State Cable: 770906 GT-State (Mazor)

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977GEORGE02132_c.html.]

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PAGE 01 GEORGE 02132 061941Z
ACTION SCS-03
INFO OCT-01 ARA-10 ISO-00 L-03 /017 W
——————118034 070044Z /64

R 061820Z SEP 77
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5260
LIMITED OFFICIAL USE GEORGETOWN 2132
FOR: TUMMINIA ARA/CAR
E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC, CGEN, (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE)
SUBJECT: PEOPLE’S TEMPLE IMMIGRANTS
REF: (A) GEORGETOWN 1981, (B) GEORGETOWN 2087

1. POST CONTINUES TO RECEIVE PRESS REPORTS AND LETTERS FROM THE US ABOUT ALLEGED MISCONDUCT OF PEOPLE’S TEMPLE ORGANIZATION IN CALIFORNIA. CONSUL RECEIVED ON SEPTEMBER 1 LENGTHY LETTER WITH ATTACHMENTS AND A TELEPHONE CALL FROM PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR JOSEPH MAZOR REQUESTING EMBASSY CONDUCT WELFARE/ WHEREABOUTS INVESTIGATION ON TWELVE MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE. MAZOR ALSO STATED THAT HE HAD BEEN RETAINED BY PARENTS OF SEVEN CHILDREN PRESENTLY IN GUYANA TO ARRANGE FOR THEIR RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES.

2. CONSUL INFORMED MAZOR THAT WHILE EMBASSY WISHES TO BE RESPONSIVE TO REQUESTS FROM AMERICAN CITIZENS FOR ASSISTANCE WE COULD NOT CONDUCT SUCH INVESTIGATIONS WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT. TO BE HELPFUL CONSUL AGREED TO CONFIRM ENTRY OF AMERICANS INTO GUYANA. ON THE QUESTION OF THE RETURN OF THE CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS, SINCE A CUSTODY DISPUTE IS NOT AT ISSUE CONSUL SUGGESTED THAT IF PARENTS CAN AFFORD TRIP THEY SHOULD

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CONSIDER COMING TO GUYANA AND WITH THE HELP OF MAZOR’S LOCAL ATTORNEY PICK UP CHILDREN AND RETURN WITH THEM TO THE US. UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES EMBASSY WOULD BE PREPARED TO OFFER APPROPRIATE ASSISTANCE IF REQUESTED.

3. WHILE WE ARE AWARE OF SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST JIM JONES AND PEOPLE’S TEMPLE CONCERNING WRONGFUL APPROPRIATION OF PROPERTY, FORGERY, AND BODILY ASSAULTS AGAINST MEMBERS THAT ARE EMANATING FROM THE PRESS IN CALIFORNIA, THE EMBASSY HAS BEEN VERY CAREFUL IN ITS CONTACTS WITH PEOPLE’S TEMPLE TO MAINTAIN OBJECTIVE FRIENDLY ATTITUDE. WE ARE CONCERNED THOUGH, THAT THESE PRESS REPORTS WILL CAUSE NUMEROUS REQUESTS FOR PERSONAL CONTACT WITH MEMBERS OF THE ORGANIZATION RESIDING AT JONESTOWN IN THE INTERIOR. WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO RESPOND TO THESE REQUESTS, HOWEVER, DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE AWARE THAT IT TAKES A MINIMUM OF TWO TO THREE DAYS TO COMPLETE SUCH A TRIP AS INDICATED REF B, AND FREQUENT VISITS TO THE AREA WILL STRAIN THE MEAGER RESOURCES OF GOG OFFICIALS IN AREA WHO PROVIDE LOGISTICAL SUPPORT SUCH AS HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION.

4. REGARDING MAZOR’S ALLEGATIONS PERTAINING TO CHILDREN CONSUL ELECITED CONFIRMATION FROM MAZOR THAT PARENTS HAD INITIALLY PERMITTED CHILDREN TO COME TO GUYANA AND NOW WANTED THEM BACK. THIS IS CERTAINLY THE RIGHT OF THE PARENTS, BUT WE BELIEVE IT IS ALSO THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO ARRANGE RETURN. FRANKLY, ENTIRE SITUATION SEEMS VERY STRANGE SINCE CHILDREN FOR MOST PART HAVE ONLY BEEN IN GUYANA NO MOARE THAN FOUR MONTHS. SOMEONE HAD TO APPLY FOR PASSPORTS FOR THEM AND ALLOW THEM TO TRAVEL. A SEPARATE QUESTION PERTAINS TO THE CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN AWARDED TO JONES AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE

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BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. PRESUMABLY COURTS THERE AGREED TO THEIR REMOVAL FROM STATE JURISDICTION WHEN THEY WERE BROUGHT HERE. IF NOT, ARE THEN JONES AND PEOPLE’S TEMPLE IN VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA LAW?

5. ACTION REQUESTED: SINCE ABOUT 130-150 CHILDREN ARE HERE WHO REPORTEDLY WERE FORMERLY CONSIDERED TO BE WARDS TO THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, REQUEST DEPARTMENT CONTACT APPROPRIATE STATE OFFICIAL CONCERNING THIS QUESTION AND INFORM EMBASSY WHETHER THIS WILL BE AN ADDITIONAL PROBLEM. ALSO DEPARTMENT’S ADVICE AND GUIDANCE WOULD BE APPREICATED REGARDING INFORMATION CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPHS 2,3, AND 4. DEPARTMENT CAN DRAW ON REFTELS WHEN RESPONDING TO INQUIRIES, AND ALTHOUGH CONSUL IS OBVIOUSLY NOT IN A POSITION TO STATE CATEGORICALLY THAT NO ONE IS BEING HELD AGAINST THEIR WILL OR PHYSICALLY ABUSED, HE CAN STATE THAT MANY MEMBERS WERE AWARE OF HIS VISIT AND NO ONE INDICATED A DESIRE TO LEAVE.
BLACKEN

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Originally posted on February 4th, 2020.

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