Putting the record straight

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lbernstein
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Jan 17 2007 10:46
Putting the record straight

How tiring to see that dull, overworked myth still circulating on the net. I refer, of course, to:

http://libcom.org/library/SearchlightForBeginnersLarryOhara2

p26/27.

I find it absolutely laughable that I'm supposed to be an MI5/MI6 plant of some kind. To set the record straight, I am not now, nor ever have been some kind of state agent bent on passing on information about anarchists or anti-fascists to my so-called masters in government. How Larry O’Hara ever dreamed up such a fantasy is beyond me. The facts of the matter are as follows:

I was an active anarchist during the 1980s while I lived in the UK. My commitment and record while I lived in Leeds are beyond doubt. Through my involvement in the anarchist Black Cross I met Leo Rosser, fell in love with him and eventually moved to London to be with him. Through Leo, I joined the team at Black Flag and was also active in the Direct Action Movement. Leo’s illness, which his family and I still believe was the beginnings of a kind of schizophrenic breakdown, came on quickly in the winter of 1989. I had thought we were happy together and I never doubted that we would be together a long time. Sadly that was not to be. Within 3 months, Leo was dead, having committed suicide by jumping off the roof of a block of flats in Waterloo. The facts are indisputable and I still have all the police and hospital papers to prove it. Leo was supposed to be on suicide watch at St Thomas’ Hospital, having been sectioned just hours earlier – against the wishes of myself, his parents and Leo himself. The so-called level of care at St Thomas’ was a joke. He was able to walk out of the ward undetected and kill himself, while I and his parents sat in a room round the corner arguing with consultant to try and have the section lifted. I found out at 7 o’clock the following morning from the police that the man I loved was never coming home.

The next few months in particular were very tough for me as I struggled to cope with my grief at losing Leo. I’m not ashamed to admit I tried to kill myself 3 months after Leo died. I ended up in the Maudsley Hospital for that and they tried to section me as well.

A month later I resigned from Black Flag after a particularly callous remark Albert Meltzer made to me that it was time I was over it and I should pull myself together!!! My lover was dead barely 4 months and Meltzer, whom I had trusted as a friend and comrade, was kicking me while I was down. I was shocked how little support I had from my so-called comrades on Black Flag so I quit. There seemed little point staying there and I certainly wondered what had happened to the principle of “mutual aid”. I was pretty shocked when I saw what Meltzer had written about me in his biography and Leo’s family were devastated. They were already struggling to come to terms with losing Leo and they too had considered Meltzer a friend. What really hurt me was reading about Meltzer’s own loss of a loved partner to suicide, so to tell me I should pull myself together was hypocritical to say the least. I have never forgiven Meltzer for his callousness towards me. I bent over backwards for that old man when he was alive – visiting almost every week, helping him round the house, making sure he was looked after alright. And yes, I feel bitter towards him. Meltzer’s biggest problem, however, was accepting that his protégé had been mentally ill. No wonder he came up with a warped fantasy about what really happened to try and fit the facts!

Initially Leo’s parents and I wanted to sue St Thomas’s for negligence leading to Leo’s death but we abandoned that idea when we discovered we weren’t eligible for legal aid, and that as Leo was over 18 he was not a dependent. As he wasn’t married to me I wasn’t a dependent either and the legal advice was that we would get a maximum of ₤ 3000 in compensation and it could take years. The money was a joke – three grand was all the man I loved was worth, but I didn’t want to sue for the compensation as much as I wanted to sue to stop the hospital doing the same to anyone else. I couldn’t stomach years of legal battle and I certainly couldn’t afford it, especially as I lost my job a couple of months later.

Although Leo and I were involved in the same political activities and shared many beliefs, we were not joined at the hip. I did indeed share his suspicions about Searchlight when we were together. But perhaps I was also more naïve in many ways, as at Black Flag the level of paranoia about other non-Flag anarchists was high as was the paranoia about the state. Now I’m the first to agree that the state are untrustworthy and I have a healthy dislike of the police and the government but I can say that being involved in Black Flag was enough to warp anyone’s mind. Meltzer was the leader as far as the rest of the Flaggers were concerned and everyone bowed deferentially to his opinion and experience. If Meltzer had said the Queen was running a ring of paedophiles, it probably would have been taken as gospel. I felt less savvy than the other Flaggers, always felt I had to prove myself to them, and always felt they were more sussed than I was. So when such opinions were tossed around I saw no reason to doubt anything. After all, they were more experienced than me. Stupidly perhaps, I preferred to try and see the good in people and never understood the amount of hatred directed towards other anarchist groups – I always thought we were all on the same side! Maybe with a few differences of opinion but nothing so bad it couldn’t be sorted out over a drink. So I’m naïve.

Eighteen months after Leo killed himself, I married a French comrade of his and moved to Paris to try and forget my pain. My (now-ex) husband was also very active politically, particularly with the anti-fascist magazine Reflexes. I joined it and worked alongside my husband. I used to translate articles and take care of the archives. The involvement with Searchlight began when we got a tip-off from a comrade who was working undercover inside French neo-nazi groups that a bunch of French Blood and Honour skins were on their way to the UK for a gig in Kent organized by Ian Stuart. I rang Tony at Searchlight to inform them so they could organize a reception committee in Dover. As the tip turned out to be good, Searchlight rang back to thank us. There began a tentative relationship in which bits of information were exchanged on the movements around Europe of neo-fascists. Gradually the relationship developed to the point where Gable himself contacted Reflexes and asked us if we wanted to do a regular column exchange. The agreement was that I would write a page a month on the French situation and in return Searchlight would send us an article for publication.

At Reflexes we never saw anything wrong with this. It seemed straightforward enough and as far as I was concerned, the most important thing was to expose the fascists. Living in Europe in the first half of the 1990s, it was impossible to ignore the rise of far right in France, Germany, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. It was a major problem in France. By this time, I was getting a reputation as someone who did good research on the international links of the extreme right and I travelled around Europe a lot as a speaker on this topic. I only met Gable once when I was invited to a secret meeting of Searchlight correspondents in Europe. I think it fair to say Gable was as wary of me as I was of him. He’d obviously done his homework on me and I never made any secret of my political views anyway. He clearly distrusted me as an ex-Flagger and I was aware how much he loathed anarchists. I remember how he tried to expose Malcolm of Doncaster a few years earlier as a fascist. I knew Malcolm when I was in the DAM and it was known by everyone he’d been in the NF years earlier but he had genuinely changed and everyone who knew him knew he’d seen the error of his ways. Then Gable published a load of crap about how he was still involved!! So we were very wary of each other.

I used to talk to Gable on the phone sometimes, but mostly I dealt with Graeme Atkinson who was a decent and genuine bloke and he became a good friend for a while. I don’t know where Larry O’Hara got his information about me being one of Gable’s lackeys because Gable himself will tell you what a load of rubbish that is. The article I did on Hate on the Internet was all my own work and was first published in Reflexes, before being reprinted in Searchlight. It certainly wasn’t mouthing a Searchlight line. I recall very well when O’Hara first contacted me. He sent me a badly typed letter, full of spelling errors warning me about Gable! The letter stank of paranoia despite its friendly tone and I chucked it in the bin, as I was already aware enough of Gable and I had no idea who O’Hara was but he certainly came across as a bit of a nutter but perhaps harmless. Well as the months went by I heard plenty about O’Hara from Gable but as O’Hara never tried to contact me again I wasn’t really interested. If he’d come forward I’d have given him a fair hearing but he didn’t and I just dismissed him (at least until he wrote lies about me in his book). As far as I was concerned my only interest at that time was to expose the European fascists and that was the driving force behind all my actions. I wasn’t interested in petty political squabbles – I’d had enough of that at the Flag and the DAM. That again shows you how naïve I was.

