A close look at "Confessions of a Coward":

David Goldman is not telling the full truth about his years in the LaRouche movement

[After reading David Goldman's "Confessions of a Coward" (First Things blog, May 7; PDF here), I pondered for weeks about whether to comment publicly on this curious psychological document. I decided finally that the inaccuracies and evasions in it are just too outrageous to be allowed to go unchallenged, especially now that a Wikipedia article here on Goldman treats his narrative (as of June 22) as a reliable and factual account.

I also find Goldman's essay worthy of analysis as a case study in the kind of evasion and denial that many other former high-level LaRouche aides (including those ex-members in Germany who were still in leading positions in 2003 and know the truth about Jeremiah Duggan's death), as well as most former Security staffers, have engaged in. I will comment on that aspect of Goldman's "Confessions" at a later time.--DK]

1. Goldman was a member for much longer than he's letting on.

Goldman writes that he "spent some years--from 1976 to 1986--in a gnostic cult under the leadership of a man named Lyndon LaRouche."

Apart from the absurd characterization of the LaRouche org as a "gnostic" religious cult, Goldman has drastically understated the actual number of years he was a follower of secular Jew-hater LaRouche.

When did he really join?

The picture and caption/article here show Goldman at a Labor Committee (LaRouche cadre org) demonstration at Columbia University in 1969--seven years prior to when he now says he joined up. Goldman and his friends are identified in the caption as being "LC members" at the time.

LC member Goldman at Columbia, 1969

When did he really leave?

Goldman writes that "[LaRouche] cashiered me as economics editor for his publications in 1982." He claims that he then moved to Europe,[FN 1] pursued "musical research under the auspices of [LaRouche's] Schiller Institute," and worked for former National Security Council aide Norman Bailey's consulting business before finally severing his emotional ties with the LaRouche group in 1986.

However, the masthead of LaRouche's EIR shows Goldman continuing in his job as economics intelligence director (essentially an editorial post) during 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 (see mastheads from each of these years here), while ex-members say he was a member of the org's National Committee throughout this period until the day he left.

Goldman's name was removed from the EIR masthead sometime in the first half of 1988--two years after the "Confessions" narrative says he severed his ties to the LaRouche movement, and six years after the narrative says he was removed from his editorial post.

Essentially what Goldman has done is take the period of at least 19 years he spent as an active LaRouche follower and condense it down to six years--and then tack on four more years in which he supposedly was pursuing his own interests while continuing to have an ambiguous relationship with the LaRouche org involving harmless musical pursuits.

2. Goldman misrepresents his co-authorship of the anti-Semitic tract Dope, Inc. as simply an act of passive acquiescence in the bigotry of others.

Here's what he claims in his "Confessions":

"In 1978, I did a study for LaRouche of the economics of the narcotics traffic. The numbers I crunched showed that narcotics was a hundred-billion-dollar-a-year business--not a controversial conclusion today, but at the time it seemed startling. LaRouche took my quantitative study and combined it with the paranoid musings of other researchers into a book, Dope, Inc., that had unmistakable anti-Semitic overtones. I knew about this, too, and again I looked the other way."

First, Goldman is understating the case on Dope, Inc. The annotated and highlighted excerpts here show that this book not only has "overtones" of anti-Semitism but is a Jew-hating tract of extreme virulence that hammers away relentlessly at the alleged criminality of rich Jews and Zionists, repackages the medieval blood libel to accuse the Jews of pushing drugs to school children (see p. 265), and depicts the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery as an authentic, historical document.

Second, Goldman--who is writing for a target audience that has no knowledge of the LaRouche movement's history--appears to suggest (when he writes that "LaRouche took my quantitative study and combined it with the paranoid musings of other researchers into a book...") that LaRouche was ultimately the author of Dope, Inc. This is ridiculous. The writing style of Dope, Inc. is very different from LaRouche's (see examples of his eccentric rambling style here and here)--and if the notoriously vain LaRouche had personally written the most heavily touted book in his org's history he would never have allowed three of his followers to steal his thunder.[FN 2]

Hofjuden with hypodermic needles?

Third, Goldman's protrayal of himself as the reluctant bystander--almost a victim--is belied by certain contents of the revised English language edition of Dope, Inc. (1986) in which Goldman and LaRouche security chief Jeffrey Steinberg are listed as the "principal authors" (read here). This new edition includes the boastful headings "Our Enemies Proved Us Right" and "Why This Book Has Become Famous," and the authors crow (read here) about how the first edition--the Protocols of Zion-affirming one--supposedly "sent shock waves through the international capitals of organized crime" and elicited a "furious response to the 100,000-copy circulation of the first edition..."

The authors also claim: "Since original publication...the central charge leveled in Dope, Inc. has been massively re-documented by official sources--and by the drug bankers of Dope, Inc. themselves, whose uncontrolled and savage attacks on us [the authors apparently are referring to the FBI's nationwide investigation at that time of LaRouchian credit card fraud--DK] have demonstrated repeatedly that they regard our efforts as the most serious threat to their continued existence."

Goldman's Dope, Inc. co-author Jeffrey Steinberg

And let's look at what appeared in a Jan. 15, 1985 EIR article here co-authored by economic intelligence director Goldman and a low-level staffer: "The editors of EIR are proud to announce the forthcoming publication of a new edition of the best-selling book Dope, Inc., the only true story in print today of the supranational crime empire that runs the drug trade as a single, integrated world operation....EIR's founder...Lyndon LaRouche commissioned the book in 1978, to name the names of the top-level controllers and financiers of the drug empire, the people who have always managed to escape prosecution."

