Thursday, December 23, 2010


This interview appeared in Saga magazine, 1981

ERINGER: You formed your school about two years ago...

WERBELL: It existed before, but got formalized two years. Its purpose is to train law enforcement people, private bodyguards, security personnel, etc. It's a very concentrated course in which we teach all the countermeasures against poltical assassinations, terrorists--that sort of thing.

ERINGER: Could it not be said that a school for antiterrorists could double as a school for terrorists?

WERBELL: Well, how can you tell?

ERINGER: Precisely.

WERBELL: We investigate everybody that comes here very thoroughly--right down to their socks. They have to furnish us with authentic documents testifying to their good reputation--no criminal activity, not being nuts or alcoholics. Now, everything you do in a countermeasure, of course, teaches you how they're going to do it, so you can counter them. You never know who's going to turn bad. But even the CIA has that same problem.

ERINGER: Have you ever rejected applicants to your school?

WERBELL: Yes, indeed. We have canned a couple. Tossed 'em out.

ERINGER: For what reasons?

WERBELL: Bad attitudes. We felt that some of them were potential danger spots I say some--we're only talking about two people.

ERINGER: You charge $2,500 for your 10-day course, and that doesn't include accommodations and most meals. How much if that do you make in profit?

WERBELL: (Laughs.) I can can tell you, but you'd be horrified at how little it is.

ERINGER: What I'm getting at is this: Is money the motivation for running the school?

WERBELL: Well, naturally, partially, but it really is not a big profit producer at all. We've got too many top-notch, high-priced instructors.

ERINGER: So what is your major motivation?

WERBELL: Well, I guess there's really several things. One of them is, of course, I felt there is a tremendous need for it. Plus the fact that I can't stand just not doing anything.

ERINGER: Do you recruit mercenaries from graduates of your school?

WERBELL: Well, in some cases, yes.

ERINGER: You can find employment for those that have successfully gone through your course?

WERBELL: We don't claim to do that. We can recommend them in certain areas where we get enquiries.

ERINGER: Do you keep track of Cobray graduates?

WERBELL: Oh, yeah.

ERINGER: In what sense?

WERBELL: We have a continuous on-going record of what they're doing because they all check in with us, which is extraordinary, too.

ERINGER: Suppose they don't check in with you. Do you keep track of their activities?

WERBELL: Yeah. So far none of them have turned bad.

ERINGER: That's reassuring, considering what they've been taught.

WERBELL: Well, once again, even in the CIA you have people turn bad.

ERINGER: Do you report the activities of your graduates to any U.S. intelligence agencies?


ERINGER: How about your students from foreign countries? When they return to their respective countries do you report their activities to their governments?

WERBELL: Yep. The government send them.

ERINGER: What government sends them?

WERBELL: You know, there are certain things I really can't talk about. But frankly, we/'re expecting a number of Thai students over the next few months. Others come from Central and South American countries. Most of our students are Americans.

ERINGER: Students sigh a waiver relinquishing Cobray from responsibility in case of injury or death. Have there been any injuries or deaths?

WERBELL: I think one guy got a couple cracked ribs --through his own fault. He was a smart-ass and our martial arts guy tamed him down a little bit.

ERINGER: Let's go back in time. When did you first become involved in this kind of work?

WERBELL: World War II--1942--when I joined the Office of Strategic Services.

ERINGER: What missions did you undertake?

WERBELL: China, Burma, and then I went into French Indochina, before the war was over when the Japanese were occupying it.. Out outfit brought Hi Chi Minh out of hiding. And, of course, Ho Chi Minh was a big buddy of the United Stated States in those days. What spoiled it was our stupidity in going to the aid of the French.

ERINGER: Tell me about one such mission.

WERBELL: I went in on prisoner recovery, and I also took the surrender of General Sumita with 80,000 Japanese the day the atomic bomb was dropped. That was in San Che Province.

ERINGER: What did you do after the OSS was disbanded?

WERBELL: We were in an outfit called SS Unit, which was the next phase of our clandestine operations, before the CIA--which doesn't mean we played in the band.

ERINGER What does it mean?

