Prior to the 2008 election most people in the lower 48 had never heard of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Now, following her Vice Presidential run with John McCain Palin she has made her mark on the United States. Some would say a very negative impression but she does have her rabid followers that will follow her no matter what “word salad” comes out of that mouth. It is hard to believe today that at one time Palin was viewed favorably by 58% of American voters. The self-described hockey mom’s poll ratings are now in the crapper, probably where they should have always been. She has fooled many a good man or woman so the idea that she had to have nation-wide exposure to show how incredibly ignorant she is is not surprising. The same Bush-Cheney propaganda apparatus that made the nation believe that Saddam Hussein was the new Hitler and that Georgia was a helpless victim of ruthless Russian aggression after August 8, 2008 was clearly behind one of the most impressive media propaganda efforts in recent history—the effort to package Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska for less than 19 months, to be the American dream candidate. Her religious roots are something she has been deliberately vague about. But they are worth a much closer look.
Over the past three decades since the early 1970’s, there has been the deliberate manipulation of significant segments of the population, most of them undoubtedly sincere believing people, around the ideology of ‘born-again’ evangelical Christian Fundamentalism to create what we now refer to as the Christian Right or Dominionists. Within the broad spectrum of fundamentalist denominations there are some currents which are particularly alarming. Sarah Palin comes out of such a milieu.
The phenomenon of the rapid spread within the United States since the 1980’s of evangelical Pentecostalism is a political phenomenon which has become so influential that the two elections of George W. Bush as well as countless races for Senate or Congress often depend on the backing or lack of it from the organized Religious Right.
The spawning of some Christian Right sects also creates an ideology to drive the shock troops willing to literally ‘die for Christ’ in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan, Iran or elsewhere that the Pentagon needs their services. We have seen the fight that Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has sustained for years regarding Biblical training of our troops, tracts passed out in Muslim countries and biblical verses on military hardware. That same militant ideology has been used to build a fanatical activist base within the Republican Party which backs a right-wing domestic agenda and a military foreign policy that sees Islam or other suitable opponents of the US power elite as Satanism incarnate. How does Sarah Palin fit into this?
The CNP: manipulating religion to political ends
The Council on National Policy (CNP) has been described by The New York Times as a “little-known group of a few hundred of the most powerful conservatives in the country,” who meet three times yearly behind closed doors at undisclosed locations for a confidential conference. Nation magazine has called it a secretive organization that “networks wealthy right-wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy.” CNP was founded in 1981 by Tim LaHaye as a forum for conservative Christians seeking to strengthen the political right in the United States. The image above is from center to right: Don Wildmon, JC Watts, Jim Garlow and Chuck Norris/From center to left Tim LaHaye, Beverly LaHaye, Matt Staver and George Barna. Newt has not shown up as a member of CNP however he and the people pictured here are all part of the Dominionist faction.
The CNP describes itself as “an 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 over 600 members include many of our nation’s leaders from the fields of government, business, the media, religion, and the professions. Our members are united in their belief in a free enterprise system, 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 in achieving their shared goals.”
Contrary to this statement, the CNP is is the nexus for several odd and quite powerful organizations. Many of the religious evangelical groups in America are coordinated top-down by this organization. Former close Bush adviser, Rev. Ted Haggard, was a member of the Council on National Policy until a sex and drugs scandal forced him out in late 2006.
Haggard was Pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs described as the ‘evangelical Vatican,’ and was head of the National Association of Evangelicals. Ted Haggard was also a member of a highly significant and little-understood sect known as Joel’s Army or the Manifest Sons of God, the same circle that spawned Sarah Palin.
Another noteworthy member of the CNP is Grover Norquist, the man once described as the ‘Field Marshall of the Bush Plan.’ Other CNP members include names such as General John Singlaub, shipping magnate J. Peter Grace, Texas billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt, Edwin J. Feulner Jr of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, Rev. Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network, (the late) Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye and Foster Friess. It has included prominent politicians including Senator Trent Lott, Senator Don Nickles, former Attorney General Ed Meese, Col. Oliver North of Iran-Contra fame, and Right-wing philanthropist Else Prince, mother of Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater the controversial private security firm.
CNP members have also included Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church, definitely a bizarre formation whose founder openly states that he is superior to Christ. The CNP as well reportedly includes the Church of Scientology.
Religious researchers Paul and Phillip Collins describe the CNP as follows:
‘The CNP appears to be a creation of factions of the power elite designed to mobilize well-meaning Christians to unwittingly support elite initiatives. The CNP could also be considered a project in religious engineering that empties Christianity of its metaphysical substance and re-conceptualizes many of its principles and concepts according to the socially and politically expedient designs of the elite. These contentions are supported by the fact that many CNP members are also members of other organizations and/or criminal enterprises that are tied directly to the power elite.’
It is said that in order to shape public debate over the course of national military and foreign as well as domestic policy, the Rightwing Elite had to create organizations to manipulate public opinion in ways contrary to the self-interest of the majority of the American people. The Council on National Policy was formed to be a central part of this manipulation. So when you wonder how the right is so easily manipulated, think of the CNP. They are saturated with it in their churches, the stuff they read, the news organizations they subscribe to, it is everywhere in their lives. Like Joseph Goebbels once said: “Tell a lie enough times and it becomes the truth”. I would not be surprised if some of the elite have read and studied how the Third Reich achieved their goals in such a relatively short timespan.
