The Truth About NATLFED

Inside the Organization

Community Living

I think this deserves a mention.  I don’t have much experience with community living in a field entity.  Growing up, I lived at home.  Okay, I slept at home, went to school and every other free moment I was down in the entity.  I only did a sleepover at the entity once.  I’m grasping at straws trying to remember why it was necessary, something about it being part of the cadre lifestyle.

It was weird sleeping in the Bellport office.  There were so many people but plenty of room to spread out.  Okay, I had my taste of the cadre lifestyle first thing in the morning before everyone had their coffee.

Then there was the time my mom agreed to let me go on an exchange to New Brunswick for the weekend.  However, something went wrong and I did not go to New Brunswick.  I don’t know the exact reason.  It wasn’t for lack of money.  My mom donated a hundred bucks towards gas.  If you knew how cheap she was then you can appreciate that gesture.

I ended up spending the weekend at Riverhead Community Service Center.  That wasn’t too bad.  I got to do a lot of work with Harold (yes, the same Harold that was eventually arrested at National Office Central).  He was a hell of an organizer and Black Panther.  There was also a girl that used to work with the Armenian Liberation Front.  This was another opportunity at community living.  Weird, but necessary.

The real community living came at NOC.  I was allowed to visit NOC over school breaks and summer.  Gino liked my naivete, I swear.  Golly gee, did you all really do that? I guess I came across a bit like a hick visiting Paris.

NOC was community living.  There were around 70 cadres at the time in residence.  The process was pretty much the same at whatever location you ended up at.  You pulled out a foam mat, set it up on the floor, pulled out your set of sheets from your ditty bag and hoped you could find a good pillow.  You slept in regular clothes.  In the event of an incursion, you had to be ready to go and couldn’t be stalled running around in a nightie (or your birthday suit) trying to get something else on to wear.

The liaison floor (living room) housed about 7-9 women.  The bedroom about 5 and included children if in residence.  The OPS office housed three I think.  The Plant Room house five security males.  The Cave was restricted to approved FC personnel only.  The 1A apartment was a similar arrangement.

Then there was the Doctor’s Office in the 1115 Building.  Typically a lot of males were housed over there.  There was also a staffer assigned to stay at the Collins apartment, as we were the caretakers of the dearest and most elderly residents in the building.  They weren’t cadre but they were old Irish and Gino wanted them taken care of.

This of course was insufficient to meet the housing needs of so many.  Hey, we were packed like sardines as it was!  There were housing sites that were utilized, and I mean the metropolitan entities.

ADAR was the best location if you were lucky to end up going there.  That was the swanky Manhattan penthouse apartment that used to belong to the doctor.  You got to pick your own room.  The permanent cadre there even had a real bed.  Eventually, they were evicted from the apartment.  The owners did not accept the position that Andi B was the doctor’s girlfriend that replaced the other woman who was on the lease.

Metro I was a Manhattan apartment that housed the National Procurement System.  It was tiny so when it was a full house it was asses to elbows.

Metro II was the Brooklyn entity.  In the early days it was the Design & Advertising Studio.  Then it became Benchmark Signaats.  It also housed Women’s Press Collective.  I remember before the walls went up that it was very spacious.  We’re talking right when they first moved in.  Eventually they built rooms including a dark room etc.

KP’s was Kathy P’s place.  No matter what, she slept at her own apartment in her own bed.  When the place went condo, she got money from her parents so she could keep the place.   While not cramped, it was not very social.  The regulars that went there had their “spots” and it was very territorial.

I recall during my first summer that a couple of women went to another apartment not far from Metro I.  A cadre had to spell it out for me.  As Gino would say, “Damn your Catholic mother!”

The ritual of getting the housing crews out every night was a ritual.  Before the raid, Gino was extremely mobile.  I remember one night when there was a snafu and the cars were late.  He went rallying around the apartment getting everyone off their asses to get the cadres to bed.

It was very crowded at NOC and if you were lucky you got to go to a housing location.

