By LUCAS RIVERA
The City Sun, September 1993
Although the FBI has denied it’s investigating the private and public life of either Lenora B. Fulani or Fred Newnan— the social therapist and founder of the New Alliance Party—Newman is an indictment waiting to happen. “Unless he’s been charged with anything,” FBI spokesman Joe Valiquette said, “there’s no way we would investigate.”
Newman, a radical left winger, is the modern day equivalent of Lyndon LaRouche, and he describes his New Alliance Party (NAP) as “a Black led, multiracial, independent, progressive third party.”
During an exclusive interview with The City Sun last week, Newman said he believes that the federal authorities are out to nail him to a cross. “They’re trying to destroy my organization,” he insisted. “I have to go to the courts and make an appeal of what’s left of this Constitution. The FBI has been sued and beaten before. The COINTELPRO operation was found to be illegal. What they are doing, in my opinion, is in violation of the First and Filth Amendments. I think that we are doing well. It’s a fight and they are out to get us,” he lamented. “The FBI has a long and inglorious record of tying to do anyone in who is in opposition to the mainstream of American politics.”
Nevertheless, Newman has been linked to a money laundering scandal by some of his staunchest critics—former New Alliance Party members who want to hang him out to dry. “They are people who left NAP. Most of the people that do leave NAP, do it in a decent and civil way,” he said, referring to the barrage of criticism he’s received over the years, “Some people have a need to clean themselves up. So the people cleanse themselves by making up different stories and different lies.”
Many of his critics charge that he has an omnipotent and controlling demeanor, and they believe he’s cloaked in this sort of political Marxism, but behind this rhetorical mask—he’s a “cult leader.” Newman’s eyes turn glassy as he speaks to this reporter on this subject.
The New Alliance Party is the least controlling organization in the history of American politics,” he said with a chuckle. “No organization has been more democratic. There’s no centralized control at all. People run campaigns, if they [choose] to run campaigns.”
Although Newman brushes off his critics—there is evidence suggesting that Newman has kept “sloppy bookkeeping records and has forged checks,” using the signatures of former NAP members and cashing them at the Amalgamated Bank—The City Sun has learned that undisclosed documents from the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) have been turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau’s office. “It’s not our policy to comment on whether there is an investigation or to deny there is one,” said Assistant District Attorney Gerald Convoy before hanging up the phone—which infers that there is an ongoing investigation under way.
All this is in Newman’s mind. He knows that the U.S. Attorney and the federal authorities are breathing down his neck because of a number of financial maneuvers involving nine companies he allegedly used to siphon off campaign matching funds during the 1992 presidential election. It was in April of that year that Newman merged forces with billionaire and former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot. At the time, he needed a way to pull in Black votes. In the Fulani Perot venture, Fulani campaigned for Perot. Eventually, though, the deal fell through.
The FEC requires that monies collected by the campaign committee be spent on the campaign. Ultimately, any money that NAP did not spend on the campaign had to be returned either to contributors or to the government. Newman realized that the only way he could hold onto the money was to purchase goods and services from himself. He devised a scheme in which he used the nine businesses to launder this money, according to several former New Alliance Party members.
Here are the nine companies Newman had to document to show how the campaign funds were utilized:
Castillo Communications — $237,497International Peoples Law Institute — $149,504Ilene Advertising — $123,664The National Alliance —$73,600Fred Newman Productions — $68,275New Alliance Productions — $49,952CAKIM — $20,000Automated Business Services — $17,625
Castillo Cultural Center — $11,696
Among the financial dealings were:
The International Peoples Law Institute (IPLI)—the legal arm of NAP—has listed Arthur Block, Harry Kresky, Gary Sinawski and Michael Hardy as attorneys. It received $149,504. The company lists no expenses.
In addition, Ilene Advertising billed $123,664, but only 10 percent of its services [were] used to produce campaign literature, according to former NAP members. The remainder was placed in Newman’s tax exempt company known as The Community Literacy Research Project, the members noted.
There was a more striking miscalculation when the stall of Castillo Communications, which is located in Newman’s Soho enclave, received nominal or no salaries for their work, though they billed the Lenora B. Fulani Campaign at least $237,497. Several staffers simply drew salaries allegedly from commissions on campaign fundraising quotas. The litany of financial dealings listed is buried in FEC files.
