Why is Star Trek’s Commander Chakotay a Larouchie?

Now then. Full steam ahead.
What is the deal with Robert Beltran?

Of the half a dozen episodes I think I saw, I remember two episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, that forgettable a series it is for me. One of the episodes I remember basically because it was a rip-off of a Next Generation episode, a premise later used — I think but am not certain on the X-Files and then later on with a wink and a nod on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All of which is just as well, because Groundhog’s Day had a not dissimilar premise.

It does look like the weakest link in the Star Trek franchise. I know nothing about Deep Space Nine, but I do remember that there was a one or two season story arc that my Star Trek fan siblings found fascinating. Even Enterprise looks as though it had more charm, or potential for charm, than Voyager. The Trek franchise is a bit on the rocks right now, and there isn’t any clear idea of how to jump-start it with new material. In the popular imagination of the casual civilian, Trek begins and ends with Kirk’s crew and Picard’s crew. It actually is enough of a feat that they managed to churn out The Next Generation; you can throw the darts twice and come up with something.

So it is that Patrick Stewart, a classically trained Shakespearean actor, can be pretty damned comfortable with his role, known primarily as Jon Luc Picard.  Robert Beltran has a harder time as Commander Chakotay. From a 2001 New York Times:

“Chakotay has not changed enough for my taste,” the outspoken actor said, referring to the character he’s played for seven years on Star Trek: Voyager. […] “Although they come up with a scene here or there that’s tolerable, I think the character has not progressed since season four,” Beltran said. “In fact, he may even have regressed a little.

“I would have explored his past, his spirituality, the inner conflicts he might have,” the actor said, “and most definitely his relationships, not just with the captain, but with everybody else on the ship. I would have liked more revealing scenes with the other cast members, which were sorely lacking with Chakotay.”

Though his frustration is palpable, Beltran insisted that he never let it seep into his performance or his on-set demeanor. The actor gave his all when called upon, and it wasn’t unusual to find him joking with cast and crew on the stage or tossing a football outside, in front of his trailer on the Paramount lot.

“When you’re given these throwaway scenes with not much thought put into who’s saying it and its importance to the whole story – and I’m talking mostly about seasons five and six here – it just makes me feel like the writers don’t care,” Beltran said.

“I just felt let down, ignored and insulted,” he said. “I think they did a grave disservice to what I thought could have been an interesting character.” […]
“I’m just sorry that it has gotten to the point where I’m feeling so unexcited, that I got to be so disillusioned with it,” he said. “I’m sorry that happened. I’m sorry the writers didn’t see the possibilities. I’m sorry for all the missed chances, not only for my character but for the whole Voyager story.

“I just feel like it’s been a disappointment,” he said.

Beltran, however, is looking forward rather than back. Life after Voyager, he said, will resemble life before Voyager.

“I’m an actor,” he said. “I do television. I do films. I do stage. I’ll do whatever feels right.

“I can only do what’s offered to me,” he said, “and from the list of what’s offered to me I’ll just do what I think is the best thing to do. Ideally I want to do my own films – I’d like to have my own production company and tell the stories I like.”

I imagine Larouche and company getting wind of this disaffected actor, with it piquing their interest. I don’t think a Scientology approach per se could work at all with Larouche — a group of Big Name actors hamper the need to be above this silly pop culture world.  But a single well-regarded actor disillusioned shadows their recruitment base, and besides which he is in a position to wander in and out of Hollywood without much fret.
Note the immediate post-Trek stage performance he took part in, which served as his “in” to the orbit of Larouche:

Robert Beltran, perhaps best known for his work on “Star Trek: Voyager,” stars as Charlie Castle, a much-adored movie star who has sold his soul, metaphorically speaking, to satanic, all-powerful studio head Marcus Hoff (chilling Miguel Sandoval). When Charlie killed a child in a hit-and-run accident some months back, Hoff covered up the incident. Now, Hoff is pressuring Charlie to renew his 14-year contract — a Faustian bargain Charlie’s wife, Marion (effective Rita Rehn), will not tolerate.

