Progressive activists in the US should have celebrated a political party with a 1988 platform calling for peace, social justice, multi-racial harmony, and an end to discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Instead, the ruthless organizing style of the New Alliance Party was so consistently disruptive, that across the country, gay men and lesbians, African Americans, civil libertarians, community organizers and progressive activists denounced the New Alliance Party and its tactics.

The New Alliance Party (NAP) sponsored the presidential bids of Dr. Lenora Fulani an African-American woman who gained ballot status in all 50 states in the 1988 elections. Fulani ran in the Democratic Party primaries and then as an independent presidential candidate. The issues Fulani and her political party raised deserved more attention, not only in mainstream political circles, but also within the US progressive movement, where too often the reality fails to match the ideal when it comes to issues of gender, race, class, disabilities, and sexual identity.

Internally NAP mirrored its anti-democratic outreach. At the core of the New Alliance Party was a hierarchical group of organizers who devised a manipulative and totalitarian method of seeking political power. NAP described itself as a Black-led, women-led, multi-racial, pro-gay independent political organization. However the New Alliance Party was controlled by a secretive cadre whose white male guru, Dr. Fred Newman, once led his followers into an affiliation with neo-fascist cult leader Lyndon LaRouche.

Dr. Newman has been Dr. Fulani's campaign manager, therapist, mentor, chair of the political tendency to which Dr. Fulani owes allegiance, and creator of the form of therapy practiced by Dr. Fulani. There are two interlocking control mechanisms that create a totalitarian structure: a secret core cadre organization that enforces a distorted form of democratic centralism, and a manipulative type of psychological therapy in which all members of the inner cadre must participate.

Since the names of the various levels of governance within the formations controlled by Newman, Fulani, and their inner circle have changed repeatedly over time, this study will use a specific set of names to describe the three principle levels of participation, regardless of whether or not these names are in current use.

  • "Steering Committee" will refer to the inner core cadre leadership including Newman and Fulani.
  • "International Workers Party" will refer to all persons who are cadre in the Leninist party and who place themselves under the authority of the group in a relationship know as "democratic centralism."
  • "Newmanites" will refer to all persons who follow the political leadership of the formations created by Fred Newman, whether or not they are members of the IWP or its Steering Committee.

Newman and Fulani and a handful of others are leaders of the Steering Committee. This core cadre has been known variously as the "Organization," the "Tendency," the "Fraction," the "Steering Committee" and is in fact the inner leadership of a Leninist cadre party known as the "International Workers Party." Not every member of the International Workers Party is part of the core cadre, but this core cadre controls the IWP, which in turns controls the front groups such as the New Alliance Party and the Castillo Cultural Center. While Lenora Fulani has more visibility than Fred Newman, there is little debate that both the political ideology and theories of social therapy embraced by Fulani were originated by Fred Newman.

Wherever the Newmanites have a major organizing effort underway, there is a related "therapy" group reaching out to persons with progressive politics who are also seeking emotional or psychological counseling. The therapy groups use a technique they call "Social Therapy" invented by Dr. Newman. According to former members, including several former therapists, the Social Therapy is consciously used as a recruitment tool for the NAP and related organizations such as the Rainbow Lobby.

The actual nature and history of the Newmanites is complex, controversial, and ultimately a matter of individual perspective and judgment.

This report attempts to seriously analyze the history, activities and internal dimensions of NAP in the context of its work in the US progressive political community. This analysis is highly critical of the role of the Newmanites within that community, but is not an attempt to bait the organization on the basis of its publicly-espoused political views. To discuss the Newmanites without reference to the political milieu in which it operates is impossible.

The slogans of the Newmanite groups seem to reflect a progressive political framework, but the organizing practices and internal structure do not reflect the outward claims of Newman, Fulani and other leaders. When the New Alliance Party was disbanded and the Newmanites merged with the fledgling Patriot Party and began courting Ross Perot and the Reform Party, any former claim to represent a left political formation was abandoned as Newman and Fulani followed the same trail blazed by previous left-wing groups that embraced rightwing populism and joined proto-fascist revolts.

This is a story of how a group can be so rich in the rhetoric of democracy and yet so poor in its implementation; so full of promise yet so empty in practice.

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