Serial 1213

[Editor’s note: Of this nine-page serial, only pages 6 through 8 have been transcribed. The balance consists of an administrative memo, records of contacts with HAM radio operators, and a photocopy of a manila envelope. The transcribed pages present an interview with Dr. Hardat Sukhdeo, a self-described “anti-cult activist” who offered psychiatric services to Jonestown survivors. Dr. Sukhdeo’s name has been deleted; the information from the memorandum – designated by brackets – which is known to the editor has been indicated by red type.

[The FBI’s interview with Dr. Sukhdeo was conducted on December 4. An earlier teletype on that conversation which contains similar information to that found here appears at Serial 850. This version has fewer individual deletions, yet omits several complete paragraphs at the end.

[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.]


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Date of transcription 12/12/78

[name deleted] [Dr. Hardat Sukhdeo], New Jersey College of Medicine, Newark, New Jersey, telephone number [deleted], residing at [address deleted], Montclair, New Jersey, telephone number [deleted], was interviewed regarding his knowledge of the Peoples Temple.

[Sukhdeo] stated he traveled to Guyana, South America on November 25, 1978, to interview the surviving members of the PT. He did this on his own as he has studied cults for the past five years. [Sukhdeo] interviewed approximately eighteen members of the PT, including the three members that were caught attempting to reach the Russian Embassy in Guyana with money, jewels and a letter from James Jones to the Embassy.

[Sukhdeo] was then asked a series of questions suggested by the Bureau to be utilized in interviewing members of the PT, and he furnished the following responses:

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

2. No one interviewed mentioned any firearms.

3. All individuals interviewed stated 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. These letters were then kept in a file by Jones as a form of blackmail. [Sukhdeo] stated that Jones continually told the PT members that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were very dangerous to the PT.

NK 89-147

4. [Sukhdeo] advised that the only money mentioned by those interviewed was the money sent by Jones to the Russian Embassy in Guyana.

5. Those interviewed did not mention any contingency plans for retaliation against those interfering with PT policies.

6. The people interviewed did not mention any officials set up for murder.

7. [Sukhdeo] advised that he did not know the identities of any individuals of the Planning Commission, but from his interviews he knows that Tim Carter was a sort of public relations officer for Jones, and that Michael Prokes apparently was very close to Jones.

8. [Sukhdeo] stated that none of the individuals he interviewed were members of the Security Force. [Sukhdeo] stated that he knows [Tim] Tupper Jones, the Black adopted son of Jones, was a member of the Security Force. [Sukhdeo] also stated that the term “the Angels” was mentioned but he could not recall in what context.

9. [Sukhdeo] did not have any information concerning bribery or influence peddling by members of the PT.

10. [Sukhdeo] stated that the individuals interviewed by him, who had gone to the airstrip with Congressman Ryan, stated they knew they would be attacked because they were attempting to leave Jonestown. They told [Sukhdeo] that they knew [Larry] Layton was a plant and would try to stop them. They also felt it was better to die with Ryan at the airstrip, than to remain in Jonestown.

Tracy Parks, 12 years old, told [Sukhdeo] she saw Layton place something in the rear of the plane being boarded by Ryan’s party. Layton was then searched and no weapons were found on him. Later on the plane, Layton shot several people. [Sukhdeo] stated that he believes all of those who participated in the attack on Ryan’s party are now dead.

NK 89-147

11. All of the PT members interviewed by [Sukhdeo] advised that practice suicide drills were held every four or five months. At these drills, it was never known if poison was present or not. [Sukhdeo] was not told if narcotics were used in Jonestown. [Sukhdeo] believes all of the suicides were voluntary, and one person he interviewed, Grover Davis, stated there was not one objection to taking the poisoned Kool-Aid and he did not see any shooting.

12. The people interviewed stated that Jones told them he had hired killers connected with the Mafia, who would kill all defectors.

13. The people interviewed by [Sukhdeo] did not mention any assassination plans.

14. [Sukhdeo] advised that he was told there was a ham radio in Jonestown which was used to communicate with PT members, in San Francisco. [Sukhdeo] knows that Mike Carter was an operator of the radio, and that a code was used on the radio. [Sukhdeo] continued that because of the theory of this cult, all blame of destruction of the PT will be put on the Bogue family and the Park [Parks] family, who went to Guyana with Congressman Ryan. [Sukhdeo] feels they are in danger if fanatics, from this cult exist in this country. [Sukhdeo] stated he feels the individuals he interviewed are not dangerous to society but they might be suicidal. [Sukhdeo] continued that it is possible that some of the survivors could have been brainwashed to the point where certain unknown “cues” could trigger homicidal or suicidal activities. [Sukhdeo] feels that the thirty-six members that still remain in Guyana could definitely be dangerous. [Sukhdeo] advised that all the survivors definitely need deprogramming in order to return to society and to prevent them from becoming dangerous to others or to themselves.