The Letters, Reports and Diaries of Paula Adams

Paula Adams was one of the first members of Peoples Temple in Guyana – according to Temple and passport records, she arrived in Georgetown in April 1974 – and didn’t return to the United States until December 1978, with the rest of the returning survivors of the Jonestown tragedy. As the principal liaison between the Temple and Guyana officials, she spent most of her time in the Temple’s Georgetown headquarters in Lamaha Gardens. Virtually every memo, set of meeting minutes or descriptions of contacts with local governmental agencies includes her name, as either a recipient or the writer.

Paula Adams played another role for the Temple. Whether by assignment or by her own choice – accounts differ – she became sexually, and later romantically, involved with Guyana’s Ambassador to the United States, Laurence “Bonny” Mann.

It was a tempestuous relationship. Mann was married, and did not leave his wife to permanently join his mistress for a number of years. The ambiguity, uncertainty and periodic volatility of the affair haunted Paula to the point of considering suicide.

As part of her responsibilities – again, whether assigned or voluntary, is not known – Paula filed numerous reports of her conversations with Mann, both about their personal relationship and about what he revealed of his interactions with the Guyana government.  Many of these reports had the tone, style and content of a personal diary, rather than of a formal report, a difference she herself noted on numerous occasions. She also secretly recorded many of the conversations.

Paula Adams died in October 1983 – almost five years after the deaths in Guyana – when Ambassador Mann shot her and their child before turning the gun on himself in their Washington-DC area home.

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The PDFs and transcripts below of these meetings derive from Section BB-1 of the FBI’s release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents have been arranged in chronological order, not in the order as they appear in the section itself.

The citation for these documents should open with the FBI’s official designation of these records, which is “RYMUR 89-4286.” Each individual page in these records has a unique number. The first page of this section, for example, is marked “BB-1-f”. The complete citation for that page, then, would be “RYMUR 89-4286-BB-1-f”.

PDF page numbers
Number of pages
Citations of pages
Description
PDF
Text
13
1
BB-1-f Undated memo to Jim Jones, likely spring 1975
PDF
Text
109-112
4
BB-1-ee-1 – ff-2 “Mann’s version of his background” (undated, likely early 1977)
PDF
Text
75-80
6
BB-1-v – x-4 3 undated letters to Hill [Jones] from Mary Ruth [Paula Adams], fall 1977
PDF
Text
166-168
3
BB-1-oo-1 – oo-3 Memo to Jean Brown from Paula Adams, likely fall 1977
PDF
Text
97-99
3
BB-1-z – bb 3 undated letters to Hill from Mary Ruth, late fall 1977
PDF
Text
201-206
5
BB-1-zz – ccc-2 undated letters and notes to Hill from Mary Ruth et al., early winter 1978
PDF
Text
14-16
3
BB-1-g-1 – g-3 Undated letter to Jim Jones, likely spring 1978
PDF
Text
200
1
BB-1-yy March 20 Handwritten note on Mann
PDF
Text
207-208, 213-214
4
BB-1-ddd-1 – ddd-2, fff-1, fff-2 April 10 typed note to Jones on Mann
PDF
Text
100
1
BB-1-cc Undated typed note, likely summer 1978, to Ptolemy Reid on Mann
PDF
Text
72-74
3
BB-1-u-5 – u-7 July 14 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
51-54
>4 BB-1-o-1 – o-4 July 15 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
55-56
2
BB-1-p-1 – p-2 July 16 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
40-50
11
BB-1-n-1 – n-11 July 16-17 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
57-59
3
BB-1-q-1 – q-3 July 21-22 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
64-67
4
BB-1-t-1 – t-4 July 22 (1) handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
60-61
2
BB-1-r-1 – r-2 July 22 (2) handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
62-63
2
BB-1-s-1 – s-2 July 23 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
34-39
6
BB-1-m-1 – m-6 July 25 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
31-33
3
BB-1-l-1 – l-3 July 26 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
24
1
BB-1-i July 27 letter to Jones
PDF
Text
25
1
BB-1-j July 27 typed report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
26-30
5
BB-1-k-1 – k-5 July 27 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
17-23
7
BB-1-h-1 – h-7 August 1 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
81-83
3
BB-1-y-1 – y-3 August 4 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
84-96
13
BB-1-y-4 – y-16 August 6/7 handwritten report/diary entry on “Mann”
PDF
Text
217-219
3
BB-1-iii-1 – iii-3 September 8 typed letter to Jones
PDF
Text
183-185
3
BB-1-xx-1 – xx-3 October 20-23 handwritten report/diary
PDF
Text
188-199
`12
BB-1-xx-6 – xx-17 October 27/28 Report to Carolyn Layton
PDF
Text
186-187
2
BB-1-xx-4 – xx-5 October 29 handwritten report/diary
PDF
Text
Originally posted on March 3rd, 2022.

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