Lyndon LaRouche: Extremist Under Siege
Israel Horizons, November/December 1986
By DENNIS KING
At dawn on October 6, over 325 Federal agents and state and local police, using armored vehicles and battering rams, raided the headquarters of right wing millionaire Lyndon LaRouche in Leesburg, Virginia. Several associates of LaRouche, including a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, were arrested on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice.
The 117-count Federal indictment, stemming from a two-year FBI investigation of alleged LaRouchian credit card fraud, also named several businesses and campaign committees that are part of LaRouche's political empire. LaRouche himself was not indicted but is under investigation, Federal authorities said.
The raid was the second LaRouche-related incident to make national headlines this year. In March, two members of LaRouche's organization created a sensation by winning totally unexpected upset victories in the Illinois Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State. The LaRouche victories virtually destroyed the Democratic Party's chances of defeating the Republicans in the Illinois gubernatorial election this year.
Both the Illinois primary and the allegedly illegal fundraising schemes bear witness to the assiduousness with which LaRouche, a three-time Presidential candidate, has pursued his political goals with the help of an estimated 500 fulltime followers and several thousand part-time supporters across the nation. LaRouche formed his organization, the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC), in the mid-1960s on Marxist lines. In the early 1970s, he transformed it into a cult based on belief in his own "genius." He then jettisoned Marxism in favor of what can be described as crypto-Nazism, and entered into alliances with various Ku Klux Klan and other far-right leaders.
Veteran LaRouche observers estimate that the NCLC spends about $20 million a year in the United States, and another $5 to $10 million a year on organizing activities in Canada, Western Europe and Latin America. Although the source of much of this money is a mystery, ex-members and law enforcement officials have stated that a substantial portion comes from high-pressure telephone solicitation which, in many instances, has resulted in unauthorized credit-card charges, "check kiting" and the solicitation of unsecured loans with intent not to repay them.
Over the past two and a half years, a number of senior citizens have been induced to lend all or a substantial part of their life savings to the LaRouche organization and have not been repaid. In two cases, the amounts were more than $1 million. State authorities in at least a dozen states from Alaska to Virginia are currently conducting investigations of LaRouchian solicitation methods, in addition to the Federal investigations.
One of the counts in the indictment related to several phone conversations in November 1984, in which a LaRouche aide allegedly instructed LaRouche's security "advisor," the erstwhile Klansman Roy Frankhauser, to approach a former deputy director of the CIA with a proposal to "fix or quash" the credit card fraud investigation. (LaRouche and his aides, who operate a private political intelligence news service, held numerous meetings in the early 1980s with CIA officials, as well as with high-level National Security Council aides. Such meetings were sharply curtailed about two years ago.)
Some LaRouche observers believe that the October 6 raid may be the beginning of the end of the LaRouche empire. But the NCLC has shown over the years a capacity to weather media attacks, organizational splits and other crises that would have destroyed a group with less resourceful leadership.
In 1980-81, for instance, newspaper exposés resulted in intense pressure inside the group. Several top leaders and virtually the entire Midwest regional organization quit: LaRouche lost control of a network of businesses which had been the NCLC's most important source of cash. Within a year, however, the organization was bigger and wealthier than ever, thanks to innovative tactics devised by LaRouche to compensate for the losses.
Over the past four years, LaRouche has built an impressive election machine. It has sponsored over 4,000 candidates for public office--more per year than any other extremist group in American history. Millions of Americans have wittingly or unwittingly voted for these candidates in local, state or national elections in every region of the country. According to a Furman University study, perhaps as many as 100,000 Americans have contributed money to LaRouche's political action and Presidential campaign committees.
Although LaRouche himself has only attracted a minuscule vote in his three bids for the presidency (1976, 1980, 1984), his "grassroots" candidates are sometimes solid citizens who project a credible image in their communities. In 1984, an Ohio farmer became the first LaRouchian to win a Democratic Congressional primary. Dozens of "LaRouche Democrats" across the country picked up between 20 and 40 percent of the vote.
