THE OLSON SALON:
A CASE STUDY OF THE
MACHINATIONS OF THE
RELIGIOUS RIGHT (PART 1)
A Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
September 24, 1998
"WE HAS MET THE ENEMY, AND THEY IS US"
As we indicated in the introduction to our Anthology: Selected
Articles from Three Years of Religion in Politics [No longer
available, has been broken up into separate articles] :
"Today a vast and extraordinarily complex religo-political system
has emerged in the United States - a keiretsu-like network of conservative
religious and political organizations with interlocking boards of
directors, similar sources of funding and 'cross-over' memberships
- which aims at taking over the country. The actual number of organizations
which are a part of this system is mind-boggling; so intertwined have
these organizations become that it is difficult any longer to separate
out the secular component from the religious component. Sadly, it
is into this 'right-wing web' that countless numbers of Christians
are being drawn - a web which historically has been permeated with
racist, anti-Semitic and fascist ideas. Most Christians, of course,
will deny that they are being affected at all by such thinking; but
in the end, the only people they may be kidding are themselves.
"Our network of associations with one another - whether civic, religious,
social, or personal - forms an integrated system of arteries down
through which notions of all sort journey - sometimes to our benefit,
and sometimes to our detriment. By such means, ideas become infectious;
uplifting us on the one hand, and corrupting us on the other. It is
in this way that we can properly speak of the contagion of evil; if
left unchecked within a community, evil, like a vicious cancer, has
a treacherous way of using the network of our social, political and
religious relationships to spread it's venom throughout the entire
body; of using the bands which connect us together as channels of
corruption. By such means evil can demolish not only the individual
Christian, but the entire Christian community. The Bible says,
'A little leaven leavens the whole lump.' (Gal. 5:9)
"And just how far the interconnection between far-right ideologues
and the Christian community has progressed can be easily demonstrated.
To pick just a few examples, take Robert Grant. Grant is considered
a 'big hitter' in the Christian Right and is associated with Christian
Voice, a publication which receives financial backing from the
Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, a group which teaches that
Christ failed in His effort to save us, and that He had sex with the
women who surrounded Him. Grant told Christianity Today that
it was necessary for Christians to form political ties with 'philosophical
allies' from other communities in order to build up an effective political
alliance strong enough to 'take the country back for Christ and the
"Take the country back for Christ and the church using the Rev.
Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church? - more than anything else,
such statements reveal the spiritual bankruptcy of many of the Christian
leaders who today are leading the struggle against secular humanism.
Jumping from secular humanism into the hands of such leaders is really
a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Grant's attitude
here is the very attitude which - if not checked - will lead the church
down a path of compromise from which there may be no turning back.
there's Tom Ellis who several years ago succeeded well-known evangelical
leader Tim LaHaye as president of the Council on National Policy (CNP),
one of the principal coordinating agencies between the secular right
and the religious right, and who was then succeeded himself by Pat
Robertson. Ellis was a director of the Pioneer Fund, a foundation
which finances efforts to prove that African-Americans are genetically
inferior to whites (Please see our article, "The Pioneer Fund:
The Nazi Connection.". Ellis has said, 'The eventual goal of
this movement (i.e., integration) is racial intermarriage ...' by
which he means the disappearance of the 'white race.' Recipients of
Pioneer grants have included William Schockley, Arthur Jensen, and
Roger Pearson - the same Roger Pearson which has written that 'inferior
races' should be 'exterminated.' (Please see our article, "Racism
And Right Wing Chrisitianity.") Again, the question might fairly
be asked, what are avowed Christian evangelicals doing cavorting with
people who advocate - explicitly or even implicitly - such things?
What does that say about Tim LaHaye and Pat Robertson?
claims to have disavowed these beliefs, and many Christians believe
that they are under an obligation to take at face value such disavowals.
But Christians should also remember that those who repent are under
an obligation to 'bring forth fruits worthy of repentance' - in other
words, more is involved in repentance than saying 'I'm sorry.' It
calls for a change in lifestyle. Where is Ellis' change in lifestyle
when he continues to involve himself with such groups as the Pioneer
Fund? Words in the absence of deeds are meaningless. The Book of James
declares that faith not backed up by works is dead. (James 2:17)
"Of course, there are those who would say that such thinking implies
'guilt by association' - and to a certain extent, that's true! But
the plain fact of the matter is, the relationships we keep, the fellowships
we sustain, and the institutional associations we support - especially
our religious and political ones - do indeed go a long way in defining
us as persons. The truth is, the idea of 'community' implies a certain
commonalty - a commonalty in beliefs, heritage, interests, etc. As
a result - and more often than we care to admit - these relationships
imply 'acceptance,' 'acceptance' not only of the people with whom
we affiliate, but more often than not, of their thoughts as well.
