Archive/File: orgs/american/political-research-associates nalliance.PRA From: email@example.com (NLG Civil Liberties Committee) Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy Subject: Re: The Newmanites, NAP and Fulani Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 12 Dec 92 02:31:00 GMT References: <email@example.com> Nf-ID: #R:cdp:1299600143:cdp:1299600144:000:24288 Nf-From: cdp.UUCP!cberlet Dec 11 18:31:00 1992 /* Written 9:15 pm Dec 8, 1992 by cberlet in igc:publiceye */ /* Written 7:45 pm Dec 8, 1992 by cberlet in igc:p.news */ /* Written 2:12 pm Feb 14, 1992 by cberlet in igc:publiceye */ Clouds Blur the Rainbow: The Other Side of the New Alliance Party Copyright 1987 PRA Printing downloaded copies is forbidden. For a spiral bound printed version and a collection of related articles and documents, send $3.50 to: PRA 678 Mass. Ave., #205 Cambridge, MA 02139 Clouds Blur the Rainbow: The Other Side of the New Alliance Party By Chip Berlet December, 1987 PART 1 What is the New Alliance Party? The New Alliance Party describes itself as a Black-led, women-led, multi-racial, pro-gay independent political organization. Its most outspoken critics call it an opportunistic political movement controlled by an unethical therapy cult whose white male guru once led his followers into an affiliation with neo-fascist cult leader Lyndon LaRouche. The actual nature and history of the New Alliance Party is complex, controversial, and ultimately a matter of individual perspective and judgment. The controversy surrounding NAP, however, is seldom discussed with candor. With the New Alliance Party already well-established in several cities, including New York and Boston, and with newly-opened national headquarters in Chicago, a discussion of the group is long overdue. To discuss NAP without reference to the political milieu in which it operates is impossible. This report attempts to seriously analyze the history, activities and internal dimensions of NAP in the context of its work in the American progressive political community. This analysis is highly critical of the role of NAP within that community, but is not an attempt to bait the organization on the basis of its publicly-espoused political views. Current NAP Activities In May of 1985 the New Alliance Party held a national founding convention in Chicago. The significance of the event is blurred by the fact that its own history dates the original founding of the New Alliance Party as 1979. The chairperson elected at the 1985 Chicago meeting was Emily Carter, an organizer from Jackson, Mississippi who joined the New Alliance Party in New York in 1981. She calls herself a "former organizer, now therapist." When the New Alliance Party moved its national headquarters to Chicago, it came with a related "medical and therapeutic center." In fact, wherever the New Alliance Party has a major organizing effort underway, there is a related "therapy" group reaching out to persons with progressive politics who are also seeking emotional or psychological counseling. The therapy groups use a technique they call "Social Therapy" or "Crisis Normalization" designed to provide "immediate help for the everyday crisis situations that happen to everyone." Both the political organization and the therapy institutes make a point to involve persons of color, gay men and lesbians, and political radicals. Closely allied with the New Alliance Party is the Rainbow Alliance and the Rainbow Lobby. That the slogans of the New Alliance Party, Rainbow Alliance and the Rainbow Lobby tend to reflect a progressive political framework is not questioned. Here for example are some of their slogans and issues: *** Put teeth back into Civil Rights laws *** Repeal Gramm-Rudman *** Support the Fair Elections bill introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) *** Seek legislation that would "protect the democratic rights of gays and all Americans." One flyer explains: "The Rainbow Lobby is fighting for grand jury reform, affordable public housing and Congolese liberation from the human rights abuses of the Mobutu dictatorship....The Rainbow Lobby is fighting against the death penalty, against aid for the C.I.A. supported contra terrorists and against arming South African supported mercenaries in Angola. And the Rainbow Lobby is exposing the Right's misuse of federal funds for AIDS. " The New Alliance Party moved its national headquarters to Chicago to be closer to Minister Louis Farrakhan, The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Mayor Harold Washington, according to NAP chairwoman Emily Carter. The office is located on Chicago's north side (in the 44th Ward), and fundraisers are already soliciting support for the "Rainbow." The NAP-related Chicago Center for Crisis Normalization is open and another therapy center is planned for the west side. NAP organizers have been recruiting in some sectors of the Black and progressive political community for almost five years, and have a presence in several Chicago colleges. In New York the New Alliance Party offers a free legal clinic in Harlem, sponsors lectures, and publishes its newspaper, the
. discusion groups are held in Chicago, Illinois; Jackson, Mississippi; Long Island, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C. and Boston, Massachusetts. The New Alliance Party maintains regional and state offices in: Alaska, Arizona, California (Oakland and Los Angeles), Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (Ann Arbor and Detroit), Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York (Albany, New York City and Buffalo), North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington, D.C. Fred Newman and the Historical Roots of NAP The history of the New Alliance Party starts with a history of its primary theoretician, Dr. Fred Newman. In 1968 Newman and several followers formed "IF....THEN", a political collective in New York City. "IF....THEN" prided itself on its anarchistic and confrontational approach to organizing and consciousness-raising. During the early 1970's Newman and his followers established a group called Centers for Change in New York City. Centers for Change (CFC) was characterized by a more introspective approach to political organizing. CFC described itself as: "...a collective of liberation cenu jD including; a school for children, ages 3 to 7; a community oriented therapeutic and dental clinic located in the Bronx; and a press (CFC Press) operating out of the CFC offices....Also, the Community Media Project; (an) information service for the people of the upper west side.... " While involved with CFC, Newman and others in his circle began developing a unique perspective within the evolving theory of radical psychology. This movement attracted attention and debate in progressive circles; Newman, however, soon branched off from the mainstream of the radical psychology movement and eventually developed a theory of "social therapy". By 1973 CFC was offering therapy and counseling at its drop-in center. At the same