Mind rape in the Lyndon LaRouche cult


shadok, Thursday, November 08, 2007 - 5:21 pm and 5:28 pm:

LaRouche's rape of the minds...

I have some thoughts regarding most ex-members.

Ex-members played a role in building LaRouche's criminal cult. How do they feel now about tragedies like Ken Kronberg's and Jeremiah Duggan's deaths? Do they feel any responsibility for not helping to expose the cult?

Most of them do not want to hear anything anymore about their LaRouchian past. Nothing happened, it was all a bad dream. Let's go back to what we learned so well: amnesia. Most of them feel embarrassed and sometimes ashamed.

I think that this feeling of silence and shame could be compared to...rape victims. It is known that rape victims, especially when they are young, would keep their shameful secret to themselves and feel guilty for the rest of their lives. They don't want to talk about it. It's probably the same psychological mechanism for most cult victims.

Does that mean ex-members were just poor victims? No, they weren't. Unlike rape victims, the cult victims are also guilty, as they were part of the offense...and enjoyed it!

I plead guilty, unlike ex-members who would say "we only obeyed the orders," which was the main line of defense of the Nazis tried at Nuremberg! This is, in my view, the real reason why many ex-members can't take it and would blame LaRouche watchers like Dennis King or Chip Berlet; they aren't ready to face some facts and can't draw the lessons from it. Most of them feel ashamed and embarrassed. Embarrassed because they were involved in things they now regret. Like a victim of a rape who drank too much that night...

Is the word "rape" too shocking? Well, not for LaRouche. Go back to his 1974 "Rockefeller's Fascism with a Democratic Face" issue of The Campaigner, and read the third part [entitled] "Fascism's rape of the mind."

The conspiracy was that "Rockefeller" forces had the project of a "1984" fascist society using mass brainwashing techniques.

As usual--and as we all know--in LaRoucheland reality is turned upside down, on its head: Rockefeller's "1984 fascist" project was in reality LaRouche/Big Brother's--and Rockefeller's "rape of the mind" was what members were subjected to: e.g., the BP sessions.[1]

Now this notion of the "rape of the mind" was the central subject of a 1956 study on totalitarian regimes: The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing, by Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D., Instructor in Psychiatry, Columbia University; Lecturer in Social Psychology, New School for Social Research; Former Chief, Psychological Department, Netherlands Forces.

What this psychologist uncovered is shocking when applied to miniature totalitarian societies like political cults.

There are indeed striking, worrying parallels between this book and LaRouche's [description of] "Fascism's rape of the mind" in the 1974 "Rockefeller issue" of The Campaigner, especially regarding "mass psychosis," "paranoia," "local control," etc. and...LaRouche's own organization!

Here are some techniques totalitarian regimes use, [as described in Chapter 7 of Meerloo's book]:

The Strategy of Terror: "There exist several milder forms of mass terror, for instance, the strategy of no political rest."

The Purging Rituals: "Cleaning out the higher echelons of government is an old historic habit. The struggle between fathers and sons, between the older and the younger generation, became ritualized far back in prehistoric times....

"In Totalitaria, the killing and purging ritual is part of the mechanism of government, and it serves not only a symbolic but also a very real function for the dictator. He must eliminate all those he has bypassed and double-crossed in his ruthless climb to power, lest their resentments and frustrated rage break out, endangering his position or even his life.

"The purge reflects another characteristic of life in Totalitaria. It dramatizes the fiction that the party is always on the alert to keep itself pure and clean. Psychiatry has demonstrated that the cleanliness compulsion in neurotic individuals is actually a displaced defense against their own inner rage and hostility."

Wild Accusation and Black Magic: "The more fear there is in a society, the more guilt each individual member of the society feels, the more need there is for internal scapegoats and external enemies. Internal confusion looks for discharge in outside wars.

"In Totalitaria, the air is full of gossip, calumny, and rumor. Any accusation, even if it is false, has a greater influence on the citizenry than subsequent vindication. Bills of particulars, made out of whole cloth are manufactured against innocents, especially against former leaders, who have been able to develop some personal esteem and loyalty among their friends and followers."

