Jan 13, 78 • Georgetown-State • 0180

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE00180_d.html. The State Department FOIA release of 1981 withheld the name of a relative of a Peoples Temple member from this cable. It is denoted below in red type.]

UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 01
GEORGE 00180 132026Z
ACTION SCS-06
INFO OCT-01 ARA-14 ISO-00 SSO-00 /021 W
——————010033 132029Z /44

P 131422Z JAN 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6024
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 0180
DEPT FOR SCS AND ARA/CAR – TUMMINIA

E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC: (JOHNSON, BERDA)
SUBJECT: W/W: BERDA JOHNSON
REF: (A) 77 STATE 219323 (B) 77 GEORGETOWN 2265

TO: MRS. FRANCES P. BAXTER
5830 GREEN VALLEY CIRCLE
CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA 90230
TELEPHONE NO. 213-776-6158

1. OUR CONSUL HAD PERSONAL PRIVATE CONTACT WITH YOUR MOTHER, MRS. BERDA JOHNSON ON JAN. 11, 1978 AT THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AGRICULTURAL MISSION. HE IDENTIFIED HER THROUGH HER PASSPORT. YOUR MOTHER APPEARED TO BE HEALTHY AND CONTENT. THE CONSUL GAVE HER YOUR LETTER AND HER MONTHLY SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK. MRS. JOHNSON TOLD THE CONSUL THAT SHE WAS ENJOYING HER STAY. WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT THE DISPOSITION OF HER SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS YOUR MOTHER ANSWERED THAT SHE RECEIVES HER MONTHLY CHECKS AND ARRANGES TO HAVE THEM CASHED AT THE NEARBY COMMUNITY OF PORT KAITUMA. SHE IS THEN GIVEN THE CASH WHICH SHE IN TURN THEN GIVES AN UNSPECIFIED AMOUNT TO THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AS A DONATION. SHE VERY EMPHATICALLY DENIED THAT SHE IS PRESSURED TO GIVE HER ENTIRE PENSION TO THE CHURCH. MRS. JOHNSON INDICATED THAT SHE IS UNCERTAIN

UNCLASSIFIED
UNCLASSIFIED
PAGE 02 GEORGE 00180 132026Z

WHEN SHE WILL RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES. SHE SAID THAT YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT HER ANYTIME YOU WISH. I HOPE THE ABOVE INFORMATION CLARIFIES YOUR MOTHER’S PRESENT THOUGHTS AND DESIRES. PLEASE ACCEPT MY BEST WISHES.

AMERICAN EMBASSY
GEORGETOWN, GUYANA

2. PRIVACY ACT AUTHORIZATION GIVEN ORALLY BY MRS. JOHNSON FOR THE DEPARTMENT TO PASS INFORMATION TO HER DAUGHTER.

BURKE

NOTE BY OC/T: NOT PASSED ABOVE ADDRESSEE.

UNCLASSIFIED
NNN

Originally posted on February 11th, 2020.

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