time, another New York political organizer, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., was also espousing controversial psychological theories, and Newman began to examine LaRouche's writings on psychology and economics which were appearing in published collections of Marxist analysis. Lyndon LaRouche in 1973 was the leader of the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC), a Marxist political organization based in New York City. LaRouche, using the name Lyn Marcus, had led the Labor Caucus of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) until SDS voted to expel LaRouche and his followers in 1969. The controversy inside SDS arose when the SDS Labor Caucus under LaRouche called for support of striking members of New York City's teacher's union. A key union issue was opposition to community control of schools in New York City--a demand of community leaders which had the support of many Black parents. The union's opposition to community control of schools was widely perceived in the progressive political community as having racist overtones. After being expelled from SDS, LaRouche created the National Caucus of Labor Comittees, which in 1973 had at least 1,000 members nationwide. Newman says he first made contact with Lyndon LaRouche's forces within the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC) in October of 1973. In January of 1974 Newman's organization, Centers for Change (CFC), published a newsletter which called for the organization of leftist political cadres and relied heavily on psychoanalytic terminology. LaRouche's theories were in many ways similar to those espoused by Newman, and in June of 1974, Newman led almost 40 CFC members into an official political alliance with LaRouche and the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC). Newman's Alliance with LaRouche Even NAP supporters concede that Newman and some of his followers worked for a time under the political leadership of LaRouche. What keeps this aspect of the controversy alive is what critics feel are misrepresentations regarding the character of the relationship and the nature of the LaRouche organization at the time of the alliance. NAP's position is stated in a letter circulated by its supporters under the name "The Committee to Set the Record Straight:" "Five years prior to NAP's founding, a handful of activists, five of whom now sit on NAP's 40-member national Executive Board, joined the National Caucus of Labor Committees, then a left organization founded by LaRouche. At the time, it was attracting many organic progressive leaders from the welfare, trade union, and electoral arenas. Dr. Newman was one of those who joined. He and his colleagues' membership in the NCLC lasted approximately two months. " "Following their departure in the summer of 1974, they began an extensive political and methodological critique of LaRouche and the NCLC and by 1975 became among the first on the Left to explicitly identify LaRouche as a neo-fascist. " This characterization of the Newman/LaRouche relationship is at best self-serving and at worst largely fictional. With some ten percent of the current NAP executive board comprised of persons who at one time chose to put themselves under the political leadership of Lyndon LaRouche, it becomes crucial to examine the relationship carefully. During most of 1974, the NCLC under LaRouche was primarily attracting middle-class and upper-class white intellectual students from prestigious eastern and mid-western college campuses--hardly a core of trade unionists and welfare recipients as characterized by Newman's supporters. A former member of LaRouche's NCLC remembers the arrival in 1974 of what were called the "Newmanites:" "They put themselves under the actual political leadership of LaRouche for a few months, and we came to believe that what Newman really wanted during that period was to act as an understudy to LaRouche --to learn his methods and techniques of controlling persons in an organization. " "The individuals in Newman's group seemed to lack clarity and political focus and were obsessed with psychology and sexuality. Newman was clearly the leader and it was obvious that LaRouche's ego and Newman's ego were too big to allow them to work together in the same organization for long. " While actual membership by New Alliance Party executive board members in LaRouche's NCLC may have lasted only a few months, the working alliance between groups led by LaRouche, Newman and a third New York political leader named Gino Parente lasted far longer. Some activists from New York remember the three groups working in a loose alliance around issues such as welfare reform, farm labor, and organizing the working class for a period as long as one year. One internal NCLC discussion of the Newmanites describes "ten months of serious political discussion" before several months of actual membership. "Joint forums" between the Newmanites and the LaRouchites were held in November and December, 1973, and the Newmanite split took place in late August, 1974. Even after officially leaving NCLC in August, 1974, Newman and his followers continued to debate and criticize LaRouche and the NCLC over issues of shared political ideology as if it represented legitimate leftist theory long after the rest of the American Left had denounced NCLC as either proto-Nazi Brownshirts, a sick political cult, or outright police agents. Fred Newman insists his group was not sophisticated about the American Left when it joined with LaRouche, yet when the Newmanites split from NCLC, they announced the formation of a "vanguard" Marxist-Leninist political party. In the resignation letter signed by Newman and 38 of his followers, there is a significant use of Marxist-Leninist terminology which suggests a far greater degree of political sophistication than admitted. Announcing that Newman's International Workers Party (IWP) had "now become the vanguard party of the working class," the letter went on to say: "The organization of the vanguard party is, as Marx makes clear, the organization of the class. The formation of the IWP has grown from our attempt to organize the [NCLC] from within that it might move from a position of left hegemony to a position of leadership of the class. " When joining the NCLC, Newman announced he was putting himself and his followers under the political "hegemony" of LaRouche. After leading his followers out of the NCLC, Newman continued to struggle with LaRouche over theory within the principles of criticism among friends. None of this indicates a casual, naive or short-lived relationship. The Nature of NCLC During the Newmanite Alliance Still, Newman's merger and split with LaRouche would have little merit as a criticism of NAP (after all it is a sign of political maturity to recognize mistakes) were it not for how supporters of Newman relentlessly misrepresent the nature of LaRouche and the NCLC in late 1973 and 1974--the period when Newman grew close to NCLC and then put himself and his followers under