State Cable: 771109 GT-State

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977GEORGE02846_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.]

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PAGE 01 GEORGE 02846 091713Z
ACTION SCS-05
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 /006 W
——————022495 091902Z /64

P 091530Z NOV 77
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5642
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 2846

E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC, (PEOPLE’S TEMPLE MEMBER)
SUBJECT: W/W MARSHALL FARRIS, DPBO: AUGUST 5, 1907, ARKANSAS
REF: STATE 264830

1. POST WOULD APPRECIATE DEPARTMENT PASSING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO MRS. EUNICE COOPER, 3302 DAUPHINE DRIVE, FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA, TELEPHONE 703-698-8903. WE HAVE VERIFIED WITH THE GUYANESE IMMIGRATION SERVICE THAT FARRIS ENTERED GUYANA ON JULY 29, 1977. HE IS PRESENTLY RESIDING AT THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY NEAR PORT KAITUMA IN GUYANA’S NORTHWEST DISTRICT.

2. POST RECEIVING SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS FOR FARRIS ADDRESSED TO MISSION VILLAGE, P.O. BOX 893, GEORGETOWN. THIS IS THE MAILING ADDRESS OF THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE IN GUYANA. A MEMBER OF THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE INFORMED CONSUL THAT FARRIS IS AT THE AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY AND PURPORTEDLY IN GOOD HEALTH.

3. ANYONE CAN TRAVEL TO GUYANA’S NORTHWEST DISTRICT ALTHOUGH ARRANGEMENTS FOR GROUND TRANSPORTATION AND LODGING MUST BE MADE PRIOR TO THE JOURNEY. THE DISTANCE FROM MATTHEW’S RIDGE, TO CENTER OF THE DISTRICT, TO THE FARM IS ABOUT THIRTY FIVE MILES BUT THE JOURNEY TAKES ABOUT AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES EACH WAY. HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS ARE BELOW U.S. STANDARDS. THE TRAVELLER WOULD HAVE TO REMAIN IN MATTHEW’S RIDGE

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AN ADDITIONAL FORTY EIGHT HOURS FOR THE RETURN FLIGHT TO GEORGETOWN. ALTERNATIVELY, IF THE RELATIVE WAS WILLING TO PAY ABOUT US$350 FOR A CHARTERED PLANE THE TRIP COULD BE ACCOMPLISHED IN FOUR TO FIVE HOURS.

4. ALL PEOPLE’S TEMPLE MEMBERS ARE RECEIVING “LANDED IMMIGRANT STATUS” IN GUYANA AND ARE REGISTERED WITH THE GUYANESE IMMIGRATION SERVICE. THE EMBASSY IS CURRENTLY ASSISTING THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE IN HANDLING THE ARRANGEMENTS OF A RECENT DEATH OF ONE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE GROUP. SPECIFICALLY, WE ARE ADVISING THEM ON THE PROPER NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES TO BE USED LOCALLY IN THE EVENT OF A DEATH AND OF THE REPORTING REQUIREMENTS OF THE EMBASSY. CONSUL HAS ADVISED THE ORGANIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION(SSA) DEATH BENEFITS THAT RELATIVES OF THE DECEASED MAY BE ENTITLED TO. PEOPLE’S TEMPLE HAS ALSO REGISTERED ONE BIRTH WITH THE EMBASSY AND PLANS TO REGISTER A SECOND CHILD WHO, IRONICALLY, WAS BORN TO THE FAMILY OF THE DECEASED WITHIN TWENTY FOUR HOURS OF HIS DEATH. THERE FORE, BASED UPON THE ABOVE WE BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE’S TEMPLE WILL CONTINUE TO REPORT SUCH EVENTS TO US.

5. DEPARTMENT MAY ALSO WISH TO INFORM MRS. COOPER THAT WE WILL BE VERIFYING HER RELATIVE’S HEALTH AND WELL BEING SOME TIME IN JANUARY, 1978 UNLESS AN EMERGENCY DEVELOPS TO WARRANT AN EARLIER TRIP TO THE REGION. DEPARTMENT CAN ASSURE MRS. COOPER THAT SHOULD MR. FARRIS DIE IT WOULD BE UNLIKELY THAT PEOPLE’S TEMPLE COULD CASH HIS RETIREMENT CHECKS SINCE THE ORGANIZATION HAS NOT BEEN DESIGNATED AS HIS REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE BY SSA. THUS, FARRIS MUST ENDORSE EACH CHECK BEFORE IT CAN BE CASHED.

6. WE EXPECT TO UTILIZE THE SSA ANNUAL COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENT TO VERIFY HEALTH AND WELL BEING OF ALL SSA RECIPIENTS AT

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“JONESTOWN”. POST RECEIVED FIFTY TWO SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS THIS MONTH FOR RETIREES RESIDING AT THE FARM AND WE ANTICIPATE THIS NUMEBER WILL PROBABLY DOUBLE WITHIN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

7. UNTIL WE CAN HAVE A CONSULAR OFFICER VISIT THE FARM WITHIN THE NEXT TWO TO THREE MONTHS IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO CONTACT FARRIS DIRECTLY AS REQUESTED PARA THREE REFTEL. CONSUL IN CONVERSATION ON NOVEMBER 8 WITH PEOPLE’S TEMPLE MEMBER ASKED ABOUT FARRIS WITHOUT GOING INTO ANY DETAILS. HE WAS ASSURED BY THE INDIVIDUAL THAT TO THE BEST OF HER KNOWLEDGE FARRIS WAS WELL AND HAPPY. PEOPLE’S TEMPLE REPRESENTATIVES ALSO IMMEDIATELY ASSUMED FAMILY IN U.S. WAS INQUIRING ABOUT HIM AND PROMISED TO RELAY MESSAGE TO HIM OF FAMILY’S CONCERN.

8. DEPARTMENT MAY WISH TO DRAW UPON THE ABOVE INFORMATION TO RESPOND TO SIMILAR REQUESTS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY. WHEN CONOFF VISITS SITE HE WILL REQUEST PRIVATE, PERSONAL CONTACT WITH ALL INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN SUBJECT OF W/W INQUIRIES. WE HAVE FOUR SUCH REQUESTS PENDING.

BURKE

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NNN

Originally posted on February 5th, 2020.

Last modified on December 26th, 2020.
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