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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tea Party totalitarians and...Scientology?

Just before the November election, Brent Budowsky asked me to come up with a video to illustrate his piece on the Tea Party. Budowsky is a former assistant to Lloyd Bentsen and a well-known figure in Democratic circles. He seems to be as angry as I am (well, almost as angry) about Obama's ongoing sell-out to Wall Street. But Budowsky can also recognize a case of political rabies when he sees one. If you inspect the lips of most teabaggers, you'll see unmistakable speckles of red, white and blue foam.

We now sit on the other side of that election -- which, thank God, did not prove to be Der Tag for several of the Hitlerific individuals featured in this video. (Please don't quote Godwin's law to me. Tea-flavored fascism has made Godwin obsolete.)

Even though Sharron Angle managed to blow a sure thing, and even though Carl Paladino won't take his I'm-scarier-than-Robert-Loggia act to the Senate, we are left with the same ghastly conundum: What course do we set between a "Democratic" president who has abandoned his party's principles and a "Republican" opposition committed to principles that will lead to national ruin?

If you have an answer to that poser, please share it with the rest of the class. George Soros has hinted at the need to throw money behind an anyone-but-Obama candidate in 2012. That may be the way to go -- if said candidate stands an improved chance of defeating Palin.

(Of course the nomination will go to Palin. Don't be naive. The fix is in.)

I agree with the conventional wisdom that Obama needs to move to the center. In order to do that, he'll have to do something left-ish.

Then again, where is the center these days? In 1993, a disgruntled Bill Clinton privately told an aide that politics in America was reduced to a choice between the Eisenhower Republicans and the Goldwater Republicans. True enough -- then. Now it's a choice between Goldwater and Francisco Franco.

Classify me as an unrepentant Ike-liker. Under current standards, that makes me a Bolshie.

As you mull over the problem of how to budge the political 50-yard line, you may also want to consider another ongoing enigma: Why do so many hard-right politicians hook up with religious cults?

Take Sharron Angle. She's Tim McVeigh without the girlish charm, and I fear that she will soon be back. She also has odd links to the Scientologists -- links which most progressives have dismissed as unimportant. I disagree with that assessment.

Angle backed a wacky drug-rehabilitation program for prisoners initiated by the Hubbardians. Then she went on to defend Scientology itself as a persecuted faith:
Whenever religion becomes the focal point — we saw this during John F. Kennedy’s race and also, to some degree, in Mitt Romney’s race — whenever this becomes the focus, we Americans should be very, very concerned. We have a First Amendment that guarantees us all the right to worship as we please...
Yada yada; you know the drill. Of course, the First Amendment does not mean that taxpayer dollars should be spent on nutball therapies designed by L. Ron Hubbard, a proven fraud who was himself a hopeless drug addict.

Angle is also a member of the National Foundation of Women Legislators, which, in recent years, has been infiltrated by Scientologists. The treasurer of the group is one Bruce Wiseman, who runs a notorious Scientology front group called the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights. They're the guys intent on proving that all psychiatrists are human devils. (Hubbard hated psychiatrists for pretty much for the same reason an alcoholic might balk at talking to a specialist in liver disease.)

Wiseman's group, it turns out, links up to another one of the tea-stained politicians featured in the video above: Arizona's Pamela Gorman. She's the "Christian" whose campaign commercial featured nearly non-stop gunfire as she auditioned for the Peggy Cummins role in a remake of Gun Crazy. There's a difference between gun ownership and gun fetishization, and Pam's ad exemplifies the distinction.

(Mind you, I think that guns should be legal. I also think that books about Jack the Ripper should be legal. So what would you think about a political candidate who ran ads in which he proudly showed off his "Ripper" collection? Would you be inclined to vote for that person?)

As it happens, Pammikins also supported another piece of gonzo legislation sponsored by -- you guessed it -- Bruce Wiseman's Scientology front group, the Citizens' Commission on Human Rights. This time, the CCCH wanted to make sure that any parent wondering what to do about an unstable child had to be subjected to scads of Hubbardian anti-psychiatry propaganda. The Scientologists even paid for Pam to attend the grand opening of their anti-psychiatrist museum, where she met John Travolta, star of Battlefield Earth. The record does not tell us whether she was packing heat.

The entire Arizona state legislature has been overrun by Scientolgists:
"They don't believe there is such a thing as mental illness," said Sen. Robert Cannell, the Legislature's only medical doctor. "They have such an influence on the Legislature it is scary."
Wiseman's group has also infiltrated the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as revealed here. Viddy well droogies, and heed the slovos of your humble narrator-- for little ALEC bears a distinctive tea stain. Come, see all proper:
Besides (Republican) FoxNews, The (Republican) Chamber of Commerce, you have the Republican ALEC that are set to jump in with the mass privatization of government.
Check the Corrections Corporation of America campaign contributions, and you will find the Tea Party and those Tea Party Republicans that are going to make money in privatizing America. That they might be in favor of eliminating the military and put in their BlackWater Militias calling it the Military Corporation of America.

ALEC is merging Corporations and Government, where the politicians work for the Corporations. It is kind of s mini-Congress.
Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce is an ALEC bigwig who is often spotted at Tea Party events. He helped to draft the ultra-controversial immigration law in that state. Few of the people decrying that law understood that it was an ALEC thing.

I'm not saying that ALEC is secretly run by the Hubbardians. The linkage between the two groups is a matter of influence, not ownership. Still, the linkage does undeniably exist. Wiseman even brags about it.

There's more. Watch this space.
>>What course do we set

Brent's column this coming Tuesday will outline some ideas.

And it's Budowsky, with a y.

Carolyn Kay
It makes sense. Th only scientologist I know is rabid right winger.
Let's not forget that the president has already judged and convicted an American citizen, and here at home we have to accept intrusive pat downs or expose our bodies to x-rays if we want to travel. The TP and our government are not that far apart.
Cults and the use of cult members provide good conduits for the clandestine exercise of power.

Why? They feature authoritarianism and those who subject themselves to it in blind obedience, heavily enforced secrecy (with grave psychological and physical measures), and the like.

Per John Dean's analysis of the right, which I heard Budowsky agree with on the radio a few days back, authoritarianism is one of the key features of the right's leadership, and their cadres.

So you get the Scientologists, you get the Mormons, the Opus Dei crowd, the Knights of Malta, the old P-2 (Propaganda Due) Masonic lodge secret nexus of power in Italy, etc., as a kind of musical chairs game over time, with each containing dominion over matters in serial fashion.

To be clear, I don't think the actual leadership of the right resides in those cults, but that those cults are used by those who have the actual leadership of the right.

And these disparate groups come together in relatively open conspiratorial fashion, as in the C-Pac conclaves, the old Grover Norquist-hosted Monday or Tuesday marching orders salon, and so forth.

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