“People do not knowingly join “cults””
—Deborah Layton, Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor’s Story of Life and Death in the Peoples Temple
People: Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Play Cult Leader Jim Jones in Film About Jonestown Massacre with Chloë Grace Moretz
Truth and Lies: Jonestown, Paradise Lost
Praise for Seductive Poison
Re the Threat and Possibility of Mass Suicide by Members of the People’s Temple
I, Deborah Layton Blakey, declare the following under penalty of perjury:
1. The purpose of this affidavit is to call to the attention of the United States government the existence of a situation which threatens the lives of United States citizens living in Jonestown, Guyana.
2. From August, 1971 until May 13, 1978, I was a member of the People’s Temple. For a substantial period of time prior to my departure for Guyana in December, 1977, I held the position of Financial Secretary of the People’s Temple.
3. I was 18 years old when I joined the People’s Temple. I had grown up in affluent circumstances in the permissive atmosphere of Berkeley, California. By joining the People’s Temple, I hoped to help others and in the process to bring structure and self-discipline to my own life.