This is a Zine or Pamphlet written by J. Heshima Denham, a member of the N.C.T.T.-Cor-SHU, in 2005. It was also published in: Prison Art Newsletter Vol, 5 (2005) nr 5 (where we found it, link is gone).
By J. Heshima Denham, with an introduction by Ed Mead
The cause of progressive social change is the guiding ideological force behind the Party’s works, policies, and programs and it’s in fact the very reason for its existence.
For purposes of this essay, “The Party”, encompasses all imprisoned revolutionaries, including all politically aligned units and organizations, as well as individual revolutionary activists. Yet, in recent decades, the Party’s functional ability and influence have been drastically curtailed due primarily to its leadership’s inability to truly trust the functional apparatus of the Party’s membership following devastating instances of betrayal and compromisation by Party personnel who have “debriefed.”
Debriefing is a process which entails revealing Party and operational secrets, doctrine, self-incrimination, and the implication of other Party personnel in revolutionary activity. It is the contention of this piece that the origins of this functional blight on our glorious Party lie in the Willie Lynch Method of slave making—man breaking; and it is the correlation between the William Lynch Method and the debriefing process which is the single most insidious evil plaguing the Party’s functional ability.
Throughout the history of New Afrikaans resistance to slavery, cultural annihilation, brutality, racism, and second class citizenship there has also existed a seldom spoken about, but all too often attested to, Legacy of Mistrust amongst the truly committed elements carrying forth that resistance.
Following many decades of retribution, escape, sabotage, and outright rebellion by Afrikaans slaves in the New World, many white slave owners sought to develop methods of control to secure their economic interests in those slaves. This delving into the process of psychologically bonding and bowing a people to the yoke of servitude reached its loathsome heights in 1712 with the William Lynch Method of slave control. The Willie Lynch Method of slave making and man breaking is perhaps the greatest psychological bane to the cause of revolution that has ever plagued the New Afrikaans collective.
The great abolitionist Frederick Douglas observed of this phenomena: “conscious of the injustice and wrong they were every hour perpetuating and knowing what they themselves would do were they the victims of such wrongs, they were constantly looking for the ﬁrst signs of the dreaded retribution. They watched therefore, with skilled and practiced eyes, and learned to read, with great accuracy, the state of mind and heart of the slave, through his sable face. Unusual sobriety, apparent abstraction, sullenness, and indifference—indeed, any mood out of the common way afforded grounds for suspicion and inquiry.”
The William Lynch Method was developed specifically to thwart that “dreaded retribution” before it was ever allowed to blossom into the fertile hearts and minds of the oppressed by thoroughly stamping out the DESIRE for such retribution, let alone the cognitive and emotive faculties to carry it out. As stated by Willie Lynch himself: “I have a full proof method of controlling … slaves. I guarantee that if installed correctly it will control the slaves for at least 300 years … I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes.”
No self-respecting professional revolutionary or political historian can deny the fact that the bane of every major revolutionary political movement by Afrikans in Amerikkka has been to a greater or lesser degree hampered, halted, or destroyed by fear amongst the uncommitted, distrust by one faction of another, or envy of this leader or group by another or its own subordinates.
The historic examples of this methods effect on Afrikan Revolutionary Movements in this nation are legion, but I will attempt to shed light on a few of the more glaring examples in hopes that you will grasp the crux of this new perspective on an old problem. Nat Turner, himself a chattel slave, led a successful rebellion that had the potential to become a much larger resistance movement had slaves from the Jones plantation not taken up arms against Nat and his forces in defense of their “master.” These slaves feared freedom and retribution, more than harsh bondage and the whip: they trusted the man who beat and humiliated them, while distrusting a fellow slave come to free them. Willie Lynch’s admonition that, “you must also have your white servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us.
They must love, respect, and trust only us…” Each time I examine the failure of Turners slave rebellion, these words ring tauntingly through my mind.
Denmark Vesey, in 1800, developed a plan to seize a military outpost / port town in Charlotte, North Carolina but was betrayed by one of his own lieutenants who, it is said, did not appreciate the “lofty manner in which Denmark Vesey spoke down to him.” Discovering the enormity of the conspiracy, and the alarming certainty of its success, Denmark Versey and 16 of his inner circle where discovered and summarily hanged without getting off a single shot.
In the early 1900s through the 1920s Marcus Garvey, and his United Negro Improvement Association, were one of the most dynamic forces in the cause of Pan-Afrikan Liberation and self-determination the world has ever known. With his rousing oratory and the comparative success of his Black Star Line, Garvey sparked the imaginations, stirred the spirits, and raised the hopes of countless millions of Afrikans the world over. However, it was primarily the relentless attacks of W.E.B. DuBoise and his NAACP which led to the Federal investigations that resulted in the Honorable Marcus Garvey’s incarceration, disgrace, and failure. This, of course, coupled with the embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars (unbeknown to Garvey) by his own accountants, tolled the death knoll of perhaps the greatest Black Power movement of the 20th Century. Garvey was the victim of DuBoises’ envy, and an inability to trust his own financial agents.
