In the middle and late 1970s some NCLC members still worked at jobs in the outside world. Believing it to be dominated by the enemy, they naturally kept their eyes and ears open. Occasionally they gained useful information. A LaRouchian physician working at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx in 1974 learned about earlier links between the Lincoln Detox Program--a drug-free acupuncture treatment facility for heroin addicts--and the Black Liberation Army. Subsequent NCLC reports on the BLA helped convince police departments that the LaRouchians might be worth listening to.
A woman in the organization gained a job in Drexel Burnham's international economics division. While trying to ferret out information about its links to the mythical Dope, Inc. conspiracy, she picked up valuable information on gold trading that was incorporated into NCLC economic intelligence reports. She also acquired a knowledge of Drexel's economic models, which LaRouche and his aides reworked into the so-called LaRouche-Riemann economic model.
Gail Goerner Kay, wife of Security staffer Robert Kay, used family connections to obtain a secretarial job with the Council on Foreign Relations. To the LaRouchians the CFR was one of the world's chief sources of evil, and Kay was encouraged to stay in the job for several years while concealing her NCLC connection. Her greatest coup was to attend a meeting of the secretive Bilderberg Society, an organization of top European and American bankers and industrialists that, in the eyes of conspiracy theorists, is even more sinister than the CFR. When William Bundy, editor of the CFR's Foreign Affair magazine, learned that Kay was a Mata Hari for LaRouche, he was astounded. "It's like the CIA getting an agent into the Politburo," he told The New York Times.
But as life inside the NCLC became more tightly disciplined and prone to hysteria, it precluded any long-range infiltrations of the enemy camp. "Anyone who went undercover would be leaving the 'controlled environment,' " observed one former Security staffer. "LaRouche would lose his hold on them." Members gradually were withdrawn from outside jobs. Some top staffers became extremely nervous when the boss of the young woman at Drexel invited her to dinner. They feared he might be planning to turn her into a double agent by seducing her. Hysterical memos were circulated at NCLC headquarters, and she was removed from the danger zone.
Ironically, the LaRouchians began to function in the outside world--as long as they took it in small doses--more effectively than ever. Some visited the National Security Council and made favorable impressions. Some comported themselves well on radio talk shows. But this was done only while they wore the persona of an NCLC "organizer" or "intelligence operative." When they attempted to pose as ordinary people, they weren't very good at it. Furthermore, their paranoid belief structure made some types of snooping almost impossible for them. Although they were skilled at making undercover calls to the Yippies, they were reluctant to spend much time hanging out with people whose lifestyles were radically different from their own. Thus they had to build a network of paid and unpaid informers. This brought them into association with the likes of Mordechai Levy. They were on the lookout for such people.
Mordechai was a California State University undergraduate when he first encountered the LaRouchians in 1980. With a near-genius IQ, and vivid fantasies, he was bored with his accounting studies. His great passion in life was to fight Nazis. At the age of thirteen he had joined the Jewish Defense League. He became a great telephone-booth crank-call artist, attempting to strike terror into the hearts of Klansmen and Nazis across the country. White supremacists complained incessantly in The Spotlight and other hate sheets about the dangerous "terrorist" Levy.
Soon after Mordechai began talking with the LaRouchians, they asked him to work for them as a secret operative. He jumped at the chance to become a mole in their ranks. Given the code name "Leviticus," he carried out various assignments in Los Angeles and made frequent trips to New York on direct orders from Steinberg, Goldstein, and West Coast Security chief Tim Pike, This relationship lasted for four years, with the LaRouchians paying tens of thousands of dollars for his meals, airfare, and hotel rooms. To maintain his cover, New Solidarity occasionally attacked him as a Zionist terrorist.
Mordechai was supposed to collect intelligence on LaRouche's enemies and run operations against them. What he actually did was compose fictitious information for Goldstein and Steinberg while passing along tips about LaRouche's plans to journalists, the ADL, and Jewish community leaders. The tips sometimes weren't worth very much, for in espionage textbook fashion the LaRouchians tried to feed disinformation through him. But Mordechai developed a shrewd understanding of their psychology and began to provoke NCLC security alerts with his warnings of imaginary dangers. In 1982 he cooperated with the Manhattan district attorney's office in an investigation of them. After dropping his double-agent role in 1984 he agreed to be a witness in the Boston prosecution of LaRouche for obstruction of justice.
