Click here for Full Issue of EIR Volume 10, Number 19, May 17, 1983
The Longo Mai commune: control point for Swiss terrorist operations? by Joelle Leconte in Paris On April 21 the Longo Mai "agricultural commune" held
a conference in Basel, Switzerland, and elaborated a back to
press conference in Paris to respond to recent media revela
the land charter for a group that took the name Longo Mai.
tions concerning the circumstances surrounding the February
Longo Mai, in Occitan, means "Long may it last."
death of Lieutenant-Colonel Nut, one of France's top count
is the ancient language of southern France, which has become
er-espionage agents. The media had revealed that Nut, who
a rallying-point for certain of the exotic regional-separatist
was responsible for the South-East regional bureau of the
movements attempting to destroy the centralized state. ) The
DGSE (France's CIA), was killed while conducting an in
first "pioneer camps" were established in the south of France ,
vestigation into the Longo Mai sect.
in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region.
The president of Longo Mai, Fran�ois Bouchardeau
Of the founding organizations, Spartakus was based
son of the newly appointed Minister of Environment Hu guette Bouchardeau--was the group's spokesman at the press
among young workers in Siemens factories-just like the
conference which turned into nothing more nor less than a
Among the founding members from Hydra, Gotthard Klin
series of attacks against the Parti Ouvrier Europeen, the French
gler is still one of the most important leaders of the group.
party headed by Lyndon LaRouche's principal political col
But not all of Longo Mai's founders were young leftist work
laborator in France, Jacques Cheminade.
ers. One of them, Hermann Bershen, was a colonel in the
Why did LaRouche's collaborators come under
likely it is because in France and internationally, LaRouche
original Red Brigade cells in Milan during the early 1970s.
Swiss army. Longo Mai was launched publicly in 1973, with much
Le Nouvel Observateur
and his collaborators have shaken plans for a second "May
fanfare from the leftist media like
1968" throughout Europe which is planned both by the ex
magazine. The sect is in every respect the brainchild of the
treme right as well as by the friends of the KGB.
Malthusian Club of Rome, which spawned the back-to-the
From all available evidence, the DGSE suspected Longo Mai of operating in conjunction with foreign powers. The
land ideology that took hold in the �emoralized atmosphere that followed the May1968 student upheaval in France.
headquarters of the sect, near Forcalquier, is in the middle of
In the early period the typical recruit, culled from a "pro
a zone in which the Plateau of Albion and its strategic mis
gressive" religious group, a technical school oriented toward
siles, the Cadarache nuclear research center and the strategic petroleum reserve of France are located.
for a training period in a farm associated with Longo Mai' s
According to the right-wing newspaper
Minute, the So
"appropriate technologies," or a youth group, would be sent Europe-wide network.
viet Consul and Vice-Consul of Marseilles have visited Lon
There, the disoriented adolescent would be forced to sub
go Mai. They were among the 47 Soviet diplomats and jour nalists expelled from France in March on charges of espio
mit to the sexual and other promiscuity of communal living.
nage, one month after Nut's assassination.
of the Pyrenees could speak!);various forms of group "ther
But terrorism, rather than espionage, seems to be the
In addition to homosexuality and sodomy (if only the sheep apy" were practiced in order to further degrade the individual
behind the scenes activity at Longo Mai. This hypothesis has
and induce psychosis. Only after these stages would the re
been raised several times since 1977, but always quashed:
cruit be considered ripe for para-military training and sent to
the sect has too many powerful protectors in high-level places.
the main camp at Forcalquier.
Revolution down on the farm
ilation into the Baader-Meinhof gang, West Germany's lead
In Austria, the group was accused of terrorism and assim In the year 1972, two leftist grouplets, Hydra from Switz
ing "left" terrorist band. It is known that a member from the
erland and Spartakus from West Germany and Austria, held
Hydra group in Switzerland was involved in arms traffic for
© 1983 EIR News Service Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission strictly prohibited.
the Baader-Meinhof. An Austrian member of SpartakUs from
props for fundraising drives.
Vienna, Jacob Mytteis, sought refuge in Longo Mai's camp
Toward 1976-77, Longo Mai attempted to establish a
in Forcalquier after a warrant was issued for him in Austria,
"model agricultural community" in Costa Rica. Two tracts
and the Swiss and West German authorities refused to allow
of land were purchased in San Isidro. This, and an office in
him entry into their countries. Numerous other West German
the capital, San Jose, still belong to Longo Mai.
