Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr., has had a long as well as controversial career on the fringes of U.S. politics—running several times for president inwards the 1970s, 1980s, as well as 1990s—and equally the founder as well as leader of a cultlike political organisation that subscribes to a host of conspiracy theories that defy categorization equally left or correct wing.
Born inwards New Hampshire to French Canadian immigrant parents inwards 1922, LaRouche was raised equally a Quaker, the liberal organized religious belief to which both his woman parent (a sometime evangelical Protestant) as well as his begetter (born a Roman Catholic) had converted.
LaRouche’s begetter never got along with the pacifist Quakers as well as had a falling out with the church’s political wing—the American Friends Service Committee—over only about embezzled funds. Both the father’s combativeness as well as his alleged fiscal misdeeds would hold upwards repeated inwards the son’s afterward political career.
While LaRouche the younger attended, but did non graduate from, Northeastern University, he was largely an autodidact, delving deeply into the works of the groovy philosophers. He was, he afterward claimed, especially taken with the moral reasoning of Immanuel Kant.
True to his Quaker roots, LaRouche was assigned to a Civilian Public Service campsite for conscientious objectors during World War II. Following the conflict, he drifted toward the Trotskyist left, joining the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) inwards 1948.
While a dedicated organizer for the political party for to a greater extent than than xv years, LaRouche eventually had a falling-out with his swain Trotskyists inwards 1966, going on to organize a chapter of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP), a Maoist-leaning group.
The PLP chapter, which included many sometime members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a radical, anti–Vietnam War movement, became involved inwards the radical takeover of Columbia University inwards 1968. In the wake of the sit-in, LaRouche organized the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC), ostensibly to utilization a political alliance betwixt educatee activists as well as task organizers, out of the collapsing SDS.
During the early on 1970s, LaRouche as well as the NCLC fought bitter sectarian fights with the SWP as well as the Communist Party of the U.S.A. (CPUSA) that occasionally became violent. The destination was command of the far left motility inwards New York and, inwards this struggle, LaRouche began to educate the ii tactics that would score his futurity political career. The outset was smear tactics, the careful planting of outlandish rumors as well as stories virtually political enemies.
LaRouche would afterward become on to assault the personal reputations of widely disparate populace figures from sometime secretarial assistant of nation Henry Kissinger to liberal Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner. The 2nd was hear control. Beginning inwards 1973, LaRouche established mandatory “ego-stripping” sessions for all NCLC chapters, where psychological humiliation was employed to bind members to the organization.
Along with the psychological manipulation came indoctrination inwards the LaRouche worldview, which combined diverse conspiracy theories with a cult-like belief inwards the leadership as well as genius of LaRouche himself. LaRouche’s conspiracy theory was global inwards scope. In it, humanity was essentially divided into 3 camps: the “oligarchs,” the “sub-humans,” as well as the “humanists.”
The oligarchs were those who secretly manipulated basis events; the sub-humans were the vast bulk of humanity who had no thought what was going on; as well as the humanists—the followers of LaRouche—were those nobly fighting to disclose the oligarchs.
As LaRouche drifted from left to correct as well as dorsum again, the composition of the oligarchs was broad ranging as well as included, alongside other institutions, the United Nations, the National Council of Churches, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, as well as the British majestic family, the latter largely responsible, argued LaRouche, for the basis drug trade.
In addition, LaRouche pointed an accusing finger at to a greater extent than traditional targets of U.S. conspiratorial thinking— the Trilateralists, the Federal Reserve Board, as well as the Zionist movement. If the objects of LaRouche’s conspiratorial thinking ranged widely, their aim was simple: genocide.
As LaRouche had it, the aim of the oligarchs is to cut basis population to nether 1 billion then they tin ship away thereby to a greater extent than easily proceed their domain over the planet. Even equally LaRouche was formulating his conspiratorial worldview, his organization—the NCLC had spun off the U.S. Labor Party (USLP) inwards 1971—was delving into electoral politics.
In 1976, its peak year, the USLP ran 140 candidates inwards 21 states—including LaRouche for president—but solely received a paltry 154,000 votes. Disbanding the political party inwards 1978, LaRouche as well as his followers—now numbering several hundred—began conducting a “stealth” get within the Democratic Party.
In 1986, LaRouche followers took the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor as well as secretarial assistant of nation inwards Illinois. Denounced yesteryear the caput of their ticket—Democratic gubernatorial candidate Adlai Stevenson III—both candidates lost, however.
The large sums of coin LaRouche spent on politicking—including expensive nationally run commercials for his presidential candidacies inwards the 1980s—came from several sources. One was intelligence gathering. LaRouche’s publication, Executive Intelligence Review, with its mix of officially leaked tidings as well as insider scuttlebutt, was widely subscribed to inwards Reagan-era Washington.
H5N1 2nd source of coin came from LaRouche’s followers themselves. As with many, to a greater extent than religiously oriented cults, LaRouche acolytes—many of whom were college graduates as well as immature professionals—were required to attain their worldly assets as well as alive lives of penury for the skillful of the organization.
Last, the LaRouche organisation operated a right-wing boiler room fund-raising performance that would frequently play on the fears of elderly Americans who were told that solely LaRouche as well as his organisation stood betwixt the the States as well as a triumphant oligarchy.
It was this concluding tactic that ultimately brought virtually the downfall of LaRouche as well as his organization. In social club to back upwards their leader’s political career as well as increasingly lavish lifestyle, operatives began to engage inwards credit carte du jour fraud, running upwards huge bills on the cards of elderly citizens who had donated money.
In 1986, federal agents raided LaRouche’s estate as well as headquarters inwards Virginia. Despite beingness on trial for postal service fraud as well as other crimes inwards 1988, LaRouche also managed to run for president in 1 trial again, equally he would utilization from prison theater inwards 1992.
Ailing, LaRouche was released from the Federal Medical Center inwards 1993. While his organization remains a shadow of its sometime self, LaRouche has continued his political career, running for the presidency inwards 1996 as well as 2000.