Welcome to the fourth installment of my ongoing examination of the mysterious European network typically referred to as Le Cercle, Pinay Cercle or the Pinay Group (the latter possibly being an inner circle of Cercle in some accounts). During the first installment I briefly outlined the history of the organization and noted its ties to both globalist elites connected to the Bilderberg Group as well reactionary Catholic orders such as Opus Dei and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM). There it was suggested that these groups had broken with their Bilderberg counterparts at some point during the late 1970s, leading to the departure of Eastern Establishment luminaries such as David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezenski from the network around then.
With part two I began to focus in on the two figures chiefly responsible for turning Cercle into a major international force: its some times namesake, former French prime minister Antoine Pinay, and his fellow Frenchman Jean Violet. As was noted there, Violet was quite a mysterious figure with extensive ties to the intelligence services of France and West Germany, but also to the Vatican itself. Violet was also reputed to have been a member of the proto-fascist La Cagoule in 1930s France. La Cagoule had its origins in Martinism and synarchy, as was briefly explained in the installment.
When last we left off I had just finished examining two organizations, the Brussels-based Academie Europeenne des Sciences Politiques (AESP, often referred to as the Academy) and Brian Crozier's "61" network. These organizations, which were extensively staffed with "former" intelligence officers from Western Europe, effectively served as de facto intelligence networks for Le Cercle during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1979, upon the death of Academy founder Florimond Damman, many of the Belgian Academy members signed up with the 6I, merging the two networks.
There had already been longstanding ties between the groups, however, as both Violet and Crozier had been involved with Academy since 1969. There were many other controversial individuals involved with the Academy as well. Belgians Paul Vanden Boeynants and Baron Benoit de Bonvoisin had been extensively linked to fascist militias accused of acts of terrorism in Belgium throughout the 1970s and 1980s (as noted before here).
During the 1990s, in the wake of the Dutroux affair, Vanden Boeynants and de Bonvoisin would also be extensively linked to pedophile networks amongst Belgian's political classes (Vanden Boeynants had been the nation's long-serving defense minister and even prime minister twice while de Bonvoisin was a very wealthy and well-connected figure amongst the aristocracy). Vanden Boeynants had already been linked to such outrages as far back as the early 1980s (all of which was discussed before here).
"Incidentally," as I had just noted at the end of part three, numerous members of Cercle's British wing (including three former chairmen) have been implicated in the pedophilia scandals that re-emerged in Britain during 2012 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile revelations. This would indicate the Cercle network was aware of the political classes of both Belgium and the UK being deeply involved in pedophile rings. Certainly such knowledge would be invaluable in influencing the political classes of said countries to adopt policies of particular interest to Le Cercle. And it just so happened, as noted in that installment, that there have long been rumblings of a silent coup behind Margaret Thatcher's rise to power and that Crozier himself took credit for her election before a meeting of Cercle.
|Thatcher, several and whom's cabinet ministers were implicated in pedophilia during the 1980s|
Many of these ties came via the Academy and having already dealt with them before here and here, I think it would be beating a dead horse to re-examine them at length now. So with P2, P7, Aginter and the WACL already having been dealt with, let us move onto some of Cercle's American partners, which have only been addressed in passing up to this point.
Cercle's chief partner in the United States during the early years was the American Security Council (ASC) and the vast sprawl of American groups linked to it. This blog has already dealt with the ASC at length before here and during that examination noted that the ASC, long dominated by "former" US military and intelligence officers, operated as both a think tank/lobby group as well as a full fledged intelligence network. Many of the latter functions were carried out by a combination of corporate security divisions and private detective agencies (i.e. the Pinkertons and Wackenhut) in collaboration with far right wing "Patriot" organizations such as the Western Goals Foundation (an offshoot of the John Birch Society) and even the Minutemen (the first large scale post-WWII militia group).
For years the ASC compiled lists through these agencies of "subversives" that were then passed along to their corporate clients (which included virtually all of the major defense contractors in the country during this era). As can be expected, the ASC was primarily concerned with "Communist subversion" and thus it should come as little surprise that it was long accused of "blacklisting."
In many ways the ASC was very similar to Cercle. The former was more a full fledged lobby group that publicly supported the interests of the military-industrial complex but ultimately both were primarily concerned with establishing a private intelligence network that could be used to facilitate political change.
Brian Crozier had ties to the ASC going back to the mid-1960s and was probably the chief figure behind the alliance of Cercle and the ASC that would begin to blossom during the early 1970s. Crozier first became involved with the ASC netherworld thanks to the curious figure of Frank Rockwell Barnett. When Crozier first encountered Barnett the latter had technically broken ties with the ASC and was involved with another national defense-centric group known as the National Strategy Information Center (NSIC).
"It was also in Madrid – in Franco's waiting room - that Crozier met one of the future main backers of the UK counter-subversion lobby: Frank Rockwell Barnett who since 1962 had been running the New York-based National Strategy Information Center (NSIC) with the assistance of his Director of Studies, Frank N. Trager. Barnett had had long experience in Cold War propaganda, having served from 1958 to 1962 as Program Director of the Institute for American Strategy. Barnett's colleagues in the IAS were IAS Administrative Director and Air Force Major-General Edward Lansdale and Colonel William Kintner. Lansdale had been a CIA advisor to French counter-insurgency operations in Vietnam in 1953, then serving as Head of the Saigon Military Mission from 1954-57, a period which spanned the disasterous defeat of French forces at Điện Biên Phủ, the July 1954 Geneva Accords which ended the First Indochina War and partitioned Vietnam, and the rigging of the October 1955 referendum in the South which installed the Catholic strongman Ngô Đình Diệm as President of the Republic of Vietnam. Returning to the US in 1957, Lansdale then worked as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, coordinating the CIA's Operation Mongoose to overthrow Fidel Castro until his official retirement in 1963; he would nonetheless return to serve in the American Embassy in Saigon from 1965 to 1968. As for Kintner, he worked as a Department of Defense planning officer and liaison to the CIA for eleven years before retiring from the US military in 1961. Kintner was then appointed Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania where he ran the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a career interrupted by service as American Ambassador to Thailand from 1973 to 1975 during the height of the Vietnam War...
