Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Excerpts from a letter to Alive from an ex-member of the CLM, Toronto


First Published: Alive Magazine No. 129, March 31, 1979
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and 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.


I have not had the opportunity to read all of Alive 125 but I have read a large portion of it.

From what I have read, it would seem that Edward Pickersgill and Gary Perly were both graduates of the same school of social fascism.

The physical violence against members, forcible confinement, sexual intimidation of women, his psychological goading of comrades during so-called “criticism-self-criticism” sessions all reminded me of my three years as a member of the Canadian Liberation Movement.

Pickersgill’s resemblance to Perly is absolutely incredible. Perly always slept late and used to say things like “even Chairman Mao slept in on the Long March”. Such was his feeling of self-importance. Perly used to delight in launching attacks on various victims and making them feel like worthless nothings. Perly also enjoyed playing husbands and wives against each other – one time uniting with one against the other, and at other times when it suited his fascist purposes uniting with the other. He would also, like Pickersgill, have couples separated. The result of this “marriage counsellor” was that there were numerous marriage breakdowns, separations and divorces.

Perly also extorted money and other personal assets of members. One couple was forced to borrow money from a relative in order to be able to feed their young child. Another woman had some of her personal effects stolen by one of Perly’s cohorts from a locker at Union Station. Perly was also involved in a swindle over a house which was being purchased by the CLM in which, from what I have heard, he made thousands of dollars.

Perly liked to play “lawyer” and during the Ontario Labour Relations Board hearings over the decertification of the Canadian Workers’ Union at the Canron plant in Rexdale, managed to run the union into debt to the tune of some $30,000.

His wife Caroline Perly used her legal status as the main shareholder in NC Press Ltd. to gain eventual control of that company. She locked out the NC Press staff (who were members of the Canadian Workers’ Union). The staff along with some of the writers for NC Press later went on to form Steel Rail Publishing which has since produced some excellent publications on various topics.

I could go on and on with stories of the Perlyite clique, undoubtedly you have heard a lot of this kind of thing before. This raises some questions concerning the Alive Production Collective. We first established contact around the Fall of 1976. From what I have read, the first rumblings against Pickersgill’s activities occurred around late 1977.

From all we explained to you of our own experiences at the hand of the Perlyite clique didn’t any of this hit home? Didn’t you realize that the exact same things we experienced were going on in your own backyard ? Why did it take so long for you to wake up?

I am still interested in maintaining correspondence with you, I am enclosing a cheque for $10, which I hope will be of some assistance to you in your present work. I would appreciate if you could send me an extra 2 or 3 copies of issue 125 so that I can pass them on to various friends. I sincerely hope that you will be able to overcome the bad influences of Pickersgill and will continue your anti-imperialist cultural work.

In solidarity