210234Z NOV 78
FM SAN FRANCISCO (89-250) (P)
TO DIRECTOR IMMEDIATE
WFO IMMEDIATE (WFO VIA FBIHQ)
Re Bureau teletype to San Francisco this date.
On November 21, 1978, Mr. Galen W. (Joe) Holsinger, Administrative Assistant to Congressman Leo Ryan, related the following as the reason Ryan traveled to Guyana, South America:
He stated that Ryan went to Guyana to investigate allegations coming from relatives of members of the People’s Temple (PT) there and from refugees from the PT in Guyana, that members were being held against their will.
Holsinger stated the whole matter first came to Ryan’s attention when a friend of Ryan for the past 25 years,
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Mr. Sam Houston of San Bruno, California (which is within Congressman Ryan’s congressional district) alleged that his two grandchildren were being held by Jim Jones of the PT in Guyana against their will and the will of their mother. Holsinger advised that Houston came to Ryan about one and one-half to two years ago and implored Ryan to do what he could to get the children returned.
Holsinger pointed out that about four years ago, Sam Houston’s son, Bob Houston, became a member of the PT along with his wife, Carol Houston, and his two small children.
He stated that later Bob Houston became disenchanted with the PT and so told Jim Jones, and the following day his body was found dead near the railroad tracks in San Francisco where he worked as a switchman or brakeman. Holsinger stated that the San Francisco Police Department never resolved whether this was an accidental death or a homicide.
He advised that Mrs. Bob Houston, now known as Carol Boyd, traveled to Guyana with her two children and subsequently became disenchanted and left Jonestown and has been attempting to get her children out of Jonestown ever since. In this regard,
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Holsinger was not sure whether Mrs. Houston traveled to Guyana before or after her husband’s death.
Holsinger stated that Congressman Ryan promised Sam Houston to do all in his power to get Houston’s grandchildren out of Guyana. He advised that after Houston made his allegations, numerous other Concerned Relatives and refugees wrote to him or contacted him about additional allegations, prompting Ryan to employ [deleted name] as a part-time congressional staff investigator to look into these allegations. He advised that many of the allegations came from people within Congressman Ryan’s district but many additional came from without his district.
Holsinger advised that as a result of [deleted name] interviews, Ryan became convinced that the allegations had substance and being the ranking member of the House International Relations Committee and the only member from the state of California, Ryan’s trip to Guyana was made as an official U.S. government sponsored trip with the approval of the chairman of the House International Relations Committee. Holsinger advised that Ryan’s intent was to investigate at
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Jonestown whether anyone was being held against their will by Jones and the PT and if so, he intended, through peaceful means, to return them with him to the United States.
Holsinger related that Ryan’s legislative counsel, Jackie Speier, took a leave of absence and went along with Ryan on the trip. Her trip being paid for, Holsinger believes, by Ryan. He advised that members of the press and Concerned Relatives went on the trip on their own initiative and at their own expense.
Holsinger advised that Ryan’s Pan American flight that New York City at 3:00 P.M., EST, November 14, 1978, and was scheduled to arrive at Guyana at 9:30 P.M., EST, November 14, 1978, but he understands from this media that the flight actually arrived at 10:00 P.M., EST. He advised the exact arrival time would be in possession of staff members in Washington, D.C., as well as complete list of who traveled with Ryan.
Holsinger advised the only other US official traveler with Ryan was one James Schollaert, a member of staff of the House International Relations Committee at Washington, D. C.
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William Holsinger, supra, and [deleted name] of Congressman Ryan’s staff at San Francisco, both concurred that the reason for Ryan’s trip to Guyana was to investigate allegations that members of the PT were being held against their will.
[Deleted name] furnished the following partial list of people who accompanied Ryan on this trip:
Howard and Beverly Oliver, 2040 O’Farrell Street, Apartment 108, San Francisco, California;
Timothy O. Stoen, [deleted information]
Grace Stoen, 2238 – 22nd Avenue, San Francisco, California;
Steve and Anthony Katsaris, [deleted information];
Nadine [Nadyne] Houston and Carol Boyd (who used to be Carol Houston), [deleted information];
Claire [Clare] Bouquet, [deleted information];
Jim Cobb, [deleted information];
Mickey Touchette, 840 Cole Street, Apartment One,
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[Deleted name] advised the arrival on the following day to Ryan’s arrival of one more Concerned Relative:
Sherwin Harris, [deleted information].
Lead. Washington field. At Washington, D. C. Attempt to obtain complete list of people who traveled with Ryan and conduct other investigation is requested by the Bureau to interview Ryan’s staff in Washington, D. C.
Armed and dangerous. Suicidal tendencies.