Friday, January 30, 2015

The Family Part IV

Welcome to the fourth installment in my ongoing examination of an organization variously known as "The Family" or "The Fellowship." Established in 1935 by a Lutheran minister named Abraham "Abram" Vereide, the Family became involved in political intrigues since its very inception. It quickly grew into an elite network of hardline Christians and wealthy doners that now spend hundreds of millions (and likely billions) on a host of causes in a given year. Every United States President since Dwight Eisenhower has attended the group's annual National Prayer Breakfast.

With the first installment of this series I considered the religious experience Vereide claimed lay behind the ideology of the Family as well as the group's origins after a "chance" encounter with a "former" military officers of some means the morning after Vereide's alleged experience. Part two addressed the group's early efforts in putting Arthur Langlie in office, first as the mayor of Seattle and later as Washington state's governor. Also addressed there are the possible ties the Family had with the FBI/military industrial security apparatus since the early days and the curious similarities between Vereide and Silver Shirt founder William Dudley Pelley.

The third and most recent installment began to address Vereide's pre-WWII fascist connections. Vereide flirted with Henry Ford for a time and developed ties with Dr. Frank Buchman, the founder of the Moral Re-Armament movement and vocal supporter of Nazi Germany. Buchman was the recipient of ample funding from Ford, who at the time was still employing William J. Cameron, a man some believe was the actual author of The International Jew and a key influence on the transformation of British Israelism into Christian Identity "theology." Also considered was the presence of arch fascist promoter Merwin K. Hart in the Family's inner circle. Hart would go on to be involved with a host of far right groups such as the American Security Council, the Congress for Freedom and the Liberty Lobby in the post-WWII years.

With this present installment I would like to consider Vereide's post-WWII efforts to save various Nazi and fascist collaborators as well as his efforts to guide the development of post-WWII Germany. Vereide seems to have been utterly convinced of the importance of this work as profound disillusionment set in during the waning years of World War II. As a proponent of a "New World Order" (as noted in part one), Vereide was initially supportive of the United Nations. This stance did not last long, however.
"A magnificent garden in the back grew upon the green ridge of Rock Creek Park, the narrow gorge that separated the property from the sculpted grounds of Dumbarton Oaks. It was there, in 1944 – the same year that Abram and his wife, Mattie, at last risen from her sickbed in Seattle, moved to the Christian Embassy – that Roosevelt and his advisers began planning the United Nations. Abram at first interpreted the United Nations as the result of divine intervention leading the secular world towards international acknowledgment that the truths of the world's religions were best summarized in the personality of Jesus. He turned his weekly congressional prayer meetings into lobbying sessions on the organization-to-be's behalf, and his most conservative prayer disciples – especially the old arch-isolationist Senator Arthur Vandenberg, converted to Cold War internationalism before World War II had even ended –  helped quiet American resistance to the endeavor.
"History, not his Christ, would disappoint Abram. After the war ended, after it dawned on him that the UN would not become an international Christian congress, after the atom bombs fell, after the Red Army boiled up to the edge of Western Europe and did not stop so much a simmer, waiting, Abram was certain, for  Stalin's command, for Satan's whisper – after he had taken stock of the war's victories and defeats, his anxieties and his enthusiasms grew more warlike than the UN could accommodate. Communism no longer meant the creed of insufficiently submissive worker; now it was as great and grand as Lucifer's kingdom, an evil empire that had launched 'World War III,' Abram decided. 'Most of these communists are in fact rebels and should be treated as rebels,' he said, waving the black flag of no mercy for those who disobey God – a sentiment his followers in developing nations would later make real by murdering hundreds of thousands of leftists.  Abrams fundamentalism was polite only within the confines of Washington; projected onto the world, it brought on violence and raised up those most capable of it."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 156-157)

The presence of Arthur Vandenberg in Vereide's circle during this timeframe is most interesting. Vandenberg is generally credited as one of the chief architects of the UN. He was also keeping some very interesting company during that time.
"...  John Foster Dulles wormed his way into Republican politics by befriending Arthur Vandenberg, a staunch isolationist from Michigan. Vandenberg collaborated with Dulles on the foreign policy planks of the Republican platform in 1944. At Vandenberg's insistence, Dulles accompanied him to the San Francisco organizing meeting for the United Nations. Dulles quickly leaked information to the press on the bipartisan agreement, poisoning negotiations."
(The Nazi Hydra in America, Glen Yeadon & John Hawkins, pg. 120)
Dulles was of course the Secretary of State under Eisenhower and the brother of Allen Dulles, the highly controversial director of the CIA from 1953 until 1961 who has been linked to a host of controversies including the MK-Ultra experiments and the Kennedy assassination. But moving along.

World War II had barely ended when Vereide began his ambitious program of "saving" the German people.
"In 1946, Abram undertook a mission to scour the Allied prisons in Germany for men 'of the predictable type' ready to turn their allegiance from Hitler to Christ, and thus, in Abram's thinking, America. In later years, Abram was say he had gone at the U.S. State Department's request, and while it's true that the State Department did send Abram and provide any support he needed, it was Abram who initiated the trip, writing to Undersecretary of State major John H. Hildring that the men of the Senate and House prayer groups had insisted that Abram carry 'the Idea' to defeated Germany. Abram sailed on the Queen Mary in June, launched  a prayer cell of Swiss bankers in Zürich, and flew from Frankfurt to Berlin on the private plane of General Joseph T.  McNarney, commander in chief of the U.S. Forces of Occupation, to meet with General Lucius D. Clay, soon to take over from Eisenhower as military governor. Everywhere he met with the 'Christian forces of Germany' – those who saw Germany suffering as penance for its embrace of the tolitarianism of a man rather than that of God. He found them all weeping, he wrote his wife, crying for their Fuhrer, for the thousand-year Reich in the grave at age twelve, for the dead and the missing and the blank-eyed boys who had stumbled home in retreat from the Russians. In the West he wept with them; in East Berlin, he prayed with 'secret cells' of Christians determined to overthrow communism. Even in the West, he believed 'atheistic devotees' of subversion – that is, those with strong anti-Nazi records, concentration camp survivors – had been elevated by an American military government blind to the threat posed by its eastern ally. 'Nominal membership' in the Nazi Party was being held against good Christians with the  necessary experience to govern. A coalition of leading German churchmen begged him to intervene, asking only that none the Christians be given authority.
"In Frankfurt Abram, with the churchmen and the pillars of the Third Reich to whom they introduced him, 'the most intelligent, honest and reliable people of Germany,' settled on a plan. They would provide Abram with a list of imprisoned men, 'war criminals' according to the view of a certain un-Christian element among the Allies. Abram's friends in the military government and back home in Washington would certify them as men not only to be released but to be used, according to their ability in the tremendous task of reconstruction. That September, U.S. secretary of state Jimmy Byrnes, under the advice of General Clay, delivered in Stuttgart a world-changing address, 'Restatement of Policy on Germany.' The burden of reparations would be lessened, Germany would be allowed to keep more of its industrial base, and the purge of National Socialism would soon come to an end: 'It never was the intention of the American government to deny the German people the right to manage their own internal affairs as soon as they were able to do so in a democratic way.'
"In Frankfurt, Abram claimed, God personally revealed to Abram a key man to  quietly help manage the internal affairs of Germany's elite: Dr. Otto Fricke, an austere  German churchman with an uncomfortable past..."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 157-159)
Let us consider some of Abram's "friends in the military government and back home" who assisted him in his bid to locate "key men" (see part one for an explanation of this concept as well as "the Idea") in the Third Reich for Germany's reconstruction. One of them was apparently the above-mentioned General Lucius Clay.

