Chapter Six

The Jewish Question

When the LaRouchians began reaching out to the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups, they justified it as a tactical move. The main enemy, a 1975 NCLC internal memorandum argued, was "Rocky's [Nelson Rockefeller's] fascism with a democratic face" backed by liberals and "social fascists" (non-NCLC leftists). The NCLC should "cooperate with the Right to defeat this common enemy."

There was semantic trickery here. Not only did the memos lump together neo-Nazis with conservatives in an amorphous right (thus sanitizing the former), but also groups traditionally opposed to fascism were tarred with the fascist label. It was the same logic used by Stalin in the early 1930s when he told the German Communists to cooperate with Hitler on the ground that the Social Democrats were the main enemy. (The term "social fascist" was first coined by the Stalinists to express this idea.)

The 1975 memo also argued that organizing on the right would bring the NCLC large financial contributions, allies with real influence, and new recruits. After the Revolution it would be "comparatively easy" to crush those who refused to be recruited.

The memo divided the "right wing" into "pro-Rocky" and "anti-Rocky" factions (i.e., pro- and anti-big business). The "pro-Rocky" side included William F. Buckley and other alleged big business penetration agents. The "anti-Rocky" side appeared to include the various Klansmen and neo-Nazis who had expressed interest in the NCLC. The implication was that these anti-Rocky rightists could be a positive force for social progress.

Some LaRouchians sincerely believed this, but the NCLC leadership was preparing itself for an ideological shift rather than merely a tactical one. The previous year the NCLC had developed an important friend in neo-Nazi circles—Ken Duggan, editor of The Illuminator. Duggan met regularly with NCLC security staffers, especially Scott Thompson, and urged them to move further to the right.

Duggan was soon arrested for stabbing a political rival, and was convicted of attempted murder. While awaiting sentencing at Rikers Island, the New York City detention center, he used a bed sheet to hang himself from a light fixture. But during his brief relationship with the LaRouchians he introduced them to a number of contacts and potential allies, the most important being Willis Carto.

Carto, founder of the Liberty Lobby, was by far the most successful and influential American anti-Semite of the1970s. He was an intellectual disciple of the late Francis Parker Yockey, who roamed Europe and North America in the 1950s futilely attempting to build an underground movement. Carto met Yockey only once—in San Francisco in 1960, when Yockey was in jail awaiting trial for possession of false passports. Several days after their meeting, Yockey committed suicide in his cell by taking cyanide. Carto, already an ultrarightist, dedicated himself to carrying out Yockey's mission to save Western civilization.

This mission was set forth in Yockey's Imperium, a 600-page synthesis of Nazi racialism and Oswald Spengler's philosophy of history. The book was dedicated to the "Hero of the Second World War" (Hitler). But Carto, although devoted to Yockey's ideas, had no illusions about Yockey’s tactics. Instead of engaging in inept conspiracies, he concentrated on building a political movement and developed a populist cover ideology. Although he discreetly sold Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by mail, he publicly denied being either a Nazi or an anti-Semite—he was merely "anti-Zionist."

Carto defended Hitler's heritage not by saying the Holocaust had been a good thing, but by denying that it ever took place. He founded the Institute for Historical Review to prove that the alleged murder of six million Jews was a hoax invented by Zionists to make people feel sorry for them. Carto went so far as to publicize a theory that the gas ovens at Auschwitz were really just an industrial facility for converting coal into oil, operated by happy well-fed Jewish prisoners.

Carto's Liberty Lobby, based in Washington, D.C., and nominally headed by Colonel Curtis B. Dall (a former son-in-law of President Franklin D. Roosevelt), enjoyed friendly ties with conservative congressmen. It published a weekly tabloid, The Spotlight, which by 1979 enjoyed a paid circulation of almost 200,000. Its articles championed income-tax rebels, protested the plight of family farmers, and promoted quack cancer cures such as laetrile. Its favorite political targets included the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, Henry Kissinger, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the "Zionist entity" in Palestine.

