Author Dennis King explains how Lyndon LaRouche convinced two million Americans to vote for quarantine


New York Native, July 3, 1989

Right-wing extremist and four-time presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche has been an influential figure in American politics for the last two decades, and investigative reporter Dennis King has been watching his transformation from "adult guru" at Columbia University in 1968 to America's premiere fascist in the 1980s. In his recently released book, Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism (Doubleday, $19.95), King has amassed a stunning amount of documentation to support his contention that LaRouche and his organization have succeeded in establishing the forces of fascism in American society.

Media attention to LaRouche has been sporadic and, King maintains, intellectually sloppy to the point of hiding, or at the very least, denying, LaRoucheís fascism. In the 1986 elections in California, LaRoucheís Proposition 64, which mandated the quarantining of people with AIDS received more than two million votes supporting it; the fact that Proposition 64 was defeated was heralded by the media as a defeat for LaRouche. King, however, points out that it was actually an enormous success for LaRouche: he succeeded in convincing two million voters that quarantining an unpopular minority was not only necessary but legitimate, by disguising it as a public health measure.

In his brilliant and meticulous analysis of the political theories of LaRouche, King establishes Just how easily the "new American fascism," a direct offspring of Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf, could quickly seize power in the United States. Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism should be required reading for every citizen; it outlines with horrifying clarity how easily Americans are convinced to give up their freedoms.

King spoke with the Native recently about the book, his long [investigation of] LaRouche, and the threat LaRouche poses to American democracy.

Neenyah Ostrom: There's so much information in your book that I hardly know where to begin. So I thought that I would begin at the beginning and ask you when and how you first became interested in LaRouche.

Dennis King: I first encountered Lyndon LaRouche back in 1968, on the Columbia University campus, when he was the adult guru of one of the most important student factions in SDS [Students for a Democratic Society] on that campus, and in fact helped trigger the student strike. LaRouche at that time went under the name Lyn Marcus, which some people have suggested stands for Lenin and Marx, although LaRouche denies it. At that time he had a bushy beard, and he dressed like an aging hippie. He taught a class in the so-called "Liberation School,Ē in a Columbia fraternity house on West 114th Street. It was a class in dialectical materialism, of all things. I attended one session of it. And I came out of there convinced that, although he was obviously intellectually a very charismatic person, his ideas were not for me.

But friends of mine joined him and I watched with fascination and growing alarm over the next few years as young men and women whom I knew to be intelligent, emotionally stable--I thought--and idealistic, got involved in his groupís violent activities. For example, in 1973, LaRouche launched Operation Mop Up, which was a series of violent attacks on members of the Communist Party and black nationalist groups.

The most bizarre turn of events was when the organization adopted anti-Semitism. I remember the day, I think it was in 1977, that I went to a newsstand in the neighborhood and bought LaRoucheís New Solidarity. It was full of ravings against Jews. And I said, now wait a minute--a lot of these friends of mine who joined him were Jewish. How did they come to this pass?

I went to LaRoucheís headquarters, in pursuit of an article on another subject. They had information, and a lot of journalists would turn to them. They had a marvelous capacity to suck up intelligence like a vacuum cleaner. A lot of it was garbage, but every once in a while they had something. That was already very well known.

I went to their headquarters and spent two days there, using their files. This was in 1977. At this point, they had three and a half stories of a factory building on West 29th Street, and they had computers in there. I mean today, computers are nothing--I have one at home. But in 1977, a computer was very expensive. They had a Wang computer, which in those days cost tens of thousands of dollars. They had banks of Watts line phones, they had teletypes clattering away, they had subscriptions to newspapers from all over the world--and they had, most importantly, over a hundred people, divided up into little rabbit warren type offices. And each one would have a sign over the door that said, "Soviet Desk," or "Southern Cone Desk," I guess that means Paraguay and Argentina, and "West European Desk." It was like the CIA--it was like a parallel CIA, in LaRouche's own parallel universe.

They showed me the "war room," which was a big conference table at which they would gather every evening to plot what they were going to do.

But what fascinated me about this was that these people were spending millions of dollars every year. Where was it coming from? I knew that LaRouche couldn't have more than 500 followers. Most of these followers were ex-students, who had dropped out of school, or quit jobs to work for him full-time, so they weren't bringing in any money. They told me they raised money by selling their newspaper on the street. But that paper sold for 25 cents each - that wasn't paying for this giant intelligence operation. And so I became fascinated by trying to find out where the money was coming from.

I immediately ran into all the bizarre theories that were floating around, that LaRouche was getting his money from the CIA or the K.G.B. Some people said he was getting it from the Knights of Malta, because he attacked the Knights of Malta all the time so they figured that must be who really is backing him.

To tell the truth, in all my years of work on this, I have to say that I have never cracked the great puzzle of where his startup money came from. I can explain where a great deal of the money he spent in the course of the 1980s came from, but I don't know where he got his start-up money. I strongly suspect it was the intelligence community, because he did make overtures to the CIA in 1976. At that point, his followers began calling the CIA and offering to work for them. And there was a CIA memo that went around in '76 right after they had called George Bush at home. They had somehow obtained his home phone number--he was CIA Director at that time--and they called him at home to try to brief him on the terrorist conspiracy of the Institute for Policy Studies and various other of their left-wing enemies.

