Rick Santorum’s Ties to Shadowy Right Wing Council for National Policy

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is building momentum and he is unabashedly flying his Dominionist flag high. He is pulling the Dominionist leaders and their mega-millionaire backers out of the brush and into the light. Like Santorum, they all appear to have the same faulty “edit” switch – preventing them from keeping their extreme rhetoric in check. These zealots are so filled with adrenaline and a sense of divine authority that they are charging boldly into the deep well of political Christianity for all to see.

Over the years that I have been writing about the bible-based cult of Dominionism and their adherents, I have been routinely met with doubt that Dominionists actually exist; and if those I tell grasp their existence at all – then the reactions are usually nonchalant, believing that Dominionism in American politics is not a force to be concerned about. That perspective has made sense in the past, because unless you are a researcher, politico or an activist on church and state concerns, most Americans just aren’t aware of how infested our political landscape is with this extremism.

In the 1980s we began to hear the rumble of this group during the Reagan years and the emergence of the Religious Right. Most of us saw this as the efforts of well-meaning Christians but not as the beginning of the March of the Theocrats. Organizations were forming all over the nation’s map – many of them unnoticed by not only the general population, but by mainstream Christians as well. These organizations spanned the gamut from ultra-conservative political to Dominionist and are still well-supported, funded by enormously wealthy patrons and whose meetings are faithfully attended behind closed doors.

Today’s political Christians are the Religious Right on steroids. They are determined, self-anointed and dangerous to our democratic republic. Nearly three decades later this Movement has grown in numbers, wealth and agenda. Not all members involved in this religio-political conservative wave are Dominionists, but they are aligned in similar goals to disband government, deregulate and privatize. On those points alone it has created a cross-pollination that must be discussed openly and taken seriously.

In the need to keep this to a post and not turn it into a tome, let’s pick one coupling for this post – Santorum and Freiss. As I write this the media is buzzing over the rise of Santorum in the polls. His survival has depended on the financial backing of Foster Friess, a man worth an estimated $250 million. So who is this guy? The mundane details can be read here. For a treasure trove of information go to Hart Williams articles on Friess that date back several years. Williams says:

Who is Foster Friess? I did an entire series on him, which revealed some chilling […] Return with us to the thrilling days of yesteryear, where, astride his faithful steed Hedgefund, the fake cowboy/real gazillionaire from Wyoming spurred into the sunset and rode valiantly to Salt Lake City, Utah. ~ Hart Williams

Additionally, we need to pay attention to the fact that Friess was president of a Dominionist club known as the Council for National Policy, a secret cabal that was started by Tim Lahaye in the 1980s. LaHaye is a known leader of Dominionist politics as well as author of the book, “Left Behind” that made converts of more than a few of its 65 million readers who got the crap scared out of them, giving them nightmares of the end of the world and promising them salvation and ever-lasting life. (Fear and paranoia have been working for them for years as a message that keeps their followers in line).

In an article for Penthouse in 2000, Skip Porteus wrote the following about the CNP:

Founded in 1981, under the inspiration of the Rev. Tim LaHaye, and funded by some Texas billionaires, the little-known CNP exists as a networking vehicle for right wing leadership. CNP meetings enable members to become acquainted with one another and plan short-term and long-term strategies. Morton Blackwell, CNP’s executive director, stated that the rules governing the meetings are designed “to allow open, uninhibited remarks from our speakers” (emphasis added). These remarks are “off the record and not for circulation…”

CNP meetings are, in fact, “closed to the media and the general public,” according to documents obtained by Penthouse. The group makes every effort to conceal from the media when or where it meets, or who participates in its programs. Any member desiring to bring guests may only do so in advance of the meeting, pending the unanimous approval from CNP’s Executive Committee. Members are issued special badges which are emblazoned with holograms. Uniformed guards posted at the doors carefully scrutinize each person entering the meeting hall.

