In their first episode on Lyndon LaRouche, Dylan, Brent, and Forrest dig into LaRouche’s early life and rise to lead a political cult, National Caucus on Labor Committees (NCLC). Along the way, LaRouche waged war against the Communist Party during Operation Mop Up, broke down his members in disturbing “ego-stripping” sessions, and even concocted the idea that there was a psychosexual Rockefeller/CIA plot to have him assassinated.
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A Marxist is born
Born in Rochester, N.H. in 1922 as Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche Jr. His parents were active Quakers, named Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche Sr. and Jessie Lenore Weir. He described himself as “an egregious child, wouldn’t say an ugly duckling, but a nasty duckling.”
Because of his parent’s Quaker religion, they forbid any kind of violence, even for self-defense. Because of this, he got picked on a lot. This began a lifelong hatred of all things British, as he accused his bullies of being “unwitting followers of David Hume.”
He went to Northeastern University but dropped out because he was “one of those prodigies” who knew more than his teachers. Because of his Quaker upbringing, he declared himself a conscientious objector during World War II. Assigned to a Civilian Public Service camp in New Hampshire, he was “converted from Kant to Marx by Communist party members”.
He eventually got sick of camp life, which he compared to “a ‘soft’ model of a Nazi concentration camp”, and joined the army as a non-combatant. He served as a medic in India and Burma. While in Calcutta, he contacted the Communist Party of India. He returned to the US convinced that “no revolutionary movement was going to be brought into being in the USA unless I brought it into being.”
Indeed, LaRouche set lofty goals for himself. He would go on to write in his autobiography, titled “The Power of Reason”,
Making men in my own image was the conscious articulation of my central purpose from approximately 1946. Making First, one must become adequately qualified to accomplish that purpose. That task, especially as I saw the methodological hopelessness of existing institutions known to me, prescribed assimilating and developing a body of knowledge adequate to the undertaking to come. In the immediate postwar period, I set myself the goal of acquiring the necessary degree of adequacy between my thirty-third and thirty-fifth birthdays.
LaRouche wrote that he was more than annoyed with the likes of American trade-union “leftist”, Vincent Ray Dunne, for example, who according to LaRouche, “repeatedly professed to me not to understand Marx's economics -- a preposterous attitude for a man who had educated himself in so many ways”. I mean, it shouldn’t be surprising to him. After all, in his pamphlet entitled, “Creating a Republican Labor Party”, LaRouche writes that, quote, “Trade unionists are the best capitalists.”
LaRouche joined the Trotskyite Socialist Worker Party (SWP) in 1948 (or 1949 according to others sources) and remained with them until 1957. To compensate for the SWP leadership’s failure to recognize his talents, he adopted the pen name “Lyn Marcus” (apparently a play on words of “Lenin” and “Marx”). Another theory was that this was a modification of his Army nickname “Marco Polo”. My theory is that it is based on his hometown of Lynn, Massachusetts. He tried forming left movements “from scratch” with Carol Schnitzer, a former girlfriend, without much success, including the Spartacists and the Workers League.
So how was this champion of the proletariat making money? First he worked for his father as a consultant to his shoe-manufacturing company, then started a consulting company of his own which “pioneered… the use of computer simulations to help corporations reduce labor costs.”
LaRouche was side-eying the SWP. He,
came to understand the strong strain of Schachtmanite Stalinophobia in all of the SWP's trade-union policies from 1938. I ceased to regard any SWP member as a qualified revolutionary leader, and viewed them as rather a custodial staff keeping premises warmed and aired out for the arrival of actual revolutionary leaders. A real revolutionary leadership would have to be developed.
You see, the leaders of the SWP never really intended to expel LaRouche from the group. As LaRouche explains, “That is not the way most Communist and Trotskyist groups work! The Comintern method -- also Healy's method -- is to isolate and publicly degrade dangerous individuals, and once they are isolated and broken, assimilate them into one's machine as useful party hacks.”
His time to shine: the Columbia Strike
In 1966 while giving courses at the Free University at Greenwich Village, he attracted students from the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). and the Maoist-oriented Progressive Labor Party. Under the name “SDS Labor Committee”, he lead these students in a student strike on Columbia University. After the Columbia strike, this then turned into the National Caucus of S.D.S. Labor Committees, dropping “S.D.S.” in 1969
The Workers League and their Weekly Bulletin (1970)
The Workers League, publisher of the weekly Bulletin tabloid, is a small performing road company whose essential political position is vulgarly squatting outside the real universe. Thus freed from the .... encumbrances of earthly astronomical science, the Bulletin has asserted that the planets of the solar system actually orbit about the sun of one Michel Pablo of Paris.
