Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Continuing Crisis: Satan at the UN

The distrust of and animosity toward the United Nations that many conservatives demonstrate is as old the institution itself. Progressives, too, have often been critical of the UN. But this criticism tends to center on issues like the UN’s general inability to respond well or quickly enough to emerging humanitarian crises. While conservatives of the Limbaugh sort seem more intent on contending that the UN has an irrational hatred of America and Israel.

I thought to write a piece on why there was this fear and loathing of the UN on right; why they seemed to interpret international cooperation as a relinquishing not just of sovereignty, but of control over our national and individual destinies to those who manifestly do not have our interests at heart. Related to this is the question of why any criticism of the policies of the Sharon government in Israel is taken by certain people on the right as an anti-Semitic diatribe.

But I didn’t get very far before I was distracted. As an attempt to investigate the matter, I started to hunt on Google for conservative commentary on the UN. And I ran across a post titled: Satan Advising The United Nations? On a blog called RightNation.US, a conservative blogging cooperative. (No, I don’t think they’re aware of the irony.)

He starts off with what might be something like a reasonable question.

As the fog of war lifted, I became aware of a previously subconscious discomfort, like a muscle pain you don’t notice until you finally get a chance to sit down. The discomfort in question had been present since the Democratic primary season, when blowhards like Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich were preaching the seemingly ludicrous – that President George W. Bush and his administration were keenly aware of the September 11th attacks before they happened, yet did nothing to prevent them. How could someone believe something so outrageous? I thought. How could so many people raise their voice in agreement, latching onto a Kool-Aid inspired fantasy?

This, at least, could be responded to. Neither Dean nor Kucinich ever accused Bush of being “keenly aware of the September 11th attacks before they happened”, simply of being keenly disinterested in terrorism generally and Al Qaeda in particular. It is entirely possible, even had Bush focused on the threat of terrorism before 9/11 like he did in the campaign, even if he had read the entire page and a half Presidential Daily Briefing entitled Bin Laden determined to strike inside the United States, that the tragic events on 9/11 would still have happened. The point is that it is also possible that they wouldn’t have.

Let me interrupt to say that one blogger proposing to psychoanalyze another based on one post is not pretty. I am inherently distrustful of anecdotal evidence as a means to understanding larger phenomena. But this post elicited 92 comments. My interest here is to see if we can tease out of this exchange some useful insights into the culture in which we live. So with my gloss of noble purpose in place, I beg your indulgence as I proceed.

Our author decided to investigate the topic of kooky conspiracy theories in an effort to understand how it is that liberals could think like that. (Yes, I am aware of the irony.) This led him to the discovery of a short-lived 18th Century German rationalist society called the Illuminati that had ties to the Freemasons. The 18th Century group derived their name from a 15th& 16th Century Spanish group that believed people have direct communion with the Holy Spirit, so outward forms of religious life are unnecessary.

Okay, stay with me people.

The contention by certain conspiracy theorists it that the Illuminati still exist and that they advocate One World Government, One World Religion and under One King.

Now we see the connection to the UN, provided that you’re predisposed to viewing the UN as some sort of One World Government conspiracy itself. At this point our author shows no awareness that this is a conservative conspiracy theory he’s uncovered. The web site from which he’s drawing from Illuminati Conspiracy Archive, is rabidly right wing. It even accuses Bill O’Reilly of being an Illuminati disinformation agent.

We continue. (Emphasis added.)

All this is rather difficult for one to accept, and quite easy to dismiss as the paranoid ravings of extremists with too much time on their hands. But the mere possibility that even part of it is true was enough to send a chill down my spine. So, I decided to investigate independent, non-conspiracy theorist sources, and see if I could find any evidence of this plot in modern society.

Fair enough, I suppose. Our author arrives upon a group (this one really exists) called the Lucis Trust. They are a messianic organization that preaches respect of all people and cultures. They see a commonality in figures such as Christ and the Buddha. And they believe that the coming of the Avatar will be for all humanity, not just Christians. Also they are critical of Christian missionaries more concerned with nominal converts than spiritual converts. The group has sort of an ecumenical, One Religion kind of overtone. So you can see why our author found this relevant.

Additionally, and more damning, the Lucis Trust is listed as having ECOSOC Roster Consultative Status. The ECOSOC is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. ECOSOC's purview extends to over 70 per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire UN system. (Text from the ECOSOC site.)

It turns out that any NGO in existence for at least two years and doing work related to this broad mandate can apply for this status. There are hundreds of them. Roster Status is a catch-all for NGOs that are not large and have no particular technical expertise.

