The modern Patriot movement emerged shortly after the declaration of the Cold War though it had already been in the making for decades. Its origins lie with various super patriot groups such as the American Protective League (APL) that sprang up during World War I and the "non-interventionist" groups that began to appear in the years leading up to the Second World War. Many of these group surrounding the World Wars had direct ties to one another and many of these "Americanist" activists would lend a hand to the Cold War-era Patriot movement as well.
|the APL would be used by US intelligence services first to weed out German agents during WWI, then to hunt down communists during the nation's First Red Scare|
Obviously, many of these characteristics were passed on to their descendants in the Cold War-era groups that spurred the modern Patriot movement. These latter organizations also acquired the same self-delusions of their forebears, namely that they were some type of grassroots, anti-establishment movement. This could not be further from the truth.
As was noted in my examination of the American Security Council (a lobby group that had extensive ties to the modern-day Patriot movement throughout its heyday; said articles can be found here, here, here and here), many of these pre-World War II groups were not only well-funded and featured support from major corporations and wealthy individuals alike, but they also had deep ties to the US intelligence community. Consider, for instance, the saga of John Trevor Sr. A military intelligence officer shortly after World War I, he was involved in organizing a vigilante group to protect New York City from "subversive" elements (an actively that was almost surely done on behalf the joint military/FBI industrial security operations).
"... a Harvard-educated lawyer and industrialist descended from a signer of the Declaration of Independence and... a member of New York's social elite, had served as an officer in military intelligence just after World War I, a role in which he 'made his own rules, gave himself his own assignments,' according to a colleague at the time. For example, Trevor Sr. developed a plan to suppress a mass uprising of Jewish subversives in New York City, going so far as to order 6,000 rifles and a machine gun battalion for deployment in Jewish neighborhoods in anticipation of a disturbance that never took place. Keeping secret ties to military intelligence even after his return to civilian life, the elder Trevor became, according to one historian, 'one of the most influential unelected individuals affiliated with U.S. Congress,' testifying in the hearings that led to the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924 and crafting its plan to designate national quotas for each country based on the number of residents in the United States in 1890, before the bulk of the immigration from southern and eastern Europe. To defend the quotas, in 1929 Trevor founded the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies, which quickly became an umbrella organization for numerous far-right groups; later named as the coalition's 'honorary president' was C. M. Goethe, a president of the ERA who strongly recommended the 'marvelous eugenics program of Hitler' as a model that the United States must adopt if it were to have any chance of becoming 'Germany's successful rival.'
(The Funding of Scientific Racism, William M. Turner, pgs. 60-61)
|John Trevor Sr. was one of the first of what would become a staple of the American right: "Patriotic" immigration reformers|
"John Trevor... were among fifteen Americans whose names appeared inside a 1933 Nazi book, recommending it for an American audience. Begun with an endorsement by Adolf Hitler, the book contains such statements as 'The total contrast to Jewish-Marxist-Bolshevikism is exclusively represented by German National Socialism.' In 1942... the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies was named by the Justice Department as a factor in the sedition charges brought against those thought to be aiding the Axis.
"... John Trevor... and... associates all became patriotic anticommunist after World War II, however, aiding Senator Joe McCarthy, lobbying for a more intense cold war, and supporting reprieves for convicted Nazi war criminals...
"John Trevor was a leader of a group, Ten Million Americans Mobilizing for Justice, attempting to prevent the censure of Joe McCarthy. It's leadership represented a Who's Who of American anti-Semitism. At their 1954 rally for McCarthy, a female photographer taking pictures of the special guest section of Time magazine was physically assaulted amid shouts of 'Dirty Jew' and 'Hang the communist bitch!'"
(Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party, Russ Bellant, pgs. 32-33)
|the "conspiracy" against Joe McCarthy would become a fixture of the Patriot movement by the 1960s|
And the same can also be said of their Cold War-era predecessors.