This does not sound to me like a reluctant author who merely did numbers crunching. It sounds to me like a guy who is full of himself as a world-historic researcher out to help LaRouche save the human race from the forces of evil. It also sounds to me like someone who is not just expressing the collective pride of the EIR staff re Dope, Inc. but is personally proud of the book (although also ready to promote enthusiastically the latest twists and turns in LaRouche's line, as when the second edition adds "Boston bluebloods" as an additional layer of the conspiracy--apparently because Massachusetts U.S. attorney William Weld was heading up the aggressive investigation of LaRouchian criminal activity mentioned above).[FN 3]

And a final question re the book's second edition: How many LaRouche followers ever get the honor of having their name listed as a senior author on a 610-page book published by the LaRouche org? And with a respectful introduction by LaRouche himself? Not many--and certainly not one who'd ever been permanently fired as an editor for daring to disagree with the Greatest Mind of All Time.

3. Goldman doesn't address the issue of his other anti-Semitic writings (including the second, expanded edition of Dope, Inc.).

In his "Confessions," Goldman writes: "Jewish banking families kept popping up in LaRouche’s accounts of the evil forces." This statement is correct as far as it goes, but it wasn't just LaRouche--it was also the leadership of the organization as a whole--that played this game. And Goldman was an enthusiastic participant; for instance, he goes after an entire raft of Jewish pop-up villains here in a War on Drugs magazine article (December 1980) on how the "dirty money" of the drug trade supposedly is hidden. When he gets down to naming individuals, it's too often Jewish individuals, Jewish families (including those who've converted to Christianity over the centuries), or historically Jewish banks and investment houses.

In this article, written by Goldman without any co-authors on whom he can lay the blame, the role in the drug trade of Italian mafioso and Latin American cocaine lords is virtually ignored. Instead, the Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky is depicted as the king pin totally dominating U.S. organized crime in close cahoots with various Jewish individuals and families, such as the Strauses, Max Fisher, Tibor Rosenbaum, the Oppenheimers, the Hambros, the Oppenheimers, etc.

Goldman lists a number of financial entities in the U.S. and the U.K. that are not Jewish; but note the sidebar re the "most prominent" alleged drug banks in Miami: of the five listed, the first three are Israeli. The article also includes pictures of three individuals said to be prominent in the alleged plot: two of them are Jewish. And Goldman presents no concrete evidence for most of his allegations, only a collection of disjointed six-degrees-of-separation facts that lead nowhere.

Jewish villains everywhere...

The most odious part of the article is the sidebar on the Straus family and Macy's Department Store. Goldman charges that the Strauses have "a history of treason against the United States dating back to the Civil War" and that they murdered a Christian family to get control of the store.[FN 4] Macy's is, he claims, colluding with the Oppenheimer family to launder drug money disguised as retail transactions. An illustration on the facing page to the sidebar even suggests that Macy's is involved in pornography and prostitution.

The Israeli spy ring article

The most conclusive refutation of Goldman's claim that he was not actively complicit in anti-Semitic propaganda is the 1978 New Solidarity article "Israel got H-Bomb from Wall Street Zionists," which he co-authored with Uwe Parpart, a high-level LaRouche aide from Germany.[FN 5] This article--as extreme as anything LaRouche himself ever wrote--alleges that a Zionist "spy nest" on Wall Street had stolen the secret of the H-bomb for Israel, and describes the supposed members of this ring as "the most dangerous traitors in circulation now in the United States." These supposed traitors had given Israel "the means to provoke a third World War and destroy the United States," the authors claim.

Goldman and Parpart go on to slime various Jewish surnamed individuals--"Krumbein, Bernstein, Feinberg, Klutznick, and others"--who are said to be part of a "Mossad leadership" in the United States set up in collusion with "Haganah hitman Maj. Louis Bloomfield" (a Canadian lawyer the LaRouchians were obsessed with and about whom they concocted all kinds of conspiracy theories).

Uwe Parpart, now with the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzerald.

The authors claim that the Israelis and their "British sponsors" were planning to use an H-bomb to "prevent the birth of a new world monetary system," and that the Jewish state's "unstable leaders believe they can overrule what the rest of the world population thinks." But Goldman and Parpart have a solution:

"Both superpower governments should make terrifying clear--and if the American government does not, the Soviets should do so unilaterally--that if Israel explodes a nuclear weapon of any sort in the Mideast or anywhere else, it will immediately be annihilated by nuclear counterattack of the superpowers.

"These measures will gain time to wipe out the treacherous gang of nuclear spies in the United States."

Is Goldman going to say that his only role in this article was to crunch the numbers on how many Jews might be killed in the "nuclear counterattack"? And that it was LaRouche who took the "paranoid musings of other researchers" (in this case, Parpart) and added the "anti-Semitic overtones"? But Goldman's name, not LaRouche's, is on the article--and there's no evidence that any numbers crunching was involved, only a deep hatred of the State of Israel and of the Wall Street Jewish bankers whom LaRouche's security staff used to say would be placed in concentration camps after LaRouche seized power.

More Jewish villains pop up in Goldman's writings circa 1985

A special report here ("How Dope, Inc. has swallowed the world economy," EIR, Jan. 15, 1985), much of which would be integrated into the 1986 second edition of Dope, Inc., shows Goldman continuing to slime Jewish bankers with gusto in his capacity as the magazine's economics intelligence director. He and his co-author on the first article of this report start out by describing the top level of Dope, Inc. as including the "oligarchical families of Britain and the European continent" along with certain British and Canadian "financial interests." The authors then discuss the alleged role of the "second level controllers of the criminal underworld, including the Bronfman family of Canada and other kingpins of the Zionist Lobby in North America." These Zionist plotters, the authors say, are

"the families of Hofjuden ('Court Jews') who betrayed the interests of the Jewish people to serve the monarchies of Europe in centuries past, and who are now relegated to the role of cutouts between the inner circles of the European nobility and the filthiest gutters of organized crime." [Once again, Jews are equated in a LaRouchian publication with dirt, filth and disease, just like here.--DK]

Apart from the wackiness of a LaRouchian "house Jew" lecturing the Jewish community on "Court Jews," this description--placing the rich Jews in a subordinate role in the conspiracy--would seem at first glance to contradict the line of LaRouche himself, who had in various articles placed the Rothschilds, Samuels, etc. front and center. Alas, Goldman and his co-author are just practicing a bit of legerdemain: We find on the next page a sidebar describing in detail the alleged "directorate" of Dope, Inc. Not the directorate of any second level cutouts but that of the U.S. wing--inevitably, he most powerful wing--of Dope, Inc. itself. And what names do we find? Mostly Jews!

