As distasteful and embarrassing as low budget pornography, the coupling of Lyndon LaRouche and Louis Farrakhan makes skin—both black and white—crawl. On September 1, in the insistent institutional luxury of the downtown Washington Vista Hotel, longtime Lyndon LaRouche crony Anton Chaitkin and Nation of Islam (NOI) spokesperson Abdul Alim Mohammad joined up to vilify the forces of evil. A LaRouche front group, the Schiller Institute, paid for the hall and, according to LaRouchite Lynn Speed, would contribute to any costs not covered by the gate.
The evening's panel, "The ADL: Spies, Lies, Murder, and Deceit," was part of a decade-long link between the two seemingly disparate groups under the banner of "Your enemy's enemy is my friend." The common enemy that night was the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith.
As CovertAction reported in Summer 1993, 34-year veteran ADL employee Roy Bullock had illegally gathered information on hundreds of organizations he grouped as "Right," "pinko," and "Arab," including, of course, NOI and LaRouche. Both groups seized on this scandal and unleashed a web of weird conspiracy theories in which Jews were a secret elite bent on world domination.
"The alliance angers me," says Loretta Ross of the Center for Democratic Renewal, "because it allows that ultimate devil, white supremacy, to get off the hook [and]...serves as a dangerous distraction that could have serious consequences for the struggle for justice." It also undermines what Rodney Orange, president of the Baltimore NAACP, calls NOI's "message of self-respect and nationalism [which] resonates with underprivileged communities."
In the old days, before LaRouche started courting black support, NOI would have considered his openly racist organization anathema. A 1974 LaRouche publication warned whites that "Soon you will lose your jobs probably to a welfare loafer, a methadone-crazed dope-fiend, [or] some gang member brought in from a ghetto neighborhood." Now, he rants on about international Zionist conspiracies to rule the world and the control of global narcotrafficking by British royalty.
I got a taste of LaRouchian tactics when I called the Washington-based Schiller Institute to interview Anton Chaitkin for an article I was writing on the alliance for the Canadian press. He was evasive, hostile, and instantly accused me of being a CIA agent. I left my number in Vermont where I was staying and suggested we talk again after he confirmed that I was indeed a journalist on assignment. A few days later, on a gaudy fall Saturday morning, I was on the phone with a friend discussing the pitfalls of taping sheetrock. An operator interrupted announcing an emergency call from Anton Chaitkin. When I took it, he launched into such an unstoppable flood of accusation, I could feel the spittle through the phone.
In the course of a few minutes, Chaitkin branded me a Nazi, a CIA agent, a Royal Mountie, a terrorist, a Canadian spy, an agent provocateur, a paid employee of the ADL, and suggested I cohabitated with domestic animals one of which was a Mountie's horse. Daunted by this overestimation of my prowess, both political and sexual, I suggested that he might want to pick one or the other. "They are all the same, that's what we are talking about," he screamed into the phone. Oh, silly me.
I tried to get him back to the issues. As easy as distracting a chicken with a passage from Proust. He wanted to know what town in Vermont was I calling from? Was it my home? Was this my home number? Did I live alone?
I took his repeated demand for this last bit of information as an attempt to intimidate. When he hung up, I called the village police and reported a threatening call.
An hour later the serious, somewhat confused officer showed up at my house. Chaitkin, he told me, had contacted the police and accused me of having made threatening calls to him. When the cop asked, Chaitkin said he didn't want to press charges or reveal the nature of the threats, but did ask where I lived and how big the town was. He told the puzzled cop that he (Chaitkin) could not be an anti-Semite (a charge I had not made and the cop couldn't pronounce), because he was Jewish.
Over a cup of mint tea, the young officer checked my press credentials, read some clips on Chaitkin and the LaRouchians from major papers, and looked over my notes on the bizarre phone call. He also read some of the LaRouche and NOI literature.
Astonished, he asked, "Do they really believe this?"
Before leaving, he offered to send a patrol car around occasionally to check that I was OK. I thanked him, but said it wasn't really necessary. As I watched him pull away, I rested secure in the knowledge that my co-conspirators at the Royal Mounties, the CIA, the neo-Nazis, the international Jewish conspiracy, and narcoterrorists were all looking out for me.
Besides, Queen Elizabeth and I were planning to smoke a joint together later that afternoon and enjoy the fall foliage, and I really didn't want the village cop roaming around. Who, after all, knew whom he was really working for?