The Conspiracy Theorists from Hell

General Erich Ludendorff's views on Jews and Freemasonry--and those of Lyndon LaRouche

Ludendorff and friend (Munich, 1923).

First published in 1927, Destruction of Freemasonry Through Revelation of Their Secrets (for excerpts, see below) is a conspiracist tract by General Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (1865-1937), Germany's chief military strategist during World War One and indeed his country's unofficial warlord during the last period of the war. Emotionally devastated by Germany's collapse, Ludendorff became the chief proponent (indeed, was the inventor) of the stab-in-the-back theory that blamed his nation's defeat on internal traitors. He joined with Hitler to launch the unsuccessful Munich beer hall putsch in 1923, and served as a National Socialist member of the Reichstag from 1924 to 1928. Although Ludendorff became isolated from the top Nazi leadership (he essentially wanted the Prussian officer caste to run the country), his widely-read post-World War One writings--influenced by those of his conspiracy theorist wife Mathilde--were filled with anti-Semitism as extreme as anything in Mein Kampf. He thus can be said to have contributed to the climate of opinion that propelled Hitler to power and ultimately resulted in the Holocaust.

Sometime in 1980, in one of my interminable discussions with defectors who quit the LaRouche organization circa 1978 in protest over their leader's anti-Semitism, it was suggested that I read Destruction of Freemasonry, which depicts the Masons as being tools of a Jewish plot. I can't remember whether I was told that the book had directly influenced LaRouche or simply that there were similarities in outlook between LaRouche and Ludendorff. In due course, I obtained a copy of the translation published by Willis Carto's Noontide Press and confirmed that indeed there were some convergences between the thinking of LaRouche and that of the late general.

Unfortunately I had received such an overload of documentation re LaRouche's ideology that I failed to take a second look at what seemed on first glance to be merely an obscure factoid. However, while recently preparing summaries of a number of far-right pamphlets and books (mostly from the 1930s through the 1950s)--to demonstrate that LaRouche's ideology is really in (or close to) the "mainstream" of fascist anti-Semitism--I reread the Ludendorff book, concluding this time that the similarities between it and certain LaRouche writings are actually rather profound.

The reader will note that the date of publication of the Noontide Press translation was 1977--the very year in which LaRouche made his final and decisive turn to neo-fascism and singled out the Jews (previously only one of many hate targets) to be the chief focus of his bile.

It was also in the 1976-78 period that NCLC members met repeatedly with leaders of the Liberty Lobby (Carto's pro-Nazi outfit) and contributed articles to its newspaper, The Spotlight. During this timeframe, LaRouche met personally with Carto to discuss the "Jewish question," according to LaRouche's own testimony in a 1984 court case. Carto reportedly would boast later on (read here) that he had converted LaRouche to anti-Semitism, although the latter's earlier statements about Jews (example from 1973 here) suggest that he scarcely needed any persuading.

Whether Carto first told LaRouche about the Ludendorff book, or whether LaRouche's own followers discovered it while they were mining a half-century's worth of far-rightist tracts to feed LaRouche's fantasies, I don't know. I strongly suspect, however, that LaRouche's knowledge of Ludendorff's theories would have come from oral or written summaries which he then wove into his own rants. Although he may have flipped through the book itself, I don't believe he had the attention span, even then, to work his way through the boring details of Freemasonic rituals (as interpreted by Ludendorff) in order to extract the insidious kernel.

Ludendorff's book maintains that Freemasonry is essentially a cult-factory that uses multi-leveled psychological "conditioning" to transform German recruits into half-unwitting "artificial Jews" who thereafter work for the destruction of the fatherland. This bizarre description of Freemasonry is almost a reverse image of the LaRouche organization's own blatant attempt, beginning in 1978, to transform young leftwing Jews (through LaRouche's own conditioning methods) into half-unwitting artificial Nazis who would work for the destruction of world Jewry. LaRouche of course did not try to indoctrinate his followers by way of arcane rituals presided over by elderly men dressed up in robes--his fear of homosexuality was too great to allow for this even if it had been something young people of the 1970s could relate to, which it wasn't.

And he didn't have to set up a conditioning system from scratch; his cult was already fully functional and he only had to refine his cognitive framings and invent a few new Orwellian terms. He'd already turned his closest disciples into artificial pipe-smoking versions of his Marxist persona (or so he thought)--why not take the extra step and turn them into artificial Nazis (or, at least, half-Nazis) in furtherance of his new Hitler fantasies?

