NCLC "Counterterror" Squads:


Fourth of a series


Security teams from the neo-Nazi National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC) have been quietly trickling down to rural Georgia during the past year to undergo paramilitary instruction at a privately owned school called "the Farm" (after the CIA training facility in Virginia with the same name).

"We train them in martial arts, pistol shooting, paramedical skills, the use of shotguns, rifle countersniper activity, countersurveillance, and the control of 3-car caravans," said former arms tycoon Mitchell WerBell III, owner of the school and a well-known supporter of the ultra rightist Liberty Lobby, in a telephone interview Sept. 14.

WerBell is celebrated in counterinsurgency circles as the "Wizard of Whispering Death." In the 1960s, he developed the Ingram M-10 submachine pistol and invented the world's first submachine gun silencer. Both were used in the simulated mass assassination scene in the 1976 movie, "Three Days of the Condor." In real life, they are used by Latin American death squads.

The wizard's 60-acre training facility is located on Ga. 360 near Powder Springs. According to local newspapers it is guarded by the latest electronic gadgetry backed by a squad of attack dogs. WerBell's home is on the grounds and is a frequent center for social gatherings of the Right, featuring such diverse personalities as Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis, drug enforcement expert Lucien Conein, Liberty Lobby chief Willis Carto...and NCLC security director Jeff Steinberg.

According to WerBell, the school mostly trains policemen and private protection agents. He says that its 10-day COBRAY program, which costs $2,000 per trainee, has been given to "seven or eight" NCLC members so far. This figure is disputed, however, by defectors from the group, who say the number is "much higher" and that the training is required of NCLC's local and regional security persons in various cities, as well as the national office staff. NCLC is currently active in 42 cities.

One objective of the COBRAY training is to qualify students as National Rifle Association marksmen. "The U.S. Labor Party people did very well," said WerBell. "Most of them ended up with expert or sharpshooter certificates in the use of pistols."

Sources close to NCLC say trainees are selected by the Security Division in New York City--the elite unit charged with guarding NCLC fuehrer Lyndon LaRouche against alleged "British" (Jewish) assassination plots. Its history of violence dates back to 1973 when it organized NCLC members for over 60 street assaults on members of leftist groups in Philadelphia, New York and other cities.

In 1974, according to FBI documents, the NCLC operated its own training camp on a farm owned by a cult member near Argyle, New York. At this camp, NCLC cadre and their West German comrades were reportedly trained in explosives and demolitions, small arms, and small unit tactics.

WerBell says that his school carefully instructs the NCLC trainees in the laws of their home states and cautions them to remain within the law. But such niceties have not always been observed at the Farm. In 1974, for instance, the facility was used by WerBell to train mercenaries for an invasion (later called off) of the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.

An article in Esquire magazine at that time described the use of standard NATO rifles converted for .22 caliber cartridges in the Farm training. "It's a low-cost, low-noise, practically recoil-free way to teach a man how to hit a Dr. Pepper can at seventy-five yards with a military firearm, and it works," wrote the Esquire reporter. "The men who make it through this drill are thereafter known, in the special WerBellian nomenclature compounded from the lingo of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the intelligence establishment's invisible war, as 'sniper qualified.' They are, too."

WerBell's COBRAY, Inc. provides not only training for NCLC but also year-round security consulting services. WerBell confirmed to Our Town the claim by NCLC defectors that he personally consults on the phone with Jeff Steinberg several times a week. He denied, however, that COBRAY has ever provided Lyndon LaRouche with professional bodyguards. "We've only sent people on occasion to assist them (NCLC security) in obtaining assistance from local police forces," he said, referring to LaRouche's incessant requests for police protection during his presidential campaign appearances.

NCLC first hired WerBell as a security consultant in 1977, when the group was reportedly worried that LaRouche might become an assassination target for the West German Baader-Meinoff gang. According to WerBell, he was suspicious of the group at first because of their name. "Anything that says Labor is a communist plot," he said. But thorough checking, he added, convinced him that "they aren't communists."

WerBell aide Lou Millet, who was monitoring his boss's conversation with Our Town in the midst of electronic bleeps and echo effects, interrupted to say that all COBRAY trainees must have clearance from "police agencies."

But what policy agency would give the NCLC clearance? "It was FBI clearance, the FBI gave them clearance," said WerBell. "That's good enough for me, I don't know about you."

Our Town asked WerBell about the Jack Anderson column of Jan. 30, 1978 which reported deep FBI concern regarding NCLC. Anderson had quoted former FBI director Clarence Kelley on "beatings" and "brainwashing" in NCLC, and also a Bureau report which predicted "catastrophic" consequences if the cult ever turned to terrorism.

"Jack Anderson is a horse's ass and one of the biggest lying bastards around," snapped WerBell.

The 61-year-old COBRAY chief, son of a Czarist cavalry officer and veteran of the OSS in World War II, has not shown much concern in past years over the social destructiveness of the various individuals, groups and governments he has armed, trained, or advised in his long career as government intelligence operative, soldier of fortune, arms merchant, inventor of assassination devices, industrial espionage consultant and coup d'etat organizer.

In the 1950s, he served as a security advisor to Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo and to the Batista regime in Cuba, In the 1960s, after a murky involvement in the Bay of Pigs and in U.S. spook operations in Southeast Asia, he entered the arms business, developing the Ingram M-10 and silencer. He arranged for the silencer's experimental use in Vietnam, where it reportedly produced higher V.C. kill ratios than competing models. But when his peddling of the Ingram to the Pentagon and to Third World regimes failed to produce satisfactory sales, he was removed as head of the Military Armaments Corp., manufacturer of the weapon. He was allowed to keep 2,000 Ingrams, however, and attempted in April 1974 to sellto sell them to fugitive financier Robert Vesco in Costa Rica.

