The story of Andy Klein (from the Factnet ex-LaRouche message board)

Posting by "xlcr4life," Oct. 13, 2008, 08:40 AM:

QUESTION: I read a mention that a member named Andy Klein died in his sleep in 1993--in, I think, the L.A. local. Does anyone have any info about this?

Posting by "realme," Oct. 14, 2008, 02:19 PM:

I remember Andy Klein from nearly 35 years ago in San Francisco. He joined along with a few other counterculture friends, and I believe most of that crowd are still members. Andy was a paraplegic as a result of an accident suffered before he joined the LC.[FN 1] I don't really know anything about his death, but I seem to recall hearing that it was from a heart attack. I wonder if lack of care for the usual complications of paraplegia might have contributed to his death. He was at most 50, and maybe only 45 or so, when he died. Andy was a decent guy, and it's a shame he wasted his life serving that fraud. I was already a member when he joined, and I hope I didn't have too much of a hand in recruiting him.

Posting by "readers," Oct. 15, 2008, 06:41 AM:

Andy Klein was a gentle soul who as previously stated was wheelchair-bound yet worked the same sweatshop hours as the other cult members until his heart gave out. He always maintained a positive outlook despite being verbally abused quite often for "blocking" and not making quota on the phones. Ironically the contacts he did get as part of the boiler room operation, although few and far between, were coveted by the "phone team" heavy hitters because they [Andy's contacts] often turned into the top contributors. Andy enjoyed music and poetry and it is a shame that he died single in a group home for bachelor cult members. The L.A. local held a memorial for Andy to which some of his relatives came.

Posting by "xlcr4life," Oct. 15, 2008, 11:09 AM:

[Re the possible lack of medical care,] someone in Andy's condition should have regular access to physical therapy as well as regular blood work, EKGs, bone stimulators, urine analysis for prevention and detection of potential life-threatening illnesses. If Andy is just working phones nonstop instead of getting a basic standard of care, then he is rapidly losing bone calcium which makes him very susceptible to fractures. With paraplegics come special problems, since they cannot tell you that they feel a problem in their lower half.

Without regular physical therapy and stimulation of muscles, one will get muscular atrophy where the unused muscle tissue withers away. These SOBs will talk about "negative entropy," yet did the cult interfere with any regimen which Andy would have been supposed to follow?

A simple scrape or bad movement which leads to an internal bone fracture can go undetected. This then opens up a whole host of problems such as bone infections and blood clots. Blood clots can form in the lower legs and break away to become an embolism. The embolism can travel via the blood stream to the lungs and heart and trigger sudden heart failure.

You cannot have an Andy Klein in an immobile position for hours on end making phone calls and being yelled at, as the potential for blood clots and bedsores begins to skyrocket. Even sitting in an airline seat for a few hours without moving elevates the risk of a blood clot forming to the point that it is a health concern.

  • Did Andy receive a settlement for his injury and was it used for care or signed over to the LC?

  • Was Andy scheduled for regular visits by incare or outpatient care on a timely basis?

  • What was the schedule of blood and urine testing before he died?

  • Did Andy have a cardiologist or any prewarning via an EKG or echocardiogram?

  • What type of health insurance did Andy have at the time?

  • Was Andy seeing specialty MDs or was he under the distant care of a LaRoucheNoCare Health Plan MD?[FN 2]

  • Did Andy's parents raise any questions about the death which required John Morris[FN 3] to see them and defuse?
  • If one reviewed the health records for Andy Klein you would be interested in the lab work for the previous year. A rise in certain markers in the blood would indicate a growing chance of heart disease. [As to urine test results,] his kidneys could be not functioning correctly and an imbalance of certain elements can cause a rapid rise in heartbeats as well as triggering a very quick out-of-control governing of the heart which can cause death.

    Was Andy a diabetic? Was he following a health regimen which was considered normal for a paraplegic--or was he run around-the-clock in this madhouse which never ends until they carry you out in a pine box?[FN 4]

    Footnotes by DK:

    [1] LC, or Labor Committees, is the informal name for LaRouche's cadre organization, the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC). Sometimes the singular is used ("Labor Committee")--a holdover from the late 1960s when the organization was called the "SDS Labor Committee" and operated as a faction within Students for a Democratic Society.

