Letter from Janet L. Shular

Statement of Support for Evergreen Cemetery to hold/host Jonestown Survivors Memorial Service on May 29, 2011

I was a member of People’s Temple Christian Church in San Francisco from 1971 thru 1977.  I met and married my late husband there. We adopted children who were brought there by an aging relative to be placed in a family and given a home in which to be reared. We also took into our home and cared for other children; children who were relatives of other temple members.

Because of our intense fear of the future with Jim Jones and our growing distrust of him, my husband and I secretly made an escape plan for ourselves and our adopted children. With the help and support of our mid west based family and a few close friends who remained in the bay area, our plan was successfully executed just months prior to the mass exodus to Guyana. For legal reasons, we left behind the non adopted children. They were sent to Guyana. They died there. Their names WILL appear on the memorial.

As a former member of People’s Temple Christian Church and as a self designated lifetime member of the survivors support group, I strongly endorse the work and efforts of Evergreen Cemetery,  the survivors group, the legal team and ALL who believe it appropriate for the ceremonial service to take place as planned on May 29, 2011. In 1978, I was 38 years old. That was a long time ago. After ALL these many years and to this day, a truly proper memorial has not been established.  It seems to me that the fair, sane and sensible remedy for that is for Evergreen to be granted the right to allow the ceremony on May 29, 2011. As I see it, NOW is the time to resolve this issue for the dead and for the living.

Although I will not be at the ceremony as I live in Ohio and work with young women who are choosing to relinquish their child for adoption through an openness process, and since I am obligated and committed to being with them when they give birth, I just am unable to attend this ceremony. My eldest son adopted from People’s Temple more than forty years ago, will be traveling from Ohio to attend on behalf of our family and as a means of finding peace after having “lost”, at such a young age, his playmates to death.

I will not be there but my heart IS with them.

Please share this information with the legal team and the Judge as indicative of my heartfelt sentiments that are intended to support the Jonestown Memorial Service of May 29, 2011 at Evergreen .

Thank you very much,

Janet L. Shular, MA, LSW

Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on December 9th, 2013.
Skip to main content