WerBell was called before the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations in Sept. 1974 to testify about the abortive Vesco deal (which some observers believe was connected to the Abaco mercenary invasion plan). He pleaded the Fifth Amendment, in part because his son Mitch IV had just been arrested by Treasury Dept. agents on charges of illegally selling Ingrams to an ATF undercover agent. Another witness in the Vesco hearings, however, testified that seven semi-automatic rifles plus 18,000 rounds of ammunition had been smuggled to Costa Rica from Powder Springs, after purchase by an associate of Vesco.

In Dec. 1974, Treasury agents descended on the Farm to confiscate the Ingrams (described at the time as "the largest collection of private guns in the world") because of alleged failure by WerBell to keep proper sales records. In a court settlement the following year, WerBell was allowed to sell off the remaining Ingrams but had to promise to get out of the arms business. In 1976, two former Miami area policemen were arrested for illegally trafficking in automatic weapons--the 480 guns confiscated were Ingrams sold to them by WerBell. Also in 1976, WerBell was arrested in Miami on charges of plotting to smuggle marijuana (he was acquitted in Federal court).

Going back a few years: WerBell was arrested in Florida in 1967, with six associates, for attempting to stage an invasion of Haiti with the alleged purpose of setting up a regime that could provide a staging base for Cuban exile attacks on the Castro regime. Six defendants were convicted for violating the Neutrality Act and the Munitions Control Laws. Before the trial, the Justice Department mysteriously dropped the charges against Webell, who then told the press, “When you work for the company, they take care of you."

Defectors from NCLC say that the relationship with WerBell has become a vital part of the fantasy life of NCLC members, subordinate only to their relations with LaRouche himself and to the mysterious "Mister Ed" rumored to be the cutout between the NCLC and wealthy rightwing businessmen.

"The security people are constantly talking about 'Mitch,' it's a sign of status to refer to him by his first name," said one source. "Jeff [Steinberg] talks to him every day, then rushes around to relate the latest words of wisdom."

"The second highest honor for an NCLC member is to be asked to join the security division," said another source. "The highest honor is to be sent to Powder Springs for counterterror training."

Curiously, when WerBell began his background check on NCLC in 1977, the LaRouche security staff had already compiled a detailed dossier on WerBell himself. A visitor to the NCLC security office later that year managed to obtain a Xerox copy of this dossier, which is dated Jan. 5, 1977. It is full of unverifiable details about WerBell's career in U.S. intelligence as well as speculations about bureaucratic infighting within the CIA and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Some of the information comes from a source named "Roy" (apparently Roy Frankhauser, a former FBI informer within the Klan, the Minutemen and the American Nazi Party in Pennsylvania and the man whom NCLC defectors say first introduced the group to WerBell).

The dossier includes speculation that WerBell's difficulties in Federal court had been a case of:

WerBell's watergating by the Rockefeller group now involved in Glynco/INTERPOL terrorist operations, as part of a general push against the Angleton-type clandestine service elements. WerBell is closely associated with various Nixon types such as Krogh and Conein who were ousted by those who now direct INTERPOL operations.

Could WerBell's alleged resentment against the new CIA and DEA leadership be used to help NCLC penetrate the intelligence community? The NCLC apparently discussed this question with Frankhauser:

WerBell is a very close associate of Roy's with whom they worked on several operations. Roy believes that if we can pin down how the operation is being run against WerBell there is a possibility of turning him. He would certainly appear to be under constant pressure, as the recent involvement of his firm in illegal sales of arms to the Iraqis would indicate. Whether or not he can be turned (made to talk), any connections between his network and the Atlanta Mafia would provide a devastating expose against Carter.

Sources familiar with the netherworld of private spooks on the fringes of the CIA say it is highly unlikely NCLC could ever have succeeded in this scheme. "From the progress of LaRouche's politics over the past two and a half years," quipped one source, "I would say its more likely WerBell 'turned' the NCLC than vice versa."

Yet the aging WerBell, by all accounts, is a man who delights in reminiscing about his exploits in the spy business, especially in Southeast Asia. And the young cadre of NCLC proved to be an attentive audience.

"I'm very fond of some of them--they're smart as hell," WerBell told Our Town. But he denied any political dealings with the group.

"My company is apolitical," he said. "Outside the security field, we don't have anything to do with them."

This claim of no political involvement is contradicted by strong evidence:

1. WerBell allowed his name to be used for promotional purposes on the cover of the anti-Semitic USLP book, Dope Inc., which resurrects the long discredited "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." WerBell is quoted on the book jacket as saying, "Dope, Inc. is a book of outstanding importance. It tells the history of a political strike against the United States in an undeclared war being waged by Great Britain." Underneath the quote, WerBell is identified as a "former security and intelligence consultant to the U.S. government."

2. A message of greetings was sent by WerBell to the Dec. 18, 1978 founding conference of the Michigan Anti-Drug Coalition, the prototype of coalitions that were set up by the USLP and the Black Muslims in 27 cities in the following months. "This [meeting] is a profound step towards restoring this nation to health and prosperity," wrote WerBell as quoted in New Solidarity, the biweekly NCLC newspaper, on Dec 29.

