Been a while since I posted! I must post my 9/11 conference stuff, but I've been distracted by, of all people, Lyndon LaRouche (not to be confused with Lash Larue). He was a name in the '80s and still has his devotees, but his international organization has been accused of cultish recruiting/indoctrinating methods, financial misdeeds (LaRouche is, in fact, a convicted felon), anti-Semitism, harassment of perceived enemies, outlandish conspiracy theorizing (that one is beyond dispute) and a fascistic master plan for restructuring the government. If ex-members and LaRouche-watchers can be believed, he's the poor man's Oswald Mosley.
His name has been popping up everywhere for me lately, and I decided I had to look into him. At least one of the guys in the local 9/11 group is somewhat enamored of LaRouche, and sent Richard a link to one of his lectures. I came across one of his '80s pamphlets, "Is Satanism in Your School-yard?" in my Satanic panic research. But for me it really started with Webster Tarpley at the Vancouver conference; he's a former member of the LaRouche organization, and proud of it. This in itself is rather odd, since it seems people either leave LaRouche's organization on bad terms or they don't leave at all. Then, driving to Minnesota, I reread Jacques Vallee's examination of UFO hoaxes and disinformation, Revelations, and it mentioned that French ufologists uncovered links between the epic UMMO hoax and the LaRouche organization in Europe. I wondered if LaRouchites infiltrate fringe groups like ufology and 9/11 Truth to disseminate their ideas. Could Tarpley be a member who only pretends to be an ex-member? It turned out my question wasn't out of line: A fellow who posted an excerpt from my summary of Tarpley's speech on his blog thinks the same thing. And an expose of the LaRouche organization is soon to appear in Washington Monthly, focusing on the bankruptcy of his in-house publishing operation (PMR) and the April suicide of its director, Ken Kronberg.
Unfortunately, the Kronberg tragedy is only one of several disturbing incidents linked to the LaRouche organization.
In 2003 a 22-year-old British student at Paris's British Institute and the Sorbonne, Jeremiah (Jerry) Duggan, was invited by a LaRouche recruiter to attend an anti-war conference in Weisbaden, Germany. Weisbaden is the HQ of the Schiller Institute, the German arm of the LaRouche organization headed by LaRouche's wife. The Schiller Institute promotes the same political/financial reforms as the other orgs, but also concentrates on LaRouche's concept of a new Renaissance that will essentially be a return to Classical forms of music, painting, poetry, and literature. The Institute takes this mandate so seriously that it has actually picketed composers and musicians who don't use Verdi tuning, the narrow range of Classical tuning that LaRouche feels is the only appropriate form of tuning. They want to see it enforced on orchestras and composers, in fact. Reminds me a bit of the Degenerate Art Show...
Anyway, on 21 March 2003, Jeremiah Duggan attended the anti-war conference in Weisbaden in the belief it was sponsored by the now-defunct LaRouche newspaper Nouvelle Solidarite. Others in attendance say he was disturbed by the organizers' insistence that Jews are responsible for the war in Iraq (Duggan is Jewish), but he agreed to stay on in Weisbaden to go through a youth training course. The recruiter had promised him a job writing for Nouvelle Solidarite once he "learned more about politics". He roomed with another young man taking the course, in a house owned by a Schiller Institute member.
Around 4:30 AM on 27 March, Jeremiah's mother in England and girlfriend in Paris received bizarre phone calls from him. He was in a state of fear and panic. He told his girlfriend "they're manipulating people with computers...they're hurting their arms and legs." Then he hung up. Minutes later, the girl received a call from Jeremiah's flatmate in Weisbaden, informing her that Jeremiah had "run away", as though he was a teenager rather than a grown man.
Erica Duggan received two calls from her son. In the first he told her he was in "big trouble". Then he was cut off. In his second call, he begged her to come and get him. He started to spell out the name of the town he was in, but only got as far as W-E-I before the call was cut off.
Less than two hours later, Jeremiah Duggan was dead on the side of the autobahn. According to a perfunctory investigation by local police, he ran the 5 miles from the flat to the road and threw himself in front of three oncoming cars in an effort to commit suicide. The third collision killed him. A British pathologist later concluded Jeremiah was not hit by a vehicle but died from head trauma consistent with a beating. Weisbaden authorities are adamant: Duggan committed suicide. Period. They didn't even pursue a hit-and-run investigation.