"During their 1966 meeting in Madrid, Barnett invited Crozier to come over to the United States once his Franco research was over. The visit would not occur until 1968 but would ensure substantial backing for Crozier's future ventures."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pgs. 35-36)
The NCIS is a curious organization in its own right. Barnett was a specialist in "political warfare" (more on that in a moment) and that seems to have been the primary purpose of this military-centric think tank. Other personnel associated with the NSIC also possessed deep backgrounds:
"... In 1962, Casey had helped establish the National Strategy Information Center (NSIC), along with his protégé Frank Barnett, as well as brewery magnate Joseph Coors and Prescott Bush Jr., brother of George H. W. Bush. In 1976, the NSIC received $1 million for a pro-defense spending campaign, which Barnett coordinated with his newly formed Committee on the Present Danger."
(The Road to 9//1, Peter Dale Scott, pg. 97)The Casey mentioned above is none other than William Casey, the former OSS officer who would go on to become Reagan's director of the CIA. Casey was one of the most powerful and politically connected intelligence officers of the Cold War era. By the late 1970s Crozier had developed a close working relationship with Casey (in Free Agent, Crozier alleges that Casey arranged for the CIA to pick up 6I's tab for a time) who, like many affiliates of Le Cercle, was a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
A 1989 report from a now defunct organization known as "Group Watch" also provided some interesting insights into the NSIC's funding. Consider:
"Between 1973 and 1981, Richard Scaife donated a total of $6 million to the NSIC from the Carthage Fdn, the Sarah Scaife Fdn, and the Trust for the Grandchildren of Sarah Mellon Scaife. (1) In 1985 the John M. Olin Fdn gave the Washington office of NSIC three grants: $107,320 for support for an advisory committee for European democracy; $41,300 for support for a book by Abram Shulsky on American intelligence and national security; and $20,000 to support educational programs on the nature of totalitarian regimes. (3) In the same year, the NY office received the following grants: $10,000 from the Adolph Coors Fdn for programs and publications on national security; $35,000 for work on the history of Soviet intelligence, $30,000 for research and writing on detente, and $15,000 support for a conference at the Center for European Strategy from the Winston Salem Fdn; $5,000 of general support from the Samuel Roberts Nobel Fdn; and from the W. W. Smith Charitable Trust $260,000 for operating support and $70,000 for a Consortium for the Study of Intelligence which examines the intelligence networks of various nations.
"In 1986, the Washington office of NSIC received $41,000 from the John M. Olin Fdn to support the book by Abram Shulsky on American intelligence and national security, and $152,000 from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Fdn to support a program on national defense and intelligence. (4) In 1986, the N. Y. office received $15,000 from the Smith Richardson Fdn, $5,000 from the TRW Fdn, and $175,000 from the Sarah Scaife Fdn for general operating support."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pg. 518)
|Richard Mellon Scaife|
"If the Olin foundation was less than transparent about its mission, it was not for the first time. Between 1958 in 1966, it's eagerly served as a bank for the Central Intelligence Agency. During these eight years, the CIA laundered $1.9 million through the foundation. Olin, according to Miller, regarded his undercover role as just part of his patriotic duty. Many of the government funds went to anti-Communist intellectuals and publications. But in 1967, the press exposed the covert propaganda operation, triggering a political furor and causing the CIA to fold the program. The CIA money at the Olin Foundation, which was not publicized at the time, disappeared as quietly as it arrived. The idea of using the private foundation to fund ideologically aligned intellectuals, however, persisted."
(Dark Money,, Jane Mayer, pgs. 104-105)So, technically the Olin Foundation was not being used as a front for the CIA by the 1980s. Nonetheless, its grants to the NSIC seem to have been geared towards the same type of work it bankrolled for the CIA during the 1960s. What's more, William E. Simon, another Knight of Malta and friend William Casey's, was the president of Olin Foundation during this time.
"... Collins Radio, a major contractor with the Central Intelligence Agency. Three weeks before Kennedy's assassination, Collins radio had been identified on the front page of the New York Times as having just deployed a CIA radar ship on an espionage and sabotage mission against Cuba. Collins also held the government contract for installing communications towers in Vietnam. In 1971, Collins Radio would merge with another giant military contractor, Rockwell International. In November 1963, Collins was at the heart of the CIA-military-contracting business for state-of-the-art communication systems."
(JFK and the Unspeakable, James W. Douglas, pg. 295)Collins, now known as Rockwell Collins, would continue to do work for the CIA and other branches of the national security establishment up to the present day. In the 1970s Rockwell had also bought out the Draper Company. According to John Bevilaqua in JFK --The Final Solution, heir Wickliffe Preston Draper used the monies from this transaction to bank role the Pioneer Fund, an even more radical think tank deeply immersed in eugenics (interestingly, at various times the Olin and Bradley Foundations and the Pioneer Fund all supported the work of political scientist Charles Murray, who is most well known as the co-author of the notorious Bell Curve).
