Part Twelve: My Friend the Devil
From afar it looked like things were really jumping in Algiers, including several hijacked planes bringing Panthers to the land. We recall when a group of Panthers arrived with a million dollars but were seized by the authorities because it conflicted with their national interests which all governments secure first. In this case the government was negotiating a billion dollar natural gas contract with the US so they were not going to jeopardize the contract for Negroes with a million dollars. Of course this only added tension and stress to the relationship between the BPP and Algeria, and eventually the embassy closed and the Cleavers moved to France. After seducing the mistress of the president of France, Eldridge was given refugee status after she intervened with her man, the Prez. And then things began to unravel in the Soul on Ice. According to his testimony when he converted to Christianity, Cleaver had been slowing evolving from atheistic Communism. He saw the work of God in his children, how they were a combination of Kathleen and himself. And in France he saw the emptiness in their lives, the daily ritual of eating, sleeping and politics began to lose meaning. He saw darkness in his life, especially one night while eating dinner by candlelight. He had also been to all the Communist and Socialist countries and saw the lack of democratic ideals, where little or no opposition was allowed, only presidents for life. He knew of the torture chambers in many African nations, never forgetting his eighteen years in USA dungeons. But he began to grow disillusioned with left wing politics, in short, he was homesick and broke. In Algeria he was informed that his former lawyer/lover Beverly Axelrod had won by default his royalties from Soul on Ice. He had agreed to share his royalties with her as the price of her helping him get out of Soledad prison. And of course he had promised to marry her but instead fell in love with Kathleen. After winning her suit by default since he could not appear in court in the US, Axelrod gained
rights to the best seller's profits, depriving the Cleavers of much needed finance. Strangely, the day before his memorial service that I officiated in Oakland, a mudslide toppled Axelrod's home in Pacifica. I did not know she was in the audience until I looked at footage of the video from the memorial.
Cleaver began his attempt to return home. He contacted his old friends on the left, but he had caused such devastation in the radical community, especially by terrorizing certain black politicians and the warfare between Huey and himself that left much bloodshed on the streets of America, coast to coast. Eventually the Left sent Ron Dellums, Congressman and now mayor of Oakland to Paris with the message he was not welcome back in America, that he should forget about returning and enjoy his life in France, become a Frenchman. This message sent him into depression. After the Dellums visit, he felt hopeless and useless and wanted to take his life. And then one night in Southern France, he was sitting on the balcony watching the moon. Suddenly he saw the faces of various revolutionaries, Marx, Lenin, Mao, Castro and then Jesus. He broke down, wailing on the thrashing floor. He knew Kathleen had brought along the family Bible, before which he had no need, but he said he searched for the Bible and held it in his hands for dear life. And then he saw the light, something told him he was going home, no matter what the Left said, no matter what anyone said. He knew then Jesus was his Savior and Lord. No more Communism, no more revolution. The storm was over now. He had his attorney begin negotiations on his surrender to the US authorities.