It is the purpose of this series and future sequels to expose the Patriot movement for what it truly is: A decades spanning PSYOP and terror campaign directed at the American public. I realize that I'm opening a can of worms here and thus I feel compelled to make a few disclaimers off the bat:
First, it is not my intention to label everyone who has ever shown interest in the movement as an extremist or worse. Recluse has spent most of his life living in the South and grew up with a father long fascinated by Patriot ideology. I realize that the bulk of people who have become involved with the movement over the years are decent people. The same can not be said, however, of the forces behind the movement as I shall endeavor to reveal.
Secondly, I'm not trying to argue that ever tenant of the movement is untrue. Indeed, the best and most effective propaganda often sticks to facts while avoiding telling the entire story.
For instance, one of the long standing allegations of the Patriot movement is that the United States has been totally controlled by a group of banking elites (aka, the "Eastern Establishment") with ties to international "think tanks" such as the Round Table groups, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberg group since the end of the Civil War. This is partly correct – the Eastern Establishment did dominate the American political landscape (though never totally controlled it) from roughly the end of the Civil War to the 1960s. But the long despised Eastern Establishment was not the only game in town and by the end of the Second World War it was facing some stiff competition: the rising tides of the military-industrial complex, the oil cartels, and organized crime. What's more, this economic shifts also conferred much more power on military men themselves as well as the emerging US intelligence community (more information on this power shift can be found here).
It was this latter faction that the Patriot movement was aligned with, one that would unite far right ideologues from business, the military, and the US intelligence community in a united front against the waning Eastern Establishment, which they had long viewed as soft on communism.
With this in mind, let me take the opportunity now to dispel two long-standing myths surrounding the Patriot movement before beginning in earnest concerning its origins. The first is the movement's long-standing claims of poverty –it often depicts itself as perpetually underfunded, in stark contrast to liberal grassroots movements. In point of fact, the Patriot movement was not even a true grassroots movement during its inception as many of its early supporters came from upper-middle-class backgrounds. Consider the supporters of the John Birch Society, the first major organization of the modern day Patriot movement:
"One detailed study of members' demographics and political attitudes found the Society's membership to be disproportionately young, upper middle class, well-educated (in technical fields more than in liberal arts), Protestant fundamentalists in religious orientation, and favorable towards the Republican Party. Membership was strongest in the southern and western regions of the country, and the relatively less populated states, and in areas characterized by recent population influxes. Over 50 percent of those sampled held high-status occupations and earned upper-middle-class incomes. The study suggested a relationship between the Protestant fundamentalism of Society members, with its emphasis on personal sin and responsibility, and their attraction to conspiracy theories, which tend to elevate the casual importance of the misdeeds of individuals over that of larger social forces. In terms of political attitudes, the study found Birchers to be advocates of an increased role for states' rights versus the authority of the federal government, of reduced government spending on social programs, of a tougher military policy to win decisively against communism (e.g., in Vietnam), and of less use of non-military foreign policy initiatives, such as the efforts of the United Nations. Birchists opposed medicare, social security, farm subsidies, pro-union legislation, disarmament, and foreign aid. They wanted a return to the gold standard and a reduction of government regulation over business. In essence, the politics of Birchists were characteristically right-wing; they opposed government policies to distribute wealth and power more equitably, and they endorsed government policies to enforce traditional order at home and abroad.
"The policy preferences of Birchists were consistent with those of other right-wing organizations, both the elite in mass-based..."
(Roads to Dominion, Sara Diamond, pg. 55)
|Bircher Ralph Westfall speaks in favor of the Vietnam War in Hyde Park circa 1965 amidst protests from the budding counterculture|
"Before and after the formation of the John Birch Society, corporations played a major role in rallying the public to the anticommunist cause. One study of corporate anticommunist education programs traced the trend to the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act which granted employers the right to distribute literature to counter labor union organizing. By 1963, corporations were spending an estimated $25 million per year on anticommunist literature distributed to consumers and to employees at the job site. Sponsoring corporations included major firms such as Goodyear Tire, Minnesota Mining, Boeing Airplane Co., Jones & Laughlin Steel, Texas Power & Light, as well as smaller companies that came to be associated with grassroots groups like the John Birch Society: Knott's Berry Farm, Dr. Ross Dog Food, Cherokee Textile Mills, Allen-Bradley Corporation, and others. Some corporations circulated print and audio-visual materials produced by the John Birch Society; other companies produce their own in-house literature. Coast Federal Savings and Loan Association in Los Angeles conducted one of the largest customer education programs, distributing millions of leaflets and booklets at a cost of about $250,000 a year.
