Who Are the American Family Foundationby Jeffrey Steinberg
Mind-Controllers Targetting LaRouche?
A recent spate of physical assaults, and one threatened kidnapping, of political associates of Democratic Party Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche, has prompted counterintelligence investigators for Executive Intelligence Review to reopen the file on the American Family Foundation (AFF)—the organization linked to the pattern of attacks.
While promoting itself as a leading organization "combatting cults," the American Family Foundation is actually a privatized successor to the notorious 1950s-70s U.S. and British governments' secret experiments with mind control, employing a wide range of pharmacological and brainwashing methods. Some techniques employed by AFF "deprogrammers" were previously the subject of war crimes prosecutions during the Nuremberg Trials of the infamous "Nazi doctors."
Speaking to a 1961 conference sponsored by the Voice of America, at California Medical School in San Francisco, Aldous Huxley, the British New Age guru and close collaborator of several AFF professional brainwashers, spilled the beans on the overall effort, when he boasted, "There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak. Producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution."
Huxley's remarks are far closer to the truth about the mission of AFF, than the group's own doublespeak.
Terrorists for Hire
The AFF's stable of "Reesian psychiatric shock troops" (after the British Tavistock Institute's Dr. John Rawlings Rees) operate in tandem with a number of known terrorist and mercenary-for-hire agencies, which at one time constituted perhaps the largest professional kidnapping ring in modern American history. Those kidnapping operations have often intersected the activities of criminalized segments of the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence community, and this complication allowed some members of the criminal enterprise to escape prosecution.
Members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), an organization whose Israeli affiliates are on the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, constitute one hard-core terrorist capability that has been employed by AFF "deprogrammers" to kidnap their victims. Although JDL head Irv Rubin is presently in jail, without bail, pending Federal prosecution on charges of plotting the murder of a California Congressman and other terrorist acts, other JDL members and associates have been implicated in recent physical assaults on LaRouche associates in California, and, possibly, in New York City. The Lubavitcher sect, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, and former U.S. Green Beret and British Special Air Services (SAS) commandos have also been employed in kidnapping operations by the American Family Foundation and its affiliates, like the Cult Awareness Network (CAN).
After a series of kidnapping prosecutions and convictions of top CAN operators (see Travesty—A True Crime Story, by an EIR investigative team, Washington, D.C.: 1995); and after one high-profile CAN kidnapper, Rick Ross, was implicated in setting up the 1993 massacre of the Branch Davidian sect in Waco, Texas, CAN was formally dissolved. In a lawsuit, the group's name and assets were taken over by the Church of Scientology. The original CAN has now been reconstituted as the Leo J. Ryan Education Foundation, with more or less the same personnel, and the same close ties to the AFF.
Indeed, in one recent targetting of LaRouche political associates, Rick Ross personally surfaced in connection with a possible kidnap team.
An 'Urban Legend'
According to its "official" history, the American Family Foundation was launched in 1979, in response to the threat posed by violent cults, particularly in the aftermath of the purported mass suicide by the Peoples Temple of Rev. Jim Jones, in Guyana, in 1978. In contemporary lingo, this version of the AFF's founding is an "urban legend." To understand the actual circumstances of the launching of AFF, two seminal events of the 1970s must be first summarized.
The first was the widespread exposure of criminal activities by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, through the mid-1970s efforts of the U.S. Senate Church Committee, chaired by Frank Church (D-Idaho), and other investigative bodies and news exposés. Among the most damning revelations was the CIA's 25-year history of secret experimentation with mind-altering drugs, mass psychological manipulation, North Korean-style brainwashing and torture techniques, under the rubric of Operation MK-ULTRA, and other programs. As for the FBI, it was revealed to have conducted an equally long-term illegal domestic program, targeting political and civil rights groups, churches, and labor unions under its Counterintelligence Program ("Cointelpro").
Among the Cointelpro documents ultimately made public was a 1973 memorandum to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, from the Special Agent in Charge of the New York City FBI Field Office, soliciting the Director's OK to orchestrate an assassination of Lyndon LaRouche, employing FBI assets infiltrated into the leadership of the Communist Party U.S.A. The idea of the FBI colluding with the Communist Party to carry out an assassination of a domestic political figure, indicates both the depth of corruption of the FBI, and the extent to which Lyndon LaRouche had already, back as far as 1973, been labeled as a potential threat to the Wall Street Eastern Establishment, which often employed the FBI as its quasi-private political police agency.
