The Guys Behind The Guys Behind The Guys
Ok we are starting to get towards the centre of this rather putrid, political and industrialist onion. This is where the real power starts to be seen. These are the guys behind the guys, behind the guys. That is a film reference, as some of you may have noticed, it is a quote from Swingers – a great film that I particularly enjoy and has nothing to do with the Human Centipede – a rubbish film, as some have incorrectly assumed.
To some this might get a little tedious, names of extremely wealthy people and think tanks – "Come on man, where are the bloody lizard people?" - I hear you, don't panic. However, these are the people that install leaders and influence policy all over the world. If you believe in the concept of hidden hands pulling strings behind the scenes – then these are who those hands belong to – they are the Jim Henson controlling the Muppets in power. Also they are connected to an insane Nazi and a CIA mind control cult ran by a man who thinks he is the second coming of Jesus, so it's not all boring facts and figures.
So the guys behind the guys behind the guys – again this is a reference to hidden levels of clandestine influence and power and in no way a allusion to the types of films John Holmes had to do late in his career when his cocaine habit vastly exceeded his earning potential.
These people directed the actions of Reagan and Thatcher, implemented policies for Clinton, Bush and Obama, dictated who is appointed to the Supreme Court and have currently got over sixty members happily ensconced in the Trump administration.
They sit quietly in the background directing their operatives and agitating. In this sense they are not dissimilar to James Bond's SPECTRE, the Ninja Turtles Foot Clan or even the Man from Uncles THRUSH.
The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington DC. Often it is referred to simply as Heritage, because hey, time is money – and these people they love themselves some money. The think tank's purpose is to influence/direct the policy decisions of world leaders towards a more business and industry friendly path. Sure some workers rights may be removed and environmental concerns are put to the back of the queue, but as they say, you can't make an omelette etc.
Heritage's influence was most clearly seen during the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, who took the majority of his policy decisions from a list of suggestions put to him by the think tank. This list was collated in a study named the Mandate for Leadership that was given to Reagan by the foundation to act as a blueprint for his time in Office.
The Foundation maintains strong ties with the London Institute of Economic Affairs and the Mont Pelerin Society. The Mont Perelin Society has close ties with the pro Brexit Bruges Group.
The Heritage Foundation was founded in 1973 with money from Joseph Coors. That is the same Coors as in Coors beer. The man behind the brewing giant (and his brother) was a rabid right wing conservative, Christian fundamentalist. His brother William Coors once described him as "a little bit right of Attila the Hun". Joseph was also a segregationist, so an all round classy guy.
With his money he asked his friend Paul Weyrich to form the Heritage Foundation with another associate Edwin Feulner. Initially people felt that Weyrich was the wrong person for the job as he was known to hold Nazi sympathies (his anti-Semitic and anti LGBT beliefs are far from a secret) and due to his friendship with noted Hungarian Nazi and convicted war criminal, Laszlo Pasztor:
"Weyrich founded the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress (CSFC), an organization that trained and mobilized conservative activists, recruited conservative candidates, and raised funds for conservative causes.
The CSFC, founded by Weyrich, "became active in eastern European politics after the Cold War. Figuring prominently in this effort was Weyrich's right-hand man, Laszlo Pasztor, a former leader of the pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party in Hungary, which had collaborated with Hitler's Reich. After serving two years in prison for his Arrow Cross activities, Pasztor found his way to the United States, where he was instrumental in establishing the ethnic-outreach arm of the Republican national Committee."
Weyrich also coined the phrase "The moral majority". Lunatic, evangelical charlatan Jerry Fallwell ("If you gave him an enema you could bury him in a matchbox" – Christopher Hitchens) started a rightwing fundamentalist Christian political group of the same name in 1978, with the help of Weyrich. Fallwell was also involved in the Heritage Foundation.
In the 1990's Weyrich made the proposal to several right wing groups, "that the federal government secretly lace illegal drugs with substances like rat poison and release them into the black market." This is not dissimilar to tales of tainted alcohol during the times of prohibition in the USA.
The purpose of the Heritage Foundation was to influence the opinions and decisions of politicians, similarly to the manner in which the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute were already doing. Coors wanted to have a powerful foundation that would be beneficial for his business interests but that also promoted hard line right wing Christian values tied in with conservative ( and some say racist) values and sympathy for Nazi policies thinly disguised as "anti-communism".
So what was the Brookings Institution?
The Brookings Institution is an American research group founded in 1916 to conduct research into economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. The purpose of the Institution is to "provide innovative and practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthen American democracy; foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans; and secure a more open, safe, prosperous, and cooperative international system."
