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One of Lyndon LaRouche's most bizarre claims during the Chris White affair was that White could have been programmed to die by eating a cyanide capsule or other poison pill hidden in his own feces. As LaRouche famously explained in his 3 January address:
There are dangers, there are drug insertions, where after a number of weeks the poison is released in your body automatically and you self-destruct, chemically self-destruct. There are ways in which, say, pills can be inserted in the rectum, and when you get to a certain stage in your program, you make a bowel movement of a certain type, with a certain kind of psychosomatic feeling. This disgorges at least one of two poison pills: you eat your excrement and that way you get the poison in your system. There are other ways of doing the same thing. There are sophisticated ways, if you want to get nice and mechanical – you can play around with teaching people to program their own alpha waves, and so forth. Things like that. To adjust their own blood pressure. To kill themselves by high blood pressure. All kinds of wonderful things can be done, in the name of science.
LaRouche's notion made little sense. Why wouldn't the CIA or KGB simply program White to throw himself out a window? Any autopsy would show that he would have died by taking cyanide. Yet LaRouche was so committed to his scenario that he argued that repeating the mantra "CIA rats eat shit" would show that a member of the NCLC had not been tampered with.1 Yet LaRouche's ideas about feces were central to his broader views of human psychology and can be found in his Beyond Psychoanalysis writings. LaRouche also discusses shit in his 21 August 1974 polemic against Centers for Change guru Fred Newman entitled Marxism and Existentialist Socialism. Here LaRouche writes:
Much of the psychological warfare technology developed by Tavistock, the RAND Corporation and other fascist think-tanks concentrates upon identifying the particular scato-psycho pathologies specific to various national cultures and their principal component classes. It happens that the endemic forms in capitalist society (in particular) correspond to the potential of the atomized individual to become a fascist, provided he is reduced by lumpenization to such an infantile state in an appropriate way.
The individual who employs the term ("shit"). . . does so because his own infantile fears enable him to more or less accurately project the effect of the "shit" attack upon the intended victim of sadomasochistic psychological violence.
The year 1974 also saw the publication of another document that discusses "shit"': Christine Berl's Resignation Statement. Only here the only person identified as attacking their "intended victim" with "sadomasochistic psychological violence" was Lyndon LaRouche. Berl recalls that in the "Beyond Psychoanalysis" sessions that she experienced:
The obsession with shit and the endless stream of scatological and sadistic humor issuing from Marcus around this obsession successfully and repeatedly reduced all the individuals in the sessions to the level of animals.
They were forced to concede that a large portion of their thinking could be reduced to a preoccupation with shit, and especially the fear of this preoccupation. Women were hit particularly viciously with this form of reductionism, even to the point of tracing their sexuality to the proximity of the anus and the vagina with only the thin strip of the perineum distinguishing the two. Marcus claimed that this anatomical peculiarity was the origin of women's feelings of degradation, since it gave rise to the confusion of the sexual act with the act of excretion. It is hardly an exaggeration to say this was a radical departure from classical Marxism.
LaRouche's fascination with feces took on a philosophical dimension.2 He claimed that "empiricism/reductionism" model that included everyone from David Hume to B.F. Skinner to Jean-Paul Sartre was a manifestation of a "little hard ball" or "monad" psychology based on an infantile notion of feces. When LaRouche popularized the phrase "You're blocking" he meant it both in a mental and physical sense since he believed that the real problem with truly grasping dialectical thinking, gestalt creativity, "species consciousness," etc., was due to a kind of mental constipation rooted in physical constipation. By "unblocking," seemingly ordinary individuals could develop into creative geniuses.
From Challenge of Left Hegemony issued in May 1973:
The "crap" you discover . . . represents powerful, pain-induced compulsions. Listen carefully and hear not the depersonalized compulsions, but the voice of your parents, etc. The "crap" you find in you is all something done to you brutally by your parents (and others) who have acted viciously toward you in their capacity as the mediators of capitalist culture . . . . Dig deeply into yourself and you will really begin to discover the hideous things done to you, especially about the time you were bowel-trained.
