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FACTNET.ORG FORUM: In defense of the LaRouche Movement


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03-01-2009 03:12 AM

anonymous crocodile

In defense of the LaRouche Movement

Hi, I live in Australia, I'm a single mum with a 6yo boy, and I am a loyal eight-year supporter of the CEC, the Australian branch of the LaRouche movement. I live about 1,000 km away from the national headquarters, and about 500 km away from the state secretary's home town. I'm generally not in regular personal contact with anyone in the CEC, due to the large distances involved (and my now former car being such a hypochondriac) but I always look forward to their conferences, and I like to go and visit them at random times when I can, though I haven't had a chance to do that for quite a while.

I can say, unequivocally, from my own personal experience and friendship with them, that the CEC is not a cult. It is a bonafide political party, a cultural movement, and a beautiful bunch of brave people.

I came here out of curiosity - well, actually to the old forum - and have mainly only read the earliest few threads of that. They say that curiosity killed the cat, and that's certainly what I quickly began to feel, until I stopped to think about what was going on. There is a very good reason why the LaRouche Youth are strongly discouraged from visiting places like this just for the hell of it, i.e. other than for specific research or intelligence gathering. Simply put, it's emotionally draining to read all these testimonials from former cult members.

I refrained there from putting "former cult members" in quotes, because it seems to me that these former cult members do genuinely believe that they have escaped the clutches of an evil cult, but nonetheless, I emphasise that I personally do not believe their testimony corresponds to reality.

Now, as you should be well aware, it is emotionally draining for the full time Youth out in the field when they encounter negative and hostile people - though emotionally rewarding when they do connect with somebody who understands! When they have to go through that potentially five days a week, do you think it's a good idea for them to come to a place like this and subject themselves to more of the same? I don't think so, and I didn't think it was a good idea to subject myself to it either. So, once I was satisfied that the testimonials and the insults to the LYM's intelligence had gotten repetitive, I simply stopped reading them, and focussed on reading the LYM posts and civilized replies to them.

So, having pulled myself away from the emotionally draining, brainwashing experience of reading the testimonials, I gave thought to what was really going on. Next post: my observations, impressions, and conclusions...

03-01-2009 04:21 AM

anonymous crocodile

Firstly, I found it disconcerting to read so much, well, disconcerting stuff about LaRouche and his movement. Just passively taking it all in would not only continue to emotionally drain me, but might scare me into forgetting the mission. So I took a step back, and thought about what I know first hand: from my experiences hanging around with the CEC; from my readings and ponderings on their literature; from my correlating what they tell me with what I can see going on in the world; from my listening to Lyn's voice in webcasts, and others in his movement from the basement documentaries and LPACTV; the insults to my intelligence both online and in real life that seem reserved solely for LaRouchies. The totality of these experiences is in direct opposition to the allegations that LaRouche is nothing but a raving mad cult leader.

Fortunately, a Yoot (correct spelling) named Tom was in the discussion, so reading his posts helped me put what I know to the forefront in trying to understand what was going on. The former cult members were denigrating Tom's posts as unintelligible, evading the issue, regurgitated doctrine - that sort of thing if not those words. But I, I understood perfectly what Tom was saying, and his intentions. So I concluded that the former cult members simply did not understand LaRouche's ideas, like Tom and I do. Either they are too stupid, too lazy, or too scared to try and understand. I figure, based on them saying that they have been through a scary experience, that they are too scared to understand, and that is what is manifesting the laziness, which in turn is manifesting the stupidity. I don't believe anyone is inherently stupid; rather, I believe people either choose to be stupid, or are deprived of the opportunity to be otherwise.

More in a little while...

03-01-2009 05:17 AM

anonymous crocodile

I've mainly only read the first few threads from the old forum, and found a lot of nasty stuff in there in response to the good natured Tom, and Steven (iirc) from Yale, so I don't know whether the quality of dialogue has improved or not. The mayhem of the early days has put me off reading the more recent stuff, for now at least.

I don't know the circumstances behind why LaRouche didn't go to Kronberg's funeral, so I'm not qualified to judge. Perhaps close family and friends would have been more upset if he did go? Perhaps he happened to be overseas at the time? I don't know, but I did read the letter to the family. It was quoted on this forum I think, but I could see that it was wholly consistent with LaRouche's personality, so I had no reason to question the quote's authenticity. While I can see how it is not what most people would write, I fully understand it as Lyn's way, and also the CEC's way. If I were to top myself tomorrow, and the media siezed on my links to the evil CEC brainwashing cult, I would much rather an eulogy of that type than something "appropriate", and might I add, shallow.