Ever mindful of the period, beautifully evoked by Scott Siedman’s tacky-lush set, Melendez calibrates the distance between emotional truth and histrionics, seldom tumbling into the gap between. Reminiscent of John Garfield in his prime, Beltran is righteously passionate as a conscientious artist forced into an unholy compromise — Odets’ prescient nod to escalating McCarthyism.

It doesn’t take too much work to read into his motivations to that role.  It also managed the trick of putting some of Larouche’s words into Beltran’s mouth regarding a post – FDR let-down in society, a bridge into Larouche’s faux idealism.
Interesting to note what Larouche’s attitude toward Star Trek and Star Wars has been — largely negative “moronic space opera drivel”, but with the value of “getting kids interested” in his dreams of moon colonies and missile defense “Beam Weapon Technology”.

Robert Beltran later insisted that he basically hates the genre conventions of science fiction, and insisted that one of his projects not be compared with The Twilight Zone.

That explains why Robert Beltran is now teaching Drama at Larouche’s Academies. Actually, he is not too dissimilar from the Youth Recruits in respect to motivation.

lhl scamed beltran with the truman story, and the generation gap story, and now beltran thinks he finally has modern american history – as well as the cause of all the world’s problems today – figured out…thanks to lhl – the world’s one and only non-solution.
lhl is very good at making up simple explanations to help make complicated things line up neatly…the only problem is that every now and then some new explanation will come along – but this doens’t mean that lhl was wrong – it just means that lhl was hypothezing the higher hypotheses,
the org is using beltran to sucker in more youth…the idea of having a well-known actor give you acting classes is too good a pull.
the org has used this trick before…get to know some well-known singer, musician or actor, get some rapport going with them, by having “intellectual” discussions with them about how bad movies or music or broadway is today…then the target will think that they have found someone who understands them, their problems, share their hopes and dreams, etc.
then comes the ego stroking – you get an invitation to perform at a conference or something like that.
finally, comes the “lyn is the only solution” line, with some explanation on how lyn is so clever that everybody just slanders him as a fascist and everyone who has left him – chris and carol white for example – are agents – real estate or otherwise.
then, the org starts asking for money…which is what it was all about to begin with.
it happened to william warfield…and now that warfield is dead…beltran is next in line.

OR… Robert Beltran speaking before an excited conference of Youth:
The final speaker was Mr. Robert Beltran, a Classical actor who has been working with the LaRouche Youth Movement for about five years.  He connected “the long arc of corruption and immorality from Nietzsche, Wagner, Kant, Liszt, Darwin, Freud, and various others like that.”  Beltran read from 19th and 20th Century poets such as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Hardy, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot, which include such demoralizing, banal, and self-hating lines as, “Do I dare disturb the universe? In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.  For I have known them all already, known them all-Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons. I have measured out my life with coffee spoons”-which was written by T.S. Eliot in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1919).”
Robert then contrasted that by reading two sonnets by Shakespeare, two poems by John Keats, and the great “Ozymandias” by Percy Shelley, which, if you make it simpler for Bush and Cheney, would be nice for them to hear. “Ozymandias” is a political lesson for those who don’t know the consequences of an empire. He also read “On Peace” by Keats, which is a call for Europe to free itself from the chains of Empire, following the model of the just-created United States. (Hear Robert Beltran read the poems)
The dialogue which ended the meeting rallied the audience to establish its responsibility as a social body, and to find self-inspired passion to change their own identity in order to create a renaissance. “How do you lift society up in a world jaded and bereft of beauty?” Beltran was asked. He replied, “All I can do is hope there is a project out there worth putting your time into. You have to do it yourselves, like what the musicians (Duckles and Levin) said, you do it because it’s in you. You will have to create it, you guys will have to create it, we have to create it. The world needs great poetry, a great chorale.”

Too bad he couldn’t be Captain Picard.

5 Responses to “Why is Star Trek’s Commander Chakotay a Larouchie?”

  1. Rachel Holmes Says:

    Beltran is the bozo who, having hurled himself into doing Clifford Odets, as you point out, is now teaching the LaRouche youth “Shakespeare.” LaRouche shut down all other attempts in favor of Beltran’s histrionic hyper approach.