As we have already indicated, ideas are infectious and while good
ideas can ennoble us, bad ideas pollute everything they touch. This
is why the Lord warns us against 'mixture' - the mixing of the 'profane'
with the 'holy.' It leads to a condition where 'the good' is mixed
with 'the bad' - a condition which the Bible indicates NEVER works
out in favor of 'the good' (again, 'a little leaven leavens the whole
'Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants
of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst
'But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut
down their groves:
'Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and
they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their
gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
'And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters
go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after
their gods. (Ex. 34:12, 13,15-16)
"Surely those on the Secular or even Religious Right should have
no argument with this - i.e., with the notion of 'guilt by association.'
Their old McCarthy era friends took this concept to its extreme in
their efforts to ferret out 'communists' and 'communist sympathizers'
during the 'Great Communist Scare' of 1946-1954 - and they found nothing
wrong with this concept at that time. Why should they find anything
wrong with it now? McCarthy era demagogues had a name for those whom
they deemed 'guilty by association:' they were called 'fellow travelers'
- people who 'traveled' in the same circles as communists and avowed
communist sympathizers. In the McCarthyite lexicon, nothing could
be as damning as that epitaph. They understood that association more
often than not implied agreement.
"This was true during the McCarthy era, and it's true today. As
the evangelical Christian community has been ever more drawn into
the 'right-wing matrix,' it has been deeply affected by its new found
'friends' and 'associations.'"
for example, what's been happening to President Clinton. There are,
of course, many Christians who are probably elated at what's occurring
to the President. "He's getting what he deserves," is the cry from most
evangelicals. The charge by the President's wife, Hillary, that the
current sex scandal against her husband is part of "a vast right-wing
conspiracy" that has targeted them is dismissed as nonsense. Indeed,
she has been widely criticized - and crudely psychoanalyzed - for uttering
the dreaded "C" word (i.e., "Conspiracy") and by doing so, aligning
herself with "paranoid conspiracy theorists." What makes this all so
amusing, however, is that many of the people who are criticizing her
now for using the "C" word are themselves full-time believers in the
"Illuminist Conspiracy" - for example, Pat Robertson and Tim LaHaye.
It's evidently "OK" for the right to believe in conspiracies, but not
for the left.
Nonetheless, there may be more to Hillary's charge than what first
meets the eye. The fact is, there are some very strange connections
between Starr and the right-wing - connections which are very, very
suspicious - indeed, much more so than most evangelical Christians would
like to admit.
Now, in saying this, we don't mean to condone what Bill Clinton has
done; nor do we approve of his left-wing social agenda or his alliance
with elements (i.e., homosexuals, radical feminists, militant atheists,
etc) with whom most Christians justifiably feel uneasy. Nor are we saying
(or even implying) that Clinton is not necessarily guilty of the charges
that have been leveled against him - not only the sex charges, but many
of the other charges dealing with "Filegate," Whitewater, etc. That's
not the point here. What we are discussing is Hillary Clinton's charge
of a "vast, right-wing conspiracy" that is out to "get her husband."
And there is a good deal more to that story than meets the eye; a story
which - if read carefully - exposes the shadowy and threatening character
of the kind of people Christians have gotten themselves mixed up with
in their effort to "return the nation to Christ and the church."
It's a story that goes a long way in revealing the shocking lengths
and cruel methodologies that some very misguided Christians - along
with their "conservative" secular allies - are willing to employ in
order to "return the nation to Christ" and preserve the world for "free
enterprise," capitalism, and the American multinationals. As you will
discover in this article and those which are to follow, the Christians
who have become involved in all this have become the modern day equivalents
of the Spanish Inquisitors who were willing to kill their prisoners
in order to "save them." God preserve us all from such people! - people
like Paige Paterson, James Dobson, D. James Kennedy, Pat Robertson,
Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, etc. Yes! - God preserve us from Christian
politicos like them! And more: God preserve us from becoming like them
- and there are more of us who are in danger of allowing ourselves to
be thus transformed than we are today willing to concede - Pharisees
who "... compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is
made, make him twofold more the child of hell than themselves" (Matt.
