Entry to Guyana

The first group to go to Guyana to look into setting up the Temple Agricultural Mission was a group of about eight people in December 16th to 28th, 1973. A group of about eight people stayed in Georgetown to meet and talk to various officials. And a group went to Mathews Ridge to check out the area that was finally settled upon.  Paula Adams went down in January 1974 to join Gene Chaikin and Archie Ijames as the initial leasehold was arranged.

Tim Swinney, Mike Touchette and Anthony Simon came to Guyana in March 1974 to arrange for bringing the Cudjoe from Miami to Guyana with its first settlers. Pop Jackson and his wife came in June with several others and settled temporarily in Mathews Ridge as a road was cut in and the first 20 acres were cleared for settlement. The Cudjoe came in August with 13 people, first to Georgetown and then on to Port Kaituma, settling first at Mathews Ridge and then moving into Jonestown by the end of the year.

December of 1974 a group of 30 or so (mostly Planning Commission) came from California, in a charter flown by Norman Ijames to visit and see how things were progressing.  Some stayed bringing the total to about 25 people. In December 1975 another charter flown by Norman Ijames with a broader range of visitors from the Temple visited for a week.

By the end of 1976 there were about 45 people. The diagram below shows how many Temple members settled into Guyana from January 1977 to June of 1978. The data is taken from all the records of entry found to date in the FBI materials and account for all but about 130 who were there. More people went down after June 1978, but how many, who or when has not been found.

The “no entry date” list includes some who entered, left and returned, such as Gene Chaikin and Marceline Jones. To clarify, “Entry Date” refers to the date temple members received a “resident” visa to remain in the country. With most groups this appears to have been done in Georgetown rather than the airport, within a few days of arrival.  It is not known if all those grouped by entry dates actually arrived together–-group size varies from one to many. Some singles (on one “entry” date) were minors, who probably would not have traveled alone, though they might have been “registered” on a date different than someone with them.

In addition, it should be noted that a blank entry indicates that no information about that person or group has been found thus far.

Two lists are available for viewing/printout:




Sec 105, pp. 2-165 [RYMUR-89-4286-2018-X-5, pp. 21– 36f, 40] & Sect 106, pp. 2-202 [RYMUR-89-4286-2018-X-7]. Lists with entry dates were used to assemble the data base and then to print out reports as specified. Data from the reports was used to make the chart.

This research is original to this site. Please credit this website for any use of this material.