Western Massachusetts Labor Action co...

Western Massachusetts Labor Action continues its mission to hel...

There are 46 comments on the Advocate Weekly story from Jun 12, 2008, titled Western Massachusetts Labor Action continues its mission to hel.... In it, Advocate Weekly reports that:

Photo by Victoria Passier Longtime volunteer Albert Turner, left, and Thatcher Kent, Western Massachusetts Labor Action's operations manager, stand in front of WMLA's new home, built by community volunteers, at ...

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Christine Redford

Medford, OR

#1 Jun 16, 2008
Congratulations. You left out the part about this group being a front organization for the National Labor Federation (also known as NATLFED). Try a little web research on THAT group.
Christine Redford

Medford, OR

#2 Jun 16, 2008
Congratulations. You left out the part about this group being a front organization for the National Labor Federation (also known as NATLFED). Try a little web research on THAT group.
Robin Fahlberg

Canton, IL

#3 Jun 16, 2008
I have no doubt that WMLA does some very good things for the community and that the people who volunteer their time, for the most part, sincerely want to improve the lives of low-income workers. But, as Christine points out, there is a whole lot more to WMLA than this. WMLA is part of a very centralized, high-demand group called the National Labor Federation/ Provisional Communist Party (natlfed). Former members (including myself) have reported institutional mental, verbal, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse of full-time volunteers with this organization. Although the group will tell you that it is run by an Advisory Committee and Workers Benfits Council, the Operations Manager receives regular orders from natlfed headquarters run by Margaret Ribar. They are not open about their finances, and are not a 501(c)(3) organization. I encourage those considering new or continued participation or support of WMLA to research the entire picture and then make a decision based on weighing the positive of the community work with the reported abuse.
Jeff Whitnack

San Francisco, CA

#4 Jun 16, 2008
This group is a bogus cult organization. Go to www.wikipedia.org and type in National Labor Federation.

The wiki article goes back and forth being written. But look at the references!(My 1094 article is number 5). A few clicks and it should be very obvious this is a very disturbing group at least. Also check out the External links to the cached site.

One would think a journalist would do a bit more to check out the veracity of a group they are describing. But not the first or last to be conned by this group!
Must be true

Easthampton, MA

#5 Jun 16, 2008
Jeff Whitnack wrote:
This group is a bogus cult organization. Go to www.wikipedia.org and type in National Labor Federation.
Well, if it says it on Wikipedia, THAT settles it.:-)
Ex-embedded reporter

Santa Rosa, CA

#6 Jun 17, 2008
The three ex-cadre above have reported their findings. There are 100s of others, over thirty years, departed from this sorry excuse for a fighting organization.
What are your findings, "must be true?"
The New York Times prints "all the news that's fit to print" and they've been a mighty fine mouth piece for the Bush Administration this past eight years.
Gino used to say, "Yea, yea" - a double positive, means "no" in this manner of speaking.
Patrick Henry, American patriot, rode his horse through town, yelling "The British Are Coming..." That was the truth; not in word, in deed.
Mark Twain said, in times of war, truth is the first casualty. You know, we are in a war. In my experience, I had to dodge the bullets - both enemy fire and "friendly" fire ... and struggle for the truth. Yes, it's not in wikipedia - it is amongst those who've been there, done that (with natlfed). "Must be true" - try to put aside your dismissive attitude and get some facts by studying those "with 'em," and "those against 'em."

It ain't easy, babe,
fizzle

P.S.-(that's the sound of many years of natlfed experience), doing the "building strength in numbers." Thacher Kent sadly plods on to achieve, what? I'm glad they got some new office "digs." The old office was a dump. At least the cadre won't be freezing this winter, along with the members.
Jeff Whitnack

San Francisco, CA

#7 Jun 18, 2008
I mentioned Wikipedia because that is about the best "one stop" place to find a host or article references and links.
If Natlfed were merely a "sorry excuse for a fighting organziation", which it most certainly is, that wouldn't be so bad. But it is a lying, deceptive, pack of BS wrapped in a cult. So many people have wasted and lost so many years--all at the service NOT of a progressive or revolutionary organization, but to the service of the whims and proclivities and profit of the top leader(s). Another link to check out, for a long discussion of ex Natlfed people, is at
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/11/3045...