To celebrate an increase in membership, The Bulletin “offered more ambitious revelations in cosmology: that the entire universe orbits about the corpse of Josef Stalin.”
Here’s an important sentence found in the 1970 paper written by LaRouche about the Workers League: “Actually, the Spirit does not become Flesh, but Ectoplasm.”
LaRouche calls the WL Weekly Bulletin a “Schachtmanite cult” LaRouche has more to say about Shachtmanites,
The Schachtmanite presents himself in the literary domain as the most meticulous revolutionary. He has a catalogue of canonical "positions," to which he can turn as an ever-ready source of excuses not to involve himself in a serious campaign in class interests. (To support such and such would contaminate the purity of the Schachtmanite's Heavenly record.)
The remaining members of the Bulletin organization “purged itself of all connections to [LaRouche] and its principal members while celebrating “the reduction in membership, political competence, and moral competence by preparing to leap from the status of a propaganda society into a full-fledged “Leninist Party, the thirty-member Worker’s League.”
NCLC had some very modest goals: control of the American labor movement within two years and establishment of a world workers’ government within five. After Schnitzer left in 1972, LaRouche became more dictatorial, labeling dissenters CIA agents or as having a “mother problem”.
Their “dingy” headquarters had tight security in the form of Labor Committee youths wielding nunchucks. By 1974, they had around 1200 members.They even went international, recruiting Greek and West German communists. Since they were more “sophisticated and ruthless than LaRouche’s pampered recruits from American suburban homes”, they became his primary lieutenants.
Oh, wait, they believe in conspiracy theories?!
The Rockefeller family, by controlling the CIA and having independent agents at all levels of society, was basically responsible for everything bad that happened ever. In fact LaRouche tells us that “the CIA is nothing but Rockefeller's FIST!”
They were even plotting a nuclear holocaust which, thankfully, and only the NCLC could prevent it. Everyone who wasn’t in the NCLC, including former members, other leftist groups, and professors who didn’t think LaRouche was a genius, were considered enemies and even “CIA dupes”.
At first, the targets of their abuse just thought the NCLC was amusing, especially their promotion of “Expanded Tractor Production” on urban college campuses and nicknaming Vice President Nelson Rockefeller “Fang”. But this amused attitude would not last for long.
LaRoche offers us some helpful definitions of words we think we know to help clear things up for us:
Opportunism: the essence of capitalist society's practice for all classes.
Cliquism: the ordinary pussy secretion of family life in a capitalist society.
He clarifies for any confusion,
Admittedly, there is a certain kind of old-socialist rottenness of people within the movement which ultimately does make old socialists less viable than fresh recruits. Once one has taken one's commitment to socialism too often into the realm of organizational corruption, cliquism, unprincipled factionalism, etc., one loses the moral ability to distinguish between socialist practice and the ordinary business of petty shopkeepers' knavery. Such morally senile-socialists may still be able to contribute to the movement, provided they are given the moral equivalent of "seeing-eye dogs," kept on a firm moral leash by a strong socialist leadership.
Lead Up to Mop Up
The NCLC’s transition to a full-blown political cult began in 1973-74. It proceeded in three stages. First, LaRouche ordered NCLC members into street fights with rival leftist organizations (known as “Operation Mop Up). Then he began “ego-stripping” sessions to humiliate members over any cowardice or ideological hesitation during Operation Mop Up. And third he created an atmosphere of hysteria in the organization about assassination plots against himself.
Operation Mop Up was started by a spat between NCLC and CPUSA. CPUSA accused NCLC for being a CIA front while NCLC accused CPUSA of being an FBI front. In early 1973, NCLC was organizing a conference in Philadelphia to build a national organization to organize welfare recipients and the unemployed. The CPUSA accused the NCLC of being racists and boycotted the conference. Instead of attending, they picketted the conference and drove a sound truck through “the black community”, comparing the NCLC to the Ku Klux Klan.
Enraged, LaRouche wrote an article for their newspaper New Solidarity called “Death of the CPUSA”, LaRouche explained exactly what he had in mind:
Readers will obtain a taste of our ruthlessness in the way we proceed to finish off the Communist Party… We [shall] conduct the most ruthless mopping-up operation against each of its ragged formations…
At a meeting discussing this operation. LaRouche could sense some fear in the audience. “I know you better than you know yourselves, and for the most part you’re full of crap… This isn’t a debating society any more.” A front page editorial in New Solidarity made the janitorial euphemism official: “Operation Mop Up: The Class Struggle is For Keeps”,
We must dispose of this stinking corpse [the CPUSA] to ensure that it cannot act as a host for maggots and other parasites preparing future scabby Nixonite attacks on the working class… If we were to vacillate… we would be guilty of betraying the human race. Our job is to pulverize the Communist Party.
