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From oneb!!destroyer!caen!uunet!olivea!sgigate!sgi!cdp!cberlet Mon Dec 14 13:15:03 PST 1992
Article: 8152 of alt.conspiracy
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From: (NLG Civil Liberties Committee)
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
Subject: Re: LaRouchians as Fascists!
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Date: 12 Dec 92 02:30:00 GMT
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/* Written  9:15 pm  Dec  8, 1992 by cberlet in igc:publiceye */
/* Written  7:44 pm  Dec  8, 1992 by cberlet in */
/* Written 10:18 pm  Dec 18, 1990 by nlgclc in igc:publiceye */

How Serious a Threat?

   A surprisingly broad range of LaRouche's 
critics think his political movment should be 
taken very seriously.

   Richard Lobenthal of ADL warns that the 
LaRouche organization "Obviously should not be 
dismissed lightly, they are more than just kooks. 
They are anti-Semitic extremists. His aspirations 
are to gain legitimacy and power through, amongst 
other ways, the electoral process. To snicker 
about LaRouche is to snicker about any bigot or 
extemist who would ascend to political office and 
then subvert that office for their own purposes," 
he says.

   In California a LaRouche-backed referendum, 
Proposition 64, establishing restrictive public 
health policies regarding Acquired Immune 
Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) demonstrates how the 
small LaRouche group there had a devasting effect 
when it found a fearful audience for its 
simplistic scapegoating theories.

   Mark L. Madsen, a public health specialist for 
the California Medical Association says the 
LaRouche initiative, Proposition 64, was based on 
"absolute hysteria and calculated deception," but 
even though the initiative was soundly defeated 
"it has set back public health education efforts 
at least five years. The LaRouche people have 
almost wiped out all that we have done so far in 
educating the public about AIDS."

   The LaRouche intitiative "created an 
immeasurable medical problem far beyond AIDS 
victims," says Madsen. In California the number 
of regular blood donors went down 30%, and one 
health expert blames this directly on fear by 
blood donors of repercussions from possibly being 
identified as carrying the AIDS virus. "This 
fear, whipped up substantially by the hysterical 
LaRouche theories about AIDS, led to critical 
shortages of blood in the state of California," 
says Madsen.

   Leonard Zeskind of the Atlanta-based Center 
for Democratic Renewal helped build a coalition 
of Christian, Jewish, farm advocacy and civil 
rights groups to confront the spread of 
hate-mongering theories in the wake of the 
devastation of the rural economy throughout the 
farm belt. He calls the LaRouche 
ideology "Crank Fascism".

   "The LaRouche organizers are not as active in 
the farm belt as they once were, but they are 
still there. For those farmers who may have 
bought into these bigoted snake-oil theories, the 
effect has been harmful," says Zeskind. " The 
LaRouche group "has also been very disruptive in 
the Black community where they exploit legitimate 
issues such as drug pushing and widespread 
unemployment. Those of us who have to deal with 
the victims of the LaRouche philosophy don't find 
it very humorous at all," says Zeskind.

   Prexy Nesbitt, a consultant to the American 
Committee on Africa who has led campaigns calling 
for divestment in South Africa, agrees the 
LaRouche organization should be taken more 
seriously. "His people have deliberately made 
themselves an obstacle to our organizing and 
disrupted our activities," says Nesbitt. "The 
LaRouche people spied on anti-apartheid activists 
and South African exiles in Europe and then 
provided information to the South African 
government," charges Nesbitt. "This is a very 
dangerous and potentially deadly game," he says. 
"Critics of the South African Government have 
disappeared or been killed, their offices have 
been blown up," charges Nesbitt.

   In 1981 the respected British magazine  ran an article titled "American Fanatis 
put Scientists' Lives at Risk." According to the article, 
had circulated a report naming a number of 
scientists working in the Middle East as being 
involved in an insurgent conspiracy against 
established governments. "In certain Middle East 
countries with hypersensitive governments," 
warned the magazine, "these allegations, however 
indirect, can easily lead to arrests, prison 
sentences and even executions."

   Many conservative and New Right groups have 
also taken stands against LaRouche's brand of 
bigotry and opportunism. One staffer at the 
Heritage Foundation, a New Right think-tank based 
in Washington, D.C., called LaRouche an 
"intellectual Nazi" and a Heritage Foundation 
report warned of LaRouche's danger to national 
security as a reckless purveyor of 
private intelligence.

   New Right military specialist, retired General 
Daniel O. Graham, says LaRouche followers have 
significantly hampered his work. Graham, Director 
of Project High Frontier which supports and 
helped develop President Reagan's Strategic 
Defense Initiative plan for anti-missile defense, 
says the LaRouche groups have "caused a lot of 
problems by adopting our issue in an effort to 
sieze credit for the idea." "They also mounted a 
furious attack on me personally," says Graham. 
"Even today I get mail asking if I'm in league 
with LaRouche," he adds wearily.

   "LaRouche does not just represent some nut to 
simply backhand away. . .he's very clever, you 
have to go to great lengths to get around those 
people." He adds: "Look, these people are purely 
interested in power. LaRouche doesn't care about 
these issues one bit, it's just a way to raise 
money and consolidate his political base."

   Jonathan Levine, the Chicago-based Midwest 
Regional Director of the American Jewish 
Committee (AJC) agrees that opportunism and 
exploitation of issues is a key factor with the 
LaRouche ideology. "Extremists have traditionally 
tried to piggyback on substantive issues to gain 
legitimacy for themselves. Never mind that the 
way the LaRouche candidates frame issues does not 
warrant serious discussion in a political 
campaign, but LaRouche may appeal to frustrated, 
apathetic voters nevertheless."

