Consists of materials collected by court receiver Robert H. Fabian in his efforts to identify and locate Peoples Temple assets
and settle the more than 750 claims that arose from the events of November 18, 1978, when Congressman Leo Ryan, three journalists,
and 914 Peoples Temple members died by murder or suicide in Port Kaituma, Jonestown, and Georgetown, Guyana. The collection
includes manuscripts, realia, photographs, ephemera, legal documents, court depositions, financial documents, newspaper and
magazine articles, and research materials. The first eight series comprise records removed by Fabian from the Peoples Temple
offices on Geary Boulevard in San Francisco in the early days of the receivership. The bulk of these records document Peoples
Temple operations in California and Guyana between 1965 and 1978, with some materials from the years before 1965, when the
church was located in Indiana. The records reflect the church's involvement in all aspects of its membership, including maintenance
of housing, medical, car and life insurance; real estate holdings and transfers; divorce, adoption, and custody cases; documents
related to various corporations run by Peoples Temple; and materials generated in the procurement and settlement of Peoples
Temple Agricultural Mission in Guyana, known as Jonestown. Series 9, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, and series
10, Federal Bureau of Investigation, include records obtained by the receiver from these agencies to aid in his investigation.
Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ v. Attorney General of California, and series 12,
United States v. Peoples Temple, include documents generated from the receiver's office during operations to dissolve Peoples Temple. The materials generated
by the reciever date from February 1979 to March 1984, though many files contain earlier materials used as supporting evidence
Peoples Temple began as a church founded by Jim and Marceline Jones and a small group of parishioners in Indianapolis in 1955.
As pastor, Jim Jones preached to a racially-integrated congregation during Pentecostal-based services that included healings
and sermons on integration and class conflicts. Peoples Temple conducted food drives; opened a "free restaurant" that served
thousands of meals to the city's poor in the early 1960s; operated nursing homes; and hosted weekly television and radio programs
featuring their integrated choir. The church became well known in the Indianapolis press for the members' integration activities
and for their assertions of their pastor's gifts as a healer. The church became affiliated with the Disciples of Christ denomination
in 1960.After November 18, 1978, it was necessary to begin the process of winding-up the financial affairs of Peoples Temple. Generally,
the legal procedure to dissolve a charitable organization requires the board members of the organization to initiate a lawsuit
naming the State Attorney General as respondent. The surviving board members of Peoples Temple filed the original petition
for the case Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ v. the Attorney General of California through the Temple's attorney Charles Garry. On January 26, 1979 Superior Court Judge Ira Brown filed a minute order to appoint
Robert H. Fabian as receiver, an action that followed a series of rulings by Brown to freeze the remaining assets of Peoples
Temple and place them under court supervision.
CHS is the lawful owner of Peoples Temple documents and photographs, by orders of the California Superior Court and of the
Guyana High Court. CHS is not aware of any other copyrights or other rights associated with this material. Responsibility
for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with any person
intending to use an item.
All researchers must sign the Access Agreement form, confirming that they have read and understood the restrictions outlined
in the document Restricted Materials in the Peoples Temple Records, MS 3800. This document, and the Access Agreement form,
are available at the reference desk or can be sent electronically.