But it wasn’t enough to attack the Communist Party on the Street. NCLCers also had to kill the Communist Party inside themselves. This was explained in the article “The CP Within Us”, which said that NCLCers must “expunge the inner voice of cowardice and hesitation (i.e. the CP) within each NCLC member.”
LaRouche began to require street-fighting training for NCLC members. “Members were organized into flying squads armed with metal pipes, clubs, and nunchucks… The idea was to go into action as mini-phalanxes with the nunchuck wielders in the center. Despite early calling violence “politically stupid”, they would soon gloat about sending opponents to the hospital after clashes. “
Operation Mop Up Begins
The attacks began in New York, and then spread to Philadelphia, Buffalo, and Detroit. Often street fighters would be brought in from outside cities so they wouldn’t be recognized. They broke up public meetings and invaded leftist bookstores. They even beat up a partially paralyzed activist on crutches.
LaRouche and New Solidarity egged on the violence. A spokesperson said, “The red Communist Party has turned into a den of yellow cowards.” A headline from New Solidarity exclaimed “CP Recruiting Pallbearers for Its Own Funeral”. Former opponents of CPUSA, SWP and other Trotskists, defended the CP from these NCLC attacks. In response, NCLC declared them “fair game”.
But just as quickly as it started, LaRouche called the whole thing off before CPUSA could mount a counterattack. Instead he declared victory and moved on. King argues that it was indeed a success because destroying the CPUSA wasn’t really the point,
It induced his followers to believe that those they had attacked, and who had fought back, were permanently the enemy. No longer were non-NCLC leftists seen as rivals within a common Marxist tradition. They had become unredeemable devils, traitors to the working class, subhuman police agents, fascists. Mop Up thus marked a bizarre new stage in the NCLC’s political evolution -- the stage of antifascist fascism.
Let the ego-stripping begin!
But first, an interlude about women
Around this time LaRouche began focusing heavily on psychology. He had some really progressive ideas about women: according to LaRouche, most women were lesbians and only married men to hurt them. In fact during the programming, LaRouche says that unlike men, women aren’t affected when their torturers call their father a queer or a woman because, “in women homosexuality is much more accepted and easily taken among women than men. Most women are to a large degree homosexual in this society. The relationship between daughter and mother is homosexual.”
Alright NOW it’s time for ego-stripping
Aside from brilliant discussion of the psychology of women, LaRouche also recognized the importance of deprogramming (or “ego-stripping”). LaRouche told NCLCers who exhibited any fear or hesitation during Operation Mop Up that this was due to psychosexual fears.
I am going to make you organizers -- by taking your bedrooms away from you. What I shall do is to expose to you the cruel fact of your sexual impotence. I will take away from you all hope that you can flee the terrors of politics to the safety of ‘personal life’. I shall do this by showing to you that your frightened personal sexual life contains for you such terrors as the outside world could never offer you. I will thus destroy your rabbit-holes, mental as well as physical. I shall destroy your sense of safety in the place to which you ordinarily imagine you can flee. I shall not pull you back from fleeing, but rather destroy the place to which you would attempt to flee.
During an ego-stripping session, a random NCLC member would be subject to a barrage of insults and attacks from the rest of the membership. The “goal” was to induce “psychic liberation”. You knew this happened when the victim broke down and starting sobbing uncontrollably. At this moment, the individual “abruptly ‘breaks free’ as if from a drugged state; a sudden personality change occurs, in which the group sees the real person come forth, assume control of himself, or herself, and bring the ego-state under control.” Ego-stripping was “an act of social love.”
NCLC member Christine Berl had a slightly different take on these ego-stripping sessions. She called them “pure psychological terror” that turned NCLC members into “sniveling informers vying with each other for [LaRouche’s] approval.” This explains why LaRouche would give himself the name “Der Abscheulicher”, or The Abominable One. But there was more than just fear lurking in the minds of the NCLC membership. There were all sorts of “pit creatures”, including impotence, homosexuality, zombie states, and madness.
THE GREAT MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE SCARE
LaRouche also, alleged a large scale CIA psychosexual brainwashing plot. He explains in a speech he gave in NYC on Jan. 3, 1974,
We are now in the second phase of a psy-war game designed by the CIA, that is, a psychological warfare game conducted on a scale of four continents, in which the CIA is playing psychological warfare with an organization, the Labor Committee. That's what this is about.