So, a memo was circulated inside the CIA saying that, although the LaRouche organization has this history of violence and rabid anti-CIA paranoia, they are moving into a more moderate frame of mind. In other words, perhaps they could be useful.

You know, its impossible to get to the bottom of things that go on in the world of espionage. But it is a fact that within less than a year after that, a man named Mitchell WerBell III, a long-time CIA contract employee, was installed as LaRouche's security consultant, and began to exert significant political influence over the organization. He also provided hundreds of LaRouchians with paramilitary training at a camp down at Powder Springs, Georgia. Thereafter, the LaRouchians began to link up with a lot of very high-level ex-spooks. They got a meeting with James Angleton, the former CIA counter-intelligence chief, Ray Cline, the former deputy-director of the CIA, and a number of other people who had been at one time significant players in the intelligence world. These people were willing to meet with the LaRouchians, give them advice, stroke their egos.

When Ronald Reagan came into office, suddenly LaRouche emerged as an important player in the national security arena. He had a direct pipeline into the National Security Council, through the office of Judge William Clark, the National Security Advisor. LaRouche and his followers met on numerous occasions with Clark's right-hand man, Richard Morris, who introduced him to many other N.S.C. officials, including Dr. Ray Pollock, who was one of the drafters of Reagan's Star Wars program. They met with Pollock for years before that program was drafted, and they had input into it.

I think the relationship with Morris is a very significant one, because they would not have had that relationship, and they would not have been introduced to other people at the N.S.C., and they would not have been allowed into N.S.C. premises constantly, without it. Every week they were at N.S.C., serving as unofficial consultants. Judge Clark had to have known about that, and had to have approved it. There's just no way it would have happened otherwise.

But besides the N.S.C., they also got their hooks into people who were directly part of the CIA. For instance, Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, who was the Deputy Director in the early '80s. He met with Lyndon and Helga LaRouche twice, and had a telephone relationship with the LaRouchians that went on for years thereafter.

This, to me, is one of the most staggering things in the book. Bobby Ray Inman is not a fascist--he's one of the moderates, he's a consummate professional. He's only concerned with doing his job and I think he's a deeply patriotic American. Yet, he got fascinated with them--with where they were getting their information, or for whatever reasons--and was willing to deal with them for a while. He explained to me that one reason was the intelligence vacuum that occurred as a result of Jimmy Carter's massive firings of some of the old spooks who couldn't change with the times. I think that was probably one reason, but that doesn't really excuse it. I think it was just bad judgment--I mean, you can't deal with somebody like LaRouche on the basis of, "Hey, we're just going to use him." You use him, he uses you. I think LaRouche got the best of his relationship with the intelligence community over the years, but we shall see.

The LaRouchians also got their hooks into FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency]. This is a bizarre story. When Reagan came in, one of Ed Meese's old cronies, Louis Giuffrida, was installed as the head of FEMA. He began to fantasize about how FEMA would run the nation under a national emergency. Now, FEMA is supposed to be responsible for planning what to do in case of an emergency such as nuclear war, or famine, flood. The LaRouchians began to meet with Giuffrida's right-hand man, and to say, "hey, you should set up your own parallel CIA."

In other words, not only does LaRouche set up his own parallel CIA, but he also encourages other people to do the same so that he has more customers for his information. At any rate, Giuffrida's assistant, according to federal documents filed in federal court, actually came up to New York and spent a day in LaRouche's headquarters, getting the tour of the premises just like I had done. When Giuffrida left FEMA in 1985, he actually went to work for LaRouche as a security consultant. I wonder just what flakes these guys were in the Reagan Administration, especially in the first term, the time of the "Reagan Revolution." I've heard stories about Oliver North and his cronies speaking in tongues in the White House basement, and the followers of Ayn Rand running around in the administration, and James Watt--it was his hallucination that he was the divine steward of oil and gas. There was a lot of flakey stuff going on.

And by the way, in terms of LaRouche, I want to give Watt credit, because he's under attack for a lot of things right now. But he probably showed the best judgment of anybody in the administration because although LaRouche managed to wangle a breakfast with Watt, in hopes that Watt would appoint him as a consultant to the Energy Department, Watt sensed that something was not quite right here. Although perhaps Watt was not very good at making public statements and had a tendency to put his foot in his mouth, in this case he was very shrewd, and he cut LaRouche off.

But other people didn't cut him off. For instance, when Labor Secretary Ray Donovan got in trouble for his alleged ties to organized crime, and was under investigation by a special prosecutor in 1982, the legal counsel for his construction firm turned to the LaRouchians to do intelligence gathering against the prosecutors, as well as against any and everybody who might have been providing them information about Ray Donovan.

So, what I'm telling you is the surface of the iceberg. LaRouche was all over Washington at that time. We'll never know the full extent of the craziness that he managed to instigate. Of course, the most amusing element of it is that while LaRouche was setting up his parallel CIA, CIA Director William Casey got the idea of setting up his own parallel CIA. LaRouche got a bunch of brainwashed zombies to run his parallel CIA; Casey got Oliver North. In my book, I trace the bizarre parallels between these two groups. And in fact, they started spying on each other.

