Chapter Sixteen

The Art of Scapegoating

In an October 1987 review of Veil, Bob Woodward's Iran-Contra book, LaRouche held forth on the subject of propaganda. "There is no morality, no truth,” in a propaganda war, he wrote. "A choice is made to boost or to discredit this or that personality, group, issue, or policy, and the mechanics of the psy-ops [psychological operations] trade go to work without scruple to get the job done."

The statement referred to the CIA and the KGB, but LaRouche might as well have been talking about the NCLC. Few organizations have ranged the ideological map with such adroit inconsistency. First they attacked the U.S. government for being soft on communism, next they criticized it for giving aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. They praised the NAACP for its support of nuclear power, but they also met with Ku Klux Klan leaders and bemoaned the decline of the white race. When they enjoyed access to the Reagan administration, LaRouche said Reagan was "touched by greatness." After the administration cut them off, LaRouche called Reagan a man of low intelligence, "pussywhipped" by the First Lady.

The inconsistencies sometimes reflect LaRouche's personal pique. More often they arise from his dualistic view of politics—that all groups inevitably split into factions representing sharply opposed views. Thus, the LaRouchians condemn the bad Mafia of drug pushers but praise the good Mafia of redeemable patriotic labor racketeers. They rail against the bad Communists who, like Gorbachev, promote glasnost, but express admiration for the good Communists who adhere to old-fashioned Stalinist views. They distinguish between good and bad Freemasons, good and bad Knights of Malta, good and bad Klansmen, They also believe that the war of "humanist" vs. "oligarchical" tendencies is within the soul of individual world leaders, which makes it perfectly logical to praise Reagan one moment and savage him the next.

Underneath all this, LaRouche continues to pursue his anti-Semitic Grand Design through front organizations, coalitions with outside groups, election campaigns, pseudo-academic conferences, and what he calls the "naming of names." His propaganda methods are far more complex than those of the Ku Klux Klan and other extremist groups. He will start by selecting a legitimate issue such as AIDS, the farm crisis, or defense spending. Giving an appearance of sincere concern, his followers often research the issue thoroughly and come up with proposals that make sense. But they always announce that an evil plot is blocking implementation of their proposals and attempt to steer the campaign in an anti-Semitic direction. Sometimes they employ obvious euphemisms—"Zionist," "usurer," "shylock," or "cabalist." Other times, they refer to "monetarists" (as in moneylender), "Venetian bankers" (as in The Merchant of Venice), or "Our Crowd" (from the title of Stephen Birmingham's best-selling book about prominent New York Jews). They also use esoteric code words like "British," "Babylonian," "Whore of Babylon," and "Mesopotamian," which may puzzle the average person but strike a chord with anti-Semites of the old school.

Another tactic is to highlight well-known Jewish families or individuals. The Bronfman family (Seagram's), oil tycoon Armand Hammer, philanthropist Max Fisher, or investment banker Felix Rohatyn are either blamed for problems with which they have no connection or assigned a greatly exaggerated responsibility. If an individual happens to be a mobster or some other reprehensible type, the LaRouchians will emphasize his misdeeds to the exclusion of those of his Gentile associates. (To the LaRouchians, Meyer Lansky was the Mafia in his day; the Sicilians hardly counted.) LaRouche's publications also strive to hit mainstream Jews with guilt by association, through the use of semantic tags—e.g., "Lansky's ADL" and ''Lansky's Israel."

The list of those to be attacked includes many non-Jews, such as Senator Moynihan of New York or former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, But the attacks usually focus on their support for Israel or their friendship with prominent Jews, and may allude to real or rumored Jewish ancestry. In a 1978 piece, LaRouche called Energy Secretary James R. Schlesinger an "imp of evil," born Jewish and "a convert to Lutheranism." While Schlesinger does come from Jewish ancestry, LaRouche's statement basically reflected a traditional practice of anti-Semites—call anyone you don’t like a Jew. Slyly, LaRouche added that Schlesinger's alleged Jewishness was really "irrelevant" since his "morality is neither Jewish nor Christian." LaRouche failed to explain why, if it was irrelevant, he had bothered to mention it.

