Serial 541

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 541 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE03986_d.html.]

UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 01
GEORGE 03986 282041Z
ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 SCS-06 CA-01 FBIE-00 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 DODE-00 PA-02 TRSE-00 MCT-02 SY-05 SYE-00 USSS-00 H-02 SS-15 L-03 SSO-00 NSCE-00 JUSE-00 ICAE-00 AS-02 INRE-00 /064 W
——————115910 282045Z /64

O 282015Z NOV 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC NIACT IMMEDIATE 8249
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 3986
FOR ARA/CAR:MESSRS. HEWITT/MCCOY
E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC, OREP (RYAN, LEO), GY
SUBJECT: RADIO BROADCAST RELATED TO THE VISIT OF CONGRESSMAN RYAN TO JONESTOWN.

1. Embassy has just received full text of a news item related to the visit of Congressman Ryan to Jonestown and the subsequent murders/suicides at Jonestown. This item was broadcast over Radio CBC Bridgetown, Barbados, at 6 p.m. local time November 26. Item was filed by Radio CBC’s Georgetown correspondent.

2. Quote:

There are fears of a series of complications as a result of the Peoples Temple incident, involving the death of 914 men, women and children. Some of these complications can very well be international. More than 900 of the dead are Americans. All day today, CBC talked to some of the 80-odd persons who survived the murders and suicides at Jonestown on the Guyana-Venezuela border, and at Peoples Temple headquarters in Georgetown.

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Responsible sources now claim that Peoples Temple leader Bishop Jim Jones did not commit suicide. He was shot in the head, reportedly by a body guard.

Bishop Jones is believed to have decided to put an end to the entire Peoples Temple movement here, after receiving information that he would have been killed. The trusted Peoples Temple lieutenant who gave that information to Jim Jones, talked to CBC. Tim Carter said he infiltrated anti-Peoples Temple groups in California, about three weeks ago. Secured the information that Bishop Jim Jones was going to be killed. Communicated that information to Bishop Jones, only three days before American Congressman Leo Ryan was shot dead, allegedly by a Jim Jones devotee. Tim Carter’s wife and child are among the dead.

Tim Carter has, however, made another disclosure. A sensational disclosure. Carter claims that he was given a traveling bag, full of money, to be handed over to the Russian embassy in Georgetown. In the bag also, was a letter addressed to the Russian ambassador. Tim Carter said the money and the letter are now in the possession of the security authorities. Meanwhile, another difficulty is facing the local authorities. Survivors of the Peoples Temple crisis are divided into two groups. One set is classified as violent supporters of Jim Jones…the other as violent opponents of Jim Jones. These rival groups refuse to be put up in the same hotel, although they are under armed police guard. They openly threaten

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to kill each other.

Unquote.

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

UNCLASSIFIED

Originally posted on March 26th, 2019.

Last modified on July 1st, 2022.
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