Yesterday was April 11, a “Day That Will Live in Infamy”. Ken Kronberg committed suicide. Had it not been for this, it is unlikely that I would still be posting on matters concerning the Larouche cult, certainly not at the rate I have, and I would have moved on to some other bright shiny object of absurdity. An anniversary like that puts me in mind to look back and answer the question — Why was I around to take special notice of this? I am a little bit startled in re-reading what fades away in my memory.
The circumstances of the time are these. A college newspaper writer saw a few posts on this blog — they were re-posted comments to silly posts about the Larouche Movement from a former member giving his warning sirens and relaying his experiences. Current members descended upon his comments, and the tenor of my general attitude can be seen with this post.
The college writer thought I was that former member. She was wanting to write a piece for her school newspaper, dangling further possibilities in shopping to the liberal rags of In These Times and something else that escapes my memory — which would be in its immediacy a Cautionary Warning Piece to the campus as the cult started its fall recruits. I let it pass before she emailed again with more urgency. I don’t know how this reads, but after a bit of thought, I switched my mind and actively, more aggressive than my laissez faire attitude norm, contacted the man to urge the poster some cooperation with the college newspaper writer.
There’s a bit more to the story, but not much. Perhaps I leaned on him a bit too hard, perhaps not. The article was apparently something of a Deadline Buster. But it was published — made a presence at that campus and online.
There were a few Larouchies who continued to grace this blog with their presence. Someone with the last name “Bettag”, for instance. In hindsight they appeared to give me more power than I ever could give myself. See this statement here.
Do you also suggest solutions to the problems that this ‘nut case’ raises? Economics, the war? Or do you just intend to disparage those who do, thus demoralizing the population with your stuff? Good show!
Really? This Blog has the ability to “Demoralize the Population”? Really? Looking back, I wonder if she meant I was “demoralizing” the members of the Larouche Youth Movement — future daily briefings seem to suggest that possibility for interpretration. Otherwise, I’m a little stumped — months, years later I’d be sharing closer to the truth: “this blog is read by, like, seven people”.
I was reasonably charitable with the figure of “Steve”, though could not help but balk at his great question “Do you know the difference between Man and the Animals?” I somehow slipped away “Animals” and replaced it with “beasts” — I think that comes from the various references to “beast-men” and “Bestial”. So sorry.
Anyway, such comments did not escape the notice of ex-members. Hence the following comment, shortly after the “Day That Will Live in Infamy”, April 11, 2007:
See if the larouche cultists who show up here can give more details of what happened in larouche’s residence the night before and the morning of the suicide.
Some details emerged shortly, of course. The Daily Briefing for that morning. And so Bettag resurfaced here. What does it make YOU if you publish stuff you have no personal knowledge of? How much research did you do before you published Nick Benton’s article and then responded to it as gospel…?
A fumbling and mad scramble indeed, easily and quickly substantiated — Dennis King published the briefing in full, it was published at factnet by (probably quasi)-anonymous figures — and the larouche org itself chimed in on its authenticity when it blasted Dennis King’s postings at its various websites, the relevant phrase:
These slanders, along with King’s posting of stolen documents.
I will add that nothing came out of this particular message.
Brian Says: May 1st, 2007 at 2:45 pm I don’t believe you guys have any idea about LaRouche or his movement. I would reccomend all of you to call them and challenge them personally. Making a stupid website called skull / bones and ranting about something you obviously dont know is retarded. I live in Lynnwood WA, we should meet up and have some of the LYM youth there and then you can tell them how bad LaRouche is in person, unless your just a little pussy that hides behind fourms and posts shit like you know something..
I don’t think so.
When an article for Kenneth Kronberg appeared on wikipedia, the Larouche Wikipedia Team came out and took their whacks.
:::::::::The statement about suicide is clearly hyperbole in the “briefing,” not intended to be taken literally. Benton is treating it as if it were a literal recommendation. “Malicious” seems to be the right word for this. —NathanDW 16:12, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
And so they continue, as you can see on this wikipedia page, rationalizing the Daily Briefing. But, for some comedy relief, try this one.:
:::Take a look at WP:SELFPUB. Kronberg was a member of the LaRouche movement, so under Wikipedia policy a self-published source from that movement is acceptable in an article about him. However, in an article about an opponent of the LaRouche movement such as Dick Cheney, material sourced to LaRouche publications would be excluded. —Marvin Diode 14:32, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The mind boggles. And, as the Larouche Line evolved, so did the wikipedia assault…
::::How do you know it was “lack of support from his community”? He left no suicide note. For all we know, he was pushed to suicide by a wife who was undermining his life’s work by supporting George Bush. In a matter like this, it is disrectful to the deceased to speculate about his motives, but the real issue here is that the usual gang, King, Berlet, etc., have ghoulishly seized upon Kronberg’s death to push their agenda. That’s why this is a coatrack article. —Masai warrior 13:56, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
And about the Ken Kronberg Memorial Page.
