From Elsewhere – The Brixton Maoist Cult Case.
The Commentator blog has an excellent piece on the recent Brixton ‘slavery’ case. When this story first broke many suspected that as subsequent information was released it would be similar to other cases of forced servitude that we have seen. Many may have thought ‘It’s either Muslims or Pikeys’ when this story first intruded on their concsiousness. I know that I initially thought there would be an aroma of Bearded Savagery to this case, because some of the released aspects appeared similar. Well we were wrong, it wasnt’ Bearded Savages it was the equally deranged Bonkers Maoists who were at the heart of this story.
The Commentator said:
“However, as time passed, the police had not only saved the three slaves, but came to the rescue of Britain’s reputation as a civilised country. It was revealed that while there was no evidence of actual physical restraint or abuse in this modern day slave case, there was clear evidence of “invisible handcuffs”.
Invisible handcuffs? Well, that was some relief. Not being chained to the bed took the pressure off everyone, slaves and the British public alike.
But there was more. The three slaves had not even been kidnapped. No? So what had happened?
Well, these “slaves” had voluntarily joined their “captors”, all of thirty years ago. They had hitched up with a charismatic charlatan called Aravindan Balakrishan, now aged 73, otherwise known as “Comrade Bala”, and his wife Chanda, now 67. They were all, it seems, members of what many British folk would see as a Pythonesque cult entitled “The Workers Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought”.
The “slaves”, it seemed, had voluntarily joined this Maoist cult back in the 1970s. They wanted to turn Britain into Maoist China.
And there was yet more. ITV News footage from 1997 showed the “slaves” defending their “captors” at the front door of their flat – headquarters of the cult apparently – and perfectly rationally denouncing the ITV journalists as “part of the fascist state”.
The leftist cult members had form here. Years earlier at a trial, they had refused to recognise the court and had denounced “fascist states and their lackeys.” We’ve all heard such cardboard revolutionary language before.
But there was yet more. The “slaves” had not been confined to the house they lived in, except of course by those invisible handcuffs. They could come and go from the house, as they were regularly seen in the local Tesco supermarket.
So the “slaves” had some freedom, and as many British folk would say, every little helps. But it really is a puzzle as to why the “slaves” didn’t escape with the shopping.
The horror slave story had turned almost 180 degrees. What had been billed as a nation-shaming slave rescue in the heart of London was turning into something like a scene from the BBC comedy Citizen Smith, the lefty Wolfie Smith and his Tooting Popular Front.
Why the police described this story the way they did is highly questionable. So is the public stance of the charity involved. Slavery is a serious matter and should not be trivialised by false comparisons with voluntary submission to a cult.”
Yes there are questions about how the police and the charity involved handled this case, they both appeared to selectively release information that would reflect well on the state and non-state actors involved.
The Commentator is correct that Brixton has been a magnet for small mental case ‘cardboard revolutionary’ groups and the sort of right-on communes that were a significant part of the 1970’s far left political scene.
If people would like to know more about the politics of 70’s -80’s Brixton then a search of the Brixton based Left/Anarchist bulletin board Urban75 would be very instructive. Not only does the spirit of 70’s urban lefty thought live on there, so also do some of the surviving ‘revolutionaries’ as contributors to the board. A trawl of their archive and the memories of those involved, is a fascinating grounding in the world of left wing polticial agitprop.
Original story from The Commentator
Urban75, Brixton based Left/Anarchist bulletin board