However, it was the launching of the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTEL PRO), and CDC’s accompanying validation and debriefing process which first staggered, then stalled, the Black Liberation Movement of the 60s and 70s and now decay the Party and its revolutionary apparatus under an insidious mold of mistrust. As revolutionary activists and political dissidents were arrested, imprisoned, and maltreated in the sweep of COINTELPRO, some uncommitted elements rather than make the necessary sacrifices for the cause, chose instead to compromise Party and organizational secrets. Not only becoming informants, but giving the tools of reaction the necessary ability to infiltrate the Party and other progressive organizations.
This process, coined “debriefing” by FBI handlers, became the crux of mistrust and rifts, not only amongst the various progressive political organizations but within the Party itself. Some claim such functional mistrust was the reason comrade Jonathan Jackson failed to have the necessary operational support present, allegedly promised by other Party personnel, which resulted in the death of this beautiful warrior and five other comrades that fateful day at the Marin County courthouse. Others contend this is also the reason comrade Fred Hamptons’ security detachment was conspicuously absent the morning he was assassinated.
With so much “rattery” and betrayal occurring, no one knew who could or could not be trusted. In the wake of the Black Liberation Movement, and on through the transition to the New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, as more of the Party’s functional apparatus in California was imprisoned and they turned to revolutionizing the criminal mentalities of those Afrikans who also found themselves in the concentration camp environment—seeing the success the Party was having—the California Department of Corrections turned to the same, seemingly effective tool as the FBI began, first validating progressives and revolutionary activists, and then offering them the option of debriefing—of further compromising the Party in return for their freedom and a role as a continuing informant.
Naturally, with the William Lynch Method still prevalent in the psyche of the uncommitted, they were successful in penetrating Party security with the aid of those willing to comprise their principles for a cell in a different party of the concentration camp. This was the beginning of mistrust in the imprisoned Party.
There exists a direct link between the William Lynch Method and mistrust in the Party, so profound, that it is eroding our functional ability as surely as the Colorado River continues to carve away at the Grand Canyon.
It is my contention that the origins of uncommitted personnel and their subsequent actions (such as debriefing and informing) lay in the unevolved slave mentalities they yet possess despite their political indoctrination. If one ever wishes to find the origins of his circumstances and reality he need search nor further than his own thoughts.
Our thoughts dictate our actions; our actions dictate our circumstances; our circumstances dictate our reality. If we could bring forth the collective uncommitted elements who have compromised the Party from its inception on, and analyze their psychology individually, we would invariably discover that they each, to a greater or lesser degree, still cling to ideas and behaviors reminiscent of the slave mentality. Liberal sentimentalities; envy and back biting of the truly committed; a willingness to still engage in unethical or criminal activity; intransigence; trepidation or outright cowardice in the face of sacrifice; ignorance; greed; selfishness; all remnants of the slave mentality, all the fruit of the Willie Lynch Method. Such Party personnel were never truly committed to the cause nor the Party, only to what they themselves could wrest from the People, Party and Revolution.
It is within our inability to foster ‘Internal Revolution’ (that process by which one’s psychology and very being are changed) first, in all Party personnel prior to their indoctrination where lies the reason these uncommitted elements have even been able to infiltrate our ranks. What must be understood is not that uncommitted elements exist in the Party, but why they are uncommitted elements; and the answer is because their minds have yet to be liberated. They are still for all intents and purposes slaves; and thus their actions are those of slaves.
As William Lynch states …”I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust, and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or admiration. The Black slave after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.”
These words are an ominous portent comrades, 287 years later and the slave mentality still plagues us and our efforts at collective liberation. But what is more damaging to the functional apparatus of the Party, the truly committed, is not merely the presence of the uncommitted in our ranks, it is CDC’s ability to sew dissension and mistrust within our functional ranks through the debriefing process.
The manner in which they accomplish this end is two-fold, and I will attempt to illustrate those with correlates from the Willie Lynch Method in hopes they illuminate my points more vividly, though macabely. In the Willie Lynch Method of slave breaking the Afrikan female is made to watch the strongest, most rebellious male beaten to bloody ribbons, tied between two horses, tarred, feathered, and set on ﬁre before the two horses tear him apart. As Willie Lynch states: “the next step is to…beat the remaining (slave) male to the point of death in front of the female and the infant… We have (now) reversed the relationships. In her natural uncivilized state she would have a strong dependency on the… (slave) male, and would have a limited protective tendency toward her independent male offspring, and would raise females…to be dependent like her… we reverse nature by burning and pulling one… apart… and whipping the other to the point of death—all in her presence. By being left alone, unprotected … the ordeal caused her to move from her psychological dependent state to a frozen independent state…what have you got? You’ve got the (slave) woman out front and the (slave) man behind and scared. This is a perfect situation for sound sleep and economics.”