To begin with, LaRouche obtained information about Iran/Contra six months before it broke in the media, and was publishing it in Executive Intelligence Review, his weekly newsmagazine He was writing about Michael Ledeen going to Israel, and about the two Israeli arms merchants who were involved--he knew a lot. I'm not sure he published everything he knew, but he published enough that I'm sure he was making North's people nervous.

And in fact, when LaRouche was indicted years later, he figured, I want to get proof that the government's out to get me. And where would be the perfect place to look? Oliver North's safe. Because if he was spying on North so effectively, it only seemed reasonable that North would spy on him in return. So, lo and behold, they subpoenaed the records from Oliver North's safe, and they found documents pertaining to North's curiosity about the LaRouchians. So you have this marvelous scenario of these two packs of crazies spying on each other.

To make matters even stranger, they both were raising money from the same little old ladies. You know, North's people would go around one week asking these little old ladies to give them money to support the Contras, and LaRouche's people would go around the next week and ask them to give money to support Star Wars in Japan.

Ostrom: I'd like to talk a little bit about the cult nature of the LaRouche organization. One of the things that is so striking in your book is the Orwellian nature of everything that LaRouche did, almost from the beginning. Like convincing his Jewish followers to become anti-Semitic and his black followers to become racist and the "double-speak" that you allude to.

King: There is an Orwellian quality to it--I would take it even a step further. I think that LaRouche was consciously modeling some of the things he did on the book 1984. You see, LaRouche has a fascination with thrillers and sci-fi, and he delights in acting it out. If such a book is written by a bright, imaginative person, there's always going to be something in there that's useful.

So, in 1973, when LaRouche was brainwashing his followers, I got a transcript of one of the sessions, In this session, he was talking about the fear of rats, and he was trying to instill in his followers a pathological fear of rats. Rats are inside your brain, eating away at your brain cells, and so forth. It's straight out of 1984.

LaRouche used Orwellian semantics, too. With Orwell, it was war is peace and freedom is slavery. With LaRouche, it was Nazis are anti-Nazis, and Jews are Nazis. He used that equation to get his Jewish followers to stay with him once he moved to the right.

Ostrom: Let's talk about LaRoucheís "Grand Design." It was clearly based on anti-Semitism and bizarre eugenics, getting rid of what he saw as the "Jewish ruling class" and creating a super race of "Golden Souls."

King: Well, this is just Hitler's Mein Kampf brought up to date for the 1980's and put into a little fancier, more high-toned language than Hitler tended to use. LaRouche calls the Jewish conspiracy the "international oligarchy," but he makes clear that it's the Jews because he says it's the same folks who cooked up the hoax known as the Old Testament. Whenever he's citing particular oligarchs, they usually tend to have Jewish names, like Henry Kissinger. Or else they are "British aristocrats" which fits in with traditional Nazism that the British aristocracy had essentially been taken over by the Jews, and therefore were an irredeemable elite.

At any rate, LaRouche knows that Germany can't conquer the world on its own, and also that nobody can conquer the world with tanks. So, he very simply changes things, and instead of it just being Germany on its own, it's Germany and America forming a special alliance to save Western civilization. His game plan is that LaRouchian regimes come to power in key countries in the West. They purge the Jews, first of all, then they set up a totalitarian dictatorship, and they purge the opposition. Then they totally militarize society.

LaRouche has a really bizarre vision of a military structure that permeates society, and it's based on total mobilization for total war. The first stage is that the German-American combine forces the rest of the West to accept LaRouche under nuclear threat. They then go after the Soviet Union--LaRouche has an obsession about marching East. In LaRoucheís theory of history, the great "humanist" warlords whom he glorifies are all people who marched East, one way or another. So LaRouche wants to march East. He can't do it with tanks, so he has a doctrine of ABC warfare--atomic, bacteriological, chemical--which will exterminate everything in the line of march.

But LaRouche knew that this wouldn't really work either, because the other side would use the same tactics. So he came up with his version of Star Wars, to build a miracle shield, so he could do these things and get away with it.

Then he went beyond Star Wars, and this is the most bizarre element of all. LaRouche decided that Star Wars, and Edward Teller's X-ray laser weapons, and all that just couldn't do the trick. So he came up with a new magic solution a couple of years ago: radio frequency weapons.

His organization had a conference in Munich, West Germany. to which they invited West German military officers and defense contractors. LaRouche gave the keynote speech, in which he said that his ultimate plan is for radio frequency weapons, aimed East, that would turn the entire Soviet Union into a microwave oven, fry everybody's brains, but leave the factories and railroads intact. Why the West Germans would even want those inefficient, outmoded Soviet factories, I don't know, but at least LaRouche gave them that option. He concluded his speech by saying that whoever developed radio frequency weapons first would dominate the planet, with the implication, of course, of hey, Germans, hurry up and get your act together.

This is LaRouchism--it's neo-Nazism, but in a systematic and highly imaginative form.