"militants" who were having trouble with the law were also taken in by Longo Mai. During the early years of Longo Mai,
The bankers from Basel
then Minister of the Interior Raymond Marcellin had several
Longo Mai's international infrastructure is directed from
foreign members of the cult expelled from France on charges
a bureau in Basel. Colonel Nut was said to be particularly
related to state security.
interested in investigating these men in three-piece suits who
Counterculture and big business
maintains the computerized listing of Longo Mai's more than
used to visit Longo Mai from Switzerland. The Basel bureau The worker's production cooperative (SCOP) of Longo Mai was created in June 1973 in Forcalquier, and its farm some few miles away in Limans. Its current president is
100,000 supporters, who contributed some 60 million francs (about $10 million) during the 1970s. The accountant in a
certain Mr. Zaugg.
Fran�ois Bouchardeau, the son of the radical Minister of
According to the press, Longo Mai has received large
Environment. Some 40 men and women live there now,
amounts of funding from the Verein Bank of Basel, as well
along with a dozen or so children born there.
as certain large Swiss firms, including the Hoffman-LaRoche
The leader of the Limans commune, Roland Perrot, aka
pharmaceutical firm. In the latter case, the funding has taken
"Remi," is more than 50 years old. He is described by de
place through Longo Mai's Basel representative, Gotthard
serters as a megalomaniac, imposing his will and overt homo
Klingler, the son of one of the firm's directors. The Credit
sexual desires on the rest of the commune. During the Alge
Agricole and the Banque Rothschild have also been involved
rian war he is known to have to have begun collecting contri
in funding operations.
butions within the left to create a deserters' underground. The project fell apart, but the money was never returned. There are seven associated farms existing in France, Bel
According to some reports, several former members of the Secret Army Organization (OAS), the guerrilla group that was responsible for numerous assassination attempts
gium, Switzerland, and Austria, more than a dozen "craft"
against the life of Charles de Gaulle, helped to found Longo
businesses, as well as a coffee shop, garage, hotel, printing
Mai. According to another report, the director of Longo
company and so forth. A Paris office was maintained for a
Mai's publishing house is a former SS member.
time, in the same location where later the Friends of the Earth
This opens up the possibility that Longo Mai, despite its
and still later Greenpeace had its offices. A newsletter is
"progressive" cover, is a joint asset of the KGB and the Nazi
published in Basel. The group has its own radio station, as
networks represented in Switzerland by the financier Fran
well as its own flying club. Longo Mai had just submitted an
�ois Genoud. Another fact that is highly suggestive of this
application for opening an advanced pilots school at Vinon
possibility is that the Siemens company out of which the core
airport wben Colonel Nut opened his investigation.
founders came, is closely associated with the Siemens Foun
According to Longo Mai's spokesman, the community
dation headed by Armin Mohler, the author of "The Con
acquired a plane and submitted this application because eight
servative Revolution," the bible of the European pagan "New
of its members had received pilot's licenses during the days
of their "adventures in Costa Rica," and they were concerned
In 1980, a group of university professors gave a press
about maintaining their validity. This story has in no way
conference in Switzerland in support of Longo Mai, in re
diminished suspicions about the group's involvement in traf
sponse to a series of articles published by the social demo
ficking. Nor have the group's many farms located near the
borders of France, Italy and Switzerland.
was Professor Pierre Fornallaz, director of the Zurich-based
Arbeiter Zeitung of Basel. Among them
Center for Appropriate Technologies and Social Ecology.
United Nations complicit? Since 1973, Longo Mai has also carried out "charitable" operations in Central and South America, first involving Chi
The center develops "soft" technology programs for govern ments and corporations, according to the prescriptions of the Club of Rome and World Bank.
lean refugees and Sandinistas from Nicaragua. This opera
Over the years, Longo Mai has also received support from
tion was the pretext for massive fundraising drives in Switz
international institutions such as the International Labor Or
erland and received the support of the United Nations High
ganization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
Commission on Refugees. Longo Mai's leaders claimed to
U.N., the Council of Europe, and the European Community.
have brought 200 Nicaraguan refugees back to Switzerland,
Club of Rome member Sicco Mansholt--German Green Par
but there were in reality never more than 31. A scandal broke
ty leader Petra Kelly's former employer-and ex-Austrian
out in in Switzerland, where the refugees were blatantly
Chancellor Bruno Kreisky have also supported the Longo
exploited as cheap labor in the agricultural camps, and as