LaRouche Cult Continues to Grow

Researchers Call for Probe of Potentially Illegal Acts

By Russ Bellant, Chip Berlet, & Dennis King

Joint Statement Issued December 16, 1981

  • Russell Bellant, Detroit coordinator, Public Eye Network, and researcher on activities of the NCLC.
  • Chip Berlet, Editor, The Public Eye Magazine, and author of numerous articles on LaRouche's activities.
  • Dennis King, New York freelance journalist and one of the nation's leading researchers investigating Lyndon LaRouche and the NCLC.

For years Lyndon LaRouche and his National Caucus  of La­bor Committees (NCLC) have been America's most sophisti­cated advocates of anti-Jewish, neo-fascist and neo-Nazi ideas. Numerous published articles have made these charges.

While it is undeniably their right under the U.S. Constitution to advocate these ideas, many articles and published reports have made serious allegations of a wide variety of potentially il­legal activities.

We believe it is time for federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Congress to take a closer look at the NCLC, especially since it is expanding its attempts to influence Congress and U.S. foreign and domestic policies. The following aspects of NCLC's activities deserve further scrutiny by government agencies and the media:

Foreign Intelligence Activities

1) The NCLC intelligence staff, which does freelance research for hire, has prepared reports for foreign intelligence agencies such as the Bureau of State Security (BOSS) of South Africa, and SAVAK under the late Shah of Iran. A former NCLC Counterintelligence specialist recounted in the March 30, 1979 issue of National Review how NCLC had prepared a report for the Iraqi government. Other former NCLC security staffers have been quoted in print as saying the organization has prepared reports for many other governments including Libya, Taiwan, South Korea, India and French Intelligence under Giscard. To our knowledge, the NCLC has never registered as agents for any of these foreign governments.

A few weeks ago a person claiming to be affiliated with the French Defense Ministry and using the name Jean Claude Adam called dozens of journalists and scholars across the nation. Among those who granted interviews were Winston Lord, presi­dent of the Council on Foreign Relations and William Bundy, CFR's editor of their Foreign Afairs magazine. Dennis King has exposed "Adam" as a LaRouche operative who is listed in the LaRouche-controlled Executive Intelligence Review as "intelligence director" of the European Economics Desk. Former NCLC members identified "Adam" from a photograph taken when King met with him. The individual is really Laurent Murawiec, who has been a follower of LaRouche since the early 1970's.

Deceptive Fundraising

2) Allegedly illegal, deceitful and fraudulent activities by non­profit corporations, foundations, and fundraising front groups controlled by Lyndon LaRouche have been recounted in numerous articles, yet federal and state action has been rare and sluggish. NCLC internal documents boast of a $225,000 per week  budget and even conservative estimates place the annual income over $3 million. Despite this only a handful of states have even started looking into LaRouche's fundraising activities, and on the federal level, only the Federal Elections Commission has launched any serious inquiry - an inquiry that drags on while LaRouche's coffers fill with money collected from sincere and unwitting donors.

The Illinois State Attorney General has filed suit against the NCLC-dominated Illinois Anti-Drug Coalition to force the affi­liate of the National Anti-Drug Coalition to divulge its finances. The move came after an extensive article by Sun Times reporter Alan Henry charged that the Anti-Drug Coalition was secretly using its contributions to finance the extremist political propaganda of Lyndon LaRouche. A hard-hitting editorial in the Sun Times said the group's extremist smear attempts were especially targeted against those who try to reveal the group's "tangled finances." Wrote the Sun Times editorial writer: "Sometimes the campaigns are anti-Semitic; sometimes they're racist or sexist. But in the main they're funded by unwitting contributions to the group's high-tone 'charities,' which is disgusting,"

While the Fusion Energy Foundation enjoys a tax exempt status recognized by the IRS, FEF is just another "effectivefund-raising front for the NCLC,” according to a published 1979 report issued by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Despite its tax status, FEF has:

  • Campaigned for the Lyndon LaRouche presidential bid in 1980.
  • Engaged in political lobbying in Washington, D.C.
  • Listed its income as a part of the daily NCLC financial tally.
  • Transferred funds to and from NCLC-controlled poli­tical and business fronts.
  • Filed its membership and subscription sales on a form listing contacts for both FEF and the U.S. Labor Party, LaRouche's now-defunct political party.

In 1980 Lyndon LaRouche reported to the federal govern­ment under disclosure laws for Presidential candidates that his earnings for 1979 were $6,000. We find this preposterous. Lyndon LaRouche, in his own words, is the "chief executive officer" of a multi-million dollar private political intelligence news agency. LaRouche maintains at least three residences, and has around-the-clock bodyguards. He travels incessantly around the world. The payments for one of his residences alone has to be greater than LaRouche's reported income.

In 1976 the Federal Election Commission began investigating the possibility of illegal contributions-in-kind by NCLC business fronts to the LaRouche 1976 U.S. Labor Party Presidential campaign committee. The FEC has also apparently uncovered evidence pointing to an attempt by LaRouche's Campaign Committee to falsify records of campaign donations in order to fraudulently qualify for matching funds.

