One of those fold-up tables covered with books, pamphlets and fliers that used to be a lot more prevalent on street corners around the country, including in airports, was spotted by someone who posted on Twitter a couple weeks ago. The table displayed handmade signs that read, “Putin is Your Friend” and “Defend Trump.” Others signs at similar tables called out to “Jail Mueller,” the special investigator in charge the Russia election interference investigation that is now tightening its noose around Trump.
The person who posted those images called the people who manned those tables “MAGA (Make America Great Again) Propagandists,” and indeed his label fits them somewhat.
But no, these represent what’s left of the Lyndon LaRouche organization, the leftist student activist group centered at New York’s Columbia University in the late 1960s that transformed into a full-blown personality cult by the mid-1970s and despite fading by the 1990s, showed up here and there with the infamous posters of Obama with a Hitlerian mustache in the last decade.
LaRouche, who used to go by Lyn Marcus before he became obsessed with numerous failed bids for the U.S. presidency himself, is now closing in on his 96th birthday and is believed to be rummaging around a compound in Germany while his much-younger wife, Helga, is now the nominal leader of the now-tiny organization.
But it is instructive in evaluating how the “Cult of Trump,” or as some call it, “Cult 45,” has continued to evolve where this marginal LaRouche business fits in.
It should not be overlooked that in the infamous Steele Dossier, which has yet to have a single word effectively discredited, that the guest list of Americans summoned by Putin for an important pre-2016 U.S. presidential campaign meeting held in Moscow included not only Trump’s discredited former national security advisor Michael Flynn, but the U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, and, low and behold, a representative of the LaRouche organization.
It is safe to say that with Trump’s rant at a VFW rally in St. Louis last week, when he told an undersized crowd that “what you are seeing and reading is not what is happening,” that he crossed a line into the queasy world of cult brainwashing by telling his followers not to believe their own eyes and ears, but only him.
Many observers picked up on that, quoting British psy war agent George Orwell’s observation in his “1984” novel about a brainwashed totalitarian culture, that “the party that told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears made its most essential command.”
No doubt there is a sinister method to the madness of Trump’s escalating attacks on the media – any of them who do not kowtow to him and his characterization of events. There is sufficient documentation, despite the destruction of warehouses full of evidence in the mid-1970s, that Western intelligence entities were delving deeply into the practice of brainwashing as it was used in the Second World War and Korean Wars.
The problem was that, contrary to the fiction of the “Manchurian Candidate,” brainwashing was found be ineffective in individual cases. Therefore, the idea of the cult was devised, which would provide 24/7 reinforcement of mind control objectives.
Sensory deprivation, separation from family, ego-stripping, exhaustion and around-the-clock control were the only way that cult victims could be maintained in brainwashed states to opt for the version of reality provided by their “leaders” over their own senses.
Leah Remini, the actress who defected from Scientology, has been one of the most effective warriors against this practice in a three-season TV series that won her an Emmy last year. The Scientology cult follows many of the same practices as countless others, including what happened inside the LaRouche version in the mid-1970s.
I know because I was in the LaRouche group when that began to happen. It happened at just the same time that the group’s identity and practice shifted from being generally leftist, to working with some of the most unsavory right wing, including anti-Semitic, entities around.
Who, the KGB, or the CIA, or the Chinese, were the forces behind this? (To be continued.)
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.