More than a month after escaping death at Jonestown, 12 American defectors from the Peoples Temple cult are still trying to leave Tuyana and are blaming the U.S. Embassy here for their plight.
Dale Parks, who had assumed leadership of the defectors, many of whom are his relaties, told reporters yesterday that "we were lied to on a daily basis" by U.S. consular officers at the embassy.
The 12 Jonestown defectors, who include several teen-aged children, had left the jungle compound Nov. 18 with Rep. Leo J. Ryan (D-Calif.) and survived the air strip ambush in which Ryan, Park's mother, Patricia, and three newsmen were killed. More than 900 other Jonestown residents died later that night in the mass poisoning directed by cult leader Jim Jones.
According to Parks, the defectors have been trying for three weeks to arrange through the embassey for transporation out of Guyana. The defectors are not under investigation by Guyanese authorities and are not among those Jonestown survivors identified by Peoples Temple members and defectors in the Unitee States as being potentially dangerous loyal followers of Jones.*tNevertheless, according to Parks, the U.S. consular officials told them at one point that the embassy could not give them their passports because they had not been cleared for release by Guyanese Officals.
Only after he took a Guyanese lawyer with him to the embassy to complain, Parks said, did the consular officers provide the passports and necessary travel documents. "We had to take a Guyanese lawyer into the embassey," Parks said, "to get our U.S. civil rights."
During the past week, Parks said the defectors were told by the embassey, which must provide their airfare home under a government program for that purpose, that there was no room for them on U.S. bound flights. Newsmen and others have had no difficulty obtaining airline bookings on short notice.
Parks said the defectors also were told by the embassy that Pan American Airlines would not allow them on its flights to New York without an accompanying U.S. marshall. But Pan Armerican officals in New york said they had no objection to carrying the defectors without a security escort.
Today, the defectors were told by the embassey they would be flown to New York on a Pan Am flight with a U.S. marshal and two People Temple members from the culths Georgetown headquarters house whom the defectors fear.
Parks said he told one consular offical that his group did not want to travel on the same plane with people they feared might pose a danger to them. "She replied," Parks said , "that 'they have been released to go. If they wish to go on the earlier flight, they have the same rights you have.'"
"On every occasion," said Jim Bogue, another of the defectors, the U.S. consular officals "let us know what they couldn't do for us, not what they could. I thought a public servant was supposed to help people."
The consular officals who have barred reporters from their meetings with the defectoave barred reporters from their meetings with the defectoors, were not available for comment.