Cathie Lauzon

The Destruction of On the line


First Published: Alive, No. 66, February 26, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Left wing publications all over Canada are presently being disrupted and smashed by self-styled revolutionary groups. This has become a major problem for genuine revolutionary people in this country, and I am happy to see Alive taking up the struggle against this liquidation campaign. The Western Voice and Poundmaker as well as other lesser-known independent papers have disappeared during the past two years. The University of Waterloo student paper, the Chevron, is presently two papers, a Free Chevron and a Real Chevron, but by the end of the school year there may very well be no Chevron. The campaign of takeover and destruction is quite obviously an organized campaign. The only way those of us on the Left can begin to combat it is to tell people what is going on and warn them how the agents of cleftism [This is the term used by Alive magazine to describe the ideology of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) – MIA Note] operate. Alive has revealed some of its experiences with CPC(M-L), the major force at present for division among revolutionary people in Canada. The following is the story of On the line, a working class newspaper which was produced in Kitchener and distributed throughout southern Ontario. It came under the control of CPC(M-L), which incorporated it into its official national daily newspaper for a time. On the line had close ties with Alive – until it was smashed by CPC(M-L).

The subject is of general interest because one of CPC(M-L)’s leaders frequently said that the methods worked out with On the line would later be implemented elsewhere. They have been. OTL served as a research lab in developing the techniques of liquidation.

I am not volunteering to write about my experiences out of any enthusiasm for doing battle with the leadership of CPC(M-L), knowing as I do the tactics of which some of the organization’s leaders are capable. However, as Chairman Mao said, “Communists must always be on the look-out for them (enemy agents), expose their criminal activities with factual evidence and warn the people not to be duped by them. Communists must sharpen their political vigilance towards these enemy agents. They must understand that the expansion and consolidation of the national united front is inseparable from the exposure and weeding out of enemy agents.” Mao Tsetung, Unite the Whole Nation and Combat Enemy Agents In Its Midst)

CPC(M-L) contains many revolutionary people, and the purpose of my disclosure is not to attack them, but to help rid the Left of infiltrators and enemy agents. Once when I told Richard Rathwell, who was then the local branch secretary, that I did not believe that all members of revisionist groups are conscious deliberate misleaders of the working class, he replied that in organizations that pretend to be Communist, the lower level members are sincere about what they are doing, that only the leadership is consciously misleading people. I believe that this was one of the rare occasions when he was being honest. Exposing the agents of reaction also attacks the revisionist line on Alive which is that all “Maoist” groups eventually split because of some inherent self-destructive tendency which is impossible to overcome. This is nothing but revisionist slander. The truth is that truly revolutionary people adhere to proletarian internationalism. We strive for the unity of workers and all oppressed people. The people of Alive and On the line have been subjected to every sort of divisive tactic because we are threats to the forces of reaction. “It is good if we are attacked by the enemy, since it proves that we have drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves.” (Mao Tsetung, To Be Attacked By the Enemy Is Not a Bad Thing But a Good Thing)

CPC(M-L) has had a variety of names during its brief history and it has given birth to numerous organizations. To attack it as an organization serves no purpose. It is the tactics that have been worked out by its leaders that have to be opposed. Some groups avoid infiltration by banning members of particular political parties from membership in their organizations. These groups should be strengthening their organizational structure because names change; there is no limit to the number of combinations of letters that can be made to end in (M-L). The enemy has done elaborate research into the tactics of division. It is up to revolutionary people to study what those tactics are and firmly oppose them.


I began my association with On the line in the spring of 1973. At that time the paper had already been in existence for three years in a sporadic sort of way. OTL was then a serious independent community newspaper with a staff of about 14 people who held a variety of political views and expressed them freely in the paper. Most of us had strong working class sentiments, and sharp struggle developed between the proletarian revolutionary line and the petty bourgeois line. The proletarian revolutionary line won out – mainly because of the editor’s growing adherence to Marxism-Leninism, but also because we were nearly $400 in debt, with little hope of ever publishing another issue – a fact which weakened the resolve of the petty bourgeois elements.

The four of us who remained with the paper solved the production problems by doing the typesetting ourselves and printing the paper on a small offset press. The more serious question, “Which class do we serve?” was answered in the front page editorial of Volume 4, Number 1, dated February 25, 1974: “On the line must become a working class newspaper.”