As early as 1975, Carto chatted frequently with Scott Thompson, and LaRouche himself visited Liberty Lobby headquarters to meet with Colonel Dall. A multi-leveled collaboration soon developed between the two organizations. They shared intelligence on various targets, including William F. Buckley and Resorts International. The Spotlight published articles by Thompson and other NCLC members writing under pen names. It also sold LaRouchian tracts through its mail-order service.

An initial point of agreement was on the need to expose the Rockefellers. However, Carto believed the NCLC hadn't cast its conspiracy nets wide enough. A 1976 Spotlight review of an NCLC report on terrorism complained that the NCLC still failed to recognize the role of the Jewish bankers. LaRouche received the message loud and clear. A wave of articles in New Solidarity blamed the Rothschilds and other Jewish bankers for a wide range of crimes, including the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A 1977 piece by LaRouche admitted the Liberty Lobby had been ahead of the NCLC in identifying the main enemy. (LaRouche subsequently met with Carto in Wiesbaden. Questioned about this meeting during a 1984 deposition, LaRouche recalled that they had discussed "the Jewish question" as well as the "abomination" of America's postwar occupation of Germany.)

The NCLC also developed ties with persons on the fringes of the Liberty Lobby. Mitchell WerBell III, a friend of Carto, became LaRouche's security adviser. Colonel Tom McCrary, a Georgia rightist often praised in The Spotlight, accompanied Gus Kalimtgis on a national speaking tour. Edward von Rothkirch, a Liberty Lobby contact who ran a small press service in Washington and had once threatened to sue the LaRouchians for appropriating his firm's name, now became friendly. Several leaders of the American Agricultural Movement, a group championed by The Spotlight, began to work with the LaRouchians on farm issues. By the time LaRouche launched his 1980 presidential campaign, he felt free to call himself the candidate of The Spotlight's readership, which he hailed as the quarter million strong "'Gideon’s Army' of American nationalism."

LaRouche's own "nationalism" had taken a quantum leap after he went to Wiesbaden in 1977 to straighten out the German organization and romance a young woman named Helga Zepp. While in Wiesbaden he became fearful of left-wing terrorists. He hunkered down in his villa and did some hard thinking.

When he returned to the United States late that year, with Helga as his bride, the war on Jews began in earnest. New Solidarity and other NCLC publications started to be full of attacks on wealthy Jewish families, B'nai B'rith, Zionism, the State of Israel, the American "Jewish Lobby" and the Jewish religion. New Solidarity published crude anti-Semitic jokes as well as articles suggesting that Zionists were a kind of subhuman species.

Actually LaRouche and some of his followers had ruminated along these lines even in their leftist days. In a 1973 article, "The Case of Ludwig Feuerbach," LaRouche argued that the Jewish religion is a fossilized reflection of the life in ancient and medieval times of the Jewish "merchant-usurer." The Jew of that epoch was a wretch who "had not yet evolved to the state of Papal enlightenment, a half-Christian, who had not developed a Christian conscience." Today's Jew is no better. His culture is "merely the residue left to the Jewish home after everything saleable has been marketed to the Goyim." Any religious feelings today's Jew may have are nothing but "infantile object elation." LaRouche also offered an anti-Semitic brand of psychoanalysis: "The brutally sadistic moral castration of the Jewish boy by the domineering 'Jewish mother' is the basis for one of the most horrifying models of male sexual impotence . . . the 'business Jew.' "

Following this article, The Campaigner published an anti-Israel tirade by Nancy Spannaus, one of LaRouche's top aides. The Israelis, she wrote, have a "psychotic" fear of anti-Semitism. In particular Jerusalem's Orthodox Jews are "crazed with the fear of death" and thus engage in "frightful orgies of sex and violence." Their religion is only the "thinnest disguise for exacerbated peasant paranoia."

