The Truth About NATLFED

February 8, 2009

The Truth About NATLFED

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — marystruggler @ 03:32
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If you had an encounter with National Labor Federation or any of its subordinate groups (Eastern Farm Workers Association, Eastern Service Workers Association, Women’s Press Collective in Brooklyn, Northwest Seasonal Workers Association, California Homemakers Association, Coalition of Concerned Medical Professionals, Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals, Western Service Workers Association, Western Farm Workers Association, just to name a few) you might want to learn more about the inner workings of this organization.

Some call it a cult.  In its beginnings, NATLFED was a dedicated labor organization.  It strove to organize the unrecognized worker strata of the country (those not protected by the labor laws of the country).  It suffered from the losses of key leaders such as Mary Donovan Seeber (left after fellow leaders refused to support her as Chair and eventually murdered), Mary ‘Polly’ Gardner (died of untreated breast cancer), David Shapiro (left after a falling out with fellow leaders), David Mitchell (abandoned the organization after his incarceration), Nelle Christensen (left calling Gino and the Organization a fraud, not on indefinite medical leave) and finally, the death of the founder Gino Perente.

When the new regime took over under the leadership of Margaret Ribar in 1995, the Organization changed radically.  The Organization’s new focus of passive revolution replaced its previous effort of establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat through whatever means necessary.  Many key leaders were expelled.  Democratic centralism was replaced with selective centralism.  The membership body no longer had any say in the strategies or tactics.

The current leadership is attempting to change the perspective that the Organization is a cult.  If a person leaves, he or she is “free” to do so (this is very different from the period before 1996).  Communal living arrangements have been reduced from numbers in the thirties to numbers by the handful or less.  Reports of physical abuse have decreased after the 1996 raid.  However, former cadres do continue to talk about psychological and emotional trauma suffered after that time.

Some choose to refer to NATLFED as a controversial organization.  I prefer to call it a paper tiger, the fight long gone while some desperately cling to the victories of the past.  What is the significance of the IM Young strike today?  Not much has changed to improve working conditions for farm workers on Long Island after 1984.  Some say conditions are worse now than in 1972.

NATLFED is just one fraction of Communist Party USA/Provisional Wing, also called the Provisional Party.  Openly, the Party is called the Organization.  Within some circles, it is called the American Formation.  Other fractions continue to operate while some are defunct, relics of the past.  While they tout expansion with new entities in Alaska and the midwest, they neglect to mention the loss of entities such as Native American Research Bureau or the Association of Federal Aid Students.  The losses far outnumber the new.

The articles within this blog are written by former cadres.  There are three primary periods of the Organization that are indicated as follows:

  1. 1971-1984: the building and expansion of the Organization starting with an assemblage of a few persons, creating Eastern Farm Workers Association, the entity “jumps” (starting offices in other areas across the country).  This was the time that Gino Perente controlled the Organization.  Some believe during this time it was not a cult, that it was a dedicated movement (this is a controversial point).  The Central Committee had real power.
  2. 1984-1995: after the raid at the brownstone complex on Carroll Street, the Organization drastically changed.  Gino was injured in the raid and confined to one apartment.  He still controlled the Organization, while many true believers left after the failed date of the revolution (February 15, 1984).  The Central Committee began to change, decisions often overruled by Gino.
  3. 1995 to present: with Gino’s death March 18, 1995, there was a temporary power struggle until Margaret Ribar assumed control of the Organization.  Even Gino’s last will and testament was subject to debate and re-interpretation.  The first year of her leadership, she aggressively operated a campaign of “better fewer but better” (the purges).  Many cadres were forced out of the Organization, several by violent means while most through psychological or emotional abuse.  The agenda changed from armed struggle to passive revolution (when it comes, it comes).

At this time, the primary authors of this blog are persons from the 1979 to 1996 period, originally from a field entity and then assigned to the National Office Central (NOC).  Field entity assignments are different from administrative entity assignments such as NOC or COSHAD (Committee for Occupational Safety and Health of Attendants and Domestics, the cover for the west coast regional office).  Other former cadres are invited to submit articles for inclusion.

