"More Nukes, Less Kooks"
December 4, 2010 8:29 PM   Subscribe

Fusion Magazine and The International Journal of Fusion Energy Research were popular publications of the Fusion Energy Foundation, ostensibly an organization devoted to "foster and support research and development for fusion as a new energy source."

On closer inspection, the FEF is in fact one of many front organizations of Lyndon LaRouche and his U. S. Labor Party movement. In a fascinating bit of history, LaRouche and his followers wielded significant power in lobbying for and strongly promoting the Strategic Defense Initiative (or "Star Wars"). During the 1970's and 80's, FEF staff members "testified before Congress, lobbied, held press conferences, and crisscrossed the nation on speaking tours." In addition to organizing several international conferences, the FEF held a forum in Washington in 1982 proposing "a campaign for beam weapons."

In 1986, the FEF fell under multiple criminal investigations, including fraud, which ultimately resulted in a 15 year prison sentence for LaRouche in 1989.
posted by FuturisticDragon (11 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Wow... A particle beam weapon lobby.
posted by Artw at 8:33 PM on December 4, 2010

Too long has the voice of the common man been drowned out by Big Raygun.
posted by jedicus at 8:35 PM on December 4, 2010 [3 favorites]

Explains the many problems MetaFilter had with running Cold Fusion (somebody had to say it).
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:28 PM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

And why the "Jrun" error was usually accompanied by a "Lrouche" message.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:29 PM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm not going to favorite those comments, onefellswoop, because that would just encourage you- but I laughed. :)
posted by hincandenza at 9:42 PM on December 4, 2010

My high school library had a subscription to Fusion magazine for some reason. We quickly figured out it was a LaRouche publication and used to make fun of it in study hall. Good times …
posted by gubo at 10:32 PM on December 4, 2010

The LaRouche movement wikipedia article is a real hoot: heckling, harassment, fraud, conspiracy, global warming denial, anti-semitism, homophobia ("Kissinger: the politics of faggotry"?! Isolate and 'cure' AIDS patients with directed energy beams?!), gold nuttery, Obama hitler/swastika posters, it just goes on and on.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:57 PM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

So, these people are basically to politics what the Church of Scientology is to religion?

I hope that doesn't make it wrong to support their "campaign for beam weapons".
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 12:41 AM on December 5, 2010

If only they could figure out a way to beam peanut butter, then they'd really have something.
posted by newdaddy at 4:38 AM on December 5, 2010

Back when I was doing political research, I was always running into the LaRouchies. They have a fantastic intelligence network. It often seemed like any time more than five right-wing nutcases were gathered together, the LaRouchies had their literature table set up.

My favorite two ways to fuck with LaRouchies:

1) This never fails. You and a friend walk past the LaRouchie's literature table. Friend shows (or pretends) interest in whatever crap they are pushing that day. Grab friend firmly by arm and drag them away saying (loudly): "Pay no attention to those people. They all work for David Rockefeller." The result has to be seen to be believed.

2) This one only worked because they led into it. Chat them up and show some vague knowledge of what they're up to. Then slowly disclose that you know who Chip Berlet is. (It was easy for me because the LaRouchie said to me, "That sounds like you know Chip Berlet.") Once you get them to that point, say something like, "Why, yes. He's a good friend and we had lunch last month." This all just happened by chance, but Chip is a friend and it was the best rise I've ever had from the LaRouchies. Imagine rabid religious nuts convincing themselves that you just had lunch with Satan himself.

It always helps if you've read Dennis King's book.
posted by warbaby at 6:46 AM on December 5, 2010 [7 favorites]

For some reason (possibly kickbacks from interested parties, or perhaps just his general obsession with '60s-style whizbang technology), LaRouche is also quite obsessed with maglev trains.

Because of his equally bonkers German wife, LaRouche also keeps a political presence in Germany. However, Helga Zepp-LaRouche's successive parties have somehow always failed to win any electoral support whatsoever, and their membership is estimated to be in the lower three digits (most of them, one suspects, undercover agents from Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which keeps a close eye both on cults and on extremist political movements).
posted by Skeptic at 12:43 PM on December 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

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