03-01-2009 05:24 AM

anonymous crocodile

second thought: shallow if the CEC or LaRouche were to do stick to the "appropriate" and deny their deeply held beliefs on the nature of man, but not shallow when others do it

03-02-2009 02:23 PM

anonymous crocodile

I've now had a good sniff around the internet regarding Ken Kronberg, and Molly Kronberg. I found mostly anti-LaRouche stuff, but it was enough to give me a good picture.

Given the well known animosity between Molly Kronberg and LaRouche, I have to question the good faith of your question of how I rationalize LaRouche's failure to attend the funeral. I find it whollly appropriate for him to have given Molly and her immediate family a bit of space around the funeral, and to have waited a week before sending her the letter. On the other hand, I find it entirely inappropriate that people are still gossiping about Ken's suicide, almost two years later. I also have to wonder exactly what gossip was going on around the leaked briefing on the day that Ken took his own life.

03-01-2009 06:28 AM

anonymous crocodile

I can't remember exactly what order I found things, or if I found them all at once, but secondly, I found that the anti-lymers tended to be miserable, and those that weren't miserable were cynical, the common trait being pessimism, which Tom nailed on the one with the nipple rings. This was in stark contrast to the various yoots that visited (I think the different ones from the same IP were probably sharing a computer) who tended to be bright and happy, or sharp and biting with justified anger, but always energetic and optimistic. This to me indicates that maybe, just maybe, they're quite happy to be in the so-called cult, and don't need to be rescued!

These yoots understand LaRouche, so they naturally belong there. Those who left, and not amicably, however, diametrically don't belong there, while ever they do not understand the nature of living history as a war, the nature of the organisation as an army, and the nature of LaRouche as its General. This applies both to the sooky bums whose poor little feelings were hurt, who were focused on being accepted rather than understanding the ideas and expected it to be a picnic, and to the more rational ones who left on the basis of ideas and/or management, who didn't understand that a poncy little elite think tank just ain't gonna cut it!

03-02-2009 01:09 AM

dweiss

Do you raise funds for the CEC?

03-02-2009 01:32 PM

anonymous crocodile

dweiss: "Do you raise funds for the CEC?"

no, i'm too much of a wimp! And besides, it's very hard for me being the only supporter i know of in my town, and not having a functional car, or even a car at all anymore. There are supporters in nearby towns, but one's a truck driver and the other's a farmer, so they're very busy. Other parts of Australia have a much more concentrated support base, so the situation i'm in is not typical.

But i do contribute money to them monthly, roughly equivalent to a case of beer (in value, not volume). A few years ago, I made an arrangement for them to direct debit my credit card every month, instead of ringing me every three months only to find out that I'm broke as usual.

Last edited by anonymous crocodile; 03-02-2009 at 01:45 PM. Reason: it didn't thread where i intended, so i added quote

03-02-2009 01:39 PM

anonymous crocodile

Thirdly, I got the impression that some ex-lymers were highly suspect. If they weren't outright making up the whole experience, they were at least embellishing the truth. The stories about 16 hours out in the field, 7 days a week, just didn't wash with me, because I know how the LYM down here live. They have Sundays off to wind down, they have one week day off for reading and study, they have about 8 or so hours out in the field, some time in the morning singing to warm up their voices, and a few hours at night doing classes. Later, a more honest sounding ex-lymer posted his experience, and sure enough, it was pretty much the same as what I knew, except a couple more hours out in the field, but certainly not the ridiculous hours being claimed by others, and certainly not 7 days a week. Always remember, too, that it is their choice to take on the mission and be committed to those long hours.

Also highly suspect to me, was that the most unhinged ex-lymers, those who were most vocal in complaining that the LYM had messed up their heads, also admitted to having one or other mental conditions or other issues, which were manifest before they joined the LYM. Yet they blame all their mental turmoil on the LYM. I give the LYM full credit for having faith that people with greater than average problems can be a part of what they're doing.

The case of the nipple ring guy, who by the LYM's account left a large collection of porn at the Baltimore branch, is most amusing. If he was downloading porn all day, and presumably paying for it too, it's no wonder he maxed out his credit card, and it's no wonder he had no time to do the necessary reading to actually understand Lyn's ideas.

