What's the deal with LaRouche?

“Oh my God, Lyndon LaRouche was right!”
-Homer Simpson, upon seeing Clinton and Dole naked in tubes inside a flying saucer, '96 Treehouse of Horror

I’ve encountered people handing out his pamphlets at my college and occasionally in other places. Out of sheer curiosity, I read through several of them. I didn’t entirely understand what exactly he wanted to accomplish (other than centralizing a lot of power.)

I decided to look up some of his essays on his website to clear things up. Big mistake. I read through several pages. Other than some unflattering remarks about some MIT professors, the stuff made no sense.

What’s the deal with him? What does he want to achieve?

Nomination by the Democratic Party as their Presidential candidate.

In the 80s he wanted to put people with AIDS in camps. Once, I was walking into a DMV in Virginia wearing a Billie Idol concert shirt (it was the 80s, what can I say) and this Larouche supporter was trying to get me to sign a petition. I remember he was telling me that mosquitos can carry HIV and I said that that wasn’t true to which he responded: “Billie Idol isn’t going to cure AIDS, sir!”

If only we knew that then.

Madmonk, There’s still hope. Why do you think you haven’t seen much of Billy in a while?

Seriously, though. You don’t even have to get to the actual content of LaRouche’s beliefs to be turned off, just meeting the average LaRouche booster will do it. I swear, the man could have an actual, workable plan to teach the poor to shit gold in three easy steps, and I still wouldn’t be paying attention. Instead, I would be (silently) asking, ‘Now, did you forget to brush your teeth before or after you forgot to zip your pants?’

Or is that just the South Dakota LaRoucians?

No, it’s pretty much all of them . . . remember those guys who used to hang out in airports handing out leaflets promoting nuclear power? They seem to have a totally religious faith in the power of technology to solve all our problems.

I first became aware of the LaRouchies in the early '80s when I was an undergrad at Georgetown University and found some of their pamphlets lying around. They were calling for a space-based missile-defense system (a couple of years before Reagan announced his SDI plan). But what struck me was the rhetoric about the abominable evil of Aristotle, Khomeini and Kissinger as against the goodness and wisdom of Plato, Beethoven and LaRouche.

LL started as a leftist radical in the '60s (he published at least one book under the pen-name “Lyn Marcus,” from Lenin and Marx). In the early '70s he founded something called the U.S. Labor Party (now defunct). But somehow, his world-view suffered a sea-change into something rich and strange. He developed a Manichean, good-vs.-evil theory of history.

On the good side: Plato, Hamilton, urbanism, industrialism, technology, “humanists,” “golden souls,” Schiller, Beethoven.

On the evil side: Aristotle, Jefferson, aristocracy, agrarianism, Bertrand Russell and other “British philosophers,” the British royal family (which runs the drug trade), that “British-backed Austrian hippie” Adolf Hitler, that “pot-puffing fop” William Buckley, Henry Kissinger, Israel.

Some critics assert that when LaRouche says “British” he really means “Jewish”. See Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism by Dennis King (Bantam Dell, 1989).

But what has always perplexed me about the LaRouche movement is that it is a movement – not just one crank turning out incomprehensible books, but a dedicated cult of followers, with what appear to be some very well-financed publications. I’ve always wondered where they get their money.

You might want to check out some of LL’s websites:

The Executive Intelligence Review: http://www.larouchepub.com/

His think-tank, the Schiller Institute: http://www.schillerinstitute.com/

And his LaRouche in 2004 campaign website: http://larouchein2004.net/

From his April 2004 speech, “The LaRouche Doctrine” (http://larouchein2004.net/pages/speeches/2004/040430webcasttr.htm):

To some of us, this stuff is like porn! Can’t get enough! Hoo-boy fun! :stuck_out_tongue:

What Brain Glutton said.

