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Lyndon LaRouche, perennial U.S. presidential candidate, dies at 96

Lyndon LaRouche, perennial U.S. presidential candidate, dies at 96


Lyndon LaRouche, perennial U.S. presidential candidate, dies at 96

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lyndon LaRouche, a fringe political determine who fueled his eight presidential campaigns with conspiracies involving Queen Elizabeth, AIDS and communist spies earlier than going to jail for swindling his supporters, died on Tuesday on the age of 96, his political group stated.

LaRouchePAC didn’t say the place or explanation for his demise, in an announcement launched on Wednesday, and didn’t instantly reply to a request for these particulars.

LaRouche, an economist, lived on an property in Leesburg, Virginia, about 40 miles (65 km) outdoors Washington, D.C., amid a lot secrecy and safety, which he stated was mandatory due to the excessive probability of assassination.

The bombastic LaRouche made his eight bids for the presidency between 1976 and 2004 — together with as soon as from jail — however by no means drew greater than 80,000 votes, the Washington Publish stated.

Disaffected followers advised the Publish his group was a cult-like operation that demanded “sycophantic obedience” and even required married {couples} to tell on one another.

LaRouche’s rhetoric was stuffed with darkish visions of conspiracy, worldwide financial apocalypse and spiritual warfare.

He stated the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults on america really have been a coup try by the U.S. navy, not the work of al Qaeda. He blamed the unfold of AIDS on the Worldwide Financial Fund and stated Queen Elizabeth was a part of the worldwide drug commerce. Former vp Walter Mondale and former secretary of state Henry Kissinger have been tagged as communist spies, and LaRouche stated Donald Regan, a Reagan administration insider, was responsible of laundering drug cash.

LaRouche described President George W. Bush as “a dummy sitting on the knee” of his vp, Dick Cheney, who he stated was a “beast man” in flip managed by his spouse, Lynne.

Kissinger was a frequent goal of LaRouche and his followers. When a LaRouche supporter harassed Kissinger on the Newark, New Jersey, airport in 1981, Kissinger’s spouse grabbed the lady and threatened to punch her. Mrs. Kissinger was later acquitted of misdemeanor assault.

LaRouche was 66 in 1989 when he was convicted of taking greater than $30 million in loans from supporters that federal prosecutors stated he had no intention of repaying. He additionally was convicted of not paying taxes; six associates additionally got jail sentences. In response to the Washington Publish, some donors misplaced their life’s financial savings, which have been spent on property, a swimming pool and a horse-riding ring at LaRouche’s dwelling.

LaRouche, who was launched from jail in 1994, stated the case was a authorities marketing campaign to silence him.

Jail didn’t cease LaRouche’s political exercise. He ran for a U.S. Home of Representatives seat from Virginia in 1990 and for president in 1992.

Jim Bakker, a preferred tv evangelist who additionally was convicted of defrauding his followers, shared a cell with LaRouche at a federal jail in Minnesota and located him to be good firm in some methods, though satisfied their cell was bugged.

“To say that Lyndon was barely paranoid could be like saying the Titanic had a little bit of a leak,” Bakker wrote in his autobiography.

LaRouche’s motion pulled an occasional electoral shock. In 1986 two of his followers received primaries in Illinois for the Democratic nominations for secretary of state and lieutenant governor however have been overwhelmed by Republicans within the basic election. In 2010 a LaRouche candidate received the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Home seat in Texas however was soundly overwhelmed by a Republican within the basic election.

LaRouche’s followers, who additionally sought affect in Europe, continued their assaults on the political institution into the administration of President Barack Obama. They typically arrange tables outdoors submit workplaces and different public areas to protest his healthcare reform in 2009, utilizing footage of Obama smiling with Adolf Hitler and Obama with a Hitler-style mustache.

LaRouche was born Sept. 8, 1922, in Rochester, New Hampshire, and grew up there and in Lynn, Massachusetts, as a Quaker. He began on the political left as a member of the Socialist Employees Occasion earlier than shifting far proper within the 1970s.

LaRouche was married twice. His second spouse, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, performed a outstanding function in his group.

(Writing by Invoice Trott; Further reporting by Jonathan Allen; Enhancing by Leslie Adler)

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