October 26, 1998
Written By S.R. Shearer
"To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's
doing is good ...
"Ideology - that is what gives devildoing its long-sought justification
and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination.
That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead
of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches
and curses but will receive praise and honors."
- Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn
[While Solzhenitsyn no doubt had in mind the Communist elite of the
old Soviet Union when he made these comments, they could just as
well have been directed at the activity of today's Religious Right as
it seeks to "take the country back for Christ and the Church."]
Today it's fashionable to dismiss talk of conspiracy theories - or a
belief in conspiracism - as the prattle of uneducated naïfs.
This is certainly what the mainline media and "establishment" pundits
would have us think. For example, take the way the conspiracy theories
of today's militia movement are treated: essentially, they are written
off as the product of an unsophisticated "redneck" and "blue collar"
paranoia. But if that's so, it's a paranoia that the "establishment's"
own proven lies and deceit have helped to fashion over the last thirty
years: Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, the Contra fiasco, Irangate,
the MIA controversy, etc. - all deliberate government fabrications (and
recognized as such by most civil libertarians)! - lies which have over
the years eaten away like an acid at the historic trust most so-called
"redneck" and "blue collar" Americans have historically had for their
As a result, there exists today a basic notion in "blue collar" communities
throughout the country that the government is simply incapable of telling
the truth; and that, therefore, its heated denials regarding F.E.M.A.,
the "black helicopters," the stationing of UN troops in remote areas,
etc. cannot be taken seriously. The plain fact of the matter is, an
aura of deceit now surrounds the government and bathes it in a light
which is not conducive to engendering trust.
THE MILITIA PHENOMENON
Commenting on the paranoia that grips today's militia movement, Christopher
John Farley, writing in Time Magazine, says,
"Patriots ... fear that foreign powers, working through organizations
like the United Nations and treaties like the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organization), are eroding
the power of America as a sovereign nation."
militia members assert that the United States is being subverted from
within by a clandestine and sinister cabal of multicultural, multi-racial,
"one world" New Age elitists dedicated to the destruction of Western
Civilization and the Christian religion. [Please see our article, "The
Civilian Militias & The Mythology Of The Religious Right."]
According to militia members, the cabal operates out of the United
Nations and has been secretly stationing UN troops in isolated areas
throughout the country in preparation for the takeover - and some speak
in hushed whispers of actually seeing secret highway signs meant to
guide UN forces. In addition, members believe that the appearance of
mysterious formations of "black helicopters" in the sky over certain
areas of the country is a prelude to the takeover; and that the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) is the cabal's principle coordinating
agency in the country charged with the responsibility for managing the
seizure. [It's interesting to note in this connection that an Associated
Press release in June of 1997 confirmed the fact that there is substance
to "black helicopter" sightings; according to the AP, the "black helicopters"
are associated with secret Special Forces training designed to prepare
U.S. forces for urban warfare. The training has from time to time been
carried out on a clandestine basis in the continental U.S. The AP revelation
came as a great embarrassment to liberal critics of conservative conspiracy
theorists who had ridiculed militia outrage over this matter.]
For example, in Fort Bragg, California, Mike Howse - a 42-year-old
auto body repair shop owner and an interim unit commander of a citizen's
militia group - says,
"... the UN. troops and equipment that are in the country ... (are
here to) be used to disarm the people ... In fact, that seems to be
what they're training for. The government won't give you a figure.
We've received figures from people in the military that ... say they
know of up to 800,000 here. I don't thing there's that many. The closest
approximation is up to 300,000."
And there's more! - on a video promoting patriot ideas, a man who
gives his name only as "Mark from Michigan" says he fears that America
will be subsumed into "one big, fuzzy, warm planet where nobody has
any borders," and Samuel Sherwood, head of the United States Militia
Association in Blackfoot, Idaho, tells followers that the Clinton Administration
is planning to import 100,000 Chinese policemen to take guns away from
Americans. ["Mark" and several others mentioned in this report have
since "passed from the scene" - and have been replaced by even more
Junas warns that militia organizers in Eastern Montana have been
"...encouraging their audiences to form citizens' militias to protect
themselves from the impending military threat."
ORIGINS OF TODAY'S PARANOIA
To a great extent, the origins of this mistrust can be traced back
to a single event and a single moment: the morning of November 22, 1963
- the assassination of JFK; specifically, to the government's explanation
of that event.
Without question, the unease and discomfort surrounding the government's
account of the JFK assassination has done more to undermine the public's
confidence in the government than any other single event in the last
half of the twentieth century. Indeed, a November 1994 CBS News poll
indicates that 89 percent of the population (up from 52 percent in 1963)
now believes that the assassination was the result of an elaborate plot,
and 81 percent believe that the government has conspired to hide the
truth regarding the assassination from the public. And unless one
is prepared to say that 89 percent of the American populace is "wacko,"
hardly a vote of confidence for democracy, than one is left with
the thought that there may indeed be some justification for the anxiety
most militia members exhibit toward their government's basic "truthfulness."
The fact is, the great majority of Americans now believe that the
Warren Commission Report was nothing more than a government fabrication
- a giant cover-up typical of countless others which have been perpetrated
on the American public since - and, despite attempts to quash such thinking
by "responsible authorities," there is a good deal of evidence - not
all of it generated out of the "nut circuit" - which tends to support
such a thesis.
FRIGHT & MISTRUST
Bee reporter Sam Stanton reports that it is exactly this kind of
government subterfuge and duplicity that has essentially produced the
anxiety that is driving the conspiratorial belief systems which now
seem to surround most of the militias - a suspicion of the government
so vast and extensive that many of the militias currently operate as
"cell groups" analogous to those used by the IRA and other terrorist
groups - a stratagem designed to prevent civil authorities from obtaining
their membership lists.