The names woven into this description begin with Henry Kissinger and his firm Kissinger Associates (the members of which are called "a kind of board of directors for the entity we call Dope, Inc" and "the point of interchange of the constituent parts of Dope, Inc.") followed by Lehman Brothers, Kuhn Loeb, Loeb Rhoades, Kenneth Bialkin (national chairman at the time of the ADL), Edmund Safra ("the reported frontman" for certain "Syrian-Jewish banking families"), Carl Lindner, Theodore Silbert, David Graiver (the "Argentine connection for the old Tibor Rosenbaum-Meyer Lansky drug-money wash"), John Samuels (a "New York front man...for the Recanati family of Israel Discount Bank"), Nathaniel Samuels, Lord Eric Roll of Ipsden ("chairman of the London merchant bank S.G. Warburg"), etc. When there's a non-Jewish individual on the list, it's merely someone whom the LaRouchians view as a flunkey for this or that Jewish family.

In a separate part of the report signed by Goldman alone, we learn about a sinister force not included in the first edition of Dope, Inc.: the Assicurazioni Generali of Venice, "the heir to the old Venetian fortunes."

I have long argued that the term "Venetian," as used by the LaRouchians in certain contexts, is a code word redolent of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Is that the case here? Goldman lists six members of the board of directors of the Assicurazioni Generali, including a Rothschild, a Lambert and a Hambro. Hmmm...only half a code word? But wait: Goldman informs us that "Lazard Freres and the Banque Paribas (founded by Venetian Jews based in the Ottoman Empire trade) are the largest stockholders in the Assicurazione, through a variety of shells."

Compare this with the oft-repeated statements in LaRouche publications that Benjamin Disraeli ran the "Venetian party" in Victorian England, and that the "Venetians" are a "virus" which infected London by way of Amsterdam. Can there be much doubt that this term is sometimes used--in the manner of "British," "Synarchist," "Babylonian" and "Black Maltese"--as an anti-Jewish euphemism?

Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. When LaRouche and his followers write about the "Venetian virus" and dope-dealing "Venetian" financiers, the average reader will instantly think of Shylock.

An unsigned section of the report attempts to prove that the Soviet Union has joined up with Dope, Inc., but even here the Jews, especially Baron Edmond de Rothschild and the "Oppenheimer mining group," are described as playing a key role.

In the first article of the report, co-authored by Goldman, we are told that the upcoming second edition of Dope, Inc. will "finish off the job" (whatever that means) and that "[o]ne [conspirator] who will now find himself in the docket is Henry Kissinger, who has...failed to sue [the LaRouche org]--even though Lyndon LaRouche described him on national television on Nov. 5, 1984, as having the moral character of a Bulgarian pederast." It would appear that Goldman and the other EIR staffers who worked on this report were out to please LaRouche at all costs, no matter what slimy and paranoid allegations they spread in the process about Kissinger or any other prominent Jew.

How Goldman and Jeffrey Steinberg equated Zionism with gangsterism and portrayed a respected U.S. Jewish leader as a symbolic Font of Evil

Dope, Inc.'s second edition contained a new chapter (read it here) filled with wild allegations about Detroit businessman and philanthropist Max Fisher (1908-2005). The Wikipedia biography of Fisher provides a hint as to why the LaRouchians hated him so intensely:

"For decades Fisher...served as a trusted advisor to U.S. presidents and Israeli prime ministers, rallying for causes from the Six-Day War to Ethiopian Jewry. By quietly forging new ties between Washington and Jerusalem, Fisher pioneered a new era in American Jewish activism and politics and was considered the elder statesman of North American Jewry."

Goldman and Steinberg offer a bizarre scenario in which Fisher instead was a mastermind of the drug traffic who had supposedly made his bones in the Purple Gang--a group of young immigrant Detroit thugs, mostly Jewish, whose heyday was during the Prohibition era. (Why Fisher, a middle-class kid from Salem, Ohio, who played football at Ohio State University in the late 1920s, would have ended up in the Purple Gang's milieu is never made clear.)

The authors scramble together Fisher's anti-Nazi activity before and during World War Two, and his support for the creation of Israel, with allegations suggesting that gangsterism, Zionism and anti-Nazism are all one and the same thing, i.e., part of the supposed war against Western civilization being waged by the "British" oligarchy. Apparently, the authors (or one or more EIR researchers who helped them) relied on their Jewish surnames--and misrepresentations of their intent--to cadge interviews with old associates of Fisher in the Zionist movement, then used the innocent information learned from such interviews as a factual hook on which to hang a conspiracy theory for which the authors had no evidence, and which was the product almost entirely of LaRouche's, and their own, fevered imaginations.