The March 1986 victories in Illinois resulted in a wave of negative publicity against LaRouche nationwide. It also stirred the Democratic Party to exercise vigilance against his candidates. But the LaRouchians continued to aggressively court what they called "America's forgotten majority" with a platform of "ruthless" solutions to such problems as unemployment, farm foreclosures and the AIDS epidemic. Janice Hart, the Democratic nominee for Illinois Secretary of State, talked about how tanks would roll down Chicago's State Street to crush the drug traffic.
The high vote percentages achieved by many LaRouchian candidates in the months following the Illinois primary suggested that LaRouche had, indeed, tapped a mood of disaffection among significant sectors of the electorate. The evidence comes from scores of primary contests from Alaska to Georgia, and from New Hampshire to California.
For instance, in Oklahoma the LaRouche candidate for U.S. Senate received 157,000 votes, or 33 percent, while the LaRouche candidate for Senate in Indiana won 93,000 votes, or 26 percent. In Texas and Georgia, the LaRouche candidates for State Agricultural Commissioner polled 187,000 and 103,000 votes respectively (18 percent in both cases) against popular incumbents. In Michigan, two LaRouchians won State Senatorial primaries.
On the Congressional primary level, LaRouchian candidates received between 20 and 48 percent of the vote in 21 races in nine states. They also picked up several uncontested Democratic nominations in traditionally Republican districts in Illinois, Ohio and Texas where the regular Democrats had not bothered to field candidates.
Perhaps the most impressive achievement of the LaRouche machine was its success in collecting nearly 700,000 signatures in California for a statewide ballot initiative on AIDS, worded in such a manner as to make possible the quarantine of AIDS victims. Most of the signatures were found to be valid, and Proposition 64, as it became known, found its way onto the November ballot. Opponents were deeply concerned that the vote would be close, even though the majority of voters were alerted that LaRouche and his extremist followers were behind the measure. (It failed by a wide margin.)
Chip Berlet of Midwest Research, a Chicago think tank that monitors right-wing groups, said that the LaRouchian formula of political scapegoating and simplistic hard-line solutions to urgent problems had strengthened the group's base of support as well as its performance at the polls. "We have noticed a dramatic increase in people who feel the LaRouchians speak for them in the national arena," Berlet said, citing the LaRouchians' fundraising and petition-gathering successes, and circulation figures on their publications.
Berlet expressed some doubt whether the October 6 indictments would result in LaRouche's immediately losing this new base of supporters. "A lot of these people think the government is controlled by communists anyway," he said. "When LaRouche says the indictments are all a plot orchestrated by [Soviet leader] Gorbachev, some of them will probably believe it."
War Against the Jews
On the surface, LaRouche's political views appear to be based on a confused welter of conspiracy theories featuring the Queen of England as a drug pusher and Walter Mondale as a KGB agent. But, underneath this smokescreen, the real basis of LaRouche's ideology is anti-Semitism.
LaRouche began to inject anti-Semitism into his writings in 1974, when he announced that "the Jew" is essentially a "Roman merchant usurer," lacking a "Christian conscience." Jewish culture, he said, is "merely the residue left to the Jewish home after everything saleable has been marketed to the Goyim." By 1978, LaRouche was teaching that the Holocaust was "mythical" and that B'nai B'rith is a "treasonous conspiracy," reflecting the alleged traditions of "the Jews who demanded the crucifixion of Jesus Christ."
Today, the LaRouche organization's activities have evolved into a many-sided assault against the influence of Jews in American public life and against U.S. support for Israel. The battle is waged not only through overt hate propaganda, but also through sophisticated campaigns involving front organizations, issue-oriented coalitions with farmers and other hard-pressed groups, court actions, pseudo-academic conferences and elaborate disinformation schemes.