John Newman, a former analyst at the National Security Agency concurs
with Stanton's thinking. He remarks that essentially what the government
has produced by all its lies over the last thirty years is a deep distrust
of government by ordinary people - a conviction that the government
is simply incapable of telling the truth. Commenting specifically on
the government cover-up of the JFK assassination, Newman writes,
"In a sense it doesn't matter to me who killed Kennedy. What matters
is whether we're told the truth about it today. If you study recent
American history, the lies about Vietnam, Watergate, and on and on,
and see the level of cynicism and malaise that's grown up, it's frightening."
notions that the government may be plotting against its citizens are
common among militia members and have helped spur its tremendous growth
... that the United Nations may be preparing to sweep into cities
and take over, that FEMA may be used to suspend the Constitution and
could arrest people without cause, that so-called "black helicopters"
used for spying by the government have been spotted nationwide. In
years past, such talk was largely limited to shadowy anti-government
groups such as the Posse Comitatus or others that came to
prominence briefly in the 1980s. Today, however, it stems from (the)
Mike Reynolds of Klanwatch warns that this kind of paranoia can't
be bottled up forever. It's eventually going to result in something
- and given the fact that the militias are well armed, that "something"
could spell disaster. He says,
"... what we're seeing in these militia groups is ... (that they
are) extremely paranoid, (and) they're extremely well-armed. Their
fax messages, their computer (bulletin) board messages are just aiming
for violent confrontation, which will happen sooner or later if the
paranoia stays up like this."
RANDY WEAVER AND
THE BRANCH DAVIDIANS
Stanton believes that two recent events have added fuel to militia
tendencies toward violent confrontation with the government: one was
the Randy Weaver siege at Ruby Ridge that began August 21, 1992 in the
mountains of Idaho. The standoff was precipitated when US. marshals
went to the white separatist's cabin to arrest him on a weapons charge
- a charge which a court later found was nothing more than a setup -
and ended 10 days later after marshals had killed Weaver's wife and
son. The other, which has led to a burning hatred against the government
by many militia members, was the attack on the Branch Davidian compound
in Waco, Texas for which they blame Janet Reno who, they allege, is
nothing more than a "flaming faggot" bent on imposing homosexuality
and militant feminism on the country at large.
In both instances, a great many unanswered questions remain - not
only in the minds of militia members, but in the minds of countless
others, including many civil libertarians - about the government's involvement.
Charges of government cover-ups revolve around both attacks - and Weaver's
acquittal on most of the government's charges has added fuel to militia
anxieties against the government. Furthermore, the all-too-obvious "star
chamber" proceedings against the remaining Branch Davidians have only
buttressed militia suspicions - so much so that Linda Thompson, the
self-appointed "Acting Adjutant General of the Unorganized Militia of
the USA" has called for an armed march on Washington to demand an investigation
of the Waco siege. Frank Swan, a trucker who is a member of a militia
unit in Montana, says,
"The Waco thing really woke me up. They went in there and killed
women and children."
Farley writes that the incidents at Waco and Ruby Ridge have helped
"... many would-be militia members that the US government is repressive
as well as violently antigun and untrustworthy."
The attacks on Randy Weaver and the Branch Davidian compound have
convinced most militia members that the government is utterly evil and
will stop at nothing in order to carry out its "One World" designs -
and in this respect the government has done little to allay militia
fears with regard to this matter in the clumsy way it has tried to "cover"
the matter up, as a report by the University of California (Berkeley)
laid bare. One of the findings of the report indicated that the government's
explanation as to how the fire at the compound began was not truthful
- it's not at all the way the mainline media and the government have
attempted to portray it. The report says,
"If you don't believe that the residents started the fire, how do
you explain the tapes where voices are saying, 'Pour the fuel'? A
little over a month before the April 19 fire, FBI tank drivers tried
to remove three steel drums that sat on a frame outside of Mt. Carmel's
'southern' wall. In the process, they tipped over those drums, which
contained diesel fuel and gasoline. Koresh berated the FBI for using
tanks to remove those drums. He believed that the exhaust systems
on those tanks threw sparks, and when the tanks passed over the fuel
that they'd split, he thought that they were likely to set themselves
on fire. 'Those tanks aren't fireproof, you know', he warned the federal
lawmen. The 'pour the fuel' reference-between six and seven o'clock
on the morning of April 19, five to six hours before any fire-reflects
back on that incident. Koresh and his cronies may have been trying
to lay a trap for the tanks. The object was defensive, not suicidal."
This is the kind of "stuff" that drives militia members into fits
of rage, and ratchets their paranoia higher and higher. Schneider writes
that most militia members believe that the government now aims at "...
utterly crush(ing) all those who resist ... (its 'one world' aspirations)."
Jim Southwell, a 43-year old Montana real estate agent who says he served
in the navy in the early 1970s and who is also a militia activist, confirms
Schneider's assessment. He says,
"What's driving this movement (i.e., the militia movement) is the
lesson being taught by the American government (itself) ... That lesson
is that you are not in control of your life, your children, your home.
The government is in control. And if you push back, if you cross the
government, they will come down on you hard."
Mike Howse, the interim unit commander of the citizen's militia group
at Fort Bragg, California, says,
"A lot of people I'm sure have called ... (us) paranoid. A couple
of years ago I probably would have called it paranoid, too - (but)
not any more (after the Weaver and Branch Davidian incidents)"
ELITES AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES
Yes, there is more to conspiracy theories than meets the eye - but
there is a twist to it - a twist that we as Christians had better
note very, very carefully. Hiding the truth - which is what generates
conspiracy theories in the first place - is an activity of the
elites. It's not an activity in which the "left-outs" of society
can easily participate. And it is a very expensive activity - not one
in which those who don't have a lot of money can engage. And exactly
who is it that the Religious Right is getting itself in bed with? -
well, it's certainly not the "Worker's Party," or the socialists (which
essentially derive their support from the "left-outs" of society)! The
ironic truth of the matter is, the leaders of the Religious Right are
currently in the process of getting into bed with the very elites who
have been responsible over the years of perpetrating the very conspiracies
which have so enraged its "rank and file" members. Now that's what
we in Antipas would call an IRONY!!