In 1995 my marriage broke down and I quit Paris and moved to Amsterdam to work for United, a fact which O’Hara has documented. I worked there for 10 months. I hated the job I had there and I didn’t get on with the other staff, so I left. I was burned out from political activity, plus I had met a new partner who wasn’t involved in politics and that was a refreshing change I can tell you. I decided to try and rebuild a normal life for myself with my new man. I gave up my political activity and took a new job which didn’t involve politics. A straight life, and it’s been wonderful.

While I was rebuilding everything, O’Hara published his book. To this day I don’t know what it was called and I’ve only read one page – the page about my alleged involvement in Leo’s death, which a friend kindly faxed to me. I was devastated when I read this – more than 6 years had passed since Leo’s death and I was just starting to really put it behind me when not only did O’Hara rake it all up again but he also made serious allegations about me. My first thought was to sue for libel but I still had no money and I felt I and Leo’s family had been through enough so we decided to ignore the allegations (yes I am still close to Leo’s family). So I did my best to ignore it. Although it hurt like hell.

I was astonished to read on the web that Black Flag had refused to review O’Hara’s book “out of deference to Louise Bernstein’s feelings”!!!!! To this day I have never had any contact with Black Flag since the day I quit. And I was unaware that they had any consideration for my feelings – the hypocrites didn’t have any in 1990!

I guess to some it may have looked as though I dropped out of the anarchist/anti-fascist scene after being “exposed” by O’Hara. The truth is more mundane. I met someone and fell in love, decided to give up being an activist and shortly after that was struck down with ME. I was a semi-invalid for 5 years so I couldn’t do anything political even if I'd wanted to. If anyone doubts this they are welcome to see my medical records.

I have nothing to hide. The only thing I’ve been guilty of is naivety. It’s time, after 16 years, that the record was set straight and my name cleared.

While I'm at it, there's more crap about me on http://website.lineone.net/~grandlaf/Fafl.htm (which I think is published by Green Anarchist). This page claims I shared a flat in Brixton with Paul Bowman.

"Bernstein, meanwhile, had turned to writing State-scripted 'hate on the Net' stories in Searchlight and had shared a flat in London with none other than Searchlight asset Paul Bowman during his days with AK Dean in the TSDC. Pissed off Black Flag weren't covering the Gandalf case - presumably on AK's insistence, as they were miffed at our role in exposing Bowman - we put this to them in 1996."

A complete load of bollocks, as far as I'm concerned. I knew Paul when we both lived in Leeds, then he unexpectedly pitched up in London to help the Trafalgar Square Defendants Campaign, which I was also involved in. We became good friends, but certainly never shared a flat - he crashed on my sofa a couple of times when pissed, but that was that. I don't even know where he was actually living at that time. As to whether Paul was a "Searchlight asset", I really wouldn't have the faintest, but I very much doubt it. Paul was always more the AFA type.

lbernstein
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Jan 17 2007 10:56

Maybe, but there's still a huge amount of disinformation about me circulating on the net, some of it on this very site.

My reputation has been trashed as a result.

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Tacks
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Jan 18 2007 13:42
revol68 wrote:
I wouldn't worry no one takes Larry Double O'Seven Hara seriously, he's a crank.

certain things he's done have had a lot of currency actually revol, SLFB is probably the the most influential.

I'm not commenting on: whether O'Hara is a crank or whether the calims in question are true or not (i haven't even read a quarter of the OP).

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Tacks
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Jan 18 2007 13:57

I've read the whole post now and it would see O'Hara's work was callous in the extreme.

I certainly don't think everyone who ever worked with and even for searchlight are 100% suspect either.

It's problematic cos as you say lbernstein, the main thrust of SLFB is correct; gable is a state informant, SL is dodgy etc. but the individual parts of the picture are sketchy.

O'Hara has an online presence on meanwhileatthebar.org and urban75.com - i don't think he regularly posts here. I'm not sure a protacted public eachange would bring you much closure. perhaps open the private channel of communication that you initially rejected? In your shoes the best thing would be for O'Hara to issue a retarction of his claim and then have it taken out of online versions etc. I think you'd only get that if you wrote to him privately cos people never own up to being wrong like this publically.

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JDMF
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Jan 18 2007 14:06

why has libcom reproduced his stuff?

Jason Cortez
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Jan 18 2007 14:25

well some of it is interesting and revelant unfortunately Larry has the very bad habit of guilt by association in the extreme. It was published probaly to inform people about the dodginess of searchlight as it's quite thorough, but really it should come with a strongly edited veracity warning.

Jason Cortez
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Jan 18 2007 14:35

of the people i know who knew you both the few conservations mentioning either of you have always been friendly, even affectionate, and unsurpisingly tinged with sadness. Maybe it time for closure through listening to each other without trying to prove who's right on every detail. This obviviously is not directed to Larry.

lbernstein
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Jan 18 2007 14:46
Tacks wrote:
I've read the whole post now and it would see O'Hara's work was callous in the extreme.

I certainly don't think everyone who ever worked with and even for searchlight are 100% suspect either.

I know many good people who have done stuff for Searchlight. That doesn't make them all state informants or plants.

Tacks wrote:
It's problematic cos as you say lbernstein, the main thrust of SLFB is correct; gable is a state informant, SL is dodgy etc. but the individual parts of the picture are sketchy.

I have no idea if Gable is a state informant or not. I know what's been claimed. I also, as I said above, have not read any of O'Hara's book, except the page about me, so I can't say if the thrust is right or not. But I'm wiiling to take your word for it.

Tacks wrote:
O'Hara has an online presence on meanwhileatthebar.org and urban75.com - i don't think he regularly posts here. I'm not sure a protacted public eachange would bring you much closure. perhaps open the private channel of communication that you initially rejected? In your shoes the best thing would be for O'Hara to issue a retarction of his claim and then have it taken out of online versions etc. I think you'd only get that if you wrote to him privately cos people never own up to being wrong like this publically.

I've no interest in contacting O'Hara at all. If I had, I would have replied when he first wrote to me in Paris, or certainly after the book was published. When his book came out, I was already trying to put my political past behind me, as well as Leo's death. I had no interest in raking it up again, especually as I have a moral duty of care to Leo's family, who I have done my utmost to protect from all the muckraking.

A retraction would be great, but I;m not holding my breath. I only want to set the record straight. The problem is, though, it's very hard to prove you are not an agent of the state...

lbernstein
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Jan 18 2007 14:48
Jason Cortez wrote:
of the people i know who knew you both the few conservations mentioning either of you have always been friendly, even affectionate, and unsurpisingly tinged with sadness. Maybe it time for closure through listening to each other without trying to prove who's right on every detail. This obviviously is not directed to Larry.

Thanks for your kind words - you cannot know how much it means to me to read them.

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Jan 18 2007 15:13

lbernstein - i'm fairly sure that this topic posted elsewhere would do anything but put the past behind you i'm afraid. It may actually lead to you having to argue about it with O'Hara anyway - this is a public forum, and one he takes an interest in.

I think that if claims are wrong and damaging, it should be possible to get them retarcted and apologised for. No need for legal battles. If you have never had any contact with O'Hara, you don't know what he might say. Also, you just offered to show everybody who read the original post your medical records and police documents; if you are willing to do that, surely that indicates some appetite for taking this further and gaining some resolution...?