3. WerBell issued via the NCLC-controlled New Solidarity International Press Service on Sept. 20, 1977 a personal appeal to the Soviet Union to halt its alleged support for terrorism in Western Europe. The statement, in which Werbell claims to speak for "a great number of retired United States military and intelligence community personnel," was printed in the Sept. 23 New Solidarity. It bears a curious resemblance to LaRouche's major article, "How to Analyze and Uproot International Terrorism," which appeared in New Solidarity six months later (see Sept. 2 Our Town for a description of how this article calls for the final solution against world Jewry). WerBell, like LaRouche, traces international terrorism back to the "City of London financial circles" with specific reference to the Lazard Brothers investment house. Like LaRouche, WerBell writes of the urgent need for counterterror force, although he does not specify its use against anyone except the direct practitioners of terrorism. Finally, WerBell takes the unique NCLC position--a position shared by no other group on the Right--that the Soviet Union has been manipulated by the London bankers into supporting terrorism and can be convinced through rational arguments to review this policy. We quote:

The current wave of bloody terrorism can be ended with the appropriate combination of political intelligence, counterintelligence, and classic police and military action--without abrogating any constitutional rights or international guidelines. The lying claims of Willy Brandt and other spokesmen for Lazard Freres to the effect that there is a genuine resurgence of Nazism and neo-Nazism in Western Europe are pure bunk--calculated to draw the Soviet bloc leadership into a hostile posture towards Western governments and intelligence services moving against the terrorists, and into increasing active support for the terrorists themselves.

Our Town phoned WerBell a second time and asked him if he had really written the appeal to the Soviets. "I probably did," he conceded.

And the endorsement of Dope, Inc.? WerBell readily admitted it, then added: "Every honest patriotic American should read Dope, Inc. I don't believe all of it, but I believe a hell of a lot of it." He referred in particular to the section dealing with the Golden Triangle (Indochina) dope connection. "I personally know the situation. We were operational there."

WerBell has also aided NCLC's attempts to make new contacts and forge new alliances on the Right. According to Birch Society sources, for instance, WerBell attempted to bring together the LaRouche group with Major General John Singlaub (Ret.), former commander of U.S. forces in Korea and a leading spokesman for the responsible Right.

In a phone interview with Our Town, Singlaub recall being pestered on "many occasions" by the USLP.

"Mitch WerBell gave them my telephone number--they flooded me with their materials and kept asking to give me a 'briefing' on it," Singlaub said.

The general added that he had been wary of the group because of their anti-Semitism and had warned WerBell they might be "marxists in disguise."

We asked Singlaub if he had ever met LaRouche. "There was never any effort to get me together with LaRouche," he said. "But what Mitch did he invited them [LaRouche's aides] to a party I was invited to at his place. I recall Jeff Steinberg was there. Also, Mitch invited them to a ceremony at which he and I received an award from the Chinese Nationalist government."

WerBell has also participated in NCLC policymaking, according to defectors from the organization. "WerBell had a lot of input in the writing of Dope, Inc.," said one source. "And he tells Jeff what positions he thinks the organization should take on various questions."

But WerBell's advice, unlike pronouncements from LaRouche, is not always accepted. "When the Nicaraguan revolution began last fall," said one defector, "WerBell advised that the Sandinistas should be opposed as puppets of the Rothschild family. But the Latin American branch heard about this and threw a fit. We ended up supporting the Sandinistas."

WerBell's own political affiliations render plausible the view that his relationship to NCLC is more than that of a security consultant. In his interview with Our Town, WerBell admitted membership in the Liberty Lobby and described Willis Carto as a "close friend." NCLC's most important political alliance on the Right is also with the Liberty Lobby, which is selling Dope, Inc. on consignment. The two groups have worked together in building a "Committee to Dismantle the Anti-Defamation League" and in launching lawsuits against the ADL. In addition, members of NCLC sometimes write for Spotlight, the scurrilous Liberty Lobby weekly.

Is the COBRAY training of NCLC security squads a harbinger of a new wave of violence by the LaRouche group? Defectors from NCLC concede that the New York security staff has confined itself since 1974 to nonviolent "counterespionage" activities against dissidents, defectors, and hostile journalists. (For instance, Nat Hentoff was placed under surveillance and shadowed for days at a time, our sources say.) Violence by the cult has been confined to unarmed physical attacks on Jews by NCLC literature salesmen at airports and railroad stations, usually as a spontaneous result of ideological debate.

Yet our sources are worried about the future. "You have to understand the constant state of hysteria in the NCLC's 'war room,'" one source said. "Every few months they concoct a new assassination scare and get everybody whipped up. One time they even announced a plan to 'hit' every leader of the Communist Party USA if LaRouche should be assassinated."

"They could erupt into mayhem at any time, any time," our source concluded.


Fifth of a series


Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr., chairman of the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC), is off and running for President of the United States.

At first glance, his campaign appears to be just one more case of an ideological leader aiming to keep the party faithful in trim and perhaps pick up a few recruits. Such campaigns are a perennial feature of American political life, yet never represent a significant challenge to the two-party system. Even the Communist Party, at the height of its trade union influence in the 1930s, failed to garner as much as one percent of the vote in a presidential election.

The 1980 LaRouche campaign, however, deserves special scrutiny for several reasons. First, it appears so far to be much more heavily financed than the average ideological campaign. Second, the cultist fanaticism of LaRouche's organization will enable him to field hundreds of campaign workers, thus commanding a presence on the street far out of proportion to his actual political base. Third, the LaRouche campaign represents the first effort by neo-Nazism, as opposed to less drastic forms of lunacy, to force its way into the national electoral arena (LaRouche's 1976 campaign came before NCLC adopted neo-Nazism). Fourth, LaRouche has decided--in a move highly unusual for an ideological third party candidate--to run in Republican primaries around the country as a "Republican/Labor" candidate while continuing to pursue his independent campaign.

Sources close to NCLC tell us LaRouche and his top aides are fully aware they have no chance of winning the presidency (whatever they may tell the faithful). But LaRouche does hope to emerge from the presidential campaign as a major figure on the ultraright in this country--a Nazified version of George Wallace--basing himself on both independent and Republican extremists and replacing the John Birch Society's “soft on Zionism" politics with the NCLC/Liberty Lobby anti-Semitic line.

To accomplish this aim, LaRouche reportedly believes he must make a good showing in the Republican primaries (if he's allowed to enter them), then pile up between 250,000 and a half million USLP votes in the general election. If he can do this, he's on his way as a major rightwing figure, with access to the Dallas crazy-Right money and all the clout such money can buy.

