Examiner, October 4, 1978 342
“Ryan To Visit Reverend Jones’ Jungle Refuge,” Marshall Kilduff, San Francisco Chronicle, November 8, 1978 343
“Probers Head for a Reluctant Rev. Jim Jones,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, November 15, 1978 344
“Expedition to Reverend Jones’ Refuge,” Ron Javers, San Francisco Chronicle, November 15,1978 345
“Temple Probe Hits Wrangling,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, November 16, 1978 347
“Ryan, at People’s Temple, Learns Jones Is Very Ill,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, November 16, 1978 349
“Reporter’s Account of Guyana Detention,” Ron Javers, San Francisco Chronicle, November 16, 1978 351
“Ryan’s Ready To Lead Group to Temple Base,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, November 17, 1978 353
“Angry Meeting in Guyana,” Ron Javers, San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 1978 355
“A Visa Error and People’s Temple Is More Remote Than Ever,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, November 17, 1978 357
“People’s Temple Invites Ryan in and Nobody Else,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, November 17, 1978 359
“Reporter’s Account: Guyana Adventure,” Ron Javers, San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, 1978 360
“Reverend Jones Became West Coast Power,” Larry Kramer, Washington Post, November 20,1978 361
“Cult Head Leads 408 to Deaths in Suicide-Murders,” Leonard Downie, Jr., Washington Post, November 21, 1978 363
“Suicide Carnage Follows Jones’ Tribute to Death,” Baltimore Sun, November 21, 1978 368
“People’s Temple Had History of Threats, Violence,” Art Harris, Washington Post, November 21, 1978 371
“Survivor: They Started With The Babies,” Charles A. Krause, Washington Post, November 21, 1978 373
“Bodies in Guyana Cause Confusion,” Charles A. Krause, Washington Post, November 22, 1978 375
“Son Depicts Leader of Cult As a Fanatic and a Paranoid,” Jon Nordheimer, New York Times, November 22, 1978 378
“Cult Chief’s Beginning in Indianapolis Recalled,” James Feron, New York Times, November 22,1978 380
“Indianapolis to Guyana: A Jim Jones Chronology,” Washington Post, November 22, 1978 382
“I Never Once Thought He Was Crazy,” Jon Nordheimer, New York Times, November 27, 1978 383
“Suicides Called ‘Punishment,'” Karen De Young, Washington Post, November 27, 1978 385
“Note Found on Jones’ Body,” Nicholas M. Horrock, New York Times, November 27,1978 388
“Consular Officers: Babysitters, Etc.” Graham Hovey, New York Times, November 29, 1978 390
“Jersey Psychiatrist, Studying the Guyana Survivors, Fears Implications for U.S. Society From Other Cults,” Jon Nordheimer, New York Times, November 30, 1978 392
“What the Media Did,” Charles B. Seib, Washington Post, December 1, 1978 393
“* * * And What Government Can’t Do” William Raspberry, Washington Post, December ’21, 1978 395
“The Cult of Death,” Newsweek, December 4, 1978 397
“Saturday Night Horror,” Neville Annibourne, the Guyana Chronicle, December 6,1978 436
“Jones’ Suicide Calls, Gunshots Heard on Tape Recording Found at Jonestown,” the Baltimore Sun, December 8, 1978 441
“Jones’ Tape of ‘White Night’ Reveals Dissent to Suicides,’ Leonard Downie, Jr., Washington Post, December 9,1978 443
“Paper Calls Jones Communist in 1950’s,” Nicholas M. Horrock, New York Times, December 20,1978 445
“Mass Cult Immigration Violated Jones’ Agreementwith Guyana,” Nicholas M. Horrock, New York Times, December 24, 1978 447
“Jonestown Explosion May Be Yet To Come,” Bill Rhoden, the Baltimore Sun, December 28, 1978 451
“Jones Commune Found Stocked With Drugs To Control the Mind,” New York Times, December 29, 1978 455
“Profiles of Seven Whose Faith in Jim Jones Carried Them to Death in Guyana,” New York Times, December 29, 1978 456
“The Appeal of the Death Trip,” Robert J. Lifton, New York Times Magazine, January 7,1979 461
“Practices of Cults Receiving New Scrutiny,” Miss Jo Thomas, New York Times, January 21,1979 466
‘”DA Accuses Deputy of Pro-Temple Ploy,” James A. Finefrock, San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle, January 21, 1979 469
“Some in Congress Seek Inquiries on Cult Activities,” Miss Jo Thomas, New York Times, January 22,1979 472
“Many Find Coercion in Cult’s Hold on Members,” Nathaniel Sheppard and Jo Thomas, New York Times, January 23, 1979 475
“FBI Has Copy of Cult’s Radio Order To Kill,” Charles A. Krause, Washington Post, January 29, 1979 478
“Jones’ Last Will: Estate to Wife, 5 of 7 Children,” Tim Reiterman, San Francisco Examiner, February 8,1979 480
“Why 900 Died in Guyana,” New York Times Magazine, February 25, 1979 483
“Jonestown,” Michael Novak, American Enterprise Institute, Reprint No. 94, March 1979 495
“Portions of a Transcript of Tape From Jonestown,” New York Times, March 5, 1979 505
“Copy of Jonestown Tape Reveals How Jones Pursuaded 900 to Die,” New York Times, March 15, 1979 507
“Tape Hints Early Decision by Jones on Mass Suicide,” the Baltimore Sun, -Iarch 15, 1979 509
“Jones Aide Dies After Shooting Himself,” The Baltimore Sun, March 15, 1979 511
