Sept 29, 78 • Georgetown-State • 3174

[Editor’s note: This text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978GEORGE03174_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 291030Z SEP 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7724
UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 3174

E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: ACLN, PINT, CGEN, GY
SUJECT: MAERICAN LAWYER MARK LANE’S GEORGETOWN PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE
REF: GEORGETOWN 3098

1. A TAPE RECORDING OF THE SUBJECT PRESS CONFERENCE HAS BEEN MADE AVAILABLE TO THE EMBASSY, A COPY OF WHICH HAS BEEN TRANSMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT (ARA/CAR). A PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE TAPE HAS ALSO BEEN SUBMITTED. THE TAPE RECORDING IS NOT OF HIGH QUALITY, SOME WORDS AND PHRASES ARE INDISTINCT, AND THERE ARE MINOR GAPS WHICH COULD BE EDITORIAL BUT ARE MORE LIKELY TECHNICAL.

2. BRIEF EXCERPTS OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE WERE AIRED OVER THE LOCAL RADIO SHORTLY FOLLOWING THE PRESS CONFERENCE. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF MR. LANE’S OPENING STATEMENT WAS REBROADCAST ON SEPT 26. THE REFTEL REPORTS NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF THE SAME SUBJECT. IN ADDITION, THE “MIRROR,” ORGAN OF THE MOSCOWORIENTED PEOPLE’S PROGRESSIVE PARTY, ON SEPT 22 CARRIED A FRONT PAGE PHOTO OF AND BRIEF INTERVIEW WITH MR. LANE WHICH STATED THAT MR. LANE WAS VISITING GUYANA FOR THE PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATING ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE WHICH HE HAD FOUND TO BE FALSE. THE REMAINDER OF THE

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ARTICLE DEALT WITH MR. LANE’S ROLE IN THE INVESTIGATIONS OF THE DEATHS OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING.

3. IT IS MR. LANE’S BASIC CONTENTION, AS EXPRESSED AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE, THAT A CONSPIRACY FOMENTED BY USG INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES EXISTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF DESTROYING BISHOP JIM JONES AND THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE. MR. LANE HAS CONCLUDED THAT INTELLIGENCE AND OTHER AGENCIES AND INDIVIDUALS OF THE USG, AS WELL AS PRIVATE ENTITIES SUCH AS SEGMENTS OF THE NEWS MEDIA, HAVE CONSPIRED TOGETHER, THAT AN IMPERFECT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, FEDERAL COURT PROCEEDINGS HAVE DOCUMENTED OTHER CONSPIRACIES OF THE “ESTABLISHMENT” AND THAT THESE TOOLS SHOULD BE USED TO DOCUMENT THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST BISHOP JONES AND THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE. THERE FOLLOWS A RESUME OF MR. LANE’S PRESS CONFERENCE, OMITTING THE CONSIDERABLE ILLUSTRATIVE COMMENTS ON ALLEGED CONSPIRACIES OTHER THAN THAT AGAINST THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE.

4. OPENING STATEMENT: MR. LANE OUTLINED THE BACKGROUND OF THE CITIZENS’ COMMISSION OF ENQUIRY (CCE). CCE BECAME AWARE OF THE “VERY SERIOUS AND SUBSTANTIAL” CHARGES BEING MADE IN THE US AGAINST THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE. CCE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR DON FREED VISITED THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE SOME WEEKS AGO, MR. LANE NOTES. AFTER CONSULTATIONS WITH MR. LANE UPON HIS RETURN TO THE US, MR. LANE AND MR. FREED CONDUCTED INTERVIEWS IN CALIFORNIA AND SPOKE WITH THE “CHIEF PROPONENT” OF THE CHARGES. MR. LANE THEN VISITED JONESTOWN. “WE ARE ABLE TO STATE CONCLUSIVELY AT THIS TIME…THAT NONE OF THE CHARGES…ARE ACCURATE OR TRUE. THE CHARGES…ARE DEMONSTRABLY FALSE TO ANYONE WHO SPENDS FIVE MINUTES IN JONESTOWN.” “…NEVER BEFORE HAVE I SEEN

