Talk:Lyndon LaRouche/Archive 12

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


"he counts members of state legislatures among his followers" Can we have some names to substantiate this claim? Adam 05:44, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

No names having been offered, I am deleting this statement. Adam 05:25, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

I know that State Reps. Lamar Lemmons III (D-MI) and Harold James (D-PA), State Sen. Perry Clark (D-KY), and former State Sen. Joe Neal (D-NV) are all major supporters of LaRouche. There are others, too, but those are the only ones I know of. I work in DC so, I know a good number of elected officials in Washington support and meet with him in private, as well. But there's no way in hell they'd admit it publicly, for fear of a firestorm of controversy. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) even spoke at one of his (LaRouche's) Movement's events in Detroit about a year ago. This was followed shortly by a bunch of media badmouthing of Conyers for doing so. So, that gives you an example of the risk involved when it comes to public officials keeping an open mind toward LaRouche.

If you can get any sources for it that meet the Wikipedia standards for reliable sources then those facts might go into the article. JoshuaZ 03:53, 8 May 2006 (UTC)


The NPOV tag was added back in June by a user who has made no comment about it then or since. I'm going to remove it. We can add it back if needed. -Willmcw 19:03, August 12, 2005 (UTC)

Nothing for 1947

I changed one of the section titles because there is nothing about 1947. What happened in that year? 12:57, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Alleged followers actions at Boston University

Hi, I cut this line from the header section - it didn't fit very well. If it is to be added to an article I think it should be in the LaRouche Movement or LaRouche Youth Movement articles, but can some substantiation be added first?

  • In the city of Boston, many BU students have been accosted by LaRouche supporters who go dorm-to-dorm.

Thanks, Dilaudid 16:55, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


I'm going to add a dispute tag back to this article, and sub-articles, because I think it's very dishonest to pretend that there isn't a dispute about what's presented here, and really about most any information available concerning LaRouche beyond some basic place-and-date facts. Most LaRouche information seems to come from his supporters, because for whatever reason LaRouche is not a major part of the American political consciousness, and so has not been the subject of scrutiny that both supporters and detractors can agree is objective. His supporters will argue that he once had some greater degree of clout, but that he has been marginalized by a "conspiracy" against him, and his detractors will argue that this is exaggerated, and that his "cult" was merely "exposed." Surely, if nothing else, everyone can see the kind of polarizing language used on both sides, and how this might indicate why so little can be agreed upon. I challenge anyone to point me to a disinterested judgement about this man. I'm pretty sure there is none. We have only zealotry and its traditional response, skepticism. Usually a good standard for attaining a disinterested judgement is a criminal trial, where, despite ubiquitous media depictions to the contrary, the prosecution's burden of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" is not something to be scoffed at, but I see that in this case even multiple criminal and civil trials were unsatisfactory, and, if the scope of the supposed conspiracy is to be believed, perhaps rightly so. Example of bias: "LaRouche was widely judged to have won the debate decisively." (Lyndon_LaRouche#1971.E2.80.931979) By whom, exactly? And where does the quote that follows come from? I doubt it's fair to say that it was "widely" judged at all; the only person who has edited the article about this debate is User:Cognition, who on his user page calls LaRouche "the modern-day Socrates" and who has uploaded an image [1] to Wikipedia that apparently attempts to associate LaRouche with the civil rights leader Martin Luther King. In the article about the criminal trials, there appears the sentence "Judge Bryan also granted a motion in limine, which barred the defense from presenting the material they had presented in the Boston trial", as though it was a bit of arbitrary meanness on the part of the judge. Judges have to provide reasons for things like this, and anyway the prosecution certainly had a reason for filing the motion, but not any of this explanation is given by whoever wrote the article, people who apparently have an intimate knowledge of the trial's proceedings. The tone of these articles goes on and on like this, to the point of reading like propaganda with some sentences of thrown-in rebuttal. I don't see how this can ever be resolved, because a common set of facts does not appear forthcoming. Furthermore, I think that more than just a neutrality tag is appropriate in this case. I think that perhaps the article should be prefaced with the caveat that explains the nature of the controversy surrounding the various claims made on both sides about most of the information on LaRouche. Or perhaps even each section could be subdivided to allow LaRouche supporters to give their version of events, and then separately the "mainstream" (that is, government-and-mass-media-endorsed) interpretation. --Aratuk 06:44, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't think that the article is POV - both sides seem represented, it is not critical of LaRouche but it explains what criticisms have been made of him. The article is too long though, so any unsubstantiated claims should be cut. Looks like the debate has already been questioned in Archive4 and seems a prime candidate for removal - but for some reason it's still in the article. For further talk see: Talk:Lerner-LaRouche_debate. Can anyone substantiate the claim that Sydney Hook acknowledged that Lyndon had won the debate? Does it even matter if he did - it is completely unrelated to the rest of the article, and it's importance seems to be based on what LaRouche interpreted it to mean (???) Dilaudid 00:31, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

FBI letter

I'll get back to my above more general complaint soon, but I had to change the caption for this FBI letter because, having read the letter, the old caption was ludicrous. The implication that the FBI called for the "elimination" (in the cartoonish mobster sense) of LaRouche in that letter is unfounded. Someone within the FBI was noting that the Communist Party USA was doing a background check on LaRouche, wanting to "eliminate" him, with no reason to believe that the word "eliminate" was meant in any other than the usual political sense, i.e. "marginalize" or "make a pariah of." And it is notable that the FBI wished to provide information to the Communist Party to aid it in this purpose (keeping in mind that this was during the cold war), but it's untrue to state that the FBI "called for" very much, in the way of action. Aratuk 17:03, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Problems with this article

I agree with Dilaudid that this is article is vastly longer than the intrinsic importance of its subject merits, particularly when we remember that there is a whole other article on the Political views of Lyndon LaRouche. LaRouche is a fringe crank who is of no real significance in US politics or anything else. Yet he has two long articles. Compare them with the much shorter articles on, for example, David Duke, Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton and Pat Buchanan, also fringe politicians, but much more important than LaRouche. The reason this has happened is the long edit war between two or three LaRouchite editors (Herschel Krustofsky, Weed Harper and more recently Cognition - who may well all be the same person for all I know), and various anti-LaRouche editors including me, Chip Berlet and others. Each round of edit warring has led to more and more argument, assertion, counter argument and counter assertion being dragged into the article/s. Perhaps the time has now come to (a) re-amalgamate this article with Political views of Lyndon LaRouche and (b) cut it to about a third of its present length. I am willing to undertake this, on condition that I am protected from LaRouchite attacks and that the article is not allowed thereafter to bloat out again. Other opinions are welcome. Adam 06:08, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I believe that trimming the article extensively would be the best approach. I've not done a thorough read through of this one (been at "Political Views..." for a while) but it seems absurdly long. I'll help however I can.--Sean|Black 06:13, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I would tend to agree that yes, the biographical article is far longer than the subject warrants; on the other hand, the separate Political views of Lyndon LaRouche article (which could use some trimming, I suppose) serves the purpose of answering the question, "Who the hell are these people passing out the pamphlets and magazines on the campus quad?" I certainly could have used the immediate info when *I* had that question back in college. I am loath to see that info buried in a potted biography. --Calton | Talk 06:23, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I think that "political views.." is fine (mostly) the way it is, but that this article contains some duplicate and unnecessary content. There's just far too much stuff here.--Sean|Black 06:27, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree. This is one of the worst articles on wiki. Cut it down to 1500 words at most with no discussuion of the guys politics. That is in the other article. His life + campaigning him influence and his detractors and that is that. jucifer 16:21, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

As the editor who composed most of this particular version, I should be offended by that remark. However I agree entirely. It should be cut down to the bare biographical details, with politics, etc, moved to other articles. We should aim to have a great article. Thanks to those with sharp red pencils. Cheers, -Willmcw 22:15, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Could we have a source for this, please? "[He] has been labelled an "unrepentant Marxist-Leninist" by U.S. intelligence officials and both far-right and far-left by the American media ..." I've removed it in the meantime. SlimVirgin (talk) 08:04, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
This article documents the charges that he falsely claimed to have converted from Marxism, made by high-ranking U.S. intelligence officials, and, along with many other articles, also calls him "far-right." I recall seeing an article, I believe it may have been from CBS, made during last year's election campaign, which described both the LaRouche movement and the Socialist Workers Party as "far-left," and documented their clash over the Nader campaign (LaRouche opposing it in support of Kerry and the SWP giving support to it). I will try to find the URL before adding that information back. KING KONG BUNDY 08:08, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, KKB. SlimVirgin (talk) 08:11, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Proposed rewrite

