Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Infiltrating a secretive Lyndon LaRouche compound, UCLA student journalist Garin Hovannisian gets a frightening lesson in idolatry and indoctrination.
While heading to class along UCLA’s main pedestrian thoroughfare, a daytime hangout for young prophets and propagandists among others, I run into an old friend for the first time in two years. Back in high school, C.J. was a real character—a no-nonsense, call-it-like-it-is skeptic, jokester and poet. I soon learn that he’s been recruited by the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM). After attending a weekend retreat at what he refers to as a “cadre school,” C.J. promptly dropped out of college, deserting family, friends, personality and every vestige of his past. Now living in a commune, he’s a full-fledged LYM member.
Born in 1922, the enigmatic Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche Jr. is a perennial Presidential candidate, prolific author and founder of several political organizations. Critics counter that he’s a trumpeter of outlandish theories, an extremist, a cult leader, a homophobe and an anti-Semite, but with 22 cadre schools in the U.S., LaRouche’s army is growing, his doctrine gaining more clout.
Since 1999 LYM has offered college dropouts a regimen of pseudo-intellectualized socialism, absolutist musical theory, post-calculus mathematics and a view of history as an ongoing clash between the forces of good and evil. LaRouche’s current whereabouts are unknown, but he communicates to his followers via messengers and Internet broadcasts.
So what turns an outgoing guy like C.J. into a politicized pamphleteer and peddler?
Spiritual enlightenment? Is my old pal playing a sinister joke on me?
In search of answers, I sign up for my first meeting. To my horror, I find myself in a secretive group of young revolutionaries seeking college-educated recruits for brainwashing.
LYM’s Southern California headquarters is a decrepit two-story structure in Eagle Rock, a short hop from downtown Los Angeles. C.J., who is waiting for me at the back door, escorts me inside. LaRouche propaganda is everywhere, even in the kitchen and bathroom. The largest area is set aside for volunteers who work the phone lines, talking it up with potential recruits.
In the library I find texts by Plato, Kepler, Gauss, Leibniz and Schiller, but Aristotle is banned. Sir Isaac Newton? According to LYM leaders, he’s a fraud and plagiarist. Only “pro-mankind” intellectuals are permitted. Charter member Cody Jones explains to me that science, economics, politics, culture and music are all measurable by a “mankind yardstick.” Pro-mankind: LaRouche, Plato and Bach. Anti-mankind: Aristotle and Rachmaninoff.
Later, everyone is summoned to the conference room, where an ensemble performs Bach chorales. Phil Rubenstein—a balding, spectacled fellow in his 50s—takes the stage for “the weekly update.” Rubenstein, who claims to be a minister, fires off a homily on the “major political force in the U.S.—the LaRouche Youth Movement!” This becomes a routine reassurance, I soon learn.
There are conspiracy theories (“The economist George Schultz is behind it all!”) and hush-hush secrets (“Tuesday, Lyn [LaRouche] had a private, off-the-record meeting with 12 development sector embassies”). Rubenstein’s camaraderie with the younger members gives him easy access to their malleable minds.
Once the official program concludes at 8 p.m., I stick around to mingle, hoping for casual conversation. My efforts prove futile. LYM followers never watch movies, don’t listen to music (other than the prescribed dose of classical), don’t tell jokes and don’t have hobbies.
Individual egos have been replaced by a collective identity. Every pursuit, aspiration, passion, emotion and thought revolves around “Lyn,” as members reverently call LaRouche—“the founder…the genius among geniuses…the leading prophetic figure of modern history.”
Dreadfully tired, I cannot survive any more of this. I say goodbye to C.J., gather my bags and leave LYM’s little empire.
/UCLA senior Garin Hovannisian, 20, is editor of The Bruin Standard, a campus alternative newspaper. The Los Angeles native is also a freelance writer and blues addict and can be contacted at ghovannisian@BruinStandard.com.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
In Spite of LaRouche and Because of Him, I Will Remember John Morris
I received some distressing news last week. It's taken me a while to process it because it's brought back memories of experiences that I stopped thinking about quite some time ago. I debated, for a while, whether I should write anything about it, and if so, whether I should do it publicly. And then, if I did it publicly, I wondered whether it would be a good idea to do it under my name or anonymously. My thoughts have led to this conclusion: The Internet can be a valuable resource for others. I hope that what I have to share can be of some value to someone else.
I've mentioned in the past that I had some involvement with Lyndon LaRouche and his international political organization. That's really a polite way to refer to a man who leads a powerful and destructive cult which operates internationally and has a strong presence here in the United States, particularly on college campuses. From 2000 to 2001, I worked for him on the streets, on college campuses, at post offices and county buildings, in airports, in front of libraries and supermarkets, at busy intersections and on freeway off-ramps, raising money and spreading the word: "The world was headed for certain doom and LaRouche is the only force in the universe who can stop it. Now buy a subscription to our newspaper." I worked 16-hour days and lived on about $30-$40 a week. Sometimes $50 if I was lucky. If this sounds bad, know that I got off easy. I recruited people into this group myself, and many of these folks are still in lockstep behind LaRouche. They were young people just like me: disillusioned, intelligent and creative, just looking for answers and an alternative to the mainstream path which seemed empty and unfulfilling. Worse off than these people, however, are the ones who have spent most of their lives there, people who joined when they were younger than I am now, and are older than my parents are today. I won't name any names. I am not looking to make enemies, or cause any strife.
I am not writing this so that I can talk about LaRouche. There have been plenty of people available to do that over the years, and there will continue to be. The person I really want to speak up about is John Morris, who was one of LaRouche's faithful organizers. LaRouche is alive and well, still preaching his twisted gospel and abusing his membership more than enough to keep them in line and maintain a healthy flow of cash. But John Morris is dead. This is the news I received the other day that has left me so upset on many levels. He died one a night last June at about 10:30pm, along with Gary Genazzio, an organizer I did not know. They were on a highway between Chicago and Detroit. Their car had run out of gas, and they pulled over to the side of the road, apparently to try to refill the tank. A passing dump truck hit them and killed them both.
Maintaining friendships was not easy. The work was often too all-consuming to make room for strong personal friendships. In fact, allegiances to anything other than LaRouche and the rest of the group were strongly discouraged. I remember a couple of months after I joined full-time, I had a conversation about my best friend with one of the local leaders of the organization.
"What do you call him a 'best friend?'" he asked. "What does that even mean?"
"Well, we go back. We've known each other a long time. He understands me probably better than anyone"
"Does he understand what you are doing here? Does he understand LaRouche?"