Some observers discount even the barest possibility that LaRouche can succeed. They point to the miniscule 40,000 votes he received in the 1976 election, when he was on the ballot in 25 states.

But such incredulity may prove to be LaRouche's best ally, allowing him the margin of freedom from media criticism that will allow him to deceive voters in the hinterlands with his new image as a "responsible Republican."

After all, the LaRouche of 1979 is not the LaRouche of 1976. In the earlier campaign, his image with the ultraright was still tarred by his group's self-styled communist past. Today the NCLC has largely overcome that image and has been accepted by important elements on the ultraright. In terms of alliances, sources of funding, and professed political program, the NCLC's capacity for mischief has been significantly enhanced. And LaRouche's own agitational style has become distinctly less kooky and erratic--he has learned to speak in the language of the traditional right, a language that allows him to gain a respectful (if not always enthusiastic) ear from political groups that would have shunned him three years ago.

The first test for LaRouche will be the New Hampshire primary Feb. 26, 1980. Although LaRouche is already the announced candidate of the United States Labor Party (electoral arm of NCLC), the election laws of New Hampshire pose no explicit barrier to his participation in the Republican primary. "All he has to do is turn in a token number of signatures and pay his filing fee, and he's on the ballot unless some special ruling is made," said an official of the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office.

LaRouche's preparations for the New Hampshire primary are serious. A native of the state (he was born in Rochester), and the purported grandson of an immigrant from Quebec (a large percentage of the state's population is French Canadian in origin), he intends to throw his cult's resources into a major effort for himself as a prodigal son candidate.

Keynote of the campaign is an appeal to New Hampshire's "silent Republican majority" with a pro-industrial growth platform. In late August, LaRouche sent a 10-person full-time advance team into the state to open the first Citizens for LaRouche (CFL) campaign office in Manchester.

According to New Solidarity (NCLC's biweekly paper) on Aug. 28, the new office was to be equipped with a statewide WATS line. Organizers and anticipated volunteer staff were to be provided with automobiles and apartments. "Campaign coordinators in the northeast and midwest will be setting up CFL student groups on campuses to feed the volunteer effort," the article said.

LaRouche has already spent several days campaigning in New Hampshire, and the CFL teams intend to set up "town meetings" for him in "nearly every town, village and hamlet" according to campaign spokesman Steven Pepper. In addition, campaign aides have announced a plan to put "230 campaign workers" into the state at the "high point of the campaign" next February.

Such an effort would be comparable to that of a major candidate. Can the LaRouchies really pull it off? We asked several defectors from the cult.

“NCLC can afford it financially, no doubt of it," said one source. "Especially since their campaign workers, like the McGovern people in 1972, will work for love rather than money."

And what about the prediction of 250 volunteers? "I would say they could do it for several days, perhaps for a week, by sending up most of the cadre from the national office, from Computron, and from the East Coast regional offices. Of course, if they manage to rope in a few new volunteers it will be much easier."

A second source said he thought NCLC "might" be able to muster "150 or 200 troops" for a week. "But it would be a great strain on the organization," he said.

According to another defector, "the question is not their capability but their will. New Solidarity frequently boasts of vast plans which the leadership has no intention of carrying out."

LaRouche began his presidential campaign last March with a series of expensive newspaper and television ads around the country. First was a full-page ad in the Indianapolis Star on March 10, the opening day of the Midwest Republican Conference in that city which was attended by several hundred delegates from 13 states. (LaRouche urged in the ad a "grand coalition" of Republicans and Independents to restore American industrial prosperity.) Second came a televised message by LaRouche to the American people that appeared on stations in New York, Philadelphia, and Detroit. These, together with additional newspaper ads, were paid for by a $40,000 fundraising effort, according to New Solidarity.

LaRouche has been campaigning across the country since last spring, from Georgia to Oregon and with a heavy emphasis on the Midwest (he plans to enter the Iowa primary following New Hampshire). Our Town checked out the boasts of New Solidarity that LaRouche had received extensive media coverage throughout the Midwest. Not only were the boasts true--for once--but some of the news coverage revealed a lack of awareness of LaRouche's real political aims. He was portrayed as a quixotic but legitimate candidate, and the public was not always warned about the anti-Semitic and violence-oriented nature of his organization.

Here's how the LaRouche campaign works: an advance team enters a city (if there's not a local cell of NCLC) to prepare for LaRouche's visit. The local media are deluged with phone calls and with position papers, campaign literature, appearance schedules, and LaRouche's campaign autobiography, In Defense of Reason. An "Independent Voters League" is set up to sponsor a LaRouche "town meeting" at a local hotel, with prominent citizens especially invited. A press conference is scheduled, and the advance team pesters the local Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, the Chamber of Commerce, and other civic groups to invite LaRouche as a speaker.

This approach plays upon the journalistic and civic tradition of "courtesy coverage" for offbeat presidential candidates. As the election heats up, it will also involve demands for "equal time" (a tactic used successfully by USLP local candidates throughout the country). In addition, the USLP approach takes the unusual Third Party character of the LaRouche campaign--its kookiness if you will--and turns it from a liability into an asset. LaRouche gives the media just enough of an offbeat air to attract attention--but not enough to prevent himself from picking up a few votes.

Said one source close to NCLC: "Lyn's aides believe that if this media hype continues to work, and if he steps up his schedule of campaign appearances, he will obtain coverage over the next year from hundreds of important media outlets, reaching an audience in the tens of millions. Most people, of course, will forget his name within hours. But the campaign staff hopes that enough name recognition will be built up to produce a large knee-jerk protest vote on election day."

This strategy also involves a tailoring of LaRouche's rhetoric for different audiences. Speaking before civic clubs, he concentrates on economic issues and on nuclear power. Speaking to the press, he throws in a dash of campaign bravado. Speaking to the "responsible Right" of the Republican Party, he uses the traditional buzzwords about the Council on Foreign Relations and the Eastern establishment.

