Fred Newman and Lenora Fulani once led an alleged cult. Now they're power brokers in the race for president.

What You Don't Know About Lenora Fulani Could Hurt You

The New Republic, December 13, 1999 (cover title, "The Infiltrators")

At first no one seemed to notice her, sitting in the second row with her short, '70s-style Afro and big hoop earrings. It was moments before Pat Buchanan's arrival, and she was obscured by his brigades, men with soft, spongy faces and balding heads, pink with excitement, chanting, "Go, Pat, go!" in the conference room of the Doubletree Hotel in Falls Church, Virginia, at ten o'clock in the morning. As Buchanan finally stepped onto the stage to announce, in front of a wall of American flags, that he was ending his lifelong membership in the GOP and running for the Reform Party's presidential nomination, she began to take notes. Periodically she would glance up and then look back down at her pad. It was in the midst of this scribbling that Buchanan suddenly looked right at her. "[O]f all the needs of this nation, none is greater for our peace and happiness than racial reconciliation," he said. "Let us abandon the sterile and futile politics of victims and villains and rediscover what brings us all together as one nation and one people." Almost everyone in the room--the scores of Reform Party delegates in the front rows, the dozens of reporters and cameramen packed along the walls--turned toward her. For a second, everyone seemed to watch Buchanan watching her. And then something remarkable happened: The man who once waxed nostalgic about segregation winked, or so it seemed, at the only visible African American in the room. "I saw it," says Donna Donovan, a Reform Party spokeswoman. Afterward, the black woman leapt to her feet and thrust her fist in the air, hollering with the rising chorus of white males, "Go Pat Go!"

It is one of the strangest couplings in the history of American politics: Lenora Fulani, a black, Marxist, pro-gay, two-time fringe presidential candidate, and Buchanan, a politician renowned for his antagonism toward ethnic, racial, and sexual minorities. Only weeks before his announcement, Buchanan journeyed to New York to seek Fulani's support and, perhaps more importantly, the support of the man many claim can deliver the votes necessary to win the Reform Party's nomination: Fred Newman, whom Fulani calls her "theoretician and tactician." When word of their meeting first leaked, commentators greeted it as simply another spectacle, another act in a vaudeville election that has featured a movie star, a professional wrestler, and a billionaire developer. "Pat Buchanan gets jiggy with a former socialist," enthused Tony Snow of Fox News Channel, after Fulani officially endorsed Buchanan.

But, in fact, Newman and Fulani's presence in the Reform Party is something entirely different. It is the culmination of a 30-year crusade by a group the FBI once considered armed and dangerous to infiltrate the political system. Now, after years of absorbing little-known organizations on the left, Newman and his followers are on the verge of controlling the third-largest party in America and doing what once seemed unthinkable: influencing the race for president of the United States.

Even by the standards of the 1960s, Fred Newman's collective on New York City's Upper West Side was odd. Its handful of members, most of them college-student anarchists and hippies, wandered the streets, trying to provoke confrontations. Determined to jar the bourgeoisie out of its passivity, they handed out, in their own words, "the most obscene brochures and pamphlets in the whole city--filthy--incredibly offensive."

A large, highly intelligent, highly charismatic man with long, stringy hair and a beard, Newman served as the group's inspiration--its "benevolent despot," as his own literature described him. A veteran of the Korean War, he had spent the early and mid-'60s exploring the logic of belief structures, first as a doctoral student in philosophy at Stanford University and then as a professor at the City College of New York. By 1969, he had quit his teaching job--"Rational intellectual dialogue was not where it was at"--and begun to experiment with his own ideology, a blend of left-wing politics and Soviet psychology. Holed up in a communal apartment with a dozen or so recruits, he opened the Center for Change, "a collective of liberation centers" that included a school, a dental clinic, a newspaper, and Newman's first therapy institute. In contrast to traditional psychology, in which Newman had no formal training and which he decried as a myth, the Center for Change assumed that there were no crazy people, only a crazy society. Drawing loosely on the theories of Soviet psychologist Lev Vygotsky, Newman saw the patient as a revolutionary who could cure himself only by overthrowing "his bourgeois ego." In its first year, the clinic attracted some 80 patients, with so many spilling into the collective that they were soon sleeping in the hallways.