The Brookings institute was originally thought of to be centrist or leaning more towards the conservative edge of the Democratic Party. Indeed since 1990 they have given 90% of their donations to democratic politicians. However this position changes dependent on whom you speak to. They have been described as centrist, liberal, conservative, right wing and left wing. They have representatives working for both political parties in the USA and take donations from some people who have a less than stellar public persona when it comes to workers rights, fair trade and acceptable business practices. The institute itself claims to be completely non partisan.
Its largest contributors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Hutchins Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, the LEGO Foundation, David Rubenstein, State of Qatar, and John L. Thornton.
The Qatari government was named by The New York Times as "the single biggest foreign donor to Brookings", having reportedly made a $14.8 million, four-year contribution in 2013. A former visiting fellow at a Brookings affiliate in Qatar reportedly said that "he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatar government in papers"
Other companies who provide smaller donations include: Carnegie Corporation of New York, Fannie Mae Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation (Koch brothers), Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Embassy of Qatar, The Rockefeller Foundation, Cheryl and Haim Saban, Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, United Nations, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AT&T, Richard C. Blum and Senator Dianne Feinstein, Boston College, Exxon Mobil Corporation, State Farm Insurance Companies, Tel Aviv University, Tokyo Club Foundation for Global Studies, Visa USA, Inc., Allstate Foundation, Chevron Corporation, Government of Denmark, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation, Shell Oil Company, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., World Economic Forum, Alcoa Foundation, Altria Group, Inc., American Express Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, The Boeing Company, BP America Inc., Cato Institute, Coca-Cola Company, Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, GE Foundation, General Dynamics Corporation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Lockheed Martin, MassMutual, Microsoft Corporation, Pfizer, Inc., Raytheon, BellSouth Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Caterpillar Foundation, CIGNA Foundation, Citigroup Foundation, ConocoPhillips, The Dow Chemical Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Honda North America, Inc., Marathon Oil Company Foundation, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and Mitsubishi International Corporation.
This list basically comprises a who's who of dodgy business interests and all manner of nefarious ventures and skulduggery behind the scenes type companies that think nothing of, for example, overthrowing a democratically elected leader to benefit their personal profit margins.
So despite their fondly self imagined representation, contributing to the creation of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan, and the Congressional Budget Office, as well as to the development of influential policies for deregulation, broad-based tax reform, welfare reform, and foreign policy – they are just another conduit for big business to influence politicians via legal but totally immoral means.
Anyway in the 1970's the Coors brothers and Paul Weyrich wanted to make a similarly influential think tank that served their own particular brand of right wing, hard line conservatism and provided opportunities, via political means, to expand their businesses and also their almost insane lust for money and power. In 1973, businessman Joseph Coors contributed $250,000 to establish The Heritage Foundation and continued to fund it through the Adolph Coors Foundation. In 1973, it had trustees from Chase Manhattan Bank, Dow Chemical, General Motors, Pfizer, Sears and Mobil.
The plan was to normalise far right attitudes or to disguise them as a moral choice, a patriotic choice or an anti – communist action. This is essentially what this blog series has been about, wealthy business men utilising seemingly innocuous media to spread ideological themes and fake stories to promote an attitude that ultimately benefits the wealthy but is disguised as an organic uprising of repressed everyday folk. It's almost as if that was the plan all along – as confirmed by the Heritage Foundation:
"When we started out, Heritage was routinely referred to as an "ultra-conservative," "far right" or "extreme right wing" organization. Today our ideas—which are based on the same philosophical principles as they were two decades ago—are considered mainstream.—Heritage Foundation Annual Report, 1993"
Weyrich left Heritage in 1974 to found the Free Congress Foundation, an activist group that still works closely with Heritage. Convicted Nazi war criminal Lazlo Pasztor worked out of FCF's Washington office so at least Weyrich had a friend to chat to at work.
Coors and his like-minded family members have aided such rightist causes as apartheid South Africa, the Mozambican terrorists RENAMO and the Nicaraguan contras. On the home front, Coors family members have funded the John Birch Society, James Watt's Mountain States Legal Foundation and the right-wing Christian group Campus Crusade for Christ.
In January 1981 Heritage published their document, the Mandate for Leadership and provided it to President Ronald Reagan. The document was received well by the Reagan administration and distributed to every member of his cabinet. The Mandate for Leadership contained around 2000 suggested policies that promoted conservative ideology and strongly favoured large businesses by removing regulations that prevented larger profit margins. By the end of Reagan's first year as President over 60% of the document had been put into practice. As well as writing the policies, the Heritage also provided a large number of its members to work for the Regan Whitehouse – a tactic that they still employ today. Ronald Reagan later on said that the Heritage Foundation played a "vital force" in the successes during his presidency.
