Conspiracy Kingpin Lyndon LaRouche Dies At Age 96

The Associated Press reports:

Fitting for a man who saw so much darkness in the world, Lyndon LaRouche died on the fringes this week, his name little known to anyone under 50, his death rumored online a day before mainstream outlets confirmed it. His influence, however, will surely outlast him.

“LaRouche is the granddaddy of the conspiracist culture that is poisoning our culture today,” says Matthew Sweet, who wrote about LaRouche last year in “Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers, and Themselves.”

“Some of his ideas were insanely exotic — the idea that the Queen was plotting World War III, for example,” Sweet says. “But his fantasies about George Soros proved rather more contagious. Alex Jones, Roger Stone, those figures in the US who made it their business to produce seductive, confusing, paranoid noise, see him as an elder statesman.”

The New York Times reports:

Some called him a case study in paranoia and bigotry, his mild demeanor notwithstanding. One biographer, Dennis King, in “Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism” (1989), maintained that Mr. LaRouche and his followers were a danger to democratic institutions. Mr. LaRouche denigrated a panoply of ethnic groups and organized religions.

He railed against the “Eastern Establishment” and environmentalists, who he said were trying to wipe out the human race. Queen Elizabeth II of England was plotting to have him killed, he said. Jews had surreptitiously founded the Ku Klux Klan, he said. He described Native Americans as “lower beasts.”

Even so, Mr. LaRouche was able to develop alliances with farmers, the Nation of Islam, teamsters, abortion opponents and Klan adherents. Acolytes kept Mr. LaRouche’s political machine going by peddling his tracts and magazines in airports, and by persuading relatives and friends to donate large sums to help him fight his designated enemies.

The Advocate reports:

Among his most notorious claims were that England’s Queen Elizabeth II was a drug dealer and that the International Monetary Fund created and spread HIV. In the 1980s, he managed to get propositions on the California ballot that, if approved by voters, would have resulted in the quarantine of people with HIV.

In 1985, LaRouche’s National Democratic Policy Committee – not affiliated in any way with the Democratic Party, although LaRouche associates sometimes ran in Democratic primaries – published a pamphlet with the title “AIDS Is More Deadly Than Nuclear War.”

Then his organization managed to qualify a ballot measure regarding HIV and AIDS for the 1986 election in California, where it is easier to get initiatives on the ballot than in many other states. The measure, Proposition 64, classified HIV as a communicable disease and said its “carriers” must be identified and “maintained” by the state.

LaRouche ran for president eight times. Watch the clip.