"Coast Federal provided customers with a 'Patriotic Program Log,' listing radio and television schedules and corporate sponsors for leading anticommunist broadcasters: Paul Harvey, Billy James Hargis, Fulton Lewis Jr., Reverend Carl McIntire, Dan Smoot, and Dean Manion. By the early 1960s, the Nation magazine reported that there was a minimum of 6,600 corporate-financed anticommunist broadcast, carried by more than 1,300 radio and television stations at a total annual budget of about $20 million. Broadcast themes included opposition to foreign aid, the United Nations, the Supreme Court, labor unions, medicare, and 'forced integration.' Leading sponsors included Texas oil billionaire H. L. Hunt and Howard, J. Pew of Sun Oil. The corporate sector's massive anticommunist propaganda campaign created a favorable climate for the mobilization of activist groups like the John Birch Society."
(ibid, pg. 52)
Keep in mind that this massive putsch was unfolding even throughout the 1960s, a timeframe typically associated with hippies and the counterculture. Indeed, the conspiratorial right has long depicted such things as a well-funded, elite-controlled PSYOP. And such an allegation is not without a grain of truth. For instance, it's undeniable that the spread of LSD to the general public was facilitated in no small part by the CIA. That being said, however, there is precious little to indicate that the acid culture that emerged from it was somehow preplanned. In point of fact, the US intelligence community as a whole was genuinely shocked by these developments. The conservative men of the CIA and military had by and large never viewed LSD as anything more than a weapon. The notion that millions of Americans would find the taking of it pleasurable, and some would even view it as a kind of sacrament, was by and large a revelation.
|not especially useful for promoting imperialism or even consumerism|
"One of the reasons for the importance of the Far Right in America, despite it's clear oddities, is that it has at its disposal an incredible amount of money; had the Far Left but half as much no doubt, the revolution would already have taken place. Careful studies of a decade ago estimated that between $20- and $30-million was spent on Far Right activities, and this has surely increased since..."
(Power Shift, Kirkpatrick Sale, pgs. 99-100)Another major myth promoted by the Patriot movement is that of legal harassment. In point of fact, outside of notorious orders such as the Ku Klux Klan, there was not a serious attempt by the FBI or any other federal agency to crackdown on the Patriot movement for decades. Consider, for instance, the timidity of COINTELPRO-type (COunter INTElligence PROgram was a 1960s-era FBI operation designed to infiltrate, discredit and/or disrupt political organizations) operations against the Posse Comitatus (which was, for years, by far the most militant and violent of Patriot groups) despite claims to the contrary.
"The basic radical-right complaint that it had been the target of COINTELPRO abuses was justified, even if the rhetoric used to denounce the government was steeped in bigotry and exaggerated claims. However, it is difficult to make the case that the Bureau's investigation of the Posse included illegal COINTELPRO-style methods. Little evidence exists to support the charge, either in the Bureau's own records, in news reports, or from other sources. Unlike its treatment of dissident groups under J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI seemed to respect the constitutional rights of Posse members. Among other things, it closed investigations early – sometimes too early – as soon as it judged that the targeted individuals were engaged in constitutionally protected activity and were not planning any crimes. This is a far cry from the 'anything goes' mentality of the Hoover era. A more serious problems stemmed from the on-again, off-again investigative approach taken by local officers where agents – out of laziness, sympathy with right-wing groups, or concerns for career advancement – did not appear to take the Posse Comitatus very seriously. The memos from Director Kelly may have clamored for more substantial information from the field, but investigating right-wing hate groups was not a path to promotion in the Bureau – that came more readily to agents who distinguished themselves by working 'real' cases involving bank robbery, kidnapping, and murder. The consequences of this dynamic proved embarrassing two decades later when, in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, the Bureau had to scramble to get up to speed on the right-wing hate groups because it failed to devote sufficient resources to the problem much earlier."
