Despite its problems with the federal government in the United States, the organization of Lyndon LaRouche is currently currying concern in Canada. According to Prof. Frank Chalk of Montreal’s Concordia University, who is chairman of B’nai B’rith Canada’s (BBC) social action committee, the LaRouchites in Canada are following a different strategy than in the U.S. and constitute possibly more danger there.
Last month, BBC launched a nationwide “public awareness campaign” to counter the growth of the U.S.-based LaRouche organization in Canada. At that time, they released a report, “The Lyndon LaRouche Network: The Canadian Connection,” which describes the activities of the rightwing, very eccentric group that advocates mandatory AIDS testing for all, the colonization of Mars, and has accused Queen Elizabeth of England and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger of international drug trafficking.
However, it is their racism, anti-Semitism and revisionist version of the Holocaust, couched in obscurantist allegations and frequently self contradictory, that have garnered the attention to the group as a danger that must be watched.
In the U.S. the LaRouche candidates entered state primaries on the Democratic ticket, confusing voters, particularly in last year’s gubernatorial primary in Illinois, when Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson III was forced to quit his party’s ticket and run independently after two LaRouchites won the primary as his running mates.
NATURE OF THE CONCERN
In Canada, however, the LaRouche candidates have run on their own registered political party, the Party for the Commonwealth, known in Quebec as Le Parti de la Republique du Canada. In the last national elections in Canada in 1984, the party fielded 65 candidates nationwide, 47 in Quebec alone. It polled only 06 percent of the total vote, but it ran candidates for provincial, municipal and school-board elections in four provinces — Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. What is of particular concern in Canada, Chalk told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, is the presence of LaRouchites at major airports, including Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary, where they staff tables filled with innocent-looking literature that travelers are rather easily convinced to read. This includes the Executive Intelligence Review, a Washington-based weekly magazine with European headquarters in West Germany, which Chalk said looks like an ordinary business publication. “You might very well not perceive the ideology of the LaRouche organization by looking at it,” Chalk said.
He said that the organization has been functioning through the Schiller Institute, which was founded in 1984 by LaRouche’s German-born wife, Helga-Zepp LaRouche, “for unclear purposes.” The Institute has been trying to recruit students at Montreal’s four universities, said Chalk, setting up tables on campus labelled “For a High Culture.”
They have tried to register at the schools as a student organization, but have been deterred till now from doing it. At Concordia, said Chalk, a student complained to the school authorities that the group was anti-Semitic, and the school did not accredit them.
Chalk said it is better to risk giving the LaRouche people a little free publicity than to allow Canadians to continue being largely unaware of what the organization stands for. “Some people who don’t know what they are might vote for them,” he said.
U.S. FEDERAL AGENTS SHUT DOWN ORGANIZATION
In contrast, in the U.S., federal agents have effectively shut down the organization by occupying its offices in Leesburg, Va., and several other cities in their efforts to collect fines totaling over $16 million. On Monday, a federal bankruptcy judge in Alexandria, Va., placed three LaRouche-related organizations in involuntary bankruptcy at the Justice Department’s request. Involuntary bankruptcy, labeled “Chapter 7” of the federal bankruptcy law, calls for liquidation of a company’s assets, differing from the voluntary “Chapter 11” filing which gives a bankrupt firm time to reorganize in order to pay off its creditors.
LaRouche organization representatives vigorously protested the government’s actions, claiming that they have almost no funds.
A spokesman for the group, Warren Hammerman, said the bankruptcy action was a political vendetta against LaRouche because of his calls for AIDS testing and his contentions that a “secret government” exists. LaRouche has said that there is an international fascist-communist conspiracy led by the Rockefellers, the Ford Foundation, labor unions and international bankers.
AN EXTREMELY RARE MOVE
Lawyers for the LaRouche organization were reportedly unaware of the proceedings, a move described by legal experts as extremely rare. The government named a temporary trustee, Norman Oliver, over the companies with LaRouche ties.
Henry Hudson, U.S. attorney in Alexandria, told reporters that the move was “somewhat extraordinary,” necessitated by the LaRouche’s organization’s refusal to pay a $21 million judgment by the U.S. government against the organization for contempt of court, besides the millions owing to private individuals, mostly elderly, who have charged being defrauded by the LaRouchites. Hudson’s office is also conducting a major tax fraud investigation of LaRouche and his associates.
The trustees were set to inventory LaRouche offices in Washington, Leesburg, Houston, Palisades Park, NJ, Quincy, Mass., and possibly other locations. LaRouche representatives were denied entry to the raided offices.
Late last year, a federal grand jury in Boston indicted 13 LaRouche associates and five organizations on charges of credit card fraud and obstruction of justice.