Notes on 'Circle-A Deceit'

1. The publication of this review in Appeal to Reason (January 1983) coincided with the exclusion or withdrawal, within six months, of everyone responsible for the humorous, literate, or otherwise interesting contributions; and trite leftist jargon (capitalist “hyenas,” etc.) has taken their place.

2. PW to this day pretends to be “by and for dissident office workers,” but its internal documents, disclosed by disgruntled ax-staffers, prove otherwise. Editrix “Maxine Holz” (Caitlin Manning), for instance, is the granddaughter of cartoonist Al Capp, from whom she inherited $7000 but not, regrettably, a sense of humor. “La Honchessa,” as the PW proles used to call her behind her back, grew up in Mexico, surrounded by servants, a situation she has successfully reproduced in San Francisco. Her inheritance and other family subventions finance PW as well as a typesetting business. Her boy-friend and business partner “Lucius Cabins” (Christopher Carlsson), who grew up in an affluent East Bay suburb is, compared to other PW blue-bloods, a veritable Horatio Alger, even if his accomplishments are limited to gold-digging. Rounding out the reigning Troika is “Louis Michaelson” (Adam Cornford), an upper-class English twit descended from the classicist F.M. Cornford and none other than Charles Darwin. In a rejoinder to this review he joked (as I then assumed) that “we are all independently wealthy,” but that’s exactly what these sidelines revolutionary cheerleaders are. As it happens, the few bona fide dissident office workers were eliminated in the Trolka’s purges.

3. When this was written anarchists were a substantial contingent, maybe a majority of the staff, but what this review failed to stress was that Marxists then, as always, called the shots. Few, if any anarchists work for PW today.

4. For instance, Cornford, PW enforcer Tom Athanasiou (they sent him to assault me in November 1984) and contributor Tom Ward collaborated on the council-communist newspaper New Morning in Berkeley in 1973, and on many projects since. In the mid-1970’s Cornford, then a Teaching Assistant at UC Berkeley, seduced his student Manning both sexually and ideologically.

5. Another gangster is the more likely inspiration for this ploy: Lyndon LaRouche, Jr. of the U.S. Labor Party (formerly the National Caucus of Labor Committees) which started on the far left and ended up a semi-fascist cult. The pro-situ group For Ourselves to which Cornford once belonged broke up over (among other things) the gravitation of Cornford and others toward the hyper-determinist kook-economism of the mid-70’s LaRouchists. (Previously, For Ourselves — without, as Tom Ward and Greg Dunnington tell me, any serious input from Conford—produced the excellent communist egoist essay The Right to Be Greedy, now available in a Loompanics reprint.)

6. The initial, fake-ingenuous reaction to this point was that, gee, nobody ever criticized technology, we’re all ears! We now know that PW has suppressed critiques of industrial technology since 1981. In fact Brian Kane, who addressed a predominantly friendly letter to PW back then which took issue with the protech effusions of (self-employed computer consultant) Tom Athanasiou, was threatened by Carlsson and Manning with the assertion that “Tom Athanasiou is not a pacifist!” (And indeed he isn’t. In the official Abalone Alliance newspaper which PW also controls, Athanasiou, actually endorses a U.S. Government nuclear arsenal and high-tech “Peoples’ Star Wars” computerized missile weaponry. And he practices what he doesn’t preach, he tried and failed to jump me from behind outside my residence in November 1984.)

7. The fate of these individuals, whom I then viewed as PW’s positive side, is instructive. Ward hasn’t contributed to PW in years. Neither has Jamrock, who characterized Cornford’s rebuttal to this review as “pathetic.” Baer, PW’s one-time workhorse printer, slinked away hoping her defection would pass unnoticed (it didn’t). Only Gebbie remains, presumably because she is Cornford’s girl-friend.

8. Since this review appeared, PW has degenerated into a leftist cult, combining violent attacks with police snitching in a comprehensive campaign to eliminate its Bay Area critics. Its accomplishments to date include battery, burglary, robbery, perjury, harassment and abuse of process (PW had deployed a corporate law firm which has demanded, among other things, an injunction against my “mentioning” Processed World — but without success). By and large the “anti-authoritarian” milieu still bends over for PW, although there is some small resistance. As for myself, PW’s lawyers, goons and money have obliged me to move elsewhere, at great cost. Anybody who thinks the anarchist/anti-authoritarian milieu would of course rally to my defense obviously hasn’t fathomed anything I’ve said in this book.

Part III: Appeal To Treason