The Truth About NATLFED

They found me — now what?

Note: This article is a work in progress.  If you have suggestions for how to improve the content, please contact marystruggler@yahoo.com or drop a note in the Discussion Board.  This is an amateur article.  For professional assistance, please contact a cult therapist.  The Ross Institute website has links to help you locate a counselor.

Some former members live in fear that the Organization will one day deliberately contact them via telephone, mail, even through the various discussion forums on the web.  The best defense is a good offense — it’s true in football, according to some men that I know.  Some of the things I have learned and experienced I will pass along to you in the hopes that it may one day help you.

There are three basic types of ex-cadres:

  1. Walkaways, the ones who left on their own.
  2. Castaways, the ones who were expelled
  3. Rescued through intervention, the ones who were allowed to go home on a visit and faced an intervention.

The majority of ex-cadres generally fit into the first category.  Why a person walks away varies from person to person.  For some, it was a disagreement over the direction the Organization’s strategies were moving (or not moving, as the case may be).  Others left because of the abusive situation they were caught up in, whether physical or emotional.  Some left to be with another person, knowing that sexual relationships were expressly forbidden if you were part of the military fraction.  The decision to leave was usually traumatic.  After years of being in the Organization, certain ideologies were instilled within you.

Castaways are the ones who were expelled.  While a much smaller group, these are the ones who felt angry and betrayed.  Reasons for expulsion usually center around disagreement with leadership, objecting to methodologies that seemed counter to the intent of the Organization, perhaps even accusing leadership of being full of it.  Some within this group were also perceived as a threat to leadership, possibly being able to pull off a coup to install a new governing authority.

I don’t know of anyone that was rescued from an intervention that was part of NATLFED but I’d like to include it because I read about it on other sites.  A child joins the Doggy Llama Guru Society (not a real group) and the parents are concerned.  The child comes home and is confronted by an intervention group.  There is probably a trained therapist present to help.  There are some similarities between how a destructive religious cult operates and how NATLFED operates as a destructive political cult.

There are times that the Organization will try to contact you.  After all, as part of joining we all had to provide the Organization with our address information (parents, siblings, friends, etc.).  This information would be meticulously recorded on 3×5 cards as well as included in your dossier.  If you have gone to great lengths to hide your whereabouts, they could (if interested) still attempt to track you down but most persons do not need to fear this.

What to do if it’s a retread call?

Be prepared.  It is unlikely that you will be contacted but it is a possibility.  There was a time that Gino ordered an extensive campaign called Operation Retread to bring back trained cadres into the Organization.  These were people that were true believers, ready to fight and die in the revolution, people who lost their way when the Organization failed to seize power, people who lost hope and were thought to be just floating around looking for something else.

It is always a senior cadre that handles contact with former cadres in an effort to retread them back into the Organization.  You’re dealing with someone who is extremely dedicated revolutionary who believes you can still be a part of it.  You can either hang up the phone or you can wait to hear what he/she has to say so you can “tell them off.”  There is no pre-written pitch for such a call.  Usually, the retreading cadre is briefed extensively on your history of participation within the Organization.

If you recall the use of Aesophian vocabulary, the person conducting the call will employ it.  The phones are tapped, so he/she will not outright say Party or revolution.  Instead, he/she will say Organization or the need for permanent change.  He or she will use the following techniques:

  • He/she will remind you of your passion to help low-income workers find a better solution to end conditions of poverty.
  • He/she will brief you on the various campaigns that the Organization is conducting as part of fighting the various injustices and tell you about the various relief efforts in an attempt to sustain the membership base.
  • He/she will remind you that such benefit relief efforts are temporary at best and remind you that a permanent solution is needed.
  • He/she will talk about the good old days, what you used to do that was an important role in contributing to the revolution.
  • If you were someone who disagreed with leadership practices, he/she will tell you what they have done to fix things or tell you that so-and-so was a counter-revolutionary and no longer with the Organization.
  • He/she will ask you to put aside any personality conflicts and look at the bigger picture, the need to change conditions in the country through the only vehicle that can and will succeed.
  • He/she will invite you back, even offer to let you take baby steps back into the Organization, so you could see for yourself what the Organization was doing and see first hand the changes since you left.