Is NAP a Capitalist Party?
Newman feels differently about the financial network of companies.
“The FEC runs the tightest operation in the United States government. They watch every penny you spend. They record, they audit,” he said. “In 1988 and 1992, the services that we used for the campaign we gave to companies that are sympathetic and supportive to us. That’s standard practice in America.”
Newman justified how he spent his $4.2 million in campaign matching funds, “but Clinton hired his people when he was doing his campaigning.
“They [the nine companies] are a network of different organizations that people in the [NAP] movement have built. They are no more a part of NAP than the spin organizations that are a part of the Democratic Party,” he exclaimed in rapid fire cadences. “We live in a capitalist society. Money is a form of capitalism; capitalism is a fact of life. In order do something about changing capitalism in the long haul one has to accept the realities. There’s no way you can ignore that,”
Many former NAP members know the inner workings of the financial dealings of Newman’s organization. William Pleasant, a former member of the International Workers Party, said the IWP is an underground group within NAP. He obtained FCC records, building a case against Newman. “The entire 1992 Fulani campaign was produced for the purpose of stealing the matching funds which ultimately went back to Newman,” Pleasant said.
Newman didn’t appear browbeaten over the potential investigation of him and his organization, and he admitted the possibility that the authorities are studying his financial records closely.
“We have to believe that’s happening—and the U.S. Attorney’s office is looking into this,” Newman confessed. “I think they are responding to these former friends who have effectively tried to raise the issues that something illegal was done. And the job of the U.S. Attorney’s office is to investigate people.”
It’s estimated that Newman is worth $15 million.
During one of the many plenums held by the New Alliance Party, on Sept. 10, a citywide meeting where the theme for the night was “Don’t Let the Machine Choose Our Leaders,” Lenora Fulani stood before the podium and said, ‘I feel like [city comptroller] Liz Holtzman. This has been a tough week for me.” Defending Newman, she said, “[he] was always in the forefront of this coalition providing unbelievable leadership. After the meeting, she passed a plastic bag around and said she needed to raise a thousand dollars.
Colin Moore, a well-known attorney running for the City Council, charged that “he would back the New Alliance Party come hell or high water.”
The fact is that Newman didn’t rise to such wealth overnight by being soft and gentle, though his erudite manner makes it seem so. He graduated from Stanford University with a PhD in philosophy and later concocted the idea to use social therapy as a political tool—modeling himself around the Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky.
But, how, then, did he learn to muster so much support for his organizations? It was Newman who dabbled in socialist movements in the past, eventually aligning himself with various political characters. In early 1973, he worked closely with Lyndon LaRouche, who, at the time, worked with the United Workers Front. They established a working relationship. “LaRouche came out of the Socialist Workers Party,” Newman explained. “I think the left organization carried certain kinds of work—mainly in the area of welfare and psychology, which many of us found attractive enough to work with.”
When LaRouche became a right-wing politician, Newman broke the connection.
Former Newman Disciples
After the multitude of attacks against Newman surfaced, many of his disciples left the New Alliance Party because they felt Newman was a fanatical thief. Pleasant, the former editor of the National Alliance newspaper, who is Black, explained the strange world of Fred Newman in graphic tones.
“I was a member of the International Workers Party, which is an underground Marxist-Leninist party that Newman is the chairman of,” Pleasant confided. “It’s still in existence and they still collect dues from people every week. It’s the party that created NAP—the All Stars Talent Show, this just supplies Newman with money, which is a big front to infiltrate poor Black and Latino communities.”
For eight long years, Pleasant remained with Newman and his political followers because he though the New Alliance Party could change the U.S. government. “What kept me there was that we could get rid of Newman and end this corruption, because there were enough IWP workers who were politically aware and would oppose Newman.”
Many of these NAP and IWP workers have been slowly molded by Newman’s political and social psychotherapy, which is described as a form of mind manipulation. “He owns and supplies them with employment and housing, and he pays them $250 a week. They have to pay for their social therapy; 99 percent of them are on social therapy. They have to pay their party dues to be a part of IWP. You have to pay $50 to $100 every two weeks,” he said. “They never live in Black and Latino communities except when they used them as poster children, and that allows them to raise money from white liberals,” Pleasant added. “And they go out and beg for money. They also do telemarketing and door-to-door canvassing like the Greenpeace organizations.”