During the remainder of 1974 sharp struggles developed among the staff, but we never deviated from our determination to build On the line into a paper serving the working class. We were correct in our basic political view. However, “In social struggle, the forces representing the advanced class sometimes suffer defeat not because their ideas are incorrect but because, in the balance of forces engaged in struggle, they are not as powerful for the time being as are the forces of reaction; they are therefore temporarily defeated, but they are bound to triumph sooner or later.” (Mao Tsetung, Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?)

One problem lay in the fact that we did not recognize the foces of reaction when we encountered themin less than obvious guise. We correctly saw On the line should serve the working class “...if it’s going to develop into anything more than a confusing and disorganizing influence in the struggle for socialism.” The paper did later become an influence for confusion and disorganization solely because we mistook some of the forces of reaction for the forces of revolution – for the “Party of the Working Class” even.

Not that there weren't subtle hints even then. On one of my first encounters with Richard Rathwell, who was recently listed for a while as editor of PCDN, he asked me if I believed that CPC(M-L) was funded by the CIA. That was the first time I had heard this now-common rumour. I just laughed. Surely an organization that has an infinite number of red banners, which sings The Internationale at the end of all its public meetings and which shouts militant slogans like “Death to U. S. imperialism!” could not be a force of reaction! During 1974 those of us on the staff of the paper carried on with our work, producing eight issues by the end of the summer and paying off most of our debts. During the spring one staff member resigned. He said that the paper had a staff of only four people and wasn’t growing, so he reduced the number to three.

We certainly believed that our work was successful when, under the auspices of CPC(M-L), the paper became a weekly national newspaper within the remaining months of 1974. This was a remarkable change in our fortunes to occur in less than half a year, but we attributed our success to correct line and correct practice. Perhaps we suffered from too great a belief in our own superiority to pay attention to what was happening. A month later On the line ceased publication.

That is PCDN became PCDN/OTL. The “Party” put the ex-editor of OTL to work on PCDN and got rid of the remaining two long-term staff members. Later the organization dropped the words “On the line” from the masthead of PCDN. None of the original OTL staff members still had relations with the paper by that time.

In an editorial of On the line written before the paper was destroyed, the three of us on the staff promised: “We intend to develop the paper by exposing the politics of capitalism.” I now know at first hand a great deal about the politics of capitalism. Belatedly I am following through with our promise to expose them.

“If a man wants to succeed in his work, that is, to achieve the anticipated results, he must bring his ideas into correspondence with the laws of the objective external world; if they do not correspond, will fail in his practice. After he fails, he draws his lessons, corrects his ideas to make them correspond to the laws of the external world, and can thus turn failure into success; this is what is meant by ’failure is the mother of success’ and ’a fall into the pit, a gain in your wit’.” (Mao Tsetung, On Practice)


On the line was unofficially a publication of CPC(M-L) from the beginning of 1974 until the fall of the same year when it became an official organ of the so-called “Party”. Some of our articles were PCDN reprints. We put out a special issue in May in support of the organisation’s candidates in the Federal elections and in support of its policies as set forth in its election material. (Its policy, I am embarrassed to admit, was: “A vote for our Party is a vote for revolutionary struggle!” During this time the staff studied Marxism-Leninism and learned to do correct analysis of current strike struggles and other working class concerns. If we doubted the wisdom of voting on the question of revolutionary struggle, we kept our doubts to ourselves.)

The editor of the paper wanted OTL to become an official CPC(M-L) publication, and I certainly wanted to develop some formal relationship with that organization, especially with the branch. At that time I was drawn to CPC(M-L) because I thought it stood for revolutionary practice as opposed to the empty theorizing of so many other organizations, and also because it seemed to take correct theory very seriously. At the time of the Federal elections of 1974 all three of us on the staff agreed to discuss with the “Party” the possibility of unity between it and On the line. I myself asked for a formal relationship with the “Party”.

Fully two months later Rathwell got around to inviting me to become a “friend of the Party.” A “friend” is defined as someone who has agreed not to engage in public attacks on the “Party”. I knew of at least one person who had been declared a friend because he was objectively considered an enemy. Nevertheless, I accepted the title, such as it was.

During the summer of 1974, regular conferences took place between Rathwell and the OTL editor, although not with the other two members of the staff. This pattern is known technically as “organizing from above” and it is “correct” – although somewhat unsettling for those situated “below”. I made the mistake of referring to the process of organizing from above as “a fascist takeover” – for which I was investigated for the first time (but not the last time) for “anti-Party” activities. I had assumed that I was attacking inside the “Party”, not outside it since only a supporter and another “friend” were present.