The LaRouchians often pressured Mordechai for information on leftist sects. "I'd go off somewhere and pretend to make a phone call," he said. "Then I'd come back and tell them anything that popped into my head. I read a lot of leftist papers, so I could make it sound convincing." When they brought him to New York to run operations against various enemies, he set up a command post in a West Side hotel, and sat around chatting on the phone with friends under the guise of contacting "agents." He invited the Yippie "pie man," Aron Kay, to the hotel for a free meal at LaRouche's expense. This was supposed to be part of a deep operation against the Yippies. Aron couldn't show up, but Mordechai let two other Yippies crash in the hotel room. They had to leave at seven in the morning because Goldstein was expected at eight. Mordechai and Goldstein often met in Ratner's on Delancey Street or Bernstein's on Essex Street--the "mole" and his "control officer" plotting their next deployment against the ADL in a kosher restaurant!
Hundreds of pages of NCLC Security documents from the years 1980-84 describe debriefings of "Leviticus" and "Mark Levine." These documents confirm that the information he provided them was mostly innocuous or fictitious. He convinced Goldstein that he had a pipeline into Mossad, and told him to watch out for "Colonel Kiffel," "Henry Duvall," "Carlos the Jew," and other infamous assassins who had sworn to kill LaRouche. At one point he claimed to have seen a secret U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report on Helga, allegedly concluding that she was an East German agent. His description of the document was extremely convincing, and for good reason. He often stayed at the Bleecker Street apartment of investigative journalist A. J. Weberman, who had several filing drawers full of old Pentagon and CIA documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Mordechai studied these and his imagination did the rest.
Mordechai never met Roy Frankhouser and despised him as a racist. But he and Frankhouser inadvertently ended up in a curious indirect relationship as pranksters. According to Charles Tate's testimony in Frankhouser's 1987 trial, this was the result of their ''bid[ding] up against each other about how much they knew." A Security staffer "would call Mr. Frankhouser and report what Mr. Levy had told them without saying it was from Mr. Levy. And Mr. Frankhouser, of course, in order...to show that he was not caught napping, would have to augment this fantasy with...yet more. If there were five assassins according to Mr. Levy's account, there had to be six according to Mr. Frankhouser's account. And this would go back to Mr. Levy, who would, you know, have a dozen." (This tactic was also adopted by "the Major," who apparently had figured out the magic equation: the greater the fear of assassination, the higher the consulting fees.)
Some Security staffers were skeptical of Mordechai's stories all along. After he told them an especially wild fantasy, they demanded he come to the New York office for a lie detector test. Mordechai went to a private investigator to learn how to beat the machine. The PI told him to eat five orders of Chinese mustard, take antihistamines to dry out his nasal passages, then stay up all night. But Mordechai never had to try this method: The LaRouchians canceled the test.
Mordechai's manipulation of Goldstein was the key to his success. It was Goldstein who bailed him out and restored his credibility whenever one of his stories didn't check out. Mordechai believed that Goldstein had "unconscious" doubts about the LaRouche organization and therefore needed him around as reassurance: "He would look at me, an Orthodox Jew with a yarmulke, and he would say to himself, 'If Mordechai can follow LaRouche, LaRouche must be okay.' "
In dealing with Goldstein, Mordechai learned to pick up cues and anticipate expectations like a vaudeville mind reader. The transcript of a 1981 debriefing that the LaRouchians passed on to the NYPD Intelligence Division contains a good example:
LEVY: And another [anti-LaRouche conspirator] named William....
GOLDSTEIN: Greenberg, Maxwell Greenberg.
LEVY: Maxwell Greenberg, that's right. I said William...the guy who's in the police commission, very big. See, everything's on levels, it's layers, you know....
Mordechai was forced not only to juggle contradictory stories but to control his temper when LaRouche aides told him that only a million and a half Jews died in the Holocaust or that the "rich Jews" would have to go into camps after LaRouche's ascent to power. (Charles Tate says Mordechai was not exaggerating about Security's anti-Semitic atmosphere. "I heard the most execrable things about rich Jews," Tate recalled. "They'd say the problem with World War II was that the wrong Jews were gassed.")
