State Cable: 771202 GT-State
(Griffith-Truss Family)

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1977GEORGE03098_c.html. The State Department FOIA release of 1981 withheld references to the Griffith/Truss families in this cable. They are denoted in red type.]

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PAGE 01
GEORGE 03098 021505Z
ACTION SCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 /007 W
——————032988 021519Z /46

P 021420Z DEC 77
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5778
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 3098

E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CDES, (GRIFFITH, EMMITT)
SUBJECT: DISPOSITION OF REMAINS: EMMITT GRIFFITH

1. POST WOULD APPRECIATE DEPARTMENT CONTACTING A MEMBER OF THE GRIFFITH OR TRUSS FAMILIES LOCATED AT 5121 FOOTHILL BOULEVARD, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA 94601 AND INFORMING THEM THAT REMAINS OF EMMITT GRIFFITH WERE BURIED IN GEORGETOWN OVER ONE MONTH AGO. EMBASSY WAS INFORMED UNOFFICIALLY THAT CAUSE OF DEATH WAS SKIN OR BONE CANCER.

2. EMBASSY HAS RECEIVED TWO TELEGRAMS FROM INDIVIDUALS AT THE ABOVE ADDRESS REQUESTING GRIFFITH’S REMAINS BE RETURNED TO THE U.S. FOR BURIAL AND THAT THIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY ACCOMPANY THEM. DEPARTMENT SHOULD BE AWARE THAT GRIFFITH WAS AND HIS FAMILY STILL ARE MEMBERS OF THE CONTROVERSIAL PEOPLE’S TEMPLE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION THAT WAS ESTABLISHED A COMMUNAL AGRICULTURAL FARMSITE IN GUYANA’S NORTHWEST DISTRICT. POST BELIEVES DEPARTMENT SHOULD INFORM ADDRESSEE OF DEATH AND SUGGEST THEY CONTACT MRS. MARY GRIFFITH, WIFE OF THE DECEASED AT BOX 893, GEORGETOWN, GUYANA, OR BY RADIO TELEPHONE TO JONESTOWN, NORTHWEST DISTRICT, GUYANA (NUMBER UNKNOWN) TO DISCUSS THIS SITUATION.

3. WE EXPECT MARY GRIFFITH TO APPEAR AT THE EMBASSY IN THE NEAR FUTURE TO COMPLETE THE PROCESSING OF THE OFFICIAL REPORT OF DEATH, AND APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DEATH

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BENEFITS. IRONICALLY, A CHILD WAS BORN TO AN IMMEDIATE RELATIVE OF THE DECEASED ONE WEEK BEFORE HE DIED SO WE ANTICIPATE ALSO DOING A REPORT OF BIRTH.

4. THE EMBASSY HAS NO REASON TO ASSUME GRIFFITH’S DEATH WAS BY OTHER THAN NATURAL CAUSES. CONSUL WAS INFORMED HIS DEATH WAS CERTIFIED BY COMPETENT LOCAL AUTHORITY.

6. FYI – EXHUMATION OF REMAINS CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED AT ANY TIME. DEPARTMENT SHOULD REFER TO OUR DISPOSITION OF REMAINS REPORT DATED MAY 19, 1977, FOR INFORMATION RELATING TO COST INVOLVED.

BURKE

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NNN

Originally posted on February 5th, 2020.

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