Work on the book progressed very slowly at first. Haley notes that Malcolm, during his time as a criminal and then as a Black Muslim, had developed "a near phobia for secrecy." He was unwilling to talk openly with anyone whom he did not trust — and he trusted no one completely. Malcolm seemed to regard Haley still as a spy for the white man, and he spent most of their early sessions repeating the same Black Muslim propaganda over and over. He avoided disclosing any details about his personal life. Part of this reluctance may have arisen from the fact that Malcolm considered everything he said as speaking for Elijah Muhammad at this time; therefore, he would avoid anything that seemed to be personal opinion. Yet most of the problem was due to distrust. And even after
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