Spy Mania: "Projecting blame onto others reinforces each citizen's sense of participation in the totalitarian community and stills the nagging internal voice demanding that he act as a self-responsible individual. The myth of external plotting also increases the individual citizen's feeling of dependence and immaturity. Now only his dictatorial leader can protect him from the evil world outside--a world which is described to him as a vast zoo, inhabited by atomic dragons and hydrogen monsters."

The Strategy of Criminalization: "Flowery catchwords, such as 'historical necessity,' help the individual to rationalize immorality and evil into morality and good. We see here the great corruption of civilized standards.

"In his strategy of criminalization, the totalitarian dictator destroys the conscience of his followers, just as he has destroyed his own."

Verbocracy and Semantic Fog--Talking the People into Submission: "The multiform use of words in double talk serves as an attack on our logic, that is, an attack on our understanding of what monolithic dictatorship really is. Hear, hear the nonsense: 'Peace is war and war is peace! Democracy is tyranny and freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength! Virtue is vice and truth is a lie.' So says the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's grim novel, 1984....

"Instead of aiming at true understanding, people listen to thoughtless repetition, which gives them the delusion of understanding."

Logocide: "The trick is to replace a disagreeable image though the substance remains the same. The totalitarians consequently have to fabricate a hate language in order to stir up the mass emotions."

Rings a bell...?

Read the full text of Chapter 7 here.

sancho, Thursday, November 08, 2007 - 5:53 pm:

Excellent, Shadok. I posted something similar some time ago. As I cast darts at the "LaRooshites" today, I must remain cognizant of my own past role in the insanity and that I did just about all of the things these people do today. On the other hand, that's the strength of our witness to members who haven't yet found their way out. We serve as examples that one can get one's life back on track at any age no matter how long we were members of a vicious cult. What gives my critique added bite is really a large measure of self-deprecating humor as I find it ever harder to believe I could have fallen for--and participated in--all of this nonsense for so long. Thank you for helping me to be humble and to have more compassion and forgiveness for both these lost souls still toiling in the darkness of their obsession and also for myself.

shadok, Thursday, November 08, 2007 - 6:25 pm:


To be humble, to rediscover humility and compassion, is to become human again. Of course, from our former Inner Elites status back to everyday's reality, the fall could be hard. Some ex-members still enjoy being part of some select clubs, think tanks, etc. in Washington DC or elsewhere. This is just to keep their illusions and vanity alive.

The problem with cults in general and this one in particular is that there are no "help lines" for ex-LaRouchies, unlike for rape victims.[2]

This forum could probably help.

I am very sorry for all these LYMers [members of the LaRouche Youth Movement] who come here to throw trash and insults at our faces. Sorry but not angry. How could I? This is probably what I was shouting when a member myself!

But I think that the analogy between a "cult victim" and a "rape victim" is a valid one and could help to understand better what most ex-members had to go through after they left.

Unlike Socrates, LaRouche rapes minds.

sancho, Thursday, November 08, 2007 - 8:08 pm:

To extend the analogy, the rapist is ordinarily impotent like La La, and thus one infinitesimal ball of impotent rage striving vainly to make itself felt on others.

One thing to recognize is that the good we saw in the organization was largely projected onto it from our own good nature, which is one reason I maintain that I knew many good people in the organization, some of whom remain. But while our minds and hearts were largely set on these grand ideals, we rarely looked down to see the evil our hands were doing or listened to the hateful nonsense that was coming out of our mouths.

xlcr4life, Friday, November 09, 2007 - 7:15, 7:16 and 7:17 pm:

I received this email from a former member who was in the Detroit operations for several years. It is posted by me for reasons which will be obvious. Many of you will know who this is, especially the three-decade LCers [National Caucus of Labor Committee members].

For the yutes [LYM members], well, you will be staying out pretty late until you hit quota. When you come back, ask some of the NCs [NCLC National Committee members] who this just might be. If you think that the anti-Semitism of Lyn is just an isolated affair, then you are in the same boat many of us were when we spread this lunacy. You have your "locusts" and "Cabal" words to hide [behind] after a Zayed Center rant by Lyn. In a few years, when many of you will be leaving, keep some of the literature hidden away for a bit. After a few years pass by, reread it and see how foolish this all was and how your idealism and youth were stolen to make you a LaRouche Yute.

