He saw it up close:

Lies, bullying and paranoia in the LaRouche movement

Federal court testimony of former LaRouche security aide Charles Tate

The following is Mr. Tate's complete testimony over a three-day period (Nov. 2-4, 1987) in United States vs. Roy Frankhauser, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Mr. Frankhouser,[FN 1] a notorious neo-Nazi and former LaRouche "security advisor," was on trial for obstruction of justice (he had advised Mr. LaRouche's security staff to destroy evidence and hide potential witnesses in order to stymie a federal grand jury investigation of charges of large-scale credit card fraud by LaRouchian fundraisers). Mr. Tate provides a comprehensive and accurate picture of the LaRouche organization's structure and chain of command, the secret workings of its security staff, Mr. Frankhouser's highly imaginative trickery, Mr. LaRouche's paranoia and grandiosity, Mr. LaRouche's callous exploitation of hundreds of boundlessly gullible followers, and the curious fascination re Mr. LaRouche's garbage-in-garbage-out intelligence operation that was displayed by U.S. national security officials who should have known better (including a former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency). The jury in Mr. Frankhouser's trial found him guilty and he was sentenced to three years in a federal penitentiary plus a $50,000 fine. Mr. Tate went on to be a witness in the Eastern District of Virginia trial (1988) of Mr. LaRouche which resulted in Mr. LaRouche's conviction on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud (re over $30 million in defaulted loans), 11 counts of actual mail fraud (re $294,000 in defaulted loans) and one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service; he was sentenced to a prison term of five to 15 years, while six of his associates received shorter sentences for mail fraud and conspiracy. It should be noted that Mr. Tate, whose testimony played a key role in the prosecution's victory, had quit the LaRouche organization in 1984 in disgust over its political extremism, cultism and illegal activities. His agreement to testify was entirely voluntary and not the result of any plea bargain or other form of government coercion.

  • Nov. 2 testimony (pp. 1, 78-117). Structure and chain of command in the LaRouche organization. Daily fundraising quotas. "Patton's army": 400 cult members working up to 14 hours a day to raise as much money as possible for Mr. LaRouche's 1984 presidential campaign.

  • Nov. 3 testimony (pp. 1-71). Mr. LaRouche's soup du jour fundraising entities. Telephone fundraising system and methods. Functions of the Security staff: counterpunching against enemies, pretext phone calls, armed patrols, monitoring the membership and quashing any dissent, serving as maids and butlers for Lyn and Helga LaRouche, and interfacing with outside security consultants such as Mr. Frankhouser. The use of secret agent code names and "secure" telephone lines.

  • Nov. 3 testimony (pp. 72-136). The LaRouche organization's "deep dark secret"--its belief that Mr. Frankhouser was a cutout between Mr. LaRouche and the "cookie farm" (the CIA). The mysterious "Mr. Ed." The "E to L" and "L to E" memos by which Security staffers believed Mr. LaRouche and Mr. Ed communicated. Mr. LaRouche's plan, in reaction to federal probes, to cut loose Deborah Freeman, one of his most loyal supporters, and let her take the rap for him. Mr. LaRouche throws tantrum in phone conversation with Mr. Frankhouser, exclaiming that "if Mr. Frankhauser didn't kill two FBI agents, he [Mr. Frankhouser] was a sodomist."

  • Nov. 4 testimony (pp. 1-27). Mr. Frankhouser tells Mr. LaRouche to beware of assassination plot by James Earl Ray's brother. Persuades the Security staff that the U.S. intelligence community had established a "security screen" to protect Mr. LaRouche so he could continue to provide the government with strategic advice. But the screen supposedly varies in its intensity, and Security will have to rely on Mr. Frankhouser to transmit warnings of any changes. "It [the purported security screen] was constantly going up and down like the curtain in the theater." Mr. LaRouche's total control of decision making in his organization. Description of Mr. LaRouche's luxurious Virginia estate and his villa with indoor swimming pool in West Germany. Mr. LaRouche's obsession with alleged KGB plots to kill him and take over the United States.

  • Nov. 4 testimony (pp. 28-58). How Mr. LaRouche's fundraisers fooled people into donating money. The "mass enthusiasm and hysteria" around the fundraising campaign. Mr. LaRouche's psychosexual browbeating and humiliation of his followers. Security at Mr. LaRouche's estate: five to six armed guards at all times. While on duty at the estate, Mr. Tate reads in Mr. LaRouche's library a clinical description of paranoid schizophrenia--decides to leave the organization as soon as possible. Mr. LaRouche's fantasy life and belief that he is a "master player behind the scenes." Massive use of pretext phone calls to monitor Mr. LaRouche's enemies and gather political intelligence: "They [various Security staffers] were pretending to be...priests, ministers, rabbis, newspaper reporters..." Security's relationship to various so-called consultants other than Mr. Frankhouser: Danny Murdock, Juval Aviv, Mordechai Levy, etc. Mr. LaRouche's belief that his organization was a "parallel CIA."

  • Nov. 4 testimony (pp. 59-124). How the organization's security consultants would compete with one another to provide the most scary stories about plots against Mr. LaRouche: If one said five assassins were coming, another would say six, and the first would then say it was a dozen. The thuggish behavior of Mr. LaRouche's security chief, Paul Goldstein. The organization's direct contacts with the CIA and other national security entities. Mr. LaRouche's meeting with Admiral Bobby Ray Inman (the CIA's Deputy Director) at a house on F Street in Washington D.C. Mr. Tate accompanies Mr. LaRouche to this meeting and subsequently takes incoming calls, as Officer of the Day, from Admiral Inman to Mr. LaRouche's assistant security chief, Jeff Steinberg (these calls were after the admiral left the CIA). Mr. LaRouche meets with an assistant to Deputy Director John McMahon at CIA headquarters. Connections are also made with National Security Council officials such as Norman Bailey. Security's anxiety over an NBC-TV report that Mr. LaRouche had once ranted about assassinating President Jimmy Carter--Mr. Tate learns from his superiors that this allegation is true. Says that everyone in Security was aware that NBC's report on the organization's links to organized crime was accurate. Mr. LaRouche aspires to be a mathematician, regards himself as a "universal genius." Late-night death threats to Charles Steele of the Federal Election Commission. Mr. LaRouche orders Security staffers to make death threats against former LaRouche aide (and NBC-TV source) Gus Kalimtgis. Several staffers comply; Mr. Tate refuses. Mr. LaRouche tells Mr. Tate that the Aryan race came from the North Pole around 40,000 BC. Ambushes and beatings of the organization's opponents in the 1970s. Total credulousness of Mr. LaRouche's Security staff--they never once questioned Mr. Frankhouser's dubious claims of being a CIA cutout.

    [1] The court record spells the defendant's name as "Frankhauser" (German spelling). Unless quoting the court record, I use on this page the Americanized variant spelling that I used in my book (and that The New York Times used in its articles on the case). Why allow Roy to puff himself up as a Sturmbannfuehrer?