Through such tricks, LaRouchian propaganda blames the Jews for just about every problem facing the average American. The message is carefully tailored for different constituencies. Farmers are told that Wall Street "monetarists” are behind the agricultural crisis and the decline of the family farm. Teamster union leaders are told that liberal Jewish foundations are behind the government's crackdown on union corruption. The AFL-CIO rank and file is told that its leaders are Zionist agents who don't really care about bread-and-butter problems. Black college students are told that Jews exploit black entertainers and that the Anti-Defamation League secretly funds the Ku Klux Klan. The public in general is told that Jews are inveterate conspirators who planned the slayings of Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Jimmy Hoffa, and are trying to assassinate LaRouche.

The LaRouchians weave into these charges a toned-down version of the "blood libel"—the belief, widely held in medieval Europe, that Jews kidnap Christian children and use them for ritual sacrifices. Various wealthy American and Israeli Jews are accused of pushing drugs to American youth, sexually molesting them, or teaching them immorality via rock music and Hollywood movies.

LaRouchian propaganda also tries to raise doubts about the patriotism of American Jews. When a Pentagon official, Jonathan Pollard, was arrested as an Israeli spy in 1986, the LaRouchians portrayed him as typical of Jews in the U.S. government. In March 1987, New Solidarity published on its front page a list of Jews in the Reagan administration, described as agents of a "subversive parallel government." These individuals, including Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Perle and Geneva arms negotiator Max Kampelman, were identified as Jewish via the label "JINSA operatives" (a reference to the Washington-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs). An Executive Intelligence Review special report described them as "not simply 'Zionist Lobby’ activists, but hardcore Mossad operatives." A LaRouchian editorial urged a general "housecleaning" to get these associates of the Israeli "mafia" out of the U.S. government "once and for all."

The loyalty issue has been a standard anti-Semitic tactic ever since the French army captain Alfred Dreyfus was falsely convicted of treason in 1894. But the LaRouchians add another twist (as did Hitler in Mein Kampf, and Stalin in his polemics against Trotsky), claiming that the Jews are not just spies but political agents who secretly manipulate policy to weaken the nation's will to resist its enemies.

LaRouchian publications also depict Israel as providing the Soviet Union with intelligence culled from a vast network of Zionists in the U.S. government. It is said to be the "main intermediary country which Moscow uses in stealing U.S. sensitive equipment"—the United States gives Israel high-tech weaponry, and the Israelis pass it on.

Such themes go hand in hand with attempts to trivialize the crimes of the Third Reich. In 1978 LaRouche dismissed the Holocaust as mostly "mythical," while his wife, Helga, called it a "swindle." New Solidarity attacked the Holocaust curriculum in New York public schools as "viciously anti-German" and as "filth," saying that any teacher who taught it should be fired. When the television movie Holocaust was aired in 1979, New Solidarity denounced it. In the early 1980s, LaRouchian publications began to defend Nazi war criminals as innocent victims of persecution. The Justice Department's investigation of Tscherim Soobzokov, a former SS officer, was attacked as an "outrageously corrupt, KGB-modeled witchhunt." When he was seriously wounded in a 1984 pipe-bomb explosion at his New Jersey home, local LaRouchians called a press conference and accused the Anti-Defamation League and the Israeli government of complicity in the bombing. They demanded the appointment of a federal special prosecutor. After the FBI refused to take their allegations seriously and Soobzokov died from his injuries, New Solidarity published a cartoon of an FBI badge dripping with blood. "Blood on Hands of FBI, ADL,” the headline said.

Austrian President Kurt Waldheim seems to be another innocent victim. When the World Jewish Congress produced evidence of his Nazi past in 1986, Executive Intelligence Review dismissed it as a "gigantic hoax." World Jewish Congress chairman Edgar Bronfman, EIR added, is a "Meyer Lansky-linked organized crime figure."

President Reagan's 1985 trip to the graves of SS officers at Bitburg in West Germany was no policy blunder in New Solidarity’s view, but a "courageous" action to strengthen the Western alliance. It gave the German people "a sense of pride in the historical importance of Germany's contribution to all mankind." Jewish leaders who opposed the trip, such as Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, acted as anti-German "racists" and as dupes of Soviet propaganda. "There is no limit," Executive Intelligence Review wrote, "to the psychotic frenzy [Jewish leaders] can be driven to by guilt and [Soviet] blackmail."

Despite all this, LaRouche and his followers vehemently deny they are anti-Semitic. They say that the real anti-Semites are the Zionists, who keep the Jews in an inward-turned nationalistic frame of mind and use them on behalf of nefarious oligarchical political purposes. One of the supposed aims of the LaRouchians is to liberate the Jews from Zionism so they can lead fuller lives.