Heritage was influential in developing and advancing of the so-called "Reagan Doctrine," a Reagan administration foreign policy initiative in which the U.S. provided military and other support to anti-communist resistance movements fighting Soviet-aligned governments in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Nicaragua and other nations during the final years of the Cold War.
Critics have pointed out that in Nicaragua the USA trained rebel fighters in torture techniques using the document "Psychological Operations in Guerrilla War" – which advocated public rapes, dismemberments and torture as well as toughening fighters up by having them bite the heads off living animals, and then of course there was the whole Iran – Contra thing, but that is another story.
Heritage also advocated the development of new ballistic missile defence systems for the United States. Reagan adopted this as his top defence priority in 1983, calling it the Strategic Defence Initiative. That's right it was the Heritage Foundation that recommended Reagan creating the "Star Wars" space based missile defence system.
During the Reagan and Bush administrations, The Heritage Foundation served as the President's brain trust on foreign policy.
The Heritage Foundation remained an influential voice on domestic and foreign policy issues during President George H. W. Bush's administration. It was a leading proponent of Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, and – according to Frank Starr, head of the Baltimore Sun's Washington bureau – the foundation's studies "laid much of the groundwork for Bush administration thinking" about post-Soviet foreign policy. In domestic policy, the Bush administration agreed with six of the ten budget reforms contained in the Heritage's updated Mandate for Leadership III and included them in their 1990 budget proposal.
The Heritage are not shy about approaching Democratic politicians to make proposals, if they feel they are beneficial to them. For example When Bill Clinton was President his welfare reform act was based on a Heritage proposal.
From Jacobin Magazine:
"For those who had counted on Clinton to "end welfare as we know it," the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) was not a disappointment. AFDC was gone in its entirety, along with the entire federal apparatus for directly administering welfare. In its place was a new system called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which completely transformed the country's public benefits system.
TANF ended the guarantee that poor mothers could receive assistance from the federal government. Instead, it imposed a five-year lifetime cap on benefits and instituted a work requirement. Nobody could receive benefits for more than two years at a time. Immigrants (even lawful permanent residents) were barred from receiving benefits.
Most importantly, it decentralized the administration of benefits. Rather than being a federal program, TANF was delivered as a series of block grants to state governments, who were relied upon to make sure that the funds made their way into the hands of recipients. And the total amount spent by the federal government would be far less than its previous AFDC expenditures.
This move was not just radical. It was an obliteration of the social guarantee to poor families that Democrats had spent decades building.
When Clinton signed the bill, the New York Times reported that in a "sweeping reversal of Federal policy, President Clinton today ended six decades of guaranteed help to the nation's poorest children" and thereby "eliminated a pillar of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal social welfare program, delighting the Republican-controlled Congress in this election year and incensing many of his fellow Democrats." Clinton's labor secretary, Robert Reich, said Clinton had outright "ended the promise of help to the indigent and their children which Franklin D. Roosevelt had initiated more than sixty years before."
The program was excellent at getting people off welfare, however this did not translate into people being able to work or survive without assistance – it just meant that the government numbers of welfare recipients looked far lower.
"There's been a flurry of credible reports suggesting that all is not well with welfare reform. But President Clinton and Vice President Gore continue to claim that welfare is "working." What they overlook is why, at a time when the welfare rolls have been cut in half and the economy is booming, we now are finding that millions more children are going to bed hungry each night; demand for emergency food assistance is growing; millions of poor families are dropping off the Food Stamp rolls faster than economic indicators would predict; and former welfare recipients are losing their medical coverage, cannot make the rent and utilities, and are unable to afford child care. These are not the results of successful reform."
In the years since welfare reform, the percentage of families in extreme poverty in America increased by 50%.
The 2010 Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare was also originally a Heritage proposal – although they have publically stated that Obama was trying to implement this program in the wrong way.
Heritage was hugely influential in the Presidential campaign of Donald Trump following the recommendation of him as a candidate by those connected to Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon, the Koch brothers and William Regnery.
Heritage released its "Blueprint for a New Administration" days before the election, filling it with recommendations for a Trump administration that reveals some of what its members are likely advising Trump. Key elements include balancing the budget, repealing Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, reducing entitlement programs, rolling back government regulations and building out national defence budgets.
