Subject: C.I.A and fundamentalists
From: John Walsh
Date: Wed, April 16, 2008
Several years ago I discovered some information on the internet and decided
to investigate a link between C.I.A and fundamentalists. I had been involved in
fundamentalists groups. Previously I was a Marxist and understood American foreign
policy. I could not differentiate between the Fundamentalist theology and American
foreign policy. At first I thought I was in amongst right wingers. But after much
reading of the movements publications realized that they where all the same.
Off an hunch I decided to investigate on the internet and discovered a book called "
Thy Will be Done" about the Rockefellers and Evangelism in the C.I.A. etc.
I'm a self
confessed conspiracy theorist and I use a formula for selecting material I consider
sensitive to the authorities.
I go to the British Library web site and run dozens of books titles and authors
names through the catalogue. When search returns comes up " not found". I go to the
local library and put in a written request to create a paper trail. After several
weeks when the library search is complete, I receive a written notification saying
that the book does not exist. I then write a letter of complaint "This is
censorship blah blah blah" the book exists. I prove it by getting the ISBN code from
Amazon books etc where I inform them they can purchase it. After a week or so the
book always arrives. Sometimes the books have stamps in the cover for return dates
decades or years before I ordered them. I then read the books to discover what the
authorities don't want us to know. I try to guess and formulate a conspiracy theory.
I will share any information with you if you I find and would be most pleased if
you reciprocated. I have downloaded this exposition for you from one of the books
the British Library swore did not exist.
NELSON ROCKEFELLER and Evangelism in the Age of Oil "Thy Will Be Done", The Conquest of the Amazon:
by Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett
Harper Collins, 1995. 960 pages
reviewed by Carmelo Ruiz
(Carmelo Ruiz is a Puerto Rican journalist and research associate at the institute
for Social Ecology, email ise@ igc.apc.org at Goddard College, Vermont. Connect:
ernail: carmeloruiz@hotmailcom )
In 1976, reporters Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett travelled to Brazil as part of
a journalistic team to write stories about the work of Christian missionaries in the Amazon basin. High on Colby and Dennett's list of priorities was to learn about a mysterious missionary organization called the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). This outfit, also known as the Wycliffe Bible Translators, had gotten kudos from
both conservatives and liberals for translating the Bible into hundreds of indigenous languages in Central and South America and helping native peoples cope with the intrusion of Western civilization into their lives.
However, Colby and Dennett had heard of a darker side to SIL. Numerous critics had
alleged that SIL was the vanguard of the destruction of both the rainforests and
their native inhabitants. They had heard from Latin American acquaintances that SIL
was, in military fashion, a scouting party that surveyed the Amazonian hinterlands
for potential sources of opposition to natural resource exploitation (read cattle
ranching, clearcutting and strip mining) among native peoples and that it employed a
virulent brand of Christian fundamentalism that relied on linguistics to undermine
the social cohesion of aboriginal communities and accelerate their assimilation into
Western culture. In addition to all this, numerous articles in the Latin American
press accused SIL. of being funded by the American intelligence community.
That last charge sounded particularly believable, since the authors' trip took place
in the wake of recent revelations by the [Sen. Frank] Church Committee of the US Senate, which
investigated the activities of US intelligence agencies. It bears mentioning that
Colby was by then no stranger to corporate and political intrigue. In 1974, writing
as Gerard Colby Zilg, he published Dupont: Behind the Nylon Curtain, a 600+ page
tome that narrated the Dupont family's corrupt history, from its profiteering on
gunpowder sales to its manufacture of ozone-depleting gases. However, don't expect
to see it in bookstores.
When a Dupont PR representative said the book was
scurrilous and actionable, publisher Prentice Hall was intimidated into letting
Dupont go out of print. (In 1984, an expanded and updated 900 page-long edition of
the book was published, which included, among other things, the Dupont's
little-known connection to the Nicaraguan contras. Unfortunately, it met the same
fate as the previous edition.)
Dennett was also a veteran journalist, having recently been stationed in Beirut,
where she covered the civil war then raging in Lebanon. The authors found SIL a
veritable empire whose missionary activities spanned every country in the Amazonn
basin, with a network of bases that look more like picket-fenced American suburbia
than the frontier outposts for the global economy that they actually are. SIL even
has its own air force and communications system, the Jungle Aviation and Radio
Service (JAARS), which permits it to act virtually independently from the
governments of the countries where it operates.
After years of research, Colby and
Dennett found a number of irrefutable links between SIL and US counterinsurgency
operations. Among these, SIL aggressively denied that the native peoples of Brazil
and Guatemala were being slaughtered by the military regimes of their countries; it
allowed its base in the Ecuadorian Amazon to be used by Green Berets who were
combing the Western Amazon for signs of armed insurgency; and it assisted the
Peruvian air force, which had napalmed the Mayoruna and Campa Indians.
If Colby and Dennett had limited themselves to just exposing SIL, Thy Will be Done
would still have been a formidable journalistic achievement. But the authors went on
to research the American institutions, private and governmental, that provided
support for SIL's mission. These included Standard Oil of New Jersey; the Pew
family, creators of the Sun Oil Company (Sunoco) and the Pew Charitable Trusts [regularly announced on National Public Radio as an underwriting sponsor], the
US Agency for International Development, and the US military through its donations
of surplus military equipment. Although they could find no smoking gun directly
linking the CIA to SIL, they did find several circumstantial and indirect links,
such as financial support from a foundation that was later exposed as a CIA front
and the fact that JAARS's top pilot, Lawrence Montgomery, was on the Agency's
In the course of their investigation, the authors learned that SIL had a big debt to
institutions and individuals associated with the Rockefeller family. SIL founder
William Cameron (Cam) Townsend was inspired by the antihookworm and antimalaria
campaigns of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Rockefeller Sanitary Commission, and
his linguistics methods owed much to the work of linguist Edward Sapir of the
University of Chicago, an institution that was also supported by the Rockefeller
Foundation [and founded by the Rockefellers].
Another influence on Townsend was Mexican anthropologist Manuel Gameo,
whose interdisciplinary studies on native peoples were sponsored by the University
of Chicago, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund and the Social Science
The last two were run by Beardsley Ruml, a member of the inner circle of the
Rockefeller family. One thinker who had a great influence on Townsend's approach to
native cultures was John Mott, one of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s most trusted
Mott was a millenarian who hoped to evangelize the world in his generation,
but rather than embracing fundamentalism, he rejected it in favour of a broad- minded
science-based approach. In a report he co-authored in 1932 called Rethinking
Missions, Mott called for more cultural tolerance and social concern on the part of
missionaries working abroad and less reliance on vociferous evangelical
proselytizing. Such an approach, he argued, would win more converts in the long run
and neutralize the nationalistic and communist revolts then brewing in what years
later would come to be called the Third World.
Colby and Dennett found the Rockefeller connection particularly intriguing, and went
on to investigate the Rockefeller family's financial interests in the commercial and
industrial development of the Brazilian Amazon. In 1941, Nelson Rockefeller was
named by president Roosevelt to the post of coordinator of the Office of
Interamerican Affairs (CIAA), which ran intelligence and propaganda operations
against the Nazis in Latin America. In one of its many flagrant violations of the
separation between church and state, SIL assisted the CIAA in its Intensive Language
Program for American and Latin American military officers and gathered intelligence
on native peoples. As coordinator of the CIAA, Nelson acquired invaluable
information about Latin America's untapped natural resources, especially mineral
reserves, information that ended up in his files and which he used after the war,
when he formed the International Basic Economy Corporation (IBEC). This company
became a key component in the post-World War Two opening of the Amazon rainforest to
commercial exploitation, a process that eventually led to military dictatorships,
genocide of native peoples, loss of biological diversity and unprecedented misery
for the majority of Brazilians.
The Rockefeller-led effort to conquer the Amazon and exploit its natural riches had
been made possible in no small measure by SIL's missionary activities. Colby and
Dennett found a historic parallel in John D. Rockefeller, Sr.'s support for
Christian missionaries in the American west, who were compiling extremely useful
information on Native American communities, which were potential sources of
opposition to the entrance of Standard Oil into their lands.' As a bonus, the
evangelization process weakened the American Indians' social structure and so
undermined their resolve to fight for their rights. The authors quote Baptist
reverend Frederick Gates, who for many years was John D. Sr.'s right-hand man, as
"We are only in the very dawn of commerce, and we owe that dawn to the
channels opened up by Christian missionaries.... The effect of the missionary enterprise of the English speaking peoples will be to bring them the peaceful conquest of the world."
this symbiotic relationship between commercial exploitation and Christian
fundamentalism was a match made in Hell that spelled doom for native peoples and the
rainforests they inhabited.
The authors follow Nelson Rockefeller's consuming interest in Latin America: his
days in Venezuela working for Standard Oil subsidiary Creole Petroleum, where he
developed his concepts of corporate social responsibility; his tenure as coordinator
of the CIAA; his brief stint as Assistant Secretary of State, in which he was a key
behind-the-scenes player in the international negotiations that led to the founding
of the United Nations and the Organization of American States; his formation of
IBEC, his service to the Eisenhower administration as special assistant for cold war
strategy, a position in which he was briefed on top secret CIA operations, including
coup d'etats and the infamous MKULTRA mind control experiments, his membership in
president Nixon's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board at a time when the CIA was
destabilizing Salvador Allende's democratic socialist government in Chile, and much
Of special interest to Colby and Dennett were a series of by-invitation-only
seminars hosted by Nelson under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
(RBF) in Quantico naval base during the Eisenhower administration. The Quantico
seminars, known officially as the RBF Special Studies Project, advocated increased
military spending and a more confrontational policy towards the Soviet Union. The
participants included men who would later become instrumental in developing the
Kennedy administration's counterinsurgency doctrine, such as Eugene Rostow, EdwardLansdale, Paul Nitze, Adolf Berle, McGeorge Bundy, Walt Rostow, Henry Kissinger and
Dean Rusk (who was then president of the Rockefeller Foundation and would become
Kennedy's Secretary of State).
The book only skims through Nelson's deeds as governor of New York, although it does
mention his ignominious performance during the Attica prison uprising. Colby and
Dennett focus instead on his presidential ambitions, which came to a climax with his
botched attempt to beat Barry Goldwater to the 1964 Republican presidential
nomination, and his international activities, such as his disastrous 1969 tour of
the Americas. Nelson's crowning political achievement was getting appointed to the
vice presidency of the United States in 1974. Unelected Vice President Rockefeller
was then called on by unelected President Ford to chair a commission to investigate
CIA abuses. As the authors point out, no one could have been less qualified for that
Those who may feel tempted to dismiss Thy Will be Done's conclusions as conspiracy
theory will have a hell of a time trying to refute the book's arguments and
conclusions. The 830 pages of text, 92 pages of footnotes and bibliography and
dozens of charts, graphs, photographs and maps eloquently document and support every
single charge made by the authors. It is precisely in order to placate the sceptics
that Colby and Dennett adopted this mind bogglingly exhaustive approach. In spite of
this, the book is amazingly readable and does not come across as stuffy and academic.
Those who read books on American foreign policy in search of titillating revelations
of sensational CIA covert operations while neglecting to study the social, political
and historical context in which they are embedded will find this book a difficult,
even annoying, read.
Conspiracy buffs may have an encyclopaedic knowledge of CIA
intrigues and scandals, but they're not interested at all in doing the hard
intellectual work of learning about the nature of the system of corporate profit and
exploitation which intelligence agencies were created to serve.
undoubtedly be frustrated by the book's scholarly dose of anthropology, linguistics
and history, and will probably skim through the pages in search of startling
revelations of covert intrigue and secret wars. The authors' implicit message to the
self-proclaimed conspiracy researchers is clear: that all the muckraking
investigative journalism in the world will not bring about social change if it is
not accompanied by a critical analysis of the economic, political and historical
context of the times we're living.
Upon a superficial examination, one would tend to think that the book will appeal to
the Bible-thumping, right-wing populists of the John Birch fringe who despise the
Rockefellers. This band of the American political spectrum, which has been known to
publicize bizarre allegations of a Rockefeller--orchestrated plot to create a
socialist world government, will be baffled and perplexed by one of Thy Will be
Done's chief conclusions: that they've been had.
According to Colby and Dennett, far
from being a threat to the Machiavellian power of the Rockefellers, the Christian
fundamentalists were extremely useful in furthering the global designs of the heirs
of the Standard Oil fortune.
On the other hand, left-leaning liberals will find the book's conclusions even
harder to swallow, since the Rockefeller philanthropies (which include the
Rockefeller Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller Family
Fund) are among the main funding sources of liberal political activism in the US,
including civil liberties, feminism and the environmental movement. Beneficiaries of
Rockefeller charitable giving in recent years have included groups like Essential
Information, the ACLU, the Ms. Foundation, the NOW Legal Defence and Education Fund,
Environmental Action, the Student Environmental Action Coalition, the Centre for
Responsive Politics, the NAACP who are much more likely to say, "Wait, you're being
a little unbalanced. Sure, they've done terrible things in the past, but they're funding some really terrific stuff nowadays."
As much as one may try to rationalize
the embarrassing predicament of taking money from the ultra-rich to finance social
change, the question remains: What are the prospects for an American progressive
agenda when it is heavily dependent on funding from a philanthropic system that owes
its forming to commercial activities that destroy ecosystems worldwide, erode
biological diversity and create a holocaust for indigenous peoples?
Dennett do not pose that question to readers, but it will certainly hover ominously
over the mind of any American reader whose political beliefs are at least five
degrees to the left of National Public Radio or The New Republic.
Thy Will be Done is a very challenging and deeply disturbing book. Although much lip
service has been paid to the concept of holistic thinking, Colby and Dennett do
actually put together the pieces of the macabre puzzle of the destruction of the
Amazon rain-forest and the genocide of its indigenous dwellers and reach conclusions
that are unsettling for conservatives and liberals alike.
All or most
environmentalists agree that the destruction of the Amazon rainforest can't be seen
as separate from a host of social, political and economic factors in South America
as well as in industrialized countries like the US, but it takes nothing less than a
book like Thy Will be Done to show what this actually means.
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