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Jan 18 2007 15:16
revol68 wrote:
He sent me a PM on Urban75 after I asked if he'd had a shag in a while. The mans a fucking crank, he thinks he's got a license to kill but really it's just a pass for a community day centre.

He's the MI5 equivalent of the "special character" who used to ride the buses all day thinking he was a bus conductor.

Revol i'm not sure if making this a 'larry hara is nuts anyway, fuck him' debate is really going to help tbh. Lots of people don't think so. SLFB is a very well respected piece.

lbernstein
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Jan 18 2007 15:31
Tacks wrote:
lbernstein - i'm fairly sure that this topic posted elsewhere would do anything but put the past behind you i'm afraid. It may actually lead to you having to argue about it with O'Hara anyway - this is a public forum, and one he takes an interest in.

I think that if claims are wrong and damaging, it should be possible to get them retarcted and apologised for. No need for legal battles. If you have never had any contact with O'Hara, you don't know what he might say. Also, you just offered to show everybody who read the original post your medical records and police documents; if you are willing to do that, surely that indicates some appetite for taking this further and gaining some resolution...?

I'm not interested in a legal battle - I have neither the money or the stomach for it. I only posted on here in the first place as I decided, out of curiosity to do a google search on Leo, and was rather surprised to see what pages came up! This is a public forum, as you say, and as such it's given me the first opportunity in 16 years to try and clear my name. An apology and retraction from O'Hara would be very nice indeed, but I'm not going to beg him for it. If he does read this forum, maybe he'll be man enough to admit he was wrong and has caused me harm and emotional pain.

I do have all the documents concerning Leo's death - the file is a couple of inches thick and contains the coroner's report, the legal correspondence, police statements, hospital statements etc. I'm quite willing to go into full detail of exactly what happened in the 24 hours leading up to Leo's death, and I'm happy to go into it here, so there can be no doubt in anyone's mind about the facts. His parents were with me that day, for the entire time.

And yes, I have several years' worth of medical records (in Dutch) concerning my treatment for ME, as well, which I have thankfully now recovered from.

lbernstein
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Jan 18 2007 15:44
revol68 wrote:
Well from experiance of him on Urban he's just another conspiraloon, he might have got it right once but even then the issues raised on this thread would suggest he's quite liberal with the "TRUTH!!11!!".

Frankly, I don't care if O'Hara is nuts or a "conspiraloon" or whatever.

What I care about is clearing my name. You know, I could have written back to O'Hara when he first wrote to me c/o of Reflexes, but I didn't, for reasons explained in my first post. I'd never heard of him, had no idea who he was and his letter came across as paranoid. My ex-husband and I together decided to bin the letter. By the time O'Hara's book was published, I'd not only left Paris, but also left United in Amsterdam and had pretty much jacked in activism. If I recall correctly, I was alerted to the page about me around the time I was being tested for ME and I was also awaiting a diagnosis for something else, which means I'm now disabled. So my health was another good reason for not pursuing O'Hara at that time.

O'Hara could easily have contacted me via United, even though I'd left - they would have passed the letter on, given that I was at the time living right around the corner from the United office. He could have said "I'm writing a book and I'm curious about your role in Searchlight. Do you want to talk to me? Do you have any comment to make?" But he didn't - he just wrote about me without bothering to check his facts - with me, Leo's family, or anyone else connected to that whole period of my life in London, Paris or Amsterdam. That's pretty poor research, by my standards.

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Steven.
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Jan 26 2007 14:49
Jason Cortez wrote:
well some of it is interesting and revelant unfortunately Larry has the very bad habit of guilt by association in the extreme. It was published probaly to inform people about the dodginess of searchlight as it's quite thorough, but really it should come with a strongly edited veracity warning.

Yes this we're going to do. Louise I'm sorry about all this, we weren't aware of anything particularly controversial in the text - it is one of thousands on our site. We will look into the details of this and then post accurate information alongside larry's claims.

larry does read this site so I would imagine that he has seen it... does he have anything to say for himself?

On O'Hara and NFTB, I've never met him but I have one NFTB person once, who then echoed some ridiculous accusations by raw at us (libcom group) for "censoring" another anarchist group, then spread lies and insults about us, our personal lives and our backgrounds, which the guy knew absolutely nothing about, on an email list. He'd only met 4 or 5 of us once at this one meeting, and never spoken to any of us. Larry i've seen on urban75 going on about Social Services "harvesting babies" and other nonsense. I'm not sure about the claims NFTB is a very "respected" journal, the only people I know who seem to give it any credence (or read it) are a few class war and womble types. That said there may be lots of useful information around the journal and larry, but if there are huge inaccuracies and false allegations like this then it doesn't help his case more generally.

Has anyone let him know about this thread?

lbernstein
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Jan 28 2007 09:32

Fair comment, John. I wouldn't expect anyone who didn't know me or the circumstances I was in at the time to be aware of any controversy. But it's frightening how fast disinformation about people can travel round. I have firsthand experience of this. Not long after I quit working at United, I came home to London for a visit with my partner. I wanted to go to 121 Bookshop and catch up with people I used to work with there (I worked at 121 Bookshop the whole time I was based in London - helping run the shop, doing the Squatter's Advice session every Sunday etc). So we turned up and the two people I'd hoped to see were not there. But some other people I knew reasonably well from the antifa movement were there, ditto some anarchist acquaintances, including others I'd done shifts with at 121. I was told very bluntly that I couldn't wait there to see if my friends showed up and it was made very clear that my presence was not welcome. I could see that they were literally very edgy at my being there. As this was not very long after O'Hara's book was published, I can only assume that was why I was asked to leave by people I would have expected to be friendly to me or at least give me the benefit of the doubt. I remember leaving 121 with my face burning with embarrassment and fear, wondering what people were saying about me once I'd gone and wondering what other untruths were circulating about me.

My beliefs in anarchism have not changed over the years but the damage O'Hara has done to my reputation as an alleged agent of the state means I can never be active again in the anarchist movement. Who would trust me?

As others have said, O'Hara does read this site, so I think people can safely assume he's read this thread - it's been up here 10 days already. I've already asked him to be man enough to admit he was wrong - his silence speaks for itself.

I have posted my first post from the top of this thread as a comment to O'Hara's article.

Larry O'Hara
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Jan 29 2007 21:32

This thread has just been drawn to my attention.

I notice that Louse Bernstein

1) admits extensive dealings with Searchlight over a number of years: and note she is careful to reveal little more than I have already placed in the public domain.

2) Invites people to contact Gable to confirm her version of her allegiances & events: the incongruity of that, and what it signifies, I'll leave you all to work out.

3) Refers to how 'nice' Graham Atkinson of Searchlight is--those who have read Searchlight Fiction Pulped will remember just what a nasty specimen he is.

4) Does not explain in the slightest how somebody who one would have thought knew all about Searchlight ends up parroting their 'analysis' and providing an entree for them into anarchist circles in France

5) Further admits I wrote to her--a letter which she binned & didn't reply to, but utters abusive remarks concerning. For her to then whine about why I didn't contact her again is preposterous--her friends at Searchlight never contacted me before printing incessant lies about me in 25 issues of the magazine & elsewhere.

6) Has a dig at a dead man, Meltzer: whose 'suspicions' I merely reproduced

7) Ludicrously claims only to have read the relevant part of SFB on her--thereby evading dealing with the rest of it, which cites chapter & verse on Searchlight continually doing the work of SB & undermining/smearing anarchists. A standard tactic of Searchlight apologists: always evading the issue.

