Talk:Lyndon LaRouche/Archive 9

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Snowspinner's mediation

I am informed that Snowspinner is on a Wikivacation, which is unfortunate, because I think he had a pronounced civilizing impact on the editing here. I would like to urge editors to stick to his guidelines: provide a clear an honest rationale for each edit, and do not revert multiple edits with a single misleading edit memo. The LaRouche-related pages have made a noticeable shift towards compliance with the NPOV guidelines, and while there is much work left to be done, I hope that all parties concerned recognize that there has been progress.

--Herschelkrustofsky 21:13, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I add one quotation, Weed removes two, I restore them, a numeric removes them, I restore them, you remove them. How does Snowspinner's guidelines justify your posse removing not only a quotation I've added but a second one that's been in the article for quite some time? The new quotation is justified as it provides a concise view on the subject of the paragraph, why LaRouche's politics shifted in the 1970s. The fact that LaRouchians don't like it does not justify its removal and your attempting to remove it AND an additional quotation on the basis of unspecified guidelines is specious. AndyL 22:12, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

As far as I know, you are the only editor who has reverted masses of edits at one stroke, in the recent period. Other editors (based on what I glean from the history page) addressed one edit at a time. Some of the numerics did so without providing an explanation -- so my appeal regarding the Snowspinner guidelines is not addressed solely to you. As far as the quotations which I agree should be removed, that is a separate issue: see "crackpot theories" below. --Herschelkrustofsky 00:23, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

"Crackpot" theories

This is a biography page. I don't see any point including any more of Chip Berlet's theories than is absolutely necessary. If he has done some verifiable research that is germane, include it. As far as his speculations about what LaRouche may have been thinking or feeling at any given moment, that is unverifiable and incompetent, and propaganda to boot -- and lest we forget, the Wikipedia guidelines prohibit propaganda. The same applies to Wohlforth -- to assert that LaRouche is secretly in favor of a totalitarian dictatorship is just childish ranting, and not suitable for a Wikipedia article, unless it is an article on Wohlforth. --Herschelkrustofsky 21:19, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Incidentally, as far as "explaining the shift in LaRouche's ideas" is concerned, the main explanation that I know of is the work of the late Allen Salisbury, an NCLC researcher who wrote the book entitled The Civil War and the American System. His research into the importance of Henry Carey (for example, Carey's debate by correspondence with Karl Marx,) Erasmus Peshine Smith, and others, was a big influence over LaRouche and the NCLC, and unleashed a major wave of other historical researches by Graham Lowry and others. If you would be so kind as to get your pals to unprotect the page, I would be happy to add something on this to the article. --Herschelkrustofsky 00:34, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Wohlforth and Tourish write: "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."
LaRouche has never written or said anything that corresponds to this. 20:26, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Have you read Wohforth and Tourish's book?AndyL 22:21, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

If they provide verifiable quotes from LaRouche to back their assertions, why don't you add them to the article? Then Wohforth and Tourish's remarks would take on the aspect of criticism, rather than being a crackpot theory. --Herschelkrustofsky 15:10, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Who says it's a "crackpot theory"? Certainly far less "crack pot" than much of the material coming from LaRouche. Certainly far less crackpot than claims that LaRouche's ex-wife's lover was drugged and brainwashed by the CIA and given the mission of assassinating LaRouche or that the World Wildlife Fund is currently leading us to war. Sorry Herschel but people living in cracked pots shouldn't throw stones. Why is it "crackpot" to think LaRouche had a nervous breakdown? Certainly his pronouncements both in the early 1970s and his description of what he went through in the early 1950s is consistent with everything we know about nervous breakdowns and a lot of the more bizarre things LaRouche has said and done is consistent with what we know about paranoid schizophrenic behavior. AndyL 16:01, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Let's review a few basics, Andy. This is an article about LaRouche. It should report on his theories -- in a neutral way. If his theories are bogus, the reader will draw the appropriate conclusions. Theories concocted by his opponents are not appropriate for an encyclopedia article on LaRouche. It is appropriate to report documented allegations against him by his more prominent critics, a category which may be debatable, but not all-embracing. Neither you nor Chip Berlet is a psychotherapist, so your speculations about LaRouche's unspoken and unverifiable thoughts and feelings are out of place (although they might fit in nicely at Chip Berlet, which is becoming quite zany.) Wohlforth and Tourish have an anti-LaRouche agenda, so when they allege that LaRouche is in favor of a totalitarian dictatorship, a view which runs contrary to his remarks on the record, it doesn't seem unreasonable to ask that they provide some verifiable evidence.

