LaRouche Follower Cut Short in Latest Virginia Tech Panel Meeting

The Virginia Tech Review Panel held its third public hearing yesterday at George Mason University in Fairfax.

And, for the third time, a representative of far-out political figure Lyndon LaRouche stepped up to the podium in an attempt to blame the April 16th massacre on violent video games.

This time, however, the committee was seemingly not in a mood to listen. Although committee chair Col. Gerald Massengill was exceedingly polite about it, the 24-year-old LaRouche follower (left) quite clearly got the hook, spending less than three minutes before the panel.

C-SPAN has video of the hearing (skip ahead to 2:28:22 for the brief LaRouche segment). GamePolitics has an mp3 of the audio portion here.

The review panel meets next on July 18th in Charlottesville.

UPDATE: The LaRouche PAC has posted its report on the June 11th hearing.

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  1. 0

    […] GamePolitics has been following the saga of the Virginia Tech Review Panel since they began, documenting the semi-invasion of the the process by followers of nutty political figure Lyndon LaRouche, seemingly hell-bent on blaming the entire incident on video games. From telling the panel that violent games should be banned like heroin to endlessly testifying against a hobby that had nothing to do with the incident at all. When the report was finally released last week, it contained no mention of video games. Case closed, right? […]

  2. 0
    Gameboy says:


    One reason I didn’t go to George Mason University is that its way to far to drive. I’m not taking time out of work/school to drive 1500 miles to listen to LaRouche drivel. Another reason? Well you provided me with it.

    “Are you scared to talk to a LaRouchie, in person??? Also, are you not able to utter your arguments in a public setting???”

    How childish. How cultish. This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve read your organization does to people who enter it. You verbally abuse them. You beat them with insults, accuse them of homosexuality, and harp on the most insignificant inconsistencies. Wake up! That’s cult tactics.

    You don’t let your members think. If you did they would realize how they are wasting their lives. How many people have you convinced to drop out of school? To quit their jobs? To turn their backs on their families? How many lives have you ruined?

    Why do I enjoy video games?
    Because they are fun. I enjoy learning the stories of the characters. Trying new strategies to accomplish my goals. Beating the villain, slaying the dragon, and saving the girl. These are things I could never do in real life. That’s what makes it enjoyable. I can live adventures none would ever have.

    Do video games help you become an active and helpful member of society?
    No more or less than books, movies, television, or comics. Games can do as much, if not more than any of these other media. You forget that video games are merely in their infancy. In 10 years, we may have a whole new concept of games.

    Are there more important things one could be doing in the time one spends playing these games?
    Sure. Hell, there’s more important things I could be doing in the time I spend combing my hair or brushing my teeth. I play video games because I enjoy them. So do many of my friends. We play together, borrow, talk, and generally bond over video games. What’s more important than friendship?

    I have a problem with another post of yours on a different thread. You claim games like Civilization only allow you to win through warfare. That’s blatantly false. In many SIM games you can “win” in different ways. Economic wealth, or being voted World leader for example. It depends on the users play style and desires.

    I’ve wasted enough time on you.

  3. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Are there more important things one could or should be doing in the time one spends playing these video games???”

    Maybe. But its MY time and I will use it as I see fit, not you. You have no say in how I spend my time. Because I’m not, you know, a cult member.

  4. 0
    Twin-Skies ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    “This is Paul, I testified in the Blacksburg panel. So tell me..Why did none of you guys show up at George Mason University? Are you scared to talk to a LaRouchie, in person??? Also, are you not able to utter your arguments in a public setting???”

    To be frank: Hell, yes – nobody in his/her right mind would want to be caught dead associating with the LaRouche group.

    I advise taking a look at it. There are some thoughts there you might want to think over. These are questions which I asked myself…

    Why do you find video games to be enjoyable?

    Do video games help you become an active and important member of society??

    Yes, me and my siblings enjoy videogaming very much. So much so – in fact – that it inspired me and my little sister to delve into the material these games were based on.

    Thanks to videogaming, my sister’s now quite a fan of Greek and Roman mythology, and is already developing a taste and appreciation for ancient lores cultures – not even two years of history courses could ever do that to me, and my sis is only 14.

  5. 0
    Paul says:

    Hey Guys,

    This is Paul, I testified in the Blacksburg panel. So tell me..Why did none of you guys show up at George Mason University? Are you scared to talk to a LaRouchie, in person??? Also, are you not able to utter your arguments in a public setting???

    The VA Tech Panel is modeled on the town hall meeting model, where in this case, specific experts were called in to give advise. Near the end, one hour was set aside to hear concerns from the public. This panel will be presenting its findings to the Gov. of VA near the end of the summer, and by the way, all of them are reading or have read our material on this issue.