It was around that time that the Jewish New Yorker fell under the spell of another, more powerful ideologue working at the intersection of psychology and politics: Lyndon LaRouche. Though once a figure respected on the left, by the early '70s LaRouche had descended into a gothic world of conspiracy theories, a place where the CIA was brainwashing his security guards to kill him and where only he had the power to end "your political--and sexual--impotence." To maintain total command over the hundreds of disciples he sent out onto the streets to assault rival political parties with lead pipes and brass knuckles, he forced them into psychological therapy sessions, called "deprogramming."

In 1974, when most of the left was quite literally running from LaRouche, Newman led nearly 40 of his followers into an official alliance with LaRouche's National Caucus of Labor Committees. For several weeks, the two groups held joint forums and political meetings. It is unclear how much the Newmanites participated in the LaRoucheans' more militant activities. But, according to Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates, which has tracked both groups, Newman used the interaction as an apprenticeship, away to learn how to control a mass organization. It was then, Berlet says, that Newman mastered "ego-stripping group-therapy sessions" to discipline his rank and file. He also developed his ideology, a crude form of Marxism, which contended that the United States was ruled by a handful of moneyed elites--most notably, the Jews, whom Newman decried, despite his upbringing, as "dirty," "self-righteous dehumanlzer[s]" and "the storm troopers of decadent capitalism."

It didn't take long, however, before apprentice and mentor fell into a fierce rivalry--"There was room for only one charismatic leader," says Berlet. And, after just a few months, Newman walked out with most of his original followers, forming his own breakaway faction: the International Workers Party (IWP).

Operating through Leninist-style cadres and explicitly committed to a workers' revolution, the IWP adopted LaRouchean elements such as a cult of personality. But at its core was Newman's evolving theory of "social therapy," which many say encourages the patient to reject almost everything he has been taught by society and cede to the therapist enormous power over every facet of his life: his job, his friends, his family, even his sexual partners. Though many participants speak effusively of its success--"Fred saved my life," enthused one-early on there were reports of abuse. Several former IWP members said that, as part of their salvation, they were persuaded to hand over all their assets. IWP members told a local New York reporter, Dennis King, that Newman broke up at least two marriages because the relationships were too "bourgeois"--an allegation Newman denies. Others have said Newman encouraged them to participate in what he called "friendosexuality," a practice that Newman cheerfully recommends in his book Let's Develop.

Ironically, it was the LaRoucheans who first circulated documents stating that the Newmanites were too bizarre. One 30-cent leaflet complained indignantly of the IWP's "totally destructive social relations" and "methods of brainwashing" Newman, in turn, charged that LaRouche's members were even worse--"mind-fucked not brainwashed." ("[A]n organization based on . mind-fucking cannot lead the class," he wrote. "It will destroy itself.")

By the end of the '70s, while LaRouche's party seemed to sputter, Newman's clinics popped up throughout New York City. It was at one of these clinics, around 1979, that Lenora Fulani, a graduate student who had recently separated from her husband, met Newman. "In the beginning it was as if Fred was in the background," she wrote in her autobiography, The Making of a Fringe Candidate--1992. "Over the year my sense of who he was--in the group and in the world--became sharper and sharper." Like all of his followers, Fulani began to rely deeply on Newman, whose image appeared everywhere inside the collective, on books and pamphlets and other literature. "Fred was teaching me who I was and who I could be," she wrote. Newman agreed. "I organized her," he once boasted. "She is one of my life's proudest accomplishments."

In 1979, after one of his first patients was elected to the school board, Newman decided to try to capture power the old-fashioned way: at the ballot box. Claiming he had disbanded the increasingly controversial IWP, Newman announced the formation of a new, open political organization, the New Alliance Party (NAP). Overnight, NAPers appeared on street corners, selling copies of the party newspaper and pins that read DUMP KOCH. "We essentially dropped the vanguards and the pretentiousness of left grandiosity" Newman told The Village Voice at the time.

Indeed, Newman and Fulani now sounded like members of the League of Women Voters or Ralph Nader's Public Citizen. They campaigned for affirmative action and universal health care-causes that would attract support and donations from mainstream progressives. Under the rubric "two roads are better than one," they nominated their own candidates--including Fulani for lieutenant governor, governor, and mayor--while endorsing sympathetic Democrats. And, because so many NAP members were in therapy, NAP volunteers treated their political work as part of their "recovery." They were known to work 18-hour days for almost no pay, and in a short time they became some of the best petitioners and fundraisers in the country. By 1984, they even had their own presidential candidate, Dennis Serrette, a genial black socialist, who was on the ballot in 33 states and captured 35,000 votes.