Ostrom: I found it fascinating that LaRouche drew upon the discredited Soviet geneticist Trofim Lysenko for his theory of eugenics--whereby people acquire characteristics (like big muscles), which then become genetically encoded and are passed on to their children. Do you think LaRouche really believes this theory, or do you think it was just one of his cynical manipulations of his followers?

King: LaRouche began to put forward this Lysenkoism around the time he published his book, Dialectical Economics, in 1974 or '75. I have no reason to believe LaRouche is not sincere. I think he began moving to the right on a somewhat cynical basis, believing that there was no money on the left.

But you know, if you take up a cause, whether it's in politics or just as a salesperson, sooner or later, if you're going to be successful, you have to convince yourself to believe in that cause. And LaRouche has been so successful that I have to believe that he has come to believe it on some level.

He has written about the relationship between opportunism, and sincere belief, and paranoia in the mind of Joseph Stalin. When I was reading what he had written, I became convinced that LaRouche was really writing about himself. I think he possesses a rather profound self-knowledge. He knows that he's crazy, but he also knows that he can use his craziness.

Ostrom: Can you explain LaRouche's "hypothesis of a higher hypothesis," the method of reasoning that he taught to his followers. You described it as, "one thinks about how one thinks while one thinks." Can you give an example of how this works and how he used it?

King: Well, I have asked many defectors from the LaRouche organization to explain to me how this works. They all give me these high-falutiní philosophical definitions, and I ask them, did you ever actually do this? And they all pause, and none of them are ever able to cite a time when they used the hypothesis of the higher hypothesis.

The only way in which I can envision it as making any sense at all is in terms of Gurdjieff's theory, that you split your personality so that you have an "observer" self that observes everything that the other half of the self is doing. This is a technique that, presumably, if you do it long enough, you begin to get breakthroughs to some sort of mystical understanding. I think that LaRouche is playing around with a super-intellectual version of that. That's the best explanation that I've ever been able to come to; I have never practiced the "hypothesis of the higher hypothesis." Since I haven't practiced it, I don't want to say that there isn't some state of consciousness that corresponds to that on some level.

After all, in Hegel's dialectic, he was trying to think about thinking while he thought. He was not unsuccessful at it, and people who have used Hegel's dialectic through the years, whether Lenin or Albert Schweitzer, or Thomas Kuhn, have come up with some remarkable ideas on some level or another. So I don't want to put it down. LaRouche's own thinking, though, is not dialectical. He's a scissors and paste man, who takes in a vast mass of garbage from everywhere conceivable, and he synthesizes it in these weird ways. It's always crazy, but there are flashes of brilliance in it, and isolated insights in his writing. Startling insights, but it's not a dialectical type of thinking so therefore I really don't think that LaRouche himself practices anything more than just spinning out his bullshit.

Ostrom: The parallel that you drew between Hitler's syphilis policy and LaRouche's AIDS policies appalled me. Do you think that LaRoucheís AIDS policies were a direct outgrowth of Hitler's writings on syphilis, the quarantine, the genocide?

King: All I know is that when I sat down to write on LaRouche's AIDS campaign, intuition sent me to Mein Kampf. I remember sitting there with Hitler's Mein Kampf on one side of the desk, and LaRouche's main article on AIDS on the other side of the desk, and I was just absolutely stunned. It was as if he had just paraphrased Hitler.

Ostrom: So they really are parallel theories.

King: Yes, and I think they used the theories in the same way. Hitler wanted, at that point in his career, to popularize the idea of rounding up the so-called "subhumans"; and this was a way of doing it in a socially acceptable form, by disguising it as a public health measure.

Hitler actually stated, we have a hidden agenda behind this, but now is not the time to reveal that agenda to the masses. And I think with LaRouche, it's the same thing. When he talks about rounding up gays, and putting them in quarantine facilities, he's really talking about rounding up Jews and putting them in camps. He's found a way to disguise it, so he can get an opening wedge in the public mind, by suggesting to people that it is a public health necessity to round up this unpopular minority and put them someplace under armed guard. That's step one.

Step two is, well, it's a national security necessity to round up this other unpopular minority--blacks or Jews--and put them in special places under armed guard. Curiously, eight years prior to concocting his AIDS referenda, LaRouche had openly called for rounding up the Jews of America, saying that they are guilty of treason, that the very fact of holding Zionist beliefs makes them a national security risk, and he called for a special prosecutor's office and massive show trials. It was all there.

Now, when LaRouche was writing on AIDS in the middle 1980s, he gave little hints. He wrote that the people ultimately responsible for AIDS are the "international shylocks." It wasn't quite clear whether they actually made the virus in some secret laboratory in Israel, but certainly LaRouche did say that the shylocks and the "international oligarchy," or the Babylonians--whatever crazy phrase he used for them--promoted homosexuality, therefore they are ultimately responsible. And that once AIDS came along, they resisted spending money to find a cure, as well as resisting the obvious necessity of quarantine. So they are responsible on one end of the process and they are also responsible on the other end of the process.

I mean, that's what he said. He can't wiggle out from under that. It's all there in black and white, in his own writing.