:It is most emphatically not “his family’s memorial website” — it is a propaganda site run by his cousin, acting as a meatpuppet for Dennis King. —NathanDW 01:04, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
That’s an extraordinary claim, isn’t it? ”
To follow an evolution of the “Line”, we can track through the material I batched up here and here. The startling focal point in terms of re-directional hate came when the Larouche org let it be known that Molly Kronberg donated money to the Bush Campaign. Well, it is a ways from her congressional campaign days in garnering 285 votes, and back then, — that time in the late 1980s which, in the new drive to demonize Molly Kronberg, became another source of historical revision in the organization to meet the new narrative.
So it was this.
Ted Andromidas (not verified) on Tue Sep. 2, 2008 7:31 PM PDT Now Molly, for over a decade you have ridiculed and vilified LaRouche. I was there, at gatherings, where you did that. So, using your name means little or nothing. The more interesting question for me is, why DID you hang around? What was the point? Why did you live on a paycheck provided by an organization, and those affiliated with it, that you have so despised for 19 years. Really, cut it out>
Submitted by Molly Kronberg (not verified) on Tue Oct. 7, 2008 10:06 PM PDT
However, I didn’t “live on a paycheck provided by [the] organization”–I never got a paycheck from the organization after 1986, and Ken never got a paycheck from the organization after 1978.
As to my vilifying LaRouche at social gatherings–of course I attacked LaRouche for years, and events have shown just how right I was. In particular, the death of my husband, driven to suicide by LaRouche and his associates, as Avi Klein’s article intimates.
Notable is that the cloddlessness of the cult’s members continued unabetted.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon Aug. 24, 2009 2:15 AM PDT.
Whatever you say about Larouche as far as predicting the crash of the economy he was right on target.
Wha–? See too here.
The Washington Monthly piece is an interesting piece of journalism about a truly disturbing event: the death of Ken Kronberg. Unfortunately both Kate’s post and Avi’s article suffer from the usual problems with LaRouche critics: (i) over-reliance on emotive words like “crazy” which don’t describe much except to advertise your own status in the respectible anti-LaRouche crowd (ii) and total mischaracterization of the ideas of the LaRouche movement. […] Sometimes I think that those who claim that the ideas themselves are simply “crazy” simply use that term to convince intelligent fair-minded people not to bother reading them. Now, LaRouche’s personal behavior makes the critics’ mischaracterizations an easier sell. That may be the true crime.
A very curious game of compartmentalizing and rationalizing, I would say, particularly since what is being rationalized isn’t worth a lot.
Then came this.
My ubderstanding is that there were problems in the marriage and this sort of thing has driven many a man to jump off a bridge, out a window, whatever.
Marielle can say whatever she wants now that poor Ken can’t defend himself can’t she?She’s rather low as human beings come.
Posted by: revenire | March 15, 2009 2:33 PM
Margaret (author) said:
Molly, aside from being evil, rotten and dirty, your problem is and always was that you are UGLY as SIN. Girl, you were whooped with the ugly stick! Dante needs to come back to create a new circle in Hell just for you.
# 17 September 2008 at 11:39 pm
Revenire: (i sure hope none of them jump and if they do it is out of a one story building and not into traffic)
When I get a chance, I’ll edit in the supposed sympathetic posturings that revenire made toward not solely Kronberg but too Duggan — as he sk
A former federal prosecutor’s involvement in a fraud trial more than 20 years ago is preventing him from representing a government witness in the case who is now suing the criminal defendants for alleged libel and harassment. […]
Markham said today he’s disappointed with Trenga’s ruling on the defense motion to disqualify and that he will likely ask the judge to reconsider the decision. The Justice Department, he noted, did not find a conflict in his representation of Kronberg. Court records show that Markham’s first contact with Kronberg was in 2009 when she approached him about claims of harassment.
Markham said regardless of whether he or someone else argues for Kronberg, there will be a “very effective presentation” of the claims.
The case proceeds. The cult continues its public displays of insanity, and the public greets the org’s displays.
In hindsight I managed to eke out a modest platform that a few former members used to shed some light on the horror of the cult. It also served an equally useful platform where the Cult itself could show and expose itself when under pressure to reinvent its history. Legal proceedings continue in Great Britain and in Virginia, see here from this page. Whatever the legal outcomes, I could only say a record of Immorality is pretty well written, and anyone who can fill in those blanks should do so.