"A bit," I said. "I'm still working on him." (Indeed, at that time, I was 'working' on all of my friends, many of whom had long stopped speaking to me by the time I finally left LaRouche behind.)
"Well. You do that. But if you can't get anywhere, you have to remember that there are more important things. You can't let him hold you back. You're going to have to leave him behind."
You can't take them with you. That was the message that I got from all sides. My friends. My family. I remember one night I invited my father to an evening briefing, hoping he would see something good in it that I hadn't been able to explain to him in private. Instead, my father was full of objections to the rhetoric, and left that night feeling angry and uncomfortable. A leader (or National Coordinator, as they are called) pulled me aside and asked that I never have him come by again.
The work was difficult. Raising money is exhausting work, but doing it for the long hours that I did is grueling. I rarely got more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night. Even more exhausting than this is living with the memory of some of the things I did: Manipulating people into giving up money they clearly wanted to hold on to, "educating" others that anyone who supports Israel is a "Nazi," that jazz music is pure evil, and the entire environmental movement is a fraud were, in retrospect, some of the less humiliating aspects of the work. The most upsetting would probably be the giving up of the self. I willfully and gleefully gave myself up to be scrubbed of personality, taste and ambition, instead seeing myself as a conduit to funnel followers and money towards a man that I'd been convinced was something of a savior. Indeed, the most devoted followers of LaRouche place him on a pedestal somewhere close to God himself. And that fact that LaRouche frequently stated in no uncertain terms that human society (and, indeed, the known universe) could not exist without him indicated that he felt the same way himself.
John Morris wasn't the only LaRouche member to die recently. Jeremiah Duggan is the most well-known example. The story of his death, which has still never been fully understood or explained, was carried on all the major news outlets when it happened. He was a young Jewish man from London, a little bit older than I was when I was in the organization. He had gone to Wiesbaden, Germany to attend a LaRouche conference in March, 2003, much as I had done less than two years earlier. He then attended a "cadre school" at a youth hostel there in town. It may very well have been the same hostel I stayed at when I'd been there. Then he died. He had been alarmed by the things being taught by LaRouche followers at the conference and the cadre school and had become afraid. No one knows for sure what happened, but he had been running along the side of a highway. There's debate over how he died, but the official ruling from German police was that he'd been hit by traffic. They ruled it a suicide, but there are many lingering questions.
Ken Kronberg died in 2007. He had been a tireless worker for LaRouche for 35 years, and ran the publishing outfit responsible for printing many of LaRouche's publications. The company was experiencing incredible financial shortfalls, and it looked like Kronberg was going to end up bearing much of the burden. On a day when LaRouche suggested that the baby boomers in the organization "commit suicide," Ken Kronberg quietly threw himself off of a highway overpass.
I never got a chance to meet Jeremiah, and I knew of Kronberg only by name, but I did know John Morris.
I don't know what he and Gary were driving such a long distance at that hour for. I don't know whether they were coming from a long deployment (standing at a small table selling subscriptions and literature, collecting names and phone numbers to call later), or driving back from an event. But I do know why they ran out of gas. They ran out because there wasn't enough in the tank, and there wasn't enough in the tank because there was never much gas in the tanks of LaRouche cars when I was in the group, when the stuff was well under $2 a gallon. I can only imagine that the problem was only more pronounced last summer when gas was $4 a gallon in many parts of the country. Gas tanks were never filled because cash from deployments was a precious commodity. It was always better to bring cash back to the office than spend it all to fill up a tank. Usually, there was only enough gas in our cars to last a day. At the end of a long day of selling literature on the streets, we'd put a few gallons in, at most. Enough for tomorrow.
The cars were never in very good condition. Though these cars were used every day for driving over long distances (sometimes for 50 miles or more each way) they were rarely maintained. I remember a car or two in Los Angeles that didn't even have a working gas gauge. We always had a can of gas in the trunk of the car. If the driver of the car ran out of gas, he'd have to pull over and re-fill out of the can. I've heard that it was a common problem elsewhere in the country as well. Given that John and Gary were trying to refill their tank on the side of a highway, I think there's they may have had a car in this condition.
The LaRouche organization makes millions of dollars every year.
John had been moved to the mid-west a few years ago, but he was in Los Angeles before that. That was where I met him. Once I joined the group full time, I moved into an apartment with another organizer, paid for by the organization. John shared a place with another organizer only a few blocks away from mine. Working the kind of hours we did (16 hours a day, five or six days a week) made it hard to forge friendships. What interactions I did have with my colleagues were generally centered around the activities of the group. Indeed, focusing on anything other than LaRouche was discouraged and avoided. When I spent time with John, it was often easy to forget that I had changed my entire lifestyle, altered my entire way of being (at the expense of friends, family and personal tastes) for a cause dominated by one single personality.
It's not an easy schedule to adjust to. The atmosphere in a high-pressure, money-driven cult is one of constant demand. If you aren't focused on raising money, or otherwise furthering the cause, then you are being reprimanded for not doing so more effectively. (These reprimands continue even when you are working hard and doing the very best you can). I remember one night in particular not long after I had joined the group full-time. I went over to John's house for dinner on a Sunday night, our one day off. Upon arrival, I suspected that like everyone else in the group, John would want to spend our free time talking about LaRouche, or Friedrich Schiller, or "psycho-sexual impotence" (a blanket term for whatever was keeping us from raising more money), or how we could work towards meeting our quotas every day. Instead, John wanted to talk about beer. He took me upstairs and into his bedroom where, in his closet, he had jugs of beer fermenting. He then explained the practice of home-brewing. I was just 18 years old, and had never considered that a man could make his own beer. That night, over a simple dinner of salad and pasta dish with chicken and pesto, we enjoyed the finest beer I had ever had up to that point. A few years later, it was John I was thinking of when I decided to start brewing my own beer at my house in Humboldt County.
John expanded my ideas about food as well as drink. We both shared a love of Mexican food, and a particular appreciation for the La Estrella taco stands in the Los Angeles area. One evening, I was on my way out to grab a couple of tacos (a huge luxury) before spending the night fund-raising. "Get me a tongue taco, will you?" he said. I laughed, thinking he was joking. I'd been eating taco truck fare for years, but had never considered sampling the less common meats: cabeza, lengua and tripas. "Oh, I'm serious," he said. "You've never had tongue? You call yourself a taco fan and you've never had tongue?! There is nothing--Nothing--that beats some nice lengua sliced really lean." Well, that was enough for me to try it, and a mere half an hour later I had become a fan of the tongue taco. Even today, I rarely pass up a chance to have an authentic lengua taco (though such opportunities seem to be rather rare here in Manhattan), and I've no one other than John to thank for this.