A few corrections on points where you appear to be "spinning" LaRouche's remarks: he actually said that the "forces behind the WWF" were leading the world to war, which presumably refers to the circles of its founders, Prince Philip of the UK and Prince Berhard of the Netherlands -- both of whom were Nazis as younger men, and who as older men possess considerable political and commercial power. From what I have heard, it was Chris White, not LaRouche, who claimed to be drugged and brainwashed, by MI-6, not the CIA.

As I indicated, I can provide a far more plausible -- and verifiable -- explanation of the shift away from Marxism, and you may certainly dig up any documentation you are able to, in order to rebut it. But we should get on with the editing. I don't really see why you called in the page protection this time.

--Herschelkrustofsky 15:17, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Theories concocted by his opponents are not appropriate for an encyclopedia article on LaRouche.

Setting aside the word "concocted" for a moment I don't see why theories by LaRouche's critics are inappropriate for an article on LaRouche. We aren't writing an authorised biography here. If you look at other articles on controversial figures you'll see comments and "theories" by their opponents are included in the article.

Neither you nor Chip Berlet is a psychotherapist, so your speculations about LaRouche's unspoken and unverifiable thoughts and feelings are out of place.

But Fred Newman *is* a psychotherapist and moreover was able to observe LaRouche personally and he too asserts that LaRouche had a nervous breakdown.AndyL 15:41, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

No one as far as I can see has attempted to edit the reference to Fred Newman's opinion. Actually no one has attempted to remove the reference to Chip Berlet's opinion either. The summary of his views and link to his article have always been left alone. But why should we devote extensive space to quotes from a guy who has no more qualifications than I do? Remember, you deleted pro-LaRouche quotes from Norbert Brainin (who at least is world famous)-- you said that the article was "too long" for such quotes. And without any evidence the opinion of Wohlforth appears to be a lie. That's different than "criticism." Weed Harper 22:54, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I see no evidence that Wolhforth's satements are a lie.AndyL 01:04, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The statements contradict LaRouche's writings. Do you have any evidence that they are true? -- 01:10, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The fact that LaRouche's writings contradict others of LaRouche's writings tend to diminish his credibility when it comes to his own biography or his own explanations regarding his political views. AndyL 01:34, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Changing a mistaken policy is not the same as contradicting oneself, as John Kerry ably pointed out on Thursday night. -- 15:07, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Changing a policy is one thing. Changing your and your group's histroy is quite another. AndyL 18:34, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Andy, it would appear that you are dodging the question. Wohlforth is alleging that LaRouche supports a totalitarian dictatorship. Did LaRouche ever, in any way, shape, or form, express his support for a totalitarian dictatorship, or is this Wohlforth's little secret?

Also, let me remind you of the position you argued with respect to Frankfurt School: you didn't claim that LaRouche was not a critic of the Frankfurt school -- you said he was not a major critic, and you insisted that his rather voluminous criticism of the Frankfurt School not even appear in the External links. In this case, I don't object to two, yes, two quotes from Wohlforth, by any account a rather obscure critic, and I don't object to a link to his web article. I think that the third quote is 1) an unsubstantiated accusation, and 2) more attention than Wohlforth merits in an already overly long article.

With respect to Berlet speculating about LaRouche having some non-political reason for changing his political views, that is unverifiable and you should drop it. It is clear, Andy, that you are eager to pack as many negative opinions about LaRouche into this article as you can. I would suggest you confine yourself to accusations which can be verified. That would certainly help us bring the long-running edit battles over this article to a close. --Herschelkrustofsky 11:39, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Let's look at the paragraph:

What happened to cause this dramatic shift? Some say it was a dramatic incident in LaRouche's personal life. In 1972 LaRouche's common-law wife, Carol Schnitzer, left him for a young member of the London NCLC chapter named Christopher White, whom she eventually married.