The anxiety you feel as you begin to call up and reckon with the crap induced by you by your parents, et al, is the punishment being inflicted upon you by your idealized parents and others within your mental life.
In his article on the PSP in the Campaigner, LaRouche states,
There is a direct connection between this sort of phenomenon [the individual being reduced to a "Schwaermerei" of a lost sense of "I" and then being restored to a "self-conscious" identity] and the remedying of even severe psychosomatic illnesses.
Intestinal psychosomatic involvements and migraine headache syndromes are among the most accessible to remedy in this way. (Indeed, the variety of disturbances falsely deemed of organic etiology which are suspicious of remedy or significant improvement through analysis indicates that psychosomatic medicine is of far greater importance and engages much more of the realm of "organic" disorders than is usually admitted even by professionals.). . . (Emphasis added.)
The link between psychological disorder and somatic disorders is shown to be connected to this psycho pathology is through the mediation of the fundamental emotion, which is obviously linked to proprioceptive and ACTH dynamics.
"THINK DOWN YOUR COLON"
LaRouche also discusses "shit" in his 3 January 1974 speech, where he attacks R. D. Laing, the former Tavistock clinic psychiatrist, as a brainwasher:
structuralists like Laing are very instrumental. Laing's psychology, if you look at it with the understanding that I have of it, is an argument, an apology for brainwashing.
You know what "being-in-the-world" is? Shit. That's right. That's what it means psychologically. That's what it means in brainwashing. They take away your father. Your father's nothing. Your mother doesn't love you, your sister, and so forth. Look at you, you little id. You little failure, you nothing. Look. You know what you are? Think down. Think down your colon. Go along that transverse colon. Go down the descending colon. Come to the sigmoid. There's where you are. That's you. You're nothing. I won't repeat the phrasing, because if anyone has had a programming experience – if there's a sleeper in the audience – he would freak out. Or probably would freak out. That's Laing. The brainwasher or programmer who has to do the job simply translates Laing into its practical form. Laing is not human. Laing and Hitler belong in the same category. With Hitler maybe slightly higher up in the moral scale.
In Marxism and Existential Socialism, LaRouche elaborates on how someone reduced to a feeling of id terror and worthlessness and fear, will willingly enters into a state of bonding with a group whose magical rites he believes will protect him from the terror lurking outside:
The victim is reduced to an infantile state, in which his psychological existence depends upon the availability of a "mother surrogate," either an individual (as in the hypnotic or "Manchurian Candidate" form of brainwashing) or upon an immediate group which acts for him as a collective "mother." In this state, the "child" has lost all sense of reality of cause-effect relations in the world "outside" the surrogate mother's immediate domain.
In this circumstance, the irrationality ("absurdity") of the outer world is seen to be prevented from destroying him only by "mother's magic." The process of propitiating the surrogate mother becomes the center of suggestibility, to graft onto the residue of his infantile beliefs a set of beliefs which correspond to the propitiatory verbal and other interpersonal acts (e.g., rituals of touching and feeling) which he regards as "survival mechanism" within the group. That induced pathological state is the only significant meaning of the term, "belief structure" . . . .
In reality, it was the members of the NCLC who found that they had "lost all sense of reality of cause-effect relations in the world 'outside'" the hermetic environment of the cult.
In his essay "The Real CIA" in the "Tavistock" Campaigner(part 1), LaRouche again discusses at length the use of "small group" brainwashing methods and their employment against physically and mentally beaten down social groups:
In all instances, individual brainwashing or in "small group" control, the essential method deployed is measured use of the techniques adduced in clinical studies of the inducing of "war neurosis" in the victims. . . .
"War Neurosis." Under the strain of what appears to be "infinitely extended" pain or stress, the victim tends to make the unendurable tolerable by what can be broadly termed disassociation. The mind retreats, by one trick or another, from knowledge of the stress or pain which it regards as otherwise unendurable.
