Freed from the constraints of running semi-permanently for president, Ron Paul is letting his skirts down by appearing as a speaker at a convention of some of the most fascistic far-right global ideologues in the business.
The SPLC's Hatewatch explains that both Paul and the president of the John Birch Society are part of a phalanx of Americans participating at the upcoming gathering:
In early September, the men are all scheduled to speak – along with a lengthy list of archconservative clergy, lawyers and academics – at a conference in Canada sponsored by the Fatima Center, part of the “radical traditionalist Catholic” movement, perhaps the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America.
Paul, the former Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate, is the keynote speaker of the weeklong conference slated for Sept. 8-13 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. ...
The conference is titled, “Fatima: The Path to Peace” and “is a call,” according to a Fatima Center press release, “to a return to sanity in the government of the world and the Church, for the two cannot be separated.”
Also scheduled to speak is Roberto Fiore, an Italian politician, who, when he won a seat to the European Parliament in 2008, was described by a fellow member of the body as “absolutely the most extreme person who has ever served in the European Parliament.”
John F. McManus, the president of the archconservative John Birch Society (JBS) is also listed as a speaker at the Canadian conference. JBS has been dogged for decades by charges of anti-Semitism, accusations society leaders vehemently deny.
This is, of course, nothing particularly new. A significant chunk of Paul's radical right voting record in Congress revolves around his various efforts to promote the Birch Society agenda by getting the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations. And indeed, Paul's obsession with the "New World Order" is a reflection of the same paranoid belief system, a product of old-line anti-Semitic far-right organizations.
As Rachel Tabachnik at Talk 2 Action explains, neither is it new for Paul to be openly embracing these anti-Semites:
This is not the first time that Paul has been involved in a conspiracy-themed project with Father Nicholas Gruner, the founder of the Ontario-based Fatima Center. In 1998 the John Birch Society produced and marketed a film promoting the American Sovereignty Restoration Act, a bill sponsored in the U. S. Congress by Ron Paul calling for withdrawal from the United Nations. The film includes the participation of Fr. Gruner and a total of five speakers who are also speaking at the Fatima Conference. In the film Paul claims that the United Nations is coming to get your guns and your property. Resistance will be futile, Paul warns, and "If the United Nations has their way, there will be curtailment of our right to practice religion."
The 30-minute John Birch Society film includes five of the speakers who will be participating in the Fatima Center conference this coming week: Ron Paul; Fr. Nicholas Gruner, founder of the Fatima Center; John McManus, president of JBS; William Jasper, editor of the JBS magazine New American; and Cornelia Ferreira. Ferreira is another radical traditionalist Catholic who writes and speaks about claimed takeover of the church by a Masonic conspiracy and "liberal churchmen" who are in league with a "Luciferian revolution."
See the video atop this post for a pared-down version. The complete 30-minute video is here.
Tabachnik has more details about the deeper (and more disturbing) nature of the Fatima Society's radicalism:
Most mainstream press coverage has focused solely on the anti-Semitism of the Fatima Center and affiliated schismatics, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America." The SPLC isolates the Fatima Center, claimed to be the largest international Fatima apostolates, as one of the "Dirty Dozen" of traditionalist Catholic groups preaching anti-Semitic hatred.
But the anti-Semitism is part of a larger story.
The Fatima Center is one of several examples of rightwing fascination with Russia as an emerging world leader and counter to American liberalism on social issues.
... The Fatima Center was founded by Father Nicholas Gruner as part of a larger movement dedicated to fulfillment of instructions believed to be given by the Virgin Mary to three Portuguese children in 1917. The message was in the form of "Three Secrets." It is the Third Secret of Fatima, kept confidential until announced by the Vatican in 2000, which has been the source of international controversy. This third secret is described as prophetic information about the conflict between Russian-sourced communism and the Roman Catholic Church and is supposed to include the instructions for the "Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary."
The Fatima Crusaders attacks on the Vatican and warnings of destruction are strikingly similar to the anti-Catholic narratives of televangelist John Hagee and other marketers of fundamentalist Protestant end times prophecy. (Hagee is an independent Charismatic.) In these narratives, the Roman Catholic hierarchy partners with an Illuminati conspiracy and pave the way for the reign of the Antichrist. In Hagee's version, evil on earth is orchestrated by "half-breed Jews" and in the Fatima version by a "Judeo-Masonic" conspiracy. Both are fixated with claims that the Federal Reserve is owned by Rothschilds. One of the speakers at the "Fatima: Path to Peace" conference is G. Edward Griffin, author of one of the most popular, although somewhat sanitized, versions of the Rothschilds' enslavement of humanity through manipulation of the dollar.
It's not a coincidence that mainstream Russian politics has taken on a strong odor of brownshirt-style fascism in its thuggish approach to gay rights and similar issues: These politics are being espoused and promoted with the help of international far-right factions such as the Fatima Society.
And foremost among these elements are American far-right figures, including most prominently Ron Paul. As Tabachnik explains:
Paul has a long history as the link between a diverse array of groups that promote anti-Semitic conspiracies as well as a deep hatred of U.S. government. As we face the challenges of the next few weeks on the issues of Syria and conflict in the Middle East, we should be aware that some of the voices calling for peace are not partners looking for a less militaristic America, or a plan to lead the world toward a more progressive future. Some of the voices for "peace" are coming from people who would take us back to the Middle Ages.
Cross-posted at Orcinus.