Zionism and the Jews are not the LaRouchians' only obsessions. They agitate around a variety of issues that appear innocuous and often intriguing: a crash program for fusion, a manned trip to Mars, new irrigation projects for the Rocky Mountain states. Yet there's always a catch to it. Support for space exploration becomes a crusade for a trillion-dollar government project necessitating centralization of the economy—an indirect way of promoting national socialist economics.

America's law-and-order problems likewise become a pretext for nudging the public toward accepting police-state methods. In 1978 LaRouche predicted a massive surge of domestic terrorism would soon hit America. The nation's survival would depend on "surgically precise" action against the controllers of the plot—e.g. the Zionists. When the terrorist wave failed to materialize, the LaRouchians simply linked the idea of extra-constitutional surgery to the drug problem, urging a mobilization of the armed forces.

In this they followed the basic principle of fascist agitation: Pick a problem that is real, highly visible, easy to understand, and, above all, charged with emotion, then offer a simplistic solution. They are attuned to such issues and the ever-shifting possibilities for demagoguery because of their constant dialogue with the public. LaRouche followers are at the nation's airports every day, all day, talking politics with quintessential Middle Americans. Or they are on the phone for long hours as fundraisers, sounding out the views of potential donors. As candidates for public office, they fan out each primary season to working-class neighborhoods and farm communities across the country, not just to ask for votes but to engage people in serious discussions. Illinois pollster Michael McKeon has watched them at work at shopping centers. He observes that a LaRouche campaign worker may experience rejection from nine out of ten passersby, but the latter will often communicate the reason for their negative response. They will suggest new and more relevant issues even while flinging the leaflet back in the canvasser's face with a curse. The LaRouchians listen carefully to angry people and sometimes perceive things about the public's mood before the pollsters and professional politicians do.

The best example is the AIDS issue. By the fall of 1985, LaRouche recognized that it was about to become the scariest issue of the decade. He concocted the slogan "Spread Panic, not AIDS!" The entire human race, he claimed, would face extinction if stern measures weren't taken immediately against gay people and mosquitoes. Offering himself as the only leader willing to act with the necessary ruthlessness, he picked California as his first battleground. In the summer of 1986 his followers fanned out through most of the state's fifty-eight counties. Operating through a committee called PANIC, they collected over 700,000 signatures for a ballot initiative calling for quarantine of AIDS victims. The signatures withstood all legal challenges, and the measure was placed on the ballot as Proposition 64. It received nationwide publicity and became a major issue in California politics. Congressman William Dannemeyer (R.-Cal.) championed it and became its respectable front man. Ironically, Dannemeyer had chaired the Republican Study Committee two years earlier when it produced a report warning conservatives not to be taken in by LaRouche propaganda and pointing out that LaRouche's intent was to "disrupt our democratic system." Dannemeyer now said, as did some other California conservatives, that he was supporting Proposition 64 solely on its merits. Gay organizations, the health professions, labor unions, and the Democratic Party launched a counter-effort, warning the public that "political extremist Lyndon LaRouche" was behind the measure. (One of the anti-Proposition 64 groups was even called "Stop LaRouche.") Gay organizations charged that when LaRouche said quarantine he really meant concentration camps.

LaRouche's cadres were preprogrammed for the quarantine campaign. For years words like "faggot" and "queer" had peppered NCLC publications, along with allegations that child molesters, Satanists, and Communists control the gay rights movement, The articles also suggested that homosexuality is a characteristically Jewish condition and that rich Jews encourage it to undermine Western civilization. When the AIDS crisis erupted, LaRouche blamed the "shylocks" for being too cheap to pay for research crash programs.

His gay-equals-Jewish canard dates back to the 1970s, when New Solidarity raved against the "faggot politics" of "Zionist-supporting" gay activists. New Solidarity published a cartoon series in which prominent New York Jews were shown in Roman togas at a banquet sponsored by the "Emperor of Homohattan,” Mayor Ed Koch. In the early 1980s LaRouchian publications accused prominent Jews and pro-Zionist Gentiles of being part of an international "Homintern." LaRouche wrote "Kissinger: The Politics of Faggotry," a crude and defamatory leaflet on his longtime Symbolic Jew. According to LaRouche, Kissinger's alleged "heathen sexual inclinations are merely an integral part of a larger evil," and Kissinger is "psychologically" part of a "distinct species." In the context of LaRouche's biological-racial theories about the Jewish "species," the equation of Jewishness and "faggotry" was unmistakable.