But LaRouche's conditioning tricks, not backed by the power of life and death of a totalitarian government, ran up against the friction of human nature--and the lure of an outside world from which LaRouche could not fully insulate his house Jews if he wanted them to continue engaging in the political activity that fed his power fantasies. Thus the majority of LaRouche's Jewish acolytes would either break with him over the next twenty years or go into a kind of spiritual exile inside his cult--with the result that, since the late 1990s, the aging LaRouche has focussed on recruiting mostly non-Jewish young people into a new cadre formation, the "LaRouche Youth Movement" (LYM). Many ex-followers of LaRouche believe he is whipping up the LYM members--through increasingly angry and violent speeches and daily briefings--to conduct a purge of his burned-out boomers, including the remaining Jewish boomers.

This outcome doesn't mean that LaRouche's 1978 strategy was entirely, or even largely, a failure--he induced hundreds of individuals to spend the best years of their lives carrying out very nasty and often criminal actions in furtherance of his ideological goals (among other things, they disseminated vast quantities of cleverly-crafted anti-Semitic literature). And he still has dozens of Jewish followers who have helped him build up their own nemesis--the LYM--and will probably remain loyal until the bitter end, i.e., the day that the LYMers storm into the central headquarters and evict these old timers, whose health problems and demoralized attitude have made them (in LaRouche's view) a drag on the organization's efficiency, dynamism and cost effectiveness.[1]

The theory of the "artificial Jew" also fits closely with LaRouche's conception of Britain being a Jewish-dominated society controlled through a vast array of brainwashing institutions (of which Freemasonry is supposedly only one of many). LaRouche does not use the term "artificial Jew" but if one examines closely his statements about networks of British agents in both Britain itself and in the United States it soon becomes clear that he has merely developed a more sophisticated version of Ludendorff's theory. (Remember "Honk if you hate Haig"? Who was Secretary of State Alexander Haig, to LaRouche, but just another artificial Jew? And take the case of Dick Cheney, who has been depicted by LaRouche and his followers as (a) a brainwashee of Jewish philosopher Leo Strauss and the neo-cons, (b) a satanic beast-man, and (c) a "British" agent whose witch-wife functions as his control officer.)

The utility of positing a vast brainwashing plot should be obvious to anyone reading today the pro-Nazi pamphleteers who sought in the 1930s and 1940s to whip up a paranoid fear and hatred of Britain's Jewish community. These earlier propagandists sought to explain the alleged Jewish domination of Britain in terms of (i) Jewish control of banking, (ii) Jewish intermarriage with Gentile aristocrats, and (iii) Jews converting to Christianity and then covering up their family origins. But given the small size of British Jewry (even including conversions and intermarriage) these explanations are pretty thin unless one is willing to dismiss the English and the Scots--the real-world creators of modern science and the industrial revolution--as nothing but sheep. Even Hitler (although he certainly believed the Jews had very strong influence in Britain) didn't buy the theory of total Jewish control--at least not in the spring of 1940, when he hoped he would be able to make peace with Germany's Anglo-Saxon cousins after his armies completed their conquest of France.[2]

LaRouche's "achievement" was to take the explanations in the old Nazi pamphlets, add his own version of the artificial-Jew concept, expand the brainwashing scenario so that the lodges of Freemasonry become just one part of a much larger network of organizations that exert a controlling influence over the most important layers of British society, and then merge this entire concoction into his theory of an ancient oligarchy that has been practicing and refining the same method of control for thousands of years.

So one might say that LaRouche is like the science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick, who took the pulp stories of the 1930s--unconvincing and often boring--and reworked them into sophisticated yarns that succeeded in giving a surface veneer of plausibility to the most extreme forms of paranoia. But of course Dick knew (whenever he wasn't high on LSD) that what he was writing was fiction, whereas LaRouche, and Ludendorff before him, consistently mistook the products of their unconscious minds for the real world.

Below are annotated links to selected pages from the Noontide Press translation of Destruction of Freemasonry. That the number of pages selected are relatively small reflects the fact that most of Ludendorff's book contains detailed analyses or rhetorical phraseology that either are dissimilar to what is found in LaRouche's writings or simply irrelevant to LaRouche's ideological focus. In other words, LaRouche should not be regarded as a "neo-Ludendorffian."

