Eugene Chaikin Memo on Impact of Stoen Lawsuits

By the fall of 1978, the Jonestown leadership was feeling a financial pinch: the  community was not self-sufficient and – perhaps unexpectedly so – seemed to be losing ground. To make matters worse, the community’s focus of attention, and its consequent priorities for its limited economic resources, was on the legal battles it was fighting against Tim Stoen and his clients.

A short, undated memo written and seconded by Jonestown’s two resident attorneys – Eugene Chaikin and Harriet Sarah Tropp –  captures the dilemma. It is significant in part because the two are also the authors of separate letters of dissent written prior to this memo, and because its main author was also spending much of his time analyzing the strategy of the Temple’s new attorney, Mark Lane.

Eugene Chaikin Memo on Impact of Stoen Lawsuits, RYMUR 89-4286-BB-10-J