In 1982 Mordechai broke with the JDL and formed his own Jewish Defense Organization (JDO). California newspapers published a photo of a scruffy gun-toting crew with Mordechai looking something like Captain Hook. He was soon too busy to continue his double life with the LaRouchians. In 1984 he revealed his deception and attacked them openly. This obliged Goldstein and Steinberg to settle ideological accounts with him, but they couldn't admit they'd been taken in so completely.
Their rationalization took the form of a published report, "Mordechai Levy: The Profile of Mossad Hit Teams," contained in a larger study of the worldwide "Israeli mafia" conspiracy. According to this report, Mordechai had been sent into the NCLC as an ADL agent, but Goldstein had succeeded in partially "turning" him by teaching him about Rembrandt and Heinrich Heine. Mordechai had thus started giving the NCLC genuinely valuable information until the ADL put him through "severe trauma" to turn him again. Once this happened, once Leviticus the double agent became Leviticus the triple agent, he became "extremely dangerous," a walking time bomb of fanaticism and psychosis. Yet earlier, Goldstein had shown almost superhuman skill as his control officer: "The ability of EIR counterintelligence personnel to detect and utilize Levy's psychological conflicts," the report boasted, "produced a higher...accuracy of information from Levy than any other law enforcement or intelligence apparatus--even the Israeli Mossad--could have achieved without the use of mind-altering drugs or torture." The example given of this accurate information was Mordechai's account of a multileveled assassination plot against LaRouche, supposedly set for December 31, 1981, involving the Yippies, the ADL, the Israeli government, financier Max Fisher, a command post in London, and something called the AJEX/JWV Special Action Committee, or Group 62. Supposedly by revealing this plot Levy had saved LaRouche's life.
But Goldstein showed a certain insight and even a hint of humor when he suggested that Mordechai could best be described as a "chaos agent." Goldstein listed the New York phone booths from which Mordechai supposedly made his crank calls. He pointed out, accurately, that the calls were mostly made from "booths in, or just outside," various kosher restaurants.
Security also managed to attract informers who were motivated by grudges or cupidity and who possessed, or were willing to gather, information of real substance. One example of these not so golden souls was Bruce Bailey, a tenant organizer well connected among New York leftists and anti-Zionists. According to former LaRouchians (including Charles Tate, who dealt directly with him), and substantiated by court records and internal NCLC reports, Bailey had numerous secret meetings and phone conversations with Security staffers between 1979 and 1984.
The present author was the number one target. I had worked with Bailey in community politics in the 1970s, but ended up on his list of ideological enemies, A February 6, 1984, report of an interview with Bailey conducted by Tate (entered into the NCLC computer under the access name ''King, Dennis," ID 1044r, Code: Red, Sector: Security) suggests that once one becomes an informer it is difficult to restrict the range of one's informing. While discussing his grudge against me, Bailey ranged afield to gossip about his various past and present acquaintances on the left. His nastiest sexual slurs were leveled at a woman who had testified against him in a civil fraud proceeding several years previously. He also offered sexual gossip about a woman who had helped organize a picket line in front of his Columbia Tenants Union to protest its anti-Semitism, One person mentioned was the well-known civil rights activist and folk singer the Rev. F. D. Kirkpatrick. Although Kirkpatrick was one of Bailey's closest political associates, the report accused him of belonging to a "touchy-feely cult" and described him as a "bejeweled and dashikied" figure who "likes to think of himself as a local celebrity." Bailey's information was passed on to "Clay" (Roy Frankhouser) by Paul Goldstein, whose report (ID 0625m) of his daily chat with "Clay" noted that Bailey's information "provides [the] basis for cross-gridding" various political activists.
Security also used the services of Grant Duay III, a writer of occasional pieces for the New York City News, an obscure Manhattan gay weekly. In late 1982, Duay first showed up at the League for Industrial Democracy, where I was working as a researcher. Duay asked to meet with the director, Arch Puddington, and showed him an article he had written attacking the NCLC as a right-wing political cult. Duay became a frequent visitor to the LID offices, and also showed up at a lecture I delivered on cult brainwashing, ostensibly to cover it for his newspaper.
Puddington and I became suspicious when we heard that Duay was making calls to journalists on the LaRouche beat all over the country. Our suspicions increased after Michael Hudson, a creditor suing the LaRouchians for racketeering in New York federal court, received a call from Duay (a total stranger to him) just before an important court appearance. Upon learning from Federal Election Commission records that Duay had made donations to several LaRouchian election campaigns, we stopped talking to him.