A couple of weeks later we were informed that CPC(M-L) was on the verge of re-activating one of its dormant organizations – the SOUTHERN ONTARIO WORKERS ASSOCIATION, which would become the Workers Unity League of the 1970’s. On the line had been chosen to become the official organ of SOWA. This was exciting news, and from that time on, the three of us on the staff of On the line found ourselves completely under the discipline of CPC(M-L). For the next month we spent our weekends in Montreal, leaving Kitchener late Friday night, driving all night, trying to stay awake while we sat around all the next day waiting for a few minutes’ audience with “Comrade” Bains. When I objected that a meeting had definitely been scheduled for 10 o’clock on a particular Saturday morning I was told that some major inner-party battle was taking place and reminded that “the party moves forward on the basis of struggle.” How that group could move forward on the basis of struggle remains a puzzle, CPC(M-L) forbids its adherents to disagree with its line, criticize its leadership or question a proposal made by them, let alone speak out against that proposal or vote against it. When a meeting with the leadership finally took place it was between Bains and Rathwell. The rest of us could as well have stayed at home.

The time we did spend at home we wrote articles – and then we re-wrote them. The first issue of the paper as a SOWA organ kept being put off week after week, but of course the strike struggles we wrote about got resolved as the weeks went by, and the articles needed to be updated. In between times we worked full time at our regular jobs, took care of home and family and got a few hours’ sleep from time to time.

Because I was tired and also trusting, I was happy to be relieved of two of my previous jobs. Another committee took oyer the task of handling subscriptions, so I gave the mailing list to Rathwell. He also claimed the right to sort through all of the mail that came to our post office box before I could see it. Later it seemed natural to hand over the key to the post office box as well.


When word leaked out a couple of years ago that CPC(M-L) had been infiltrated by the FBI, “Comrade” Bains denounced the story as a lie and demanded that people examine his organization’s line and not ask too many questions about its membership. It is important, of course, to examine any group’s political line, but surely an organization which calls itself Marxist-Leninist and which advocates Mao Tsetung Thought ought to be at least equally interested in an examination of its social practice. Correct ideas, after all, come from social practice. And the social practice of CPC(M-L) has more in common with the activities of a shell game operator in a carnival than the activities of a revolutionary Communist Party.

Most of the time it was impossible for any of the SOWA members to know what committee any of us belonged to, how that committee related to the overall organizational structure, how many committees any one person belonged to, etc. The trick for the On the line staff was to figure out which committee was the On the line-committee.

I would not be able to reconstruct the downfall of OTL except for the fact that I was its recording secretary and have a full set of minutes. Just to read those minutes is an exercise in mystification.

For instance, once we joined SOWA, we were no longer referred to as the staff of On the line; we started to be called the editorial board of On the line. Some members were working members; others such as Richard Rathwell, the recent editor of PCDN, were not. Some members left the editorial board to become members of other SOWA committees. Correspondents’ clubs were going to be developed in other cities. They were referred to as secondary editorial boards a week after their existence was “revealed”. As far as I could tell, these groups had no relationship with us at all, and probably did not even exist, judging by the dearth of material sent in from other cities.

On November 6th Rathwell announced that several trade unions had approached On the line and asked us for assistance in producing their journals. It was agreed that we would extend our services to include a news service and a publishing house as well as a plant where facilities would be made available to trade unions. The news service would be called the Worker’s Press Service.

At this same November 6th meeting an executive committee of SOWA was established. This was an interesting example of shell game politics – known also as putting Rathwell in command. Several people drew up lists of people they nominated to be on the executive. Rathwell said they were all good lists – so good in fact that the best way to decide which group would become the SOWA executive was to flip a coin. Rathwell flipped a coin. Rathwell’s list won.

On December 26th Rathwell announced that the organization would be broken up into disciplined practical teams with specific responsibilities. Not much was done at that meeting about setting up these practical teams. Rathwell was merely preparing conditions for what was to follow.

Between Christmas and New Years a joint Alive/On the line delegation attended the Canadian University Press Conference (Alternate Press “Sub-Conference”) in Saskatoon. A document presented at the conference to the representatives of various alternate newspapers announced that OTL would soon become a national paper. The rest of us who were connected with OTL had not been informed of this, but only found out when we read a copy of the document that a member of the delegation brought back.