Clay's time as military governor in Germany has been much debated with some leaning towards a view that he genuinely sought to reform Germany but was hamstrung in these efforts by Operation Paperclip, an intelligence program in which the US recruited from the "talent pool" of the former Third Reich.
"General Lucius Clay was the man ultimately responsible for enforcing the denazification law. He was the military governor of the U.S. zone in Germany and served as commander in chief of  EUCOM and head of OMGUS. His views on denazification were far different from those of the intelligence officers involved with Paperclip. He was a hard-liner when it came to America's attempt to 'denazify' the entire German population and make them believers in democracy. 'Our job,' as I see it, 'is to see that only the right type of Germans are permitted to take leadership until democratic processes become a habit,'  Clay said.
"Clay strongly believed that all Germans, scientists included, needed denazification. Once he fired a scientific advisor who insisted the German scientists were not Nazis, an attitude that caused extreme friction in OMGUS. Clay complained bitterly to Assistant Secretary of State John Hilldring that the scientific adviser 'blamed Public Safety Branch severely for treating scientists as Nazis, even though the record is clear.' That record included the Dachau experiments conducted by scientists who were tried for murder in the Nuremberg Medical Case.
"Clay was getting criticism from both sides over how OMGUS was handling the  denazification of Paperclip recruits. On the one hand, The New York Times charged that Paperclip provided an escape route whereby ardent Nazis evaded the denazification process altogether. American officials in Europe generally absolved Clay of the blame. The critics told The Times that many of Clay's subordinates 'did not know what makes a Nazi or do not care so long as the German has good table manners, speaks good English and is efficient in the job assigned him.'
"On the other hand, military officers who recruited scientists for Paperclip in Germany were angry that US enforcement of denazification – stiffer than in the other three zones of Germany – hindered their recruiting efforts. Many Germans refused to sign Paperclip contracts because they were afraid that if they went to America prior to denazification, they risk being categorized as unemployable if they returned to Germany. Furthermore, competition was fierce, since the United States, Great Britain, France, and the USSR were all competing for the same man. The British offered the Germans a variety places they could go, including Canada, Australia, and Pakistan. The French offered higher pay. And, as one American officer noted, the Soviets offered everyone contracts, even Germans whose names were on automatic arrest lists.
"In this atmosphere JIOA officers were trying to solve two types of problem cases under Paperclip. The first group consisted of specialists ... who arrived in the United States before their denazification process even began. JIOA Governing Committee members suggested that General Clay handle these cases by trying the scientists in absentia. The scientists' Fragebogen  would be submitted to a court in Germany, while the scientist stayed in America. The JIOA Director Wev was afraid that pro-Communists might interrogate the scientists in court about their work in America if the group  was returned to Germany.
"But Clay's decision on the matter went even further than Wev's idea. He decided to forgo trials of any sort for Paperclip recruits. Clay noted the trials in absentia were not permitted even in cases of Nazis located in Germany. Special treatment like that would only draw attention to the project and indicate to the German people that special procedures would be used if American interests were involved. 'It would be much better to permit them to remain in the US as Nazis without bringing them to trial than to establish special procedures not now within the purview of the German law,' Clay concluded.
"Nevertheless, Clay's policy did in fact establish special procedures for the group. As one OMGUS official noted, 'we are, for the first time, removing a group of Germans from normal denazification process.' Paperclip policy already required US agencies to conduct background investigations of the scientists' Nazi past. Clay thought those investigations would exclude ardent Nazis from the group. But as noted earlier, the JIOA 'screeners' had turned those investigations into a farce.
"In the second type of cases, the JIOA officers brazenly flaunted of the law. This group involved scientists whose denazification process begun prior to their US entry. First, JIOA Director Wev asked Clay's personal adviser, Dr. Walter Dorn, to expedite the trials. Dorn was against the scheme because it contravened normal procedures. The Public Safety Branch did not think the request was unusual. Assigning of propriety of trials of individuals has been frequently carried out in the past so that it is almost routine,' Public Safety Branch officer G.F. Corrigan said.
"Perhaps expediting trials in special cases has become routine, as Corrigan said. What was not routine, however, was that once courts judged some of the scientists as ardent Nazis, the Germans quickly left for America while U.S. intelligence officers in Europe intervened in the court decisions."
(Secret Agenda, Linda Hunt, pgs. 96-98)
Some, however, have argued that Clay's attempts at "denazification" were never serious to begin with despite the motives of his subordinates.
"Both Clay and Murphy were largely responsible for convincing Truman that a punitive peace was unwise, and they immediately set about sabotaging the denazification program. Once the Kennan Doctrine emerged in 1946, Clay and Murphy both embraced it. Early in 1946, Gen. Clay banned dismantling German industrial plants for reparations. Both Clay and Murphy had a great influence in escalating the emerging Cold War. In 1948, Clay issued a warning to Washington that 'war may come with dramatic suddenness.' His frantic message came from an exaggerated threat assessment from Gehlen, claiming Soviets were mobilizing large numbers of troops in Eastern Europe. Gehlen was a former Nazi officer in charge of intelligence on the Eastern Front, recruited by OSS-CIA."
(The Nazi Hydra in America, Glen Yeadon & John Hawkins, pg. 354)
Reinhard Gehlen had developed an extensive intelligence apparatus that was known as the Gehlen Org or simply the Org. Gehlen and his minions would dominate the intelligence of West Germany for decades after the war despite his network being littered with Soviet agents (or perhaps triple agents...). The above-mentioned intelligence that Clay relied upon for his warning concerning the emerging Soviet threat has since proven to be grossly inaccurate and played a key role in escalating the growing confrontation between the US and USSR into the Cold War. Certainly the Family would not have objected to such developments.