Pleasant believes that the Marxist is an armchair revolutionary who knows how to package political rhetoric. But he has one flaw: He lacks a good accountant.
“He’s been sloppy and stupid,” Pleasant said during a telephone interview. “Newman knew that my opposition to him [went] back to the 1992 Fulani campaign where he listed me as a campaign worker in the FEC documents, claiming that I was paid $450 for clerical work that I never did.”
Pleasant chuckled and said, “He went on to write a check out and cashed that check at Amalgamated Bank by forging my signature.”
This is how Newman concocted his scheme during political elections. “I never received a penny from the Fulani campaign, nor did I ever work on the Fulani campaign,” Pleasant said. “That was one of the ways that he used the members of the IWP to embezzle FEC primary matching funds, i.e., federal dollars. That money [stayed within] inner circles. That’s what some of the people who are still in NAP are telling me.”
IWP is an Underground Organization
What is the function of the International Workers Party, and does it still exist? Newman paused for a second.
“IWP was a Marxist revolutionary organization coming out of the 1960s,” Newman replied, “but it came into existence in 1974 and went out of existence in the late 1970s.”
“The New Alliance Party started in 1979,” he continued. “There was a major shift toward political organizations and lobbyist organizations rather than the ultra-left. In my opinion, [it] had nothing to do with people.” Strangely enough, former NAP members said that the IWP organization is an underground group that still exists.
The only reason such a story surfaced was that within the organization a few people had the courage to tell their true accounts. These are true victims who were mesmerized by Newman’s politics and his New Alliance Party, said Kellie Gasink, a former NAP member.
Gasink’s tenure began with the IWP organization in 1987, and in 1992, she decided to jump ship. She believes that Newman runs his …
… you when you are going to join this secret conspiratorial organization—if you are willing to become part of a Marxist-Leninist organization,” Gasink observed. “And they tell you that it’s a conspiracy to overthrow the government. It’s a combat organization that has a revolutionary strategy.”
Theoretically, Newman has created an intellectual political party filled with progressive whites who are idealists and believe in armed struggle. “The organization doesn’t consider itself to be in an armed struggle in this county, although it does support other revolutionary struggles around the world.
NAP is a political machine used by Newman as a front to raise money. Newman’s campaign financial schemes have backfired because allegedly $4.2 million in campaign matching funds is missing.
“The NAP in the 1988 campaign was left of center [constructed] to challenge the Democrats and Republicans. The Castillo Center was considered the cultural arm used to develop working-class art. And the East Side Institute is where Newman trains psychologists to be social therapists. The social therapists are IWP members. The IWP members are much more educated. They are [even] willing to give up their personal fortunes or their families’ wealth. Sometimes, they tell them to ask their parents for money. The East Side Center is the therapy center; those are the people who need emotional help.”
The other side of the coin is that it functions more like a cult than a political organization. “Before [people] are asked to join the IWP, they are first put in therapy for a period of one year,” Gasink said. “What this means is that when they are in therapy, they are thoroughly indoctrinated.”
Newman Is Friendo-Sexual
Gasink said part of Newman’s indoctrination is he frequently makes passes at women whom he favors in NAP. “He made a pass at me,” she said. “He just started kissing me. Newman believes in ‘Friendo-sexuality.’ When I was in the organization he had taken on his sixth wife. He has communist weddings where he would have non-legal ceremonies. They are also told not to associate with their families. You are told not to ‘do family’ and you’re supposed to believe in [not] being a couple. That relationship is considered bourgeoisie. The only social life is NAP and the therapy group.”
NAP has had its share of combined miscalculations, and Newman must have seen the writing on the wall. In the past eight months, many of the NAP offices started closing down. “It served its purpose,” Gasink said. “The NAP organization is profitable. All he needs is that his finances get investigated, and they will discover fraud. I think this is proof that there is enough to put him in jail like they did Lyndon LaRouche.”
Click HERE to visit the giant 'ex-iwp.org' archive on the history of the Newman cult.