But, while the NAP appeared to be open and democratic, myriad former members say it was secretly controlled by the IWP. One day, Serrette says, two of Newman and Fulani's emissaries approached him in the NAP offices and asked him to join the underground organization. Another member of the NAP says that in 1996 he was brought to a restaurant in Boston with three NAP activists. After they sat down, one unfolded a piece of paper and began to read a statement saying they were part of "a revolutionary organization which supported the overthrow of the government" and wanted him to join them.

According to former members, the NAP served, in large part, as an entry point into the IWP, whose numbers quickly grew into the hundreds. "Every two weeks we'd go to a cell meeting and give over an envelope with our dues and receive a note with instructions," says Kellie Gasink, who joined the NAP as a college student in the 1980s and then joined the IWP. "After everyone read the note, the cell leader would burn it." Members say they met in separate cells of six to ten people at restaurants around different cities to avoid FBI detection. They never knew exactly who else was in the organization, so no single person could betray the group. "They were a very secretive, thorough, and disciplined organization that bordered on a military operation," says Serrette.

"We kept semiautomatic rifles," states William Pleasant, an ex-IWP member. "The position was at some point we'd have to defend the offices." They trained, Pleasant says, on a farm in Pennsylvania. One day, he was told, people started "shooting everything up--hogs and deer, everything in the countryside." Another former IWP member insists there were 15 semiautomatic assault rifles and pistols stockpiled and a roving 20-person security squad prepared to use them. Newman says he doesn't know whether the IWP actually had guns or not: "I don't really know, because part of the security was not to let people know things who didn't need to know and I didn't need to know."

At the same time the IWP was allegedly hoarding guns, the NAP was openly aligning itself with people the U.S. government considered to be national-security threats, particularly Muammar Qaddafi. In 1987, Fulani headed an NAP delegation to Tripoli to "commemorate the genocidal U.S. bombing of the Libyan coast." According to the partially blacked-out pages of an FBI file from March 1988, authorities deemed that "members of the New Alliance Party should be considered armed and dangerous as they are known to possess weapons."

Fulani and Newman, meanwhile, were becoming experts in that lost Communist art: infiltrating and taking over unsuspecting organizations. In the mid-'80s, for example, the NAP set its sights on the New Jewish Agenda (NJA), a nationwide peace coalition headquartered in New York City. According to Nan Rubin, then head of the Manhattan chapter, and Bruce Shapiro, of The Nation, NAP activists started trying to recruit NJA members into their therapy clinics, even asking them out on dates--a tactic that harkened back to the '70s, when therapists at the Center for Change offered sex as a recruiting tool. NAP activists also overran the group's meetings, creating chaos with endless denunciations of Zionism. In another, more devastating operation, the NAP allegedly "stole" the presidential nomination of the leftist Peace and Freedom Party by infiltrating its ranks just hours before the party's convention and handing the nomination to Fulani. "They weren't registered Peace and Freedom Party members," recalls 85-year-old Herbert G. Lewin, who ran for the nomination. "They were coming in there and trying to take over."

And, when the NAP couldn't colonize organizations, it did the next best thing: it duplicated them. Most infamously, the group founded the Rainbow Alliance and the Rainbow Lobby, which appeared to have the same name and agenda as Jesse Jackson's influential Rainbow Coalition. Trying to siphon off Asian American support in California's East Bay, the NAP also put out a publication called Breaking the Silence, deliberately shadowing an established Asian American newspaper called Break the Silence.

Combining these clandestine efforts with intense grassroots organization, Newman and Fulani finally began to build a mass movement. In 1988, with the NAP'S ranks swelling into the thousands and offices reaching from SoHo to San Francisco, they pulled off a remarkable feat. Breaking through endless election laws and regulations, NAP organizers successfully put Fulani on the presidential ballot in all 50 states, a historic first for either a woman or an African American. Fulani received more than 200,000 votes. Four years later, she ran again, raising more than $4 million and becoming a kind of quixotic celebrity. Just before 1992's first primaries, USA Today gushed: "Lenora B. Fulani looks just like a major Democratic candidate . She dashes about the state in rented cars surrounded by frantic aides. She even earned a standing ovation from the New Hampshire Junior Women's Club."