WERBELL: Special Operations, which is the parachute-behind-the-lines unit. I made a number of jumps.

ERINGER: Did you join the CIA when it was formed in 1947?

WERBELL: I have never been CIA. I have worked very closely with them.

ERINGER: Have you ever been paid any anount of money by the CIA?

WERBELL: Boy, that ios the question that keeps popping up.

ERINGER: What is your response?


ERINGER: But in his book, Spooks, Jim Houghan wrote that you "worked under contract to the CIA in the 1960s, organizing amphibious landings against Cuba from a base in the Dominican Republic."

WERBELL: I was with an entirely different facility.

ERINGER: So when you left the SS Unit, what did you do?

WERBELL: Well, I became a civilian. At that time I was a captain in a parachute unit and I didn't like it. So I transferred into Military Intelligence and stayed in there in reserve and didn't do a damn thing. So I quit and went into the advertising business. I was advertising director of Rich's department store, the biggest department store south of New York. That lasted about a year, and then I got back into geopolitics.

ERINGER: You missed the excitement?

WERBELL: Well let me tell you a little story. You see, a guy went to a house of pleasure. And he picked up this broad and took her upstairs--the $100-a-whack type. And she had a beautiful accent. He said, "My goodness, where are you from?" Well, she was raised in Haverford-Philadelphia, Mainline, you know, comes from a socially prominent family. He says, "Holy Christ, what's a cultured, charming woman like you doing in a whorehouse." And she said, "I guess I just got lucky." You get it? I guess I was just lucky.

ERINGER: So how did you make your comeback?

WERBELL: What do you want me to do, pull down my pants and show you my palms?

ERINGER: I'm just asking how you got back in the business.

WERBELL: Like the babe said, I guess I just got lucky. One of my major assignments--it was about 1957--was to keep Batista in business. Not that everybody was favorable towards Batista, but we knew at that point what Fidel was all about. Actually, Fidel never fought a battle. Fidel never did a goddamned thing. The students did all the fighting. That son-of-a-bitch never fought a battle, he never fired a round. However, my job at the time was to keep Batista in.

ERINGER: What went wrong?

WERBELL: The New York Times, The Washington Post--those no-good crap liberal bastards we have in this country. That's what went wrong.

ERINGER: What do you mean?

WERBELL: The so-called liberal press that is communist bought and owned. The New York Times--what a bunch of crap those guys are. The Washington Post. They're traitors. Quote me on that.

ERINGER: At what point did you start Military Armaments Corporation?

WERBELL: About 1967. It was originally called Sionics. We produced silencers.

ERINGER: To whom did you sell them?

WERBELL: The Philippines. Thailand. South Vietnam. The Israelis. The raid on Entebbe was all done with my weapons and silencers.

ERINGER: Is that company still operational?

WERBELL: I saw the writing on the wall. They wanted to retire me because I was such a prickly thorn.  First, I was president, then I was chairman of the board, and you know what happens when you're chairman of the board at a young age. Next step is the boot. I told 'em, the only way to retire me is buy my stock. So I sold my stock and two years later they folded and went under. Now I've got Defense Systems International.

ERINGER: Have you ever gotten into trouble with the U.S. Government because of your international arms dealings?

WERBELL: The Firearms, Alcohol and Tobacco people are always bugging me. I've had some real battles with those bastards. I think they're all pinheads.

ERINGER: What sort of battles?

WERBELL: Concerning their regulations. And they've come up with the most goddamned stupid ones I've ever heard.

ERINGER: Are you still engaged in mercenary recruitment?

WERBELL: What a question. You know it's illegal in the United States? We don't recruit mercenaries. We recruit security personnel.

ERINGER: You still doing that?

WERBELL: Under certain conditions.

ERINGER: What conditions?

WERBELL: I can't get into that.

ERINGER: Is it true you once bombed Vietnam with live rats infected with bubonic plague?

WERBELL: (Laughs.) Yeah.

ERINGER: Was that bombing sanctioned by the U.S. Government?


ERINGER: It was all on your own?

WERBELL: It was special operations.

ERINGER: For whom?

WERBELL: (Laughs.) The group that I worked for.

