Welcome to the second installment in my examination of the origins of the so-called Patriot movement, a phrase often applied to tax protestors, sovereign citizens, militia types and fringe Christian sects driven by a conspiratorial (and frequently apocalyptic) world view. It is the contention of this series, and future sequels that will follow it, that this movement was hardly some type of grassroots, anti-Establishment challenge to The Power That Be, but was in fact a PSYOP and terror campaign that had its origins in a World War I-era industrial security network developed by the FBI and military intelligence.
While officially disbanded in the wake of WWI both the military and the FBI would encourage the network's architect, General Ralph Van Deman, to revive it in a private capacity by the end of the 1920s via financial support. Over time General Van Deman put together a nation-spanning intelligence network that combined reports provided by the military and FBI; corporate security departments, private detective firms, and the American Legion; and most likely superpatriot groups such as the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies and Church League of America.
The ASC included members and groups who would become deeply involved with the modern day Patriot movement, as did the World Anti-Communist League (WACL). The WACL is another self-described "think tank," though more international in nature. It brought together various far right groups from across the globe, more than a few of them with ties to "former" Nazis and their collaborators as well as their Imperial Japan counterparts. Indeed, it would effectively become the major international front for fascism in the second half of the twentieth century.
Beyond this, the WACL would also become one of the largest drug cartels in the world by the 1960s, if not sooner. It would remain as such well into the 1980s, with various member organizations likely continuing in this capacity for years after the WACL's heyday was long past.
The WACL also established its own intelligence network that would offer military and financial assistance to various far right regimes the world over. By the 1970s, with the emergence of Operation Condor (an assassination and terror program supposedly started by the Chilean DINA, but which included participants from Italian neo-fascists, anti-Castro Cubans, and other groups associated with the WACL), it would seem that the WACL had gone even beyond this and had become actively engaged in the so-called "Dirty Wars" that would ravage Latin American for decades to come. During the 1980s the WACL network would play a major role in the Reagan regime's "private aid" network that helped destabilize Central America and lent a hand in Afghanistan and southern Africa as well. All of this was documented extensively in my examination of the WACL, which can be found here, here, here and here.
|the ASC and the WACL comprised two key pieces of Ronnie's Mighty Ray Gun|
While the Patriot movement has come to encompass a wide range or groups and personages, the bulk of its ideology can effectively be traced to three major sources: the John Birch Society, the Liberty Lobby, and the Posse Comitatus. These three "organizations" (this is a lose application of the word, especially concerning the Posse) would effectively mold the modern Patriot movement into what it is today. Let us briefly consider the ideological underpinnings of these three strands.
The John Birch Society was easily the most mainstream of these organizations, with the bulk of its efforts geared toward conventional lobbying techniques (i.e., letter writing campaigns) and education. The JBS is effectively responsible for much of the libertarian-oriented wing of the far right – their chief adversary was communism, which they perceived the United States as falling prey to. The JBS raged against everything from trade unions to fluoride in the water. The Federal Reserve system and the graduated income tax were specially sore points, which they saw as evidence behind a communist conspiracy amongst America's elite.
The Liberty Lobby was a little more radical, but not quite to the extent that some of its critics have long charged it as being. Like the JBS, the Liberty Lobby mainly concerned itself with "educating" the public and occasionally trying to field a political candidate even if its ideology was more extreme. While there was much ideological overlap between the John Birch Society and the Liberty Lobby, the Lobby was openly racist (unlike the JBS), with a special obsession with the Jews. They also perceived a communist conspiracy at play, but they viewed it through a prism of race, with the Jews at the center of the conspiracy. Virtually all of the modern day "historical revisionism" concerning the Holocaust derived from this wing.
Finally there is the Posse Comitatus, which was for years the most militant wing of the Patriot movement. The Posse, which was always closely associated with Christian Identity "theology," made some efforts at educating the public, but it was generally interested in action more direct (in terms of legalities as well as violence) than elections. It is from this wing that much of the modern day militia movement as well as the sovereign citizen ideology derives.