On January 3, 1975 it was agreed that OTL should become nothing less than “the general organizer of the trade union movement in Canada.” It would continue to be a weekly paper, but we were told to look forward to more frequent publication in the future. The paper would no longer say on the masthead: “Representing the views of the Southern Ontario Workers Association,” but instead would become a “National weekly working class newspaper that supports the views of SOWA and other similar organizations.” The paper’s staff would work under a committee of the “Central Committee.”

On January 14th the editorial board was informed by Rathwell that we were to concentrate on solving problems of editorial content. Students would assist with mailing and “some other work.” The problem of producing a French translation of OTL was said to have been solved. Rathwell announced that “within one and a half months the paper will be completely typeset. Unity with Alive is developing.” The editor was instructed to make an overall plan of what equipment would need to be bought in view of long-range plans.

The January 20th meeting was an incredible example of “Now you see it; now you don’t.” A representative from Alive was present at this meeting and may be able to vouch for the fact that all of what follows actually took place – and within a period of 15 minutes or less. The first proposal of Rathwell’s was that “under the leadership of the branch” (what branch of what organization was not disclosed) we should establish a propaganda commission. The propaganda commission was to be an underground organization of On the line. “Its formal relationship is that OTL will organize it, but under the control of the branch.”

The second proposal was that we amalgamate OTL and PCDN. The observers who had been invited to attend the meeting were nominated by Rathwell “to play a strong role in developing the propaganda. Observers have full participating and voting rights.”

The propaganda commission was to be led by a student member of the OTL staff (the member who had deserted the paper the previous summer) under the leadership of the OTL editor and Rathwell. He was to be assisted by a professor at the University of Waterloo.

Rathwell proposed next that the On the line staff rename itself the PROPAGANDA COMMITTEE OF KITCHENER-WATERLOO-GUELPH SOWA under the direction of Rathwell, the OTL editor and the student head of the propaganda commission. This was doubly bewildering. The relationship between the propaganda commission and the propaganda committee was totally unclear, and the person who had abandoned OTL in its darkest hour was now apparently its leader. The other half of the puzzle consisted of the fact that there was no Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph branch of SOWA. There was a Kitchener-Waterloo branch and there was a Guelph branch which were entirely separate. With Rathwell’s marvellous form of dialectics, two went into one while nobody was looking. (As soon as the Kitchener personnel could be transferred to Guelph, one divided back into two again. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the whole thing was reduced to zero, SOWA was not mentioned by the “Party” again.)

This was the first and only public mention of Guelph during all of these proceedings. I was never told by anyone in the “Party” that production was being transferred anywhere, and it only dawned on me weeks later that a “propaganda committee” has no corresponding secretary and that in any case the mail was now being “forwarded to another location.” In other words, all of my old jobs had lost their content.

On January 29th we held our final meeting. Only two visitors attended. Rathwell proposed that OTL go to a higher level of professionalism – that editorial and technical functions be entirely professional and entirely separate – although in practice the technical people also became the writing staff. In addition Rathwell proposed that three subcommittees be formed: the propaganda commission to produce the student paper, one person to work primarily on another committee but to give guidance to the student paper if it ever chose to write about his area of specialization, and a subcommittee composed of Rathwell and the two remaining long-term OTL staff members to write “profound articles” on the trade union movement, to do analysis of government publications, etc. This subcommittee was to be under the discipline of the local mobilization committee. Rathwell was the chairman of this subcommittee and supposedly he reported to himself as head of the propaganda committee. Or else he reported to the student who reported to him. He was also theoretically under the discipline of the local mobilization committee, although certainly not in practice. I never had a chance to find out how it was all going to work. The other veteran member quit at this point, and soon afterwards Rathwell moved out of town. I had been completely detached from the organisation and was now simply a freelance writer for PCDN.


Anyone reading about all of the incredible maneuvering that went into the takeover of On the line must surely wonder why the staff put up with all the things that happened. Why, for instance, did we vote unanimously to support every one of Rathwell’s proposals? Some of his proposals we didn’t understand; others seemed pointless; many were distasteful in the extreme. Yet we voted in favour of them all.