And then there is the Smith Richardson Foundation, another one of the major sugar daddies for the modern conservative movement. Its long time director of research: Frank Rockwell Barnett... the same Frank Rockwell Barnett who had founded the NSIC.
This of course raises the possibility that Barnett and the NSIC were getting a lot of covert funding from the US national security establishment for the NSIC. This is hardly surprising in light of Barnett's early work with the American Security Council and a group sponsored by the ASC known as the Institute for American Strategy (IAS). Here's a bit about the IAS and its ties to the ASC:
"In addition to providing intelligence to large employers, the Council was also active in Cold War 'education' aimed at the general public. Between 1955 and 1961, the ASC cosponsored an annual series of meetings called the National Military-Industrial Conferences, which brought Pentagon and National Security Council personnel together with executives from United Fruit, Standard Oil, Honeywell, U.S. Steel, Sears Roebuck and other corporations.
"At the 1958 National Military-Industrial Conference, the ASC launched the Institute for American Strategy for the purpose of inculcating elites and the public with anticommunist ideology. Administration of the Institute was granted to Frank Barnett, U.S. Army Colonel William Kintner, and other 'political warfare' advocates then stationed at the University of Pennsylvania's Foreign Policy Research Institute. Barnett was also research director for the Institute's key corporate benefactor, the Richardson Foundation (the charitable arm of the Vick Chemical Company). In 1959 and 1960 the ostensibly private Institute for American Strategy held seminars for reserve officers of the National War College, under the auspices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense. The manual for these seminars was the book American Strategy for the Nuclear Age, prepared by Foreign Policy Research Institute analysts Walter F. Hahn and John C. Neff. The book outlined an aggressive strategy of 'protracted conflict' with the Soviets, involving the training of citizens and government leaders in 'psychological warfare' schools. The 1961, the Institute for American Strategy had provided 10,000 copies of American Strategy to the National University Extension Association for distribution to public school libraries and citizen debate groups.
"Through the National Military-Industrial Conferences, regional meetings, National War College seminars and publications, the Institute began to assume the role of a military adjunct and a quasi-government propaganda agency. However, by 1961, Senator William J. Fulbright, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, became alarmed by what he perceived to be a combination of right-wing and military encroachment on the formation of U.S. public opinion..."
(Roads to Dominion, Sara Diamond, pgs. 47-48)
Fulbright was especially concerned that the US military was being indoctrinated by far right anti-Communist propaganda, a concern well founded. It was during this time that General Edwin Walker was actively involved in indoctrinating his troops with literature provided by the John Birch Society. As I noted before here, the ASC had quite extensive ties to the John Birch Society and even more radical "patriot" groups such as the Liberty Lobby and the Minutemen.
Despite congressional outrage, the IAS would continue in its agenda unabated and with continued support from the National Security Council (NSC). As was noted above, the notorious intelligence asset General Edward Lansdale took over the mid-1960s (presumably with Kintner, who worked for the ASC for at least a quarter century, still in the fold) after Barnett's departure. Barnett was never officially employed by the ASC again as far as this researcher can tell, but his obsession with "political warfare" and indoctrinating both elites and citizens alike with seems to have been carried out under the auspices of the NSIC.
Crozier's future projects, which largely constituted political warfare propaganda for elites, were very much in line with Barnett's decades-spanning activities. Was Crozier recruited by Barnett in 1966 to become a part of the ASC/NSC's political warfare agenda? Certainly it would help explain the close relations the British Coalition for Peace Through Security had with the ASC-backed Coalition for Peace Through Strength in the United States. In Free Agent, Crozier reports that General Richard Stilwell, a member of the ASC Task Force on Central America during this time, was his liaison between the two Coalition groups.
There was, however, a possible alliance between Cercle and the ASC that pre-dated Crozier's contact with Barnett in the mid-1960s.
