In May 1978, Deborah Layton Blakey, a Temple financial secretary and one of Jim Jones’ most trusted aides, traveled from Jonestown to Georgetown, Guyana and went to the American Embassy, where she sought refuge. An airline ticket from her family was waiting for her, and after giving a statement to Embassy Consul Richard McCoy about conditions in Jonestown, Blakey left for the United States. About a month later, she issued a longer affidavit with more details on her earlier allegations.
The affidavit became an important document in the campaign of the Concerned Relatives to bring attention to their cause, and helped Congressman Leo Ryan in his decision to go to Guyana six months later. For the same reason, the affidavit – and its author – became anathema in the Jonestown community. A number of handwritten notes recovered in Jonestown following the deaths in November 1978 detail violent fantasies of killing Blakey, and several Jonestown tapes – including Q 279, Q 359, and Q 284 – reflect the impact of the defection upon the Jonestown community.