In addition to Clay, Vereide seems to have had another Family friend who served as military governor of Germany. Journalist Jeff Sharlet notes:
"...  The cleansing of the American occupation government became an obsession, the subject of his meetings with the American high commissioner John J. McCloy and his weekly prayer meetings with congressman."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pg. 177)
While the agenda of General Lucius Clay are somewhat ambiguous, the same cannot be said for the man who replaced him: John J. McCloy. Much has been written concerning McCloy over the years by conspiracy theorists, much of it highly debatable. But few would dispute that McCloy was a major power broker in his day.
"Many of the men Roosevelt appointed to head the executive-branch bureaucracies shared his internationalist outlook and were themselves important members of the 'eastern establishment.' The best example is John McCloy, who served as assistant secretary of war from 1941 to 1945. Once the war ended, he was the US high commissioner to Germany and held this position until 1952. He then served as chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank from 1953 to 1960, and as chairman of the Ford Foundation from 1958 to 1965. He was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1946 to 1949, and then again from 1953 to 1958, before he took up the position at Ford. From 1954 to 1970, he was chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, to be succeeded by David Rockefeller, who would work closely with him at Chase Bank. McCloy, in fact, had a long association with the Rockefeller family, going back to his early Harvard days, when he taught the young Rockefeller brothers how to sail. He was also a member of the Draper Committee, formed in 1958 by Eisenhower. He dedicated his life to liberal internationalism and to profits."
(The War State, Michael Swanson, pgs. 51-52)
However David Rockefeller, in his biographer, painted his family's relationship with McCloy as rather strained.
"Given the similarity in our interest, I was disappointed that Jack and I never developed a close personal relationship. That may have been the result of the great differences in our early lives and a peculiar episode in Jack's that seems to have scarred him for life.
"Jack was born, as he often recalled, on 'the wrong side of the tracks' in Philadelphia. His father died when he was quite young, and it was only by dint of hard work and exceptional ability that he made his way through Amherst College and Harvard Law School, and on to a distinguished career.
"Despite his own great achievements, Jack seemed wary, perhaps even resentful, of what I appeared to represent in financial and social terms. Frequently at gatherings I attended, Jack related the story of his first contact with my family...
"Jack must have told the story in my presence a hundred times, the last time in 1985 when I succeeded him as chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. The story always made me feel uncomfortable.
"Jack's inability to resist retelling this anecdote demonstrated ambivalence towards me and my family, maybe even latent hostility. His feeling was probably deepened by a comment Nelson was said to have made to him at the time he became chairman of Chase. Nelson reportedly told them the 'family had used its influence' to make him chairman and that one of his jobs was to ensure that 'David would succeed him when he retired.' It seems quite possible that Nelson made the comment or one quite similar to it. He could be quite high-handed and no doubt thought he  was doing me a favor. But if Nelson did make a statement of this kind, it certainly was not the result of a family decision or a request from me. It would have been highly inappropriate for anyone in the family to make such a demand. Unfortunately, if the story was true, it may have permanently altered Jack's attitude towards me.
"In any event, Jack's ambivalence may have been a factor in his refusal to play a more decisive role with the directors of the bank in selecting his successor in 1959. His indecisiveness, whether its cause, would have profound consequences for me personally and for the bank. Quite possibly Jack could never look at me without remembering the long, dusty walk up the hill in Seal Harbor and the big wooden door being close quietly but firmly in his face."
(Memoirs, David Rockefeller, pgs. 154-155)
the Rockefeller estate at Seal Harbor
The incident in question was a rebuff of McCloy by a Rockefeller servant after he had traveled a great length to offer his services as a tutor to the Rockefeller brothers while trying to work his way through college and law school. Thus, while McCloy seems to have been firmly in the Eastern Establishment camp, he was not as seemingly tied to the Rockefellers as he is generally depicted.