The International Committee for the Defense of Christian Culture (ICDCC), known in Europe as Comité International pour la Défense de la Civilisation Chrétienne (CIDCC) is an incredibly mysterious organization that likely played a key role in establishing contacts between Le Cercle (as well as Opus Dei and the Maltese knights) and far-right factions in the United States, especially those within the military and intelligence establishments. It had its origins in the aftermath of Second World War but it does not seem to have been especially active until the late 1950s. Here's a few background details:
"Solís Ruiz would also be a key Spanish contact for another Catholic group, this time involving Pinay himself: the Comité International pour la Défense de la Civilisation Chrétienne [CIDCC], a largely French body created in 1948, whose first President was Belgian Paul Van Zeeland and whose Secretary-General was noted Catholic publicist Pierre André Simon. It would publish a monthly journal Vérité et Documents whose first issue - on Hungarian Cardinal Mindszenty - appeared in February 1949. However, CIDCC's first International Conference would only be held in June 1958, in Bonn and Berlin including delegations from nine countries – Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and exile groups from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
"The CIDCC President elected at that conference was Hermann Lindrath, a wealthy German Protestant industrialist, CDU MP from 1953 on and Finance and Economy Minister in Adenauer's third cabinet from October 1957 until his death in February 1960. Lindrath had a chequered past, having joined the Nazi Stahlhelm in 1933, the SA in 1934 and the NSDAP in 1937; he would join the CDU in 1945 and flee from his native East Germany in 1951. At the first CIDCC International Conference in 1958, the Conference Vice-Presidents were Pinay, Solís Ruiz and the recent Italian Foreign Minister (1954-57) and leader of the Italian CIDCC section Gaetano Martino; Solís Ruiz chaired the Spanish CIDCC section, assisted by his Vice- President, IEP Director Fraga Iribarne. It is worth noting that in 1955 Pinay and Martino had been two of the six national delegates at the European Coal and Steel Community's crucial Conference of Messina that would lead to the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and the creation of the EEC in 1958 – van Zeeland was the first candidate proposed to head the committee to develop the proposal for a European common market, but was defeated by Paul-Henri Spaak. Martino would go on to serve as President of the European Parliament from 1962 to 1964, and die in 1967."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pgs. 472-473)
|Jose Solis Ruiz|
"Within a week of the formation of the new government, Pinay received an official visit on the 14th January from Spanish Trade Minister Alberto Ullastres, a high-ranking Opus Dei and CEDI member who, as later Spanish Ambassador to the EEC, would become a Life Member of the AESP. At the end of the month, it was the turn of Solís Ruiz to visit Paris, holding discussions with Debré, Pinay and Foreign and Information Ministers Couve de Murville and Frey before attending a CIDCC meeting on the 30th January at which he was appointed CIDCC Vice-President and Spain selected as the host for the next CIDCC Conference..."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pg. 473)The AESP is the Academie Europeenne des Sciences Politiques, or the Academy. It was this body that had close ties to P2, the WACL, Aginter Press and the Belgian fascist militias and pedophile networks. Crozier and Jean Violet were also involved with the Academy, which effectively merged with Crozier's 6I network during the late 1970s as noted before here.
In addition to the Opusians, there were some other curious European affiliates as well:
"Among the speakers was Dr. Theodor Oberlander, a former German officer who had led the Ukrainian Nightingales during World War II ... Oberlander had served as West Germany's minister of refugee affairs until 1960, when details of his wartime role became public and he was forced to resign. He was also a delegate to the Asian People's Anti-Communist League. Herman Punder, the ICDCC's outgoing international president, was an ex-Nazi Abwehr agent. Both Punder and Oberlander had direct connections into the Munich-based newspaper that, the day after the assassination, would contact General Walker – and then somehow 'scoop' the world on the previously unknown news that Oswald fired on Walker in April ."
(The Man Who Knew to Much, Dick Russell, pg. 528)
|General Edwin Walker|
It is also interesting to note that Theodor Oberlander, in his duty as minister of refugee affairs, financed the Ecclesiastical Administration for Moslem Refugees. This organization was at the time largely comprised of Muslims of Turkish descent that had served the Nazis in the Eastern Theater. The Ecclesiastical Administration would go on to fund the construction of the first mosque in Munich. This mosque, as detailed in Ian Johnson's groundbreaking A Mosque in Munich, would become arguably the premier holy site for Muslims in Europe. It would go to forge close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and would be linked to both the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and (to much lesser extent) 9/11. These developments occurred long after Oberlander's affiliation with the mosque had concluded, though he was an early supporter of political Islam. But moving along.
"... A further CIDCC Presidium meeting was held in Paris in December 1962, for the first time including an American representative, German born US Major-General Charles Andrew Willoughby, who had served as General Douglas MacArthur's Chief of Intelligence during most of World War II, the occupation of Japan and the Korean War. A longstanding admirer of Franco and Mussolini whom MacArthur had nicknamed his "pet fascist", Willoughby travelled to Spain after his retirement in 1951 to act as an advisor and lobbyist for Franco's government, returning to the US in 1968 and dying in 1972. Earlier in 1962, Willoughby had founded an American section of the CIDCC; the American contribution to the CIDCC would be funded by Willoughby's close associate, Texas oil tycoon Haroldson Lafayette Hunt (14)."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pgs. 474-475)While typically depicted as a buffoonish figure in mainstream accounts, much information that has come to light concerning General Willoughby in recent years has shed a different light on MacArthur's "pet fascist." As was noted before here, Willoughy is believed to have been one of the key figures behind the recovery of "Yamashita's Gold" or the "Golden Lilly," obscene amounts of gold and other precious medals Imperial Japan had thoroughly looted from conquered nations during WWII. The Golden Lilly allegedly encompasses an enormous amount of the world's gold supply and has been used by the US and the Japanese to fund various black opts for decades now.
Willoughby also played a key role in recruiting Unit 731, the notorious Japaneses chemical and biological warfare specialists, into the US national security apparatus after the war as well dragging the armed forces and the intelligence community into KMT-Yakuza drug trafficking (as noted before here). Willoughby has also been compelling linked to the JFK assassination (as noted before here) and even the Roswell Incident.
I've seen several sources (including ISGP and Peter Dale Scott in Deep Politics and the Death of JFK) list Willoughby as a member of the American Security Council. This researcher has not be able to confirm this association to my satisfaction, however. But this is rather immaterial because even if Willoughby was not an actual member of the ASC, he was on friendly terms with quite a few participants (as noted before here). It is quite possible then that the relationship between the Le Cercle and the ASC originates to the time Pinay and Willoughby spent with the ICDCC together.
It is interesting to note as well that Willoughby and his chief financial patrons, the Hunt family, seem to have played a key role in creating the modern Christian fundamentalist movement. In addition to the ICDCC, Willoughby and the Hunts would also support the Christian Crusade of Billy James Hargis (probably the most power Evangelist of his era). As I noted before here, old man Hunt would go on to become one of the chief financial patrons of Pat Robertson early in the legendary televangelist's career. Hunt's son, Nelson Bunker Hunt (who Peter Dale Scott claimed was the actual financial patron of the ICDCC in Deep Politics and the Death of JFK) would also go on to fund the Council for National Policy, a far right wing think tank closely aligned to James Dodson's Focus on the Family and other powerful Evangelical efforts.