John also had a strong sense of humor, and no matter the circumstances, he always managed to make me laugh. Even after being yelled at for not meeting quota, being reminded of our general lack of worth, or bring subjected to a conference call in which specifically-named people were held up as examples of how not to be, John was always ready to put on a smile and share his good humor. He made the work easy, lightening not simply his own burden but also those of others.
(You can't take them with you.)
As I said before, having "friends" in the organization wasn't practical. I say that, most of all, because once you leave the group you are cut off from it. No one speaks to you. A friend one day, and then next day you are nobody to them. There were people I knew who were my age and shared my interests. We were all swimming in the same shit: the same abusive hours, the manipulation, the near-desperate poverty. We banded together. It was unusual to spend time alone even in the rare hours away from the office. I met good people while I was in there. Now, more than 7 years later, I look back on the experience and think more of the good people I lived and worked with than I do of the leaders of the group, and LaRouche himself, those who wielded power over us. There's a small core of people who made such an impression on me that I've thought of them every day. Funny, intelligent, bright people. Folks I would be friends with right now if they weren't in the cult, if their impressions of the outside world weren't being manipulated, if they weren't expected to NOT SPEAK to anyone who has left the group. I've always considered John Morris to be part of that group.
I've always said to myself that if one of those people who was close to me were to call me out of the blue and ask for help to get out, I'd do everything in my power to make it happen. And I admit that there's a fantasy I indulge in from time to time, one in which my old friends are free of the cult, have reclaimed their lives and are living happily. We are all in touch and helping each other through the recovery which never really ends. We enjoy one-another's company, and share humor and insight without the profound pressure and guilt.
But now, John Morris is dead. He can't be a part of that mental picture anymore. Learning of his death reminded me that this isn't a fantasy. There are some things that will never be fixed. It reminded me that I was one of the lucky ones. I could have easily stayed. I could have run out of gas between Detroit and Chicago instead of John and Gary. I could have been Jeremiah Duggan and, disoriented and afraid, run into traffic and gotten killed. Had I stayed longer, I could have even been Ken Kronberg, and thrown myself off of an overpass because I lacked the will and the strength to break free. Someone else could just as easily be writing these things about me right now. In essence, I survived that car wreck, that highway, that overpass, even though I wasn't even there.
You can't take them with you. This is true of your family and friends when you go into a cult, and just as true of your colleagues when you leave.
Even though I will never see John Morris again, I will still continue to think of him, and mourn the loss. He was more than a quota, more than a list of contacts, more than a LaRouche organizer. He was a human being with taste, humor and dignity. And, most of all, for a year between 2000 and 2001, John Morris was my friend.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Ray Hengst sent us a well written letter he thinks the student body should read.
Thanks, Ray. The majority of his warning can be seen after the jump, linked below.
I am writing to the campus community about the Lyndon Larouche political group, which has recently been tabling on Library Walk. Larouche uses a combination of philosophy, history, and polemics to argue for the existence of a worldwide conspiracy. I have had much experience in dealing with the Larouche group and would like to warn everyone: It is two-thirds cult and one-third political organization.
I first went to a meeting of Larouche supporters two years ago, in northern California. Some friends and I were interested in the controversy surrounding the group and the political claims it made. The meeting essentially consisted of a three-hour-long diatribe against everything from empiricism to subjectivism to political and historical figures. The audience frequently punctuated the speaker's statements with loud calls of agreement or disgust, matching the speaker's emotions. One recurring theme of the speech was that economic catastrophe was nearby, and it was the special responsibility of Larouche supporters to prevent this disaster.
During a 10-minute break in the meeting, the Larouche supporters tried to engage us in conversation. I found that everything I said fell flat: they weren't actually listening to me. They were so sure that they were right that nothing I said could have changed their opinion. Yet I was surrounded by them, and I thought at the time that perhaps my facts or opinions were just completely wrong: everyone around me was so quick to point out my errors, and so sure of their logic.
The complex, absolutist ideology espoused by Larouche is perhaps designed to avoid being summarized. Larouche believes that a worldwide conspiracy led by bankers is attempting to control world events. For example, the Madrid bombings were the work of this network, and the entire 60s youth movement was orchestrated by a satanist. Important historical figures are catalogued as being either humanists, and thus implicitly pro-Larouche, or empiricists, and thus satanic.
Larouche attempts to tie together history, science, religion and politics
in an intricate web, thus creating an entire world view in which his followers become trapped. By combining polemical denunciations and hundreds of references to literary, scientific, and political figures, Larouche convinces his followers that he "may be the smartest man in America," to use his own words.
The Larouche group constantly instills a fear of some imminent economic disaster in its members and reminds them that only the Larouche movement can "save the world." New members are made to realize the moral certitude of their work, and consequently spend more and more time doing Larouche-related activities.
Right now, one of my best friends works for the Larouche group fourteen hours a day, six days a week. He dropped out of college, lives with other Larouche supporters, and rarely communicates with the outside world, except for trying to convince people to join the Larouche organization. For him, an economic disaster is just around the corner, and time is so precious that he no longer can have the luxury of regularly being with friends or family for considerable lengths of time—it would be morally wrong for him to spend time on personal concerns.
I urge everyone who reads this to be aware of the power that cult-like, emotionally-based organizations can wield. Before my friend joined, I would have never guessed that someone as level-headed, intelligent, and savvy as he is could possibly join a group which essentially squelches independent thought.
I want to warn everyone: This could happen to anyone. If you're worried about a group that your friend is getting more and more involved in, then do something about it. Research the organization thoroughly, talk to your friend, figure out what tactics the group uses, and if you're still worried then keep researching and trying to reach out to your friend. The Larouche supporters can be fanatical, but other groups are ten times worse.
November 15, 2001, By Matthew Robinson, Editor in Chief, Pcc-courier.
Each semester, hundreds of students pass by a table set up in front of the D building in the quad, where supporters of Lyndon LaRouche try to interest students in their political agenda. For those who stop and agree to go to an off- campus meeting, they often find themselves entangled in a worldwide cult.
Philip Mullendore, chief of campus police, reported that they get complaints on regular basis from students about La Rouche recruits harassing them in the quad. Others complain of repeated phone calls, urging them to attend a meeting. Many students who attend those meetings end up dropping out of school and devoting their lives to LaRouche.
"We have documented several incidents of aggressive tactics by this group and we monitor them very closely," said Mullendore.
The mother of an 18-year-old student who was lured into the cult complained to campus police that the LaRouche group had taken over her son's life.
The LaRouche organization, which has thousands of members worldwide, are constantly recruiting young people to spread the groups philosophy and to raise money for the cause.