In a book on the drug traffic in which, curiously, the word "Mafia" rarely appears (the LaRouchians focus almost exclusively on Jewish mobsters such as Meyer Lansky who supposedly reported to the Rothschilds by way of the Bronfman family), this chapter does concede that there was an Italian Mafia operation in the United States--over 100 years ago in New Orleans. However, the authors call it "Disraeli's Mafia" (after Benjamin Disraeli, the celebrated 19th century British Prime Minister who was of Jewish descent) and claim that it was controlled by New York Jewish financier and Rothschild associate August Belmont--who supposedly was plotting along with the Seligmans et al. and the Ku Klux Klan to get Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation repealed (with theories like this, it's no wonder that the LaRouchians would end up in an alliance with Louis Farrakhan).[FN 6]

Fisher was also the target in the mid-1980s of LaRouchian demonstrations (as, more recently, New York banker and Holocaust refugee Felix Rohatyn has been--see here). An account of one public anti-Fisher event in Detroit, featuring a demonstrator dressed up as a member of the Purple Gang, can be read here. But the LaRouchians hated Fisher not just because he was a Zionist Jew, and not just because they fancied him to be the Lex Luthor of the Midwest. They had actually deluded themselves into believing that Fisher was the string-puller behind the defection of LaRouche's entire Detroit branch in 1981.

In fact, LaRouche's Detroit followers quit because his own bullying behavior and irrationality had caused them to become disgusted with him (read here). But LaRouche and his loyalists have never been willing to admit that Der Abscheulicher has ever, ever made a single mistake in his entire life. Indeed, blaming the Jews, or a single famous Jew, or a Jewish organization, for one's own mistakes and failures is a common practice among the LaRouchians (as well as among anti-Semites in general). When the Reagan administration dumped LaRouche because of his extremist rhetoric and bizarre posturing, he blamed Henry Kissinger. When a Federal Grand Jury indicted LaRouche for loan fraud, he blamed the Anti-Defamation League. When Jewish college student Jeremiah Duggan died under extremely suspicious circumstances while attending a LaRouchian indoctrination program in 2003 (something David Goldman apparently thinks is too trivial to mention in his "Confessions" or on his blog), LaRouche blamed Jeremiah's mom.

4. Why does Goldman jumble the chronology of events re the LaRouche movement's anti-Semitism?

Goldman writes: "LaRouche's anti-Semitism was rarely in the open but it often lurked just beneath the surface. Sometime in the early 1970s, he had played political footsy with the Liberty Lobby, a group headed by the anti-Semite and Holocaust denier Willis Carto. In a Carto-influenced article LaRouche later tried to suppress, he put the number of Jewish dead at around 1.5 million. I knew about all this, and I looked the other way."

To say LaRouche's anti-Semitism was "rarely in the open" is patently absurd and utterly dishonest. It would be true only if one defined open anti-Semitism as the donning of a swastika armband and getting on a soap box to shout "Kill them all!" By ordinary standards of what constitutes anti-Semitism, however, LaRouche's frequent open expressions of it, and those emanating from his followers, have been thoroughly documented by many experts over the past 35 years, including in several Anti-Defamation League reports in the 1970s and 1980s. (See Chapter 6 of Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism here.)

In the two sentences that follow, Goldman strongly implies that overt displays of anti-Semitism not only were rare but occurred mostly before Goldman joined the org (i.e., before the false date of recruitment he provides in his "Confessions") and were already old history by that time.

Thus a reader unfamiliar with the history of the LaRouche org could easily jump to the conclusion from Goldman's phrasing that LaRouche's Holocaust denial was more the fault of Carto than LaRouche, that LaRouche was already trying to "suppress" it as an embarrassing mistake at the time Goldman joined up, and that therefore Goldman doesn't have very much to answer for.

Willis Carto.

But the "political footsy" (or, to call it what it really was, the Jew-hating alliance) with the neo-Nazi-dominated Liberty Lobby and its Spotlight newspaper was not a fleeting incident occurring "sometime in the early 1970s." Scott Thompson of LaRouche's security staff first made contact with the Carto crowd in 1975 and a relationship was established that continued throughout the second half of the 1970s (read here). LaRouche followers began to write for The Spotlight, and LaRouche and Carto held a summit meeting in Germany around 1978, where, according to LaRouche's testimony in a 1984 deposition, they discussed the "Jewish question" and the "abomination" of America's postwar occupation of Germany. During his 1980 Presidential campaign, LaRouche presented himself as the best candidate for The Spotlight's readership, which he hailed as the quarter million strong "'Gideon's Army' of American nationalism."

As to LaRouche's Holocaust denying statements, these were first published in New Solidarity, LaRouche's then twice-weekly newspaper, in 1978--a time when, former members say, Goldman was already on the org's National Committee. Far from trying to suppress the record of these statements, LaRouche repeated them again and again over the objections of some members, even issuing a press release to reaffirm the figure. In a May 1979 speech at a rally of the Michigan Anti-Drug Coalition (a LaRouchian-led group inspired by Dope, Inc.), LaRouche claimed that what the enemy (which the audience would have understood to include the gang of Jewish businessmen and Jewish mobsters described by Goldman and his co-authors) planned to do to the human race would make the "Nazi thing" seem like a "slight mistake." When a staffer deleted this statement from the published version, LaRouche insisted on the publication of a correction.

LaRouche's rallying of the org to undertake anti-Semitic mass agitation beginning in late 1977--over a year after, not before, Goldman claims to have joined, but in fact at least eight years after Goldman really joined--appears to have been triggered not so much by Carto as by LaRouche's fear of assassination at the hands of the Baader-Meinhof Gang, which he had come to believe was working for a Jewish cabal. (LaRouche was living in Wiesbaden at the time under heavy guard.)

But anti-Semitic public pronouncements by LaRouche can be traced back to at least 1973 and implicitly to the late 1960s when he was already suggesting that "speculative" capital is the cause of the world's ills. Furthermore, odd ideas about the Holocaust (like blaming it all on the British and a former Hitler finance minister who himself ended up in a detention camp for trying to overthrow Hitler) began to appear in LaRouchian publications well before 1977.