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SUCH A MODEL COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE WORKING TOGETHER COOPERATIVELY,” MR. LANE SAID, “PEOPLE I INTERVIEWED,… MOSTLY OF COLOR, WHO HAD EXPERIENCED GREAT DIFFICULTIES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES. THEY HAVE BEEN BRUTALIZED AND OSTRACIZED AND DISCRIMINATED AGAINST IN THE UNITED STATES.” MR. LANE SAID THAT “…A KEY WITNESS WHO WAS ONE OF THE KEY PEOPLE WHO HAD MADE THE CHARGES…NOW HAS MADE IN ESSENCE A FULL CONFESSION TO US…” AS A RESULT, MR. LANE STATES, “WE JUSTLY CONCLUDE THAT THE PLANS TO DESTROY THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AND THE PLAN TO DESTROY JIM JONES WERE INITIATED BY THE INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES. THAT THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WHICH HAVE COOPERATED WITH THOSE TWO INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATIONS HAVE CONSPIRED TOGETHER ILLEGALLY TO DESTROY THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AND JIM JONES.” MR. LANE CONTINUED THAT HE BELIEVED THAT WITHIN 90 DAYS “A MASSIVE ACTION FOR MILLIONS OF DOLLARS (WILL BE) FILED BY THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AND JIM JONES AGAINST EVERY AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT THAT HAS PARTICIPATED IN THIS CONSPIRACY, BEGINNING WITH THE CIA, THE FBI, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, THE US POST OFFICE, AND MANY OTHER AGENCIES AND INDIVIDUALS WHO WILL BE NAMED.” MR. LANE ALSO SAID THAT “SEGMENTS” OF THE AMERICAN NEWS MEDIA PARTICIPATED IN THE CONSPIRACY.

5. IN THE QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD WHICH FOLLOWED MR. LANE’S OPENING STATEMENT, HE MADE THE FOLLOWING POINTS REGARDING THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE AND THE ALLEGED CONSPIRACY AGAINST IT, SUPPORTING HIS PRESENTATION WITH EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ALLEGED CONSPIRACIES. THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE CONSPIRACY IS AT LEAST TWO YEARS OLD AND PROBABLY OLDER. WHILE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SAY WHAT PRECISELY MOTIVATED THE CONSPIRATORS, MR. LANE BELIEVES THAT “THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE IS A POLITICAL FORCE FOR CHANGE WITHIN THE UNITED STATES AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COOPERATIVE COMMUNITY OF JONESTOWN IS OF THE UTMOST EMBARRASSMENT TO THE VERY WORST ELEMENTS WITHIN THE US

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GOVERNMENT…” MR. LANE BELIEVES THAT AMBASSADOR YOUNG’S STATEMENT REGARDING POLITICAL PRISONERS IN THE US IS PROBABLY AN UNDERSTATEMENT. “WHAT JONESTOWN SAYS TO THOSE WHO LOOK AT IT,” LANE CONTINUES, “IS THAT THERE ARE WELL OVER 1,000 PEOPLE WHO LEFT THE US IN SEARCH FOR FREEDOM, IN A SEARCH FOR FREEDOM FROM RACISM AND FREEDOM FROM ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION. I THINK THIS WILL BE EXTREMELY EMBARRASSING TO PRESIDENT CARTER, WHOSE CAMPAIGN ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS SEEMS TO EXTEND ONLY TO COUNTRIES OUTSIDE THE US BUT RARELY FOCUSES ON ANY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS PROBLEMS WHICH ARE WITHIN THE US.” MORE AMERICANS WILL WANT TO COME TO JONESTOWN, MR. LANE BELIEVES, WHEN THE TRUTH ABOUT IT IS KNOWN IN THE UNITED STAES. “I THINK THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT THROUGH THE INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATIONS IS DESPERATELY AFRAID OF THAT TAKING PLACE AND FOR THAT REASON HAS CREATED SO MUCH PUBLICITY WITHIN THE UNITED STATES SAYING THAT JONESTOWN IS AN ENCAMPMENT, A BARBED WIRE ENCAMPMENT, A CONCENTRATION CAMP, WHERE CHILDREN ARE TORTURED, BEATEN, AND CANNOT LEAVE.” IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER ANY RESIDENTS OF JONESTOWN MIGHT WISH TO LEAVE, LANE SAID THAT SUCH A QUESTION WOULD ONLY PRODUCE LAUGHTER IN JONESTOWN, WHICH HE DEPICTS AS AN IDYLLIC COMMUNITY. MR. LANE STATED THAT TWO OF THE PRINCIPAL PROPONENTS OF CHARGES AGAINST THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE WERE MESSRS. STOEN AND MAZOR.

6. COMMENT: PERSONS ATTENDING THE PRESS CONFERENCE HAVE INDICATED THAT ATTORNEY GENERAL BELL AND THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE WERE MENTIONED IN THE LIST OF AGENCIES AND INDIVIDUALS AGAINST WHOM MR. LANE STATED ACTIONS WOULD BE BROUGHT (REFTEL). THE RECORDED TAPE AVAILABLE TO THE EMBASSY, HOWEVER, DID NOT INCLUDE REFERENCE TO MR. BELL OR THE DEPARTMENT.

BURKE

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Originally posted on February 12th, 2020.

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