September 12, 1978 letter from Paula Adams to LA District Attorney


September 12, 1978

Dear Mr. Van de Kamp:

A matter has come to my attention which greatly upsets me. I am aware of allegations being made against some good friends of mine and fellow members of Peoples Temple. I have known the character and integrity of these people for many years and know that the nature of such allegations do not fit the nature of these people. The matter your office has been asked to look into is clearly a frame-up. I only ask that you take a close look at those who are making the allegations and the vengeful patterns that mark the path they move along. This is not a case of merit, but rather, a crystal clear indication of the extent that those who are opposed to humanistic social changes would go to.

I have been in Guyana for nearly five years as an original representative for Peoples Temple’s agricultural mission deep in the hinterlands and was a member in the United States Temple several years before that so I feel I have adequate background of the character and membership of the Peoples Temple to be a solid witness to our credibility as a progressive humanitarian service church.

Our hinterland mission has been gratefully received by Guyanese government officials, the clergy, the business community, and the general public. Being a newly developing Third World nation with a black leadership, Guyana has met with opposition from racist forces outside of their republic. We can empathize with how they feel because harassment of our church and its members started simultaneously with our decision to start a mission in this emerging multiracial country.

Contrary to what has appeared in some malicious articles which have carried lies about our mission work down here, we have daily visitors who could attest to the peaceful, harmonious, humanistic community we have in the hinterland. Journalists in Guyana have visited and carried praiseworthy articles about the mission. Government officials, technical and professional people, members of the various protective services, educators, clergymen, and acquaintances all have been guests of ours at the mission or simply drop by. I believe the lies told in some two-bit sensational story is to assume that all of these people have lied. With this obvious attack at the very roots of our work, which is to build an interracial egalitarian community, it should be just as obvious to you that this is a frame-up and more of the same vicious lies.

I hope you will search your conscience and look at this matter dispassionately and analytically and see that this is a fabrication. The inconsistencies in their stories and their irrational vengence should not go unnoticed by your [you] or your office. Lies can easily be rationalized by hatred and so it goes with this bunch.

With great sincerity,

Paula Adams