The group targets maladjusted, unhappy and confused young people who feel they don't belong. The organizers become their "friends" and give them a cause. They also give them meetings to attend so they feel a part of a group.
One PCC student, who recently broke the group's hold on his life, told the Courier in an exclusive interview about his experiences in the LaRouche organization from his recruitment on campus to his recent escape. The student, who will be referred to as Tom in the story, did not want his real name used. He said it's hard enough trying to "reclaim your life and friends" without everyone knowing you are a former cult member.
"I was going to PCC, and I was at the end of my second semester. In September of last year, I came across the LaRouche table in the quad. "Take a minute come over here." said an organizer as I passed his table. At first they say things that get you really excited about what they are talking about. They look for people like me who are pissed off and want to do something. They want people who are opinionated and who are looking for a place to fit in," said Tom, the 18-year-old who spent a year in the organization.
When I approached the table in quad, the woman I met said she had been recruiting for seven years. She started out by saying
"School is a bunch of bullshit and you should join the movement fulltime." While not all recruits say things like that, it is encouraged in order to make a connection with the young people.
"The thing that grabbed me was that she said, "School is a bunch of bullshit." He said I thought it was real interesting that there was a group of people at PCC at a political table telling students that school is bullshit," Tom said when he stopped to talk politics, he was looking for something other than the mainstream political thinkers. They got me to sign up for their paper, and I gave them some money. Then they said to come to a meeting, and I took a bunch of literature home." From what he read, he said it appeared that this group might just have the answers to all the worlds problems. "Then the phone calls started coming," he said.
"That's what they do. They call you every night, sometimes two times a night. If the people they are trying to recruit are being difficult, they harass them even more."
Tom said, it was not hard to get him to a meeting. He went and immediately started arguing with everything the members were saying. "Little did I know, that the more I argued the more they were brainwashing me," Tom said. He said the meetings seemed harmless. They were broken up into two parts. The first part was a political update, and the second part was a class where new recruits might hear about a health issue or be given a history lesson on the revolutionary war. However at the end of the class, they tie it all in to the current situation, and then to LaRouche politics."
One of the reasons there is so much recruitment now, is that the last time the organization recruited heavily was between 1967 through 1974, so most of the core members of the organization are in their 50s ."They need to recruit the next generation," said Tom.
Once you start listening, you'll hear over and over that LaRouche is the solution to every problem in the world. They'll ask, "Do you want children in Africa to starve?" Of course you don't, so they convince you that you have to come to a meeting. They repeatedly tell you if you don't come to the meeting, you must want the world to starve. So you go to the meeting," he said.
One of the hallmarks of the LaRouche organization is to turn you against your family, Tom said. They tell you that "family values are really immoral, they are only in place to keep you from getting political. They say that the baby-boomers are evil and are corrupted by the British neo-liberal banking establishment, but it's not their fault.
"The more you are around these people, the more they turn you against your parents and your friends. "They want you to try and recruit your friends. "What they tell you if your friends resist is they are" blocked," and you should just leave them behind. They are not worth it. They ask what's more important, your friends or the world?" Soon you see yourself as someone who can actually change the world and you really do see your friends and family as obstacles.
Tom moved out of his parent's house and moved to Glendale. The organization paid his rent, phone bill, and all his utilities. He also got $50 a week for food.
Once you alienate your family and let the group support you, you've got nowhere else to go, Tom said.
By this time Tom was really involved. It was his turn to bring in others.
"Another big thing I know happens on the PCC campus, is to get a student off the campus and to a meeting. Then the next day they have them working at a LaRouche table. It helps reinforce the beliefs, and gets the new recruit to more meetings." These meetings are the most important things in the world to the group. They say there is nothing better you can do with your time because that is where they manipulate you and teach you to manipulate others, he said.
Some of the people, who were recruited on campus, are now at the book table. The idea is that once you are in a position where you have to convince someone that LaRouche is the answer, in the process you convince yourself more and more." Tom said, they teach people to twist things in such a way that it makes them feel stupid for asking the question.
"I resisted working on campus for a long time. I did not want to go work a book table, but they finally got me out there. Soon as they got me out there, I was in!"
"My recruitment took about four months. "Although some people dropped out of school right away and joined in a matter of weeks."
Many students who become part of the organization never break away. "It is next to impossible to get out once they have you, Tom said. "They actually brainwash you."
"I cannot pinpoint when I was brainwashed, it just happened overtime. When you are there, you love it. It's like being high. You get an intellectual euphoria, because you feel in a position of ultimate power. You can prove anyone wrong on anything because you are equipped with these amazing manipulation techniques. You feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and that you alone are saving it.
Everyday they reinforce what you are doing by always telling you that you are the best and you're doing a great job. You get the respect of people many times older than you. It's a high that blinds you to reality. What they do is feed your ego so much, you can't see anything else. It's comfortable; it's like a womb."
The organization has attracted the attention of the FBI, CIA and other government agencies. Because of the claims that members are brainwashed and forced to work for the group, the LaRouche organization is closely monitored.
"It is frightening the network they have as far as intelligence contacts. Contacts within governments, contacts within different news sources. Even people who oppose LaRouche say he has one of the best private intelligence agencies around, said Tom
He emphasized that LaRouche is not particularly dangerous on a worldwide level, "but on a personal level, such as manipulating your thoughts and your psyche, he is lethal,"
The student explained that "on any given week coming to PCC we could get three or four students to a meeting, and maybe one every two weeks would come and work a table with us."
"We have 20 youth organizers, and three or four came from PCC. That's a pretty big percentage considering they organize on 20-30 college campuses."
He said any student who goes to the table, shows any kind of interest, and gives them a phone number is guaranteed to get a lot of phone calls."
PCC is one of the prime locations to recruit along with Cal State Northridge and LACC.
Tom explained what finally got him to realize he was in a cult.
One day right after Sept.11, "I had a confrontation with a WWII veteran, and that conversation just about killed me. I put up a sign that said, "War doesn't make peace." He came up to me and said, "If you were a veteran, you would not put that sign up. Then he started to talk to me, and I just realized that I am fucking brainwashed and totally in a cult." It was at that point he started to think about how he was now thinking about the world. Leaders of the group told them not to watch TV news, particularly CNN. They said the WTC attacks "were just the governments way of taking the people's mind off the economy."
"On the following Sunday I did exactly what the organization told me what not to do. I watched CNN."
I realized then that I was not looking at this the right way at all. The organization was trying to take the deaths of 6000 people to boost LaRouche higher up on his pedestal and get more money."
"That night I called my parents and told them I wanted them to show up at my apartment with a moving van.