Dear All,

I have had problems in posting for some reason that is irrelevant as I hope and pray (not literally) that xlcr will post this for me. I am legally blind (don't know what illegally blind is...grin). Nonetheless I've read the posts on this list and have done other online research during the past month or so after several years of absence from this hideous cult. For, you might know, I have recently celebrated the anniversary of the mass exodus from LaRoucheland in Detroit circa October 30, 1981.[3]

I have been deeply touched by all those who are concerned about the youth being raped of the mind by this savage mind f**ker LHL.

Never more so has that come to light in my mind and soul as in the recent soulful exchange by Shadok and Sancho--for while years have peeled away, guilt and self deprecation stay with me and are smacked hard upon my ears and my heart in every reading of posts here in this "fact land."

I love and admire the humility expressed by Shadok and Sancho and others. It is after all else the road to salvation so to speak. Don't get me wrong, I'm not to this day "religious." I am a fervent agnostic. Why, that is my best effort in "not knowing"--[i.e.,] in true humility. While I respect all practitioners of religion I abhor the notion of "knowing the nature of God or gods." It is simply too big of an issue for my puny brain to grapple with and the LHL thing has left me with a most healthy sense of skepticism of anyone or any group which portends to know truth or the ultimate truth. Perhaps this goes to my truly healthy anarchical nature. By that I mean a healthy skepticism once again and a most healthy anti-authoritarian nature.

With these statements as prelude, allow me some humble contrition and commentary here if you all will.

I was raised Catholic and one of my most formative and beneficial soul-developing attributes in that upbringing was a recognition as a youth that anti-Semitism was simply a bad thing. I was raised upon the movie "Judgment at Nuremberg." I also viewed the newsreels of Holocaust victims in a small Catholic school's gym in seventh grade. And those images haunt me--and help shape my sense of social justice, of grand good and grand sin--to this very day. In part, I joined LHL's BS because I abhorred such racially ascribed insanity as what led to the holocaust of not only Jews but so many other innocents ranging from homosexuals to those people with disabilities to Gypsies to Slavs to trade unionists to Communists. But, this does not mitigate the sorry and terrible offenses to Jews.

Now, bearing this in mind I think back to the late seventies when this b*stard Larouche started his revisionist BS on the Holocaust. Perhaps the mindless anti-Semitism was already there before he started his...escapades with the likes of Willis Carto, but I didn't notice it. I was too busy raising money for this mind f*cking Fuehrer after all.

Regardless, I too, like Sancho and Shadok and others, must acknowledge my own sin for while I did not engage in anti-Semitic crap I swept it under the rug of my mind and my soul. For these sins of omission I was simply, morally wrong in my own mind and in my own heart. It is indeed heartbreaking to acknowledge this "evil" in myself to this date. But, it must be if I am to be self-absolved or "saved," so to speak, at least in my own heart or conscience.

Now, while I again eschew to this day religion--being a person of both skeptic nature, a violated one myself, and acknowledging the hypocrisy of all organized religions--I do note here a positive value of most of the great religious institutions. That is the notion of "confession" or recognition of wrong and atonement or forgiveness. This is expressed in all of the great western religions including Judaism, Islam and Christianity. But, too often it is ignored by the rank and file members of all. Now, with this said, I must confess to this day that I "knew or should have known" in the Nuremberg Trials sense of that term of the evils expoused by the degenerate LaRouche. Yes, as Shadok suggests, my mind was indeed raped to warp me so, but I must humbly acknowledge my own guilt in this affair which is something very difficult to do. To this day I cannot reconcile in my mind how I suckered for the BS. But, I cannot ignore the fact that I did so. It is simply a stark reality--an event born in my personal history of five years in the cult.

For those whom I've offended by this, I humbly ask for forgiveness.

Now, with this said I've been able to build a new life over this quarter of a century. It has been far from perfect. I've made my own share of mistakes in my personal and even public life. But, for the most part I've been a loving person both in my domestic life and in my public affairs.

