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December 23, 1978, Washington Post, Some Cult Ex-Members Suspicious of 'Defector', by Paul Grabowica,

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December 23, 1978, Washington Post, Some Cult Ex-Members Suspicious of 'Defector', by Paul Grabowica, Special to The Washington Post,

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 22—Recent efforts by Terri Buford, one of the Rev. Jim Jones' former top aides, to blame others for alleged illegal activities by the Peoples Temple, may indicate that she is still loyal to the dead temple leader and is carrying out his orders to discredit defectors from the church, according to several temple ex-members. 

The former church members claim that Jones had instructed his top aides to destroy the reputations of any "traitors" to the temple should anything happen to him or his congregation. At the top of his list of enemies, according to the ex-members, was former temple attorney Timothy Stoen, whom Buford is now blaming for most of the church's questionable activities. 

Buford appeared Wednesday before a federal grand jury in San Francisco investigation the Peoples Temple and the murder of Rep. Leo J. Ryan (D-Calif.). At a 'news conference the next day Buford charged that Stoen was the central figure in many alleged church activities, including plans to poison the water supply in Washington, D.C., store weapons at Stoen's California home and set up the church's complicated overseas network of secret accounts. 

Buford, accompanied at the news conference by her attorney, Mark Lane, claimed she had defected from the temple Oct. 27, and said her role in the temple's affairs was secondary to that of Stoen. She and Lane also charged that former temple attorney Charles Garry knew about the smuggling and stockpiling of weapons by the temple. 

Buford's attempt to downplay her role in the temple, and particularly her attacks on Stoen, have lead several temple ex-members to say they fear she may still be wedded to Jones's philosophy. 

A spokesman for the Berkeley-based Human Freedom Center (HFC), run by several temple ex-members, expressed extreme skepticism about her defection from the temples. "Just the way they (Buford and Lane) are attacking Tim Stoen, it's like a final salute to Jim Jones." 

"It was pretty well known by the entire congregation that Tim Stoen was going to be slandered" by Jones' loyalists if the temple collapsed, the HFC spokesman added. 

The temple ex-members are particularly distrustful of Buford because she sought out Mark Lane when she defected from the church in October. They point out that Lane at the time was one of the attorneys for the temple and subsequently went back to Guyana and conferred with Jones. 

"The last place in the world she would have gone," says Patrick Hallinan, Stoen's attorney in San Francisco, "was to Mark Lane. . into the jaws of a possible trap." 

Meanwhile, the federal grand jury impaneled in San Francisco is continuing its investigation into the temple's affairs. According to one source close to the inquiry, federal officials are viewing the statements made by all the former temple members thus far with extreme skepticism. 

The U.S. attorney's office, according to this source, has no immediate plans to grant immunity to any of them, and recently turned down a request by Buford for immunity from prosecution. 

The federal investigators are trying to obtain documents from Guyana in an effort to weigh the truth of the testimony of the temple ex-members. "There is certainly some truth in what they're saying about each other," the source explained. "But they're just not telling the whole truth, particularly about their own involvements." 

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on Apr 06, 13