For LaRouche, it was a crushing blow.

reasonable assertion

Why is that? How would you know? -- 01:13, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
His first wife Janice had similarly walked out on him a decade earlier, taking with her the couple's young son.


This personal event apparently triggered LaRouche's political metamorphosis. LaRouche went into seclusion in Europe, and defectors tell of his suffering a possible nervous breakdown.

Is there any evidence that Berlet is lying when he says that defectors from the LaRouche movmenet speak of a "possible nervous breakdown"? If not then this is reasonable evidence to include.

In the spring of 1973, he returned.


His previous conspiratorial inclinations had now grown into a bizarre tapestry weaving together classical conspiracy theories of the 19th century and post-Marxian economics.

Coloured by Berlet's POV but it is true there was a change in LaRouche's thinking

Herschel offered a non-psychobabble explanation for the change. -- 01:13, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
He began articulating a `psycho-sexual' theory of political organizing.


Sexism and homophobia became central themes of the organization's theories.


POV. -- 01:13, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

So how is this paragraph the package of lies described by LaRouche's defenders? AndyL 00:17, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The supposed causes are not proven by the effects. -- 01:13, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

That's not the same thing. A biased presentation of facts (which Berlet's presentation assuredly is), which doesn't fully make the case it is trying to, is not the same thing as a tissue of lies, or whatever. john k 06:11, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

True -- and no one in this discussion (other than Andy) has used the expression that Berlet's theory is a tissue or a package of lies. They have said that it was speculation. I said that the Wohlforth quote appears to be a lie, and in the case of the Wohlforth quote, it is on a subject that does not involve any speculating. Either LaRouche is on the record as being in favor of a dictatorship, or he is not.

I would like to know what was so unacceptable about my last edit to the article, the one that caused Andy to ask for protection. Please note that it acknowledges that Chip Berlet has a theory that LaRouche had a nervous breakdown, and provides a link to the web page where Berlet presents his theory. Andy seems to feel that the article needs more quotes from Berlet -- I think that it has plenty. Journalist Mark Evans wrote, "Chip Berlet and his sidekick Dennis King, author of Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism, have made careers out of their postgraduate preoccupation of being 'LaRouche watchers.'" Aside from this, Berlet doesn't seem to have much in the way of credentials to justify giving him so much attention in an article that is supposed to be a biography (there is also more than enough Berlet and King in the "Political views" article.) If Andy is so anxious to quote Berlet and King, why not move the quotes to the Wikipedia articles on Berlet and King? Weed Harper 14:09, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Isn't Mark Evans the guy who alleged that LaRouche was funded by Nelson Rockefeller? Weed, in his edits, concedes the quotations have substance but prefers to hide them out of view because he doesn't like them. I see no need for this.AndyL 22:38, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Andy, you have an unpleasant habit of putting words in people's mouths. I don't concede that Berlet's opinions have substance -- in fact, I think that they are a steaming pile of horse manure from a malicious charlatan. But, I left the reference and link to his opinion because I am a willing to compromise so that we can finish editing this article. If you were a bit more willing to compromise, it would have been done long ago. Weed Harper 01:09, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

A proposal to resolve this conflict

Andy's hatred of LaRouche reminds me very much of the people who obsessivly hate Bill Clinton, and if it were up to them, the article on Clinton would be dominated by charges that he is a rapist. So, I thought, why not have a look at Bill Clinton and see how that came out? What I discovered is that yes, there is a section called Accusations, impeachment and legal problems, which was probably the result of much negotiating. There is a brief discussion of each accusation (without lengthy quotes from the accusers), relevant links, and also, a discussion of the accusers and how they may be biased. I would like to propose a section of the LaRouche article to be modeled on this one, and be done with it.