LaRouche also taught that the alleged pathology of the Jewish family, especially the mother's possessiveness, produces psychosexual aberrations in young Jews. A 1986 New Solidarity item, "Jewish Mothers in the Age of Aquarius," joked that homosexuality is the natural result.

That the Jewish oligarchy deliberately promotes homosexuality is suggested by LaRouche's references to "sodomic," "pederastic," and "lesbian" practices within oligarchy-controlled "cults'' such as Freemasonry and the Quakers. In a November 1985 speech, he said AIDS was a "man-made evil" linked to these "cults out of Babylon." He further developed this theme in "The End of the Age of Aquarius?," a rambling discourse on AIDS that included attacks on the "Babylonians," the "British," "usurers," and "cabalists." His conclusion; "Homosexuality was organized in the United States. It wasn't something that sprang from the weeds. . . .It was organized. . ."

In an article on government monetary policy, LaRouche claimed that the money for the necessary public health measures against AIDS could only come from funds currently being used to service the international debt. But the "shylocks" were blocking this: “Shylock demands his pound of flesh, and cares not in the least whether the collection kills the debtor." The implication was that anyone who opposed Proposition 64 was probably acting on behalf of powerful Jews. LaRouche lashed out at "Meyer Lansky's" Hollywood and a New Solidarity columnist joked that the Anti-Defamation League had launched a stop-LaRouche committee called "AiDsL."

LaRouche's AIDS propaganda bears a striking resemblance to Hitler's on syphilis as set forth in Mein Kampf. Syphilis, like AIDS, is sexually transmitted, and in the 1920s there was no cure. Hitler focused on it because of his obsession with racial purity and his fear that the Aryan bloodline was being contaminated. Just as he blamed the spread of syphilis on its victims, especially prostitutes, so LaRouche blames gays for spreading AIDS. Hitler believed that sexual promiscuity and prostitution were the result of "Jewification of our spiritual life and mammonization of our mating instinct" and thus called syphilis the "Jewish disease." LaRouche refers to AIDS as the "Babylonian disease."

Hitler's answer to syphilis was to call for a quarantine of prostitutes and other infected persons. "There must be no half measures; the gravest and most ruthless decisions will have to be made. It is a half measure to let incurably sick people steadily contaminate the remaining healthy ones. . . .[I]f necessary, the incurably sick will be pitilessly segregated—a barbaric measure for the unfortunate who is struck by it but a blessing for his fellow man and posterity." LaRouche, in "The End of the Age of Aquarius?", urges much the same solution for AIDS: "We've got to contain it, we can't find a miracle cure that fast; we're going to have to use methods of public health, which means we're going to have to put away every carrier until they can no longer carry."

The parallels continue. Hitler said regarding syphilis victims that there ''is no freedom to sin at the cost of posterity." LaRouche says it's "nonsense" to be concerned about the "civil rights" of AIDS victims. Hitler criticized the authorities for not "summon[ing] up the energy to take decisive measures" and for their attitude of "total capitulation." LaRouche says the U.S. government is afraid to "estrange the votes of a bunch of faggots and cocaine sniffers.” Hitler said that for people who refuse to fight to save their own health, "the right to live in this world of struggle ends." LaRouche says that unless the American people change their attitude toward AIDS and their "moral direction," they will "no longer [be] fit to survive morally, and will not survive."

Mein Kampf and "The End of the Age of Aquarius?" both express a concern for public health and describe quarantine as necessary in order to save lives. Yet Hitler clearly stated that his syphilis-fighting program masked a higher goal: The Nazi Party leadership, he said, must "succeed in representing to the people the partial goal which now has to be achieved, or rather conquered, as the one which is solely and alone worthy of attention, on whose conquest everything depends. The great mass of people cannot see the whole road ahead of them without growing weary and despairing of the task.” LaRouche is equally candid, linking the struggle for an AIDS quarantine with the need for a new ideological "paradigm" in America. New Solidarity even suggests that AIDS might become the springboard for a nationalist revolution.

What America could expect in the wake of such a revolution is revealed in NDPC propaganda urging a roundup of prostitutes, gays, drug users—anyone who might have been exposed to the AIDS virus—and their incarceration in "special isolation hospitals, under prison guard if necessary." LaRouche's "Aquarius" article also discusses the possible need to "hang" or "burn" those responsible for spreading AIDS. Given the virtual equation of Jews and gays, Proposition 64 becomes simply an extension of earlier LaRouchian calls for an anti-Zionist Special Prosecutor's Office and for the "immediate elimination" of Zionists from American public life.