In 2014, the Heritage Foundation began building a database of approximately 3,000 conservatives who they trusted to serve in a hypothetical Republican administration for the upcoming 2016 election. According to individuals involved in crafting the database, several hundred people from the Heritage database ultimately received jobs in the Trump administration. At least 66 foundation employees and alumni got positions in the administration. 2014 was, coincidentally, about the time that Cambridge Analytica were using quizzes on Facebook to gauge which political slogans would be effective, they discovered ( as you will know from reading the previous blog ) that slogans like "Build the Wall", "Lock her up" and the concept of fighting against the "Deep State" were what really resonated with voters – sound familiar? Similarly during Brexit the slogan "Take back control" was thrown around as an effective earworm by the (illegally) coordinated leave campaigns.
The foundation also recommended cabinet members Scott Pruitt, Betsy DeVos, Mick Mulvaney, Rick Perry, and Jeff Sessions. Heritage head Jim DeMint personally intervened on behalf of Mulvaney, who would go on to head the Office of Management and Budget and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
DeMint spoke to CNN about the Trump transition:
"For the last couple of years, we have been preparing to advise as well as to help collect a whole catalog of people from all over the country who could help Trump accomplish his objectives," DeMint said, clarifying that when the effort began, it was without a particular candidate in mind. "So we had a dedicated transition team that's been going now from this time last year, as well as developing the policy manuals ... on every issue and what the President can do on executive orders."
Some of the conservative think tank's top names are volunteering at high levels within the transition, including former Heritage President Ed Feulner, former Reagan attorney general and Heritage fellow Edwin Meese and former Reagan official and Heritage fellow Becky Norton Dunlop. Heritage scholars are advising on policy throughout the transition, including in areas of foreign policy, domestic policy, budget and administration management, and 11 members of Trump's agency landing teams so far have Heritage or its sister political group listed as their most recent employer.
No other Washington institution has that kind of footprint in the transition.
While Trump himself does not have a long relationship with Heritage, DeMint served in the House with Pence and calls him a "great friend." Trump's attorney general nominee, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has been shaping the transition for months, also has a long relationship with DeMint and the think tank.
The coziness is no secret in Washington. At a Heritage Foundation event just after the election, John Yoo, a Berkeley Law professor and scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, got warm laughter from the crowd by cracking about the closeness.
"I'm surprised there are so many people here because I thought everyone at Heritage was working over at transition headquarters," Yoo said during the panel about Trump's win. "I asked the taxi cab driver to take me to Trump transition headquarters, and he dropped me off here, instead."
Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch were Heritage Foundation picks for the Supreme Court due to their conservative politics. Heritage spent over $11.5 million to ensure that Kavanaugh was given the job.
In October 2017 Trump gave a speech to the foundation that seemed to confirm that he will be following their instructions.
Firstly he confirmed the appointment of Heritage guy Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court:
"Here in America, we are strengthening our own freedom by appointing Judges to the bench who will support and defend the constitution of the United States. With your help, we have not only nominated but confirmed the new Supreme Court Justice, who is doing a spectacular job, Neil Gorsuch"
He then promised to make things easier for the oil and coal industries owned by members of the Heritage (slightly couched in language about concern for jobs but transparent nonetheless)
"We have taken action to repeal the EPA's so called clean power plan and we have ended the war on clean beautiful coal – (Sorry I had to stop the quote there – seriously what the actual fuck?!)
Trump goes on to say:
"We have removed the job killing regulations at a record pace. In nine months we have done more, they say, than any President in history and we are nine months and there is more to come. We have statutory guidelines we have to go by, a period of time but there is much more to come. I believe in regulation but it has to be limited to what we need."
I think the inference is obvious enough here. Ah what the hell, I'll spell it out, this is about removing guidelines that help workers and the environment and benefitting the profit margins of businesses.
Trump went on to signal clearly to his wealthy sponsors that this would be a mutually beneficial relationship:
"In addition to simplification, the other pillar of our tax plan is reducing our crushing business tax so that we can restore America's competitive edge"
This must have been desperately embarrassing for everyone in the room, realising that by total coincidence the policies they had promoted had just made them all a lot wealthier but with a stiff upper lippedness that can only be described as sterling, the members of the Heritage stood firm.
Trump then transitioned into the type of free-wheeling bullshit he is known for:
"Working closely with the Heritage Foundation, Ronald Reagan cut taxes to unleash the economic miracle of the 1980's. You understand that lower taxes mean bigger paychecks, more jobs and stronger growth."