Anyone not already ensnared into the Natlfed cult (potential volunteers and recruits as well as reporters) should be able to read the volumes available, compare that with actual exposure to Natlfed, and come to a pretty solid conclusion that this group is something to be at least avoided and at most robustly exposed. For those trapped inside the cult it often takes more before they wake up.
The New Centrist

Brooklyn, NY

#8 Jul 2, 2008
Before the Internet it was much more difficult to get information about NATLFED and related front groups. But information is readily available these days. A good place to start is:

http://www.archive.org/details/FBI_file_100_4...
You have been deceived

Nantucket, MA

#9 Jul 6, 2008
In no way am I intentionally insulting your intelligence but did you do any extensive research on this group? I volunteered for about three months for the WMLA and made the same mistake myself as far as asking critical questions or doing any kind of background search. I learned the hard way that this one of the many front groups for the NATLFED, it is highly deceptive, and it is doing more damage to the working poor than helping. It is an extreme political group that employs cult mind control techniques to recruit potential cadre and I'm still suffering from the after-effects. I personally have no ill will toward Thatcher or any of the volunteers there and I believe that most are well-meaning but they are still affiliated with a manipulative political cult and practice psychological "rape" ...they lay low and downplay anything info you find out about them because the last time the media took notice was back in the late 90's when the FBI raided the New York headquarters. I feel very strongly about speaking out against their practices because everything they claim to be against is in fact what they are themselves, a fascist, totalist group. Please, research cult practices and google this group...the truth is out there. If you have facebook, look up Jeff Whitnack (he left the inner core around the eighties), he is an ex-member of NATLFED around the time Gino Perente A.K.A Gerald Doeden was it notorious leader. I wish I could identify myself but I must take precautions. Although, I do not believe they are dangerous I need to be cautious because they have a good amount of information in their files about me as well as my address. If you do the research and it adds up...please write an article exposing them for the fraud's they are. They're nice but not in a genuine way, they are convincing because they have to be and because they are severely brainwashed. These people are victims of NATLFED's agenda. Did Thatcher Kent happen to mention that he dropped out of college to devote excessive amounts of time which have turned into 13 years of fanatical devotion to the group? Did he mention that Peggy Uman (the woman that began the Eastern Farm Workers Association as well as working alongside Mr. Perente) ended up leaving the group (NATLFED, Provisional Party) years ago and became a born again christian? Their history is made up, they talk in circles when questioned, and have very black/white absolutist views ("us" vs. "them"). Please take this into account.
Ummm

Nantucket, MA

#10 Jul 6, 2008
Either you don't like research or you support them yourself...which one is it????
Besides Wiki there are plenty of articles you can look up...google use it...library use it please!!!!
Do you realize your lack of critical thought and questioning are qualities this group thrives on? I really hope they haven't sucked you in yet.
Ze Frank

Greenfield, MA

#11 Dec 1, 2008
Ummm wrote:
Either you don't like research or you support them yourself...which one is it????
Besides Wiki there are plenty of articles you can look up...google use it...library use it please!!!!
Do you realize your lack of critical thought and questioning are qualities this group thrives on? I really hope they haven't sucked you in yet.
Google is our dear and glorious leader!
true

Greenfield, MA

#12 Dec 2, 2008
These are the experts apparently, some people who maybe went on a canvass to sign up members twice, then took the blue pill. One person claims to know enough to condemn them in three months. After organizing for eight months, I can tell you there have been times I've come to paranoid conclusions about the practices of WMLA at three months, four months perhaps, but I've stuck around because I'd rather not live in an abstract reality dictated by http://www.Google.com , http://www.Facebook.com , http://www.wikipedia.com , and New York Times -- who, the last time I read that paper, claimed that a couple in Georgia found the actual bigfoot -- and all whose interests lie in the poverty and oppression of others under an objectively fascist system of government. Often, things I was so worried about I was only worried about because of a hatred that the American media has instilled in my brain/ the hatred that the current social structure encourages - divide and conquer all out on your fucking subconscious. I was worried because this method and system was unfamiliar, un-endorsed by the poverty pimps who tell us what's what. I've a most skeptical and discerning mind, and I've concluded that sometimes WMLA and the rest of the 24 organizations that make up NATLFED are so transparent, it's difficult to put your trust in them. Before you make any informed decision on the matter, you must shatter the false principals you live by. IE: Google as an acceptable means of anything. Live less by abstraction. I can't say more, except that my truest, most human conviction is that WMLA and NATLFED are an acceptable means of organizing all labor so that the working class can demand a livelihood, a social necessity.
true

Greenfield, MA

#13 Dec 2, 2008
The "blue pill" is a Matrix reference/not literal.
Robin Spellman Fahlberg

Canton, IL

#14 Dec 2, 2008
True says that "I can't say more, except that my truest, most human conviction is that WMLA and NATLFED are an acceptable means of organizing all labor so that the working class can demand a livelihood, a social necessity." There was a time when I would have agreed. This was when I was a full-time volunteer for 14 years at one of the Natlfed affiliates.

