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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-10-06 09:30 PM
Original message
The Christofascist connections to the ISG
Folks familiar with the Fellowship Foundation, know as "the Family" by its members, are already aware of its secretive authoritarian theology that so many members of congress are part off. So it's worth noting that the founder of the ISG, Frank Wolf, is a "Family" member, as is fellow ISG member Ed Meese.

The semi-secret religious society of DC politicians is run by the "stealth Billy Graham" Doug Coe and hosts the National Prayer Breakfast every year. Here's some more on the group:

Jesus Plus Nothing
Originally from Harper's Magazine, March 2003. By Jeffrey Sharlet.
Sources

And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Matthew 10:36

This is how they pray: a dozen clear-eyed, smooth-skinned brothers gathered together in a huddle, arms crossing arms over shoulders like the weave of a cable, leaning in on one another and swaying like the long grass up the hill from the house they share. The house is a handsome, gray, two-story colonial that smells of new carpet and Pine-Sol and aftershave; the men who live there call it Ivanwald. At the end of a tree-lined cul-de-sac, quiet but for the buzz of lawn mowers and kids playing foxes-and-hounds in the park across the road, Ivanwald sits as one house among many, clustered together like mushrooms, all devoted, like these men, to the service of Jesus Christ. The men tend every tulip in the cul-de-sac, trim every magnolia, seal every driveway smooth and black as boot leather. And they pray, assembled at the dining table or on their lawn or in the hallway or in the bunk room or on the basketball court, each man's head bowed in humility and swollen with pride (secretly, he thinks) at being counted among such a fine corps for Christ, among men to whom he will open his heart and whom he will remember when he returns to the world not born-again but remade, no longer an individual but part of the Lord's revolution, his will transformed into a weapon for what the young men call spiritual war.

...

Ivanwald, which sits at the end of Twenty-fourth Street North in Arlington, Virginia, is known only to its residents and to the members and friends of the organization that sponsors it, a group of believers who refer to themselves as the Family. The Family is, in its own words, an invisible association, though its membership has always consisted mostly of public men. Senators Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) are referred to as members, as are Representatives Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), and Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). Regular prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries. The Family maintains a closely guarded database of its associates, but it issues no cards, collects no official dues. Members are asked not to speak about the group or its activities.
...


And these are just the member and associates we know about. According to this interview of the author, he estimated it at about 20,000 members in the US. Skipping down in the article we're going to see how theocratic its theology is, and and the extent of its influence.

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gumby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-10-06 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Jesus Plus Nothing
is one of the most eerily frightening articles I've ever read. It's really creepy stuff those "family values" dudes have going.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-10-06 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. lol, "family values"...
Imagine a day when the term "family values" triggers in people memory of a dark time when a weird secret society of machiavellian good ol' boys hijacked religions across the globe and nearly took over the whole place. That is one seriously pleasant thought.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-10-06 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Fellowship Preys for America
If he only knew, there is a great need for light on this subject.



Know your BFEE: The Fellowship Preys for America

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Thank you for an excellent post, ftr23532. And a most hearty welcome!
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-10-06 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thanks!
:D
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 01:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. Wow-that is one jaw-droppingly CREEPY article
The Family sounds really creepy :scared:

Thanks for posting!
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 06:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. It is indeed.
:kick:
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. Amazing!
I hope every Christian on this board reads this. Hopefully they will better understand why atheists feel the way we do about religion.

Julie
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. is your assumption that christians on this board support this org?
we don't.

we're your brothers in the democratic party, not your enemies.

we're as creeped out and bothered by this as you are. We don't live in a vacuum.


but thanks for the broad brush.

:sarcasm:
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Did I say that?
I simply stated believers here might better understand where the non-believers are coming from.

I should hope Christian DUers are as creeped out as the non-Christians. Optimist that I am I also harbor hope that you all might also see why we consider religion to be dangerous, especially for those of us who are the "enemy" of these extremists. You know...being as we're infidels and all.

Try a little less defensiveness, you might better comprehend what you read.