The trade-off between the two groups [i.e., the Religious Right and
the economic elites (which essentially is represented by the establishment
wing of the Republican Party)] is a simple one: the economic elite agrees
to support financially the cultural agenda of the Christian evangelicals,
while Christian have agreed to support many of the economic policies
of the Republican elite. In other words, the Religious Right has
been "bought off." Evangelicals are playing in a game they are bound
to lose. They're being used. They've become the "toadies" of the world's
super elite. No doubt they think to do good with the money they've received
as a result of the bargain they've struck - build bigger churches, create
better programs, etc. But in the end, they'll choke on the money and
rue the day they ever made such a bargain.
This effort is made all the easier by liberals (mostly Democrats)
who insist on pushing gay rights, radical feminism, militant secularism,
abortion on demand, women in combat, affirmative action, unrestricted
immigration, minority rights, etc. - in the political market place to
an electorate which is really no longer buying this kind of liberalism,
a liberalism which many in America's mainstream are beginning to believe
has run amok. In furtherance of this strategy, American business leaders
have been pouring money into Religious Right organizations (especially
those organizations which are attempting to "take America back" from
the "secular-humanists") and in the process helping Religious Right
activists ratchet up the Christian community all the more against the
The genius in all this lies in the fact that the anger so generated
has blinded most Christians to what the business community has been
doing to them economically. Peter warned,
"... with feigned words (they are) mak(ing) merchandise
of you ..." (2 Pet. 2:3)
But let's pause now and examine all this more closely. What follows
will constitute the opening article in a series on "Conspiracy Theories,
the Elites, and the Religious Right."
WHO CONSTITUTES THE ELITE & WHY DOES IT
INSTINCTIVELY DEFEND THE STATUS QUO?
from the Introduction to the Second Part of the Antipas Papers.]
THE ELITES: WHO ARE THEY?
The elite can be called the arbiters (or referees) of the status
quo - the status quo being defined as "the way things are
presently constituted or organized" - and it can be the status quo
of anything: a business, a social club, a fraternal organization,
a union, a political party, a church or a church denomination - even
a whole society, nation or civilization. The elite, then, of any one
of these groups are the ones who are in control - who make up the rules,
who act as the referees as to "how the game is played." As a result,
the elites are those who have a STAKE in the way things are organized.
They are the ones who benefit from the way the "game is played" - and
the specific benefits can be any number of things - money, prestige,
Sociologist C. Wright Mills defines the American elite - those who
are in charge of the way the "game" is played in the United States -
as (1) the upper classes and the wealthy; (2) the political directorate
at the top of the government including the perennial "lawyer-statesman;"
(3) the large industrialists; (4) other corporate executives and owners;
and (5) that vague status system known as "celebrity."1 To this
category others have added (6) the media; and (7) the university and
educational establishment. Finally, with the growing power of the Religious
Right, a not insignificant number of academicians have begun adding
(8) the leadership of the major religious institutions (especially conservative
religious organizations). These are the groups which (despite the fact
that some of them are in open competition with others) control America
- these are the ones which have a stake in the status quo - and
all of them are committed in one way or another to maintaining that
ELITE POWER IS FRAGILE & DIFFICULT TO DEFEND
One of the primary ways in which elites maintain the status quo
is by quashing any and all information which could challenge their
qualification or "right" to rule, and the manner in which they govern.
This is important - because throughout history elites have been challenged
and eventually destroyed when their "qualifications" have been soiled
and besmirched to the extent that they no longer can command the respect
of those whom they govern - and this is especially so in democracies
or in democratically controlled organizations, although it is also true
in absolutist organizations as the outcome of the French Revolution
and the recent collapse of communism so adequately demonstrate.
Despite the mythology which surrounds elite power, it is in reality
a very delicate and fragile thing. Challenges to that control have
a way of expanding once they take hold among the governed; assaults
which are initially (and sometimes quite legitimately) mounted against
one individual or segment of the elite have a way of extending to other
members, and from there on ad infinitum. It's for this reason
that elites often feel obligated to spring to the defense of even their
most offensive members, of quashing information (even well-substantiated
information) which - should it become public knowledge and believed
- could incite enough anger to cause the kind of discontent which might
eventually lead to their destruction.
Once such challenges gain "critical mass," all bets are off and the
elite can easily become prey to the mob.
ELITE SUCCESS DEPENDS ON HOW
CLOSELY IT CAN ASSOCIATE ITSELF
WITH THE INTERESTS OF THE "MASSES"
The success or failure of challenges to elite control are often predicated
on the ability elites have in getting the governed to identify themselves
with the elite. If they are successful, then even legitimate challenges
to their control can be thwarted; if they are unsuccessful, then even
spurious challenges cannot be withstood. The legitimacy or illegitimacy
of the actual facts presented by the challengers to elite control often
have only peripheral importance in such contests. What's really important
is whether or not the governed identify themselves with the elite, and
whether or not they perceive the challenge against the elite as a challenge
against themselves and their interests or not. This is not to say that
elites have nothing to fear when they have succeeded in associating
themselves with the interests of the governed - legitimate challenges
to their control, even when mounted in "good times," have a long-range
Let's pause now and examine this phenomenon in the light of two powerful
elites: (1) that which controls today's evangelical movement, and (2)
that which controls the larger American society; to understand the pathologies
at work in the one is to understand the pathologies at work in the other
- and insofar as "old-line" evangelicals are concerned, this knowledge
will go a long way in explaining the reaction of the evangelical elites
to people like Dave Hunt, Al Dager, Pauline MacPherson, Constance Cumbey,
Jewel van der Merwe, etc. - a reaction which bears little connection
to the legitimacy or illegitimacy (i.e., the "rightness" or "wrongness")
of the facts these people have marshaled against the current direction
of the evangelical movement.