Few, however, would dispute that McCloy played a key role in the release of numerous high ranking Nazi war criminals.
"Following the outbreak of the Korean War, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany John McCloy moved rapidly to resolve the U.S.-West German dispute over the Landsberg prisoners. He handpicked a legal review commission to advise him on clemency for the inmates, and the group then spent the next six months poring over the various appeals and request for mercy filed on behalf of the convicts. McCloy's commission refrained from any contact with the US Nuremberg prosecutors, however, and declined to review documentary evidence of specific acts of Nazi criminality that had been brought to light during the prisoner's trials.
"McCloy announced the recommendations of this task force in January 1951, only a few days after Seoul had fallen to Communist forces. He began by acknowledging the 'enormity of the crimes' committed by the prisoners at Landsberg and called for stern measures against them. But he then went on to argue that in some cases there was a 'legitimate basis for clemency,' as he put it, for example, when the Landsberg prisoner's sentence 'was out of line with sentences for crimes of similar gravity in other cases' or when the convict had had 'relatively subordinate authority' during the war, or when other mitigating factors were present.
"McCloy ruled that five of the criminals, including Einsatzgruppen commander Otto Ohlendorf and concentration camp chieftain Oswald Pohl, had to hang. He then subsequently reduced the prison sentences of seventy-nine other major Nazi war criminals, most of whom were set free within a few months of the court's ruling. The beneficiaries of this act included, for example, all the convicted concentration camp doctors; all the top judges who had administered the Nazis' 'special courts' and similar machinery of repression; fourteen of fifteen convicted criminals from the first Einsatzgruppen and concentration camp administration trial, seven of whom were released immediately; sixteen of twenty defendants and the second Einsatzgruppen mass murder case; and all of the convicted criminals in the Krupp corporation slave labor case, each of whom was released immediately.
"Equally important, McCloy's clemency decisions for the Landsberg inmates set in motion a much broader process that eventually freed hundreds of other convicted Nazi criminals over the next five years. Convicted I. G. Farben executive Fritz Ter Meer put the matter succinctly upon his release from Landsberg a few days after McCloy's clemency. 'Now that they have Korea on their hands, he quipped, 'the Americans are a lot more friendly. '"
(Blowback, Christopher Simpson, pgs. 191-192) 
Landsberg Prison
Keep Pohl in mind for we shall return to him in a moment. For now it is interested to note that McCloy allegedly informed John Loftus, a former prosecutor who is none the less something of a controversial source, that a certain religious authority pressured him to release any number of un-reconstructed Nazis, many of them with questionable pasts (to put it mildly).
"According to 1973 Thyssen corporate documents, Chase Bank secretly owns nearly a third of the Thyssen-Krupp Corporation, the wealthiest conglomerate in Europe. Both Thyssen and Krupp were convicted Nazi war criminals who are quietly released by John McCloy, the American High Commissioner Germany (HICOG). McCloy then became head of the Chase Bank. When I asked McCloy why he pardoned so many convicted Nazi war criminals, he claimed that he was pressured by the Vatican. McCloy, it should be recalled, also wrote the infamous wartime memo forbidding the bombing of Auschwitz."
(America's Nazi Secret, John Loftus, pg. 4 n5)
So much for McCloy. Besides the military governors of Germany, Vereide and the Family also had ample support in Congress for their endeavors in post-WWII Germany.
"'Humility begets power', Congressman Clyde Doyle of California preached to the prayer meeting convened by Abram to consider the problem of 'reconciliation' as V-Day approached. Let's take the gentleman from California at his word. Let us suppose that the politicians Abram gathered to dedicate themselves to the suffering of the German people – men such as Senator Alexander Wiley, the Wisconsin Republican who declared even Kennan's muscular manifesto 'panty-waist diplomacy'; Senator Homer Capehart, the Indianan who became the most vocal defender of former fascist 'rights' after the war; Representative Walter Judd, the ex-missionary from Minnesota; and Representative O.K . Armstrong, a jolly Missourian who thrilled to the sound of Bavarian oompah bands – were true believers, humble and powerful and eager to be of service for their suffering brethren.
"Consider Capehart, a Hoosier who'd invented the mass-production jukebox. 'The embodiment of Senator Snort with his vast paunch and triple chin, large cigar fixed permanently in his round face, Senator Homer Earl Kapor was a cartoonist's dream,' the South Bend Tribune would later eulogize him. Capehart was no Nazi; he was a Christian, a spiritual warrior, a red hunter, a vice president of Abram's organization, and a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations. Like Abram, Capehart only wanted to soothe the heartache of the most broken. 'The first issue' of the postwar situation, Capehart declared in a 1946 broadside against an unspecified 'vicious clique' within the Truman administration, 'has been and continues to be purely humanitarian.' Capehart spoke of the 'tragedy in Germany' – the rubble of Berlin, the empty stomachs of Hamburg – which such pathos that one might be forgiven for mistaking which side he had been on. Subsequent generations of neo-Nazis have done just that, endlessly recycling his speeches. 'Those who have been responsible for this deliberate destruction of the German state' – he meant not the policies of the Reich itself but Morgenthau's short-lived plan to 'pastoralize' the fatherland into a second infancy – 'and the criminal mass starvation of the German people have been so zealous in their hatred that all other interests and concerns have been subordinated  to this one obsession of revenge.'
"To Frankfurt and Berlin, Senator Snort and Abram and the Fellowship of the Senate dining room sent new suits, so the Germans could dust themselves off and emerge from the rubble clothed like gentlemen, and overcoats to protect them from the chill of the nation that burned what was left of its furniture to stay warm..."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 168-169)
And what of the Nazis themselves whom Abram intervened for? Certainly they are a most curious lot.
"... Men such as Hermann J. Abs, 'Hitler's banker' and a vice president of Abram's International Christian Leadership (ICL), German division; Gustav Schmelz, a manufacture of chemical weapons;  Paul Rohrbach, the hypernationalist ideologue whose conflation of Germany with Christianity, and most of Europe with Germany, had inspired the Nazis to understand their war-hunger as divine; and General Hans Speidel, who had accepted the surrender of Paris on behalf of the Fuhrer in 1940, insisted that he had never believed Hitler, had been forced into his arms by the Red Menace, and regretted the unfortunate alliance was such a vulgar fool , a disgrace to God's true plan for Germany. They had done nothing wrong; they, too, if one gave it some thought, were victims.
"Perhaps some of them were. This is one of the many clever strategies of fascism: persecution belongs to the powerful, according to its rules, both to dole out and to claim as the honor due martyrs. Abram did not ask questions; he simply took out his washcloth and got busy with the blood of the lamb. He scrubbed his 'new men' clean. Did it work?  Abs, 'Hitler's banker', became 'Adenauer's banker,' a key figure in the West German government's financial resurrection.  Schmelz kept his factory. Rohrbach wrote on, authoring tributes Abram's International Christian Leadership in the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
"And Speidel? He was a special case, a coconspirator with Rommel in the attempted assassination of Hitler, the 'July Plot' of 1944. There were something almost American about him; like Buchman, like Barton, he considered  Hitler's racial policies a distraction from his really good ideas. For this ambivalence, the Allies rewarded him: he served as commander in chief of NATO ground forces from 1957 to 1963, when Charles de Gaulle, unpersuaded of his reconstruction, insisted on his ouster.
"Such men are only a few of those whom Abram helped,  and by no means the worst....  there were 'little Nazis' Abram championed for U.S. intelligence positions, and there were big ones: Baron Konstantin von Neurath, Hitler's first foreign minister, General Oswald Pohl, the last SS commander of the concentration camps, among them. For those beyond hope of blank-slate reinvention, Abram and his web of Christian cells pled medical mercy (von Neurath, sentenced to fifteen years for crimes against humanity, was released early in 1953; Abram took up his case upon learning from von Neurath's daughter that her father, classified as a 'Major War Criminal,' was receiving less than exemplary dental care in prison) or expediency (it was unjust, they fell, the Pohl, who while imprisoned by the Allies wrote a memoir called Credo: My Way to God --a Christ-besotted  path that did not include acknowledging his role in mass murder – should be left wondering when he would be hanged).
"When occupation forces charged Abs with war crimes, he offered a novel defense. He did not deny what he had done for Hitler; he simply declared that he done it for money,  fascism be damned. He would gladly do as much for the Allies. And so he dig, a task of which he so excelled that he would come to be known as the wizard of the 'German Miracle.' His past was forgotten – a phrase that must be written in passive voice in order to suggest the gentle elision of history in the postwar years, undertaken by those eager to see a conservative German state rise from the ashes, a sober son of Hitler's fatherland that would inherit the old man's hatred for one radicalism but not his love of another.
"When, in 1982, the Simon Wiesenthal Center delivered to the public a massive case detailing Abs's crimes – among them the looting of the Third Reich's riches on behalf of Nazis fleeing to South America – Abs, not long retired from his spot at the helm of the Deutsche Bank, must have felt a sense of annoyed déjà vu. Would the world condemn his financial machinations for the glory of the Reich? Then it must also reject those on behalf of capitalism's easternmost bulwark in Europe, America's most crucial ally in the Cold War, the Federal Republic of Germany: a nation in which the past became the  crass obsession of 'materialists,' those who prefer brute 'memory' to more modern, more spiritual affairs."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 165-168)
As noted above, Pohl was one of the Nazis whom McCloy had intervened on behalf of. It was to be a brief one, however, as Pohl was ultimately hanged in 1951. McCloy was also apparently instrumental in setting up Abs in his plush postwar position.
"McCloy was advised that the Peck Commission: David Peck, a judge in the New York  Appellate Division; Fredrick Moran, chairman of the New York Board of Parole; and Brig. Gen. Conrad Snow. The Peck Commission was only authorized to reduce sentences, not to challenge the legal decision of guilt. While the Simpson Commission was limited to reviewing the trials held at Dachau, the Peck Commission was limited to the trials at Nuremberg.
"It was not until McCloy's appointment as High Commissioner that he opened the doors of Landsberg Prison. McCloy insisted until his death that releasing the war criminals was not politically motivated, but nothing could be further from the truth.
"The industrialists' trial, once considered of equal importance to the main Nuremberg Trial, ended because the Soviets blockaded Berlin. Even as the convicted directors of Krupp and IG Farben were being taken to Landsberg, they knew there was little prospect of serving their sentences. Germans and the fascists in America believed that they were just the innocent victims of left-wing fanatics. The Nazis' allies in the United States were successful in smearing the trial as such. In Landsberg, the prisoners settled into a comfortable routine. McCloy controlled his empire through weekly visits from his lawyers and business associates. He chose Herman Abs as his financial advisor. Abs, already 'rehabilitated' by Gen Clay, headed the Reconstruction Loan Corp.
"When McCloy arrived as High Commissioner, there already was a concerted drive to rebuild German industry as a bulwark against the Soviets. Abs informed McCloy that the key to Germany's recovery and cooperation was the release of the industrialists from Landsberg. McCloy also was told the same by Karl Blessing, a war criminal whom Allen Dulles saved. In fact, McCloy could have been told that by any German citizen."
(The Nazi Hydra in America, Glen Yeadon & John Hawkins, pgs. 368-369)
Its interesting to note that Abs would later go on to foil David Rockefeller's bid to establish a consortium in Europe on behalf of Chase Bank.
"While the development of a global branch network was critical to Chase's emergence as a multinational bank, so, too, was our ability to expand into other international financial areas, particularly investment banking. Lacking the needed expertise ourselves, we decided to form a consortium with some of our oldest European and British banking friends to provide international bond underwriting and loan syndication.
"We approached three banks in the Rothschild group. Since both Evelyn de Rothschild, chairman of L.M. Rothschild, and Leon Lambert, chairman of Banque Lambert (a Rothschild through his mother), were personal friends, I had positive initial conversations with them.
"At the same time we met with Hermann Abs, chairman of the Deutsche Bank in West Germany; Alfred Schaefer, chairman of the Union Bank of Switzerland; and Marcus Wallenberg of Sweden, whose family controlled the Stockholm Enskilda Bank. Of these three, only Wallenberg expressed interest and agreed to proceed. Abs and Schaefer, the two most powerful and influential European bankers of their day, were decidedly negative to the proposal. Despite that, we thought the combination of Chase, the Rothschild-related merchant banks, and the prestigious Enskilda Bank gave us substantial strength and was worth doing. After extensive negotiations with the leaders of the other institutions, I thought we had hammered out a firm deal. A press release was ready for distribution following a luncheon at Chase in the fall of 1966 at which the new bank was to be launched.
"Late in the morning of the appointed day, only hours before the announcement, Marcus Wallenberg, Jr., came to see me at my office at Chase Plaza. He was obviously distraught. As he stammered out his story, I learned why. Earlier that morning Marcus had paid a courtesy call on J.P. Morgan and Company, Enskilda's principal U.S. correspondent bank. Senior Morgan executives told him the proposed consortium bank was unacceptable to them and implied they would retaliate if Enskilda proceeded with the venture. Marcus had then called his father in Stockholm and received instructions to withdraw from the consortium. Despite my efforts to change his mind, young Marcus said he was sorry but his father's decision was final.
"When young Wallenberg announced Enskilda's withdrawal at the lugubrious luncheon, the aristocratic Evelyn de Rothschild responded by saying that without the Swedish bank, L.M. Rothschild was not prepared to sign the final papers, either. Although I suggested we delay a decision to see if we can find another European commercial banking partner, it was painfully clear that our plan for a Chase-led consortium had fallen apart. I heard later that both Abs and Schaefer had put pressure on Wallenberg and the Rothschild group to withdraw from the venture. The Europeans were simply not going to allow a large and aggressive US commercial bank into their territory without a fight. My desire to create an investment banking vehicle for Chase would have to wait."
(Memoirs, David Rockefeller, pgs. 206-208)
Abs was heavily indebted to the Family, which does not seem to have had especially cozy relations with the Eastern Establishment. The move by Abs to block the Rockefeller-led Chase from gaining ground in Europe may have been a part of the ongoing domestic struggle between the Eastern Establishment and the military-industrial complex. This conflict was addressed at greater length here.

