Sept 23, 78 • Georgetown-State • 3098

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE03098_d.html.]

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ACTION ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 PM-05 H-02 INR-10 L-03 NSAE-00 NSC-05 PA-02 SP-02 SS-15 ICA-20 FBIE-00 /080 W
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P R 231030Z SEP 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7679
INFO AMEMBASSY CARACAS
AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 3098
CARACAS FOR LEGAT

E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: PINT, CGEN, ACLN, GY
SUBJECT: US LAWYER MARK LANE VOWS TO FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST USG CONSPIRACY TO DESTROY PEOPLE’S TEMPLE

BEGIN SUMMARY: MARK LANE, WELL-KNOWN AMERICAN CRIMINAL LAWYER, AUTHOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE US-BASED CITIZENS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY (CCI) ALLEGED DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE IN GEORGETOWN ON SEPT 19 THAT THE USG IS CONSPIRING TO DESTROY BISHOP JONES, PEOPLE’S TEMPLE, AND JONESTOWN. LANE SAID THAT THE CCI WILL FILE CIVIL SUITS WITHIN NINETY DAYS FOR DAMAGES IN THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AGAINST ATTORNEY GENERAL GRIFFIN BELL, THE CIA, FBI AND STATE DEPARTMENT, AND OTHER UNNAMED ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS. END SUMMARY.

1. ATTORNEY MARK LANE ARRIVED IN GUYANA ON SEPT 15 TO CONCLUDE AN INVESTIAGATION BEGUN BY AN ASSOCIATE, DONALD FREED, INTO ACCUSATIONS MADE IN THE US AGAINST PEOPLE’S TEMPLE. (COMMENT: THE CALIFORNIA-BASED PEOPLE’S TEMPLE, HEADED BY BISHOP JIM

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JONES, HAS ESTABLISHED JONESTOWN, AN AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE OF OVER 1,000 PERSONS, MOST OF WHOM ARE AMCITS, IN THE REMOTE NORTHWEST REGION OF GUYANA. END COMMENT) LANE’S PRESS CONFERENCE, WHICH ALSO COVERED HIS THEORIES REGARDING THE ASSASSINATIONS OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING, WAS NOT REPORTED ON IN THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED PRESS. HOWEVER, THE EMBASSY HAS ACQUIRED ONE UNPUBLISHED REPORT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE WRITTEN BY A LOCAL JOURNALIST AND A SECOND REPORT CIRCULATED BY THE GEORGETOWN BASED NATIONAL NEWS SERVICE.

2. THE NATIONAL NEWS SERVICE ITEM REPORTED THE PRESS CONFERENCE AS FOLLOWS: “MASSIVE CONSPIRACY THE US-BASED PEOPLES TEMPLE CHIRCH FOUNDED BY BISHOP JIM JONES A WHITE AMERICAN, CHOSE GUYANA FOR ITS AGRICULTURAL AND MEDICAL PROJECT BECAUSE OF THE POLITICAL COMPLEXION OF THIS 83-THOUSAND SQUARE-MILE REPUBLIC. A STATEMENT TO THIS EFFECT WAS MADE AT A NEWS-CONFERENCE HERE TODAY (SEPTEMBER 19) BY MARK LANE THE AMERICAN LAWYER WHO IS MAINLY RESPONSIBLE FOR INVESTIGATIONS UNDERWAY BY THE US CONGRESS, INTO THE ASSASSINATIONS OF PRESIDENT JOHN KENNEDY IN NOVEMBER 1963, AND CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER DR MARTIN LUTHER KING IN APRIL 1968. GUYANA IS A NON-ALIGNED SOCIALIST STATE. MARK LANE IS A FORMER LAW PROFESSOR AT THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA IN WASHINTON, D.C. THE FORMER NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATOR WAS A CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR JOHN F. KENNEDY IN THE 1960 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. HE CAME TO GUYANA LAST WEEK TO INVESTIGATE ACCUSATIONS DIRECTED AGAINST PEOPLES TEMPLE ACTIVITIES IN THE NORTH WEST DISTRICT OF GUYANA. MARK LANE PRAISED ALL ACTIVITIES AT JONESTOWN (COUNTY OF ESSEQUIBO) WHERE SOME ONE THOUSAND “BRUTALISED AND OSTRACISED” FOREIGNERS

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HAVE ESTABLISHED A HAPPY COMMUNITY. THE AMERICAN LAWYER CLAIMED THAT THE US GOVERNMENT IS INVOLVED IN A MASSIVE CONSPIRACY TO DESTROY THE PEOPLES TEMPLE CHIRCH AND ITS FOUNDER BISHOP JIM JONES. THE NEWS MEDIA PLAYED AN ACTIVE PART IN THE CONSPIRACY. HE SAID NONE OF THE CHARGED AGAINST THE PEOPLES TEMPLE AND BISHOP JONES ARE ACCURATE OR TRUE. HE EMPHASISED: AT JONES TOWN, NO ONE HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED AND LOCKED UP–EVERYONE IS FREE AND HAPPY. MARK LANE TOLD THE NEWS CONFERENCE THAT MASSIVE ACTION WILL BE FILED AGAINST US ATTORNEY GENERAL GRIFFIN B. BELL, THE CIA, THE FBI AND SEVERAL OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS, CLAIMING DAMAGES RUNNING INTO MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. WRITS WILL BE FILED WITHIN 90 DAYS. MARK LANE EMPHASISED: THE PEOPLES TEMPLE CHURCH IS VICTIM OF A CONSPIRACY FOR THE PAST TWO YEAR, BECAUSE “IT IS A POWERFUL POLITICAL FORCE FOR CHANGE WITHIN THE USA.”

3. THE GOVERNMENT-OWNED GUYANA CHRONICLE” OF SEPT 22 CARRIED A FOUR COLUMN STORY ON LANE’S VISIT TO GUYANA. ALTHOUGH ENTITLED “US CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER PROBES CHARGES AGAINST PEOPLE’S TEMPLE.” THE BULK OF THE ARTICLE DEALT WITH MR. LANE’S INVESTIGATIONS OF THE DEATHS OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND MARTIN LUTHER KING. THE ARTICLE RETURNED TO THE SUBJECT OF THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AND ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST IT IN THE US IN THE LAST TWO PARAGRAPHS. LANE IS REPORTED AS SAYING THAT HE FOUND THE CHARGES TO BE WITHOUT FUNDATION AND ENDS: “I HAVE CONCLUDED THAT THERE IS A CONSPIRACY TO DESTROY THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE, JONESTOWN AND JIM JONES. MY REPORT SHOULD BE COMPLETED IN THE US IN 60 TO 90 DAYS AND I HAVE MEANWHILE RECOMMENDED THAT CIVIL ACTION BE TAKEN AGAINST AGENCIES IN THE US.”

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Originally posted on February 12th, 2020.

Last modified on December 26th, 2020.
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