I guess after the raid and the departure of so many cadres it wasn’t as bad.  Only a phone crew went to ADAR , staying for a week at a time.  This lasted until the eviction.  Metro I became a place just for NPRO staff, until they finally lost that apartment (I forget if it was an eviction or a building condemnation.).  Metro II offered some housing opportunities.  KP’s was hardly used, even by the attorney, as the trials were underway and she was sleeping in the Runkle Room.

Some people never left the complex.  The most senior of cadre did not get to go to housing locations.  Instead, they slept in the OPS office or FC Staff office, the Plant Room, etc.

At NOC, two meals a day were served — breakfast and dinner.  With so many persons to feed, the idea of a third meal production was considered impractical.  That’s why breakfasts were hardy meals and snacks plentiful to tide everyone over to dinner.  I remember falling in love with the lard cakes.  Yeah, if you were a NOC cadre you remember the lard cakes.  There was always plenty of coffee in the Plant Room along with Bug Juice (super sweet punch).

When it was time to get the day started, you couldn’t help but feel the energy of 40-50 cadres mobilizing at once.  If you didn’t know what you were supposed to be doing, you checked in with the Control Officer.  (I must have annoyed the hell out of the Control Officer my first week there.).  I was happy to do just about whatever was asked.  I’m of course talking about the summer visits and school break periods, as a cadre without a NOC assignment at the time.

When the office was on a mission, the cadres were a force to be reckoned with.  If the PRO sort was running too late, all hands went down to the basements to wrap it up.  If there was a recruitment push going on, about ten people at manual typewriters pounded away on the keys fast and furious on the liaison floor with field directors leading the way.  If you were assigned as second cook (some of us can’t boil water so we never made it to first cook) you worked your ass off because feeding an army is no easy task.

You couldn’t just jump in the shower whenever you wanted.  No matter which housing site you ended up at, you had to schedule your shower with someone.  It was a little weird at first but then everyone had to do it so you got used to it.  You left the door unlocked so others could use the toilet while you were showering.

Going down to the basements alone was not allowed because it was considered dangerous.  The front breeze ways had gates barring access from the street but the back breeze ways did not, so anyone could enter and we were in a bad neighborhood.  Gino saw to that with the All Male calls, running 30-40 men out on the street to deal with muggers, buggers, etc.

I had a hard time trying to get in all the required reading while at NOC because there was always something to do.  Usually I was called upon to type something.

Some things did change after the raid.  For one thing, there were only half the cadre at NOC.  Senior people were leaving in droves, it seemed.  Long time cadres quietly slipped out in the middle of the night.  The energy became to wane.  Mysterious illnesses came and went.  There weren’t enough people to do all of the work.

During the period of time when the Interior Trials were conducted, I think a lot of cadre embraced the change of pace.  The doldrums that had set in had finally gone away — for a while.

Such behavior would never have been accepted in a field entity, sleeping in all day with a vague illness mind you.  Something happened at the national and regional office.  COSHAD had nearly severed all ties with the east coast.  This was part of the reason why Gino installed as the West Coast Field Commander a leader of a legitimate union effort that was a Friend of the Party (and paid him handsomely to keep an eye on things).  He wasn’t going to lose an entire coast.  It bought him time to address the issues on the west and reconsolidate their commitment to the Organizational agenda.

I won’t bore you with rumors about what when on  with Sally slept with Joe who slept with Suzee who slept with Mike, that sort of bullshit.  It happens.  If you were Military Fraction you weren’t allowed to (big time trouble if caught) but some of them still dared.  If you read my story, you probably had a good chuckle over the ‘Comradely Briefing’ that the Associate NPC once gave me, which I totally didn’t get, much to Gino’s amusement when he had me explain to him this briefing he never heard of, “Damn your Catholic mother!”

Then I had to explain to him where people were using being comradely.  The 1111 Shop was one notorious place, as well as the Doctor’s Office.  Apparently, some preferred to be comradely in the boiler room (which made no sense to me).  Yup, he definitely had fun at my expense, and my exhorting, “You’re a terrible man!” when I finally got it, had little impact on his being amused.

