Jerusalem One

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     Lyndon Larouche: Fascism Wrapped in an American Flag
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December 12, 1992

         Part Two: The Paranoid Style & Fascist Tendencies
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   LaRouche's parlaying of personal and political conspiracy theories into
a multi-million dollar financial empire is unique, but paranoid political
movments occur cyclically in American history. In his widely-quoted essay
"The Paranoid Style in American Politics," professor Richard Hofstadter
argues that in times of economic, social or political crisis, small
conspiracy - minded groups suddenly gain a mass following. The
anti-Catholic hysteria of the 1800's, the anti-immmigrant movement which
led to the Palmer Raids in 1919, the Red Scare of the 1950's and other
societal convulsions, are examples, wrote Hofstadter.

   Such movements rise and fall periodically, according to Hofstadter,
appealing to people fearful about the world political and economic 
situation, and longing for simple solutions to complex problems. The use of
scapegoats is common among these movements.

   The findings of two academics who studied a LaRouche campaign
contributor list (available from the Federal Election Commission) lend 
support to the thesis that LaRouche appeals to a paranoid constituency. In
a 1986 press release, "Who Controls Us: A Profile of Lyndon LaRouche's 
Campaign Contributors," John C. Green and James L. Guth of Furman
University identify LaRouche as "a new celebrity on the extreme right."

   "An analysis of his campaign contributors suggests that LaRouche should
be taken seriously, not as a candidate, but as evidence of the failure--and
success--American politics," wrote the professors.

   According to the results of the study, among LaRouche's contributors are
a significant proportion of Northern neo-populist conservatives,
"profoundly uncomfortable with modern America and susceptible to
conspiratorial explanations of their distress. One seemed to speak for the
others when he listed his major concern as `who really controls us?' To
many of these alienated people, LaRouche's outlandish views offer a
plausible answer to this question." 

According to the study:

   "Though LaRouche campaigns as a Democrat, most of his donors are 
independents, with the largest group `leaning' Republican. but ordinary
people as well, believing that no one can be trusted `most of the 
time.' Very few say they are optimistic about their future or that of the
country.  They are equally disillusioned with politics, 40% report 
having become discouraged and ceased participating at some point. These
attitudes extend to current political groups as well.  
Three-quarters feel `far' from mainstream conservative organizations such
as the Chamber of Commerce. Roughly equal numbers feel `close' and 
`far' from more reactionary groups like the John Birch Society. Uniform
dislike, however, is reserved for liberal advocates of change; the 
ACLU, Common Cause and Ralph Nader.

   "LaRouche is most criticized for his political intolerance, a trait
exhibited by his contributors. To measure tolerance, we asked all donors to
name a group they regarded as `dangerous' and then asked if they would
allow a member of that group to run for president, speak in a public place
or teach in public school. Only a quarter of the LaRouchians would allow a
member of their `dangerous' group to engage in all three activities and
another quarter would allow none.

   "LaRouche would probably approve of their choice of `dangerous' groups:
more than half of the mentions figure prominently in `conspiracy' theories
of politics, such as communists, drug dealers, Jews, bankers, intellectuals
and the mass media.  Some `conspiracies' are explicitly named: the
`zionist-socialist movement,' the `international drug ring,' `cartel
control of money' and the `post-industrial counter-culture.'  But other
donors identify mainstream organizations and leaders as `dangerous,' 
including the `unilateral disarmament advocates,' `eco-freaks,' `Hayden and
Fonda,' `socialist Democrats' and `big labor bosses.'

   "These kinds of attitudes occur among other conservative activists, but
rarely to this extent. And the LaRouchians differ from other conservatives 
in demographic terms as well.  LaRouche's donors seem to be the remnant of
the `small town America' of a generation ago. Nearly three-quarters were
born in the Midwest or Northeast and more than half still live there, 
outside the major cities. Most spent their adult life in one or two states;
the only major move they have ever made was to retire to the Sunbelt. 
Two-thirds are 55 or older, male, of WASP or German extraction, and
products of [nuclear two-parent] families. They are not, however, 
particularly religious; most belong to mainline Protestant denominations
and few are active church members. "

   The authors concluded, "it is alienated people who make fringe
candidates possible. LaRouche should be taken seriously as a symptom of 
distress in a small part of the body politic.  His limited appeal is a sign
of the basic health of America politics."