    [2] Reference is to the fact that for a number of years LaRouche followers received their routine health care, such as it was, from doctors who were associates of the cult and hence under LaRouche's thumb (even this was only available to members who lived near the cult's national headquarters in Leesburg, Virginia--Mr. Klein was in California). Until the mid-1990s, the cult provided no health insurance, and if members became seriously ill they were on their own. Most were paid such small stipends that, in the absence of well-to-do parents who could help out, they found it almost impossible to afford an individual health insurance policy or to pay for expensive prescription medications or visits to specialists. The health plan that LaRouche eventually began to provide for his national office staff was described to me in an email from one former high-level member as "terrible--catastrophe only. You know, like $3,000, $10,000 deductible." (Ex-members say conditions were very different at the late Ken Kronberg's now-defunct WorldComp and PMR, where the LC workers--about 20 percent of the total LC membership in the Leesburg area at one point--were provided, as were the non-LC workers, with full PPO health insurance. This is one of the many reasons that LaRouche, after leaving prison in 1994, began to criticize Kronberg so savagely--Kronberg was making him look bad in comparison.)

    For much of the 1980s-1990s, the primary care physician for most LCers residing in or near Leesburg was one of their fellow cult members, Dr. John E. Grauerholz. After Grauerholz died in May 2008, an ex-LaRouche follower wrote on Factnet:

    When you had a health problem in Leesburg, you saw Dr. John. JG was not a practicing physician with an office and staff treating patients daily. He was a coroner. Now some of you may be thinking that this is not so odd since sports teams have company MDs to treat players. Yes, but they use experienced MDs in select specialties who complement, not replace, the players' personal healthcare givers.

    Some of the stories I have been sent by ex-members about JG are pretty odd. Any female members wish to discuss how they had breast exams for lumps in the LC office? Anyone wish to REALLY discuss what happened to Allen Salisbury [a LaRouche follower who died of cancer circa 1992] and his initial diagnosis?

    Would you work for a company where your health plan is seeing an MD in a restroom or cubicle and finding out he or she is a coroner? In LaRouche's Bizarro world, you do just that.

    Another physician in the "LaRouche NoCare network" was Donald L. MacNay, a Manassas, Virginia orthopedist and LaRouche supporter to whom Grauerholz would refer patients. But MacNay and Grauerholz began offering quack aloe-vera-based cancer treatments, and ended up in deep trouble after four patients at a MacNay-owned clinic died. MacNay pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in 2000, received a 17-month prison sentence, and was subsequently deported to his native Canada. Grauerholz admitted to officials of the Virginia medical board that he had participated in the scheme, and was banned from clinical practice. He was then forced to surrender his New York medical license on grounds that included negligence and incompetence (read here), and also was stripped of his New Jersey license.

    In general, the health care received by most members of the LaRouche cult around the United States has been substandard even if compared to what is provided inside prisons (LaRouche while behind bars received a colonoscopy and polyp removal--how many of his boomers have received that much?). Ex-members believe that a number of their fellow boomers are now dead because of chronic conditions (such as those resulting from the widespread stress-related alcoholism in the cult) that went untreated, or due to sudden onsets of serious illness that were inadequately treated or only treated when it was too late. However, the LaRouchian leadership was always eager to help women in the cult have abortions (including paying for the abortions and escorting the women to the abortion clinic)--to make sure they would continue to focus on raising money for LaRouche's presidential campaigns, trips around the world, and luxurious country homes without being distracted by the needs of small children.

    [3] Longtime LaRouche activist John Morris was killed on a Michigan interstate during the late evening of June 16, 2008. Morris, 48, and another LaRouchian, Gary Genazio, 66, were on an organizing assignment for the LaRouche movement and ran out of gas. After pulling over, they were struck by a dump truck and both died. Ex-members say that LaRouche organizers operate on a shoestring, driving beat-up unsafe cars with bald tires from city to city at all hours of the night (and often in unsafe weather and while exhausted from lack of sleep), sometimes being so short of funds that they have to panhandle for gas money. Indeed, Morris and Genazio were not the first members of the cult to die on a highway at night (read here and here about the 1994 death of Michael Gelber, believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel). After Morris and Genazio's death, a condolence statement was posted on the website of LaRouche's Schiller Institute in which one Anita Gallagher, a convicted felon as a result of her participation in LaRouche's loan scams in the 1980s, wrote: "When I was in prison from 1993-2000, I often spoke to John when I called in for briefings. He was always correctly, relentlessly upbeat and optimistic."

    [4] Xlcr4life's description of the regimen that paraplegics must follow--if they are to survive for more than a few years--is accurate. My brother, now deceased, ended up a paraplegic because of an illness he contracted in his late thirties. He only survived into his late sixties because of constant medical monitoring and the rigorous daily exercises he carried out with the help of his wife and children (if he had been in the situation of Andy Klein, he wouldn't have survived for more than a decade, at most). When I began writing about the LaRouche organization in 1979-80, the cowards of LaRouche's security staff took delight in harassing my brother on the phone simply because of his family connection to me. Thanks to former LaRouchians, I know who the source was of Security's information about my family, and I thus have no doubt that Jeff Steinberg, Joe Brewda et al were fully aware of my brother's physical condition.