Speaking to the extremist Right, however, the LaRouche campaign reverts to the more obvious anti-Semitic code language: "Our country, and our posterity, are being destroyed by an alien power....Our youth are submitted to a mind-destroying culture of drugs, sexual perversion, and gibberish that passes for 'modern education'....What America is faced with is a British liberal conspiracy...." says one campaign brochure targeting the Right.

And finally, before the NCLC cadre, all restraints are removed, as in a May 20 Detroit speech by LaRouche in which he attacks the TV movie "Holocaust":

We talk about the horrors of the past; we talk about the horrors of the Nazis....But what the people who put this film on in New York City are prepared to do to the human race makes the Nazi thing look like a slight mistake!

How effective is LaRouche's "responsible Republican" pose in the Midwest? Our Town picked the city of LaCrosse, Wisconsin (pop. 30,000) which LaRouche visited for two days in early August.

LaCrosse contains a university, light industry, and hospitals--and is the market town for a prosperous farming region. Its citizens are solid middle Americans of Scandinavian and German descent. There are only a handful of blacks, and the single synagogue serves several counties in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.

It was in LaCrosse that the USLP leader chose to throw down his gauntlet and declare "war on liberalism" on behalf of the "silent majority," thus delineating the major slogans for his Midwest campaign.

To hear New Solidarity describe it for the party faithful, "LaRouche's declaration...stopped the press and public of LaCrosse dead in their tracks." In addition, it was claimed that "LaRouche addressed...the leading city a three-hour town meeting." And: "LaRouche's press conference was attended by the entire LaCrosse area media."

Telephone interviews with several LaCrosse citizens indicated that New Solidarity had engaged in its usual exaggerations...but there was also a solid kernel of truth in the article.

According to Grant Blum, reporter for the LaCrosse Tribune, who interviewed LaRouche in the latter's "executive suite" at a seedy downtown hotel, the presidential campaign "didn't generate much excitement here."

Yet, according to Blum:

  • LaRouche did obtain a front-page picture and story from the Tribune and was interviewed on a local radio station;

  • LaRouche did hold a press conference and a modestly attended town meeting;

  • LaRouche did speak before the Rotary club;

  • LaRouche's advance team performed its job efficiently: "They sent us a schedule of his appearances, position papers, a biographical sheet," said Blum;

  • LaRouche managed to avoid the image of a fanatic. "He was a pleasant kook, not foaming at the mouth, like some," said Blum. "You got the impression of a college professor sitting in his study smoking a pipe. I've interviewed the Birchers and the Klan in my time--he was definitely more polished than them."

  • LaRouche successfully concealed his anti-Semitic ideas. "This is the first I've heard about it," said Blum. "I'm of Jewish background, and I would have noticed it immediately if he'd said anything like that. He mostly talked economics."

    In addition, the LaRouche campaign apparatus in the Midwest appears to be capable of follow-up activities. According to the Tribune's city editor, USLP supporters were passing out pamphlets in downtown LaCrosse on Sept. 6, almost one month after LaRouche's visit.

    Our Town called Bill Vickroy, president of the LaCrosse Rotary Club, to ask about LaRouche's speech:

    "It was a normal meeting, about a hundred people," said Vickroy. "Mr. LaRouche's speech was what I would call a conservative type of thing. He only spoke for 15 or 20 minutes, and I mostly remember his points about energy. I would say he was well received and the talk was interesting: nuclear power, fusion power, and how coal just isn't the answer."

    Vickroy said he didn't recall any anti-Semitic remarks, nor did LaRouche come across as especially strange: "We just got the impression he was a man very interested in running for political office. He seemed more of an independent than a Republican, but he was fairly low-key, I would say."

    Neither the chameleon act nor the open demagoguery has produced many endorsements for LaRouche's campaign outside the ranks of NCLC itself. True, he has the support of William Banks, Supreme President of the International Masons (a splinter group of Black Masons), as well as other officers of this order in Michigan and Virginia. But otherwise the endorsements have come only from a smattering of individuals: the president of a union local in St. Louis, the treasurer of a steel casting company in upstate New York, the vice president of a union local in Baltimore, a businessman in Casper, Wyoming, and a former regent of the Maryland D.A.R. LaRouche's friends among Southern segregationists (for instance, Col. Tom McCrary, longtime USLP ally and a 1976 presidential elector for Lester Maddox) are adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

    Yet LaRouche is optimistic about the New Hampshire caper. His newspaper notes that the Granite State "has been traditionally led by people who fought the Boston-Kennedy banking nexus for a high-technology policy" (a reference to the state's former Birch Society-linked governor, Meldrim Thomson Jr., who was narrowly defeated for re-election last year and who shares LaRouche's passionate hatred of environmentalists). Pro-nuclear power sentiment is still strong in some quarters in New Hampshire, and LaRouche will remind all and sundry that his group has been in the forefront of nuclear power defense, informing on Seabrook demonstrators to the New Hampshire State Police in 1976 and supporting the construction union counterdemonstrations. In July, LaRouche called for a "NASA-style crash program" to build "1,000 nuclear reactors in the U.S. by the year 2000."

    The NCLC primary campaign is also linking the nuclear power issue with LaRouche's general "war on liberalism." The Democratic Party scene, New Solidarity writes, "resembles the Mad Hatter's tea party with Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda coming into New Hampshire for a two-day anti-nuclear bacchanal...for the Clamshell Alliance" together with "a boatload of organizers for Zen Buddhist governor Jerry Brown."

