Date: April 19, 2011 12:05PM
Mike D worked at the national office for several years. It's hard to say that any one person recruits another person, or at least it was back then when recruitment flowed through a systemic process. I consider him one of two persons who was key in my development as a cadre. He was always a true believer, one who "knew" the organization would win.
It's not surprising he felt the stories about the 1996 raid were all lies. When you're in, you live the "we versus them" mentality. Anyone who wasn't "us" was the enemy, which wasn't necessarily bad. Those who simply didn't know could still be offered the opportunity to learn and join. Most of "them" were the authorities. Not all funds went to support the local organizing drives, the open fronts to the masses. Many funds were siphoned off to other apparatus including the business operations (for profit but keeping costs to a minimum using donated resources and donated labor) and even the military wing. There were also the private coffers of the leaders. Off shore accounts including Turks & Caicos with sham business operations, bank accounts in Switzerland, I don't know how much money.
I didn't know Mike P was back working with the group. There was a time when the organization tried recruiting back former cadres (called Operation Retread) but it was my understanding that Margaret preferred to abandon former cadres altogether. Some were dropped off on street corners with no place to go; others simply driven out either physically or after years of abuse they just couldn't take it anymore. Margaret stole control in 1995 after Oldie's death. She preferred the "better fewer but better" mentality, which meant anyone who opposed her was chased out.
There is so much that can be said about this group. They do instill as much fear as possible in former members to keep us silent. While it's not the size of some more notorious cults, the damages are just as severe.