Hi, I'm new here. I was never a LaRouche member, but I was best friends with one who eventually drifted out of the fold. He was on the west coast, and his name (I don't talk to him anymore) was Adam Stevens. He was in the L.A. office and through him I met Harley Schlanger once. He was friends with a higher-up speaker named Ted. Adam briefly had a relationship with a woman whose name I cannot recall, who was the ex-wife of either Khushro or Bey Gandhi, also in the organization. I have been reading the occasional LaRouche literature since about 1990; I find various thing interesting and salvageable, but the apparently intentionally obfuscatory, autodidactic rambling on an overly wide variety of subjects has always struck me as self-indulgent and illogical. The "the sky is falling" tone and the "[fill in blank] is Satan" talk always made me laugh, as well. I occasionally see LaRoucheans on campus; I agree with some of their ideas, but they seldom know what they are talking about very deeply, and resort to incomprehensible things about Gauss. I am a doctoral student at Berkeley in Ancient History, and I know ancient Greek and Latin and can read French, Italian, and German, so I don't think that it is me who is just stupid. Anyhow, I am wondering if any of you ex-members out there know about Khushro and Bey Gandhi and the "defection" of one of them, what the name of this ex-wife of one of them was, what happened to Harley Schlanger, what Ted's last name is, and also who this horrible woman who used to call my house from their office in, I believe, San Leandro. I'll remember her name eventually. Oh yes, perhaps it was Amy. About 48, blonde, watery eyes, annoying voice, was in charge with telephoning people on a list who were not members but thought of as "friendlies," a bit of a moron (fancy that), always urging me to go to meetings. I went to one -- they picked me up and dropped me off -- and it lasted about 12 hours, and there were so many bloody names and dates (this is when I was 21 and did not know history well -- I'm 38 now) that I could not keep track of them, and was forced to assume that they were trying to dazzle me.
Last edited by Doran; 08-10-2008 at 01:30 PM. Reason: remembered Amy's name
I met Harvey Schlanger once at a thing in Oakland which was supposed to be about the crack epidemic in Oakland but turned out to be about African politics. Seemed terribly nice, but he hated the Ian McKellan "Richard III" because he thought the scene of Richard urinating was in bad taste. That reaction was too prissy for me and alerted me to the Puritan nature of many of the official LaRouche aesthetic pronouncements. I heard that Ted, if we are talking about the same person, had a routine he would do while orating that involved taking off his glasses and wiping them with a cloth -- sounded horribly staged -- and that he would repeat the same silly speech about Hamlet, including quoting a few special lines, which you see in every single LaRouche article in Fidelio (I used to subscribe to it and largely liked it), New Federalist (godawful; I got it for a year, then realized it was aimed for the midwestern Christian populist types -- not me), certain of the "special reports," and various other of the house organs.
I'm quite curious about the ex-wife of one of the Gandhi brothers that I mentioned. I am almost certain her name was Christine. She was a real true believer, according to Adam Stevens, but so was he.
I think the first thing that really turned me off from these people in 1991 (the first time I went to one of their meetings) was the narrow way they looked at literature (and paintings) and their insistence that all written works have a single, specific political intent. This is about as far from what I believe as I can imagine -- plays and novels are usually just not like that and present multiple viewpoints through multiple characters.
Plus, the single, specific political intent of each literary work MUST (in their eyes) fall into one of two camps: either The Camp That Believes That Humans Are Little More Than Beasts or else The Camp That Believes In The Inherent Dignity Of The Human. I have read a lot, a lot, of Aristotle and Plato in the original Greek and LaRouche's silly generalization of Aristotle as being in the former camp and Plato being in the latter displays both immense ignorance of the original authors plus ignorance of the modern scholarship on them.
The obeisance displayed by the movement's followers toward the Official Party Line on each artistic work was simply sickening. Adam Stevens (my friend who was involved in the L.A. chapter) got very animated and even rude in a conversation I had about Dostoevsky, insisting that Dostoevsky was a "piece of ****" anti-Semite (my god, that word is overused), a "blood and soil" Romantic nationalist who adhered to the "bestial" nature of man. This may be partially true, but we do not look to literature for simplistic answers but for an authentic-seeming experience and for questions and partial answers. It is silly to have a party line toward each author and it is simply degrading to subsume your own sovereign opinion on an artistic work to the allegedly superior and correct belief of a supposed genius -- and this would be true even if the genius in question were NOT manifestly senile as LaRouche is.
