Club Executive Committee
Club Membership Meeting
State or District Board
State or District Committee
State or District Convention
(Secretariat not mentioned)
has grown up and become ingrained in the organization as
a matter of usage rather than statute.
For example, the Communist Party constitution, in order
to give the party a semblance of democracy, declares that
"The highest body of the state organization is the State
Convention." And further, "The highest authority of the
Party is the National Convention." Since state and national
conventions are held every two years or less often, it is
manifest that the party is not and cannot be run from day
to day by conventions. The conventions are merely rubber
stamps for decisions of a small core of policymakers including a Moscow representative operating behind the
We shall present below the various stages in the structure of the party as found in J. Peters' The Communist
Party — a Manual on Organization, published in July, 1935,
as compared with the present streamlined version from the
constitution of the Communist Party of the United States
of America, published in September, 1945, both of which
are consciously misleading:
PETERS' MANUAL, 1935
Unit Membership Meeting
Political Bureau of Central Committee (Secretariat not mentioned)
Political Secretariat of the
Presidium of the Communist
Executive Committee of the Not mentioned
World Congress of the Not mentioned
One must not be misled by the formal outward structure
of the party, behind which a publicly unacknowledged but
nonetheless actual network operates. For example, a section committee can send its representative to any subordinate club with power to determine decisions of the club or
its executive committee. Similarly the secretariat of the
national committee can send its representative with overriding powers to any unit of the party. In the same manner
the Moscow headquarters of the Communist movement
sends representatives like Gerhard Eisler who have undisputed say over the decisions of the national committee and
the staff of the national office in its day-to-day activity.
These practices are not even mentioned in the party's
Conspiracy at Work
On October 13, 1952, the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee heard the testimony of John Lautner, former
member of the National Review Commission of the Communist Party, USA, and head of its New York State Review
Commission. This particular feature of the Communist
Party finds no parallel in political parties. According to Mr.
Lautner, this body's principal function was—
to safeguard party discipline, to vigilantly seek out and ferret
out any anti-party elements in the ranks of the party, to carry
out investigations and to propose for expulsion or any form of
discipline party members who don't toe the line.
After the indictments of certain party leaders, the "three
system" of conspiratorial organization was adopted, which
is described by Lautner, who was assigned to earn out
phases of this reorganization, as follows:
The party leadership appointed the top coordinating committee. The top coordinating committee consisted of three people.
000 One was head of the three. He was the political person
in the group. * * * The other was the organizational person
and the third one was the union mass-organization person.
Now, these three people were assigned, each one of them,
to appoint three other persons below him on the next level.
° * ° So he appoints his one, two, three P's. * ° ° O does the
same thing. ° ° * [Note. — O stands for organizer, P for
political organizer and T for trade union organizer.]
P does not know O or T on the lower levels. He knows
only the three persons that he appointed. O does not know
the P's and T's on the lower levels. He only knows his O's.
So, here you have a situation where one party leader knows
his two associates in his triangle, and the three that he appointed below. All in all, a party member wouldn't know
more than six party members in the party, up and
down. • • •
To my own personal knowledge there was the top coordinating committee; that 3, the next level was 9, and the third
level, 27; the fourth level, 81, and the fifth level, 243. * * •
Speaking before the subcommittee of the House Corn'
mittee on Appropriations on December 9, 1953, J. Edg*1
Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation-
described the current organization of the Communis*
Party in the following terms:
No longer are Communist Party membership cards issued:
maintenance of membership records are forbidden; contacts
of rank and file members are limited from 3 to 5 — the basic
club unit. Most of the local headquarters have been discontinued and party records have been destroyed. No evening
meetings are permitted in headquarters without staff members present. Conventions and large meetings are held to the
absolute minimum. The use of the telephone and telegraph
No contact is had with families or friends; contacts between functionaries are arranged through frequently changed
intermediaries; false drivers licenses have been obtained:
assumed names have been adopted; modification of physical
appearance has been effected, such as dyeing hair and eyebrows ° * °.
They have removed conspicuous means of personal Identi"
fication such as moles; they have effected a new manner of
walking, have changed their dress standards, have avoided
old habits and even have avoided old vices, and have avoided
John Lautner, formei
of the CPUSA shows chain of command in the proposed New York * ^
party underground. With him is Asst. U. S. District Attorney ^° gpi'
N. Neukom. Center triangle indicates three-man nucleus of the oT9flti
zation, with other triangles representing units at various levels rao|0
outward to trade union groups
Facts Forum News. March