Similarly, after witnessing supposedly solid comrades, debriefing and informing and in many instances being debriefed and informed on, truly committed personnel begin (and understandably so) to mistrust all Party personnel to a greater of lesser degree, who aren’t in their similar set of circumstances and standing ﬁrm. They are thrust into a quasi “frozen independent state”, fiercely guarding those few Party secrets and resources from all but a few, because they feel they can no longer depend on those who haven’t “gone bad yet.”
This is a perfect situation to ensure the political progress and operational range of the Party is curtailed by the Party itself. And as Willie Lynch states, “Before the breaking process, we had to be alertly on guard at all times. Now we can sleep soundly, for out of frozen fear, his woman stands guard for us. He can not get past her early infant slave molding process. He is (now) a good tool…”; and comrades, unfortunately this too is relatively true—before the inception of the debriefing process the forces of reaction “had to be alertly on guard at all times”, now they sleep soundly because we stand guard for them against our own great potential.
And comrades, potential unused is as good as having none at all. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
The second is even more insidious, because it is more self-destructive than it is passively degrading. In our attempts to weed out uncommitted and philistine elements from our functional ranks, truly committed personnel are finding any fault, even those perceived and not necessarily existent, within other truly committed personnel resulting in further fear and mistrust.
A subtle, but constant organizational self-mutilation is occurring within our ranks; like a rabid dog which gnaws off his own foot in an attempt to separate the infection from his healthy form, yet only serving to increase his injury. And here in lies another correlate from our nemesis Willie Lynch, as he states:
“Don’t forget you must pitch the old Black male vs. the young Black male, and the young…vs. the old… you must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skinned slaves… and the female vs. the male… if used intensely… the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful…”
Though the Parties’ own internal rivalries often flow along the lines of young or new comrades vs. old or veteran comrades; differing ideological branches; different sectors; and conflicting personalities, the correlate is none the less relevant. It is the ever present specter of the debriefer, the rat, the betrayer which causes us to seize on the most minor or middling infraction and raise them to the level of major breaches in Party discipline, protocol, or procedure. Even I have found myself in an instance, too quick to condemn another comrade to the ranks of phillistia and uncommittedness; and I berated myself and asked the forgiveness of the comrade in question and the Party as a whole for such rashness in the throes of my zeal because, most importantly, it was wrong. I see in it, not the vigilance of the truly committed to Party security, but instead the subtle influence of our enemies in their attempts to foster dissention in our ranks. I say thee nay, comrades! We can not allow them to manipulate us into slowly devouring ourselves. Strict adherence to doctrine, discipline, and security are paramount, but this descent into organizational mutilation and mistrust of Party personnel is nothing less than slow suicide for our glorious Party and the Cause of Revolution as a whole.
The effects of this mistrust are crippling not only the Party’s ability to function, but our ability to evolve, grow, and develop. The primary purpose of all professional revolutionaries is fighting to build the Party, but I have seen firsthand comrades, this is a fight we are losing. Our ranks are dwindling. Though the masses cry out for progressive leadership there are too few truly committed, or even willing voices to answer. I have traveled the State of California for the last year, and what I have witnessed is truly disturbing. The Party’sinfluence, once deep rooted and far reaching, is now virtually symbolic alone. Though always assuming a leadership role, and gaining deference from the various Afrikan tribes, units, and organizations I encountered—that deference is almost that which is rendered to an honored elder who’s day has passed. When speaking of the Party, though with the utmost respect and admiration, the masses speak, as if referring to a great and awe inspiring warrior who fought valiantly to the death, but is dead none the less. There are those who actually believe the Party no more! This alone should alarm the entire New Afrikaans Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, all those who love freedom, justice, and equality, and most of all, every Party member alive, man and woman. Is our strategic and tactical expertise so ﬂawed that we can not evolve to the point where we can balance Party security with our need to grow and our ability to influence the People? I know this is not true, because I know this Party—I know my comrades—and our ranks boast some of the greatest social, political, military, economic, and cultural minds of our time, so I can only conclude that it is this insidious phenomena of perpetual mistrust which is crippling our personnel, crippling our Party, crippling our cause.
Revolution, radical progressive social change, is illegal in the oppressor nation in which it takes place; therefore imprisoned Party members are a natural outgrowth of pursuing the cause of righteousness in this Evil Empire. But for the truly committed revolutionary agent, imprisonment does not stop the forward progression of the Cause; and so the forces of reaction developed “validation” and adopted the debriefing process and its Willie Lynch Method correlations have served to do great damage to the Party’s functional ability, thus gravely harming the Cause, weakening its proponents, and degrading the Revolution.