ERINGER: And who was that?

WERBELL: That's unimportant.

ERINGER: Are you a religious man?

WERBELL: I don't believe in organized religion. I'm religious in the sense that I committed myself to Jesus a long time ago. I don't make a big stink about it. And the Pope, incidentally, sent me a blessed cross when he was here in the States. And the Pope himself sent word that they were including me on the mass for the sick every week, which is very flattering. The way it happened is this: his major Bishop assistant was the nuncio in the Dominican Republic when I was leading the loyalists in the revolt. I'm rather proud of that.

ERINGER: The Pope realizes you're sick?

WERBELL: Yeah, I've got cancer. We think we've got a piece of it under remission, but I don't know. There's no real way to find out except surgery and I've got a legal document that prevents any of them from doing tricks while I'm in surgery.

ERINGER: Tricks?

WERBELL: No life support and no bags hanging or anything like that. It's not my lifestyle.

ERINGER: Is it true you're taking Laetrile, the controversial vitamin derived from apricot pits banned by the FDA?

WERBELL: Yep. I'm convinced that Laetrile had a major effect pulling me through the first bout. When I came back from five weeks at the clinic in Alabama, one of my conventional doctors said, "I don't know what the hell you'r doing, but keep mit up. it seems top be working." But I couldn't take all the damn vitamin pills. I was taking 50 pills with every meal.

ERINGER: What would you most like to be remembered for?

WERBELL: I don't give a damn about being remembered. But if I've got to be remembered for something, I'd like it to be for being a good military officer and a patriot.

Mitchell WerBell III died in 1983.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


This article appeared in Saga magazine, 1981

He's dropped rats infected with bubonic plague on North Vietnam, recruited mercenaries for hot spots all over the world, and runs the top antiterror school in the country.

Mitch WerBell may seem outlandish--because he is!

"If somebody wants a revolution, they usually wind up talking to me."

These are the words of 63 year-old Mitchell Livingston WerBell, one-time OSS officer, international arms dealer, mercenary recruiter, and commander of Cobray International, an "Antitierrorist Training Center" he operates at his 66-acre estate (called "The Farm") in Powder Springs, Georgia.

At five-foot-seven with little piercing eyes, WerBell is most aptly described as nasty. (How else can one describe a man who once headed an operation to bomb North Vietnam with live rats infected with bubonic plague?) Mitch WerBell spends his days gulping large shots of Chivas Regal, smoking fine cigars, and fondly reminiscing his days as a mercenary extraordinaire.

A fervent anticommunist, WerBell has conducted paramilitary operations--mostly for foreign dictators--in Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Through the tears he has become known as a sort private CIA for hire.

Coco-Cola sang along with Mitch some yeara back after receiving kidnapping threats in Argentina. Although the cola company now denies this, WerBell observes, "Coca-Cola hasn't had any kidnappings lately." Continuyes Mitch: "I'll tell you how we stopped it. We said, number one, anybody kidnapped, go ahead and kill them, because we're not going to ransom them, not for 10 cents. But we will go after you. We will kill you. We will kill your wife. We will kill your children., you cats and dogs, your pigs and your chickens."

WerBell's intensive 10-day antiterrorist training course is priced at $2,500. He runs two courses a month, each attended by six or eight students. The course offers training in .38 and .45 calibre pistols, rifles and scopes, shotguns, unconventional weaponry, martial arts and counter-terrorist procedures. In addition, there are sessions in bomb search techniques, electronic countermeasures, convoy techniques, and evasive driving.

So far, over 300 students have passed through WerBell's school. It has become so popular that courses for the next six months are fully booked.

Next: The Interview

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


From Critique, Summer Issue 1981


The question most often asked about the US Labor Party: Where do they get their money?

Some suggest that the Party is a front for the CIA, citing a meeting Lyndon LaRouche once had with former CIA director Richard Helms. The communist press insists that the Labor Party is CIA.

Others, including former Party member Gregory Rose, believe differently. Rose poiunted out in his National Review piece that "in January 1974 the first contact with the Soviet Mission to the United Nations was established."

