United States Customs Service
Privacy Act Disclosure Record
- Name of Individual: JAMES WARREN JONES
Date of Disclosure: AUGUST 26, 1977
Purpose of Disclosure: [“Background” box checked]
Nature of Disclosure (Information Provided): Copy of Report of Investigation, [name withheld], dated August 26, 1977
Name of Requester: INTERPOL, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
Disclosure made by: [name withheld], Special Agent
Address of Requester: Washington, D.C.
Name of Office: SAC/SAN FRANCISCO
Type of Inquiry: [“Written” box checked]
(a) Name of Record System: INVESTIGATIONS RECORD SYSTEM
(b) System Number 00.129
Department of the Treasury
United States Customs Service
Report of Investigation
Record Access Code: [information withheld]
REV. JAMES W. JONES
dba [doing business as]
PEOPLES TEMPLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
San Francisco, California
Date of Report: AUGUST 26, 1977
File Number: [information withheld]
Customs District: [blank]
Period of Investigation: February 2, 1977 to present
Ste of Assignment: February 28, 1977
Case Status: [“Open” box checked]
Character of Investigation: Allegations of Neutrality & Currency Evaluations
Office of Origination and Related File Number(s): [information withheld]
Predicated upon allegations made by [name withheld], this investigation was commenced in February of this year. Cooperation of various Federal and local law enforcement was solicited.
The body of the report and cumulative Exhibits 1 and 2 contain published and sworn to allegations and photographs of JONES’ compound-type mission in Northern California which may be of interest to other agencies and is forwarded for INTERPOL and State Department information.
Signature of Reporting Agent [name withheld]
Approved Signature [name withheld]
[information withheld] JONES.
Prior to this meeting [information withheld], I had met with an intermediary of theirs who had told a bizarre tale of the goings on within the church. These allegations were checked with a senior member of the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department who acceded to their probability and acknowledged that the people who had left the church had cause for concern over possible physical harm as a result of their leaving.
The following allegations were made at the [information withheld] meeting:
- 1. That in 1974 JONES had put out an appeal for all unregistered weapons his people could acquire. One of those attending the meeting stated she had over 170 of those weapons in her house until January 1976 when they were transferred to the church’s San Francisco location. [red type not included in FOIA document]
2. That the weapons were subsequently taken to Guiana via chartered aircraft out of Miami. [information withheld]
3. That funds in excess of $200,000 and $300,000 were seen in cash in one member’s home.
4. These monies are normally shipped via mail c/o of Paula Adams at the mission in Guiana.
5. That JONES is an active supporter of both the Black Muslim and Black Panther organizations.
6. That JONES had considerable political power, both in Mendocino and San Francisco Counties.
7. That JONES had aspirations toward a political appointment to Guiana, possibly an Ambassadorship.
8. That JONES was seen throwing tear gas into a demonstration in Guiana in 1975.
9. That JONES would like to become a “factor” in the Guiana government or power structure.
10. That he has upwards of 27,000 acres in Guiana approximately 50 miles up river from Georgetown, whereupon he has his Agricultural Mission.
11. That he has surrounded himself with a para-military bodyguard known as the Apostolic Guardians. Surveillance at the Redwood Valley, CA, Temple verified the presence of an armed patrol around the compound.
12. That he had had an agreement with the Guianese government whereby all shipments to the Agricultural Mission would be labeled as ‘farm implements’ or ‘used clothing,’ and would not be inspected by local officials.
NOTE: [information withheld]
13. JONES communicates from Guiana to San Francisco in code by short wave radio.
On [information withheld] spoke at further length with [name withheld] in an effort to dissuade him from further association with JONES. Between the end of that meeting and the following Friday night, [name withheld] received a total of five letters revealing the substance of the talk [information withheld] and threatening reprisals to those who had spoken out.
Due to JONES’ infiltration of the political structure in San Francisco, it was impossible to get a local investigation into the allegations of voter fraud, child abuse (including the use of electric cattle prods on children), sado-masochistic practices, welfare fraud, etc., started. It was then decided by [information withheld] to attempt to arouse interest via a team of investigative reporters.
As a result of this action, a continuing series of magazine, newspaper, radio and television articles and coverage has been given to JONES and the Church. Subsequently, investigations have been initiated by San Francisco and Mendocino counties.
JONES has retreated to Guiana and is apparently selling all property here and urging his people to come to the “Promised Land’.”
Lookouts have been posted at Miami, Houston, and New Orleans for shipments destined to the mission in Guiana.
Included as Collective Exhibit 1 is a preponderance of the material printed since July 18, 1977, on this matter.
Because investigation disclosed allegations that JONES intends to establish political power base in Guiana, and that he may currently have several hundred firearms in that country, the above information is furnished to INTERPOL and the U.S. State Department for the purpose of alerting the British Guiana government to JONES’ prior activities in the United States. JONES’ method of operation in establishing a political power base is apparent from the attached investigative news reports. Since JONES demands unquestioned obedience from his followers, any such political support lent by JONES or his followers in British Guiana should be closely observed.
Political impact can be expected to become significant in the coming months as JONES shifts his church emphasis away from the United States. This shift in emphasis is readily apparent here in that JONES as a result of exposé news articles has reportedly called for his U.S. followers to liquidate their holdings and come to Guiana.
The State Department Passport Office in San Francisco confirmed that they have been “deluged” with passport applications from JONES’ followers to travel to Guiana. Also, there are unverified reports several hundred members are currently enroute to Guiana, along with large quantities of supplies, description unknown.
This report essentially deals with JONES’ alleged activity in the United States and his current emphasis in building his British Guiana base.