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Northampton Speech: Barbara Bonneau

Back to SPEAKING WITH FORKED TONGUES

I will begin with a citation from a sign read on a street corner in Paris in August 2005:

"Stop Bush's War in Iran"

From Recruitment to Indoctrination

The recruitment of youths into the Larouche Organisation as well as their indoctrination begins with the capture of their attention by signs carrying violent messages exactly like this one. In social psychology this is called trapping. These larouchiste signs are made to appeal to the innermost archaic fears of the individual: fear of being instrumental, of inertia, of destruction, of helplessness. These statements nearly always disqualify a public leader or accepted value. These messages touch upon not only the individual's sense of physical integrity and security, but also upon his morality. These contradictory messages are even designed to inhibit thinking.

Incongruity of the message seems to be the usual case, although occasionally the cited prediction will be fulfilled. Even though the Larouche Organisation portrays these messages as that of being the absolute truth, reality as it is certain to come about, the hidden message is there to incite the youth to act, and to act in spite of adverse reasoning. In other words this messages is saying: if you don't take suitable action, the prediction will come about. The message that is addressed to the youth is not a request that he criticize the reality of the statement, but one that interrogates a deeper more personal ideal and provides a readymade solution.

The youth in Larouche's movement are brought also to accept that fear of criticism is not only incompatible with truth and with reality itself, but those who refuse to intervene are irresponsible. Only are courageous and true those that participate in a militant action. This group praising, as well as the mission of the movement is clearly stated in their newspapers. Everyone else is a liar, as for truth is said to be unbearable for anyone of our culture that does not belong to the movement. [1]

Suddenly the youth's beliefs are challenged. These become mere lies. Worse, theirs is a culture of lies erected as a value. The recruiter quickly takes the opportunity to confront the shaken and now isolated youth on his beliefs and links the overt message to the recruiter's own fears of annihilation, referring to a supposed genocidal goal, or conspiracy, of the person or people who are attacked by the message.

The recruiter takes the opportunity to add that members of the Larouche movement act courageously, putting their lives on the line for the truth and to gain immortality [2].

The purpose of this rhetoric is clear enough for a naturally sceptical person or someone that is convinced that he is dealing with the twisted discourse of a sect. However, to the ordinary individual that listens, especially after having already submitted himself to several sessions of preparation, so to speak, these questions are cause for deep puzzling existential doubts. The youth's values began immediately to waltz and he is thus pre-packaged to be sent where he can find all the answers that he will ever need.

Back on the street, the recruiters listen carefully to the potential adept, not to exchange opinions with him, but for an opportunity to label him as a very intelligent person. In a few minutes the new recruit finds himself captivated in a form of identification that call for the abandon his former values as well as to accept other values that have been completely inverted. This inversion of values is blatant to parents that know their children and have talked with them before and after the meeting with this group, although it might be difficult for outsiders to admit that such a change is possible in so short of a time.

Once trapped, packaged and labelled, the youth is conditioned for the next step of the indoctrinating process.

From indoctrination to federation

But just how does the Larouche "salesman" operate? The methods they use are age old and offer just that attraction to our youth today because to them these methods don't seem like they are based on modern sales methods. Nonetheless, the Larouche members use proven manipulative manoeuvres, modelling their technique after Socrates' methods demonstrated in the Meno. Whatever their enchantment may be by this form of pedagogy, these questions, just as an ordinary marketing questionnaire, are oriented to make them "buy", and to make them buy the whole line.

How can anyone suspect that a small problem, in appearance a game of sorts, quickly incites the youth to quit school and to join the Larouche Organisation! This is not only a math problem, not only a commercial technique, not only an introduction to Plato, but already a very technical course on how to manipulate others and a way to achieve federation: Larouche members are no less but convinced that they belong to the most intelligent group of young people in the world, but there is absolutely no need for any special talent to be a recruiter. They are just following Larouche's guidelines.

And as with other marketing campaigns, once the questionnaire is completed, the Larouche salesman comes out with his favourite line: "of course there is no obligation." What do social psychologists say about the "no obligation" line? More than 84 percent of people who have been prepared by the above marketing tactics unreservedly submit to a free trial when there is no obligation.