Feel free to leave a comment in the Discussion Board.   This blog intends to educate people about some of the inner workings of the Provisional Party, describe the terminology, educate about the cadre lifestyle, talk about the organizing methodology and more.

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February 9, 2019

Happy 35th Anniversary

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 23:57

Just a couple of days early but maybe time to reflect…the 35th anniversary of “the date.”  The Organization learned its lesson: don’t set a date.  If you do and it fails to come, its inner membership base leaves in massive hordes screaming, “Fraud.”  If there is a new date, it’s the best kept secret.

January 29, 2019

Travellers

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 20:42

As some of you know, Diane spent about 15 years or so of her life as an Irish Traveller.  She and her clan would migrate along the eastern seaboard, at some point cross-country, and then migrate along the western coast.  The clan embraced storytelling, poetry, and traditional music.  While the group described in the article link are an example of bad behaviors, it’s unfair to characterize all travellers as belonging to that category.  I stumbled across this article and thought that I’d share it.  If she was still alive, I’m certain that she’d had a few choice words to say.

January 1, 2019

Another Year

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 22:10

It’s a new year and perhaps a time of reflection.  How many of you made cheesy resolutions?  Now that the holidays are done, we can all share in the joy of buying Valentine’s Day chocolates already in the stores.  Some stores already have an Easter section.  Why is it that when I want to buy a pool that I have to do it in the winter?  Seriously, I need it in the summer but then the stores are selling winter coats.  I never understood that.

This isn’t the blog you’re looking for…

Do you use a period after an ellipsis if it ends the sentence?  The writing stylebooks seem divided on that point.

Ah yes, someone contacted me and it put me in a mood.  It’s been a long time since this blog has had active moderators and contributors.  Some of you may remember the issues from a while back when there were persons actively contributing.  I remember upsetting a few people when I changed the rules.  No more submitting under the ghostwriter account.  Create your own account and you can continue being a contributor, just under your own nom de plume.  Apparently, I was being unreasonable, but I was blamed for some rather outlandish posts that the other contributors denied having written.  Okay, deleted the wild rants and changed the rules.

I have a knack for pissing off people, I guess.

Janus represents beginnings, endings, and transitions.  Most of us don’t worship the Greek gods but remember enough to associate them with months.  I don’t see any campaigns to rename January.  Hey, we could call it something like Winter Month or Wolf Time.  How about plain old Bob?  What are your thoughts?

It’s another year of waiting for something.  I have a strange attention span.  Oh look!  Cute kitty cat memes!  For creatures that don’t give a damn, they somehow managed to take over the internet.  Yes, even the computer keyboard proves difficult with a certain Maine Coon deciding now is the time to lay across it while I’m trying to type.

Seriously, though, how many of you still follow news about the group?  It’s scant, usually highlighting fifty or one hundred food boxes given away at Christmas, maybe some toys, that sort of thing.  Someone dies and asks for donations in their memory.  Don’t send thoughts and prayers, just cold cash.

I know stuff that happened before some of you were born.

Given the mass influx of correspondence requesting more blog posts (sarcasm because no one cares), I decided to take a moment and type a few sentences to let you know that I’m still here.  Let’s hear three cheers!  Okay, most of you don’t care.  I get that.  You probably think I’m making the entire damn thing up and you’re entitled to your opinion.

If you want to blog here about the Organization, send a little email.  If you want to share something about after the Organization, I’ll put it on the RRR (it’s somewhat off the beaten path but it gets hits from time to time).  I do want to go back through some of the old posts and separate the chaff from the wheat, but I’m somewhat lazy.  Oh, the Quadrantids will peak on January 3.  Whoops, there goes that attention span.

Plenty of people have struggled to reconcile events from past participation in the Organization.  Even now, I have the occasional dream seeing old friends.  Weird stuff happens like finding secret doors that lead into disheveled and abandoned apartments haunted by poltergeists.  Wow, twenty-two years later and it still messes with my head.

Just because the group isn’t doing much of anything should mean that we should cease warning people.  After all, they’re still recruiting and raising money.  I’m not part of their solution, so in their eyes I’m part of the problem.  I guess that means out of the entire population of the country, only one hundred or so persons are part of the solution and everyone else is the enemy.

