Cult gears up for poll drive

Sunday Herald Sun/June 10, 2001
By David Wilson

A Melbourne branch of the bizarre far-right global LaRouche cult will contest nine Victorian seats and the Senate at the Federal election.

The Citizens Electoral Council, which has been branded racist and anti-semitic by the Jewish community, is also bitterly opposed to the Bracks Government over the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act. It says the Act is designed "to silence Lyndon LaRouche in Australia."

LaRouche, a 79-year-old American, believes there is a global conspiracy to subjugate the planet. Among other things, he claims to believe Queen Elizabeth is involved in drug trafficking, Henry Kissinger is a British intelligence agent, the US should colonise Mars and the FBI wants to assassinate him.

The CEC's national chairwoman, Noelene Isherwood, confirmed the organisation's election drive. She will stand for the Senate and believes her performance could influence the outcome. Major parties would be "well down the list'' for her preferences, Election analyst Malcolm MacKerras believes the CEC has "an outside chance'' of causing a close Senate vote, even though its highest vote in Victoria at the 1998 election was 1.82 per cent (Maribyrnong).

"Victoria will return three Liberal senators, two Labor and one Democrat, but CEC preferences could make that three Labor, three Liberal,'' he said. The CEC's activity has prompted the Labor Party, Liberals and the ACTU to warn members and voters." Liberal state director Brian Loughnane said no Liberal should support an organisation with the CEC's record. Labor's state secretary, David Feeney, said: "Labor voters should keep a mile away from it.'' ACTU secretary Greg Combet said the CEC was "not a healthy political organisation."

Ms Isherwood said the CEC wanted the GST eliminated, a new international monetary system established and new government banks to provide loans at 2 per cent or less."

The CEC also wants Australian control of oil, gas and mineral resources and a "real war'' on drugs. The council's headquarters are in Coburg. It has 20 paid "political'' staff and three office staff. About 1700 of the 3000 members on its books are financial."

The Australian Electoral Commission says donations to the CEC were $1.1 million in the year to June 2000. The B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission, a Jewish anti-racist organisation, says the CEC is "the best-financed racist and anti-semitic organisation in the country."

A man of extreme views

Born in 1922 in New Hampshire, Lyndon LaRouche has embraced both the far Left and far Right of politics. His move to the Right came in the 1970s when he forged links with the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Muslims and anti-abortionists. He obtained funds for his empire in the 1980s from an international network of followers, but was convicted in December 1988 for conspiracy and mail fraud. He was sentenced to 15 years' jail, but was paroled in January 1994.

LaRouche's conspiracy theory says that the "oligarchy'' engineers financial crises in a bid to run the world. The oligarchy and Jewish financiers allegedly are based in London and the Queen is head of its international drug cartel. LaRouche's claims include that Italians are intellectually impotent, Chinese have a "fundamental distinction from human personalities'' and that Irish-Americans represent Catholic "ethnic pigishness."

He says people who lynch homosexuals are "the only force acting to save the human species from extinction'' and that wealthy Jews encourage homosexuality as a way of undermining Western civilisation.

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