Knowing this can help you handle a phone call if it ever comes.

What if it’s a letter, either mailed or hand delivered?

The Organization doesn’t like written correspondence because it is concerned you could use it as evidence in the event the situation merits legal intervention.  There’s nothing more nerve wrecking than having a couple of guys show up at your front door with a fat letter bearing an ominous red seal.  Fortunately, the Organization prefers not to hand deliver correspondence.  It’s inconvenient.

A written letter follows the above techniques.  It may even be conducted as a series of letters as a way to regain your trust and attempt to engage you in a dialog.  It is a soft sell approach, which is considered effective when trying to recruit some persons back to the Organization.  It doesn’t mean you have to move.  Knowing the techniques and balancing against your experiences, you’ll know what is the right course of action to take.

Someone figured out who I am in the discussion forums.  Now NOC is calling me.  Now what?

Yes, it’s true that there are some active cadres trolling around the discussion forums.  There are also some supporters who are being used without their realizing it by the Organization.  You’re vocal and they want you to shut up.  Or, they think you still care and want to bring you back in.  The reason for the contact will vary depending on the circumstances.

What should I do?

One thing you should consider is just ignoring the contact.  It can be difficult if it’s constant.  Usually, hanging up the phone is enough to discourage further contact, especially if you feel you are not strong enough to enter into a debate on the phone with such a highly trained representative from the Organization.

Some play along with the contact.  The Organization screwed with them, so they’re going to screw around with the Organization.  Sooner or later someone’s going to give up.

What happens if I get abusive e-mails?

There are a couple of things you can do.  Many sites recommend that you ignore the person, that responding only feeds their interest in messing around with your psyche.  Ignoring the person is supposed to make them get bored and lose interest.

If you choose to engage the person, note that the person will say or claim many things.  They will even try to make you remember things differently, get you to confess to lies, deliberately misquote you from forums, etc.  Their goal is to harass you.  If they threaten you, report the e-mail to your service handler.  Yahoo and other service handlers have protocols for how to report threatening e-mail.  This will more than likely result in the offender getting their e-mail account suspended but not more than that unless you decide to pursue legal action.

If you suffer an e-mail blitz (multiple e-mails from different addresses but clearly the same person), you can ascertain if the originating IP is the same.  Take Yahoo for example.  At the bottom bar where there is a drop down that defaults to “Select Message Coding”, immediately to the right is an option called “Full Headers”.  Click on that and you will see a lot of code.  Scroll to where you see the last “Received” and you will see the originating IP.

An example:

Received: from [74.47.236.250] by web44812.mail.sp1.yahoo.com via HTTP; Mon, 16 Nov 2009 17:23:46 PST

The originating IP is 74.47.236.250, and identifies the IP service that the person is using.  Go to IP Lookup and enter the IP address in the search field.  Click on the drop down for IP Owner and you will see the IP belongs to Frontier Communications, which is an internet provider based out of Rochester, New York.  Check whatever IP you need to; usually the IP addresses belong to an internet provider such as AOL, Verizon, Qwest, Charter, SBC Internet, etc.  This can help you report to the provider that you are receiving multiple addresses from their service and ask that they investigate the matter.  Many businesses operate using an independent IP address.

This won’t help you track down the specific person but can help you identify a pattern of practice such that you can report it.  IP service providers have the ability to track down the violators abusing their service.

What if it becomes hostile?

There is always a sense of retribution felt by persons exiting a violent cult.  If you were someone branded as a counter-revolutionary, were accused of violating some Party law, there can and have been some instances where contact was not for the purpose of retreading you back to the Organization.  They count on the fact that you will be afraid to contact the police after all the years of the Organization instilling the fear that the police will only hurt you.