" I had to be gone before they knew I was going He said the big challenge in leaving is getting back your identity and coming in contact with all the friends you haven't called in months because you were told they were fascists." Tom is also receiving psychotherapy from a cult exit counselor.
"LaRouche is a big time cult, and it's really upsetting that a cult is legally able to recruit on a college campus as a non-profit political organization."
Tom warns everyone, not to try to challenge the group to prove they are wrong or that they are in a cult. Recruiters welcome these challenges and can turn these people around faster than anyone."
If you want to understand LaRouche, or how any cult works, read George Orwell's 1984. It's terrifying how much that book is LaRouche. Of course, the organization discourages members from reading the book."
"If you want to find out about LaRouche, do not talk to the people inside the organization. The ones you need to talk to are the people who have experienced LaRouche and have dealt with his organization before. People who have studied the organization for an extended period of time are the ones who can give current information. For example, if you want to find out about a movie, you don't ask the people who made the movie what they think about it.
Tom says his mission now is to educate students about the evils of the LaRouche group and the dangers of approaching a table. "I'm trying to redeem myself for recruiting students and ripping off little old ladies while I was with LaRouche," said Tom. Some older people donate their entire Social Security check to the cause hoping to make a difference in the world. "If I can get the word out and stop people from heading over to the tables then I've done my job. If I can save one student, then I've succeeded in my atonement."
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
By Garin Hovannisian | October 1, 2006 |
C.J. was a changed man. His curly, blonde hair snaked into an anarchic afro. His face was unshaven. His shirt, faded and bleached, was half-tucked into oversized jeans. I hadn’t seen C.J. in two years. Back in high school, he was a real character-a no-nonsense, call-it-like-it-is skeptic, cynic, libertine, jokester, joke, poet, soccer star, recluse, opinion-maker-an alpha to the alphas, yet entirely content in his own thoughts, a bully to (and of) no one. His dream, he used to say, was to live in isolation on a twenty-acre plot of Midwestern forestry-just him and his gun, untouched by man or government. I expected never to see him again. But in April 2005, on the student thoroughfare of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)-a menagerie of hyperactive campus propagandists-the familiar creature was hard to miss
A few months before at his city college, C.J. had been approached by a few young activists who pressed him to attend one of their weekend retreats-a “cadre school,” they called it. Grudgingly, C.J. decided to go. When he returned, he abandoned his school, his home, his friends, his personality, his humor, and every vestige of his past. He moved into a veritable commune as a convert to the mission, army, and cult of Lyndon LaRouche. Defender. Janitor. Distributor. Point-man. Middleman. Yes man. C.J. was doing it all.
On Bruin Walk, looking into my eyes for the first time since high school, he was already recruiting. He handed me a pamphlet. “You know about LaRouche?” he asked, soaring through the awkwardness without the slightest hesitation or embarrassment. I nodded, but I could not pay attention to his words. My mind was fumbling with questions. What had turned the old recluse into a pamphleteer and peddler? Was it a spiritual enlightenment that he was eager to find? Was C.J. playing a sinister practical joke that he, if anyone, could pull off? Or was he…brainwashed? In search of answers, I enlisted in the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM).
On Wednesday, April 27, I attended my first meeting. The Los Angeles headquarters of LYM are contained in a small, decrepit two-story house in Eagle Rock, California. Its rooms are packed with LaRouche literature, videos, posters, campaign material, and junk food. The largest is the telephone room, where volunteers work the lines with potential recruits. It comes eerily close to a telemarketing station, a boiler room filled with sleazy hacks selling faux-politique-a pseudo-intellectualized statism-with the requisite inflection and lure. Except it’s not old people being gypped (though LaRouche sat in jail for five years for fraud and extortion). It’s meaning-thirsty college kids.
I maneuvered into the library and examined the collection, in my habit of judging a man by his books. Plato. Kepler. Gauss. Leibniz. Bach. Anderson. Poe. Schiller. And of course, LaRouche. A few Germans I hadn’t heard of, sure, but this was basically it. Excepting LaRouche webcasts, lectures from his representatives, and LaRouche’s own books and articles, this is LYM’s intellectual kingdom. Aristotle is banned. The Western Canon has vanished, without fingerprints. And don’t bother with Sir Isaac Newton, a fraud, plagiarist, and conniver. Only “pro-mankind” intellectuals make it into the library. LaRouche soberly asserts in an article, “Galileo, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, the notorious Adam Smith, and the famous Rene Descartes, were, like Bertrand Russell and his devotees, systematically insane, in the strictest formal use of the term insane.” Evil. Insane. Anti-mankind.
I did not get this “mankind” thing. One of the original LYM members named Bo explained that science, economics, politics, culture, and music are all measurable by a “mankind” yardstick. Pro-mankind: Plato, LaRouche, and Bach. Anti-mankind: Aristotle, Cheney, and Rachmaninoff. “But how can I listen to a piece of music and be able to tell if it’s pro-mankind or not?” I asked naively. Bo, who is more comfortable in belief than in argument, slowly replied: “It just comes with the knowledge. Once you understand the politics and the economics and stuff, it’ll all fall into place.”
Sensing my curiosity, Bo invited me to a LYM cadre school the following weekend. That’s where C.J. had been converted. That’s where I would learn why.
If I return a robot, I told a close friend, you have the right to have me committed. With that, I set off with my SUV to the outskirts of mountainous Santa Barbara, California. Off the central roadway, one mile past Paradise Road, and another mile off-road forging rivers and zigzagging through the woods-the Oregon Trail experience-I realized that there might not be a chance to turn back.
My grisly imagination having refined horrific anecdotes of brainwashing and murder into half-expectations, I pulled into the campground and moved my bags to the guys’ cabin. C.J. showed me to the main cabin, where nearly fifty young recruiters (like C.J.) and new recruits (ostensibly like me) had already assembled.
Already in the opening address, the world conspiracy blueprints of Lyndon LaRouche were unveiled. “The Family, or The Foundation, is an organization of politicos that pick world statesmen,” said a pretty woman in her early 20s. “It is a real organization that is really involved in US policy-making.” This is pure LaRouche-talk. The urgency of LYM’s mission is justified by these underground, hereditary, secret-hand-shake societies that debase what LaRouche terms very loosely “the American System.” It’s a web of evil people, most prominently George Schultz, who “single-handedly chose Bush as president, Arnold as governor, and Condi Rice as protégé.” A later speaker would declare that the Tavistock Institute, a British psychotherapy clinic, “controls and manipulates major media through brainwashing. This isn’t even debatable. It’s been proven.” These are the puppeteers of the modern world.