   One historian, author George Seldes, thinks LaRouche has followed
another seldom travelled but clearly recognizable historic path--the road 
from Socialism through National Socialism to Fascism. Seldes has authored
some ten books concerning authoritarianism and thinks LaRouche's 
theories and style represent classic "Mussolini-style fascist" ideology.
Seldes' analysis carries weight especially since he wrote a biography of
Mussolini in 1935 titled 

 Secret Agent LaRouche

   In a sense LaRouche is a "Silicon Caesar" since he has risen to power
through a sophisticated computerized telecommunications network which
gathers political and economic intelligence and then packages it for 
dissemination through newsletters, magazines, special reports and
consulting services. Former Reagan advisor and National Security Council 
senior analyst, Dr. Norman Bailey, told NBC reporter Pat Lynch the LaRouche
network was "one of the best private intelligence services in the world."

   Not everyone shares the view. When Henry Kissinger was told of how
LaRouche operatives met with high Reagan Administration officials in the 
early 1980's, he told the , "If this is true, it would be
outrageous, stupid, and nearly unforgivable." Dennis King, co-author 
of the  article which examined LaRouche's influence in
scientific and intelligence circles, says during the first Reagan term
LaRouche aides managed to gain "access to an alarming array of influential 
persons in government, law enforcement, scientific research and private
industry." These ties form the basis of the LaRouche "CIA defense" 
against the charges he conspired to obstruct justice. LaRouche claims he
believed his security aide Roy Frankhauser, a former Ku Klux Klan 
leader and government law enforcement informant, was a covert conduit to
the CIA.

   John Rees, an ultra-conservative whose  newsletter
reports on political extremes on the left and right, says he "believes the
 story that LaRouche staffers had access to a lot of people."
But he points out, "If you have all the electronic resources and 
information-gathering staff that LaRouche posesses you are bound to come up
with occasional gems, that's what most people were interested in, not the
LaRouche philosophy." Both King and Rees feel the Reagan Administration
consciously began distancing itself from contacts with the LaRouche 
network following the  and NBC stories.

   Russ Bellant, a long-time LaRouche watcher from Detroit, notes that in
the mid-1970's LaRouche simultaneously turned to the right and tried to
link up with more respectable groups, including, for a brief period,
several state Republican Party organizations. "Some tactical political
alliances with various right-wing groups were made on the basis of
LaRouche's scurrilous disruption campaigns against mutual enemies,
especially liberal Democrats," says Bellant. In fact, LaRouche has
consistently targetted the American left, and done so with material and
moral support from small but significant elements in law enforcement, the 
Republican Party and the American far right. There is also evidence to
suggest that the LaRouche organization maintained a cozy relationship with
certain elements in U.S. and foreign intelligence, military and police
agencies.

   Bellant and other LaRouche-watchers feel the LaRouche network and its
questionable finances and intelligence activities may have been overlooked
by certain individuals in intelligence and law enforcement agencies. "These
persons were focusing more on the information being churned up by
LaRouche's intelligence-gathering apparatus," says Bellant.

   LaRouche-related financial operations have run afoul of the law before,
but by adopting an aggressive legal strategy his groups have been able to
fend off successful prosecution for years until cases were dropped or
settled by exhausted plaintiffs and prosecutors. One Illinois case
involving LaRouche-backed mayoral candidate Sheila Jones and LaRouche's
Illinois Anti-Drug Coaliton has dragged on for over six years.

   The 1986 Illinois primary victory by two LaRouche followers, however,
raised the ante. "The visibility that came to LaRouche after the Illinois
primary lent credibility to the investigations into his financial
operations by bringing forward scores of persons who claimed to have been
defrauded by LaRouche operations over the years," says Bellant.  There are
probably a variety of reasons why the ties between LaRouche and various
government agencies and personalities were severed in the mid-1980's.
Highly-publicized incidents such as the airport battle between LaRouchies
and Henry Kissinger and his wife helped doom the LaRouche network's
relationship with the Reagan Administration--their profile just became too
visible for a continued relationship. 

   Principled conservatives challenged the Reagan Administration to justify
its flirtation with an anti-Semitic group. Intelligence specialists
questioned the wisdom of sharing thoughts with a group which historically 
worked both sides of the political fence separating allies from
adversaries. Even Oliver North got into the act when his fundraisers and 
security specialists found LaRouche emissaries were getting underfoot.

   LaRouche security expert Jeff Steinberg, who used to meet with National
Security Council staffers at the Old Executive Office Building in the White
House compound, spent much of 1988 in a Boston courtroom facing criminal
charges. However it appears the criminal investigation which led to the
current legal problems faced by LaRouche and his followers began before the
controversy over his ties to the Reagan Administration had reached key
decision-makers in government agencies. While there is some evidence of 
prosecutorial misconduct and civil liberties violations in the course of
some of the federal investigations and prosecutions, the claim by 
LaRouche spokespersons that the indictments are part of a government
conspiracy to silence LaRouche appear to be without foundation.
 
