How a Secret CIA Cell Fucked with Vietnam War Deserters
Spies who infiltrated antiwar radicals in Sweden helped spark fears of brainwashing and devotion to apocalyptic cults. 50 years later, we're still living with the aftermath.
Jan 25 2018, 1:47pm
Left Image: Lyndon Baines Johnson. Right Image: Young American exiles in Sweden included Bill Jones, chairman of the American Deserters Committee, along with Michele Lloyd and her husband, Jim McGourty.
For the Americans familiar with what remains of his organization, how heavily did Lyndon LaRouche figure into all of this?
We should probably explain who LaRouche is—I think for most people he’s now just a half-forgotten joke in a Halloween episode of The Simpsons. But in 1973, LaRouche became convinced that the CIA and the KGB were plotting to assassinate him, and that some of his followers had been programmed, Manchurian Candidate style, to carry out the act. Some of this brainwashing, he thought, had happened in a secret clinic in Sweden run by one of the leaders of the deserter movement. The rest in the basement of a school in London, where the children were not real, but a series of photographs. It was pretty far-out. But most of his followers went along with it.
They’ve constructed bizarre fantasies around all kinds of people—particularly Henry Kissinger and the Queen of England. Adherents still believe that the Queen controls the international drugs trade and is plotting to start World War Three. One member—a nice guy, really—sends me pictures of the Queen as a rotting zombie pulling the strings of the White House. They hated Obama and used to display posters of him with a Hitler mustache, but at the moment they love Donald Trump, probably because they share his love of the insupportable and the irrational. But I think that’ll change. Everyone ends up part of the Satanic Conspiracy in the end. Most definitely me.
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