But forget the world for now, because the establishments have schemed for decades to destroy LaRouche himself, having found their one-and-only formidable opponent. In the eyes of his followers, Lyn is an international superstar-the orthodoxy’s most vivid nightmare and the truth’s final promise of fruition. Indeed, the LaRouche history, as any of his followers will proudly tell you, is replete with CIA-brainwashed assassins, KGB snipers, and world bank hit squads all targeting their leader.
At night, I jumped among the “social groups,” hunting desperately for (I frustrate my ego in saying) a casual conversation. But among the several dozen followers, none exists. They never see movies. Beyond a narrow slice of classical music, they don’t listen. They don’t tell jokes and they are irritated when they hear one. They don’t have hobbies. C.J. told me not to bother scavenging for sex. Every pursuit, aspiration, passion, emotion, thought, longing, and joy revolves necessarily around the central personality, “the founder,” “the genius among geniuses,” the “leading prophetic figure of modern history”-Lyn. This is not some sort of poetic exaggeration. It’s their way of life. You eavesdrop on a conversation between any of these people at any time of day, and it’s always about the same stuff: constructive geometry, socialistic economic policy, inherently good classical music, Plato, Kepler, Gauss, LaRouche, LaRouche, LaRouche!
They seem to be normal teenagers and they span the racial, sexual, socioeconomic spectra. But they connect in a common anticipation of historic catastrophe and they survive on the lone faith of the corrective and redemptive genius of their movement. And that’s the cult, if you’ve been searching for it and if you want to call it that. There’s no Kool-Aid, no weird alphabet, no cryptic Bible Code. It’s a cult, literally, of personality: the intellectual, world-changing genius.
Yet despite suspicions to the contrary, no believer is as confident in his own genius (which is, at best, a potentiality) as he is in the collective genius of his movement. Behind C.J.’s rugged certainties rests a spirit that is crippled and an ego that requires constant attention-not because it feels it deserves it, but because it cannot survive without it. Indeed, C.J.’s family background, which is stained by psychological and ultimately physical abandonment, not only discourages self-esteem, but really forbids it. It is peculiar, then, that it was precisely at the pinnacle of C.J.’s family crisis and disillusionment-in the dark age of his self-esteem-that he joined a movement that called him a genius.
To modern researchers of self-esteem and mass movements, however, the fact is not peculiar at all. Eric Hoffer has written, “The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.” In the holiness of his cause, C.J. is more sure-and this, again, I write with no poetics-than he is in his own goodness. His confidence in his own genius (and, hence, the desertion of the fear that he is not) depends, first and only, on the acceptance of the movement.
Hence, no movies, jokes, creative talent, personality-the true believers have no character whatsoever. It is impossible, save upon their mastery of the clichés of the cause, to differentiate them. There is no identity or knowledge, in any real sense, detached from the group. The concepts of “knowaspheres” and “musical dissonance” that supposedly divide good music from bad are totally lost on C.J.. But not for a moment does he doubt their reality. He will blame his own intellectual immaturity every time, even if it conflicts with the reality he sees.
One is all. And, of course, all is one in Lyndon LaRouche, polymath extraordinaire.
LaRouche, who calls himself “the leading economist of [the 20th] century,” proposes an accentuated statism, and it’s accepted as high novelty. The prophet in the wilderness yells apocalypse, and his followers panic. The detective in Lyn finds networks of secrecy, and C.J. is on a personal mission to sabotage them. The genius mathematician rejects Newton’s calculus and his students immediately discard modern math. The music theorist writes, “The Beatles had no genuine musical talent, but were a product shaped according to British Psychological Warfare Division (Tavistock) specifications, and promoted in Britain by agencies which are controlled by British intelligence,” and the movement learns to recite it.
By the cadre school’s second day, nauseous from the adoration (which at least matches the average church-goer’s piety), drained of will power, and dreadfully tired, I stood on the brink of insanity. Echoes of the same themes and people bounced in my brain. Knowasphere. Leibniz. Plato. Beethoven. Constructive geometry. Schumann. Gauss. Lyn. LaRouche. Lyn. I guess this was that moment in which so many had beheld their epiphany. This was when, tired but finally enlightened, I was supposed to fall on my knees and dedicate my life to the whims and wishes of a man. But for me, it was more torture than epiphany. I simply could not survive through the weekend. I said goodbye to C.J., gathered my bags, and got into the car. A mile through thick forests, several miles past Paradise Road, and now far, far away from this fantastic place of ideas and heroes and dreams, brewing in a cabin by a stream. It was as if it was all fiction. I was absolutely in a daze. And not for a couple of weeks did I actually escape the awful aftershocks, the lingering hangover of the LaRouche Youth Movement.
I experienced its heart totality in the last LYM meeting I ever attended, a few months after the cadre school. I sneaked into the conference room in Eagle Rock, and LaRouche was on the projection screen. The background was black. The voice was monotone. And for more than an hour, LaRouche was talking about hedge funds and mergers-and the really boring, economic lessons we might squeeze from the “General Motors debacle.” And here were twenty young people sitting in a small room listening with special attention, scribbling in their notepads, and nodding their heads again and again at the every thought, the every word, the every counterfeit insight of their leader-Lyndon LaRouche.
Since then, a mutual friend of C.J. and mine has asked C.J. if he would ever consider leaving the group for a few hours to have lunch with us. He has never been able to say yes. He’s too deep in his new reality. He is there with Lincoln, Plato, Jean d’Arc, LaRouche-the handful of genius individuals who have changed the world. He is there with three hundred young intellectuals who, if we are to believe them, will stage the decisive revolution of our millennium.
The movement is easy to satirize, discredit, and render insane. But the quiet existentialist in all of us finds herself faintly envious. For in all their delusions, LaRouche’s followers have on earth a cosmic certainty and security that we might only wish to achieve in paradise. It is a paradise, alas, that almost inevitably crashes. When it does for C.J., one psychological breakdown after another, he might be a free man again-but never, I fear, the endearing oddball of our youths.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Australia: "Families fight back", an article about how youngsters were recruited to the Australian branch of the LaRouche-cult in the 90s.
Families fight back
The Age/January 30, 1996
By Martin Daly
Defectors tell of "psycho sessions" and relentless demand for cash inside the Citizens Electoral Council. A political group accused of dirty tricks and the brainwashing of recruits faces increasing hostility. Martin Daly reports.
A Melbourne woman has appealed to the American consulate to prevent her 16-year-old son from being taken to the United States for training with an extremist right-wing political cult, run by a convicted criminal, Lyndon LaRouche.
Ms. Narelle Stratford, of Rosanna, contacted the consulate after Mr. LaRouche's Australian branch, the Coburg-based Citizens Electoral Council, refused her plea not to take her son overseas.
