[Marxism] Tron Øgrim on Fake Dutch "Maoist" Group

David Altman altman_d at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 4 07:26:45 MST 2004


Tron Øgrim, who occasionally posts to the Marxism List, moderates the 
informative "Leftist Trainspotters" group on Yahoo.  He was a former leader 
of an "ML" group in Norway and is very knowledgable about the intricacies of 
the European Maoist/pro-Albanian movement of the '70s & '80s.

Here's what he posted yesterday (I've taken the liberty of proofreading 
Tron's posting for obvious misspellings, etc.):

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Petersen/MLPN" first part My experience with him

This stuff has been posted here at least TWO TIMES before, of course

1) some weeks back

2) earlier today, by the infatigable bro Pugilese.

I commented on it the first time, as I MET MR. "PETERSEN" in Oslo.

As my last posting on Petersen and his "MLPN" got a rather malapropos 
appreciation at the time by a spotter who seemed to read my reaction as a 
support for the wiewsk that "crde Petersen" was

a) a great success b) typical of intelligence operations (against Maoists, 
maybe?)

Let me repeat my earlier conclusions, with their edges perhaps sharpened a 
bit:

1) "Petersen" and his "MLPN" were as genuine as a 13- dollar bill. At the 
time, we got their mag, and we concluded that they were either

+ agents or + locos.

We read his mag more or less in the spirit of the posadist stuff at the time 
with flying saucers, "the children masses rising" etc.

2) This was because the little a4 mag of the "party" showed absolutely no 
sign of external activities, but in the main was about ideology (and with no 
pix, if i remember it!) and consisted of "orthomao" phrases.

As we knew a lot about RECRUITING people - we went from a movement of tens 
to several thousand organized people in less than 10 years - we could see 
that this was a thing without ABSOLUTELY ANY MASS APPEAL AT ALL. Neither did 
it reflect the least sign that the person(s) putting this out were DOING 
anything at all in the real world - the Vietnam demonstrations of the time, 
the strikes or union movement, anything.

On the other hand, they were very good at sending greetings to the CPC at 
the 1st October etc. To us it seemed that this mag was MAINLY published to 
get into the "Peking Review".

Which it was, of course.

3) The reason we weren't sure whether this was a police provocation or 
simply a loco, was that at this time there were still a number of old CP 
people around in different countries, who were pro china/pro Stalin and at 
the same time extremely sectarian and isolated, existing outside any type of 
contact with any kind of the mass and youth movements which were growing 
like mushrooms in all the countries of the west at the time (including San 
Marino etc!)

So we wondered if this might be one old-guard opportunist who had set up 
this "party" in order to get free trips to china - a personal "free travel 
agency".

These kinds of guys were quite common in the old parties, getting the 
monopoly on "solidarity with Bulgaria" - "solidarity with Mongolia" etc, 
going back and forth, going to receptions, getting blue in the face from 
embassy free likker, etc.
(During the 60s, this was a stratum we mainly met at receptions in the 
Chinese and Korean embassies, where they unerringly ran on their faltering 
legs from the entrance to the free bar.)

What we WERE sure of before meeting the guy, was that THERE WAS NO GENUINE 
PARTY OR MOVEMENT behind this "party".

4) So he invited himself to Oslo and I met him.

As I remember it, we didn't offer to give him a bed, nor did we meet him in 
any kind of office of ours but I met him in a restaurant downtown (which 
indicates how we looked at him).

The guy still was as genuine as a 7-dollar bill. He was very middle-aged and 
bourgeois, very different from the typical youth activist of the time, nor 
did he talk the lingo.

I think I remember that he told that he was a goldsmith(!?!) and that 
Petersen was a nom-de guerre (not very impressive, as the numbers of 
goldsmiths even in rich, but small Netherlands arent unlimited).

He had nothing to say about real politix, and what he DID say was weird 
-like that they had a SECRET member in some municipal parliament - and they 
were a very ILLEGAL party - ...

... again, WHAT is the use of a SECRET parliamentarian?

I see that these recent exposures talks about 1 or several other "genuine" 
members. In fact I'm a bit surprised, as I thought after meeting "Mr. 
Petersen" that this was a 1 man operation and all the rest was bluff.

5) I believe our conclusions we drew at the time was that this smelled more 
of the police than of a private china traveling agency, as this guy paid his 
way uninvited up to Oslo to have some rather inane talks with us, and why 
the hell should he do that if he was genuine?

Then, all this "illegal" talks of him smelt of bluff 100 meters upwind - a 
guy wanting to give an impression that there were something where there was 
nothing. Now again, why?

This smelled like some kinds of spook coming up to Oslo with the task of 
checking us out. (At the time, we had information that among others the US 
intelligence services were rather nervous about us. Norway after all WAS the 
north flank of the NATO, and we had many people inside the army, agitating 
against the NATO, the US and the Vietnam war at the time. We were even 
defined as "the enemy" during staff maneuvers of the NATO at the time.)

I think this fits rather well with the info now given. The Dutch spooks by 
themselves wouldn't be very interested in going up to Oslo and checking out 
those youth Maoists at the time. The US on the other hands might ask the 
Dutch for this little service. Secondarily, it might be the Brits or the 
Israelis (we had rather good PLO/Fatah and some IRA contacts at the time, 
and both of them sent operatives to Norway infiltrating solidarity meetings, 
etc).

This was what we said to all the foreign parties at the time: We thought 
that the MLPN was totally fake, either a one-man loco swindle operation OR a 
police affair.

Neither do I remember ANY foreign party or org in Europe we had contact 
with, who had contacts with the "MLPN" and regarded them as genuine.

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