The Relationships Briefing was another matter as it was an official organization briefing.  If they suspected you were being “comradely” then you were summoned for the briefing in the Plant Room.  If you were MF, it wasn’t allowed, period.  No sex.  That went back to the original LARGO days.  The Organization otherwise had no position one way or the other but encouraged you to focus all of your attention and efforts toward the revolution.

I hope this gives you some insight about some of the community living and what it was like.  Others probably have recollections similar (or even different).

Just the Day in the Life of a NOC Cadre

This is an example of a day at National Office Central as back in the 1980s.  Some things have changed, as I understand there is no more community laundry tactic once a week at the laundromat on Nostrand.  Apparently, NOC has washers and dryers.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., the Night Watch awakens the Officer of the Day such that he or she can get ready for the.  At the same time, the assigned Breakfast Cooks are also awakened along with the 10:00 a.m. Community Watch, morning patrol and Control Officer.  At approximately 9:50 a.m., the Night Watch then awakens key personnel including the Operations Manager(s), National Political Commissar, FC Associate, FC Security, FCADC/MF and other personnel by request.  Personnel are allowed to take showers between 9-11:00 a.m., scheduled with the Night Officer who transfers the list to Control at Reveille.  Cadres are allotted 15 minutes per shower.

Reveille commenced at 10:00 a.m. for the remaining personnel, with the Officer of the Day making rounds to each sleeping location and awakening personnel.  As there are so many, sometimes it is not possible to awaken every individual so others in the room help with this task.  Breakfast has started and Control begins her day.  Cadres begin performing their assigned maintenance tasks, as assigned the night before.

By 10:30 a.m., maintenance must be completed as breakfast is served.  The morning patrol (always two cadres) is dispatched.  At this time, the morning housing crews begin to arrive.  Breakfast lasts for approximately half an hour.  At 11:00 a.m., the work day begins.  The areas are cleaned and personnel assemble for the morning briefing, presented by the Operations Manager.  The day’s strategic thrust is reviewed and assignments issued.  After the briefing, typewriters are brought out for the production of traffic on the liaison floor.  Political liaisons report to Politbureau for assignments.  Legal staff report to NLS to work on the legal campaigns.  Security personnel continue their daily work.  Medical personnel report to the Doctor’s Office to open for business.  There may be assigned briefings during the day as required, all scheduled through Control.  The assigned Gopher begins his/her supply run.  The assigned Superintendent team begins working on its assigned roster of tenant repairs.  Cadres with miscellaneous assignments work on their strategies, such as with the Native Movement, the National Foundation for Alternative Resources, working on the Invest Yourself catalog, etc.

At noon, the assigned Dinner cooks begin their preparations.  Cooking for 70-80 cadres is extremely labor intensive.  The goal is to serve at 6:00 p.m., or eighteen hundred hours, as NOC used military time for reference.  During the day, snacks are provided at various locations for the cadres in lieu of a formal lunch.  A watch transfer occurs at 2:30 p.m.  The shifts are every four and a half hours, except the Night Watch.  Dinner at 6:00 p.m. is timed to coincide with the evening news, the one authorized use of watching television.  Occasionally, other television is authorized (Super Bowl, World Series, etc.).  Several desk transfers occur at 6:00 p.m. including Control Officer, Traffic Officer, Receptionist and if applicable the NLS Administrator.

After dinner, the work progress of the day is evaluated.  Liaisons are required to get a minimum of 6 pieces of traffic written a day — 3 on recruitment, 3 on money.  If completed for your assigned entity, you are asked to assist with another entity to meet this minimum requirement.  Or, you may work on additional traffic to supplement your entity’s tactics and strategies.  Work continues until 3:00 a.m., at which point there is a quick maintenance event.  The housing crews assemble and depart to various locations as required.  Once the crews are out, the NOC complex shuts down for the night with lights out at 3:30 a.m.