The Noontide Press translation will appear clumsy to many readers. I have examined an English translation of Ludendorff's war memoirs which suggests that he was actually a fairly good prose writer. Whether the translator of Destruction of Freemasonry has distorted Ludendorff's meaning in any important way, I don't know; but this is the actual text that LaRouche almost certainly would have examined even if some of his German followers had made summaries for him from the German language original.--DK

Excerpts (in PDF) from Ludendorff with summaries/annotations:

Excerpt from Chapter One: Introduction (with Table of Contents and Front Matter). Ludendorff claims that the "mystery" of Freemasonry "is everywhere the Jew himself." He also claims that the Jews egged on the bloody crimes of the French Revolution (remember LaRouche's evil Jacobin mobs?) and that "Judaism is forming a caste which stands in opposition to the entire human generation." The latter phrase (emphasis added) sounds to me like LaRouche's oligarchical alien "species" aka the "Zionist-British organism" (read here and here).

Ludendorff further alleges that the Freemasonic brethen are duped "through hypnosis" and are "constantly being kept anew in a state of [ritualistic] intoxication." (In LaRouche's theory, the alleged control mechanisms are expanded to include LSD, marijuana, rock and roll, jazz, New Age meditation and orgies--resulting, I must admit, in a much more entertaining read.)

"Posthypnotically," Ludendorff continues, "they then carry out conscientiously [the instructions of the Jewish Masonic leaders] in their profane life." (Like Chris White's supposed posthypnotic suggestion to kill LaRouche, I suppose...) And the aim of all this fiendish indoctrination? To transform rank-and-file Masons into "conscious, 'artificial' Jews and co-workers for the 'glorious future of the Jewish people'"!

Excerpts from Chapter Two: Regarding Freemasonry in Germany. Here we see parallels to LaRouche's hatred of B'nai B'rith: Ludendorff calls this benign fraternal society the "leading Jewish Order of the whole world....Among its members are the well-known leading '300', forming simultaneously the Jewish 'General Staff'; it is a ruthless representative of the Jewish racial folk-community and the Jewish-capitalistic thought for world-rulership, supervising the political activities of the States and all influential parties."

This chapter also provides clues as to the roots of LaRouche's intense dislike of Albert Pike (1809-1891), a leading Scottish Rite Freemason whom LaRouche claims (with no legitimate evidence to back up his assertion) was the founder of the Ku Klux Klan. To Ludendorff, Pike was the "Freemason-Pope" who chartered secret Jewish lodges that are crucial to the Jews' plot to take over the world.

Ludendorff then presents an almost panicky vision of infiltrators everywhere: "Freemasonry, like an invisible, sticky dust, covers and penetrates everything deeply and unnoticed...[I]t is their purpose to judaize all nations--among them also the German people--and secure for Judaism, World-Rulership." And Germany's former warlord offers his own version of what would become the Third Reich's anti-Jewish laws--Freemasons should be purged from government positions and forced to wear "an outer mark of distinction, thus becoming clearly recognizable." (Remember LaRouche's call to purge all Zionists from the U.S. government and force them to register as "foreign agents"?)

Ludendorff also weaves the Jesuits into his theory; however, it is unclear to what degree he views them as directly affiliated with the Jewish conspiracy (LaRouche is very clear on this point--the Jesuits are "British" agents). But even if Ludendorff sees the Jesuits in the same light LaRouche does, and not just as a source of how-to-do-it examples, Ludendorff definitely regards Freemasonry's role as central. He quotes a purported Jewish Mason as claiming that "Freemasonry is following your footsteps, detects your tracks, watches over your thoughts, your inner-most souls...." According to the general, "[t]his is a war declaration of the Jewish people against all nations..." (Recall how LaRouche used to talk about "British" declarations of war against America and the entire world?)

Excerpts from Chapter Three: Conditioning the Artificially Created Jew. Ludendorff writes: "Jews consider non-Jewish Freemasons to be 'Jews', turning them thus at least into artificial Jews..." He describes the process as one of "conditioning (stamping)," which apparently means what LaRouche would later describe as brainwashing--since it includes, in the case of German Freemasons, the "smother[ing]" of their German racial characteristics, the acceptance of Jewish "world-conceptions" and even a willingness to "acquire Jewish characteristics."

Woven into this scenario on p. 54 is an analysis of the supposed occult significance of the Jewish star:

It becomes obvious that the superstitious Jew will consider such amulet to be an emblem of his World-Monarchy....We find this Star of David in the Lodges of all the grades. In the lowest grade...the six-pointed star is being replaced by the pentacle, the five-pointed Jewish Soviet star, also a cabalistic symbol....The Soviet-star signifies the pre-stage towards the Jewish World-government.

