The End of Reading Days or "Re- Education": Becoming Integrated with the Workers, Peasants, and Soldiers
The next week, Lyn took a nasty fall. Helga declared that he should rest, and that the NEC meeting should occur in Purcellville instead of Windy Hill. This made a number of people very suspicious. Sure enough, Helga used that opportunity to further push her reform program, and to explicitly attack Purcellville. Rick and Helga arranged in advance for the meeting to be recorded and sent to the locals, as part of Helga's overall approach of turning factions against each other. 42 Immediately after the meeting, Sky informed Lyn. Lyn told Sky that Helga was irrational and simply enraged about his relationship with Alicia. Sky asked whether the audio should be sent out, and Lyn replied that Helga's criticisms of Purcellville were fueled by her dislike of Alicia, and that the tape should not go out. Sky sent out an email to this effect. 43
At the next meeting between the Basement, Lyn, Helga, and the leadership in Purcellville, things were very heated. Helga got into separate shouting matches with Ben, Lyn, and Alicia about the "embargo." Lyn maintained that it was necessary. Things continued in this way for some days.
Finally, Helga applied enough pressure that Lyn opened an NEC meeting with a fiery denunciation of the "embargo," and announced that the culprits in Purcellville would be found. It became clear to Sky that someone was trying to target him, because Lyn spent the entire second half of the "anti-embargo" NEC praising Sky to the high heavens--Lyn's usual way of informing people that Sky was not to be attacked. Hector, who had watched Lyn and Helga fight about the embargo on the prior Thursday, mentioned this after Lyn finished, saying that he had heard Lyn explicitly call for the tape not to be distributed. Lyn then declared that such a discussion never took place.
Afterwards, Sky approached Lyn and Helga. Helga glared at him and said that "there are many things that I could say to you right now, but I will not." Sky responded that she should tell him soon, though. She said that she would -- in Germany. Helga left to pack, and Sky asked Lyn if he recalled that it was he and Sky who initiated the "embargo," and said that there was no one to attack in Purcellville. Lyn insisted that he and Sky had never discussed this, and that someone in Purcellville was responsible. 44
In the fourth week of February, Sky flew to Germany for another conference. The day before leaving, Helga insisted that the two of them speak. Her tone had changed considerably. She took Sky out for wine and a fancy meal, while her security waited in the car for several hours. During the discussion she relayed to Sky that he was being manipulated by Purcellville "group think," and that Sky had to make "a break with Purcellville" and help to push the $30,000. Sky said that there was no "group think," that he was glad to increase the fundraising, but that it would not occur by simply repeating that number. Helga said that the environment in Purcellville reminded her of the environment before the European split, and that if Sky did not weigh in there would surely be another.
Sky argued for recreating the environment that he believed had existed around the SDI and the Fusion Energy Foundation, and Helga said that the older members had created that environment, and that she saw nothing comparable with the youth. Sky said that the organization, at the time he joined, was not the organization that created the SDI. Helga agreed, and said that the American movement had been crushed emotionally by the raids, and that the only American member who was exactly as she remembered him was Dennis Small. Sky found this curious, because Lyn had always insisted to him that Dennis Small was an agent of the enemy, constantly working to counteract Lyn's directives. 45 Helga declared that Lyn was absolutely wrong about this assessment, and that Dennis was the only sane member of the NEC. This fundamental disagreement between Lyn and Helga reminded Sky of bits and pieces he had heard from older members about an earlier split between Lyn and Helga on the subject of Fernando Quijano and the weird "Catholic stuff." He knew that Dennis had at one point been on the "Catholic side" of that debate, and that some people had said that Helga was as well. Sky resolved at this point to seriously investigate this.
Upon his return to the U.S., Sky dug up everything possible about that period, in hopes that it would shed some light on the confusing factionalization he had been observing. This led him to Dino de Paoli's memo, where Dino described being close to Lyn and Helga during the "Catholic split." Sky had only wanted to find out where Helga had stood at that time, but instead he found an amazing account that almost exactly paralleled what he had been experiencing for the last several months in Purcellville. He decided to forward that account to several other people who were also trying to make sense of the craziness of that period.
42 The older members versus the youth, and Purcellville versus the locals, primarily. (But, as Leni loved to say,
Helga's mode of operation was to give herself a quota of "ten new conspiracies a day.")