the political leadership of LaRouche.In 1974 NCLC was not attracting "organic progressive leaders " from the welfare rights movement, as claimed by the Newmanites. In fact, it was having trouble attracting significant Black support at all, since it was leading a successful attempt to destroy the Black-led National Welfare Rights Organization and defame its popular leader, the late George Wiley. During the same period, LaRouche also propounded ideas which were widely perceived to represent outright racism. LaRouche, for instance, offended the Hispanic community in a November, 1973 essay (published in both English and Spanish) titled "The Male Impotence of the Puerto-Rican Socialist Party." An internal memo by LaRouche asked "Can we imagine anything more viciously sadistic than the Black Ghetto mother?" He described the majority of the Chinese people as "approximating the lower animal species" by manifesting a "paranoid personality....a parallel general form of fundamental distinction from actual human personalities." As early as the spring of 1973 LaRouche had begun to articulate a psychosexual theory of political organizing and began descending into a paranoid style of historical analysis that stressed not Marxist dialectical materialism and class analysis, but macabre conspiracy theories and a subjective egocentric analysis. LaRouche warned of a global plot by the CIA/KGB to kidnap and program his membership to assassinate him. His homophobia became a central theme of the organization's conspiracy theories. He said women's feelings of degradation in modern society could be traced to the physical placement of sexual organs near the anus which caused them to confuse sex with excretion. A September, 1973 editorial in the NCLC ideological journal charged that "Concretely, all across the USA., there are workers who are prepared to fight. They are held back, most immediately, by pressure from their wives...." Writing in an August, 1973 memo, LaRouche propounded the startling and sexist psychological theory that "the principle source of impotence, both male and female, is the mother." LaRouche claimed only he could cure the political and sexual impotence of his followers. NCLC members were forced into what was called psychological therapy and "deprogramming" but were what former members call "brainwashing" and "ego-stripping" sessions. The NCLC rapidly became totalitarian in style, with a peculiar obsession with sexuality and homophobia used as a weapon against internal dissent. "To the extent that my physical powers do not prevent me," LaRouche told his followers in August, 1973, "I am now confident and capable of ending your political--and sexual--impotence; the two are interconnected aspects of the same problem." By 1974 LaRouche had started his swing toward fascist economic and political principles--well before Newman and his followers joined NCLC and announced that they would place themselves under LaRouche's political leadership and "hegemony." It was during this period that LaRouche began talking of the need for rapid industrialization to build the working class. He talked of a historic tactical alliance between revolutionaries, the working class and the forces of industrial capital against the forces of finance capital. He began developing an authoritarian world view with a glorification of historic mission, metaphysical commitment and physical confrontation. He told reporters that only he was capable of bringing revolution and socialism to the United States, and his speeches began to take on the tone and style of a demagogue. LaRouche, in short, began to adopt the same ideas and styles which had formed the basis of National Socialism, a political tendency that historically became part of the European fascist movement and eventually played a key role in Hitler's rise to power in Nazi Germany. In fact, LaRouche was denounced as a Nazi by U.S. Communists following physical attacks on them in 1973 by NCLC members who were likened to Hitler's violent Brownshirts. >From May to September of 1973, LaRouche followers engaged in "Operation Mop-up" which consisted of NCLC members brutally assaulting rivals such as members of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). NCLC thugs used bats, chains, and martial arts weapons ( ) in their campaign to control and establish "hegemony" over the American revolutionary movement. There were many injuries and some persons required hospitalization. "Operation Mop-up" was front-page news in virtually every American progressive newspaper during 1973, and it is difficult to believe it was not known to Newman and his followers when they first contacted NCLC a few weeks after Operation Mop-Up was declared a success by LaRouche. Furthermore, physical assaults by NCLC members against critics were reported regularly well into 1976, and periodic assaults by LaRouche fundraisers still occur. In 1974, many former NCLC members report, they were still required to take paramilitary training classes led by fellow members. The trigger for Operation Mop Up was a March, 1973 warning by NCLC to the Communist Party, USA. to stop opposing the creation by LaRouche of an alternative to the Black-led National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) which LaRouche denounced as being part of a "union-busting slave-labor" alliance. LaRouche set up an alternative, the National Unemployed and Welfare Rights Organization (NUWRO), and, according to LaRouche, NCLC then sent delegations into public Communist Party meetings, "demanding that this criminal behavior of the CP leadership"--that is, support for the original NWRO--"be openly discussed and voted down by the body assembled." Eyewitnesses recall this "discussion" usually consisted of primarily-white and young NCLC members standing up and disrupting meetings of the primarily-Black and older NWRO with calls for a debate on LaRouche's charges against NWRO leaders until members of the audience were forced to physically drag the NCLC members out of the meeting. These confrontations became formalized under Operation Mop-Up. When the Socialist Workers Party joined in supporting the original Black-led NWRO, they too were attacked by the predominantly white NCLC supporters. While the Operation Mop-Up attacks were officially ended in late 1973 or early 1974, another campaign of assaults was launched in 1974 against local rank-and-file leaders of the United Autoworkers and other industrial unions. Reports of these assaults continued through 1976, and NCLC members have continued until recently to assist in assaults on members of Teamsters for a Democratic Union and another rank-and-file Teamster reform group, PROD. In 1974, according to former NCLC members, LaRouche first began to seek contact with extremist and anti-Semitic right-wing groups and individuals around the idea of tactical unity in opposing imperialism and the ruling class in general, and the Rockefellers in particular. LaRouche's obsession with conspiracy theories blossomed in 1974, and during this period