I don’t want your money.  I’m not collecting donations of any sort.  What you do with the stuff you read on the blog is your business as long as you’re not plagiarizing.  I leave you to your thoughts.

December 9, 2018

Holidays are nightmare anniversaries for cult survivors

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 21:13

So…another holiday season.  How many of you are thinking, “Thank God I’m not out there fleecing the masses on another bucket drive?”  Okay, may not the exact words, but many a cadre hates bucket driving.  It doesn’t feel like organizing the masses.  Instead, it’s getting enough gas money to make it to the canvas where half the people slam their doors in your face while crying, “Jesus already saved me!”

I didn’t miss holidays at home.  It was lasagna one year, frankfurters with beans in tomato sauce another year, and it keeps going downhill.  Everyone fought.  God, why did you have to pick midnight for Mass?  Oh right, you want to see how devoted we are for attending at such an inconvenient time.  The good Sisters of Charity asked politely again, and being a nice person I said I would be too busy sleeping.  It was sure better than saying, “Hell no.”

They’re on a mission to save a lost soul, you see.  God called them; Gino called me.  Is it really much different?  Before someone starts screaming blasphemer, just keep in mind that a devout Catholic (or so we’ve been told) is currently running the cult, and certainly not by Catholic standards nor any interest in maintaining the holy observances.  Damn, better make sure to stock up on beer, whiskey, rum, and everything else — it’s time for a NOC sing.

Holidays are anniversary dates.  You might not recall exactly what happened on August 1, but you probably remember everything (just about) that happened on December 25, 1984 in the brownstone apartments (assuming you were there on that date, of course).  Fast forward thirty-four years and bam!  Just when you thought you were over the cult, those pesky little memories just wreak havoc with your sanity.  Someone says, “Don’t look back.”  Okay, I’ll forget about those frankfurters with beans in tomato sauce.

It’s not that simple.  Over time, the pain ebbs but the trauma never truly goes away.  There are some decent articles published by the experts concerning anniversary dates.  Go on, do the internet look up.  If you ended up here, you’re obviously halfway decent at doing some research.  Steve Hassan and Rick Ross (not the rapper).  I’m not trying to recruit anyone to anything.  It’s about those so stuck inside the group they simply don’t know any other way.  Family eventually writes them off (not coming home for Christmas for 30 years in a row kind of does that to a person).  It’s about those who were in it one day or thirty and now are out of it, looking at the calendar and wondering, “Where is Joyce?”

If the group was serious, it would have done it by now.  It almost did it in ’84 until something went sideways.  Many left, some remained, some came and left, and Operation Retread began in earnest in 1997.  I heard that was a disaster, but I was out not in at that point in time.  Most cults don’t let you back in at all.  I wonder if the Organization is unique in its efforts to re-recruit from among the former cadre population.

I’ve no idea how many hung on so long but we’re talking people in their sixties or seventies.  A few youngsters in their forties, maybe, but I don’t think any from the kiddie crew back in the day are still in it.  Without the young blood to bring up the rear, maybe it’ll all just go away some day.  There are rarely new names associated with the group.  It’s the old timers getting older and boy, won’t they be surprised when they die in the 1A filing room.

It’s the old argument again: did it start out as a cult, or did it turn into one in 1984?

Happy holidays, everyone.

September 7, 2018

It’s been a while

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 19:14

Hello.  We haven’t had much to discuss lately, mostly because the group just isn’t doing much of anything.  Oh, there are the standard fleecing the public maneuvers as they collect money for victims of recent natural disasters.  Those targets of opportunity come and go for the group.  They’ll land a small windfall, maybe catch up on a few bills, send money to the National office, that sort of thing.  Even the press remains disinterested in an obscure group.

I lose another gray hair and wonder, “What if?”

June 17, 2018

Another passing

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 20:07

Just found out that Nelle Christensen passed away in April.  A link to her obituary is here.

 

June 8, 2018

FACT Survey

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 22:28

Families Against Cult Teaching and Steve Hassan are encouraging former cult members to participate in this survey.  Spread the word, please.

May 6, 2018

Best wishes to you

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 20:42

A former cadre recently dropped a note asking to send best wishes to all of the brothers and sisters.  It reminded me that it’s been a while since my last post.  I suppose if there was a front group in Hawaii that it would be exploiting the disaster situation.  Of course, the news is extremely chock full of exploitable situations ripe for the picking.