Political Puzzle?

   Russ Bellant's articles on LaRouche have appeared in liberal Michigan
weeklies and progressive publications, while John Rees tills the right side
of the journalistic garden. But both agree LaRouche's ideology is now
neither Marxist nor conservative. Rees, who for years has written for
conservative, anti-communist, and New-Right publications (including several
magazines published by the John Birch Society), thinks it is unfair ever to
have called LaRouche a conservative simply because he has tried to woo 
that political block.

   "He is emphatically not a conservative," says Rees, "he is a
totalitarian extremist with a cult of personality to rival Joseph
Stalin's." Rees concedes that LaRouche's politics are distorted 
and strange, saying "he is difficult to categorize--in a sense LaRouche is
a remedial Fascist. At least Mussolini could make the trains run on time. I
doubt LaRouche is capable of doing that."

   Rees claims that "when LaRouche was rejected by the totalitarian left,
he simply tried the other side of the totalitarian spectrum." 
According to Rees, ties between the LaRouche network and several racist and
anti-Semitic groups are well-established. "Former LaRouche organizers
report cooperation with elements of the Aryan Nations Network," adds
Bellant who says the LaRouche network is a "neo-Nazi type of cult." 

 Racism and Anti-Jewish Rhetoric 

   LaRouche has many connections to the racist political right in this
country. Richard Lobenthal, Midwest Regional Director for the
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, observes that LaRouche security
advisor Roy Frankhauser "has been identified as present with other white 
supremacists at meetings held at the farm of Pastor Bob Miles in Michigan."
Leaders of the notoriously racist and anti-Semitic Aryan Nations 
have attended the same meetings.

   "Frankhauser's background and connections are myriad, he is obviously a
LaRouchite, he is a professed racist and anti-Semite and was a close 
associate of neo-Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell," says Lobenthal.

   LaRouche not only works in coalitions with bigots, he has also
propounded ideas which are widely perceived to represent outright racism.

   LaRouche, for instance, offended the Hispanic community in a November,
1973 essay (published in both English and Spanish) titled "The Male 
Impotence of the Puerto-Rican Socialist Party." An internal memo by
LaRouche asked "Can we imagine anything more viciously sadistic than the 
Black Ghetto mother?"  He described the majority of the Chinese people as
"approximating the lower animal species" by manifesting a "paranoid 
personality. . . .a parallel general form of fundamental distinction from
actual human personalities."

   LaRouche's use of hysterical Jewish conspiracy theories for ulterior
political motives has lead him to be branded an anti-Semite by several
major Jewish groups. 

   One ADL spokesperson, Irwin Suall, was once sued for defamation by
LaRouche for calling him a "small time Hitler." The jury ruled against 
LaRouche. According to LaRouche, only a million and a half Jews perished in
the concentration camps, and they died primarily from overwork, disease,
and starvation. This denial of the Holocaust is coupled with pronouncements
saying there is nothing left of Jewish culture except what couldn't be sold
to Gentiles, or claiming British Jews brought Hitler into power.

   While many of the ringleaders of the global conspiracy, according to the
LaRouche philosophy, are Jewish, members of the LaRouche group rebut 
charges of anti-Semitism by pointing out that a number of them--including
Janice Hart, former Democratic nominee for the Illinois Secretary of 
State--are Jewish. The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, which has
successfully beat back several costly LaRouche lawsuits, rejects this 
explanation and insists the group is a paranoid, anti-Semitic political
cult.

   For his part, LaRouche claims to be merely anti-Zionist, not
anti-Semitic. Jewish groups and political scientists acknowledge the
important distinction, but LaRouche rhetoric--such as leaflets distributed
in California bearing the offensive headline "Smash the Kosher Nostra!" and
naming a number of Jewish figures as part of a global conspiracy, leaves
little doubt.

   Since 1976, the NCLC's ties to anti-Semitic, ultra-right groups and
individuals have been well documented. LaRouche associates have cultivated 
ties to Willis Carto, a notorious racist and anti-Semite who helped found
Liberty Lobby and the pseudo-scholarly Institute for Historical Review.
This latter group publishes "historical revisionist" literature deriding
the Nazi Holocaust as a Jewish hoax.