Around 1985. I was making a road trip with a couple of college buddies & for entertainment, we were reading a LaRouche book out loud. The driver was a serious music student & I was reading a passage on LaRouche’s theory of music & harmony & its application to rational/irrational thought & political order/disorder. Within one sentence, LaRouche who has been making a sensible A->B->C argument suddenly leaps with no coprehensible reason to Q. We dissected that
sentence for about 15 minutes until we decided that no sense could be made of it.

I’ve been in Australia for about two months now and I’ve seen several ads for the Citizens Electoral Council - apparently some sort of LaRouche-inspired (backed?) organization. I’m dozing in front of the television and my little ears perked right up when I heard “LaRouche”. I’ve always heard what a lunatic he was and couldn’t believe he’d spread all the way over here.
This organization has someone running in a local election - she actually sounds pretty normal in the ad.
Here’s their website:
Citizens Electoral Council

Click on “Children of Satan III” and read about “Beast-Man Cheney”! Loads of fun!

LLaR has been politically active for a very long time, he started as a Communist (I think) and moved to the Center and now (arguably) quite to the Right. He has tried to control political groups, breaking off from mainstream groups and establishing his own.

He is now denounce as a ‘Bonapartist’ which is a most amusing word. All in all it means he does not have any political doctrine save his own political leadership. That is to say it is a Cult of Personality.

In any case, he keeps going like the Energizer Bunny. He is not harmless, having been convicted of credit card fraud. (I saw his speech where he said he suspected he was going to be killed ‘in The Joint.’)

For more on this guy, check out the Wikipedia at: Here

He’s basically L. Ron Hubbard, but without the writing ability or business savvy.

Always treated him as something that I had stepped in. However, when I was acting as caretaker for a couple of aged relatives, I noticed that in their retirement community he had propaganda everywhere. Lying on coffee tables in common areas, tucked into the volumes in the bookshelves and once as a presentation in the men’s room.

So, does he have some sort of inside track to retirement homes? Or is it more likely that there was a nutbag resident? I don’t think that the facility itself was owned by LaRoucheites, but I suppose it’s possible.

I think of him as a grammatically correct and incredibly long winded version of Timecube Guy.

It’s so funny to see this thread, because I was about to start a similar one earlier this week. There were a couple of LaRouche supporters with a table set up in the train station during my afternoon commute. A guy tried to hand me Children of Satan III while mumbling something about “our stupid government”. At first I walked right by him, but then I thought back to my first encounter with a LaRouche Supporter about 12 years ago…

They had a table set up outside the Student Center. The name “LaRouche” was a punchline to me, having only heard of him as “The guy who thinks the Queen of England is a dope dealer”. I asked the one of the folks what their candidate was all about.

“We want to create a Renaissance in Human Learning,” he replied.

“Okay,” I said. “What does that mean?”

“It means exactly what it says. We want to create a Renaissance in Human Learning.”

“But, in practical terms, what does it mean? What are your goals? What is your candidate’s platform?”

“We want to create a Renaissance in Human Learning!” he replied again, punctuating every word, as if he was talking to a stubborn child. “For example, did you know that there are words to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy? You pay a lot of money to go to school here, expecting them to give you an education, and they don’t even teach you the words to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy! Just like the only economic theory they teach here is Adam Smith! Most college students have never even heard of…” and he spouted off the names of two or three people I’d never heard of.

I turned to the other tabler and said “What about you? Do you want to create a Renaissance in Human Learning too?” He started to mumble something, as Tabler #1 started singing, in German, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, his wide open arms gesturing for me to join him in song, when we had already established that I don’t know the words.

I eventually gave up, but he did send me away with a copy of their paper The New Federalist, from which I later read an article entitled “Why are the British Killing American Presidents?” which attempted to implicate the British Crown in the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy. “Boy,” I thought, “This guy really hates the British!”

I related the story of my encounter to my roommate, who happened to be en entirely different kind of political radical, and he told me about something called Operation Mop-Up, wherein some of LaRouche’s supporters were involved in violent activities during the early seventies. Punchline or not, I was starting to get the impression that the guy was not completely harmless.

