The following statement was filed with the North London Coroner's Court that is investigating the 2003 death of Jeremiah Duggan while attending a LaRouche cadre school in Wiesbaden, Germany. Mr. Tennenbaum's experiences in Wiesbaden decades earlier with the same organization may shed some light on what happened to Jeremiah. You can read the official version of Mr. Tennenbaum's affidavit here.
This is an extremely condensed summary of some experiences with Lyndon LaRouche's organization in 1977.
In late 1976 my older brother Jonathan Tennenbaum ("JT") was teaching at Copenhagen University and he invited me to live and study with him. At the time he had been supporting my studies, financially. JT was a high achiever: he obtained a Ph.D. at age 23 and was awarded a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Science and sent to Cambridge U., a spot traditionally reserved for the best young American scientist in math or physics that year.
A week before traveling to Copenhagen, JT asked me to change plans and meet him in Wiesbaden, Germany, where an "interesting conference" was scheduled. I had no reservations about going as JT was a loving brother--my greatest supporter--and I trusted his judgement, implicitly. My flight had me arriving two days before JT, who told me to visit the headquarters of a group known as the "ICLC" and talk with people. I arrived with almost no resources, and stayed at an inexpensive hotel for two nights. I was a twenty (20) year old non-practicing Jew, did not speak German, and this was my first trip abroad.
Around Jan. 5th, 1977, I appeared at the ICLC's offices; security cameras were outside and the front door was locked. I was buzzed in immediately and initially was treated well, although I was handed off from one person to the next because nobody could/would answer two simple questions. They were very busy and the atmosphere was tense. On the second day the same people were openly unfriendly and, at one point someone new appeared, handed me a stack of LaRouche's writings, escorted me to a room isolated from everyone else, and told to wait there until the "Copenhagen Delegation" ("CD") arrived. The CD came about 5 hours later; it consisted of about nine (9) people including JT. He did not greet me warmly, as he had done his entire life, as my only brother; indeed, he sounded completely different from the previous week's phone conversation. JT appeared extremely tired and under tremendous pressure. During the next week we were never left alone together. Shortly after everyone arrived, a Vincent Robsen ("VR"), leader of the CD, took us all into a room and began attacking me personally and viciously. JT simply watched, silently. I was astonished that he didn't intervene and tell VR to back off. I could easily defend myself, intellectually, but became frightened because JT appeared afraid of VR. JT's personality had changed drastically and he simply abandoned his role as my older brother within the span of a week.
Events now become deadly serious: We all walked to get dinner. JT was on my right side, VR and the entire CD were in front of us. Within minutes, I was smashed into from behind by a tall young man who then stepped in front of me and said, "Either you join us/up or we cut your sister's legs off." My brother immediately turned to me and said, "They have a way of pulling you in." The young man then ran off into the distance at high speed.
My fear rose tremendously, not simply by the death threat but by my brother's response. Saying that "they have a way of pulling you in" meant, to me, that he was well aware of a threat against our family and/or us and he was telling me to go along with these people--that we were in danger. I had anticipated staying with my brother that night somewhere in town but, to my distress, JT told me to go with "VR" and the others; he then vanished. VR took us to some apartment and immediately asked me to give him my passport "for safekeeping." I refused, as I was taught to keep identity papers on me at all times. VR's wife Loni then pressured me for the passport but I was steadfast. I then became extremely anxious: Too much had happened too quickly. Where was I? What had happened to my brother? Why had he abandoned me with these hostile, perhaps even dangerous, people? What would happen if I did not cooperate? Would my sister be killed, would I be killed, or my mother or father? Perhaps my brother would be killed.
I conclude by stating that on that first night, VR announced that thermonuclear war was about to erupt unless we organized the population to save humanity. His argument sounded insane and when I questioned it, VR and others kept me up all night, working me over psychologically, insisting that I was self-centered and that I must join them immediately to save humanity from imminent incineration. Without any sleep, I attended the conference the next morning--a large hall with over 1,000 people from all over Europe. My brother arrived but he was a different person from the man I knew so well. He obeyed VR's every request as if he were under orders. He had no warmth; he seemed robotic, as if his soul had been removed. Note, crucially, that at the two or three-day conference, I saw the young man who initially threatened to kill my sister unless I joined them. Sometimes he was right behind me, looking over my shoulder,other times he trailed me, but in a surreptitious way. I tested to see if he was trailing me and caught him, multiple times, especially when I went to the bathroom. I was being monitored, continuously.
For the next 5 nights I was never left alone, was kept sleep deprived by VR and the CD as they took turns trying to "break me" while others slept. The whole story is too long, but I knew that after 5 or 6 nights without sleep I would lose my mind, physiologically. I decided to try and split off the less committed members from VR--to make them disinterested in dealing with me, as I posed difficult, penetrating questions. After 6 nights, everyone gave up on me, at least for a few moments and I was able to see my brother alone for the first time in a week. I begged him for money to leave town, telling him about the brutal ego-stripping sessions, the madness. He reacted callously, saying, "You're a man, Peter. Can't you take it?" Finally, and extremely reluctantly,he gave me enough funds to take a train to his apartment in Copenhagen. Many extreme events happened there, and over the ensuing 30 years, including additional terrifying incidents. The full story is too long and requires 30 to 50 pages.
Note that JT later became a key figure in LaRouche's organization, including becoming LaRouche's official "Science Advisor", traveling the world for LaRouche (JT is fluent in many languages).