The primary neurotic mechanism for so disassociating the victim's self-awareness from the stress is reaction formation. This is crudely illustrated for our present purposes by reference to what might be termed the "Bettelheim syndrome," the common experience from the inmates of the Nazi concentration camp in which the victims of psychological stress identified with the SS guards.
Former NEC member Christine Berl's brilliant l974 Resignation Statement documented LaRouche's "ego-stripping" "Beyond Psychoanalysis" sessions and how they were aimed at first humiliating an individual down to the id/ "shit" level before then transferring the individual's sense of identity back into an identification with the "Logos Principle" (embodied, of course, in LaRouche) in order to escape further attack.
In summing up his discussion of "Tavistock" brainwashing methods, LaRouche then actually and accurately described the very experience that the NCLC collectively went through just a few months earlier:
1) The example of "war neurosis" as a model for developing sophisticated methods of inducing desired forms of neurotic and psychotic states in both individuals (brainwashing) and controlled groups. 2) The use of the basic neurotic mechanism of mother-image domination and "mother's fears" as the key to the dynamic approach to stress-induced neurotic or psychotic forms of "belief system" modification and "attitude change." 3) The concentration of psychological terror in "attack therapy" itself upon those particular forms of "anal fears" identified as characteristic of each national-cultural grouping.
. . . . In short, it is the Tavistock fascists concentration upon the fears associated with the pseudo-mother within the neurotic victim, and playing upon anal-psychological fears most emphatically which is the main thrust of the brainwasher's "attack therapy" within the police-created aversive controlled environment.
Here LaRouche – consciously or unconsciously – projects onto the "Tavistock Institute" and "the CIA" the very practices that he implemented inside the NCLC beginning in the spring/summer of 1973 with leading American and European cadre and that ultimately culminated in the utter debacle of the Chris White affair.
ENTER THE HOMINTERN
During the Chris White affair, LaRouche's interest in "anal fears" also was unrelenting. He repeatedly and graphically elaborated on the idea that both Chris White and Bill Engdahl had suffered homosexual rape.
From LaRouche's 3 January 1974 speech:
I ask you to contemplate the high voltage electro-convulsive shock therapy. I ask you to contemplate eating shit as a way of getting less pain. I ask you to contemplate sucking a penis as a way of getting less pain. I ask you to contemplate sitting for hours with a bottle shoved up your rectum as a way of easing pain.
And there are some more real beauties. The best of them all – you know what it is? Svoboda. How does the program end? Svoboda. You're free. The person goes into a final total caricature sort of steppin-fetchit homosexual act. Pathetic. Worse. Like a dead cow. It begins to die. He's free. Automatic crematoria. No gas ovens required. The person is programmed to self-destruct. That's his freedom.
Homosexuality was on LaRouche's mind in the month before the NCLC's convention. In a New Solidarity item dated December 10, there is a brief article entitled "Homosexual Rapists in Blue," which said the paper would explore in future articles "the widespread homosexual attachments and sadistic practices among the cops." New Solidarity commented that "would-be he-men who protest most loudly their loathing of homosexuals are hiding from themselves their impotence and fear of unmanliness." New Solidarity also announced that "major articles by L. Marcus in this paper and in the Campaigner, the Labor Committees' theoretical journal, will explore the etiology of police impotence and homosexuality." It seems clear, then, that LaRouche was planning to write an entire Campaigner article on the subject for his "Beyond Psychoanalysis" series.