Julie

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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. eh, i think Julie was petitioning for (more) tolerance toward the atheistic DU'ers
i have no dog in this hunt...

but i understand the frustration that non-xtians have with xtian breathren. it seems to go like this:
"The Church (as a whole) is often used as a tool of oppression.
Look at all the ways The Church has been on the wrong side of humanity.
I feel oppressed by The Church.
Why can't my xtian brethren honor that and stand up their non-xtian brethren? "

it's kind of a non-starter, b/c "liberal xtianity" is a more solitary endeavor than the conservative counterpart. so, liberal xtians prolly DO agree with the oppression/intolerance meme put forth by non-xtians. BUT, if you're not in a religious leadership role, there's not much you can do to STAND WITH the non-xtians worried about Church oppression short of denouncing your religion (as opposed to faith).

back in the 80s, with Liberation Theology, there did seem to be something to cheer about for xtians and non-xtians sharing our political vibe.

all that to say, i think a lot of non-xtians are waiting for our practicing brethren to show some leadership on the Christofascism issue. this should be a dialog that xtians have amongst themselves -- it feels inappropriate for non-xtians to do all the worrying about this. at base, it feels like any minute the "spanish inquisition" could come for the non-xtians (no one expects that), and there'd be no one among xtians defending their honor.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 06:51 AM
Response to Original message
8. When Master Moon made his first trip to the US
about 40 years ago, he was taken to Ivanwald to be shown part of his network by members of the KCIA. I don't know when Moon became involved but he has a very strong influence with the group.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I wonder how many of the folks at Moon's crown ceremony
back in 2003 are members of this network. And yeah, consider their mutual anti-Communist activites/fronts, I wouldn't be surprised at if Moon and the KCIA were working hand in hand with these guys from the beginning. You gotta love how the fear of an international network of communist subversives was used as a justification for expanding an international network of fascists.
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nam78_two Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I remember that! That was SO creepy too!
These people are all really bizarre :scared: .......
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. and Mafia
Moon gets a lot of money from the Yakusa in Japan and one of the members is a known Knight of Malta which has a large membership in the Italian mafia.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Here's an interesting article on Moon's drug money-laundering
and ties to the yakuza and GOP.

And here's another one from Consortium News that has some now "classic" Moonie GOP ties:

...
Republican Warnings
At times, Moon's penetration of conservative ranks has raised red flags among Republicans. In 1983, the GOP's moderate Ripon Society charged that the New Right had entered "an alliance of expediency" with Moon's church. Ripon's chairman, Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, released a study which alleged that the College Republican National Committee "solicited and received" money from Moon's Unification Church in 1981. The study also accused Reed Irvine's Accuracy in Media of benefitting from low-cost or volunteer workers supplied by Moon.

Leach said the Unification Church has "infiltrated the New Right and the party it wants to control, the Republican Party, and infiltrated the media as well." Leach's news conference was broken up when then-college GOP leader Grover Norquist accused Leach of lying. (Norquist is now head of Americans for Tax Reform and a prominent ally of House Speaker Newt Gingrich.)

...


Heh.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. Here's another Knight of Malta that ties into this network
Edited on Mon Dec-11-06 10:00 PM by ftr23532
At least he tangentially ties into it: Joseph E. Schmitz was nominated the Inspector General of the DoD in June 2001 but wasn't confirmed until March of 2002 because his nomination was held up by the Armed Services committee for unknown reasons. He resigned in 2005. So this was the guy that was in charge of investigating Defense related expenditures during most of post-9/11 period. After he left he became the CFO of Blackwater.

Here's an excerpt from his DoD biography:

...
From 1987 to 2002, Mr. Schmitz' private-sector law practice focused on complex civil litigation, aviation regulatory matters, international trade, administrative law, and constitutional appellate litigation, most recently as a partner at PATTON BOGGS LLP.

His prior public service includes: 27 years of naval service, first on active duty and then as a reserve officer, attaining the rank of Captain; Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, Honorable Edwin Meese III; and law clerk to Honorable James L. Buckley, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
...

So he was Fellowship Foundation member and ISG committee member Ed Meese's Special Assistant during the height of Meese's Iran Contra shenanigans, and he was the law clerk for James L. Buckley, who, according to his Wiki entry, is a Skull & Bones member.

oh, but there's more...

