United States Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
To: Mr. Moore
From: J. O. Ingram
PURPOSE: To set forth verbatim comments made by [Mark Lane] on “ABC World News Tonight” on 11/28/78, when int[erviewed by] Barbara Walters.
RECOMMENDATION: None. For information.
DETAILS: Initial comments concerning Mark Lane interview were made by Frank Reynolds and are as follows:
Reynolds: Mark Lane who represented the Peoples Temple and who escaped from Jonestown just after the mass suicides began, claimed there is a master plan to murder high officials of the Government here and defectors from Jonestown and columnists who have been critical of the cult. Lane told Barbara Walters he learned all this from a woman who was second in command to Jim Jones. Lane said the assassination plan is financed by $3 million in cash and $8 million in Swiss bank accounts and he says he knows the numbers of those accounts. Barbara asked him about all that today.
Walters: You have talked with the FBI and the CIA in the last few days.
Lane: The FBI and Secret Service had visited me in my home in Memphis. They are very concerned about this.
Walters: What are they concerned about?
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Ingram to Moore memo
Lane: Secret Service is concerned that this program may be put into effect in Memphis during the early days of December when the Democratic Party has it’s [its] mini convention, when President Carter, Vice President Mondale and many of the leaders of the Democratic Party will be present at a gigantic auditorium there. They are very concerned.
Walters: Do you know that they are taking any steps to prevent this or what steps they are taking?
Lane: … I now have met with the Memphis Police Department, with the FBI and the Secret Service who have all asked me about this and I know they are talking about a coordinated program to see what they can do to prevent any further actions.
Reynolds: The Secret Service said today is investigating reports that members of the Peoples Temple had plans to assassinate high-level officials.
In regards to comments made by Mark Lane on ABC World News Tonight, 11/28/78, our Memphis Office advised by teletype that during the course of the interview following Lane’s description of the four-stage plan developed by the Peoples Temple (PT) SA [name deleted], U.S. Secret Service, asked Lane if such a list of public officials to be killed existed. Lane advised he had not seen such a list and did not know if one existed. [Name deleted] then asked Lane if he knew of a list of individuals who plan to carry out assassinations of public officials to which Lane advised he had seen such a list but again reiterated that if his client, not identified, was granted immunity he felt certain that his client could furnish additional information concerning such matters. (Previous investigation indicates that the client to whom Lane has referred to is probably Terri Buford, who Lane previously stated had sole custody and control of $7 million belonging to the PT. Investigation is being conducted to locate Buford and the US Attorney, Memphis, will be contacted concerning the offering of immunity to Buford.)
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Ingram to Moore memo
SA [name deleted] read over a list of individuals who are allegedly members of the PT Hit Squad and Lane again indicated his client could furnish information concerning these individuals. SA [name deleted] advised Lane that Secret Service was involved in this matter as they were concerned for the safety of the individuals they are assigned to protect and especially concerned in view of the mid-term Democratic Convention to be held in Memphis 12/8/78. Lane indicated he understood SA [name deleted] concerned but made no further comment concerning the mid-term convention.