Critics have accused the LaRouche movement of brainwashing followers in Australia, persuading donors to contribute money on the basis that the financial world is about to end, and running "dirty tricks" campaigns against its enemies, notably leading Australian Jews.
The CEC was formed in 1988 in Kingaroy, Queensland, in response to the rural crisis when many farmers were in danger of losing their farms. It became a successful grass-roots political organization with about 100 branches around the country, mostly in rural areas, but within a few years it was taken over by American LaRouchians and their Australian followers.
Since then, the CEC has been criticized for allegedly abusing its position as a political party and for discarding members and donors once they have contributed funds to the organization.
The CEC denies the allegations and blames former members for spreading "lies" in an attempt to destroy the CEC and Lyndon LaRouche in Australia.
But Ms. Stratford, one of a number of Australians to split from the CEC, said she was alarmed by the allegations. She also feared her son would be put through a LaRouchian "Cadre School" in the US, which she described as a brainwashing session to bind followers to the organization.
Ms. Stratford said the US consulate in Melbourne told her it could not stop her son, who has a visa, from going to the US. The CEC said Ms Stratford's son, a CEC employee, was capable of making the decision for himself and that he wanted to go to the US.
"I know of no other employer that would pull this sort of stunt without asking the parent first," Ms Stratford said.
"And if the parents said they did not want that to happen, it would not happen."
Former CEC members said the organization, often under the direction of a LaRouchian, Mr. Allen Douglas, from Leesburg, Virginia, held frequent cult-like "psycho sessions," during which members were abused and told they must accept their crimes - including masturbation, sodomy and homosexuality - if they were to be cured.
Motherhood and the influence of women over offspring was often derided. Women were frequently referred to as "witches."
One founding CEC member, Mr. John Koheler, of Kingaroy - who resigned after the LaRouchians "hijacked" the organization - said the CEC responded to his opposition to the Americans by telling him he was "blocked" and "paranoid."
"I told Al Douglas that he was a fascist bastard and then they said I was doubly paranoid," Mr. Koheler said.
Mrs. Rhonda Rotaru, of Colac, wife of Mr. Alex Rotaru, who said he was an "intelligence" officer for the CEC, also went through a "psycho session" because she refused to move to Melbourne with her husband. Mrs. Rotaru said she was criticized for breastfeeding her son at two years of age. "I always thought breastfeeding was just a natural part of womanhood," she said. "They said it was bad for a young child to be so dependent on its mother and that I would ruin his life. They made me feel as if I was the worst person in the world."
Mrs. Rotaru said the CEC tried to break her marriage. Her husband said he was called an "animal" during a "psycho session" and was asked if would leave his wife and children to live nearer the CEC in Melbourne.
"They inquired into my relationship with my mother," he said. "That was pretty much standard procedure. It was an interrogation. The whole aim was to create a new person, making your past totally irrelevant and giving you a new personality. "No matter what you said, it was your mother's fault. It was pretty hideous stuff. Many people broke down and cried."
Mr. Rotaru said the CEC gave him the cold shoulder because he refused to give them part of his $100,000 superannuation payout from Telstra. Then, he said, they asked him to mortgage his Melbourne house to finance a trip to Australia by a senior LaRouchian, Mr. James Bevel, a former confidant of the late Martin Luther King. His wife refused to allow it.
A former Queensland sheep farmer, Ms. Julie Warner, accused the CEC of contributing to the breakup of her marriage, which led to the loss of her three sons in a separation case. She said she was virtually forced to remain in the US, fund-raising on the telephone for the organization, while the LaRouchians worked on her to wipe out her "mother complex" mindset.
"They would tell you there was something wrong with your mind, if you are not pulling huge dollars in," said Ms. Warner, who blamed CEC "brainwashing" for bringing her close to suicide.
Ms. Warner said she worked in the ``boiler room" - a fund- raising room with a bank of telephones - in Melbourne where she persuaded donors she knew to give the CEC about $60,000.
"I believed that we were out there to help people who had got into trouble in primary industry and here they were taking all their money and leaving them," Ms. Warner said.
She said the CEC encouraged her to leave her family: "They wanted to know how much money I would be getting from the property if the marriage broke up."
A farmer, Mr. Joe Vella, of Kingaroy, Queensland, said he sold almost $1 million in assets to clear debts and give his wife, a CEC member, her share of the family farm. He feared she may have given a lot of the money to the CEC.
Mr. Vella came into contact with the CEC after attending a meeting in Kingaroy. "We are in financial trouble. They made us think they were going to save us and get the interest rates dropped...," he said.
He said the CEC's Mr. Michael Sharp, alias Michael Stark, stayed at the Vella home for seven nights. "All we ever did was give him money. It was about three years ago. He used to say, 'We can't pay this bill.' We probably gave him $2,000 in cash. Never got a receipt." He recalled the CEC instructing people not to watch television "because the cartels would get us."
"They are a horrible bunch of people," added Mr. Vella, who flew to Melbourne three times to try and persuade his wife to return. "When I first flew to Melbourne, I could only talk to her sitting on the fence outside (the CEC office).
"Later she agreed to talk to him in a bar, but only in the company of another CEC member. "What really hurt me was that (the CEC member) said 'you and your children have a sickness of the mind which you have inherited from your father.' I got up and punched a brick wall and then went outside and sat in the gutter for a while."
Mr. Victor Barwick, one of three sons of Queensland farming couple Doreen and Billy Barwick to join the CEC, said he went through "psycho-sessions" in Melbourne and in the US. He said Al Douglas told him he was having a "psycho-sexual relationship with my mother. I was only 17 at the time", Mr. Barwick said.
Mr. Barwick said that on a trip to the US, Mr. LaRouche told him there "was a dark age coming, that learning would be done away with and that most people would be slaves." Mr. Barwick was paid $200 a week by the CEC for fundraising up to 12 hours a day, six days a week.
One of the primary aims of the CEC is to raise money. It has raised $900,000 for each of the past two years and is one of the largest political fundraisers in the country, although the CEC has been deregistered as a political party.
The relentless demand for cash from donors comes from "Upgrade Teams" that travel Australia to persuade donors to increase contributions. Fundraisers are often trained by American LaRouchians who travel here on tourist or business visas.
Mr. Victor Barwick said teams in the "boiler room" sell subscriptions to La Rouche and CEC publications for up to $600 a year.
"I think they rip people off," Mr. Koehler said. "It (the CEC) is immoral and corrupt...they frequently do not use the funds for the purpose they are raised for. It should not go into some kind of a slush fund. Obviously it does...a considerable amount does. The public needs to know that this operation is not in the interests of this country and they should not support it."