No, I am not perfect, I'm far from that and in fact I don't even really know what "perfect" is. I am a flawed vessel after all; but one striving to just be good, not great.

Now, it is most sad and pathetic that LaRouche will be condemned to a sort of hell of his own device. By that I mean I won't be the one to send him there. He will go there of his own sad and sickly device.

I've contemplated recently in my mind what level of Hell he'll abide. I've come to the conclusion after the great Avi Klein piece that it will be a recognition that he spent so much in both human and monetary terms for a "vanity press" and yet not a one reads his puke and there won't be anyone who remembers him after he dies. He is even pathetic in his evil as it is just impotent except for the spell he somehow cast upon the likes of me. For actually he will be less read than even Hitler or others of intense infamy.

Now all of this doesn't mean I don't have opinions and beliefs. I do. I believe in the intrinsic goodly nature of humans and abhore the evil expressed most often with violence, silencing and force. Force after all else is the weapon of the weak in my mind and opinion. Now, all this goes to Shadok's notion that we who followed this fool and degenerate were indeed victims of rape, but that we too must acknowledge our wrongs and try to right them if [we are] to ever be absolved even in our own minds, which in my mind is the most important place for such things.

I humbly recognize how difficult this is to actually do.

I mean, after all else this is why I've been so obsessed and alternately appalled by reading factnet.org and such over the past month. It pricks me hard in my own soul and to the core. Still, this venture, again in humble opinion, must be gone through if I am to gain peace of soul and mind.

I thank one and all for the venue for this voyage and hope I've not oppressed a soul with my own rantings herein.

Of "the yutes," I say only this: "Please leave as soon as you can do so from this thing that is raping you." I don't ask this for any other reason than [that] you will have a greater peace of mind in your departing from this evil thing. You will eventually reconcile the good and the bad within you once out of the raping of your well-intentioned minds. It won't be "perfect," for such is not the thing given to human beings. But, you'll have a shot at the attempt if you leave. You don't have a sick ghost of a chance if you stay.



shadok, Saturday, November 10, 2007 - 11:18 am:

Nonlinear1, thank you for your honesty.

I am not religious myself and to "confess"--that is, to acknowledge our responsibilities, our errors--is the path towards if not "salvation," at least towards some peace of mind. This is known in psychology as well, no need for religion here.

More importantly, before being able to ask for "forgiveness" by our victims, it is important to be able to forgive ourselves first, to have mercy for ourselves. Yes, we are only human; yes, we are not perfect; yes, we do make mistakes. What is important is that these mistakes not be repeated. This requires humility and I consider humility as the ultimate cure to disintoxicate ourselves from any remnants of LaRouchism (it works for me). Of course, it doesn't prevent us from being proud of what we do or have done, even as a member of the Labor Committees! I would go as far as using this painful experience positively: after all (and unlike Jeremiah and Ken), we survived! We know the way out of this prison.

In 1993 there was a very moving film called "Schindler's List" by Steven Spielberg. I wrote then an article defending it for EIR [LaRouche's weekly newsmagazine] which in fact went against another one attacking this film (obviously). As a result, no film review was published. I left the organization months later.

What moved me in this film, apart from the obvious empathy with the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, was much deeper and only recently can I formulate it: I was unconsciously identifying myself with... Oskar Schindler!

Who was he? He was a top Nazi leader, ambitious, an opportunist BUT who had enough conscience to risk his life to save...Jews! He partly redeemed himself. Cynics (and they may be right) said he tried to save his neck. Those who were saved by him don't agree. Schindler received the title of "Righteous Among the Nations" by the State of Israel. This title is given to non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust in order to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. More than 20,000 received that honor.

