B-1 Signed Releases

Members of Peoples Temple signed dozens of documents for the church’s administrative, organizing, and – in the case of countering the efforts of oppositional groups such as the Concerned Relatives – political purposes. This included, most notoriously, the pieces of blank paper to which people affixed their signature at the bottom, which could be filled in and dated by anyone in the Temple leadership at any time.

The collection of signed documents recovered in Jonestown following the deaths in November 1978 included the following:

  1. Short statements allowing the release of information concerning residence and activities in Guyana to relatives and members of Congress (RYMUR 89-4286-B-1-a, pp. 1-10)
  2. Releases from liability of Peoples Temple from any claims arising from travel to, and living in Guyana. (RYMUR 89-4286-B-1-a, pp. 12-14b)
  3. Forms granting limited power of attorney to Temple members for decisions relating to minor relatives (RYMUR 89-4286-B-1-a, pp. 15a-15-j, 17a-31j)
  4. Miscellaneous release (RYMUR 89-4286-B-1-a-15k)