What of news concerning the group?  Still remains difficult to obtain, considering the secrecy.  The fronts still trod along with buckets collecting coins in front of grocery stores, four or so persons canvassing the streets to sign new members, and leaders hoping that someone’s rich relative will die and bequeath a fortune.  It’s a cruel reality.

As always, if you hear a bit about the group, please drop a note.

March 10, 2018

Memories

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 18:18

Sometimes, things past come to the forefront of our minds.  Such things can be pleasant while other times troubling.  Today is one such day.  I was happily tapping away at the keyboard when a thought occurred.  This isn’t a royal typewriter.  Tap, tap, tap; not the same as furiously pounding away on an old manual that relied on a dictionary and an eraser for auto correct.  Some of you are probably wondering how us old gals used to manage 75-100 wpm on those old things.  If you remember the good old days of typing pools, the incredible sound of fifty typewriters clacking away is first to come to mind.

My school did not introduce computers until I was a senior.  The program floppy disk went in one drive, the save disk went in another.  It was modern technology.  The first portable computer weighed fifty pounds but you could work away for an hour or so before having to plug it in to charge.  I had an entire shelf of old disks, the floppies long tired in dusty sleeves accompanied by the next generation that looked like reject props from an old sci-fi series.  I don’t think you can even get those old tape readers anymore except antique stores.

I was hoping to find something that I had written twenty years ago and stored away on such a disk.  I called a couple of computer stores around town and I swear those kids just laughed at me.  One old-timer politely suggested an idea.  Even he abandoned such things a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.  So I continued looking around and found someone with an ancient machine in their attic.  I don’t know if it was the machine or the disks, but nothing could be salvaged.  Oh, a few words or paragraphs could be recovered and viewed, but no way to transfer to modern mechanisms.

I did the only thing that I could: I threw away the disks.  What may have been important twenty years ago is less so today.  The fact that it took so long to dust off those disks should have clued me in any way.  I was thinking about a testimonial someone shared.  It was around the same time I was unceremoniously exited from the Organization.  She spoke about what happened when her grandmother died.  The Organization pressured her to get the money and give it to them.  They sent a cadre with her to Philadelphia.  She even stayed in the local office while she was tidying up her affairs.  Then she gave the cadre the slip.

There was something she said that my memory was failing to recall.  It was something along the lines of, if they just would have let me take care of it I would have given them the money.  She made no particular name for herself while in the Organization, just another worker bee pecking away at an old royal.  She was a loyal adherent, spoke plainly, and enjoyed camaraderie.  No one worried too much about her.  She was trusted to take care of things and rarely got sick.

The timing was unfortunate.  This happened during the time of the lawsuits that resulted in six persons going to jail.  That also started with an heiress cheated out of her monies.  The Organization was desperate to get her dollars and didn’t trust her to do the right thing.  She felt suffocated.  Yes, that word comes to mind very strongly.  She didn’t like being considered untrustworthy.  I can’t remember the reason why the cadre left the room but when he did, she told the lawyer she was afraid he was going to steal her money.  The lawyer hid her in another room and told some story to the cadre when he returned.

I’ve been trying to remember some of the details of what happened after she made her lam.  I think she started teaching in high school before returning to the university as some sort of professor.  She married some loser who spent her inheritance before dumping her for a younger and prettier model.  Unlike some that left, she made no prideful claims of building something better.  She walked away with a realization that it was a scam.

I was thinking about her because the subject of the trials came up in a correspondence with another ex-cadre.  She was once a friend.  The two of us would never have been friends if we had met outside of the Organization.  I remember an awkwardness when chance brought us together again.  She wanted me to know that it started out about the money.  She wanted to return when her head cleared but the phone calls compelled her to do otherwise.  I think it may have been FCFD who was calling all of the relatives trying to hunt her down, I simply can’t remember.  It could have been FCADC, a rising star at the time in great favor with Oldie.

Life has ups and downs.  Not everything can be blamed on the cult.  She had trouble adjusting to a ‘normal’ life when she first left.  When things went wrong, she did what she learned: she blamed herself for her inadequacies.  She hadn’t been committed enough, allowed herself to succumb to exhaustion when she should have been working, fell sick at the wrong times, needed someone to tell her what to do.

