Federal Bureau of Investigation
Date of transcription 12/11/78
George Philip Blakey, after being advised of the identity of the interviewing Agents and of the nature of the interview, furnished the following information:
Blakey advised that he has been a member of the People’s Temple Christian Church (PT), since 1971. He also stated that he began working for the PT at the Redwood Valley Temple as a janitor and gardener. He later became involved in helping students and PT members, about his own age, who had drug and related problems. Later, he became a member of the Planning Commission from early 1973 until early 1974, when he traveled from California to Guyana. Blakey stated that he was one of the original few PT members who went down to Guyana to start what was later to be known as Jonestown. Blakey arrived in Guyana with Charles Eugene Touchette, who later became the agricultural project manager.
At the present time, Blakey is second engineer aboard the PT vessel “Albatross III”. He joined the Albatross crew in August, 1978, and began assisting in the repairs being performed to the dry docked “Albatross III”. According to Blakey, most of his time was spent in Jonestown until he joined the “Albatross” crew. After August, 1978, he spent all of his time in Georgetown with the exception of approximately one week spent in Jonestown in early October, 1978, thereafter departing for Georgetown on October 8, 1978. Blakey was in Georgetown until the “Albatross III” departed Georgetown for Trinidad on November 1, 1978. After departing the port, however, the vessel was forced to return to Georgetown for additional repairs. The vessel again departed for Trinidad on November 2, 1978, and arrived at Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on November 5, 1978. The vessel remained in Port of Spain until it departed for Bridgetown, Barbados on November 25, 1978, and arrived at Bridgetown on November 27, 1978, where it was currently located at the time of this interview.
Blakey advised that he had no knowledge concerning any possible trouble that might occur as a result of Congressman Leo Ryan’s visit to the Jonestown PT camp on November 18, 1978. He advised that he had not heard of any possible trouble, but pointed out that he was in Port of Spain with the
“Albatross III” at the time.
When queried concerning weapons owned and possessed by PT members, he stated that he did not have any knowledge of any weapons in possession of any PT members with the exception of two shotguns which were allegedly located at the Jonestown camp. Blakey emphasized that these weapons were for hunting and protection, and that he had heard that they were in the camp, although he never saw them. He stated that he never saw any firearms training by PT members either in Guyana or in the United States. The only training he never saw was bow and arrow practice at the Jonestown camp. He explained the bows and arrows were utilized for hunting at the camp.
Blakey did not have any knowledge concerning threats to harm any public officials or other members of the church under any circumstances. He stated that he did not sign any confessions, blank pieces of papers, or other statements concerning immoral or illegal acts or threats to assassinate anyone under any circumstances, at the instructions of anyone, either while he was in San Francisco or Guyana.
According to Blakey, he never saw, heard of, or has any knowledge concerning any caches of weapons or monies by the PT either in Guyana or the United States. Blakey explained that he did not come in contact with any facet of the financial aspects of the PT, and therefore, did not have any knowledge concerning monies in possession of, deposited for, or belonging to the PT. He did not have any information concerning any of the banks which the PT might use in their private and commercial operations, with the exception of the fact that he was aware that Mrs. Helen Swinney was to have received a manager’s check at the Barclays Bank in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, which monies were to be used by her in purchasing supplies for the PT. He ignored the point of origin of these funds.
Blakey stated that while he was a member of the Planning Commission in 1973, he was appointed as a counselor and helped other youths with their problems. At this time, there were approximately 30 members in the Planning Commission. Often, after meetings, members of the Planning Commission got together and spoke and socialized. However, he never heard the phrase “inner circle” or “Angels”.
The only reference made to the term “staff” was with regards to the secretaries of the PT in San Francisco, which assisted in the operational facets of the PT. He identified the “staff” as Karen Layton, Carolyn Layton, and Teri Buford. At Jonestown the “staff” member was Maria Katsaris.
When queried concerning Sandra Bradshaw, Blakey advised that he did not remember her doing secretarial work. He could not furnish any additional information regarding her.
Teri Buford traveled twice to Jonestown for the purpose of rest and relaxation. Blakey saw her as a public relations officer for the PT. He could not furnish any more information concerning Buford.
With regards to contingency plans, Blakey stated that he did not have any information concerning any plans regarding any retaliation by PT members under any circumstances. There was only agreed that if Jim Jones died his wife would take over as church leader. Blakey did not have any idea that the mass suicide/murder would take place at Jonestown.
According to Blakey, he never witnessed any “loyalty tests”, “suicide drills”, or any other type of indication that PT members would commit suicide, in either Jonestown or San Francisco.
While in Jonestown, Blakey never saw anyone carrying firearms.
As of the date of the interview, Blakey stated he had not been in contact with anyone in San Francisco. He reiterated that he did not know who had killed Congressman Ryan and members of his party.
The following information and descriptive data was obtained from observation and interview.
|Name:||George Philip Blakey|
|Date of Birth:||November 1, 1953|
|Place of Birth:||Netherton, England|
|Citizenship:||British Former resident of Northumberland County, England|
|British passport:||C 366571A|