The complexity of this effort--often tailored to fit the psychology of this or that specific constituency--is far beyond what the Klan and other traditional hate groups are capable of. The LaRouchians select a legitimate issue, such as AIDS or the cocaine traffic, provide an appearance of sincere concern, then subtly steer the campaign in an anti-Semitic, proto-Nazi direction. The effect is to float a broad range of implicitly and explicitly anti-Semitic themes, which, if accepted by the general public, would tend to isolate the Jewish community and render it vulnerable to direct onslaught. Examples of such themes, as expressed in LaRouchian publications are:
The U.S. Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which tracks down Nazi war criminals, should be closed down and its personnel indicted for treason;
Israel only pretends to be an ally of theUnited States--it is really working with the Soviet Union to undermine our national security; The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith is in league with Jewish gangsters and drug traffickers;
Conservative organizations, which support aid to Israel, are acting on behalf of the Soviet KGB and should be repudiated by true American patriots;
In pursuit of such themes, LaRouche's numerous publications frequently use anti-Semitic code words such as "shylock," "usurer," "Venetian merchant," "cabalist," "Whore of Babylon." In addition, the LaRouchians single out distinguished American Jews--such as Edgar Bronfman, Henry Kissinger, Edward Koch--accusing them, baselessly, of a multitude of crimes. In some instances the accusations resurrect the medieval blood libel; but rather than charging the targeted individual with the ritual sacrifice of Christian infants, the LaRouchians concoct theories of the sale of narcotics to school children or sexual molestation of little boys.
What has been called the "Dreyfus libel" (treason against the gentile state--as in the notorious frame-up of the French army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, in 1894) is also a favorite theme. Alluding to conspiratorial plots and behind-the-scenes connections, the LaRouchians have accused Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle and other Jews in high government posts of being Soviet agents of influence.
Elizabeth: Queen of the Jews
LaRouche's apocalyptic program is based on a racial theory of history. The LaRouchians assert that humanity is in danger of being enslaved or exterminated by a "Zionist-British organism"--a separate species outside the human race. This "evil species" dates back to the authors of the Old Testament and is today dominated by banking families with Jewish surnames. LaRouche, on national television, has described Britain's Queen Elizabeth as the symbolic head of the international drug traffic. His theoretical writings make it clear that he also regards her as the Queen of the Jews. Again and again, LaRouche and his followers have said--as did Hitler and Goebbels before them--that wealthy Jews such as the Rothschilds run Britain as part of an ancient conspiracy.
The LaRouchians have focused most frequently on Henry Kissinger as an anti-Semitic symbol. Indeed, for their purposes, he is the ideal target: he has a foreign accent, his past advocacy of detente makes him easy to fit into a rightwing conspiracy theory, and his Jewish background is universally known. When LaRouche rails on national television against the influence in Washington of "Kissinger and his friends," anti-Semites everywhere know exactly who LaRouche is really talking about.
Hitlerism for the 1980s
Many news reporters, bewildered by LaRouche's conspiracy-theory smokescreen and code language, say that his ideology defies classification. In fact, LaRouche is a neo-Nazi. His program includes every key point of Hitlerism, updated for contemporary America and incorporating LaRouche's analysis of various errors in Hitler's strategy.
LaRouche doesn't spout neo-Nazism on national television during his lengthy political commercials, shown coast-to-coast on network television; there he advocates populist economics, on behalf of the "forgotten majority." In tracts and policy statements for the faithful, however, LaRouche and his top aides have discussed plans for a fascist dictatorship in America, the "immediate elimination" of Jews from public life, and the setting up of a "Special Prosecutor's Office" to try "Zionists" for treason.
The LaRouchians also have a global grand design involving "total mobilization" of the United States on a war footing: first, to unify the West under "firm-handed" rule (a process which they speculate might include the use of nuclear weapons against Britain and Israel); and second, to conquer the Soviets via "ABC warfare" (combined use of atomic, bacteriological and chemical weapons). LaRouche has even discussed how a new race of supermen might emerge through environmentally-induced biological mutation.
The California AIDS Initiative
The California AIDS initiative--Proposition 64--is undoubtedly LaRouche's boldest offensive to date, potentially far more significant than the Illinois primary. In Illinois, the majority of voters really didn't know who they were voting for. In California, the majority knew LaRouche was behind Proposition 64. If it passed, or even came close to passing, it would have served tolegitimize LaRouche.