...
Mr. Schmitz has published numerous articles, presented lectures, and testified as a constitutional expert before the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs and Judiciary Committees. From 1995 until 2002, he was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he developed and taught a seminar on advanced Constitutional Law. He has also served on the Steering Committee of the Washington Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

Mr. Schmitz graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 and received his J.D. degree from Stanford University in 1986. He is a Young Leader Alumnus of the American Council on Germany, and a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
...


Yep, he's a member of the Federalist Society, and the Knights of Malta, the elite Vatican order that has its own Sovereignty and permanent observer status at the UN. He's also apparently obsessed all things German according to his Wiki entry.

And now looking at the bio of Joseph's Brother, John P. Schmitz, John P. was George H.W. Bush's Deputy Counsel from 1985-1993! Before that he was Scalia's law clerk and is also a member of the Federalist society.

Their sister is the rather notorious teacher Mary Kay Letourneau, and their father is the John G. Schmitz. The Ultraconservative John G. Schmitz, a John Bircher and California State Senator, was briefly a California Congressman from 1970 - 1972, when he left to run for president under the American Independence Party, which was started in 1968 by George Wallace as a backlash to Civil Rights. In 1978 he rejoined the State Senate, and wandered further off the ranch. Soon after returning to the State Senate he advocated a Pinochet style military coup in this country and by 1982 he was kicked out of the John Birch society for "extremism".

His career ended on an extra dark point, and one that might help explain Mary Kay's atypical behavior:

Extramarital affair

Early in 1982, John George Stuckle, an infant born on June 10, 1981, was treated at an Orange County hospital for an injured penis. A piece of hair was wrapped so tightly around the organ "in a square knot," according to one doctor--that it was almost severed. The surgery went well, and the baby suffered no permanent injury. However, the baby's mother, Carla, a 43-year-old Swedish-born immigrant and longtime Republican volunteer, wasn't allowed to take John George home, since some of the attending doctors were convinced the hair had been deliberately tied around his penis.


This is one of those incidences that potentially sheds light on the kinds of upbringing these guys and gals may endure growing up that shapes who they become (Who would have that being born into a family that's part of a transgeneration transnational extremist movement might its dark sides).

For folks interested in more info on the Schmitzes goto Dave Emory's archives page and check out FTR 469 "The Schmitzes: Republican Family Values", FTR 476: More About the Schmitzes, the Underground Reich and September 11, and there's some additional info on the Knights of Malta in FTR 293: Retrospective on the Balkan Wars. Enjoy!
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-12-06 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Great background
another bit of the puzzle.

Once you study the people involved and their social networks, the fog of secrecy begins to lift.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-12-06 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Oh wow, looks like Bill Casey and William F. Buckley are members too!
Check out this awesome, and quite long, MoJo article from 1983...it covers both the cooperative efforts of the Knights of Malta, Opus Dei, and the CIA's to keep the Catholic church opposed to its "liberation theology" of basically not supporting the poor get perpetually screwed over:

Their Will Be Done
Let the pope keep the kingdom and the glory -- the CIA wants the power.

By Martin A. Lee

July/August 1983 Issue

One day in July 1944, as the Second World War raged throughout Europe, General William "Wild Bill" Donovan was ushered into an ornate chamber in Vatican City for an audience with Pope Pius XII. Donovan bowed his head reverently as the pontiff intoned a ceremonial prayer in Latin and decorated him with the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Sylvester, the oldest and most prestigious of papal knighthoods. This award has been given to only 100 other men in history, who "by feat of arms, or writings, or outstanding deeds, have spread the Faith, and have safeguarded and cham-pioned the Church."