--C Colden 14:58, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

A) I don't "hate" LaRouche, I just don't want this article to be the puff piece that some want it to be. B) there is already a section/article on LaRouche's legal problems. AndyL 18:49, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

There is also much space devoted to Wohlforth and Berlet in the "political views" article. Weed Harper 12:13, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

LaRouche dosen't have to make the statement that he is in favor of dictatorship. He would not use those words. He is a proponent of Plato, enemy of Democracy, author of the noble lie. We can categorize things based on what they are. We'd never know what a tree was if we waited for the tree to declare itself a tree. LINE 503 was omitted and I had posted at length about this just an hour ago. Now it is missing. I demand to know where it is, who removed it, and why it is not in any of the records now. Capone 19:04, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The eccentric opinion that Plato promoted dictatorship belongs in the article on Karl Popper, not this one. --Herschelkrustofsky 22:24, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Hardly an eccentric opinion considering that it is possibly majority opinion written about in many books on the matter, ranging widely from the Chicago School to the Frankfurt school - while LaRouchies are no doubt familiar with those names, they rarely are familiar with it or read in it. Plato is widely believed to be a Philodorian, an admirer of the authoritarian Spartan model. Furthermore, one need not read Karl Popper, one must only read Plato to gather this.
If Plato is primarily an authoritarian statist and LaRouche is primarily an adherent to the Platonic view, then LaRouche is primarily an authoritarian statist even though a.) Plato did not call himself an authoritarian statist b.) LaRouche does not call himself such c.) my dog has yet to tell me that he is a dog.

Capone 01:24, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The "proposal" to ghettoise any information about LaRouche that may be seen as unflattering in a special section is absurd. The equivalent to the section on the Clinton impeachment in the Clinton article is the article and section United States v LaRouche. Conflating that with comments on Operation Mop-up, nervous breakdowns, ego-stripping etc would be nonsensical. AndyL 19:16, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The "Clinton is a rapist" theorists consider their charges to be "unflattering information", while others consider it to be asinine invective. A Wikipedia article should find a happy medium, and as Martin put it to me, "Wikipedia is not Truth; it is an encyclopedia. We desire to be accurate, unbiased, verifiable, and encyclopedic." (see his talk page) The charges by Wohlforth and Tourish, and the speculation by Berlet, are biased and unverifiable. Therefore they are not "information." Other comments by those parties, elsewhere in the article, are unobjectionable. We don't need a special section for opinions by Berlet et al (although Andy's characterization of the proposal as "ghettoization" is laughably melodramatic.) This article is certainly in no danger of being a "puff piece." Weed's edit was fine. Let's get on with it. --Herschelkrustofsky 22:24, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I'm not surprised that the "Krusty the Klown Salon" is of one mind on this. Nevertheless, I see no reason for removing the quotations from the article. AndyL 22:53, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

You have blithely removed plenty of other quotes from the article, usually citing "space limitations" as your reason. I think that the criterion should be whether it makes a verifiable contribution to a biographical article on LaRouche. Do you have a problem with that criterion? --Herschelkrustofsky 14:52, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)
This discussion page is supposed to be the place where you present a reasonable argument to support your edits with respect to Wikipedia NPOV policy. I would also ask that you refrain from personal attacks. Weed Harper 12:13, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hey, did you all know LaRouche founded Wikipedia? :-) —No-One Jones (m) 13:58, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Very Funny

This is the last paragraph from that article!! "LaRouche, an outspoken political activist, set the record for consecutive attempts at the presidency by running eight times. He started, a Web site functioning as both a free encyclopedia and a wiki community, which allows users to add information to posted articles. He is known to be a promoter of conspiracy theories and has frequently been accused of being a fascist and an anti-Semite - claims he has denied. In 1988 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy, mail fraud and tax code violations but served only five."

Comments anyone?? Capone 17:53, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The last two sentences are clearly taken from the beginning of the Wikipedia Lyndon LaRouche article. Weed Harper 20:30, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Just the facts, ma'am . . . . "History Wikipedia has been in operation since January 10, 2001. It was created as an editor-free offshoot of Nupedia, a free encyclopedia project founded by Jimmy Wales (CEO of Bomis, Inc., a small Internet company). Larry Sanger was employed by Wales to work on Nupedia as the editor-in-chief and later worked on Wikipedia, and was closely involved in setting up the project and establishing the policy framework. He had considerable influence on the direction of the project during his tenure, until he left the project in February 2002. Wales remains actively involved to this day, contributing both time and money, and is a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation which now oversees the project. There is no editor-in-chief, as such, and no paid employees. Instead, the project relies on the contributions of many thousands of volunteers (referred to as Wikipedians).

