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followers were expected to work six days a week, he says, beginning at 8 a.m., when a few dozen activists would gather at the office to sing -- typically old slave spirituals. Then they'd listen via speakerphone to an organization leader give a news briefing highlighting events that, Winstead says, "support their view that the world is crumbling basically and the economy is collapsing.
By 9 a.m., older members, some of whom had followed LaRouche
for decades, were working the phones to raise money. Younger recruits loaded card tables and literature into cars, then fanned out to troll for new members. Everyone was given a daily quota of money to raise, Winstead recalls. If they hadn't made quota by late afternoon, they'd stake out intersections with long red lights and work the left-turn lane. "There's a horrible war," Winstead would tell anyone who'd roll down the window. "Lyndon LaRouche
is going to stop it. Here's the paper; make a donation."
By 5:30 p.m., Winstead and his colleagues returned to the field office for another news briefing before dinner. Then they'd launch a new round of work: telephoning potential recruits. "That generally goes on until 10 at night," he says. "If it's not done, then you are pretty much in trouble."
"It's a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day total immersion," said a recent dropout, who, like other ex-members interviewed, did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. "It's a situation where people wouldn't have any private lives anymore . . . . Everyone's got to march to the same tune.