"In 1985, de Borchgrave would become editor-in-chief of the Moonies' newspaper, the Washington Times. The Unification Church would be a forum for cooperation between de Borchgrave and Cline: Cline was on the Editorial Board of The World and I, the Moonies' monthly edited by de Borchgrave. De Borchgrave was a former Board member of the Moonies' US Global Strategy Council, chaired by Cline in the late 1980s. Cline and de Borchgrave also shared a platform with William Casey as speakers at a special conference series on intelligence held at the Ashbrook Center, Ohio in 1986, one of Casey's last public appearances before his death in May 1987. At this time, de Borchgrave was working with Moss and John Rees of the John Birch Society in 'a risk analysis' company, Mid-Atlantic Research Associates (MARA); the three also edited a monthly private intelligence report called Early Warning (265)*."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pgs. 126-127)The above-mentioned Cline is Ray S. Cline, a former high ranking CIA asset who was deeply involved with the World Anti-Communist League and occasionally the American Security Council. Elsewhere Moss is Robert Moss, a member of Le Cercle. It is also interesting to note that Douglas MacArthur II was at the time a member of the Washington Time's editorial advisory board. As I noted before here, MacArthur II (the nephew of the legendary general) was extensively linked to Belgium's fascist militias and pedophile networks.
"... Abram took his program – the Idea, he called it – first national and then international. By 1942 he organized businessmen's committees in dozens of cities, and relocated himself first to the other Washington, the capital. In the midst of a January snowstorm, he assembled his first meeting of Congressmen to hear the Christian testimony of Howard Coonley, the ultraright president of the National Association of Manufacturers. Coonley we saw a third front for the war, after Europe and Asia, right there in Washington, against Franklin Roosevelt socialism and the death of a Christian nation in which God's chosen vessels – the Up and Outers – were free to produce wealth for all to enjoy by way of trickle-down religion. The Up and Outers won their first battle the next year with the passage of the Smith-Connally Act, the beginning of the New Deal's repeal. 'It is the age of minority control,' prophesied Abram; democracy, he believed, had died back in 1935, no match for communism or fascism. He proposed instead what he called then... 'the Better way,' Up and Outers, guided by God, making the hard decisions behind closed doors.
"By war's end those doors belonged to a four-story mansion on Embassy Row in Washington, purchased with the help of a beautiful socialite widow, Marion Aymar Johnson. Abrah called the prototype for C Street a 'Christian Embassy,' headquarters for the movement he'd by then incorporated as International Christian Leadership (ICL). And international it was: in 1946, Abram undertook his first overseas mission with a mandate from the State Department to examine Nazi prisoners for conversion potential. He found more than a few willing to switch out the fuhrer for the American father-god, men such as Hermann Abs, a leader of ICL's German division and the wizard of the West German miracle – until, decades later, he was discovered by Jewish Nazi hunters to have been 'Hitler's leading banker.' But Abs was an innocent compared to many of the men Abram recruited, men for whom he learned not fascism – a European disease, to which American fundamentalism even at its most authoritarian has always been immune – but the power of forgetting. The blank slate, the sins of the powerful wiped clean – that was an idea, Abram realized, that would flourish in cold war America.
"Abram had grasped the cold war before most, declaring at World War II's end the immediate commencement of World War III. In 1955, Sen. Frank Carlson, with whom Abram had launched the annual ritual that would become the National Prayer Breakfast in 1953 by calling in favors from a reluctant Eisenhower, coined the phrase that would serve as the movement's motto: Worldwide Spiritual Offensive. In 1959 Sen. Carlson took the fight to Haiti, where he decreed Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier God's man for the island nation and thus worthy of U.S. support, the guns and butter that kept Papa Doc – one of the most lunatic killers of the Western Hemisphere – and then his son, Jean-Claude 'Baby Doc,' in business for decades. What was in it for ICL? Help the weak by helping the strong. They helped Papa Doc and Papa Doc helped the businessmen who traveled to Haiti with Carlson, and the businessman helped Carlson and the Republican Party: help all around that somehow never trickled down to the Haitian people. In 1966, ICL moved on to Indonesia, where General Suharto had come to power through what the CIA would later call 'one of the worst mass murders of the twentieth century.' Abram called the coup a 'spiritual revolution,' and began sending delegations of congressmen and oil executives who became champions of the genocidal regime. Help the weak by helping the strong: Suharto, ICLers believed, helped the week of Indonesia resist the temptations of communism, by any means necessary."
(C Street, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 27-29)
|Abraham "Abram" Vereide|
For our purposes here, it is important to note the close involvement of the German banker Hermann Abs with the Family. As noted above, Abs was the German head of International Christian Leadership (ICL), a Family-controlled organization that was also active in Haiti and Indonesia. Abs was one of the most well-connected global elites on the planet when he hooked up with Vereide and had long been active in the united Europe movement, including Otto von Habsburg's European Centre of Documentation and Information (CEDI, which many future members of the Academy were very active in, as noted before here). Here's a bit more about Abs:
"Abs had been head of the Deutsche Bank from 1940 to 1945. The Deutsche Bank was the Nazis' bank throughout the war; Abs was in effect Hitler's treasurer. Abs was also on the Board of chemicals conglomerate I. G. Farben and participated at company Board meetings when members discussed the use of slave labour at a Farben rubber factory located in the Auschwitz concentration camp (242). The Deutsche Bank's collaboration with the Nazi regime did not lead to a purge of its staff; after the war, Abs continued on the Board of the bank, serving as spokesman for the Board from 1957 to 1967 before being appointed Honorary Chairman of the Board in 1976.