For a more detailed history of the project, see History of Wikipedia." Capone 17:58, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Be serious

People like Chip Berlet are not "critics" of LaRouche. They have no qualifications, and only seek to misrepresent LaRouche's ideas. No one who has read LaRouche takes them seriously. Why are they in this article? 14:04, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have to say I'm amused, Herschel moves a quotation from this article to Political views of Lyndon LaRouche and then Weed deletes Herschel's addition.

As for our IP friend, sorry but Berlet et al are critics of LaRouche. As for not having qualifications, I dare say his qualifications to criticize LaRouche are somewhat greater than LaRouche's qualifications to claim to be an economist. AndyL 20:45, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

They have no qualifications

What would qualify one to be a critic of LaRouche in your eyes? AndyL 23:18, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Deleting Passages

I see that the edit war has centered itself on a couple of passages about LaRouche's move away from Marxism. At the risk of involving myself more than I ought, considering my desire to be a mediator, perhaps the LaRouche supporters who want this information removed could simply add to the article their evidence for why the information is not credible? Snowspinner 02:31, Oct 8, 2004 (UTC)

Well, it's kind of a stretch to call it "information." In the one case, you have a guy who knew LaRouche 40-50 years ago who is claiming that, contrary to everything that LaRouche has ever written or said, LaRouche is in favor of a totalitarian dictatorship. Now we could point out that this is contrary to everything that LaRouche has ever written or said, but considering the fact that no evidence for the charge is offered, why put it in in the first place? Answer: because it is mudslinging. It appears to me that Andy is not confident that he can find enough factual information to make LaRouche look bad, so he resorts to baseless insinuations.

The same goes for the Chip Berlet theory that LaRouche was traumatized by a breakup with his wife and that caused him to reject Marxism. In fact, LaRouche and his ex-wife both served in a friendly fashion on the national executive board of the NCLC for 15 years after the breakup, so they couldn't have been all that traumatized, and even if they were traumatized, they were both adults committed to a political mission. The only purpose of Berlet's insinuation is to sling mud.

As to why we shouldn't include a lot of these things and then rebut them:

1. That would make for a lousy encyclopedia article -- like tabloid reporting. 2. Andy has deleted pro-LaRouche statements, such as the one I put in from Norbert Brainin, calling it "sycophantic." What's good for the goose is good for the gander -- I don't mind having the article take note of the fact that Berlet has a low opinion of LaRouche, but I don't see making the article into a forum for Berlet's opinions. 3. There is already a substantial number of opinions and theories from Berlet et al in the article. I think there ought to be some sort of standard for whether it is really pertinent "information," or just Andy looking for a pretext to insert his POV. Weed Harper 05:12, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Well, it's kind of a stretch to call it "information." In the one case, you have a guy who knew LaRouche 40-50 years

1969 is "40-50 years ago"?

Anyway, if Weed and Hershel continue to vandalise the article by censoring comments by LaRouche's critics I will make a complaint against them before the Arbcom. AndyL 13:02, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Weed wants evidence. Well what about LaRouche's ample writings from the period about sex, impotence etc and his highly misogynistic writings and speeches from the period? This isn't exactly explained by Salisbury's thesis on Carey, is it? How do you explain the claims by women who left during this period about couples being broken up, women being hounded as "castrating bitches" and otherwise demonised? LaRouche's breakthrough theories about the implications of the anus being in close proximity to the vagina? Frankly, I think LaRouche's misogynistic and sexist outbursts, his obsession with sex in this period and his bizarre writings about younger men who think they are full of sexual prowess but are "actually" impotent have much more to do with a mid-life crisis and nervous breakdown brought about by the loss of his wife to a younger woman than with a series of articles on Henry Carey and the American System. AndyL 14:09, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have never seen documentation for your assertions about LaRouche's view on vaginas, anuses, and so forth. I am skeptical, given your reliance on sources who are, without exception, burnt-out counterculture losers turned "critics." On the other hand, I do find LaRouche's writings on the "psycho-sexual" dimension of political organizing, such as "Beyond Psychoanalysis," very useful -- because he is talking about the role of love in political organizing. Trying to pursue a political agenda that is not motivated by a real love of mankind, results in something akin to sexual impotence, an attempt to "perform" without real passion -- witness the fate of your counterculture losers. --Herschelkrustofsky 22:19, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Try LaRouche's The Sexual Impotency of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party AndyL 08:23, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think a lot of this is stemming from a failure to understand or apply the principles of NPOV to this situation. To wit, it is not the job of Wikipedia to judge if a source is credible. It's Wikipedia's job to accurately summarize what Berlet et al allege, and to accurately summarize the qualifications and lack of qualifications they may have. And then to put that on the page, and let individual readers look at it and draw their own conclusion. Likewise, pro-LaRouche claims should be included without hesitation, and with the relevent qualifications and commentary. Snowspinner 16:30, Oct 8, 2004 (UTC)

