From "God Government": a website of visualizations to be used with
"prayer, decrees and spiritual work."
There was a thoughtful and rather uncomfortable piece by Bill Moyers that appeared a couple of weeks ago, one I'm sure he never expected to write, entitled "There is No Tomorrow":
One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington.
I've reported on these people, following some of them from Texas to the West Bank. They are sincere, serious and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy.... The last time I Googled it, the rapture index stood at 144 -- just one point below the critical threshold when the whole thing will blow, the son of God will return, the righteous will enter Heaven and sinners will be condemned to eternal hellfire.
I think Moyers misses something important here, but I can't fault him. When the lights are going out, it's hardest to see the darkest things. And especially hard for someone like Moyers, who's accustomed to reading events by the light of liberal Reason. But while Bush's evangelical base is undoubtedly, for the most part, sincere in its convictions, I believe the Bush White House is no more Christian than it is genuinely conservative. Which is to say, not at all. And the same, I suspect, goes for many of the religious leaders who stump for an agenda which seems cribbed from a comic book version of the Book of Revelations.
In other words, the top-down expressions of apocalyptic, fundamentalist faith represent a screen theology, to deceive the sincerely devout - for instance, that Bush is a "godly man" who holds power by the "will of God" in these "Last Days" - and to mask the true hearts and intentions of the gangster elite. At best, they are hypocrites. And if they are worse than that, then they are much worse.
Many of America's conservative Christians may be surprised to learn their Christian Right isn't so Christian anymore. Over the past 15 years, it's been largely bought, borrowed, compromised and blackmailed by Reverend Sun Myung Moon. And what Moon represents is yet another hub in the fascist/intelligence/criminal nexus of money laundering, drug trafficking and arms dealing we frequently see behind the thinning veil of America.
In my last post I speculated that Moon may have dangled unsavoury details of the White House call boy scandal over the head of George HW Bush in order to gain influence. It's certainly true that, just a few years before, Moon was either an embarrassment or a pariah to Republicans and evangelicals alike. (That was when they were merely alike, and not, effectively, one and the same.) In 1978, Jerry Falwell told Esquire that "Reverend Sun Myung Moon is like the plague: he exploits boys and girls, and he should be exported [sic]." Then, in 1994, one of Moon's many front organizations gifted Falwell's Liberty Baptist University $3.5 million, and otherwise forgave tens of millions of dollars in debt. Falwell's college was saved, by Moon, and surprise: Falwell changed his tune.
Who's Your Daddy? Falwell and Moon:
How does he do it? Where has Moon drawn his billions, to make the empires of Falwell and Pat Robertson look like Virginia Beach sand castles? Investigative reporter Robert Parry asks the same question in last September's "Mysterious Republican Money":
Limited investigations of Moon’s organization have revealed large sums of money flowing into the United States mostly from untraceable accounts in Japan, where Moon had close ties to yakuza gangster Ryoichi Sasakawa. Former Moon associates also have revealed major money flows from shadowy sources in South America, where Moon built relationships with right-wing elements associated with the cocaine trade, including the so-called Cocaine Coup government of Bolivia in the early 1980s.
Allegations of Moon's relationship to the South American drug trade don't stop with the fall of Klaus Barbie's neo-fascist narco-state. Since 1999, Moon has acquired 600,000 hectares of arid land in Paraguay's northern state of Chaco, bordering Brazil, directly above the world's largest aquifer. Senator Domingo Laino claims that Moon intends to control his nation's narcotics trafficking, as well as the "largest fresh drinking water source in the world."
Paraguay's drugs tsar from 1976-89, Dr Montiel, has said:
The fact that they came and bought in Chaco and on both sides of the Brazilian border is very telling. It is an enormously strategic point in both the narcotics and arms trades and indeed the available intelligence clearly shows that the Moon sect is involved in both these enterprises.
If that's not bad enough, Iran-Contra vet Elliot Abrams - Bush's new "Deputy National Security Adviser for global democracy strategy" - is also deep in Moon's pocket. Abrams spoke at three Moon rallies in 1998, including one in Sao Paolo, Brazil, attacking anti-cult "deprogrammers" and those who hire them to rescue their family members from the Unification Church. According to Abrams - about whom we're expected to believe this matters - it's simply an issue of "religious freedom."