(The Terrorist Next Door, Daniel Levitas, pgs. 137-138)
Even Hoover's assaults against the Patriot movement were rather mild. For instance Robert DePugh, the founder of the Minutemen (one of the first major, nation wide paramilitary movements since prior to WWII), was taken down in 1969 (in Truth or Consequence, New Mexico no less) but by this time evidence suggests that the most militant wing of the Minutemen had already been taken over by a former military intelligence officer who would continue to operate unfettered by law enforcement until the mid-1980s. A reoccurring theme amongst Patriot movement arrests is that the figures taken down are frequently either buffoons or aging members whose usefulness is long past while clever and vigorous operators go about their merry business.
|as shall be examined in a future installment this series, Robert DePugh's Minutemen were likely being used as a front for a farm ore serious paramilitary organization|
While rarely acknowledged, it seems that much of the ideology of the modern-day patriot movement was derived by various former high-ranking military officers, more than a few of them with a background in intelligence, who became obsessed with the "communist conspiracy" in the wake of the Second World War. One of the earliest and most adamant proponents of such things was General Albert Wedemeyer. As was noted in one of my installments concerning the American Security Council, General Wedemeyer had spent extensive time in Germany in the 1930s where he developed close ties to both the military and the Nazi party. Wedemeyer is widely suspected as the leaker of the "Rainbow 5" documents that revealed US military plans prior to the nation's entry into the Second World War.
In the post-WWII era Wedemeyer was still expressing admiration for the Nazi regime while warning of the Judaic-communist conspiracy.
"Wedemeyer's career deserves scrutiny. He was part of a military circle that was anti-Jewish. A few years after the war, Wedemeyer wrote a letter to his close friend, retired Col. Truman Smith, that Zionists, the British and communists made America's entry into the war certain. Later, Wedemeyer stated that 'most of the people associated with communism in the early days were Jewish.'
"He further claimed that Roosevelt's Jewish advisers did everything possible to spread venom and hatred against the Nazis. He stated that during his attendance at the German War College in 1936, his eyes were opened to the number of Jews in the American government by reading the Die Frankfurter Zietung and Die Berliner. The Nazis control both papers.
"In 1937, Wedemeyer linked the shortage of food in Germany to the Jewish question. Using the embassy's attaché stationery, Wedemeyer wrote to friends dismissing the food shortage as caused by poor weather and crop failures. He claimed the Jews in other countries have bought up the enormous quantities of foodstuffs and intentionally diverted the shipments from Germany.
"As late as 1958, Wedemeyer was still voicing pro-Nazi opinions. He ignored the Nazis racial ideology, describing Lebensraum as merely a national movements to win living space. Wedemeyer used the same historical analogues as the Nazi propagandist, comparing the German invasions and expansions eastward with the American expansion westward..."
"Wedemeyer opposed creating the State of Israel, as did Black and other members of his circle of friends. After retiring, Wedemeyer became a writer for the John Birch Society and a member of the American Security Council."
(The Nazi Hydra in America, Glen Yeadon & John Hawkins, pg. 243-244)
"Gale leaned back, eyes narrowing. 'When General Fellers was in the Middle East, he submitted a plan to the War Department and to the White House that would have ended World War II in 1942 with Germany. His plan was to provide B-24's, which had just come into mass production in the United States, to air bases in Turkey and the Middle East, which were already secured with 400,000 displaced Allied troops. The German Army had its full ground strength situated 2,000 miles into the Ukraine, with only one supply line, against the communist, the Red Army. And the Germans had no plans – all our military intelligence confirm this – the Germans had no intention of invading Britain!
"'Germany had not one troop in the northern coast of Europe as far as ground strength was concerned. And, all that we had to do was bomb out that one supply line with B-24s... The Germans were fully committed against the communists in the Ukraine with a supply line 2,000 miles long! Germany would have had to surrender, and the war would have ended in 1942.'