    Anyway, to help improve the dialogue a bit I posted some thoughts on the other blog stream near the bottom…

    I advise taking a look at it. There are some thoughts there you might want to think over. These are questions which I asked myself…

    Why do you find video games to be enjoyable?

    Do video games help you become an active and important member of society??

    Are there more important things one could or should be doing in the time one spends playing these video games???


  6. 0
    Timmay! says:

    The fact that the laroach camp didn’t offer any form of real information twice was bad enough, good for the board to be intelligent enough to realize what the little roach was getting at and cutting them off quickly. The roach went out with a whimper and a “but, but, but”, which brought a smile to my face. :)

  7. 0
    Anthony says:

    The LaRouche people are crazy and should be ignored anyways. They are a cult and should be recognized as such. And its just like LaRouche’s fascist philosophy to try to restrict speech.

  8. 0
    SounDemon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    When the chairman said “We’ve heard it all before, move along”, that was the politician’s way of saying “STFU NOOB!”

  9. 0
    Ghostcoin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The reason a family member is not present on the panel is because a level of objectivity is required in the matter. This is a government issued panel with experts on a field of subject matters and government representatives that are trained in dealing with policy issues. Simply giving the masses an opportunity to speak to it was a wise move by the state government after this incident, but, since they cannot be selective in who actually speaks once signed up, they have to allow all comers. The families can speak, and by all rights I think they should, but in moderation. I can understand their loss, and the feeling of being left out, but their emotions will get in the way of rational decisions on a state level policy board. If a family member found a particular piece of information distressing for whatever reason, the objectivity of the panel is lost on the, possible, emotional breakdown of a panel member. Watch C-SPAN. The panels from DC are full of bitter, snide, and biting remarks. There is a reason for it. They are there for information, and do not wish to bandy about with emotional banter and tissues, thus the close to summary dismissal of this latest wingnut. The board is getting tired, and, if it continues, the board may shut out the public entirely.

  10. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No way should the industry be sending a representative there. It would just be playing into LaRouche’s attempts to make this about video games. I can see issuing a statement, but this isn’t about video games, so the industry should just ignore the crazies.

  11. 0
    tony selby ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    the reason the game industry doesn’t have a representative there is because they don’t require one to be there, this review panel is not about video games, and the only person there thats trying to make it about video games is obviously being promptly ignored

    if anything showing up to something like this would give the people trying to blame the industry ammunition by making it look like the game industry is trying to hide or cover something up in this

  12. 0
    ekim1086 says:

    Alright can I ask a question? What is the purpose of The Virginia Tech Review Panel? It sounds an awful lot like a place people play the blame game… Forgive me if I’m wrong, but that’s all I’m seeing coming out of it. ‘Blame this, blame that, oh those poor people are dead and we wanna further our own agendas because of it…’

  13. 0
    Mauler ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If you show up you give the nutjobs some weight to their argument. The panel isn’t investigating video games, nor do they seem willing to go down that road, so showing up doesn’t do them any good. They would then become a bigger part of the conspiricy because, you know, the evil game empire showed up.

  14. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m willing to give the ESA and ECA some degree of a break here because nobody expected a bunch of crazed conspiracy freaks to start leaping on Thompsons paranoia as a ‘get noticed scheme.’, so you can hardly send reps to defend against something you didn’t know would happen.

    I do find it interesting that it’s becoming more and more a target for people who are famous for seeing conspiracies and plots in every corner, we have LaRouche, who has a history, Thompson, who managed to accuse just about everyone who dares to not agree with him of being either a drug addict or a ‘pusher’, I think I’m seeing a common denominator here, and it’s not computer games.

  15. 0
    Thefremen says:


    Even if they wanted to be a part of this they wouldn’t be allowed. Victim’s families can’t, and many other qualified people can’t. Apparently they only allow people with 17 copies of “Catcher in the Rye” to speak to them.

    (Conspiracy Theory reference btw)

  16. 0

    “Until someone sponsors Dennis or “ME” or someone who can travel to these events and speak on the behalf of Video Games in person we will just voice our concerns via forums, blogs and to anyone who will listen…just not at these events.”

    I’ve been wondering where the ESA or ECA is in any of this. I thought part of the the ECA was to have “citizen experts” who can testify and present facts at events like this? I live in the area of this and would have been happy to have been involved.

    And on another note, I worked on the Hill for many years and had to deal with the LaRouchies, you have not experienced torture untill you’ve interacted with these unwashed masses.

  17. 0
    Wise Guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    While I agree the industry should be much more pro-active against misinformation about violence and video games, I don’t think this would be an appropriate place to do so. Why further bring video games into the spotlight? What would a representative of the industry say to the panel?