While Moon is a large, and largely hidden, part of the story of the corruption of religion for criminal and covert ends, the story neither begins nor ends with him. There are many examples on the spooky side of life, that demonstrate that evangelical Christianity has been penetrated and exploited by intelligence assets, and that what may sound like a profession of faith may be nothing more a cover story, and a joke at the expense of the faithfully deceived.
Michael Meiring, the Davao City bomber sheltered by US authorities from Philippine justice, confided to acquaintances in Mindanao that he was CIA, but winked that it stood for "Christ in action."
Wally Hilliard, the money man behind the two Florida flight schools which trained the 9/11 pilots, is an avowed evangelical who's former insurance firm in Wisconsin boasted the motto "Hate Sin, Fight Communism, and Back the Pack!" Forty-three pounds of heroin was found on Wally's Lear Jet, just three weeks after Mohammed Atta enrolled; the largest seizure ever in Central Florida. His plane had made dozens of round trips to Venezuela with passengers who always paid cash, and that the plane had been supplied to Hilliard by the same drug smugglers who had outfitted CIA drug smuggler Barry Seal's. Hilliard and his pilot were not charged. The heroin seizure plays like one of those instances in which the DEA gets its wires crossed with the black ops boys. (Daniel Hopsicker tells more, in his Welcome to Terrorland.)
Interestingly, Hilliard is yet another "devout" figure who has bailed out Jerry Falwell, having loaned, and forgiven, the Reverend one million dollars. Shortly after, another curious thing happened: Britannia Aviation was awarded a five-year contract to manage a large maintenance facility at the Lynchburg airport. It was chosen over a seasoned local company worth millions, when it had a book value of only $750, virtually no qualifications, employees or history. Britannia didn't even have the necessary FAA license to fulfill the contract. What it had, however, was Wally Hilliard's hanger at the Venice, Florida flight school, and according to a Drug Enforcement Agency source, a "greenlight" to operate by the DEA. Hopsicker's research suggests Brittania may have been used as part of the protected black ops drug trade, which was much in evidence in Venice.
Indeed, it seems as though there are many interested parties who have bailed out the Reverend Falwell. Hopsicker writes:
"Jerry Falwell got bailed out in the early '90's by a Lynchburg businessman whose son is married to Billy Graham's daughter," a Lynchburg observer told us. "Since then he runs a missionary service called World Help, which flies all over the world."
Many of the flight trainers who had trained the Arab terrorist pilots had also flown missions out of the Venice and Sarasota Florida Airports for such Christian missionary services as televangelist Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing.
It was "Islamic fundamentalist" Osama bin laden who cloaked his covert activities under the cover of religious charities. Were we now discovering that our own government intelligence agencies used the same ruse?
Christian-linked or not, why did a transparent dummy front company like Paul Marten's Britannia Aviation have a 'green light' from the DEA? A green light for what?
Gerard Colby's and Charlotte Dennett's massive work, Thy Will Be Done: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil, painfully details how the missionaries of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), also known as Wycliffe Bible Translators, served as proxy soldiers in the CIA's Amazonian genocide.
From a review by Carmelo Ruiz:
The authors found SIL a veritable empire whose missionary activities spanned every country in the Amazon basin, with a network of bases that look more like picket-fenced American suburbia than the frontier outposts for the global economy that they actually are. SIL even has its own air force and communications system, the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service (JAARS), which permits it to act virtually independently from the governments of the countries where it operates. After years of research, Colby and Dennett found a number of irrefutable links between SIL and US counterinsurgency operations. Among these, SIL agressively denied that the native peoples of Brazil and Guatemala were being slaughtered by the military regimes of their countries; it allowed its base in the Ecuadoran Amazon to be used by Green Berets who were combing the Western Amazon for signs of armed insurgency; and it assisted the Peruvian air force, which had napalmed the Mayoruna and Campa Indians.
