Dec 13, 78 • 1704 • State-Georgetown • 314199

[Editor’s note: This document was released both as a State Department cable as part of its 1981 FOIA release, and as Serial 1292 of the FBI’s RYMUR release. The text was released at https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1978STATE314199_d.html.]

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STATE 314199
ORIGIN ARA-15
INFO OCT-01 ISO-00 DEAE-00 SNM-05 FBIE-00 JUSE-00 SS-15
NSC-05 CIAE-00 INR-10 NSAE-00 /051 R
DRAFTED BY ARA/RPP:EPERREAULT:BT
APPROVED BY ARA: JAB;SHNELL
GUYANA TASK FORCE – RMCCOY
ARA/RPP – REJOHNSON
DEA – R.HOLGERSON
S/NM – E.CORR
——————126297 132331Z /64

R 131704Z DEC 78
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
INFO AMEMBASSY CARACAS
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E.O. 12065:N/A
TAGS: SNAR
SUBJECT: DRUGS IN PEOPLE’S TEMPLE COMMUNITY

1. EMBASSY CONCURRENCE IS REQUESTED IN THE TRAVEL OF DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION’S SAIOC FRANK BRIGGS TO GUYANA FROM CARACAS. HIS ASSIGNMENT WOULD BE TO PURSUE INVESTIGATION OF MEANS BY WHICH PEOPLE’S TEMPLE COMMUNITY OBTAINED DRUGS EVENTUALLY ADMINISTERED TO MEMBERS IN LETHAL POTION. BRIGGS WISHES TO CONSULT GUYANESE COUNTERPARTS AND TO INSPECT PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (CONTAINERS, DOCUMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG STORAGE AND SHIPMENT).

2. DEA’S INVESTIGATION IS RESPONSIVE TO KEEN INTEREST OF HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON NARCOTICS (LESTER WOLFF,

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CHAIRMAN), AS WELL AS CONGRESSMAN [GUS] YATRON’S SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN AFFAIRS AND SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON JUVENILE DELINQUENCY (SENATOR [JOHN] CULVER). BRIGGS WOULD PLAN TO CONFINE HIS ACTIVITIES TO GEORGETOWN. FYI DEA HAS PARTICIPATED IN INTERVIEWS WITH JONESTOWN SURVIVORS IN THE U.S. BUT REPORTS SURVIVORS HAVE PARTED WITH VERY LITTLE INFORMATION ON THIS SUBJECT.

3. EMBASSY SUPPORT NOT REQUIRED BUT BRIGGS WOULD PLAN TO CONTACT EMBASSY UPON ARRIVAL AND TO REPORT ON HIS FINDINGS TO THE AMBASSADOR.

4. DEPARTMENT RECOGNIZES THAT CONSIDERABLE NUMBER INVESTIGATORS ALREADY PRESENT IN GEORGETOWN AND DOES NOT WANT TO COMPLICATE RELATIONS WITH GOG [GOVERNMENT OF GUYANA] BY OVERLOADING CIRCUITS; AT SAME TIME DEA HAS STRONG INTEREST IN HAVING ITS MAN PURSUE HIS FIELD. WELCOME AMBASSADOR’S VIEWS ON TIMING SUCH VISIT, IF ANY PROBLEMS FORESEEN.

CHRISTOPHER [Acting Secretary of State Warren Christopher]

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Originally posted on March 24th, 2020.

Last modified on July 4th, 2022.
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