This is of course total hogwash. Reaganomics and trickle-down economics only benefitted the wealthy and expanded the rich – poor divide. Thatcher's privatisation was a similar disaster for normal people. Both of these things were driven by the Heritage Foundation and their associates (see previous blogs). Trump adopted the Heritage Foundation's Budget Blueprint as the script for his government spending and policy direction.
The idea that Trump is not, as he states – a man of the people and is in fact a corrupt elitist who only wants to promote his own brand and help his contemporaries is, thankfully becoming more obvious to more people. The clues were always there to be seen. He has surrounded himself with bankers and billionaires. He appointed Jerome Powell of Bankers Trust and the Carlyle Group to the chairman of the Federal Reserve, he appointed Steve Mnuchin formally of Goldman Sachs to the Secretary of the Treasury, he appointed Jim Donovan also of Goldman Sachs as number two at the Treasury, he appointed Dina Powell of Goldman Sachs as a National Security Advisor and Gary Cohn the president of Goldman Sachs is his chief economic advisor. He also appointed John Bolton as his National Security advisor, you know the guy behind the Axis of Evil and Weapons of Mass destruction lies.
Donors to the Heritage Foundation – those who gain from their policies
- Thomas A. Saunders III, Trustee since 2005 and current Chairman; founder of Saunders Karp & Megrue.
- Larry P. Arnn, Trustee since 2002; President of Hillsdale College.
- Jim DeMint, Former President and board member; former United States Senator from South Carolina.
- Edwin J. Feulner, Trustee since 1973; President of the Heritage Foundation, the Mont Pelerin Society, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the Philadelphia Society.
- Steve Forbes, Trustee since 2001; President and CEO of Forbes.
- Jerry Hume, Trustee since 1993; Chairman of Basic American Foods.
- Kay Coles James, Trustee since 2005; former Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management.
- Edwin Meese, III, former Attorney General of the United States
- Rebekah Mercer, Trustee since 2014; Director of the Mercer Family Foundation.
- J. William Middendorf, Trustee since 1989; former Secretary of the Navy and Ambassador to the European Communities, the Organization of American States, and the Netherlands.
- Brian Tracy, Trustee since 2003; motivational public speaker and self-development author.
Honorary and emeritus board members
- Midge Decter, Trustee from 1981 to 2015 and Society of Emeritus Trustees since 2015; journalist.
- Frank Shakespeare, Honorary Trustee since 1979; United States Ambassador to the Vatican (1986–1989).
- William E. Simon, Jr., Trustee from 2008 to 2015 and Member of the Society of Emeritus Trustees since 2015; Politician and banker.
Other notable donors and their views
Richard Mellon Scaife actually provided three times as much funding for Heritage than the Coors family, giving $900,000 during their initial year. Via his three foundations, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Carthage and Allegheny, Scaife provided over $1.6 million in 1993 alone. Since the inception of the Heritage Foundation Scaife has personally given over $200 million to right wing institutions.
In 1981 a reporter gently pressed Scaife about his contributions to these right wing causes, to which his completely reasonable and in no way indicative of a total loon, response was to berate the journalist for such an impertinent question and scream in his face "You fucking Communist cunt, get out of here."
Ben Blackburn was the Chair of Heritage from 1973 to 1982. In 1972 he had publically advocated hanging for those in public housing who fall behind with their rent.
Roger Pearson worked on the board for the Heritages magazine, Policy Review until 1978 when it was exposed by the Washington Post that he was the organiser of the conference of the virulently anti-Semitic Anti- Communist League (it wasn't so much anti – communist as pro Nazi and included actual Nazi war criminals, members of brutal military dictatorships and people actively involved in ethnic cleansing and death squads in South America). Before joining Policy Review's board, Pearson co-founded the Northern League, a pagan fascist organization whose other co-founders included Hans Gunther, a noted Third Reich "racial scientist". Pearson later went on to publish the "scientific" journal Mankind Quarterly a major outlet for eugenicists' claims that blacks are genetically inferior to whites and Asians.
Ernest Lefever very nearly became the assistant Secretary of State in 1981. This was scuppered when the Heritage members racist views were uncovered. Firstly his own brother publically labelled him a racist, secondly his company had taken donations from Apartheid South Africa and supported the white government of Rhodesia, as it was still known then. Most damning of all though, was an article written by Lefever himself in Policy Review which argued against diplomatic human rights, because you know – fuck people.