So, what of Operation Paperclip? Did the Family play some type of role in it? At this point it is well known that the Vatican was deeply involved in this project. As noted above, John J. McCloy allegedly claimed his pardoning of numerous Nazis was the result of pressure brought to bear by the Vatican. But at the same time the Holy See was breathing down McCloy's neck, the High Commissioner was also meeting with Vereide. Was the Family working in conjunction with the Vatican? Unfortunately, this question has not yet been seriously explored by researchers with more resources than your humble author.

And it is here that I shall wrap things up for now. In the next installment we shall begin to consider some of the Family's postwar efforts, in which the years the group spent accumulating power began to pay off. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Family Part III

Welcome to the third installment in my ongoing examination of the highly controversial Christian organization variously known as "The Family" or "The Fellowship." In the first installment I broadly outlined the organization, which dispenses millions (and likely billions) of dollars yearly to various causes and which holds an annual National Prayer Breakfast that has been attended by every sitting US President since Dwight Eisenhower. The background of Family founder Abraham (Abram) Vereide and the alleged religious experience than inspired the organization were all discussed in that installment.

With part two I began to examine the origins of the group admist the labor struggle in the Pacific Northwest (but especially Seattle) that erupted in the mid-1930s. Originally the Family was begun as a labor busting organization, at the urging of several former military officers. This is rather curious as the military and FBI employed a host of anti-labor groups as a part of industrial security during the First World War. The practice had quietly begun again the late 1920s when labor unrest once gain began to emerge. The murky netherworld of industrial security was examined in greater depth before here.

Also considered was the potential ties between Vereide and his group and William Dudley Pelley and the Silver Shirts. Seattle and Washington state on the whole were a stronghold for the Silver Shirts and Vereide shared certain similarities with the arch fascist Pelley.