The controversy in the LaRouche organization over the "1.5 million" thesis, the Carto alliance, and the general anti-Semitic thrust of the org continued from 1977 through 1981, with scores of members--and not just Jewish ones--quitting for this and related reasons, and being reviled in the process by Goldman and other loyalists. This was one of the most traumatic periods in the org's history--linked closely in ex-members' memory with the 1980 LaRouche campaign for the Presidency and LaRouche's crazed purge of his closest aide, Gus Kalimtigis.

I thus find it difficult to believe that Goldman could have inadvertently transposed such radically different stages in the org's history, i.e., the early 1970s (when the group fought for communism) and the late 1970s (when they fought for an ultra-right agenda)--especially since Goldman was a member throughout the entire of the 1970s, intimately involved in the org's dramatic transition from the left to right. His scrambling of the chronology of events, like his claim to have only become a member in 1976, appears to be part of a desperate attempt to distance himself as much as possible from any responsibility for the LaRouche org's anti-Semitism.

The documented history of the LaRouche movement also casts doubt on Goldman's attempt to one-sidedly blame everything on the leftist and "secular" (or "atheist") backgrounds of LaRouche's followers. Although it is true that the majority of the young leftists who joined the LaRouche movement in its early days came from secular liberal (and in some cases, red diaper baby) backgrounds, it is also true that many of those who quit between 1977 and 1981 were from such backgrounds and, partly as a result, were ultimately unwilling to divest themselves of their anti-fascist convictions or to accept rhetoric about the Jews that clearly went beyond the garden variety leftwing anti-Zionism of the 1960s (read here and here).

I myself have written on how leftwing anti-Zionism--and the attendant anti-Semitic double standard on the left--made some young people vulnerable to LaRouche's blandishments. But fair is fair: Some of the LaRouchians who clung to (or returned to) their leftist or left-liberal beliefs during that period spoke out courageously inside the org against the LaRouche-led lunge to the anti-Semitic right and, after they quit or were driven out, worked to expose LaRouche. Goldman, who suggests that the reasons he quit ten years later were the proper ones--i.e., a conversation with God and the influence of Ronald Reagan--never publicly criticized LaRouche until he suddenly found his job at First Things to be in jeopardy in 2009.

One doesn't have to be sympathetic to the left and its rotten record on issues involving Israel and Zionism, to see that Goldman's narrative is a manipulative crock.

5. By calling the LaRouche org a "gnostic cult," Goldman is apparently trying to sanitize his past as much as possible.

It is obvious from the vast mass of LaRouchian propaganda over the past 40 years--and the thousands of articles in its publications reporting on its political organizing and protest actions--that this is essentially a secular ideological cult striving towards political extremist goals. Goldman, by dismissing it as a "gnostic" religious cult, in an article clearly aimed at explaining his past to the staff and readers of First Things, is taking advantage of his target readers' lack of familiarity with the LaRouche movement.

The only evidence for the "gnostic" label that he provides is that LaRouche believes in conspiratorial elites who possess secret beliefs. In fact this is not gnosticism but simply conspiracism. And LaRouche makes clear again and again in his writings that he believes the historical concealment of the oligarchical and humanist programs was pragmatically motivated and that the philosophical beliefs of the two camps were rooted in these pragmatic considerations. The oligarchical elite covered up its program in order to avoid being overthrown by the masses, while the humanist elite disguised its own counter-program in order to avoid political repression by oligarchy-controlled or oligarchy-influenced regimes. This is not a gnostic viewpoint but a transmuting of the Marxist theory of ideology and class struggle to serve an anti-Semitic rightwing conspiracist world view in which productive industrial capital is locked in a life-and-death struggle with parasitical usury capital (the Jews).

Furthermore, LaRouche does not hoard secret knowledge for himself and his tiny elite. That would be totally foreign to his grandiosity--he wants the entire world (and especially the oligarchical enemy, whose admiration he desperately craves even while talking about exterminating them) to know what a great genius he is. He openly boasts of his supposedly profound understanding of Plato's philosophy (which he's never really studied, according to ex-followers), his "hypothesis of the higher hypothesis" (the self-styled infallible method that has led him to make dozens of predictions re plagues, famines, depressions and world wars that never subsequently took place) and his insights into space and time based on Riemannian geometry (another subject that ex-followers say he's never studied and which he almost certainly lacks the educational background to comprehend).

LaRouche has elaborated all this stuff in hundreds of repetitive articles, and if no one can understand it, it's not for lack of trying on his part. His views might be regarded as crank knowledge or "alternate science," but they are not gnostic knowledge in any meaningful sense.

The Brain of the Galaxy at work.

In my opinion, Goldman's "gnostic" definition of LaRouchism is part of a phony narrative--aimed at his First Things audience--of how he found God in spite of the "worst sort of religious background" provided by his parents, and in spite of Labor Zionism, campus Marxism, Jewish atheistic tendencies, etc. (note how be keeps blaming everything on his fellow Jews when addressing a rightwing Catholic audience--making himself a mirror image of today's college leftists who one-sidedly blame the war in Iraq on Mossad, Jewish neoconservatives and the fancied influence of Professor Leo Strauss).

Unfortunately, many of the least sophisticated of his Christian readers will probably think, oh, a gnostic (which might be confused in their heads with New Age crystals and meditation)--and yet God spoke to him and he returned to the Judeo-Christian tradition! How wonderful! And such readers will therefore never even think to ask: What does the LaRouche movement actually stand for in the political arena? What are its goals? The defining of it as "gnostic"--and indirectly, via an out-of-context quote from Harold Bloom, as a "religion"--precludes these questions from even arising.