The organization’s “confidential” membership is a virtual Who’s Who of the religious and political right wing in the United States. Among the approximately 500 members are: Senator Jesse Helms; Congressmen Dick Armey and Tom Delay; Rich DeVos of Amway; the Rev. Jerry Falwell; Oliver North; Beverly LaHaye; Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum; the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association; James Dobson of Focus on the Family; Gary Bauer, formerly of the Family Research Council, and recent presidential candidate; the Rev. Pat Robertson of the “700 Club” and Christian Coalition; Ralph Reed; and Christian Reconstructionist Rousas John Rushdoony.

As recently as 2007 we were able to go to the web site for the CNP and see their membership list, but it didn’t take long for that to get closed off for public viewing. Before they had a chance to scrub it from the net, it was copied and preserved at a Christian Canadian access to the CNP membership list. We also maintain an archive list in pdf. I encourage you to take several moments to peruse this extensive list and click on the individual names where you can read their CNP profile. Here is a snippet from Foster’s profile:

Republican Foster Friess […] breathes more than business. “The most important thing in his life is his belief in Christ as his savior,” says friend Art Brosius, who met Friess at Bible study.”

“And faith influences his politics. He’s vice president of the Council for National Policy, the secretive group headed by former Attorney General Edwin Meese that includes Oliver North and Pat Robertson and influenced the fundamentalist planks in the GOP’s 1996 platform.”

…and that quote was from 1996…now here we are in 2012 facing these same secretive zealots. It matters not whether it is a combination that has Friess backing Santorum – or LaHaye backing the Eye of Newt…they are out there working behind the scenes with their millions in one hand, wrapped in the flag and waving their bibles.

About the Author, Leah L. Burton.

Image: Americans United.Org

19 Replies to “Rick Santorum’s Ties to Shadowy Right Wing Council for National Policy”

  1. it’s not just Rick Santorum either. It was Bachmann, it was Perry and to some extent it’s Ron Paul. If you look into the state legislatures you will find them there. this is an extremely well orchestrated movement even though it is made up of separate parts. If you look at the list that Hraf posted this morning you will see them or the effects of that movement. If these people continue to be elected we will enter in to an era of enforced morality “for the good of the country”. If you complain about your rights being violated now, keep electing these people and watch your rights disappear totally

  2. You need to fix the photo at the top. The ribbon across the lower right corner reads “NO ENRTY”.

    Apart from that, I’ve been wondering about Santorum’s ties to the C Street crowd and other dominionists. Thanks for bringing this to light.

  3. My understanding is that this group vetted both G. W. Bush and Sarah Palin, and that John McCain’s campaign, mysteriously depleted, became equally mysteriously revived directly he agreed to make her his veep. They have a complete shadow government at the ready, and if a certain plane had not been heroically brought to earth by its own passengers, it might now be our actual government. Honi soit q’y pense…

  4. Thank you for that “get”, I will let the admin on this site know. And to your point, they are so cross-pollinated at this point it is a full-time job to keep track of them.

  5. Here are three definitions; extremist, anti-social personality, and fundamentalist:

    An extremist has a tenacious attachment to a set of values that defy reality. Extremist live in an “inner world”, one that is entirely tailored, “made up” to fit their world view.

    An anti-social personality disorder is tagged upon those who have a world view with only one goal; to manipulate people, places and things to suit their world view, their non-reality based needs.

    (Not much difference in the two types of people).

    And then, there are fundamentalist, those who do not accept changes outside their world view or values that defy their non-reality. All three are erupting all at once, converging in a nasty little spiral.

    If you’ve ever read the book “Snapping” (Conway and Sieglman) then you know that the Death Spiral is termed used to describe a fatal pattern of response that may arise in the life of social organization. The way “the death spiral” works is this: an organized group gets sort of stuck in a single communication loop pattern, usually a negative one, and are unwilling to allow new information to come in; they start imploding. It is said that these kinds of groups have a “flash point” where a shift occurs in the communication and they go from being benign to dangerous via a stream of information that passes among people daily…does any of this sound familiar.