Therefore, in the circumstances, I see no reason to retract anything I have written in the slightest: and do not intend to do so.

The comments by the retarded troll who has also been engaging in cyber-harassment of me on U75 as well as here, are not worthy of a response.

If lib.com wants to accept the word of a Searchlight apologist like Bernstein, they are free to. I contend (and the evidence proves it) hers was no mere casual association--and she was (is) somebody who should have known better. I asked questions in SFB: not adequately answered here, and also quoted Albert Meltzer's views in a book. Should I hold a seance & get Albert to retract? I could raise emotive matters, like LB, vconcerning the depths to which Searchlight harassment of myself has sunk, but why should I? That would cloud the issues.

petey
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Jan 29 2007 21:47
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
should have known

no, don't like the sound of that

Larry O'Hara
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Jan 29 2007 21:52
newyawka wrote:
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
should have known

no, don't like the sound of that

why not?

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Steven.
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Jan 29 2007 23:41
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
5) Further admits I wrote to her--a letter which she binned & didn't reply to, but utters abusive remarks concerning. For her to then whine about why I didn't contact her again is preposterous--her friends at Searchlight never contacted me before printing incessant lies about me in 25 issues of the magazine & elsewhere.

Larry, this doesn't give you an excuse to lie about people

Quote:
6) Has a dig at a dead man, Meltzer: whose 'suspicions' I merely reproduced

Er, you can't play the "dead man" card here.

Meltzer may have been a very good guy, he certainly seems like a great one from personal testimonies and Golden Angels, but to say every word he spoke must've been true is silly.

Quote:
7) Ludicrously claims only to have read the relevant part of SFB on her--thereby evading dealing with the rest of it, which cites chapter & verse on Searchlight continually doing the work of SB & undermining/smearing anarchists. A standard tactic of Searchlight apologists: always evading the issue.

It's not ludicrous if it's true. And she admits searchlight smeared anarchists.

Quote:
Therefore, in the circumstances, I see no reason to retract anything I have written in the slightest: and do not intend to do so.

So you're not providing any evidence any of what you say is actually true then, and are going to maintain your insunuation that she played a role in her partner's death? that sounds pretty stupid.

Quote:
The comments by the retarded troll who has also been engaging in cyber-harassment of me on U75 as well as here, are not worthy of a response.

who are you referring to here? :?

Quote:
If lib.com wants to accept the word of a Searchlight apologist like Bernstein, they are free to. I contend (and the evidence proves it) hers was no mere casual association--and she was (is) somebody who should have known better.

Her explanations here seem entirely reasonable to me. This isn't an official libcom position or anything.

Quote:
I asked questions in SFB: not adequately answered here, and also quoted Albert Meltzer's views in a book. Should I hold a seance & get Albert to retract? I could raise emotive matters, like LB, vconcerning the depths to which Searchlight harassment of myself has sunk, but why should I? That would cloud the issues.

Yes it wouldn't be relevant here, though obviously are valid concerns.

This isn't just about what albert said, you're saying she's a state agent.

And tbh if she really was would she really be posting on here nearly 20 years later, obviously upset by it? What motive would the "secret state" have for doing that? to try to get her to re-infiltrate some group? (and which one??)

Larry O'Hara
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Jan 29 2007 23:59
John. wrote:
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
5) Further admits I wrote to her--a letter which she binned & didn't reply to, but utters abusive remarks concerning. For her to then whine about why I didn't contact her again is preposterous--her friends at Searchlight never contacted me before printing incessant lies about me in 25 issues of the magazine & elsewhere.

Larry, this doesn't give you an excuse to lie about people
Indeed it doesn't--and I haven't

Quote:
6) Has a dig at a dead man, Meltzer: whose 'suspicions' I merely reproduced

Quote:
Er, you can't play the "dead man" card here. Meltzer may have been a very good guy, he certainly seems like a great one from personal testimonies and Golden Angels, but to say every word he spoke must've been true is silly.

I never said every word he said was true: I merely reproduced his thoughts, along with questions. It is LB, I am afraid, who is playing the dead man card, as you put it.

Quote:
7) Ludicrously claims only to have read the relevant part of SFB on her--thereby evading dealing with the rest of it, which cites chapter & verse on Searchlight continually doing the work of SB & undermining/smearing anarchists. A standard tactic of Searchlight apologists: always evading the issue.

Quote:
It's not ludicrous if it's true. And she admits searchlight smeared anarchists.

And it is that record of smearing anarchists, including Black Flag, that made me so suspicious then (and now) of L Bernstein

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Therefore, in the circumstances, I see no reason to retract anything I have written in the slightest: and do not intend to do so.

Quote:
So you're not providing any evidence any of what you say is actually true then, and are going to maintain your insunuation that she played a role in her partner's death? that sounds pretty stupid.

I merely recounted her bizarre changes of allegiance, and reproduced a question from Meltzer. Is the new slogan 'question nothing' then?

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The comments by the retarded troll who has also been engaging in cyber-harassment of me on U75 as well as here, are not worthy of a response.

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who are you referring to here? :?

I would have thought that was obvious here--but revol68 if you need it pointing out.

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If lib.com wants to accept the word of a Searchlight apologist like Bernstein, they are free to. I contend (and the evidence proves it) hers was no mere casual association--and she was (is) somebody who should have known better.

Quote:
Her explanations here seem entirely reasonable to me. This isn't an official libcom position or anything.

Depends on your definition of reason

Quote:
I asked questions in SFB: not adequately answered here, and also quoted Albert Meltzer's views in a book. Should I hold a seance & get Albert to retract? I could raise emotive matters, like LB, vconcerning the depths to which Searchlight harassment of myself has sunk, but why should I? That would cloud the issues.

Quote:
Yes it wouldn't be relevant here, though obviously are valid concerns.

Ah, I get it--LB is allowed to post reams about her personal problems (nothing to do with me) but I am not allowed to talk about harassment by her Searchlight friends. Thanks for clarifying.

Quote:
This isn't just about what albert said, you're saying she's a state agent.
And tbh if she really was would she really be posting on here nearly 20 years later, obviously upset by it? What motive would the "secret state" have for doing that? to try to get her to re-infiltrate some group? (and which one??)

The ending above is a straw-man rhetorical question. Can you point me to the precise passage where I insinuate she's a state agent? I merely ask questions and point to her incongruous allegiances. As to her motives today: I could speculate, but have too much to occupy myself with to do so, frankly.

lbernstein
Offline
Joined: 17-01-07
Jan 30 2007 08:28
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
This thread has just been drawn to my attention.

I notice that Louse Bernstein

1) admits extensive dealings with Searchlight over a number of years: and note she is careful to reveal little more than I have already placed in the public domain.

That's because there is little to reveal. One phone call to Tony Robson to ask him to tip off AFA that some French Blood &Honour skins were on their way to Kent. One phone call from Tony to say thank you. A couple more phone calls from Steve Silver over a period of several months to the Reflexes office, where he often spoke to other people rather than me, to exchange information. One (one!) call from Gable to ask if Reflexes would do a magazine column swap. Some contact with Graeme Atkinson because he was European editor. And one meeting at which Gable avoided me like the plague - I was never once alone with him that weekend, a fact that was commented on by several people to my face along the lines of "have you done anything to upset Gerry?" to which I replied "I've no idea".

Quote:
2) Invites people to contact Gable to confirm her version of her allegiances & events: the incongruity of that, and what it signifies, I'll leave you all to work out.

Er no, I didn't invite anyone to contact Gable. I said "if they ask him". IF. I myself have had no contact with Gable since 1994.