The result? Goldman can get away with portraying the LaRouche org's anti-Semitism as simply the rantings of a single crazy uncle in the attic.

The issue of whether to define LaRouche as a gnostic--unlike the factual issue of how many years Goldman spent in the LaRouche org--is a matter of interpretation and doubtless some people will disagree with me. However, I think the second edition of Dope, Inc. (David Goldman, co-author) sheds some light on the matter.

First, it contains a chapter on gnosticism (read here) in which Goldman and Steinberg describe the gnostics as bitter foes of LaRouche! This incoherent, almost delusional chapter, and the chapter notes thereto, confuse gnosticism with paganism, witchcraft and worship of the Great Mother, and describe it as a vast conspiratorial movement embracing environmentalism, the Moonies, the People's Temple of Rev. Jim Jones, cult deprogrammers, the Orthodox Church and the Bulgarian Politburo. [FN 7]

Nowhere in the chapter is any clear definition given for gnosticism, either of the ancient or modern variety, nor are any credible references provided for the wild assertions made. I thus find it hard to believe that Goldman is at all serious in turning this silliness inside out 23 years later for use in explaining LaRouchism.

I suspect he is just doing what LaRouche taught him to do--slap a sinister-sounding nonsense label on a controversy to foreclose any rational examination. One of the labels in LaRouche's grab bag was "gnostic," so now LaRouche himself is labelled a "gnostic" because that happens to be the most convenient description for Goldman under his current circumstances.

Hugo Spadafora, Panamanian human rights activist and friend of the United States. After he was tortured, murdered and beheaded by Manuel Noriega's military thugs in 1985, LaRouche's EIR defiled his memory and mocked his family (on Noriega's behalf) by calling him part of a vast drug-pushing "gnostic" conspiracy. Perhaps his name, commonly a Sephardic one, had something to do with the choice of epithets.

Second, we have as Appendix A to the second edition a document by LaRouche that is indisputably ideological and political--and that has nothing to do with gnosticism. This document, based on a speech LaRouche gave in Mexico at a time when his org was already beginning to court death squads types and would-be dictators throughout Latin America, is entitled "A Proposed Multi-National Strategic Operation Against the Drug Traffic for the Western Hemisphere." Presenting the drug traffic as an existential threat to Western civilization, it urges the U.S. government and the governments of Latin America to combine for military total mobilization according to the following rules of engagement:

"Any person caught in trafficking of drugs, is to be classed as either a traitor in time of war, or as the foreign spy of an enemy power...Any person purchasing unlawful substances, or advocating the legalization of trafficking in such substances, or advocating leniency in anti-drug military or law-enforcement policy toward the production or trafficking in drugs, is guilty of the crime of giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war."

Note how LaRouche would abrogate civil rights and freedom of speech as we know them (simply advocating the decriminalization of marijuana would become a capital crime, while one's criminality would be defined in general by one's opinions as well as one's deeds). He goes on about shooting down private planes, massing troops at borders, military confiscations of property, total government control of financial systems, and even makes a sly reference to internment camps. Since LaRouche had made clear in previous years that he believed the Jews play a central role in the giant Dope, Inc. plot, he is essentially in this doc calling for (among other things) confiscations of Jewish property, and round-ups of Jews as traitors guilty of capital crimes.

Think I'm exaggerating? Go to Appendix C ("The Anti-Defamation League: Dope, Inc.'s Public Relations Firm"). This rant expresses a deep hostility to the British-U.S. alliance against Hitler in World War Two and makes totally unsubstantiated charges about the ADL being involved for decades in organized crime and the international drug traffic.[FN 8]

And note the last sentence of Appendix C: "The task of cleaning up drugs in the United States, and of politically destroying the Anti-Defamation League, is one and the same thing." (emphasis added) And then go back to Appendix A, LaRouche's plan for a hemisphere-wide military War on Drugs with mass internments for "treason," mass military confiscations of property, the outlawing of political dissent, etc. Ask yourself: Who would the first target of LaRouche's continent-wide war on drugs have been? (Certainly not the Italian mafia--they're barely mentioned in the book--and not cocaine dictator Manuel Noriega, who would help pay the LaRouche org's printing bills in exchange for "public relations" efforts.)

To me, LaRouche's anti-drug plan smells of fascism. But even those who take issue with my use of that word will have to agree that labelling such a plan as "gnostic" would be frivolous, and that Goldman's definition of the LaRouchians as a "gnostic" cult is not based on any serious analysis or evidence.

[1] Goldman says that, after being "cashiered" as an editor by LaRouche, he "moved to Europe," where he "pursued musical research under the auspices of...the Schiller Institute." But since the mastheads of back issues of LaRouche's EIR clearly show Goldman continuing as economic intelligence director/editor at EIR until 1988 (apparently working out of the magazine's Wiesbaden office during at least part of that period), what was really going on?

The day after Goldman's essay appeared, I queried a former LaRouche movement editorial staffer, who replied:

"Goldman [went] to Europe to avoid a subpoena, I believe. He didn't exactly move there, but there was some crazy thing he was involved in with a Canadian cosmetics company--something which I was never really briefed on, but which I was given to understand was not legal, etc. Can't remember the name of the company--"Glo" might have been in it..."

And on May 9, another ex-LaRouche follower--an individual who would definitely have been privy to such matters--posted on Factnet the following:

"Goldman's 'different path to get out' [of the LaRouche movement] is quite unique in that it is uniquely unlike what every other member who quit went through and this uniqueness makes it impossible for Goldman to 'get ahead of his problem.' This uniqueness has a name: ULTRAGLOW.