Rose named Gennady Serebreyakov as the Russian who dealt with the Labor Party. According to Rose, LaRouche met twice with Serebreyakov, first at Party headquarters, next at the Soviet Mission. Officially a Press Officer, Serebreyakov has been identified as a KGB officer.

Konstandinos Kalimtgis met with the Russian regularly through 1975-75, until Serebreyakov returned to Moscow.

Still, for whatever was made of the relationship, who was using who?

Most likely, this scenario: The Labor Party tries to impress the Soviets with their "inside knowledge" of the Great British Conspiracy. The Soviet Mission, suspecting the Labor Party to be some kind of provocation, plays along, gaining what little they can from the exchange. Meantime, LaRouche claims to be taken seriously by the Soviet Mission, which makes him look all the more important to himself and his disciples. Moreover, LaRouche will claim a high-level KGB official as an information source.

Another candidate for Labor Party funding is the secret police of East Germany.

The South Korean Intelligence Agency estimated that Labor Party expenditures reached $1.3 million by 1975. Their report, leaked to Rising Tide (the newspaper of the Unification Church), stated that to pay these bills the Labor Party received approximately one million dollars a year fro the European Labor Party, which, they claim, is wholly financed by East Germany's secret police.

U.S. Congressman Larry McDonald elaborated on this with material he inserted into the Congressional Record on December 10th, 1975: "The US Labor Parts acts in Western Europe as if they were East German agents. For example, their group in West Germany was instructed to gather information on a whole series of industrial plants in West Germany with information concerning how many East European workers were employed in these plants. A group like the Labor Party could have no possible need for such information; the East German intelligence service would have such a need"

LaRouche and his Labor Party crave attention and recognition. In his autobiography, LaRouche mentions that he sometimes forwards his assessments of the world situation to "U.S. intelligence circles." No doubt he does. And no doubt his "assessments" are looked upon with great humor and promptly tossed into the garbage bin.

The Labor Party;s assessments of West German industrial plants probably met the same fate.

In 1977-78,m the Labor Party prepared reports fort South Africa's intelligence service.

This is what happens: Un-encouraged, the Labor Party strives to make contact with those involved in the intelligence arena. They prepare unsolicited reports for these bodies in the hope that someone, anyone, will take them seriously enough to stay in contact.

Congressman McDonald hit the nail on the head when he asserted, for the Congressional Record, that the Labor Party "have a history of contacting prominent persons with offers of help and then using the names of those persons to attract other support."

In 1977, LaRouche decided that his name had been discovered on a Baader-Meinhof "hit-list."

So he hired Mitchell WerBell III.

Known as the "Wizard of Whispering Death," WerBell is "credited" with inventing the world's first submachine-gun silencer, and having conducted paramilitary operations in Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. He admits to bombing North Vietnam with live rats infected with bubonic plague.

WerBell went to work training Labor Party members to become proficient in combat skills at his "anti-terrorist training center"--a 66-acre estate (known as "The Farm") in Powder Springs, Georgia.

It quickly became a high honor among Labor Party members to be among those chosen to participate.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


From Critique, Summer Issue 1981


Shortly after Lyndon LaRouche returned from a visit to Baghdad, Iraq's capital, he embarked on a plan of cooperation with America's Far Right. This marked his first step breaking through the thin political ice between the Lunatic Left and Raving Right.

LaRouche had been invited to Baghdad by officials of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party. Could they have actually taken him seriously? Perhaps they advised him, in jest, "Turn Right," where he might be more effective to their interests.

Whatever may have occurred in Baghdad, LaRouche returned with a new plan. It began with a "Security Memorandum" to Party lieutenants which said, in effect, that the time had come to cooperate with the Right "to defeat this common enemy" (the Brits and the Rockefellers).

Security Staffer Scott Thompson was assigned the task of coordinating the operation. In this capacity, he made the acquaintance of Willis Carto, owner of Liberty Lobby.

