Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cult or no cult? (part 2) To "live within a lie"...

One of the texts that meant most to me when I left the movement of Lyndon LaRouche, was a small text by the author Vaclav Havel. The power of the powerless, from 1978.

I posted it on the scribd today so you can read it: http://www.scribd.com/doc/14973158/Vaclav-Havel

The text by Havel was important for me, because it describes something Havel calls "to live within a lie". And that description fits exactly with much I did in the LaRoucheorganization. I did things I knew was a lie, and everyone else knew that most of what we did was based on lies, but we lied to ourselves and pretended that the lies were true...

As so many organizers in the LaRouchecult still does today...

Perhaps it is time for all members to stop living in a lie?


Havel strats out by talking about the communist system. He describes what he calls the "post totalitarian system", a dictatorial system that does not survive by terror, but by some kind of brainwashing. There are many similarities between this post totalitarian system and the way the LaRouchecult is run today...

"It commands an incomparably more precise, logically structured, generally comprehensible and, in essence, extremely flexible ideology that, in its elaborateness and completeness, is almost a secularized religion. It offers a ready answer to any question whatsoever; it can scarcely be accepted only in part, and accepting it has profound implications for human life. In an era when metaphysical and existential certainties are in a state of crisis, when people are being uprooted and alienated and are losing their sense of what this world means, this ideology inevitably has a certain hypnotic charm..."

Havel continues by describing how this "hypnotic charm" works:

"The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: "Workers of the world, unite!" Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? (...)

I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life "in harmony with society," as they say...

Obviously the greengrocer . . . does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: "I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace." This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer's superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan's real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer's existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?"

One might ask a member of the LaRouchecult: did you too put your slogans between the onions and the carrots today?


"Between the aims of the post-totalitarian system and the aims of life there is a yawning abyss: while life, in its essence, moves toward plurality, diversity, independent self-constitution, aud self organization, in short, toward the fulfillment of its own freedom, the post-totalitarian system demands conformity, uniformity, and discipline. While life ever strives to create new and improbable structures, the posttotalitarian system contrives to force life into its most probable states...

Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from themselves. It is a very pragmatic but, at the same time, an apparently dignified way of legitimizing what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed toward people and toward God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and their adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing his job behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying in power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe. . . .

The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.

Individuals need not believe all these mystifications, but they must behave as though they did, or they must at least tolerate them in silence, or get along well with those who work with them. For this reason, however, they must live within a lie. They need not accept the lie. It is enough for them to have accepted their life with it and in it. For by this very fact, individuals confirm the system, fulfill the system, make the system, are the system...

The greengrocer had to put the slogan in his window, therefore, not in the hope that someone might read it or be persuaded by it, but to contribute, along with thousands of other slogans, to the panorama that everyone is very much aware of. This panorama, of course, has a subliminal meaning as well: it reminds people where they are living and what is expected of them. It tells them what everyone else is doing, and indicates to them what they must do as well, if they don't want to be excluded, to fall into isolation, alienate themselves from society, break the rules of the game, and risk the loss of their peace and tranquility and security..."

The lies within the LaRoucheorganization...

As a member of the LaRouchecult I lied to myself. We members lied to ourselves...

We did not put up communist slogans among the onions and carrots, but we repeated the mantra "Lyndon LaRouche" over and over and only repeated "politically correct" ideas.

Everything we did had to have a reference to the "great thinker" Lyndon LaRouche, and was in line with his thinking. If a briefing writer, who wrote the internal memos for the organization, did not mention LaRouche enough, and did not explain that what he did was "historical", Lyndon would get mad at the poor writer.

If a member was talking to little about Lyndon we reacted and thought that he perhaps was blocked or disloyal...

Common sense was blocked out. Many organizers "forgot" things he had done. Every time Lyndon predicted the collapse of the financial system before a certain date (before Clinton gets to power, before Clintons last term, before the second term, etc...), organizers forgot that he had predicted the final collapse of the financial system many times before.

We learned to look at the world with black and white glasses, all people are either 100% good or 100% evil or stupid... And all evidence to the contrary was sorted out by us.