Ostrom: One of the other disturbing things that was in your book was an American Medical Association [AMA] poll that found that 50 percent of Americans thought it was okay to deprive people with AIDS of their civil liberties. Why do you think that Americans are so quick to give up their freedoms? It seems that we haven't learned from our mistakes. Your book, obviously, makes that very clear.

King: I think that people don't stop and think about the implications of something like a mass quarantine of a minority. They're reacting to the emotions of the moment; they're reacting to their fear.

You've got to understand that, two years ego, there was an enormous scare in our society about AIDS. Now, it's like everything else, it hits television, and people become somewhat inured to it. People are still worried about it, but the hysteria two years ago was a media event. And LaRouche knew that this was a golden opportunity for some demagoguery.

So he called his followers together at that point, and gave them a slogan--and if you ask me for a classic slogan of demagoguery, I couldnít come up with a better one. LaRouche said, "Spread panic, not AIDS."

I think that the panic was there, especially with people believing that AIDS was going to spread very rapidly into the heterosexual community, which it didn't, but at that time, people were worried that it might do so. The hysteria was out there in the land, and LaRouche had no difficulty getting 700,000 people to sign a petition to put that referenda [Proposition 64] on the ballot in California.

What happened next is even more interesting. The people who were opposed to Proposition 64 formed a committee called Stop LaRouche. They publicized all over the state the fact that Lyndon LaRouche, the dangerous extremist, was behind this measure. And that anti-LaRouche agitation apparently had very little effect on people's voting patterns.

People didn't care. They were worried about AIDS and they couldn't care less that it was a Nazi who was behind it. When the election took place, the New York Times reported--without giving any statistics--that the referenda had been overwhelmingly defeated and that it was a great victory over LaRouche.

Bullshit. LaRouche got over two million people in California to vote in favor of quarantining a minority. It was a great victory for him, and for the forces of neo-fascism in America. For the first time, they had inserted into the public mind the idea of rounding up a minority, and inserted it in such a way that people could feel it was legitimate, by disguising it as a public health measure--and LaRouche learned how to do that from Mein Kampf.

If you look at what was going on in our society at that time, the AMA poll was really minor compared to the enormous violence that was erupting against gays all over the United States. And the violence is continuing today. And that is something that is not being looked at closely enough by people who should be concerned, like the government, civil liberties groups, Jews--who, after all, are the next target, because it's skinheads doing it. They may beat up on gays now, and they may beat up on blacks, but the ultimate target is the Jews. It always is in these situations.

Ostrom: Have you been able to trace any direct connection between LaRouche and the skinheads in this country?

King: There are not LaRouchian skinheads. However, I would point out that LaRouche predicted [in the early 1970s--ed.] the use of the skinheads, when he said that when the stage comes for massive street fighting units, he said that some of those units will come out of the drug/rock counterculture. People thought he was crazy at the time, and now we have the skinheads. LaRouche has praised skinhead attacks on gays, openly, and he has called the skinheads the vanguard of the nationalist revolution.

Ostrom: Speaking of inciting violence against gay people--there is a real debate going on within the gay press right now about the use of words like "faggot" and "queer," which is something that the Native has been very critical of, among other gay papers. We feel that it incites violence and is really homophobic, that it is in fact what LaRouche was doing when he said, "Jews are Nazis."

King: Well, LaRouche certainly uses those words. His publications for years have been peppered with words like "faggot" and so on. It helps to create the climate. I think that whenever negative epithets about any minority are used, that's something that should be resisted.

Ostrom: The story you tell in the book about the gay reporter from the New York City News [a gay weekly] being used by LaRouche was very distressing.

King: Grant Duay was not a staff reporter for the News, he did freelance work for them, but that was the cover he used with me and with almost every journalist that I know who was writing about LaRouche at the time.

This guy worked very hard. I quote in my book the former LaRouche security aide Charles Tate, who was sort of Grant's "control officer." He said Grant would come back with a tape, and Tate would give him $20. Grant was a bizarre person, but he did a lot of constructive things for LaRouche. Grant and another LaRouche undercover operative, I think, were to a great extent responsible for the re-election of Jesse Helms in 1984. Helms is certainly one of the biggest enemies of American gays. So here is Grant Duay, who is openly gay, and is serving his main enemy.

And what kind of self-hate must go on in that guy's tormented mind? It's like the Jewish LaRouchians--what kind of self-hate was going on in their minds? LaRouche has this talent for finding really sick people and using them. I think Grant was serving to help with all this gay bashing, especially with Governor Jim Hunt in North Carolina--who is not gay--but still they were able to concoct fantasies about him.

And then Duay, just a year later, gets busted for his alleged role in a child pornography ring. The hypocrisy of all this was what was Jesse Helms doing using people like that? Here's LaRouche, who is always talking about how terrible NAMBLA is--LaRouche has made it clear that he thinks NAMBLA is one of the major conspiratorial forces in the country--and LaRouche is employing someone who is involved with child pornography.

You know, Grant used to come to my office and rave about the dangers of NAMBLA. He was telling about all these public figures who were supposedly secretly connected to NAMBLA, and I didnít really believe him but I would listen to him. And here's Grant, working in a store that sells the stuff.

It's typical LaRouchian hypocrisy. Whatever they accuse other people of doing, if you look closely, it's what they themselves are doing.