    “By the way, Video Games have nothing to do with this. That is all”

    The industry doesn’t have anything to add to the discussion. People are looking for answers as to why this happened. The industry doesn’t have the answers, so they really have no business being there. If anything it would just make the industry look like just as much of an agenda pusher as these people from the LaRouche camp.

  18. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That’s the whole problem with a LaRoucheians, they seem to assume that everyone who gets into power immediately turns into Fu Man Chu.

    I suppose if you feel that insignificant that you have to invent stuff to make people listen to you, it sums itself up. I hope Jack Thompson is listening.

  19. 0
    Thefremen says:

    I think they should have let him speak, the larouche crew are excellent lulz cows and say some of the most insane things. Like dick cheney made the doom 3 engine with a palm pilot in half an hour.

  20. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    I’d probably diginify them once with a debate, just once. And even though Jack Thompson doesn’t like these people why not get him on it to so we can kill two birds with one stone. Then after this debate never speak to these individuals again just let them remember the time anyone from the game industry made them look foolish and continue living their lives trying to get other people to believe in bogus theorys.

    Even that I’m not 100% behind I pretty much agree with Stinking Kevin, I wouldn’t want to dignify them a response.

    The thing that gets me is that people like Jack Thompson and the Minions of LaRouche prey on the victims of school shootings and other parents worried about the health and safty of their children. The victim’s parents are in a extremely vulnerable state, the worst thing that could possibly happen to them just did. Its pretty sick to convince these parents that have just been crushed that its because of violent video games. Its almost just as bad to do it to the parents that have kids that were in the same community as the victims. I do reconize that it isn’t really that sick to preach to paranoid parents but still it is rediculous.

    The entire thing is discusting. They are creating an illusion that shootings will cease to happen as long as violent videogames are prohibited. Homocide has been around longer than video games, and even longer than GUNS just maybe this means the problem is larger than video games. Here is a good place to start looking for the problem. Religion, social problems, money, society and law.

    So to the Minions of LaRouche and Mr JT, good luck trying to solve a problem that has been around for several thousand years by prohibiting video games. Whenever your brains begin working properly again I’m sure we can talk and smooth things over.

    As far as the industry goes I just hope they educate the masses rather than try to preach to those who follow LaRouche or Thompson. There are other people that are more dangerous to the game industry and it is those who hold office and represent us. Those are the people who we need to worry about and debate. Maybe we need to play the political game as everyone else does and begin to have special interest groups located in the capital to lobby for the game industry.

  21. 0
    GameClucks says:

    It almost looks like the kid had enough internal questions to shake off the LaRouche group’s brain-scrubbing. I wish him luck.

    GKScotty: “£10 says the public doesn’t like New Violence, and after much complaining we get back Classic Violence”

    We have a winner!

  22. 0
    Judith Iscariot says:

    Thank goodness I severed all contact with those LaRouche lunatics while I was still young, stupid, and without a car…

    But honestly, wasn’t it been reported by various media that none of Cho’s classmates ever saw him play video games, let alone own one?

  23. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    Though I can’t seem to watch the video for some reason, I’m still upset that these conspiracy theorists get more time on the panel than families of the victims or even survivors of the shooting.

    Really, it seems more and more to me that this panel is little more than a roundtable to present all the popular scapegoats: Guns, games, etc.

    The public deserves more than this.

  24. 0
    tempo says:

    why would anyone from the industry be there?

    the event had/have nothing to do with the industry or video games.
    aside from a couple nut-jobs, games aren’t even a part of the conversation.
    why validate a couple of nut jobs and make it a conversation?

    what’s next? should nasa drop a few million to prove that the moon landing really, really did happen?

  25. 0
    Serrenity ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I feel bad for that kid too. I can tell he was nervous … hopefully this experience, the disdain the committee clearly showed the group he represented will have an effect on him for the better.

    One thing I have to say, he didn’t make wild rampant claims that games were the only cause, simply that they could be. While I disagreed with the claim, I at least liked the way he presented it.

  26. 0
    BlueWolf72 says:

    Until someone sponsors Dennis or “ME” or someone who can travel to these events and speak on the behalf of Video Games in person we will just voice our concerns via forums, blogs and to anyone who will listen…just not at these events.

  27. 0
    Sidewinder says:

    How is new violene any different from old violence. Doesn’t violence boil down to hurting and potensially killing other people? I think they did something similar way back in Sparta a few thousand years ago. And when i Play Civ 4 I have military units all the way from the stone age to 2050 A.D.

  28. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I liked the audio. Basically it boiled down to the panel saying, “Yeah, we heard it all before. Let’s move on to more important and relevant stuff.”

