LaRouche Back in Loudoun After 5 Years in Prison

The Washington Post/January 27, 1994
By Peter Pae and Leef Smith

Political maverick Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. quietly returned to Loudoun County yesterday after being released from the federal prison in Minnesota where he had served five years for fraud and conspiracy.

LaRouche, 71, flew back to this area yesterday morning and was whisked to a secluded mansion near the community of Round Hill, about 50 miles west of Washington. The estate is rented from a Leesburg couple by LaRouche supporters.

"Mr. LaRouche wants to decompress and doesn't want any press {attention} at this point," said Mel Klenetsky, a spokesman for the perennial candidate for president.

LaRouche, whose group has pushed for the death of the Federal Reserve system and has accused U.S. schools of brainwashing children, ran a little-noticed campaign from prison in 1992 and says he will be a candidate in 1996.

LaRouche was convicted in 1988 on charges of mail and tax fraud, which stemmed from allegations that he took money without permission from the credit card accounts of elderly contributors to his political organization. His supporters have maintained that his trial, and the subsequent convictions of several associates, were fueled by LaRouche's political opponents.

While LaRouche was in prison, his organization continued to field candidates in local, state and national elections. LaRouche candidates rarely have gotten more than 5 percent of the vote; often their campaigns consisted of radio advertisements featuring taped messages from the imprisoned LaRouche, who would, among other things, accuses U.S. financial institutions of ruining the economy.

LaRouche isn't likely to receive a warm welcome in Leesburg, where many residents have long resented the notoriety of his political activities.

"I had hoped he wouldn't come back and be a part of our community," Jean Randolph, 60, a travel agent, said yesterday. "He's not the kind of person we want here."

But some of LaRouche's followers said yesterday they were buoyed by their leader's release. "I'm glad he's out. He deserves it," said Gale Billington, who drove up the winding dirt road to the hilltop estate about 1:30 p.m. She said she was taking supplies to LaRouche at the estate, which is part of a 57-acre parcel in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Donna McDonna, who lives on an adjacent farm, said members of the LaRouche organization had gathered there for at least a year.

"They walk around in camouflage," she said. " . . . They don't wave. They keep to themselves."

Although some LaRouche supporters have indicated that they expect LaRouche's return to energize the organization, critics doubt it.

Mira Boland, who tracks LaRouche's activities for the national Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'rith, said LaRouche and his followers have "never succeeded in gaining the political influence that he and his followers think they deserve. They are, in a word, legends in their own minds."

If LaRouche remains in Loudoun County, he will be supervised by U.S. parole and probation officers in Alexandria until Jan. 26, 2004. He must report to that office within 72 hours, and will need permission to leave the state.

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