If it is a harassing type of contact, I suggest that you contact an attorney for assistance in how to proceed.  (If other readers have suggestions, please contact us.).

Fear of retribution includes:

  • We’re coming after you or your family.
  • We’ll economically ruin you.
  • You’re nothing but a god damned counter-revolutionary.  We all know what happened to Trotsky.
  • We’ll sue your ass.
  • We’ll tell the cops what you did (probably an empty threat if you were one who was made to commit an illegal act on behalf of the Organization but worth consulting with an attorney).
  • You don’t want us blabbing about what you did so pony up the dough.

Such contact can occur via telephone.  If it does, you can bet your ass they are using a cold phone — going to some payphone far away from the office, maybe even in a different county.  They would never attempt such a call from a hot phone (one in an office location that is — in their minds — tapped by the authorities).

Again, consult an attorney.

It’s extremely aggressive what they’re doing/saying.  I’m scared.

A small handful of ex-cadres have suffered extreme harassment after departing the Organization.  One former member reported that the Organization dispatched its “legal arm” and employed harassing legal maneuvers in an attempt to silence him.  Another former member reported strange activities including someone driving by taking pictures of her parent’s house, click phone calls, being followed by a mysterious black car wherever she went and the fear that she was being followed in public places including stores.

Again, this is an atypical scenario.  Most former members are not subjected to this type of hostile post-departure treatment.  If you find yourself in this situation, I want to stress the importance of getting help.  No one person can take down such an Organization, not alone, certainly not a person with limited resources.

Consult with an attorney as to what your best options are to handle the situation.  Do not be afraid to contact the police, especially if you are in immediate danger.  They will probably use the fact that you called the police to brand you as a government agent, but do you really give a crap about that?

I live in an area where there is a local organization and ran into Joe Blow, who recognized me.  He called me counter-revolutionary.  Now what?

Aw, hell, I don’t know.  I’m the type of person that would punch him in the nose and settle for a night in the pokey if Joe Blow had the balls to press charges.  Use your best judgment.  I kind of have the feeling that you should probably just walk away and let Joe Blow shout off his mouth looking like an idiot.  Yeah, probably walking away is best.

I live in an area where there is a local organization and the cadres didn’t know who I am.  One approaches me with a bucket.  Should I taunt the hell out of them?

Why?  You’ll just justify their sense of being persecuted by the enemy.  Besides, it’s far more fun to go into the store and tell the manager that you don’t want to shop at an establishment that supports an organization dedicated to overthrowing the government.  And say it loudly enough so that others can hear you.  Don’t be overly dramatic or the manager will think you’re nuts.  He won’t want a scene.  He might scoff and then you refer him to the internet to research the group that is standing outside of his store.

Laurie used to love doing this when she lived in Ashland (rest in peace).  It resulted in many businesses not allowing NSWA or JCFC from bucket driving at their establishments.  She also shut down their speaking engagements on campus.  She knew it would never be enough to stop all organizational activities but she had the advantage of being originally from New Jersey.  The local cadres didn’t know who she was.

Any other suggestions?

It is difficult after leaving the Organization to re-establish family ties.  You’re probably in a state of shock, feeling alienated from the real world, experiencing a sense of surrealism, maybe even shame.  One thing to develop is a social network.  Concentrate on re-establishing those family ties and contact with friends.

Your social network can help you in many ways, especially in the recovery process.  It can also help you in the event the Organization does try to contact you.  You’re at a point where you are still trying to rediscover who you really are.  There’s nothing wrong admitting to a sense of vulnerability.  Preparation makes the most sense.  The Organization is less likely to target someone with an extensive support network.

Thank you for reading this.

I hope this is helpful to you.  Again, suggestions for improvement to this article are greatly appreciated.

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