For our purposes here we shall start with the Liberty Lobby, as the forces behind the John Birch Society and the Posse Comitatus were more closely related (though all three wing shared a loose affiliation). The alleged architect behind the Liberty Lobby was mysterious Willis Carto.
"Founded in 1958 by Willis Carto, the Liberty Lobby emerged out of a long tradition of explicitly anti-Jewish conspiracy theorizing among a group of white supremacist intellectuals. Little is known about Carto's personal background, but aside from his attraction to esoteric racialist tomes like Francis Parker Yockey's Imperium, Carto was also committed to mass-based organizing. He was an early participant in the Congress of Freedom, which drew racist and grassroots anticommunist activist together for a series of high-profile national conventions. In San Francisco in 1955, Carto organized the Congress of Freedom's conference against U.S. participation in the United Nations.
"That same year, Carto also began publishing a monthly newsletter, Right, which promoted the activities of a wide range of right-wing groups. (Carto, for example, heralded the establishment of William F. Buckley's National Review in 1955; years later, Carto and Buckley would sue each other for libel.) Early issues of Right focused on the potential of small and obscure right-wing parties... Right also reported admiringly on the Citizens Councils. Carto used the newsletter to try to synthesize the thinking of grassroots anticommunist groups with theories of white supremacy. Carto's rhetorical approach was to frame the problems of Soviet 'expansionism' and anti-colonial national liberation movements as racial, not political and economic, in their origins and implications...
"Besides stressing white supremacy, Carto also promoted the conspiratorial analysis of world events. He drew his reader's attention, for example, to the purported role of U.S. elites in the spread of anti-Western, 'communist' subversion."
(The Roads to Dominion, Sara Diamond, pgs. 85-86)
"In the 1980s, Liberty Lobbyists would earn reputations as promoters of holocaust revisionism and for the electoral career of Klansman David Duke. During the late 1960s and 1970s, however, the Lobby focused, among other issues, on opposing United States-Soviet consular treaties, school busing to achieve racial integration, and income taxes. As with the Birch Society, the Lobby's agenda was consistent with right-wing support for militarism and traditionally unjust race relations, and opposition to the state's redistribution of wealth and expansion of civil rights."
(ibid, pg. 149)Due to the Lobby's long-time support of Holocaust revisionism (Carto co-founded the Institute for Historical Review) it still receives praise from leading Jewish conspiracy theorists. Self-described revisionist historian Michael A. Hoffman II recently cited the path Carto helped set him on, noting:
"As a heretic these many years (I was a voracious and reasonably precocious reader as a kid, and 44 years ago, in 1969, I stumbled upon a booklet published by Willis Carto, The Myth of the Six Million -- my career as a thought criminal was launched)..."
Pearson, despite his longstanding ties to blatantly racist organizations, would gain a certain degree of respectability by the mid-1970s, years after he had already begun his association with Carto. It was at this point that his ties to powerful establishment figures became evident, most notably via his links to powerful conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Security Council, and the World Anti-Communist League. In point of fact, the British-born Pearson would briefly become the head of the American branch of the WACL in the 1970s when he also served as the organization's chairman.
"Pearson moved to the U.S. in 1965, merging his magazine Northern World with a Willis Carto publication to form Western Destiny, which Pearson edited for a short time. The magazine had over two dozen racialists and anti-Semites on its masthead, including Austin App and C.M. Goethe, honorary president of the American Coalition of Patriotic Societies. Pearson published four monographs in 1966 that represent the core of his ideas. One monograph, titled Race and Civilization, was 'based on Professor Hans F. K. Gunther's Racial Elements of European Civilization. Gunther was a top Third Reich racial theoretician and Pearson associate from the Northern League...
