Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Who is on the Council for National Policy?

Some descriptions here:

Leonard's article and Forum opinion piece failed to mention that in April 1997, Columbus Alive revealed that Batchelder was listed as a member of a little-known and highly secretive far-right Council for National Policy (CNP). Author and investigative reporter Russ Bellant and Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates both told the Alive that the CNP had ties to white supremacists. Berlet described CNP members as "not only traditionally conservative, but also [ascribed to them] nativism, xenophobia, theories of racial superiority, sexism, homophobia, authoritarianism, militarism, reaction and in some cases outright neo-fascism."

Well-known CNP board members include: the Reverend Pat Robertson, a right-wing TV evangelist and former Republican presidential candidate; the Reverend Jerry Falwell, leader of the now-defunct Moral Majority; Phyllis Schlafly, leading anti-feminist; and Joseph Coors, whose family finances an interlocking network of ultra-conservative and far-right institutions.

Less prominent members of the CNP are more telling of the organization's politics, according to Bellant. For example, one member is R.J. Rushdoony, the theological leader of America's "Christian Reconstruction" movement that advocates that Christian fundamentalists take "dominion" over America, abolish secular humanist democratic government and institute strict Old Testament law. Rushdoony argues that to restore morality in America: Homosexuals...adulterers, blasphemers, astrologers and others will be executed." White supremacists like Richard Shoff, a former Ku Klux Klan leader in Indiana, and John McGoff, a well-known supporter of the former South African apartheid government, are also members.

Bellant says that the Council's creation was inspired by business and political leaders who are also leaders of the John Birch Society. Founded in 1958, the John Birch Society was initially identified by scholars as a racist and anti-Semitic organization. The Birch Society and the CNP had been intertwined since the Council's inception in 1981. Tim LaHaye, a Moral Majority leader, received backing from the late Texas billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt, who is a member of the Birch Society's National Council, to found the CNP.

In 1982, Tom Ellis succeeded LaHaye as CNP President. Ellis formerly served as director of the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that finances efforts to prove that African-Americans are genetically inferior to whites. Eugenicists William Shockley, Arthur Jensen and Roger Pearson are recipients of past Pioneer grants. Pearson is on record advocating that "inferior races" should be "exterminated."