   Bruce B. Decker, a lifelong Republican who has 
served on the staff of President Gerald Ford 
and on an AIDS advisory panel appointed by California 
Governor George Deukmejian, thinks the response to 
LaRouche's bigoted theories should cut across traditional 
party politics and electoral constituencies. He 
lists the forces who joined the California `Stop 
LaRouche' coalition which beat back the 
LaRouche-sponsored Proposition 64, widely 
percieved as a homophobic and anti-civil 
liberties response to the AIDS crisis:"We united 
Republicans and Democrats, progressives and 
conservatives, religious leaders representing 
Protestants, Catholics, Jews and other beliefs, 
ethnic groups including Blacks, Latinos and 
Asians, professionals associations and labor 
unions. Isn't that a lesson we've learned from 
history? That we all have an obligation to stand 
up together and forcefully oppose the 
victimization and scapegoating spread by these 
types of demogogues?"

   After the Illinois primary Senator Daniel 
Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) blasted his own party for 
pursuing a policy of ignoring the "infiltration 
by the neo-Nazi elements of Lyndon H. LaRouche," 
and worried that too often, especially in the 
media, "the LaRouchites" are "dismissed as kooks."

   "In an age of ideology, in an age of 
totalitarianism, it will not suffice for a 
political party to be indifferent to and ignorant 
about such a movement," said Moynihan. 
Ironically, when the  
covered Moynihan's speech, they essentially 
censored him by repeatedly substituting the 
softer term "fascist" wherever Moynihan 
had said "nazi."

   Edward Kayatt, publisher of  a 
weekly community newspaper on New York City's 
upper East Side, is angered by that type of 
self-censorship and by the cowardice of most 
mainstream media on this point.

   Kayatt has published dozens of articles on 
LaRouche, describing him as a neo-Fascist, 
neo-Nazi, anti-Semite and racist, including a 
lengthy series by Dennis King. Following the 
Illinois primary victory, Kayatt penned an 
editorial which blasted his colleagues in the 
press for covering up LaRouche's political ideology.

   Kayatt noted that "newspapers are of course 
afraid of libel suits (even though the New York 
State Supreme Court has ruled it is `fair 
comment'to call LaRouche an anti-Semite). But how 
can the media justify censorship of a U.S. 
Senator who is sounding the alarm against 
neo-Nazism? The beast must be named, but within 
the media world only NBC-TV has shown the courage 
to do so."

   Both Kayatt and Chicago journalist Michael 
Miner lay some blame for the Illinois LaRouche 
victory at the feet of those media which chose 
not to publicize the LaRouchies. Kayatt and Miner 
note LaRouche's use of litigation to silence 
critics. Miner wonders if some of the the 
"media's disdain [for LaRouche] was not partly a 
reluctance to borrow trouble." Kayatt agrees. "In 
the late 1920s, when Adolf Hitler began his march 
to power, one of the tactics was to entangle all 
his opponents in libel suits," wrote Kayatt.

   It is admittedly hard to cover LaRouche, 
especially since the media in this country tend 
to ignore historical connections and are 
reluctant to analyze ideological positions or 
treat a fringe political group seriously. 
Political coverage in the U.S. is frequently 
based on personalities and style rather than 
political content. Furthermore, when LaRouche is 
challenged by a reporter, he simply denies 
everything, or says it was taken out of context, 
and then claims his enemies are plotting against 
him--it is difficult for a mainstream reporter to 
report what LaRouche really says without 
appearing biased and vindictive or making 
LaRouche sound totally crazy.

   But Kayatt isn't satisfied with excuses. He 
reflects the sentiment of many who are concerned 
about media coverage of LaRouche when he says, 
"LaRouche will not march to power in America, but 
he can have a serious destabilizing effect on our 
institutions and can create a beachhead for 
organized anti-Semitism. To drive him back into 
political isolation, America's publishers and 
editors must show some of their traditional 
courage and backbone."

   LaRouche's legal troubles haven't stopped his 
followers. They actively organized for the New 
Hampshire Presidential primary, and purchased 
several half-hour time slots on network 
television for campaign programming. For the most 
part, LaRouche fundraisers continue to use the 
same boiler-room phone-bank techniques they have 
used for years. Following the criminal 
indictments, LaRouche loyalists called people 
from whom they had previously secured loans and 
told them to blame the government for 
non-repayment of the original. They then asked 
for donations to fight the ongoing legal battles 
which they claim are part of a plot to 
destroy LaRouche.

   The criminal indictments have slowed down 
LaRouche organizing and fundraising campaigns, 
but they have by no means solved the problem. 
No matter what the outcome in the legal 
arena, LaRouche and his followers can 
still do a lot of damage by further spreading 
prejudiced views. Russ Bellant sums it up when he 
says LaRouche is "just a symbol of a larger 
problem of authoritarianism which can be very 
appealing in times of crisis. The LaRouche 
phenomenon indicates that we need to educate 
Americans about the theories and 
tactics of demagogues."

   If we intend to defend democracy we had best 
learn to recognize its enemies, and not be afraid 
to stand up and call them by name.

- - - - -

 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. 

 Jean V. Hardisty, Ph.D., Director
 Chip Berlet, Analyst
 Margaret Quigley, Archivist
Suite 205
678 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 661-9313


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