Feb 20, 2023

CultNEWS101 Articles: 2/20/2023 (Lyndon LaRouche, L'Arche, France, Robin Boyle, NXIVM )

Lyndon LaRouche, L'Arche, France, Robin Boyle, NXIVM 

The New Republic: Lyndon LaRouche Was the Godfather of Political Paranoia. His Cult Is Still Alive and Unwell.
" ... LaRouche was invariably described in obits as a cultist and an eccentric—indeed, he was a wackadoo perennial presidential candidate who kept saying weird stuff about the Rockefellers. But from the vantage of the present, LaRouche doesn't seem so out of step with the country's politics. And the diminishment of his group over the past couple of decades—in the 1980s, LaRouchies raised hundreds of millions of dollars and even won a couple of primaries, all while maintaining a massive private intelligence operation and insinuating themselves in the Reagan administration by promoting the Gipper's Star Wars program—doesn't look like marginalization anymore so much as reabsorption."

" ... internally the group was increasingly run like a cult, with LaRouche using abusive "ego-stripping" sessions to firm up his followers' ideological commitments. Partnerships of convenience were struck with right-wing groups; racism and antisemitism flowered, for reasons both ideological and instrumental. "He is a racist, unconsciously to be true," wrote no less an authority than Robert Miles, a Ku Klux Klan leader, exulting in his newsletter after a couple of LaRouchies won Democratic primaries in Illinois in 1986. "His glorification of European culture, morals and histories is instinctive." At the same time, LaRouche used the inadequacies of liberal antiracism to recruit from the growing ranks of thwarted Black nationalists. This wasn't lost on Miles, either: "He mixes his forces, having blacks and Jews in his ranks. But then, so did every conquering army in history."

Analysis of the LaRouche movement, when it's taken seriously, tends to focus on the drift from left to right, from the Marxist-Leninism of his New Left days in the 1960s to reactionary conspiratorial populism from the 1970s. But as the writer Donald Parkinson has observed in the online magazine Cosmonaut—as always, it's the communists who see LaRouche most clearly, at least when they're not getting their heads cracked open—there were continuities that spanned LaRouche's different eras. There was the egomania, which manifested in a One True System mode of thinking, and an economism so stubborn and one-eyed it could only conceive of the Holocaust as a policy of labor exploitation."
"The umbrella group of Catholic religious orders in France is demanding church authorities assume responsibility for horrific evidence of sexual, spiritual and psychological abuse in L'Arche, once a preeminent lay community dedicated to people with developmental disabilities.

Sister Veronique Margron, president of the conference of religious orders in France, issued a devastating analysis Thursday of the implications of the findings of a two-year investigation into L'Arche, its founder, Jean Vanier, and his spiritual guru, the Rev. Thomas Philippe.

The 437-page report, published on Jan. 30, offers a detailed forensic study of how Vanier created a secretive "sect" within the heart of the Catholic Church designed entirely to feed his sexual appetites through "collective delirium" and mystical-sexual practices that he justified on spiritual grounds.

Using seduction, manipulation, secrecy and coercion, the charismatic Vanier initiated as many as 25 young women into the "mystico-sexual practices" of the sect within L'Arche, convincing them of his sanctity while abusing them sexually and spiritually, the report found.

In a statement on Thursday, Margron said the report prompted questions about the Catholic Church's "entire ecclesial, theological and pastoral culture, since it has been the breeding ground for abuse, manipulation, aggression, lies and even death."

She said the report also laid bare how secrecy, and "the great silence" by the Vatican had enabled the "gnostic delusions" of Vanier and Philippe, as well as their impunity and abuse."

Just released is a documentary, Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, featuring clips of Professor Robin Boyle who was interviewed for this film. NXIVM was a business that purportedly ran workshops for self-improvement but was actually a cult. Its founder, Keith Raniere, was arrested in 2018 and charged with human trafficking, racketeering, and other federal crimes. He and his associates were tried and convicted in the Eastern District of New York. In 2020, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison. The documentary can be found on the Tubi channel. The film describes the creation of NXIVM and how its followers were coerced into turning over private information about themselves in the form of collateral, duped into spending tens of thousands of dollars on improvement workshops in which advancement was unobtainable, and subjected to corporal punishment and psychological manipulation. When the press exposed that women were being branded with Raniere's initials and being treated as sex slaves, federal investigation ensued.

Professor Boyle presents domestically and at international conferences on cults and the law.  Her articles have been published by peer-reviewed journals. In a 2016 law review article published by the Oregon Review of International Law, she proposed that human trafficking statutes be used to charge cult leaders with their crimes, which ended up as one of the successful charges in the NXIVM case. Her article's title is referenced in the documentary.

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