Justin Samuels graduated from Cornell University with a degree in history. After working in financial services for three years, he decided to try a more creative path. He's wrote 5 ebooks that are available on Amazon. He's written 8 screenplays. His first feature film, The Agent, is in development.
Every Time I Check My Messages, Somebody Thinks I'm Dead
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Occupy Wall Street-A Cult (from a former occupier)?
These are my observations about occupy, from being around it since October. In October, in Zuccotti Park, at this time there were a very diverse group of people in Zuccotti. I met steelworkers, teachers, doctors, students, homeless people, bartenders, artistic, even a couple of celebrities. You had contact between people that you normally don't see interacting much in mainstream society.
But as time went on, somethings marred this contact. When rapes started occurring in the park, obviously a number of people became concerned about their safety. The response from some occupiers, particularly those who call themselves anarchists was that this should be handled internally. That women who are raped should not call the police, and this should be handled by occupy. That police are the enemy and anyone who talks to them is bad. Obviously, a number of women left occupy because of that.
Occupy Wall Street had a religious devotion to due process, and to its fiscal sponsor, the Alliance for Global Justice. When Occupy Wall Street had the money, they easily could have secured long term housing for core occupiers by renting apartments, possibly by purchasing a building somewhere, or made other arrangements. By the non leader leaders of occupy (occupy supposedly didn't have real leaders, but it did) came up with all sorts of excuses. Number one is that the fiscal sponsor wouldn't back them if they had anything to do with rentals or property purchases. Never mind that they wasted quite a bit of money housing people in churches, where occupiers had to leave the church at 7am and be gone for most of the day, even in the winter. Why on earth would any group of people agree to something like this? In fact, the anarchist element was even against homeless occupiers with medical or psychiatric problems applying for state resources like medicaid (and other forms of public assistance)
Because if the poor among occupy got anything that resembled normal life for most people, they might leave the movement. If a homeless person got welfare and a stabilized situation and then got a job, they might not be available to do with the anarchists want them to do. When suggestions that the poor find work came up in occupy, the anarchists referred to all jobs and all work as wage slavery. Never mind some of these young anarchists who wanted to prevent homeless people from getting jobs or access to social service resources are living at home being supported by their parents. Never mind that other anarchists used money from the general fund to support themselves. Their activism was basically an attempt to avoid having to work. For awhile, they were able to get away with it. Taken from the finance NYCGA website:
"All spending over $100 was approved by the GA. Working groups take the responsibility for deciding where to make their purchases. You will notice that when a receipt has not been brought to accounting/finance by the working groups, we are unable to provide more specific details regarding the purchase. We also understand receipts were lost in the raid and have made allowances for that."
Where did much of this money go? To personal expenses, as the website admits it cannot provide more specific details about these purchases. This is under declared income and tax fraud. On the website itself, there are a number of interesting and rather dubious looking expenditures that were never vetted by a CPA. Which brings up another point. Who is the finance team of occupy? And are they qualified for their positions? In the real world, CEOs and other corporate executives, non profit executives, government officials, and academic administrators are vetted before they get their positions. We know who they are, what their educational and professional backgrounds are, and what sources of income that they have. The finance committee never disclosed who was on the finance team, what their sources of income were, and whether or not they were even qualified to be there.
While its likely at least some of the people on finance had jobs, what if there were those on finance who didn't have jobs? Now as everyone has needs including food, the temptation would be great for them to skim off money from these accounts. Also, for those who did have jobs, that needed to be disclosed as well in case there are potential conflicts of interest. The cultists among occupy would ignore all this, as they have an extremely persecution complex where the whole world hates them, and where everything is about what they want to do.
But back to finance. Finance had a public face for awhile. His name was Haywood. Despite finances claim to have no power, they often exercised their power in the General Assembly and through spokes council. The finance/accounting working group consisted of a number of defacto leaders of occupy. They were using the cult like culture they created in order to get more donations coming in, apparently so a number of them could simply avoid getting jobs. Finance actually blocked a number of proposals that had to do with activism and when convenient would bring up arcane occupy wall street/anarchist rules as to why this money couldn't fund activism, but they were allowed things to pass that made occupiers dependent upon them.