In 1985 Eileen Gardener briefly worked for the Department of Education whilst being the Heritage Foundation's education expert. She didn't last long in the role however as a 1983 article she had written for the Heritage Foundation surfaced. In it she wrote that laws mandating special education "selfishly drained resources from the normal population." Disabled people," she wrote, "have "summoned" their disabilities, because "a person's external circumstances fit his level of inner spiritual development." For those of you concerned, she was welcomed back into the fold of the Heritage with no ill feeling. To be fair Glenn Hoddle made similar comments years ago and he is still on the TV – although he released the masterpiece "Diamond lights" with his football legend friend Chris Waddle, so obviously gets a bit of a pass for that.
Dinesh D'Souza was the editor of Policy review from 1985 to 1987 but still contributes to the magazine. He also is published by William Regnery – the white supremacist who wants America to be an all white ethnostate. Regnery is also good friends with the current President of Heritage Ed Fuelner who has run the foundation since 1977.
From Mother Jones:
"The Regnery family's political story starts with his grandfather and namesake, William H. Regnery, a Chicago textile magnate. He was a New Deal Democrat, but in 1940 he helped found the right-wing America First Committee, which sought to stop the United States from going to war against Nazi Germany. The committee, which attracted Nazi sympathizers and anti-Semites, disbanded when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
The America First name, meanwhile, has experienced a renaissance as one of Trump's leading mottos for his presidency.
White couples weren't having enough babies, Regnery declared, and the government was allowing in hordes of nonwhite immigrants "as if to hasten our demise."
After World War II, Regnery's uncle, Henry Regnery, made the family a power in GOP politics through his publishing house, which was subsidized by inherited wealth. He printed the works of writers whom he called "giants of American conservatism:" William F. Buckley Jr. ("God and Man at Yale"), Russell Kirk ("The Conservative Mind"), and Robert Welch, co-founder of the John Birch Society. Regnery books—anti-communist, anti-big-government and pro-business—helped define what it meant to be a Republican in postwar America. Upon his death in 1996, he was eulogized as "the godfather of modern conservatism."
William Regnery II's cousin, Alfred Regnery, was an official in the Reagan administration's Justice Department and then became president of Regnery Publishing. The imprint still exists, under new ownership: Among its recent best-selling authors are Ann Coulter (Adios, America!) and Trump (Time to Get Tough). Regnery himself plunged into conservative politics at the University of Pennsylvania in the early 1960s. As he wrote in his 2015 memoir, Left Behind, he joined the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a nonprofit set up to recruit Republican activists on college campuses. His family helped endow the institute, and Regnery remained involved for more than 40 years. On the institute's board, he associated with GOP stalwarts, including former US Attorney General Edwin Meese, Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, and Buckley, founder of the National Review."
The Koch Brothers
The Heritage Foundation has received funding from organizations with connections to the Koch brothers. In 2012, the Heritage Foundation received $650,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which was one of the Koch Family Foundations before it closed in 2013. The Lambe Foundation contributed at least $4.8 million to the Heritage Foundation between 1998 and 2012.
In recent years, the Heritage Foundation has also received funding from Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, including $53,300 in 2010 and $69,850 in 2012. The Koch brothers have donated millions of dollars to Donors Trust through the Knowledge and Progress Fund, and possibly other vehicles
The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). Paul Weyrich also helped found ALEC.
Ok so now we get on to the fun and wacky stuff.
The Heritage Foundation also takes donations from abroad and some of their donors hint at the connection to a larger network of intelligence agencies that I have been talking about throughout this blog series.
In 1988 the South Korean National Assembly discovered a document that showed Heritage had received $2.2 million from Korean Intelligence earlier in that decade. Until the document was discovered this was a closely held secret. To this day the Heritage Foundation denies this despite the evidence. In 1995 Heritage received $400,000 from Samsung, a company based in Korea. Some thought this might be money laundering. Even more people thought that when the Wall Street Journal discovered that between 1993 and 1996 Heritage was the lucky recipient of $1 million from the Korea Foundation. It has been reported that the Korea Foundation essentially "serves as a direct conduit of money from the South Korean government."
Heritage also seems to be connected to Reverend Sun Myung Moon and the Church of Unification. Some believe that this is a mind control cult, others go even further and suggest that it is a CIA backed mind control experiment. Reverend Sun Myung Moon seems to have amassed a huge fortune and zombie like devotion from his followers who genuinely believe him to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. The church is also known as The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (historically Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity) but more commonly known as the Moonies after their leader.