ELITE POWER, THE EVANGELICAL
COMMUNITY & THE STATUS QUO
For years a number of "old-line" evangelicals have wondered - and
quite legitimately it would appear - about what's happening in today's
evangelical movement. They've asked themselves, Where are the voices
of dissent today against the dangerous but growing transformation of
the evangelical community from the church of Dwight Moody, Harry Ironside,
Donald Barnhouse and C.T. Studd's World Evangelistic Crusade to the
church of Paul and Jan Crouch, Morris Cerrillo, John Wimber and the
so-called "Promise Keepers?" Where is the godly cry from our leadership
against the church's politicization by forces which seek to use the
church simply as a means to advance their own elitist economic and far
right political agendas? Where is the anguished cry against the developing
ecumenicism between the Roman Catholic Church and the evangelicals?
Where is the outrage against Tim LaHaye for taking money from the Moonies?
Where is the righteous fury against Pat Robertson's, Larry Lea's, and
Cubie Ward's involvement with Death Squad activity in Central and South
America? It's all too obvious that, for the most part, there has been
no reaction - except perhaps for that which passes as such in the hushed
whisperings that take place behind closed doors and stamped "leaders
only" - coy, tactful and "delicate" debates by leaders who have already
resolved not to "name names" and call anyone's "theological integrity"
Countless numbers of befuddled "old-line" evangelicals have asked
themselves, Where are the Martin Luthers of our day? The Jonathan Edwards?
The Increase and Cotton Mathers? - the pastors and leaders who would
dare to shout out an answer to this apostasy from their own pulpits
- and hang the cost to themselves personally? There appears instead
only the skittish, mouse-like shuffling of "position papers" and the
concomitant demand for more "proof" - and, sadly, in the shuffling of
all that bureaucratic paper and the demands for "more proof," many honestly
bewildered "old-line" evangelicals cannot help but hear the "death rattle"
of the church they have served and loved so well - a foreboding stillness
that resembles more a corpse-like hush than anything else; a quiet that
is broken only by the muffled sound of the steady tramp, tramp, tramp
of millions of feet on their way to hell because of our failure as evangelicals
to preach a clear Gospel - the feet of people who have been seduced
by "Another Gospel" and "Another Christ."
And why all this skittishness and timidity on the part of today's
evangelical leadership? - it's the same as with all elites, whether
religious or secular: they have too much to lose to throw caution to
the wind and fearlessly speak out - their paychecks, the hard-won respect
of their congregations and peers in the pastorate, their social status,
the recognition they have finally achieved from the "powers that be"
in the Republican Party apparatus, etc. In short, the evangelical leadership
has become a part of the status quo, (i.e., the "establishment")
- and while they are perhaps willing to admit that there may indeed
be something wrong, they can by no means find the necessary "proof"
which they would deem sufficient to cause them to take action - and
all this despite the mountains of evidence that has been presented to
them by people like Dave Hunt, Al Dager, Pauline MacPherson, the Bobgans,
etc. Indeed, their endless cry for ever more evidence is nothing more
than a very transparent sham - an excuse to delay, hesitate and obfuscate;
an artifice to evade the responsibility to take action.
METHODS OF ELITE DEFENSE: MUDDYING
THE ISSUES & CHANGING THE PLAYING FIELD
Dr. Martin Schotz, MD, a psychiatrist in Brookline Massachusetts,
writes concerning this phenomenon - and the reality that lies behind
"It's important to understand that one of the primary means of immobilizing
... people ... is to hold them in a state of confusion in which anything
can be believed but nothing can be known (for sure), nothing of significance
that is. "And ... (average) people (if they believe they have a stake
in the status quo) are more than willing to be held in this
state because to KNOW the truth - as opposed to only BELIEVING the
truth [by which Schotz means to think it's probably true (i.e., to
suspect that it's true), but to not know for certain - editor] - is
to face an awful terror and to be no longer able to evade responsibility.
It is precisely in moving from belief (i.e., suspicion) to knowledge
that ... (people) move from irresponsibility - from helplessness and
hopelessness - to (the responsibility to take) action ..."2
Dr. Schotz's observation goes a long way in explaining the seeming
paralysis of people - any people - in the face of a crisis, their refusal
to face the true facts of a bad situation: they are afraid of the
consequences of the action which they would have to take if they admitted
to the truth of the situation.
And this is true not only for evangelicals, but for anyone. In other
words, and as we indicated above, the paralysis of the evangelical community's
leadership in the face of its profoundly changed circumstances is by
no means unique. There are, of course, many examples in any elite which
detail the predisposition of "mainline," status quo leaders to
avoid admitting to the truth of painful situations, but the one which
comes closest to the average American - and the one to which he can
probably most easily identify - is the example of the Kennedy assassination
and the concomitant reaction of the American elites to this tragic event;
their seeming paralysis in the face of what appeared to be an overwhelming
and monstrous crime goes a long way in explaining the reaction of the
evangelical movement's leadership to Dave Hunt, Al Dager, et. al.
for this reason that we will pause now and examine this in detail -
noting carefully the reaction of the American elites as the evidence
mounted against their efforts to deny what had really occurred. One
will be shocked by the parallels to what is occurring today in the evangelical
community insofar as the revelations Hunt, etc. are making against elite
personalities within the evangelical community. The pathology in both
instances (i.e., in the evangelical community with regard to its transformation,
and the larger American community with regard to the JFK assassination)
is remarkably similar. AND THERE IS A VERY PROFOUND AND SOMBER POINT
TO BE MADE IN ALL OF THIS: IT IS FUTILE TO LOOK TO THE ELITES (OR GOVERNING
CIRCLES) IN TODAY'S EVANGELICAL COMMUNITY FOR REDRESS TO WHAT IS OCCURRING!
WE MUST - AS THE "LITTLE PEOPLE" - LOOK TO OURSELVES!
isn't that there are not countless numbers of godly men and women who
are part of this elite who fervently love the Lord and who honestly
are seeking to do His will, it's just that they are a part of an institution
that is going in the wrong direction, and there is nothing they can
do - other than tampering with odds and ends on the periphery - to change
that. It's like someone who is walking west towards New York on a ship
which is sailing east towards London and who thinks that by doing so
he can with much effort at last reach New York. It's impossible! [Please
see our material on the church: "Working Within or Outside of Today's
Evangelical Establishment"; "The Jesus Revolution: The Search for the
Real Church Life."]