The Council on National Policy is a vital link between multi-billion dollar defense contractors, Washington lobbyists like the convicted felon and Republican fundraiser, Jack Abramoff, and the Christian Right. The CNP was and probably still is, at the center of Karl Rove’s carefully-constructed political machine. Few details about the organization are leaked to the public. As secretive as the Bilderberg Group if not more so, the CNP releases no press statements, meets in secret and never reveals names of its members willingly. In fact Foster Friess, in addressing the group told the members, “You are not supposed to be here”.
This elite group has crafted an extremely powerful political machine using the forces and energies of the Christian Right and millions of American Christians who are most likely unaware of the darker manipulations.
And Sarah Palin is a part of such darker manipulations.
Sarah Palin and Dominionism
Sarah Palin it appears now, was chosen very carefully as she comes out of the very fundamentalist evangelical circles that the CNP uses to mobilize and shape America’s political agenda.
Palin reportedly drew early attention from state GOP leadership when, during her first mayoral campaign, she ran on an anti-abortion platform. Normally, political parties do not get involved in Alaskan municipal elections because they are nonpartisan. But once word of her evangelical views made its way to Juneau, the state capitol, state Republicans put money behind her campaign. According to researcher, Charley James, “Once in office, Palin set out to build a machine that chewed up anyone who got in her way. The good, Godly Christian turns out to be anything but.”
The religious background of Sarah Palin is not unrelated to her bid to take the nation’s second highest office. She herself has been extremely vague about that background. Given the details, it becomes clearer perhaps why.
Sarah Palin has spent more than two and a half decades of her life as a member of an Alaska church which is part of a fanatical Christian-named cult project that is sweeping across America. Palin comes out of the most radical stream of US Born-Again Evangelism known as ‘Joel’s Army,’ an offshoot of what is called Dominionism and sometimes also called the Latter Rain cult or Manifest Sons of God. The movement deliberately attempts to remain below the radar screen.
If you have read some of my articles, then you are familiar with these Dominionists and believe it, Sarah Palin is a product of that movement. Palin was a member of Wasilla Assembly of God with Senior Pastor Ed Kalnins. The excesses of this movement were declared a heresy in 1949 by the General Council of the Assemblies of God, and again condemned through Resolution 16 in 2000.
Dominion theology is a heresy. As such it is rarely presented in an open manner. Outside of the Reconstructionist camp, evangelical dominionism has wrapped itself in slick packages – one piece at a time – for mass-media consumption. This has been a slow process, taking several decades. Few evangelicals would recognize the word ‘dominionism’ or know what it means. This is because other terminologies have been developed which soft-sell dominionism, concealing the full scope of the agenda. Many evangelicals (and even their more conservative counterparts, the fundamentalists) may adhere to tidbits of dominionism without recognizing the error. And to most effectively propagate their agenda, dominionist leaders first developed new ecclesiologies, eschatologies and soteriologies for targeted audiences along the major denominational fault lines of evangelical Christianity. Then the 1990s Promise Keepers men’s movement was used as a vehicle to ‘break down the walls’, i.e., cross denominational barriers for the purpose of exporting dominionism to the wider evangelical subculture. This strategy was so effective that it reached into the mainline Protestant denominations. Dominionists have carefully selected leaders to be trained as ‘change agents’ for ‘transformation’ (dominion) in an erudite manner that belies the media stereotype of southern-talking, Bible-thumping, fundamentalist half-wits.
C. Peter Wagner’s spiritual warfare teachings have been widely disseminated and as an organization they adhere to the Lausanne Movement.
C. Peter Wagner said this about the direction of their movement:
‘Since 2001, the body of Christ has been in the Second Apostolic Age. The apostolic/prophetic government of the church is now in place. . . . We began to build our base by locating and identifying with the intercessory prayer movements. This time, however, we feel that God wants us to start governmentally, connecting with the apostles of the region. God has already raised up for us a key apostle in one of the strategic nations of the Middle East and other apostles are already coming on board. Once we have the apostles in place, we will then bring the intercessors and the prophets into the inner circle, and we will end up with the spiritual core we need to move ahead for retaking the dominion that is rightfully ours.’– C. Peter Wagner
Palin was carefully selected by the leadership of the Bush-Cheney-McCain Republican party to galvanize the Party’s activist Evangelical base, something McCain had been unable to do.
Some theological and political background to the Joel’s Army or Third Wave movement as it is also known, is instructive. It teaches a radical fundamentalist creed that its adherents must actively engage in politics, to become what they term, ‘soldiers in God’s Army.’ And Sarah Palin was the tool they used in 2008 to try to make inroads into the most well known house in this country, The White House. You may be asking what the CNP has to do with all of this, well Sarah Palin IS a member. Oh there are many other members but no one has gotten as close as she to that house in DC, at least no one who was a true believer. George Bush does not count as he was the frat boy playing “holy” and I believe they used him to test their theories, never believing it was time to fully implement them, I would consider him a test run.
