Law Office Report 11, January 1978

(Editor’s notes: This report was transcribed by Zac Hill and Heather Shannon. The editors gratefully acknowledge their invaluable assistance.

[This document appears twice in this section, at B-5-a(65) – B-5-a(66) and B-5-a(67). The typewritten text for each page will appear first, with any annotations listed afterwards.]

Law Office Report, #11                                  January 11, 1977                                 from June

1. Earl Johnson: He is an heir in the estate of his aunt, Lola Edwards, deceased. He already knows this. The aunt’s property is being sold for $8,500 in order to reduce the property to funds in order to distribute the estate among the heirs. This means that eventually Earl should be receiving his portion of the $8,500, as one of 8 heirs, after legal fees are taken out, etc. This is not a question; this is just information to be explained to Earl Johnson if you want to.

2. Washington Saunders: The reason for this write-up is that Washington’s living situation may soon change, the communal apartments are gradually being phased out as people travel, and we are anticipating at some near future point dealing with this awkward situation: At present his roommates are Joe Beam and Andy. Andy moves into the Temple when Joe goes over this month. This leaves Washington alone. Temporarily Andy can remain in the apartment, but sooner or later we will have to deal with this. Washington’s impossible legal situation makes it more difficult – Garrison, who rarely comes anymore, is his conservator. If Washington were to travel, he would have to go with his conservator, we assume. At this state, Garrison is so unpredictable it would be better to get him completely removed from the case. It is obvious that Garrison has no intention of going to Guyana. Meanwhile, Washington’s nephew, who started the court case to be conservator til we stepped in and had Garrison appointed, is still hostile to us and doesnt want Washington to go over. Considering all this, I would prefer to send Washington back to his nephew and hope he stays there, have Garrison removed from the conservator, represented by the nephew’s attorney, and turn over the balance of Washington’s bank account which consists of his SSI, to the nephew, explaining that while Washington was with us we took care of his basic needs. (We haven’t used Washington’s money to pay his rent because it is a Peoples Temple lease and since Garrison as conservator has to account to the court for the way in which Washington’s money has been spent, we were hesitant to use the money in this way. Debbie is familiar with this, so is Chaikin.)

But before we make a move which might end up in sending Washington back to his nephew for good, Andy and I thought we better write it up for further consideration over there. Andy suggested sending Washington to his nephew ostensibly to convince the nephew to agree with Washingtons going overseas, although actually assuming that the nephew would not agree to it and would forbid Washington to go. This places the onus on Washington’s nephew, not us.

3. Richard Parr – Last night he handed me a handwritten grant deed on which he had signed his and Girlee’s names and wrote in that they were conveying their house to Peoples Temple, saying “the present occupants may continue to live in and control the inside of the house, but not later than July 31, 1978 unless persons concerned agree otherwise.” He said this was just a rough draft, that he had yet to get the actual property description papers to put on the deed, but he wanted me to keep this for safekeeping. In other words, he was letting us know that he is ready to turn over his house and he intends to stay in it til July 1978. He want Jack Beam and the crew to make some improvements on it first.


1. Handwritten note at top: “Duplicate”
2. Handwritten note in right margin: “Answer given via radio”

1. Note at top: “To Carolyn Layton”
2. Under title line: “To June #2 answer”
3. Check mark next to Earl Johnson’s paragraph
4. In Washington Saunders paragraph: Sentence beginning “If Washington were to travel” is underlined, with notation “Can’t without court O.K.” in the margin
5. Words “send Washington back to his nephew and hope he stays there,” underlined, with notation “Right! If nephew will have him.” written in the margin
6. Notation on right side of paragraph “Ask Ed can we take out some of this $ before we send him back?” Reply by Eugene Chaikin “Yes, I asked some time ago that someone helping him charge reasonable room & board – E”
7. Notation on left side of last Saunders paragraph: “Good thought”
8. Note at bottom: “Sent ans. [answer] Feb. 14”


to Gene C.

Terri [Buford] wants to know if you see anything wrong legally with the idea of making the Forum Corporation (I can’t remember the name) into Peoples Temple, and dissolving the other. Then putin the machinery which is owned by Truth also into PT’s name. They want to consolidate it. They want it to be in an plant shop. Of course, they understand they can only print PT material this way, nothing for Dymally or others. They think this would avoid a lot of tax problems for them and simplify things if they could do this.

\APOSTOLIC CORPORATION – they still have people who have donated when the Corp. still existed. They do not know how to handle this tax wise. She has to give more clarification on this, but the static was too bad. [Handwritten note: “Send June Aus. Feb. 14”]


1: “Gene Chaiken” handwritten at top
2: First paragraph: “HIDEOUS IDEA. Forum Corp not qualified for tax exemption. Require new state tax exemption & likely new acceptance by Disciples.”
3. Second paragraph: “Truth machinery should go into P.T. They should have prior memos on this – last month, how and when. Further, if there are tax liabilities, they are on the officers regardless of whether or not the corp is dissolved, and IRS can follow any remaining assets into the new corp – so what is to gain?”
4. Line under text: “What needs to be done?”
5. Note at bottom: “Sent June ans. [answer] Feb. 14”

Originally posted on February 28th, 2019.

Last modified on February 15th, 2021.
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