The answer to this puzzle is a combination of tiredness, an overly emotional state deliberately cultivated by the leaders, and “Communist social relations.” After we began working for CPC(M-L) we never stopped work any night before two in the morning and we stayed up until dawn on production nights. We were aware that we were confused, but we attributed some of our confusion to just plain tiredness. The emotional state was created by news delivered by Rathwell regarding all sorts of exciting things that were happening – new organizations forming, mass support developing for the paper, new triumphs over MREQ. Not all of the news was good news. A friend of the “Party” had given a Trotskyite speech at the University; another friend had publicly attacked it; a comrade had “collapsed” (become totally demoralized); another comrade had committed the grave crime of ordering 3,500 copies of the paper to be printed when the decision had been made to produce more than 3,000 and less than 4,000. Intense emotional states coupled with physical exhaustion give rise to all sorts of strange mental states – a fact known to hypnotists, psychiatrists – and the FBI which has always expressed extreme interest in brainwashing techniques.

However, the main reason for our tolerance of Rathwell’s shell games was something he referred to as “Communist social relations.” This is a subject Marx never wrote about. Neither did Lenin. Whatever “Communist social relations” are, they are something quite different from the relations that Chairman Mao wrote about: “Our cadres must show concern for every soldier, and people in revolutionary ranks must care for each other, must love and help each other.” (Mao Tsetung, Serve The People) “When cadres are in difficulty as a result of illness, straitened means or domestic or other troubles, we must be sure to give them as much care as possible.” (Mao Tsetung, The Role of the Communist Party In the National War) No, the “Communist social relations” advocated by CPC(M-L) could best be summed up in their own favourite saying: “Toughen up! The Party wasn’t organized on the basis of your personal convenience.”

I probably shouldn’t try to explain to anyone what “Communist social relations” are because that is precisely the issue over which I finally “left” CPC(M-L). I did not leave the organization because I disagreed with its line, or refused to carry out any tasks assigned, but only because I was unable to engage in “Communist social relations”; and that was because I was completely unable to understand them.

CPC(M-L) is extremely concerned about security. New recruits are put in the position of having to prove that they are loyal to the organization. The leadership was forever checking on our credentials. (These agents of reaction claimed they were checking into our loyalty in order to prevent infiltration by enemy agents!) We were never allowed to raise any questions about their credentials in spite of the fact that many of us had been working together harmoniously for years until they moved into town, and in spite of the fact that they disappeared mysteriously for weeks at a time.

“Security” is so tight in CPC(M-L) that even a husband and wife are forbidden to talk together about the organization’s activities, let alone complain about them – unless they are members of the same committee – an unlikely event. In fact nobody in CPC(M-L) talks about anything except political economy. Other topics are “bourgeois”. Communist “spirit” is the goal – a hearty enthusiastic style whether accompanied by genuine enthusiasm or not. People from different units are forbidden even to speak to one another unless their work demands it. Frequently I worked half the night in the basement of a “certain Chinese restaurant” in Toronto doing layout for the paper with people I ignored totally at a meeting a few days later.

At general meetings of CPC(M-L) all members of a branch sit together and take careful notes of what “Comrade” Bains says (all of their meetings consist of a speech by “Comrade” Bains). After the meeting the branches regroup into little circles for small group discussion. The purpose of these discussions is to make absolutely certain that all comrades understand the correct line they have just heard. They endorse that line. If the line is correct – and it is always “correct” – it is relatively easy to say so in a minute or two. What is difficult is to keep on saying enthusiastically that you agree with the line for the hour or more that the discussion lasts.

At a branch meeting each person is expected to display “spirit” by endorsing all resolutions coming from the Central Committee, and to do so with enthusiasm. This is CPC(M-L)’s interpretation of democratic centralism. To vote against one of Rathwell’s proposals was to risk being expelled or suspended. To inquire how a proposal was to be implemented was also “incorrect”. A genuine Communist organizer would be able to figure it out without assistance. The person who asks for concrete suggestions was told, “The trouble with you is that you put details in command. If you put revolution in command you would know what to do.” The person who thought he knew how to put Rathwell’s proposals into effect but failed would become the victim of absolutely merciless public criticism. However, the person who learned to support Rathwell’s proposals “in principle” but do nothing could rise to a relatively secure position inside the organization.

Criticism “from above”, however is frequent and unpredictable. It is also quite brutal, CPC(M-L) leaders frequently say that left-wing errors are preferable to right-wing errors, and they certainly engage in a lot of left-wing errors. However, it is a left-wing error to mistake your friends for the enemy and attack them. “To treat comrades like enemies is to go over to the stand of the enemy.” (Mao Tsetung, Talks at Yenan Forum On Literature and Art) And when your comrades have gone over to the side of the enemy by attacking you, it is not always easy or even correct to re- unite with them. The top leadership of CPC(M-L) cannot, of course, be said to go over to the stand of the enemy. They are the enemy.

