Conspiracy politician LaRouche has died
by Juliana Chan Erikson
Posted 2/14/19, 10:25 am
Lyndon LaRouche, an American political activist who pushed eclectic—and in his latter years mostly conspiratorial—views on American policies, died Tuesday, his political action committee confirmed. He was 96.
LaRouche grew up in Massachusetts, where he first joined the Socialist Workers Party in 1949. While teaching classes on Marxism to university students in New York in the late 1960s, he organized the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC), a political activist network he hoped would control America’s trade unions and overthrow the government.
The LaRouche movement grew out of the NCLC, which included student groups, a political action committee, and the creation of a fringe political party. Between 1976 and 2004, LaRouche ran for president eight consecutive times under his Labor Party, never receiving more than 1 percent of the vote.
LaRouche spent five years in federal prison for mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the IRS by defaulting on more than $30 million in loans from campaign supporters. He shared a cell with disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker, who wrote in his autobiography, “To say LaRouche was a little paranoid would be like saying that the Titanic had a little leak.”
The New York Times in 1989 said LaRouche maintained “a view of the world in which Aristotelians use sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll and environmentalism and quantum theory to support wealthy oligarchs and create a civilization-destroying Dark Age.”
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Juliana Chan Erikson
Juliana is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute’s mid-career class.