Here is my proposed rewrite and condensation of this article and the Political Views article: User:Adam Carr/Documents2. It is still a bit rough and needs some editing for consistency. But I think it does the job of removing most of the repetition and waffle that characterise the current articles. Adam 09:49, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Uh, Adam, the only two people who spoke up (including me) explicitly stated that merging the Political Views article into the biography was a non-starter. "Who the hell are these people?" is a different question from "Who the hell is this guy?", which is why anyone would be reading this article in the first place. --Calton | Talk 11:11, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, it can be divided back into two articles if that's what people want. But the only reason the original article was split in two (by me) in the first place was because it was so long. Most articles about people far more important than LaRouche manage to fit both their biography and their politics into one article. Read it and see what you think. Adam 11:18, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Right, but the problem is that you now have a merged article which is essentially as long as the original stand-alone article, meaning that it's just as eye-glazing, but for different reasons. I've got no problems with going after his biographical article with an editorial chainsaw, but I think the political stuff ought to be separate.
I'd also point folks to LaRouche Movement, which can handle some organizational aspects. -Willmcw 11:21, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
I'll look at it when I get the time, but is there any chance that the Political Views article can be merged/condensed with it? That seems more appropriate than the biography, somehow. --Calton | Talk 03:46, 17 November 2005 (UTC)
Back in the spring the basic idea was that this artilce held the history of LaRouche, the politics article held his ideas, and the movement article covered his organization, with several ancilliary articles on related topics. I don't see a reason to merge the poltical article into any other article. -Willmcw 03:53, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Following the policy of "be bold," I have tried my hand at trimming this article, and giving it a format similar to other Wikipedia biographical articles. --NathanDW 03:30, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Being bold is good, but much more important is respecting consensus, We're discussing changes. Why don't you discuss the changes you'd like to make? While we're discussing, I'll revert you edit back to the previous version. Thanks, -Willmcw 05:14, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I looked at other Wikipedia biographical articles to see how they were handled. I looked for example at "Louis Farrakhan" because it seemed to me that he was a controversial figure similar to LaRouche. I also looked at "Chip Berlet" because he is mentioned so frequently in the "Political views of Lyndon LaRouche" article. What I found was that there was generally a factual section, then a section on criticism, and less editorial commentary overall, so that is the approach I used on my revised and shortened "Lyndon LaRouche" article which people can read in the edit history. --NathanDW 19:12, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

You also deleted a considerable amount of material. What was you strategy in deciding what to delete? -Willmcw 01:33, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Mainly anecdotes and commentary from his early life before he became a public figure. That seemed non-essential to me. --NathanDW 16:26, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

In a biography, even the subject's childhood should be included. I don't see how adding additional info about Daniel O. Graham helps to shorten the article. -Willmcw 16:54, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Like I said, I modeled my re-write on other Wikipedia articles. This article seems to me to be very atypical. If we are going to shorten the article, something is going to have to be removed. What would you suggest?

Also, why did you undo my edit on Daniel Graham? I looked him up. The article right now says he was "A military specialist involved in the SDI program," and there is no evidence to support that. "High Frontier" is a private group. --NathanDW 16:18, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for poinitng that out. I've fixed it. -Willmcw 21:57, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

But you also removed the link to the High Frontier website, and left in the statement "Graham has complained about the LaRouche attempts to take credit for SDI." This is not neutral, because it is clear that Graham also attempted to take credit for the SDI. --NathanDW 01:15, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

NPOV at this article

In the discussion at User talk:Adam Carr/Documents2, the banned LaRouchist Herschel Krustofsky raises the issue of NPOV at this article. I agree there is a problem here. Virtually everyone outside the LaRouche cult, including Berlet and King, the only writers to have published widely on LaRouche, agrees that LaRouche is a crank and that his theories are nonsense. The article naturally reflects that view. How then are the objections of the LaRouchists to be dealt with so as to avoid another long edit war? I don't think NPOV requires that half the article be given over to LaRouchists, any more that it requires that half the Hitler article be written by Nazis. Nor am I in favour of the article including slabs of LaRouche's own rants. Opinions? Adam 00:08, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

That LaRouche disagrees with the characterization that he is a crank seems to me a given. LaRouche's protracted smear campaigns against Berlet and King are well documented, and render most of his counterclaims against Berlet and King so suspect as to be unprintable without massive qualification. The result being that I think the article is pretty well NPOV. Phil Sandifer 02:41, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

I am changing a few words in the intro, because it seems to equate electoral support with general success of the movement. My impression is that LaRouche does not seek to win elections (that would be a long shot) but to spread his ideas, so the "zenith" would not necesssarily be 1986. Also, one of his better showing was the Arkansas primary in 2000, so it wasn't just early primaries. --BirdsOfFire 00:18, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Again, SlimVirgin, I request that you provide some reason for reverting my edits. It is just common courtesy. --BirdsOfFire 23:54, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Sean, LaRouche got 20% of the vote in Connecticut in 1980, and he got 20% of the vote Arkansas in 2000, so it is inaccurate to say that "he had is best success in his early attempts" or whatever the wording was. Also, you put this back in: "Critics regard him as a conspiracy theorist, attention-seeker and political extremist. LaRouche critics Chip Berlet and Dennis King and others describe him as an extremist, fascist, cult leader, and anti-Semite, and LaRouche has also been labelled an "unrepentant Marxist-Leninist" by high-ranking U.S. intelligence officials," This is repetitious, calling him an extremist in two consecutive sentences. Also, when has he been called an "attention seeker"? --BirdsOfFire 00:11, 28 December 2005 (UTC)


I have looked over a number of the LaRouche articles on Wikipedia. It seems that there are more of them than necessary. It also seems that they are dominated by a small number of editors, who have something of a jihad against LaRouche. These editors seem to have done a bit of bullying toward newcomers. I think that those of you who belong to this group should have the best interests of Wikipedia at heart and allow these articles to become a bit more neutral. LaRouche is controversial and a bit of a weirdo -- just quote him, let his words speak for themselves, don't feel that you have to strengthen your case by a lot of theorizing and speculation about what he really means. --BirdsOfFire 20:17, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

This is nonsense. Please go and read some of the extensive disputes (listed in the box on this page) that have resulted in the text of the current pages related to LaRouche. You have some obligation to do some howmwork on this matter.--Cberlet 20:51, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Spamming the identical message to multiple talk pages is not good form. -Willmcw 23:40, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Category American Fascist

Putting LaRouche into a category of "American Fascists" would be appropriate if this was the general view of him, but it is not. This opinion is only held by some marginal critics like Dennis King and Chip Berlet, who are not well known and do not represent the main stream. When you take into account the support for LaRouche from more prominent persons like Eugene McCarthy and those civil rights leaders that supported his exoneration such as Rosa Parks, Amelia Robinson, Al Sharpton and Hosea Williams, it is by no means fair to imply that everyone thinks he is a fascist. Also LaRouche constantly opposes fascism in his writings. So Chip Berlet may be entitled to his opinion, but he may not insist that everyone agrees with him. --NathanDW 01:49, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

  • King and Berlet are published authors on LaRouche and their opinion must be given due weight. The "mainstream" view on LaRouche, if there is such a thing, is that he is a crazy old loony. Would Nathan like a category "American loonies" to reflect that view?
  • I don't know what McCarthy's claim to expertise on LaRouche was but I doubt he did anything like the research that King and Berlet have done. I gather that in his later years McCarthy became something of a crank.
  • The fact that the LaRouchies hate King and Berlet for exposing LaRouche's record of fraud and extremism, and have done everything they can think of to discredit their work, does not in any way detract from their standing. Having said that, I do not in fact agree with King that LaRouche is a fascist, and I think the category should be deleted. I wrote a section on whether LaRouche meets any reasonable definition of a fascist, but it has probably been deleted by now. I actually agree with the mainstream view that he is a loony. Adam 05:59, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

This was my original section on LaRouche-as-fascist, which has now been changed beyond recogntion but which I still hold to be correct:

LaRouche is frequently described by left-wing writers and orators as a fascist. Dennis King called his book Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism. Fascism is an extremely difficult word to define, and has been debased since World War II by its frequent use of a term of general abuse by political activists of various kinds. LaRouche himself frequently describes his enemies indiscriminately as fascists or proto-fascists.
Most definitions of fascism, however, agree on a number of elements: nationalism, militarism, contempt for democracy and the advocacy of some form of authoritarian rule, and economic corporatism. Organizationally, fascist movements are characterized by the use or advocacy of violence, lack of internal democracy and regimentation in the service of charismatic personal leadership. Racism and specifically anti-Semitism are often characteristics of fascists and fascist parties, but are generally not held to be essentials elements of fascism: Italian fascism under Mussolini, for example, had no theory of race, and there were a number of Jews among its early leaders.
On most of these tests, LaRouche is not a fascist and his organisations are not fascist parties. LaRouche does not advocate American nationalism or militarism - in fact his criticisms of U.S. foreign policy are similar in many respects to those of the left, except that he blames its deficiencies on Zionist conspirators rather than on capitalist imperialism. He does not advocate, at least in public, the abolition of democracy or the imposition of authoritarian rule. For the past 20 years he has devoted much of his energy to competing in democratic elections. He certainly advocated and practised violence in the 1970s, but at that time he was still a Trotskyist, and the violence of Operation Mop-Up should be seen as part of a feud between factions of the extreme left, rather than as part of the program of a fascist movement.
On the other hand LaRouche's political organization is certainly built entirely around his own personality and the promotion of his words and ideas. This, however, is a characteristic of all cults, religious or secular, and not just of fascist groups. Most of the Trotskyists sects from whose milieu the LaRouche organization developed share this characteristic.
The aspects of LaRouche's politics that most expose him to accusations of fascism are the violently abusive and demagogic nature of his political rhetoric (a characteristic of all fascist leaders from Mussolini and Hitler to Jean-Marie Le Pen and Jorg Haider), and the widely held belief that he is or was in the past an anti-Semite. As noted, anti-Semitism is not necessarily a defining characteristic of fascism, but as a result of the experience of Nazism it is almost universally associated with it, and indeed it is frequently a tenet of modern fascist groups.

Adam 06:09, 8 January 2006 (UTC)


Applying WP:BOLD I edited the intro. I don't like the first title "Fame" So what should the sub intro stuff be? A good intro should be two or three sentences not paragraphs. :-) Dominick (TALK) 22:43, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I was shocked to see that kind of criticism in the lead introduction. I changed it to something NPoV, lets at least say what the person did, or why they are notable, before we start complaining about what they did. I mean the Hitler article has a less PoV lead than the one that was offered! Dominick (TALK) 00:56, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Dominick. It is not normal for there to be criticism in the intro of a Wikipedia biography article. However, if other editors insist on putting the criticism back in, it should definately not be anonymous criticism, so I am going back to the earlier version where critics are properly identified. The LaRouche case is complicated -- his left-wing critics call him right-wing, and his right-wing critics call him left-wing. We should not oversimplify, especially by implying that everyone agrees with Chip Berlet. --NathanDW 01:36, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of whether one calls him left or right wing, the vast majority of people who have actually heard of him do call him a complete nutter - thus some version of that fact ought appear in the lead. Phil Sandifer 01:39, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
It is normal and appropriate to include mention of criticism of a subject in the introduction without mentioning the specific critic. It should not go into the first paragraph of the intro, though. The whole intro was significantly re-worked recently, and perhaps it should be reverted. -Will Beback 01:52, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I have reverted the text to this version [2] from 1/14, before user:Dominick relabelled most of the intro "Fame", which was later deleted. That earlier version had a consensus for a long time, and I don't think there was a consensus for change. -Will Beback 01:57, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Lyndon LaRouche is more known as a nutjob than as anything else. He should be identified for his most notable accomplishment, which is being crazy. Phil Sandifer 02:01, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
That may well be true, but it would be hard to verify. -Will Beback 02:03, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
True - my bad. His most notable accomplishment is being considered crazy by almost everyone who has ever heard of him. Phil Sandifer 02:12, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Back to why the intro was changed, I was trying to shorten the lead. I felt a lead should be more than defining a guy as a nutjob. Maybe I swung back a little hard. Regardless, in reading it, every other line was how wrong he was, rather than who he is. I mean, everyone has done something sane once in thier life. A lead of three or four statements should at least say why he is notable, that he is reviled, and that he has some sort of occupation. Being a nut doesn't pay. After that in the next section, we can refer to anything else that is published on him that describes him. Dominick (TALK) 02:46, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I disagree that an introduction should only be three sentences. However the first paragraph should be sympathetic, and the 2nd graf can introdcue the criticisms. As for his occupation, nobody is sure what he does for work, but he has the title of editor-in-chief of the EIR. Perhaps that should be moved up. I don't think all the citations should be in the intro, but there are there because some editors demanded them. -Will Beback 03:05, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Let's not bury the criticsm, however. The details of his election history are less important.--Cberlet 03:10, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

More Issues

I just read this article completely and I must say that there is some room for improvement. I hardly knew anything about LaRouche (other than he was a fringe Pres candidate). Some comments:

  • The intro was a little agressive in attacking - continued edits there a good thing
  • Too much trivia included in the article
  • Too much verifiability by using articles from
  • I still, after reading the article, don't understand why some would follow him - what is the hook?
  • All the joining, abandoning, creating, joining, working with is not easy to follow given the current presentation - not sure this can be fixed given its complexity

Just some quick thoughts. Trödel•talk 05:33, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Outstanding, the dielectic of wikipedia! Dominick (TALK) 12:52, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of trivia, there is a lot of opinion from Tim Wohlforth. He may have known LaRouche, but is there anything that makes him notable as an expert opinion? --NathanDW 01:46, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes. And attempts to sanitize this page are not in the spirit of good faith and NPOV.--Cberlet 02:07, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Problem with intro para

One of the key problems with this article, and particularly the introduction, is that there is no NPOV way of describing LaRouche's views. A "normal" article might begin: "Mary Smith (born 1 January 1950) is an American political activist who believes the world is flat and argues that people should live in igloos and worship a giant turtle. Her followers believe she is the Messiah, while her critics describe her as a deluded and dangerous cultist." Or something like that. I challenge anyone to come up with a one or two-sentence characterisation of LaRouche's opinions which both Chip Berlet and a LaRouchist editor would find acceptably "NPOV". His "policies" are so bizarre and his "views" so incoherent and contradictory (in my opinion quite deliberately so, since I think LaRouche is above all a narcissist and attention-seeker), that it is an impossible task. Adam 03:05, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

For all true Wikipedians, the NPOV is a sacrament. (Ooops... It that verifiable?). However, the ambition to come up with a one or two-sentence characterisation of LaRouche's opinions which both Chip Berlet and a LaRouchist editor would find acceptably "NPOV" is probably not so easy to fulfil. For instance, what do the Larouchians say today about their shift from leftism to rightism? In Sweden - where this is written - their leftist 70s it is rubbed out from their minds, thereby being a non-event. So, if one strived for the writings acceptable to both parties, that is the least common divisor, one would probably end up with only saying that LLR was born in 1922. Everything else is disputable. Philosophical implication: As soon as a person considers a text not to be NPOV, is it thereby true that the text really isn't NPOV? Can the term NPOV be given a proper definition? Astor Piazzolla 09:13, 7 March 2006 (UTC)


Yeah, uh, can someone tell me whether or not Larouche is a looney or not? I need a truthful response. I mean, I first heard about him about two years ago in a philosophy class (I am a philosophy major) from a professor I greatly respect. Some of the philosophy was work by Larouche, and we read about one half of "So, You Wish To Learn About Economics." I was greatly impressed with what I read, finally getting some substantive economic theory unlike those wacko economists (see: Milton Friedman and Malthus). I began researching him a great deal, and I read about half of the 1988 edition of The Power of Reason. But then I started reading some of his cultural theories, espcially "The Real History of Satanism" and I just think its (pardon my French) fucking ridiculous. He weaves ludicrous conspiracy theories out of thin air. There were a couple iotas of truth in that work but the rest was fundamentally insane. But then I saw a web-cast of his in which he recgnized the gigantic influence of the United States on other countries during the 19th Century; saw the United States as an ideal form for how other countries could be run, in effect, many other nations attempted to model their political system upon ours.