Quote:
3) Refers to how 'nice' Graham Atkinson of Searchlight is--those who have read Searchlight Fiction Pulped will remember just what a nasty specimen he is.

I didn't call him nice - I said decent and genuine. That was my personal impression of him and remains so. He was always very polite, kind and respectful to me. If there are other sides to him I never saw them. And I'm unable to comment on anything in Searchlight Fiction Pulped because I've never read it and didn't know it existed until I just read this thread. That doesn't mean whatever it contains may not be true. It may well for all know. I can only say of Graeme what I saw of him.

Quote:
4) Does not explain in the slightest how somebody who one would have thought knew all about Searchlight ends up parroting their 'analysis' and providing an entree for them into anarchist circles in France.

I have already said that Hate on the Internet was my own research. I quote from a number of sources, including Searchlight. Most of my resources were academic researchers and antifa groups in various European countries.

As for the latter comment - Reflexes was not an anarchist magazine. Some of the editorial committee were anarchists. About half were not. As far as I'm aware, Searchlight's only contact in France was me. I never introduced anyone from Searchlight to anyone else in France. And something you don't know is that about three years before I made that call to Tony Robson, five members of Reflexes had made a visit to London with the specific intention of making contact with Searchlight themselves. I met them on that visit for the very first time, so I could hardly have had a hand in that. And I gather that they attempted to make contact several times over the next few years, with no success. No doubt that fact that I am British and speak fluent English was why I was asked to ring Tony with the tip-off.

Quote:
5) Further admits I wrote to her--a letter which she binned & didn't reply to, but utters abusive remarks concerning. For her to then whine about why I didn't contact her again is preposterous--her friends at Searchlight never contacted me before printing incessant lies about me in 25 issues of the magazine & elsewhere.

Why would I deny receiving a letter from you? Like any political mag, Reflexes got its share of dubious correspondence, all of which had to be considered carefully before deciding to reply or ignore. In your case, we decided to ignore. Apologies for slagging off your typing and spelling, even though your letter WAS badly written. [EDITED TO ADD] There was nothing in your letter that gave us any reason to take it seriously. We'd never heard of you, it was on unheaded paper (therefore indicating it was from an unknown individual rather than an academic source or known publication), and it was a two-page incoherent ramble warning us about Gable. Who we were already wary of. [END OF EDIT]

And you could have contacted me again - I'd have answered your questions if you'd asked. It's not my fault, incidentally, if Searchlight didn't contact you - I'm not now nor ever have been responsible for what they publish.

Quote:
6) Has a dig at a dead man, Meltzer: whose 'suspicions' I merely reproduced

Albert was pretty horrible to me on the last occasion I saw him. That's the truth, not a dig. Despite his nastiness, I continued to respect him and his views. I was unaware he had written his autobiography until I saw the quote in your pages. At which point, I bought a copy. I was surprised how little he actually wrote about Leo - given the amount of time they had spent together over 9 years and the amount they had done, I'd have thought my lover would merited more than a page and a half. Some of what Albert wrote is inaccurate, for example saying he'd been living with his parents before moving in with his girlfriend (ie, me). Untrue. Leo had moved out of his parents years before we even met.

The sentence before your quote says "He [Leo] said reasonably that, while he could not understand healthy people committing suicide, when someone reached a certain state of deterioration they should be able to die as they wished." This is absolutely what Leo believed, as do I. His parents and I have always believed that Leo chose to commit suicide rather than be locked into a psychiatric ward against his wishes. As a freedom fighter, dying by his own hand was undoubtedly preferable. The inquest report raises a massive number of questions about the way that ward was run and gaps in his care (for example, the doctor deciding to put him under observation but the nursing staff not apparently being informed of this). The inquest verdict was open but only because for suicide to be ruled there has to be incontrovertible proof of the intention to kill oneself, such as telling someone or leaving a note, neither of which Leo had done. However, the coroner made it clear in his summary that he thought it was probably suicide.

Going back to Meltzer, don't you think I'd love to be able to ask him questions?

Quote:
7) Ludicrously claims only to have read the relevant part of SFB on her--thereby evading dealing with the rest of it, which cites chapter & verse on Searchlight continually doing the work of SB & undermining/smearing anarchists. A standard tactic of Searchlight apologists: always evading the issue.

I have read only the pages that were faxed to me when your book was published. I have since skimmed the text that is reproduced on this website, but as I'm no longer involved with Searchlight (and have not been since early 1996 when I resigned from United), nor any other active politics I'm really not that interested except in a passing manner.

Quote:
If lib.com wants to accept the word of a Searchlight apologist like Bernstein, they are free to. I contend (and the evidence proves it) hers was no mere casual association--and she was (is) somebody who should have known better. I asked questions in SFB: not adequately answered here, and also quoted Albert Meltzer's views in a book. Should I hold a seance & get Albert to retract? I could raise emotive matters, like LB, vconcerning the depths to which Searchlight harassment of myself has sunk, but why should I? That would cloud the issues.

Just where is your concrete proof, Larry? All you have are theories and speculation. Let's see your "evidence". You're right I should have known better, but as I already said France at the time was in the grip of the rise of the extreme right and at Reflexes our priority was to fight that by any means possible. If I'd known that swapping magazine columns and having a few phone calls would have caused me such massive personal hassle years later, I'd never have bothered. I've already admitted I was naive. And I'm still paying for it.

lbernstein
Offline
Joined: 17-01-07
Jan 30 2007 08:43
John. wrote:
Meltzer may have been a very good guy, he certainly seems like a great one from personal testimonies and Golden Angels, but to say every word he spoke must've been true is silly.

I have been told through the grapevine that a number of people close to Albert told him they thought his theory was "wild speculation".

Quote:
So you're not providing any evidence any of what you say is actually true then, and are going to maintain your insunuation that she played a role in her partner's death? that sounds pretty stupid.

I'd like to see this evidence too!

Quote:
This isn't just about what albert said, you're saying she's a state agent.

And tbh if she really was would she really be posting on here nearly 20 years later, obviously upset by it? What motive would the "secret state" have for doing that? to try to get her to re-infiltrate some group? (and which one??)

Why indeed? It's almost 17 years since Leo died. I've been out of active politics since I resigned from United in January 1996. That's 11 years. Even if I wanted to be active again, I doubt anyone would trust me after what's been said about me, so I wouldn't be able to.

lbernstein
Offline
Joined: 17-01-07
Jan 30 2007 08:52
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
Ah, I get it--LB is allowed to post reams about her personal problems (nothing to do with me) but I am not allowed to talk about harassment by her Searchlight friends. Thanks for clarifying.

What personal problems? Reams? I have briefly mentioned my grief and a suicide attempt I made 3 months after Leo died.

Larry, if Searchlight have harrassed you, and I have no reason to disbelieve you, that's not my fault. I'm sad if that's the case, but they have done it to others, including Malcolm of Doncaster DAM, which everyone knew, including me was an utter lie. They are not now or ever have been "friends" of mine, except the personal friendship I had with Graeme Atkinson, who was very supportive of me when my French marriage broke up and to whom I offered personal support when his relationship ended. This is usually called offering a shoulder to cry on. But I would not describe Searchlight as my friends - I've already detailed the precise nature of the relationship. I can't offer any more info because there is none to offer.

