Christian Right: Who's the Man Behind the Curtain?
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist based in Washington, D.C. This post is taken from his article entitled “Exposé: The ‘Christian’ Mafia.” The subtitle is “Where Those Who Now Run the U.S. Government Came From and Where They Are Taking Us.”
No matter how jaded or cynical you are, you’ll still be jolted by this exposé (at least I hope so). And thanks to The Lookout for showing me this site.
This article is very long, and Madsen has kind of a rambling, zigzagging style (to put it kindly). But it’s well worth reading; the site should be bookmarked. This post is only a brief summary.
His article begins with: “…I can now report on a criminal conspiracy so vast and monstrous it defies imagination. Using ‘Christian’ groups as tax-exempt and cleverly camouflaged covers, wealthy right-wing businessmen and ‘clergy’ have now assumed firm control over the biggest prize of all — the government of the United States of America.”
Don’t worry, it gets even gloomier.
The entire legislative branch of the U.S. government is controlled by a powerful, very secretive cult known as The Fellowship (they’re also known as The Family among other names). Wayne Madsen says “Jesus is used to justify the Fellowship’s access to the highest levels of government and business in the same way Santa Claus entices children into department stores and malls during the Christmas shopping season.”
The Fellowship has been around since 1935, under various names. To increase the stealth factor, it’s organized into lots of small cells. Sounds kind of like al Qaeda.
Archives of The Fellowship are maintained at the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Illinois. The group began in the 1930s with a Methodist Minister named Abraham Vereide. Vereide had a strong anti-Socialist, anti-union, pro-Nazi Germany agenda, but he concealed it behind his ministry. Secrecy was the highest priority. He wanted this movement to “carry out its objective through personal, trusting, informal, unpublicized contact between people.”
Just as James Dobson’s Ph.D. is in psychology rather than Divinity, Abraham Vereide’s main influence was German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. One of Nietzsche’s observations about Christianity was: “When we hear the ancient bells growling on a Sunday morning we ask ourselves: Is it really possible! This, for a Jew, crucified two thousand years ago, who said he was God’s son? The proof of such a claim is lacking.”
Two other influences on Vereide were Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger and his colleague, Leo Strauss. Strauss is father of American neo-conservatism and the mentor of Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. Strauss had to flee Nazi Germany because of being Jewish. He emigrated to the United States and began teaching political science at the University of Chicago.
Strauss and Vereide formed the bridge that joined secular ultra-rightwing groups with various Christian sects, including the Dominionists.
Prior to World War II, the so-called America First groups were united in their hatred of labor unions and all other forms of Socialism. More than anything, they hated President Franklin Roosevelt. Vereide’s “ministry,” various pro-Nazi groups and a resurgent Ku Klux Klan all had an interlocking leadership and a coordinated political agenda.
Another pre-World War II organization was the Moral Rearmament Group, led by Frank Buchman. They were another alliance of the pro-Nazi and Christian Fundamentalist movements. This group was posing as a pacifist organization, but their real agenda was to persuade political leaders in America, Britain, Norway and South Africa to accept Hitler’s conquest. Then, after Hitler’s victory, everyone would unite and take up arms against all of the Communist and Socialist movements of the world.
There was very tight coordination between Frank Buchman’s Moral Rearmament Group and Abraham Vereide’s ministry.
Shortly after Franklin Roosevelt’s election to the White House in 1932, some wealthy Republican industrialists approached a Marine Corps general about the idea of overthrowing the United States government. Hiding behind a Christian Evangelical façade, the industrialists stirred up the idea of Roosevelt as an anti-Christ. This coup would be financed mostly by Du Pont and J.P. Morgan. The plan was to force Roosevelt to announce that he was too sick from polio to continue as an effective leader. He would create a new cabinet position, the Secretary of General Affairs. This cabinet position would be the real position of power; and the Secretary of General Affairs would abolish all programs connected with the New Deal.
One of the planners of the coup, a Wall Street bond salesman, told the Marine general “You know the American people will swallow that. We have got the newspapers. We will start a campaign that the President’s health is failing. Everyone can tell that by looking at him, and the dumb American people will fall for it in a second.”
The Marine general rejected the idea. He reported this plot to Congress, but he was dismissed as a crackpot; no investigation was ever held.
Harry Truman had some vague past connections with Frank Buchman. He frantically downplayed these connections in 1944 when he was selected as FDR’s Vice President.
In 1942 Vereide began holding discreet prayer breakfast meetings for the House of Representatives; he began making further inroads into Congress from there.
When Harry Truman took over the White House after FDR’s death, he announced that the New Deal would remain intact (although he renamed it the Fair Deal). The religious Fundamentalist / anti-Communist coalition pulled out all the stops in their attacks against Truman. They accused Truman of having Communists embedded in his administration. This gave Senator Joseph McCarthy a vehicle for his demagoguery, which became the infamous McCarthyism of the 1950s.