    In fact, LaRouche disallowed any “official” Shakespeare in the organization for years on the grounds that only he could understand it. (Too bad he mixed up Hamlet and Julius Caesar in one memorable article.)

    All the “Shakespeare people”–Chris, Cynthia , Mel and Kathy, Paul, Richard, Linda–above all, Ken Kronberg (I use his full name because he’s dead)–were disallowed from teaching, directing, performing, etc. Shut down, driven out, or, in Kronberg’s case, worse.

    So Chakotay could take over.

    Why? Because LaRouche is always mesmerized by Being Noticed by Important People. Plus of course Beltran had more money to cough up than Chris, Cynthia, Ken, Mel, Linda, etc.

  2. MotherSkadi Says:

    Beltran, in an interview on a Larouche webcast, tells his own story about joining up. He was channel surfing one night and saw LHL on a community channel. He was amazed, or so he said, that no one had assassinated the guy.

    The first clue the fans had that Beltran signed on was at a convention. He was asked what he was reading and he said Fidelio. They all started googling and the was when they found out. Most support him because they simply won’t accept that he is capable of making poor choices or that LHL is a cult leader.

    I understand Harley may have jumped on him when he first called the LA office to inquire about the organization. Beltran’s first appearance was at the February 2001 President’s Day conference. He read from Julius Caesar, which Harley incorporated into his speech.

  3. John Doe Says:

    I think Beltran almost walked when Lyn began to loudly promote the choral work while denouncing the work on drama. I think he was handled by the Boomers and his ego massaged after some of lyn’s more pointed comments got out. I especially remember a cadre school session where lyn made remarks about people in drama wanting to change sex partners and it was better to focus on the discipline of the choral work. If I can find a transcript of the session, I will include Lyn’s words.

  4. John Doe Says:

    example quote: “I can tell you now, that the reaction to my report, in the
    Congress, in the House of Representatives and the Senate, is one
    of panic. The reaction can only be described, as comparable to
    the day the buzzard flew over the chicken coop: They’re panicked.
    And it now is up to you. But the key thing to concentrate
    on, is the {ideas}, and the nature of the ideas. For example, if
    some people try to break up the music work, and say, “well, drama
    is an alternative for music,” it is not. Because you have people
    who tend to get Romantic about drama, because of Hollywood, you
    know? And you find, often, you get a kind of sexual
    hyperactivity, around drama groups, or the people who try to
    incite them, because that’s what they’re interested in. They’re
    interested in crazy sex, and they like to change the play, that
    is, have sex with different people and that sort of thing. So,
    it’s bad.
    So therefore, we concentrate on the discipline, which is
    inherently imposed by Classical choral singing, as the basis for
    our Classical artistic program. And other things are just pushed
    to one side. There are some people who are good at drama, and
    they should work at it, but we don’t want people, as I’ve seen
    around some of the groups, the [inaud] groups, who get involved
    with this, and get involved with it with a sloppy,m Romantic
    approach to the things, and often you find that a change in
    sexual partners is a characteristic of this kind of enterprise,
    rather than some good drama!
    So, the issue is, the physical science, mass deployment of
    the population, the use of singing as a mode of communicating
    ideas, the training in that, in the choral singing: These are the
    foundations of the ability of a movement of young people, of 18
    to 25, 28, so forth, to move the entire population, as you’ve
    demonstrated that this can be done, in European and in the United
    States. Without your intervention, given the role of the
    generation which is now between 50 and 65, which is essentially
    running society in Europe and in the United States, {there’s no
    hope for humanity}. Without you, as the kick in the ass, for that
    generation, there is no chance for global civilization today. And
    we’re not talking about the distant future: We’re talking about
    the immediate weeks and months ahead.”

  5. Justin Says:


    5) I once felt fear at a Star Trek convention. This convention in New Jersey advertised all of Star Trek: Voyager’s crew. All came but Kate Mulgrew. I was watching the Knight’s club table when Robert Beltran (Chakotay) was on stage. A fan had asked him what his opinion of the Star Trek universe was and Beltran candidly replied it was: he goes to work, he performs his lines, and he gets his paycheck. And the crowed BOOED him! I made a note of the emergency exits. That is precisely what you *don’t* say to Star Trek fans!

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