There are some days with variance to the standard schedule.  If it is a laundry day, (for a long time on Tuesdays but then moved to Wednesdays, back again, etc.) a team of at least 3 but preferably 4 cadres are dispatched to the neighborhood laundromat at 5:00 p.m., taking a packed snack.  A laundry schlep is called and laundry loaded into a van.  Roughly, there is at least one bag of laundry per person.  Clothes are marked with cadres’ initials, dirty laundry collected in large industrial hampers, sorted by whites, lights and brights, darks, reds and purples.  The laundry crew strives to finish around 11:00 p.m., sooner if possible.  Laundry is schlepped in and the Sorting Crew reports for duty.  Laundry is then sorted by cadre and then stored in the cadre’s cubby.

On PRO Run days (Thursdays and Fridays), teams leave at 6:00 a.m. for a day of procurement.  The goal is to try to return around 4-5:00 p.m., where goods are schlepped in and the PRO Sort Crew reports for duty.  Depending on the day’s hauls, PRO Sorts can last for hours, with cadres rotating for a dinner break.

On FC Class days, cadres assemble at 1:00 a.m. for the lecture.  Personnel from the metropolitan entities report in for classes.  The lectures average two hours in length and typically occur on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  The FC Daily Briefings did not start until 1986, if I recall correctly.  All lectures were recorded.  The one computer in the complex, a dumb terminal for the telex and limited news wire services, is used as a transcription station (a limited pool of cadres can attempt to do a live transcription, with an assigned person coming back to fill in the blanks reviewing the tapes).  If he was in good form, even the fastest typist could not keep up.

Other tactics occur including the Saturday Staff Meetings.  Occasionally, Women’s Press Collective conducts special meetings designed to recruit volunteers.  There was a period of time when a National SPEG Team conducted speaking engagements in the metropolitan arena, generating money as well as volunteer sign ups for Suffolk County.  Sometimes there are house meetings in the metro area, which speakers are sent to for recruitment purposes.

The Lectures

The late night lectures at NOC.  There were two FC classes a week.  They were a mainstay, a regularized activity.  Very rarely did they not occur, when Oldie was especially sick and unable to perform.  There was also a time that he conducted the daily briefings.  If memory serves, it was some time after NPC/OPS 1 left and OPS 3 tried rallying the Central Committee to remove OPS 2 from her position.

A lot had happened.  The famous 1984 raid came and went, Oldie was confined to the first floor apartment in a wheelchair, senior cadres were abandoning the Organization in droves, seasoned cadres had many doubts and the various legal offenses overwhelmed the rest of the staff.  It was a confusing time.

Cadres relied on the lectures to maintain perspective.  Sometimes Oldie talked about various campaigns the entities engaged in while other times he talked about basic Marxist-Leninist ideology.  He lectured about revolutionary movements around the world.  If he was in a good mood, he would humor the crowd with his “Jesus was really a revolutionary” lecture.

Sometimes he talked about his days as an airborne ranger.  Now this is somewhat of a curiosity because he bragged about being the youngest first sergeant in the history of the army.  I say curiosity because it appears he never actually served with the 82nd Airborne nor was he ever in the military.  He often attributed his limp to a bad jump, never to a car accident (or the result of childhood polio, as some blogs speculate).

No one was excused from the lectures.  If you were “down” an intercom was set up in the bedroom so you could still listen to the lecture.  There was also an intercom so the watch could listen while on duty.  The Metro entities did not have to come in for the daily briefings but did come in for the twice a week lectures.  The lectures always concluded with Patria o Muerte, Venceremos!  It was tradition, like NOC sings concluding with Good Night, Irene.

The earlier lectures were more focused, in my opinion.  Towards the end, when Oldie was very sick, they became ramblings.  In some ways they were re-hashes of presentations as he lectured practically from his sleep.  When the Rochester group came down with a potential recruit, he gave one of his best lectures in a long time.

