FF-1 Temple affidavit on USPS Troubles



State of California
City and County of San Francisco

Tom Adams and Hattie Newell, being duly sworn, hereby depose and say:

On July 18, 1978 around 1:30 PM we went to the Station A branch of the US Post Office, located at Steiner Street off Geary Blvd. in San Francisco, California.

We talk with Mrs. Evelyn Cameron, a postal clerk in the station. When we identified ourselves as members of Peoples Temple, she told us “you guys (meaning Peoples Temple) were investigated by every agency there was,” namely the Department of Health, Education and Welfare; the California Department of Motor Vehicles; the Sonoma County Postal Inspector, and others. She explained that when she came to that branch in October 1977 to begin work, her supervisor mapped out “a whole special procedure” required in handling Peoples Temple mail. She told us that at that time she complained to the supervisor that this wasn’t right. She said she was from New York and she believes in privacy, and that people’s business is their own. She had wanted to transfer mail from certain post office boxes at the station which she knew were inactive and formerly rented by Peoples Temple members (PO Box 15384, in the name of Maria Katsaris and also used by Rev. Jim Jones and Mrs. Marceline Jones; and PO Box 15247, used by Mary Black), to an active Peoples Temple post office box, so that the Temple members would continue to receive their mail that had been directed to the formerly active boxes. Her supervisor, she said, prohibited her from doing so, telling her that it was against regulations, that regulations would not allow transferring mail from one post office box to another because a mail recipient might not want his or her name traced. Mrs. Cameron in this instance was speaking specifically of mail that came addressed two Rev. Jim Jones, Mrs. Marceline Jones, Peoples Temple Christian Church, Maria Katsaris (then church financial secretary), and a church member by the name of Mary Black. Mrs. Cameron told us that she complained to the supervisor about the procedure at the time because she did not like returning all the mail which wasn’t too good for the church and its pastor. She told us that it is the duty and trust of the US government to keep people’s business off the streets.

She said that when she first came to work there in October 1977, the California Department of Motor Vehicles had been investigating Peoples Temple, because it was said many different people were transferring their cars into Eugene B. Chaikin’s name.



If a person handled a certain number of cars per month, it was her understanding, he would be required by law to have a dealership license. She also told us that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare had directed the employees at Station A not to send any HEW checks which were to be forwarded to Guyana, South America, but to return them to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Executed this [blank space] day of July, 1978 at San Francisco, California.

/s/ Hattie Newell
/s/ Elton R. Adams

Subscribed and sworn to before me, a Notary Public in and for said State.

Christine Kice
[notary seal]