State Cable: 771105 State-GT

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977STATE264830_c.html. The State Department FOIA release of 1981 withheld all information relating to Marshall Farris’ relatives in this cable. It is denoted in red type.]

UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 01 STATE 264830
ORIGIN SCS-05
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 /006 R
DRAFTED BY CA/SCS/EAPOWERS/CEH
APPROVED BY CA/SCS/FXLAMBERT
SCS/RLRIVERA
——————093224 051207Z /12

P 050324Z NOV 77
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN PRIORITY
UNCLAS STATE 264830

E.O. 11652:N/A
TAGS:CASC, (PEOPLES TEMPLE MEMBER)
SUBJECT: W/W MARSHALL FARRIS, AUG 5, 1907, ARKANSAS

1. DEPARTMENT CONTACTED BY MRS. EUNICE COOPER, SISTER OF MARSHALL FARRIS. FAMILY CONCERNED ABOUT FARRIS WHO LEFT UNITED STATES IN EARLY AUGUST TO JOIN PEOPLES TEMPLE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY. MRS. COOPER STATES THAT MR. FARRIS SOLD ALL PERSONAL BELONGINGS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE, LEAVING HIS WIFE WITH CAR AND HOUSE AND NO REAL INCOME. HE ALLEGEDLY RECEIVES ABOUT DOLLARS 600 (SIX HUNDRED) PER MONTH IN RETIREMENT BENEFITS. SINCE HIS DEPARTURE HE HAS WRITTEN ONLY ONE LETTER, TO HIS MOTHER (AGED 90) WHICH FAMILY DESCRIBES AS ABSOLUTE DRIBBLE. FAMILY ALSO NOTED THAT BOTH MOTHER’S NAME AND ARKANSAS SPELLED INCORRECTLY ON ENVELOPE. FAMILY BELIEVE HAND WRITING TO BE THAT OF FARRIS BUT STATE THAT LETTER SOUNDS FORCED AND ARTIFICIAL. FAMILY WISHES TO KNOW FOLLOWING: (1) IS FARRIS ACTUALLY AT THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY, IS HE IN GOOD HEALTH? (2) IF A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY TRAVELLED TO GUYANA WOULD THAT PERSON BE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL TO JONESTOWN, IF SO, WHAT IS

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PAGE 02 STATE 264830

INVOLVED? (3) WHAT SORT OF VISAS IS THE GUYANESE GOVERNMENT ISSUING TO MEMBERS OF THE SECT? (4) WHAT SORT OF CONTROL IS KEPT, I.E., IF A MEMBER DIED WOULD THAT BE KNOWN TO LOCAL OFFICIALS AND WOULD SECT LEADERS STILL BE ABLE TO CASH THEIR RETIREMENT CHECKS?

2. DEPOFF EXPLAINED TO MRS. COOPER THAT CONSUL HAD VISITED JONESTOWN, THAT LOCATION WAS DIFFICULT TO VISIT FROM GEORGETOWN, THAT DURING VISIT CONSUL HAD SPOKEN WITH MANY AMCITS AND HAD NO DOUBT THAT ANY WHO SO WISHED COULD HAVE DEPARTED WITH HIM. MRS. COOPER GREATLY CONCERNED AS SHE BELIEVES MEMBERS ARE EFFECTIVELY BRAINWASHED BY SECT LEADERS. SHE STATES THAT FARRIS HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH PEOPLES TEMPLE FOR MANY YEARS BUT FAMILY NEVER HAD ANY IDEA THAT HE WOULD LEAVE HOME AND FAMILY AND GO OFF TO FOREIGN COUNTRY. DEPOFF EXPLAINED THAT POSSIBILITY OF PERSONAL INTERVIEW WITH FARRIS WOULD HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL CONSUL COULD AGAIN ARRANGE TO VISIT JONESTOWN.

3. POST REQUESTED ATTEMPT CONTACT MR. FARRIS, EXPLAIN THE GREAT FAMILY CONCERN FOR HIM, ESPECIALLY HIS AGED’S MOTHER CONSTERNATION AT HIS PRESENCE IN JONESTOWN, OBTAIN PRIVACY ACT AUTHORIZATION IF POSSIBLE, AND REQUEST HIM TO COMMUNICATE WITH HIS FAMILY. 4. REPLY CONCERNING FARIS’S WELFARE AND ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS RAISED PARA ONE MAY BE SENT VIA DIRECT RELAY CABLE TO MRS. EUNICE COOPER, 3302 DAUPHINE DRIVE, FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA 22042, PHONE 703-698-8903.

VANCE

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NNN

Originally posted on February 5th, 2020.

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