The lectures were more than education.  He had to maintain his authority over the Organization.  Simply “hiding out” in the FC office was not good enough with so many cadres losing faith in the revolution.  Not one original founder remains in the Organization.  Those who didn’t die either walked away or were murdered.

There were other lectures aside from the regularly scheduled sessions.  Sometimes he held smaller lectures inside his office with special groups of persons.  I remember one time I was part of such a lecture when he spoke to a group of liaisons about entity strategies.  This frustrated the field directors, who were not invited.

Oldie also conducted private lectures.  Sometimes he liked to shoot the shit, as I call it.  He always had to prove himself the better Catholic but I gave him a run for his money.  Just mention a Catholic upbringing and he’d make you read from the Vulgata he kept in his office and talked about his sodality.

He could not walk the walk anymore but he kept talking the talk.  Sometimes I think it a shame how people describe the later lectures when he was in his decline for it was not always like that.  They find it much more interesting to talk about his spitting in the brown paper bags, alternating between the oxygen tank and his Chesterfield cigarettes.  What they do not talk about are the earlier days when he could rally the cadres to action simply by giving passionate lectures on a wide variety of subjects.

If you started dozing during a lecture, you felt guilty about it later.  After all, if Oldie could muster himself to give the presentation then the least you could do was to stay awake for it.  He was sick but he was never the sick old man.

The lectures were a necessity in another manner.  With the losses of founding members and the ascension of other cadres, the Organization found leaders who had never once walked a picket line or stood in front of a grocery store with a bucket.  Such hypocrites came across as just that: hypocrites.  It was just as hypocritical as installing WPC recruits as field entity liaisons.

Oldie did have a plan in the event of his demise of who should assume control of the Organization.  No matter what, he had a pick.  As people left or died, he re-figured his plan.  If David had stayed, I believe he would have been left the Organization.  If Polly had not died, she would have been first choice.

The lectures also offered an opportunity for cadres to discuss topic materials on the floor as well as to the entities.  You never really know a subject until you start talking about it.  The manuals can only take you so far, the practice means little without the theory to back it up.

The lectures differed from the various briefings, which were conducted by cadres.  There was one time I felt snubbed at not being asked to assist in a briefing about the jail strike on the liaison floor.  The person delivering the briefing never set foot in an entity, yet I had walked the picket line chanting, “Hey Finnerty, you better start shaking.  Today’s pig is tomorrow’s bacon.”

I remember complaining about this to Oldie.  It was not my intent.  I accidentally broke a teacup in his office when serving tea because I was so pissed and then he lit up into me wanting to know what the fuck my problem was.  I just start jabbering away, being all pissy about it.  Then he started his seven deadly sins lecture and I told him to can it.  You do not just tell Oldie to can it without expecting something to happen and yes he pulled out his gun and pointed it at me.  I told him it was not about pride, the briefing could have been better and I would have been glad to help the person giving the briefing, even a little chat before the briefing to add authentic elements.

I did learn a lesson from that episode.  He had a reason for wanting that particular cadre to deliver the briefing.  He was grooming the person to become a new field director.  After he put his gun away he apologized to me for forgetting I once walked the picket line and he should have asked me help.

He did have reasons for every lecture he conducted, whether it was an issue specific to one cadre or to the Organization as a whole.  Being confined to the FC Office, he could not see things happening upstairs and so he did rely on certain cadres to keep him informed.  When we were trying to engage the entities in the Special Event Protocol, I confessed my troubles because I still had Spaghetti Dinner Tactic on the brain.  That resulted in a lecture on the SPEV.  To say I was the only one inspiring his lectures would be wrong.  He relied heavily upon the Operations Officers, his FCFD and others.

Oldie also relied on communications from the field entities.  Most people assume all traffic went directly to the OPS Box first and there was a time that was true.  After an incident with the OPS 3 stealing the cash an entity had sent in as part of their ten percent obligation, the FC Staff took on the responsibility of reviewing the traffic before it went to the OPS Box.  This allowed his staff to hear what the entities were saying and helped him focus his lectures on particular topics concerning systemics, recruitment, etc.