23:15). Jesus hated the Pharisees and their relentless, unmerciful pursuit
of their idea of "righteousness," and He warned them:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe
of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters
of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done,
and not to leave the other undone.
"Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean
the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full
of extortion and excess.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like
unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but
are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
"Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye
are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build
the tombs of the prophets, and garnish (decorate) the sepulchres of
"And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not
have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
"Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children
of them which killed the prophets.
"Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation
of hell?" (Matt. 23:23-33)
But let's get back to our story; let's examine Mrs. Clinton's contention
of a "vast, right-wing conspiracy" directed against her and her husband,
the president; and let's see if there is any truth to it.
THEODORE B. OLSON
Kenneth Starr, the president's nemesis (and "Grand Inquisitor"), is
inextricably linked to a right-wing ideologue named Theodore B. Olson.
The association between Olson and Starr goes back some twenty years
when both were partners in the Los Angeles-based law firm Gibson Dunn
and Crutcher. Both men came to the Justice Department in 1981 when Gibson
senior partner William French Smith was named U.S. Attorney General
at the beginning of the Reagan Administration. Olson is now back at
the Washington office of the Gibson firm while Starr has gone on to
the Chicago-based law firm of Kirkland and Ellis.
Both Olson and Starr are part of a tight-knit network of conservative
lawyers associated with right-wing legal foundations and "think tanks."
They both sit on the Legal Advisory Councils of two such groups: the
National Legal Center for the Public Interest and the Washington Legal
Foundation - both of which are bankrolled by Richard Mellon Scaife.
Edward Spannaus of EIR charges that the National Legal Center for the
Public Interest (NLCPI) is an umbrella group for a nationwide network
of New Right "public interest" law firms connected to various Religious
Right and Secular Right causes. In addition to Starr and Olson, its
Legal Advisory Council includes George Bush's former Attorney Generals
William Barr and Richard Thornburgh, plus Robert Bork; former federal
prosecutor Joseph diGenova and Eugene Meyer, the executive director
of the ultra right-wing Federalist Society (an organization of so-called
right-wing lawyers and legal experts) are also members of the NLCPI.
Both Starr and Olson are activists in the Federalist Society. The society
was founded in 1982 under the guidance of now-Supreme Court associate
justice Antonin Scalia. Olson chairs the Washington, D.C. chapter; Starr
has been a regular speaker at Federalist Society events.
Spannaus charges that, in effect, Olson is Starr's Svengalli. Olson
played the central role in putting together Starr's staff, and is responsible
for the collection of career Justice Department prosecutors who have
been recruited for Starr's operation - all of them civil service employees
recruited during the Reagan and Bush years (as career civil servants,
they could not be fired by the new Clinton Administration). Since Starr
himself is not a prosecutor, and has never tried a criminal case in
his life, he is totally dependent on the men Olson is responsible for
bringing on board. And what a group they are! For the most part, they
have - over the years - gained a certain notoriety for targeting black
and Hispanic elected officials for "investigation." For example, Spannus
charges, Hickman Ewing, from Memphis, Tennessee, conducted a long -
but ultimately unsuccessful - vendetta against Rep. Harold Ford. Sol
Wisenberg and Ray Jahn, from San Antonio, Texas (Starr's hometown),
targeted mayor and later Clinton cabinet official Henry Cisneros, plus
Rep. Albert Bustamante, and Rep. Craig Washington. Starr's deputy Jackie
Bennett, from Justice Department headquarters, also went out to San
Antonio to help in the Bustamante case. Starr's office also includes
longtime federal prosecutors from Mississippi, Florida, Virginia and
Los Angeles - all with records of "going after" blacks, Hispanics and
other minorities and of being Reagan ideologues.
