PART SEVEN: Conspiracies and Code Words

If I were the head of the Illuminati, I certainly would not call it by that name....I'd call it the John Birch Society, and advertise it as an organization opposed to the Illuminati. That way I'd be able to rope in all the people who are against the Illuminati and use them as unwitting dupes.

This is such a plausible idea that if the Illuminati do exist, they must have thought of it already.


Chapter Twenty-seven

LaRouche's Purloined Letter

American journalists are generally unaccustomed to dealing with the subtleties of extremist ideology. Electoral contests between Republicans and Democrats do not reflect the range of views found in, say, French or Italian elections, which span the spectrum from Communist to fascist. Even mainstream ideologies in the United States have become little more than pieties accompanying the TV glitz. It is thus hardly a surprise that American journalists have difficulty understanding what LaRouche is about. They assume he will use ideas and words in as straightforward a way as they themselves do. When he doesn't, they become confused and tend to dismiss his ideas as a "puzzle," a "mystery," or "difficult to characterize," although they concede that he appears to be some kind of "extremist." They conceal their confusion and intellectual laziness with jokes about LaRouche the kook who thinks the Queen of England pushes drugs, entirely missing the real meaning of his quip about the Queen.

LaRouche knows that his writings mystify most readers, but he provides little hints for them. For instance, he suggests that they approach his writings in the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe's famous detective, Monsieur Dupin. "The 'secrets' of my actions," LaRouche says, "are of the same order as the purloined letter of the Poe tale, or the open secrets of nature--it is a matter of knowing not only where, but how to look."

To learn how to look, one must begin with LaRouche's conspiracy theory of history, which highlights the role of deception and concealment in the transmission of ideology through the centuries. In "The Secrets Known Only to the Inner Elites," LaRouche claims that he and his followers represent a 3,000-year-old faction of "Neoplatonic humanists" locked in mortal struggle with an equally ancient ''oligarchy." To avoid repression by the dominant oligarchy, the humanists through the centuries have concealed their ideas in much the way that an espionage agent conceals his identity. Indeed, the humanist is a combination of spy and underground revolutionary organizer. LaRouche cites the example of St. Augustine, who supposedly adopted Christianity as his cover for organizing a united front against the oligarchy.

The concept of "cover" is also the basis of LaRouche's views on philosophy and literature. The wisdom of the humanist conspiracy supposedly is concealed in the writings of Plato, Dante, Machiavelli, etc. Their method is like a play within a play, using one philosophy as a smoke screen for another. The disciple thinks he is studying harmless philosophy A, but he is subliminally absorbing subversive philosophy B. By the time he gains full insight, he is so firmly hooked that he won't betray the truth to outsiders. Of course, many students never gain full awareness, and indeed these may be the most useful: In LaRouche's theory of espionage the best agent is often the one who is unaware that he is an agent--the zombie agent, the Manchurian candidate.

LaRouche believes poetry is especially useful as a means of communication among agents because it "disallow[s] any literal or ordinary symbolic significance" and "conjoin[s] predicates ambiguously so that only the preconscious transfinite for such conjoined elements can be intended." In plain English: If you use ambiguous language, you can always deny what you really meant if the authorities come after you. Meanwhile your message can reach the discerning few and you can continue to act on philosophy B while calling it philosophy A. As LaRouche, referring to his enemies, said in a 1978 speech: "It is not necessary to call oneself a fascist to be a fascist. It is simply necessary to be one."

But LaRouche's theory of ideological deception also asserts something of a more subtle nature: Through ambiguity and code words, it's possible to appeal to the reader or listener's ''preconscious mind" and thus lead him gradually into ideas his conscious mind would otherwise reject. So when LaRouche wrote in 1979 about "Machiavelliís" success in outwitting the "donkey censors," the word "censor" was actually a pun referring both to political censors and to the censor (superego) of Freudian theory. A LaRouchian article in 1986, signed by none other than "Machiavelli," made this point clearly: Euphemisms or code words are "an artificial mechanism to avoid the moral shock effacing bestiality in its most degenerate forms." Although LaRouche portrayed this as a method used by oligarchs rather than his favored humanists, he himself utilized the basic principle in the mid-1970s to instill fascist ideas in his leftist followers. As most of them feared and loathed fascism, LaRouche could never have won them over without code words and ambiguity to short-circuit the moral shock they would have experienced if he had spoken frankly.