In the aftermath of the Church Committee revelations, which received widespread media attention, the CIA formally shut down all work on mind control, psychedelic drugs, etc., and the FBI formally dismantled its Cointelpro operations in 1977.
What happened, in reality, is that all the operations were continued under private auspices. The FBI established a quasi-formal sub-contractual relationship with the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL), to spy on and disrupt the same domestic political activists and organizations that had been the targets of Cointelpro.
The ADL's illegal spying and dirty tricks operations reached such proportions that the FBI itself was forced to launch an investigation in 1992, when the ADL's chief West Coast spook, Roy Bullock, was caught funneling FBI classified documents to agents of the South African government. An investigation by the San Francisco police revealed a massive domestic spying operation by the ADL, on a scale approaching the FBI's earlier Cointelpro, and collusion in the 1985 bombing-murder of Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee official Alex Odeh (see EIR, April 12, 2002, "ADL Settles Spying Case").
A mid-1980s directive from then-Director William Webster to all FBI field offices in the United States, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), ordered local Bureau civil rights unit chiefs to establish liaison with ADL offices—confirming the FBI/ADL collusion.
Executive Order 12333
The FBI brought other organizations into this off-channel relationship, including the William F. Buckley-centered network of radical "Carlist" Catholics, Protestant "Christian Zionists," and political rightists, through such agencies as the Heritage Foundation, the Religious Roundtable, the Council on National Policy, and Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Committee. These operations were no longer financed through taxpayers' money directly. Rather, they were bankrolled by a tightly knit network of tax-exempt foundations, led by the Richard Mellon Scaife foundations, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Olin Foundation, and the Bradley Foundation. All of these tax-exempt "charities" have more recently been associated with the Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, Bernard Lewis and Samuel P. Huntington drive for a "Clash of Civilizations" between the West and the Islamic world.
The ADL had its own independent sources of tax-exempt funding, largely associated with the Meyer Lansky-led National Crime Syndicate, through such donors as Edgar Bronfman, Max Fisher, Morris Dalitz, and Roy M. Cohn; and, later, Edmond Safra, Michael Milken, and Meshulam Riklis.
Occasionally, as, for example, in the case of British-transplant spook John Rees (not to be confused with the Tavistock Institute's Dr. John Rawlings Rees, mentioned above), the Mellon-Scaife and related networks were simultaneously funded by the ADL. Rees' Malden Institute received regular financing from the ADL and from the Mellon-Scaife-run Carthage Foundation. Sharonist propagandists Steve Emerson and Daniel Pipes fit the same profile of shared-assets of the right-wing Zionist Lobby, and of the U.S. neo-conservative funding conduits.
This employment of private agencies and individuals as assets of U.S. Federal law enforcement and intelligence sevices, was codified with the Reagan Administration's Executive Order 12333, which was signed on Dec. 4, 1981, but had been drafted by an American Bar Association task force on law and national security in 1979.
These illegal arrangements were also exposed. The 1986 crash of a cargo plane over Nicaragua, loaded with weapons for the Contra "rebels," unravelling what became known as the "Iran-Contra" scandal, which brought several years of Congressional hearings, scores of criminal indictments, and as much notoriety as the Cointelpro and MK-ULTRA scandals of the 1970s.
This time, the government was caught colluding with international drug-trafficking organizations, to sponsor terrorist insurgencies in Central America and in Central Asia. FBI Deputy Director Oliver "Buck" Revell was deeply implicated in the Iran-Contra tangle. Not surprisingly, he was also a pivotal figure in the 1982-launched "Get LaRouche Task Force," which brought together the same concert of private-sector and governmental agencies in a criminal frame-up.
The Growing Worldwide Influence of LaRouche
The second event of the late 1970s that set the circumstances for launching the American Family Foundation, was the growing worldwide prominence of Lyndon LaRouche. During 1975-76, LaRouche had won significant backing, particularly among developing-sector leaders, for the creation of a new International Development Bank, to replace the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and for an international debt moratorium. LaRouche's proposals were widely debated in the Middle East, particularly following his visit to Baghdad in 1975, and his subsequent New York City meetings with top Israeli government officials on the need for a comprehensive Mideast peace and development plan.