THE "OLSON SALON"
Olson, his wife Barbara (who is the chief counsel for Rep. Dan Burton's
House Government Reform and Oversight Committee which has been charged
with conducting an investigation of the "Chinagate" allegations surrounding
the Democratic Party's illegal fundraising activities), and Starr are
a part of what David Brock has alleged in Esquire Magazine is an informal
"Get Clinton" group known as the "Olson Salon." The gathering, according
to Brock, includes Starr, federal appeals court judge Laurence Silberman,
former judge Robert Bork, Supreme Court associate justice Clarence Thomas,
Wall Street Journal editor Robert Bartley, American Spectator editor
Emmett Tyrell, and many others. Brock describes how he had been a guest
at the wedding of Ted and Barbara Olson in the summer of 1996, when
"the entire anti-Clinton establishment" was on hand, including Starr,
former Bush White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray, and the Wall Street
Journal's Bartley. Brock says that Barbara Olson then dis-invited him
from another party at her home a few weeks later - after word had leaked
out on Brock's new book, The Seduction of Hillary Clinton, which she
considered was too sympathetic to the First Lady.
The question, of course, might fairly be asked, How did a Clinton
hater with such evident, apparent and very obvious ties to a "Get Clinton"
group like the "Olson Salon" get appointed Independent Counsel? - especially
in light of the fact that the Independent Counsel is supposed to be
"controlled" by the Attorney General, Janet Reno. The answer lies in
the fact that the actual appointment of the Independent Counsel itself
does not lie within the purview of the Attorney General, but lies rather
within the jurisdiction of a three-judge panel appointed by the Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist, a Reagan appointee.
The Attorney General "calls" for the appointment of the Independent
Counsel, but she does not appoint the Independent Counsel.
JUDGE DAVID SENTELLE
The current head of the three judge panel responsible for the appointment
of the Independent Counsel is a man named David Sentelle, a person who
runs in the same ultra-right legal circles that Olson and Starr run
in, and who - like Olson and Starr - is a member of the extreme-right
Federalist Society. He is also a kind of quasi-member of the "Olson
Salon" and is widely known in Washington circles as a "protégé"
of Senator Jesse Helms, the powerful, ultraconservative Republican senator
from North Carolina. It was Sentelle, not Reno, who was responsible
for the appointment of Starr as Independent Counsel.
Of course, all this leads to a second question: What possibly could
have motivated Reno to risk calling for an Independent Counsel knowing
all the while that the appointment of such a Counsel rested with a man
- Judge Sentelle - who so obviously was connected to "Get Clinton" groups
like the "Olson Salon" and the Federalist Society? The answer is, at
the time the Independent Counsel was first named, Congress had allowed
the statute governing the Independent Counsel to lapse, which left the
appointment of the Independent Counsel in the hands of Reno. She did
not appoint Starr; she appointed Robert Fiske - a fact that most people
today seem to have forgotten. The fact that the Independent Counsel
statute had lapsed is precisely what had impelled Reno to take the chance
of appointing an Independent Counsel. In the absence of the statute
she - not Sentelle - controlled the appointment of the Independent Counsel
which meant that she could control the direction of the investigation
which would allow her to quickly dispose of the allegations against
the president and permit him to continue on undisturbed with his left-wing
political and social agendas - agendas which were anathema to the social
conservatives which infused the Federalist Society and the so-called
"Olson Salon." And Fiske was everything that Reno could have hoped for.
Fiske began his work as Independent Council by investigating the death
of Clinton aide, Vince Foster, and in 1994 concluded that Foster's death
had been a suicide.
THE FALLOUT FROM THE
VINCE FOSTER INVESTIGATION
This conclusion incensed and enraged the "Get Clinton" crowd - and
not only the Secular Right elements of that crowd, but Religious Right
elements as well - the same elements responsible for spreading stories
in the "underground press" charging Clinton as a murderer and a drug
runner [i.e., the "Clinton Chronicles" which were shamelessly sponsored
by Jerry Falwell (a card-carrying member of the Religious Right) and
financed by Richard Mellon Scaife (a card-carrying member of the Secular
Right)]. It was just at this time that the Independent Counsel statute
was reinstated, placing the appointment once again in the hands of Sentelle.