The problem is that instead of accepting a commercial obligation the person accepts a moral one and is engaged by his own acts. Had not the Larouche salesman played already upon the youth's existential doubts and fears? With the condemnation of the youth's parents and teachers as sophists, or even outright liars, the youth can be expected to quickly quit school in order to discover what Larouche says to be the truth. [3]

The Larouche organisation recommends that the youth who attends these meetings subscribe to the Newspaper of the local party faction. The sale of printed material of this organisation is perhaps their major form of revenue. I found the issues that I have read to be a savy mixture of alarming information combined with a vast humanist and scientific culture as well as a political slant against every current political institution, without being quite able to define what the author was talking about. They are pretty much an expanded form of their signs, carrying incongruous, subliminal messages. I would perhaps momentarily conclude that the conspiracy and total state theories of the author might be part of a political delirium.

Nevertheless, once a youth attends a first meeting, he will already be well engaged. At theses meetings they sing classical music, which contributes to federate the group, not only by their participation but also by their isolation from other young people their age. They also must prepare for these reunions by reading materials that are suggested and participating in the next reunion. These new responsibilities contribute in soliciting a form of behaviour predisposing them to engage further and further with the Larouche Organisation. Each interrogation is also used to continue to federate members.

The reading material is not only carefully chosen for its overtly human values that no parent could possibly condemn, but the selection conveys at the same time powerful inverted messages as well. Among these messages include: the belief in a conspiracy to forget the exploits of some of the world's greatest men. This is a real celebration of martyrdom. By suggesting to the young adepts that the men who die for their ideas, the men who are insufficiently recognized in their lifetime, that these men are the most valuable, Larouche conveys not only the idea that he himself is one of these great-men, but indeed that anyone of them might be called to die to defend the ideas of their movement. [4]

The idea of dying for ones ideas is of course only suggested by the fact that, according to Larouche, the greatest ideas of our times were often very difficult for man to admit. It also preludes a call for resistance to anyone or any idea that might intercede. However, sometimes this celebration of martyrdom is forthright. In fact, the notion of martyrdom conditions what Larouche considers to be the truth. This amalgam of sentimental truth and scientific truth sidesteps the condition of peer recognition and of the work of time. Unfortunately, Larouche even prepares a barricade against this reasoning with his repeated references to Socrates and to Plato and especially to the newly installed fear of the perverted sophists: parents or teachers. For these ancient Greek thinkers, scientific truth is inseparable from the notion of ethic. Curiously, although he uses somewhat different rhetorical devices, Larouches use of language is in a way quite similar to that of the Greek Sophists whom he condemns. For these, rhetoric is truth!

So what is truth to Larouche? Isn't it his personal gut feeling of right or wrong? Aren't these truths determined by his certitudes? This has nothing to do with science of course, accept in the sense that our values oblige that scientific research be limited by our morals. However coupled to his ideal of courage and martyrdom and dealt out to youth by way of rhetorical twists, his certitude becomes a powerful concept that appeals to our youth's search for new heroes to guarantee and consolidate their identities. This form of rhetoric allows Larouche to perch himself in the heavens with easily found superheroes that dethrone the young person's former figures of their ideal.

As you probably all have realised, people that don't deserve it at all can also stake a claim to greatness. Here is what one modest infantryman wrote from his prison cell where he should have remained:

"The one that wants to be the leader holds with supreme authority and without limit, the heavy weight of total responsibility. Only a hero can assume this function." Hitler in Mein Kampf, 1925

Conclusion

Wasn't Jeremiah right to be terrorised by what he discovered in Wiesbaden? Indeed anyone of us could be horrified. From what we have learned here, according to Larouche one should be willing to die for this truth. If Larouche is like other totalitarian leaders, we might assume that those that are not in the group or who oppose it, are rejected by it and don't even have a right to exist. The most conscientious being can be so rapidly and profoundly influenced by the Larouche Organisation that one could expect them to become violent, as they have in the past, at any moment. The Question that we must ask ourselves is: To what point is the Schiller Institute, the European Headquarters for this Organisation, another Zayed Center ? To what point is the call for martyrdom different from that of suicidal groups? To what point is their call for resistance a call to terrorism? What can Larouche's Soldiers of the truth be called on to do tomorrow?

Thank you.


Notes

  1. Nouvelle Solidarité : le 28 Octobre 2005.
  2. ABRIAL, André, « ‘The great crash of 2005’, Analyses », Mai 2009: Abrial cites Larouche from a video conference, the 19-20 February, 2005.
  3. Idem.
  4. Vienot, Elodie, [[http://www.schillerinstitute.org/conf-iclc/2003/bd_schw/youth_panel.html

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