03-02-2009 02:27 PM

dweiss

I don't think there are any "ex-LCers" from Australia that I have read. It does appear that some parts of Europe are run differently than the US, and it is clear that there are differences between different areas of the organization, even on the political line they take at any one time.

I know very little about the CEC, all I know is that what is said about the American organization on here is true. If you want people to respect you it's a good idea to show some good will, and accept that there are things you may not know instead of calling them liars/deranged. Hopefully people will treat you the same back.

03-02-2009 03:09 PM

anonymous crocodile

I get the impression there's always been a lot more pressure on the movement in the US than in Australia, this for three reasons:
(1) Americans take their history a lot more seriously than Australians, because it is explicitly a proud republican history, as opposed to our colonial history with our republican history having been white washed. Therefore, the youths over there have a stronger internal drive to work harder.
(2) The organisation is much more prone to infiltration and disruption over there than in Australia, because it's closer to its enemies and closer to the action. Therefore, the youths over there do not have as stable working conditions as in Australia.
(3) America is further down the hill than Australia in terms of the economic situation of the average Joe. Therefore, the financial situation of the organisation is tighter in the US than down here.
These factors may explain why they work longer hours over there, and may need to go seven days a week during certain mobilisations. But when it comes down to it - nobody is forced to stay against their will. That, I just won't buy.

Oh, and I'm not looking for respect. Especially not from people who were disrespectful to good natured Tom and equally good natured Steve, and were disrespectful in an unhinged way. And a couple of people were quite obviously lying, even if they were too unhinged to see.

06-16-2009 03:47 AM

caribroo

from an ex-Australian founding CEC member

Originally Posted by dweiss
I don't think there are any "ex-LCers" from Australia that I have read. It does appear that some parts of Europe are run differently than the US, and it is clear that there are differences between different areas of the organization, even on the political line they take at any one time.
I know very little about the CEC, all I know is that what is said about the American organization on here is true. If you want people to respect you it's a good idea to show some good will, and accept that there are things you may not know instead of calling them liars/deranged. Hopefully people will treat you the same back.

Here is one. I only found the site the other day. I was a founding member of the CEC and served on its national executive for some years and was in the ICLC. You seem to see only one side. Ask them about the The Sexual Impotence of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. THat;s what they are reading on those days off amongst other required reading.

08-26-2010 01:43 PM

jimmy-o

Hi anonymous crocodile. Call me Jimmy. I was a full time member of the LYM in Australia back around the time of the 2004 election. Apologies for not responding to this thread eighteen months ago when you were post. I'm guessing you are long gone, but I want to take the opportunity to directly address some of the things you've said anyway.

Hmm. Or maybe indirectly address them. I was a full time member. I'm not any more, and I'm glad, I think I'm very much better off for it. I'm in a mood to elaborate why. Mostly specifically in regards to the CEC - there aren't any other Australian ex-LaRouchies on FactNet, as far as I know. I don't think there are are ex-LYMers on FactNet, either. So maybe my thoughts are useful.

By the way, if there are any people reading from Australia (and the Citizen's Electoral Council) or from the LYM, who are reading - welcome, and please do make an account (perfectly anonymous) and share your own thoughts.

Right then. Responses.

Originally Posted by anonymous crocodile
I can say, unequivocally, from my own personal experience and friendship with them, that the CEC is not a cult. It is a bonafide political party, a cultural movement, and a beautiful bunch of brave people.

Later in the thread, Chator calls you out on this. Your personal experience isn't enough to go on. 500km from the state office and 1000km from head office puts you, I'm guessing, in country NSW somewhere. You talk to someone on the phone team, perhaps, on a regular basis. Elisa, maybe? Subscribe to EIR, or maybe to the AAS (Australian Alert Service). Probably the AAS, I'm guessing an EIR sub costs more than a slab. Drop by now and then. Talk to field organisers when they are in your area. This is one level of interaction, of involvement, with the organisation. Being a full time member of the LYM or of head office in Melbourne is something else entirely.

(and yep, I'm guessing here based on your posts, and my knowledge of the CEC. Please forgive and or correct me if I'm wrong.)