"His eyes became coldly brilliant. 'And, that was General Fellers' plan. And when that plan hit the War Department, the fur flew. General Fellers was relieved the next day as military advisor to the Middle East. And that's why he was sent to the Southwest Pacific.
"'Well, I said, what's wrong with winning the war like that, against Germany? Fellers said, "Oh, they had broken my code and Winston Churchill had said before the House of Commons that he would not allow General Fellers to come to the European theatre even with the OSS." He did not want him to have anything to do with it. He had broken General Fellers' code and intercepted that message and put the heat on the White House.
"'I couldn't figure all this out. And then General Feller said, "Well, what they don't know is that I broke their code, too. And I know what they did. I have the evidence that Churchill and Roosevelt made a deal with the communists, the Soviet Union, to give Germany to the communists in exchange for leaving the Middle East as a sphere of British influence after the war ends."' He fell silent, gazing sightlessly out the window."
(Committee of the States, Cheri Seymour, pgs. 44-45)
|General Bonner Fellers|
Another military intelligence officer who played an enormous role in the spread of communist conspiracy theories was Colonel John Beaty.
"The book, Iron Curtain over America, first published in 1951, scared the military community half to death. Its author, Colonel John Beaty, had written or collaborated on a dozen books, many of which were used in hundreds of colleges and universities. His education (M.A., University of Virginia; Ph.D., Columbia University; post-graduate study, University of Montpellier, France), his travels in Europe and Asia, and his five years with the Military Intelligence Service during World War II created the background for his research."
(ibid, pg. 217)Iron Curtain over America was enormously influential amongst the Patriot movement in the years following its publication and is still considered a classic in certain branches of the conspiratorial right, most especially the Jewish conspiracy strands, to this day.
"And in 1951, a former intelligence officer published the most the viscerally anti-Semitic books since the war, a work enthusiastically endorsed and promoted by three generals and an admiral: The Iron Curtain over America, still offered by neo-Nazi groups a half century later as an indispensable primer on the Jews. The Iron Curtain described a conspiracy to dominate the world in which the 'Judaized Khazars' behind Bolshevikism had infiltrated the U.S. government and fostered the war not to end dictatorship, but to kill Aryans and 'annihilate[e]... Germany, the historical bulwark of Christian Europe."
(The Funding of Scientific Racism, William M. Turner, pg. 29)
Beaty was, to the best of this researcher's knowledge, the first author in the wake of WWII to revive the highly controversial notion that modern Jews are not descendant from ancient Israel, but are Khazars who converted to Judaism in either the eighth or ninth century A.D. Beaty would argue that the Khazar Jews were behind the spread of communism and that they were stealthy taking over the United States.
"Lamenting the inhumane treatment of Germany after World War II by a 'Communist influenced America,' Beaty drew parallels between communism and Judaism, and ultimately outlined the great conspiracy; the right-wing notion that America have been infiltrated by communist/Jewish aliens, and was now ruled by a Zionist/Communist Occupied Government (Z.O.G.).
"The ancient tribe of people known as the Khazars from Russia were the descendants of the 'infiltrators' whom Beaty claimed immigrated to the United States and ultimately became Z.O.G..."
(The Committee of the States, Cheri Seymour, pg. 221)
And there you have to likely origins of "Z.O.G.," a notion conceived by a "former" military intelligence officer and promoted by the top brass. As the years went on the anti-Semitic elements of the "communist conspiracy" were gradually downplayed by the more "mainline" elements of the Patriot movement in favor of less controversial targets, such as the Freemasons and the Illuminati. But rest assured, a Protocols of the Elders of Zion-type slant was prevalent in virtually all of the early strands of such notions.
And it is here that I shall wrap things up presently. Now that I've briefly outlined some of the origins of the modern-day Patriot movement I can begin to get down to the real nitty-gritty, namely the three distinct strands that would define the movement to this very day: The John Birch Society strand, the Liberty Lobby strand, and the Posse Comitatus variety. All three were linked not only to the US military and intelligence community, but even more sinister forces, as shall be examined in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.