"ULTRAGLOW was a cosmetics company in whose stock manipulation Goldman was involved. I don't know how and I don't know the details, but I do know that it involved a payoff from a broker in Queens [New York] to one of the LaRouche Campaign accounts. When the FBI raided the offices in 1986, there was fear that something about this case would be discovered in the seized files and Goldman was sent to Europe to be out of reach of prosecutors. About a year later he quit. Does anybody else know the details of this case?....It's significance is that this was the case that drove Goldman out of the organization. Not regrets over anti-Semitism nor better opportunities with [Jude] Wanniski and [Norman] Bailey."

It is a fact that in the mid-1980s a number of U.S. LaRouche followers were sent to Europe to avoid federal court subpoenas pursuant to a grand jury probe that would ultimately lead to the 1988 conviction of LaRouche and six associates on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy. (13 other convictions of LaRouche associates were obtained in state courts in Virginia and New York.)

According to testimony by FBI special agent Richard Egan at a 1986 bond hearing for Dope, Inc. co-author Jeff Steinberg and his wife Michele (both indicted for obstruction of justice in the federal case against the LaRouche movement), the idea--as allegedly described by Mrs. Steinberg to a government informant--was to hide potential witnesses "where the sun doesn't shine."

Former LaRouchians say that not all of the subpoena fugitives or potential subpoena avoidees had themselves committed fraudulent financial acts; however, the org felt they possessed information that might lead to the indictment and successful prosecution of other members, including LaRouche, and thus sent them to Europe, where some would remain for years.

[2] It could be argued that LaRouche concealed his authorship, or partial authorship, to personally avoid taking the public heat from the book's anti-Semitic contents. But if that had been the case, he would not have written and signed the dedication under his own name (rather than as, say, "Machiavelli") and would not have allowed the authors to state in the Acknowledgements that he had "commissioned" the study. Furthermore, any theory of hidden authorship would come up against the fact that LaRouche had published equally virulent anti-Semitic tracts under his own name for several years prior to the publication of Dope, Inc., and would continue to do so during the years thereafter (even during fits of paranoia when he believed that Jewish-controlled assassins were out to kill him).

[3] The Protocols of Zion section, which had triggered much criticism of the LaRouche movement, was removed from the second edition--but not because the LaRouchians were becoming more enlightened. The Protocols allegations were merely replaced with material about a plot involving the "Purple Gang" (Jewish gangsters in the 1920s), Detroit businessman Max Fisher (long targeted by the LaRouchians as a Symbolic Evil Jew) and the Anti-Defamation League (LaRouche's favorite Symbolic Evil Jewish Organization).

While the new edition was being prepared, the LaRouchians were also heavily involved in a campaign to defend several Nazi war criminals, most notably Arthur Rudolph, an engineer and Nazi Party fanatic who had overseen the use of slave laborers from the Dora-Mittelbau (Dora-Nordhausen) concentration camp to build V-2 rockets during the war, and was brought to the U.S., after Germany's surrender, under Operation Paperclip.

Bodies laid out for mass burial at Dora-Mittelbau.

Among other things, LaRouche publications accused prosecutors of Rudolph in the DOJ's Nazi-hunting unit of being demonic KGB agents. The LaRouchians also wooed Rudolph's Operation Paperclip comrades and assorted other aging Third Reich veterans by praising Nazi era German science as one of the high points of Western civilization (read chapter 10 of Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism, "Old Nazis and New Dreams," here and examples of LaRouchian support for the likes of Rudolph here).

[4] Isidore and Nathan Straus, the brothers who became partners in Macy's in 1888--and co-owners in 1896--grew up in Georgia. At the time the Civil War began, Isidore was 16 and Nathan was 13. Young Isidore worked for a company in London during the war that unsuccessfully attempted to help blockade runners. After the war the Straus family moved to New York. The epithet of "traitor" that Goldman uses to refer to supporters of the Confederacy in a war that ended 115 years before Goldman wrote his article, is almost never employed in historical discourse today, and certainly not in relation to a teenage boy whose role was marginal at best. If Straus had not been Jewish, I doubt Goldman would have chosen such language.

I have no doubt the Straus brothers, like other businessmen of their time, engaged in some sharp practices. But the historical record belies any demonization of them as hook-nosed monsters. For instance, here is what Wikipedia says about Isidore (the chief focus of Goldman's bile):

"Traveling from Germany back to the United States, Isidor and his wife were passengers of the RMS Titanic when, on April 14, 1912, it hit an iceberg. Ida reportedly would not leave Isidor and refused to get in a lifeboat. The officer filling up the boat told Isidor that he could get into the boat with his wife, but he refused to before other men and instead sent his wife's maid, Ellen Bird, into the boat. Ida refused to board the half-full boat, saying 'I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die together.'"

And here is what Wikipedia says about Nathan:

"In 1892 he and his wife privately funded the Nathan Straus Pasteurized Milk Laboratory to provide pasteurized milk to children to combat infant mortality and tuberculosis. In his battles with the disease he was to open the Tuberculosis Preventorium for Children at Lakewood, New Jersey (later it was moved to Farmingdale, New Jersey in 1909). Their book, Disease in Milk: The Remedy Pasteurization : the Life Work of Nathan Straus (by Nathan Straus and Lina Gutherz Straus) records that unclean, unpasteurized milk fed to infants was the chief cause of tuberculosis, typhoid, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and other diseases that were the main cause of, e.g. a 25% infant mortality rate in the U.S. in 1890, 15% in 1903 (but 7% in New York in 1900, where pasteurized milk had already become the norm) (it is now below 1% in the U.S.). Straus is credited as the leading proponent of the pasteurization movement that eliminated the hundreds of thousands of deaths per year then due to disease-bearing milk."

So much for Goldman's linkage of the Strauses with "dirty" money (a favorite LaRouchian adjective when referring to Jews) and of the LaRouche org's constantly harping on the theme of Jews spreading fleas, diseases, viruses and plagues.