And then it all started to fall apart. Horror stories began to surface-stories of people giving up their children to relocate for the party; stories of psychiatric patients being recruited into politics as part of their treatment; stories of people being cut off from their families and isolated in NAP communes. One woman, Marina Ortiz, who was an IWP member and whom Newman once hailed for her "uncompromising honesty," called the NAP a "cult." Another woman said she gave up all her possessions and worked for Fulani 16 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week, until she was on the brink of suicide. Judith Miller, a bestselling author of children's books and a manic-depressive, says she fled the NAP after its therapists convinced her to stop taking her medication and she landed in a hospital. Finally, in the summer of 1993, Gasink, who had been a member of Newman's inner cadre and an aide during the 1992 presidential campaign, typed a five-page, single-spaced letter to federal authorities that included this statement: "I have reason to believe that Fulani's campaign manager, Fred Newman, embezzled money from the campaign."

Gasink's complaint described an elaborate scheme to defraud U.S. taxpayers by exploiting the federal matching-fund system, which requires the government to match, dollar for dollar, each contribution of up to $250 to eligible candidates. Newman and Fulani quickly tapped into this potential gold mine, often encouraging contributors to give as part of their psychic healing. "The more you give, the more you grow," Fulani said at a rally in Brooklyn. "Take it out of your rent. It feels very, very good."

So many agreed that in early 1992 Fulani raised more in matching funds than former California Governor Jerry Brown or retired Senator Paul Tsongas. But, unlike most campaigns, which spend their money on outside vendors (political consultants, TV ads, etc.), nearly $1 million of the NAP's funds appears to have been recycled within the Newman empire: on a law firm, PR firm, newspaper, and accounting office connected to the charismatic leader. Moreover, according to Gasink, most of these organizations existed "only on paper as bank accounts and legal fictions" to "funnel committee funds" to Newman. The Washington, D.C. City Paper reported that six of the businesses, including Fred Newman Productions and Newman & Braun, were not listed in the 1992-1993 Manhattan White Pages. To maintain the fiction that the campaign was actually spending this money, Gasink alleged that bookkeepers wrote checks to campaign volunteers as if paying them for their free labor, then forged their signatures on the back and cashed them for their own purposes.

When the Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigated these allegations, Newman and the campaign treasurer refused to cooperate. They failed to properly respond to repeated subpoenas and threatened to take the Fifth Amendment. Finally, under court order, NAP leaders filed a blizzard of receipts and affidavits insisting the businesses existed and the work had been done. The FEC accepted the affidavits at face value and significantly reduced the sum it had originally demanded that the campaign reimburse the government. But it still found $73,750 in untraceable expenditures, as well as $18,768 in non-qualified campaign expenses. Yet, by the time the FEC reached its decision, it appeared to be irrelevant. The NAP--under mounting allegations--had long since vanished from the political landscape. Or so it seemed.

"I was stunned when I saw Newman and Fulani sitting there," says Micah Sifry, then the editor of The Nation, and the founder of The Perot Periodical. He was one of the few journalists who had come to witness the formation of the forerunner to the Reform Party. After Ross Perot ran for president in 1992, many of his activists vowed to launch a national party, even though Perot himself resisted the idea. Now, at their 1994 founding convention in Virginia, Sifry had expected to find traditional Perot supporters--white, middle-class retirees. Instead, he saw NAPers everywhere: on the dais, sitting at the delegate tables, handing out leaflets in the corridors.

Of the roughly 110 participants who attended the convention, close to half had ties to Newman and Fulani. When the floor opened for nominations, Fulani supporters relentlessly nominated one another. By the time the process was over, they had captured at least half of the elected positions. "They simply applied NAP tactics to a soft target," says former IWP member Pleasant. While the group christened itself the Patriot Party, Newman rose to the podium and declared in his slight Bronx accent: "I proudly call myself a patriot." The crowd rose to its feet.

The Zelig of the fringe had popped up again, this time ostensibly submerging all ideology in the name of process--easier voter registration and campaign finance reform. In less than a year, Newman and Fulani had quietly created a new base within the nascent party with a disciplined inner core of 30 or so members, some of whom had been with Newman since his LaRouche days.

In 1995, when Perot finally created the Reform Party, built upon the Patriot Party's edifice, he turned to Fulani and Newman for help in getting him on the ballot in all 50 states as a presidential candidate. "The job couldn't have been done without [them]," acknowledges Russell Verney, the national chairman of the Reform Party. After the 1996 election, Newman and Fulani found themselves in a familiar position: inside yet another party and positioned to take it over. Only this time it was the most important American third party of the late twentieth century.