I vehemently disagree for 2 reasons - 1) there is scant evidence that Natlfed is a viable means of organizing all labor, and 2) if the cost of this viable way is the regular beating of cadre, the continued verbal and mental abuse of cadre, the sexual abuse of cadre, lying, stealing, and complete subjugation of one's will to a philosophy that was made up by a crazy man - I say the cost is to high.

Natlfed has been organizing for 36 years. What are the results and how are they measured? How do they compare with other methods? If the growth rate continues at the historical rate when will the unorganized be organized? I don't see anyone who claims that Natlfed is a viable means of organizing the unorganized giving any reliable back-up to that claim. The only ones I heard which pertained to the Suffolk County EFWA drive in 1971 turned out to be lies. So, why would one give their time and their life to this?

The party line to these questions is often - there is no other viable solution. We are then in real trouble. Yes, other groups and solutions have weaknesses just as they have strengths. So does Natlfed. There is no magic panacea or solution to all the problems in the world, in the country, or in the low-income community. There are many possible solutions, each one having some viability.

I was sexually harassed by the head of this organization when I was 18 and know others who experienced the same thing. I won't go so far as to call it rape but it was on the same borderline as daterape. I know others who were beaten regularly. How about convincing someone to commit suicide by not seeking treatment for cancer? How about shooting at someone? How about sentencing someone to death, making people draw straws to decide who will carry the sentence out, and then commuting it at the last minute. Are these things acceptable? I vote not.

What false principles do we live by? How do they compare with the principles Natlfed cadre live by? What I am saying is that the face that you see on the outside is just that a face - dig down deeper and there is something else and it is not good.

Robin Spellman Fahlberg
kmm

Santa Clara, CA

#15 Feb 5, 2009
Robin,
are you referring to Western MAssachusetts Labor ACtion? If you are then you are wrong. I have volunteered for them and I know the people who run the organization. YOu do not know what you are talking about so please stop giving this amazing organization bad press. THank you
Mary Struggler

Medford, OR

#16 Jul 24, 2009
All the news that fits, we print.
Western Massachusetts Labor Action and Berkshire County Fuel Committee are affiliated organizations with the National Labor Federation. But then again, Karl M Malbrain in San Jose, CA, you already know that. You, sir, talk like you volunteered with them but your affiliations have included Western Service Workers Association, California Homemakers Association and Western Farm Workers Association (all affiliates of National Labor Federation).
So go run along to your typewriter and tell Margaret that your attempts to lend credibility to this farce have failed.
Lots o free time

Ashfield, MA

#17 Jul 26, 2009
Mary Struggler wrote:
All the news that fits, we print.
Western Massachusetts Labor Action and Berkshire County Fuel Committee are affiliated organizations with the National Labor Federation. But then again, Karl M Malbrain in San Jose, CA, you already know that. You, sir, talk like you volunteered with them but your affiliations have included Western Service Workers Association, California Homemakers Association and Western Farm Workers Association (all affiliates of National Labor Federation).
So go run along to your typewriter and tell Margaret that your attempts to lend credibility to this farce have failed.
Impressive that you have the time to monitor these things. One would think you'd be spending all your energy rallying support for your Obama-not-a-citizen campaign or whatever other kook conspiracy theories you subscribe to.:-)
Mary Struggler

Medford, OR

#18 Jul 26, 2009
Lots o free time wrote:
<quoted text>
Impressive that you have the time to monitor these things. One would think you'd be spending all your energy rallying support for your Obama-not-a-citizen campaign or whatever other kook conspiracy theories you subscribe to.:-)
I voted for McCain. I don't believe that aliens create crop circles. It's not that hard to subscribe to an alert. What kook conspiracy theories are you talking about?
DTF

United States

#19 Oct 25, 2009
Mary Struggler wrote:
<quoted text>
I voted for McCain. I don't believe that aliens create crop circles. It's not that hard to subscribe to an alert. What kook conspiracy theories are you talking about?
You voted for McCain? On your blog you admit to being a card-carrying Communist. It's great that the United States even lets Commies vote. What's next? Commies in our schools? Commies in US Army? Commies being allowed to run for office?

If you expect people to believe you when you say Natlfed is a cult, then you have to tell the truth about Natlfed and not put fictionalized accounts on your blog. You aren't doing your cause any good by telling lies.
DTF

United States

#21 Nov 16, 2009
So you like that I pointed people to your scribd blog? Mary Struggler, I know who you and Peggy are and your story is just pure D lies. I'll say it again YOU ARENT DOING YOUR CAUSE ANY GOOD BY TELLING LIES.

You want to help people? Help yourselfs first.

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