"Besides his banking activities, Abs was also one of the key German partners of Dr. Joseph Retinger in his efforts to set up the CIA-funded European Movement and the Bilderberg Group. Abs was one of the two leaders of the German section of the Independent League for Economic Cooperation, one of the five organisations that made up the European Movement; Abs would chair the EM's Economic and Social Commission in 1955 (243). Abs was also one of the founding members of the Bilderberg Group, having served on the 1952 organisation committee with Pinay, Voisin, Ball and Bonvoisin. The friendship between Abs and Strauß dated back to at least the mid-1950s when the two men met at meetings of the Bilderberg Group; Strauß, then Nuclear Power Minister, had attended the Bilderberg conference in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in September 1955. One year before the 1975 meeting between Abs, Strauß and Spínola, Abs and Strauß had both attended the 1974 Bilderberg conference held in April in Megève, France (244). Abs was also a longstanding member of CEDI; with Strauß, Abs attended the XI CEDI Congress in 1963 (245). Together with AESP and CEDI member Merkatz, Abs was a member of CEDI's informal German section, the Europäisches Institut für politische, wirtschaftliche und soziale Fragen (European Institute for political, economic and social issues)."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pgs. 120-121)
Still, what of the Family's plan of "Worldwide Spiritual Offensive"? With the ties Le Cercle had to much of the modern American Evangelical movement, it would certainly seem that the group was engaged in such a objective. This is especially compelling in light of the domination the Maltese knights and Opusians seem to have had over the organization.
While political warfare specialists in the United States such as Frank Barnett seem to have realized the value of religion in the ideological war with the Soviet Union prior to their contacts with Le Cercle, one cannot help but wonder if such plans were put forward front and center once the US national security establishment allied itself with reactionary Catholic factions such as Opus Dei and SMOM. Certainly there seems to have been a powerful alliance between these factions in areas such as Latin America.
|the seal of Opus Dei|
And of course there's the fact that the Family itself bares more than a passing resemblance to Opus Dei. Both movements were founded by charismatic leaders who were obsessed with worldly power. To this end they dedicated their careers to the recruiting of the rich and powerful into their respective orders. Both men despised democracy, populism and labor unions, seeing such institutions as affronts to Christian civilizations. And both sought political gains by their control over the politically connected rather through mass movements. Indeed, both men were appalled by populist movements.
In my series on the the Family I had pondered whether their was a much closer relationship between the Family and Opus Dei than public records indicate. The presence of Le Cercle contact Hermann Abs behind the early funding for the ICL's European section indicates that the relationship may have been quite close and that Opus Dei, along with SMOM, were crucial the Family's rise to power in the US.
"In 1975, the Scaife Family Charitable Trust donated $195,000 to a new conservative think tank in Washington, the Heritage Foundation. For the next ten years, Scaife became its largest backer, donating $10 million more. By 1998, these donations had reached a total of some $23 million, which meant that Scaife accounted for a vastly disproportionate share of the think tank's overall funding. Previously, Scaife had been the largest donor to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the older, rival conservative think tank in Washington, but Heritage had a new model that won him over. In contrast to the research centers of the past, it was purposefully political, priding itself on creating, selling, and injecting deeply conservative ideas into the American mainstream.
"In fact, the Heritage Foundation was born out of two congressional aides' frustration with the more conventional think tank model. One of them, Edwin Feulner Jr., was a Wharton School graduate and Hayek acolyte, with a flair for fund-raising. The other, Paul Weyrich, was a brilliant and fiercely conservative working-class Catholic press aide from Wisconsin, who described himself openly as a 'radical' who was 'working to overturn the present power structure.' The duo had become exasperated by AEI's refusal to weigh in on legislative fights until after they were settled, a cautious approach reflecting the older think tank's fear of losing its nonprofit status. Instead, they wanted to create a new sort of action-oriented think tank that would actively lobby members of Congress before decisions were made, take sides in fights, and in every way not just 'think' but 'do.' "
(Dark Money, Jane Mayer, pg. 77)
Ah yes, Richard Mellon Scaife, Brain Crozier's long time financial patron. Perhaps for this reason it should come as little surprise that Heritage co-founder and long time president Edwin Feulner was apparently very close to Cercle:
"Major private-sector funding for the Cercle/6I campaigns would also be provided by the American Heritage Foundation, whose President since 1977 Edwin Feulner had attended the December 1979 Cercle meeting. The Heritage Foundation, whose role is concealed in Crozier's memoirs, provided the infrastructure and funding for three Cercle/6I groups active in anti-peace movement propaganda in Britain. Whilst some of the funding was direct and therefore public, the Heritage Foundation also created an intermediary to act as a conduit for covert funding for the Cercle/6I campaign: the International Freedom Fund Establishment, which was run by Brian Crozier, who thus became the Heritage Foundation's bag-man in Britain. IRS tax returns for the Heritage Foundation show that it donated a total of $140,000 to the IFFE for the three years 1982, 1983 and 1985. In an interview, Heritage Foundation Vice-President Herb Berkowitz described the IFFE as 'a networking operation [...] we support them, and he [Crozier] does the work' and admitted to a further Heritage donation to Crozier of $50,000 in 1986. Crozier himself conceded that the IFFE received a total of £200,000 from the Heritage Foundation between 1982 and 1986, whilst declining to identify the ultimate beneficiaries of such largesse (441)."