Late one night Jack Essenberg, a small businessman who had been the head of the Reform Party's New York affiliate since 1996, found himself under siege. Throughout the state, party members were calling him to say their petitions had been invalidated, disqualifying them from becoming delegates to Reform Party meetings. At the same time county chairmen from Brooklyn to Broom County were complaining that outside organizers from Manhattan were coming into their communities with their own candidates. "It's like a hostile takeover," Mike Niebauer from Queens told him grimly. "They move their members around, they shadow me at events; they try to intimidate me. I've asked them to stay out of our county, and they won't."

Soon afterward, strangers began to show up at state party meetings--busloads of them, it seemed, voting and working in tandem, as if in an elaborately choreographed production. It didn't take long, Essenberg says, before he traced the incursion to a tiny office on the twentieth floor of a building in lower Manhattan. Protected by a series of thick metal locks, it housed the Reform Party's Manhattan chapter (in New York called the Independence Party). And inside the office was the office of another organization, which Essenberg had never heard of: the Committee for a Unified Independent Party (CUIP). While CUIP described itself as "part think tank, part training institute, part media and communication center for the Independent movement," it appeared to be a successor of sorts to the IWP. And at its core--inside its layers of staff and volunteers--was Lenora Fulani and her brigade of Newman followers.

In its newest incarnation, the Fulani-Newman organization resembles less a revolutionary collective than an old-style political machine. Social Therapy, the old method of winning and controlling activists, is largely out. Fulani and Newman have found something better: an arcane rule in the state party's bylaws that gives them permission to vote by proxy on behalf of non-attending party delegates. As part of this massive operation, the Manhattan chapter of the Reform Party, already controlled by Fulani, approached people like George Prindle with blind telephone calls. As Prindle tells it, a Fulani aide doing a voter survey called him to ask about his political beliefs. "I'm pro-life," he told them, "I don't believe in gun control and I think government is too big." The caller said the Reform Party's views were similar. Knowing nothing of Fulani or her associates' pro-choice, Marxist beliefs, Prindle said he was open to their efforts. Within several months, Cathy Stewart, who has been part of Fulani and Newman's inner circle for years, encouraged Prindle to become a state Reform Party delegate, even though he was largely immobile due to recent surgery. "I haven't been to any votes or conventions," he says. "I have to sign a proxy."

Lee Veinot, a 22-year-old student at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York, got a different kind of call from Manhattan. Instead of a survey, the caller offered him $12 per hour to go around his neighborhood getting people to sign petitions for Fulani's efforts to run for governor. Then he received another offer: Why not pass around his own petition to become a delegate at the same time? And so, for $12 per hour, he cheerfully did both, earning several hundred dollars to be a delegate, even though, as he told the Manhattan office, he'd probably be too busy to attend any meetings. "They send me forms to sign on the back," he says, referring to the proxies. "I'll sign whatever they have for me to sign." Prindle and Veinot were not alone. "The whole operation is a proxy operation," says William Struhs, the deputy county chairman in Queens. "The actual people don't come."

Fulani and Newman haven't changed their operating style. There are still public, mass organizations--like the Manhattan branch of the Independence Party--and others, like CUIP, that are shrouded in secrecy. Because CUIP has been unincorporated, it is safely shielded from in-depth disclosure laws. "No one knows what the hell it even is," says Essenberg. What money is traceable seems equally mysterious. According to New York State's Board of Elections filings, Friends of Lenora B. Fulani, which is housed in the same office as CUIP, has distributed thousands of dollars to delegate candidates, though many ran unopposed and needed anywhere from 15 to 75 signatures on a petition to qualify. When I asked Prindle if he had received the $2,745.34 purportedly spent on his campaign to become a delegate, he said "God, no. I think we had a few brochures [and] a paper ad; it wasn't very much." Veinot, whose delegate campaign purportedly received $1,173.68, is more precise. "They never spent anything for me to get elected," he says. "I ran unopposed. I just had to hand in my petition, and I did my petition work myself." Asked about Veinot's story, Jacqueline Salit--a Fulani spokeswoman--snaps, "There is nothing wrong with that."

If the methods are murky, the results are not. The Fulani-Newman takeover of the Reform Party is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Connecticut and New Jersey Reform Party leaders also report infiltrations. "They move in with their machinery," says Struhs. "Slowly but surely, they get bigger and bigger. It reminds me of the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union."