   Former staffers at both the Liberty Lobby and LaRouche's NCLC claim the
two groups cooperated closely on several projects. In the March 2, 1981 
issue of its newspaper , Liberty Lobby cynically defended the
relationship this way: "It is mystifying why so many anti-communists and
`conservatives' oppose the USLP [U.S. Labor Party --the NCLC's original 
electoral arm]. No group has done so much to confuse, disorient, and
disunify the Left as they have. . .the USLP should be encouraged, as should
all similar breakaway groups from the Left, for this is the only way that
the Left can be weakened and broken."

   Linda Ray, the outspoken former member of the LaRouche group, recently
published a first-person account of her experiences in the Chicago-based 
national weekly . She recalls that after leaving the group,
someone showed her a LaRouche organization pamphlet she had once sold on
the street. "In it the Jewish symbol, the Star of David, was used as a 
centerpiece to point to six different aspects of the illegal drug trade. In
this context, the Star of David was a symbol of evil." She was shocked 
when she realized she had not recognized this while still working with
LaRouche.

   "Many people find it difficult to understand how Jews--such as I --
could have worked for an anti-Semitic group. Perhaps the answer is that the
members get so hypnotized by the simplistic `good guys and bad guys'
approach to history that they do not hear what LaRouche is really saying."

   Ray recalls how LaRouche claimed the British were a different "subhuman
species" and how his  magazine concocted the charge that the
British created the Nazi movement."Since the blasts were overtly directed
against the British, Jewish members often did not recognize the subliminal
anti-Semitism of the attacks. LaRouche, like the Ku Klux Klan, Hitler and 
Goebbels, was attacking the Rothschilds and other British-Jewish banking
interests. In the wake of these anti-Semitic writings, many of us were 
confused. But we continued to defend LaRouche by lamely saying, `We're not
anti-Semitic. So many of our members are Jews. We always say in our 
publications that we are against the Nazis.'

   "I remember reading in detail about the `subhuman species' concept.
Although I knew it did not make scientific sense, I presumed that it was a
deep intellectual metaphor that was over my head."

   When Ray left the group and finally came to grips with her role as a Jew
working in an anti-Semitic organization, she says "It was as if I was
waking from a nightmare." 

   LaRouche's relationship with Blacks--including his own Black NCLC
members--is similarly confusing and complex. While LaRouche's writings 
are replete with racialist assertions extolling white Northern European
values at the expense of other ethnic values, he has in some cases 
succeeded in forging alliances with rightist or opportunist black
politicians and civil rights leaders, such as Roy Innis of the Congress of 
Racial Equality (CORE) and Hulan Jack, a former Borough president and
powerhouse in the New York Democratic Party. Articles from LaRouche's
 have appeared in publications of Rev. Louis
Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.

   At the same time they are recruiting Blacks, LaRouche publications
praise the wisdom of the Botha government in South Africa, and attack 
those who protest the system of apartheid. 

   LaRouchian rhetoric can often offend numerous constituencies
simultaneously. The July 7, 1986 issue of the , an
insert tucked into LaRouche's  (now )
newspaper, covered the Ku Klux Klan counter rally against Chicago's annual 
Gay Pride parade by charging: "The idea behind the KKK outburst was--amid
heavy media coverage of a mere two dozen Klan demonstrators--to make 
citizens think anyone who wants to take serious measures against AIDS is a
cross-burner and a Nazi. . . .In fact, the Klan does not exist--except as a
special dirty-tricks operation of the FBI and the B'nai B'rith's
Anti-Defamation League. "

   The article went on to say the founders of B'nai B'rith were "about as
Jewish as Josef Goebbels."When Illinois Congressman Sidney Yates 
faced LaRouche-backed challenger Sheila Jones, LaRouche supporters
distributed leaflets titled "So, What's A Nice Jewish Boy Doing Supporting 
Sodomy?" Former Chicago mayor Jane Byrne was targetted in one mayoral race
with a LaRouche candidate's campaign slogan of "Byrne the Witch." 

   In attacking political enemies, LaRouche propoganda often utilizes
racist, anti-Jewish, sexist or homophobic stereotypes. 

Defining the Terms

   The LaRouche cult fits the description of a totalitarian movement as
outlined by Hanna Arendt in  
Totalitariansim is correctly defined by its all-encompasing style,
structure and methods, not by its stated or apparent ideological premises
or goals. Arendt wrote that not all fascist groups were necessarily
totalitarian and not all totalitarian groups were necessariy fascist.

   Is LaRouche a fascist? The goal of fascism is always raw power, and it
will adopt or abandon any principle to obtain power. The chameleon-like 
nature of fascist theories is one of its hallmarks, and often leads to
confusion as to whether it is on the political left or right as it
opportunistically gobbles up popular slogans from existing movements.