he began expounding a view linking certain Jewish institutions to a plot to destroy Western civilization and usher in a "New Dark Age". This is the character of the NCLC that attracted Newman and his followers in early 1974. In his 1974 book , Newman wrote that his followers would "organize in the spirit outlined" by LaRouche. The question is not how long the Newmanites worked under the political leadership of Lyndon LaRouche, but how they can explain what attracted Newman and his followers to LaRouche in the first place. To this day NAP leadership has refused to renounce or to deal candidly or accurately with the fact that the Newmanites at one time joined an organization which was at best a collection of paranoid sexist homophobic thugs and at worst a nascent fascist political movement. Using the FBI to Harass Dissidents It was during the period that the Newmanites were involved with NCLC that NCLC began to collect and disseminate intelligence on progressive groups. It is well documented that NCLC went on to provide intelligence to domestic and foreign government agencies. While documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that U.S. government agencies frequently dismissed the material provided by the NCLC, it was provided nonetheless. As early as February, 1974, NCLC representatives met with an official in the U.S. Department of Commerce to "provide substantial evidence which would exonerate President Nixon from Watergate charges," according to a Commerce Department memorandum released under the Freedom of Information Act. The Newmanites were at the center of the first documented instance of NCLC collaboration with U.S. intelligence agencies. In 1974, several Newmanites in NCLC attempted to use the FBI to locate and spy on a former Newmanite who had left at the time of the NCLC/Newmanite merger and taken his child with him. Jim Retherford had left the Newmanites citing psychological manipulation among other reasons. His spouse, Ann Green, remained in the organization and quite reasonably sought access to their child. Green and Newmanite Harry Kresky, an attorney, contacted the FBI and suggested that Retherford was a former member of the Weatherman faction of SDS, had harbored Weather Underground fugitives, and was in contact with Jane Alpert, a fugitive the FBI was particularly keen on locating. Supporters of Newman claim he was unaware of the contact with the FBI. However, a former member of Newman's Centers for Change who joined and left NCLC with Newman, and then later split with the Newmanites, recalls the FBI incident was widely known within NCLC and the Newmanite faction. "The CFC [Centers for Change/Newmanite] people for the most part stuck together while in the NCLC....denying Fred Newman knew about the communications with the FBI is utterly absurd." The International Workers Party After leaving the NCLC, Newman formed the International Workers Party (IWP). The Newmanite document issued upon their leaving NCLC and establishing the International Workers Party re-affirms a commitment to carry out current and future joint work with the LaRouche organization. The charge of a direct and ongoing LaRouche connection to the Newmanites, however, appears to be speculation--no credible reports of a direct connection between Newman and LaRouche since the mid-1970's have been documented, and it is unlikely that any such relationship exists today. Manipulative and Confrontational Style In many ways the theory, ideology, strategy, tactics, and internal organizing practices of the LaRouchites and the Newmanites are very similar: *** A methodological link between the psychological and the political which forms both a theoretical world-view and a justification for indoctrinating members through so-called "therapy". *** Psychologically coercive techniques to manipulate members' views and actions. *** Organizing strategies that target according to stratas or sectors rather than social class. *** Attempts to establish hegemonic relationships with other similar political groups, and, failing that, attempts to undermine the group and establish parallel organizations. *** Virulent and unprincipled attacks on critics, including insults, agent-baiting, threats by attorneys and defamation lawsuits. *** A shared political strategy (vanguardism with roots in Trotskyist political theory). *** Re-writing of the group's political and organizational history to meet current needs. *** A closed and covert hierarchical internal structure that is not necessarily congruent with the public organizational structure. *** Differentiation between internal in-group and external out-group reality, use of propoganda, and implementation of a "secret-society" style--all markedly similar to that of a totalitarian movement. These similarities do not change the fact that LaRouchite philosophy is apparently neo-fascist while Newmanite philosophy is apparently left-progressive, but it does mean that internally both groups have an authoritarian hierarchy whose existence is denied, and both groups rely on psychologically-manipulative theories to control core members. Both groups match a cult paradigm and are far from democratic, despite outward claims and appearances. It is crucial to note the relationship of LaRouche, Parente, and Newman during the early 1970's in light of their subsequent activities. All three white male political leaders saw Marxist revolution through the prism of ego-mania, and used psychologically manipulative techniques to enforce obedience in the institutions they have built--institutions which sought political hegemony over other groups. All three groups share many elements of a totalitarian movement as outlined by Hanna Arendt in . In recent years there has been a revisionist interpretation of Arendt's work, linking nazism and communism as two sides of the same ideological coin, or claiming that all communist or Marxist movements are totalitarian, or that only nazi and communist ideologies can become totalitarian. Arendt specifically repudiates this simplistic interpretation of her work when she writes "...ideologies of the nineteenth century are not in themselves totalitarian," and that although fascism and communism became "the decisive ideologies of the twentieth century they were not, in principle, any `more totalitarian' than others." According to Arendt, the ideological victory of fascism and communism over other twentieth century belief structures was "decided before the totalitarian movements took hold of precisely these ideologies" as a vehicle for seizing and holding state power. A totalitarian movement is correctly defined by its style, structure and methods not by its stated or apparent ideology. The Intellectual Vanguard The early theoretical writings of LaRouche and the early and current theoretical writings of Newman reflect a derivative (and heretical) form of Trotskyist Marxism that is both unusual and virtually unique on the American Left. This shared theory is best described as an aberrant "Messianic" form of Trotskyism