In 1975 Ed Fuelner of the Heritage Foundation was introduced to Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) station chief Kim Yung Hwan by Neil Salonen and Dan Feffernan of the Freedom Leadership foundation". Salonen was head of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in the United States. The Freedom Leadership Foundation (FLF), a political arm of Moon's Unification network, was linked to the World Anti-Communist League. As you may recall Weyrich and Pearson of Heritage were closely connected to the Anti Communist League.
More fascists and the CIA
Despite being based in Korea, the Moonies were initially financed by a pair of Japanese fascists who were also exposed as being assets of the CIA.
The first financier was Ryoichi Sasakawa, identified in a 1992 Frontline television news investigative report as the key money source behind Moon's far-flung world religious/business empire. Sasakawa bragged to Time magazine that he was "the world's richest fascist."
In the 1930s, Sasakawa was one of Japan's leading fascists. He organized a private army of 1500 men equipped with 20 war planes. His followers were Japan's version of Mussolini's Black Shirts. Sasakawa has publically praised Mussolini as being "The perfect fascist". Sasakawa was a key figure in leading Japan into World War II and was an "uncondemned Class-A war criminal." Following WW II, he was captured and imprisoned for war crimes.
Sasakawa was freed in 1948 alongside another Japanese war criminal named Yoshio Kodama. Kodama was also accused of war crimes and was known to be a key figure in the Japanese crime syndicate the Yakuza. During WW II, Kodama activities, according to the U.S. Army counterintelligence records consisted of "systematically looting China of its raw materials" and dealing in heroin, guns, tungsten, gold, industrial diamonds and radium.
The year that both these men were released is curious as 1948 was the year after the CIA was formed from the OSS. In January 1995, Japan's KYODO News Service uncovered documents establishing that Kodama's release coincided with an agreement he had made with U.S. military intelligence two months earlier to serve as an informant. Declassified documents link Kodama's release to the CIA.
In 1997 it was revealed that the Unification Church was created with the help of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) and the Moonies were working in direct conjunction with KCIA director Kim Chong Phil. The KCIA was set up by the CIA following WWII and the report revealed that the Unification Church was to act as a political tool to influence US foreign policy.
Moon began preaching his message of being the second coming of Christ as early as 1945. In 1946, Moon travelled alone to Pyongyang in Communist-ruled North Korea. Moon was arrested on allegations of spying for South Korea and given a five-year sentence to the Hŭngnam labor camp.
In 1950, after serving 34 months of his sentence, Moon was released from North Korea during the Korean War when United Nations troops advanced on the camp and the guards fled.
He founded his church in 1954 – this was about the same time that the CIA's mind control program MK-Ultra was really kicking into gear.
So that's financed by two CIA assets and set up by the CIA then?
Indeed it is. So anyway, Moon and his two fascist friends Kodama and Sasakawa formed the Asian People's Anti-Communist League with the help of the KCIA in the early 1960's. In 1964 the League provided the funds to set up centres in the USA and the following year Moon himself arrived in the USA to establish "holy grounds" for his church. Sasakawa and Kodama busied themselves with a church subsidiary named Win Over Communism.
Amazingly Reverend Sun Myung Moon managed to meet up with former President Dwight Eisenhower. Eisenhower and also President Truman would later back the Moonies Korean Cultural Freedom Foundation.
In 1966 The Asian Anti Communist League merged with the Anti Bolshevik Block of Nations which would lead to the formation of the World Anti Communist league to which several Heritage alumni are involved.
In 1969, Moon and Sasakawa jointly formed the Freedom Leadership Foundation, a pro-Vietnam War organization that lobbied the U.S. government.
In the 1970's the Moonies gained an element of notoriety in what would become known as Koreagate. Essentially young, beautiful, female Moonies would seduce and offer sexual favours to US congressmen in order to influence their decision making, gain blackmail information or angle for other types of leverage. These meetings were held at suites at the Washington Hilton that had been rented by the Moonies.
When Ronald Reagan became the President of the USA in 1980 Reverend Sun Myung Moon was at the inauguration ceremony as an honoured guest of then head of the CIA George H. W. Bush. Around this time the Moonies were providing money and aid to the right wing military coup that was taking place in Bolivia, establishing the country as one of the first narco-states. During the Iran Contra debacle it was exposed that US Major General John Singlaub was not only the chairman of the World Anti Communist League but had also enlisted mercenary soldiers and paramilitary organisations to fight in Nicaragua against the Sandinistas.
During the height of the Nicaraguan civil war in the 1980s, the Washington Times led a fundraising drive on behalf of the contras, a rebel group that sought to overthrow the country's leftist government. The Washington Times is owned by none other than the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.