Well, I am willing to take a shot at this. I'm sure there will be plenty of critics. --Herschelkrustofsky 21:35, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Off topic, but worthy of your attention

Not to be missed: Florida Election Ballot. --Herschelkrustofsky 21:35, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Can we remove the NPOV and/or factual accuracy notices now?AndyL 08:24, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The "LaRouche" family of articles are saturated with POV. The fact that the extreme and dubious opinions are now largely attributed to their sources, instead of simply presented as fact as they were a few months ago, does not mean that the reader should not be warned. --Herschelkrustofsky 13:33, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I disagree strongly. The documented and balanced representation of extreme and dubious opinions is virtually the definition of NPOV, and if they, along with the pro-LaRouche views (Which I suspect Andy would call extreme and dubious), are all documented, the article is NPOV. Snowspinner 16:36, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)
Snowspinner, I defer to your judgement. Your mediation has certainly been helpful. --Herschelkrustofsky 19:52, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Herschelkrustofsky, what facts in the article do you dispute? If there are no disputed facts then at least the factual accuracy dispute warning can be removed. Andries 18:21, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have restored the information regarding Berlet's connection to High Times. Under Snowspinner's guidelines, I am permitted to present rebuttal information to Berlet's attacks, and in this case, the connection to a dope mag will only tend to "discredit" Berlet with those readers who are anti-dope. It could be argued that the name "Political Research Associates" was deliberately chosen to sound neutral and obscure Berlet's agenda, and it is his agenda which is relevant here, not the name of his company. --Herschelkrustofsky 20:07, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Rather than trying to define Berlet in terms of his connections to High Times OR the PRA, perhaps we could describe him as a "controversial leftist," possibly with one or two more descriptive phrases. I think that would give more information than simply defining him in terms of another group that would need to be linked to, and would contextualize him within the debate about LaRouche, which is really what's relevent here. Snowspinner 20:24, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)
I have rewritten the passage to indicate that Berlet first began to criticize LaRouche when he was Bureau Chief of High Times (incidentally, the article was entitled "They want to take your drugs away" -- I left that out of the Wikipedia page.) I don't think that it is accurate to say Berlet is a "controversial leftist," because I'm not entirely certain that he is a leftist -- he's a bit more complicated than that. --Herschelkrustofsky 21:05, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I have removed the "TotallyDisputed" tag. If we manage to get through a few more days without revert wars, I suggest that we archive this talk page, congratulate Snowspinner on his intervention, and start fresh. --Herschelkrustofsky 20:07, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I've restored LaRouche's "onion" quote which someone misattributed to Jacobs. Does the LaRouche movement dispute tha authenticity of the quotation? If not I see no problem in attributing it to LaRouche and see it as quite mischevious for someone to have rewritten it as having been made by Jacobs. AndyL 21:30, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I will not accept a quote, attributed to LaRouche, that is not veriable on the record. If it were a reputable journalist, who might reliably claim to have taped the speech in question and made an accurate transcript, that would be one thing -- but we're talking about some poor wretch from the International Workers Party, who was probably too addled by overconsumption of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll to retain anything he heard, assuming that he actually attended the conference in question. --Herschelkrustofsky 05:13, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Can we remove the NPOV notices from the other LaRouche articles?AndyL 21:51, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I'll take a look at all of them tomorrow, and remove the notices if I find no lingering problems. I'm sure Weed and others will lose no time in voicing their objections if they have any.
I'll have to see how things pan out, but I definately see improvement. Weed Harper 20:03, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
If we actually bring the long-running edit disputes to a close, it will be a moment in history rivalling the Peace of Westphalia. --Herschelkrustofsky 06:05, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
yes, it would be an amazing victory for the Wikipedia system. I suggest that the article will not be changed after the disputes have gone unless new information surfaces. Let us try not to make the arduous disputes re-emerge. None of the factions involved will be entirely happy with the article, I guess, but making compromises is part of Wikipedia. Andries 09:23, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The big box