There were some cadres not in leadership positions that Oldie liked to talk with to find out what was going on such that he could address things in his lectures.  Some would say he used such persons to pit senior cadres against each others and I would say there is some truth to that.  Some lectures were all about putting down a particular senior cadre, even though the person’s name was not mentioned the entire group knew who he was talking about.  Such lectures probably lost meaning in re-translation to the field entities but were necessary at the National level.

This of course is my perspective on the lectures.  I remember as a fifteen year old listening to my first lecture at NOC and feeling like Oldie was talking directly to me.  He probably was but he did it in such a manner that everyone could benefit from it.  There were other lectures where I could see he was talking directly to other cadres, whether guests or regularly assigned, yet so much could be gleaned that I felt was relevant to me as well.

Mushroom in the Dark

I was once e-mail corresponding with another former cadre who came up with the analogy that I was like a mushroom — kept in the dark.  I have been thinking about that statement lately.  As much as I know about the organization, there is probably just as much that I do not know.  It is my opinion that the same can be said of just about any former member.

I am not referring to the inside jokes and references like MF for Master File, CDR for Cadre System, GOD for General Organizational Director or even the use of NATLFED as an abbreviation instead of NLF.  MF for Military Fraction, CDR for Committee to Defend the Revolution, NLF for National Liberation Front.  As for GOD, that role was short-lived at NOC.

Even if you were a Central Committee member, you were not aware of the extent of the operational activities.  Many were unaware of the various open business operations, the ones that were properly credentialed and operated openly like medical and law offices.  If you worked at an administrative entity, you had a sense of these operations but some were “closed” (not spoken of and only known about by a select few).

There were a lot of classes on different strategies and alliances, many directly dictated by Oldie.  People had a sense of the alliances with the Machinists.  When Oldie appointed Jake as West Coast Field Commander, it was billed as a way to strengthen relationships between the two organizations.  Many bought it hook, line and sinker.  Some eventually formed the opinion it was an honorary posting because as WCFC he did not do much.  What most people do not realize is that Oldie paid him handsomely for his visit to the city and continued to pay him for services.  He reported as much as he could until it finally fell apart, the west coast realizing his true purpose.

We have talked about how this exclusive sharing of information was used to keep the ranks divided.  No one person knew everything except Oldie.  The other original founders did but as they died or left, Oldie eventually became the only one who knew the entire scope.

This ended up biting Margaret in the butt, especially during the 1996 raid, unaware there were weapons still hidden away inside the dumb waiter.  There were many at NOC aware those weapons were there so it begs the question, “Why didn’t anyone tell her about them?”

Knowledge is power.  Sometimes power can be abused.  Knowledge can become a commodity, especially in an environment where bribing cadres with money does not work.  I recall the attempted $100 bribe rendered on the liaison floor when Margaret arrived and the arrest of a cadre who protested the action.

It was a manipulative act, to say the least, as she probably figured on at least one person lodging a protest.  It was a way to assess personal loyalties.  I do not know how many cadres found a way to privately speak with Margaret to give her the information she was after, all declining the money of course, doing it based on principle.  The thing is, there were some who knew the information but chose not to share it with Margaret.

“It’s not my department.”

A very necessary statement because most cadres wanted to appear as if they were in the know, for being in the know meant a certain level of power.  Sometimes it was overdone, coming across more like a flippant statement as in, “You’re not really worthy to hear about that.”

Most cadres were unaware that the organization did have a registered security firm in Switzerland called International Investigations and Research Associates.  Those that did saw it as part of the international scope of the organization, a business venture, unaware of the funneling of dollars to a country that takes great pride in protecting the privacy of banking customers.  Legends of Nazi gold being safeguard persist along with lost fortunes of victims of the Holocaust.  A couple of stories have been written about the Czar’s family fortunes being secreted away, usually part of the Anastasia legend.