I sincerely do not think Larouche is a fascist in the sense that he is completely against negative social reproduction (if you have never been introduced to the concept of social reproduction, you owe your mind some time to get acquainted with it), in fact supporting a rigorous system of positive social reproduction in re-tooling the entire financial system to square with the system of physical economy. I'm just looking for some very well-informed hypotheses as to whether or not Larouche is a looney, because the whole thing has got me quite confused. Feel free to post any comments on my user page. Matthew 10:53, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

LaRouche wrote some interesting material many years ago, but then shifted into a mode of conspiracy thinking and whacko theories. He still has moments where he makes a good point, but those are drowned in a sea of conspiracist nutiness. As for being a fascist, it depends on the definition one uses. Fascists are revolutionaries when in the stage of being a movement seeking state power. Thus they claim to want to challenge the system of social reproduction that benefits the ruling elite. Once in power (or as part of a deal to gain power) they forge an alliance with a sector of the ruling elites.--Cberlet 16:30, 31 January 2006 (UTC)


SlimVirgin, unless you can demonstrate that there is general agreement that LaRouche is a cult leader, then you putting him in that Wikipedia category is just you, trying to smear him. --BirdsOfFire 16:25, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Reputable sources have called the LaRouche movement a cult e.g. Scotland Yard wrote a report calling the movement a "political cult with sinister and dangerous connections." [3] SlimVirgin (talk) 16:31, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but that does not mean this is universally accepted. It can be noted in the article, but putting him in that category is POV. That has not historically been in the article, it is recent. If you and El C insist on putting it there, I will put up the NPOV tag. --BirdsOfFire 16:36, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Things don't have to be "universally accepted" before being added to a category. If that were the case, nothing could go in any category because there's always someone who might object. The cult status of the LaRouche movement is accepted by reputable media sources in the UK and U.S. (and so far as I know, in Australia too), and is accepted by the police in the UK. That is good enough for Wikipedia. If you add the NPOV tag, it will be reverted, because the tag may only be used in relation to changes actionable within our policies, whereas the addition of this category is completely consistent with our policies. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:40, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The cult leader category applies because LaRouche is the acknowledged leader of what is widely regarded as a cult. -Will Beback 20:54, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
By who? That is a personal attack not productive talk. --IAMthatIAM 16:43, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

deletion of Justified additions

To whoever removed my new introduction- Your actions were egregious to the point of being on par with the holocaust, how could you make such an ill-informed and hurtful edit. Allow me to expose your foolishness by showing our fellow readers just one of many obvious truths that you deleted-

"He is without a doubt the greatest American in the history of the nation's existence, and probably the greatest sentient being to emerge from this universe."

As anyone can plainly see this is not only common knowledge and therefore does not need a source, but is also quite essential that it be included in the introduction just in case some poor ignoranamous does not already know this (I hope god is as understanding as I am when this poor soul faces judgement).

I also see that you committed this awful and hateful edit behind the presumed anonymity of a nameless and androgynous IP address, unfortunetly for you your disguise will not fool Jesus. If you show humilty and apoligize for your slight upon Jesus's only son and the last Zion Lyndon Larouge then you might be able to look forward to purgatory instead of eternity in Hell.- Larougite 07:04, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

I see that User:Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg has edited the previous zany comment by User:Larougite. Are they the same person? This looks like a fake comment, put in as a parody of a pro-LaRouche POV. It looks like this person or persons has also editied the article with anti-Jewish comments. I smell a rat-- some kind of sockpuppet abuse, designed to make it look like Larouche backers are antisemites. --BirdsOfFire 16:24, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

More accurate version

I have reverted to a more accurate and less POV version. The flaws in the previous version are many, including using Political Research Associates which does not meet the Alexa test. --IAMthatIAM 17:03, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Questions on LaRouche and popular culture

1. Did Saturday Night Live really do a series of LaRouche skits? I thought there was only one, which was written by Al Franken before he discovered Russ Limbaugh.

2. Is it true that the conniving brat Helga in the "Rug Rats" is based on LaRouche's wife, Helga Zepp-LaRouche?


I see that one of the main editors of this article is Chip Berlet, who has inserted many quotes by himself. That ought to be an immediate red flag for lack of neutrality.

Also, the very extensive material on LaRouche and popular culture seems intended to denigrate him. I suspect that you will find more material out there, for example, on George W Bush and popular culture, but no similar section in the George W Bush Wikipedia article.

These are two reasons why I am calling this a neutrality disputed article. -- 00:20, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

The former issue is not an issue of neutrality - the notability of the Berlet quotes needs to be evaluated separately from the editorial trivia of who added them.
As for the latter, I'm unpleasantly surprised to see a lack of an article on George W. Bush in popular culture. There should be one. There should also be the popular culture section in this article. Phil Sandifer 01:05, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
There is a Phil Sandifer in popular culture.
Can anyone explain to me what "furtoothed" means?
Abraham Lincoln, a figure whom LaRouche regards highly, has an entire article deovted to Lincoln in popular culture. If it's good enough for Lincoln (and Sandifer), then it's good enough for LaRouche. -Will Beback 20:03, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Homophobia cite

Someone inserted {fact} in the article about the anti-gay rights claim. The cite is here, taken from the Political views of Lyndon LaRouche article: Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., "The End of the Age of Aquarius?" EIR (Executive Intelligence Review), January 10, 1986, p. 40. I'm not sure how to insert it appropriately, so hopefully someone can do that. Thanks. Deleuze 11:54, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Tried to insert this and another cite. Looks OK, but does anyone know why there are so many different citation formats? These new reference formats are mind boggling.--Cberlet 12:54, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

The notice is fair

I am putting the neutrality notice back, it seems fair to me. It is the same format as on the Chip Berlet article. I think that Berlet should be entitled to complain that there is too much stuff from David Horowitz on his page, and by the same token, LaRouche should be entitled to complain about too much stuff from Berlet and Dennis King. --NathanDW 15:32, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. There's only about three or four sentences about Berlet in the main body of the article. Half of them aren't criticism, just explaining events that took place between the two. Deleuze 16:01, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, to my knowledge, LaRouche isn't editing Wikipedia. And even if he were, the fact of his complaint would not be what made the complaint valid, the evidence he presented to back it up would be. So far, I've not seen that evidence. Phil Sandifer 16:16, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the tag's inappropriate. I've removed it. SlimVirgin (talk) 16:19, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Chronology needs clarification

On reading just the first half or less of the article, I was struck by the implied chronology. The part about LaRouche goons busting heads of elderly commies is true enough (from what I heard at the time), but I'm quite certain that this followed the Philly Nu-Wro gathering of April 1973. The way the text is currently arranged implies that this phase came before 1971. I think this is an important point, because the most striking turning-point in the whole saga is the about-face from Left to Right. At the time of Nu-Wro, NCLC was still very much passing for Leftist - which it could no longer do after the goon squads went to work. One of LaRouche's guys pulled a gun on an elderly black lady who had the guts to complain about the way things were going in one of the Philly conference sessions (early 1973), and this was seen as the first overt sign of the kind of loony thuggery that became their specialty in the following months. If this kind of thing had been going on before that, almost no one on the left would have been willing to listen to NCLC, meet with them, or attend that conference. This problem can be simply remedied by inserting a date or two on the Chris White affair, and also giving a date for the Voice report on the head-bashing strategy.

I just realized that the NU-WRO thing doesn't appear in this article, The WRO, Welfare rights Organization, was I think originally a CP front. Its strategies had become fairly moderate and reformist, at least by Communist standards. The NCLC (LaRouche) created a rival group call the New Unemployed and Welfare Rights Organization, or NU-WRO. The gathering in Philadelphia in April 1973 was to be a founding conference, if I'm not mistaken. At least a few experienced and respected grassroots welfare activists (who I assume had some prior connection with WRO, and may have been among its leaders) came out for the NU-WRO idea, since the old WRO was pretty moribund. These people (tending to be black, female, and smart, powerful speakers) gave the NU-WRO gathering an aura of authenicity and legitimacy, before the craziness of the LaRouche people became evident. For example, three times that weekend I had friendly conversations with LaRouche followers who seemed interesting and normal enough, but all three conversations suddenly veered off into the same bizarre monologue, almost word-for-word the same: "Most people are made of shit (one said much, the other two said shit), 97-98% shit, and are just 2-3% human. At NCLC we make people look at their guts and see this! and so forth". So even before the gun-pulling incident mentioned above, most people attending the conference were already wondering what the hell was going on.

I think it now might make sense to redo that whole 1968-1975 period as chronological narrative of events, like so: (A) NCLC's growing presence on the Left (and internal strangeness) in 1968-1972, then (B) the NU-WRO fiasco - and then the rest of it: (C) Bashing heads, then (D) Coming out on the Right with Liberty Lobby alliance etc. (As noted above I'm not sure where the Chris White thing fits into the timeline, and others will probaby have important incidents to add.)

A Little Perspective on the subject

We should also give credit where credit is due. NCLC were semi-respected before 1973 because they had some insights before everyone else, on subjects like the World Bank versus 3rd world farmers. This seemed barking mad to me in 1972, but it probably impressed more savvy lefties; within a couple of years Frances Moore Lappe was taking the same line (using gentler language), and soon after that it was generally understood to be plain tuth. The nuttier-sounding theories came later, and some of them aren't quite as nutty as they seemed at first. Their claim that Hare Krishnas were involved with gun-running and drug deals seemed incredible to me, but was later in the mainstream news. Even the idea that the Queen of England is at the center of the global drug trade seems a lot less far-fetched when you look at the Opium Wars carried out in the name of Queen Victoria. I assume that LaRouche & Co earned the same grudging respect on the Right after 1975 as they had on the left before 1973. Their articles certainly added substance and credibility (believe it or not) to the Liberty Lobby's now-defunct Spotlight newsrag. (Perhaps Spotlight's editors rejected the looniest assertions.) At one point they seemed to have some influence in the Reagan administration. I imagine whatever respect they gained has since been lost through their criminally insane behavior -- same as happened before with the Left.