A choice article in New Solidarity discussed this plot: “Injunction Against C.I.A. Mental Genocide”
But hold up - you are likely wondering- what was Phase One?!- “Phase One was to test our capability to deal with the threat of assassination.” LaRouche said that he and others have passed that test. Oh, there’s also “Operation Paranoia” and “Operation Chaos and Confusion”
In this speech LaRouche lets the audience know that the KGB tried to assassinate him, but don’t worry because he says it’s nothing compared to the brainwashing torture by the CIA. Want to know where the KGB fits in? Any KGB fans out there? Putin lovers? Anyone? Anyways, LaRouche explains in his speech,
The KGB has in this operation, since the period of Mop-Up here in particular, though it has been operating against us for years, has been planning this move for years — if you want to know why Bob Dillon isn't in the organization any more, ask the CIA what happened in Iran. There are also KGB programs inside the CIA. As a matter of fact the CIA probably has more KGB agents working for it than the KGB has CIA agents. The Russians have done one good job in penetrating the CIA: So that's one aspect of the thing. If you want to know what the Alice Weitzman case is about, ask the CIA what happened to Bob Dillon in Iran. Ask why 55 Perry Street was on the program — that is, Joanne Joseph's home — why 55 Perry Street was the address, the emergency address for White to call to actuate an assassination of me.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. How does brainwashing even work? LaRouche educates us,
You find every vulnerability of that person from a psychoanalytical standpoint. Now the next thing you do is you build them up for fear in males and females of homosexuality, aim them for an anal identification with anal sex, their mouth is identified with fellatio. Their mouth is identified only with the penis — that kind of sex, and with woman. Womanhood is the fellatio of the male mouth in a man who has been brainwashed by the KGB; that is sucking penises.
LaRouche goes on to tell us the charming tale of a Russian “man of great dignity” who was discovered one morning sucking a pig’s penis. This was due to the CIA programming. You see, in the words of LaRouche,
He was receiving a reward — what's called "freedom" — "svoboda" — for having completed a part of his assignment for the CIA. A man of dignity degraded to bestiality, with no control of himself, running around the streets screaming control codes, keys, codes, "cancel me, cancel me," you know what that means? It means a code barrier has gone out of control, and for 24 to 36 hours he laid on a bed in a room alternating between the desire to die and the desire to strangle to death any leading member of the LC who came near him. He's a man whose secondary object has been to use his only capability — his strong arms — to strangle someone to death, from me on down. A man reduced to merely a pair of arms without a brain of his own.
What does it feel like to be brainwashed you may asked, Well, LaRouche tells us,
Think down. Think down your colon. Go along that transverse colon. Go down the descending colon. Come to the sigmoid. There's where you are. That's you. You're nothing. I won't repeat the phrasing, because if anyone has had a programming experience — if there's a sleeper in the audience — he would freak out.”
LaRouche explains that it’s not the pain that brainwashes people. LaRouche says,
What kills you is when you eat excrement as a way of inducing your torturer to lay off the pain. In permitting a bottle to be inserted in your anus and sitting on it on a chair for hours while interrogation continues, as a way of avoiding greater pain… Lying on the floor and whining like a puppy, Eating excrement, having a program to eat your own excrement. Being reduced to an eight-cycle infinite loop with look-up table. With homosexual bestiality.
For some reason, the NYT got a computer expert to evaluate this statement, concluding that LaRouche’s vocabulary was out of date around 1962, which is coincidentally when LaRouche left the computer industry. The phrase “homosexual bestiality” was of course still in the lexicon in 1974.
So how’s everyone feeling out there? Having a snack? Now here’s some more on eating your own excrement,
There are ways in which, say pills can be inserted in the rectum, and when you get to a certain stage in your program, you make a bowel movement of a certain type, with a certain kind of psychosomatic feeling. This disgorges at least one of the two poison pills; you eat your excrement and that way you get the poison in your system.”
During programming the torturers often show their subjects pictures of people having sex with dogs and sheep saying, “Wouldn't you like to do that? How about this dog? How's this picture?"
Maybe like me, at this point you are getting grossed out here and thinking I don’t care. JUST LET THEM BRAINWASH ME at this point! It can’t be any worse than eating my own SHIT! Fuck my brain! Take it! Fuck thinking! I don’t even care. Well, LaRouche warns against this anti-thinking thinking,
But I ask you, if you don't care about thinking, I ask you to contemplate the high voltage electro-convulsive shock therapy. I ask you to contemplate eating shit as a way of getting less pain. I ask you to contemplate sucking a penis as a way of getting less pain. I ask you to contemplate sitting for hours with a bottle shoved up your rectum as a way of easing pain.
