The members of a political “cult” called the “Symbionese Liberation Army” once posed as “revolutionaries” in the 70s, but now most seem to prefer the American middle-class.

A remnant of the group gathered in a California courtroom to confess their past crimes as part of a deal for lighter sentencing. They were charged for the murder of a bank customer during a robbery.

Once anti-establishment they now looked prim, proper and “coifed,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

One former SLA member Kathleen Soliah lived for many years as a suburban soccer Mom before being caught. Certainly nothing revolutionary about that.

Once upon a time all these middle-aged and middle-class folk were followers of an escaped convict named Donald DeFreeze, who liked to call himself “Field Marshall Cinque.” And they taunted authorities while committing a series of violent crimes.

Their goal was supposedly “revolution” and a rejection of middle-class American values. But “revolution” under the guidance of felon DeFreeze, turned out to be bank robbery, kidnapping and murder.

The SLA reached its height of media attention by kidnapping and then “brainwashing” heiress Patty Hearst. She was converted into an SLA adherent largely through confinement and torture.

Hearst would have been the prosecution’s star witness, if her former captors had not chosen to make a deal rather than stand trial.

Until the SLA members cut that deal they mocked Hearst and ridiculed her version of events. But in the end through a required public matriculation, the former radicals essentially confirmed the accuracy of her recollections, which she later said gave her a sense of closure.

Some SLA members may serve as little as three years for murder due to the terms of their plea agreement.

Perhaps the final piece of the SLA saga fell into place yesterday when its last remaining fugitive James Kilgore 55 was apprehended in South Africa, reports Reuters.

And so it ends, not with another pipe bomb explosion, once the favored signature of these 70s radicals, but rather with a public confession and an apology in a courtroom.

Ironically, in the end all the surviving SLA members appeared to want was to somehow be part of the same society they once rejected.


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