(Rogue Agents, Favid Teacher, pg. 211)
Readers will probably be little surprised by another tie between Cercle and Heritage: co-founder and longtime president Edwin Feulner was also a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Frank Shakespeare, a member of Frank Barnett's NSIC and another Knight of Malta, joined Heritage in 1977, just as its ties to Cercle were beginning to heat up.
"... in 1976, faced with the congressional crackdown on unsupervised CIA operations, Adham, Sadat, and the shah of Iran formed their own anti-Communist coalition – the so-called Safari Club – to conduct through their own intelligence agencies operations that were now difficult for CIA. A key figure in securing a firm agreement to this effect was Alexandre de Marenches, head of the French intelligence service SDECE (the Service de Documentation Exterieure et de Contre--Espionnage). De Marenches surfaces again in connection with the 1980 Republican-CIA plots against President Carter.
"In February 2002, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal, nephew of and successor to Adham, gave Georgetown University alumni a frank account of the Safari Club's formation in response to post-Watergate restrictions: 'In 1976, after the Watergate matters took place here, your intelligence community was literally tied up by Congress. It could not do anything. The could not send spies, it could not write reports, and it could not pay money. In order to compensate for that, a group countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran.'
"The Safari Club met at an exclusive resort of the same name in Kenya, which in the same year, 1976 was visited and eventually bought by Adham's friend Adnan Khashoggi. According to investigative journalist Joseph Trento, 'The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations. With the official blessing of George H.W. Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commercial International (BCCI), into a world-wide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world to create the biggest clandestine money network in history.'
"Trento further charges that Adham, his successor Prince Turki, and their Saudi agency the GID, or Mukhabarat, funded off-the-books worldwide convert operations for CIA. These include support for an alleged 'private CIA' close to Bush and dominated by former CIA men like Ed Wilson, Theodore Shackley... and Tom Clines..."
(The Road to 9/11, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 62-63)
|the actual Safari Club where the group met|
Both Kamal Adham and especially his nephew and successor as head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki bin Faisal, were reportedly very close to Le Cercle. Adham and Prince Turki also had very close contacts to the ISI, the Pakistani military intelligence. Adham, Prince Turki and the Safari Club would play a crucial role in supporting Islamic extremists in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. Reportedly Osama bin Laden was one of Prince Turki's personal contacts. This connection would bring much controversy to Prince Turki in the wake of 9/11 when he was still operating as Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief.
Alexandre de Marenches, one of the chief figures behind the founding of the Safari Club, has long been described a member of Le Cercle (and has been confirmed as a member of the Knights of Malta, like so many of the other individuals already considered). Crozier disputed this in Free Agent but nonetheless acknowledged contact with de Marenches. Crozier himself and his 6I network were also reportedly used by the Safari Club at times.
"In the meanwhile, the Shah was reconsidering Crozier's offer of 6I help for psyops campaigns and contacted Turki al-Faisal, who put in a good word for the 6I. Turki al-Faisal's recommendation of the 6I carried a lot of weight for the Iranians; Turki al-Faisal was the Saudi representative on the Safari Club, a network for covert cooperation between the French, Saudi, Iranian, Moroccan and Egyptian intelligence services, founded by Alexandre de Marenches on 1st September 1976 with headquarters in Cairo (369). Besides Turki al-Faisal's recommendation, Cercle participant General Fraser had also been advising the Shah to accept the 6I's help: 'he had raised with the Shah the question of financial assistance for our group, in return for our advice and expertise in combating the wave of subversion that threatened to sweep him off his throne' (370). Fraser advised Crozier to involve ISC Council member Sir Robert Thompson whose counter-insurgency experience during the Malayan campaign and the early stages of the Vietnam War could be useful in the Iranian context.
"In August 1978, the Shah reversed his previous decision and invited the Cercle to Teheran; although Violet was prevented from travelling due to ill-health, Crozier, Elliott, Thompson, and a team of advisors flew to Teheran on 3rd September. The Cercle team stopped off in France to pick up Antoine Pinay, whose long acquaintance with the Shah would add authority to the Cercle's proposals. The Cercle team met the Shah for two and a half hours, but were struck by his apathy. They then went on to discuss the situation with two top SAVAK officials, General Motazed and the head of the research department, Kaveh. The Cercle and SAVAK officials discussed a plan to distribute leaflets to split the tacit alliance between the Shiite fundamentalists and the Communist Tudeh party.
"The time was past however for such subtleties; the commander of the Teheran garrison General Oveissi, who had planned to meet the Cercle team, was unable to attend due to the unrest in the Iranian capital. The Cercle's visit came at a crucial time: the caretaker Prime Minister resigned the day after the Cercle's meetings, and martial law was declared four days later, just after the Cercle team's return to London. FARI got to work, producing Ian Greig's Iran and the lengthening Soviet shadow.
"In early November, the Shah finally decided to give the go-ahead for the Cercle to intervene, and the top civilian in SAVAK flew to London to spend a full week closeted with Robert Moss transforming a pile of SAVAK reports on Communist influence in the revolution into an ISC Conflict Study. Following publication of Moss's Conflict Study The Campaign to Destabilise Iran in November 1978, the Shah authorised a first annual payment of £1 million to the 6I for a psychological action operation, but the decision to involve the 6I further would come too late as the Shah would be overthrown in January 1979 before the payment could be made."