    LaRouche's New Hampshire efforts will center, however, on his "town meeting" strategy to bring him into intimate face to face sessions with New Hampshire voters whom he will regale with his "industrial recovery program": nuclear energy development, mammoth high-technology capacity expansion, and "fiscal incentives to penalize speculation and provide high profits and incomes for labor and productive industry." These are the issues on which he sounds the most rational, and even his most hostile critics among NCLC defectors admit that he is an excellent public speaker and articulate on economic issues. "He will be effective if his aides keep him away from the conspiracy and assassination theme," said one source.

    But underneath the technocratic hooplah, the real purpose of the campaign emerges in New Solidarity's articles. LaRouche wants to use anti-Semitism to snatch the leadership of ultraright Republicans away from the Birch Society and other soft-on-Zionism groups. In the Aug. 28 New Solidarity, the LaRouchies speak of a "war on Buckleyism," referring to conservative William F. Buckley's support for Israel. The article goes on to speak of an alleged split within the Reagan camp between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist forces, and describes NCLC's strategy as one of either forcing Reagan into the anti-Zionist camp or else winning anti-Semites among the Reagan forces into an alliance with the USLP.

    NCLC's obsession with this idea is seen in various attacks on Republican and other conservative figures. For instance, John Connally is "bought and run by New York's Zionist leadership," and Georgia Congressman Larry P. McDonald, a leader of the John Birch Society, is "entirely propped up through the efforts of the Zionist lobby and British intelligence."

    Of course the NCLC's hopes depend on whether significant sections of the American Right are ready to move towards Liberty Lobby-style anti-Semitism. If they are, LaRouche knows that his own candidacy is their only choice in the national electoral arena.As New Solidarity says:

    The people of this country know what the issues are, they know what the problems are, but they have remained the silent Republican majority because until LaRouche there was never a political leader who would address the problems and offer solutions.

    And LaRouche himself says, referring to "Zionist" attacks on his politics: "I am a chief target...because I have had the guts to identify the enemy boldly and directly."

    From Oregon to Virginia


    Sixth of a series


    When the typical ideological sect of either the Left or the Right runs a candidate for local public office in the United States, it generally rejoices if its candidate wins as much as 4 or 5 percent of the vote.

    The U.S. Labor Party--electoral arm of the neo-Nazi National Caucus of Labor Committees--does much better than the typical sect.

    An Our Town survey of local election results from Washington State through North Carolina has uncovered 19 races between 1974 and 1979 in which USLP candidates have received between 8 and 32 percent of the popular vote.

    The survey is not yet complete, and the total may run as high as 25 elections. So far, it includes 8 Congressional races, 7 municipal contests (for offices as diverse as mayor, city treasurer, and councilman), and 4 school board elections.

    For comparison, Our Town checked with the national office of the Socialist Workers Party, a leftist group noted for its vigorous electoral efforts. A spokesman could recall only one election in recent years in which an SWP candidate received as much as 10 percent of the vote.

    The USLP has not yet elected any of its candidates to public office. By this standard it lags behind the Libertarian Party which recently won a seat in the Alaska state legislature. But the USLP minions, unlike the Libertarians, compete in trade union elections. And in this latter arena they have scored at least one victory: a USLP member was elected as financial secretary of a large United Auto Workers local in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1978 on a coalition slate.

    Some observers have been amused by the USLP's penchant for compulsive electioneering, whereby in some areas (as Washington, D.C.) virtually every party activist runs for public office. Yet it is precisely this compulsiveness that has enabled the USLP to outperform most other extremist parties in terms not only of vote percentages, but also in number of candidates on the ballot, campaign visibility, and geographical range.

    In 1976, the USLP ran 140 candidates in 21 states, more than any other minority party according to the Congressional Quarterly. In 1978, the total was still an impressive 72 candidates in 17 states. Close observers of USLP believe that in 1980, a presidential year, the total may climb back towards the 1976 level, as the party takes advantage of ultraright financial support for chairman Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr.'s presidential campaign. A bevy of local USLP candidates demanding "equal time" on local radio and TV stations and in daily newspapers could help to build the momentum of LaRouche's campaign.

    According to one source, the NCLC leadership in New York City regards the compulsive electioneering as "good practice." It has enabled them to build a disciplined national mini-machine which may lack a strong political base but nevertheless has an impact far out of proportion to its size via expertise in petition gathering (and in challenging the petitions of rivals), manipulation of the media to gain maximum coverage and appearances before an amazing number of community groups and forums.

    The majority of the estimated 300 candidates the USLP has run since its first hysterical forays into electoral politics in the early 1970s have not done well. The party's gubernatorial and U.S. Senatorial candidates generally get less than one percent of the vote, and even the majority of USLP local candidates (Congressional and municipal) get less than five percent. Yet the large number of exceptions reveal that the USLP--with its well-groomed and articulate candidates, its professionally drafted economic development programs, and its carefully tailored ethnic demagoguery--will have a real capacity for electoral growth if it succeeds in its present goal of winning significant support from the Republican and independent ultraright.

    VIRGINIA: A perennial USLP candidate in Richmond’s 3rd Congressional District, one Alan Ogden, has polled over 10 percent in three successive elections (1974, 1976, 1978) against incumbent Democrat David Satterfield. In the 1977 Virginia gubernatorial election, according to the Washington Post, some state politicians were worried that Ogden's USLP candidacy might tip the election in favor of the Republican candidate (in fact, Ogden's vote in the statewide election turned out to be inconsequential). This year, Ogden is one of eight candidates running for five seats in the Virginia House of Delegates from Richmond's 33rd District. Observers on the scene believe that, given sheer name recognition, he may win a higher percentage than in any previous race.

    NEW YORK: In the 1977 New York City municipal elections, the USLP candidate for city council president, Paul Gallagher, came in third in a field of eight (although with a miniscule percentage of the total), outpolling well-known Conservative Party candidate Abe Hirschfeld by more than one thousand votes. In Buffalo this past spring, Dr. Ernest Shapiro of the USLP was one of nine candidates running for three seats on the municipal school board. The highest total was 11,509. Shapiro, although not elected, received 3,555 votes.

