NOTE - this is has not been proof read, and I normally make things slightly funnier by using bold and italics. But I do not have time, as I told someone it would go up tonight. I'll change all the crap later.
Dispatch from an anti Lyndon LaRouche meeting
Yesterday, I decided to be a real journalist, and went to a meeting in Berlin named Is the LAROUCHE GROUP A DANGER TO SOCIETY? (sic).
Here’s a bit of background. Lyndon LaRouche is an American conspiracy theorist who claims that “British Interests” led by Her Majesty the Queen of England, are responsible for absolutely every crime that has ever been committed. For example, “Dope Inc.” blames “the British” for international drug trafficking. The brilliantly titled “The Coming Fall of the House of Windsor” accuses the World Wildlife Fund (or perhaps the World Wrestling Federation) of genocide in Africa.
Some of Larouche’s work has merit – he writes well about the economy, and predicted the crash that we are seeing now accurately several years ago. He also knows a thing or two about classical culture.
Nevertheless – most of the time, Mr LaRouche is an entertaining conspiracy theorist in the mould of David Icke. Or perhaps that should be the other way round – currently, at 140, Lyndon LaRouche is the oldest man in America.
Anyway, a few years ago, a member of the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM), Jeremiah Duggan, was killed in a road accident in Germany. While Larouche himself was no doubt blaming the Duke of Edinburgh for this tragedy, another group appeared to be developing a theory of their own – that Mr Duggan was beaten to death (“not by LaRouche – I don’t want to get sued”) because he was Jewish. Also, “not completely shit” MP Simon Hughes was due to speak.
So here are my notes from this 3 hour meeting. Be warned – I was trying to be funny, and at many points I got bored and perhaps stepped over the line in a desperate attempt to amuse myself. They are also completely unedited, apart from the usual spelling errors. And I was still suffering from two bottles of delicious Spanish wine that I have been drinking a mere hours earlier.
(Chip Berlet is an American author who has written several books calling LaRouche names. Simon Hughes is a Liberal Democrat MP. I didn’t know the others, so I describe then “virginally”)
* * * * *
It’s about to start. I’m in row two, right in front of Chip Berlet. He is huge, and is sitting with his legs wide apart. It looks uncomfortable, and his “penis bulge” is clearly visible under the table for all to see.
Dr. Matthew Feldman looks about 12 years old. Hans-Christian Stoebele looks like Professor Wormstrong, Hubert Farnsworth’s enemy in Futurama. He is still wearing his scarf. The man in the middle is wearing a leather beret and looks like Leon, that mad assassin played by that French guy who can’t shave. I can’t see his name.
Dr Rainer Fromm appears to be the moderator, and has a speech impediment which will distract me for the duration of this event.
Fromm is talking about conspiracy theories, ignoring the fact that he is spinning one himself. The literature I have suggests that Jeremiah Duggan was killed because he was Jewish. Why doesn’t LaRouche beat up Jeff Steinberg, his right hand man? And Jeff’s wife. And all the other Jews he employs? Let’s hope that this isn’t their “motive”.
While I was writing, Stroebele was rambling about some court case he has looming. Shit – that sounded interesting, he has a chip on his shoulder about something.
“Dr” Feldman is reading a load of old quotes (that I have heard before). Sit up straight boy!
He has a friend (edit – I don’t know who this “he” is) who is a psychiatrist. Somehow, she convinced him that LaRouche is guilty of murder. This is quite surreal, as I am writing, listening and also thinking about what to have for dinner later, all at the same times. And it is a strange event to begin with.
“I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a physician, but I have my common sense” said one of the German panellists. Holy shit.
Meanwhile, Dr. Rainer Fromm – who is not an attractive man – is nodding annoyingly every two or three seconds. Staring at the speaker, nodding in his face so he can see. Leather Beret is telling us his lack of policing skills now. Normally when a sentence begins “well, I’m not a plumber/doctor/lawyer…” you know that you can simply stop listening. They guys keep saying this new “buzzphrase” like it is supposed to impress us.