Are there any West Coast ex-LaRouchers on this thread?
Readers, Candor, XLC, thanks for the replies. Readers, I am curious to get more but we can do that over private mails. Candor, I fully agree with your point about how art continues. For example, I like Penderecki's Metamorphoses a whole lot, and also of course Stravinsky and various other folks. When I would play them for my LYM friend, he'd shriek and say it was "inhuman." He had many arguments he'd make based on the idea that music should only sound a certain way. (He had never taken a class in music composition, needless to say.) I asked him what sort of music composers should compose now. He did not know. "Retreads of Bach?" I asked. "Maybe a Little Fugue in H minor?" He did not know. He called rock and roll "fascist." I thought that was dumb. Most rock and roll is not trying to be a hugely brilliant abstract composition (no "motivic thorough-composition," only a repeated refrain). it is an electrified version of popular songs from a long time ago. You can say it is Dionysian and Romantic, but that is not the same as fascist at all.
XLC, I see your point when you say that you submit that no single person needs to present all these fine ideas; but they are good ideas, and it would be a shame to see them sink into obscurity. That is all I meant.
I am curious to know more about "ego-stripping" and "beyond psychology." It sounds like emotional abuse presented as medicine. What sorts of things were said? I trust that no actual feces was used to accompany the scat talk I see LaRouche employed (and the "sitting on a bottle" and "sucking a penis" talk -- yikes).
Thank you for the welcome. That was all very interesting. Perhaps someone else should popularize his few dozen good ideas. Someone who is not a complete fruitcake who bullies his organization, starves his workers, flipflops every few years, deludes himself on his power, and tries to squeeze money out of others..
Doran, I would suggest that there is no need for any one person, period. There are so many different avenues of life to explore and fix that the search or need for that figure is by itself a distraction. In my post LC life I have found that in the many problems at work and the tasks I have taken on in civic affairs require an influx ideas to be debated and ultimately advanced or rejected by the strength of the logic and practicality instead of the figure , like a mayor for example pushing his or her own agenda. At work I have to operate within the confines of a business which has a plan advanced by the owner, yet still requires checks and balances from different divisons and input from the actual users. What we end up with will not always look what we started with, but the final product and service is more important than the egos involved.
In a mafia/cult personality can you ignore everthing and persue the ludicrous since there is no opposition of debate or checks and balances . I bring this up because you jogged my memory of one of Larouche's major screeching at members over "individual issues" , like the tax code vs himself. Time and time again Lyn would issue statements about how no issue exists without him at the top of the reason why it is important. I can not overstate this because in individual local offices, it was verbotten for a local campaign to be about any issue which is of importance to that electorate. You see, this whole pile of junk is not designed to succeed. You could run for a school board seat, yet you would not know a damn thing about the funding of schools, the payscale, the physical plant, the liabilities, demographics and what you would expect the head of a school system to know. This became laughable at times when a simple question at a debate about the local millage rate would be answered by "Larouche's IDB proposal".
When I see a candidate who only has one hot button issue of vagueness and not a drop about anythng else, I run away pretty fast.
Candor brings up an important point as the immediate dismissal of so much which is available to enjoy, read, listen to or view because the wackyness takes over. It reminds me of a good freind who mentored me out of the LC who asked me questions such as have I ever heard the LC mention a bad poet who is German? This is also done for antoher reason in a cult.
If you have Black recruits from colleges where Jazz is considerd an art form as well as an intellectual marker, then you better attack that pretty hard if you want to further destroy any individual identity of that person. The whole idea of Beyond Psych is the beating out of every last vestige of your identity and past to be replaced by Lyn. This explains why so many members when away from the 10 foot safety circle of a card table shrine are often incapable of normal , everday interactions with people.
Now that you have this insular physical and Bizarro mental world, then the axioms have to ultimately match the final product at that particular time and space. This aint flip flopping but part of how the mastery of the individual by the cult works.
Take fusion power which is what I wanted to see developed when I joined in the 1970s. It did not matter what the tasks and hurdles in the real world to make commercial fusion power a long term and massive problem. The solution was electing Lyn in 1976.
Do you see LPAC asking LYM and LYMettes to research the latest fusion breakthroughs? I don't and maybe the reason is becasue of a few things, such as:
-The biggest facility going with the bigggest team of scientists is the JET in where???????
