The LaRouche Youth Movement's addictive illusions

Former recruit provides rare insights into a nightmarish world of deceit, manipulation and ideological "wolf-packing"

LaRouche youth recruiting at Boise State University in Idaho, Sept. 2010.

Factnet postings, Dec. 13 - Dec. 14, 2007

yamabkad, Thursday, December 13 - 5:20 pm and 5:22 pm (merged):

Hello. Reading those [1981 LaRouche movement resignation letters] triggered something in me.

I figure I should introduce myself, seeing as I have been lurking on this board for a month or two reading what I should have read years ago, and not posting. I'm a former part-time "organizer" and full-time mental slave (who sang the songs, too) to this ideosyncracy (the youth version). My total time spent worshipping at the card-table shrine adds up to no more than three or four weeks. My stay at the monasteries of the square and cube doesn't add up to more than that either.[FN 1] Despite those facts, the damage to my life has been rather extensive.

I am happy to say that I am LaRouche free for more than a year, but it took great pain to lodge the old geezer out of my mind. I'm still finding his garbage in my mental attic, garage, closets and other select nooks, when thinking about pretty much anything. This site has helped me deal with a lot of the more irrational behavioral reactions that I used to have (self-)programmed in. Even as I say this, I choose to remain anonymous (on the board) so as to minimize any frustration.

I dropped out of a good university, made a mess out of my family relationships and mind, lost the respect of my friends, spent almost three years hating myself for not living up to a standard that our oh-so-affectionately-referred-to "Lyn(DONE!)" never lived up to, developing and complicating all sorts of psychological issues in the process. Even after I left the organization, I still hated myself and could not establish a normal basis for life despite my family's earnest attempt to help. It basically took the shock of homelessness and a couple of years of patiently waiting out the inevitable collapse which never occurs, for me to quit regarding Lyn as the great genius which he was supposed to be.

It was intellectual/moral laziness and the gambler's dream of "the big score" of "genius" that ultimately made me drop out of school. I'm back in school now and it's a lot harder to do even easy things now that my whole brain is pockmarked from confrontation with [LYM] "ideas." Even so, I am luckier than many, for I've been blessed with a patient family.

Seeing as I identified with the [LYM] for such a lengthy period of time despite the wide availability of reliable information which should have discouraged me, the question may be posed as to why anyone with access to the internet would fall for this sh-t.

The philosophical indecipherability and in-house mysticism of The Science of Christian Economy, the good and bad books, the mind-games, the fetishization of speculative arguments over mathematical constructions and nonsensical questions answered by repeating some Lyn-mantra as the highest standard of truth, the sleep deprivation and "ruthless" enemy-building, constant patching of the faulty ideological software with reams of ad hoc papers, are all important grounds for analysis. I noticed in myself, however, and I'm sure that this applies to other members, more troubling trends worth noticing.

To be perfectly honest when I was introduced to the movement I wasn't exposed to much of the weirdness and naively thought it was just some amazing gem which everyone else had missed out upon. The next day I went out and organized with them. A guy on the street told me to read up on them as a cult on the internet, and I did. I read some newspaper articles and held them in suspicion. Two weeks down the line I was completely hooked. I loved the way you could just Know Truth, and all the other capital words, them being the Forms of The Universe, simply by suscribing to EIR and engaging in "dialogues."

Then I read Dennis King and almost had a heart attack.

Even so, the initial attraction never faded away. I decided to go to no more meetings, but I started suffering regular panic attacks about the world collapsing, and the constant phone calls weren't helping either. I had the choice of clinging to the secrets of the inner elites as my guide to life or sticking the long hard road of an actual education. I chose the former. This leads to my long-delayed point.

Those of us who joined largely knew the facts about LaRouche. I was a fascist. I may have blocked the facts out of my consciousness and "forgotten" a lot of things, but the net effect was the same. I chose to misrepresent reality so as to cling to an addictive illusion. Potential relative population density (PRPD), the LaRouche-Riemann economic model, and all that other bullshit became sacred science.

Since everything could be deduced from Lyn's spacious and completely undefined economic model flawlessly, and then contradicted when necessary for the day's spare change, I think our self-conscious mentation amounted to little more than cowardice and lies. The best a LaRouchie fascist can do to remain consistent is to be what he hates, a scholastic speculator and badly trained at that, defending the axioms of Lyn's pseudoscience, the new Ptolemaic order. [Jonathan] Tennenbaum seemed adept at that...I actually feel funny posting that here, as I wouldn't be surprised if, when convenient, it will be claimed that he is colluding with some network of John Train Salon/MySpace-Wikipedia linked spooks bent on raping Helga [Zepp-LaRouche].

I reap what I have sown, and I am still paying my price. I hope I can one day redeem myself in the eyes of that humanity I misrepresented so badly. And if not that, at least my family.

yamabkad, Friday, December 14, 2007 - 10:01 am and 10:52 am (merged):

I am going back to school full-time now; I also worked various minimum wage jobs after leaving. Working with real people, some of whom are living paycheck-to-paycheck, helped bring me back to reality. It brought me into direct contact with the realm of phenomena that we more appropriately discuss when talking about economic problems in human terms, i.e., in individual terms.

