Serial 850

[Editor’s note: The subject of this serial whose name is deleted is Hardat Sukdheo, an anti-cult expert. The deleted information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type. Other information which remains withheld under the Freedom of Information Act has been denoted in green type.

[The summary of an FBI interview with Sukdheo which contains similar information to that found here appears at Serial 1213. This version has more individual deletions, and yet extends for several additional paragraphs.]

[It should be noted that the Secret Service conducted a lengthier, more substantive interview with Dr. Sukhdeo on December 12. A summary of that interview appears at Serial 1623, and its text appears at Serial 1645.]

0 042359Z DEC 78
FM NEWARK (89-147) (P) (C-1)

Re telcal from Supervisor [name deleted] BQMRA, to Newark, December 4, 1978, and Bureau teletype to all SACs, dated December 2, 1978.

On December 4, 1978, [Hardat Sukdheo], New Jersey College of Medicine, Newark, NJ, telephone [deleted], residing at [address deleted], Upper Montclair, NJ, telephone [deleted], was interviewed regarding his interviews of Peoples Temple members in Guyana. [Sukdheo] advised he traveled to Guyana on [2 lines deleted]. He interviewed approximately 18 survivors including the 3 members who were caught with money, jewels, and a letter from James Jones to the Russian Embassy in Guyana.


These interviews took place over a 10-day period with [Sukdheo] returning to the United States on a flight containing 10 survivors that landed in New York on December 3, 1978.

[Sukdheo] was asked the questions furnished in referenced teletype.

1. The Peoples Temple members interviewed by [Sukdheo] stated they knew weapons were kept in Jonestown but none had ever seen any weapons.

2. No one interviewed mentioned any firearms training.

3. All individuals interviewed stated that they were told that if they attempted to leave Jonestown they would be eaten by the jungle animals, killed by the security forces, or harmed by Americans. Many of those interviewed stated they had written letters to Jones in which they stated they would kill various public officials in the United States. Jones kept these letters in a file as a form of blackmail. Jones told the Peoples Temple (PT) members that the FBI and the CIA were various dangerous to the PT.

4. The survivors only mentioned that money was attempted


to be sent to the Russian Embassy.

5. There was no mention of contingency plans.

6. No.

7. [Sukdheo] stated he was not aware of the identities of any members of the Planning Commission but from interviews knows that Tim Carter was the public relations officer for Jones, and that Michael Prokes appeared to be extremely close to Jones.

8. No one interviewed was a member of the security force but from interviews, [Sukdheo] knows that Tupper Jones, the black adopted son of Jones, was a member of the security force. He was not interviewed. [Sukdheo] also stated that the term “the Angels” was mentioned but he cannot recall in what context.

9. Members of the Jonestown basketball team are being held in Guyana and none were interviewed.

10. No.

11. [Sukdheo] stated that the people interviewed by him who had attempted to leave Jonestown with Congressman Ryan knew they would be attacked by other members of the PT. They told [Sukdheo] that prior to the attack they knew that Larry


Layton was a “plant” and that he would try to stop them. Those who went with Ryan felt it would be better to die with Ryan than remain in Jonestown. One of those interviewed, Tracy Parks, 12 years old, stated she saw Layton put something in the rear of the plane that Ryan’s party was boarding. Therefore, when Layton was searched, no weapons were found. Layton then retrieved the weapon and shot several people. According to those interviewed all the people involved in the killing of Ryan are dead.

12. All people interviewed stated practice suicide drills were held every four or five months. At these drills no one knew if poison was present or not. [Sukdheo] does not know if narcotics are used to facilitate these drills. Grover Davis, a witness to the mass suicide, stated there was not one objection to taking the poison and he did not see any weapons or any shooting.

13. Jones told his followers he had hired killers in the United States who were affiliated with the Mafia and would kill defectors.

14. Those interviewed stated they had no knowledge of any


assassination plan.

15. Not applicable.

[16. Missing]

17. No.

18. Those interviewed stated there was a ham radio in Jonestown which was used to communicate with PT members in San Francisco. They stated that Mike Carter was an operator of this radio and that codes were used on the radio.

[Sukdheo] then furnished the following information:

He stated that because of the theory of this cult, all the blame of the destruction of the PT is being put on the Bogue family and the Park [Parks] family. They are the people who went with Ryan to Guyana. [Sukdheo] feels they are in danger if, in fact, fanatics from this cult exist in this country.

[Sukdheo] continued that he feels the individuals he interviewed are not dangerous to society but they might by [be] suicidal. However, he stated these people could have been brainwashed to the point where certain “cues” could bring about homicidal activities. [Sukdheo] feels that the 36 members that still remain in Guyana could definitely be dangerous. In


addition, [Sukdheo] feels that all the survivors definitely need deprogramming in order to return to this society and to prevent themselves from becoming dangerous to others or to themselves.