If you go back a few decades you will find reams of how we wrote and said that the British will stop Fusion from being developed because of Prince Philip and the Queen of England wanting to create a New Dark Ages. We yelled for decades of how the British were holding back science and rigged the Nobel prizes to advance London. My exit mentor was the only person to point out that most of the people we were attacking and using to prove how the British are running the globe happen to be Scottish!
-The main scientist you see on the media reports of the JET is a young guy with 4 foot dreads!
With a computer, a cable modem and YouTube, I do not need a larouche to show me actual plasma instead of the many deadenders who need plasma to stay alive.
Anyone can use their computer to find tons of info about Fusion and if they have talents, go get an education and work on it. Lyn took a viable operation like the FEF and turned it into a cash cow which eventually was shut down. Only in the Bizarro world do you raise money for magazines which you hardly sent out and burn through hundreds of thousands of subscribers to get them to worship Lyn and call it a plan to support Fusion Technology.
xlcr wrote: Yes , you have learned enough to get you started, however, I firmly believe that if you joined, you would have never gotten to where you are today and in fact would have had your thought processes so Laroucheified that it would be laughable.
Take the case of Dean Andromidas who you mentioned. In previous posts, little more than a year ago I posted something from Dean about Al Gore.
1.) Yes, I fully (and "firmly") agree with you on point #1 -- I saw how this worked with my friend. He was my best friend, after all. His thought processes did become, in fact, heavily LaRoucheified. He constantly said things like "all art either celebrates the dignity of man or is bestial." This is laughable. So an artist who doesn't celebrate the nine things on the LaRouche list is "bestial." What if I just happen to like that artist? Should I pretend I don't because he is un-L.C.? (un-LaRouche Correct?) My friend ragged on solar power and said it was "stupid." He became a crypto-Catholic as LaRouche was doing that as well in the 1990s, or at least appealing to a (highly intellectualized, metaphoric) Catholic line.
2.) As for the Dean Andromidas gardening piece comparing Al Gore's gardening with native plants to half-baked Hitlerian race theory: on the one hand, that is the stupidest thing I have ever read, and the present (amongst the LaRouchies, on the Left, and even on the Right) incessant comparison of everyone to Hitler is simply hilarious. Obama = Hitler? All moderately patriotic Germans are secretly Hitlerians who want to take over the world and institute a new Reich involving killing Jews, storming the Ruhr, and making war? Hillary = Hitlery? Giuliani is a "fascist"? Anyone with charisma and drive and any power at all who is actually popular gets compared to Hitler by someone.
3.) And in the argument of this moronic gardening article, any concern with plant breeds is tantamount to human eugenics SPECIFICALLY OF THE HITLERIAN KIND.
4.) But to be perfectly honest, on the other hand this article is only a little worse than the paranoid nonsense I am forced to read in the university in which every line in every play "exposes the deep misogygny of the author," "showcases the racism and colonialism endemic" around every utterance of every character except the inevitable outcast character who is defined by modern scholars as "queer" and to whom they are sympathetic. Everyone who has gone through a lit course will know what I am talking about.
5.) On the subject of Gore's plant breeding: I get quite sick of anything remotely eugenic being compared automatically to Hitler and fascism as well. Eugenics means "good birthing" and does not NECESSARILY mean anything sinister, murderous, state-controlled, or even race-oriented at all. The term understandably gained evil accretions in the 20th century because of mass murder and forced sterilizations; but the fact is, everyone practices what can be called (taking the word's definition very strictly) a form of eugenics. And this has nothing to do with fascism at all. How often do people marry someone who is ugly, stupid, physically frail, and sickly? Not often. This is a personaleugenic choice. Most organisms, not just humans, make this choice on some level. Most folks probably would prefer that their children marry someone who will be more likely to produce grandchildren who are smart, healthy, good-looking, and not carrying hereditary disorders, too. Is this eugenics? Yes. Is it Hitlerian? I don't think so. Just another example about how concern with breeding is not tantamount to being a fascist.
I am a former member of the LaRouchemovement (ICLC) in Europe. I was active from 1988 to 2003/2004. Here I write to expose the totalitarian political cult that Lyndon LaRouche has created. I choose to call LaRouche the Lycurgus of this century, to show his real nature!
My email is americanlycurgus (at) gmail.com. If you want to remain anonymous, use an anonýmous mailservice like: www.sendanonymousemail.net.