THE JFK ASSASSINATION: A CASE IN
POINT AS TO ELITE METHODOLOGIES:
ELITE DEFENSE & THE WARREN COMMISSION
Commenting on the ambivalence of the American elites towards the facts
of the JFK assassination, Gaeton Fonzi, author of The Last Investigation
- a book which deals with the effort by the elites to cover it up (and,
of course, the related willingness of the American public to accept
that cover-up) - writes,
"Dr. Schotz is absolutely right. Today most Americans BELIEVE there
was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy, but they don't KNOW it.
They don't want to KNOW it - and our government doesn't want to KNOW
it and our elected representatives don't want to KNOW it because KNOWING
it would mean having to do something about it. That's an awesome thought."3
And Fonzi - who is an award-winning investigative journalist, a former
senior editor of Philadelphia magazine, a contributing editor
of the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News and
a former investigator for Richard Schweiker's Senate Select Committee
to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities
as well as for the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations (one
of the two Congressional committees which finally concluded that the
Warren Commission had erred and that the JFK assassination was in fact
the result of an elaborate conspiracy) - is absolutely right! While
today the public's attitude with regard to the truthfulness of the Warren
Report has changed radically from what it was in 1964, there is still
a reluctance to ferret out the real truth as to who was really responsible.
Indeed, a November 1994 CBS News poll indicates that 89 percent of the
population (up from 52 percent in 1963) now believes that the assassination
of JFK was the result of an elaborate plot, and 81 percent believe
that the government has conspired to hide the truth regarding the assassination
from the public.4 And - as we indicated previously - unless
one is prepared to say that 89 percent of the American population is
"wacko," hardly a vote of confidence for democracy, (to say nothing
of the work of the House and Senate Select Committees which concurred
in the public's attitude towards the Warren Report) than one is left
with the thought that there may indeed be some justification for the
public's present and persistent anxiety towards their government's basic
"truthfulness."5 But - and this is important - there is still
no real "hue and cry" to get at the truth of the matter. Most people
instinctively realize that the revelations which would result could
cause a fundamental change in the American political system - a change
that most are not prepared to embrace - and this is exactly what
the leadership of today's evangelical church is afraid of with regard
to what Dave Hunt, et. al. are saying.
Again, it's one thing to believe (i.e., to suspect) that the facts
of a certain matter are true, but it's quite another to know that they
are true. The fact is, that while a great majority of Americans now
believe that the Warren Commission Report was nothing more than a government
fabrication - a giant cover-up typical of countless others which have
been foisted on the American public since (i.e., the Pentagon Papers,
Irangate, Iran / Contra, etc.), they don't know that that's the case
- and that's somewhat comforting. But that the American public has even
come to this point with regard to the facts of the matter is something
to be remarked on. That was not always the case and is the direct result
of the work of hundreds of "little people" who have been mercilessly
reviled by the mainstream press. In September, 1964 - when the Warren
Commission finally presented its report to the American public - the
major national media quickly accepted the report's conclusion that a
lone gunman had been responsible. Indeed, Harrison E. Salisbury of the
New York Times, called the report, "comprehensive, careful, compendious
and complete" - and why shouldn't he? - after all, the report was more
than 888 pages long with 26 volumes of documentary evidence to support
it (the problem was, of course, that most of the evidence was contradictory,
incomplete, and to some extent, even fabricated).
OPPOSITION TO ELITE DEFENSE
GROWS: A FEW SMALL VOICES
There were, however, a few small voices at the time which objected,
one of which was Sylvia Meagher's. Writing in a small magazine called
Minority of One, she wrote,
"There are no heroes in this piece (i.e., the Warren Report), only
men who collaborated actively or passively - willfully or self-deludedly
- in dirty work that does violence to the elementary concept of justice
and affronts normal intelligence."6
"The members of the Warren Commission collaborating in dirty
work? That was simply too preposterous to accept. Consider the
stature and reputation of these men: Chairman Earl Warren was the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the paradigm of objectivity; John
J. McCloy had been president of the World Bank and chairman of the
board of Chase Manhattan Bank - prestige personified; Allen W. Dulles,
former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an Ivy League
patrician who represented America's dauntless defense against the
threat of international Communism's evil aspirations; Senator Richard
Russell and Congressmen John Sherman Cooper, Hale Boggs and Gerald
Ford all had reputations as being reasonable, politically responsible
and honest. President Lyndon Johnson had personally chosen these honorable
men to investigate the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy ..."7
And that was that! By moving the debate from a situation which
involved issues to one which involved personalities, the supporters
of the Warren Report (i.e., the defenders of the status quo)
succeeded in quashing its opposition - and the Washington press corps
went along, a not unusual thing for the press corps of that era, a press
corps which could not bring itself to believe that such powerful men
would lie to the American people and participate (willingly or unwillingly;
knowingly or unknowingly) in such a cover-up. [Of course, this is exactly
what mainline evangelical leaders are attempting to do insofar as their
controversy with Hunt, Dager, etc. is concerned; by shifting the focus
away from the issues at hand, and making it one which focuses on personalities
by implying that if people stand with Hunt, Dager, van der Merwe, etc.
they are ipso facto standing against people like Packer, Swindoll,
etc. they are attempting to get people to focus on personalities rather
than issues. It's an old trick - and it's a dirty trick!]
Still, as time went on, a number of people began to openly join Meagher
in her dissent - people who, while they didn't have as much access to
the media as those who supported the findings of the Warren Report had,
nonetheless, possessed a thirst for the truth. Their articles appeared
in little known and limited circulation magazines like The National
Guardian, Commentary, Minority of One, The Progressive, and the
unlikely Computers and Automation.
Then came a few books which were so incisive in their criticism of
the Warren Report that they couldn't be ignored: Edward J. Epstein's
Inquest, Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment, and Sylvia Meagher's
Accessories After the Fact.