So, flash forward to the train station the other day. I thought I’d be missing an opportunity to enjoy the rich tapestry of craziness if I didn’t try to talk to this guy. So I went back and took a copy of Children of Satan III, and for probably the last time, asked a LaRouche supporter what their movement was all about.

He said something about how “young men used to work on cars, just for fun!” He showed me a picture of some children who had built steam engine, standing next to the steam engine they had built. I suppose Lyndon LaRouche inspired the children to build a steam engine or something. Then he said a lot of things I don’t remember, because they were too disconnected from my reality to register as anything other than background noise. And then, out of nowhere, he pointed to the donation can and said “Any contribution you could make, it would really help.” I said I had to catch my train, but told him to have a good evening.

Imagine, I had a two-minute conversation with this guy, giving him every opportunity to say something substantive about the goals of his movement, the platform of his candidate… anything that wasn’t complete nonsense. He couldn’t do it, and he still asked for a donation! A donation to what? What kind of a person could this guy inspire a donation out of? "I don’t know what he’s talking about, but it’s so crazy… It just might work!!! <plink>"

And CoS III? It’s cryptic, dense, and, as I said before, incredibly long winded. It’s hard to read and understand something when your brain instinctively recognizes it as a waste of time and filters it out as noise, but I managed to plow through a few pages on the way home on the train. Basically, secret societies who have run the world for hundreds of years are all out to get him for exposing the elaborate web of alliances which allows them to dominate the world. Who would have thought it?


No business savvy? I’ve always wondered about that. The LaRouchies have in the past published a very slick-looking publication, Executive Intelligence Review (don’t know whether it’s still coming out in print format). I’ve always wondered: Where are they getting their money?

Regarding the Time Cube thing: words fail me; maniacal laughter does not. Only a Vonnegut character could be that deranged.

Does anyone remember back in the 80s when the LaRouchies took advantage of a listless Illinois Democratic primary to actually get a couple of their candidates nominated? (I think they were for Lt. Governor and Sec. of State or something like that.) This forced the “official” Democratic party to campaign on a platform of “For God’s sake, please vote Republican!”

I remember when I first heard of LaRouche: while I was going to school someone gave me a paper by/about him, telling me I’d be interested because I was so “political”. It said something about Bush and Thatcher being slave traders, and was massively incoherent; but what I remember most was that it gave LaRouche’s residence as “Southeastern Rochester, Minnesota”.

“Whoa,” says I, “why haven’t I heard of this guy, seeing as how I’ve lived most of my life in 'southeastern Rochester, Minnesota?” So I call my mother, who tells me that he’s in the minimum security prison, not loose in the world.

Not any more . . . according to the Wikipedia link above, he was released in 1993.

Guys like this do, at least, provide a public service in making politics a bit more entertaining, which adds a bit to public level of interest in it, which is indispensable for a healthy democracy, don’t you think? :smiley:

I first encountered Lovable Lyndon in the early 80s (possibly '84? being an election year), when he gathered up all his funds and bought a 30-min infomercial, that I stumbled on by accident. And what an absolutely slack-jawed wondrously loony experience it was…all I recall now were his casual references to the Queen’s involvement in the drug trade, repeated uses of the phrase “agent of influence” (possibly in reference to Henry Kissinger), and something about digging a canal through Africa.

Regarding the question of where they get their money – here’s what the Wikipedia has to say (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larouche):


This is also interesting:

double- :eek:

Paul in Saudi- I don’t know when LaRouche was ever in the Center except for a few seconds in leaping from Extreme Left (he was an avowed Trotskyite) to Extreme Right (tho at early as 1978 the John Birch Society was warning its members not to be taken in by him).

My favorite 30 min infomercial was in the late 80s which focused on how US foreign policy was pursuing a course set by the “racist Satanic degenerate” Klan-founder & Scottish-Rite-Masonic guru Albert Pike. It was glorious!