Where are the experts?
Oh yes, there are secret service types here. Two or three. Simon Hughes MP has not turned up, but they left his nametag on the table until 1.59pm. There is one semi-proffesional camera set up, one large mixing desk, expensive headsets, two languages, English and German, tea, coffee, black bread with cheese and ham. Probably eighty people, perhaps one hundred. The room is full. I asked one of the drones working here is she knew who had paid for this – she didn’t know.
Chip Berlet is talking about anti-Semitism. He is seemingly unaware that the most widely spoken Semitic language (half a billion speakers?) is Arabic. Perhaps I’ll send him my book. The word “anti-Semitic” is one of the worlds most common and annoying misnomers. Chip just got it right – he said “Judeophobia”, or something similar. I wonder if this will catch on?
Chip is holding up one of LaRouche’s more entertaining magazines, the “Children of Satan” special. I have read it – it is interesting, but, well, “Anti British”. Chip says it is “antismitic”, and points to a picture of Dick Cheney (who isn’t Jewish – or even Arabic).
I’ve just glanced at a green photocopied handout by “Ada Waterford”. She spells Dick Cheney as “”Dick Cheyney”. She has just lost all my trust.
Chip Berlet is now quoting from the Encyclopedia Judaica. Amazingly – it was an entry which he himself wrote – and he is using it as “evidence” to back up his own theory that LaRouche is anti-Semitic. Fantastic! Alan Osler is God. I saw it on a website, so it must be true. My website.
But no one laughed. I did, but I changed it into a cough when I realised that he was being serious.
Everyone is saying LaRouche is anti Semitic, even though LaRouche blames the British for everything, including stuff that everyone else blames on Israel. The Simpsons and Futurama take the piss out of LaRouche because he is an oddball. These people here are as bad as the old man.
“…individuals who have been in their clutches…”
I don’t know the context, because I was writing out that other stuff. I like the cut of her jib though.
They want the group banned. That’s what this is about, but no one can agree on why. What happened to the murder accusations? Get back to that please. This is nonsense.
The panellists do not appear to know much about this case, and their specialist areas to not seem to overlap. In 5 minutes, we will all be sitting in silence.
I wish anti LaRouche writer Dennis King was here, because I just thought of a joke. Here it is anyway.
In the land of the blind, the one eyed Dennis King.
Hans is telling us to use “international pressure”. Who’s he talking to? The hippies, the kids smoking outside or that guy who’s eying up the mixing desk?
“Dr.” Feldman – Feldboy, more like – thinks he is a political scientist. Bless. He is talking about links between LaRouche and Willis Carto. Fuck me! I have learnt something. One fact an hour. But now he is quoting something LaRouche wrote about the evils of facism, and twisting it somewhat. Behave, Matthew.
Fromm is still nodding, like one of those plastic dogs that insane people put in their cars.
Dr. Rainer Fromm looks like the TV Chef Anthony Worrell Thompson. Yes – he looks like that.
And he is still nodding. What next? Is he going to get a vacuum cleaner out, start singing “American Pie” and perhaps take a shit for the camera? He is irritating.
“Dr.” Feldboy is talking about brainwashing, like they do on those youtube videos made by people with credit problems.
Fromm is talking and a can’t concentrate. “And pop that in the oven, bake for twenty minutes”. He has orange hair. And he even nods when he himself is talking.
An ex member now – a woman who look about 45 years old. She said she was a member during her “German A levels”, which must have been some point during the American civil war. She has written a book. Case closed!
Berlet’s bulge is still here. Just so you know.
(edit - at this point I started drawing pictures of the speakers. One had a speech bubble that said “I’m a twat!”, but then I saw that the woman sitting next to me was watching, so I turned over the page.)
Ex member just said something like “people can believe what they like. I believe that we should ban this group”. Ho ho! But it wasn’t a joke.
