My letter on the opposite page is no exposé, no secret shame — I’ve been circulating it for eight years as page 112 of The Baby and the Bathwater. Just as I circulated, in the same place, a fully documented account of why I filed this complaint. Fred Woodworth, a self-styled anarchist, sided with Processed World, a crypto-Marxist project which has recently confirmed the contempt it has always felt for its anarchist dupes — like Woodworth, against me in 1984-85. This was only one gambit in a conflict which can only be recounted, as I did, at book length. In 1985, PW proclaimed it was preparing a rebuttal to Baby. We’re still waiting.
The short explanation for the letter is that it was retaliation-in-kind. I’d belatedly learned that PW had tried to sic the cops on me for a supposed threatening phone call (at a time when PW was persecuting my then lover and former PW artist Donna Kossy with nut-calls and street harangues). I thought if PW was so enamored of the law it ought to try obeying it too, as it’d rented an apartment and used it as business premises. The reader will note my letter makes not mention of Processed World. The complaint is against a business, Typesetting, Etc. Only after I lodged this complaint did PW (see page 113) admit it was the alter ego of a for-profit business.
I had a second motive. This PW office had been constructed with the money and the labor of several anarchists with the understanding it would be available as a general anti-authoritarian resource. Nobody suspected they were paying to set up the PW bosses Manning and Carlsson in business. And nobody suspected they would be shut out of the premises for ideological impropriety, which is exactly what happened when one anarchist, Sally Frye, criticized Caitlin Manning’s pro-Sandanista stance in No Middle Ground (which was using Typesetting, Etc./PW facilities) in that magazine, with the result that Manning banned her and other heretics from the building (in effect expelling them from NMG), even threatening to call the cops on them for trespassing. This destroyed NMG. When a child misuses a toy it should be taken away.
In short, I gave them a taste of their own medicine — although the zoning commission is hardly so bitter to the taste as PW’s chosen instruments, the police. An anarchist purist is free to deplore any recourse to the state. Woodworth, however, cannot, because PW called in the police and the courts both before and after my zoning complaint, and in 1985 did succeed in getting me arrested. I’ve never sued PW but PW sued me, seeking a court order forbidding me to mention PW! The documentation is in Baby, but I sent it to Woodworth nine years ago. He has never acknowledged the proven facts or the sequence in which they occurred, which make all the difference between aggression and self-defense.
The alert reader might even notice that my complaint was not the cause of PW’s eviction. I complained to the planning commission about a zoning violation; PW claims it was evicted by the building department (entirely separate) for building code violations I never mentioned and knew nothing of. As PW has never documented its claim (as should be easy enough), there is no reason to believe it. Woodworth can’t even square his phony story with PW’s phony story.