    The less information that goes “in” from “the outside/the other”, the more “isolated”, secretive, and authoritarian their organization becomes; the more the spiral spins and goes out of control into escalation. They can explode and go “viral”; they can go “violent” they can implode, but all that pent-up negativity has to go somewhere…and if “we” don’t buy into their information, laugh in the face of their evil, eventually, they will explode like a big ugly zit.

    Yep the lights have been turned on and the roaches don’t like it…now we just need a “Raid” trap in order to jail them.

  6. This is yet another case of the 501 (c)3 not-for-profit status that the right uses to cloak money laundering. How is it possible for a non-profit to have a secret membership – when they state on their website that:

    “The Council for National Policy (CNP) is a nonpartisan, educational foundation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We do not lobby Congress, support candidates, or issue public policy statements on controversial issues. Our members are united in their belief in limited government, a strong national defense, and support for traditional western values. They meet to share the best information available on national and world problems, know one another on a personal basis, and collaborate on achieving their shared goals.”

    I use Guidestar to check into the finances and structures of various non-profits. My concern usually is the cost of management to expenditure for stated purpose ratio. Very few charities break the 50% ratio, and I am always curious to see who the directors of the charities are. The IRS does require some valid and verifiable data. I am convinced that the IRS looks the other way at the right wing “non-profits.” I will have to drag out my copies of tax law to see if the CNP can operate as a member only group, and maintain a tax free status.

  7. From the membership list, Gray Kilgore North:

    Member of Ed McAteer ‘ Religious Roundtable Council of 56
    Signed COR Manifesto and COR Steering Committee

    Dennis Peacocke’s Coalition on Revival (COR) was co-founded and headed by Jay Grimstead. Jay Grimstead’s COR Manifesto is the document which outlines COR’s goals and objectives. The 135 Christian activists who signed the document in 1986 committed themselves to working for the realization of COR’s goals “until the day we die.” Those on the COR steering committee include other CNP members as well as recognized shepherding movement leaders such as Bob Mumford and Ern Baxter, as well as Jack Van Impe. For Dennis Peacocke, Mumford, Doner

    Gary North is Co-author, with Gary DeMar, of Christian Reconstruction: What It Is, What It Isn’t (Institute for Christian Economics, 1991).; columnist to LewRockwell.com, “the anti-state, anti-war, pro-market news site, “a division of the Center for Libertarian Studies

    Lew Rockwell, is founder and president of the Mises Institute in Auburn, Ala., and vice president of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, Cal., is a columnist for WorldNetDaily, and an opponent of the central state, its wars and its socialism. WorldNetDaily also has CNP’s Joseph F. Farah, John Lofton.

    Mises Institute, is a CNP/reconstructionist connected libertarian institute which esteems notables such as Friedrich von Hayek. Friedrich von Hayek, protégé and colleague of founder Ludwig von Mises, is one of the founders of the Mont Pelerin Society of which many CNP are members. According to various sources, among its founders were some of the oldest and most powerful families in Europe, such as the von Hapsburgs, former rulers of Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Thurn und Taxis family, which ran the intelligence and postal system for that Empire since the Sixteenth Century…those present such as Max von Thurn und Taxis, had supported Hitler during the 1920s and 1930s. The Mont Pelerin Society called for a “conservative revolution” – for the “elimination” of nation states and the return to FEUDALISM a goal which has characterised all the various European fascist movements of the 1920s and 1930s, of which the Nazis were merely the most successful variant…The Mont Pelerin Society is a relic of the fascist movements of Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. The Mont Pelerin Society’s own members such as Professor Milton Friedman, have “emphasized” that its policies are those of Adolf Hitler [meaning from Hitler’s policies in the 1920’s and 1930’s]. Soon after it was founded in 1947, the Mont Pelerin Society moved to London… Beginning in the mid-1970s, with lavish corporate financing, the Mont Pelerin Society, spawned a series of “think tanks”. Von Hayek, the founder, wrote The Road to Serfdom in London in 1944, while teaching at the British Fabian Society’s London School of Economics.

