Nick and Tarrajna Leave the Universe
Upon returning to Detroit in the period between Christmas and New Years, Nick and Tarrajna found themselves tackling a monstrous dilemma: whether to plow ahead in the organization with an unstable and blundering captain at the helm, or to jump ship and swim for their lives. After the last several month's whirlwind of scandal, crises, and earth-shattering revelations, the thought of continuing forward with no view of a change for the better in sight was truly daunting. Also, the unwillingness of their associates to openly discuss or confront the problems that they had experienced first-hand in Purcellville gave little hope of potential to shift what they saw to be the downward-spiraling trajectory of the organization. Another troubling factor was the thought of returning to the Detroit local, unable to discuss these matters with anyone there, and yet having to continue to toe the line and attempt to explain away Lyn's erratic behaviour to the local and in the daily organizing. Not to mention, amidst the increasing clamp-down on the ideas and intellectual curriculum the youth movement had been based upon, they found it harder and harder to reconcile their daily activity with the ideals that they held.
Explaining Lyn's erratic behavior was especially dismal to them, as they would essentially be forced to lie about everything. On the other hand, their political ideals, passion for ideas, and long term relationships with others in the organization were the main elements still keeping them in. If they left, they would, in the immediate sense of time, have little to no political impact on the world. If they stayed, they would continue to be members of a group ostensibly committed to changing the world. But if (as the last few months had revealed) the group was in practice more committed to rallying around Lyn's delusions of grandeur than actually "changing history", then what was the point? Would this not be as delusional as Lyn himself? Over the course of many discussions at 24-hour diners, lasting long into the night, they went over and over the possible courses of action, and implications of each. Their deliberation came to a head on New Year's Eve, when they decided that it was not possible to ride the fence any longer: either they must take a stand within the organization, and bring their concerns to light in a public confrontation with Lyn and the Purcellville leadership, or no longer participate as full time members of the association. They decided upon the latter course of action after concluding that Lyn himself was the chief source of the organization's dysfunctionality, and that trying to change the organization meant somehow reforming Lyn himself, which was not possible. They also decided that they would not discuss any of their true reasons for leaving with anyone other than those who already knew, based on the fact that Sky and other collaborators were still committed to making the organization work. This decision made it impossible to clearly communicate to the general membership why they were leaving. They basically lied to members about their reasons, saying that they saw a fundamentally dysfunctional split between the fundraising locals and the brainstorming center; that Lyn was not in a position to correct this; and that they saw no positive role they could play in solving the problem. They left with the idea that they would maintain contact with Sky and others, and continue to play as much of a role as they could in organizing, and especially collaborating with the Basement. As they soon discovered, there was no way that that could happen.
On New Year's Day, Nick called Sky to let him know what they were doing. Sky disagreed on the decision. He went back and forth with Nick for a bit, and finally asked him to at least also call Todd and Diane to let them know their full thinking on the decision, which they did. When they returned to Detroit a week later to move their things, a meeting had already occurred in Detroit, hosted by the visiting Diane Sare, in which she asserted that Nick had always been a faker. Many members there, who obviously took their cues from Nick the entire previous year, were suddenly echoing Diane's allegations, without any consideration. The other quickly adopted line was that Nick and Tarrajna had been seduced out of the organization by the generous offers of wealth and comfort proffered to them by Nick's family, as demonstrated, it was said, by their bourgeois, a-political wedding. 36 (At one point, it was also alleged and circulated that Obama himself had funded part or all of their wedding.)
Initially Sky and others obtained an agreement from Barbara that Tarrajna and Nick would not be attacked, since everyone on the inside of all of this knew the actual reasons that they were leaving, and Tarrajna and Nick were willing to not discuss these reasons with anyone else in the movement (in order to defend the organization). As it became clear that Sky and others were resisting the transformation to the structure of the older organization, Barbara, Rick, and Helga began to apply pressure on Sky and Cody in particular to break ties with Tarrajna and Nick. This played out on several different occasions, including a meeting between Rick, Riana, Barbara, Sky, and Ed, where Rick and Barbara tried to squash any discussion of Bruce Director's role in eliminating the intellectual work of the youth. 37 The discussion became largely an argument between Sky and Barbara, with Rick and Barbara accusing Sky of just defending his friends, and Sky warning them that they were about to lose the entire intellectual capacity of the movement if they continued like this. It became clear that Barbara was going to push for a public statement by Lyn about Nick and Tarrajna.
Barbara started a surreal "investigation" of the reason for Nick and Tarrajna leaving. 38 This made no sense, because everyone involved already knew the reason for Nick and Tarrajna leaving. She began to "investigate" the funding of their wedding, and other ridiculous things. 39 A line went out that Sky and Cody were being overly influenced by Nick and Tarrajna. Despite this, the leading members refused to believe most of this, and thus an open denunciation by Lyn of Nick and Tarrajna was delayed.
However, when Mark Calney passed away, Nick wrote a short eulogy for his old friend and sent it to everyone he had worked with in Los Angeles.
Although Nick had no intention of this being read at the wake for Mark held in L.A., Liz
Sopkovich, in an email to Nick, suggested that be done. Nick said okay, as long as it contributed to the
celebration of Mark's life. Upon Liz bringing this suggestion to Leni, the shit about the Walshes hit the
proverbial fan. Leni reportedly flew into a foaming rage at the suggestion, saying that Nick had turned his
back on everything that Mark Calney stood for (despite the fact that Leni had been thoroughly briefed by
Sky as to the Walshes" true reasons for departure). Word of the eulogy quickly reached Barbara, Bruce,
Helga, Lyn and everyone else, and it suddenly became Nick's attempt to intervene into the organization.
This stir was the pretext for finally bringing down a more public hammer, via Lyn, on Nick and Tarrajna. At this point, in an NEC, they were famously cast "out of the universe," turned into "pieces of shit," "factory rejects," and other such nonsense. The policy was clear: to communicate with the Walshes was to communicate with the enemy. From that point on (though they knew, at that time, almost nothing as to cause) the Walshes experienced a complete cutoff of communication with nearly all members they had previously been trying to collaborate with on Basement matters. The next time they heard from anyone was when Sky contacted them some weeks later.
36 Nick and Tarrajna's wedding, though not different in essential expenses or arrangements from other recent LYM
weddings, brought a unique and humorous disdain from many in "the leadership." Indeed, they did have a "rock band"
at their wedding. However, many of the members who later said how degenerate their wedding had been didnít seem
to mind the entertainment during the wedding itself. Photos from the wedding exist to this effect.