Want to know how this whole program will end? Well, like this,
Svoboda, You're free. The person goes into a final total caricature, sort of a steppin-fetchit homosexual act. Pathetic. Worse. Like a dead cow. It begins to die. He's free. Automatic crematoria. No gas ovens required. The person is programmed to self-destruct. That's his freedom.
Also, LaRouche states he has the scoop on one of the,
nastiest, most vicious CIA operations — the brainwashing institutes of Sweden. It's a great place to go for a vacation. But don't eat anything, don't drink anything. You may not come back a man, or a woman.
By the way the British International Socialists are evil scum. Oh and by the way if you are being programmed don’t even bother telling the cops. They cannot help you. In fact they will probably arrest you instead. Also, don’t bother going to the press. They are useless too. LaRouche explains,
And even the New York Post, which broke the damn thing, had been approached on Sunday and told, "Get down here immediately. We have a fresh brainwash case, with a possible assassination. We invite you to come in and make a full investigation of the facts of the matter." They said on Sunday, "Well, we refuse. Our management does not intend to do this.
LaRouche mentions he cracks the case of Konstantin George, who was brainwashed in “an attempt to infiltrate the West German Labor Committee in Aug. 1973. LaRouche states,
They don't understand anything about the mind. They are only the plumbers of the mind. (This is not to take anything away from plumbers. A plumber has the sense not to install pipes in the head and expect the human being to work. As a matter of fact we'd be much better off if some of our plumbers would become psychologists and some of our brainwashers would become plumbers. Maybe they'd flush it.)
Deprogramming Christopher White
LaRouche explains that Christopher White was brainwashed in two steps.
He was brainwashed by the CIA to simulate a brainwashed KGB agent. He was brainwashed by the British government to simulate a brainwashed KGB agent. The way this was done — he was marked out, targeted. He was referred to a school that was open. When he got to the school there were never any children, except on pictures, used as a part of his conditioning. There was never a class; he never taught a class. Each day at the end of the day he'd go home, his personality gradually changing. The next day each day in due course he went to work — his personality gradually changing. This went on five or so days a week for 17 weeks. And then, after this was completed, he was picked up last week, drugged again, and subjected to 12 hours of final conditioning, and put in a psychotic state for shipment to me in the United States, under contract for delivery by the CIA. Okay?
the British government asked an airline, British Caledonian, to sabotage the engines of one of its own planes, a plane on which Mr. White was presumed to be traveling but which he in fact never boarded.” Instead, “the plane was returned to the airport to give a 12 hour cover to the absence of White to allow for final conditioning. The cover was that he was teaching every day. He wasn't teaching every day — he was being brainwashed.
So this programming of poor Christopher White happened between September 17 to December 17, 1973. According to LaRouche, “Some character named Trevor in England was responsible for doing some of the fingering work to set him up for the operation. An Irishman named Trevor.”
LaRouche taped the deprogramming, which features both weeping and vomiting. Throughout, White complains of being deprived sleep, food, and cigarettes. One even hears someone say, “Raise the voltage” but LaRouche insisted this had to do with the lights rather than electric shock. There is also an attempt by someone (not LaRouche) to hypnotize White. Despite all of this, LaRouche insists White was not mistreated. There was even a doctor, Dr. Gene Inch, present during the whole session.
A NYT reporter got a tape of this deprogramming session, and was less than impressed with LaRouche’s methods “To a layman it appears obvious that the elements of the conspiracy he claims to extract from Mr. White’s mind are either harmless bits of personal history or ideas suggested by Mr. [LaRouche] himself.”
When Mr. White resisted the questioning, LaRouche shouted “You don’t have to communicate a goddamn thing. I know what your mind is.” After White confirms one of LaRouche’s suggestions, he says, “Now do you see Carol? Do you believe?”
During interrogation, White complained about a terrible pain in his arm. LaRouche replied, “That’s not real. That’s in the program.” White screamed “The pain is real in my arm. I have to tell you what’s real and stop this crazy fantasy world. Because it’s not my fantasy…”
What would it mean if Mr. White’s mind was fully deprogrammed? LaRouche tells us, “Mr. White's full recovery would enormously strengthen the evidence we already possess on the conspiracy of the CIA to overthrow the existing government and constitution of the United States.”