A glossy-cover magazine, rolled up with several flyers in a rubber band, landed on my doorstep. Unfortunately, it was raining. Only a political junkie would bother to dry the thing off, but so I am.
How could I resist a headline like, ‘Is the Devil in Your Laptop?’ Such a promising title, such impenetrable writing.
I know the LaRouche people as political chameleons hanging out on the fringes of various political groups I worked with over the years. They were especially active during the 1980’s. They are so extreme that they don’t even fit the left-right spectrum. I don’t know how to describe them, some see them as a political cult. Their magazine, running 64 pages, must have been expensive to print, even if the organization owns a press, which likely they do. They are casting their bread upon the waters in Rhode Island, with this hand-delivered (avoiding the US Postal Service) outreach.
I don’t know who their intended readership would be. I found the contents impossible to understand, and I am pretty well-informed. The organization has a history of slapping lawsuits, and has been linked to violence, so I will refrain from direct quotes from the magazine. Their publications are easy to find, anyway, at one of their many websites. Just to say that the writers have issues with Wikipedia, (see bio here), and bloggers. There were many sexual references, which you would think would be pretty basic, but I couldn’t make sense of them either. They have some occult preoccupations, with rants against witchcraft and references to ‘the noosphere’. And they have harsh words for the British, especially The Beatles.
What concerns me is not the existence of fringe political groups, even those that have a dangerous ideology. That’s freedom of speech. We prefer the consequences of free speech to the consequences of censorship.
But our culture sanctions unpopular speech, and across the board, anyone who wants to be taken seriously tones it down. That means that some very unpopular agendas hide behind bland names and code words. What concerns me is the ease with which such a group can introduce a stealth bill into an uninformed state legislature.
The LaRouche organization is pushing a bill called, ‘The Homeowner and Bank Protection Act’. At a time when many families are thrown into crisis by foreclosure, and banks are feeling the effects of a shaky economy, there is a need and demand for legal protection for homeowners who were caught up in the sub-prime mortgage mess. Communities are suffering as vacant houses bring down property values and empty out neighborhoods. In the midst of all this pain, a bill that protects homeowners and banks sounds good.
According to the LaRouche literature, The Homeowner and Bank Protection Act has already been passed in 34 municipalities, many of them in Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island is listed as a state where an HBPA Memorial has been drafted and is pending introduction. The LaRouche people are so slippery with language that I have to question what they mean by ‘memorial’. Is that the same as legislation?
If there is a LaRouche operative lobbying for a bill in our General Assembly, our reps had better read the fine print and check the source before they find themselves supporting a law that they will be unable to defend, and allying themselves with a world-view they do not endorse.