Donors have told The Age they were encouraged to go into debt without telling their spouses so they could give money to the CEC. One woman said her husband had given the CEC about $80,000. "They (the CEC) do use members like puppets. I am trying to get my husband out of it," she said.
Ms. Kerrie Watterson, from Cranbrook, north of Albany, Western Australia, said she was persuaded by a CEC member to get a Bankcard so she could quickly donate money to the CEC if they needed it for an emergency.
"Against my better judgment, I got a Bankcard," said Mrs. Watterson, who was then persuaded to use her maximum credit line to donate to the CEC. "Overall, they did me for about $1,600."
"So the mama's boy who's never done anything in his life is going to come here and say 'Alex made some homosexual kid cry and I want my mommy'...are you homosexual, Frank? Is that it? Is that why you haven't been able to raise any money out there?"
(Posted on Factnet, May 07, 2004 - 10:59 am)
Someone asked me a question in a letter, I thought people might like to hear my response:
Do not focus on the "politics" of his [LaRouche's] organization. For all intents and purposes the political side of the organization is just a sham--it really is more of a religion than a political movement anyway--the mantra really is give me your life and I'll give you salvation.
Your students will be having the same methods of coercion used on them at the table on your campus at their lunch breaks, that is used on members in closed rooms. LaRouchies will be out there preaching: "The end is near, join the Leader and be like him, and that will save the world." And they will tell them to drop out of college to join, they will literally be brought into group meetings where every person in the room is pressuring them to drop out. You know when they have classes? Usually what happens is maybe one or two people will be from a local campus, usually someone they met that day. That person will walk into a room of twenty or so people, not really knowing that almost everyone there is already a member. As soon as someone comes to more than one or two meetings, they are psychologically profiled by the Regional leader...and then the leader will talk to everyone about that person.
Example: "Frank has mommy issues, everybody needs to tell him he needs to stop sucking off his mother's milk." So then as Frank hangs around more and he is brought in for conferences and meetings, everyone is nice to him, but they in their own way will make comments about Frank being a mama's boy. This may be true, or it may be that Frank just has a very close relationship with his mom, he's 18, and still just a kid. So this campaign makes Frank begin to question himself, it undermines his confidence in his beliefs and values, while all around him there are people constantly restating the normal line of LaRouche politics: nothing is what it seems, the world is ending, join me...yada yada. And there may be ten of these directives given by the Regional leader. All designed to make the person, basically, have a nervous breakdown in a controlled environment. They will attack his hobbies, his friends, his values, his family and his personality traits in these secret "campaigns," and Fred will think that people he has hardly talked to think he's a mama's boy (or whatever they're attacking that week)--his insecurity will soar.
Then what happens, if that person decides to drop out [of school] and join full-time, is that the real work on their mind begins. The same type of thing goes on, but then added in is a host of other tactics--the working for 12-14 hours a day will soften him up quite a bit, and the leader will keep a very close eye on him in the very early stages. After a few days of work the leader might lean in and say, "Hey you guys should all do something tonight, take Frank over to so-and-so's house and read poetry. Frank will be up until 3 am, get up a few hours later and go back to arguing at a card table shrine for LaRouche with everyone who walks by, all this time reinforcing what he has "learned" by taking the position for 12 hours a day. Frank will be plied with LaRouche books to read from every side. Then something will come up that Frank has a problem with. He's organizing at a table one day and his partner, someone who's been around for years, breaks someone down in the street who begins crying. Fred thinks it was cruel, so he goes to talk to the leader. Now, all this time the leader has played "good cop."
"Umm, Steve?" says Frank [to the Regional leader], "I saw Alex make someone cry at the college today, he was yelling at this kid about how he can't understand LaRouche because he's a homosexual, and when the kid said no, Alex just kept poking him with it until the kid broke down and started crying."
From out of nowhere the bad cop shows up.
"So do you need to go suck off your mother's tit some more? Is that what this is about, Frank? Alex has been off his momma's tit for ten years now and he's mastered Riemann's geometry, have you?"
"So the mama's boy who's never done anything in his life is going to come here and say 'Alex made some homosexual kid cry and I want my mommy'...are you homosexual, Frank? Is that it? Is that why you haven't been able to raise any money out there? You're too busy thinking about Mommy's tits and Daddy's dick to be a potent organizer?"
And this may go on for half an hour. Mind you that Frank has just moved into an apartment with four other LaRouchies, he has just dropped out of school, and probably alienated most of his friends, and his parents, who all argued against him joining the LaRouche Youth Cult. The leader will use every bit of personal information he has gathered about Frank in order for him to have a real breakdown. Frank, who now has nowhere to go, but has made a few "friends" in the LYC, finally gives in. He sees that Alex was right for breaking down that kid, because that kid is evil, and Frank realizes that he is too. Frank realizes that he hasn't worked hard enough for humanity to criticize Alex, and so he confesses to Steve.
"I'm sorry, Steve. You're right, I've been dependent on my mom forever, and she was turning me into some crazy brainwashed consumer. I mean geez, she was sending me to college to learn about computers, and like LaRouche says, that's not even real. I guess she's just like every other boomer."
After he does so he feels a little better and stops crying, and his pulse slows down.
Steve says, "Well good. What I think you need to do is read Lyn's book The Reason Why Everyone in the World Is Insane but Me, and you should get Alex to help you on some geometry. Are you still into painting?"
"Yes, Sir, I like to paint at night sometimes still, it eases my mind."
And Frank walks out feeling a little closer to Steve, and Steve has shown Frank that he is able to instill terror in him at any moment. This makes Frank unconsciously more pliant; he won't raise another question like that for a month. But he will raise a question. And now Frank hasn't had a good night's sleep in five weeks, and he is becoming slightly malnourished as his pay has dropped from $300 a week to $100 a week because of a "mass leaflet mobilization" (and Lyn is going to travel to Europe for a while, and he needs the nice table at the restaurant). The pay will continue to decrease.
Frank tells Steve he has to ask him about something again. Steve tells him to come to his office at 5. At 5, Frank walks in, and a Security Squad member is in the office also, the SS member stands in front of the door, and this time the yelling is more severe, and the psychological profile, having been honed, allows the leader to play Frank like a piano. Frank is a blubbering mess in twenty minutes. Frank's brain which has initiated fight or flight, tells him to get up and walk out. He tries to do so, and the SS member begins working on him (verbally) while blocking the door. The two of them work on him until he sits back down and takes his medicine.
This pattern will continue, in perpetuity, until someone helps Frank out.
We need to go help Frank out.