Another ex member – this is The Big One. Molly Kronberg (Jewish again - actually, the only member of the LaRouche’s organisation who isn’t jewish is Lyndon himself. That’s why he hates them.).
Molly was a member for…..argh! 1973 – 2004! Good God, is she fucking slow or what?
“I spent 31 years beating my hands and feet with hammers. It hurt. After 31 year, I decided to rethink my life, and stop beating my hands and feet with hammers. I want to warn others about the dangers of beating your hands and feet with hammers”
She is complaining about “vicious brainwashing techniques” which she used for more than 30 years. This is like a poorly written comedy. Where’s the punchline?
She just said that LaRouche was responsible for her husband’s suicide 18 months ago, unaware of how oxmoronic she is being.
“I have proof. It is in print”.
I want to say “well, where is it then? Did the dog eat it?”
She has, for reasons best known to herself, decided not to share her “proof”. No one thinks this is strange. More conspiracy theories with no evidence.
“Dr” Feldboy is nodding this time. Kill me now.
Another ex member, Eve Messer from French. He was a member from 1983 to 1994. He is also Jewish.
“LaRouche is a bastard!”
At last, a laugh everyone can share! And they do. Because it’s witty. “Bastard!” Imagine the laugh he would have got if he had said “LaRouche is a cunt!”
They explain that LaRouche uses codewords like “The British”, “British interests” and other oddities to hide his anti jewish sentiment.
Case closed, we may as well pack up and go home. People want to ban the Bible because of perceived anti-Semitism (I just want it moved to the “Fiction” section). These people are every bit as “extreme” as LaRouche.
“Nazis without swastikas”.
Everyone nods and murmurs in agreement.
Dr. Feldboy is reading more quotes, to fill out the time apparently.
An expert on Scientology is now talking, but all she is doing is reading one of the leaflets I picked up on the way in. There is a piano in the corner and I want to play Beethoven’s 32 sonata in Cm. Will they mind?
She is talking about LaRouche’s scaremongering about something called a “financial crash” – the weird LaRouchian idea that banks would run out of cash due to gambling on the sub prime market.
Does she not read the news? This is, again, unintentional humour – like one of those satires on Channel 4 that takes a while to understand because there is no laughter track.
There is an episode of the TV series “Sliders” where the characters end up in a parallel universe and the Soviets had won the cold war. The US was a fascist dictatorship – run by guess who? President LaRouche! I think it was the pilot episode. Poor old guy. And “Helga” – LaRouche’s wife – is the most popular name for a witch in England.
So based on that, yeah, let’s ban him. My evidence is as good as theirs.
I think Chip Berlet only came over to try and sell his books.
“The LYM in Germany has 80 members”
Did I hear that right? Christ, there are more people in this room. That can’t be right.
She is still reading from the sheet. It is all sound bites, no substance.
She is still reading, but get this bit. She just said – and I kid you not…that the LYM produces “robots who read pre prepared material”.
Like you then? Or like every school in the world? Again, no one laughs. I forgot my cigarettes, and I’m looking around for the most likely person to borrow one from. Hippy girl in the corner, reading a magazine. I bet she smokes.
The floor will be open for questions soon. I want to ask “is there anyone in this room who is not a cunt?” but I won’t. They took my name when I collected the headphones.
Jeremiah’s father is now talking. While I feel sorry for his loss, it doesn’t change the fact that he is a conspiracy theorist. His wife blames herself, because she miss spelt “Larouche” when she looked it up on the internet (I also miss spelt Larouch on google – this morning, actually, and google simply corrected it for me.) This does not seem like a good enough reason to blame yourself for what looks like a simple road accident.
Mr Duggan said that Jeremiah was killed, but he can’t say publicly that LaRouche killed him because he doesn’t want to get sued. So he will simply imply it.
