Part 2

Imagine you are a reporter for the New York Times in 1973. Your editor calls you to the desk, and asks you to do a piece on the fringe party candidates for New York City mayor. You research the parties, write up each candidate, maintaining total objectivity. There’s this novel new third party, the “Free Libertarian Party”, which you dutifully mention had its presidential candidate in 1972 receive one electoral vote from a disgruntled Republican. And then you find yourself typing this:

The strident US Labor Party stems from the National Caucus of Labor Committees, which contends it has “wrested left hegemony” from the Coummunist party, in part by an “Operation Mop Up”. Its weekly newspaper “New Solidarity” says, “many CPers have been sent to the hospital after jumping Labor Committee members in the CPs own meetings.”

The tip off is his use of “an” and the use of quotation marks in explaining “Operation Mop Up”. He could just as easily have cited the number 40 as the number of Communists taken down in “Operation Mop Up”, as it apparently was in the literature, which begs the question, considering what fringes of the political spectrum we’re working with here: ALL 40 of them?

Incidentally, the Labor Party’s mayorial candidate clears up some confusion, and I am inclined to believe Mr. Chaitkin here:

The “Caucus” dates from the 1968 student strike at Columbia University. Some sources call it an offshoot of splits in the leftist Progressive Labor Party and the Students for a Democratic Society. Mr. Chaitkin (the mayorial candidate), however, says it was started as a Greenwich Village discussion group by Lyn Marcus (aka Lyndon LaRouche), now national chairman. (Was he ever not?)

A letter that appeared in the New York Times arguring with a book reviewer for the LaRouche expose New American Fascism over the relative danger of the cult (the book reviewer said King pretty well inflates LaRouche’s threat — which I’m inclined to agree, despite an awareness that individually he’s hit some people hard) in 1989 shed a bit of light on some earlier activities, suggesting that the ideology hasn’t shifted much no matter what part of the political spectrum it is obstensibly attracting, nor has the tactics.

The media found itself covering this strange little cult when the case of Alice Weitzman showed up, an investigation and ensuing court trial over this situation:

Early this month in Washington Heights a young woman slipped away from the intense people who had had been crowding her apartment, folded a desperate note into a paper airplane, and sailed it out the living room. The note twisted down through the winter twilight to the feet of a mother and child out for a walk. While the young woman would frantically from the window, the mother picked up the note and read it.

“Please help to get me out of here. I am being held a prisonerin my own apartment. They’re going to move me soon to some unknown location. I will try to leave some clues in my room if the police get here too late. The note was signed Alice Weitzman.
To use somebody else’s terminology, she was an “Enemy of the People” — too questioning… she needed to be deprogrammed because there was a conspiracy afloat that had programmed her. Or something like that.

Now the group is convinced it is the target of a vast conspiracy embracing, among many other elements, the CIA, the KGB, British Intelligence, the New York City Police Department, the Rocekfellar family (ie: everyone who shot Kennedy) , and the anthropology department at Columbia University (!!!). This conspiracy, they say, has secretly gotten access to various of their members and has “programmed” them like computers to invent spurious identities and assassinate their leaders.

To post the details of the “deprogramming” seems to me gratuitious — there is a perverse and guilty “WTF” amusement in reading this, nubbed away when I realize the implications and that humanity is at stake here. Then again, Gratuitous is posting a never-ending series of posts chronologizing Mr. Larouche’s career. And, in the end, I’m trying to impart information. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you, and here is one of a few long passages I’ve chosen to pass by in its entirety.
Last summer, Mr. Marcus did his first “deprogramming” of a member in Germany named Konstantin George, who had left his wife and the movement to live with a psychiatrist in East Germany. When he returned to the West, Mr. Marcus said he discovered elements of a vast assassination plot against him implanted in Mr. George’s mind. Through the fall the talk of conspiracies and brainwashing grew in the movement. Mr. Marcus found his second victim at the annual meeting of the Labor Committees here on the last three days of December. He was a 26 year old English member named Christopher White. Mr. White was married last year to Miss Schnitzer, ten years his senior.

Mr. Marcus has taped the deprogramming, and to a layman it appears obvious that the elements of the conspiracy he claims to extract from Mr. White’s mind are either harmless bits of personal history or ideas suggested by Mr. Marcus himself.

When Mr. White resists the questioning at one point, Mr. Marcus shouts at the obviously disturbed youth: “You don’t have to communicate a goddamn thing. I know what your mind is.”

At another point when Mrs. White is in the room and Mr. White has confirmed one of Mr. Marcus’s suggestions, Mr. Marcus says “Now do you see Carol? Do you believe?”

There are sounds of weeping and vomiting on the tapes, and Mr. White complains of being deprived of sleep, food, and cigarettes. At one point someone says “raise the voltage,” but Mr. Marcus says this was associated with the bright lights used in the questioning rather than an electric shock. There is also what appears to be an attempt to hypnotize Mr. White by someone not Mr. Marcus in the room.

Mr. Marcus denies that Mr. White was mistreated in any way. He says a phsician, Dr. Gene Inch, also a member of the group, was in attendence throughout.

Mr. Marcus uses a combination of computer terminology and sexology to describe the “programming”. He describes Mr. White as “being reduced to a 8-cycle infinite loop with look-up table, with homosexual bestiality.” […] Mr. Marcus also says that a certain type of drug which his research has as yet been unable to specify is used in the “programming”. One of the iron rules of the labor committees is that members who use drugs are instantly expelled.

During the intensive questioning one day, Mr. White complains of a terrible pain in his arm. “That’s not real,” Mr. Marcus screams. “I have to tell you what’s real and stop this crazy fantasy world because it’s not my fantasy.”

It was at this time that the FBI tightened the restrictions of investigations such that they were unable to continue their search into LaRouche’s — strike that, Lyn Marcus’s — bizarre cult. Lyn Marcus proved an agile litigate on this matter — and shortly the FBI was no longer able to even comment on this case.

Part 3. At the Rockefellar vice president hearings. Attempting to gain support from the Right. The Election of 1976 and a platform that will become eerily repetitive.

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