Although a papal citation of this sort rarely, if ever, states why a person is inducted into the "Golden Mili-tia," there can be no doubt that Donovan earned his knighthood by virtue of the services he rendered to the Catholic hierarchy in World War II, during which he served as chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In 1941, the year before the OSS was officially constituted, Donovan forged a close alliance with Father Felix Morlion, founder of a European Catholic intelligence service known as Pro Deo. When the Germans overran western Europe, Donovan helped Morlion move his base of operations from Lisbon to New York. From then on, Pro Deo was financed by Donovan, who believed that such an expenditure would result in valuable insight into the secret affairs of the Vatican, then a neutral enclave in the midst of fascist Rome. When the Allies liberated Rome in 1944, Mor-lion re-established his spy network in the Vatican; fromthere he helped the OSS obtain confidential reports provided by apostolic dele-gates in the Far East, which included information about strategic bombing targets in Japan.

Pope Pius' decoration of Wild Bill Donovan marked the beginning of a long-standing, intimate relation-ship between the Vatican and U.S. intelligence that continues to the present day. For centuries the Vatican has been a prime target of foreign espionage. One of the world's greatest repositories of raw intelligence, it is a spy's gold mine. Ecclesiastical, political and economic informa-tion filters in every day from thousands of priests, bishops and papal nuncios, who report regularly from every corner of the globe to the Office of the Papal Secretariat. So rich was this source of data that shortly after the war, the CIA created a special unit in its counterintelligence section to tap it and monitor developments within the Holy See.

But the CIA's interest in the Catholic church is not limited to intelligence gathering. The Vatican, with its immense wealth and political influence, has in recent years become a key force in global politics, particularly with Catholicism playing such a pivotal role in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Unbeknownst to most Catholics, the Vatican, which carefully maintains an apolitical image, not only has a foreign office and a diplomatic corps, but also has a foreign policy. And with Polish Communists embrac-ing Catholicism and Latin American Catholics embracing communism, the U.S. government and particularly the CIA have recently taken a much greater interest in Vatican foreign policy. A year-long Mother Jones investigation has revealed a number of unlikely channelsboth overt and covertwhich the agency uses to bring its influence to bear upon that policy.

Since World War II, the CIA has:

* subsidized a Catholic lay organization that served as the political slugging arm of the pope and the Vatican throughout the Cold War;
* penetrated the American section of one of the wealthiest and most powerful Vatican orders;
* passed money to a large number of priests and bishops -- some of whom became witting agents in CIA covert operations;
* employed undercover operatives to lobby members of the Curia (the Vatican government) and spy on liberal churchmen on the pope's staff who challenged the political assumptions of the United States;
* prepared intelligence briefings that accurately pre-dicted the rise of liberation theology; and
* collaborated with right-wing Catholic groups to coun-ter the actions of progressive clerics in Latin America.


It was in this last regard that the CIA supported factions within the Catholic church that were instrumental in pro-moting and electing the current pope, John Paul II, whose Polish nationalism and anti-Communist credentials, they thought, would make him a perfect vehicle for U.S. foreign policy. John Paul's recent trip to Nicaragua could not have been matched by any American's for the contri-bution it made to President Reagan's Central American initiative. And hopes are high in Washington, D.C., that the pope's forth-coming trip to Poland, where 90 percent of the people are Catholic, will re1 spark the anti-Soviet upris-ing so vital to Reagan's plans for Eastern Europe.


Dark Knight of the Soul

Every year in late June a bizarre ritual takes place in Rome. Men and women fly in from all over the world to participate in a cere-mony that has been performed for centuries. Next year, the assembled might find CIA director William Casey in their midst. And Casey could well be accompanied by former Secretary of State Alexander Haig.

If they make the journey, Casey and Haig will join a gathering of the world's Catholic elite on St. John's Day. Dressed in scarlet uniforms and black capes, brandishing swords and waving flags emblazoned with the eight-pointed Maltese cross, these Catholic brothers and sisters will, in an atmosphere of pomp and circumstance befitting a coronation, swear allegiance to the defense of the Holy Mother Church.

Casey and Haig are both members of the Knights of Malta, a legendary Vatican order dating back to the Crusades, when the "warrior monks" served as the mili-tary arm of the Catholic church. The knights, in their latter-day incarnation as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), are a historical anomaly. Although the order has no land mass other than a small headquarters in Rome, this unique papal entity holds the status of nation-state. It mints coins, prints stamps, has its own constitution and issues license plates and passports to an accredited diplomatic corps. The grand master of the order, Fra Angelo de Moj ana di Cologna, holds a rank in the church equal to a cardinal and is recognized as a sovereign chief of state by 41 nations with which the SMOM exchanges ambassadors.