Like Schindler we have a conscience. And it is even harder for us ex-LCers because the distance that separates our ideals and moral standards from LaRouche's is abyssal! Like today's LYMers, we joined for wonderful, generous moral ideals. It is therefore important to understand LaRouche's real nature: he has nothing to do with the ideals we embraced then. There is therefore no "guilt" for leaving the organization or LaRouche. In fact, leaving the organization was the only way for me to remain truthful to my ideals, my integrity. But of course, this feeling of "guilt" has multiple layers: once the "guilt" associated with "betraying" the cult (aka LaRouche, "mankind," etc.) is lifted, you're hit by another more personal one. You'd say to yourself: "My God, what have I done? What happened?" And this feeling of guilt is, I think, similar to a rape victim's who realizes he/she drank too much the night before...We later realize we were used and abused by this "mind rapist" called Lyndon LaRouche.

So, how to lift this last layer?

I think that we as ex-LCers have a responsibility.

This comes from the Talmud:

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.--Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a).

I wished I could have helped to prevent Jeremiah's or Ken's death. This is too late now, but if I/we could help any LYMer in leaving this criminal cult it would be like "saving Mankind." For real this time.

Footnotes by Dennis King:

[1] The "BP" (Beyond Psychoanalysis) sessions were harrowing group meetings in the 1973-74 period that employed what LaRouche called "ego-stripping" to break down an individual psychologically and then reconstruct his or her thinking and values so as to produce a fanatical degree of loyalty to LaRouche and the organization. The sessions took their name from LaRouche's 1973 Campaigner article, "Beyond Psychoanalysis," in which he set forth a pseudo-scientific rationale for ego-stripping. LaRouche claimed that this approach was a unique result of his own higher mentation but, in fact, it had much in common with the group attack therapies used in drug rehabilitation programs in the 1970s, and the "criticism and self-criticism methods" used by several small Marxist sects during that same period. However, LaRouche's version had a paranoid, almost hallucinatory intensity (and ruthlessness) that generally went beyond what was practiced elsewhere.

The most significant BP sessions were conducted by LaRouche himself with the NCLC's National Executive Committee (NEC) members as his guinea pigs. It didn't work in every case. Two strong-willed members of the NEC--Jose Torres and Christine Berl--saw through LaRouche's game, denounced his methods and left the organization along with several lower-level members in 1974. However, the rest of the NEC succumbed, and the psychological onslaughts LaRouche leveled at them during this period are an important reason for the unquestioning, lockstep obedience with which these individuals would follow LaRouche's wildly shifting directives in subsequent years.

Once LaRouche had worked over the NEC members psychologically, they in turn set out to practice the BP method on the National Committee and other "secondary leadership" of the NCLC. The net effect was to spread throughout the organization a powerful psychological terror which has never been dispelled, and has been reinforced over the years by similar methods practiced under various names against both new recruits and wavering older members. This heritage of fear explains, in part, why so many ex-LaRouchians remain in a state of denial about the organization's true nature even many years after leaving--and why so many of them have remained silent about their experiences and about the organization's secret crimes.

As practiced in recent years on LYM members and others, the LaRouche approach is said to involve physical restraint to prevent the targeted individual from leaving the room (read here an eyewitness description of ego-stripping sessions circa 2002). It is believed by some that Jeremiah Duggan was subjected to these tactics in the days before his death, but that he staunchly resisted the pressure, thus enraging the LaRouchians surrounding him.

[2] Several weeks after Ken Kronberg's suicide, I posted a list of suggestions for opposing LaRouche that included the establishment of a hotline for those still trapped in the organization--especially for LYM members who have only been involved for a few months and probably would leave with a little encouragement (plus a bus ticket home). I urged that campus organizations around the country be enlisted in an effort to get such a contact number into the hands of LYM members manning the "table shrines" in and around various campuses, and that the number also be widely publicized on the internet. To date nothing has been done to implement this suggestion, and I reiterate that it would be a valuable supplement to the Factnet postings and the proliferation of web sites and blogs exposing LaRouche. Indeed, given LaRouche's increased volatility and propensity for encouraging violence, a hotline might not only eventually rescue dozens of young people from exploitation but also, quite literally, save lives. To put this in slogan form: "Jeremiah Duggan, Never Again!"

[3] In late October 1981, a total of 117 individuals, the majority from the Detroit area, resigned en masse from the LaRouche organization. For details on this remarkable event--and LaRouche's panicky response--read here and here.