Serial 351

[Editor’s note: Text from https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE03925_d.html.]

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ACTION SCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ARA-11 ISO-00 CA-01 SS-15 L-03 FBIE-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PA-01 TRSE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 SSO-00 INRE-00 SY-05 USSS-00 H-01 JUSE-00 ICAE-00 /054 W
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O 242200Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 8195
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E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE)
SUBJECT: IMPRESIONS [IMPRESSIONS] OF JONESTOWN FROM MR JOSEPH MAZOR, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
REF: GEORGETOWN 3924

1. Following memo for the files was prepared following a meeting between Consul [Doug] Ellice and Joseph Mazor, private investigator who had visited Jonestown in September;

2. On Sunday Sept 10, 1978, I was contacted by a Mr. Joseph Mazor. He is a private investigator from California on his way to check out Jonestown for a movie producer (Paul Jericho). Mr. Mazor visited my home and told me that he was a long-standing adversary of the People’s Temple who had once entered Guyana with the specific intent to repatriate certain children from Jonestown. Since Mazor was a professional investigator I asked him to call on me again after he visited the agricultural project as he expected to do and give me his impresions.

3. Mazor apparently visited Jonestown from the 11th until the 13th and called on me in my office on the 14th. He

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reported that he had traveled all over Jonestown at will and was unescorted during most of his visit, that he spoke to whomever he wished, and that no one wanted to leave. He said that he offered 35-40 specific persons the chance to leave with him, but none accepted. He said that all of the residents seemed genuinely happy there and cited responses such as “what do I have back in the U.S.? Etc.

4. He commented that everyone appeared well-fed, that the “old folks” were well tended by the young, and that medical facilities and public health procedures were good. He commented that the community appeared to be growing much of its own food and even preserving the produce in clean vacuum-packed 55 gallon drums.

5. He saw two .38 cal handguns only, which he said were kept at the piggery and used for slaughtering hogs. They had no other weapons, he felt, and he saw no barbed wire. The group related a story about being fired upon from the outside in April or May and indicated concern that they weren’t better armed. He said that ten or more Ameredians [Amerindians] had joined the community and that the group was becoming international. During the period Mazor was there Charles Garry, their attorney, was in Jonestown also.

6. His overall impression was very positive. He said something to the effect that while allegations of financial misconduct back in California in preceding years may be true, Jonestown itself was a marvel of significant scope.

7. Comment: Mazor’s change of attitude was surprising. He went away with noting but positive impressions of the Jonestown project and the nature of the community. He no

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longer gave any credence to the rumors that members were there against their will or unhappy.

Burke [John Burke, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana]

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Originally posted on December 9th, 2018.

Last modified on January 30th, 2020.
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