LaRouche's Midas Touch
Originally Posted by curious10
My interaction with the ICLC was in the late 70s/early80s. At that time my business experience was limited to low-level purchasing/accounting procedures, done for the most part manually (think typewriter/10 key calculator/lots of sharp pencils!) I, too, was impressed by the cutting edge computer aspect--WorldComp, etc... Even then, the juxtaposition of cutting edge technology and a woeful lack of business-style infrastructure in the organization struck me as being sort of unusual. I wondered, and once or twice voiced an opinion about this, only to be told that it was the politics that took priority. That made sense to me, as "politics" was the "product" so-to-speak, but by the time I left I was convinced that this aspect of the ICLC was amateur hour. This is from the perspective of a regional office, btw, and no reflection on PMR or WorldComp--as I knew little of their operations.
Post ICLC, I worked in newspaper production then moved into IT. Over the years it became clear to me that the Achilles heel of the org was precisely this inability to develop a stable fiscal situation via standard biz practices. In hindsight, it seems to me that there was disdain for any infrastructure of this kind. I'm sure there must have been initiatives to create advertising sales staffs, etc... and it sounds like PMR was run as any print house ought to be run. I can understand a "business" operation which exists to support political activity (instead of trying to maximize profits) but such an operation has to make costs. It seems very short-sighted to me that this wasn't "built-in" to the overall day-to-day operations of the org as a whole. People who know more can correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the org failed to "mature" into a serious operation in this regard. I'm wondering if some of the internal conflicts within the org were associated with these kinds of issues?
There was nothing built into day-to-day operations to keep the companies afloat. LaRouche has often claimed that he was an "efficiency expert" or some kind of business analyst who rescued near-bankrupt companies, but this is about as reality-based as Farrakhan's claim to have been taken aboard a flying saucer.
Lyn has a tremendous and deep-seated hostility to normal business practice, along with the desire to have rivers of money rolling over him, a composite of attitudes that has made running anything like a business impossible around him.
There was Computron--Lyn claims Computron drained the org, but the truth is the reverse, as far as I can tell.
There was PMR, and there was WorldComp. Ken Kronberg managed to keep those two going decades longer than anyone could have predicted, and even managed to bring PMR to the point that it was at one time among the top 400 printers in the country (2004-2005)--there was once a website where this information could be found (http://www.piworld.com/download?sid=37280) but it is no longer extant. ( PDF downloadable here - LP)
But they finally went under in a particularly awful way.
There was the so-called Ben Franklin Booksellers, a bookstore in Leesburg, VA that crashed and burned under the direction of LaRouche.
There was the radio station in Brunswick, MD that the late Allen Salisbury was forced to run. That went under and Allen died in his 40s of colon cancer because the Labor Committee (unlike PMR/WorldComp) did not have health insurance, so Allen held back seeing doctors till it was too late.
There was Lyn's pet cattle-breeding experiment fiasco.
There was the Cardinal Park real estate venture that ended in disaster.
Not to mention that LaRouche managed to organize it so that he and large numbers of his followers went to Federal and state prison for fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud the IRS (that was just Lyn), based on LaRouche's novel theories about not needing to repay loans and his equally novel theory that he had no income.
As xlcr has explained in detail, the LaRouche gang were the only people in Loudoun County in the heady days of the real estate boom who managed to lose money on every deal they ever made.
Now, with most of their members in their 60s, they can't afford to pay these people stipends or give them reasonable health care. The members have no Social Security prospects to speak of. Many of them have nothing.
That's LaRouche and business.
And yes, plenty of internal conflicts in the org are over business and money. That's why LaRouche drove Uwe Friesecke out of the organization--Uwe ran the money in Europe and often in the U.S. too. That's why LaRouche attacked Linda de Hoyos so viciously--she was the Finance Office NC till he threw her out.
That's why the org has always and everywhere opposed members having children--it distracts them from their main task (the care and feeding of Lyn) and it costs too much. The org won't pay for them, and it doesn't want members getting, uh, jobs.
In 1996, with his pronouncement vis-a-vis the members that "we don't owe these people a thing," LaRouche basically cut stipends to the bone AND tried to forbid people to get jobs.
That's why they don't pay their legal bills or their rent. (That's why they have had to cut back the number of "bays" they have in that revamped warehouse on Sycolin Road in Leesburg, their "international headquarters," even though LaRouche's influence and importance are stratospherically high.)
That's why they needed a "youth" movement, of youngsters who don't need medical care or stable places to live or much food.