(Rogue Agents, David Teacher, pgs. 177-178)
According to Teacher, the 6I still had some dealings with Iran even after the Shah was overthrow as Crozier thought the climate was ripe for a counter coup against Ayatollah Khomeini. Nothing ultimately came of these plans, however.
Le Cercle's ties to the Islamic world are most compelling. Despite the militancy Opus Dei and some other Catholic orders have had against Islam, Le Cercle none the less seems to have made close cause with the monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Iran until the Shah's overthrow. I also suspect that there were close links between Le Cercle and elements within the Turkish deep state as well. As I noted before here and here, there were very close ties to the SMOM and Opus Dei-dominated Propaganda Due and the Turkish nationalist Grey Wolves outfit. Unfortunately, not a lot of research has been done along these lines.
|Grey Wolves banner|
The support of the Safari Club for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan is quite telling, however. Here religious extremism was blatantly used against the Soviets with Le Cercle's support. Possibly the most curious aspect of this arrangement, however, is the involvement of Eastern Establishment luminaries linked to Le Cercle in launching the Afghan project. When Jimmy Carter was elected to the US presidency in 1976, he did it on a campaign in that promoted "detente" (a concept much despised by Crozier, as noted before here) as the foundation of his foreign policy towards.
Detente had first gained prominence among US foreign policy circles during Henry Kissinger's time in the Nixon and Ford administrations. Kissinger himself had been a Le Cercle visitor as had David Rockefeller. Rockefeller would go on to found the Trilateral Commission with Zbigniew Brzezinski, probably the elite organization most vigorously engaged in the pursuit of detente during the 1970s. Carter's administration was loaded with Trilateralists such as Brzezinski, who served as Carter's National Security Advisor.
And yet it was Brzezinski, with the urging of David Rockefeller, who pushed the Carter administration into abandoning detente in favor "competition" with the Soviet Union in the Middle East.
"... By the time SALT II was signed in 1979, Carter had consented to significant new weapons programs and arms budget increases (reversing his campaign pledge). By the end of his presidency both Vance and his ally Paul Warnke, the chief negotiator of SALT II, were gone. Most significantly, PRM-10 reinforced Brzezinski's ideological overreactions in the Middle East. In a speech before the Foreign Policy Association, Brzezinski identified a so-called arc of crisis around the Indian Ocean, where the Soviet Union was poised to capitalize on regional instability. As State Department official Henry Precht later recalled: 'There was this idea that the Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets. It was a Brzezinski concept.' Soon before the fall of the shah and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan were interpreted by Brzezinski –paranoically rather than accurately – as proof of Soviet expansiveness and designs on the region...
"Brzezinski mobilize support for his positions by creating a special coordination committee (SCC) in the White House, chaired by himself, to deal among other things with sensitive operations, covert activity, and crisis management. In his memoir Brzezinski wrote that he 'used the SCC to try to shape our policy toward' a number of issues, of which the first listed by him is the Persian Gulf. In this way, in the words of South Asia specialists Diego Cordovez and Selig Harrison: 'As he boasts in his memoirs, Brzezinski had steadily eroded Vance's power.... This control over covert operations enable Brzezinski to take the first step towards a more aggressively anti-Soviet Afghan policy without the State Department's knowing much about it.'
"More specifically, Brzezinski stymied Vance's efforts to negotiate a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, coupled with 'a broader "mutual restraint" agreement covering both Iran and Pakistan.' Again, from Cordovez and Harrison: 'The United States government was itself divided from start between "bleeders," who wanted to keep Soviet forces pinned down in Afghanistan and thus to avenge Vietnam, and "dealers," who wanted to compel their withdrawal through a combination of diplomacy and military pressure.' This led to the killing of Vance's proposal by Brzezinski, 'in one of the least-noticed but most important of his many clashes with Vance.' Even in the late 1980s 'the "bleeders" fought against the Geneva Accords until the very end.'
"Since then, and to the state, America has had to cope with the consequences of Brzezinski's reckless adventurism.
"Although right-wingers like Barry Goldwater and the John Birch Society continued to complain about Carter's trilateral administration, the trilateralist ideology had shown in practice to be less relevant than the trilateralists' sociology. In the latter the dominant figure was ultimately Brzezinski because of his proximity to his former mentor, David Rockefeller, and those around him. Two events... contributed to the demise of detente during the Carter presidency. These were the fall of the shah in 1979 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a year later."
(The Road to 9/11, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 67-68)
Certainly these concession seems to indicate that Le Cercle's vision for the Soviet Union had begun to surpass that of groups like the Bilderbergers and the Trilateralists and their quest for peaceful coexistence by the late 1970s. The 1980s, dominated by Cercle favorites Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, would witness a new militancy that would lead to the total destruction of the Soviets by 1991. And a key component in this strategy was the Cercle preference for religious extremism as a counterbalance to Communism.
|Muslim fighters in Afghanistan during the 1980s|
In this context it would seem that religious extremism in various forms was totally acceptable in accomplishing the long term goals of Le Cercle. For this reason this researcher has no hesitation in describing the politics of this organization as clerical fascism. Certainly Le Cercle's numerous ties to religious extremists bares this label out.
Indeed, clerical fascism could be described as one of the two guiding lights of Le Cercle's foreign policy. The second, implied in the title of this series, is even more shocking. In the next installment I shall begin to delve into this truly disturbing aspects of Le Cercle. Stay tuned.