AS THE "LITTLE PEOPLE" BECOME INVOLVED,
NEW EVIDENCE AND REVELATIONS SURFACE
In addition, new information and revelations began to emerge - largely
because of the pressure that Meagher, Lane, etc. were applying, and
the resultant shame that this pressure was generating on those who had
covered-up for the Warren Commission. In fact, even some Warren Commission
members began to speak out. For example, before he died, Senator Richard
Russel, perhaps the leading member on the Warren Commission,
had come to believe that the assassination of JFK, rather than being
the act of a lone gunman, was in fact part of an elaborate conspiracy.
"I'm no longer ... satisfied that he (Oswald) planned and committed
this act ... on his own."8,
Moreover, new evidence which has surfaced recently seems to suggest
that - rather than coming to this conclusion late in life - Russell
had doubts about the Warren Commission Report early on: indeed, tapes
which have recently come to light strongly indicate that this was the
case. For example, they reveal a cryptic 1964 conversation between
Russell and President Johnson in the Oval Office in which Russell is
heard telling Johnson:
"I don't believe it (i.e., the Commission's report)."
And Johnson is heard responding:
"I don't either."9
John McCloy, another Warren Commission member has remarked in a similar
"I no longer feel we simply had no credible evidence or reliable
evidence in proof of a conspiracy."10
And McCloy goes further: he has actually come to believe that both
the FBI and the CIA lied to the Commission. McCloy has been supported
in that belief by William Sullivan, then the FBI's own domestic intelligence
chief; Sullivan has said:
"There were huge gaps in the case, gaps we never ... (were permitted)
Warren Commission members Hale Boggs and John Sherman Cooper have
also become doubters.12 Boggs told an aide that he now thinks
that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had -
"... lied his eyes out to the Commission - on Oswald, on Ruby, on
their friends, the bullets, the gun, you name it."13
And it's not just ex-Warren Commission members who have become doubters
as to the basic veracity of the Warren Commission's Report. For example,
John McCone, who later became CIA Director, actually told the president's
brother (RFK) early on that his research had led him to believe that
several gunmen had fired shots in Dealey Plaza. Even the Dallas
police chief at the time of the assassination, Jesse Curry, now believes
that the JFK murder was the result of a conspiracy.14
And that's not all - both JFK's close aide, Kenneth O'Donnell, who
was riding in the car immediately behind Kennedy, and Roy Kellerman,
the secret service agent charged with actually guarding JFK on the day
of the assassination, have added fuel to the fire by substantiating
Boggs' doubts. Both now believe that the assassination was "no doubt"
the result of a conspiracy.15 O'Donnell even told then Speaker
of the House Tip O'Neill that he had been pressured at the time by the
FBI to say nothing about a "conspiracy" to the commission.
O'Neill has also expressed "profound doubts" as to the Warren Commission's
If not Oswald, who was it then? Haynes Johnson, a leading reporter
at the time (1964) and one who had seemingly accepted early on the truthfulness
of the Warren Report, admitted later that shortly after the assassination,
he had heard Robert Kennedy telling someone on the phone at the CIA,
"One of you guys did it. I know it, one of you guys
In the years that followed, Kennedy began to more
openly voice his suspicion that a "rogue element" in the CIA had been
responsible for his brother's murder. In 1966, for example, Kennedy
told Richard Goodwin that he believed that his brother's murder was
part of a giant conspiracy (involving the CIA and the FBI), but -
"... there's nothing I can do about it - (at least) not now."17
Goodwin sensed at the time that what Kennedy meant by the words, "at
least not now," was that he was going to vigorously pursue the matter
if he ever became president - and that it was for this reason, more
than any other, that he was assassinated in 1968 - an assassination
which Frontline, the Public Broadcasting Service's investigative program,
has suggested had all the hallmarks of a CIA hit 18
Democratic Representative Don Edwards of California, a man not much
given to conspiracy theories who actually chaired the 1976 House committee
hearings on the veracity of the Warren Commission Report and a former
FBI agent himself, agrees. He says:
"There's not much question (anymore) that both the FBI and the CIA
are somewhere behind this cover-up. I hate to think what it is
they are covering up - or who they are covering up for."19
And, as if to confirm everyone's worst fears, in a conversation which
took place many years later - and which has only now surfaced - J. Edgar
Hoover, the head of the FBI at the time of the assassination, has been
reported to have said to a close colleague,
"If I told you what I really know, it would be very dangerous to
this country. Our whole political system could be disrupted."20
Still, as the 1975-76 Select Committees in both the House and the
Senate moved inexorably to the conclusion that the JFK assassination
was indeed the result of a conspiracy, they refused to investigate the
matter further - to discover who was involved and why.
And the reason? - while everyone had become convinced that the mob
(i.e., the Mafia) had been involved, a gnawing realization had been
growing in the minds of most of the members of the Select Committees
(as well as among the investigative staffs) that there had unquestionably
been a "hidden presence" behind the mob: specifically a rogue element
in both the CIA and the FBI - and everybody felt it best to stop
before too much more was discovered.