It was because of pressure from this rightwing coalition that Truman consolidated already-existing agencies to form the Central Intelligence Agency. Ironically, many Republicans at that time were appalled at the idea of a federal government agency having so much power and secrecy.
By this time the civil rights movement was starting to take hold, and Buchman and Vereide fought it with every “Christian” gimmick they could come up with. They became experts at finding Biblical passages to prove that God was the original segregationist.
Another major player was a Republican senator from Maine, Ralph Owen Brewster. Brewster was a Ku Klux Klan member, and the KKK played a large role in getting him into the Senate. (Brewster was played by Alan Alda in the movie “The Aviator.”)
Prescott Bush (father of George Herbert Walker Bush; grandfather of W) and his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, were a bridge between Nazi Germany and several large American banks and investment companies. (What is it about bluebloods and recycling the same five names over and over and over?) Close ties were formed between the Bush family, several oil companies and the CIA.
In 1968, a powerful coalition of Big Business and Christian Fundamentalists pushed for the presidential nomination of Ronald Reagan over the more liberal Richard Nixon. They suffered a temporary setback, but came back with a vengeance in 1980.
Beginning in the late 1940s, Vereide worked closely with Senator Strom Thurmond. Their strategy was to Evangelize large numbers of poor whites all across the South. For Vereide, this was a chance to spread his brand of Christianity-meets-Big Business. For Thurmond, it provided power and a “Christian” camouflage for his pro-segregation anti-civil-rights agenda.
In the 1950s Frank Buchman tried to play down his past Nazi ties, and turned his attention toward Asia in general, and Korea in particular. He began working with a Korean Presbyterian minister, Sun Myung Moon. They quickly became allies, realizing that they both dreamed of a worldwide rightwing government with a Christian façade. He helped the Reverend Moon establish the Unification Church. And the Moonies were born!
By the late 1950s Vereide had established hundreds of “ministries” all over the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia. For some reason, the countries where his “ministries” were the most active were the same countries where the CIA was the busiest with their espionage and “destabilizing” activities. Coincidence?
The CIA became very skillful at recruiting ministers and businessmen to do the tasks that the CIA itself was barred from by international law.
During the late 1950s and early ‘60s, most of the colonies in Asia and Africa achieved independence from their European colonizers. This created millions of potential converts for Abraham Vereide’s brand of “Christianity.”
The Presidential Prayer Breakfast has been an annual event since 1953. (At some point it got renamed the National Prayer Breakfast.) Billy Graham became a regular fixture at this event. But the event was established by Vereide; it gave his movement a cloak of legitimacy and an even stronger foothold in the highest circles of American government, business and the “church” establishment.
One of the 1972 Watergate tapes contained this conversation between Richard Nixon, Billy Graham and Nixon’s Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman:
Graham: “This [Jewish] stranglehold has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain.”
Nixon: “You believe that?”
Graham: “Yes, sir.”
Nixon: “Oh, boy. So do I. I can’t ever say that but I believe it.”
Graham: “No, but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something.”
Graham: “By the way, Hedley Donovan has invited me to have lunch with [the Time Magazine] editors.”
Haldeman: “You better take your Jewish beanie.”
Graham: “Is that right? I don’t know any of them now . . .A lot of Jews are great friends of mine . . .They swarm around me and are friendly with me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country.”
Nixon: “You must not let them know.”
Another Watergate conspirator and Nixon’s all-around dirty trickster, Charles Colson, was an active member of the Fellowship. Colson hasn’t been in the news much since Watergate, but his work was just beginning. I’ll let Wayne Madsen show you how the Watergate era is connected to our present situation:
“Although Nixon would later come to distrust the Fellowship, one of his closest confidants, Charles Colson, would become one of the key figures in the group. Colson served time in jail as a result of his involvement in the Watergate scandal. He would later re-emerge ‘born again’ and serve as a covert adviser to the very same elements who would propel George W. Bush into office as President. No longer would the Fellowship have a paranoid, moderate Republican like Nixon or corny, superficially Christians like Reagan or George H. W. Bush in the White House. For the Fellowship, Nixon, Reagan and the first Bush served their purposes but they were not true believers. In their minds, after an unsuccessful coup against Roosevelt and war with their brethren in Germany; the uncooperative and “left leaning” administrations of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson; a paranoid administration in Nixon; a transitional Gerald Ford; a born again Christian anomaly in Jimmy Carter; partial entrees to power with Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush; and absolute disgust with Bill Clinton, the Fellowship believed it was God’s will that they would have one of their very own core members wielding power in the Oval Office and carrying out God’s (the Fellowship’s) dictates. In George W. Bush, who had been indoctrinated into the total submission to Jesus (the Fellowship) after his involvement with alcohol and drugs, fundamentalists would not only be able to remake the United States but, indeed, the entire world.”
Whew! And here we are. Don’t miss the next exciting episode! Coming in November of 2008: The Sequel.
Cross-posted at Bring It On!