In the March 3oth, 1979 issue of National Review, former Labor Party member Gregory Rose wrote: "Thompson met regularly with Carto through 1975 and 1976. Sources close to the Labor Party report that these meetings centered on join anti-Rockefeller actions and Carto's use of his connections to procure funding for these operations. These sources further report that Carto's Liberty Lobby was a conduit for extremist right-wing contributions to LaRouche's campaign for the Presidency, including part of more than $90,000 used to purchase half-hour prime time commercials on NBC on the eve of the 1976 election."

A further result of the Thompson-Carto relationship was the placement of Labor Party advertisements in The Spotlight, Liberty Lobby's weekly tabloid. Favorable reviews of Labor Party material began appearing in Spotlight.

Former Spotlight staffer Vincent Drosdik told me: "We on the paper's staff were always disturbed about Carto's love affair with the Labor Party." Drosdik contemptuously referred to the Labor Party as "a bunch of idiots even more crackpot than Liberty Lobby."

The transition became final in 1976 when LaRouche announced the Labor Party's renunciation of Marxism and declared that henceforth the Party would be a patriotic organization in the tradition of Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin.

Overnight, the masthead of New Solidarity was changed from "Newspaper of the USLP" to "Non-partisan National Newspaper of the American System." Stories in New Solidarity actually began to defend the CIA.

This was Larouche "going respectable" (or trying); attempting to overcome the embarrassment of his Marxist/Trotskyist pasty. Today he describes himself as "American as apple pie."

Konstandinos Kalimtgis a.k.a. Costa Axios, the Party chairman, tried to explain LaRouche's new philosophy to Washington Post reporter Paul Valentine: "We are socialist, but first we must establish an industrial capitalist republic and rid this country of the Rockefeller anti-industrial, anti-technology, monetarist dictatorship of today."

Friday, December 10, 2010


From Critique, Summer Issue 1981


In June 1972, Lyndon LaRouche's common-law wife, Carol Schnitzer, ran off to England with Christopher White, a British Labor Party member.

The dumped LaRouche sunk into deep depression. For months he refused to leave his apartment. He became almost delirious with paranoia, accusing women of marrying men only to hurt them. He convinced himself that Schnitzer asnd White had been brainwashed by the CIA.

LaRouche emerged from this draining emotional experience with grand delusions of a vast conspiracy against him, led by the British Royal Family (presumably due to White being British.

Consequently, LaRouche announced to his disciples that the Queen of England, herself, had called for his head; that the Hare Krishna Movement was a British intelligence operation; that the Ku Klux Klan had been organized by the British to sell narcotics in the South; that the British formed the John Birch Society to sabotage President Dwight Eisenhower's "grand design policies for permanent detente with the Soviet Union."

These LaRouche praclomations were followed by terror within the ranks of his US Labor Party. Hypnotic "de-programming" of members became the order of the day to counter "CIA brainwashings."

Hence, LaRouche initiated "Operation Mop-up," which included the formation of a front-group called the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM).

Street gangs in New York, Newark, and Detroit were recruited by the RYM, and violent tactics were deployed against the US Communist Party and several trade unions, including United Auto Workers and United Farm Workers.

Christopher White, LaRouche's tormentor, was "successfully de-programmed."

For in a Labor Party pamphlet, White wrote the following about his native countrymen: "The British are different from us because they are not human. They are the end product of a specialized process of genetic engineering that had begun to produce congenital deficiencies and brain damage in the 17th and 18th centuries."

White advocated the removal of the British from our planet: "Let us speedily expedite the urgently necessary task of freeing humanity from the grasp of that specific form of lower life before we are destroyed by them or enslaved by them."

LaRouche was unable, however, to prevent White from marrying Ms. Schnitzer.

In January 1974, several Labor Party members were arrested for holding former Party member Alice Weitzman prisoner in her Bronx apartment.

Not long after, the Labor Party began operating a military training program at a farm in upstate New York.

Next: Transition II

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


From Critique, Summer Issue 1981


Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr., founder and chairman of the US Labor Party, was the party's candidate for President of the United States in 1976. He managed to obtain 40,043 votes, roughly .05 percent of the electorate.

By 1978, LaRouche was ready to launch another campaign for the U.S. presidency, this time as a Democrat. In his amusingly delusional autobiography, LaRouche writes, "If I survive the months immediately before me at this moment of writing (September 1978), it will become reasonable--=at a rapids rate--that I might be inaugurated President of the United States in January 1981."