LaRouche first saw the possibility of a movement based on fear of AIDS and hatred of gays in the summer of 1985. He soon came up with a catchy slogan: "Spread panic, not AIDS." Careful analysis of his writings on this issue, however, reveals that, beneath the demagoguery, there is a sophisticated attempt to use the AIDS issue to indirectly inject anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi concepts into mainstream politics.
LaRouche manages to blame AIDS, like every other woe of our time, on the Jews: first, by alleging that homosexuality is a characteristically Jewish condition; second, by alleging that Jews promote sexual immorality for conspiratorial reasons; and third, by alleging that the greed of Jewish bankers is the reason why decisive steps have not been taken to stop AIDS.
On the first point, the LaRouchians have a long history of equating gays with Jews. In the late 1970s, they raved against the "faggot politics" of "Zionist-supporting" gay activists, but they also targeted Jews who were not part of the gay community: A LaRouchian cartoon strip depicted New York financier Felix Rohatyn (regarded by the LaRouchians as a central figure in the world Jewish conspiracy) as participating in a homosexual banquet with other prominent New York Jews, including Mayor Edward I. Koch, (labeled the "Emperor of Homohatten"), and union leader Albert Shanker (labeled "Albertius Judus").
In the following years, the LaRouchians repeatedly accused prominent Jews and pro-Zionist gentiles of homosexuality--of being part of an international "Homintern." LaRouche wrote a broadside about Henry Kissinger, entitled "The Politics of Faggotry." According to LaRouche, Kissinger's alleged "heathen sexual inclinations are merely an integral part of a larger evil," adding that "psychologically," Kissinger is of "a distinct species." Earlier, writing on psychoanalysis, LaRouche taught that the alleged pathology of the Jewish family, especially that of the "Jewish mother," produces sexual problems and repulsive psychological traits in young Jews. That idea has recently been refined: The March 7, 1986 issue of LaRouche's newspaper included an article, "Jewish Mothers in the Age of Aquarius," which expressed, through a sick joke, the idea that homosexuality is the natural outgrowth of being raised by a Jewish mother.
On the second point, LaRouche, in a November 1985 speech, called AIDS a "man-made evil" and linked it to "evil cults out of Babylon" (the LaRouchians see the origins of the "cult" of Judaism in Babylon, and, like the Ku Klux Klan, frequently use Babylon as a code word for Jews). In "The End of the Age of Aquarius" (January 1986), a long rambling tirade against the "Babylonians," the "British" (another LaRouche code word), Henry Kissinger, "usurers," and "cabalists," LaRouche stated: "Homosexuality was organized in the United States. It wasn't something that sprang from the weeds....It was organized...."
On the third point, LaRouche, in an October 1985 article linking the U.S. government's monetary policy to AIDS, said: "Shylock demands his pound of flesh, and cares not in the least whether the collection kills the debtor." LaRouche continued: "Shylocks have their own reasons. To unleash the kinds of public health measures needed to stop AIDS' spread would require a dumping of the present policies of the international monetary system...."
Not surprisingly, there are close parallels between LaRouche's ideas about AIDS and Hitler's thoughts on syphilis, as set down in Mein Kampf in 1925. Syphilis, like AIDS, is sexually transmitted. In the 1920s, there was no cure. Hitler focused on it because of his concern about maintaining the purity of the Aryan race and preventing contamination of the Aryan "blood." He blamed the victims of syphilis, especially prostitutes, for spreading it, just as LaRouche today blames gays for spreading AIDS. Hitler believed that sexual promiscuity and prostitution were the result of the "Jewification of our spiritual life and mammonization of our mating instinct"; he thus called syphilis the "Jewish disease." LaRouche, by contrast, fulminates about "Sodom and Gomorrah" and the "Babylonian disease."