    MARYLAND: In Baltimore's 7th Congressional District, USLP candidate Debra Hanania Freeman won 11.3 percent in her race against incumbent Parren Mitchell. Freeman's vote represented a doubling of the percentage received by the 1976 USLP candidate in the same district.

    OREGON: A USLP candidate for Congress, Martin Simon, polled over 16 percent in 1976 in the 3rd Congressional District (Portland). In 1978, he polled 15 percent. Also in 1978, USLP's Susan Kilber received 7 percent in a State Representative race (13th District). According to New Solidarity, Kilber had obtained the endorsement of Teamster Joint Council 37.

    WASHINGTON STATE: In Seattle, USLP's Carol Ruckert received 20 percent in the 1975 race for City Treasurer, while USLP's Marianna Stapel received 26 percent in the city council contest. In Tacoma, Evelyn Lantz received 13 percent in a 1977 city council primary. Also that year, her husband Brian received 31.5 percent in a school board runoff. The Lantzes have since moved to Seattle, and in the Sept. 18, 1979 Seattle primary Mr. Lantz came in second in a field of four for the No. 3 City Council seat. In the November election, he will be the only candidate facing the incumbent and can be expected to gain at least 10 percent of the vote.

    MASSACHUSETTS: In 1974 in the Boston area, USLP's Larry Sherman received 10.7 percent in the 9th Congressional District, while USLP's James Kiggin received 6.9 percent in the 8th C.D. In 1975, a USLP mayoral candidate in Springfield, one Stephen Desmond, came in second in a field of four in the primary elections, then received 12 percent in the general election against the incumbent. Also that year, USLP's John McCarthy received almost 10 percent in the Springfield city council primary.

    In 1976, the USLP ran Graham Lowry (the son of former Ford Foundation vice president W. McNeill Lowry) for the U.S. Senate. Although Lowry received less than five thousand votes, the NCLC's New Solidarity consoled its readers with the boast that he had received 25 percent of the total vote in Ward 6, precinct 6 of South Boston, where USLP propaganda had vigorously opposed school busing. In 1978, Lowry ran for Congress in the 11th C.D. and received 8.3 percent of the vote.

    WASHINGTON, D.C.: In the 1977 school board election, a USLP candidate received 19 percent, coming in third in a field of four candidates contesting a single at-large seat.

    NORTH CAROLINA: A USLP candidate polled 11 percent in a 1978 Charlotte school board election (according to New Solidarity), finishing 11th in a field of 14 candidates seeking four at-large seats.

    So what's going on? Is the USLP about to break out of quarantine and seize municipal and even congressional seats across the nation? Not yet. A careful analysis of the circumstances surrounding the above elections reveals that a large degree of mirror trickery is involved:

  • In all of the above Congressional races, the USLP had picked situations in which the Democratic candidate lacked a Republican opponent. Hence, the USLP candidates were able to garner the knee-jerk Republican and independent protest votes (especially since the USLP attacks its Democratic opponents from the right rather than the left).

  • In the Washington State municipal races, all candidates were listed alphabetically on the ballot without party designation. In state legislative and congressional elections (in which candidates are listed by party), the very same USLP candidates did rather poorly.

  • In some contests, the USLP candidates were listed as "independents" rather than by party label (for instance, Ms. Freeman in Baltimore). In addition, Freeman was the only white candidate running against an incumbent Black in a district two-thirds Black and thus was able to attract white voters on racial grounds.

    Our Town questioned Dave Burt, administrative assistant to Oregon Congressman Robert Duncan who has been opposed twice by USLP candidate Simon. "Even Mickey Mouse could have gotten that much," said Burt, referring to Simon's 15 percent in 1978.

    Thelma Carlson, a congressional assistant in Portland, was not as scornful. "I don't think they have what you would call a real constituency," she said, "but they were able to register enough USLP voters to qualify for the ballot. I'm sure we have several thousand world changers in this district who might listen to them." Carlson added that the USLP "works very, very hard--they really get out there at election time."

    Former members of the NCLC are also divided on the question of the USLP election gains. But they agree on one thing: Small cells of the party in places like Richmond and Portland tend to be "less crazy" than the New York apparatus.

    "The national office keeps in touch with them daily through the TELEX and the WATS lines," said one source. "But people like Alan Ogden don't live in the same brainwashed environment as the national office staff. They tend to be more flexible in their politics, and I can see how voters would perceive Ogden as just a local boy with slightly offbeat ideas."

    Another source alleged that "local cadre in places like Portland aren't fully aware of the fascist intrigues of the New York security staff. They tend to be more leftwing than the national office."

    Yet the national leadership of NCLC makes every effort to coordinate and control the dozens of local election campaigns each year, fitting them into a centralized strategy. Key to these efforts, defectors say, is the national "Operations Sector" headed by Warren Hammerman and Marsha Pepper. Mrs. Pepper is the wife of art historian Steve Pepper, who functions as NCLC's chief election fundraiser among wealthy right-wingers.

    "At election time, there will be a dozen campaign grids on the walls, and the NCLC computers will be coughing out 'activity analyses' to aid in planning," said one source. "Leaflets for local campaigns are generally printed locally, but a lot of the content will be dictated by TELEX from New York. If a crisis occurs--like someone getting thrown off the ballot--the local cadre will call the Operations Sector which will then decide how to deploy the NCLC legal team and other central resources to handle the problem."

    When candidates make a poor showing, the national office strives to maintain their morale by telling them it's a result of "vote fraud." The USLP has become, in fact, quite expert on the vote fraud issue. In 1976 it persuaded local Republicans in four states, and also a top Ford advisor, to cooperate in court challenges against Carter's victory. According to defectors, the USLP vote fraud experts have also been hired on occasion as consultants to mainstream politicians.

