Anarchists Want Strong Central Government
Jinovin (name changed) was an organization providing alternative health treatments to homeless. I thought this was phenomenal. I was already paying for alternative health treatments and that I was able to receive additional services for free was awesome.
I donated. And got to meet the person who running it. Let's call her Lucille. I also met another woman who was working on the project as well. Let's call her Anne. Anne and I talked a bit. Anne was concerned about how the organization was being run.
I attended one of their meetings.
Prior to this point, I did not think it was physically possible for a liberal, a leftie, a progressive, to do something like the machinations I saw in the meeting. Prior to this meeting, I was under the impression that only people on the right would behave this way. Not all people on the right. Just, if something like this was going to happen, it wasn't going to be a leftie doing it.
Anne and Lucille were there, and so were a number of other members of the organization. Anne would present a concern, and everyone would stay quiet. Or give non-answers.
Now, to be fair, this particular city I lived was masterful at this. I hate to stereotype a metropolis, but this was a place where you could have a 3-hour conversation about pressing issues and discuss nothing of relevance at all, and that conversation might be considered a success.
But after about 30 minutes of this, it became obvious something else was going on. One member finally became frustrated and attempted to directly address Anne's issues and immediately shushed by the other members and Lucille.
And they returned to the game of allowing Anne to speak without saying anything of substance in return.
One of Anne's concerns was the structure of the organization. The organization was trying to operate with a closed board. Which was strange. Lucille was a left of left, possibly even an anarchist. Everyone in the room associated themselves as something left of left, so for them to be advocating a closed board was peculiar.
I watched for awhile, until I got tired of watching a non-conversation (torture for someone from the East Coast) and jumped in, trying to uncover the real issue. I remember Lucille equivocating about the reason for needing a closed board until she finally just lied and said that the fiscal sponsor (the 501(c)3 organization allowing Jinovin to use their information to receive tax-deductible donations) required it.
I knew it was a lie because I was researching fiscal sponsors for another organization. I had already looked up Jinovin's fiscal sponsor, and their requirements.
When Lucille told me that lie with a straight face, I didn't bother to out her. At that point, I had a number of encounters with other people claiming progressive status who seemed to be anything but. And I was very tired of calling them out.
I did understand that while I was going to continue to receive services, I would not be donating anymore. And I also understood that Anne was wasting her time trying to work with Jinovin.
I did tell Anne later about the fiscal sponsor. I know she was disappointed that I had said nothing in the meeting.
Sometimes, when I look back, I'm disappointed too.