May 15, 78 • Georgetown-State • 1545

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[Listing of agencies receiving informational copies on PDF]

R 151355 MAY 78
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6786
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E.O. 11652: N/A
TAGS: CASC, CPAS (BLAKEY, DEBORAH LAYTON)
SUBJECT: W/W DEBORAH BLAKEY DOB: FEB. 7, 1953

1. On May 12 Mrs. Blakey came to the Embassy to request assistance to return to the United States. Mrs. Blakey was already known to the Consul who had previously met her in her capacity as a representative of the People’s Temple organization in Georgetown.) Mrs. Blakey explained that she had decided to sever her connection with the People’s Temple organization and wished to depart Guyana as soon as possible. With the cooperation of a sister in the United States, a pre-paid air ticket to the US had been deposited in Mrs. Blakey’s favor at the Pan American office in Georgetown. Mrs. Blakey said that she intended to use it to depart on the May 12 Pan Am flight, but she had no passport. On her arrival in Guyana several months before, her passport had been deposited with the People’s Temple organization at their settlement in northern Guyana and she was apprehensive should the organization learn of her plan to depart – which they certainly would should she requested her passport – they might attempt to foil her planned departure.

2. After going over the facts of the matter with Mrs. Blakey, and having her execute a sworn statement,

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the Consul issued her an emergency passport valid for four months. In the course of this interview, Mrs. Blakey showed the Consul a telegram which she had received from her sister informing her that a ticket had been purchased in her name and which spoke of a rendezvous in Caracas with her sister and brother-in-law on holiday to be followed by a return to Georgetown. Mrs. Blakey explained that the telegram had been a ruse by means of which she had hoped that the People’s Temple organization would consent to her departure on their assumption that it was to be only a temporary absence from Guyana for tourist travel with relatives within the area. When she had shown the cable to her superiors within the organization, they had turned down her request for leave, according to Mrs. Blakey. She said that she had feigned acceptance of the decision, but thereupon decided to leave regardless of the risk.

3. Mrs. Blakey was unable to depart on the Pan Am flight on May 12 due to the fact that she had failed to obtain the income tax clearance required by the Guyanese government of all foreign permanent and semi-permanent residents of the country. The consular officer who had accompanied her to the airport at her request, returned with her to Georgetown where she obtained lodging in a local hotel. The following morning Mrs. Blakey was able to get her tax clearance from the Internal Revenue Department of the Government in Guyana and, through the good offices of the consulate, was able to obtain a new reservation with Pan American on its May 13 flight to New York. She has made arrangements with her sister for an onward flight to California from New York. The May 13 flight departed on schedule with Mrs. Blakey on board.

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4. Should the Department wish to have further details on this matter, Consul [Richard] McCoy will be in Washington at the ARA Consular Conference beginning May 15.

Burke

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Originally posted on February 12th, 2020.

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