The LaRouche movement's targeting of the Strauses may have been triggered by the fact that Nathan Straus was an early and ardent Zionist who donated much money for public health programs in pre-Israel and, when he died in 1931, left his fortune to the Zionist movement--making him, in LaRouche's eyes, one of the evil "Jews who are not Jews."

[5] Goldman and Parpart (also known as Uwe Henke "von" Parpart) would remain closely associated with each other after leaving the LaRouche movement. Parpart edited Asia Times, where Goldman became the celebrated pseudonymous columnist "Spengler." In the mid-2000s, Goldman and Parpart both became economists at Cantor Fitzgerald. Neither of these two former high-level LaRouchians has revealed any of the inner secrets of the U.S. and German LaRouche movement that they almost certainly know and that could help block the growth today of the LaRouche Youth Movement (LaRouche Jugend)--and also help the family of Jeremiah Duggan (a young Jew who died under mysterious circumstances, apparently after being beaten up at a LaRouche cadre school in Germany). The Duggan family has fought for six long years to tear down the wall of protection that the German police and security services have constructed around the LaRouche org. Parpart almost certainly has information about the early history of the LaRouche org's relationship to German counterintelligence that could be helpful to the Duggans, but he remains silent.

[6] August Belmont has long been one of the chief Symbolic Evil Jewish Historical Figures featured in LaRouche publications, which claim that he supported the Confederacy, helped to assassinate Lincoln, etc. But here is what the Wikipedia biography of Belmont says:

"He energetically supported the Union cause during the Civil War as a War Democrat, conspicuously helping Missouri Congressman Francis P. Blair raise and equip the Union Army's first predominately German-American regiment. Belmont also used his acumen with European business and political leaders on behalf of the Union Cause, dissuading the Rothschilds and many other bankers from providing the Confederates with loans, and meeting personally with the British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston and various members of Napoleon III's French government."

[7] No credible sources are provided for any of these claims--the chapter notes are mostly just further elaboration of unreferenced nonsense. However, the authors do identify Adolf Hitler in one such note as having been a part of the gnostic conspiracy. Is Goldman's defining of the LaRouche group decades later as a "gnostic cult" a way of acknowledging indirectly the Nazi tendencies in LaRouche's thinking? I strongly doubt this is the case; but if it is, Goldman should say what he thinks in a direct manner.

[8] Even when I spotted isolated facts that might be true, the inferences drawn from them were usually illogical or lacking even in a basic sense of causality--as if the author was suffering from an organically-based thought disorder. And no footnotes or other references were provided to back up the allegations about the ADL.

By contrast, the main text of the book does provide notes, although just for six of the nine parts (and in Part 6, such notes only cover one of the half-dozen chapters therein). In most cases, the referencing of allegations is spotty at best, and some of the notes (as in the chapter entitled "The True Horror Story of the Gnostics") are simply propagandistic elaborations on unreferenced or dubiously referenced allegations in the text.

The majority of legitimate citations are to secondary works--histories and biographies (both scholarly and popular), and biographical dictionaries--as if the research had chiefly been done at the public library. In utilizing such texts, Goldman and Steinberg often interpret them in weird ways that the original authors would almost certainly reject. And some of the references are not legitimate in any sense: for instance, in Part 9, five out of the seven references are to articles from LaRouche propaganda rags. And LaRouche himself is blithely cited as an authority, as in a note (p. 226) referencing his 1978 article "Is Jimmy Carter Truly a Christian?" (this note is directly followed by one that references a tract by British Union of Fascists nut job Nesta Webster).

Although there are a scattering of references to Congressional hearings and government reports, I found no chapter notes citing interviews on the drug traffic with named experts.

On p. 369, the authors cite "well-informed diplomatic sources" for the dubious allegation that the IMF and the Royal Bank of Canada ordered the government of Guyana to grow marijuana "in order to earn foreign exchange"--this is almost certainly a fabrication by Fred Wills (d. 1993), a former Guyanese foreign minister who had served under that small Caribbean nation's kleptocratic ruler Forbes Burnham (the late Burnham needed no urging by outside forces to engage in illegal activity). After leaving the Guyanese government and moving to the United States, Wills would live off a modest stipend from LaRouche that was provided in exchange for his lending his name and presence to various LaRouchian conferences. This monetary arrangement was not disclosed by Goldman and Steinberg even when they quoted Wills by name in another chapter, where he made more general allegations about the IMF and the drug traffic without specific reference to his homeland.

One of the notes (pp. 218-19) to the chapter entitled "Britain's Dirty Gold and Diamond Operations," refers to an "interview with leading diamond traders in New York"; again, these sources are unnamed. However, the notes on pp. 222-24 to a chapter on the purported role in the drug traffic of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (a Rothschild-controlled entity, according to LaRouche) does give the name of an interviewee, one James Endicott, who is described as one of the Canadian government's "old China hands." But the information for which he is cited has no real usefulness in understanding the drug traffic. The same is true for two interviews with named sources (cited on pp. 504-505) regarding Detroit businessman Max Fisher's support for Zionism--a subject also irrelevant to the drug traffic except in the minds of conspiracy theorists.

Anonymous Drug Enforcement Administration sources are occasionally cited (e.g., p. 217); there is also a reference (p. 221) to "interviews with law enforcement officers." But are these sources real? For all the reader knows, much of the second edition is bogus information from the late Klansman and con artist Roy Frankhouser--a key Steinberg source who liked to pose as a federal law enforcement agent.

And how many of the book's allegations about Jewish and "British" bankers emanated from far-right anti-Semitic pamphleteer Eustace Mullins (author of The Biological Jew), who frequently exchanged information in the 1980s with a certain LaRouchian economics expert?