"Pearson's monograms are still offered by neo-Nazi booksellers today. The Wall Street Journal quoted Pearson as saying 'I'm not ashamed of anything I've said or written.'
"Pearson moved to Washington in 1975. Within a year his Council on American Affairs was sponsoring seminars and publishing monograms with persons such as Edwin Fuelner, president of the Heritage Foundation; Ray Cline, former C.I.A. deputy director; and others who would later become high officials of the Reagan Administration. His Council also became the U.S. chapter of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), an international network including fascist, followers of the authoritarian Korean cult-leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and neo-Nazis.
"Pearson became the editor of the American Security Council's Journal of International Relations and served on the board of the ASC's American Foreign Policy Institute. His journal co-editors were James Jesus Angleton, former C.I.A. deputy director for counterintelligence, and Robert C. Richardson III, the retired Air Force general who worked in the Air Force's Politico-Military covert operations branch. At the time he was working with the ASC and Pearson, Richardson was also aiding the Wilson-Terpil operations to Libya, involving secret gunrunning and explosive transfers. He was also active in various ASC-spawned groups, such as the Security and Intelligence Fund and Coalition for Peace Through Strength. The Council of American affairs is also a member of the Coalition for Peace Through Strength.
"Pearson was a member of the editorial board of Policy Review, the monthly Heritage Foundation magazine, during this period. In 1977, Heritage officials reciprocated, joining Pearson's Journal of Social and Economic Studies. When Pearson decided to host the 1978 World Anti-Communist League (WACL) conference in Washington, D.C., he was well established with American and European Nazi networks, as well as the far right of the Republican Party and the New Right. The WACL meeting was not a total success for Pearson, however. The Washington Post warned of 'The Fascist Specter' behind the WACL and highlighted the conference participation of an Italian fascist party, American neo-Nazis, and Pearson's own racialist background. Pearson's name soon disappeared from the Policy Review masthead. However, ASC president John Fisher, who addressed the WACL meeting, did not drop Pearson from the American Foreign Policy Institute board."
(Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party, Russ Bellant, pgs. 60-61)
|Pearson is on the left|
|MSI (top) and Ordine Nuovo (bottom) banners|
"The letter from President Reagan is a source of pride in Roger Pearson's small office in downtown Washington, D.C.
You are performing a valuable service in bringing to a wide audience the work of leading scholars who are supportive of a free enterprise economy, a firm and consistent foreign policy and a strong national defense.
Your substantial contributions to promoting and upholding those ideals and principles that we value home and abroad are greatly appreciated.
"The letter had been a boon for Pearson, who used it in soliciting donations and subscriptions to his magazine and to show the approval of conservatives, up to and including the president, of his myriad activities...
"In fairness to Reagan, the president was probably not aware of some of Roger Pearson's past activities. Yet when White House officials were told Pearson's background, they neither disavowed nor repudiated the letter. What the president had done was offer his support – and provided a very useful fund-raising tool – to one of the most persistent neo-Nazis in the world."
(Inside the League, Scott & John Lee Anderson, pgs. 92-93)
Apparently the "thought-crime" rabbit hole behind Carto includes presidential endorsements.
And make no mistake about it folks, Pearson and Carto were close associates for years. Indeed, Carto was chiefly responsible for bringing Pearson's ideas to an American audience. Throughout the 1960s Carto was the chief publisher of Pearson's writings in this country. But this is only scratching the tip of this partnership, which has quite murky origins indeed. You see, Carto and Pearson first officially began collaborating in the late 1950s when both were involved with the mysterious Northern League.
"Carto's connections in the segregationist right led him to join a mysterious organization called the Northern League for Pan-Nordic Friendship. Both Earnest Sevier Cox and William Stephenson were also Northern League (NL) members. Cox addressed a Northern League gathering called the Teutoburger Moot in July 1959 in Detmold, Germany; Stevenson left the southern-U.S. branch of the Northern League operate out of The Virginian's office and served as an assistant editor of the Northern League magazine Northern World. (Besides Northern World, the NL also published the Northlander out of its Scottish headquarters. After Carto joined, the League's West Coast headquarters became Right.)