with an ego-centric view of the importance of the individual leader in shaping history, coupled with a patronizing "noblesse oblige" approach to organizing the working class and people of color that reflects a political colonialist mentality. Journalist Dennis King has studied numerous internal documents from the Newmanites and concluded that in terms of their political theory of organizing, they make a crucial distinction between the core cadre (primarily white intellectuals) and the "organic" members (primarily people of color). According to King, the primarily-white intellectual vanguard trained by Newman through "therapy" is in the process of using "therapy" to raise the consciousness of the primarily Black and Latino recruits so that some day in the future they will have the wherewithal to actually lead the organization...but not yet. King has described this as "paternalistic racism." Institutes for Social Therapy Dr. Fred Newman's doctorate is not in a health-related field, but in the philosophy of science and foundations of mathematics. For several years psychologists and groups concerned about cults have questioned the ethics of the process used by the Institutes for Social Therapy. These criticisms are crystallized in the following statement by an East Coast Latina activist working in the area of support for Central Americans: "I first came into contact with the Social Therapy Institutes through a friend who...said there was a group that offered therapy for people with progressive views, so I went to see what they offered." "I was told everybody has problems, which is true everyone does, but they use that as an excuse to recruit people. People with emotional problems think they are going to be helped but they don't help people. " "Before or after the therapy session, they would say `why not sell the newspaper', or `maybe you could do us a favor and hand out these leaflets.' The therapy offices are full of their political propaganda. In the group therapy sometimes we discussed politics and their political party. They want people to get involved in their political activities, but they don't really give any treatment. This was something I didn't like. " "Some people get involved because they think the political work will help them get better emotionally. They told us societal problems are making people ill and the New Alliance Party is going to change things so people will get better. " "They got angry with me when I asked for individual therapy. `You need group therapy not individual therapy', I was told, so I left. Then they started sending me literature about their political organizations. " "In the literature and in the therapy sessions they try to destroy any other left organization by saying bad things about it. They also destroy a progressive organization by recruiting away its members. " "They call themselves Leftists but they use the dialectic method just to recruit people. When you get involved there is no dialectic, it is static, they don't progress beyond the criticism of the other group. They have no real program, they just say `if you are not with NAP you are the enemy'. They raise a lot of money by saying they are doing all these things, but they are a fraud. " "It is not true that there is no pressure to work with the New Alliance Party when you are in the therapy. They tell you if you are working with them you will feel good. I said `I need help, I need individual therapy'. Instead they had me assisting them in the group therapy sessions. " "They don't like it if you pay a low fee and don't work for them politically, such as doing propaganda work for the New Alliance Party. If you pay more, you get a better work position in the organization. If you can afford a lot, you can get individual therapy. Everything is money or power. " "Some people are fooled, especially the uneducated or emotionally ill, they use them. It is disgusting. They don't care about people--they want numbers: more money, more people, more power. The social therapy is just an excuse to recruit members. It is just like their many other activities, concerts, rallies, they are active in many areas, but they accomplish nothing." Certainly it is legitimate as part of psychological counseling to recommend that a person become involved directly in the community--even to the extent of becoming part of a political movement. But for a patient to know the therapist is involved in a particular political movement is to consciously or unconsciously steer the patient, who is in a dependent and fragile relationship with the therapist, toward that political movement. This error is compounded by the fact that, according to several Therapy Institute staff members, a portion of the fees for the therapy go to support the work of the New Alliance Party. Therapy centers with ties to the New Alliance Party include the following locations listed in the November 27, 1987 issue of the : New York: Harlem Institute for Social Therapy and Research; Bronx Institute for Social Therapy and Research; South Bronx Annex; West Side Social Therapy Network; East Side Center for Short Term Therapy; Brooklyn Institute for Social Therapy and Research; Long Island Institute for Social Therapy and Research. Massachusetts: Boston Institute for Social Therapy and Research. Illinois: Chicago Center for Crisis Normalization. California: Los Angeles Center for Crisis Normalization. Pennsylvania: Social Therapy Associates. Washington, D.C.: Washington Center for Crisis Normalization. Mississippi: Jackson Center for Crisis Normalization. New Jersey: New Jersey Center for Crisis Normalization. Cultism Chicago-based political consultant Don Rose summed up the feelings of some NAP critics when he told columnist Basil Talbot that NAP "is a left group with the modus of a cult." Talbot noted that critics call NAP the "LaRouchies of the Left." Several cult watchdog groups list the Newmanites as a cult, other critics say the core of the cult is the Therapy Institute, while a few critics think the entire NAP movement displays cult aspects. Those that say the Newmanite movement is totalitarian in style feel the word cult is superfluous, since totalitarian groups by definition enforce a high level of blind loyalty and unquestioning obedience. As early as 1977, journalist Dennis King was writing of the cult-like nature of the Newmanites, and interviewed Frank Touchet, a New York professional psychotherapist who studies therapy cults such as the Reichians and the Sullivanians. After studying the therapy group which forms the core of Newman's followers, Touchet concluded: "What you are dealing with is people who have been criminally tampered with in the deepest fibers of their being, and who have descended into a strange childlike world of dependency, in which the rational functions of the ego are relinquished completely to Fred Newman--who regulates their lives on the most intimate level. " It is difficult to resolve the issue of psychological manipulation because there are undoubtedly NAP supporters