Compare this with the caption underneath the Jewish Star (with Queen Elizabeth at the top) from LaRouche's New Solidarity (Oct. 17, 1978; view it here), which reads:

The mystical, "satanic" link between the Maltese-Cult of Isis distortions of Christianity and Judaism are begun to be revealed by drawing a circle through the points of the pentacle represented by the Star of David...[3]

What is insidious in both instances is the attempt to identify the Jewish star, a specific religious symbol, with the "pentacle" (a magical amulet that comes in a variety of shapes but often is either a hexagram or a pentagram). This simple-minded transposition of religious symbol and amulet enables LaRouche to link the Jews to "satanism." Ludendorff uses the same trick to link the Jews to both occultism ("cabalistic" symbols) and Bolshevism by way of pentagram-shaped amulets, wrongly suggesting that the pentacle is exclusively a five-pointed star. Later in the chapter (p. 110), Ludendorff discusses a certain Freemasonic symbol composed of pairs of triangles, asserting that these pairs represent, "like the Star of David," God and Satan in the eyes of "Cabalists and all satanic Orders."

Even without any pentacle magic, Ludendorff's theory of the artificial Jew will seem absurd to rational people. But to someone inside the thought-world of paranoid conspiracism the general's concept could bolster the argument that the British are a "Judaized" people, a nation of culture-Jews. Some pre-World War Two British anti-Semites such as Hillaire Belloc tried to make this point on the flimsy basis of Jewish-Gentile intermarriage and Jewish financial influence (a view which Joseph Goebbels also expressed in his diaries), but the Ludendorff theory offers a mirror trick by which the power of the Jews in Britain can be seemingly multiplied many times over in the minds of paranoids. If the Freemason factory is regarding as having churned out thousands and thousands of artificial Jews over a period of two centuries or more, to do the Rothschilds' and Montefiores' supposed dirty-work throughout the broader society, then clearly this gives the Jewish merchant bankers a much larger political base and much more effective networks of influence than could be plausibly fantasized under previous scenarios.

The problem, in LaRouche's eyes, is not just Freemasonry (although he certainly hates the Freemasons), but a much vaster process of cultural brainwashing that involves also the British public school system (with its attendant homosexuality), Oxford, Cambridge, the Fabian society, the Anglican church, the Jesuits, witchcraft and a host of other institutions and practices. And LaRouche claims that the brainwashing doesn't just involve ritualistic practices (an issue on which Ludendorff clearly sinks into Flat-Earthedness) but also the core of British philosophy and science--empiricism, materialism, Bertrand Russell, Newton, Darwin, Locke, Bacon, Hobbes, Ockham--and behind them, the evil influence of the ancient oligarchy's house philosopher Aristotle (the putative poisoner of LaRouche's own fancied forerunner, the east-marching Alexander).

In other words, all of education and all of science and religion in the U.K., and not just Freemasonic doctrine, are part of the brainwashing process (along of course with the Freud-influenced Tavistock Institute). So when LaRouche identifies the "British" with a small group of Jewish merchant bankers in the City of London (as in his phrase "British (Rothschild)" on page 13 of The Case of Walter Lippmann; read here), he really has in mind something more than your ordinary conspiracism. He is alluding to the presumed state of affairs symbolized by the New Solidarity illustration of Queen Elizabeth at the top of the Star of David--that the British are in large part a nation of artificial Jews controlled (along with the lower levels of Jewry itself) by the ancient conspiracy of the rich oligarchical Jews-who-are-not-Jews.

And remember: in LaRouche's writings on the presumed origins of the oligarchy in Babylonian times, he claims that Judaism is an artificial religon created by Babylonian bankers who themselves, at the beginning, were not Jews. So if the original Jews were actually "artificial Jews" (both the oligarchs themselves and their mass followers), then why not apply the same theory to the British today--to supplement the traditional theories of Jewish control of Britain via the banks and intermarriage?

Thus LaRouche can have his cake and eat it too--hiding behind code words when necessary, but also spreading one of the most extreme forms of Jew hatred (of the intellectual type) in today's world.

More excerpts from Chapter Three: Ludendorff on Symbolic Circumcision. If Sigmund Freud had been a German gentile, he might have written a version of these bizarre pages. Ludendorff claims that Freemasonry turns the "already christianized Goy through symbolic circumcision into a completely artificial Jew and thereby into a citizen of the Jewish people." In addition, his analysis of the Freemason rituals has a dialectical quality which, along with his distrust of Christianity, reminds me of The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig Feuerbach (remember him? the nineteenth century German philosopher whose name was featured in the titles of certain LaRouche tracts in the early 1970s although I doubt LaRouche ever read him?).