But the real power of the order lies with the lay mem-bers, who are active on five continents. Nobility forms the backbone of the SMOM; more than 40 percent of its 10,000 constituents are related to Europe's oldest and most powerful Catholic families. Wealth is a de facto prerequi-site for a knightly candidate, and each must pass through a rigorous screening. Protestants, Jews, Muslims and di-vorced or separated Catholics are ineligible.

"The eight-pointed white cross stands out everywhere as a symbol of charity toward mankind and as a comfort and consolation to the sick and the poor," says Cyril Tou-manoff, official historian of the SMOM. In recent years its members have carried on the Hospitaler tradition of the original knights by supporting international health care and relief efforts. They proudly offer aid to the needy regardless of race, creed or religious affiliation.

But the needy aided by certain SMOM members in the late '40s were some of the 50,000 Nazi war criminals who, with the assistance of the International Red Cross, were furnished fake Vatican passports and, in some cases, cleri-cal robes, and were smuggled on Bishop Alois Hudal's "underground railroad" to South America. Among those was Klaus Barbie, the "butcher of Lyons."

In 1948, the SMOM gave one of its highest awards of honor, the Gran Croci al Merito con Placca, to General Reinhard Gehlen, Adolf Hitler's chief anti-Soviet spy. (Only three other people received this award.) Gehlen, who was not a Catholic, was touted as a formidable ally in the holy crusade against godless Marxism. After the war he and his well-developed spy apparatusstaffed largely by ex-Nazisjoined the fledgling CIA. Eventually, hundreds more Nazis ended up on the U.S. government's payroll. Among them was Klaus Barbie.
...


So like the fascistic Fellowship Foundation, we also have the fascistic elite Catholic order the Knight of Malta playing role in faciliating the Nazis' flight into the underground. And for those interested, you can go here for some info on how Klaus Barbie's eventual trial was financed by the same Nazi financier, Francois Genoud, that became an important figure in the postwar development of Middle Eastern terrorism.

Skipping down in the article, here's some more on the "American Section" of teh group:

...
Amazing Grace

The American section of the Sovereign Mili-tary Order of Malta has about 1,000 mem-bersincluding 300 "dames." They repre-sent the vanguard of American Catholicism, the point at which the Vatican and the U.S. ruling elite intersect. "The Knights of Malta comprise what is perhaps the most exclusive club on earth," Stephen Birmingharn, the social historian, has written. "They are more than the Catholic aristocracy... can pick up a telephone and chat with the pope."

And who are the American Knights? Mother Jones managed to obtain part of the secret membership list. On it we found some famil-iar names: Lee lacocca of Chrysler; Spyros Skouras, the shipping magnate; Robert Abplanalp, the aerosol tycoon and Nixon confidant; Barren Hilton of the hotel chain; John Volpe, former U.S. ambassador to Italy; and William Simon, who served as both treasury secretary and energy czar in the 1970s. At least one former envoy to the Vatican, Robert Wagner (the ex-mayor of New York), and the current emissary to the Vatican, William Wilson, are also members of the Knights of Malta. But there is one institution that stands out as the center of the SMOM in the United StatesW.R. Grace & Company. J. Peter Grace, the company chairman, is also president of the American section of SMOM. No less than eight knights, including the chancellor of the order, John D.J. Moore (who was ambas-sador to Ireland under Nixon and Ford), are directors of W.R. Grace.

J. Peter Grace has a long history of involvement with CIA-linked enterprises, such as Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, which was the brainchild of General Rein-hard Gehlen. He is also the board chairman of the Amer-ican Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD), which has collaborated with multinational corporations and their client dictatorships in Latin America to squelch independent trade unions. Up to $100 million a year of CIA funds were pumped into "trustworthy" labor organi-zations such as AIFLD, whose graduates, according to AIFLD executive director William Doherty, were active in covert operations that led to the military coup in Brazil in 1964. During the early 1970s, Francis D. Flanagan, the Grace repre-sentative in Washington, D. C., was a member of ITT's "Ad Hoc Committee on Chile," which was instrumental in planning the overthrow of Salvador Allende. AIFLD's National Workers' Con-federation subsequently served as the chief labor mouthpiece for the Pinochet junta.