When two-thirds of California's voters rejected Proposition 64 in November 1986, the media depicted this as a defeat for LaRouche. Yet it actually was a LaRouche victory of sorts. His measure received over two million votes in the teeth of an opposition that outspent the LaRouchians ten to one. In some rural counties it received the support of over 40 percent of the voters. Apart from these election statistics, LaRouche scored a major ideological breakthrough for neo-Nazism in America. He took a previously taboo idea—enforced isolation for the Scapegoat—and elevated it into a topic of legitimate discourse. He did this by reframing the discourse in pseudo-medical terms and targeting a minority less well organized than the Jews. Proposition 64’s opponents, frightened by its implications but lacking a full understanding of LaRouche's ideology or of fascism in general, were maneuvered into appearing on talk shows with the LaRouchians, thus lending an aura of legitimacy to their extremist ideas.

As the campaign intensified, some opponents of Proposition 64 developed a strategy to cut through the smoke screen and expose the hidden political agenda. Howard Wallace, the coordinator of the San Francisco Labor Council's work against Proposition 64, stated in the SFLC newsletter: "The real purpose of this initiative has little to do with either AIDS or public health. . . .[The LaRouchian] purpose is to build their small corps of storm troopers into a larger one…. In the grand tradition of Hitler's Nazis, they're taking the path of least resistance: attacking those who suffer in some measure from social stigma. . ." But too much of the literature opposing Proposition 64 continued to be confused, jumbling together the political and pseudo-medical issues and dismissing the LaRouchians as kooks or cultists.

In the following year the quarantine idea became "respectable" nationally. Congressman Dannemeyer appeared on TV talk shows to discuss it as just one more proposal in the marketplace of ideas. Several other prominent New Right politicians expressed interest in the concept. In mid-1987 President Reagan's domestic policy adviser, Gary Bauer, when questioned about it, coolly commented: "I don't see any evidence at this point that a quarantine in the traditional sense would be particularly effective" (italics added). Thus does LaRouchian propaganda spread like ripples in a pond.

LaRouche meanwhile developed a more extreme solution for AIDS. Praising Western Europe's skinheads for beating up gays, he said they spontaneously expressed the "conspiratorial and other ethical characteristics" of a nationalist revolution. He suggested that lynching might be the next step—in Catholic countries they'd pick off the gays one by one, while in Protestant countries lynching would become a mass movement. The lynchers, LaRouche said, would perhaps be remembered as the "only political force which acted to save the human species from extinction."

From this, he passed over to the concept of an anti-gay Holocaust, stopping just short of advocacy. "The only solution" to AIDS, he said, "is either public health measures including isolation as necessary, or ‘accelerated deaths' of carriers." He added: "The point of no return . . . is coming up very fast. If the violence comes, the politicians, the courts, and the governments will have no one to blame but themselves. They left a desperate, terrified population no other choice."

Meanwhile, public concern over AIDS reached a high pitch. An American Medical Association poll found that 50 percent of the American public believed all necessary measures should be taken to stop AIDS "even if it means some people might have their rights violated." LaRouche continued his inflammatory propaganda, claiming that AIDS was spread by casual contact and that the majority of heterosexual Americans would soon be infected if his draconian measures were not adopted. His followers were on the phones at their telephone boiler rooms in Leesburg, Virginia, night and day, calling thousands of Americans to warn them of impending disaster and to solicit funds to pay for more propaganda. In California, LaRouche's PANIC committee, undeterred by Proposition 64’s defeat, easily collected over 700,000 signatures to place a second initiative on the ballot, this time in the presidential primary election. LaRouche purchased a half hour on network television to present his views on AIDS three days before the primary. The initiative again failed to pass but received over 1,700,000 votes.

While this represented less votes than the first time (because of a lower voter turnout), the percentage of supporters had risen from 29 percent to 32 percent. (In November 1988 a third AIDS crackdown measure appeared on the ballot, this one sponsored by Congressman Dannemeyer and other conservatives without LaRouche's direct involvement. Although polls in September indicated that it had majority support, it failed to pass.)

LaRouche had demonstrated the vulnerability of the public, when frightened and angry, to the lure of thinly veiled fascist measures. He had desensitized millions to the idea of rounding up unpopular minorities. His California ballot initiatives had revealed that many Americans with healthy biological immune systems have no political immune systems at all.