The View from the Galleys, Continued
While in Texas in early November for Kesha and Ian's wedding, one of the first national fundraising calls with Helga was held. In that call Helga initiated her theme of using the fear of assured death of most of humanity by thermonuclear war, to drive the youth to fundraise. Various youth, as well as Todd and Diane, all said in one way or another, that what worked best for organizing people, was to be calm, almost casual, while they were told that they had a very slim chance of avoiding thermonuclear war, but that they must act. Helga, growing agitated, finally exclaimed that this calm, almost casual approach was wrong, and that we must hit people with the full, fearful impact of almost certain death by thermonuclear WWIII. She said the youth were totally out of touch with reality. From this point on, the number of required national fundraising calls increased and rapidly devolved into the personal testimony of how the potential for global holocaust made organizers feel. Thus, the concept of a successful organizer was shifted towards those who achieved a more emotional catharsis with the population, rather than the communication of clear ideas.
Going back to early October, Sky and Todd had begun periodic discussions, which lasted until shortly before Sky left the organization, on how to achieve the income goal of $30,000. Sky agreed with the income goal. Both agreed that for most LYM an unstructured reading day was usually not beneficial; even with intensive classes many of the LYM never seemed to get the ideas. A better integrated form of organizing and development of the necessary ideas was needed. Sky's idea was that if the Basement produced a lot more organizing product, such as the Arctic Development and Planetary Defense documents, then the increasing attacks by Helga and others, i.e., that the Basement was out of touch with reality, unpolitical, and not really pulling its weight, as well as the attacks against time for intellectual work, would be counteracted. These discussions were always based on the premise that the organization's political policy was the concept of the science driver. That being the case, organizers had to understand scientific concepts well enough to be able to communicate them. Sky and Todd consistently discussed solving this dilemma in those terms.