who are sincere and genuine in their beliefs and have no connection to the Newmanites, the IWP nor the Social Therapy Institutes. Still, most of the functional core leadership of NAP has a connection to the Therapy Institutes and the Newmanite political philosophy. Ultimately the question of psychological manipulation, cultism and cult of personality can only be resolved by each person who comes into contact with NAP on the basis of the individual practice and process observed, and within the framework of one's own sensitivity to and wariness about cultism. Opportunism One example of what critics call the political opportunism of the Newmanites and the New Alliance Party is their continuing effort to imply a connection with Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition. For instance the Newmanites have established in Washington, D.C. the "Rainbow Lobby" billed as "The Lobbying Office of the Rainbow Alliance." The Rainbow Lobby has offices at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., and lists Nancy Ross as Executive Director and Tamara Weinstein as Assistant Director. The Rainbow Lobby office has been frequently mistaken for the Washington office of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition, a mistake that in the past, NAP leadership seems to have gone out of its way not to clarify. Newspaper articles have appeared about NAP's Rainbow Lobby in which throughout, the reporter assumes the Rainbow Lobby represents Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition--a circumstance NAP leadership could have easily avoided by explaining upfront that the two groups are unrelated. Jackson has had to publicly distance himself and the Rainbow Coalition from NAP and its Rainbow Alliance and Rainbow Lobby on several occasions. Most recently Jackson told reporter Basil Talbot that "we have no relationship at all." In the June 21, 1985 issue of the , an article on the Rainbow Alliance shows how artfully the question of a relationship has been dodged in the past: "Hostile critics and curious allies are forever saying to Nancy Ross, "Does Jesse Jackson support what you're doing?" " "Ross, who heads the Washington office of the Rainbow Alliance Confederation's lobbying arm, has learned how to respond to such inquiries. " > The point is not whether Jesse Jackson > supports me, but whether I support Jesse > Jackson," says Ross, a founder of the > six-year-old independent New Alliance Party, and > candidate for Jackson delegate in Harlem in 1984. > "And I support Jesse completely because of the > social vision he has articulated on behalf of the > Rainbow movement. Yes, I have real differences > with Jesse--he thinks independent politics is > `prophetic' whereas I believe its time has come > right now--but I won't allow anyone to sever the > historic ties between Jesse and myself, because I > am committed to see that his vision of a just > society be brought about today." While admittedly clever, the above explanation is essentially a dishonest misrepresentation of the facts, designed to confuse the issue and suggest a connection where none exists. The confusion over support from Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition is exacerbated by how the New Alliance Party describes itself. The February 13, 1987 edition of the newspaper contained a centerfold spread with the multi-color slogan "The Real Rainbow" spanning the two pages. A letter on New Alliance Party stationery to gay activists on the west coast had the slogan "The Party of the Rainbow." A petition calling for an independent Black Presidential campaign was titled "An Open Letter To Reverend Jesse Jackson." Ironically, in a 1983 issue of the Newmanite theoretical journal , Newman attacked Jesse Jackson and Jackson's progressive supporters in strong terms: "The U.S. ultra-Left has traditionally suffered very badly from a mental disorder perhaps best identified as premature vanguardulation. There has, over the past few years, been a positive attempt by some to rectify this problem (called by some friendly left critics `wrecktification') which, however, has dealt mainly with the symptoms of the disease by essentially helping the `client' to feel more comfortable masturbating. Hence, some of the rectified ultra-left--for example supporters of `Jesse Jackson, Democrat'--are smilingly convincing themselves these days that it is alright to unite with Jackson's `progressive aspects'. Many have raised questions as to which part of Jackson's political anatomy embodies his `progressive aspects.' " At the end of 1987 the newspaper column by Rainbow Lobby Executive Director Nancy Ross began to include a disclaimer which reads: "The Rainbow Lobby is an independent citizens' lobby based in Washington, D.C. which supports important legislation that affects civil, human, voting and democratic rights at home and abroad. For more information on the Lobby, please contact Nancy Ross at 236 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Suite 409, Washington, D.C. 20002 (202) 543-8324. " "The Rainbow Lobby, Inc. is an independent lobby, not affiliated with the Rainbow Coalition, Inc. " The disclaimer began appearing during the same time period that NAP launched the campaign of Lenora Fulani for President. During 1987 the NAP began to publicly attack the Rainbow Coalition and in the Lenora Fulani was quoted as saying "With all due respect to Brother Jesse Jackson, almost everyone knows he hasn't built a real Rainbow. He might have incorporated something called the National Rainbow Coalition, Inc., but he hasn't built a Rainbow. " Despite the criticisms and disclaimers, there is still much public confusion concerning the relationship of NAP to the Rainbow Coalition, and Jackson's Presidential candidacy. This confusion is not alleviated by NAP public statements. For instance in the November 20, 1987 issue of the , William Pleasant attacks the Rainbow Coalition as "the Democratic Party's left wing", but then writes that "Fulani, under her `Two Roads Are Better Than One' plan, backs Reverend Jesse Jackson in the Democratic Party primaries. But she has done everything possible to ensure that the progressive Rainbow agenda will be carried through to the general election in November...." Smearing Critics Among the most persistent critics of the New Alliance Party are freelance writer Dennis King of New York, the author of this study, Chip Berlet (and other members of the Public Eye Network), and two researchers who often work closely together, Ken Lawrence of Mississippi and Dan Stern of Illinois. In 1985 Ken Lawrence and Dan Stern provided information on NAP to Charles Tisdale, publisher of the newspaper in Mississippi. Tisdale ran a series of articles critical of Newman and NAP in the , which for many years has served as a voice for Black residents in the area. In response to the articles, NAP embarked on a smear campaign against its critics--a tactic it frequently employs. An article by William Pleasant in NAP's newspaper attacked Tisdale, Lawrence, Stern