STARTLING FACTS BEGIN TO EMERGE
suspected the CIA, and enough evidence had surfaced to actually SUGGEST
who the real ringleader had been [i.e., David Atlee Phillips, one of
the CIA's most senior employees as well as a "card-carrying member"
of what euphemistically was called the CIA's "Old Boy Network" (which
clearly connected him to people like Bill Casey, Allen Dulles, the shadowy
and extremely enigmatic James Jesus Angleton, Richard Helms, etc.)];
moreover, there was additional evidence to indicate to whom these ringleaders
answered and to whom they were connected in the larger society [specifically,
to various high-ranking elements in right-wing political and industrial
circles - elements which, incidentally, surfaced for the first time
for all to see during the Iran / Contra hearings (i.e., those business
and political figures connected to Oliver North's efforts to circumvent
Congressional restrictions on providing military assistance to the Contra
War effort during the Reagan years - the same elements which supported
out of their own not inconsiderable largesse the continuation
of the war despite those restrictions) - and it should be noted in this
connection that all these elements are today closely connected to the
Council on National Policy (CNP) the principle coordinating body which
connects the Economic Right and the Political Right on the one hand
to the Religious Right on the other hand]. Fonzi writes,
"David Atlee Phillips was deeply immersed in the world of all-consuming
anti-Castroism (a circle which felt utterly betrayed by Kennedy and
his "left-leaning cronies" in the White House). His professional life
had been dedicated to it and to battling what he considered the expansionistic
tentacles of Communism throughout Latin America. It is no coincidence
that the man who emerges as the Maurice Bishop who planned Alpha 66
attempts to sink Russian ships in Havana harbor with the aim of embarrassing
Kennedy and sabotaging his negotiations with Khrushchev, was the same
man responsible for staging the entire Mexico City scenario designed
to link Lee Harvey Oswald to Fidel Castro (which was, of course, nothing
more than a ploy to shift blame for the assassination from off the
CIA and onto Castro - editor). Nor is Phillips's tight working association
with the Agency's most lethal operatives insignificant. His was a
cabal of associates whose careers were entwined with the history of
CIA assassination plots, top echelon officers that ranged from Richard
Helms to E. Howard Hunt and from Ted Schackley to the Agency's Mob
liaison William Harvey."21
THE ELITES REEL AND FALL BACK
TO MORE DEFENSIBLE POSITIONS
In the end, however, the 1976 House and Senate Select Committee members
didn't really want to KNOW who they (i.e., the conspirators)
in fact were. They seemed to sense that should these people be revealed
for whom they actually were and what they had really done, the rage
that such revelations would produce against America's foreign policy,
intelligence and political establishments among the "masses" would spell
disaster for the American political (and even the American economic)
system. The elites in both the Democratic and Republican Parties were
in agreement on this matter. It was one thing for the citizenry to "suspect;"
it was quite another thing for them to actually "know."
Led by Harry Goldenson of ABC, William S. Paley of CBS, David Sarnoff
of NBC, Arthur Sulzberger of the New York Times, Katherine Graham
of the Washington Post and Newsweek Magazine, Peter Kann
of the Wall Street Journal, Mortimer Zuckerman of U.S. News
and World Report, etc., the elite media establishment, as if on
cue, all concocted a fall-back position - one which, while admitting
now that the JFK assassination was probably the result of a conspiracy,
nonetheless left everything up in the air and muddied (ultimately they
all knew which side of the toast the butter was on). For example, Katherine
Graham's Washington Post, which - despite its liberal record
and reputation for digging for the facts - had done more than most to
prevent the publication of the issues surrounding the JFK assassination
and had gone out of its way more than others to ridicule those who tried,
now "deplored the state of affairs in which Americans found themselves"
- and in 1983 published an article entitled "Did Oswald Act Alone?"
and concluded finally that he hadn't. The article finished
with the words: "We evaded the truth then, and now it can't be found."
Walter Cronkite, another who had done so much to muddle the truth, said
the same thing.
Mark Lane, author of Rush to Judgment, believes - in obvious
disdain - that what the elite media was doing was moving from the now
obviously untenable position that there was no conspiracy involved in
the assassination of JFK (and that there had been no cover-up of the
facts and that the CIA had not been involved) to a new position that
"we'll never know now - it's too late." How convenient! But again,
it was all smoke and mirrors designed to protect the status quo -
i.e., to prevent the people from making the jump from SUSPECTING to
actually KNOWING. Why? - because everyone had too much to lose if the
truth actually surfaced - that is to say, if the public ever moved from
"suspecting" the truth to actually "knowing" the truth.
THE POINT TO BE MADE IN ALL THIS
Again why is it - one may ask - that we have gone to such lengths
regarding this matter? - because the same pathology which has been at
work in the JFK assassination probe and cover-up is now at work in the
evangelical community. The play is the same, the lines are - for the
most part - the same, only the players are different [although maybe
not all that different when one contemplates how close the Religious
Right is today to the Political Right and the Economic Right (the two
groups which, more than most others, were involved in the JFK assassination
and subsequent cover-up)].
Would to God that the Lord would raise up enough evangelicals - enough
"little people" (because the "big wigs" have too much to lose) - to
take a stand against this cover-up; "little people" who would move from
only "suspecting" to actually "knowing," and who would then be willing
to put their names on the line for what they see! It's not enough to
only see - knowledge without action is useless!
The point to be made in all this for us as evangelicals is threefold:
first, for truth to prevail, all of us as the "little people" must become
involved. IT'S FRUITLESS TO WAIT FOR HELP FROM OUR MAINLINE, STATUS
QUO LEADERSHIP! We are the only ones who can change things!
We can make a difference! You can make a difference! And I can make
a difference! - and all this despite the fact that we don't have access
to the mainstream media within the evangelical community, we have little
support from recognized leaders, and we really are what we claim to
be - "the unknowns," the "little people." There's much to be learned
from the example of those "little people" - people like Sylvia Meagher,
Mark Lane, Gaeton Fonzi, etc. - who stood up against the power of the
national media and the prestige of the Warren Commission and who persistently
picked away at the inconsistencies in the Warren Report, so much so
that today the Warren Commission is acknowledged for what it really
was - a fraud and an artifice designed to protect the status quo
and those who benefited from the way things were.
We can make a difference too! - just as such heroes of the faith are
doing now - people like Dave Hunt, Al Dager, Jewel can der Merwe, Pauline
MacPherson, etc. who continue to write and preach against great odds
and against the most vicious forms of character assassination possible
- and all that often at their own expense and at great sacrifice to
themselves in time and physical discomfort. You can do it right there
in your own communities, in your own churches, and among your own friends.
You don't have to be a writer or an orator to get started - just open
up your mouth and start speaking. The Lord will take it from there.