The LaRouche organization dismissed the incident as a "newspaper hoax" engineered by Tony Blair, and declared Jeremiah (referred to as "Jeremy") a "mentally unstable British national" who had indeed thrown himself into oncoming traffic.
Jeremiah Duggan might have been a disturbed young man with well-hidden emotional problems. But some unsettling details emerged from the affair:
- Jeremiah reportedly told other conference-goers that he had attended family counseling at England's Tavistock Institute Clinic in the wake of his parents' divorce, when he was 7. LaRouche believes Tavistock is a mind-control facility where political assassins are trained.
- Jeremiah was a British Jew. LaRouche has been accused of anti-Semitism (and is a Holocaust denier who insists there were no gas chambers in the camps). There are Jewish people in his organization, but ex-members claim Jews are made to feel ashamed of their heritage and are recruited solely to counteract the allegations of anti-Semitism. This may or may not be true. It is beyond dispute that LaRouche loathes the English. He has called Britain "worse than the Nazis", and accused the Queen of "pushing drugs".
The 11 April 2007 suicide of Ken Kronberg is also disturbing. It's unclear why LaRouche's publishing operation went under, but observers suspect he's shuffling funds from one wing of his organization to another to evade taxation and/or hide ill-gotten donations. Ken Kronberg, head of PMR since the '70s, was blamed for its collapse. On the morning of April 11 LaRouche issued a "daily briefing memo" that excoriated the Baby Boomers in his organization, particularly the "print shop" (PMR), for failing him. They didn't raise enough funds, they weren't open to change, they didn't have vision, etc.
That afternoon, 58-year-old Kronberg left the PMR offices in Leesburg, Virginia and jumped from a highway overpass.
So far I don't know much about LaRouche. I don't grasp his ideology yet, though I gather it involves the Platonic ideal and authoritarianism. I know he really hates Cheney, considering him the true President. I know that he is a political chameleon who started his public life as a Trotskyist, took over a faction of the radical Students for a Democratic Society in the late '60s (SDS was behind most of the campus protests of that era, including Kent State), then became a conservative Democrat. Despite his party affiliation, he provided support and intelligence to Republicans in the '80s and sang the praises of Manuel Noriega. He ran for President several times, first in '76 and most recently in '04. He's endorsing Hilary Clinton now. He spent 1988-1994 in prison. He allegedly had links to white supremacists like Willis Carto in the '80s.
He has spun many out-there conspiracy theories:
- The Beatles were designed and sent to the U.S. by British intelligence, to undermine the morals of American teenagers.
- The B'nai B'rith was created by Freemasons as a pro-slavery spy ring during the Civil War.
- A single oligarchic group has controlled mankind from the dawn of history. It was first centered in Babylon, then Rome, then Venice, and now in London. The Queen of England is the "number one danger to humanity."
The nerve center of the LaRouche organization is the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Coalition of Labor Committees (NCLC), established in the early '70s and now headquartered in Leesburg, Virginia. Ken Kronberg was an NEC member. The NEC receives daily briefing memos from LaRouche or one of his aides, like former SDS member Tony Papert.
The NCLC quietly administrates a complex network of businesses, publishing ventures (most of them now defunct, replaced by online material like Executive Intelligence Review), fund-raising and recruiting operations such as telephone "boiler rooms", educational organizations like the Schiller Institute, political action committees, and political parties in 8 countries.
Dennis King, author of Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism, says LaRouche plays himself off as an eccentric sometimes, but is really "a serious ideologue in the classic European fascist mold...[with] a coherent program, subtle tactics, and a long-range plan."
Lyndon LaRouche entry at Wikipedia
LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC)
Executive Intelligence Review
The Schiller Institute
Jeremiah Duggan entry at Wikipedia
Other than this, I haven't been doing much of besides gearing up for some fringing and watching TV. We get FOX News now, and man is it creepy nowadays. What's up with Colmes's stand-in, Susan Estrich? Is she a man?!
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