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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Dateline: Downtown

A few days ago, an old friend called and said, “How’s everything? Give me a call, I miss you.” Which, as it should have, left me feeling a bit guilty.

That feeling soon evaporated.

My friend’s next words were that he would like it if I came downtown to a meeting of the political group he was working with, the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee. I was incredulous. Did he really think that I was going to get snookered so easily? More so, I was surprised that it came from him, an intelligent person. But I remembered that cults hook perfectly smart people, perfectly smart emotionally needy or credulous or off-guard people, all the time. There’s no shame in getting caught up, I suppose, but it seems that once you are actively recruiting others you pass the line of “I’m just seeing what these people have to say” into the realm of belief. I threw the phone down and decided to continue my schooling, at the expense of saving the world from the international bankers.

Arriving at school I saw that the LaRouche Youth Movement was on the plaza between Wheatley and McCormack, where wacko groups usually go to pitch their hokum. It was a sign; I had to act. And so, I write to you today.

LaRouche, a perennial Presidential candidate and convicted felon, is an odd bird hovering on the edges of the political spectrum. He has been described as both fascist and Marxist – perhaps “farceist” is the best descriptor – but there are odd pinches of technocracy, Enlightenment-era philosophy and other flavors dashed into the mix. LaRouche can make a fairly credible claim to having inspired the Reagan-era SSDI project (“Star Wars”), and is an outspoken proponent of light rail. His youth cult members read Leibniz and sing classical opera.

But did my friend really believe that Lyndon LaRouche, the mastermind behind “Operation Mop Up”, which sent goons to break up left-wing campus political meetings with mob violence in the Seventies, was a good group to join? The idea behind “Mop Up” was that leftist groups (namely the Communist Party USA and the Socialist Workers Party) were deep cover government fronts that would merge with right wing groups, eliminate LaRouche, and undertake a fascist putsch. A paranoiac’s fantasy written in blood and broken bones.

The LaRouche groups use a coercive tactic known as “ego-stripping”, wherein the individual personality is broken down so as to facilitate greater doctrinal acceptance. Dennis King, author of “Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism”, quotes LaRouche as saying, “I shall destroy your sense of safety in the place to which you ordinarily imagine you can flee. I shall not pull you back from fleeing, but rather destroy the place to which you would attempt to flee”. An isolated quote, taken out of context, perhaps? How about this: “This summer you will be walking down the street with your family and a cruising car will pull up beside you. A group of young black men will jump out of the car and surround you. As they close in on you, you may notice that their eyes show no emotion, their pupils are pinpoints. Your throat will be slashed, your wife will be stabbed, your children’s heads will be smashed against the pavement. The attackers will be grinning or laughing”. Or this one for you gamers out there: “LSD, anti-science, and pro-psychosis psychological dogma, are at the center of those cultural changes of the 1964-1972 youth-movement interval which have led into the kinds of mass-psychosis exhibited in the cult-style Littleton massacre and kindred, inherently deadly, Nintendo-oriented game-cults”. He also has repeated called for the forced quarantine of AIDS patients.

There aren’t cherry-picked, isolated, oddball snap-outs. LaRouche’s organization, which has been described as one big vanity press, is suffused with these scares. And they sometimes have shocking after-effects. There is last year’s case of Ken Kronberg, the 58-year-old Virginia man known to be a long-time LaRouche associate who committed suicide after LaRouche said that the Baby Boomer generation could best serve humanity by committing mass suicide. Jeremiah Duggan, a British student of the Sorbonne, died in murky circumstances after encountering the LaRouche Youth Movement. His death has been declared a “hoax” by LYM members, but Duggan’s mother has created a website, justiceforjeremiah.com. On October 24th, 2004, the Washington Post Magazine cited the LaRouche mouthpiece Executive Intelligence Review’s suggestion that not only was Duggan’s death “part of a U.S.-British conspiracy to ‘get LaRouche,’ it was also linked to the failed search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the suicide of British weapons expert and senior civil servant David Kelly”.

Everything is a vast cloak-and-dagger game to LaRouche, and the only answer to the conspiracy is, of course, LaRouche’s thought, an impenetrable mishmash of anti-liberal, anti-Zionist, anti-empiricist, Anglophobic hocus-pocus. He called harmless little Margaret Mead “a priestess of the evil, pagan goddess Isis, a priestess of the Whore of Babylon”, and while that language is uncharacteristically clear (he is the very measure of the term “crypto-fascist”) his rationale for calling her that is tortured, having something to do with “a secret cult within Judaism associated with usury-practicing families of the Mediterranean, down into the allies of the House of Rothschild during the present day.”

In addition to introducing more violence, groupthink, and madness into the world the LaRouche cult, like many cults, works its dupes inordinately long hours. A poster in an online discussion about Larouche wrote that, “[he] organized for them full time almost immediately after attending one of their retreats, and working for them 14 hours a day, attending their classes, subsequent retreats, and trips to other cities”, while a 2006 Weekly Dig article, “Children of Lyndon”, described the life of a LaRouche cult member as “a perpetual system of recruitment and indoctrination”. I have heard colloquially that 14 hour days are quite common at the LaRouche offices in downtown Boston, but of course verifying this has been difficult.

I have an unbaffling to see to, a telephone call to return to a friend. The LaRouchies will be back on campus; once they show up at a place they tend to stay a while. My suggestion to my readers would be not to argue with them, as they thrive on luring people into rabbit holes. They have been trained to stick to their topics, which you are likely not as well-schooled in, and they crave an audience. Whether you “win” or not, their aim is to acquire devotees, and in arguing with you they are really only playing to observers, who are potential recruits. “Never argue with an idiot”, the saying goes, “because they will only drag you down to their level, where they can beat you with experience.” Instead, please just ask them about Jeremiah Duggan.

I thought long and hard before writing this, because I did not want to give them any iota of publicity. However, if they are on campus, they must be challenged. Do your homework on this dangerous group before engaging with them. No one can steal your freedom of thought, but you can give it away, and sometimes very cheaply.

About the Contributor
Dan Roche served as opinions editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2006-2007; 2007-2008; 2008-2009