LaRouche also drew widespread attention, for his election-eve 1976 half-hour prime-time TV campaign broadcast, in which, as the U.S. Labor Party Presidential candidate, he warned voters about the menace of a Trilateral Commission-run Jimmy Carter Administration. LaRouche's dire warnings of a global confrontation and economic crisis, in the event of a Carter victory, set the groundwork for international resistance to the Zbigniew Brzezinski-run Carter regime.
Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger, his fellow Harvard protégé of Nashville Agrarian William Yandell Elliott, would shortly launch a witchhunt against LaRouche, on behalf of the "British-American-Canadian" (BAC) oligarchy. They drew heavily on the hooligan resources of the ADL, the Carlist and Friedrich von Hayek boosters associated with the Mont Pelerin Society, and the AFF. That witchhunt would play out over the next decade, leading to an Oct. 6-7, 1986 paramilitary assault on LaRouche's publishing offices and home, and LaRouche's railroad-prosecution and incarceration from 1989-94. Altogether, over a dozen of his associates were railroaded to Federal and state prison between 1989-92.
The launching of the American Family Foundation in 1979 unleashed the MK-ULTRA mind-benders, on an expanded scale, as part of the "Get LaRouche" operation.
The AFF Team
Although American Family Foundation promotional material describes it as "the leading professional organization concerned about cults and psychological manipulation," this boast hardly squares with the fact that, throughout its 20 years of operation, AFF's psychiatric "professionals" have been dominated by three of the most notorious mind-controllers ever associated with MK-ULTRA and related government secret projects in mass psychological manipulation. This may be the ultimate case of "the pot calling the kettle black."
The three leading AFF brainwashers are the late Dr. Louis Jolyon West (who died in 1999), Dr. Margaret Singer, and Dr. Robert J. Lifton. All three were associated with AFF from its inception, and Singer and Lifton remain active to the present day. In fact, the entire AFF approach to "deprogramming" centers on two documents authored by Singer and Lifton, modeled on CIA Korean War-era studies of "Chinese brainwashing."
Dr. West's imprint on the AFF was dramatic, and he personified the unbroken continuity from MK-ULTRA to AFF "deprogramming." West was one of the earliest participants in the CIA's secret experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs to achieve forms of individual and group mind control. During the 1950s and early 1960s, he headed the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma, and conducted secret experiments with LSD-25, for the Federal government. He was a close associate of Aldous Huxley, one of the earliest proponents of the "mind-altering" properties of LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs. At Huxley's urging, Dr. West experimented on human guinea-pigs, combining heavy doses of LSD-25 with hypnotism, in an effort, in Huxley's words, to induce "post-hypnotic suggestions aimed at orienting the drug-induced experience in some desired direction."
West was part of the team assembled by the Federal government, to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He interrogated Jack Ruby, the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, and declared Ruby to be in "a paranoid state manifested by delusions, visual and auditory hallucinations, and suicidal impulses." In other words, that Ruby was out of his mind at the time he killed Oswald, and would be unable to provide information of use to the Warren Commission or any other investigative body. The Commission's coverup was directed by Allen Dulles—former CIA head, one of the earliest boosters of the Agency's mind-control experimentation—and John J. McCloy, who oversaw some private-sector bankrolling of the CIA's mind-bending, as the head of the Ford Foundation.
In the 1960s, in addition to his CIA work, Dr. West also participated, along with Dr. Margaret Singer, in a U.S. Air Force project at Stead Air Force Base, aimed at assessing various forms of torture, in order to devise behavior modification techniques to enable American prisoners of war to resist.
In 1967, Dr. West left Oklahoma and set up shop in San Francisco, during the famous "Summer of Love," during which time millions of LSD doses, produced by the government, were distributed to the hippies, in the largest secret-government test of mass drugging of a population in history. West and Singer again joined forces to assess the impact of the LSD flood. In this effort, they also came to work closely with Dr. Gregory Bateson, who ran secret LSD-25 experiments at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital, in parallel to West's earlier work in Oklahoma.
West next became chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angelees, and director of UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute, a major center for experimentation in mass social control, employing drugs, hypnosis, electro-shock, and other techniques.