He recounts the night of his son’s death – and I’m getting a bit confused here. There was blood on the passport, but that was taken from his room and not his body? No one has actually done an effective job of explaining the inconsistencies of the case so far – none of the panellists have any knowledge of the event, and one wonders what their interest is in the event – it is strange that this task is left to the father, who is clearly emotional. Anyway, he has been, so far, the most informative person at this conference. Apparently, he went to the Tavistock centre during his divorce (once) – a group which is part of LaRouche’s conspiracy theory. It is at this stage that the conspiracy theories collide, and things get confusing. I haven’t got the time to write now about this though.
Mr Duggan said “there is no evidence that he was run over” – essentially accusing the German police of obstruction of justice (of whatever the proper terminology is). He is accusing…someone, I’m not sure who…of interfering with the evidence. Again – interesting, but while he is keeping his proof to himself (like everyone else) it is not a theory that people with invest any belief into without real evidence.
Chip Berlet is wearing huge shoes. At first, I thought he was wearing two of those clogs made for people with one leg longer than the other. But they are just massive.
Dr. Fromm has just told everyone that he is “unfamiliar” with the case. I might stick my hand up and say that I too am unfamiliar with the case. Everyone can join in.
Now Hans is “speculating” on the case. What a waste of time.
The security guards have those transparent curly wires coming out of their ears like Bush’s henchmen.
Hans just said “we have cult officers”. I think he said that, anyway. He also said “Not banning LaRouche is a threat to democracy”. Perhaps I should remind him that we do not live in a democracy. England is a parliamentary monarchy; the US is a constitutional republic, etc. A good example of a democracy would a lynch mob. “Democracy” literally means “mob rule”.
But no – Hans would not understand.
Wait! Hans just said something about running as a Green Party politician. He’s here for publicity! Well, it makes sense. I can’t think of any other reason this dull man bothered to show up. He’s including the Anti LaRouche stuff in part of his campaign. Now things are clearer.
The man in front of me (in “reserved seating”) looks like a bald James Bond. I’m trying, unsuccessfully, to read his notes.
My mind is wandering now, so I’m just looking at all the misfits here. There are some odd looking people, with a few exceptions. “Dr” Matthew Feldman has film star looks. Baldy James Bond has an air to him. However, most of the women are either deeply unattractive (the ones taking part) or just normal (the caterers). Many people have “frown lines” – signs of unhappy lives.
Perhaps I’ll send them this report to cheer them up.
Leather Beret has just backtracked after reading a letter from LaRouche’s solicitor…
“I am not claiming that the LaRouche organisation is responsible for Jeremiah Duggan’s death”.
What? Perhaps the translator is a secret LaRouche employee, and he said something else. Translators – they are the ones with the real power.
The bald James Bond man is Simon Hughes MP!
It is coffee break, and I’m writing down the names of people sitting at the table. Leather Beret is Raeberhand Shultz. They look at me like I’m scum of the earth. Not really.
During the break, I chatted to Dr. Matthew Feldman. Charming chap. I might email this onto him. I also chatted to Simon Hughes MP and asked him if he was planning on failing any elections in the near future (he has failed 2 leadership contests and one for mayor.) Mr Hughes is also a delightful man, and was quite amusing. We spoke briefly about his collegue Norman Baker’s investigation into the death of Dr David Kelly (that’s a real conspiracy, not a theory) and some other stuff. I wanted to be really rude about these people, but they are not bastards (not like LaRocuhe!). Perhaps I’ll feel a little guilty about being rude earlier. Or perhaps not.
Nice coffee, but it ran out very quickly. Anyway, Simon Hughes is now on the panel, and the cameras are rolling again.
Mr Hughes studied law, and has been a politician for 25 years. (I like him because he spoke to me).
“I have, in the past, taken an interest in sex”
Actually, he said “sects” - that’s a joke for people who read political scandal mags like The Times and The Telegraph.
Hughes is, as to be expected, a good speaker. But again we have the problem – he doesn’t know anything about this case. He just mentioned the conversation that we had 15 minutes ago - he can think on the spot, which is why he’s a half ranking member of the third most important party in the British political system.