Pelley with the Silver Shirt
 This would hardly be the only time Vereide's path would cross with those of individuals with a certain fondness for fascism. One such individual was a man of some means whom Vereide had courted prior to his founding of the Family in 1935.
"... In 1932, Abram took as a Bible student Henry Ford. By then, the automaker was a wizened old leather strop of a man, wary of controversy. He had been the American publisher of the notoriously fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an anti-Semitic fantasia concocted in czarist Russia to justify pogroms against Jews, and the other The International Jew, a book many Nazis would later credit with awakening their Aryan anti-Semitism. During the previous decade, historians suspect, he illegally financed Adolf Hitler. But it was not just national socialism's bigotry that Ford supported, nor even mainly that. What Ford, inventor of the assembly line, loved above all was efficiency. Even his war of words against the Jews had been in the interests of standardization, purging of 'others' from the American scene. And yet, in 1932, Ford wanted certain details of his campaign for American purity to disappear. He wanted to sell cars to Jews. He was need of a makeover, a quick bath in the Blood of the Lamb.
"Ford's wife heard Abram speak in Detroit and insisted that he meet with her husband, no doubt guessing that Abram's theology of biblical capitalism would sit well with the tycoon, an eccentric religious thinker who had been raised on populist American fundamentalism. Abram and Ford traded Bible verses through a series of meetings in Ford's offices, and then Ford invited Abram to his home in Sudbury, Massachusetts. 'They were together two days,' records Abram's biographer Grubb, '[Ford] unloading about spiritual, intellectual, and business problems, and Abram seeking to give the answer for himself and the nation.' Abram thought Ford 'befuddled,' full of half-baked religious notions gathered from partial readings of Hindu texts and theosophy. 'The question was,' Abram thought, 'How could he be untangled?'
"Their meetings continued in Michigan. Abram was drawn like a moth to the great man's wealth – to the possibility that Ford might put his tremendous worldly resources behind the campaign for government by God. But he was frustrated by Ford's failure to settle on one simple fundamentalist explanation of life and the universe, until, at their final meeting, Ford finally shouted, 'Vereide, I've got it! I've got it! I found the release that you spoke of. I've made my surrender. The only thing that matters is God's will.' 
"But Ford continued to see divine will best expressed in German fascism. As Hitler's power grew, Ford became more comfortable expressing his admiration. It was mutual; the Fuhrer hung a portrait of Ford behind his desk and told the industrialist, on a visit Ford paid to Nazi Germany, that national socialism's accomplishments were simply an implementation of Ford's vision.
"That was a perspective that, unlike theosophy, gave Abram no pause..."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 122-123)
This seems to have been a time when Ford was surrounded by a host of rather novel approaches to Christianity. In the early 1930s a long time Ford associate would become involved with Howard Rand's bizarre Anglo-Saxon Federation.
"Another factor was also responsible for the Anglo-Saxon Federation's growth, the involvement in its affairs of William J. Cameron. Cameron and Rand apparently met at a federation meeting in Detroit in 1930. He was certainly present at the Detroit convention in May of that year, when he was named to the federation's executive committee. He served as the organization's president in the mid-1930s and remained in leadership positions until the end of the decade.
"While Rand was a faceless functionary, Cameron was a public figure, indissolubly linked to the career of the man he served from late 1918 until 1946 – Henry Ford. Cameron had begun as a writer for Ford's weekly, the Dearborn Independent. He became its editor in early 1921 and remained in the post until the paper ceased publication in 1927. However, by about 1920, Cameron had also begun to serve in a broader capacity as Ford's link with the media. He remained in complete charge of Henry Ford's personal press relations from the mid-1920s until the early 1940s. Since Ford spoke little and was often incomprehensible when he did speak, Cameron became the indispensable interpreter and intermediary, bringing the great man's thoughts to a public hungry for the wisdom of the premier industrial statesmen.
"In addition to his involvement with Henry Ford, however, William J. Cameron was a committed British-Israelite... "
(Religion and the Racist Right, Michael Barkun, pg. 31)
And indeed it was British-Israelism that the Anglo-Saxon Federation dedicated itself to the spread of. British-Israelism is an ideology that essentially holds that the Anglo-Saxons and other European ethnicities are the actual descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and not the Jews. During the post-WWII years it morphed, in American initially, into the more militant Christian Identity theology. Cameron was a key figure in this change. He was also the editor of The Dearborn Independent during the publication of the Protocols and is also widely believed to be the man whom actually wrote The International Jew. Much more information on Cameron can be found here.

While I've found nothing to indicate that Vereide and Cameron had ever met one another, it seems unlikely the Vereide would not have been aware of Cameron by the time he encountered Ford. At that time Cameron had already become something of a minor celebrity during the Sapiro trial and was vigorously promoting the Anglo-Saxon Federation. Cameron was also a close friend of Ford's and controlled much of the automaker's access to the media. It hardly seems a stretch that Cameron may have been present during some of Vereide's meetings with Ford.

While Ford wisely kept his distance form Cameron's religious lobbying he vigorously supported another preacher who openly praised Hitler and fascism.
"Ford was not known to be generous or supportive of charities, either, he never contributed any large sum to anyone, with one exception: the Moral Re-Armament movement led by Dr. Frank Buchman, a notorious fascist and a Lutheran minister.
"Buchman preached a philosophy of pacification of labor through the use of force. Followers of Buchman read like a who's who in the anti-union movement, such as Harry Chandler, the reactionary publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and Louis B. Mayer. With this program for pacifying labor, Buchman rabidly opposed communism and praised Hitler: 'I thank heaven for a man like Adolf Hitler, who built a front line of defense against the anti-Christ of Communism.'
"While many of his apologists claim Hitler deceived him, Buchman never renounced fascism or changed his fascist views of labor. The main reason the Moral Re-Armament group has persisted to the present, despite its controversial views, are the pro-business and anti-labor stance, and the support it received from such leaders as Ford. Buchman also was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous."
(The Nazi Hydra in America, Glen Yeadon & John Hawkins, pg. 196)
a poster for Moral Re-Arament
Buchman's dealings with Nazi Germany were quite extensive.
"Buchman had just returned from the Olympic Games in Berlin, orchestrated by Joseph Goebbels as a visual symphony of black and red swastikas and eagles and the long, lean muscle of Aryan athleticism. Most of the world would remember the 'Nazi Olympics' for the African-American athlete Jesse Owens, but Goebbel's spectacle achieve its desired effect on Buchman, who left Berlin with a surging admiration for the vigor of the Third Reich. In particular, Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the Gestapo, had impressed him as a 'great lad,' a man whom he recommended to his followers in British government. The sentiment, to be fair, was not mutual. After World War II, Buchman's followers, eager to 'wash out' their leaders past, would produce Gestapo documents condemning Buchmanism, though in terms not exactly reassuring: Himmler, it seems, saw Buckman's Moral Re-Armament as too close of a competitor to national socialism.
"In 1936, flush with the excitement of Hitler's Olympics, Buchman gathered some American Oxford Group men at a house party at a Lenox, Massachusetts, estate. The Oxfordites sat on the floor in their tweeds as Buchman described the vision he brought back with him.
"'Suppose we hear were all God-controlled and we became the Cabinet,' he said. Then he designated the World-Telegraph reporter secretary of agriculture and pointed to a recent Princeton graduate...  to replace Cordell Hull, Roosevelt secretary of state. Around the room he went, referring not to the talents of his followers but to their willingness to govern by Guidance.
"'Then,' he continued, 'in a God-controlled nation, capital and labor would discuss their problems peacefully and reach God-controlled situations.' The distribution of wealth would remain as it was, but the workers would be content to be led by employers who were not greedy but God-controlled. Echoing the words of U.S. Steel's James A. Farrell that had so inspired Abram in 1932, words which the Fellowship repeats to this day, Buchman declared, 'Human problems aren't economic. They're moral, and they can't be solved by immoral measures.'
"In 1936, when men such as Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh openly admired Hitler, it was still safe to name the style government to which these words pointed. Human problems, Buchman told his little group that night in Lenox, require ' a God-controlled democracy, or perhaps I should say a theocracy'. Just as good, said Buchman, would be a 'God-controlled Fascist dictatorship.'"
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 129-130)
Buchman's influence on the far right, and especially the Christian right, would continue in the post-WWII years. One of his "greatest" contributions was the influence he had on Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church. Wayne Madsen, in an article that originally appeared in Inside Magazine, noted:
"Buchman, clearly wishing to obfuscate about his pro-Nazi ties before the war, turned his attention towards Asia, particularly Korea. One Korean Presbyterian preacher, who took an interest in Buchman’s Moral Rearmament principles of a universal religion and total personal submission, was Yong Myung Mun of North Korea. He later changed his name to Sun Myung Moon and, after being expelled from the Presbyterian Church for preaching heresy, he established a right-wing, nominally Christian sect called the Unification Church. Like Vereide and Buchman, Moon began to spread his influence globally... 
"Buchman died in 1961 and his Moral Rearmament Movement in the United States soon gave way to the Unification Church of Moon. Moon began to penetrate the United States with his “missionaries” in the 1960s. In 1972, Moon made his first journey to the United States. His number one priority was to take over control of the U.S. government by getting his followers elected to office. Moon traveled the country in what he called his International One World Crusade. As with Buchman, Moon kept his initial meetings small – house parties were used to entice converts – and like Vereide and Coe, groups were organized into small “cells.” And as with Vereide’s prayer breakfasts and Buchman’s “crusades,” hundreds of politicians around the country were duped into extending official welcomes to the enigmatic Korean."
As was noted before here, the Unification Church has also displayed indoctrination techniques that eerily resemble behavioral modification methods being researched by the CIA and Pentagon under the banner of such projects as Artichoke and MK-ULTRA, been linked to numerous terrorist organizations (thanks in no small part to its vigorous support of the World Anti Communist League, an organization that brought together various third world dictators and death squads into contact with a cabal of "former" Nazis, religious extremists, US military and intelligence officer and international drug lords in what was officially described as a front against the spread of communism) and drug trafficking. But moving along.

