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ELF Prisoner Steve Murphy on Abuse Within the Radical Communities

by Support Steve Crew Friday, Jul. 22, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Steve Murphy is an environmental activist currently in prison for his alleged involvement in an arson attempt at a housing development construction site in Pasadena, CA. What follows is a letter from him regarding the emotional and physical abuse accepted and overlooked within the movement.

Why are we so courageous when confronting our supposed opposition yet so cowardly in removing the bullies, thugs, and tyrants within our midst? They creep in like phantoms in the night and disrupt our calm, disturb our dreams, and turn us on our heads. Laura Warren is just such a phantom, she is a violently abusive woman, a thief, and a liar who is desperately in need of therapy and yet is still in our company.

She has acted out violently -verbally and physically (if you consider throwing potted plants at me then running towards me with her fists balled up to be physically threatening) against me often in the past 2 to 3 years. She has been very verbally abusive towards many of her other friends, even going so far as to block them from contact on Facebook for writing to me while in prison and sending me money so I could buy stamps and supplemental food from the commissary.

The abuse we know she is capable of would never be so quickly and quietly swept under the proverbial rug were she a man attacking a woman, but somehow the violence is acceptable because it is coming from a woman.

She has stolen money that was sent for my support: money from fundraising efforts put together by friends in Washington DC and money donated by Bite Back Magazine.

She has refused to give my family’s information to my friends as I have no way of contacting my sister or my daughter; she had all their contact information in her phone several months ago when she was still telling me how much in love with me she was. I was living with her as her partner and fiancée when I was arrested on Sept. 24 2009. She was the last to have contact with both of them and now refuses to help in any way.

She told me several times that I "have no family or friends who care about me" and that I am "totally alone in this world" without her! Why would anyone ever say anything so cruel and mean like that to someone they proposed to want to spend the rest of their life with, especially after that person has been imprisoned? Laura urged me, begged and demanded that I come out to be with her after the Animal Rights Conference in 2009 in L.A. Then as soon as I arrived she became vicious and territorial often blowing up at me and then ignoring me days after I had arrived. She did the same after I was sentenced. She urged me to be transferred out to Texas so we could be together these long and lonely 3 and a half years and, again, when I did she almost immediately turned on me.

I heard it said by another of her former friends that "she is like an abusive husband who beats his wife then moments later apologizes and begs forgiveness" promising that it will never happen again, until the next time.

Other so-called 'activists' in Northern California have told me to not talk about her violent and bullying tendencies because to do so would be a distraction and undermine the movement. That is tantamount to telling an abused partner or someone who has been raped to shut up and keep it to yourself - we don't want others to know there are deeply troubled people around us.

Laura also became a significant obstacle in my relationship with my beautiful daughter, Nicole, and remains so with my eldest sister, Brenda. Laura has their phone numbers and addresses, and has since I was arrested, but refuses to give them to me. She often told me that she would pass along their contact information when I called her back later in the day or the next day. Yet, every day was another excuse why she couldn't or wouldn't, every day was another delay; every day I was berated and condemned for asking her for their information. And now when my friends have contacted her about getting my family's phone and email information she stubbornly refuses to give it to them. This is the woman who had told me she would stand by my side until the day I walk out of here. She had all my belongings and was in contact with Nicole and Brenda up to October/November 2010. Asking for my daughter and my sister’s mailing address is not an unreasonable request!

The Laura I met, and others met in L.A. in 2009 is not the real Laura Warren. The real person is a very disturbed woman who desperately needs help. She has stated to me and others on numerous occasions that she hates Food Not Bombs yet she took over the recent Earth Day event in Arlington to get in deeper and undermine the work that others have been doing for years.

She kept a beautiful little grey Rabbit in a cluttered and poorly lit den until i arrived because Bunny Foo-Foo crapped and peed on the sofa a couple times. Before I arrived Bunny had only been eating pellets for every meal which was twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. That's the human equivalent of giving a child nothing but M&M's for every meal. The rabbit died shortly after I was arrested.

I have heard from mutual friends that she has told them that she fears for the health and safety of her dogs at times and she has told them to take them for several days just so she wouldn't abuse them.

She has told me numerous times that I am a “joke” and that I got what I deserved; I assume she means the sentence of 60 months. Has she ever written anything like that to another prisoner?

She threatened to call the police on me twice during the time we 'lived' together and not for anything I had done but because she was “tired of” me and used the threat of calling the police as a tool of emotional manipulation. When I said to her, incredulously, "you wouldn't" she replied "you wanna bet?"

Is this someone we really want in our midst and our movement? Really?

Those who would dismiss what I am saying now as a "fit" or "rant" should know that this is only the tip of the iceberg when talking about the hateful and abusive way she treats me, her friends and acquaintances, and also really examine their reasons for being a part of social groups, animal rights, and environmental groups. I have very valid reasons for speaking out! I AM a legitimate being, a valid individual, and I deserve to be acknowledged as such! I will not be told to shut-up and go along with the abuse! What I am saying is true and unexaggerated. Other people may not like hearing these things because they think, falsely, that it undermines our security, but doesn't allowing a mentally and emotionally unstable person to organize with us undermine our footing even more!?

I believe this is why no one wants to talk about what happened to a wonderful person and great friend named Sali in Southern Mexico a couple years ago. It strikes too deep a chord and we are really terrified to confront these demons when they appear in our own communities. Sali was a woman who taught womens self-defense though found herself in a deadly ambush by another 'activist' who brutally raped and violently murdered her in a little cabin north of Oaxaca. If things like this don't leave deep scars in us all then we could be doing something wrong.

When I say things like this I'm not saying them casually. The various movements have serious problems with abusive personalities lingering amongst them and Laura Warren is one of those people. Those who choose to continue working with her should be aware that she can and will turn on you if she doesn't get her way. I am saying all of this as a warning to people who choose to befriend her because i cannot sit idly by and let her break down another person. Some of us have already been fooled by her and I cannot in good conscience allow it to continue uncontested.

Peace and Love


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