He did not become inaugurated, of course. But, he concedes in his book, "If I did not become President in 1981, I would be in a position to significantly determine the selection and policies of an appropriate alternative nominee."

Wrong again!

But hence the reason, we are told, for his autobiography: "The presently increasing demand for written autobiographical information will expand considerably. Either way, assassination or active political like before me, a single sort of autobiographical dissertation best serves all proper requirements. Either way, what need be known are those features of my life which have enabled me to accomplish things of a special quality which few in this country have been able to match?"

Such is the delusional state of mind of LaRouche, who once depicted himself as "the American Lenin."

Aside from being a grammatical catastrophe, LaRouche's autobiography is comically pompous and at times rabidly incoherent. At best, it is a testament to his acute paranoia. Like most self-published books, it is poorly edited, perhaps because no editor employed by his publishing company wished to risk LaRouche's wrath by correcting him. Other than offering marvelous insight into the schizoid mentality of the Labor Party, LaRouche's book is an unintentional joke. It portrays a man who desperately craves attention; a man who would prefer to die a martyr than be ignored.

How then has LaRouche been able to amass a huge cult following?

Probably for the same reason that the People's Temple, Scientologists, and Moonies were able to flourish over the years: there are always those willing to believe, willing to allow themselves to be hypnotized by demagogues, in their search for purpose and identity.

LaRouche found his opportunity to prey upon this need in 1968 while teaching courses in Marxism at the Free University in New York City.. He took advantage of the student strike at Columbia University to join up with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Organizing his most dedicated students, LaRouche formed the SDS Labor Committee.

LaRouche and all thirty disciples on his committee were expelled from SDS in 1969 for violating a New Left ruling by supporting a strike by New York City teachers.

In 1971, the larger and better organized Labor Committee officially became the National Caucus of Labor Committees/US Labor Party, a radical organization bent on Marxist revolution.

Born in Rochester, New Hampshire, in 1922, LaRouche grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts. His father worked for a shoe machinery company.

LaRouche spent several years at Northwestern University (he did not graduate), and most of World War II at a special work camp for conscientious objectors.

In 1948 he joined the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), a Trotskyist group, and assumed the party name "Lyn Marcus."

"They were intellectually mediocre," LaRouche writes. "One had to begin somewhere."

Nonetheless, LaRouche stuck with the SWP for nearly ten years.

For a while, it looked as though the Labor Party would simply become LaRouche's version of the SWP. But then began the first of LaRouche's two transitions.

Next: Transition One

Monday, December 6, 2010


From Critique, Summer Issue 1981


Retired Army General John Singlaub refers to them as "a kookie bunch of anti-Semite Jews."

The New Right Report found them "every bit as weird as Marxist Jim Jones' People's Temple."

And a strongly worded editorial in the New York Times has called for an examination of the US Labor Party. It condemned the ideas of Lyndon LaRouche, the Party's founder, as repulsive ideology, frightening in their manipulative power over his adherents and hallucinatory in their theories of conspiracy theory.

Headquarters for the US Labor Party is a suite of offices occupying the entire fifth floor at 304 West 58th Street, just off Columbus Circle in New York City. The building's directory lists the Labor Party and its many spin-offs as "Campaigner Publications." For all practical purposes, the Labor Party has become less a political party and more a massive publishing operation. It comprises of the following branches:

New Solidarity: a twice-weekly broadsheet newspaper with a circulation of about 20,000.

The Campaigner: a bi-monthly magazine. Sample articles: "The Racist Roots of Jazz" and "Why the British Hate Shakespeare."

Executive Intelligence Review: a $400 per-year weekly newsletter, styled for business executives.

Investigative Leads: A bi-weekly "intelligence report."

New Solidarity International Press Service (NSIPS): it staffs the Labor Party's publications; its "reporters" carry NSIPS "press" credentials.

The New Benjamin Franklin House Publishing Company: current titles include The Power of Reason: A Kind of Autobiography by Party founder Lyndon LaRouche and Dope Inc: Britain's Opium War Against the U.S. by a "US Labor Party Investigating Team."

