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Campbell--The handful of folks who showed up for an "Emergency Town Hall Meeting to Save the US. President" at the Pruneyard Inn Saturday afternoon didn't know what they had walked into. But within minutes, organizer Bob Ingraham--who also happens to head up the local Lyndon LaRouche organization--began mapping out a vast conspiracy to undermine Clinton: the same conspiracy, he explained, which has attacked wacko cult-politician LaRouche.

LaRouche is a perennial presidential candidate who served five years in federal prison for mail fraud and conspiracy, and is listed by cult watch organizations across the nation.

"Anyone who is concerned about the impeachment proceedings and the kinds of problems we're facing should subscribe to the New Federalist," said Ingraham, referring to the publication put out by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Movement.

In the beige-carpeted meeting room Saturday, Ingraham named participants in the conspiracy against Clinton and LaRouche--Newt Gingrich, Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga.) and unnamed "powerful investors" in London.

"We are in the midst of the worst international crisis since the Great Depression," Ingraham said. "In the midst of that you have financial interests on Wall Street and London who want to remove President Clinton from office because they're afraid he will implement reforms that will threaten their interest."

Just in case people didn't understand this connection, Ingraham simplified. "This is what Hillary Clinton referred to as the 'right wing conspiracy' against her husband," he said.

Heads nodded in the slim crowd, and less-timid listeners even shared conspiracy theories of their own. One man, who sat on the edge of his seat, seemed stunned by the intricate stories. "This is bigger than I can comprehend," he said, holding his hands out on either side of his head.

Two days earlier, pedestrians slowed at the corner of First and Santa Clara streets to read literature advertised on large cardboard signs attached to a table: 'Stop the Assault on the Presidency--Jail Kenneth "Porno" Starr.' Upon inspection, the pamphlets on display had little to do with Clinton at all--the name of Lyndon LaRouche filled the vast majority of the literature.

When asked about the connection between the Save the Presidency campaign and the LaRouche movement, Ingraham shifts into neutral.

"I think LaRouche has the answers, and people should join his movement," he begins. "But obviously you don't have to join to save the presidency."
Cecily Barnes

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Web extra to the October 1-7, 1998 issue of Metro.

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