Originally Posted by anonymous crocodile
Now, as you should be well aware, it is emotionally draining for the full time Youth out in the field when they encounter negative and hostile people - though emotionally rewarding when they do connect with somebody who understands! When they have to go through that potentially five days a week, do you think it's a good idea for them to come to a place like this and subject themselves to more of the same?

Six days, generally. It was certainly six (or optionally seven) days during the 2004 election campaign.

And I think you've got it wrong. It was nice to have someone agree with me, yes. But it was also unexpected. In my time, most of the LYM didn't know what to do when that happened. Hostility is what we were expecting to deal with. What we were trained to deal with. What we were hoping to deal with. Because let's face it, a heated argument is far more exciting and noticeable than two people agreeing with each other.

Whenever a member of the ALYM (Australian LaRouche Youth Movement) out at a card table on a campus got into an argument with someone who disagreed (mild) or was outright yelling at us, calling us fascist or some other bull****, yeah, it may have been a little draining. But whenever that happened, we got together and patted each other on the back and how well we handled it (handling it well not required) and took it as confirmation that we were doing the right thing.

"If people hate us, then obviously we are doing something right!" we used to say. What BS. This is a kinda cultish thing to do (although granted, not always):
CEC: "We tell the truth, and 'they' don't like that. So they call us a cult."
Public: "You lot are nuts. You're in a cult."
LYM: "They said we are a cult, therefore we must be telling the truth!"

No. That's not logic, that's a deliberately manipulated persecution complex.

There is plenty more to say on the tactics of the CEC, and I said some of it here, in LaRouche thread 6

Originally Posted by dweiss
I don't think there are any "ex-LCers" from Australia that I have read.

At the time this was posted, maybe not. But there is me!

Also, there is Don Veitch and John Seale, whose names I have probably misspelt. But they were purged in the 90s and wrote a book "Beyond Common Sense" about that. If you are in Australia and can, make an effort to read it. It was put online recently, and I gave my opinion in the thread.

08-26-2010 01:44 PM

jimmy-o

Originally Posted by anonymous crocodile
The stories about 16 hours out in the field, 7 days a week, just didn't wash with me, because I know how the LYM down here live. They have Sundays off to wind down, they have one week day off for reading and study, they have about 8 or so hours out in the field, some time in the morning singing to warm up their voices, and a few hours at night doing classes.

Did we have it better in Australia? Maybe. Probably, in fact. I got the impression the CEC cared more about people as people (encouraging them to see doctors, and paying for the appointments, and stuff like that) than the US org did. But because I was there, I can give a fairly accurate description of a Day in the Life of a 2004 member of the ALYM.

7am: Awake, get into the office for the early briefing (At 8am, maybe? MY memory is slightly foggy - I'm thinking it was 7:30 but that surely isn't right. Before 9am, at any rate.) Conference call with the US. Most of the time we called a Leesburg number and got a recorded briefing. Once day a week (Fridays?) we called up Geirry Rose or maybe Jeff, if we were lucky.
9am: Singing. Half and hour to an hour working on Bach, mainly. Also other songs (we reworked kanons by Mozart and Schumann and Mendelsohn etc etc as political ditties). As fun as it was, this was work.
10am: Deployment. Everyone piles into the Bus and the Tarago (as far as I know, the CEC-LYM are still using the same vehicles six years later. Differentiation with people's experience of the org in the states, perhaps, but a minor difference.) and goes out to set up a card table on a street corner or a university campus. Put out the embarrassing signs (they probably have Obama=Hitler signs now, poor fools.) and try to get people to stop and talk. Stand around, hopefully talking, until about 4pm. One hour for lunch (at most. Take a full hour for lunch on a regular basis and you could probably expect an 'intervention' about it.)
5pm: Dinner for two hours. (We usually left the field at 4pm to get back to Coburg by 5pm. 5pm was the official end of the working day.)
7pm: Evening Briefing. Robbie gave a summary of the days newspaper clippings. Good fun, Robbie was pretty cool. Ten, twenty minute briefing. Maybe half an hour.
Then onto the phones. Two hours calling contacts for meetings. Take a card from the file, call them. Write down that they didn't want to talk. Rinse, repeat.
9pm: Intellectual work time. Each night of the week was something different. Plato readings, Schiller readings. The all important Lyn readings ("So You Want To Learn About Economics", perhaps, on Fridays. Maybe a Beyond Psych Paper on another day of the week.). Wednesday nights was Reimann For Anti-Dummies. It was at least 9pm - 10pm, although two hours (until 11pm) was prefered. But it was hard to keep people involved (and awake) that long.

