Christine Berl & Henry Weinfield's letter of resignation - April 2, 1974
of one's being in a love relationship, at just that moment in which one experiences the sharpest and most agonizing sense of inner spiritual death, is to use the sensuous act of love to reduce 'the lover to an accomplice in one's own suicide.
The obsession with shit, and the endless stream of scatalogical and sadistic humor issuing from Marcus around this obsession, successfully and repeatedly reduced all the individuals in the sessions to the level of animals. They were forced to conceed that a large portion of their thinking could be reduced to a preoccupation with shit, and especially to the fear of this preoccupation. Women were hit particularly viciously with /this form of reduction-ism, even to the point of tracing their sexuality to the proximity of the anus and the vagina with only the thin strip of the perineum distinguishing between the two. Marcus claimed that this anatomical peculiarity was the origin of women's feelings of degradation, since it gave rise to their confusion of the sexual act with, the act of excretion. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that this was a radical departure from classical Marxism since it located identity not within the matrix of social—reproductive relations, but in bestialized anatomical reductionism. The degradation of women was further predetermined by the infantile relation a woman had to her mother where the first sexual encounter was imprinted on her memory as "the mother cleaning the shit out of her little vagina." This confusion of sexuality with shit led both men and women to cover up the odors associated with lovemaking; according to Marcus, this was the reason that women wore perfume and men smoked after making love. Needless to say, none of these assertions were challenged.
Of course, it was acknowledged by Marcus that the participants of the sessions were not condemned to be enslaved by their fears of shit for the duration of their lives, but to the extent that the participants became convinced that a large portion of their behavior could be reduced to those fears, they in fact acquired the very obsessions which Marcus claimed he was curing them of. The proceedure was brilliant and diabolical. After Marcus had himself reduced the leaders to a state of self-hate and terror, (attributed, of course to their mother-image), only then would he rescue them, in the name of self—consciousness from the terror which he himself had created. But most diabolical of all were his frequent demonstrations of real compassion, coming from the tradition of Marxist-Humanist thought, which he manifested at unpredictable intervals, and which permitted the leadership to trust him sufficiently to offer themselves up again and again to his sadism.
Each leader in the sessions had his own weaknesses that rendered him vulnerable to depersonalization. In my case, my passionate commitments both to socialism and to composition had never been fully integrated and remained alienated from each other. I made use of the persona relations prevalent in the organization to provide me with an escape from the demands made upon me by my own artistry. The more out of touch I became from my own art (and it is well known that I composed extremely infrequently for the entire duration of my membership in the organization), the more susceptible I became to the process of depersonalization imposed most strenuously in the sessions, but reinforced through the social relations within the organization. At the time of the alleged Chris White brainwashing, Marcus asserted that it was impossible to brainwash me "because of my deep involvement with musical creativity. Ironically, he was right, for ultimately, and despite having succumbed to a state of depersonalization for several months, I was able to recover the sense of my own identity through the confirmation of my artistic and human capacities in a love relationship that restored a sense of the ennoblement and sanctity