   Journalist James Ridgeway notes there are real contradictions in
LaRouche's politics: "While it maintains contacts with far-right groups, 
LaRouche's organization is ideologically at cross-purposes with many which
are nativist and anarchist. LaRouche is an internationalist and a 
totalitarian: he believes the masses are `bestial' and unfit for
citizenship."

   Freelance journalist Nick Gallo takes us a step further. In  he acknowledges that much of what LaRouche espouses "appears kooky,
if only because his ideas certainly defy conventional political analysis. .
. . However go beyond the individual positions on different issues and
beneath the surface lurk echoes of sinister themes that have been prevalent
in the 20th century: preservation of Western Civilization, purity of
culture and youth, elimination of Jewish and homosexual influence,
suspicion of international banking conspiracies."

   The opportunistic exploitation of anxiety-producing issues by LaRouchies
is no surprise to Clara Fraser who knew LaRouche when he was in the
Socialist Workers Party. Writing in the  newspaper, she
explains,  "The pundits are intrigued and puzzled by his amalgam of right
and left politics, a tangled web of KKK, Freudian, encounter therapy,
Populist, Ayn Rand-like, and Marxist notions. They needn't be. His is the
prototypical face of fascism, which is classically a hodgepodge of 
pseudo-theories crafted for mass appeal. . . ."

   Themes generally associated with fascism frequently recur in LaRouche's
writings. In the aggregate, LaRouche seems to like the idea of society with
an authoritarian governing body, exercising social, political, economic,
and cultural control, using force when necessary to maintain order and
attain desired goals. Traditional democracy is contemptuously dismissed 
by LaRouche, who describes himself as a "traditional Democrat," as the
"rule of irrationalist episodic majorities."

   When LaRouche touts his followers as  "neo-Platonic" theorists, most
people aren't aware that in  Plato outlined his view of a
political system in which only a handful of enlightened "Golden Souls"
would be allowed to participate in societal desision-making. While this was
certainly a step forward from imperial dictatorship and rule by 
fiat, it is hardly a step forward for a participatory democracy. LaRouche,
incidently, has said his followers are "Golden Souls."

   Combining fascism and totalitarianism makes for a potent mixture, but
even a totalitarian fascist is not necessarily a Nazi--for that you 
must include a "Master Race" theory and roots in an ostensibly socialist
agenda for empowering the working class. . movement and German Nazi 
movement. In German the word itself--NAZI--was an acronym for the National
German Workers Socialist Party. Most socialists now are painfully aware of 
that error. LaRouche apparently repeated the error.

   But can an organization which has Jews and Blacks as members be called
Nazi? The LaRouche network's printed materials are full of ethnocentric,
racist, and anti-Jewish rhetoric, but that doesn't necessarily make it
Nazi. Where is LaRouche's theory of a master race? In fact, LaRouche
himself has repeatedly enunciated just such a theory, but in his typically
convoluted way.

   In the mind of Lyndon LaRouche, personal or political opponents are not
even human, Jerry Brown and Tom Hayden are "creatures;" the rest of us are
merely "beasts" or "sheep."

   According to Dennis King, it is LaRouche's belief that his enemies are
subhuman and his followers superhuman which makes "LaRouche more than a
political fascist, but a neo-Nazi." King, whose book on LaRouche is slated
for publication in 1989, adds that "people afraid of that characterization
should sit down and read his ideological writings. LaRouche talks about the
existence of two parasitic species descended from Babylonian culture, the
British-Jewish and Russian-Orthodox species, then there are the subhuman
masses, then humanity represented by LaRouche and his followers, the Golden
Souls, and then a new superhuman race which will evolve from the Golden
Souls. It really is pure Nazism," says King.

   And if that makes no rational sense; and if some of his followers are
Jews and Blacks? "So what?" retorts King "LaRouche is a totalitarian, 
he can define anyone he wants to as being a member of the human race, and
anyone he wants to as being a member of an inferior race, and he can 
change the definitions from week to week--who is going to argue with him?"

End of Part Two

 Chip Berlet is staff researcher at Political Research Associates (PRA) in
Cambridge, Massachusetts. Joel Bellman is a former editorial page writer and
columnist for the . Both Bellman and Berlet
have written extensively about the LaRouche organization.

Political Research Associates is an independent, non-profit, tax-exempt
research institute which collects and disseminates information on right-wing
political groups and trends. 

Staff:
 Jean V. Hardisty, Ph.D., Director
 Chip Berlet, Analyst
 Margaret Quigley, Archivist