When Lyndon started the witchhunt against the former member F. Quijano all members "forgot" that Lyndon had lived in the same house as Quijano for many years in New York and that Lyndon had ordered Quijano and Helga to lead the organization when he was in jail...

And speaking about jail. We all knew that the LC had betrayed and fooled a lot of people. Take for example the "lending of money". The LC borrowed money that ONLY could be paid back if Lyndon became president, something that was highly unthinkable. A fraud, and we all knew it!

And the lie that Lyndon cares about hypothesis. Look at the writings of Lyndon and tell me were the hell you can find a nypothesis? You can read book after book after article about his method and about hypothesis but without any traces of hypothesis at all. All one can see is ABSOLUTE TRUTH, because everything Lyndon talks about is how he believes that the world IS, and all that oppose it are blocked, agents or just plain stupid... Everytime he opens his mouth an ABSOLUTE TRUTH is uttered. When did you ever hear him talk about Plato, the British, Barry Fell, Newton or Vernadsky and say that it "could be so", or that it has to be investigated "if it is so"... No, all is uttered as truth!

Lets look at the LC today. Lyndon is doing a witchhunt against former associate Molly Kronberg. Lyndon claims that he has "known" all the time that it was Molly that put him in prison. All LC members know that to be false. Just read the "railroad" book or anything that has been published about the trials against LaRouche. If LaRouche has known it for a long time, why has he not said so before?

And the LC and LYM members just play the game. Why? Because they live within a lie!

But what will happen the day a member stops living within a lie? What will happen when YOU stop living within this lie?

The greengrocer that stops living within a lie...

The fact is that the organization Lyndon LaRouche has created cant allow any dissenting voices or any dialogues about hypothesis. All have to be streamlined according to LaRouches opinion about how things are. His ABSOLUTE TRUTH is to be obeyed at all times!

Thus the dissenting voice in the organization, becomes a threat against the control Lyndon LaRouche has over the organization.

That is why Lyndon becomes so mad when someone seems to think independently, or when someone disagrees with Lyndon.

Lets continue to look at what Havel writes...

"Let us now imagine that one day something in our greengrocer snaps and he stops putting up the slogans merely to ingratiate himself. He stops voting in elections he knows are a farce. He begins to say what he really thinks at political meetings. And he even finds the strength in himself to express solidarity with those whom his conscience commands him to support. In this revolt the greengrocer steps out of living within the lie. He rejects the ritual and breaks the rules of the game. He discovers once more his suppressed identity and dignity. He gives his freedom a concrete significance. His revolt is an attempt to live within the truth. . . .

The bill is not long in coming. He will be relieved of his post as manager of the shop and transferred to the warehouse. His pay will be reduced. His hopes for a holiday in Bulgaria will evaporate. His children's access to higher education will be threatened. His superiors will harass him and his fellow workers will wonder about him. Most of those who apply these sanctions, however, will not do so from any authentic inner conviction but simply under pressure from conditions, the same conditions that once pressured the greengrocer to display the official slogans. They will persecute the greengrocer either because it is expected of them, or to demonstrate their loyalty, or simply as part of the general panorama, to which belongs an awareness that this is how situations of this sort are dealt with, that this, in fact, is how things are always done, particularly if one is not to become suspect oneself. The executors, therefore, behave essentially like everyone else, to a greater or lesser degree: as components of the post-totalitarian system, as agents of its automatism, as petty instruments of the social auto-totality.

Thus the power structure, through the agency of those who carry out the sanctions, those anonymous components of the system, will spew the greengrocer from its mouth. The system, through its alienating presence in people, will punish him for his rebellion. It must do so because the logic of its automatism and self-defense dictate it. The greengrocer has not committed a simple, individual offense, isolated in its own uniqueness, but something incomparably more serious. By breaking the rules of the game, he has disrupted the game as such. He has exposed it as a mere game. He has shattered the world of appearances, the fundamental pillar of the system. He has upset the power structure by tearing apart what holds it together. He has demonstrated that living a lie is living a lie. He has broken through the exalted facade of the system and exposed the real, base foundations of power. He has said that the emperor is naked. And because the emperor is in fact naked, something extremely dangerous has happened: by his action, the greengrocer has addressed the world. He has enabled everyone to peer behind the curtain. He has shown everyone that it is possible to live within the truth. Living within the lie can constitute the system only if it is universal. The principle must embrace and permeate everything. There are no terms whatsoever on which it can co-exist with living within the truth, and therefore everyone who steps out of line denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety. . . .