In 1987 there was an expose in Extra!, the magazine of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, on how top executives of The Washington Times and its parent company just so happened to be current or former KCIA agents:
"Three NWC executives are not only top Unification Church officials, but have also had high-ranking posts in the Korean CIA (KCIA). Sang Kook Han, a "personal assistant" to the KCIA director in the early 1960s, later served as South Korea's ambassador to Norway and Panama. In 1984, Han was installed at the Washington Times, precipitating the resignation of editor James Whelan. Currently senior vice president of New World Communications, Han is described by Whelan as the "de facto publisher" and "inspector general" of the Times.
Kim Sang In, another NWC executive, was KCIA station chief in Mexico in the '70s. There, according to U.S. congressional investigators, he functioned as the "control agent" for Tungsun Park, who bribed U.S. officials to gain favors for the South Korean government in what became known as "Koreagate." Congressional probers disclosed that illegal espionage operations linked to Koreagate were carried out by the Unification Church at the behest of the KCIA.
Bo Hi Pak, the president of NWC, served as liaison to the U.S. intelligence community while posted in Washington as South Korean military attache in the 1960s and early '70s, according to the Koreagate inquiry. Pak is also president of CAUSA (Confederation of the Associations for Unity of the Societies of the Americas), the political arm of the Unification Church. CAUSA was instrumental in providing aid to the Nicaraguan contras.
In 1987 the Moonies formed another group named the American Freedom Coalition to promote the religious right and rage against homosexuality and communism.
The American Freedom Coalition is, essentially, a political front group for the Unification Church. Despite this there are some more conventional evangelical Christian figures closely associated with them, most notably Robert Grant of Christian Voice.
During Oliver North's Iran-Contra based legal troubles in 1987-88, the AFC put together a fundraising effort to raise funds for North's legal defence, and for the Nicaraguan Contras. During the first Gulf War, the Moonie-sponsored American Freedom Coalition organized "support the troops" rallies throughout the country.
In 1982 Moon went to prison for a short stretch for tax evasion. He was given a character witness at his trial by Jerry Fallwell and returned the favour many years later by helping the hateful evangelical preacher out of bankruptcy.
President H. W. Bush never shied away from his friendship with Moon and batted away concerns from reporters or distraught family members who were concerned at the seeming change in personality that occurs to his followers akin to brainwashing after joining the Church. There was a time when the Moonies cult. This didn't trouble Bush, who in 1995 spent a week in Japan on behalf of a Moonie front organization, the Women's Federation for World Peace, founded and led by Moon's wife.
In 1996 Bush travelled to Argentina to be the keynote speaker at the opening of the Moonies new Spanish language Newspaper. Many people have questioned why Bush would provide such a crazy organisation with any degree of credibility. Well I have my suspicions and hopefully now so do you.
Bush then went with Moon to Uruguay with Moon to help set up a Moonie seminary which was to hold some four thousand Japanese women who would be trained in the ways of the church. No one seemed to think this was in any way odd or creepy. Anyway, embarrassingly the seminary was later accused of trying to launder $80million through a Uruguayan bank.
The Moonies never forget a favour apparently and in the early 2000's they flew on mass to help George W. Bush, literally. When Dubya was doing particularly badly in the New Hampshire primaries it was Moon's shadowy cultish right-wing network that came to its rescue in South Carolina. Moon's forces helped turn a certain primary defeat into a double-digit victory by spreading Moonies, his zombie-like followers, throughout the state. As the Washington Post reported, "An array of conservative groups have come to reinforce Bush's message with phone banks, radio ads, and mailings of their own."
In March 1999, the Washington Post reported that the cult leader owned the lucrative Kahr Arms company through Saeilo Inc. Sun Myung Moon died in 2012 aged 92. Since then his church has split somewhat. His wife continues the Unification church but his sons Sean and Justin have proclaimed her the Whore of Babylon and set up their own interpretation of the Moonies. This is more violent interpretation that involves a ceremonial AR-15 that Christ will use as his "Rod of Iron" to rule over the planet. Sean's favourite media are Drudge Report, Breitbart News, Infowars, and NRATV. In October 2016, Eric Trump was the grand-opening guest of honour for Justin's Kahr Arms' Tommy Gun Warehouse, which is located in nearby Greeley, Pennsylvania. At the opening, Sean spoke favourably about Donald Trump:
"It's my opinion that we must elect a president that will protect and expand the right to bear arms. … I hope we can all agree that Hillary Clinton should never be the president of the United States. … God bless the U.S.A., and please buy some guns and ammo!"