and Berlet. A photograph of Tisdale (who is Black) is accompanied by a bold headline which reads: "Jackson Advocate publisher Charles Tisdale: The Advocate has come to play the role of a Black front for a national network that is a nesting place for agents." The same article claims that Dennis King and Chip Berlet have shown "a willingness to relent on their earlier false and sectarian charges of LaRouche affiliation or cultism." (In fact, both Berlet and King still stand by their earlier charges.) Ken Lawrence and Dan Stern are described as "absorbed in another agenda, beyond sectarianism, bordering on straight out provocateurism." NAP organizers also began circulating charges that Ken Lawrence was a government agent. When Tisdale refused to back down from his criticisms of NAP, and continued to detail the charges of other NAP critics, NAP chairwoman Emily Carter responded by filing a defamation lawsuit against Tisdale, the and Ken Lawrence. (A judge subsequently ordered Lawrence dropped from the lawsuit). After the lawsuit was filed, when well-known organizer Flo Kennedy accepted an invitation to speak at a banquet sponsored by the , a self-described NAP member disrupted a press conference with her by shouting "You're a very stupid woman." Other critics of NAP are frequently ridiculed or attacked in an unprincipled manner. Penetration and Disruption of Rival Groups Critics of the Newmanites claim one of the tactics used by the group is to penetrate a progressive organization and seek to take it over or recruit away its membership. One of the themes in the series on NAP was the frequency with which NAP engaged in what critics considered disruptive tactics. Lily Mae Irwin, a well-known welfare rights activist told the how, in 1985, NAP tried to merge with the group she was leading, the Mississippi Welfare Rights Organization. After she refused the merger idea, she soon discovered NAP was scheduling their meetings with her key organizers opposite the regular monthly Welfare Rights Organization meetings. "Yes Siree," said Irwin, "they were trying to hold meetings at the same time we were; they were trying to mess us up." Eddie Sandifer, a well-known Mississippi Gay rights activist, told the he resented the claim by NAP that it is the party of gays, lesbians, Blacks and dispossessed people in general. In particular, Sandifer was angry that NAP contacted several members of the Mississippi Gay Alliance and invited them to NAP meetings, but did not contact him, the group's leader. "I think their purpose is to divide and conquer," said Sandifer. "I'm very suspicious of them....I'm worried about what they are doing in Mississippi." A long-time gay activist in California voiced similar concerns to the author after NAP sponsored a gay rights conference in that state. He feared the NAP wanted to duplicate the work of existing gay organizations as a way to build credibility and recruit new members for the NAP. A woman activist in New York told the author of a call she received from a friend in England complaining of disruptive activities by a NAP organizer who attended functions of a women's peace group. Disruption has been a hallmark of NAP organizing for years, and reports of this nature have been consistently surfaced over the years from a wide variety of sources. One early example of a Newmanite attempt to penetrate and manipulate a progressive organization involved the now-defunct People's Party, a multi-racial progressive electoral party which once ran Dr. Benjamin Spock for President. In early 1978, according to a former People's Party organizer, the People's Party "expelled the Newmanites when it was uncovered that they were operating within the party as a secret faction with an undisclosed agenda as to their intentions and plans." The Newmanites had told members of the People's Party that Newman's International Workers Party had been disbanded, but the People's Party stumbled across a secret Newmanite newsletter marked "confidential internal bulletin" and bearing the name . According to , the Newmanites were recruiting inside the People's Party and other progressive groups to build a secret "pre-party formation." The confidential Newmanite newsletter explained it was being published to "function as intelligence and communications networks, reporting on the social movement of various strata in particular areas. Even though the IWP was supposed to have dissolved, plans were sketched out in for its "Fourth Party Plenary" held in Gary, Indiana in early 1977. The meeting brought together representatives from various Newmanite front groups organized under the public banner of the "Council of Independent Organizers." Depth of Black Leadership The New Alliance Party does engage in activities which support Black candidates, as the following excerpt from a letter by NAP supporters points out: "In 1984, after campaigning for Reverend Jesse Jackson and witnessing his public rejection at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, NAP moved ahead with its independent Presidential campaign for the Afro-American candidate Dennis L. Serrette in a record-breaking 33 states where the party had managed to secure access to the ballot. " What the letter fails to mention is that Serrette left the New Alliance Party after unsuccessfully struggling for a meaningful leadership role for Black NAP officials who he felt had organizational titles but no real influence or control. At first, Serrette, as a point of personal and political principle, refused to openly criticize NAP, but when it became obvious NAP leaders were characterizing his reasons for leaving as primarily personal, and implying that Serrette continued to support NAP, Serrette went public with his charges in Mississippi's newspaper. "I left the party because it continued to claim it was Black-led--I knew better," Serrette is quoted as saying in the . "I mean no harm to these powerful Black women, Emily Carter, Lenora Fulani and Barbara Taylor, when I say that....I knew from being there that they were not leading Fred Newman--he was leading them--that's why I left....I don't feel they can use `Black-led' continuously without falling on their faces--falsehoods just won't hold up under close scrutiny." According to Serrette, NAP had no real commitment to Black-led independent politics. "I had to think about my reputation then--of people who continue to believe in me." After raising his criticisms internally, Serrette said he was cut off from the flow of information within the party. "It got so I didn't know when they were holding meetings or anything," said Serrette. In the course of the lawsuit by Emily Carter against the , Dennis Serrette was called by Carter's attorney to answer questions in a deposition. Serrette thoroughly denounced Newman and his followers as running a racist, sexist "therapy cult" that put people of color in public leadership positions merely as window dressing. Regarding the New Alliance Party, Serrette said: "...I don't believe that it's organic...in terms of it