In the course of their investigation, the authors learned that SIL had a big debt to institutions and individuals associated with the Rockefeller family.... Colby and Dennett found the Rockefeller connection particularly intriguing, and went on to investigate the Rockefeller family's financial interests in the commercial and industrial development of the Brazilian Amazon. In 1941, Nelson Rockefeller was named by president Roosevelt to the post of coordinator of the Office of Interamerican Affairs (CIAA), which ran intelligence and propaganda operations against the Nazis in Latin America. In one of its many flagrant violations of the separation between church and state, SIL assisted the CIAA in its Intensive Language Program for American and Latin American military officers and gathered intelligence on native peoples. As coordinator of the CIAA, Nelson acquired invaluable information about Latin America's untapped natural resources, especially mineral reserves, information that ended up in his files and which he used after the war, when he formed the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC). This company became a key component in the post-World War Two opening of the Amazon rainforest to commercial exploitation, a process that eventually led to military dictatorships, genocide of native peoples, loss of biological diversity and unprecedented misery for the majority of Brazilians.
The Rockefeller-led effort to conquer the Amazon and exploit its natural riches had been made possible in no small measure by SIL's missionary activities. Colby and Dennett found a historic parallel in John D. Rockefeller, Sr.'s support for Christian missionaries in the American west, who were compiling extremely useful information on Native American communities, which were potential sources of opposition to the entrance of Standard Oil into their lands.' As a bonus, the evangelization process weakened the American Indians' social structure and so undermined their resolve to fight for their rights. The authors quote Baptist reverend Frederick Gates, who for many years was John D. Sr.'s right-hand man, as saying that "We are only in the very dawn of commerce, and we owe that dawn to the channels opened up by Christian missionaries.... The effect of the missionary enterprise of the English speaking peoples will be to bring them the peaceful conquest of the world."
John W. Hinkley Sr, the father of Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin. was president of the board for World Vision. World Vision served, in the words of John Judge's words, as a "penetration force" for the CIA. (The Hinkleys and the Bushes had known each other for decades. In the sixties, when Hinkley's oil company was failing, it was bailed out by Bush's Zapata Oil.) World Vision was financed during the Vietnam War by the Agency and given the use of military equipment. According to Judge, the mission ran the Cuban and Thai refugee camps in the United States. Reportedly there were beatings and abuses, and the camps were staffed by Alpha 66 and Omega 7 people, the virulently anti-Castro assets, who were looking for like-minded anti-communists to recruit for intelligence gathering and counter-insurgency. And as if we haven't had enough already, here's another kick in the head: Mark David Chapman, who eventually shot John Lennon, worked at World Vision's Thai refugee camps in Arkansas. (That both Hinkley and Chapman were fixated upon Catcher in the Rye has suggested to some that the book was used as a trigger for "Manchurian"-like assassin mind control programming.)
And speaking of mind control, survivor Kathleen Sullivan told the late Jim Keith in his book Mass Control: Engineering Human Consciousness, that she heard of plans to use Christian evangelists to push belief in the "tribulation" and the "Last Days" as one means of achieving social mastery.
That would sound like a flight of fantasy, if only this were a different world.
And by the way, thanks to Fantastic Planet for pointing me here, to a sad and disturbing photo essay of US military recruitment in a fundamentalist church.
Most affecting of all are the conflicted words of the young man who documented it. ("I am a Christian, a republican and support the war in Iraq, but this pisses me off in ways I cannot explain even to myself.")
Praise the amunition and pass the brochures:
"At this point Captain Sturecker preached to us in full dress uniform about his early faith was based in fear of going to hell, but now he doesn’t need to fear death, and about his experiences in the [Black Hawk Down] affair.... Every word of this might be true, but it was also part of a 'The lord will protect you in the military' themed sermon. I have never had both respect and disgust for a single individual with such volume in my life. When I asked him for a picture with him holding the same bible he is in the sermon picture I think my attitude came off as 'fan boy.'"
"Even as I had already taken these photographs of something that I clearly know is wrong, hell we ended with 'I'm proud to be an American', after a sermon and a combined rendition of all the services anthems. I was conflicted. I knew, and know that almost all of the people I’m depending on to bring this to light disagree with me on virtually every issue. I wasn’t going to release this unless they were recruiting. They were.
"Jesus himself only got mad once. It was because merchants were using the church to sell their wares, he flipped their tables, seized a whip, and attacked them. This day the answer to 'what would Jesus do?' is grab one of the M-16s laying around and start kneecapping."