People just seem to be “doing the stokes” now. There is a French woman who has a very thick accent. She pronounces the word “cult” as “cunt” – every single time. I’m the only one laughing at this, although I think I saw Simon Hughes MP stifle a giggle.
She said that LaRouche has run – twice – for President of the United States of America.
Actually, I think he has run six times – but the speakers here do not seem to want to concern themselves with things like “facts”. It’s either 5, 6 or 7 times. I can’t remember, but it is more than twice.
She also says “gooder” and “wooder” instead of “good” and “would” – that’s how French she is.
Larouche doesn’t pay the dental bills of his members! That’s this woman’s central argument. I laugh again, and quickly look over my shoulder and under the chair, fooling everyone into thinking it was someone else.
Rainer Fromm is repeating what he said earlier – but it is in a slightly different order.
Oh yes, Simon Hughes told me earlier that he thinks the family paid for the event. But he doesn’t know. Those last two sentences are a microcosm of this whole event.
Chip Berlet has got bored, and has taken out his camera. He is pointing it right at me! I smiled. He just kept filming.
Molly, the insane woman who spoke earlier, said she was “psychologically attacked” for having children. This is a new one – perhaps it is the last remaining demographic to appeal to. Evidence? Examples?
“you get up early, you give up sleeping, you will work round the clock”.
I’m too tired and bored to pick holes in that bit on inanity. This is not evidence. Anyway, if you went without sleep for more than 18 days, call Professor Jim Horne at Loughborough University. He will kick you out of course – when you tell him that, as well as not sleeping, you “get up early”.
The French ex Larouche man, Yves Messer, looks exactly like Jack Straw. “Codewords” is all he goes on about.
Now, someone from a pressure group called “Attack” – again, I thought this was funny, but was alone. She is so boring, that I thought I’d write the best names of people who have been employed by the British Secret Service.
Sir John Scarlett. What a name!
Sir Richard Dearlove. Not bad – a bit gay though.
Dame Stella Rimmington. She should marry John Scareltt and have a child called Marshal. Marshal Scarlett-Rimmington. He’d rock.
Berlet made a joke.
“I wouldn’t let LaRouche run a dog kennel!”
People actually laughed at this desperate attempt, while overlooking genuine comic moments. I saw him eating cakes during the break (I have no evidence for this, but I really, really, believe it).
The people speaking now are just repeating the same tired claims – without evidence, of course – that were made earlier. “Ban them” is said several times.
5.10p.m. some guy is ranting and frothing like a lunatic – Chip Berlet calmly said “what’s the question?” which made me laugh out loud. A few other people must have heard me and though “are we supposed to laugh? OK” because I wasn’t alone this time.
Although if Chip has instead said “What on earth am I doing here?, he’s have brought the house down.
Now a member of the protestant religious cult is taking about…religious cults. Jesus wept.
(edit – I rant on about the woman from “Attack” here, with a detailed physical description and other unpleasantness. She was shouting in my ear, and for a spilt second, I hated her with every fibre in my body. It’s best that I remove it)
I just went to the tiny toilets here (still wearing headphones) and all I could think was “Chip Berlet will never fit in here”
Some twat is now having a go at JS Bach and classical culture. Just some weirdo sitting behind me, who wanted to speak for 5 minutes about precisely nothing.
Berlet just said “Hey, I like Bach!”, which I take to mean that he doesn’t like Bach.
Some more wild accusations before we go – Molly said Helga LaRouche “might” have connections to "China", whoever that is. Molly worked with Helga every day for 31 years WITHOUT ANY SLEEP. But she doesn’t know. Evidence? Helga got a press pass.
More photos. Someone next to me asked not to be photographed just then.
Final comments from the panel…and this is really fitting…
“What we have learnt here today,” says Fromm “is that there is a huge deficit of information here”
Copyright Alan Osler 2008 – email me if you want to reproduce any of this.