The full story of Duay's relationship with the LaRouchians was later revealed by Charles Tate, one of whose Security duties had been to supervise Duay. According to Tate, Duay's assignments included interviewing LaRouche opponents under false pretenses, gathering background material on them, and monitoring anti-LaRouche public meetings. Tate said that although Duay had been mildly sympathetic to LaRouche's ideas, he had never been willing to work for free. "He'd bring in a tape recording, we'd give him twenty bucks," Tate said. This was confirmed by an NCLC Security logbook containing handwritten reports of conversations with informants in the spring of 1984. The notebook had Duay's name and phone number on the cover and contained a distorted summary of an actual phone conversation between Duay and Puddington.
In my own conversations with Duay he always seemed obsessed with uncovering what he said were secret links between various left-wing groups and the National Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). But the truth will out. On March 23, 1986, he was arrested as an alleged member of a sex ring that produced, sold, traded, and distributed child pornography. His arrest occurred at Gay Treasures, a Greenwich Village porn shop where he worked as a clerk, after undercover agents from a federal and local task force purchased videotapes of men having sex with young boys. Duay subsequently pleaded guilty to obscenity in the third degree, receiving a fine but no jail sentence.
Members of the NCLC informer network, both fake and real, expected their identities to be kept secret, but the LaRouche organization demonstrated an utter disregard for their wishes. According to Tate, Bailey expressed a strong fear of public exposure, yet Jeffrey Steinberg (in a 1984 deposition in LaRouche v. NBC) gave away Bailey's name when it was clearly unnecessary to do so. (In the same deposition, he invoked "national security" to avoid naming several other sources.) Bailey became the target of newspaper articles that quoted from the deposition. Steinberg also neglected to protect Grant Duay's name. And LaRouche, in a subsequent deposition in the same case, blabbed about both Mordechai and Roy Frankhouser without forewarning them. Mordechai subsequently received physical threats from Jewish militants unaware of his double game.
Those who "traded" information with the NCLC also experienced problems. There were lax security procedures about the handling of confidential reports, so that copies of documents describing secret conversations with police officers in various cities kept falling into the hands of journalists such as Chip Berlet or me. Also, Security staffers felt no compunctions about double-crossing people they traded with, by peddling information on them to third parties. For instance, in the early 1980s Security staffer Ira Liebowitz cultivated contacts in the Church of Scientology's Guardians' Office for the alleged purpose of exchanging information on mutual enemies. (Scientology, like the NCLC, has a long history of aggressive tactics against its opponents.) Arnon Harari, New York director of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs (the new name for the Guardians' Office), recalled meeting at least twice with Liebowitz. Meanwhile Investigative Leads produced a special report on Scientology for police intelligence units, while EIR misquoted from a Liebowitz-Harari conversation to falsely suggest links between Scientology and narcotics trafficking.
The NCLC Security staff, through its remarkable range of deceptive tactics, has built up over a fifteen-year period one of the largest collections of private political intelligence data in the United States. According to defectors, these files contain blackmail-style information on public figures and details on the activities of both left-wing and right-wing political dissidents. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are mentioned in these files, and thousands are profiled in some depth. Much of the information is false, malicious, and defamatory, but some of it is accurate and potentially devastating to the lives of the targeted persons.
When the FBI and Virginia authorities raided LaRouche's headquarters in October 1986, they carted away more than 425 boxes of files. The media had the impression that these were mostly financial records, but the offices raided included those of the Security staff, and the files seized contained computer discs on which vast quantities of Security data were stored. The FBI thus came into possession of a major portion of the "LaRouche files." Apart from the details about political radicals and the rumors about the sex lives of public officials, these files contain evidence of extensive NCLC dealings with government and police officials and corporate executives throughout the country. Many of these individuals would be extremely embarrassed if their dealings with LaRouche should ever become a matter of public record. It is symptomatic of the media's curious blindness on the LaRouche issue that no one has raised the question of what the FBI intends to do with this intelligence bonanza. But whatever the answer, the seizure of these files represents a certain poetic justice. The LaRouchians set out to duplicate J. Edgar Hoover's infamous blackmail files, but their own files, once in the FBI's hands, led to the indictment of LaRouche himself for obstructing justice.
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