I wish I could remember that day with the clarity of a crystal glass but it’s hazy and shattered.  Then I realize it’s not that important.  She didn’t tell me what happened so it could appear on some crappy blog.  We both exited the Organization and in very different manners.  She wanted on the bandwagon to help others escape.  Her sufferings from epilepsy ended that aspiration.  What was it?  A grand mal seizure?  She wasn’t penniless and some brother scooped up what was left.

Maybe she wanted closure.  That seems to be important with some people.  The idea of never knowing what happened to someone once considered a friend.  Maybe…

No one joins a cult knowing that it is a cult.  Some getting out know that it is a cult while others simply realize it’s not what they thought they joined in the first place.  Some of us were unceremoniously ousted flat on our asses straight into hospitals.  At least two were dumped off in front of mental hospitals.  Not to worry; someday someone from the group will come along to piss on our graves and then continue begging for quarters while carrying a tin coffee can in front of the super store all in the name of progressive change.  There’s not too many of them left.

January 2, 2018

I don’t know who you are…

Filed under: Cult,NATLFED,Politics,Uncategorized — ghostwriter1984 @ 20:31

At this point, I probably don’t care anymore.

Troll, apologist, bored loser — I don’t know, nor do I care.  No one reached out inquiring about his brother recently, someone I supposedly had an intimate relationship with at the tender age of ten.  Yet this subject continues to return as a matter of blame.  Ten year olds do not seduce grown men.  That’s what the pedophiles believe, as justification for their lurid behavior.  While suffering years of physical, mental, and psychological abuse, that relationship didn’t happen.  Sorry, Charlie, but you’re going to have to go fishing in another pond.

It amazes me that some of the old venom keeps kicking from time to time.  Maybe it’s because I’ve kept my mouth shut in regards to former contributors.  If they wanted to be known, they were free to post under their names (legal or pseudonym, doesn’t particularly matter much).  Someone once tried analyzing the different writing styles and declared multiple personalities.  Uh, not willing to go for the simpler (and true) explanation of multiple persons?  Right…

I don’t know where is the brother, which entity he supposedly worked at, what happened to him, or even what is his name.  What I do know is that the person claiming a ten-year old seduced a grown man needs to do the research.  Let the experts explain why pedophiles allow such delusions to persist.  Blaming the child for being the victim?  Hell, didn’t even happen to me, but that’s something that someone is unwilling to accept.  It’s been kicking around for seven or eight years.

Occasionally, I get the sincere inquiry.  Is such-and-such a front?  Do I have any idea what happened to so-and-so?  What’s happening in the front organizations?  Not much, aside from complaints about lack of delivering, but that’s another story.  Yes, another complaint from a person with a disability denied benefits because she did not volunteer enough time.  More stories of abysmal holiday distributions (the nuns delivered more baskets in one single day than one of the fronts did all season, and they ran for two weeks straight).

It’s not about boo hoo.  Whatever tears there were, they were long ago shed.  It’s my opinion that the various discussions are practically nil because most survivors moved on with their lives.  Sure, we can’t deny that the cult had an impact on our lives — should have taken the right turn instead of the left, you see.  Still, it’s noteworthy that the present is more important than the past for us.  As for my being discredited, so be it.  When the three of us started this blog, we knew someone sooner or later was going to throw the feces.  So, last one at the table ends up paying the diner check, and I’m okay with that.

It’s difficult to find out what’s happening inside the secret core of the cult.  We can only rely on survivor stories.  Those who didn’t survive are six feet under, victims of cult abuse.  How many died because they couldn’t get treatment for serious medical conditions including cancer?  Or when the cult decided it had to act, it was too late?  Yet it’s okay for the top leaders to ride around in fancy limousines, diamonds, and real furs.  It’s also okay to make members surrender all assets, inheritances, and dowries.  (Sarcasm, in case you didn’t get that in the last two sentences.).

I think not.

There’s no point in continuing the conversation.  I think it’s been said many times before, far more eloquently than it’s been said today.  Ten year olds do not seduce grown men.

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