In 1970, Dr. West pushed to Gov. Ronald Reagan, the idea of a Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence, to track criminals, "pre-delinquent hyperkinetic children," and others profiled as allegedly likely to engage in violence. Among the controversial techniques he proposed: chemical castration, and implanting electrodes into subjects' brains to control violent impulses and "political activity."
In 1977, when the Church Committee revelations about the CIA's tests of drug-induced mind control grabbed headlines, the New York Times ran a front-page story, singling out Dr. West as one of the CIA's top MK-ULTRA mind-destroyers. The Times obtained a West-authored memo advocating the use of LSD in social control. The memo, the paper reported, read in part, "This method, foreseen by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World (1932), has the governing element employing drugs selectively to manipulate the governed in various ways. In fact, it may be more convenient and perhaps even more economical to keep the growing number of chronic drug users (especially of the hallucinogens) fairly isolated and also out of the labor market, with its millions of unemployed. To society, the communards with their hallucinogenic drugs are probably less bothersome—and less expensive—if they are living apart, than if they are engaging in alternative modes of expressing their alienation, such as active, organized, vigorous political protest and dissent."
West, Lifton, and Singer have, throughout their careers, been obsessed with early detection and prevention of the emergence of any independent political movement with a strong leader, in the Socratic-Platonic tradition of the "philosopher-king."
Lifton and Singer
Dr. Robert J. Lifton is one of the leading American experts in brainwashing and mind-control. As an Air Force psychiatrist at the close of the Korean War, Lifton was sent to South Korea on a team assigned to interrogate American prisoners of war, who had been subjected to North Korean brainwashing. He stayed on in Hong Kong for several years after his Air Force service, on unspecified "grants" to study the more intensive forms of "thought-reform" conducted by the Chinese.
In a Nov. 2, 1999 interview with Harry Kreisler, Lifton bragged that his career, from that point on, was shaped by cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, both of whom were leading participants in a Josiah Macy Foundation project known as the "Cybernetics Group." The project ran from 1942 up through the late 1950s, and it provided one of the private-sector foundation covers for the CIA's MK-ULTRA operations (see "From Cybernetics to Littleton: Techniques of Mind Control," EIR, May 5, 2000). Along with Mead, Erikson, and Gregory Bateson, the Cybernetics Group included such notorious brainwashers as Dr. Kurt Lewin, Paul Lazarsfeld, and Dr. Harold Abramson. Dr. Abramson was a top CIA scientist, involved in the secret LSD-25 research.
After studying Chinese brainwashing, Lifton did a detailed profile of the impact of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks on the survivors. This placed him at the center of Bertrand Russell's efforts to terrorize world leaders, and populations, into accepting world government as a preferred alternative to mass nuclear extermination. He described this in a 1999 interview: "As human beings, we are the animals or the creatures who know that we die, however we fend off that knowledge. And being part of something larger than ourselves is what I call the symbolization of immortality. And that can be done through biologically our children, or our works, our influences in the world, or through being bound up with eternal nature. And also through some sort of religious belief system. But all these are in some way called into question, both by the rapidity of historical change where we lose a clear sense of value structures or belief systems, and also through the existence of ultimate weapons or what I call 'imagery of extinction' that accompanies ultimate weapons. Every adult in the world has some sense that he or she might be obliterated at any time by these weapons that we have created.... And I think that's why we tend to then embrace what I took to be a fifth form, which is the experience of transcendence or seeking high states whether it's through meditation or drugs or something that takes us beyond ourselves or into something like what we call 'ecstasy'.... I think nuclear weapons have something to do with it, importantly, and so does the speed and confusions of historical change."
After more than 20 years as the Foundations' Fund Research Professor of Psychology at Yale, Lifton moved to New York and assumed the Distinguished Professors Chair in Psychiatry and Psychology at the City University of New York and John Jay College. He also became the Director of the Center on Violence and Human Survival, where he penned dozens of studies on mind-control, including, most recently, a profile of the Aum sect in Japan.