LaRouche's 1974 tirade against the Jews was buried in a footnote. Many NCLC members passed over it. Others thought it was just LaRouche engaging in provocative remarks to help his Jewish followers confront their personal hang-ups. As for Spannaus's remarks, everyone knew she was a difficult personality. But the anti-Semitic agitation which began in 1977-78 was much more difficult to ignore or rationalize. It was not just a footnote or personal aberration; it was a systematic expression of hatred, revulsion, and scorn targeting every aspect of Jewish history, culture, religion, and home life.[FOOTNOTE 1]

How could the Jewish members of the NCLC—at that time, a quarter of the membership—let this pass without expressing outrage? Defectors say that many members either didn't hear the message or simply tuned it out. They were working on the streets or in LaRouche business enterprises sixteen hours a day. Many of them were too exhausted to read New Solidarity. Those who did read it were in such a state of hysteria—mobilizing for the latest NCLC campaign to prevent imminent nuclear war—that the message didn't register.

Former NCLC member Linda Ray, in her 1986 article "Breaking the Silence," describes another factor—the NCLC habit of knee-jerk rationalization. Ray, who is Jewish, says that whenever anyone tried to tell her the NCLC was anti-Semitic, she instantly denied it, pointing to supposedly anti-Nazi statements in New Solidarity. She recalls reading in New Solidarity about LaRouche's concept of a subhuman oligarchical species. "Although I knew it did not make scientific sense, I presumed that it was a deep intellectual metaphor that was over my head." Years later a friend showed her a New Solidarity article in which the Star of David was used to symbolize the drug trade. "I quickly replied ... 'It is just a graphic arts symbol'—which I had naively thought for years. But as soon as I said it out loud I realized that I sounded ridiculous. It was as if I was waking from a nightmare."

Ray's article explains the state of mind of many NCLC rank-and-filers. It does not explain the acquiescence of the NCLC national and regional leadership cadre, many of them Jewish, who helped develop the anti-Semitic line and implemented it with alacrity. Here, as during Mop Up and the Chris White affair, a few rebelled but most bowed to LaRouche's will.

Kevin Coogan, a member of the intelligence staff, did some background research on Carto and the Liberty Lobby. Shocked by what he discovered, he quit. Several other members of the national office staff also resigned. They prepared unsigned reports and met privately with journalists, stating that the NCLC had become an anti-Semitic organization and that LaRouche was espousing Nazi ideas. But none were willing to go public against LaRouche.

Security staffer Bob Cohen played a key role in stirring up the discontent. He met with several trusted comrades to point out the similarities between LaRouche's writings and Mein Kampf. But when his friends decided to quit, Cohen backed out. His reverence for LaRouche kept him in the organization until 1981.

Cohen's brother-in-law and fellow security staffer, Paul Goldstein, came back seething from a trip down South with LaRouche. The hulking former college athlete had been present, as LaRouche's bodyguard, when anti-Semitic jokes were traded among the good old boys. Goldstein, former friends say, was almost ready to quit. But the leadership put him through an ego-stripping session led by Helga LaRouche. The session focused on his alleged sexual fantasies, and he was told his wife would be ordered to leave him if he didn't shape up. Goldstein, reduced to tears, capitulated totally. Thereafter, he was one of LaRouche's most loyal followers.

A few more NCLC members protested when LaRouche announced that only one and a half million Jews, not six million, were killed in the Holocaust. Contemptuously ignoring his followers’ complaints, he issued a press release reaffirming the 1.5 million figure.

By 1980-81 the protest over LaRouche's anti-Semitism died down. Most NCLC members who subsequently quit did so for personal reasons, not over matters of principle. Unlike earlier defectors, most would do nothing to oppose LaRouche. Don and Alice Roth charged in a resignation letter that the membership had undergone a process of "moral anaesthetization." They cited a joke that they said had become popular in the national office: "How many Jews can you fit into a Volkswagen? One hundred. Four on the seats and ninety-six in the ashtray."