That was the schedule five days a week, fifty weeks a year. On Saturday we came back the office in the early afternoon (about 2pm, from memory) and had a class in the evening. On very rare occasions we had someone show up to a class who wasn't a full time member.

Sundays we did have off, and yes, everyone got a day a week off for reading. But you were expected to spend that day in the office, reading. If you spent it doing things like laundry or shopping, you might get a talking to. And reading days were cancelled during important campaigns, like the election (and like I mentioned, during the election there was the option of not having any days off.)

After I left, I did the maths. I was working 90 hour weeks for the CEC. Now, that maybe shouldn't be taken as representative - I was full on, intensely into it all. But I remember the discussion of stipends - everything after about Tuesday afternoon was effectively unpaid volunteer work.

03-05-2009 05:04 PM

chator

Originally Posted by anonymous crocodile
Hi, I live in Australia, I'm a single mum with a 6yo boy, and I am a loyal eight-year supporter of the CEC, the Australian branch of the LaRouche movement. I live about 1,000 km away from the national headquarters, and about 500 km away from the state secretary's home town. I'm generally not in regular personal contact with anyone in the CEC, due to the large distances involved (and my now former car being such a hypochondriac) but I always look forward to their conferences, and I like to go and visit them at random times when I can, though I haven't had a chance to do that for quite a while.
I can say, unequivocally, from my own personal experience and friendship with them, that the CEC is not a cult. It is a bonafide political party, a cultural movement, and a beautiful bunch of brave people.
Thirdly, I got the impression that some ex-lymers were highly suspect. If they weren't outright making up the whole experience, they were at least embellishing the truth. The stories about 16 hours out in the field, 7 days a week, just didn't wash with me, because I know how the LYM down here live. They have Sundays off to wind down, they have one week day off for reading and study, they have about 8 or so hours out in the field, some time in the morning singing to warm up their voices, and a few hours at night doing classes. Later, a more honest sounding ex-lymer posted his experience, and sure enough, it was pretty much the same as what I knew, except a couple more hours out in the field, but certainly not the ridiculous hours being claimed by others, and certainly not 7 days a week. Always remember, too, that it is their choice to take on the mission and be committed to those long hours.

First of all i'd like to suggest that due to the fact that you are not or have never been in the organization as a full-timer, you are not in a position to evaluate whether or not the LaRouche organization is a cult. You exist on the periphery or orbit of the organization as a contact, or sympathizer. So, obviously from your perspective the LaRouche organization would not appear to be a cult.

Secondly, none of us are denying that there are or might be some regional differences in terms of some of the externals of how things are run, but that doesn't change the nature of the organization as a whole. The "cultic" nature of the organization might be more apparent in Los Angeles, or Weisbaden, at certain times, due to the circumstances there, but that doesn't mean the organzation is only a cult at those locations, or at certain times. However, if one is unfamiliar with what a cult exactly is, one might have trouble identifying one. All cults project a legitamite image to the world, whether as a religious organization, or political one. One of the "cultic" characteristics that you should be able to identify is the absolutism of the organization's ideology. Their ideological totalism, their intolerance of different opinions from their own. Their demand for ideological conformity. Have you ever tried to argue a difference of opinion you have with some point or other you came across in their literature that you knew was wrong? What was the result?

03-02-2009 02:33 PM

anonymous crocodile

My purpose here is to provide a bit of balance for people who come here looking for information about LaRouche. One part of that is offering my own contrasting testimonials, and the other part is to provide insight into how loyal supporters of LaRouche think and aperceive the world. (is that a word? i mean Leibniz's aperception as opposed to perception, that Steve was talking about in one of the early threads)

03-02-2009 02:40 PM

dweiss

Anonymous Crocodile, let's continue here:
http://www.factnet.org/vbforum/showthread.php?p=376127#post376127

03-02-2009 03:22 PM

anonymous crocodile

later, i.e. a week or a month later, because i've spent such a huge amount of time reading (and mostly just scrolling) through only a fraction of this mountain of posts, and i have spent also a lot of time writing in defense of the youths, and i've had a pleasant day lazing around re-reading michael billington's beautiful autobiography today... and it is 2am here, so i was about to go anyway.

 
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