In theory it sounds great. Parts of it, especially the media contact and the doing of the articles and the film. Anything that is in the area of Mark[‘]s competence and can be done through him or by him without a heavy involvement of our people or funds will clearly be good, and I guess is now being done and is really not part of the question.
As I see it, the question is shall we/can we get involved in a massive P.R./fund raising campaign in the U.S.A. and in substantial involvement in all of the mechanics of such an operation?
First I’ll discuss the shall we – is it a good idea at all? I think so. He must know what he is talking about when he says that we are getting hurt with the Cabinet in Georgetown. Ergo we have a need to defend the home base that is not sufficiently met with present methods. I feel that this need will increase as Government turns right. We can also use all of the diversion and obfuscation that it is possible to create to cover our proposed moove [move] to the USSR. I am convinced that should it appear to the power structure that we were really seriously considering such a moove that they would moove to block it. We need a cover. Additionally, we need a diversion for our enemies at home to force them to concentrate their efforts on defensive measures – as they have done to us for so long. Lastly, I feel that the proposal has merit on its own in that money is still easier to get in the U.S.A. than here, and that the political activity has value of its own in confronting the establishment with the value of Peoples Temple and Jonestown.
The major issue is – can we? Do we have the people and the energy? I see most of the negatives in this category. In order to do well what he suggests, I see the following commitments. 1) A lot of printing and mail activity (direct mail to large numbers of persons). This means keeping our printing/mailing shop open and operative in the states for the duration of the project. Since moving it would be difficult and time consuming, though not impossible, it seems likely that it would stay in the S.F. Church building which means keeping the structure. However, it is awkward having a main office in Washington and the printing/mailing in San Francisco so I do not totally rule out the alternative of mooving [moving] it, and staff, to Washington. 2) Staffing – I can see the need for staffing of a center in Washington or New York. As for the cost for the establishment net of labor I feel we should ask Mark for an estimated budget. Staffing with paid, outside help is another issue. If the operation is self funding in the sense of earning its own cost through donations, I would not rule out that alternative, but it does lend itself to easy penetration of our operations for intelligence or disruption purposes, and that is a substantial risk. By way of staff we would need P.R. people, writers, secretaries, an administrator…..who would we send? Some of the following people come to mind: Jean Brown, Paula Adams, Debbie Touchette, Laurie Effrian [Laurie Efrein], Dick Tropp, Vi Holland. Perhaps some people who are good P.R. could go on a rotating or periodic basis such as Jim MacElvane [McElvane], Johnny Jones, or Sharon Amos. I don’t know what the ramifications of changing them from their present schedules might be. 3) Funding – I do not see this as a major problem. We need to, as I said, get some sort of budget from Mark, and then talk about it. I do not see why it could not be a money maker, either directly or through procurement of medical and other things that we now pay for, or both.
The biggest single fear I have of the whole deal is follow through. Will we in fact divert the people? Will we actually spend the money for the set up of the organisation? I really doubt that it will happen, even if we initially committ [commit] to the operation. The recent committment [commitment] to a major lawsuit and preparations for it here in Jonestown is the case in point. It took the utmost pressure to get
minimal facilities and these were almost removed to make room for patients. No amount of pressure has gotten any sort of competent staff to do the job, so I am doing it alone on a part-time basis. Like so many of our projects it is just sort of slowly dragging along with no real hope of completion of a good job within a reasonable time. It was just too hard to alter the organization to pull out the people to do the job. After beginning we again question the validity of the project. I do not feel that continual evaluation is wrong, but rather that it is sometimes used as a rationale for not doing the job that we originally set out to do. This aspect of the organization is totally frustrating, not only in this case, but in all aspects of the organization. Farm plans are made but not fulfilled, construction plans are made but not fulfilled. There is always something more immediate, and some intervening task or priority cuts out whatever was planned before. This has been a constant, on-going pattern in the P.T. organization for a long time. I do not believe that it will change now. I do not believe that the Lane proposal should be started and not carried forth – it would make us look too bad to our friends, and too weak to our enemies. It is for this reason that I recommend that he do what he can without any great amount of assistance from us. I do not believe that we can do what we have planned now, much less take on any more. Further, and not least, there is the issue of your health and the imposition upon you of still another front, still an additional burden. Certainly, at this time I feel that you should not take it on.