And of course, the classic case is the war on drugs. For years, LaRouche was screaming about the war on drugs. but at the same time he was involved with mobsters and traffickers and ultimately got involved with General Manuel Noriega, the biggest cocaine trafficker in the Western hemisphere. And there was a Senate hearing at which a former Panamanian diplomat stated under oath, "Mr. LaRouche works for Mr. Noriega." The LaRouchians did not deny that, in fact they were proud of it. They bragged about it in their newspaper, and yet they still claimed to be anti-drug. It's psychopathic.

Ostrom: The other thing you talk about, and that we fight against daily in terms of AIDS reporting, is the intellectual laziness of the media. Not wanting to go after a story that is right under their noses, or toning it down the way the New York Times did with LaRouche, refusing to use the words "neo-Nazi" or "fascist." How do we combat that?

King: In terms of combating the laziness of the media, ultimately what you need is more alternative publications. For years, all the counter-culture publications were closing down, one after the other. Now, in a new form, they seem to be making a comeback. They found a niche in the market. But, how do you break through to the major media?

I found, with the LaRouche story, that it was extraordinarily difficult. And even if you could break through, and get them to do a story on LaRouche, to get them to talk about his Nazism--which is the essence of the whole thing, it's the only thing that makes it all understandable--was virtually impossible. Number one, reporters didn't have time to really go and read LaRouche's writings, which were right there under their noses. Number two, most of them aren't well educated enough to fully comprehend it. And number three, they were mostly on deadline, and they just wouldn't get the story out. And they were afraid of libel suits.

I have become very cynical about the major media in this country. Even when LaRouche's connection to Noriega came up in the Senate, the press didn't even notice it. Nobody covered it--and Noriega is on the front page every day.

Likewise with LaRoucheís connection with the Teamsters union. Now, for 30 years, the Teamsters have been one of the major targets of media-bashing. Anything to do with dirt inside the Teamsters union--the media jumps on it like hyenas. I laid out the story about LaRouche's connection to the Teamsters in High Times magazine in a long, investigative article in 1981, and also in the newspaper Our Town. Those articles circulated around the country, and nobody in the mainstream media picked them up. To this day, nobody in the mainstream media has done anything about LaRoucheís connection to the Teamsters or organized crime. They pretend it doesn't exist.

LaRoucheís people were making incredible electoral breakthroughs in the early 1980s--nobody would deal with it. LaRouche was caught trashing Michael Dukakis in 1988--and in fact, Ronald Reagan himself played a role in that. It was almost like a setup. He called on a LaRouchian correspondent in his press conference [Nick Benton from Executive Intelligence Review, who asked if Dukakis should make his medical records public, fueling rumors that Dukakis had undergone psychiatric treatment in the 1970s], and you got the sense that it was almost pre-arranged. And nobody in the media looked into the background of it, that this wasn't just an isolated incident.

You know, LaRouche had been running this giant, almost Watergate-like operation on behalf of the GOP against the Democrats. Nobody wanted to look at that. The trick the LaRouchians pulled on Michael Dukakis was merely a replay of the trick they pulled on Jimmy Carter in 1976--and that earlier time, they got $70,000 from wealthy Republicans to do it.

LaRouche went on national television the night before the general election of 1976, and told people to vote for Gerald Ford because Jimmy Carter was mentally ill. And down through the years they've done the same thing: saying a politician is mentally ill, or an agent of the Trilateral Commission, or gay, or a Soviet agent. They have continued to do this. The targets have included Jerry Brown in California, George Bush in 1980 in New Hampshire, Jim Hunt in North Carolina, Barbara McClusky in Maryland where they did the most extraordinary gay-baiting of McClusky. It was almost unbelievable some of the stuff they got away with, including on the radio.

But it backfired, because voters in Maryland, being more sophisticated than voters in North Carolina, realized what was happening and they repudiated it. So voters are not that stupid--you can't fool the people all the time.

Ostrom: LaRouche also had a hate campaign going against Roy Cohn. In Cohn's case they were baiting him with something that happened to be true, and that he was trying to hide.

King: That's right. They really had the goods on Roy Cohn.

Now, in the late 70s and early 1980s, through 1985, LaRouche had his headquarters in New York City. Massive loan fraud scams, bank fraud scams, credit card fraud scams--all of this was being run out of LaRouche's headquarters here in Manhattan.

During those years, LaRouche was immune to prosecution. Liz Holtzman wouldn't touch him, Robert Morgenthau wouldn't touch him, Robert Abrams wouldn't touch him, the Organized Crime Strike Force wouldn't touch him. Nobody would go after LaRouche.

And here I was, writing for Our Town, an East Side weekly, and laying all this stuff out, and yet there was no action from law enforcement. In 1979, the New York Times did an editorial calling for an investigation of LaRouche's illegal activities. The prosecutors didn't lift a finger. Even those who are known as publicity hounds, who always do what the New York Times wants them to do, didn't lift a finger.

As LaRouche's anti-Semitic operations were growing he would hold big rallies in New York, often at the Roosevelt Hotel. Essentially they were international neo-Nazi conventions. And would the media expose them? Not a squeak--not a squeak out of the New York Times after 1979. They exposed him in 1979, and then there was a shutdown of any New York Times significant criticism of LaRouche for years after that.