It probably goes without saying, but the paths of Buchman and Vereide had crossed. In point of fact, Buchman seems to have had an enormous influence on Vereide's ideology.
"In the early 1930s, he and Abram crossed paths. Buchman was in Ottawa to perform soul surgery on Canadian members of Parliament, and Abram, fresh from what would prove to be his short-lived salvation of Henry Ford (Ford would later require renewal by Buchman, for whom he built a retreat in Michigan), was lecturing in Canada on behalf of Goodwill Industries. The two met, and Abram suggested to Buchman that he come on with  Goodwill as a chaplain, to infuse the organization with his 'life-changing' evangelical fervor. Buchman answered by proposing a Quiet Time.
"Besides confession of sexual sin, Quiet Time was the core practice of Buchmanism: a half-hour-long period of silence in which the believer waited for 'Guidance' from God. Guidance was more than a warm feeling. It came in the form of direct orders and touched on every subject of concern, from the transcendent to the mundane. 'The real question,' Buchman would preach, 'is, "Will God control America?" The country must be "governed by men under instructions from God, as definitely given and understood as if they came by wire."' Guidance meant not just spiritual direction but declaring one's own decisions as divinely inspired. 'We're not out to tell God,' Buchman announced to an assembly of twenty-five thousand in 1936. 'We're out to let God tell us. And He will tell us.'
"'What did God say to you?' Buchman asked Abram when their Quiet Time was completed. Abram believed he had heard God's voice several times in his life, and had even considered the possibility that he might be a prophet, but he had not yet been exposed to the ideal the God spokesman regularly and in detail. He didn't say anything, Abram confessed, disappointed.
"Well, Buchman replied, God had spoken to him. 'God told me, "Christianize what you have. You have something to share."'
"Blander words no Sunday school teacher ever spoke, but to Abram they seemed like a revelation. God had told Buchman not to join Goodwill, but that didn't matter. What was important was the discovery that God should be consulted not just on broad spiritual questions but on absolutely everything. This, Abram decided, was what it meant to die to the self: to turn all responsibility over to God. That such a transfer meant the abdication of any accountability for one's actions, that it provided justification for any ambition, did not occur to him.
"Thereafter he transformed his daily prayer ritual into Buchmanite Quiet Time. And, soon enough, God filled the silence with instructions: go forth, he said, and build cells for my cause like Buchman's.
"The cell of spiritual warriors that elected Arthur Langlie was one result. The cell of men listening to God during their Quiet Time – doubled itself, and the two became four, the four became eight. The many cells for congressmen and generals and lowly government clerks in the Washington, D.C., of the present are the offspring of that original mitosis, catalyzed by Buchman. But to call them Buckmanite wouldn't be quite right. When Buchman spoke of Christianity's 'new illumination,' 'a new social order under the dictatorship of the Spirit of God' that would transform politics and eradicate the conflict of capital and labor, Abram took it literally."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 126-128)

The timeframe of all of this is quite interesting for, as noted before here and here, during this whole period Ford seems to have been surrounded by both Nazi agents and associates of the US intelligence community (especially those linked to industrial security, of which was briefly addressed in the prior installment of this series). And here we find all of these strange strands of Christianity emerging --Christianity Identity, Buchmanism and Vereide's "Idea" --strands that bare more than a tinge of fascism and which have proved to be disturbingly influential over eighty years later.

