The A&E reality series Growing Up Gotti, featuring Victoria Gotti the daughter of deceased Mafia boss John Gotti and his three grandsons may have a cult following, but not quite the kind that’s good for ratings.

On last night’s show the “Mafia princess” introduced viewers to her “friend” Debra Pearl, a therapist brought in to provide “professional help” on the segment, but what those watching didn’t know is that Ms. Pearl’s form of therapy has been called “cult” “headgames.”

Debra Pearl is a twenty-five year devotee of so-called “Social Therapy,” a controversial group process created by self-described “Marxist/Leninist revolutionary” Fred Newman.

According to Newman his therapy is about “two workers, revolutionary therapist and slave/patient, [and their] struggle together to make a revolution through their practice.” The goal is “helping the slave reach the point of insurrection” and “to make proletarian truth and freedom where there is now bourgeois truth and slavery.”

However, Mr. Newman seems a bit “bourgeois” himself, with his four-story townhouse in Greenwich Village that just might be worth more than the Gotti mansion and he reportedly summers in the Hamptons.

Doesn’t the daughter of a Mafia boss seem like an unlikely pal for the follower of an avowed revolutionary that once said, “I don’t like the institution of the family in any of its forms”?

Maybe Mama Gotti better watch out whom she lets into her house?

Not only did Ms. Pearl offer “therapy,” but also signs were conspicuously shown inside and outside her office that essentially advertised “Social Therapy” and the “East Side Institute.”

Was this a reality show or an infomercial for a guru group?

Another long-time Newman devotee has been stirring things up for her “friend” too.

Lenora Fulani, once friendly with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has become something of a political pariah and potential liability for the re-election of Mayor Mike.

This month former NYC Mayor Ed Koch advised Mayor Blumberg to dump Fulani, who has a penchant for anti-Semitic remarks like her guru Fred Newman reported Newsday.

Newman says, “The Jew, the dirty Jew, once the ultimate victim of capitalism’s soul, fascism, would become a victimizer on behalf of capitalism; a self-righteous dehumanizer and murderer of people of color; a racist bigot.”

Maybe Koch should stop by Victoria Gotti’s Long Island home and offer some advice about her “friend”?

The moral of this story seems to be “with friends like these who needs enemies.”


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