Ostrom: Was LaRouche being protected, and if so to what extent?

King: Well, I know two things. First of all, that Roy Cohn was the most powerful man In New York politics, and exerted an enormous influence on the media during that period. The LaRouchians had blackmail goods on Roy Cohn that you wouldn't believe. And they published some of it in a little paper called Now East, which was anonymously circulated. The first issue came out during the Gay Pride parade in 1980.

Cohn's office was terrified. I met with one of Cohn's assistants at that time who told me, "The LaRouchians have a mole inside our office," and they were desperate to find out who it was. They put heavy pressure on me; in fact, Cohn's office threatened me, because they wanted my sources. I refused to tell them my sources, and Roy Cohn made a lot of trouble for me because of that.

At any rate, Nicholas Von Hoffman's book Citizen Cohn makes it clear that the information that the LaRouchians were getting was from Richard Dupont, Roy Cohn's former lover, and a former confidante of people around Cohn--that Richard was providing them with absolutely devastating and accurate information about every aspect of Roy Cohn's operations.

Not only his sex life, not only the names of the young men whom he was getting through his procurer, but also about all his business dealings, the cash businesses he was running, skimming money and not paying income tax on it, his relationship to organized crime. They had very sensitive information about Roy Cohnís socialite clients, and they were laying it all out in Now East. There was nothing Cohn could do.

One thing about Lyndon LaRouche--the man is a presidential candidate constantly. And he has a big publishing network that is willing to put out the most outrageous stuff about anybody at the drop of a hat, spread millions of copies of it all around the world, and they don't care about being sued, because they're judgment-proof.

Let's say that you were a mobster, or somebody close to the mob like Roy Cohn, and you wanted to shut up Lyndon LaRouche--how are you going to do it? You can't have him beat up, because that would just make him crazy. The worst thing Cohn could have done is to have had LaRouche beat up, because then there would have been ten million copies of Now East listing every lover that Roy Cohn had gone to bed with over the last ten years that would be passed out at every airport in America. I mean, these people were wild, and there was nothing Cohn could do.

So, what I have been told by defectors--and which I think law enforcement officers have recently verified, and which Von Hoffman alludes to in his book--is that a kind of rapprochement was reached between Roy and Lyndon. And, essentially, it was that Roy would help Lyndon meet new people in organized crime, and that he would also cool off the New York Times to help LaRouche.

I've heard that they paid money to Cohn. Now, Cohn was a very greedy man, but even if they hadn't paid him money, they sort of had him in a vise where essentially they said, if we're prosecuted, you're the one who's going to pay the penalty, because we'll reveal more about you.

In 1982, they had a falling-out with Cohn so they put out a phony supplement to the New York Times. Again, Richard Dupont was involved, and again they had devastating information. The District Attorney's office knew that LaRouche had done it. They know where it was printed, they knew where it was typeset, and in fact they raided LaRouche's print shop and were all ready to go with prosecutions. But then suddenly everything was dropped.

The New York Times had been ready to write an expose; they had assigned Howard Blum, their veteran Nazi-hunter, to the story, and everybody in New York politics had vowed that these people must be punished. This is the Tylenol model brought to politics, everyone said, and we have to stop it.

Suddenly, all of this indignation dies, not a squeak is heard about it in the Times, and very quietly, the charges against the LaRouchians are dropped. Why? Because Roy wanted it dropped.

The LaRouchians had made it very plain in their newspaper: if this thing ever comes to trial, we will turn it into a trial of Roy Cohn, and we're going to tell everything about everybody. They had a lot of dirt on a lot of people, not just Cohn.

I've talked to federal witnesses who used to work for LaRouche and they talk about the filing cabinets in their headquarters, in which they had dossiers on public figures in New York, listed alphabetically. And Grant Duay was going around with his tape recorder, and supposedly interviewing former lovers of various people. They definitely had some dirt.

The terrible thing about this is that, even if something isnít true, it's like mud on the face of whoever has been smeared, and you can never really wipe the mud off completely. People are going to believe it. They can tell the most outrageous lies in the world about Henry Kissinger, and people who don't like Kissinger are going to believe it. And even if they don't believe it, it will exist in a kind of a twilight zone, so that when they see Henry Kissinger on television they kind of subliminally snicker.

It's a terrible thing, and theyíve done it to many, many people. And frankly, in writing this book, I felt very bad that I even had to repeat these stories. But I felt that I had to, because only if you can really describe what is going on can you exorcise something like this. But I didn't like doing it.

LaRouche imposes these terms upon political debate; this is how he can be so profoundly poisonous to the body politic of this country. He is the number one purveyor of the smear tactic. And what happens after ten or twelve years of LaRouche's smear tactics in American society is that everybody gets inured to it, and now Congress has picked it up. Everybody in Congress is now running around calling each other closet homosexuals, or crooks, or this or that, and LaRouche helped to create the atmosphere in which the politics of the smear become an accepted thing.

That may be me one of the worst impacts LaRouche has had on society, because it gets us away from looking at policy issues, from the real problems that society faces.