Are there alternatives? Sure. First, we can do much of the work from the S.F. Church without dislodging anyone (but obviously at the cost of not doing other things we are doing now). If necessary we might send back a few people for a while to help. We might rent very small space with answering service, and have someone there (paid, through Mark) set up just to make appointments and the like on part time basis, then have our people go there every once and a while for a few days. We can make greater use of long distance phone. Washington rents would pay for a hell of a lot of telephoning.
Our best bet is to have some more discussion with Mark about the practicalities and the mechanics of the whole thing. We might say to him that we like the ideas but are not sure what all it involves and whether we would be able to carry it out. I am especially interested in the education/solicitation through direct mail of the liberal/radical group, the acquisition of mailing lists, holding of lectures and meetings and the like. We need more details of how this can be done to good effect. Supposedly Mark has some knowledge of this, or has friends with such information. We need more input in order to decide what we can do with what we have on hand.
Another thing we can consider is having some of the journalists that Mark Lane has contacted come down here*? We can handle the thing here with some proficiency, our people being practiced, and we are on our own turf, so to speak. This has got to be preferable to “hiding” here, and the continued coverage is, I feel, a sort of added security for us. In this light I thought Mazor[‘]s reactions were interesting. Whatever his motives, or purposes for coming, I feel he was genuinely touched by what he saw here. He may continue as a double agent, but that is better than having him totally against us. I think that much of the press may well be in the same condition and we will elicite [elicit] the same responses. They have heard so much bad that it sort of highlights the good that is here.
*[added at the bottom of the page in handwriting] e.g. French TV, Newsday [illegible] etc.
A Summary of the Mark Lane proposal……………………
INTRODUCTION: He outlines the offensive against P.T., and the general need for and organization and methodology of a counter offensive.
LEGAL OFFENSIVE: Though the broad outlines of an Agency-Media alliance to destroy P.T. are readily perceptable [perceptible] the details of the operations must be discovered and prooved [proved]. This is to be done by investigations, interviews, documentary research, filing actions under F.O.I. Ultimately a huge suit in the federal courts will be filed against all involved persons, and that will in turn be used through federal discovery to ferret out the truth about the conspiracy. This will be the legal offensive. Meanwhile the defense of existing suits must continue.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COUNTER-OFFENSIVE: THIS IS VITALLY NEEDED TO COUNTER THE ANTI-P.T. PROPAGANDA IN THE U.S.A. AND GUYANA. Proposed elements consist of:
- A press conference in Guyana (done) with follow up from U.S. on the progress of the investigation, etc.
- A press conference in San Francisco (done) and much follow up with the S.F. media including a program of telephone calls to the talk shows to keep the discussion going.
- Tell our story to Left and Black organizations in the U.S.A.
- Speak to leaders – Dick Gregory, Ralph Abernathy (done) and others
- contact Left publications – Mother Jones, In these Times, the Guardian, etc., etc.
- write feature articles for publication in these and any other publications that might have specific interest, along two lines: (1) the attack on P.T., (2) the situation of Jonestown
- do a film describing the history and life at Jonestown, but we should not do it due to cost and also skepticism of public if we do our own. He has contacted French documentary T.V. film maker. There may be other alternatives.
- Make alliances with left church groups, ex: United Methodist Church, Rev. James Lawson of L.A.
FUND RAISING COUNTER OFFENSIVE
- Campaign for the contribution of medical supplies to Jonestown. Solicit Socialist countries, U.S. Govt., private pharmaceutical firms.
- general fund raising programs, like the S.W.P.
CONGRESSIONAL COUNTER OFFENSIVE: Mark makes a big point of this: “It is my own reading of the events in Guyana that the efforts of Members of Congress have created a problem and should be met directly, head on.” M.L. found in talking to various members of the Guyanese Cabinet that there had been substantial penetration by hostile U.S. Congressmen. He feels that the way to stop this is to counter the flow of negative information into Congress. Methodology as follows:
- Do a massive educational campaign on congress as to the true facts about Jonestown.
- Do a letter writing campaign on the issue in key districts where it can be done by constituants [constituents]
- Open an “embassy” in Washington to coordinate the various offensives. He has space he will rent us at cost.