In psychological terms the anti-Semitism that seized the NCLC in the late 1970s was similar to the violent fantasies that gripped it during Operation Mop Up. Instead of assaulting Communists with nunchukas, the NCLC now attacked Jews via brutally worded propaganda tracts. Once again LaRouche helped his followers overcome their moral qualms by reframing reality for them through semantic tricks and false syllogisms.

The resulting belief structure involved four layers: a redefinition of "Jew," a redefinition of "Nazi," a denial of the concepts of "left" and "right" in politics (to totally disorient the believer), and, for Jewish LaRouchians, a guilt trip and special fears.

To redefine the meaning of "Jew," LaRouche concocted a distinction between real and false Jews. He said his political attacks were not aimed at all Jews, just those who advocate evil policies like Zionism. Using Orwellian semantics, he called the latter "nominal Jews," the "Jews who are not Jews." Who then are the real Jews? LaRouche said they are the Jewish members of a "humanist" faction drawing its inspiration from Philo of Alexandria, a first-century Jewish Neoplatonist,

Here LaRouche was at his wiliest. For Philo has no following in modern Judaism. His only professed followers are LaRouche's own NCLC members, whose interpretation of Philo bears little relation to the latter's actual writings.

The bogus nature of the "real Jew" faction was further revealed in LaRouche's polemics against the "unremitting evil" of Zionism. To be a real Jew, he suggested, one must repudiate the State of Israel, Zionism, and the mainstream leadership of the Jewish community. But a sizable minority of Jews is already anti-Zionist and estranged from the mainstream Jewish leadership—e.g., some of the Hassidim and many secular Jewish leftists. Are they "real Jews"? Not at all. In LaRouchian propaganda the Hassidim are depicted as evil cultists while leftist Jews appear as dope-pushing terrorists. In the final analysis the Jewish members of the LaRouche organization—a few score individuals—are the only real Jews in the world!

LaRouche redefined what a Nazi is in tracts such as "The Truth About 'German Collective Guilt’" and "Hitler: Runaway British Agent." He argued that Hitler was put into power by the Rothschilds and other wealthy Jews-who-are-not-really-Jews. These evil oligarchs invented Nazi racialism and brainwashed the Nazis to accept it. They then urged Hitler and his cronies to persecute the German Jews so the latter would flee to Palestine, where the Rothschilds had decided to set up a zombie state as a tool of their world domination. But as this scenario unfolded, the German people developed their own agenda: a "sound and intense . . . nationalist enthusiasm" to invade Britain (the Rothschild headquarters). Hitler at first acquiesced in this desire, but unfortunately he was ideologically weak—he backed off and returned to the puppet masters' game plan by attacking the Soviet Union. Thus did LaRouche place the ultimate blame for Hitler's crimes on the Jews-who-are-not-Jews-but-really-are-the-Jews-anyway.

LaRouche didn't deny that Hitler and the Nazis were partly responsible for many horrendous crimes as the Rothschilds' junior accomplices. But he instructed NCLC members to focus on a newer and deadlier plot. The Rothschilds and other "British" families—and the Israelis— were preparing to launch a Holocaust a hundred times worse than Hitler's. This new Holocaust was aimed at consolidating "British" power, and would involve the death of billions of human beings via nuclear war, plagues, famine, and a New Dark Age—horrors that would make the "Nazi thing" seem like a "slight mistake." The New Dark Age conspirators were "a hundred times worse" than Hitler, and anyone collaborating with them (like Jimmy Carter) was also a hundred times worse.

With his followers thus confused, LaRouche was able to switch labels on his concepts. The New Dark Age conspirators were not only far worse than the Nazis of the Hitler era, they were Nazis. The real Nazis were the hundred-times-worse Nazis. Menachem Begin was a Nazi, Ariel Sharon was a Nazi, the "Jewish Lobby" in America was "Nazi."