    “…in London Friedrich Hayek was creating an organization that would later re-form as the Mont Pelerin Society. The early group was formed in 1939 and was known as the Society for the Renovation of Liberalism. Members of the organization included Frank Knight and Henry Simons of the University of Chicago, the slavishly pro-British American Fabian Socialist Walter Lippman, the philosopher Sir Karl Popper, Sir John Clapham of the Bank of England, and of course, Ludwig von Mises

    All of these early members of Hayek’s group then met at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland to form the influential, highly-secretive, and elitist Mont Pelerin Society in 1947…From the beginning the Mont Pelerin Society worked hand-in-hand with the Pan European Union…”

    In his book Victim’s Rights, Rushdoony’s son-in-law Gary North writes that stoning is a communal activity, something in which all the members of the family can participate. The purpose of this communal activity is to instill fear in the community so that if they deviate from the theocratic rules laid out by the elders, stoning would be their fate.

    As well, quoting Gary North about the command to “turn the other cheek,.” in an appendix of “The Institutes of Biblical Law” by R. J. Rushdoony; From: “In Defense of Biblical Bribery” by Gary North:

    “…..remove his (the unsaved) power, and the battered Christian should either bust him in the chops or haul him before the magistrate, and possibly both.”

    “…North had been active within the secular libertarian and anticommunist movements; he was an early contributor to the Foundation for Economic Education, and he had been strongly influenced by intellectuals of the Old Right, particularly the anti-statist Albert Jay Nock….”

    I have been saying since 1980 that the goal of the GOP is to return us to feudalism. What these knuckle draggers have forgotten is that feudalism failed when the masses became educated. Sure, they can take control of the Internet and TV through corporate buyouts, but it will take too many generations for the desire to become enlightened to be squashed. The Christian right sympathizes with fascists. That was no surprise.

  8. Sourcewatch has $arah Paylin as a member of the CNP in a 2001 membership rooster – along side Grover Norquist, Oliver North, Tom DeLay, Jack Abramhoff, Rev. Sun Myong Moon, James Dobson, Pat Robertson and Dick Armey. Im looking for the latest IRS form 990 to see who is on the current Board.

  9. Erik Prince of Blackwater/Xe, if memory serves me, and Rupert Murdoch. I believe there are also ties to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Scientology.

  10. One thing about this Republican campaign that has me puzzled is the openness of the Dominionist rhetoric. These people have spent thirty or more years patiently, quietly building up their structure. They have continually run under the radar. Think back to the effort to take over school boards. Most of those candidates hid their true agenda. So why now? Why these candidates? Santorum is really puzzling. He is Roman Catholic, although admittedly as far right in Catholicism as the rest are in Protestantism. The Dominionist can’t stand Catholics, or so I thought.

    It looks like a huge blunder to me. I would have expected a much more mainstream looking candidate. This way the American people are getting a real eyeful of what these people are about. People are getting scared of the agenda of these candidates. The push back is gathering steam on all fronts.

  11. “…Most of those candidates hid their true agenda. So why now? Why these candidates? Santorum is really puzzling…”

    My take, for what it’s worth, was stated earlier–all three (GOP/Dominonist/Catholics) are erupting all at once, converging, merging flowing into one nasty, toxic swirl known as the Death Spiral (a theoretical model used on what occurred during the Jonestown/Branch Dividian massacres).

    Most have “hidden” their agenda from plain sight because they have better control over their “message” (are you willing to die for Christ/GOP)and followers. However, once they started “acting out”, allowing a Messianic charismatic to emerge in the public eye, they started the clock ticking…I figure we’re in the per-chaotic phase of the “spiral”.

    My question is, who, behind the scenes decided it was “time” to start, if you pardon my expression, “kick out the jams, mother-fuc8ers”?
    Or, did this whole thing just escalate out of the hands of the handlers who have no control and are willing to double down and go for it?

    This ain’t no “Woodstock” (peace/love) ya’ know…it is, as you say, a huge blunder.

  12. My understanding is that they feel if they can’t grab power now, they’ll never do it, and for this reason, all the termites have come roaring out of the woodwork.

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