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On the Issue of Cults Around the Anti-Fascist Movement

People new to the debate around political cults may first wish to examine the "Sunstein Phemonenon," described by Alexander Stille (New York Times) 2 Jun 01 in Adding Up the Costs of Cyberdemocracy: Experts worry that the Web encourages extremism as like-minded people form isolated groups and reinforce one another's views.

The ex-SLers refer to the LaRouche group in "The Road to Jimstown. If you are not familiar with this area of political history, you might want to read "Ideological Odyssey: From Old Left to Far Right" by John Mintz of the Washington Post.

Those interested in the new course of Spartacism's proponents and wanting to re-familiarize themselves with LaRouche can read "Lyndon LaRouche: Fascism Wrapped in an American Flag". This three part article, with quotes from LaRouche, was written by Chip Berlet and Joel Bellman and published as A Political Research Associates Briefing Paper

Dennis King wrote Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism. You can read Dr. Andrea Bloomgarden's review originally published in the Journal of Cultic Studies.

While there are comparisons between the old LaRouche organization and the behavior of Spartacism's supporters on the Internet, there is also a danger that people first studying cults may read too much into the behavioral overlaps.

It is best to examine other left-wing cults in addition to LaRouche and whatever other detailed information that ex-Slers produce.

Dennis Tourish, Ph.D. (University of Ulster, Northern Ireland) describes the "Grant Group" in "Ideological Intransigence, Democratic Centralism, and Cultism: A Case Study from the Political Left" in Cultic Studies Journal: Psychological Manipulation and Society, Vol. 15, No. 2, 1998.

Writing in the Fall 1977 issue of Public Eye, Harvey Kahn presented his analysis in "NCLC and Its Extended Political 'Community'". Kahn's "extended community" includes Gino Perente and his miriad of different organizations, including the National Labor Federation, the Provisional Communist Party, and the Eastern Farmworkers. Don't be misled by the names; Perente's groups had no connection to either the Communist Party U.S.A. or the United Farmworkers.

Jeff Whitnack focused on Parente's cult[s] in "Gino Perente, NATLFED & the Provisional [Communist] Party" from Public Eye, 1984.

A more recent article is the 1996 "[Parente's] Party Just Like a Cult, Experts Say" by Newsday's Jerry Markon.




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