It followed from this re-labeling that anyone who opposed Israel and the "Jewish Lobby" was, objectively, anti-Nazi. LaRouche's followers thus ended up with a topsy-turvy view in which the real Nazis were seen as anti-Nazis, and anti-Semitism was perceived as a moral necessity—to "save" the Jews from themselves. The LaRouchians accordingly worked seven days a week to build a fascist movement while imagining they were building an antifascist movement. LaRouche had used their fears of fascism to further fascist goals.

There was always the possibility that some NCLC members would wake up and begin to critically examine these Orwellian labels. Stage three guarded against such a possibility. In "The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites," LaRouche announced that the left and the right in politics don't really exist. They are a fiction concealing the struggles of two conspiratorial elites—the humanist elite (LaRouchians or proto-LaRouchians) and the oligarchical elite (the Jews-who-are-not-Jews, etc.). Hence, in judging a given party or faction one should not ask where it stands on the political spectrum, but which elite is manipulating it. Depending on the answer, there are good Communists and bad Communists, good conservatives and bad conservatives, good Klansmen and bad Klansmen. During World War II there were good Nazis (the Wehrmacht) and bad Nazis (the Rothschild agents-of-influence in the Nazi Party leadership).

With the traditional political spectrum abolished, LaRouche's followers no longer had to deal with the glaring contradictions between their old leftist and new fascist politics. For all intents and purposes, the NCLC's political past no longer existed. Fascism and communism no longer existed. All that mattered were LaRouchism and anti-LaRouchism, which were whatever LaRouche said they were.

When LaRouche first promulgated these views in the late 1970s, he played on his Jewish followers’ guilt feelings, their anxiety over their possible tainted status in the NCLC, and their nightmares about the Holocaust. In a 1978 article on the "cult origins of Zionism," he warned the NCLC Jews: If you don't put aside your doubts and totally devote yourself to our political goals, you are "just as guilty" as Adolf Hitler. Indeed, you are more guilty, since the consequences of an NCLC failure to take power will be human death on a far greater scale than under Hitler. But I know you: Underneath your veneer of loyalty to the NCLC you still have a residual sense of loyalty to your fellow Jews—the false Jews. Insofar as you feel that residual loyalty, you are "on the pathway to becoming a Nazi"—-a supporter of the evil oligarchy's plan to kill off two-thirds of the human race. Forget your narrow bestial ethnic loyalties! Instead ask yourself: "What is a Jew good for? What can a Jew contribute to humanity generally which obliges humanity to value the Jew?"

LaRouche used even sterner language to warn his Jewish followers of the possible consequences of disloyalty: "You have no right to hide behind the whimpering, morally degraded profession [of excuses]. . . . Either you take responsibility for the ultimate consequences of your conduct or you have no moral right to complain against whatever evil the world's developments bestow upon you."

To get the full flavor of this threat, one must understand that, in 1978, many NCLC members fervently believed that LaRouche would soon take power in America. Jewish members thus could easily have felt worried—at least on a subliminal level—for their own safety.

[1] A sampling from NCLC publications, much of it written by LaRouche: Early Jewish settlers in America were prominent in the slave trade. Those who came over in the early twentieth century became the founders of organized crime, rising to power through rum running, drug pushing, and pornography. Their corrupting influence was supplemented by that of Viennese refugees in the 1930s—an intellectual "cholera culture" and "intellectual pus" undermining American values. Their chief organization, the B'nai B'rith, resurrected the "tradition of the Jews who demanded the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Jews who pleaded with Nero to launch the 'holocaust' against the Christians." They manipulated the U.S. government, against its best interests, to support the "kosher nostra" government of Israel. Also they founded the Zionist Lobby, "the most visible of the internal enemies of the United States—and of the human race." The policies of the Zionist Lobby are "pure evil." Any American "professing Zionist loyalties" is, by definition, "a national security risk." As for Israel itself, it is a "zombie-nation" and follows policies "a hundred times worse than Hitler." Its denizens display a "nauseating Jewish hypocrisy over the murder of one of their children" while "bellow[ing] and belch[ing] in smug contentment every time hundreds of thousands of . . . Palestinians are butchered."