Homosexuality also makes a brief appearance in LaRouche's "How to Catch a Cop" and written on the eve of the December 1973 Convention: "Homosexual blackmail used to be most common to police agencies, especially the KGB. Even today, the individual who was blackmailed into police-agentry for his closet-life of yesterday continues to be blackmailed now because he has been had in the past." LaRouche hated and feared homosexuality. In one sense he was reflecting strong divisions inside the puritanical Old Left over this issue. After all, the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba were extraordinarily anti-gay regimes that claimed that homosexuality was a sexual perversion that only existed under capitalism. It was commonplace in the Old Left from the 1930s forward to claim that the Nazis were really closeted homosexuals and that fascism was a form of homosexual perversion. Yet LaRouche's hatred of homosexuality went far beyond the theoretical to the deeply visceral. From a June 1976 Crawdaddy article on the NCLC:
The only exception to their puritanical denunciations of the counter-culture was Marcus's taste for scatology. "Even in those early days back in the Village, he had a very foul mouth," said one drop out. "He was always cracking jokes about how the homosexuals were upset about the Vaseline."
LaRouche's former common-law wife Carol also recalled:
Lyn was an abusive "husband" to me for sure. His specialty was giving me a black eye. [One] occasion I remember kind of vividly was when I innocently remarked that I could see how for men jailed for long periods of time, homosexuality could constitute a human relationship in an awful environment.
Clearly there was something that both fascinated and terrified LaRouche about homosexuality on a very deep level.
CONCLUSION: THE METHOD
LaRouche's first public discussion of the link between homosexuality and torture appeared in the 27 November 1970 issue of New Solidarity in "How Greek SS Makes Stoolpigeons," a review of The Method, a book by a Greek leftist named Perikles Koroveses, first published in London in 1970. In the book, Koroveses graphically describes his six months being tortured by the Greek police, who were trying to turn him into an informer using methods that focused on sexual humiliation. In his review, LaRouche writes:
The mechanics of The Method used by Agnew's Greek cronies represent a qualitative extension of pragmatic principles and characteristic moral defects of police interrogation squads around the world. The essence of these procedures is a sadistic variety of male homosexuality which "instinctually" focuses on efforts to destroy a male victim's sense of identity by emasculation threats, and with consistent appropriateness seeks to degrade to woman victim to the status of an animal-like common sexual object. . . . Back in the torture process, [Koroveses] was again returned to the status of a female sexual object accompanied by threats to and actual attacks on his sexual organs.
The sadistic homosexuality of the Police Department is ironically revealed by police persecution of male homosexuals generally. The existence of the open homosexual is sexually provocative to the worst sort of man in blue and also threatens to reveal that aspect of the Police Department's barracks life whose truth the police are at some pains to conceal from themselves.
The wonder of the Chris White affair is that LaRouche employed the very psychological techniques he claimed to attack to consolidate his total control of the NCLC. This fact again raises the difficult question of how much the Chris White affair was rationally orchestrated by LaRouche and how much it reflected his own overwhelming sense of paranoia and obsession with personal domination. Yet it is also clear that even if LaRouche thought he was on a conscious and rational level manipulating the NCLC, the fact was that his fears and fantasies were overwhelmingly projected during the crisis.3 The irony was that instead of discrediting his claims, the passion with which LaRouche expressed his raw and almost hysterical emotional states actually gave him a strange credibility that no conscious "rational actor" could ever hope to achieve.
1. For more on this truly legendary phrase, see the chapters on the Chris White Affair.
2. One might recall in this context that Norman O. Brown wrote famous books like Love's Body and Life Against Death where he used the term "filthy lucre" in a Marxist and Freudian concept of the drive for accumulation. Also see Eric Erikson's famous discussion in Young Man Luther.
3. Given the veneer of pseudo-reality that LaRouche's projections took on, the NCLC's December 1973 conference might even be understood as a partial modern re-enactment of a classic medieval "witch scare" craze.
< APPENDIX TWO A Summer Romance: LaRouche and the Spartacist League (May-July 1966) | SMILING MAN FROM A DEAD PLANET: THE MYSTERY OF LYNDON LAROUCHE | APPENDIX TWO The Possible "Newtonian" Origin of "Beyond Psychoanalysis"? >
Pdf file downloadable here (132 Kb)