"The Northern League was officially launched in March 1958. A Scotsman named Alastair Harper ran its European wing from League headquarters in Dunfermline, Scotland. The League's founder and Central Organizer was Roger Pearson, an Englishman who at the time of the League's creation was living in Calcutta, India. Pearson and Harper also wrote for Oswald Mosley's high-brow fascist publication The European in the mid-1950s.
"The NL quickly established branches throughout the United States and Europe, including a cell for the Western part of the United States created in 1958 through Right. In 1959, Roger Pearson went on an extensive tour of the United States that included stops in New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, and New Orleans. His visit to the States were part of an NL organizing drive that had already taken him to Teheran, Istanbul, Vienna, London, and Scandinavia. A highlight of the American trip was the Alphafest Moot' run by Carto, the NL's San Francisco Alpha Group Organizer. The Moot was a three-day program of talks and seminars, and included an outdoor picnic in California's Redwood country.
"Pearson's biopolitical arguments were reflected in a 1960 essay by Carto ... entitled 'Cultural Dynamics: Why Do Civilizations Decline and What Can Be Done About It?' Carto believed that, although The Decline of the West had accurately chronicled the fall of great civilizations, Spangler had failed to supply a 'why' for the decline. Cultural dynamics argued that the collapse of empires was the result of an influx of alien ideals, religions, and peoples. Its adherents advanced a policy of 'strict anti-imperialism' against the 'disastrous trend towards cosmopolitan formlessness and disintegration of all different cultures, races, and nations.'
"Yet it was the vision of a noble future that most inspired Carto: In an all-italic paragraph, he wrote: 'Is men perhaps a bridge to something finer, greater, handsomer, more noble than ourselves? Yes, the dreams that our genetic and cultural unit – our people – my dream began with Darwin and Nietzsche.' In another italicized sentence, he asserted: 'What assists the process of evolution is good; what assists the process of devolution is bad.' Carto, who called his mix of 'ethical humanism' and genetic utopia 'Evotism,' concluded his essay: 'I am an Evotist.'
(Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan, pgs. 469-470)
And what is an "Evotist?" Coogan seems to imply that it is a follower of the Italian fascist and occultist Baron Julius Evola, a prospect that should dramatically arch the eyebrows of regular readers of this blog. As was addressed during my examination of the World Anti-Communist League, there is compelling evidence that Baron Evola was one of the major figures in the post-WWII fascist underground. The Baron had been an asset of the SD, the chief intelligence arm of the SS, throughout the war and seems to have been deeply involved in setting up an underground for the Nazi regime once it was evident that the war was lost.
"... Well before the end of World War II, the intelligence and financial networks of the Third Reich were hard at work preparing underground networks to survive the coming Allied occupation. Escape lines to South America and the Middle East were organized. Bank accounts were created in Switzerland and other neutral nations to finance the underground with plunder the Nazis had looted from occupied Europe. But how was this secret empire to be managed, except by a virtually invisible 'government in exile'?
"For years Evola had been fascinated by knightly orders as expressions of the Kshatriya caste of warrior aristocrats. In the former structure of the SS, he saw the precursor to a new Ordenstaat, a State ruled by an Order. He also understood the great advantages provided by medieval orders of chivalry due to their transnational composition. Proceeding orders, like the Knights Templar and the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, were pan-European, the separate national sections... unified through a Council, presided over by a Grand Master. After the collapse of fascist state power, a new Order, an 'invisible college' of sorts, was needed not only to manipulate bank accounts and travel schedules, but to have policymaking functions. Nor could it simply be run under the auspices of the Vatican, since Evola believed that Rome's downfall had been caused by the acceptance of Christianity by the dominant faction of the Roman elite. The Emperor Constantine's official embrace of the 'gentle Nazarene' in 313 A.D. had accumulated, a hundred years later, in Alaric's sack of Rome. With the American chewing-gum imperials threatening in the West, and the new Hun sweeping in from the East, was the situation in 1945 really so different? The Order was a vessel for those 'Hermetic' elements of the Conservative Revolution, old ruling class, and new Nazi elite not entirely beholden to the political, cultural, and religious 'Guelf' wing of the European aristocracy, which remained ideologically loyal to the continued propagation of the ruling Christian mythology.