Larry O'Hara
Offline
Joined: 18-05-05
Jan 30 2007 08:58

I note your response with interest

1) You give an account of your dealings with Searchlight, but nowhere do you explain away what first perturbed me--how could an anarchist, and ex-Black Flag member, suggest any genuine anti-fascists work with Searchlight. That, of course, was the central issue raised in my letter that you say you binned so peremptorily. You just do not answer that point, my central question. And as Searchlight For Beginners cites, you actually parroted Searchlight's 'analysis' in a book published in French--something Leo Rosser never did, nor would have done.

2) You claim naivety--but I do you the credit as an ex-Black Flag member of being more politically sophisticated than that.

3) That Reflex had apparently being trying to contacxt Searchlight & had failed till you facilitated such is hardly to your credit.

4) You are perfectly entitled to have binned my letter. But given
a) it raised questions about Searchlight and the need for non-state compromised anti-fascists to avoid these spooks like the plague
b) You were in contact with Searchlight at the time
--that is again something that reflects badly on you, in my view.
To criticise me for not having contacted you a second time is ludicrous. Am I supposed to be psychic, & waste my time sending letters to people who bin them? I again repeat, this Atkinson creature who you find "genuine" is a low-life Stalinist smear-peddler.

5) So, you have 'skimmed the text'--given it is on this site, I find it difficult to believe you haven't read it. I will leave others to decide how likely that is. Amazing, that you affect to remember the gist of a letter that was binned straight away, but other important written material (or political memories) are blank to you. I again reiterate, Searchlight/state operations against Black Flag are included in Searchlight For Beginners. I again ask those observing this exchange to think how plausible is it that a key Black Flag collective member should develop such politcal amnesia in so short a space of time as you seem to want us to think you did.

6) Claims that you are now not involved in politics are fair enough--but my pamphlet raised questions about your sudden political amnesia then that have still not been adequately answered.

lbernstein
Offline
Joined: 17-01-07
Jan 30 2007 09:32
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
I note your response with interest

1) You give an account of your dealings with Searchlight, but nowhere do you explain away what first perturbed me--how could an anarchist, and ex-Black Flag member, suggest any genuine anti-fascists work with Searchlight. That, of course, was the central issue raised in my letter that you say you binned so peremptorily. You just do not answer that point, my central question. And as Searchlight For Beginners cites, you actually parroted Searchlight's 'analysis' in a book published in French--something Leo Rosser never did, nor would have done.

Buy you didn't know we'd binned your letter until I said so on here. Up until then, all you knew was that you didn't get a reply from anyone at Reflexes. I did not "parrot" Searchlight's analysis in my article. I quoted them, as I did others. Am I not allowed to reach my own conclusions or be capable of making them? I spent hundreds of hours in that period researching neo-nazi BB boards, the URLs of which were given to me by non-Searchlight sources.

What Leo did and what I did are two different things. I've already said we were not joined at the hip and didn't agree on everything politically.

Quote:
2) You claim naivety--but I do you the credit as an ex-Black Flag member of being more politically sophisticated than that.

Sorry but I wasn't nearly as politically sophisticated as other members of Black Flag. I wrote very little for it. My main tasks at BF were collecting the post from the BM box, typing up articles, helping with layout etc. About 95% of what I did at BF was admin. I didn't feel confident enough to write much. Most of what I did write was short news snippets and book reviews. I don;t recall writing any major investigative features.

Quote:
3) That Reflex had apparently being trying to contacxt Searchlight & had failed till you facilitated such is hardly to your credit.

Leo warned the Reflexes people about Searchlight when they visited London. When I moved to Paris, I was asked several times to make contact with Searchlight but didn't want to. It was only when we had the tip-off about the skins going to Dover that I rang Searchlight to pass it on. I would have rung AFA if I'd had a reliable contact number but I didn't. I agree it's not to my credit and as I have said several times, I wish I hadn't and I would never have done if I'd known how mich aggro it would create years later.

Quote:
4) You are perfectly entitled to have binned my letter. But given
a) it raised questions about Searchlight and the need for non-state compromised anti-fascists to avoid these spooks like the plague
b) You were in contact with Searchlight at the time
--that is again something that reflects badly on you, in my view.
To criticise me for not having contacted you a second time is ludicrous. Am I supposed to be psychic, & waste my time sending letters to people who bin them? I again repeat, this Atkinson creature who you find "genuine" is a low-life Stalinist smear-peddler.

4a) see my comments in answer to part 1 as to why we binned your letter. And we were, as I have also stated, aware of the need to be cautious where Searchlight was concerned.

4b) I never discussed Atkinson's political views beyond fighting fascism with him. I was aware that he leaned to communism, which kind I never asked. You didn't need to be psychic Larry - you knew I was working at United - all contact details were in the public domain.

Quote:
5) So, you have 'skimmed the text'--given it is on this site, I find it difficult to believe you haven't read it. I will leave others to decide how likely that is. Amazing, that you affect to remember the gist of a letter that was binned straight away, but other important written material (or political memories) are blank to you. I again reiterate, Searchlight/state operations against Black Flag are included in Searchlight For Beginners. I again ask those observing this exchange to think how plausible is it that a key Black Flag collective member should develop such politcal amnesia in so short a space of time as you seem to want us to think you did.

Skimmed yes because the little time I have spent on here has been spent posting in this thread. Outside of that I have a living to earn. Which remains me, I really ought to go and do some paid work so I can cover my bills. I was not a key BF member. I was at the bottom of the heap there. See above. I repeat again that while at Reflexes I was well aware of the need for caution at all times in dealing in Searchlight. How is that amnesia?

Quote:
6) Claims that you are now not involved in politics are fair enough--but my pamphlet raised questions about your sudden political amnesia then that have still not been adequately answered.

See last sentence by me above.

JDMF's picture
JDMF
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Joined: 21-05-04
Jan 30 2007 09:34

Its scary how little concrete evidence and how little far fetched circumstantial evidence is needed to be smeared publically by your "comrades" (or a "comrade"?).

Larry O'Hara
Offline
Joined: 18-05-05
Jan 30 2007 10:41
lbernstein wrote:
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
I note your response with interest

1) You give an account of your dealings with Searchlight, but nowhere do you explain away what first perturbed me--how could an anarchist, and ex-Black Flag member, suggest any genuine anti-fascists work with Searchlight. That, of course, was the central issue raised in my letter that you say you binned so peremptorily. You just do not answer that point, my central question. And as Searchlight For Beginners cites, you actually parroted Searchlight's 'analysis' in a book published in French--something Leo Rosser never did, nor would have done.

Buy you didn't know we'd binned your letter until I said so on here. Up until then, all you knew was that you didn't get a reply from anyone at Reflexes. I did not "parrot" Searchlight's analysis in my article. I quoted them, as I did others. Am I not allowed to reach my own conclusions or be capable of making them? I spent hundreds of hours in that period researching neo-nazi BB boards, the URLs of which were given to me by non-Searchlight sources.

What Leo did and what I did are two different things. I've already said we were not joined at the hip and didn't agree on everything politically.

you only claim to have read two pages of SFB: that would include the footnote numbered 59 citing your article in the book 'L'Europe en chemise brune' (1992) which praised Searchlight's 'From Ballots to Bombs' as "excellent". That, as you well know, is something different entirely than the internet article. And it does parrot Searchlight's analysis of the UK far right, as you well know. Or are we asked to believe Searchlight secretly inserted their characteristic take on events while it was in the printers & you never noticed? How is that to be explained away?

Quote:
2) You claim naivety--but I do you the credit as an ex-Black Flag member of being more politically sophisticated than that.