    I also think that it is unfair to not have representative of the families on the board. After all it was their kids.

  29. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    hi nightwng2000.

    I am still unsure as well, but the article you linked says the family members seek “representation on the panel.” It’s not about who gets to ‘speak’ — it’s about who gets to ‘listen.’ This supports my understanding of how testimony from the general public is being given and taken.

    That sounds (to me, at least) like these family members are asking to have a representative who is part of the review board, not just a chance to testify. The article says that a statement signed by 13 family members will be presented as testimony, so it’s not as if they aren’t being given a chance to say what they want to the panel (like anyone else who signs up to speak during the open comment part of the program, I believe).

    Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but it sounds like the families mentioned in that article want to be sitting on the other side of the desk, so they can contribute to decisions about what to do with information and charity money the panel is collecting.

    I still believe that anyone who fills out the right paperwork can have a chance to speak to the board during the open comments sections of the program. It’s possible I’m wrong about that, but it doesn’t make any sense to me any other way.

  30. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    Again, I’ll ask: Why would any reasonable individual or organization want dignify these LaRouche accusations with a response? What good could that possibly do? It sounds like you’re still taking the LaRouche reps way more seriously than anyone in the mainstream or anyone on that panel.

    Those LaRouche kids have no expertise to lend. They weren’t invited to testify about anything, were they? The panel’s open comment portions are intended to allow members of the general public to express thoughts and feelings about the massacre. The LaRouche speeches are only exploiting the tragedy to gain a free forum for their lies and propaganda.

    Judging by this story and the clip, it seems obvious that no one is taking these unsolicited LaRouche diatribes seriously. Dignifying this blather with any sort of formal response would only give it more attention and weight than it has or deserves, and sink the responder to the same level of disgusting exploitation.

  31. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As we’ve seen, this “Review Panel” is a questionable affair anyway.

    From a news post in OT elsewhere:

    “Virginia Tech families ‘ostracized’ from probe “


    I wish Stinking Kevin (from the main page articles) was around here. Because this article makes the issue of this Review Panel even MORE confusing.

    Note the references to the Panel “investigating”.
    Yet, average citizens are giving “testimony”.
    But the VA Tech Parents aren’t allowed to be a part of the Panel?

    “As the meeting began, its chairman, W. Gerald Massengill said: “I know the governor received several hundred requests from Virginians all across Virginia, and outside Virginia, wanting to serve on this panel — including some family members. And I would say to all of you, particularly the family members, you are extremely important to us.” “

    Yes, but we’re not talking about just any ‘ol citizen. We’re talking about Parents of the victims.”


    I posted that in a different forum, so the reference to Kevin seems off. But still, it’s a point that the real purpose of this “Review Panel” isn’t quite what it seems to be.

    NW2K Software

  32. 0
    Yuki says:

    A last note before I crash out.

    If I sound like i’m ranting alot lately, it’s that i’m just frustrated and fed up with the level of inactivity I see from the industry. They need to get there heads out of the sand and start fighting back.

    Thats all I’m saying, it’s what i’ve been saying for a few years now. Enoughs enough.

    Ok, thats it, night all.

  33. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Yuki and InsidiousMrMoo :

    Maybe the industry did something… but behind the scenes. We can imagine that they wrote to the panelists to counter anti-game crap with serious facts, and that’s why the committee didn’t want to listen to more crap from LaRouche followers.

    But it’s just speculation.

  34. 0
    Zeloth says:

    There must have been at least 1 LaDou…..LaRouche follower with more confidence in public speaking near Fairfax, they most likely picked him because he was closer to the stereotypical image of gamers.

  35. 0
    GKScotty says:

    Every time that guy mentioned “this phenomenon which we’ve termed The New Violence” I started laughing. He seems to be trying to say that the violence alledgedly caused by games is in some way distinct and maybe worse than the violence we’ve had since the beginning of time.

    £10 says the public doesn’t like New Violence, and after much complaining we get back Classic Violence

  36. 0
    InsidiousMrMoo says:

    Yuki, I understand exactly what you are saying.

    I still find it funny that there is no evidence that he was playing any violent video games at the time, yet these people still go on saying games made him do it.

    I think it is time that the industry drops the silent do nothing approach and goes out on the attack to shut down any of these so called “experts” from getting their voices placed in any kind of record.

    On another note the 24yr old saying violent video games made Cho a killer is just mad because he sucks at video games :P.

  37. 0
    JB ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    At least the committee was smart enough not to give this guy the time of day. I pitty that kid though. He seemed really nervous up there (probably because he knew everything he was trying to say was a pile of crap) and then he gets shot down.

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