An interesting footnote: Lyndon's involvement with Helga seems to have coincided with his infatuation with German culture and his involvement with the Nazis at the Liberty Lobby. History was repeating itself. Willis Carto (I think that was his name) had been an organizer, perhaps a full-time employee, of the John Birch Society (which is very far right but not Nazi), and was getting along okay. Then in the 1950s he get involved with an attractive German women who was an unreconstructed Nazi. He soon tried to inject some serious antisemitism into the JBS, and this was not approved by the leadership - so he went off to found the Liberty Lobby. (My source for this tale is a family friend who has been a leading JBS member since around 1954, when he was a neighbor of Welch in Belmont, Mass.)


Howard, you need to supply reliable sources for the edits you're making; and the edit about what gays may or may not have thought isn't allowed, because it's not about LaRouche. It might help you to read our content policies before editing any further: WP:NOR, WP:V, and WP:NPOV. Many thanks, SlimVirgin (talk) 23:38, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Cult leader category

The term "cult" carries definite negative conotations in modern usage. Use of the term can be a form of ritual defamation, calculated to demean and discredit groups, perhaps deservedly in cases, perhaps not. Many experts and "laypeople" consider LaRouche loyalists to be a cult. However, not everyone is in agreement on this. To not acknowledge, within the text of the article, that many consider LaRouche loyalists to be a cult would be disingenuous. However, to place the [Category:Cults leaders] tag on the article is to render a judgement for the reader that they are in fact a cult, even though it is a matter upon which reasonable people can disagree (even if less than 30% of the population would disagree). It is also a subtle way of hanging an offensive epithet on the article. A close analogy would be to place the [Category:Queers] tag on articles about gay/lesbian people. Not all gays or lesbians would be offended, some might even describe themselves as queer, though the majority would probably take some offense. That a dictionary definition for "queer" is met is still no justifaction for doing that. [Category:Homosexuals] would be fine. Many LaRouche loyalists take offense to their kind being branded a cult. Because the term is considered offensive, and because there is not universal agreement that they meet the definition, it is wrong, at least in the context of a NPOV encyclopedia to place the [Category:Cults leaders] tag on this article.

My personal opinion? LaRouche is a blithering idiot. However, I don't let that color my perception that it is POV to place him in the cult leader category. Dr U 05:37, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Dear Dr U, I wonder who is entitled to judge upon the cult-ness of the LaRouche movement. It is a good WP practice not to use offending wording in articles, and is also good to struggle for finding a common divisor when it comes to making judgments. However, when it comes to the cultness of the LR movement, I think that the opinions of ex-members are of higher importance than the opinions of reasonable people in general. Why is that so? Well, it is only the ex-members that actually can tell us others what the life within the LR movement actually is compared to the outside life. Therefore, the testimonies of these people should be examined prior to adding or deleting the tag. Browse through the LaRouche categories at for instance, read the books and articles written by ex-members and you will find the almost none of these consider their LaRouche years to be a period of excentric political activity, but rather a mental - and sometimes physical - prison aiming at collecting money to The Dear Leader. I suggest the tag be added, although I'm too much a coward to add it myself. But I'm sure an ex-LR activist or LR-watching wikipedian soon will add it back. // Astor Piazzolla 07:48, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm... examining the cult leader category, I can state that it is very thin. If not even Ron L. Hubbard cannot be considered to be a cult leader, then it is of course difficult to categorize LR by that very tag. // Astor Piazzolla 07:53, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

It is clearly debatable, and under WP:LIVING it should go. There is a lot of POV pushing in these LaRouche articles. --NathanDW 00:58, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

I've been active in Michigan politics for more than 30 years. I've seen LaRouche-ist political activity ranging from posters of Jimmy Carter's face superimposed on a mushroom cloud (glued to walls all over the MSU campus in 1976) to groups of a-capella singers doing LaRouche hymns at the recent state Democratic convention (2006). But I very much agree that LaRouche should NOT be categorized as a "cult leader". Kestenbaum 23:39, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
There are published books, including ones by academics, who call LaRouche a cult leader. The term may be distasteful to some, but it is not Wiki policy to simply claim that therefore the category is not used properly here.--Cberlet 15:36, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
WP:LIVING is also Wikipedia policy, and it says we should err on the side of being non-libelous. Academics sell for cheap these days. The problem with a category, as opposed to citation in an article, is that the reader has no way to check sources. Therefore it should only be used in cases beyond dispute, like in the case of LaRouche, "Presidential candidates." --ManEatingDonut 14:49, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
The cult category is turned on and off several times every day. Maybe we should try to find a toggling category sign? Or is this a good reason for having some kind of vote on the topic? It really makes no sense reverting and re-reverting every day. Ideas, anybody? // Astor Piazzolla 13:41, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
I've looked over the page history, and it appears that Category:Cult leaders has been added to and deleted from this article eleven times, starting last March 7. (One of the deletions I counted was to change it to "alleged cult leader", which was reverted because no such category exists.)
Somewhat parallel to the discussion here (see above for similar disputation about the category in March), the "cult leaders" category itself has been the scene of some debate about its scope. One version is:
The people listed in this category have been characterized as cult leaders by at least a significant minority, with several prominant and notable people sourced.
The other one, which seems to have prevailed at this point, is:
The people listed in this category have been characterized as cult leaders by a wide consensus of reliable sources.
I think LaRouche qualifies for the category under the first scope and not the second. And given the considerations already mentioned, I think that the narrower scope (requiring "wide consensus") is the appropriate one for this kind of category.
Given eleven reverts, most of which were not done by LaRouche admirers from what I can tell, there is not "wide consensus" on the question of whether LaRouche is a cult leader. It is perfectly appropriate to document in the article the view that the LaRouche organization is a cult, but not to close that debate by categorizing him as a cult leader. Kestenbaum 16:32, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Passing note: here's the alleged cult leaders category: Category:Leaders_of_alleged_cults. I suspect it is worded as it is to emphasize that 'cults' and not 'leader' is in question. Antonrojo 16:48, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

LaRouche sued over being called a cult leader and lost. What's the issue of libel? Not applicable.--Cberlet 01:32, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Under New York Times v. Sullivan (a decision I cherish, defend, and rely on in my work), a tremendous range of commentary, sarcasm, parody, criticism, and insult are not actionable as libel against a public figure. That ought not be the standard for Wikipedia! Kestenbaum 13:03, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
The LaRouche Movement is widely described as a cult or political cult. Lyndon LaRouche is undeniably the movement's leader. Hence, the category is appropriate. -Will Beback 20:35, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Of course he is the movement's leader. That is not disputed. Whether the movement is a cult is disputed, however, and it looks to me that the term is used most often as a sort of epithet by LaRouche's opponents. It is fine to bring it up in the article, but for it to be a category, it should be beyond dispute, particularly in light of WP:LIVING. --ManEatingDonut 21:13, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Do you have a reference for the dispute? -Will Beback 22:53, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

I had to remove the "cult leader" category again. Look, I have the lowest possible opinion about LaRouche, but calling him a "cult leader" is rhetoric, not reporting. Yes, yes, study the man and his movement, document and explain every one of his lies and evasions and abuses, every charge against him, etc., etc. (notice I did not modify the text of the article itself), but he is not Jim Jones or Charles Manson.