Quote:
Sorry but I wasn't nearly as politically sophisticated as other members of Black Flag. I wrote very little for it. My main tasks at BF were collecting the post from the BM box, typing up articles, helping with layout etc. About 95% of what I did at BF was admin. I didn't feel confident enough to write much. Most of what I did write was short news snippets and book reviews. I don;t recall writing any major investigative features.

Members of a group do not need to write for it to be aware of the political line on key issues of the day. So I don't buy that evasion either.

Quote:
3) That Reflex had apparently being trying to contacxt Searchlight & had failed till you facilitated such is hardly to your credit.

Quote:
Leo warned the Reflexes people about Searchlight when they visited London. When I moved to Paris, I was asked several times to make contact with Searchlight but didn't want to. It was only when we had the tip-off about the skins going to Dover that I rang Searchlight to pass it on. I would have rung AFA if I'd had a reliable contact number but I didn't. I agree it's not to my credit and as I have said several times, I wish I hadn't and I would never have done if I'd known how mich aggro it would create years later.

Now we have a variation that you didn't want to contact Searchlight--but of course you did!

Quote:
4) You are perfectly entitled to have binned my letter. But given
a) it raised questions about Searchlight and the need for non-state compromised anti-fascists to avoid these spooks like the plague
b) You were in contact with Searchlight at the time
--that is again something that reflects badly on you, in my view.
To criticise me for not having contacted you a second time is ludicrous. Am I supposed to be psychic, & waste my time sending letters to people who bin them? I again repeat, this Atkinson creature who you find "genuine" is a low-life Stalinist smear-peddler.

Quote:
4a) see my comments in answer to part 1 as to why we binned your letter. And we were, as I have also stated, aware of the need to be cautious where Searchlight was concerned.

If you were aware of the need to be cautious, why have dealings with them? Just doesn't add up, at all.

Quote:
4b) I never discussed Atkinson's political views beyond fighting fascism with him. I was aware that he leaned to communism, which kind I never asked. You didn't need to be psychic Larry - you knew I was working at United - all contact details were in the public domain.

Again you ludicrously imply I should have wasted my time contacting you a second time--when you never responded to me once. Ridiculous.

Quote:
5) So, you have 'skimmed the text'--given it is on this site, I find it difficult to believe you haven't read it. I will leave others to decide how likely that is. Amazing, that you affect to remember the gist of a letter that was binned straight away, but other important written material (or political memories) are blank to you. I again reiterate, Searchlight/state operations against Black Flag are included in Searchlight For Beginners. I again ask those observing this exchange to think how plausible is it that a key Black Flag collective member should develop such politcal amnesia in so short a space of time as you seem to want us to think you did.

Quote:
Skimmed yes because the little time I have spent on here has been spent posting in this thread. Outside of that I have a living to earn. Which remains me, I really ought to go and do some paid work so I can cover my bills. I was not a key BF member. I was at the bottom of the heap there. See above. I repeat again that while at Reflexes I was well aware of the need for caution at all times in dealing in Searchlight. How is that amnesia?

It is amnesia because if you were aware of the need for caution, that should have precluded contact. It is the equivalent of saying 'I knew Special Branch were dodgy, but I was aware of the need for caution & to be wary of them'. Acceptable for an apolitical punter, but not for somebody who has (past?) professed anarchist politics. You speak of discussing personal matters (two-way) with a key member of the Searchlight team, Atkinson. The level of trust required in any normal situation to do that would imply a far greater connection with Searchlight (even if only in the form of Atkinson) than you have disclosed.

Quote:
6) Claims that you are now not involved in politics are fair enough--but my pamphlet raised questions about your sudden political amnesia then that have still not been adequately answered.

Quote:
See last sentence by me above.

Still not adequately answered. And I, too, have lots better to do with my time than respond on this thread. The two recent posters apart from you have added nothing of substance--and I note troll 68 is now pretending he has some kind of rational argument: but his earlier post about 'oo7' 'license to kill' 'community centres' shows just what calibre this creature really is.

Let us just say, Ms Bernstein, you have your version of events, and I have a different set of questions not answered adequately. It is indeed a cautionary tale, and I should reiterate I bear you no personal malice. The key lesson is that no progressive/anarchistt anti-fascists should have any dealings with Searchlight, ever. A lesson, of course, that Black Flag had already learnt before all this happened....

ticking_fool
Offline
Joined: 12-03-05
Jan 30 2007 10:58
Quote:
Again you ludicrously imply I should have wasted my time contacting you a second time--when you never responded to me once. Ridiculous.

If you're accusing someone of being a state asset and implying that they may have had some role in someone's death, the onus is on you to ensure that they get the right of reply and the opportunity, for example, to provide documentation that might point in another direction. You're the one making serious accusations here and apparently you can't be arsed writing two letters because it would be a 'waste of your time'.

[edited because I only just spotted this and it's so out of order it's unbelievable]

Quote:
The key lesson is that no progressive/anarchistt anti-fascists should have any dealings with Searchlight, ever.

Because if they don't fuck you over, you're happy to do the job. Unbelievable.

lbernstein
Offline
Joined: 17-01-07
Jan 30 2007 11:40
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
you only claim to have read two pages of SFB: that would include the footnote numbered 59 citing your article in the book 'L'Europe en chemise brune' (1992) which praised Searchlight's 'From Ballots to Bombs' as "excellent". That, as you well know, is something different entirely than the internet article. And it does parrot Searchlight's analysis of the UK far right, as you well know. Or are we asked to believe Searchlight secretly inserted their characteristic take on events while it was in the printers & you never noticed? How is that to be explained away?

Yes, I wrote a chapter in English for L'Europe en Chemise Brune too. I've never denied that. It does not parrot Searchlight's analysis - if you look at the bibliography you can clearly see I I referenced a number of sources - Robert Benewick, Joe Jacobs, FL Carsten, Christopher Husbands, Richard Thurlow and Martin Walker. Are you suggesting that all my other sources were parroting Searchlight too? Incidentally, I wrote the article in English because although my spoken FRench is very good, my written French is not good enough to write at that level. Someone at Reflexes translated my article, probably my ex. You are right that the footnote says I described From Ballots to Bombs as "excellent" in French. I cannot confirm if that is what I wrote in the original English version as the files are at Reflexes, not with me. And there was some very good information in that publication. Just not all of it.

Quote:
Members of a group do not need to write for it to be aware of the political line on key issues of the day. So I don't buy that evasion either.

Very true. Which is why I have repeatedly stated that I did not share all of Leo's political views, nor indeed all of BF's line. I have already stated elsewhere in this thread that I thought BF was obsessed with the secret state. I was not.

Quote:
Now we have a variation that you didn't want to contact Searchlight--but of course you did!

It's not a variation. It's an addition. I've never denied I picked up the phone and rang Searchlight. I was asked to pass on the tip. I didn't have a number for AFA so I rang Searchlight instead. And I was asked because I was the only member of Reflexes who spoke fluent English. That doesn't mean I was happy to do it. I was put under some pressure. And I have repeatedly stated that I was cautious.

Quote:
If you were aware of the need to be cautious, why have dealings with them? Just doesn't add up, at all.

Because we had a tip to pass on.

Quote:
Again you ludicrously imply I should have wasted my time contacting you a second time--when you never responded to me once. Ridiculous.

But you were quite happy to make serious implications about me without checking your facts. As a journalist, your first rule should surely be to talk to people involved in whatever you are writing about. Especially if you intend to make allegations. You wouldn't have been wasting your time, you would have been checking your story stood up to scrutiny. Which it doesn't. I've yet to see any concrete evidence supplied by you that a) I am a state agent or asset, b) that I was Gable's "lackey" and c) that I had any hand in Leo's death. When you provide some, maybe others will take you seriously. Because they are not at the moment.

