Shadowy world of LaRouche: The far-right cult that hides behind veil of 'left-wing political movement'
PUBLISHED: 09:18 30 May 2015
Operating in a clandestine world of "double-speak and brainwashing" the LaRouche organisation is said to be a far-right-wing cult that hides its anti-Semitism behind a mask of left-wing anti-war propaganda, experts say.
Little known in Britain, the LaRouche organisation was founded by American political activist Lyndon LaRouche, 92, who has run for US president eight times and was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1989 for mail fraud and tax evasion.
He was paroled five years later.
LaRouche operates mainly in the US, Germany and France and is thought to have several hundred members in Europe.
Former LaRouche member, Yves Messer, says the group is “anti-British to the extreme and sickly paranoid”.
Nine warning signs someone is being recruited by a cult
- Your “gut-feeling” tells you something is wrong
- Attempts to isolate you from existing close relationships (friends and family)
- Extreme, immediate and/or inappropriate friendliness or attention
- Loaded language: strange language or jargon you initially can’t understand. Canned, repetitive phrases
- Secrecy, inappropriate “confidentiality”
- Lack of privacy, personal time - constantly with group members, constantly busy with group activities
- Challenging your fundamental identity: Your strengths are criticized as your weaknesses
- Once you’re in, heavy pressure to stay in
- No criticism allowed of the group or leader. The group/leader is always right
The organisation believes the British put Hitler in power, according to Messer, and also claims the British monarchy and MI6 are behind the global drugs trade.
It also has a bizarre belief that the Tavistock Institute in Hampstead is involved in mind control to exert influence over the British people working with British and American governments, referring to “The Tavistock Smile” as a way to spot this.
During the new UK inquest into the death of British Jewish student Jeremiah Duggan in Germany in 2003, it was suggested the 22-year-old from Golders Green came into contact with LaRouche in Paris thinking it was a left-wing organisation.
He then attended a youth conference at the Schiller Institute in Wiesbaden - LaRouche’s German think-tank - shortly after the start of the Iraq war in 2003.
Former French MP and cult expert Catherine Picard said: “This movement in itself has one particular peculiarity: that it bases all its arguments in politics, which is very attractive to young people who perhaps quite generously think they are subscribing to a left-wing movement. It is not a political movement, it is a cult movement.”
She told the court Jeremiah would have been subject to a process of “infantilisation” that caused “complete confusion” during the conference and that if he questioned LaRouche’s ideas it would have left him exposed to “psychological violence”.
His family believe Jeremiah would have questioned anti-Semitist conspiracy theories likely to have been propagated at this conference and that would have placed him at risk from LaRouche.
Cults expert Prof Matthew Feldman, of Teesside University, said the conference would have taken place in an “apocalyptic atmosphere with a fear of Armageddon” six days after the start of the Iraq war, as the LaRouche organisation believed the start of World War Three “had been around the corner for decades”.
Experts said because Jeremiah was a British Jew, and had briefly had family counselling as a child at the Tavistock, his “integrity, commitment and allegiance” would have been under suspicion.
Jeremiah was found dead on an autobahn in Wiesbaden on March 27, 2003 having been hit by a car.
A British coroner last week ruled his death was not suicide overturning the findings of the authorities in Wiesbaden in 2003 that Jeremiah had killed himself in a road traffic accident.
The coroner said that Jeremiah’s revelations that he was a British Jew during the LaRouche conference “may have put him at risk from members of the organisation”.
His family continue to fight to raise awareness of LaRouche and its operating methods.
They have also called for a new independent investigation into Jeremiah’s death in Germany, after the German high court ruled the case should be reopened in 2012.
A statement from the Duggan family after the inquest said: “The pressure should now be put upon the German authorities to ensure this powerful and dramatic narrative verdict leads to deeper investigation in the country where Jeremiah was killed, including the role played by the LaRouche organisation.
“We hope Jeremiah’s legacy will be that the strong message that such extremist organisations exist which target university students for recruitment has been heard so that the dangers they pose can be avoided.”