“Hurry My Children, Hurry” Nation, March 26, 1978 512
“Reverend Jones Accused of Coercion,” New York Times April 12, 1979 515
“Real Story Behind the 900 Guyana Suicides,” Jeanne Mills, National Enquirer, April 17, 1979 516
“Voices From Guyana Back Reverend Jones,” San Francisco Chronicle, April 18, 1979 521
III. Findings 527
A. Jim Jones and the People’s Temple 527
1. (Tactics: In classified version only.)
2. (Motivations: In classified version only.)
3. Staff Investigative Group internal memorandum describing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules and regulations concerning tax exempt status of religious organizations, 527
B. Conspiracy against Jim Jones and the People’s Temple 531
1. (In classified version only.)
2. Executive Orders 11905 and 12036 limiting and defining CIA responsibilities with respect to intelligence gathering on U.S. cit.lzens 531
C. (Opponents and media intimidated, public officials used: In classified version only.)
D. (Awareness of danger, predicting the degree of violence: In classified version only.)
E. (U.S. Customs Service investigation: In classified version only.)
F. (Conspiracy to kill Representative Leo Ryan? In classified version only.)
G. The Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act 566
1. (In classified version only.)
2. Correspondence between the Department of State and Hon. Clement J. Zablocki. (The correspondence contained in this appendix was generated as a result of the February 2, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of State found in appendix I-C-1.) 566
3. Department of State implementation of the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act 570
(a) Materials provided to the Staff Investigative Group stemming from the February 2, 1979 letter from Hon. Clement J. Zablocki. (Materials include guidelines and information provided to U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana with respect to implementation of Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act and internal memoranda regarding Department of State processing of Privacy Act requests made by legal counsel for the People’s Temple.) 570
(b) Staff Investigative Group internal memorandum describing the general provisions of the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act and the Department of State’s performance in implementing those two acts 699
(e) Staff Investigative Group memorandum elaborating on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and exemptions from agency disclosure of information under the Freedom of Information Act 705
H. (Role and performance of the U.S. Department of State: In classified version only.)
I. (Involvement of the Government of Guyana: In classified version only.)
J. Social security and foster children 709
1. (In classified version only.)
2. Correspondence between Hon. Clement J. Zablocki and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on the issue of the alleged theft or fraudulent use of social security payments to members of the People’s Temple 709
(a) December 11, 1978 letter from Hon, Clement J. Zablocki to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 709
(b) March 7, 1979 response from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to Hon. Clement J. Zablocki providing materials and information related to the responsibilities of the Social Security Administration in paying benefits to members of the People’s Temple 710
(c) February 1, 1979 letter from the Staff Investigative Group to the Social Security Administration 716
(d) February 12, 1979 interim response from the Social Security Administration to the Staff Investigative Group 718
(e) February 23, 1979 final response from the Social Security Administration to the Staff Investigative Group providing materials and information. (Materials provided include names of social security recipients living in Georgetown or Jonestown, Guyana, whose Social Security checks were cashed or undeposited as of November 18, 1978.) 719
(f) Listing of social security beneficiaries who were in Jonestown, number of social security beneficiaries who are confirmed deceased, total of social security beneficiaries who were in Jonestown that are deceased but remain unidentified and total of social security beneficiaries who were in Jonestown that are known survivors 775
(g) April 29, 1979 letter from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to the Staff Investigative Group 776
3. (In classified version only.)
K. (Future status of the People’s Temple: In classified version only.)
IV. Statement of Hon. Joseph H. Blatchford concerning his involvement with Jonestown survivors 777

1 Appendixes II-A-l, II-B, II-C. II-D, II-E-2, II-E-3. Il-F-l, IJI-A-l, III-A-2, IlI-B-l, IlI-C, III-D. IlI-E, IIl-F, III-G-l, III-H, III-I, III-J-l, III-J-3, IIl-K, and parts of appendixes I-C-l and III-G-3 remain classified and are retained in committee files on a confidential basis.

Originally posted on February 17th, 2013.

Last modified on February 24th, 2022.
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