You can pretend that "cult" somehow has a technical, academic meaning totally at variance with the general understanding of the word, so broad that it takes in the the Rotary Club and the Green Party, and incidentally LaRouche's followers, but to enshrine it in a category (where no quibbling or explanation or documentation is possible) is just as much a lie as anything that LaRouche himself has ever said or written. Kestenbaum 02:38, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

It is eminently verifiable that the LaRouche Movement is a cult, as it has been called that by numerous reliable sources. I'd be happy to provide some sources. Will you accept them? Or do you beleive that there is no such thing as a cult? -Will Beback 05:08, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Certainly there are groups which are fairly described as cults. And yes, I know that critics of LaRouche have called his organization a cult. Indeed, there are mentions of this in the article, and that is appropriate. It is verifiable that they say this.
But the word "cult" is an extremely loaded negative term in ordinary usage, and it oughtn't be baldly used in marginal cases. To call a group a "cult" is to render a judgement against it. If an encyclopedia article about a group were to define it in the first sentence as a cult, that would be the same as declaring that the group is dangerous and that its activities are not legitimate. Of course many of us feel that way about LaRouche and his followers, but that is POV, not reporting.
(And the category title is an even stronger statement than a first-sentence descriptor. Unlike the body of an article, there's no place for equivocation or footnote.)
I recall that the New York Times book review section featured a review of a book by a LaRouche critic under the headline "A menace, or just a crank?" I mention this as an example of dispute over the question of whether the LaRouche group is dangerous or annoying. Back in the 1970s I argued for "dangerous"; nowadays I'm more inclined toward "annoying".
All of the above is about the word "cult" as a standalone descriptor, and doesn't apply to the word used with modifiers, such as "cult of personality" or "political cult". I might be more inclined to accept the category if it were "leaders of political cults", say. Kestenbaum 06:08, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree that "political cult" is a more accurate, sharper category, and a term that is used in this case. I don't think that anyone suggests the LaRouche movement is a religion. -Will Beback 07:57, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I see that Category:Leaders of alleged cults is already in existence and populated. Would that be acceptable? -Will Beback 01:30, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, I think that would be okay. Kestenbaum 03:56, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't. I see no encyclopediac value to including controversial individuals in pejorative categories. I think many POV-pushing editors use categories as a way to evade the NPOV policy, since there can be no rebuttal. I also think that in light of WP:LIVING, the use of categories in biographical articles should be used sparingly if at all. --ManEatingDonut 06:27, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
I wondered how often "alleged" is used in category titles. Using Wikipedia's admittedly sketchy search function, I found only three:
Some others were hits in the search but turned out not to exist, perhaps having been deleted. It doesn't look like "alleged" categories are standard procedure here, and I'm guessing that the word "alleged" may even be a red flag that prompts a successful Category-for-Deletion nomination. Is Category:Leaders of alleged cults at risk for being deleted? It was created only last September 9, and it has only six entries all coded since then. Kestenbaum 07:23, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
An editor has taken it upon himself recently to rearrange the cult categories. All of the articles tagged with the "cult" category have been moved to "alleged cults", etc. I haven't followed all of his changes, so I'm not sure of the extent of the re-arrengements. There's no question that the LaRouche movement has been alleged to be a cult enough times to make it a significant attribute. -Will Beback 07:34, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
PS: I see that the article "Political cult" mentions several, such as the LaRouche Movement and Objectivism, enough to populate a category. However the editors at "Ayn Rand" would not be enthusiastic about Category:Leaders of alleged political cults either. -Will Beback 07:41, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone know why the images that are supposed to appear in this article do not appear? --ManEatingDonut 14:48, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Question about a quoted opinion

There is a quote in the article from Wohlforth and Tourish:

The parallel between LaRouche's thinking and that of the classical fascist model is striking. LaRouche, like Mussolini and Hitler before him, borrowed from Marx yet changed his theories fundamentally. Most important, Marx's internationalist outlook was abandoned in favor of a narrow nation-state perspective. Marx's goal of abolishing capitalism was replaced by the model of a totalitarian state that directs an economy where ownership of the means of production is still largely in public hands. The corporations and their owners remain in place but have to take their orders from LaRouche. Hitler called the schema "national socialism". LaRouche hopes the term "the American System" will be more acceptable."

This is somebody's opinion about LaRouche's ideas which seems like a bit of stretch. It doesn't take more than a quick read of LaRouche's articles to find that LaRouche strongly opposes Hitler and Mussolini, and specifically their economic policies as well. He supports FDR's economic policies, and the quoted opinion appears to equate this with fascism. I would like to know what about this opinion is suitable for an encyclopedia article. It says in WP:LIVING that Jimbo Wales "considers "no" information to be better than "speculative" information and reemphasizes the need for sensitivity." Also, "Information available solely on partisan websites or in obscure newspapers should be handled with caution, and, if derogatory, should not be used at all." --ManEatingDonut 22:03, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

I read LaRouche, and see echoes of Hitler and Mussolini. Why believe the claims of a crank and convicted felon?--Cberlet 01:31, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Your biases in this are well known.
  • The ultimate authority on what LaRouche believes, is LaRouche. It seems to me that his statements are clear enough. I know you say you can "decode" his writings, but it seems to me that for an encyclopedia, that is a bit too subjective. It smacks of conspiracy theorizing.
  • It appears to me that you are not actually responding to the question I raised.--ManEatingDonut 02:55, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
These claims ignore how social science and journalism are conducted, and have nothing to do with writing fair and accurate encyclopdeia entires.--Cberlet 03:12, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
I think that Mr. Kestenbaum and Mr. Donut both make a valid point. Under WP:LIVING, editors have a responsibility to refrain from packing bios with malice, even if they might get away with it in the press. You have other outlets for pushing your POV. --NathanDW 19:49, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
LaRouche was convicted as a criminal, and lost TWO defamation cases--one over the issue of antisemitism, one in which he complained over being called a crook, a cult leader, and a "small time Hitler." This discussion is absurd. --Cberlet 00:45, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, the facts have an anti-Larouche bias. --Calton | Talk 00:47, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Good point. Look, I really think we need to try to be fair and accurate and aspire to NPOV, but the LaRouche apologist wage an innappropriate POV campaign on his behalf.--Cberlet 00:52, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Note: in the previous discussion section, I objected to LaRouche being placed in Category:Cult leaders. I see that I've been mentioned in this other discussion about the Wohlforth-Tourish quote. I do agree that we should refrain from "packing bios with malice", but I'd leave the quote in. And I am NOT a "LaRouche apologist"! Kestenbaum 03:24, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

POV edits

This page increasingly is being edited to remove cited material and include dubious assertions that serve to sanitize the published material critical of LaRouche. This page needs to be NPOV, not a blog for people who are upset by published criticism of LaRouche.--Cberlet 03:23, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

As I understand it, it is customary to be specific when making a POV complaint, citing both the offending edits and the relevant Wikipedia policy. --ManEatingDonut 07:57, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Almost everything in the "1994–present" section consists of fawning plugs for LaRouche and his groups. Most of it should simply be deleted. It reads like a badly written flyer for LaRouche rather than an encyclopedia entry. I have moved similar fawning material away from the intro and into a lower section.--Cberlet 13:15, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
"This is a controversial topic, which may be under dispute. Please read this talk page and discuss substantial changes here before making them." In principle, I agree that the intro should be substantially pared down to a simple generic statement, acknowledging that LaRouche is controversial and has admirers and detractors. However, it is not acceptable to me to remove Eugene McCarthy, Ramsay Clark and the China Peoples Daily, while leaving the name-calling by Chip Berlet and his friends. In the real world, Berlet and his friends are considerably less notable than McCarthy, Clark and the People's Daily. I think a minimal intro would be best. Meanwhile, Cberlet, be mindful of WP:OWN. --NathanDW 15:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
I actually think that the most recent version of the intro, by Gazpacho, is good. It manages to present a balanced selection of viewpoints in a fairly neutral way. Everyone knows that LaRouche is surrounded by controversy, so might as well get the key viewpoints out right away. --ManEatingDonut 21:42, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Almost everything in the section "1994–present" is puffery. It deserves about two or three paragraphs. If it is not summarized, I will be happy to trim it. The alternative is opening up the arbcom decision about LaRouche supporters piling up laudatory material onto Wikipedia.--Cberlet 17:46, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
You are the wrong person for the job. Your bias is probably the most extreme of anyone who edits this article, as demonstrated by the insulting language you use to describe other people's edits. Note that this is designated a "controversial topic, which may be under dispute." I recommend that you prepare a list of proposed changes and submit them for discussion. Also, I think it would be more appropriate to trim the earlier sections: 1922–1947 Early life, and 1948–1968 LaRouche and Trotskyism, because I think that the average encyclopedia user would find the more contemporary information more useful. It is clear to me that LaRouche has greater influence and notability today than he did between 1922 and 1968, so I would be interested in knowing why you want to reduce the information from 1994-present, which seems adequately documented and notable. I am not saying that it could not be improved. --ManEatingDonut 03:02, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Re: trimming. As a biography this article should include well-rounded coverage of all notable aspects of its subject's life. As it happens this appears to be the most complete biography available online, so I hope that we are not over-zealous about trimming. -Will Beback 10:08, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

The Quaker material

If you take a look at the material that Will Beback put back in, none of the cited sources actually mention LaRouche, except this one: [4] which is a personal website, and includes a photoshopped photo of LaRouche posing with Hitler. This is not a source that belongs in Wikipedia. --ManEatingDonut 21:23, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

The source references a Quaker history project run out of Brown University. I don't see anythig inappropriate about it. -Will Beback 21:40, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

