Part 2: Appointing Marilyn
To keep things simple, this series focuses on Gayle McLaughlin's campaign manager and chief strategist, Juan Reardon, and Gayle's former Chief of Staff in Richmond City Hall, Marilyn Langlois. Both consistently demonstrate behaviors found among dark triad personalities.
Marilyn Langlois is the former Community Advocate (virtual chief of staff) to Gayle McLaughlin when she was Mayor of Richmond. Marilyn is retired, very intelligent, and wealthy enough to have contributed over $200K to local politics in Richmond. She seems like a sweet lady and works hard in the community. She also believes in extreme theories about the 9/11 attacks-- things like a missile, not a plane, hit the Pentagon, even though hundreds of people watched American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. She believes the 14 hijackers are still alive and endorses theorists who claim this. Marilyn has been involved in the 9/11 truther community through sf911truth.org for years, and published a 10th-anniversary essay on the attacks. Her essays on 9/11 and North Korea are published here:
Studies show the correlation between individual/collective narcissism and belief in conspiracy theories. [link] Her views as a truther is not as dangerous as the false sense of intellectual superiority she clings onto because of it-- as a narc she lives in an alternative, fake news reality. If you don't agree with this alternative reality, she does not believe you are sufficiently radicalized to be fully trusted.
Deconstructing left-wing trutherism as a whole can't be accomplished here, you should do your own research to debunk the way David Ray Griffin and others deliberately ignore and lie about published evidence. There's a phenomenon where otherwise very smart people-- retired academics and intellectuals of all kinds-- turn to hook themselves into extreme conspriacy theories. They hide behind lots of weasel words like, "we should review the facts" but then entertain ideas that have no basis in facts whatsoever:
It is dangerous to allow truthers to take leadership in your grassroots political groups. Because they have a false sense of superiority over you for not believing their theories, they will passive-aggressively marginalize you and others, and only their sympathizers will remain. The Richmond Progressive Alliance Steering Committee moved to appoint her to the Richmond City Council in 2017, one of my last straws before leaving the group.
The Steering Committee used to be much more explicitly controlled by the Founder's cadre with a committee called the, "General Facilitators." Back in 2013 Juan Reardon opposed Marilyn being appointed as spokeswoman because of her views. You'll see later this wasn't a factor for him later, in '17 this cadre needed Marilyn's appointment to solidify their influence over the RPA and the Richmond City Council. Juan and Mike Parker were much more closely aligned in 2013:
Jovanka Beckles is on the Richmond City Council and also believes in the theories. Her refusal to raise money to the point of not being able to pay salaries, take policy briefings seriously, and her inability to confront, question, and recant these conspiracy theories made me quit working as her Campaign Manager for Assembly District 15:
Similar to the Democratic Party, the RPA broke itself by becoming so attached to personal loyalty that moral integrity broke down. Being corporate money-free doesn't work when rich white socialists can cull their candidates for personal loyalty. In Part 4: Real Can Heal Organizing, there are possibilities about reinventing grassroots political organizing around radical transparency. Only through transparency can you confront and neutralize organizational toxicity like this.