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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Active Measures and the Right Wing

Even more fascinating, Bizaare, weird, than how the Russians got to Trump, who after all is a classic Kompromat target, is how they've seduced the Republican Party and Right Wing Cristo-fascist movements.

The day before yesterday I found myself reading a fascinating article by Christopher Stroop, who is the author of

"Bad Ecumenicism"

...and other authoritative (not authoritarian!) articles on the Christian Far Right. The narcissism and bullying of their leaders is well documented by Mr. Stroop.

Then last night I found myself reading a series of linked articles/Blog by Grant Stern called:

How One Man Influenced The Republican Party’s Transformation Into The Grand Old Putin Party.

What Brings the Far Right together?

Both of yesterday's articles talked about how the Right Wing was seduced by and formed an alliance with Post Soviet Fascist Russians. Stern's article starts by telling the story of:

"Dr. Edward Lozansky [who] emigrated to the United States as a “dissident” and setup the Andrei Sakharov Committee to advocate for the release of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning physicist."

The story is fascinating and pieces together exactly how it is that our, increasingly authoritarian Right Wing, has transformed itself into allies of the Russians! He describes how Lozansky and others forged an alliance, initially anti-communist, but soon commercial and post communist oligarchic, betweeen Russian Dissidents, spies and politicians and people like Paul Weyrich. Reading it helps put perspective into what is going on presently. He sees Lozansky as a Russian Agent and a Recruiter and details how he recruited Republicans like Manafort to work with Putin's Russian Oligarchy.

But it gets really bizarre as one digs in deeper.

The Right Wing Nationalist International

I read an article today that began:

"F. Graham, M. Pence, and ROC Metropolitan Hilarion" [BGAES Summit]

, no Joke, but makes me think of a joke.

... walk into a Bar and order three drinks.
Hilarion orders a White Russian, Pence a wine and Franklin a Beer.
The Bartender brings all three water and says, "now which of you will turn the water into wine?"
Hilarion says something in Greek and then cusses in Russian.
Franklin says "Just bring me my beer."
Pence starts complaining.
The Bartender says "None of you turned the water into wine."
Pence says "I thought you meant turn your bringing water to us into a whine. I did that. Now bring me my wine!"

The Real Punchline

I thought it was funny. But the real punch line is the answer to the question:

What the Frack were they doing there on May 12???

The Answer is they were all attending:

"the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, where he proclaimed Christians to be among the most persecuted people in the world." [BGAES Summit]

The Title itself is bizarre enough to anyone not suffering from Right Wing Authoritarian Paranoia. But to authoritarian followers of these powerful people, They are the persecuted people and that justifies any measures, violence, propaganda or political that can protect their standing in the world. For rank and file authoritarians, the world is a fearful place where one has to know one's place in the pecking order or one is likely to be pecked to death. See: The Dictator in Front of the Mob

Why Would Franklin Graham work with People Persecuting fellow Protestants?

And for the leadership, getting together to fight a common enemy just makes perfect sense. Even if to the rest of us, why Protestants would be wiling to work with Places like Russia, makes no sense.

"While there are parts of the world where the persecution of religious minorities, including Christians, is a real problem, the United States is not one of them. Russia, on the other hand, has enacted laws that bar Protestant groups from proselytizing on penalty of fines, and has even gone so far as to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses entirely." [BGAES Summit]

Could Hilarion have Kompromat on Frank?

Hilarion is nominally a cleric, but actually he's an Active Measures Agent:

"he has worked tirelessly in recent years to cultivate relationships with Catholic and Protestant supporters of “traditional values” abroad, in order to work with them to promote Christian supremacy at the expense of women’s and LGBTQ rights—an example of what I call “bad ecumenism.” Such efforts are coordinated with the Kremlin’s foreign policy, which seeks to foster relationships with anti-democratic forces outside Russia." [BGAES]

And his efforts have born fruit in the 2016 election!

Defense of Persecuted Russian Protestants?

But you'd think that Franklin would want nothing to do with Hilarion:

"should be a sticking point for American Christians. There is more than a little hypocrisy in Graham’s allowing a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church to play an important role in his World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians—particularly considering that conservative Christians in America cry “persecution!” over far less than Protestants in the Russian Federation face." [BGAES]

No Demands

But I never said that the leaders of such groups have any integrity. His father maybe. But Franklin is perfectly happy to work with Russians persecuting his religion and take their money. You'd think that Christian leaders like Franklin Graham would at least insist on the repeal of awful repressive laws like the Yarovaya laws as a condition for embracing the Russians. But their concern is based on situational ethics not actual faith in religious precepts.

I've tried to summarize what is going on with so-called "Christian Fundamentalists" -- who neither get the fundamentals of their own religion correct, nor are particularly Christian -- but my point in this post is to turn people onto Christopher Stroop, Grant Stern and others who have covered the subject in depth.

The World Congress of Families

This week the usual Cristofascist suspects are attending the World Congress of Families in Budhapest:

"s one of the most important venues for networking within the right-wing international. Lots of Russians and Americans are involved.

This is a hard right Cristofascist group, where worldwide religious leaders compare notes, teach and share strategies.

"From May 25-28, WCF will convene for its eleventh international conference in Budapest, Hungary, which WCF claims is “one of the most family-friendly countries in Europe,” pointing to the nation’s adoption of new constitutional provisions in 2011 that restricted the rights of LGBTQ people and people with disabilities, and severely undermined sexual and reproductive health and rights. This, according to WCF, made Hungary’s government “the hero of pro-family and pro-life leaders from all over the world.” The event will feature a slate of some of America’s most notorious Christian Right “culture warriors,” including Brian Brown, head of the National Organization for Marriage (and the new president of WCF’s parent organization, International Organization for the Family); Sharon Slater of Family Watch International; Austin Ruse of C-Fam, and Jim Garlow of Skyline Church. Additionally, multiple European representatives from the U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom will present." [World Congress of Families]

We need to send a shout out to people doing good work.

Why do they do it?

Right Wing fundamentalist groups are led by charlatans who usually score high on EMAD traits, and are simply getting rich and famous off of the fearful conventionality and authoritarianism of their followers. But the consequences are real. If you are a Protestant in Russia, your church is turning a blind eye to your plight. If you dig deeper you find that this "Bad Ecumenicism" stokes fear and hate around the world, while the leaders party with each other. If you get a chance you should read Chris Stroop, Grant Stern, Altemeyer and the others [Hannah Arendt, George Orwell, Gessen, etc...] I'm referring to for yourself. It is eye opening.

This Is Active Measures

Stroop documents the active measures involved:


Targeting Gays and other Heretics

If none of this bothers you read this:

Gessen Twitter

Further Reading
Timothy Snyder
Masha Gessen
Related Posts:
Understanding Social Dominance Theory
Reviewing Altemeyer's Book
Trump and His Flying Monkey Narcissists
EMAD Trump or why the Wheels won't come off in time
Masha Gessen &
Fighting Authoritarianism

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