Monday, November 20, 2006

NewU Opinion: Political Cult Invades UCI: Don’t Be Deceived

Related to this opinion is this letter to the editor in the same issue of the NewU:

Link to article

Political Cult Invades UCI: Don’t Be Deceived
By David Syatt

You see them on campus with signs proclaiming the evils of the Bush Administration. You listen to their words and believe that they’re preaching freedom and liberty. And now, after being arrested during a protest at UC Irvine, you think that they’re martyrs for the First Amendment. However, do not be tricked by the LaRouche Youth Movement, a radical political cult fueled by conspiracy theories.

It is easy to look at the pictures of President George W. Bush as a monkey on their booths and think to yourself, “That’s funny. These people must be pretty cool.” But these little displays are just attempts to lasso in ignorant college students who think of themselves as liberals.

If you go up to one of these recruiters and tell them that you’ve heard of their leader, Lyndon LaRouche, a look of surprise and hostility will appear on their faces, because they know that if you’ve heard of him and are not waving one of his pamphlets around with ecstatic glee, then you are against him.

Lyndon LaRouche has run for president in every election since 1976, but he has never been nominated as a candidate for any party. This is because of the disturbing beliefs he insists are true.

First of all, LaRouche scoffs at “the mythical ‘six million Jewish victims’ of the Nazi ‘Holocaust’” in his 1978 article, “New Pamphlet to Document Cult Origins of Zionism.” In the same article, he says that only about 1.5 million Jews died in Nazi Germany and holds that “what the Nazis did to Jewish victims was mild compared with the virtual extermination of gypsies and the butchery of Communists.”

Recruiters will tell you that LaRouche has never been an anti-Semite and has, in fact, written many pro-Jewish articles (which is true). However, if you look at the cover of the booklet that is now being handed out on the UCI campus (“Is Joseph Goebbels on Your Campus?”) you’ll see pictures of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and… Lynne Cheney. Now, I’m liberal. I did my part to give the Democrats the majority in Congress, but do I believe that Dick Cheney – let alone his wife – can be compared to Hitler and Goebbels, two of the most evil people in history? Of course not, and neither should any rational person. This just shows how LaRouche and his followers trivialize the Holocaust.

Yet, LaRouche’s views on the Holocaust show his more tender, cuddlier side when compared to his views on AIDS and homosexuality. LaRouche presents his solution to the AIDS epidemic in his 1986 article, “The End of the Age of Aquarius?”:

“Yes, we must destroy AIDS. It’s going to destroy everybody, … which means we’re going to have to put away every carrier until they can no longer carry.”

Later, LaRouche writes, “Children are going to playgrounds, they go in with baseball bats, and they find one of these gays there, pederasts, trying to recruit children, and they take their baseball bats and they beat them up pretty bad. They’ll kill one sooner or later. … Children go out with baseball bats and beat them up—which is perfectly moral; they have the civil right to do that! It’s a matter of children’s civil rights!”

To end AIDS, people should attack gays with baseball bats? Followers of LaRouche may say that he has changed his views since 1986, which makes perfect sense. After all, he wrote this when he was 64, so I am sure that he’s matured since that young age.

Why does anyone – especially liberal Southern Californian college students – support LaRouche, given views such as these? The youth who follow this man are victims of deceit and should not be blamed.

Yaron Brook, head of the Ayn Rand Institute and the speaker that the LYM recently protested at UCI, basically wants to see World War III happen in the Middle East and compares Islamic regimes to the Axis powers of the past. So it is no wonder that a liberal-minded young person would want to challenge him. LaRouche targets controversial figures such as Brook in order to attract followers. The Ayn Rand Institute is a petty organization. Even the Muslim Student Union, which disagrees vehemently with Brook’s views, declined to protest the event because they felt that it wasn’t worth their time.

LaRouche wants people to think he’s a liberal saint and to believe his inane theories, which compare members of the Republican Party to Nazis. He is a burned-out, 84-year-old man who has been desperately trying to get noticed by real politicians since 1969. Keep this in mind next time one of his recruiters approach you with an inviting smile and you’ll be safe.

David Syatt is a second-year literary journalism major. He can be reached at

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