But before I go on, don’t get too comfortable thinking Mitt Romney is a dark horse to them. First of all Mormons are also members of the CNP as are Catholics. Through the ages, religious movements have used whatever means are necessary to fulfill their fanatical fantasies and Romney would be the perfect puppet for these people. If he goes along, they reward him with public support, if he does not, they will manufacture not only crisis for him but will turn on him faster than it would take you to blink both eyes. These people turned against Jimmy Carter so you can see from historical purposes just how badly it would go for Romney. Besides we all know Romney has no core, no principles, no character. He will be easy to manipulate as his total shift to being so far right is any indication.
So what about the activities of the CNP? Well they meet three times a year and if you are curious about what they ACTUALLY release to the public (not the exact words used in the original speech), you can visit their website. In 1999, a speech given to the CNP by Republican candidate George W. Bush is credited with helping him gain the support of conservatives in his successful bid for the United States Presidency in 2000. The content of the speech has never been released by the CNP or by Bush. I would love to know what he promised them. Anybody in for a little Watergate activity on a trip to Fairfax VA?
In 2008, leading members of the CNP voted in a meeting at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, on September 29, 2007, to consider launching a third party candidate if the 2008 Republican nominee is a pro-choice candidate. (This was an implicit reference to Rudy Giuliani, whose liberal opinions on several social issues, such as abortion, gay rights and gun ownership have disturbed the Christian right.) The CNP’s statement read, “If the Republican Party nominates a pro-abortion candidate, we will consider running a third-party candidate.” Attending the meeting were notable social conservatives, including James Dobson, Richard Viguerie, Tony Perkins and Morton Blackwell.
CNP members have taken millions of dollars from Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church and the conservative Washington Times newspaper, and are aligned with various other groups supported by him such as CAUSA International. I guess in lieu of the money they overlook Moon’s religious message which places him as superior to Jesus Christ. In fact, Moon was crowned “King of Peace” in a ceremony in the United States Senate Office Building, (not before the actual United States Senate). CNP members have also supported legislation proposed by the Church of Scientology.
CNP also has membership links to the World Anti-Communist League, whose many other members included, among others, the Unification Church and backers of rightist paramilitary death squads in Latin America, particularly during the 1980s.
As of February 2007, the organization was planning involvement in the 2008 presidential election campaign, and actively looking for a candidate to represent their views. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney spoke at a four day conference they held in Salt Lake City, Utah during the last week of September 2007. The Council for National Policy scheduled a conference in late October 2007. Most Republican presidential candidates pledged to appear, with the exception of Rudy Giuliani. Remember the words of Sarah Palin regarding the convention this summer:
“Anything is possible. I don’t close any doors that perhaps would be open out there, so, no, I wouldn’t close that door,” Palin said after casting her vote in Alaska’s Republican caucuses. “My plan is to be at that convention.”
Does she know the CNP will have the final word? Is Ron Paul disrupting state conventions for a good reason? I don’t know but I do know I never underestimate these people for one minute.
Past and present members of CNP include, Cleon Skousen, a prominent Mormon theologian and founder of the Freemen Institute; Paul Weyrich; Phyllis Schlafly; Robert Grant; Howard Phillips (a former Republican now affiliated with the Constitution Party); Richard Viguerie, the direct-mail specialist; and Morton Blackwell, a Louisiana and Virginia activist who is considered a specialist on the rules of the Republican Party. The council employs about eight people. Its first executive director was Woody Jenkins; later, Morton Blackwell served in this role, which is currently held by Steve Baldwin (b. 1957), not to be confused with actor Stephen Baldwin. Presidents have included Nelson Bunker Hunt of Dallas, Amway co-founder Richard DeVos of Michigan, Pat Robertson of Virginia Beach, Paul Pressler of Houston, and former Reagan Cabinet secretaries Ed Meese and Donald Hodel, as well as current president Kenneth Cribb.
In order to get a feeling for how these people interact take a look at this wiki page with information on Paul Pressler of Houston(named above) and find out who he associates with. It should put some pieces of the puzzle in place for you. As an investigator this is part of my job, to validate the information I write about and this will give you the connections.
The Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy at Cornell University considers the Council for National Policy a leading force in the Dominionist movement. TheocracyWatch, a CRESP project, describes it as “an umbrella organization of right-wing leaders who gather regularly to plot strategy, share ideas and fund causes and candidates to advance the theocratic agenda.” I would agree with both opinions. But read for yourself, go to the link I have added below(SourceWatch Wiki) and take a look at their members. And just in case it freaks you out, the HL Bill Richardson on the list is not our esteemed Democratic Governor. I doubt you will be surprised by most members but I also bet you will be surprised about some. It remains to be seen what influence they will wield over the upcoming elections but I have seen enough activity not including elections to be worried and watchful, like a hawk.
Wasilla Alaska Assemblies of God Masters Commission
Master’s Commission actual website (bringing up new Joel’s Army recruits)