However, Ludendorff also seems to be influenced somewhat by Nietzsche's critique of Christianity, and this presents us with a significant difference between Ludendorff and LaRouche. The general elaborates on Nietzsche's ideas in a a manner that the philosopher himself (an outspoken foe of chauvinism and militarism) would surely have rejected, depicting Christianity--especially Catholicism--as part of the Jewish plot against the German people. LaRouche, by contrast, has long professed to hate Nietzsche (again, without reading him I'll bet) and attacks the Jews on grounds that they supposedly lack a Christian conscience (read here), while characterizing Christianity (as long as it's not infiltrated by Jesuits or by Popes or cardinals of secret Jewish descent) as a weapon against oligarchical domination.

Next, Ludendorff adds some detail to his proto-brainwashing theory, alleging that the Freemasonic ritual "puts the German [recruit] under stressing intimidation, robbing him of his thought-capacity." The general also claims that the lower grades of Freemasonry are characterized by an "idealized veiling," in contrast to the higher grades where

the Jewish mentality and goal-directions are administered more and more undisguised, until the drill has advanced far enough and the [German Freemason] no longer needs to be subjected to any kind of magic, but can digest the truth without any make-up.

LaRouche uses a topsy-turvy version of this strip-tease scenario when he writes about the growth of Christianity in late Roman times. He claims that church fathers such as St. Augustine and St. Jerome used Christian doctrine as a cover for inculcating a proto-LaRouchian humanism step by cautious step. Although Ludendorff says the ultimate outcome of Freemasonic conditioning is a "will-deprived tool," LaRouche describes the pseudo-Christian catechumen, raised above the cover-ideology of Christianity into the truly spiritual world of the higher hypothesis, as a prototype for his own followers--the willful humanistic elite that will foil the Jewish oligarchs and steer the sheep-like masses into a future of unlimited progress.

Ludendorff returns now to the Star of David and the pairs of triangles of which it is composed (a little LaRouche Youth Movement plane geometry here?). He says these triangles

represent for Cabalists and all satanic Orders "God" and "Satan." For they assume that also Jehovah simultaneously carries "these two countenances"...

Thus Ludendorff attacks what would become another LaRouche bugbear: dualism. I recall a telephone conversation I had in the 1980s with the late Klan leader Bob Miles, founder of the dualist Mountain Church, who expressed his frustration that he couldn't persuade the LaRouchians to see the Bogomils and the Albigenses in a positive light. But Miles never had a chance of influencing LaRouche on this point. The latter had already come to see dualism as an integral part of the oligarchical conspiracy.

Excerpts from Chapter Four: Regarding Higher Grades and Other Matters. Ludendorff's conception of a Jewish world elite has numerous similarities to LaRouche's "oligarchical" elite. For instance (quoting from one of his fellow anti-Masons), the general contrasts the seemingly beautiful outer life of the Lodges with their inner deviousness. "The entire Lodge-life is...only to deceive Princes and governments, the present Lodge-character is consequently arranged only for the general Mason-population, for the 'uninformed' or 'untrusted' brethren."

But the network Ludendorff describes could also, as noted above, be characterized as a reverse image of LaRouche's National Caucus of Labor Committees (the supposed contemporary incarnation of the good, humanist elite). First, there's the lower level Freemasonic "proletarians" (sort of like LaRouche's street cadre), who provide "connecting links" between the secretive higher brethen and the "profane" masses, carrying propaganda "directly to the entire nation, thus throwing plenty of sand into both their eyes regarding the real essence of the Secret Orders, and simultaneously committing thereby indirectly significant political work."

At this point we get a further hint as to the source of LaRouche's obsession with Albert Pike and the Scottish Rite, for Ludendorff alleges that Pike had been a theorist for the Scottish Rite's inner ring, which supposedly uses methods similar to those of the Jesuits to realize the Jewish goal of world domination. (Ludendorff quotes a Mason as supposedly boasting, "It is here [in the most secret levels of Scottish Rite Freemasonry] where our fathers have accomplished their glorious deeds, have overthrown the tyrants.")

