to Jose (PS)

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Fri Nov 29 10:26:13 MST 2002

Phil writes:

>>Everything I have posted on the list about the foul practices in the
cult are things that I was an *eyewitness* to in NZ or that Louis or
John Cox saw.  Both Louis and John Cox have also posted about this.
John Cox yesterday posted about the last straw for him in the cult being
when Barnes personally intervened to cover up a sexual assault.<<

I want to make clear that it was incautious of me not to specify that when I
referred to what I very harshly charcaterized as "Phil's tendency to
apolitical Barnes-bashing, gossip and rumor mongering" I had in mind and was
referring specifically to those matters on which I have personal knowlege or
am familiar enough with so that I can have an opinion, mostly matters
pertaining to the US SWP until 1985 and most especially from 1970 until

I had no intention to challenge and do not challenge what Phil reports of
his experiences in New Zealand, or what John talks about in a later period
in the SWP's history. As to Louis's recollections, as he makes clear, his
circumstances and experiences  in the SWP were very different from mine and
some others who have posted to the list. None of the specific things Louis
describes rings false to me, although I may have a more nuanced view of what
they represented politically.

Also, I want to make clear that what I called Phil's tendency to
rumor-mongering and so on was just an over-excited way of saying that (I
believe) he puts organizational questions over political question, which
leads him to also bring up poorly-documented, obscure decades-old incidents
and grievances which are now hopeless to unravel, and to give more credit
and significance than is due to annecdotes about the personal habits and
circumstances of  various figures. These are points I've made in previous
rounds of discussion on this subject.

So I want to apologize to Phil for it is clear he read my post as an attack
on his truthfulness or personal integrity, which was not at all my

I'm going to follow Louis Proyect's sage advice that it is time to "move
along," dropping this matter for the time being. If past experience is any
guide, it is likely to crop up again in a few months or a year. If it does,
I hope we'll get into it in such a way as to cast more light on the
organization question as a political question, and generate less heat.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Philip Ferguson" <plf13 at>
To: <marxism at>
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 4:31 PM
Subject: Re: to Jose (PS)

PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

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