Grand Design: the Labor Party's advertising company.

The receptionist at Labor Party headquarters sits safely behind an ultra-thick pane of bulletproof glass. One communicates with her through a special telephone. The doors leading from reception to offices are locked by a computer system; one must punch a code to gain entry.

Labor Party members are fearful of mass assassination.

The Labor Party boasts 35 regional offices throughout the United States, from Atlanta to Seattle. Membership estimates range from 2,000 to 3,000, with about 150 members in Europe.

The European branch, known as the European Labor Party, is based in Wiesbaden, West Germany; its chairperson is Helga Zepp, Lyndon LaRouche's third wife.

Next: Who Be LaRouche?

Saturday, December 4, 2010


This article appeared in Mother Jones in April 1981.

Ask a radical right-winger, "Who's behind the Trilatercal Commission?" Nine out of ten will tell you, "David Rockefeller." Now ask who's behind The Spotlight, the weekly tabloid in which rightists read about the Trilateral Commission. Ninety-nine out of a hundred won't know.

Willis Allison Carto's network is probably more secretive than the Trilateral Commission could ever hope to be. But with a radio show aired on 470 stations daily, a brand new television commentary series seen in 37 cities and a newspaper circulation approaching 340,000, Carto is a formidable force within the Right.

Former Senator Sam Ervin has commended Carto's Liberty Lobby for being "faithful to the concept of the Constitution." Idaho Representative George Hansen says he's "pleased to receiveve The Spotlight and hope all my colleagues have access to it." Carto's propaganda machine is being taken seriously by a growing number of rightists. Here's a thumbnail rundown of his empire and the history of his activities:

Liberty Lobby: This non-profit, ultra-conservative pressure group is the core of Carto's industry, estimated to be a multimillion-dollar operation. Founded by Carto in 1956, the group reached a financial turning point in 1964 with the publication of a character assassination of Lyndon Johnson.

In April 1969, columnist Drew Pearson wrote that the Liberty Lobby was a "neo-Nazi group" and published a letter written by Carto that read, in part: "Hitler's defeat was the defeat of Europe. And America." Furious, Carto went to court but was unsuccessful in his attempt to stop Pearson from writing about Liberty Lobby.

This past June, Robert Bartell became chairman of Liberty Lobby's Board of Policy. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith, Bartell's history includes having presided over a hush-hush 1970 Liberty Lobby fundraiser for a project--"Operation Survival"--to finance a right-wing military dictatorship for the U.S. Barlett denies the charge, saying that the fundraiser was to help prevent the U.S. climate from deteriorating into further "chaos." According to the ADL, which will not reveal its sources but apparently planted an informant in Operation Survival, Bartell asked for help in raising $400,000 yearly from the 50 influential right-wingers in attendance.

The Spotlight: This weekly tabloid is a radically right-wing version of the National Enquirer: "Soviet Spy in White House"; "Rockefeller Named Dope Overlord"; "The Diary of Anne Frank is a fraud." News stories "expose" the conspiracy being perpetrated against hard-working, blue-collar citizens by "Jew-Zionist" international bankers and communists.

Affiliated Fronts: Liberty Lobby front groups can sometimes be identified by their address: 300 Independence Avenue SE, Washington DC or 132 Third Street, a side entrance to Carto's building.

Carto's West Coast operations revolve mainly around The Noontide Press. He also has been affiliated with the once-respected American Mercury magazine and the Institute for Historical Review, an organization designed to promote the belief that the Holocaust was a hoax.

Willis Allison Carto, himself: Carto does not speak in public, refuses to be interviewed and keeps an unlisted telephone number. His name does not even appear on the masthead of The Spotlight.

He directs his operations from a plush penthouse apartment in Torrance, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. According to Spotlight's managing editor, Jim Tucker, Carto conducts Liberty Lobby business by way of conference calls from a public telephone. His occasional surprise appearances at the Liberty Building in Washington are geared to catch employees off-guard. One former employee says the staff fears Carto's stormy temperament, and Robert Bartell confirms that polygraph tests are not uncommon for new employees.