LaRouche was quite aware of what he was doing. "Words and syntactical forms," he wrote, have customary meanings. To elicit something beyond those customary meanings, to express an idea that is "genuinely new," one must add "a new meaning"--however subtle--to the "existing medium." LaRouche made this observation in The Case of Walter Lippmann (1977), which gave new meanings to many "customary" terms. For instance, "republican" was used over and over to mean "fascist." Lippmann, LaRouche's major theoretical work, also abounded in multileveled puns that slyly alluded to various fascist and anti-Semitic ideas. For instance, LaRouche referred to the oligarchy as "nominalists." Nominalism was the medieval precursor of modern empiricism. For LaRouche, it is a synonym for "materialism"--the philosophy that anti-Semites accuse Jews of having developed as a weapon against Christianity and Aryanism. LaRouche's nominalism also designates materialistic values--the alleged money consciousness of the Jews and the alleged "bestial heteronomy" of the masses. On a deeper level the term refers to the "nominal Jews"--the "Jews who are not Jews." In addition, since the nominalist philosophy was closely associated with scholastic philosophers from England (especially William of Occam), LaRouche can use it to cross-reference his favorite anti-Semitic euphemisms: "British" and "British empiricist." Such puns aside, LaRouche has good reason to hate nominalism; It is a philosophy that argues that words are only signs for things and have no independent existence--it thus stands opposed to LaRouche's semantic tricks.

Ambiguity and puns are okay for some purposes, but a serious political conspiracy also needs ideological precision. LaRouche refers to "the 'codes' of the Renaissance intelligence and conciliar networks." These were not developed as a mere academic exercise, he says. "Certain qualities of ideas cannot be communicated in any other fashion." Here LaRouche is describing real history, although in a distorted way. For centuries political writers have used code words or euphemisms to evade censorship and other forms of state repression. In the late nineteenth century, Russian revolutionaries employed an elaborate "Aesopian" language to evade the czarist censors. Poland's Solidarity trade union in the early 1980s used code words to criticize the Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union itself, dissidents have seized on Mikhail Gorbachev's term glasnost and transformed it into a euphemism for Western-style democracy.

In the United States, code language is a convenient tool for advocates of racism and anti-Semitism. They don't have to worry about being jailed for their ideas, but they do have to use caution in communicating with those outside their ranks. While laying out their argument they must avoid triggering a premature revulsion or feeling of embarrassment in their audience. They must also protect themselves against the backlash from their ideas--negative press coverage, social ostracism, or even physical assault from members of the targeted ethnic groups. Racists thus talk about "states' rights" in the South and "law and order" in the North. Anti-Semites call themselves "anti-Zionists." Naturally, not all advocates of states' rights or law and order are racists, nor are all critics of Israel Jew-haters. This is precisely what makes the code words so convenient.

West Germany outlaws overt neo-Nazi agitation. Yet hundreds of neo-Nazi, racial nationalist, and conservative nationalist groups have sprouted on German soil since World War II, each with an intense desire to communicate various forbidden or impolitic messages to the general public. They do so in large part through code words. Political scientist Kurt Tauber, in his 1,600-page Beyond Eagle and Swastika, describes the deceptive tactics of scores of such groups in the first two decades after the war. One militant youth league in the 1950s was called the Schiller Youth, although it engaged in activities more appropriate to the Hitler Youth. It is significant that LaRouche has founded a Schiller Institute, and his wife speaks of bringing a Schillerzeit to America.

Former LaRouche followers believe that the planting of code terms in NCLC publications is a means of signaling old-style fascists around the world (the "old humanist networks," as some LaRouchians call them) that the NCLC is sympathetic to their aims. One way this is done is by using occult buzzwords like "Atlantis" and "Thule" to allude to the Aryan race and the Third Reich. The practice springs from the popular belief that Hitler and many of his top followers were motivated by occult doctrines. Cryptic references to this putative Nazi occultism are easily recognized by those active in the secretive world of Western European and South American neo-fascism as well as in U.S. white supremacist groups.

LaRouche also has adopted various conspiracy theories of the Nazi and pre-Nazi era long forgotten by everyone outside of hard-core anti-Semitic circles. He uses these theories in a sly form, referring to the "Babylonians" and the "British" rather than the Jews. This is not just sending signals; it is LaRouche's version of what he calls the Renaissance intelligence "codes." It enables him to evade the "donkey censor" to discuss in print the core theories of Nazism: that the Jews are the ancient enemy of the human race, that they are a separate biological entity, and that they must be crushed in a final cataclysmic struggle. Through this code language, he is able to promote a neo-Nazi ideology in all but name yet remain sufficiently respectable to gain meetings with high-level Reagan administration aides and raise tens of millions of dollars a year from elderly conservatives. LaRouche has shown his fellow fascists around the world how to have your cake and eat it too.