The general goes on and on about the nefarious Scottish Rite and its masters (such as Pike, presumably), whose "position is one lifted far above that of the other masonic Brethren." And he concludes:

[T]he purpose and the content of activities in the Scottish grades of the secret Lodges--therefore in the entire Order--is the criminal infiltration into the State-machine serving the Jewish people of Yahweh...

If one accepts for the sake of argument my hypothesis that LaRouche was influenced by Ludendorff's book, then the supporters of the NCLC who demonstrated noisily and with all sincerity in the 1990s against the statue of the "Klan founder" Albert Pike in Washington D.C. were not doing what they thought they were doing. Apart from the lack of evidence that Pike founded the Klan, the logic of the situation was that the demonstraters were actually--in LaRouche's eyes and to LaRouche's personal satisfaction--protesting against his personal demon--the evil international Jewish conspiracy as manifest in the Scottish lodges which, as Ludendorff puts it, "form a closely interwoven chain covering the entire earth."

Here the similarities between Ludendorff's Freemasonic conspiracy and LaRouche's global network of "British agents" emerge fast and furious (although the modes of expression used by the two authors are obviously very different). Ludendorff writes:

- "[W]ars and murders of all sorts are on the way, and poison, battle- and murder-weapons [are] the means to bring to all the nations on earth the Talmud-truths and the gruesome, bloodthirsty rulership of the Messianic Empire."

- "Narcotic fumes have stunned all Masons in the Lodge...will-deprived, they returned to the profane world as tools without a will in the hands of the Superiors."

- "[T]he effect of suggestions on the masons...penetrate from the Freemason Lodges and other Lodges...into the entire nation, depriving thus also the general public of their clear thinking. They penetrate into their own art-inherent cultures, thus [forming], together with those of the Jesuits, the only public opinion."

- "The 'public opinion' is aimfully channeled and spread in political parties and social gatherings, clubs, the press...and conducted with all 'cultural' and 'civilized' means."

- "In order to complete [the] will-paralyzation...occultism is taught, whose cabalistic origin and tremendous importance for the success of the 'Invisible Fathers' can not be often enough stressed."

Ludendorff, like LaRouche, is especially atune to the conspiratorial elite's use of the occult, and says that the Theosophical Society's Annie Besant turned King Edward VII (son of Queen Victoria) into a docile "tool" of the Jewish plan for a homeland in Palestine and eventual world domination. Apparently influenced by his wife's obsessions, Ludendorff also weaves into the occult side of the conspiracy the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), Satanism, Black Magic, B'nai B'rith, the "New Buddhistic movement" (apparently he means a western New Age form of Buddhism), Anthroposophy and Psychoanalysis--all of which are bugbears of today's LaRouche organization.

And yes, as the reverse-image of the LaRouche organization the Freemasons also use code language: "For further deception, they also tarn [sic?] themselves in their speech, as do the criminals, and experience cynical pleasure to hide a secret behind eloquently sounding phrases." Ludendorff cites the word Wohltat, or Wohltun, meaning charitable deeds, which he says is used by high-grade Freemasons to designate "any criminal deed, especially any war, any revolutionary mass-murder or single murder committed for the realization of the messianic empire."

[1] Ex-members of the LaRouche organization may differ with me, and with each other, regarding the degree of seriousness with which LaRouche actually pursued any tactic of turning his followers into "artificial Nazis." But even if Ludendorff's influence were more on LaRouche's inner fantasy life and speechifying than on anything else (and this is obviously not my view), such influence would be interesting as a case study in how "illuminated knowledge" (aka crank theories aka lifestyle fantasy) spreads and mutates within our society's intellectual underworld. Given the havoc that movements erupting from this fringe have wrought over the past century (after being dismissed by the establishment as too kooky to ever exert any real influence), we ignore so-called illuminated personalities and ideas at our peril.

[2] Hitler did write in Mein Kampf (1925-26) that the Jews in England exert an "almost unlimited dictatorship" through their supposed ability to manipulate public opinion. He adopted a less sweeping viewpoint in the 1930s, perhaps as a result of the growing evidence of English pro-Nazi sympathies emanating from Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Cliveden set, and of course the dictator's own little British groupie Unity Mitford (chief rival of Eva Braun), whom Hitler once described as "a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood."

[3] At least LaRouche, who by his own admission had trouble with plane geometry in high school, has graduated from the Freemasons' (and General Ludendorff's) triangles and squares to that more ineffable Platonic form, the circle. (Next stop on the Magic Schoolbus: golden spirals!)

To come: Mathilde Ludendorff vs. Helga Zepp-LaRouche...