"This account of the origins of the Order is obviously speculative, and I advance it is hypothesis, not fact. Yet if I'm correct the SD really did have a need for Evola's unique talents. With his extensive knowledge of matters esoteric and occult; his fascination with secret societies and knightly Orders; his Waffen SS transnationalism; his ties to some of the highest figures in fascism, Nazism, and movements like the Iron Guard; and his loyal service to the SD, Baron Evola was a perfect candidate to help theorize a new underground Order. As the SD's equivalent of Albert Pike, the former Confederate Army general who designed the rituals for the Scottish Rite Masons in the late 1800s, Evola's task was to help create the inner organizational and ritual structure for the Grand Masters of a secret Shamballah whose financial nerve center was carefully hidden away in Swiss bank accounts."
"With the war rapidly coming to an end, however, the Order lacked the time to implement its plans. With support from the top RSHA leadership, a deception game was begun with both Allied intelligence and the Catholic Church. Utilizing Wall Street and Vatican fears of communism, some of Himmler's top cronies, like SS General Karl Wolff, became Damascus-road converts to a 'kinder, gentler' SS eager to establish friendly relations with both the Americans and the Holy See."
(ibid, pgs. 320-321)
"The Northern League, then, appears to have been an activist branch of a pan-Europeanist faction inside the Fascist International...
"... a full evaluation of the Northern League remains incomplete. What does seem clear is that in the mid-1950s a powerful axis developed inside the far right around the Northern League, the IAAEE, and publications like Right, The Virginian, True Seeker, Northern World, The Northlander and Mankind Quarterly. This network advocated a new biopolitical line in both crude (Carto's 'I am an Evotist) and sophisticated (A. James Gregor) arguments that challenged volkish race theory."
(ibid, pgs. 484-485)
|Mankind Quarterly, one of the fine publications put out by Pearson's circle|
At some point in the late 1980s Carto had come into control of a large sum of money inherited from the mysterious figure of Jean Farrel, a wealthy American widow who held Columbian citizenship and had lived out her final years in Switzerland. This money was supposed to go into the coffers of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR, which would later be merged with Legion of the Survival of Freedom) but instead Carto had put it into an account held by a corporation named Vibet, Inc. Eventually there was a coup within the Legion-IHR which pitted Carto against his former underlinings in court for control of the Farrel funds. During the trial, which unfolded in the mid-1990s, some very interesting things came out about who Carto had been associated with.
"The legion's difficulties had been compounded, apparently, because of the ingenuity of Henri Fischer named as a defendant, along with Vibet. Fischer's reputation for international intrigue and double-dealing far exceeded any of Carto's own. Apparently born of French parents and raised in French Indochina, Fischer lived alternatively in Australia in California in the 1960s and 1970s. He also traveled internationally, including to destinations in the Arab Middle East and North Korea, and was rumored to be connected to one intelligence agency or the other, most probably the Central Intelligence Agency. According to Australian press reports, during the 1960s Fischer was part of an ultraright clique in the country's Liberal Party and published in internationally distributed anti-Semitic journal. The Australian Labor Party apparently deputized him in 1975 as its bagman in a deal with Iraq's Baahist Party. Laden with postelection debt, the Liberal Party arranged for a five-hundred-thousand-dollar 'contribution' from Iraq to be picked up in Japan by Fischer and brought Australia. Fischer apparently did travel to Japan with two Iraqi officials and received five hundred thousand U.S. dollars, but he never deliver the money to the Labor Party. Instead, he absconded with the funds, losing a pair of 'bodyguards' at a Singapore hotel in the process. His ex-wife contended several years later that he used the money to buy home in San Diego County, where he subsequently settled.