being a working-class movement...Black, white and Latino. I think it's an elitist organization. It certainly serves the purposes of its leader....it was a lie, it was clearly a tactical ...a racist scheme of using Black and Latino and Asian people to do the bidding of one man, namely Fred Newman, that's my opinion, and to use other whites as well, you know through the therapy practices. " "No one challenges Fred Newman. I have seen people maybe raise a few polite questions in...planning sessions...but Fred Newman's word is the word. There is no such thing as opposition within that organization, or principled opposition, that in my opinion could demonstrate a different will or challenge to power, a different political position of a major order, unless he agreed with it in some way. " Serrette said he came to believe the promise that the organization would eventually be turned over to Black people was a lie, and he challenged Newman on the point: "And I stated to him, "turned over" means, you know, resources, it means making policy, it means running personnel...that's Black control to me. I don't understand it as just having a Black face in a high place. That's nothing more than racism and nothing more than window dressing. " "It's no different from the system we seem to fight in this case. So I raised those questions to Fred and we had ... a very heated meeting. It was a meeting in which many of the Black leadership was there. " "It was very intense. We had Lenora [Fulani] making criticisms...Emily [Carter] making criticisms, there was a lot of folks making criticisms of some of the racism that they heretofore hadn't mentioned to Fred, but had told me and told other Blacks in a whisper type kind of way, the times that we were together...and they came forward. " Shortly after that meeting, according to Serrette, his stature and treatment by other NAP leaders changed dramatically. Serrette said he was not opposed to therapy on principle since he believed many people are helped by other forms of therapy. But therapy played a different role inside NAP according to Serrette: "...therapy was a way of getting people to not only operate in an organizational way, but also a way of controlling every aspect of their lives...you certainly couldn't straighten anybody out. But it was certainly effective in terms of controlling a lot of people to do the kinds of things that were asked of them...they would do anything, just about, that he would ask them to do. " "I wouldn't even be surprised if they'd turn from a so-called left organization to a right-wing organization with a blink of an eye. I think that the ideological question that is supposedly the thrust of who they call themselves, International Workers' Party, there's nothing more than a front itself. " "I certainly believe that [of] the New Alliance Party, and when I say "front," I just mean it's the cover to cover, possibly the ego of Fred Newman and the control of so many individuals in terms of power. " Serrette also said the therapy was not voluntary and that one Newman associate made this clear: "She said that it was an order that if you wanted to be part of this organization, you will have to take therapy because it is the backbone of our tendency...she says that comes as an order...from the governing body. " Support for Minister Farrakhan When Minister Louis Farrakhan addressed a New York City rally of his supporters in 1985, he was greeted with a telegram of support from the then NAP mayoral candidate Dr. Lenora Fulani: "It is with deep respect and the most profound commitment to the liberation of our people that I welcome you to New York City, hopeful that your visit will bring us, as Black people, the leadership of all this country's oppressed, a step closer to our freedom. " NAP at the time was seeking "a working relationship with Farrakhan's Nation of Islam," and members of both groups had attended each others' conferences. Fulani was not unaware of the controversial nature of some of Farrakhan's remarks regarding Jewish people and other groups. "I remain concerned that Minister Farrakhan's language can be interpreted as anti-Semitic or anti-gay. But I know, as do my Jewish friends and followers, that the Jewish people have nothing to fear from the Nation of Islam." Minister Farrakhan's language is indeed a cause for concern, as are the actions of his organization. In Chicago, representatives of the Nation of Islam invited the author of a book calling the Nazi Holocaust a hoax to share their stage with other special guests. Members of anti-Jewish white racialist groups have been invited to attend Nation of Islam events. Representatives of the Nation of Islam have made speeches where white racial characteristics have been held up for ridicule. It is true that many critics of Minister Farrakhan treat him in a racist manner. Further, many of Farrakhan's statements against political Zionism and the actions of the state of Israel in the Middle East are, for whatever reason, incorrectly labeled "anti-Semitic." However there is ample documentation that Farrakhan regularly makes references about the Jewish people that reflect a bigoted and stereotyped bias. This is not a question of semantics, but a question of prejudice. Conclusions The refusal of the Newmanites to deal candidly with, and accept criticism for, the LaRouche period--no matter how short-lived--and the attempt to provoke the FBI to target a former member and critics, will continue to be a valid issue to raise publicly concerning the New Alliance Party until that group's leadership accepts responsibility for the actions of its founders and current colleagues. The connection between the leadership of the New Alliance Party and the Newmanite Social Therapy centers is manipulative and unethical. So long as there is such a relationship, the New Alliance Party must be judged in the context of being a political moment that lacks clarity concerning basic moral issues involving personal and political exploitation. How can a group aspire to moral and political leadership when with one hand it reaches out to those in need of emotional help, and with the other hand points to a related political organization as a cure? Finally, the issue of the apparent opportunistic use of the "Rainbow" slogan is important to confront. This is especially true in Chicago where political consultant Don Rose, hardly a political neophyte, thought a Rainbow Lobby fundraiser that came to his home was representing Jesse Jackson until he spotted a name he recognized as being involved with the Newmanites on the literature. If a person with political sophistication can make the mistake, what about the average citizen? This continued confusion in the city that provides a base for Jesse Jackson and the real Rainbow Coalition can only serve to weaken Jackson's credibility among potential constituents whose first crucial introduction to the Rainbow may well be through the distorted prism of the Newmanites and NAP.
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor