I’ve Gotta Start Somewhere…

Is the sun rising or setting?


DECEMBER 21, 2016

Is the sun rising or setting? I suppose our individual answers to this question, when looking at a picture like the one below, could depend on our perspective. Where are we, in actuality? Where do we see ourselves? Are we filled with hope, anticipating the potential that awaits us in the new days that are ahead of us, or are we savoring the close of a long chapter that has been torturous, and life-affirming, all the same, soaking in the last warming rays of the day that reminded us of how precious our time really is? This is my first post on my new WordPress blog. It is both my sunset and my sunrise. It begins at the sunset of one chapter in my life, and at the sunrise of another. You will learn more about both as I go along. This is where you can find updates about my journey as a freelance writer/political commentator who is trying to make the best of the time that I have left on this third rock from the sun. The more rotations around, the better!! Oh, and you can count on this blog for being the designated digital archive location for my work. Please cite me when using any excerpts or references to the results of my own research and feel free to contact me for more information or questions about my trade as a wordsmith.

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Overlooked or Scooped? Adventures in Independent Journalism–a Blogger’s Tale

Having laid the foundation of this WordPress site, ANTHOLOGY, in the last days of 2016 with a reflective journal entry, I began 2017 with an investigative news article entry. Moving forward, my readers will see both, and should easily be able to distinguish one from another. This particular entry is, admittedly, a bit of both. My ANTHOLOGY article entry of February 1, How the Age of Exploration and Discovery Justifies a Militant Christian Takeover of the U.S. Government, provided links to files that were once available on the Council for National Policy’s website. Specifically, the links were to its Education Reform Committee’s Report (as a PDF document), in addition to a SoundCloud recording– almost 50 minutes of a speech from a November meeting. In this, its analysis of the election results, as well as its expectations for the Trump administration in its first 100 days, were topics of interest. Expectations or predictions, you tell me after you listen to it!

After posting this article, which contained information that I found to be alarming, considering what I was learning about this non-profit organization at the time, I did what I could to get this material the attention it deserved. I shared it with my Facebook friends, I pinned my WordPress site in my account, retweeted it a few times, and tagged the Twitter followers of influence I thought would be interested in it. During a trending hashtag event in support of the Press (#PressOn), I tried to reach out to various publications, such as Mother Jones, Atlantic, and Washington Post. I wrote to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was a source for some of the information used in the article, and to ProPublica on February 11, via email. From these news outlets, I have received no replies, but this week I did receive a couple emails from individuals, requesting a copy of the Education Reform Report. Apparently, CNP had removed it from its site.

Last night, two weeks after I first posted my article here about the disturbing details surrounding dominionism and its rise of influence in the American political system (which is not permitted for organizations with its status as a non-profit), I came across mention of this CNP’s Education Reform Report in three places. First, Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, in a February 16 piece written by Peter Montgomery described the Council for National Policy as “a secretive network of right-wing religious and political leaders that shares and shapes conservative political strategies”. In the same article, education blogger Peter Greene is credited with noticing the Education Reform Report in his entry posted February 11. It was Greene’s blog entry that led me to the Washington Post article from Emma Brown. By the way, we both have two followers in common.

I am not sure how exactly the existence of this report came to be in the news, after I first wrote about it here, on February 1. I would like to think that no one took what I had found for their own work; I am making no accusations here, but as an independent journalist, I have good reason to protect my intellectual work from theft, especially because I am not being paid for my work, unless an offer for publication or rights to publish is extended to me, or a monetary donation in support of my efforts is given to me via PayPal. Indeed, if a particular news outlet or venue wished to contract me for any assignments related to the work I have begun, I would be open to this as well. Essentially, I would rather let my work speak for itself, as an extension of my reputation for insisting on doing things right. I always cite my sources and rightfully expect the same from my colleagues in the Press. If I am not cited or referred to as I proceed with my work, I fail to accomplish my goals as an independent writer and those who benefit are either unaware of my loss or are not bothered by the consequences.

I digress…

Since the report has been removed from the CNP, I have edited the February 1 blog entry by adding a slideshow of all five pages. To review, this report is based on four assumptions. They are: 1) All knowledge and facts have a source, a Creator; they are not self-existent; 2) Religious neutrality is a myth perpetrated by secularists who destroy their own claim the moment they attempt to enforce it; 3) Parents and guardians bear final responsibility for their children’s education, with the inherent right to teach, or to choose teachers and schools, whether institutional or not, and 4) No civil government possesses the right to overrule the educational choices of parents and guardians.

The report details a plan to be rolled out in two phases. The first phase pertains to sweeping reforms at the federal level, proposing these five actions: 1) Get rid of Common Core, all other “DOE social engineering programs”, and stop all data collection; 2) Dismantle the Department of Education and return all functions to the states; 3) Have the Federal Department of Education be deemed “unconstitutional, illegal and contrary to America’s education practice for 300 years from early 17th century to Colonial times”; 4) Engage College Board for accountability of accuracy/thoroughness in higher education with regards to America’s founding and historical education practices, and 5) Push for school choice in all states (over voucher schemes).

In the second phase, which concerns actions to be taken at the state and local levels, the plan calls for schools to 1) Restore Ten Commandments posters to all K-12 public schools; 2) Clearly post America’s Constitution and Declaration of Independence; 3) Encourage K-12 schools to recognize traditional holidays (e.g., Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) as celebrations of our Judeo-Christian heritage; 4) Implement select Bible classes, such as Chuck Stetson’s Bible Literacy Project; 5) Encourage instruction on U.S. and World history from the Judeo-Christian perspective for middle school and high school history and civics classes; 6) Develop and recommend In-service training on philosophy of education for K-12 faculty based on historical Judeo-Christian philosophy of education, and 7) Strongly push states to remove secular-based sex education materials from school facilities, and emphasize parental instruction.

In addition to these assumptions and calls to action, the CNP Education Committee pledges itself to “work toward achievable goals based on uncompromised principles, so that their very success will provoke a popular return to the Judeo-Christian principles of America’s Founders who, along with America’s pioneers believed that God belonged in the classroom.”

Trump supporter and CNP member, David Lane, is credited with influencing the decision to include the Mayflower Compact in this report, in order to back the CNP’s claim– that of the United States having a mission to promote Christianity in American schools. The most shocking part of this report, the CNP’s call for dismantling the Department of Education, suggested that it be replaced with a department that includes a sub-cabinet advisory council on reform, and that federal financial support for state-operated schools be eliminated.

In order to garner support for these actions, the CNP is calling on its network of religious right leaders, Christian media outlets, and lobby groups to push for the elimination of the Department of Education. Leaders specifically mentioned included American Pastors Network’s, Sam Roher, Reclaiming America for Christ’s, Paul Blair, who spends his time lobbying state officials to nullify marriage equality and abortion rights by defying Supreme Court decisions, and US Pastor Council’s, Dave Welch. Should any doubt remain as to the influence of CNP members on the Trump administration, besides the membership of senior White House officials, Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, In the 2014 Membership Directory of the CNP, you will also find the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo, who helped Trump selected Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

To achieve its goals, besides using its network of conservative supporters, the report also offers strategies that include getting the Department of Education to declare its intention to “return complete sovereignty” to the states, to stop all federal funding and return all money to the states. The big red flag, which is consistent with the methods we have seen employed so far in the Trump administration, is the call for firing every person at the Department of Education, “from Assistant Secretaries to the mailroom”, and to replace them all with people who believe in the Trump/DeVos vision for this department.

In the Washington Post article of February 15, Emma Brown writes that the report was no longer available online as of Wednesday afternoon (which would be the same day, I am guessing), and that three committee members confirmed its authenticity. While Brown alerts the reader to its availability on the Internet Archives Wayback Machine, I remind my readers that it can also be found on my February 1 article as a slideshow.

According to Brown’s article, a Department of Education spokesman said that DeVos, whose mother and father-in-law were both known as prominent members of CNP,  had not received the document. This is in spite of the fact that CNP Education Committee Chairman, Dan Smithwick, wrote in the report’s introduction that “we submit this report to the Trump/Betsy DeVos administration with the hope that our organization may be of assistance with the restoration of education in America, in accordance with historic Judeo-Christian principals which formed the basis of instruction in America’s schools for the first 300 years.”

During her confirmation hearings, DeVos did say that she did not believe in imposing her faith on others, but she has, in the past, expressed a belief in her education reform efforts, a confidence in her ability to advance God’s kingdom, leading to “Greater Kingdom gain in the long run.”

Correct me if I am wrong, please, but I do believe that the appearance of references to this report in the news items described here, well after February 1 entry, most noticeably means I scooped the Washington Post on this material by two weeks!! Unfortunately, this was a missed opportunity, one I wish the resistance could have used to its advantage, in order to combat the Trump administration’s draconian methods of governing. However, I do believe that it is never too late to make a difference. I will continue to work on what I have started, for the sake of my own sanity. I can’t sit idly by and learn the things I am learning without putting it into words, to keep it straight for myself, and to share with others. It is my fervent hope that my efforts to cut through the clutter of noise, to get to the heart of the matters that are in the headlines, or that deserve to be, are not in vain, and that I will find the support necessary to succeed with my life’s ambition—to be a seeker and a messenger of the truth, using words as my weapons against lies and clandestine machinations. But it is not only the world of politics that I maintain my focus on as a writer, or find solace in as an individual in this world. Perish that thought! Poetry and literature is a refuge I seek and find when I am irritated too much by the rantings of raving lunatics or the cold-hearted ways of certain people in positions of power, who really shouldn’t be.

This week, I will be working on adding more articles to ANTHOLOGY. Look for updates on the Council for National Policy, an overview of attempts to repeal U.S. involvement in the United Nations, and a closer look at scam SuperPACs—Stop Hillary is now the Committee to Defend the President. In time, my readers will also notice updates and additions to my Poetry page, as well as more information about my novels, the ones that are “finished”, and those I plan to start on! Hopefully, in time, this WordPress site will prove itself to be the boost this writer needed—a platform for finding her readers, and for accomplishing what she has set her mind to doing with her life!








The History of Dominionism

       In the 15th century, Papal Bulls were issued that gave Christian explorers the right to claim, for their Christian monarchs, the land that they had discovered. Any land that was not already inhabited by Christians was decreed to be available for discovery, for claiming, and for exploitation. If any so-called ‘pagan’ inhabitants could be converted, it was possible for them to be spared from enslavement or from being killed.

These Papal Bulls, which collectively came to be known as the Discovery Doctrine or the Doctrine of Discovery, is also a concept of public international law, one that was first extensively addressed in a series of United States Supreme Court decisions, going back to Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. It was the means for Chief Justice John Marshall to explain the way that colonial powers first laid claim to newly discovered lands during the Age of Discovery and Exploration. Under the Doctrine of Discovery, titles to newly discovered lands were issued by the government whose subjects discovered the new territory. While Chief Justice Marshall is credited with describing the doctrine, he did not support it as a means for justifying judicial decisions, or for invalidating or disregarding aboriginal possession of land in favor of colonial or post-colonial governments. The alleged inferiority of native cultures was a known reason for the use of this doctrine, which still governs Indian Law in the United States to this day. It was cited as recently as 2005, in a case that involved the city of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation in the state of New York.

Post-Millennial Dominionism

       In a January 17 article written by Peter Montgomery for Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, it is noted that the religious right eventually rallied around Donald Trump’s candidacy for President of the United States in 2016. This support was described as being “heavy with the self-proclaimed apostles and prophets from the dominionist Pentecostal wing of American Christianity who declared Trump anointed by God.”

As Trump prepared for taking office, many of these dominionists came to Washington, D.C. to launch what they are calling “a movement designed in part to “discern, declare, and decree the strategies of the Lord for our nation, with a special sensitivity to the three branches of the United States government.”

Individuals involved in this movement, known as POTUS Shield include Cindy Jacobs, Lance Wallnau, Lou Engle, Rick Joyner, Harry Jackson, Jerry Boykin (a favorite figure of the alt-right who is a good source for insane conspiracy theories), E.W. Jackson (who preached that God will punish American for embracing marriage equality), Jennifer LeClaire, Mark Gonzalez, and Alveda King.

Jennifer LeClaire, a senior editor of Charisma magazine, told the Christian Broadcasting Network that the red we all saw on the electoral map after election night was “parabolic of the blood of Jesus”. Even more alarming, she claimed that God told her that He was “releasing the angels of transition…to help transition the government into what we’ve all been praying for,” namely, Trump, who has “surrounded himself with Godly counsel.”

The stated inaugural principals of POTUS Shield are the following:

  1. To assemble, structure and activate The POTUS Shield as a powerfully interactive spiritual, apostolic, prophetic force that acts and reacts in unity, with efficiency and expedience;
  2. To be a leadership forum that is inclusive and embraces the Bible believing Body of Christ, with a Kingdom heart to embrace the Body of Christ as One, even as prayed by our Lord as written in the Gospel of John, Chapter 17;
  3. To connect as an apostolic network exclusively assigned to the affirmation and reformation of The United States of America as ONE nation under GOD;
  4. To discern, declare, and decree the strategies of the Lord for our nation, with a special sensitivity to the three branches of the United States Government;
  5. To prepare the way and coordinate the simultaneous spiritual alignment of the Kingdom shift that is manifesting and impacting the government and the Church;
  6. To lay the foundation to convene in Philadelphia in March during Purim to declare a renewed covenant as the renewed United States of America, as one nation under God, and to commission and plan similar covenants in each of the 50 states in the Union.

Ted Cruz, a Republican opponent of Trump’s during the 2016 presidential campaign, was raised by a Cuban refugee father that happened to be an evangelical pastor subscribing to the ideology of dominionism. This theocratic idea grew out of American evangelicalism, and it animated the Christian right. Its fundamental tenet is that God has called conservative Christians to exercise dominion over society by taking control of political and cultural institutions.

Analysts observe that, while there is a spectrum running from soft to hard among dominionists, it is agreed that they all celebrate Christian nationalism. That is, they believe that the United States once was, and should once again, be a Christian nation. Because of this belief, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy. Dominionists also promote religious supremacy. They generally do not respect the equality of other religions, let alone other versions of Christianity. Dominionists endorse theocratic visions. They believe that the Ten Commandments, or biblical law, should be the foundation of American laws, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing biblical principles, not the rule of our land.

During the holiday season, after Donald Trump was declared the winner of the election, many citizens of the United States objected when Reince Preibus referred to the “rise of a new king” in a tweet, believing it to be a reference of Trump, and an attempt to give him a title that is prohibited by the Constitution. While LeClaire, a member of POTUS Shield, has had visions of Trump as our anointed leader, evangelical historian, John Fea points to a sermon at the New Beginnings church in Bedford, Texas in 2012 as the beginning of a rise in the political career of Ted Cruz, with the blessing of dominionists. During Cruz’s Senate campaign, his father, Rafael described his son as the “fulfillment of biblical prophecy”, and he declared that “God would anoint Christian kings to preside over an end time transfer of wealth from the wicked to the righteous” in order to “help Christians in their effort to go to the marketplace and occupy the land and take dominion over it.”

This end-time transfer of wealth, according to LeClaire, will relieve Christians of all financial woes, allowing true believers to ascend to a position of political and cultural power in which they can build a Christian civilization. Jesus won’t return until these Christian nations are in place.

According to Right Wing Watch, a project of People for the American Way, followers of one particular strain of evangelical theology, known as Seven Mountains dominionism,  believe that in order for the Christian nations to become a reality, they are to take control over seven leading aspects of culture. These are family, religion, education, media, entertainment, business, and government. Notable dominionists include the likes Sara Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas, Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich.

Branches of Dominionism

            There are two schools of thought within dominionism—Christian Reconstructionists or 7M. Christian Reconstructionism was founded by late theologian R.J. Rushdoony. He promoted the idea that Christians weren’t only to be dominating society, they were also supposed to be instituting and enforcing Old Testament biblical law. This branch of dominionism is credited with providing a biblical rationale for the political actions of the Christian right and for supporting not only a theory of government, but one for public policy development, as well. Rushdoony’s legacy is the modern homeschooling movement, which Department of Education Secretary nominee, Betsy Devos has publicly supported. It is through this appointment that both schools of dominion wish to assert their influence, by taking control of the seven leading aspects of our American culture, and by dominating American society, through the institution and enforcement of Old Testament, or biblical, law.

The “mainstream” of the other branch of dominionism is Latter Rain. This branch began as a Pentecostal movement in the 1940s known as the New Apostolic Reformation. The Latter Rain movement taught its followers that “there would be an outpouring of supernatural powers in a coming generation,” that would allow them “to subdue or take dominion over nations.”

The Latter Rain movement promised that this outpouring of supernatural powers would happen along with the restoration of the neglected offices in the contemporary church of apostles and prophets, whose teachings about the supernatural authority of the apostles are credited with providing key theological and structural elements of contemporary dominionism. It is interesting to note that the teachings of this branch were once rejected by Pentecostal denominations for being deviant, only to be embraced by them later.

In 1980, Christian Reconstructionist, Rushdoony wrote Institutes of Biblical Law, a work which offered dominionists a vision, of a foundation for a future society that was biblically based, where dominion men advanced the dominion mandate that is described in Genesis. In this book, a biblically-based Christian society would include a legal code that is based on the Ten Commandments and the laws of Old Testament Israel. Its laws would include a long list of capital offenses that would largely be religious or sexual in nature. This biblical kingdom that Rushdoony envisioned could only emerge from the gradual conversion of people who would embrace what they consider to be the whole word of God, and it was acknowledged that this accomplishment could take as many as hundreds or even tens of thousands of years to be realized.

Evangelical theology ultimately split between the premillennial dispensationalist camp– which believes that true Christians would be raptured into the clouds in the End Times when Jesus would return to defeat the forces of Satan– and Christian Reconstructions. Reconstructionists believed that Jesus could not return until the world was perfectly Christian and the faithful had ruled it this way for 1,000 years. Premillennialists are not interested in politics. Postmillennialists have a need for politics, to help them build these perfect Christian nations that are founded on biblical principles and laws.

One leading theologian, Francis Schaeffer advocated massive resistance to ‘anti-Christian society’, but not to the contemporary application of Old Testament laws. Instead, he insisted on the need for a “militant Christian resistance to tyranny”, a call that was echoed all-too-eerily recently in an audio clip of Trump senior advisor, Stephen K. Bannon, the same Bannon that Trump attempted to place on the national Security Council after a call to Vladimir Putin, bypassing Senate approval and displacing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the process.

Reconstructionist Dominionists, the CNP, the Muslim Ban, and Betsy Devos

Many have been questioning the recent moves of Trump to enforce executive orders regarding immigration and entry into the United States because of their religious nature, after federal courts granted stays. Indeed, lawsuits have been filed. While most Americans treasure their rights to religious freedom, dominionist strategists often like to refer to religious freedoms as a weakness of our constitutional democracy, one that can be exploited to advance their agendas. For example, Christian Reconstructionist theorist Gary North believes that the Constitution’s ban against religious tests for public officials that is included in Article 6 is a legal barrier to an eventual Christian theocracy, but he dreams of a day when biblically correct Christians will gain enough political power to be able to amend the Constitution by limiting access to their franchise and civil offices, the way Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, has shut off his fax machines and refused acceptance of petitions related to plans for de-funding Planned Parenthood by placing guards at the door to his office. Trinitarian churches are also a factor. Most dominionist theorists view Jefferson’s conception of religious equality under the law as something that is inherently tyrannical. Rushdoony, the Reconstructionist who was affiliated with CNP for many years, argued that religious liberty is attacked when the states are secularized in the name of freedom, and when every prerogative of the church is attacked in an indirect manner. This is where the secretive organization, known as the Council of National Policy, and its connection to the Trump administration, and most importantly, the pending approval of Department of Education nominee, Betsy Devos, becomes relevant.

Last August, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that Kellyanne Conway and Trump’s (then) presidential campaign manager, who is now his senior advisor, and who also happened to be the executive chairman and founding board member of alt-right platform, Breitbart News, have been members of the Council of National Policy. It is not known at this time the duration of their respective memberships or what the current status is of them, but after perusing the conditions and rules of memberships of what the New York Times once called “a little-known club of a few hundred of the most powerful conservative it the country”; it is unlikely that very many people would terminate their membership into this elite organization willingly.

This group is so secretive, it tells its members to not admit that they are a member, let alone speak the name of the group. Revealing when or where the group meets, and what it discusses, is also forbidden. The only way one can join is by invitation and with a generous donation. The SPLC, which publishes Hatewatch obtained a copy of the CNP’s 2014 membership directory, something it calls a’ closely held document’. That’s because it shows that Kellyanne Conway was a member of the CNP’s executive committee that year, and that Bannon was a regular member. This means there is a clear connection between individuals who are very likely influenced by Reconstructionist principles and dominionist policies, and who also have direct access to, and influence on, Donald Trump.

At the end of this article, screenshots and a PDF of a document related to the CNP’s Phase I and Phase II plans for the future of the Department of Education, contingent on the confidently named ‘designee’, Betsy Devos are available for examination and dissemination. This document outlines the general strategy that the Trump administration has been implementing since inauguration day.

The writer of this piece does not take lightly the gravity of what is being revealed. A secret, non-profit organization, that has been affiliated with dominionists, specifically, Reconstructionist dominionists, has direct access to the presidential office, and may very well be influencing his policies, decisions, and orders. After enough individuals have read this article, have examined the documents attached, and have listed to a near hour long SoundCloud recording of a meeting in which a post-election analysis is provided by the guest speakers, in addition to a description of what is said to be an outline of what will happen in Trump’s first 100 days, questions will be answered and raised, regarding the manner in which Trump has begun his administration. The PDF of the CNP was made available in a Southern Poverty Law Center article online, from August of 2016. Both the PDF describing the CNP’s plans moving forward, with allusions to their confidence in Trump’s following their suggestions, which were contingent on the approval of Betsy Devos, his nomination for the Department of Education, were both obtained by the writer, by using the CNP’s own user interface. Specifically, the content the CNP posted that was related to its November of 2016 meeting was easily made available to the public at large, yet it has remained right under our noses, until now.

            Getting to Know the Council for National Policy

           Before concluding this article, in order for the reader to gain a greater appreciation for the sort of people this organization recruits and attracts, a few descriptions of what the SLPC calls “real extremists” who can be found in the directory are provided below, in no particular order:

  • Michael Peroutka– A neo-Confederate who was on the board of the white supremacist group, League of the South for a number of years.
  • Jerome Corsi– The propagandist who was responsible for the Swift boat conspiracy of John Kerry’s is also a fervent Obama “birther”. Corsi once described Martin Luther King, Jr. as a ‘shakedown artist’. In his latest book, he claims that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun fled to Argentina after World War to live out their lives happily ever after.
  • Joseph Farah- Farah runs the conspiracist “news operation”, the WorldNetDaily. He also employs Corsi. It was Farah who accused President Obama of trying to help the United Nations create a one-world government. WorldNetDaily also ran a six-part series on the hidden dangers behind the consumption of soybeans—they were responsible for causing homosexuality.
  • Mat Staver- This Liberty Counsel leader has worked to re-criminalize homosexual sex. He described the Boy Scouts as a “playground for pedophiles” and likened LGBT activists to terrorists.
  • Alan Sears- Founder of the Alliance Defending Freedom and co-author of The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today, in which pedophilia is falsely linked to homosexuality.
  • Philip Zodhaites- a gay activist who was charged with conspiracy and international kidnapping after he helped a self-described ‘former lesbian’, who had kidnapped her daughter from her former partner before fleeing the country. He faces up to five years in prison. Although CNP’s mission is to strengthen Judeo-Christian values, his direct mail company, Response Unlimited, sold lists of subscribers to America’s leading anti-Semitic tabloid, The Spotlight, and its successor, American Free Press, neither of which is now listed at the Response website.
  • Madeleine Cosman- During a 2005 nativists conference, she states that most Latino immigrant men molest girls under 12, although some specialize in boys, and some in nuns. Most likely, she could be the source of Trump’s statements regarding Mexicans when first announcing his run for President, and his continuing fixation with securing our borders with Mexico, by building a wall no one wants to pay for. Cosman is also the source of a false claim made on-air by then-CNN anchor, Lou Dobbs, that immigrants were responsible for bringing leprosy to the United States.
  • Howard Phillips- Founder of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, he wishes to implement biblical law in the United States. He is also known for his opposition to the Voting Rights Act, homosexuality, pornography, immigrants, and abortion.
  • Haley- He wanted to use the Texas Rangers to enforce school segregation after the Supreme Court outlawed it.
  • Clarence Arch Decker- A one-time Colorado state senator whose Summit Ministries once published a book that suggested the possibility of having to intern homosexuals.
  • Paul S. Teller-Ted Cruz’s chief of staff. He is described by The Hill as being his “agitator in chief”.
  • Tony Perkins- Head of LGBT-bashing Family Research Council (along with vice-president and three executive officers, including CNP Executive and former Attorney General of Ohio, Kenneth Backwell). He falsely claimed that pedophilia “is a homosexual problem” and that homosexuals “recruit” children. Most significantly, he secretly purchased a mailing list for a candidate he was managing from former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke, and in 2001, he addressed the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, which inspired Dylan Roof to kill nine churchgoers last year.
  • Michael Peroutka-On the CNP’s board of governors, and for many years on the board of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group that still wants the South to secede from the United States and be ruled by white people. This 2004 Constitution Party presidential candidate is opposed to abortion in all cases and makes regular appearances on white nationalist radio shows.
  • Chad Connelly- The two-term head of the South Carolina Republican Party (until 2013), who is currently the national director of faith engagement on the Republican National Committee.
  • Nelson Bunker Hunt- A one-time member of John Birch Society’s ruling council, this billionaire went broke trying to corner the silver market.
  • Cullen Davis- A multimillionaire from Texas who was tried and acquitted in two separate murder cases.
  • William Cies- Wealthy John Birch Society member and major CNP funder.
  • Paul Weyrich- Co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council.
  • Frank Gaffney– He provided Trump with what are described by the SLPC as “bogus statistics about American Muslims”. He was also a senior advisor to Cruz until last May.
  • Michael Centanni–The COO of a direct mail company that raised money for conservative candidates, he pled guilty to possession of child pornography, with more than 3,000 images and 267 videos being used as evidence against him, in October of 2014. He was sentenced to 46 months for his crimes.
  • Tim Wildmon–Leader of the American Family Association, an intense anti-LGBT group. One of the organization’s officials once complained that “welfare rewards black people who rut like rabbits” and proclaimed falsely that “homosexuality gave us the Brown Shirts” (a reference to fascism) and “the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews.” Besides denouncing homosexuality, Wildmon described “Islam as a religion of war, violence, intolerance, and physical persecution.”
  • Tim LaHaye–one of CNP’s five founding members, this co-author of the novels in the apocalyptic Christianity’s Left Behind series, described homosexuals as being vile and said that he thought the Illuminati were conspiring to establish a New World Order. He also attacked Catholicism.
  • Richard DeVos- The co-founder of Amway whose net worth was estimated at $5 billion in 2012.
  • Foster Friess- Stock picker who was recognized in 2011 for contributions exceeding $1 million to right-wing funders the Koch brothers. Friess is known for throwing himself a birthday party that cost him nearly $8 million, and for saying on television that women used to avoid pregnancy by putting a Bayer aspirin between their knees.

In this directory, in addition to names, affiliations with various institutions and a wide range of issues that are of interest to each member of the CNP are included. Fourteen conservative media outlets, major donors to conservative causes, officials from conservative universities and colleges, business leaders, many from the private sector and industry, and the William F. Buckley Council, a list of young conservative members are all inside. The William F. Buckley Council members include Daniel Suhr, chief of staff to Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch; Nicholas L. Wenker, law clerk for Senate Judiciary Committee; Garrett Gibson, Texas Supreme Court clerk; William J. Rivers, press assistant to Republican Senator of Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, and Josh Duggar- who was caught up in a scandal in 2015 when he was accused of molesting five girls, four which were his sisters; his membership in the hookup dating site, Ashley Madison, was also revealed.

The SPLC noted last May, when it first published the 2014 directory, that the CNP “provides an important venue in which relatively mainstream conservatives meet and very possibly are influenced by real extremists, people who regularly defame LGBT people with utter falsehoods, describe Latino immigrants as a dangerous group of rapists and disease-carriers, engage in the kind of wild-eyed conspiracy theorizing for which the John Birch Society is famous, and even suggests that certain people should be stoned to death in line with Old Testament law.”

CNP member and White House staff member, Steve Bannnon’s Breitbart News has been credited by the likes of well-known white supremacist, Richard Spencer, for being the alt-right platform. Under his leadership, it has manufactured headlines such as There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews, Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy, Lesbian Bridezillas Bully Bridal Shop Owner Over Religious Beliefs, and so many more, just as equally outlandish. Last fall, The National Review, reported that Donald Trump was by far the favorite candidate of the CNP, when there were still five other candidates running.

While the names of many members and officers of this secret group have been leaked since its establishment in 1981, some of its officers are reported on the organization’s tax forms. The last time a list such as the one the SLPC released in August of the 2014 directory, was in 1988.

In the 191-page 2014 CNP Membership Directory, 413 members, 118 deceased, and 14 past presidents were listed.  In its vision statement, reproduced at the front of the directory, the CNP describes itself as “a united conservative movement to assure, by 2020, policy leadership and governance that restores religious and economic freedom, a strong national defense, and Judeo-Christian values under the Constitution.”

The Reconstructionist theologian described in this article, John Rousas Rushdoony, is listed in the In Memoriam section. He pushed for a society that was ruled by Old Testament law, which called for the stoning of adulteresses, idolaters, and incorrigible children.

Members and executive officers of the CNP are business titans, Christian college presidents, owners and editors of right-wing media outlets, GOP mega-donors, government staffers, leading members of conservative think tanks and lobby groups, such as the Hermitage, the National Rifle Association, Citizens United, the Federalist Society, politicians, political appointees and evangelical ministers.

According to the latest available tax forms for the CNP, it has a budget of between $1.5 and $ million. In 1992, eleven years after it was founded as a tax-exempt organization, the IRS revoked this status on the grounds that the CNP was not being run for the benefit of the public. Eventually, the CNP was able to restore their status by promising that it would produce a quarterly journal meant to educate the public. It would be years before they would actually fulfill this obligation when it launched a website that distributes Policy Counsel and Heard Around the Hill.

As for this group’s secrecy, members are told not to discuss the group, reveal the topics discussed in the closed-door meetings, or even say whether or not they are members of the organization. The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that the membership list is strictly confidential, guests may attend only with the unanimous approval of the executive committee, and according to The New York Times, another rule is that “the media should not know when or where [they] meet or who takes part in [its] programs, before or after a meeting.”

The CNP has a legal right to hold its meetings in private and to try to keep its membership secret. Surprisingly, it does publish many of the speeches its members hear, including most of the talks given by all but Trump’s presidential campaign speeches in 2016. Speakers in recent years have included President George W. Bush, Vice-President, Dick Cheney; and Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative of the Supreme Court justices. Speakers at the Council for National Policy’s candidate forum last October included Trump, Ben Cason, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, and Rick Santorum.

In order to allow “open, uninhibited remarks” from its speakers, CNP members must adhere to strict rules regarding their thrice-yearly meetings. A memorandum from former executive director and 2014 Executive Committee member Morton C. Blackwell lists the rules. They include the following:

  • Special guests may attend only with advance unanimous approval of the Executive Committee.
  • The solicitation of funds on a one-to-one basis is prohibited at meetings.
  • Council meetings are closed to the media and the general public. The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before or after a meeting.
  • Speakers’ remarks at Council meetings are off the record and not for circulation later, except with special permission.
  • Members and guests are requested to keep in their personal possession their registration packets and other materials distributed at the meeting.
  • Our membership list is strictly confidential and should not be shared outside the Council.
  • Fundraising from the list is also prohibited.
  • Members are asked to avoid organizing and attending formal meetings of other groups or organizations in the same city before, during or immediately after a Council meeting.













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