Clinton: Coe's a "Spiritual Mentor". Dagbladet: He's a "Hitler Admirer"
Earlier this week, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, which has a circulation of roughly 140,000, ran a story, entitled (translated from the original Norwegian) "Hitler-admirer Received by King.", about "Family" head Doug Coe's visit to Norway, where Coe met with the Norwegian King. In the Dagbladet story, journalist Tore Gjerstad quoted Coe, from recordings of Coe's sermons, lauding the commitment of young Chinese Red Guard men, who decapitated their parents, and enthusing over the organizational methods and organizing prowess of Hitler, Lenin and Mao. Hillary Clinton, who denies having any links to Coe and his group, nonetheless has written of the "Fellowship" head as "a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God."
By far the biggest break for this slowly emerging story on The Family/The Fellowship, almost certainly one of the most influential secret political networks on Earth, was in NBC's April 3, 2008 exclusive, Political ties to a secretive religious group.
The NBC story featured a video in which "Fellowship" (or "Family") head Doug Coe celebrated the political conviction of Chinese communists willing to lop off their own parent's heads [with with axes, guillotines were probably not readily available] for the good of the state, but the ensuing minor hubbub didn't quite convince the rest of mainstream media that the story trumped the hullabullulaballoo over sermons given by Barack Obama's ex-pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Although, as detailed by NBC, there exist numerous ties between leading US politicians and Doug Coe, leader of the secretive, global fundamentalist religious group "The Fellowship", who celebrates parental decapitation and waxes enthusiastic over the power inherent in the bond and covenant shared among Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler.
NBC's story had the making of a great scandal but some essential plot elements and body parts were missing from the formula. It lacked celebrity draw, sure, but most importantly there were no obvious elements of sexual scandal. Dismembered heads are OK for shock value but there were no breasts, no starlets, no infidelity, nothing that would tend to rate a mention on Oprah, just the drab and pedestrian quality that seems to accompany the Fellowship's furtive and almost unimaginable global influence - as compared to Sun Myung Moon and his florid rants against "free sex" and bizarre explanations on the divinely ordained "concave" and "convex" nature of human sexual organs, Doug Coe might as well be a bank teller, a mailman or a grocery clerk. And, he prefers it that way. Coe is, as described in a Time story which crowned him "The Stealth Persuader" and one of America's 25 most influential evangelical leaders, the man in the dimly lit, smoky back room, brokering deals: you can't quite see his face.
And, "The Fellowship" is one of the least libidinous organizations imaginable except to the extent that, as noted by Henry Kissinger during his "playboy" period as Richard Nixon's National Security Adviser, power is the "ultimate aphrodesiac". The story lacked obvious sexual protrusions and thus got little media oxygen and was quickly overwhelmed by the daily press of events such as Brittney Spears' minor fender-bender. The Family/Fellowship story has simmered down since NBC's April 3rd story but perhaps Dagbladet's coverage, migrating back over the Atlantic, will rekindle interest in a group lying, as Sharlet puts it, "at the heart of American power." .
As Sharlet and Joyce put it, in "Hillary's Prayer",
"...Coe uses his access to the Oval Office as currency with lesser leaders. "If Doug Coe can get you some face time with the President of the United States," one official told the author of a Princeton study of the National Prayer Breakfast last year, "then you will take his call and seek his friendship. That's power." ... "If you're going to do religion in public life," concurs (Reverend Rob) Schenck, a Jewish convert to fundamentalist Christianity who's retained his sense of irony, Coe's friendship is a kind of "kosher...seal of approval."... Coe's friends include former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Reaganite Edwin Meese III, and ultraconservative Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). Under Coe's guidance, Meese has hosted weekly prayer breakfasts for politicians, businesspeople, and diplomats, and Pitts rose from obscurity to head the House Values Action Team, an off-the-record network of religious right groups and members of Congress created by Tom DeLay. The corresponding Senate Values Action Team is guided by another Coe protégé, Brownback, who also claims to have recruited King Abdullah of Jordan into a regular study of Jesus' teachings."IN response to that clinical take on the tangible poltical influece wielded by Doug Coe and The Fellowship, occasional Talk To Action contributor Tim Mitchell, in his October 2007 story With Friends Like These: When Religious Compromise Compromises Religious Freedom, wrote:
"If you want proof that the First Amendment is actually a sham and its defenders are actually in denial, Coe is it on the basis of these observations. Here's a "shadowy figure", a "back room" man who sounds like someone out of a John Gotti-like crime family, who uses his Christian influence to grant "friendship" to people who desire access to the White House. (One could only wonder what happens to people of faith who don't win Coe's "friendship".) Coe's associates are involved in another "off-the-record network of religious right groups and members of Congress". Furthermore, on the basis of Schenck's remark, in order for a politician to do something religious-based through the government, he would have to get approval from Coe, a conservative Christian evangelist--NOT the Constitution."