"Fischer's home was actually a five-acre estate in Escondido, complete with a full guesthouse and tennis court, surrounded by chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. Willis and Elizabeth Carto were rumored to have lived on this estate for more than two years, at the same time as a man named Michael Brown, who had once been a bodyguard for George Lincoln Rockwell, the American Nazi party fuhrer assassinated by one of his own men in 1967. When the Cartos needed their own home, they acquired a multi-acre estate of their own, also in Escondido. And when Carto needed assistance securing and then disposing of the Farrel funds, according to the legion's lawsuit, he turned to Fischer, who then helped set up Vibet, Inc., and made other arrangements for a tidy sum of two or three hundred thousand dollars. On the witness stand, Carto could not remember how much his friend had been paid...
"Webb's attorney questioned Carto about the expenses incurred in securing the Farrel legacy. Lawyers had to be highered, and a host of details handled in Switzerland. A huge sum, eight hundred thousand dollars, was paid to a man Carto described as an 'expeditor,' Mr. Francois Genoud. The legion's attorney began spelling the name for the record. 'I don't believe I gave the name,' Carto interrupted, but the attorney continued. Despite prodding from both attorney and judge, Carto didn't want to discuss Genoud in open court, but was forced to.
Attorney: Now Mr. Genoud was a well-connected man?
Attorney: And he's a well-respected banker, or was when he was alive?
Attorney: Why did you choose Mr. Genoud to be your expeditor, sir?
"Carto's attorney objected to the question, but the judge overruled.
Carto: Because in knowing him and discussing things with him and... and because he was available, I felt that he would be effective in performing the personal contact that he was capable of.
Attorney: Mr. Genoud was a personal friend of Adolf Hitler, correct?
"Francois Genoud was more than an aging, well-connected Swiss banker who once knew Adolf Hitler. In the immediate post-World War II period, Genoud helped finance the escape of Nazi war criminals from Europe, acquired the literary copyrights of Hitler and two of his most significant adjuncts – Martin Bormann and Joseph Goebbels – and used a Swiss banking fortune to underwrite the nexus of wartime Nazis with a sector of postwar Arab nationalists. Most famously, he also helped the hijacking of a Lufthansa airplane in 1972, engineering the ransom demand by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Genoud's continued devotion to Hitlerian causes was when all known to journalists and Nazi hunters. But his direct link to Willis Carto had never been made public before it became part of the transcript in California."
(Blood and Politics, Leonard Zeskind, pgs. 443-445)
"Genoud, too, was in the thick of things, having established a friendship with SS General Karl Wolff, leader of the German team in Italy that negotiated Operation Sunrise with Dulles. Shortly after the war, Genoud acquired the publishing rights to the works of Adolf Hitler, Martin Bormann, and Joseph Goebbels. He also played a major, if murky, role in aiding fugitive Nazi war criminals. Another key player in the postwar Nazi underground resident in Switzerland was SD Colonel Eugen Dollmann, General Wolff's chief lieutenant in the talks with Dulles. Besides Wolff, Dollmann and Genoud had another friend in common: Haj Amin el-Hussien, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Genoud first met the Grand Mufti in Jerusalem in 1936, and again in Berlin during the war. Dollmann also maintained links to the Grand Mufti."
(Dreamer of the Day, Kevin Coogan, pg. 585)
But as incredible as it may seem, this underground Nazi network may not even have been the most vile association Carto kept. In the next installment of this series we shall consider this association before moving along to the Bircher and Posse Comitatus wings of the Patriot movement. Stay tuned.