DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
COMMUNICATION MESSAGE FORM
FM DIRECTOR, FBI (89-4286)
TO FBI SAN FRANCISCO IMMEDIATE
UNITED STATES EMBASSY, GEORGETOWN, GUYANA
ATTN: FBI LEGAL ATTACHÉ ROBERT B. OGELSBY [OGLESBY], JR.
Re FBI HQ teletype dated December 6, 1978, concerning the desire of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Division for certain FBI investigation prior to the filing of a civil action to recover certain federal funds expended in recovery operation in Jonestown, Guyana.
Legat at Georgetown, Guyana, should note that in conducting reviews of evidence obtained at Jonestown, you should develop information regarding the following additional questions proffered by the DOJ.
What was the relationship of the Peoples Temple (PT) in
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California to the PT in Guyana?
A. Were the assets of the Jonestown encampment treated as the assets of the PT in California and vice versa?
B. Were the officers and directors the same?
C. Was the property of one utilized by the other? Specific examples are requested.
D. Were the members of the Jonestown encampment also considered members of the PT in California?
E. What services were performed by each group for the other?
As you are already reviewing records to determine the assets of the PT in Guyana, and where they are located and who has possession of them, also attempt to determine what are the claims to such property including claims of members. Also determine if there are any legal proceedings in Guyana relating to those assets and if so describe.
What are the assets of Jim Jones as separate from the PT church?
San Francisco should conduct investigations to determine the assets of the PT in California where located, who has possession,
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claims against these assets, including membership claims, value of assets and legal proceedings underway relating to those assets. The Department also requests that the relationship of the members to the PT be determined, specifically were any written agreements executed by members to the church wherein members turned all or part of their assets to the church in return for a promise of care, subsistence, medical care, funeral arrangements, etc. Determine if any oral promises of the above nature were made particularly regarding food, clothing, shelter and burial. Also determine what were the requirements of the membership in California, such as deeds of property to the PT, promises of donations of future assets[,] obedience, etc.
San Francisco should consider assigning agents to review FD 302’s already obtained as well as other evidence on hand to determine the above information. Additionally, agents conducting interviews in captioned matter should be advised of the above. Special agent accountants should be utilized to develop information on the assets of the PT church and procedures should be initiated to insure the information relating
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to the DOJ’s request as related in this teletype, as well as in retel, is readily retrievable from the obviously extensive file maintained at San Francisco.
It is anticipated that the DOJ will request a report on this aspect of the investigation separate from our criminal investigation.
The above teletype supplements Butel of 12/6/78, advising Legat R. Ogelsby at Guyana and San Francisco of a request by the Civil Division of the DOJ for certain investigation relating to the PT and its assets for the purpose of a possible future civil lawsuit against the Temple by the government to recover funds expended in the Guyana recovery operation. Retel sets forth instructions regarding the legal status of the PT in Guyana and in San Francisco. The above tel deals with the assets of the church in both locations.