There are many other knights with CIA connections. Clare Boothe Luce, for example, the grande dame of American diplomacy, served as a U.S. ambassador to Italy in the 1950s and is now a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which oversees covert opera-tions. William Buckley, Jr., a former CIA operative and the editor of the National Review, is a member, as is his brother James, a former senator from New York and now undersecretary of state for security assistance.

...

So we have Lee Iacocca, a Nixon confidants, a Hilton, William F. Buckley, and J. Peter Grace on the members list too (Prescott Bush Jr. sits on the board of Grace's Americares, a past and presumably present CIA front. And for some interesting info on Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe's use of Nazis and Nazi collaborators, there's some .

The next part of the article discusses gives a good example of how these types of transnational fraternities and orders unofficially wield their influence and allow the many different actors involved to coordinate with eachother:

...
Targeting the Pope

The American section of the SMOM is one of the main channels of communication be-tween the CIA and the Vatican. Of course, neither party will acknowledge this. "The Knights of Malta is an honorific society of Catholics. That's all it is. ... It has no political function," asserts former CIA director William Colby, who declined an invitation to join the illustrious order. ("I'm a little lower key," he confessed.)

Technically speaking, Colby is correct; the knights do not have an explicit political function. They would never approach the Vatican with a message from the CIA. Nor would the Vatican ever openly ally itself with the political aims of the CIA. "Obviously, this is a dynamite type of proposition," explains Victor Marchetti. "I'm sure that in the clandestine area there was real consideration of how to influence the Vatican, but you'll never find a paper trail within the agency establishing an operational objective. A covert action of this sort is a very complex and sophisticated sort of thing...How much pressure the CIA would dare to exert on the Vatican is debatable. It would have to be done indirectly, on an informal basis."

This is where the American section of the SMOM fits in. "They all belong to the same club," says Marchetti. "One happens to be the director of the CIA, and another is a cardinal. When they get together and fraternize on a social basis, they exchange ideas and opinions as private indi-viduals. But how do you separate the private individual from the professional?"

During the 1950s and the early 1960s, relations between the U.S. and the Vatican were conducted largely through Francis Cardinal Spellman, the "Grand Protector and Spir-itual Advisor" to the SMOM's American wing. An ultra-conservative ideologue, Spellman served as the right arm of Pope Pius XII and was a vocal supporter of U. S. military involvement in Vietnam.
...


Much of the rest of the article discusses how the Knights of Malta and the CIAthwarted attempts to shift the Churches historical stance in South America away from the landowners and towards the poor, empowering Opus Dei within the Church heirarchy in the process. It's a worthwhile, not to mention terrifying, read.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-13-06 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. This information is just as valid today
The players may change but the party goes on as before.
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nebenaube Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
10. hmmm...
Edited on Mon Dec-11-06 09:23 AM by nebenaube
Is this the same cult "Family" that was busted in Madison county, Va for running a safe house for a child-abduction/abuse/porno ring circa 1988?

Gee the "family values" meme must be a code word for addressing this group...
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
20. good god
let's hope that's not the case... :yoiks:
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Reterr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
16. This stuff is like a Hollywood movie
:wow:
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 12:55 PM
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17. Great post.
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ftr23532 Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-11-06 02:52 PM
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19. Thank you kind stranger!
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-13-06 08:40 AM
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25. A legacy of Reich-wing extremism:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3720724.stm

Condor legacy haunts South America
By Robert Plummer
BBC News

Of all the unresolved issues from the dark days of military rule in Latin America, Operation Condor is among the most sinister.

As many as six South American regimes took part in the joint campaign to hunt down and kill their left-wing opponents.

Although the conspiracy now dates back nearly 30 years, the consequences continue to cast a shadow over the present-day governments of the region.


But two other ex-leaders in the region are still being pursued by judges on related charges, as efforts continue to find out exactly who was responsible.
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