Hitler's answer to the syphilis problem was to call for a quarantine of prostitutes and other syphilis victims: "[T]here must be no half measures; the gravest and most ruthless decisions will have to be made. It is a half-measure to let incurably sick people steadily contaminate the remaining healthy ones....[I]f necessary, the incurably sick will be pitilessly segregated--a barbaric measure for the unfortunate who is struck by it, but a blessing for his fellow man and posterity."
LaRouche writes in similar terms in "The End of the Age of Aquarius": "[W]e’ve got to contain [AIDS], we can't find a miracle cure that fast; we're going to have to use methods of public health, which means we're going to have to put away every carrier until they can no longer carry; and if you won't do that, you don't care about your neighbor or your children."
In reading the section of Mein Kampf dealing with syphilis and the section of LaRouche's "Aquarius" piece dealing with AIDS, one finds numerous similarities. Hitler says there "is no freedom to sin at the cost of posterity...." LaRouche says that it's "nonsense" to be concerned with the "civil rights" of AIDS patients. Hitler criticizes the authorities for not "summon[ing] up the energy to take decisive measures" and for their attitude of "total capitulation." LaRouche says the U.S. government is afraid to "estrange the votes of a bunch of faggots and cocaine sniffers...." Hitler says that for people who refuse to fight to save their own health, "the right to live in this world of struggle ends." LaRouche says that the American people, unless they change their attitude to AIDS and their "moral direction," will "no longer [be] fit to survive morally, and will not survive...."
Opponents of Proposition 64 pointed out that it called, essentially, for concentration camps. The wording of the measure did not explicitly state such an idea, and LaRouche spokesmen on Proposition 64 denied it. Yet LaRouchian propaganda has in fact called for the rounding up of prostitutes, gays, drug users--anyone who might have been exposed to the AIDS virus--and the placing of all "carriers" in "special isolation hospitals, under prison guard if necessary." LaRouche has even discussed the possible need to "hang" and "bum" those he believes are responsible for the AIDS crisis.
It would appear that Proposition 64 was an attempt to desensitize the public to the idea of concentration camps and other forms of mass repression. The concept is certainly implicit in an earlier LaRouchian proposal for a "Special Prosecutor's Office" to try America's "Zionists" for treason. One can only wonder if the alleged traitors would join the gays in LaRouche's "special isolation" facilities.
LaRouche's Jewish Followers
In its early days, LaRouche's NCLC attracted many left-wing Jewish students. When LaRouche adopted anti-Semitic rhetoric, some of them dropped out. Others, deeply scarred by the cult’s "ego-stripping" sessions and other forms of psychological manipulation, remained loyal. Today they are cited by LaRouche as evidence that he is not anti-Semitic, but only "anti-Zionist." He even runs them for public office.
Some voters have been deceived by this tactic, not being aware that manipulation of small numbers of renegade Jews by hardcore anti-Semites is a widespread trick. For instance: The Palestine Liberation Organization makes use of far-left elements on the fringes of the Israeli peace movement. The Liberty Lobby, a neo-Nazi group based in Washington D.C., peddles anti-Zionist tracts by Alfred Lilienthal. And Louis Farrakhan, the Black Muslim leader, enjoys the support of a handful of Jews from the Manhattan-based New Alliance Party, a group founded by ex-followers of LaRouche.
The majority of LaRouche's followers are not Jewish, nor is LaRouche himself or his German wife and second-in-command, Helga Zepp-LaRouche. Racists of the older school are aware of this fact; they don't hold it against LaRouche that he has some Jewish and Black dupes in his organization. For instance, former Klan leader Robert Miles, a leading ideologue of the violent Christian Identity movement, regards LaRouche as an ally in the struggle against America's alleged "Zionist Occupation Government" (ZOG). Commenting on LaRouche's Illinois election victories, Miles wrote in the March-April issue of From the Mountain:
[LaRouche] mixes his forces, having blacks and jews [sic] in his ranks. But then, so did every conquering, [sic] army in history--including the SS!....We are delighted in the havoc which [LaRouche's] political raiders have wrought in the ranks of ZOG. Well done, Lyndon, well done!