This is just a topic that matters to me because I hope to bring some of the hidden history and knowledge to this blog.  I expect some will dispute some of the things that are said or even offer additional information that sounds incredibly fantastic.

I always thought it was common knowledge that in the early days the founders committed a few bank robberies to fund the operation.  Someone else believes it was to get members to engage in illegal acts as a way of control, if the person was suspected of thinking of leaving they would be threatened with implication in the act.  Others believe it was a fabrication on Oldie’s part to add to the allure of being a revolutionary, part of the mythos.

Sometimes you can have one presentation that is interpreted differently by the participants.  Let us take anime as an example.  If you watch a dubbed version, turn on the subtitles.  The spoken words will vary from the written subtitles.  Usually the actors speak in a way that comes across as American whereas the subtitles render a very polite conversation.  You can have a monster destroying a city and the subtitles can read, “It is time to go Miss X,” whereas the dubbed version says, “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”  I do not speak Japanese, so I have no idea what the original intent of the creator is for his character lines.

The same can be said of the various lectures.  While many will get the basic gist of the lecture, they will also take other things to heart or out of context.  This bolsters the role of political cadres, whose jobs are to sell the line.  Even if you do not fully understand the line, especially after they try to explain it to you, you are encouraged to repeat the line with due diligence.

People like to talk about Oldie and his harem of women. No one doubts the truth of that.  There are certainly more than a handful of former cadres who speak of their relationships.  Some saw it as a way of ascending to power (sleeping their way to the top).  Others were naïve enough to believe they were “worthy” of his attention and affection.  Still others were seduced by the power and enigma.  Even when he was injured and confined to his office, he managed to continue his affairs for a while, until he reached a point where he simply became too sick.

Men were politically castrated, there is no other way to put it, like the difference between the one man (Oldie) and the other males.  The all male call on the floor to deal with a situation on the street (someone’s car getting broken into, an assault, etc.) were also a constant reminder that Oldie was firmly in charge.

Even the circumstances of Polly’s death was misinterpreted.  Some will say that she was denied care.  I would be interested to hear your spin on this.  I know that she had intended to get the lump taken care of and I believe that the situation just got away from her.  Her devotion to the cause led her to put off treatment.  Others will pick apart my interpretation, probably saying something like she was so blinded by Oldie that she did not see the danger until it was too late.  I do not think that Oldie intended her to become a martyr.  He would have sacrificed many with deliberate calculation but I believe his love for her was far too great to do that to her.

So we try to compile a complete history and find that we cannot.  Why?  Because the one person that knew the entire story died, taking his secrets to the grave, leaving others to try to understand it all, reinventing the history.  When someone tries to talk of it, if it goes against the grain of the so-called common interest, the person is labeled a pathological liar.

I do not like to admit the organization is a cult because I believe it started as a cause and lost its way.  Maybe there is even a sense of stigma of having belonged to a cult.  That is one of my personal demons, not yours.  Some of you are interested enough to keep coming back, potential allies and adversaries.

I do not know of any cadre who read this blog that up and quit the organization.  It is not for them.  I do not possess the charisma or charm to turn around a committed revolutionary that probably sees me as a traitor to the cause.

This is more for those who are still reconciling their experiences within the organization.  You are not alone.  I will try to post good articles and links on cult recovery.  If someone else starts a blog, I will be happy to link to that as well.

This is also for those who have loved ones still in the organization in an effort to give you a better understanding of the appeal despite the many hardships that cadres endure.

In a sense, this is also for the apologists.  I have not run across any on the web, not in the true sense of the word.  Someone found a blog written by an ESWA tab cadre and I understand his mission: to promote the organization in a positive manner.

This blog started as a collaboration.  It turned several different directions, losing one person who died after suffering a series of grand mal seizures, a series of e-mail blitzes and wild accusations, some hot tempers flaring.  Now it is back in my hands and I hope to turn it into a resource that people can benefit from.  I might some day do my own blog but for now I will continue here.


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