As NBC's story framed it,
For more than 50 years, the National Prayer Breakfast has been a Washington institution. Every president has attended the breakfast since Eisenhower, elbow-to-elbow with Democrats and Republicans alike. "I am really proud to carry on that tradition," President Bush said at this year's breakfast. "The people in this room come from many different walks of faith. Yet we share one clear conviction: We believe that the Almighty hears our prayers -- and answers those who seek Him."
Quoted in the NBC piece, journalist Jeff Sharlet described, on his time living with "Fellowship" members in a sex-segregated Washington DC group home owned by The Fellowship - which Sharlet wrote about in his landmark 2003 Harper's story "Jesus Plus Nothing: Undercover Among America's Secret Theocrats" :
"We were being taught the leadership lessons of Hitler, Lenin and Mao and I'd say 'Isn't there a problem with that ?' and they would even seem genuinely perplexed by the question. Hitler's genocide wasn't an issue for them. It was the strength that he emulated... they jokingly call themselves the Christian mafia."
Is Doug Coe, as described by Hillary Clinton, "a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God" or is he, as identified in the April 21, 2008 edition of the Danish newspaper Dagbladet, a "Hitler admirer" ? In response to the April 3, 2008 NBC story Hillary Clinton denied any ties to Coe's group regardless of of her own description of Coe as a friend and "spiritual mentor". The answer depends on who one talks with.
Of course, Senator Hillary Clinton is not responsible for every word to issue from the mouth of "Family" head Doug Coe. Nor should she be.
But there are deeper issues involved here, and given that Clinton joined a an elite prayer cell of "The Family" back in early 1990's it would seem appropriate for Clinton to address her current relationship with the group. According to a September 1, 2007 Mother Jones story, Hillary's Prayer: Hillary Clinton's Religion and Politics, by Jeff Sharlet and Kathryn Joyce, Senator Hillary Clinton's maintains a current relationship to "The Fellowship"/"Family" and there seem to exist also ideological and theological resonances between Clinton's views and views espoused by "The Fellowship". Such resonances might be evidenced, for example, in Hillary Clinton's early support for "Charitable Choice" provisions [described as "radical" by Fellowship member David Kuo who helped draft the provisions while working with then Senator John Ashcroft, another Fellowship member] inserted by John Ashcroft in the 1996 'Welfare Reform' bill that was then signed into law by Bill Clinton. Clinton's motivations for supporting those "charitable coice" provisions might not have been exactly the same as those of Kuo and Ashcroft but Clinton's support did not seem antagonistic to one of the long range goals of The Family: unmaking the government social programs of Roosevelt's New Deal.
Why was Doug Coe meeting with the King of Norway ?
Coe's access to European royalty supports the claims of David Kuo, former second in command at the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives, that the fundamentalist, sex-segregated group "The Family", which organizes in "prayer cells" in a structure favored by communist revolutionary groups, wields, at the international level, almost inconceivable influence and that influence is not always benign. As journalist Jeff Sharlet, author of an upcoming book, "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power"" due to be released May 20th wrote in his landmark 2003 expose' "Jesus Plus Nothing: Undercover Among America's Secret Theocrats",
During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa's postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand "Communists" killed marks him as one of the century's most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise.
At its root, "The Family", or "The Fellowship" (its name and legal organizational structure is has changed over time) is profoundly anti-democratic; the group had its origin in the early Twentieth Century reactionary counter-offensive, by economic elites, to combat the supposed spread of communist and socialist ideology in the United States and the Fellowship M.O. - elite gatherings of wealthy businessmen and political elites in "prayer breakfasts" and "prayer cells" - is more akin in spirit to that Italian fascism, under Mussolini, which was widely admired in America of the 1920's and 1930's and whose symbols were in fact embedded (as I'll cover in an upcoming special report) in certain US government buildings constructed during the period.
Below: April 3, 2008 NBC expose' on The Family, by NBC's Andrea Mitchell and Jim Popkin :
Clinton: Coe's a "Spiritual Mentor". Dagbladet: He's a "Hitler Admirer" | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
Clinton: Coe's a "Spiritual Mentor". Dagbladet: He's a "Hitler Admirer" | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)