Outside of the figures surrounding Ford, Vereide had other associates in the pre-WWII fascist underground.
"...  Such was the nature of Abram's ecumenicism. For Jews he felt nothing, one way or the other, but he would no more discriminate against an anti-Semite than against a Presbyterian. He welcomed the vigor anti-Semitism brought to his cause. After the war, another major American fascist sympathizer – Charles Lindbergh – would preside for a brief period over a prayer cell modeled on Abram's original. Lindbergh first came under FBI scrutiny, in fact, for his association with a man who would become a stalwart of Abram's inner circle and a member of the board of the Fellowship, by then incorporated as International Christian Leadership. Merwin K. Hart was an 'alleged promoter the American Fascist movement,' according to FBI files, and denounced publicly as a Nazi in all but name by Robert H. Jackson, the FDR-era attorney general who went on to serve as justice of the Supreme Court and chief  prosecutor at Nuremberg.
"To Abram, Hart was a dapper habitue of New York's blue blood clubs, a crucial node in his network of top men. He was a recruiter; operating out of the Empire State Building, he organized business executives bent on breaking the spine of unionism into an organization called the National Economic Council, and from those ranks he selected men for the Fellowship whose devotion to the antilabor cause was religious in intensity. Hart was Abram through a glass, darkly: if Abram could not distinguish between men of power men and men of morals, Hart could not tell the difference between communists and Jews, who through 'deceit' and 'trickery,' he preached, threatened the 'complete destruction' of the American way of life."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 123-124)
The presence of Merwin K. Hart within such a high position within the Family from the early days is quite eyebrow raising. Hart did indeed have extensive contacts amongst New York blue bloods, but his ties to fascism were equally deep.
"And the world has no greater devotee of the Spanish Falangist cause, alias Spanish Nazism --along with Hitler, Mussolini and Franco –  than of Merwin K. Hart... During the Spanish Civil War Hart traveled to Spain, spoke over the official Franco radio, and on his return wrote a glowing book, America Look at Spain, raking democracy over the coals and heaping upon it abuse and scorn. After this, Hart recommended to the Falangist propaganda office, his friend, Miss Jane Anderson, who had once declared at an Economic Council meeting that 'America is morally and mentally ripe for revolution.' After Miss Anderson finished her work on behalf of the Spanish Nazis, the German Nazis hired her for short-wave broadcasts to America. The Department of Justice has declared Hart's American-born, absentee Quisling friend to be a traitor to her country.
"Upon his return from Franco's Nazi-Spain Hart, who admitted being received by high Falangist officials, denounced the ideals and principles which had motivated the French and American revolutions. He justified the intervention of Nazi and Fascist armies in Spain. In his book America Look at Spain, Hart lauded Primo de Rivera's career as dictator and praised his suppression of 'free speech and free expression of opinion.' Hart directly approved Franco's type of government in these words: 'If one wishes to be a stickler for the theory of pure democracy... or if one wishes to see virtue in the constant policy of compromise... one may find fault with the proposed government of Spain...'
"Hart claimed for his Economic Council, founded in 1931, a membership of 2,000, and a circulation 17,000 for its biweekly letter. Hart is a Harvard graduate, member of a half-dozen exclusive clubs and his scorn for Democracy is deep-rooted and missionary...
"The record shows that for the past fifteen years Hart has been engaged as a professional propagandist for one cause or another. With an annual salary fixed at $10,000 he has sought to influence legislation, both local and national, in the interest of clerical fascism (Falangism) and ultra-reactionary businessmen, using the bogey of Communism as an operating base. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson has denounced Hart as 'pro-fascist.'
"In a professional capacity, Hart opposed the forty-hour week. He fought against the Unemployment Insurance Act, and he fought the Child Labor Act, insisting that it was an 'inspiration from Russia... a Russian law for American youth.' Hart's unsavory record also shows that he advocated the disenfranchisement of poor and homeless Americans by demanding during the depression years that only those be permitted to vote who were not on relief.
"Member of the American First Committee and a close friend of William R. Castle, who was chummy with Viereck, Hart fanatically opposed the Lend-Lease Bill and battled against aid to England and Russia. In his appearance before the Senate Committee on Military Affairs he sought to whitewash Japan by declaring that 'an unfriendly attitude on the part of the United States drove Japan into the arms of the Axis.' A few months later came Pearl Harbor...
"Hart's friendship among reactionary big business men is wide. James H. Rand Jr., president of the Remington-Rand Company has been his chief contributor. Other donors have been Lammot DuPont, president of the E. I.  DuPont de Nemours & Co.; A. W. Erickson, chairman of a large New York advertising agency; Alfred P. Sloan, president of General Motors; J. H. Alstyne, president of the  Otis Elevator Company. I'm sure that these important capitalists helped finance Hart in good faith, and are totally unaware that clerical fascism, like authoritarian Nazism, is committed to the destruction of capitalist Democracy. The difference is merely one of method: clerical fascism works more subtly and proposes to strangulate capitalism by slow stages, rather than by guillotine methods."
(Under Cover, John Roy Carlson, pgs. 457-460) 
Hart would remain a major advocate of the far right in the post-WWII years, crossing paths with a host of different groups. His National Economic Council would develop ties with the American Security Council, an organization with extensive ties to the US intelligence community and the far right (as noted before here). According to Charles Higham in American Swastika, Hart met with representatives of Nasser's Egypt while former SS officer Otto Skorzeny was "advising" the regime (Skorzeny was a major player in the post-WWII Fascist International) and also received funding from the Life Line Foundation. Life Line was the creation of oil man H.L. Hunt, one of the major backers of the American far right. He also had ties to the Willis Carto and his Liberty Lobby.
"The National Economic Council, with offices at 230 Park Avnue,, New York, headed by long-time right-winger Merwin K. Hart, is a Liberty Lobby affiliate. Carto publishes NEC's newsletter Behind the News, which deviated from its usually economically oriented content in February 1972 to plead the case of jailed Minutemen leader Robert DePugh."
(Power on the Right, William W. Turner, pg. 165)
According to Arnold Foster and Benjamin R. Epstein in Cross-Currents, Carto's ties to Hart go back to the 1950s, with an organization known as the Congress of Freedom. The advisory committee of this organization included a most curious individual:
"P.A. Del Valle  – who was ignominiously defeated in 1954 in a bid for the Republican  gubernatorial nomination in Maryland, is a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant general, closely associated with Merwin Hart, and an admirer of Robert Williams..."
(Cross-Currents, Arnold Foster & Benjamin R. Epstein, pg. 145)
Regular readers of this blog are of course familiar with General del Valle, but for the uninitiated , here is a brief rundown:
 "Pedro del Valle (1893-1978) was a highly-decorated veteran of World War II and the Pacific theater of operations, the first Latino general of the Marines. He commanded the 1st Marine Division at Okinawa, for which he received the Navy's Distinguished Service Medal. Yet in 1948, he wound up in Cairo as a representative of ITT. That year,  the Muslim Brotherhood was implicated in acts of terrorism directed against the Egyptian government after the humiliating defeat of Egypt and its allies by the newly-recognized State of Israel. The atmosphere was poisonous in Cairo, so Del Valle left Egypt and began working for ITT as president of the company's South American division, this time in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the Peron regime. A dedicated anti-Communist and member of a number of crusade-like committees, he once quoted from the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion at a political rally in order to demonstrate links between World Jewry and Bolshevism. His involvement with ITT at this time and in those locations is suspicious, as that firm had long-standing ties to the Third Reich before, during, and after the war. As an anti-Semite and an anti-Communist, his posting to Cairo and Buenos Aires during periods of great political upheaval in those countries are suggestive – if not indicative – of an intelligence function."
(The Hitler Legacy, Peter Levenda, pg. 186)
del Valle
One of the above-mentioned "crusade-like committees" del Valle belonged to was a bizarre organization known as the Sovereign Order of Saint John (SOSJ). This group appears to have had ties to the Nazi Party (and possibly the Thule Society itself, as noted before here) from the very early days. By the 1950s it developed ties with high ranking members of the US military and intelligence community. Several of its members were implicated in the JFK assassination (as noted before here). One of those members, General Charles Willoughby, was one of the most powerful figures in the entire history of the US intelligence community and a close friend of del Valle. Like Hart, Willoughby was a devoted supporter of Franco's Spain and maintained close ties with the regime throughout his life.

Its also interesting to note that, while Hart was working as an agent of Franco's Spain and recruiting for the Family, another militant Christian sect was being established in Spain: Opus Dei. Opus Dei's rapid rise to power was assisted in no small part direct support on the part of Franco's regime. While this researcher has yet to find any thing to concretely link the Family to the Opusians, especially in the early days, the presence of a Franco agent in Vereide's inner circle is most curious when one considers the similarities between the founders of the Family and Opus Dei as well as the objectives of both organizations. And both of course would enjoy close ties to assorted Nazis and fascist in both the pre and post war years along with ties to the US intelligence community during the latter.

symbol of Opus Dei
And with that I shall wrap things up for now. With the next installment when shall consider the Family's possible role in Operation Paperclip and its efforts to save various German Nazis after the war. Stay tuned.