Yet with this investiga­tion still pending, the FEC approved over $500,000 in federal matching funds to the LaRouche Presidential bid in 1980. Now, once again, the FEC is serving subpoenas to investigate alleged falsifications in the 1979-80 applications for matching funds. One FEC report charges that LaRouche's campaign overspent its primary financial limit and should repay over $100,000 of taxpayer money granted for the New Hampshire primary.

Links to Organized Crime

3) LaRouche and the NCLC ties to organized crime figures and Teamster Union officials alleged to have organized crime ties have been reported in an exhaustive article by Dennis King appearing in the December 1981 issue of High Times magazine. Another article appearing in the January 1982 issue of Mother Jones, makes similar charges: LaRouche was endorsed for President of the U.S. by Rolland McMaster, who has repeatedly been identified as a Detroit racketeer. LaRouche's New Hampshire primary campaign was coordinated by Jack Ferris, a close associate and reputed business frontman for McMaster. Ferris was paid over $96,000 by the LaRouche campaign com­mittee, much of it while LaRouche was receiving federal matching funds. The LaRouche campaign included threats to make it "very painful" for his critics according to the 10/12/79 issue of the Manchester Union Leader.

The King High Times article outlines a history of NCLC involvement with mob-linked labor leaders going back to 1977. Teamster officials on all levels have used LaRouche's propaganda materials and political operatives in the fight against union reformers, especially members of Teamsters for a Democratic Union. NCLC members have intervened as outsiders in Teamster elections, raising serious legal questions.

Domestic Intelligence and International Intrigue

4) Access by NCLC to sensitive data is boasted about even in NCLC's own material. The Fusion Energy Foundation, an NCLC front group, poses as a legitimate scientific organization and has cultivated ties with scientists and engineers with access to advanced nuclear research and weapons technology. Given NCLC's ties to Iraq and other foreign powers with an interest in this field, the potential for mischief is obvious. In addition, NCLC leaders have long boasted to their followers of having sources of information inside the CIA, FBI, DEA, and local law enforcement agencies.

According to King's High Timesarticle, right wing security specialist and former OSS officer Mitchell WerBell III arranged meetings in Washington, D.C. between top NCLC operatives and CIA employees. NCLC for years has cultivated ties with retired intelligence operatives such as Wer­Bell in hopes of picking up useful information and building political alliances. WerBell was named by former CIA agent Frank Terpil, indicted for exporting weapons to Libya, as being involved in a plan to invade a tiny Caribbean island, according to author Murray Waas who obtained transcripts of conversations Terpil had with undercover New York detectives. Writing in the 11/28/81 issue of the Nation, Waas reports that "WerBell, like Terpil, has had numerous run-ins with the law, and lie has been indicted for gunrunning, marijuana smuggling and violating U.S. neutrality laws." WerBell handled security for LaRouche's 1980 Presidential bid and has performed numerous other security functions for NCLC.

We feel the possible links between LaRouche, NCLC, WerBell, Terpil, Libya, dissident past and present intelligence operatives, and right-wing political movements need to be probed. We know for instance that both LaRouche and WerBell have ties to the ultra-right wing and anti-Jewish Liberty Lobby, which in turn maintains friendly re­lations with several European ultra-right groups. That LaRouche and WerBell see themselves as active figures in a murky ensemble of right-wing intelligence networks with inter­national links is obvious. This is perhaps the least understood area of LaRouche's activities.

Corporate Shenanigans

5) According to numerous court records and internal NCLC documents, large sums of money were funneled from Computron Technologies Corporation, a computer software firm owned for many years by NCLC members, into the NCLC coffers. In early 1981, Computron filed for Chapter 11 reorgani­zation under federal bankruptcy laws.

Internal memos of NCLC also in 1981 reflect a bitter struggle between Computron owners and LaRouche. LaRouche claimed Computron's founder had embezzled vast sums from the 1980 LaRouche Presidential cam­paign. In reply, the Computron founder strongly implied that the cash flow had been in the opposite direction, and threatened to spill the beans before a grand jury.

The alleged looting of Computron is under investigation by the Computron Creditors Committee under the jurisdiction of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. (In Re World Composition Services, Inc. v. Computron Technolo­gies Corporation) (File no. 81-5121-A / 81 B 10477 JL) The Court records make for fascinating reading.

A Threat to Democracy

Finally, we would like to add that while this press conference has focused on the alleged illegal and questionable activities of Lyndon LaRouche and the NCLC, we ourselves are much more troubled by the virulent right wing and anti-Jewish paranoid political views of the organization. That a man who has publicly stated that the Nazis in World War II "only" killed "about a million and a half" Jews could be raising by his own estimate some $225,000 per week in this country is a sad commentary on the lessons we learned from the fascist movements during this century.

We think that with a few exceptions, the American press has not taken seriously the growth of NCLC in this coun­try, and that if we are to avoid another Holocaust, it is time to start educating Americans about the neo-fascist political ideo­logy of Lyndon LaRouche and other demagogues who would blame our country's problems on convenient scapegoats, rather than attempting to struggle with the pressing issues facing us as a country in crisis.

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