At the New York Reform Party convention in Long Island this spring, Essenberg finally watched the party he had spent five years building disintegrate. For hours Fulani's forces--swollen with proxies--paralyzed the organization, claiming that Essenberg had violated the rules, that he was corrupt, that he had usurped power unlawfully. When he tried to close the meeting, they simply kept going, forming a "removal" committee headed by Harry Kresky, Fulani and Newman's longtime lawyer. As Essenberg walked out, people he had never seen before cursed and spat at him. "I'm watching a Marxist takeover," he says, "and we don't have the means to stop it."

They met at a round table in the back corner of New York's Essex House Hotel. Newman wore a sports coat, his long, silvery hair falling over his shoulders. Fulani sat nearby, staring at Pat Buchanan. They had shouted at each other across the table on "Crossfire" but had never really spoken, and they had each brought their entourages for support: a Newman aide who had been in the collective since the '70s; Buchanan's wife, Shelley; and his sister, Bay, who manages his campaigns.

Mediating was Pat Choate, the burly former Reform Party vice presidential candidate who had spent weeks arranging the meeting, traveling to and from New York, speaking on the phone for hours to both camps. He had already explained to Buchanan why, if he decided to bolt the GOP, he needed to court Fulani. She controlled one-third of the Reform Party's national delegates and, along with Newman, understood better than anyone how to get on the ballot in all 50 states. Now, as they ate crab cakes and sipped iced tea, Choate opened one of Buchanan's books, The Great Betrayal, and read a line about the need to move beyond ideology. Bay jumped in, and soon they were all discussing a Buchanan run: what he would have to do to get on the ballot, to win over the delegates, to navigate the election laws. "This," says Newman now, "was really a culmination of what we had been doing all along."

Indeed, to a much greater extent than is publicly recognized, Newman and Fulani have become the Reform Party. At the national convention in Dearborn, Michigan, last July, Fulani received 45 percent of the vote for vice chair, while longtime. NAPer Jim Mangia won the race for national secretary, the party's third-highest office. And it was the Fulanites who, at the last minute, threw their support behind Jack Gargan and elected him chairman of the party. "We have serious on-the-ground forces in California, Texas, Georgia, D.C., Washington state, and Illinois," says Newman. He and Fulani control as many delegates as either Ross Perot or Jesse Ventura do. Add Buchanan's supporters to the mix, and together they probably have enough votes to control the party. There is already serious talk of Fulani becoming Buchanan's running mate. And if the Buchanan-Fulani alliance claims the nomination, the Newmanites may gain access to $12.6 million in government matching funds--enough to build their empire of interlocking organizations far beyond what it is today.

For Lenora Fulani and Fred Newman, the long, underground struggle is ending. Since the '60s, they have searched for ways to penetrate the political establishment, and, with the Reform Party, they now have. They have succeeded because they have become much more politically savvy. The guns are gone, as is the Marxist rhetoric--replaced with anodyne talk of cleaning up the political process. "We start whatever we have to do to accomplish our tasks," says Newman. "Capitalists do that all the time."

But it is not just their packaging that has changed. They have succeeded because the U.S. elite itself has changed, too. America's political and media establishment once excluded people like Fulani and Newman without a second thought. Today almost no one has the courage to. The establishment, which Newman and Fulani once assailed, has embraced the notion that everyone has something to say, including Donald Trump, Warren Beatty and Cybil Shepherd. But the danger of our new love of inclusion is not that it opens its doors to celebrities who dumb down the political process. It is that it throws open the gates to people who do not believe in democracy. A healthy political system allows such people to speak and assemble freely, but it does not invest them with its trappings of legitimacy and it does not offer them its megaphones. And yet that is exactly what has taken place.

After years of sharing her views mostly on "Fulani!"--a weekly public-access talk show that opens with footage of her screaming, "Let's kick some!"--Lenora Fulani, like any other politician or pundit, has spent the past few months shuffling from CNBC to CNN to Fox News Channel. One day not long ago she appeared on CNN with a former U.S. congresswoman and a retired secretary of labor to talk about the presidential race and other issues of the day. At one point the anchorwoman turned to Fulani, a leader of a movement the FBI once called "armed and dangerous." "Let's talk about the test-ban treaty, if we can switch gears here a little bit," the anchorwoman said. She paused for an, instant; the congresswoman and the secretary of labor waited. "Lenora, what do you see happening in the Senate?"


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