The big box is useful, but distracting, and it jumbles up the tables of contents on my browser. I moved it to the end of the articles. Weed Harper 01:10, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I've made the "big box" thinner and restored it to the top where article templates are generally located. AndyL 02:57, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The onion quote

It seems to me that it is difficult to believe that Jacobs is not ascribing the quote to LaRouche. And I confess, I don't find the ad-hominem attack on Jacobs particularly persuasive. That said, if there's any source that disputes the quote, it should certainly be mentioned. Otherwise, though, it seems to me like objections to the quote would fall under the banner of original research, unless I'm missing something here. Snowspinner 05:25, Oct 10, 2004 (UTC)

He is ascribing the quote to LaRouche, but I don't accept it as reliable. You should be able to discern by now, Snowspinner, that there has been a sustained and concerted effort to discredit LaRouche, and there are all sorts of unscrupulous types involved with no credibility to lose. It seems to me fair, that any quote that is attributed to LaRouche should be verifiable; there is certainly no shortage of published works by him, as well as published transcripts of his speeches going back to the 60s. If Andy wants to make it a paraphrase by Jacobs, fine, but it should not be presented to the unwary reader as a direct quote. --Herschelkrustofsky 05:32, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Would you accept phrasing that makes it clear that the quote comes through Jacobs, such as "Jacobs quotes LaRouche as saying," or "Jacob claims LaRouche said"? Snowspinner 05:40, Oct 10, 2004 (UTC)
That would be fine, and I have edited it in such a way that I hope all parties will accept. --Herschelkrustofsky 05:51, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Except you claimed that Jacobs was "paraphrasing" LaRouche - that's your claim, not his - Jacobs put quotation marks around LaRouche's statement which means its a direct quote. Do you have *any* evidence whatsoever that this isn't a direct quote? AndyL 12:52, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I don't accept Jacobs' implied claim that it is an accurate transcription. See above. --Herschelkrustofsky 13:42, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Herschel, unless LaRouche directly repudiates the quotation I see no reason to go along with what seems to be no more than your gut feeling (or wishful thinking). We've cited Jacobs as the source of the LaRouche quotation and that is sufficient in the absence of any actual evidence by you that would dispute the accuracy of the quotation (such as a transcript of the speech).AndyL 23:04, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
While I'm inclined to view suspicion of the accuracy of the quote with, well, suspicion, it seems to me somewhat more intellectually honest to make clear that we are citing Jacobs quoting LaRouche, and not LaRouche himself.
That said, I feel like "asserts" on a matter of a quotation is odd phrasing. Part of it is that "asserts" is placed in the sentence so as to suggest that Jacobs' controversial claim is that he went to the lecture, which is jarring. But also, assert feels to me like a word that casts more doubt on the claim than I'm convinced is warranted in this context. If Herschel is the only person who disbelieves the quote actively then there's not a real counterargument to the quote... it's more like original research. So I'd still prefer a simple "says" or "claims" (which I feel like is a more sympathetic term than "asserts" though I can't quite explain why), and I'd prefer it to read that he says or claims LaRouche said it, not to cast doubt on his attendance, which seems extreme to me...Snowspinner 15:40, Oct 10, 2004 (UTC)

"Jacobs says LaRouche says" would be a bit repetitive. Looking at it again I'm fine with "claims". AndyL 23:04, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Criminal Convictions

I agree with Weed that an essential part of a LaRouche biography must be the acknowledgement of those public figures that stood by him when he went to jail -- just as LaRouche opponents would not want an article that omitted to say he was convicted, which they see as a vindication of the campaign to discredit him (which came first, after all.) I have reduced Weed's listing some, and also eliminated the use of the word "conspiracy" which anti-LaRouche editors have liberally sprinkled throughout the article -- it should be considered POV language in the case of LaRouche. --Herschelkrustofsky 05:51, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

