Cover Story

“Infiltrated with Agents”

The nearly 39,000 pages of documents released by the FBI to Freedom under the Freedom of Information Act document the Peoples Temple as a mainstream congregation and show it enjoyed wide support, as from Jane Fonda, who wrote: “I also recommit myself to your congregation as an active full participant—not only for myself, but because I want my two children to have the experience.”
 

     More than 20 months after Leo Ryan was killed, his five adult children—two sons and three daughters—filed a lawsuit based on extensive investigation into what had precipitated their father’s death.

     Filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on July 31, 1980, the suit asked for general damages of $3 million, plus costs for Congressman Ryan’s funeral and bringing the action.

     The lawsuit charged that “the Jonestown Colony was infiltrated with agent(s) of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States.

     “[That] the name of one said agent was Phillip Blakey, a trusted aide of Peoples Temple leader James Warren Jones.

     “[T]hat said agents were working with the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency to use the Jonestown Colony as part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s MK Ultra program.

     “[T]hat massive quantities of mind-control drugs were found at the Jonestown colony after the fatal incident of November 18, 1978.”

     Phillip Blakey had traveled to Guyana to select the site for Jonestown and to begin clearing land. He was one of the few survivors of the mass killing.

     The lawsuit furthermore charged that Richard Dwyer doubled as an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency and that Dwyer “arranged for the transportation of decedent [Ryan] and his party once in Guyana; briefed decedent and his party on the events and conditions at Jonestown upon their arrival; and escorted decedent and his party to Jonestown in November 1978.”

     It alleged that Dwyer “as an agent and employee of the Central Intelligence Agency ... negligently, maliciously and intentionally withheld crucial information about the Jonestown Colony which would have prevented harm to decedent.”

     It further charged that Dwyer “knowingly, intentionally and maliciously led [Ryan] into a trap at the Port Kaituma Air Strip, which cost decedent his life.”

     The Ryans’ lawsuit was dismissed for reasons that have to date never been fully disclosed. A source close to the family who aided them in their quest for justice told Freedom of threats received which he attributed to the CIA. Every time he made a move, he said, a warning would arrive on his doorstep by a circuitous route. “A letter would show up,” for example, he said, stating, “’We’re watching you.’”

Continued...


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