I have no idea who Austin Meredith is, but the photoshopped photo discredits him. I don't see any indication that Brown University certifies the legitimacy of his claims, and I don't think that this website is acceptable under WP:RS. The other cites, from, are not problematic in terms of the reliability of the source. The problem here is that the allegations made in the edit which you restored are mentioned nowhere on those web pages. It appears that someone is making allegations, and then putting in a respectable-looking but irrelevant footnote to fool the reader. Unless citations can be found that actually substantiate the allegations, those allegations must be removed under WP:LIVING and WP:V. However, I won't remove them until I read your response. --ManEatingDonut 08:18, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

A) Do we have a copy of the "unaltered" version, or are we jumping to a conclusion that it has been altered? B) Even if a photo has been altered to draw a comparison, that image does not invalidate unrelated findings from the Quaker archives. C) There is no reason to think that the researcher is trying to "fool" the reader. D) This link also mentions LaRouche [5]. E) The NEYM no longer carries its former archive. We can drop the mention of it, which seems ancilliary anyway. -Will Beback 09:33, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
PS: The image in question doesn't appear much different from the cover of Children of Satan IV, as depicted on this page.[6] -Will Beback 17:12, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
I would venture to guess that if Children of Satan IV were used as a source for edits on the Dick Cheney biography, you might raise some objections. This falls under WP:RS (and WP:LIVING). --ManEatingDonut 14:59, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia has already decided that LaRouche publications were not reliable sources but I'm surprised to hear you say so as well. In any case, there's nothing wrong with the source. Including an image does not invalidate a source. -Will Beback 21:32, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps you miss my point, perhaps you don't. A publication that shows that degree of hostility toward its subject is probably not a suitable source under WP:LIVING. This goes for both examples. --ManEatingDonut 21:42, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I think it's more a matter of humor than hostility. -Will Beback 22:31, 4 October 2006 (UTC)


This case has been raised for mediation and I've responded. --GoodIntentionstalk 05:01, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Before I offer a compromise, could the interested parties give a brief summary of what they would like to happen on this matter on the case page? I've read the discussion and have my own opinion, but would like to hear the parties succintly state their cases. --GoodIntentionstalk 05:11, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

The categories of category:Cults, category:Alleged cults, category:Cult leaders, and category:Leaders of alleged cults all exist. If they exist they should be applied to the relevant articles. The LaRouche Movement is widely described by reliable sources as a "cult" or "political cult". We have not seen any sources which contradict that view. Lyndon LaRouche is the undisputed leader of the movement. Therefore it seems reasonable to categorize the article subject as either a "leader of an alleged cult" or "leader of a political cult". If others feel that the categories are POV then they are POV for all articles and should be deleted. However the categories have survived previous CfDs. But we should not use the categories only for movements that don't have Wikipedia editors. -Will Beback 05:49, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
From what I have seen, the "cult" accusations come from parties that are hostile to LaRouche's political agenda. Those sources that are not hostile don't address it. They cover LaRouche's ideas and activity without adding "by the way, his organization is not a cult." I think that the editors who are so insistent on using the category should ask themselves whether they are doing it solely in the interests of providing a neutral, objective encyclopedia article. --ManEatingDonut 15:10, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, firstly, out of prudence there are different standards for living people and existent movements than for things in the past. Secondly, the mere existence of category:Cults, category:Alleged cults, category:Cult leaders, and category:Leaders of alleged cults is hardly a good reason to use them. Perhaps they should be deleted, or perhaps they shouldn't be used for living people and movements. While the common opinion of reliable sources do name the LaRouche movement as a cult, and it would be silly to disregard this weight of opinion, they perhaps work on different standards to Wikipedia. I am in no hurry to see anybody labelled in this way, and catogories are problematic. You might know that Ayn Rand (the Temple Mount of Wikipedia) at one time had both the pro-gay and anti-gay catogories attached to her... fun fun fun.

Thank you for your input. I'll offer a compromise tomorrow, hopefully. --GoodIntentionstalk 06:36, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

It's a difficult issue: I gave a response on the mediation case page. --GoodIntentionstalk 01:56, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the same arguments apply to putting LaRouche in the "Anti-gay rights" category, except that there is no record in the article that he has taken a position against gay rights. If there is evidence that he has, it should be put in the article with appropriate citations. --ManEatingDonut 14:45, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

This is absurd. Gay rights organization consider LaRouche to be a vicious homophobe. This is just wasting out time here.--Cberlet 20:26, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I support the findings of Good Intentions on the mediation page. I also note that two categories have been removed by bots due to category deletion in the past days. I think that the days where categories are used for POV pushing are coming to an end. --ManEatingDonut 14:52, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

"Pro-LaRouche" and "anti-LaRouche" sources

I see that Cberlet wanted to categorize the China People's Daily as "LaRouche supporters." I think that's over the top. I have seen a tendency on the part of some editors to categorize any source that is not negative about LaRouche as pro-LaRouche (they do the same thing to editors here.) At the same time, there was a big fuss from these people about calling Dennis King "anti-LaRouche," which seems rather obvious to me. I think that this is all a form of POV pushing. If a cited source is a member of the LaRouche organization, it should be so noted. The Russian guy and the People's Daily are probably not members. --ManEatingDonut 14:50, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

No serious scholars of China consider LaRouche "well-known" there. Just because one gullible reporter states it to be true, does not make it true. Same with Russia. Same with everywhere. One anecdote does not prove a paradigm.--Cberlet 20:26, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
People's Daily is the largest circulation publication in China. Therefore, under Wikipedia policies, it is a viable source. I don't know what your basis is for calling the reporter "gullible," but it doesn't matter. There are many reporters for, say, Fox News, that I would consider to be utterly ridiculous, but Wikipedia still considers major press to be acceptable as sources. --ManEatingDonut 20:39, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Whether using "pro" or "anti" sources, the assertion that LaRouche is "well-known" and "respected" in Russia, China, and "many" other countries is thinly sourced. The issue would be less contentious if the material weren't in the lead. Can we move it down to the conclusion, or otherwise contextualize it? -Will Beback 10:33, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
As I have said before, I think that intro is overblown. But I would not move the China and India stuff from the intro without also moving the stuff from Berlet and King, the reason being that it becomes unbalanced toward the Berlet/King POV, and also because I have serious doubts about then notability of Berlet and King as critics. It's not a question of how much they have written -- they have obviously been writing about LaRouche all their lives -- but rather their academic qualifications and credibility. I would also say that the "developing countries" part is adequately documented later in the article with the references to Mexico, India and Brazil. --NathanDW 15:19, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I disagree with NathanDW and agree with Will Beback.--Cberlet 17:58, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I think that the intro is fine as is. One thing that occurred to me is that the People's Daily interview is a series of eight installments, not just one, so it couldn't have been a decision by a "gullible reporter," it had to have been an editorial decision (BTW, did people notice that the interviews use the Wikipedia intro?) Also, am I wrong in thinking that the People's Daily is the official organ of the Chinese government?
It is also apparent that LHL has a knack for getting meetings with foreign heads of state, probably more so than any other private citizen outside of Bono. ;-) --ManEatingDonut 20:17, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Contradictions and Controversy Should be Welcome

I would like to offer the observation that LaRouche has produced material that has been widely categorized as "crazy," as well as other material which has been called interesting, even prescient. For a relatively recent LaRouche statement, see, for example, [7], asserted to have been part of testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee on January 16, 2001.

Rather than continue the endless point and counter-point, attempting to decide whether LaRouche is an angel or a devil, I suggest that the current article (as of 15 October 2006) quite reasonably presents the complicated and often confusing public record concerning Lyndon LaRouche, demonstrating both "crazy" and intriguing observations of and about Lyndon LaRouche.

I would also like to say that, in my opinion, the article is currently not too long, as it contains significant and intrinsically lengthy material crucial to any understanding of the LaRouche maze. Whether one considers LaRouche to be reputable or scurrilous, sane or insane, it appears arguable that he has had some significant impact on the U.S. politics.

Finally, I have had some very small personal involvement with LaRouche. The current article states, "Press reports alleged that this fundraising activity sometimes involved tax law violations, the conversion of publication sales into donations for LaRouche political campaigns that were then matched by the Federal Election Commission, and fraudulent soliciting of "loans" from vulnerable elderly people." Although I was not "elderly" at the time, I was one of those who were defrauded by the LaRouche organization. In (I think) 1984, I allowed myself to persuaded by a telephone solicitor to loan the LaRouche campaign a relatively small sum of money -- I think about $200. I used a credit card to complete the transaction. Subsequently I discovered that the LaRouche organization had charged approximately $1000 to my card in several transactions. I tried to obtain repayment from the campaign, but had no success, and decided to put the matter out of my mind. Then, in 1985, I received a phone call from a Washington Post reporter who had (I think) found my name from some court documents pertaining to the LaRouche conviction. The reporter wanted to ask me some questions about my involvement with the LaRouche campaign. I agreed to be interviewed on the phone. The result, which has sometimes been the occasion of inner embarrassment to me, can be seen at [8] This little article which mentions me has remained on the web for years, and, to my discomfort, comes up whenever I search for my own name on Google.