LaRouche uses the word a lot eg describing B'nai B'rith as "a treasonous conspiracy against the United States." If he accuses groups of "conspiracy" it is not POV to describe his theory as a "conspiracy theory". If you have problems with the use of the word perhaps you should sign on as LaRouche's speechwriter?AndyL 23:07, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

If LaRouche uses the word "conspiracy," it is appropriate to quote him. It is inappropriate to attach the word "conspiracy" to every characterization of LaRouche's ideas.--Herschelkrustofsky 12:41, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I don't see this as essential:

In a statement endorsing LaRouche for president, classical violinist Norbert Brainin wrote:
"Perhaps LaRouche's greatest quality is his passion for seeking the truth and fighting for it even if it means going to prison..."
--Prof. Dr. Norbert Brainin, O.B.E., London, England, December 13, 1991

I see no reason to have this statement appear in this article given it already exists in United States v. LaRouche and frankly it's usage and placement smacks of editorialization by proxy.AndyL 23:30, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Frankly, Andy, the quotes from Wohlforth, alleging that LaRouche is a closet totalitarian, and the amateur psychoanalysis by Berlet, strike me as editorialization by proxy, and they also strike me as highly unnecessary, given the amount of similar stuff in the "political views" article. However, I am willing to take Snowspinner's advice and tolerate them, provided you will do the same with what is admittedly a pro-LaRouche quote. Some people may find Brainin to be a more reputable judge of character than, say, Chip Berlet -- Brainin has an O.B.E. ;-) It may be of interest to a reader of a biographical page on LaRouche to know that someone out there disputes the characterization, which I think you may desire, of LaRouche as a criminal. And among those who support LaRouche, his status (which you are free to dispute) as America's most prominent former political prisoner is a particular point of honor. --Herschelkrustofsky 01:52, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Surely someone who has accepted an honour from that drug-dealing assassin Elizabeth II can't hold too much respect from a LaRouchite. At any rate, Berlet is, at least in theory, someone who has done research on LaRouche, and is thus an expert of sorts. Dr. Brainin is a violinist. I don't see why his view of LaRouche should be particularly interesting for anyone. john k 02:05, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"Honour"? I somehow had the impression, John, that you were the token American in the anti-LaRouche faction. --Herschelkrustofsky 12:41, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Well, John, the essential feature of Snowspinner's mediation -- which has provided some welcome relief from the enervating treadmill of the edit wars -- is that we present both opinions, and leave it to the reader to decide which is the more interesting. --Herschelkrustofsky 02:10, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I'm shocked that LaRouche would want anyone with an Order of the British Empire supporting him. Aren't all OBEs members of the Synarchy?AndyL 02:53, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hey, my joke, stolen! At any rate, obviously an article cannot present every opinion that anybody anywhere has ever given about LaRouche, so one has to make some sort of selection - one cannot simply "present both opinions," because obviously there are more than two opinions, although perhaps there are two basic schools of thought. john k 03:07, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Is there perhaps a political endorsement from someone who is in a field more traditionally associated with politics? Snowspinner 04:53, Oct 11, 2004 (UTC)
Firstly, LaRouche is not a politician in any traditional sense. Secondly, Brainin is a man who has achieved much in his life, and is worthy of respect; a man whose political views stem from his deep humanitarianism, with no other agenda; a man who knows LaRouche personally and well; and (unlike any of LaRouche's critics) he is an observant Jew who fled Austria to escape persecution at the hands of the Nazis. He respects LaRouche as a colleague in the field of music, which also tells you something very interesting about LaRouche. Finally, his quote is very succinct.
I am committed to this quote and prefer it above others. However, I could supplement it with something from one of LaRouche's friends from the American Civil Rights Movement -- although I'm sure someone will object to that, as well. --Herschelkrustofsky 12:41, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)


I have archived a sizeable chunk of this page. If anyone objects, I trust that they will not hesitate to say so. --Herschelkrustofsky 12:53, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)