The Justice for Jeremiah Campaign has received many letters from ex-members and from families of current members, expressing their experiences and concerns.
Here is one of them:
Dear Ms. Duggan,
I read your letter several times to myself. Each time trying to fight the tears that I wish to shed. Your letter is the one that only a mother can write.
There are many questions that you ask about his cult group. I will try to answer as many as I can over the course of several days. The first time I heard of your son's death I just glanced over the article, figuring that it was a traffic death. The next batch of articles described more of the Circumstances that made me think of my former association with the various LaRouche entities.
I was a very idealistic young man in an time, around 30 years ago when there was a world lack of idealism. So I was looking for something to do that would satisfy my curiosity, I stumbled across the LHL (Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche) In one swoop, I thought I had all the questions answered of why the world works, how to end problems and how to get people to be better. We did not have an internet back then, so any rumors of weirdness and crazy things in the LHL arena were treated as either rumors or slanders. A few years later I left college and began to do more with the group. Our activities were promoting science advancement, anti drug work and support of the classics. All very noble ambitions. When you are young, you do not immediately see the hidden agendas and the increasing cult like Behaviour.
What I did notice was that many members were psychologically broken down. Very depressed, poor, alienated from friends and family. People were Leaving families, marriages, kids, jobs to "Save the human species". LHL has a mesmerising presence at 6 foot 5. He has an uncanny ability to link any event in the world in a convoluted, but interesting conspiracy. If a young person wanted one answer to every question, LHL could deliver. I know a lot more now then before.
Here is how the cult recruits:
You set up different front groups that espouse some very good idea. We had a science org. called "The Fusion Energy Foundation". An anti drug org. A political wing which ran candidates. We eventually set up an org. run by LHL's wife called "The Schiller Institute". Helga Zepp LaRouche became LHL' wife in the late 70's. We set up the group to promote art, music, poetry and other cultural activities. We focused on Friedrich Schiller as the beacon.
But every event and activity was ultimately a ruse to develop support for the LaRouches.
They believed that they alone could save the world. In our 1980's
campaigns we borrowed huge sums of money from supporters, promising to pay it
back. It was all a hoax. Money was shifted around, and various people went to
jail, including LHL for fraud and tax evasion. Many
members left and the cult was dying off. But during the
The people who became close were put through the following:
- Alienation from any connection to your former life. Your family, friends, co workers were criminals because they would not support LaRouche.
- Dismissal of college studies as unimportant. "How can you go to college when the Human race depends on what we do?". Kids were encouraged to drop out.
- Financial dependence. You were given a limited stipend that left you penniless. You lived with other members in group housing. The longer you were in , the broker you got. And this was after you gave or lent them all your money.
- Emotional dependence. Since you cut off relations with your family and friends, you depended on other members for everything.
- Psychological dependence. Your entire identity was no longer as an Individual, but as a "LaRouche organiser".
- Physical dependence. Sine you were doing something for LaRouche around the clock, you never had contact with the real world. Every bit of your previous life was attacked. Your hobbies, religion, ethnicity, musical and movie tastes were attacked. Ultimately you adopted an approved list of things that were considered worthy of a LaRouche organiser.
- Intellectual dependence. Since you were in a closed environment, you were only getting news, info and current events from the LaRouche publications. But many people were worked so much, that they never had time to read what they were selling. You also would attack all sorts of public figures, Spokesman, politicians as part of this ever growing conspiracy.
They would build up people in classes they would have older members teach. Eventually the goal was to recruit you. They often did this by having you attend a conference and wooing and impressing you. Out of a conference, if you got a few hard core recruits, you did good.
Here is what I suspect happened to your son. This is speculation on my part, but I witnessed this many times in the past.
Your son met some one in the street campaigning against the
He attended a few meetings, the group invited
him to a large meeting in
The group invited him to some ones house to talk things over. Now keep in mind that the purpose of this meeting is to see how much a person is willing to hold on to in his identity. They will attack your parents, job, education, boy and girlfriends and even spouses as the things which hold you back from really being able to take over the world. Your entire psych profile will be jolted. Remember this, the cult does not want dummies and people who have no money.
Some people panic at this. Usually there is some booze to loosen tongues. I remember several members who bolted out of conference halls, or were kept up all night in sessions. I saw people who had their marriages and relationships dissolved because they were not giving all to LaRouche. You are never told that it is for LaRouche, but that "Humanity depends on you". They wish to make you feel very guilty, as if every dead person due to famine and war is on your soul.
My inclination is that your son did not think that he knew what was really going on. After an all night session of attacks and debate, he fled in panic. I do not know your son, but I was witness to many a member storm out of a meeting after being attacked by the group for various inadequacies.
Your son may have thought that he was in a mad house, and fled. His parents, career, his girlfriend, his writing was all reduced to being worthless in their eyes. Being Jewish is another factor. The group has often viciously attacked the ethnic and religious heritage of members to explain why they were not doing all that they can. After years of this, many Jewish members quit, the ones that remained are a pretty beaten bunch.
It is getting late here in the states. They have been sued many a time for financial fraud. I do wish that their disgusting irresponsibility be held accountable. I have seen too many people who were mentally and physically destroyed by this group. I left many years ago in the 80's I could not stomach what I was seeing. I thought that they would die off, but this is like 1974 all over again.
Understand that LHL is surrounded by many sycophants. He is quite delusional and really believes the nonsense that he preaches. That is what is scary. This is not just a con man fleecing people for money.
My prayers are with you and your family. Since this happened in
Yours with deepest sympathy,
They will not apologise, they have no souls. They took several millions from elderly people when I was in with out any remorse. Those of us with a conscience, left a long time ago.