Laurie Efrein reports on letter-writing campaigns

N-1-C-14a

To: JJ

From: Laurie [Efrein]

Letter counts:

TASS: 50
Andrew Young: 160
Kurt Waldheim: 130
[Guyana Prime Minister Forbes] Burnham: 74
[Guyana Deputy Prime Minister Ptolemy] Reid: 51
[Guyana Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred] Wills: 42
[Guyana Minister of Home Affairs Vitbert] Mingo: 42
Intl Human Rights Commission, Geneva: 195
UN Human Rights Division, NY: 110

Chronicle, for printing Garry’s letter: 23
Chronicle, article on suit against [Tim] Stoen: 8
Examiner, [ditto marks]: 12

Mendocino Grapevine: Getting out 10-15 for now; the series will be continuing. (Copy enclosed)

Have cut down generally on mass letter writing during services, once a week, twice at most now, although we can resume heavier perhaps if needs be. Leona felt strongly that people were reaching a saturation point on it for the time.

I’m going to be taking over this comparison project on the news media, between treatment of the Soviets and treatment of us. Kathy Tropp had it and she didn’t know where to start and got tied up in other things anyway, so I got “volunteered”.

As you’ll note from one of the clippings, Young also brought out a bit of truth on the coverage of Rhodesia: that the Patriotic National Front was not behind the slaughter of white missionaries, it was far more likely Ian Smith.

There was a special on TV recently about how Blacks in this country are losing all their property, at about the rate of 6000 acres per week. At that rate, they said, by 1990 no Black person in America will own property at all. They showed the auctions and forced sales and explained all the victimization. A lot of it is so-called “heirs’ property”: meaning no will was left so the property got into divided ownership through several generations, hopelessly entangled. And any one owner could force a sale of the entire piece of property. Or it could go on account of delinquent taxes… to the nearest speculator at a price point under its value.

Good article enclosed on the liability of nuclear reactors.

Many thanks for your message – that’s very very helpful.

 

N-1-C-22

4/5/78

To: Jim
From: Laurie
Re: Report

Letters, letters. It’s probably fortunate you have an obscessional maniac on your hands… in the letters department at any rate. This is where we stand today on the HEW letters.

  [Jimmy] Carter [Joseph] Califano
Postcards 137 133
Letters 198 195
Telegrams 65 65
L.A. 112 112
  512 505

This is a start anyway. I’m hopeful about having more time soon – in two weeks, I’ll get two weeks vacation time, and can tackle this better, plus catch up on other things. These mass letter-writing projects are very time-consuming; I end up writing most of the drafts myself, and will distribute in service, right in the auditorium, to make sure everyone writes. It’s more work in one sense, but has become the most expedient way of getting it done, rather than assigning, waiting, prodding, feeding ideas, reworking drafts, clearing, the whole mess. Everyonewrites, including the older children; and whoever can’t write has someone write for them, plus write their own. We’re going to draw on some additional lists too, for names; I don’t see where we have much option.

A child who volunteers to help on letter-writing projects regularly, incidentally, and works very well, is Amanda Brown, one of Roseana Dickerson’s grandchildren. She was the one who was sent back down South over a year back when she tried to burn down the girls’ restroom at school. She’s very sweet when she has something constructive to do; and I wanted to put in a good word for her because Roseana’s nasty to her from what I can see, tears her down, and the child’s really trying. Anhara Alexander (Jim Alexander’s daughter) is also very helpful.

I contacted Joanne Molloy, she’s still extremely positive, and was thrilled to have an open invitation to visit. The Northern California Alliance, the group she’s been working with, is all split up now, and “Common Sense” has come out for the last time. The Black Panther Paper just folded too.

Jane Fonda didn’t win the Oscar for “Julia”, but Vanessa Redgrave did (supporting actress) – I think she’s a better actress anyway, more genuine. Redgrave made a nice speech (in news articles enclosed) for which she was hissed and booed; but she was in fact picketed by the JDL, PLO, and the Nazis all at once, with threats for many weeks ahead. The JDL burned her in effigy in front of the Academy, while Allen Vincent told newsmen “I was just demonstrating for the white race when ‘a bunch of animals’ came up from behind and attacked me”. The jet set crowd should have at least appreciated that she had the guts to show – she could have been assasinated in a melee like that – but of course they didn’t.

Re-sent our “600” packet to those who didn’t return receipts yet – three out of five were from the State Dept (Vance did receive, the others no confirmation), and will give IRS a few more days, no receipt back from them either. Sent out amended QSL list to those to whom we already sent the wrong one only. Also got the packet out to HEW.

Some more clippings enclosed, pretty much caught up now. Note Carter is about to stop neutron bomb production, but the pressures against him are pretty stiff, and nothing defeinite has been announced. It looks like it could go either way.

