Serial 1675

[Editor’s note: One of the subjects of this serial whose name is deleted is Temple survivor Robin Tschetter. The names of Clifford Gieg and Carl Barnett also known. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.]

0 170630Z JAN 79
FM BQMRA (89-495) RUC
TO DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286) IMMEDIATE
SAN FRANCISCO (89-250) IMMEDIATE
WASHINGTON FIELD (89-750) IMMEDIATE
BT
UNCLAS
RYMUR

On 1/16/79 Joan Pursley and [name deleted] [Robin Tschetter] were interviewed, upon their arrival at JFKIA, Queens, NY, aboard Pan American flight 228. The following information was obtained:

[Robin Faye Tschetter] advised that she has been in Peoples Temple Church (PT) since birth. [Tschetter] admitted being member of Planning Commission of PT at San Francisco, and meetings she attended concerned with confrontation or tearing down people’s ego. Planning Commission concept not utilized at Jonestown, and members were confronted with accusations against them by other members. Punishment was ordered by Jones in form of Public Service Unit, or work detail. [Tschetter] denied knowledge of beatings at Jonestown. When questioned further on beatings, [Tschetter] claimed to have missed a lot of nightly meetings. [Tschetter] identified security force at Jonestown

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as Tim Jones (W/M), Jimmy Jones, Bruce Oliver, Emmett Griffith (head of security), John Cobb, Joe Wilson, and Calvin Douglas. Security armed with knives. [Tschetter] originally denied knowledge of firearms at Jonestown, but later stated she heard of armed patrols before she arrived. [Tschetter] heard of “White Night” were [where] people were asked to drink Cool-Ade [Kool-Aid] that was supposed to be poison. This incident occurred before [Tschetter] arrived at Jonestown. [Tschetter] thinks Rev. Jones testing members to see if they are committed to him. Rev. Jones removed from most of regular workers at Jonestown, and surrounded by staff that were administrators. Staff members Terry Bufford [Terri Buford], Sandy Bradshaw, Jean Brown (San Francisco), Sharon Amos, Paula Adams. [Tschetter] admitted no knowledge of “hit team”, or term “Angels”. Rev. Jones called his security “Apostolic Guardians”. [Tschetter] heard of box used as punishment, but never saw it used. [Tschetter] advised Special Care Unit used to keep members attempting escape drugged and submissive. [Tschetter] admitted Russian classes being taught, and Rev. Jones spoke of taking members to Russia. Two Russians

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visited Jonestown once from Embassy, and one spoke to members at Jonestown. Rev. Jones did preach hatred towards defectors and after told members not to leave or something might happen to them. [Tschetter] went to Georgetown to work on PT cultural exhibit three weeks before 11/18/78. One week before Ryan arrived, Paula Adams arrived in Georgetown from San Francisco, Cal. Five days prior to Ryan’s visit, [Tschetter] heard Sharon Amos talk about Ryan’s visit on PT radio. On 11/18/78 Guyanese plainclothes police arrived at PT Georgetown house to investigate call of shooting at house. Police went through house and departed satisfied call unfounded. Amos bodies found in rear of house and police called. Basketball team ordered back to Jonestown three times during week prior to 11/18/78. [Tschetter] claimed no knowledge why they didn’t return. Contact point for [Tschetter] in care of [name deleted]. It should be noted that [Tschetter] claims relationship to Maya Ijames, relationship to Ijames not further identified. [Tschetter] advised airline ticket for her return to US purchased by her brother Alfred Stahl, address unknown.

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Joan Pursley, B/F, DOB 8/28/57 at Oakland, Cal, advised she joined PT after dropping out of high school in 12th grade 1977. Pursley arrived Jonestown late 1977. Pursley was instructed to marry [Clifford Gieg] by PT leadership which she did over her personal objections. Pursley worked in fields at Jonestown and helped teach the school run by Thomas Grubbs. Pursley was vague concerning her activities with PT and time spent in Guyana. She advised shortly before Congressman Ryan visit to Jonestown she was ordered leads to Georgetown to escort group of elderly PT members going to Georgetown, for medical and dental treatment.

At time of Ryan’s death, Pursley claimed she was on the vessel operated by Guyanese government en route to Georgetown with the older PT members. Opinion of interviewing agent (BQSA) that Pursley withheld information pertaining to her relationship with Sharon Amos. She advised Amos was the top aide to Jim Jones and ran the PT operation out of Georgetown. When questioned for details re Amos she became emotional and towards end of interview began to fall asleep. Opinion of interviewing SA that

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sleep and emotional reactions were defense mechanisms to hamper interview.

Point of contact given as phone number furnished by US Embassy Guyana Berkeley, California number 841-5459. Pursley stated airline ticket for her return to US purchased by her mother.

NY City Special Services official advised Pursley furnished him contact point care of [name and address deleted].

Pursley and [Tschetter] boarded United Airlines flight 21 arriving San Francisco 12:41 PST, 1/16/79. Their baggage to arrive SF, UAL, Flt 25, 2:47 PM PST, 1/17/79.

[Name deleted] FAA Security advised that [Carl Barnett] and Michael Touchette will attempt to depart Georgetown, Guyana in the near future aboard unknown BWIA flight to Barbados. [Name deleted] advised that both Barnett and Touchette appeared hostile to US officials in Port-au-Spain, Trinidad.

(Reference SF tel to Director 12/26/78). WFO instructed to place individual stops at INS Washington DC on all known PT survivors in Guyana. INS Chief Pan Am terminal JFK Airport,

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advised that as of 1/15/79 there were [illegible word, likely “no”] stops placed for [Robin Tschetter] and Joan Pursley.

WFO at Washington D.C.

Will per Bureau instructions ensure that appropriate stops are placed by INS.

San Francisco will consider furnishing San Juan with sufficient background info re [Barnett] and Michael Touchette to enable SJ to interview at Barbados.

Armed and dangerous. Suicidal tendencies.

BT

Originally posted on May 3rd, 2018.

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