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Investigative Leads

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 Le...

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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

fire? Most

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


May 17,1983


© 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

cratic newspaper

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

Mai cult.