Here’s the kicker. Still in regards to the Lucis Trust:

Intimately linked to the organization are former American president, Jimmy Carter; former German chancellor, Helmut Schmidt; former English prime minister, Lord Callaghan of Cardiff; former United States secretary of defense and retired president of the World Bank, Robert McNamara; and many others of similar standing throughout the world.

The Lucis Trust posted on their web site a copy of a statement on human responsibilities written by the completely unrelated InterAction Council. That document was endorsed by all of the above.

We conclude: (emphasis added)

But, mixed in among the outrageous and thoroughly unbelievable, there are a few nuggets of truth that deserve greater scrutiny. One of them is the fact that an organization founded by an occult teacher of esoteric philosophy that advocates the formation of one world religion, and seems to have a particular distaste for Christians, has connections with the elite in every human discipline. You may not take Lucis Trust seriously; but the United Nations and world leaders do. The question is why.

We might dismiss this as the ramblings of one person. Yet he clearly hit a chord with his readers. I don’t think we can so easily dismiss this vein of sentiment in American culture. A sampling of responses:

As far as the Lucis Trust goes, - it’s freaky!!! I must do more research on it, but anything that the UN and Jimmy Carter are involved in is “not quite right”. We all know that the UN wants to rule the world. No surprise there, and like most liberals they'll go about it anyway they have too...from perverting christianity to condoning murder.

Presented to the world as a mystical revelation, the UN Earth Charter is actually a diabolical blueprint for global government…. The Charter is intended to become a universally adopted creed that will psychologically prepare the world’s children to accept the necessity of world government to save the environment. It is also an outrageous attempt to indoctrinate your children in the UN’s New Age paganism…. Have some fun, we are entering the end times, and for those who are blind to it I'm very sorry for you.

Pat Robertson wrote a book on the matter with regards to the one world government and new world order stuff. While I have trouble with much of it, I am not ready to say it it is all beyond the realm of some possiblity. The Devil may not be running the U.N., but that does not mean his followers aren't.

As far as there being a movement for a 'one world' socialist or communist government well we had be weary of that. We have been attacked by a covert army and the United Nations have betrayed us. And there is already a covert effort to undermine our war effort from within and to alter our Constitution.

To be fair, there were four critical responses, though our author defended his thesis to each. There was a fair amount of talk about End Times, a couple of swipes at Hillary Clinton, and a lot of chatter. Neither our author nor many of his respondents were willing to fully accept the Illuminati or Lucis Trust conspiracy theories. Yet they were willing to take this as evidence of another conspiracy, that of UN to abolish US sovereignty and Christianity and impose a New World Order. For most the possibilities implied by these theories were enough to enhance their fear and suspicion of the UN.

So what gives? I’ll not try here to analyze the motives of these individual writers. But I will note that what started out as an attempt to figure out why those wacky liberals were willing to believe such outrageous conspiracy theories morphed into a discussion about how those evil liberals were willing to engage in such outrageous conspiracies. Without even a hint of irony our author went from “How could so many people raise their voice in agreement, latching onto a Kool-Aid inspired fantasy?” to “the fact that an organization founded by an occult teacher of esoteric philosophy that advocates the formation of one world religion, and seems to have a particular distaste for Christians, has connections with the elite in every human discipline.”

A willingness to believe evil intent of one’s ideological rivals and to impute to them unfair claims about the motives and beliefs of one’s own group are, I think, two sides of the same coin. The elements of which that coin is made include: fear, distrust of “elites”, jingoism, fundamentalism and a persecution complex. But that is a substantial claim. I would not expect anyone to accept it with substantiation. And I am wary of treading too close to counteraccusations of: You’re the conspiracy nut. No, you’re the conspiracy nut.

But just because this is treacherous ground, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth exploring. And that is exactly what I intend to do. Later.

"Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you." - Unknown

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At 4:15 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

Hello. First of all, thanks for the linkage to good ole Fagistan. Much appreciated. But, I want to take a few swipes at the UN. I'm an internationalist liberal, but I find both leftist and rightist critiques of the UN to have merit. The UN is woefully inadequate to the task it is given, corrupted by corporate and provincial nationalistic interests, racist and weak. The UN serves almost no useful function in the world that could not be accomplished through a much smaller international operation for humantarian aid. But the UN's inability to do anything ever should not make us less wary of foreign entanglements. I'm not an isolationist, but I think the United States has a history that proves it unwise to mess in the affairs of Europe and Asia. The European political system was, for many hundreds of years, merely a machine for the creation of meaningless war. The United States engaged rarely, and often at great cost. The Second World War alone was worth the effort. Now the European political system is merely a machine for the cultural and economic integration of a continent. This is likely only to cause a great deal of trouble before all is said and done, and we would be wise to let them sort it out.


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