 

N-1-C-23a

To: Jim

From: Laurie

Re: Report

Regarding what goes to the International Human Rights Commission, what to the press, communications were schizophrenic on that at best, and I assure you I had not been told you cleared that and wanted it out right away. I was first told to go through the (idiotic string of) lies and meticulously refute them point-by-point, to go to the Commission. Then Jim Randolph told me Teri [Buford] said keep working on it, but something was being done over there simultaneously, which I could use word-for-word instead of what I was writing. I assumed what was being written over there would either greatly clarify what I was about, or could mesh right in, or I could make a direct substitution. But what finally came over, the thing [Richard] Tropp wrote (sounded like Tropp anyway), was the opposite of a point-by-point refutation! The only word I got about sending anything to the press was along with the notes on what to send to the Commission, so I could only assume it was one and the same letter. Tropp’s letter never got past pencil notes until today, as according to what anyone understood from the radio its use was “optional”, and the offhand impression of Jean, Tom, and me was that it was “bad” – I mean “bad” in the sense of sophomoric, overdone, snide. But I’m editing out the “Tropp trips” now, and it will get out.

One lesson well-learned: I’ll be checking out questions myself on the radio so far as possible. It’s not that anyone else’s word is not reliable, but it just seems a built-in liability that “radio” can get to be more like “telephone” – the final product becoming more distorted the more people it goes through.

One thing over the radio though I resented highly, and I want it conveyed to Lee[Ingram]: Teri was clarifying what was to be done about the Commission letter I was working on, and I was acknowledging; then Lee steps in just to say, “Do it.” There was absolutely no need for a “man” to step in with “the final word”, when Teri was handling all the instructions perfectly well. Why doesn’t he do all the nitty-gritty of deciphering instructions and laborious secretarial work, like Teri and other sisters have always done, before he presumes to step in with “the authority trip”? If it weren’t that it was your authority (in terms of your wanting something done) that he was talking about, I wanted to tell him where the hell to get off. And people do that, too: choose a time to back up you to make themselves look a little stronger. Your authority I respect, but his I don’t. That’s just chauvinistic “bullying”, no more, no less. He came off looking weaker, not stronger. He insulted both Teri and me, and was using you. Sorry, I’m in one of my more “straightforward” moods, you might note. But it’s really worth asking in these instances, if this great “authority figure” knows what the issue is! They generally don’t; the “trip” generally supersedes the issue, or the responsibility, by far.

Well back to this letter to the Commission: I was surprised myself, we were taking on “charges” point-by-point, but I just figured it was so riddled with lies, blatant lies, that we could almost stand to gain, especially as the Commission had presumably read the outrageous document anyway. It could help to come across as thoroughly rational beings who are obviously in stark contrast to lying, devious reprobates. That’s very easy to get across. Just give the facts! And that crazy [Yulanda] Crawford bitch, after they get her to perjure herself 16 times over, she winds up working at Macy’s…

Anyway, this WASN’T the final version, only one person had had a chance to go through it all, Leona [Collier], who is an excellent critic on a pragmatic score, I found. That’s one good thing, anyway, that came out of the meeting after you talked with us all over the radio. Leona was upset because she said the other long letter to Carter sounded like “true confessions” and accused me of not being responsive enough to her criticisms. So we spent several hours together over this thing, and got subtle frictions worked out in the process. I like Leona. I think she does have some racial paranoias, but who wouldn’t? I respect her a hell of a lot more than people who never speak what’s on their mind.

You’ll all find a lot wrong with this draft to the Commission, I’m sure! I had lots of unanswered questions, but the format, the approach I think is pretty solid, if we do in fact want to do this kind of thing. It was tedious, but not as hard as I expected, it’s filled with abominable lies and transparent subterfuge.

On the assignment to write the Consulate, we got a total of 435 (letters and telegrams) out to the Consulate in LA; and the same to New York and Washington (but almost entire copies, which isn’t an entirely effective way of doing things). Plus 179 more letters to Kurtz, and 128 to Carter re IRS.

 

N-1-C-23a

Re the enclosed letter to Jerome Kurtz: written because of the threat made about “May 1st” to the Disciples, though they should get something from us officially on it before that date, so we could say “we told you so” if we need to.

The enclosed letter from Sen. Sparkman just received by several. He was one we wrote months ago, nothing recent, and never got any response until now, so it looks like it really is a current concern, not just a response to a letter. Should we be swamping him with letters again?

Follow-up letter re Mazor enclosed too. And a copy of the current form letter from the State Department being sent to several.

Re my job: I’m making the request again. These reports are going in early, so no time to detail. But I would not ask without very sufficient reasons. Your speculations about “very soon” are kind, but meaningless. All remain here as long as I’m needed, at least this always has been and remains my intent, and everyone knows that is entirely unpredictable. All I want is conditions under which I can effectively function now.

 

Originally posted on March 22nd, 2022.

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