They came to celebrate-The Spotlight, the nearly 4-year-old weekly newspaper of the ultra-conservative Libery Lobby, had reached a circulation of 200,000. Now it is the largest selling weekly in the country, according to the claims of the latest issue, the one that gives "the other side of the news."

Some talked of conspiracies. There were old ones and new ones and they took shelter from the menace in monologues and dialogues and the nodding of many heads in agreement.

Some traded information, James P. Tucker Jr., The Spotlight's managing editor was talking about how the energy shortage was caused by a secret agreement to divert oil to Israel when Snowden Czonkey broke in. "You would know," he said. "Which issue was it that you wrote about how the Jews who settled in Israel were not the ones who belonged there? . . . Oh, you don't remember that one? . . . Maybe it was a different publication."

Some worried about who belonged. "Do you want to take to me" said Este Hough. "I'm an American from way back, from 1620. What worries me is all these people who weren't Anglo-Saxon, it wasn't until after the Anglo-Saxons were martyred that the others came in. Why weren't these people colonists? I worry about my grandchildren, I don't know how they're going to cope with this new world. I can't understand it at all. It just happened too fast."

She gave advice. "If you have a child, teach him not to be a fool. There is so much evil in this world. I don't know what will happen. But I just hate to see such a beautiful country go."

An endless procession of leaflets, the edges tearing, the paper turning gray, appeared from Wallace Barlow's pocket. He was most worried about energy and defense. "We have a foundation for non-lethal warfare. If you could eliminate death from warfare, people could fight things out. We supported some work on morphine darts, we're looking into other things too."

He is the creator of the Barlow Calender, which would shorten the work week by 6 percent, "thereby creating 5 billion new jobs." He pulled out a letter he wrote to Ian Smith in 1977. "Your problem is not unique to Rhodesia," it read. "If we should apply the one-man, one-vote concept world-wide, we would be faced with a majority which would surely support genocide of the white race."

He is not optimistic about the future. "Forty years of Democratic rule have bankrupted us."

Anne Gray rolled her eyes and winked and sighed. "It's the federals,: she said. "I could tell you stories about the federals that would make your hair stand on end."

It wasn't just the federals. It was the International Power Cartel, it was Rothschilds and Rockefellers and Communists and Carter and Bankers and Rich People and the Tri-Lateral Commission. Dread seemed to drift out of the shadows of the National Press Building ballroom, and at times nervous glances were there to meet it.

At the party they had drinks and hors d'oeuvres and the latest issue of The Spotlight-"The Paper You Can Trust." It listed some of its exclusives over the last few years. "Carter's Cocaine Connection. (8-16-76)." "New Military Hymn Denies Christ (6-14-76)." "US Sues Landladies for Nixing Interracial Cohabitors. (8-16-76)." "Porn Found in Maryland Kiddy Library. (11-28-77)." "Foreigners Given Secret Govt. Info on New CB Regs. (10-11-76)."

Tucker savored the circulation figure-200,000. "We must be doing something right," he said.