But just today I stumbled across the page I cited above, namely [9]. Though I have not attempted to confirm the authenticity of this page by comparing it with the Congressional Record, such a check should be easy to do.

Since 1984 I have not kept up with LaRouche at all, but the above-mentioned article astounds me with its surprising and prescient observations about John Ashcroft and the Bush Presidency, spoken by LaRouche right around the time of Bush's first swearing-in, months before 11 September 2001.

I have regretted doing the Washington Post interview in 1985, but today, reading the 2001 statement by LaRouche, I no longer feel so embarrassed by my loan to his organization, and by my response in the Washington Post: "Dratman said he agreed with some of the ideas of the LaRouche group but found others "half-crazed."

What I said then suddenly sounds exactly correct to me now. LaRouche very frequently speaks and behaves insanely. For all that, I still think he is at times an interesting and provocative thinker, as long as one keeps in mind that he is at least halfway to the funny farm. I see no reason why the article should not embrace both of these two apparently contradictory ideas.

-- dratman

Policy Question

I received this message on my talk page from User:SlimVirgin:

"Regarding this edit, the Arbitration Committee has ruled that editors who repeatedly try to use LaRouche publications inappropriately (which means to use them as a source on anything other than the LaRouche organization) may be blocked from editing, as they are not regarded as reliable sources. This is particularly important when dealing with claims about living persons. See WP:BLP, which is policy. SlimVirgin (talk) 09:49, 23 October 2006 (UTC)"

My questions are the following: first of all, how is this edit (which I restored from another person) covered by this policy? It is an external link, not a source for the article; and it does in fact provide information about the LaRouche organization, specifically their answer to the claims of Chip Berlet, which are so pervasive in the Wikipedia articles on LaRouche. Secondly, am I being threatened with a block for restoring this edit? --ManEatingDonut 14:39, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

You're not allowed to use LaRouche publications for anything other than LaRouche. Yes, you're in danger of being blocked if you add it again. SlimVirgin (talk) 14:52, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
In what way is this external link being used for something "other than LaRouche?" --NathanDW 20:21, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I think SlimVirgin has it wrong. It is permissible to use LaRouche publications as sources for LaRouche and LaRouche related topics. However, this article is not a source for anything about LaRouche, but rather is a smear on one of his critics. It no more belongs here than the LaRouche publications attacks on Cheney, et al. This article is about LaRouche, not Berlet. -Will Beback 23:09, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Connecticut debate

The best source for the debate disruption appears to be a local paper that charges for its archives. This is still up, though it requires free registration.

  • The debate was ..ultimately delayed, twice, by the singing supporters of a guy who's not even in the race - the perennial presidential also-ran Lyndon LaRouche. Lieberman, a three-term Democrat who is running as an independent after losing this summer's primary to Lamont, was already being booed by some in the crowd as he answered a question about distorting campaign charges, alleging that Lamont had twisted his record. The senator raised a finger to his lips to quiet the crowd, when a small clutch of people - who later said they were supporters of LaRouche - stood and began to sing to the senator, over the increasingly angry complaints of the rest of the crowd. All three candidates, who had been largely exchanging familiar jabs at each others' campaign stances up to that point, seemed stunned. Lamont, seemingly bewildered, called out to the group to stop, while the debate's moderator - George Stephanopoulos of ABC News - announced that the singing was only detracting from the time allotted the candidates. There was also a second disruption from the group, who passed out LaRouche campaign literature and performed their song (one audible phrases identified Vice President Dick Cheney as a “fat-ass Nazi”) for passersby. [10]

The Lamont campaign blog is not as good a source. -Will Beback 04:51, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


I made a small change on this section, because it strikes me as somewhat unbalanced. Clearly, General Paul-Albert Scherer thinks LaRouche played a role in SDI, and General Daniel Graham thinks he did not. It appears to me that they held pretty much identical posts in their respective countries, and therefore, their opinions would carry equal weight. However, the moment someone says something about LaRouche that is not an accusation of wrong-doing, Chip Berlet classifies him as a "LaRouche supporter," and therefore his views are discounted. I don't think that this is appropriate for an encyclopedia. You could just as well discount Gen. Graham's views, because he claims credit for SDI himself. I say, report the facts, and let the reader draw his own conclusions. --ManEatingDonut 22:10, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Where did Scherer say this? SlimVirgin (talk) 22:12, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
It's in the article, taken from here:[11]. -Will Beback 22:55, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
A LaRouche publication, which does indeed mean there is no independent verification. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:20, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
It says "Press Conference at the National Press Club, Washington, DC., May 6, 1992." Perhaps the LaRouche people are lying, and no such press conference took place, in which case I imagine there might be lawsuits. Or if the press conference did take place, and no press other than LaRouche press covered it, what does that say about the American press? The former chief of West German military intelligence making some very controversial statements about US policy, and no coverage? At any rate, I suggest that Scherer is professionally qualified to have an opinion on the topic, so unless you are arguing that he never made the statement attributed to him, it does represent "independent verification" of LaRouche's claims, regardless of where it was published. The formulation that SlimVirgin put back in does in fact imply that no one outside of LaRouche's movement believes he played a role in SDI, and it appears to me that this is simply not true. --ManEatingDonut 07:23, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
The point of the section is that writing a biography about LaRouche is difficult due to sharply different accounts of events. It's a note that might well be added to many articles. However I've never seen another like it, even among other figures about whom there are equal or greater disputes. There must be a more concise way of saying that "differences exist". We already have a sentense in the intro that describes the difering views of the subject. Perhaps the point should be made throughout the article. -Will Beback 08:45, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
True. I guess the reason these LaRouche articles bug me so much is that on Wikipedia, LaRouche is more controversial than other controversial people. Another observation I would make about this section is that it says that LaRouche claims to have come up with these ideas, and that is disputed. When LaRouche comes up with an idea, he puts out a pamphlet, and there is a paper trail. You can debate whether anyone listens to the idea, but it is odd to debate whether he had the idea. The one exception is the claim that he was used as a back-channel, which would for obvious reasons be hard to verify because it is more or less covert. However, this generally unfriendly Washington Post article [12] would seem to lend some credence to the claim. --ManEatingDonut 15:10, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Copy edit

I've tried to do a copy edit, but it's not easy. There's a lot of unsourced material, and where there are sources, often no page numbers and no context offered to explain the material. In places, it just seems like a list of things LaRouche has said or done, with no connecting narrative. There's also too much detail. Not sure what to do about it though.

I've removed the ref tags from simple URLs without citations, as there's no point in making the reader go to the bottom of the page only to find a URL. We'll have to get round to writing out the full citations at some point, which will be a long and tedious job. SlimVirgin (talk) 05:18, 4 November 2006 (UTC)'s edit to intro

It doesn't mean anything to say that LHL "is highly regarded by some people in Russia." He is highly regarded by some people in the US, too, but they don't represent leading institutions or media, which they do in Russia and China. In's edit summary he says that LHL is probably not highly regarded by all people in Russia -- this is also true, but could be true for anyone. Positive coverage in major media is what is noteworthy. Accordingly I have restored the previous version. --ManEatingDonut 15:14, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

We should be able to find additional Russian sources that aren't associate with LaRouche. One person sayinghe is well-known, reported in a LaRouche source, is not enough to establish his fame. -Will Beback 22:13, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
I asked an Armenian friend about "Vremya" and he said it is a big deal, comparable to "60 Minutes" in the US. I imagine that the interview is archived, so if you think the LaRouche people are lying in their account of what happened, a Russian speaker could go online[13] and watch the interview and assess it.
I have put the intro back to where it was after SlimVirgin's re-write. I think "highly regarded" is more appropriate than "well known" -- these Russian and Chinese media, which I think represent their governments' views either formally or informally, are doing exactly what I could not imagine the US media doing: interviewing LaRouche respectfully as an acknowledged expert. "Vremya" put him on a par with former Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov, Israeli Knesset member Roman Bronfman, Lebanon's Minister of Energy Muhammed Fneish, Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker, and the Heritage Foundation's Ariel Cohen.
I know that Chip Berlet and his friends will maintain that the Russians and Chinese are very naive and gullible, and that they are being taken in by those smoothe-talkin' LaRouche operatives. I don't buy it. My own theory is that they are intentionally promoting LaRouche, because he is a noisy opponent of those US policies that annoy and worry the Russians and Chinese, such as globalization and the "clash of civilizations." --ManEatingDonut 06:30, 12 November 2006 (UTC)