It was no longer some world-soul or nebulous noosphere who is suffering, but your co-worker and neighbor, someone you can't avoid getting personal with at the lunch-break. Not that LaRouchies don't live outright miserably. All the [LYM] apartments I saw/slept in looked like tenements, packed like slave ships by youths from various corners of the U.S. and world.

At any rate, starting from that sort of feeling about the average folks I got to know, now I at least have SOME sensual connection to people's actual experiences which is my own and has not been tampered with. I oppose this feeling to the feeling of looking at the pawns which are to be organized on the board, or the utter loneliness of being the ghost who has been forced to walk the earth for eternity, because of his knowledge of the secrets known to the inner elites. So, I'm making progress.

It's somewhat impossible to feel anything about a completely abstract entity. As a LaRouchie, I had more feeling, on average, about the letter L than the people I was supposedly saving, especially when they weren't "engaging in the dialogue."

The sh-t you have to witness in the name of Beethoven and Gauss and lately even God on those "conference" buses is appalling. People get wolf-packed and yelled at and shunned and all that just for not being willing to drop their views about the state of the economy.

When humanity gets this abstract, some third state of matter above the biotic, which escapes all sort of understanding due to the fact that it's "currently insane," the results are drastic. I always consoled myself with the fact that there was a metric (PRPD) which we could measure and craft economic policy. But this sort of consolation is somewhat like a man saying that he knows that distance can be measured on a map, but can't for the life of him measure distance on a map.

To be honest this is not even a good analogy since there [in the LaRouche movement] the map was never properly formed to begin with, so any "measurement" on it would be worse than useless. An excerpt (below) from the resignation letters by Alice Roth, provides the opportunity for the observation that even at the top circles of the movement back in the days when people could actually talk about mathematical modeling, epistemology, ontology, etc. on a principled level, people never got to the point of actually using the magical PRPD "yardstick" as a measure of the tendencies in negative entropy or whatever PRPD was actually supposed to measure.

Because our so-called Riemannian model ignored the credit system, it was utterly useless for any kind of work involving short-run developments--i.e., the "quarterly" forecast. Yet it was demanded that we constantly produce such projections at a moment's notice for EIR. The best the staff could do would be to first figure out what seemed to be going on politically in the business community and among policy circles and then attempt to generate computer graphs that matched our already-arrived-at assessment. I found this degrading and intellectually dishonest. We were representing ourselves as one more "delphic oracle" among other competing "delphic oracles." But the tools we were using were even less sophisticated than the Keynesian-Friedmanite rubbish we claimed to be replacing. The only thing that saved the project was that our political intuition occasionally was more on target than that of the competition.

And OUR political intuition generally WASN'T, but I figured that maybe in the LONG run the predictions would be correct...

Comparing the boomer intellectuals with the LYM ones I guess entails at least a mention of Sky Shields [a leading member of the LaRouche Youth Movement in Los Angeles--DK]. As far as I know he's still in and is as avid as ever. He was trying to organize some sort of LYM modeling crew last year to start producing those famed "animations" according to "Riemannian principles" at the locals, probably starting first in LA, the idea being that some people who knew some math and could program would, provided the data, be able to actually study something like the 1940's economic recovery premised on the science of Lyn. He saw it as a "science driver program" which would basically get the movement's sh-t together and fight its own ignorance. Sky was a pretty bright guy. I think he was studying physics and left somewhere around his third undergraduate year or something, but don't quote me on this. Either way, this as most things eventually was scrapped because the youth didn't understand Kepler, which is an obvious prerequisite for the active practice of modern science.[FN 2] Nothing against Kepler, but why not enter a monastery and study Cusa in detail? That wouldn't be a bad idea for a lot of the youth.

As far as the quality of scientific thinking, it's something like Stalinist dialectical materialism. Any decent argument by someone relatively competent can be squashed by someone with well-memorized Lynquotes.

I remember members discussing the movement of people towards and away from the [literature-sales] table and talking about it in terms of dynamically triggering a critical increase in the power of dialogue on the noosphere through singing, when people were just reacting to the outrageous signs and lyrics. Since there could be no science there, people end up discussing things impressionistically. In our sleep-deprived minds, the movements of crowds on the street started to look amazingly like some surreal version of Leonardo's sketches of water. People were creatures out of Goya's drawings, or Bosch's schizophrenic mind.

Really I think the most salient variable in any encounter between organizers and the public was how much the individual approached knew about the Great Patriot. I almost always started out the conversation with "Do you know who LHL is?" So much for now.

[1] It would appear from what follows that "yamabkad" spent a much longer period in or around the LYM than is stated in this paragraph.

[2] The LYM induces young people to drop out of school, often during their freshman or sophomore year. They are then expected, as cadre, to work 16 hours a day raising money at literature tables for LaRouche, while also miraculously developing attributes of scientific genius and producing great breakthroughs in various fields. This is truly a case of absurdity piled upon absurdity--for even if the LYMers had the necessary educational background, time, financial resources and laboratory facilities (which they do not), they would still be unable to carry out creative scientific work because the LaRouche movement ruthlessly represses critical reasoning, open debate and freedom of thought--the prerequisites of successful science--within its ranks.

The LYM does claim to provide science education for its recruits, but from what I've heard such sessions are little more than geometry demonstrations performed before an audience of sleep-deprived kids--and enlivened only by abusive tirades against past scientists such as Newton whose work neither the speaker nor the audience (nor LaRouche himself for that matter) has ever studied.--DK