The Truth About NATLFED

The MF

MF stands for Master File…

That was the answer Rory gave the ADA when asked what MF stood for.  He proceeded to describe the systemic process with master file cards.  The cadre lawyers tried really hard not snickering at the response.  The ADA was so stunned he did not think to ask, “What else does it stand for?”

The closed section, the military, Liberation Army Revolutionary Group Organization (LARGO), the military fraction.  Once you joined the Party, you were a party member.  You were not a member of the MF unless you requested it.  There were several times when Gino rendered the pitch to me to join.  You can’t wage a revolution without ground troops.  One hoped for the peaceful transition from capitalism to communism but that was considered an unlikely scenario.  Once we seized power, we had to be willing to hold onto it.  We could expect military engagements within the country as well as from outside countries.  LARGO predated the EFWA drive and is the oldest part of the Organization, assembled before the CPUSA(P).

The rank structure was kept secret from non-MF members.  I think it’s safe to say that most cadres during the 1984 period were aware that Polly Gardner held the rank of major.  After her death, when Gino dictated her obituary he included her rank, which every entity faithfully and diligently included in their newsletters.  He cursed everyone afterward.  Why didn’t someone edit it out?

The guns were real.  Some say that the guns were props but they existed.  From time to time the MF personnel moved the guns within the NOC complex, shuttling between the 2A closet with the false back to inside the dumbwaiter behind the secret panels.  More than likely there were other hiding places within the brownstone complex.

NOC was not the only facility that had weapons.  Metro II, more commonly known as Women’s Press Collective, also had weapons.  DG was chastised for not moving the machine gun before the raid occurred in 1984.  The field entities had strict rules against weapons in the offices but that did not change the fact that the Organization had weapons caches in the different arenas.  Nondescript storage facilities were used along with residences.

Some entities had military liaisons who were responsible for conducting training sessions.  I remember one time arriving before EFWA opened its doors to find half the cadres gone.  They were out on their fitness run.  I don’t know about other entities, but Suffolk had a militant volunteer base concentrated in Riverhead, ready to do their part as soon as the word was given under the command of Robert T.

Some of the NOC-based training programs were inspired by military necessary.  The discipline of the sentry position (community watch) was one such program.  During “green” status non-military personnel were allowed to fill the post.  “Yellow” status depended on the person, military preferred but long-standing cadres not military could fill the post.  “Red” status was exclusively military personnel only.

Strange as it may seem, cooking was considered a part of military training.  I don’t remember the reason why.  There was a period of time when the Officer of the Day (strictly military personnel only) would also serve as the second breakfast cook.  The need to get out a quality meal on time was important to the efficiency of the routine.

The OD, Officer of the Day, had a wide variety of duties, all geared to the security and efficiency of the plant.  The OD oversaw the changing of the sentries and ensured that personnel were dispatched on the daily patrols.  They conducted rounds including checking the basements for strangers (also to look for cadres being “comradely”).

Some people confound the MF with the Field Command section.  While most personnel were MF there were personnel who were not.  The Receptionist position was a training position, one of the four desk positions that personnel were rotated through (Control, Traffic, Reception and Legal).  There was an FC Aide de Camp (FCADC) and FC Aide de Camp Military Fraction (FCADC MF).  It was okay for a non-military person to staff the phones as there was always a military person on hand to supervise.

While military personnel in the field entities had opportunities to conduct fitness training by conducting morning runs, this luxury was not available at NOC because of the inherent dangers of the neighborhood.  You couldn’t send twenty people out the door running, otherwise the cops would raid knowing that the MF was out of the complex.  The famous “all male” call was the exception.  If someone was breaking into a car or assaulting someone on the street (it didn’t matter who was being attacked, cadre or neighbor had to be protected), the call went out and all males hit the street.  Gino was the only man, by the way.  I remember a particularly troublesome pair of youths, the Johnson Boys, who had a penchant for stirring up trouble.

There were rumors of cadres being dispatched from NOC to areas outside of the metropolitan area to conduct military training.  Such field training exercises were conducted to teach new recruits how to dig bunkers as well as practice live fire.  I say rumors because if you weren’t MF you didn’t really know what they did as training.

If you raise the MF subject in discussion forums, especially if you weren’t MF, tempers flare and lines are quickly drawn.  Some infer they were required to do illegal acts and fear retaliation by the Organization or prosecution by the authorities.  They are suspicious if you weren’t MF, if you’re asking questions you must be a cop.  They will commiserate with each other privately and accuse others of endangering the safety of former MF cadres.

Out of all that comprises the Organization, the MF, the closed section, remains shrouded in mystery.  If you weren’t in it, you can’t possibly understand it.  You may think you do but others will say you’re sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong.

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