If the Party is to continue to exist as an organizational entity and more importantly if The Cause is to continue to be carried forth, the party must resist and overcome this phenomenon.
When a thing’s small, at its beginnings, it is easily uprooted or destroyed… A seed is much more easily uprooted than a tree. But this evil that plagues us is centuries old; a gnarled tree with thick canopy, many branches, and deep roots—but if we are to remove this “tree” so the “sun” of organizational success can reach us again—we must wrest this vile tree up by its roots, we must strike at its origins. Acknowledging the William Lynch Method as the true origins of the debriefing process is the key to halting its affects upon imprisoned revolutionaries. By being aware of the subtle psychological effects of the William Lynch Method that vibrate through the undercurrents of the decisions being made by imprisoned revolutionaries which are hampering our collective efforts, we can begin to devise and implement successful psychological counter measures and operational procedures which will forestall this vile evils’ effects on our Cause and finally sever this centuries-long link with the slave mentality.
We are aware, painfully so, of the myriad methods that Willie Lynch, those who employed his methods, and now the Department of Corrections have used over these many years to destroy the trust, unity, cohesiveness, and influence by which we depend on to carry forth the works, policies, and programs of the People, Party, and Revolution. Therefore we must make ourselves equally, no, more intimately familiar with those methods which will not only counter their effects but give the imprisoned revolutionary the means by which to evolve to a new and higher level of operational sophistication.
Primary among these is, and always will be, the insurance that those who claim allegiance to the Revolutionary Cause and expect to serve the people in any organized capacity must have first undergone internal Revolution before they are initiated into the secrets of the professional revolutionary Party. Internal Revolution is the process by which an individual’s psychology is so drastically changed in the direction of righteousness, progression, and willingness to sacrifice for that progress toward what is right, that he is virtually a new being. Internal Revolution is the only reliable path to true commitment, and only truly committed elements can be unfailingly relied upon to be free of the Willie Lynch Methods affects or its correlates, no matter the form they may manifest themselves (threat of validation, fear of debriefing, etc.). Lip service is one thing, but the truly committed will reveal themselves by their day to day actions and can be tested reliably in the service of the Cause. This, our ability to develop truly committed elements is the single greatest weapon we have against the debriefing process, it’s Willie Lynch correlates, and any other sinister machinations the enemies of the masses can and will throw at us.
I’m sure none would disagree with me when I say security is the preeminent concern in any clandestine political movement; and I can say with equal alacrity that it has been our strict adherence to this dictate which has been the crux of some of our own self-immolating decisions. Our fear of compromisation has bred an almost paranoid distrust amongst those in positions of responsibility and trust within our various units and organizations, of their own membership at large: and this is understandable. I myself have been informed on while promoting revolutionary sentiments and socialist mores, I myself have been validated, and uncommitted elements have compromised me in their debriefing processes. Instances of such betrayal are legion.
But instead of succumbing to my own innate desire to put everyone in the “suspect” category, it made me more determined to build trustworthy personnel wherever I encountered revolutionary minded men and women. This is real simple: the Party must trust its membership, despite this phenomenon… or die. We must adapt already existing procedures and protocols to deal with our enemies’ evolution in intelligence capability, and develop new ones to account for future breaches in our operational security. There have been instances where legitimate revolutionary functionaries have reached out for logistical, tactical, or operational assistance from those in positions of responsibility and trust, and received only silence in reply, dooming potentially beautiful operations or sinking progressive programs by cutting their own personnel off from the well spring of functional capability. It’s killing us…slowly… but as surely as malignant cancer. But unlike cancer, there will be no outside intervention, no group of concerned individuals to treat our organizational ills; the cure will come from one place and one place alone: ourselves.
Only we can take the necessary steps to place our functional personnel in a psychological and operational position where they all can feel comfortable trusting one another, of depending on one another, of having faith in each other and thus our cause.
Only we can wield our potential as it was meant to be wielded, and be conﬁdent that we can be relatively safe doing so. Only we can identify, develop, and encourage Internal Revolution in others, thus forging truly committed personnel. Only we can stamp out the fear, mistrust, and pettiness plaguing the imprisoned revolutionary collective. Only we can bury Willie Lynch’s vile influence, which yet haunts us like a ghost, in the impenetrable tomb of our own determination. Let us be about the business of doing so. Let us say to the forces of reaction: “Bring on your lies and false labels; bring on your SHU cells and torture; bring on your rats and informers, for we shall never surrender, never give up, never submit, never give in… and in the end we shall win.” Solidarity to all those who love freedom and fear only failure. Think on these things, they are cause for great meditation.
Prison Art Newsletter vol 5 nr 5 (2005)