Margaret Singer, the third mind-bender veteran of MK-ULTRA, who has been an AFF icon since the group's inception, was Dr. West's partner in the Haight Ashbury studies in the late 1960s, and remained in the San Francisco Bay Area, as professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. She got her start as an Army psychiatrist studying Korean War veterans and former prisoners of war. Her writings were cited by the Society for the Study of Human Ecology, Inc., also exposed as a CIA front during the MK-ULTRA exposés. The Society for the Study of Human Ecology was bankrolled by the Josiah Macy Foundation.
Although she prides herself as an expert in "mind control or coercive persuasion," Singer was not allowed to testify as an expert witness in a 1990 Federal court case. In his ruling rejecting Singer's expertise, U.S. Judge Lowell Jensen said, "The evidence before the court ... shows that neither the APA [American Psychological Association] nor the ASA [American Sociological Association] has endorsed the views of Dr. Singer.... Her proffered testimony in this case has been challenged by the scientific community on grounds of both scientific merit and methodological rigor." In 1992 she filed a RICO suit against these two organizations for refusing to sanction her work!
The Macy and Mob Connections
If one piece of "smoking gun" evidence proves that the AFF is the continuation of MK-ULTRA under a new masthead, it is to be found in the New York City law offices of Morris and McVeigh, which also house the Bodman and Achellis Foundations. The two foundations are administered by senior partners in the firm, and they have overlapping directorates. In the first decade of AFF's existence, the Bodman and Achellis Foundations, combined, provided it more than a half-million dollars, by far its largest source of funding. (Since 1969, the Bodman Foundation has been a major donor to the Temple of Understanding at the UN, formerly known as the Lucis Trust—an outright Satanic sect, founded in London in 1922, under the more poetic and revealing name, Lucifer Trust. Cybernetics Group leader Margaret Mead was a founding director of the Temple of Understanding.)
More to the point: The founding partner of Morris and McVeigh, Charles Senff McVeigh, was president of Bodman Foundation, an officer and trustee of the Achellis Foundation, and was a director of the Josiah Macy Foundation, during the entire period that Macy was housing the Cybernetics Group and the CIA's secret MK-ULTRA mind control and psychedelics project.
The AFF is also closely aligned with the organized crime- and espionage-tainted Anti-Defamation League. The founder and president of the American Family Foundation is attorney Herbert Rosedale, of the law firm Parker, Chapin, Flattau, and Klimpl. The firm's founder, Albert Parker, was the vice chairman of the New York ADL Appeal, the organization's fundraising arm. The law firm represents the ADL's Sterling National Bank, and has also represented Republic National Bank of the late Edmond Safra. AFF is funded as well by the San Francisco-based Swig Foundation. Melvin Swig, a trustee of the foundation, has been ADL national commissioner and an executive board member of American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the official Israeli Lobby in America.
AFF's Advisory Board has included the director of the Task Force on Missionaries and Cults from the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York. Established in 1981 under JCRC director Malcolm Hoenlein and with the assistance of the Office of the Interior Minister for the State of Israel, the task force established an intelligence-gathering war-room to track political adversaries. Hoenlein has been identified as a key operative for the Mega Group, the private club of Zionist billionaires, established in 1991 by brothers Edgar and Charles Bronfman, hedge-fund manager Michael Steinhardt, and Max Fisher.
Galen Kelly, for decades the leading kidnapper, knuckledragger, and "deprogrammer" within AFF's orbit, has collaborated directly with ADL intelligence hand Mira Lansky Boland, and has used terrorist Jewish Defense League members for his kidnappings. According to documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, when Kelly was arrested in October 1992 for kidnapping, AFF president Rosedale sent a letter to the court testifying to Kelly's character. Rosedale wrote he had worked with Kelly for more than ten years, and that his "credibility and trustworthiness have been evident and exemplary.... I wholeheartedly vouch for him." Kelly's years of service to this network landed him on the board of directors of Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), in Washington, D.C.
In 1980, during its first months of existence, AFF was involved in the attempted kidnapping and "deprogramming" of LaRouche associate Rogelio Maduro. Maduro was kidnapped and held against his will for several days, before he was able to escape, with the help of local police in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 1992 attempt to kidnap another LaRouche associate, Lewis du Pont Smith, led to a series of criminal prosecutions, and a media spotlight that badly scarred the AFF's reputation, and contributed mightily to the shutdown and "reinvention" of its Cult Awareness Network.