The original and most important sphere of activity, one that predetermines all the others, is simply an attempt to create and support the independent life of society as an articulated expression of living within the truth. In other words, serving truth consistently, purposefully, and articulately, and organizing this service. This is only natural, after all: if living within the truth is an elementary starting point for every attempt made by people to oppose the alienating pressure of the system, if it is the only meaningful basis of any independent act of political import, and if, ultimately, it is also the most intrinsic existential source of the "dissident" attitude, then it is difficult to imagine that even manifest "dissent" could have any other basis than the service of truth, the truthful life, and the attempt to make room for the genuine aims of life.

To conclude

Once you, as a member, begin to question Lyndon LaRouche, or begins to openly show interest for other things than the organization, you become a potential threat, as Havel writes... But you become FREE too!

The more you live for a TRUE dialogue and a TRUE interest in different hypothesis about the world a TRUE joy can develop. You discovers once more your suppressed identity and dignity. You gives your freedom a concrete significance. Your revolt is an attempt to live within the truth, to paraphraze Havel.

Thus you grow from a powerless figure, that just lives, acts and thinks, according to the rules that Lyndon dictated, to a powerful FREE individual.

The power you have as a powerless member of the LC and LYM is to choose a true dialogue, a true joy for hypothesis, a true freedom, and to say no to the dualistic,manichean claims Lyndon has that whatever he says is THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH!

Stop putting your slogans among the carrots and onions in your life. Stop living within a lie!



  1. http://www.rferl.org/content/Video_Interview_Vaclav_Havel_Global_Crisis_Europes_Reach_Democracy/1563344.html

  2. Yes, the Havel speech offers many insights.

    "Live within a lie" is a good phrase to describe the life inside the LaRouche cult.

    LaRouche tried to run as a Democrat - and even today - they pass themselves off as Democrats - what a lie!

    When I was pressured to quit college - I was told I'd be given a stipend - and be going to "cadre school" - what a lie that was! I was spending my days weaving in and out of traffic selling their literature (organizing as it was referred to). The car I owned - I could never drive - because it was always being used by the local leaders.

    Speaking of the leaders of the "local" - let's spend some time discussing them - for they are the recruiters and the biggest liars - probably worst then LaRouche. They would lie when reporting sales to the Regionals. They would lie to landlords as to their type of work, - well ...they'd always be lieing about a lot of things.

    Back to Havel. I was actually helped to understand my own experience better - by watching a TV movie about Albert Speer - the Nazi. Refer to the wikipedia article about him. Funny how it mentions that his first introduction of Hitler was a group of students pressured him into going to a rally.

    The movie portrayed Speer as pursueing his interest in architecture - and it was more the Nazis taking interest in his work - than he being interested in their ideas. There is a quote within the wikipedia article where he states he simply refused to see some things about the Nazi party - because his creative ambitions were being fulfilled. The movie brought this out as well - and I felt there was a strong correlation with the LaR cult.
    (It took me several years after I left to realize they were, in fact, a cult.)
    Within the cult - "on top of" all the hate-mongering - and the LaR cult is definitely a hate-group - you got their "love"
    for science, philosophy, and art.
    This is how people get hooked - and stay "hooked". They begin to believe that the only place they can adequately study these things are within the group. Thus they believe they are becoming "immortal". (In commentor's Schiller's words.) They keep trying for that "intellectual breakthrough" - which usually amounts to learning how to bully other people.

    Speaking of wikipedia - check out the article on Fred Phelps and his hate group - there are more similarities between LaRouchies and him then I realized. In fact, he ran for govenor several times - is it possible he may have even have been a LaRouche follower?!

    Anyway, Thanks Yuri - don't forget to take a well deserved break every once in a while.