On Christmas day 1974, On the line ran into serious production problems. Only the three senior staff members were available to sort things out. We finished the layout, and we also filed some charges dealing with mismanagement. In my statement I said that the problem lay in the fact that nobody really knew what an editorial board was – some members thought it was a non-working committee. The problem had to do with the way Rathwell had organized the staff in the first place. We had no authority and no organizational integrity, and our members could be co-opted, by other SOWA committees at Rathwell’s whim. I demanded that the entire episode be investigated by the next higher level in the organization.

A pretty grim meeting took place the next evening. All of the charges were brushed aside as inconsequential – except for “the serious charge made by Cathie” regarding Rathwell’s leadership. Rathwell demanded that he be investigated by his hand-picked executive of SOWA in order to clear his name from “Cathie’s vile slanders.” He also warned me that further skirmishes would lead to my suspension.

Rathwell was never investigated. A month after he insisted upon calling for an investigation I asked him what had happened. He replied that he would criticize the SOWA executive members who had been assigned the task of doing the investigation and who had failed to perform that task. He said there was no point in going ahead with the investigation as it would no longer help to move the organization forward.

“Communist social relations” were subject to change from time to time. Most people who ever came into the orbit of CPC(M-L) had no intention of placing themselves under its discipline. They merely agreed to “unite on a practical task” – organizing a meeting to discuss the Green Paper on Immigration, attending a women’s conference, etc. A few weeks later they found that the “Party” was now not only demanding ideological unity but denouncing them for giving an incorrect line.

Early in the history of the OTL editorial board we were informed that hard work was secondary. The main thing was to support the “Party’s” decisions “in principle” and of course to put revolution in command. Later, when some of us were thoroughly demoralized, the “Party” changed its line. At the final meeting of On the line Rathwell announced that from that time on anyone who was not an activist would be removed. It was no longer enough to support anything in principle or to give the correct line. The only thing that now mattered was social practice.

From that time on, too, the policy was adopted that only collectives would be criticized – never individuals. On January 8th Rathwell said that when disagreements arise, members should remember that there is a chain of command for resolving things. Disagreements should be raised at meetings only. Within a month I was an individual unattached to any committee and therefore unable to attend a meeting where criticism might be allowed. I was an inactive member because I was really no longer a member at all.

In my final week with On the line my “Communist social relations” deteriorated completely. I was denounced because I wanted to reorganize the paper’s clipping files. I tried to control my temper because people who attack the leadership get expelled and I thought I was still a member. Several months later I found evidence that I had been removed from the staff because I had “gone passive”. I made a formal charge that I had been set up – placed in a double bind situation in which I had two choices – get expelled for attacking the leadership or get expelled for refusing to attack the leadership. Furthermore, I charged that the subcommittee of “profound writers” had been formed solely for the purpose of being liquidated. I never got an answer to my charge – in spite of the channels of communication that I was assured were in existence. (I did receive a visit from Rathwell six months later, in October, 1975, when he was on his way to “quell a disturbance” taking place in “another location.” I did not get an answer to my charge.)

Only from reading the last couple of issues of Alive (November, 1976 issues) did I learn that I was removed from the staff of OTL two years ago, not because of any personal defect of my own and not because of some formal decision made by the paper’s former editor, but only because CPC(M-L) was far less interested in the social relations of production than in acquiring certain material productive forces in another city.

CPC(M-L) uses “Communist social relations” as a means to acquire property. Its social relations are really bourgeois social relations. They negate the human personality and promote alienation. They serve the purpose of dividing and demoralizing revolutionary people. The “Party” with its idealistic notions of “spirit” and its distortion of the concept of “putting revolution in command” creates mystification and confusion. CPC(M-L)’s “Communist social relations” are actually a form of psychological warfare developed by the agents of reaction. Many persons have had far more unfortunate experiences with CPC(M-L) than I have. Some have gone to prison or had their careers or family life destroyed by CPC(M-L)’s agents of reaction who used “Communist social relations” to subvert revolution.

At the time I left CPC(M-L) I was so angry I wasn’t sure whether I was a Communist or an anti-Communist. After I gave the matter some thought, my experience with CPC(M-L) seemed like an object lesson dreamed up to “prove” that the insane red-baiting writings of J. Edgar Hoover contain some truth. Once a person asks, “Whose interests are served by creating such a monstrous organization and calling it “Communist”, the answers begin to fall into place.