Ostrom: So LaRouche is now in prison. For how long?

King: Well, LaRouche was convicted last December of loan fraud and income tax evasion. He had not paid any income tax since 1973, even though he's one of America's wealthier men. In January 1989, he was sentenced to five to 15 years in federal prison. Since LaRouche is a first offender, I think it is reasonable to assume that he will get out in five years.

He is appealing his conviction. He has brought in former U.S. Attorney Ramsey Clark as his lead attorney now, and Clark is confident of getting the conviction overturned on Constitutional grounds. I think that's going to be pretty difficult to do, but it's possible. Even if the conviction is overturned, LaRouche would be retried.

But let's take the best-case scenario, that LaRouche's conviction is upheld. What does it mean that he's behind bars?

The same people who never wanted to resist LaRouche in the first place, who tried to pretend he didn't exist, used to say, "LaRouche is a kook, he's no longer a threat." Now they say, "LaRouche used to be a threat but now that he's in prison, he's no longer a threat." And curiously, some of them have said, "Oh, we don't want to write about him because although heís in jail and heís no longer a threat, if we write about him, it will be giving him publicity, and since he really is a threat, we don't want to give him publicity." You know, all the excuses people give.

Ostrom: That's really reminiscent of Hitlerís rise to power.

King: That's right. Hitler went to jail and people said, "He's finished, heís a kook."

There's sort of a double standard by which people judge LaRouche. And it's a double standard that's based upon people's fear of him.

Reverend Moon went to jail for tax evasion, and nobody said that was the end of the Unification Church. Most of the leaders of Scientology went to jail, and nobody ever said that was the end of Scientology. And in fact, in neither case was it true. When Reverend Moon came out of prison, the movement had grown in his absence, and was more influential than ever. And in spite of all of the convictions of Scientology leaders, you can go to any five-and-dime store or supermarket in the land and there is L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics being offered for sale. It's one of the national all-time best sellers, like the Bible.

I don't think that it necessarily follows that the jailing of the leader of an extremist movement spells the end of that movement. In most cases in history, it does not spell the end and sometimes it spells the opposite.

Certainly LaRouche is playing his martyr's role to the hilt. His newspaper, the New Federalist, bragged that in his first month in jail he gave over 60 interviews to radio talk show hosts and print media people. Now, that's more interviews than he used to give in a year.

I know that his followers can visit him very easily. He writes articles for them which are published in his magazines and newspapers and he talks to his followers on the phone.

Now before he went to prison, how did LaRouche operate? He lived on an estate in Virginia surrounded by a screen of security guards, communicating with his follower on the phone or by writing articles for them. Nothing's changed except that the taxpayer's now paying for the guards.

Ostrom: My next question was going to be, is he still running the organization, but the answer to that question is obviously yes.

King: Absolutely. LaRouche absolutely is still in charge of the organization. It would not be honest not to point out that the conviction of LaRouche and several of his top aides, and the ongoing prosecutions (here in New York and in Virginia) have definitely done damage to the LaRouche organization. But they have not destroyed it.

They are still running candidates. They are still in the farm belt through their Food for Peace, which has had dozens of rallies in farm communities in recent months. They are vigorously attempting to infiltrate the Christian right, through a bogus campaign against Satanism that they've concocted. And they are able to purchase big ads in the New York Times and the Washington Post in which they get practically every fascist in Latin America and Western Europe to sign their names to ads calling for a presidential pardon for Lyndon LaRouche.

They have infiltrated the opera world, and have swung many of the world's leading opera singers behind their campaign for legislation to lower the pitch in opera, and have gotten an enormous amount of good publicity out of that.

So wherever you look, they're still there. And, ironically, their tactics, their strategies, are having an influence beyond the confines of their own organization. For instance, David Duke, who is a white supremacist but not a LaRouchian--he comes out of the more traditional wing of American fascism--adopted whole-hog LaRoucheís electoral tactics, took them to a higher level, and actually got elected to the state legislature in Louisiana recently.

Duke followed the classic LaRouche tactics to a "T". And he and his followers had been discussing for years how to adopt LaRouche's tactics. So it wasn't done unconsciously, it was done in a studied, carefully considered way.

You not only have LaRouchism continuing as an organized force in our society, but you have a ripple effect, as his style and influence spreads out to other groups.

So we haven't seen the last of Lyndon LaRouche. But even if we had seen the last of LaRouche, the basic point of my book was never: look at Lyndon LaRouche, he's a dangerous man.

The basic point of my book was: look at our society's immune system and see how weak it is. A man like LaRouche can come along, and disguise himself like a clever virus. And he is able to get into our immune system and achieve incredible things, with no opposition.

To me, that is the scariest thing. It is not that LaRouche is so strong--it's that the institutions of our society are so weak when faced by an intelligent and sophisticated fascist. And that's why I want people to read this book, so that they will be forced to address this question.

We haven't seen the last of rightwing extremists in this country. There is going to be a point at which a major challenge from the right will come. If LaRouche was able to go so far so fast under conditions of economic stability, how much farther and how much faster could the next LaRouche go, under conditions of real crisis?