14. WHO IS LYNDON LaROUCHE AND WHY SHOULD WE KNOW
Lyndon LaRouche is a former U.S. presidential candidate. He now reportedly
runs a multi-million dollar fundraising scheme built around a political
intelligence operation with ties to a motley assortment of ultra-right,
anti-Jewish, single-issue groups and individuals. These range from U.S.
intelligence agents to the Liberty Lobby to the Teamsters Union to organized
crime and even to the Reagan administration.
LaRouche ran for president twice, in 1976 and 1980, on platforms that
called for immediate construction of 120 nuclear power plants, blamed
the B'Nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League for funding the Nazis, and called
publicly for an "American Whig" coalition of business and
labor to turn the country around while secretly seeking a military solution
to the nation's problems.
In early 1982, Mother Jones published an expose of how LaRouche's political
party, the U.S. Labor Party, gained a foothold in the labor movement.
It introduced the story as follows "This is the story of how a
bizarre cult called the U.S. Labor Party penetrated the largest labor
union in the U.S. to indoctrinate members in the party's brand of right-wing
politics. Through its success with the Teamsters, it has gained a frightening
foothold in the labor movement."
Through the American Labor Beacon, a widely circulated glossy magazine,
LaRouche associates try to effectively propagandize not only union leadership
but rank-and-file workers as well. The Beacon once warned its readers
about Mother Jones, The Village Voice, and mass media on the whole.
Today LaRouche's organizational membership lists a cadre of several
hundred hard-core activists, plus one to three thousand supporters who
participate in rallies, seminars, and other programs. Altogether the
network reportedly produces annual revenues variously estimated to range
from $3 million to $15 million.
One of the most respected labor writers in the country, A. H. Raskin,
now retired from The New York Times, says he considers it historically
unprecedented for a group of such certifiable extremists to make headway
inside the labor movement.
Even those well acquainted with the organization are not fully certain
as to LaRouche's motivation. What does appear certain, however, is that
the organization is real, that it is able to mount successful propaganda
campaigns, and that it able to infiltrate legitimate U.S. groups.
Mother Jones, January 1982, "Teamster Madness" by Douglas
Foster; "The LaRouche Cult: Tales from the Fringe" by Joel
Bellman and Chip Berlet, 1982, based on an award-winning radio documentary
produced by Bellman for KBIG-FM, Los Angeles.