    But the USLP's application of the vote fraud theory to its own election results is often quite bizarre. For instance, last November, USLP's Freeman in Baltimore proclaimed that she had really won the election, began calling herself the "Congresswoman-Elect," and even phoned Parren Mitchell's staff to ask when he intended to move out of "her" office! Incredibly, Freeman then took the issue to the U.S. House of Representatives and, through sheer persistence, managed to force a vote on the floor (unanimous for Mitchell).

    Defectors from NCLC say the cult's national leadership was "fully aware" that Freeman's case was a fabrication. But there was method in the madness: "By claiming vote fraud," one source said, "LaRouche undermines his own followers' residual faith in the democratic system of government, and attempts to build cynicism about elections in the mind of the general public. This, in turn, helps to strengthen his ideological arguments against a pluralist society and in favor of a totalitarian state."

    One former NCLC member recalled a meeting of intelligence staffers last year at which a leading cadre announced that party candidates would soon be "put in office by our 'friends' through vote fraud."

    When questioned about the propriety of using a method which the party so often condemns, this leader allegedly said, "There's nothing wrong with it--our enemies use it." And, "We don't want democracy--we want a leader. We've got to make Lyn dictator."

    But to obtain a helping hand from its "friends" on the ultraright, the NCLC must first demonstrate its political effectiveness. Therein, according to our sources, lies the significance of the Freeman campaign and its bizarre aftermath: "Lyn figured he'd show 'Mister Ed' how clever he could be at instigating Jews to attack Blacks as well as their fellow Jews," alleged one former member.

    And who could be a better target than Rep. Parren Mitchell, leader of the Black Congressional Caucus and one of the most liberal figures in Congress?

    Yet the NCLC leaders faced a delicate problem: They had to attack Mitchell in a manner that would avoid disrupting their growing alliance with the powerful Black Muslims.

    Thus, the attack was spearheaded against the Baltimore Jewish community, for whom Mitchell was said to be a "lackey." In other words, anti-Semitism was used as the cover for agitation against Blacks.

    Blacks in Mitchell’s district were appealed to on the basis that Mitchell and the "Zionists" were involved in the heroin traffic. And Freeman stated in a television appearance three days before the election:

    Parren Mitchell, and more important the evil forces that control Parren Mitchell, will desperately try to prevent the population from having the type of leadership I represent. For them keeping errand boys like Mitchell in office is a life and death issue.

    This fight against the "evil forces" was escalated after the election, when Freeman wrote in New Solidarity:

    Even before B'nai B'rith was founded, wealthy Jewry...who were centered in Baltimore profited largely from traffic in black slaves. They made...Baltimore a notorious pro-slavery stronghold of British treason against the United States....

    The special significance of the leading Zionist families in Baltimore today is not just that they are still the descendants of slave-traders and traitors, but that they still hold the philosophical outlook that permits trade in human commodities! It is time to put an end to this moral degeneracy.

    Freeman attempted to soften the message for Baltimore's Jews by announcing that "I am of Sephardic Jewish extraction. This Judaic faction has been persecuted and victimized for far too long by Zionists...." (In fact, this was a reference to a key doctrine in Lyndon LaRouche's Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites: the distinction between the "Whore of Babylon" Jews who practice usury and the Sephardic Jews who can allegedly be used to further the USLP conspiracy for world domination.)

    Freeman's attack on "Zionism" in defense of Blacks was really, on the most basic level, an attack on the Black community. This was shown, first, in the election returns: Even New Solidarity was forced to admit that most of Freeman's votes came from white working-class neighborhoods, not from the Blacks she had presumed to champion. The white voters (who gave Freeman a very good showing in their precincts) may have listened to some of her anti-Semitic rhetoric. But the main thing they picked up was her virulent attack on a Black incumbent.

    Indeed, the true racial attitude behind the campaign finally came out in a hysterical tirade by Freeman after the elections, printed in New Solidarity under the heading "Parren Mitchell, House Nigger." We quote:

    What did it take to transform a highly skilled population into ghetto residents....? It took a house nigger. It took a house nigger who was willing to run west Baltimore like one big plantation. In Baltimore, when you need a house nigger, you go to the Mitchell clan.

    The NCLC's "friends" were apparently so pleased with this dual attack on Blacks and Jews that the LaRouche group has decided to make it an ongoing feature of their electoral activity. For instance, Mr. Lantz, who will be the white candidate facing a Black incumbent for City Council in Seattle next November, is already attacking his opponent as a "step-'n-fetch-it" for the "liberal crowd in the Council majority."

    Undoubtedly, USLP candidates around the country gain a few votes from this type of demagoguery, but most observers believe the group's clever selection of districts with no Republican candidates is far more important. Yet to what extent is the latter tactic only an example of mirror trickery?

    Our Town leaves its readers with the following thoughts:

    1. The ability to move into an electoral vacuum aggressively is itself a form of electoral strength (just as is the ability to perform mirror tricks). In more than one instance in our nation's history, it has led to the achievement of political legitimacy by previously powerless groups.

    2. The USLP links its campaign not just with a kooky ideology but with real and highly emotional issues such as the narcotics traffic among our nation's youth. The latter issue undoubtedly produced votes for Dr. Shapiro in Buffalo last spring. The USLP is a neo-Nazi organization, but it is also one of' the few political groups in the U.S. to address the drug abuse issue forcefully.

    3. Most of the USLP electoral results analyzed above occurred before the group adopted an openly anti-Semitic line in late 1977. Since then, there has been no decrease in the willingness of "protest voters" to cast their ballots for USLP candidates, in spite of scurrilous campaign literature.

    4. As one defector from NCLC told us, "If it's so easy for USLP to pick up these high vote percentages--if it's nothing but a mirror trick--then how come the other extremist parties aren't doing it?"