Quote:
It is amnesia because if you were aware of the need for caution, that should have precluded contact. It is the equivalent of saying 'I knew Special Branch were dodgy, but I was aware of the need for caution & to be wary of them'. Acceptable for an apolitical punter, but not for somebody who has (past?) professed anarchist politics. You speak of discussing personal matters (two-way) with a key member of the Searchlight team, Atkinson. The level of trust required in any normal situation to do that would imply a far greater connection with Searchlight (even if only in the form of Atkinson) than you have disclosed.

There's nothing wrong with my memory. I do not have amnesia. Would you like me to get checked out by a neurologist of your choice? I'll happily sit a polygraph test too.

We all do things against our better judgement. I made an error of judgement in opening up contact with Searchlight. For which I am still paying. But it seemed the right thing to do at the time because we had info that needed to be passed on.

Re talking to Atkinson about our relationships, yes I felt he was enough of a friend to tell him why my marriage broke up. I spent longer listening to him when his relationship ended - he was deeply upset. I'd like to think I am a compassionate person who takes time to help people when they have personal troubles. In fact, I know I am. I have many friends who confide personal stuff in me. And it stays private. I'm not a gossip.

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Still not adequately answered. And I, too, have lots better to do with my time than respond on this thread. The two recent posters apart from you have added nothing of substance--and I note troll 68 is now pretending he has some kind of rational argument: but his earlier post about 'oo7' 'license to kill' 'community centres' shows just what calibre this creature really is.

I have answered all your questions repeatedly. You seem to be just choosing to ignore what I say because it doesn't fit your theory. As for revol68, what he posts about you is nothing to do with me. I'm not responsible for him. I don't even know who he (she?) is beyond a nickname on this forum.

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Let us just say, Ms Bernstein, you have your version of events, and I have a different set of questions not answered adequately. It is indeed a cautionary tale, and I should reiterate I bear you no personal malice. The key lesson is that no progressive/anarchistt anti-fascists should have any dealings with Searchlight, ever. A lesson, of course, that Black Flag had already learnt before all this happened....

If you don't bear me malice, why make a number of allegations about me without checking your facts? Where's your EVIDENCE?????

Larry O'Hara
Offline
Joined: 18-05-05
Jan 30 2007 14:53

1) So, you're now saying I should have (more than onmce) written to you to ask your views--when your Searchlight associates, who produced the "excellent" From Ballots to Bombs, and who have tried to get me beaten up twice in addition to printing stories implying I was involved in drug-deals between Nazis & Loyalists...they are immune from such requirements, yet I, have an obligation to grant 'right to reply' in advance. I understand. Searchlight did not, and do not, merely ask questions and quote the referenced remarks of third parties--they make/have made definitive statements I am a Nazi. But I forget, like anybody who has ever written for Searchlight, or had close dealings with them, you know nothing about anything they have ever written.

2) You admit Atkinson was a 'friend' of yours--given his work for S/Light, he could only have become such if your dealings with the 'team' were mpre extensive than yopu have admitted.

3) Notice the seamless way, when I caught you out implying I was talking about the article praising S/light in the book, you do not admit your earlier subterfuge, but seek to bring in straw-men by citing other things in the bibliography & implicitly/partly blaming a translator! Priceless.

4) You say giving info to Searchlight "seemed the right thing to do at the time"--it was not then, and is not now. And this continued talk of being "cautious" is an evasion too.

5) I carefully quoted Albert Meltzer's views, in addition to asking questions about how somebody with your political past could have had so quick a political mind-change. You have still not adequately answered my questions, and it seems you are not going to. Fair enough.

6) If my criterion of political acceptability is being taken seriously by somebody who has had the dealings with Searchlight--which includes counting Atknison as a friend/confidante--that you have had, I might be even slightly worried by your lack of approbation. But I am not.

lbernstein
Offline
Joined: 17-01-07
Jan 30 2007 15:38
LARRY O'HARA wrote:
1) So, you're now saying I should have (more than onmce) written to you to ask your views--when your Searchlight associates, who produced the "excellent" From Ballots to Bombs, and who have tried to get me beaten up twice in addition to printing stories implying I was involved in drug-deals between Nazis & Loyalists...they are immune from such requirements, yet I, have an obligation to grant 'right to reply' in advance. I understand. Searchlight did not, and do not, merely ask questions and quote the referenced remarks of third parties--they make/have made definitive statements I am a Nazi. But I forget, like anybody who has ever written for Searchlight, or had close dealings with them, you know nothing about anything they have ever written.

IIRC, you never asked for my views in the letter that you sent me. I simply suggested that any investigative journalist (or any other type of journalist for that matter) should check their facts before publication. I have not seen any statements in Searchlight that you are a Nazi, a drug dealer or any other wild statement but I haven't seen Searchlight since the March 1996 issue, so I'm happy to take your word for it that they did. I'm also happy to accept your word that you are not a Nazi or a drug dealer. I've already said that Searchlight have smeared people, viz. Malcolm of Doncaster DAM. If they can do that to him, there was nothing to stop them doing it to you either. And I do not condone such behaviour. Nor do I condone attempts to beat you up, if that's what happened.

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2) You admit Atkinson was a 'friend' of yours--given his work for S/Light, he could only have become such if your dealings with the 'team' were mpre extensive than yopu have admitted.

Well, I'm a close friend of the CEO of a blue-chip plc too, but I've never had any "dealings" with that person. It's possible to be friends with someone on one level but not be close to them on others you know. My dealings with Atkinson were no more than I have already said. I've had no contact with anyone in Searchlight since early 1996 when I left United.

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3) Notice the seamless way, when I caught you out implying I was talking about the article praising S/light in the book, you do not admit your earlier subterfuge, but seek to bring in straw-men by citing other things in the bibliography & implicitly/partly blaming a translator! Priceless.

Caught me out on what exactly? L'Europe en Chemise Brune is in the public domain and all my sources are a) referenced as notes and b) in the bibliography. I quoted one line From Ballots to Bombs in a paragraph about UK neo-nazis, amongst a number of other sources. I'm not blaming whoever translated the chapter. Mistakes can and do happen. I tell you once more, I am unable to compare the original to the translation as I don't have access to it anymore.

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4) You say giving info to Searchlight "seemed the right thing to do at the time"--it was not then, and is not now. And this continued talk of being "cautious" is an evasion too.

I was always cautious when in contact with Searchlight. Passing on that tip to Searchlight DID seem the right thing to do at the time as I didn't have a number with which to contact AFA. I have admitted several times now that I made an error of judgement.

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5) I carefully quoted Albert Meltzer's views, in addition to asking questions about how somebody with your political past could have had so quick a political mind-change. You have still not adequately answered my questions, and it seems you are not going to. Fair enough.

What political mind change? I've already said I didn't agree with every tiny bit of BF's political line. Am I not allowed to have my own views?

You haven't answered my questions either - where is your EVIDENCE? You haven't produced any yet and several people have now asked you for it. People, I might add, who don't know me or vice versa. They would like answers too and you're not giving them. If that's not evasive, what is? You have not one shred of proof to back up your assertions

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6) If my criterion of political acceptability is being taken seriously by somebody who has had the dealings with Searchlight--which includes counting Atknison as a friend/confidante--that you have had, I might be even slightly worried by your lack of approbation. But I am not.

Don't worry - I'm not taking you seriously. And I never will until you produce concrete evidence to back up your allegations, which you can't cos you haven't got any.