Serial 1623

[Editor’s note: The subject of this serial whose name is deleted is Dr. Hardat Sukhdeo, a self-described “anti-cult activist” who offered psychiatric services to Jonestown survivors. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.

[The text of this Secret Service interview with Dr. Sukhdeo appears at Serial 1645.

[This interview, conducted on December 12, was the second that federal officials had with Dr. Sukhdeo. A summary of the first, conducted by the FBI on December 4, appears at Serial 850.]

0 110015Z JAN 79

For information of receiving offices, [name and identifying information of Hardat Sukhdeo deleted] was interviewed on 12/12/78 by Special Agents [name deleted] U.S. Secret Service and [name deleted] U.S. Customs. [Dr. Sukhdeo], who has done an extensive study on cults, and traveled to Guyana at his own expense to interview survivors of Jonestown. [Dr. Sukhdeo] believes that Sharon Amos and children were killed, and if reason for killing can be established that would assist a great deal in understanding “who is going to be killed”.


[Dr. Sukhdeo] believes individuals at Jonestown have been programmed to destroy themselves. This program accomplished the way Chinese prison camps operated. People [Peoples] Temple (PT) members were kept physically and mentally tired. PT members were also undernourished purposely. PT members also forced to write confessions to instill feelings of guilt. They were then convinced authorities like FBI and CIA were going to kill them, so it would be better to kill themselves.

[Dr. Sukhdeo] fears returning PT members may in future on some prearranged cue committed actual suicide, or suicidal behavior. IE; robbing a bank, drug addiction, prostitution and an attack on political figures all of which may be considered suicidal behavior. [Dr. Sukhdeo] believes it is essential that these people be deprogrammed. He stated that he has no idea of what cue would set these people off.

[Dr. Sukhdeo] is sure PT had planned to kill Ryan, and fears the 16 people leaving with Ryan are in great danger from people in San Francisco and hit squad.

[Dr. Sukhdeo] suggested, as aid in interviewing PT survivors, use of recording “How Deep Is Your Love” prior to and during


interview. This song played Friday, November 17, 1978 at Jonestown. [Dr. Sukhdeo] suggests talking about Jones and good things he did. It is important to get these people back into past to obtain truth and not canned answers. [deleted word] suggest if “good guy – bad guy” method used, the bad guy accused them of not being good enough socialist or communists. This is reason they are going back to US. These people are going to react to guilt. Setting them up and breaking them down with guilt trick will result in interviewees not giving same answers.

BQMRA opinion [Dr. Sukhdeo] appraisal of PT members extremely accurate, and suggests that on receipt of transcript of interview immediate attention be given to it for utilization in future interviews.

A text is being forwarded under separate cover.

An article entitled “People’s Temple Takes to the Air” in the February 23, 1978 issue of the Sun Reporter, San Francisco, California, published by Carlton B. Goodlett states that PT radio operators have made more than 2000 radio contacts to ham radio operators in the United States and throughout the world. The article further states that “copies of radio identification numbers the Temple has contacted from its Guyanese station


are being forwarded to President Carter and many U.S. congressional representatives.”

Leads are being left to the discretion of San Francisco and Bureau.