Infuriated by Fiske's conclusions regarding Vince Foster, Sentelle
intervened to remove Fiske and appoint a second Special Prosecutor,
namely, Starr. In removing Fiske and appointing Starr, Sentelle cited
potential conflicts of interest involving Fiske, conflicts supposedly
relating to Fiske's appointment by Reno, an employee of the administration
under investigation. Interestingly, shortly before removing Fiske and
appointing Starr, Sentelle had lunch with Helms and his colleague Lauch
Faircloth, the junior senator from North Carolina and another Helms
protégé. It was widely rumored in Washington circles at
the time that the purpose of the meeting was to coordinate the removal
of Fiske and the appointment of Starr - clearly a conflict of interest.
This, at least, was the view of five former heads of the American Bar
Association, all of whom publicly criticized the actions and legal ethics
of Sentelle in removing Fiske and appointing Starr. Sentelle, however,
could care less what the "biased," "liberal" American Bar Association
STARR ATTEMPTS TO RESIGN
For the better part of four years Starr gave himself to investigating
President Clinton - from "Travelgate" to "Filegate," to the death of
Vince Foster to "Troopergate," to Mena and the charges of drug running,
to Whitewater. But always, and just barely it sometimes seemed, his
prey, Bill and Hillary Clinton, escaped his grasp. Starr was convinced
that both were as dirty as pigs in a pigsty, but he couldn't prove it
- and it wasn't as though he hadn't tried. He spent $40-million attempting
to do so and he had employed people who were as dedicated as he was
to "Getting Clinton." By the summer of 1997 he was about ready to give
up. But there arose such a hue and cry from his friends in the right-wing
matrix against his giving up, that he was persuaded to soldier on. And
the reason? - to cultural and religious conservatives, Clinton was dangerously
threatening. First, as the nation's first baby-boomer president, he
epitomized the often-permissive cultural values of the 1960s, which
they despised. Second, in a political system where war service and heroism
have been a paramount experience for many presidents, Clinton not only
did not fight in his generation's war - Vietnam - he "gamed" the system
to stay out of the draft while preserving what he described in his youth
as his "political viability." Worse to conservatives, he participated
in student demonstrations against the war. These two characteristics
alone produced in many conservatives the same visceral hatred of Clinton
that liberals at an earlier time had reserved for Richard Nixon.
THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT
IMPERATIVE TO "GET CLINTON"
And now a third and more important factor presented itself: as a result
of the Democratic Party's disastrous rout in the 1994 elections, Clinton
began to successfully re-position the party back to the center and away
from the liberal, special interest group politics of the 1980s, which
had made the Democrats unable to win the White House. In doing so, he
was shamelessly poaching Republican issues. If he succeeded - as the
results of the 1998 presidential election seemed to indicate that he
was doing - Republicans could lose both the House and the Senate in
2000 and be shut out of the presidency for another eight years by Vice
President Al Gore, the man who Clinton was grooming to take over the
new centrist Democratic Party. To Republicans who thought long-term,
this meant the Supreme Court would be gone along with the entire federal
judiciary, and it also meant a resurgence of the hated federal bureaucracy
and its related regulatory agencies. To anti-abortionists, anti-feminists,
anti-homosexuals, free marketeers, etc., this meant the devastation
of all the dreams of the right - especially, the Religious Right, the
dreams of people like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Tim
LaHaye, etc. By the time the Al Gore presidency finished - in the year
2009 - all of them would very probably be dead and buried, or at least
close to it.
It was precisely these people who refused to let Starr give up - and
thus was born the determination to "get Clinton" at all costs. All this,
of course, has tended to reveal what the Religious and Secular Right
were really up to: to prevent at whatever cost Clinton's re-positioning
of the Democratic Party in the center. They were not interested in the
specifics of the charges against Clinton; they weren't even interested
in necessarily finding out the truth of the charges against the president.
They wouldn't even have been pleased (or relieved) to find out that
the president was genuinely innocent of the charges. Their purpose was
to remove him from office or to so cripple him (and the Democratic Party)
politically that they could successfully install themselves in power
in the year 2000 - and by their control of the presidency and both houses
of Congress re-institute America as a "Christian nation." A president
who was innocent of the charges against him would be of no use to them.
They had to make at least one of the charges stick! - and they didn't
much care which one it was. Hardly the attitude that real Christians
would be expected to display. These men - all of them - seem quite unconcerned
that in order to save the United States as a "Christian nation," they
are killing Christianity as a spiritual reality.
Enter Paula Jones, Richard Scaife, the Rutherford Institute and the
Religious Right in all their pompous regalia and at full gallop.
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
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