"... they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering
you up to the synagogues (i.e., church authorities), and into prisons,
being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
"And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
"Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what
ye shall answer:
"For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries
shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
"And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks,
and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. (Luke 12:12-17)
Remember, we have something on our side that they can never have on
theirs - TRUTH! - and truth is more powerful than all the slick
magazines the "mainstream" can muster, all the seminaries and Bible
schools who have now caved in to the "new wave" thinking that's going
on, and all the new Christian radio and TV networks like TBN and CBN.
In addition, we have dedicated people - and they're more powerful than
all the big names and all the titles at the end of those names; finally,
we have thousands of groups (many which don't know the others exist)
all across the country; those "little ones" who love the Word of God
and are dedicated to it despite all the efforts to make it of no effect!
Second, we must get out and find others who feel the way we do. Believe
me, they're there. You'll find them - and the best way to do that is
to begin to tell others how you feel about what's going on in
the church today.
Of course, when you begin to do that, people will start to take notice
of you - and not all of them will be friendly. They'll begin to charge
you with being "divisive," of being "unloving," of being "rebellious,"
etc. - but remember, what's really unloving is letting your loved ones
go down a one way street to spiritual oblivion and not saying anything
about it. It's better to be "hated" by our loved ones now, then to be
"hated" by them later because we failed to warn them - and in the most
persistent manner possible! - much as a brother or sister would call
out to his or her siblings if they were in danger of being hit by a
car. No time for politeness and diplomatic niceties then - and neither
is there time for such now. Remember, we are charged to "earnestly contend
for the faith which was once (and for all) delivered unto the saints"
(Jude 3) - and the word "contend" is taken from the Greek word epagonizomal
which means to fight for the faith much as a prize fighter (a boxer)
contends for the championship in the ring.
When you contend for the faith in such a way it may sometimes seem
that you are not making much headway with those with whom you are contending;
but bear in mind, others (i.e., the "little people") are watching and
listening from the sidelines, not making much noise - just as others
watched and listened to Jesus when He contended for the Truth (sometimes
in very heated and pointed exchanges) with the Pharisees. While not
many Pharisees may have ever been won over (though there were a few),
many silent "little people" were watching and listening - and as they
watched and listened, they were convinced and later joined themselves
to the disciples after Christ's ascension.
Finally, you can begin to host "home Bible classes" to study the Word
of God and to get really clear on what the Word has to say with regard
to the times we are living in. Home Bible Fellowships can help in other
ways too. They help to build you up with others who feel as you do in
your communities - and that is especially helpful; as the going gets
rougher, these fellowships will become a place where you can meet with
others of like mind and pray and fellowship together with them - and
by doing so, derive strength to continue on.
next article in this series will deal with a "black" CIA operation known
as MK-ULTRA; it deals with the CIA, and the growing connection
of the Religious Right to such "goings-on." It will carry on where this
one has left off - in the murky world of CIA assassination programs.
To the uninitiated, MK-ULTRA was the CIA's effort at producing
a "Manchurian Candidate" - the same kind of assassin which most likely
was responsible for the assassinations of not only such Third World
leaders as Patrice Lumumba, but also JFK, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther
King, and the crippling of Alabama governor, George Wallace.
Americans, of course - especially "middle-class Christians" - like
to believe that these kinds of things don't go on in the United States.
Undoubtedly, they occur in Third World countries, in some European capitals,
and - no doubt - in the Middle East, but surely not here. But the Bible
says that "We are all sinners" (Romans 3:23) - and Americans are no
more immune from these sorts of things than anyone else. The only thing
we might be better at is in covering them up.
You will be amazed at what's been happening. The sad fact of the
matter is, it's into this gloomy, cheerless and dismal world that the
leadership of today's evangelical world is taking us, and in the process
polluting the church.
Remember this: things are not always what they appear to be.
- See C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, Oxford University Press,
- Fonzi, Gaeton, The Last Investigation (New York: Thunder
Mouth Press, 1995) pgs. 410-411.
- Ibid., Fonzi, pgs. 410-411.
- Anthony and Robin Summers, "J.F.K: Case Reopened" in Vanity Fair,
December, 1994, pg. 88.
- It's interesting to note in this connection that - despite the meticulously
careful and thoroughly researched 1975 House Committee investigation
(chaired by California Representative Don Edwards) into the Warren
Commission Report, an investigation which found that the Warren Commission
had erred in finding that only one person (Oswald) had been involved
in the shooting and that, without question, the assassination of JFK
had been the result of a conspiracy - the mainstream media continues
to trumpet the discredited findings of the Warren Commission Report
(i.e., that Oswald was the sole shooter). It's this kind of close-minded
narrowness - the kind which bespeaks an attitude of contempt towards
everyday Americans and which seems to blindly support "establishment"
positions [conveying the thought that whatever the public thinks (i.e.,
common sense) must be wrong] - which has done so much to erode the
public's confidence in the mainstream media.
- Ibid., Fonzi, pg. 3.
- Ibid., Fonzi, pg. 3.
- Anthony and Robin Summers, "J.F.K: Case Reopened" in Vanity Fair,
December, 1994, pg. 88.
- Ibid., pg. 92.
- Ibid., pg. 88.
- Ibid., pg. 88.
- Ibid., pg. 88.
- Ibid., pg. 117.
- Ibid., pg. 88.
- Ibid., pg. 88.
- Ibid., pg. 109.
- Ibid., pg. 90.
- Frontline has also produced evidence in another report that
Marilyn Monroe's death is also linked to the same conspiracy responsible
for the assassination of both JFK and RFK; she simply knew too much
about the JFK assassination - largely as the result of her "relationship"
- Ibid., pg. 139.
- Op. Cit., Summers., pg. 117.
- Fonzi, Gaeton, The Last Investigation (New York: Thunder
Mouth Press, 1995) pgs. 410-411.
We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the
eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR
HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN"
WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank"
insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned
- a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY
trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN
rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners
in the abject poverty that American corporations have
imposed on the peoples and nations the American military
machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE
THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME
OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles,
"The Third World
as a Model for the New World Order," Inside
the American New World Order System" and "The
American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary
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