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Capital-driven Civil Society

Capital-driven Civil Society

john-d-rockefeller

Originally published on State of Nature, May 19, 2008.

Republished by Michael Barker with additional links.

by Michael Barker

“It is the more subtle support that democracy manipulators provide to progressive activist organizations that are the most important yet least understood part of their activities.”

According to, the once progressive, now neo-conservative commentator, David Horowitz, Professor Stephen Zunes is a member of a select group of leftist activists that he refers to as The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (2006). Horowitz is infamous for co-founding the Center for the Study of Popular Culture – which has been ominously renamed as the David Horowitz Freedom Center. More recently though, in 2005, this Center launched DiscoverTheNetworks, an online project that has been accurately referred to as “Horowitz’s Smear Portal”. The relevance of this background is found in the fact that I have also assessed Zunes’ connections to the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (where he chairs the board of academic advisors). While both I and Horowitz have criticised Zunes’ background and affiliations, needless to say Horowitz’s “Smear Portal” attacks Zunes for very different reasons than my own. [1] Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that DiscoverTheNetworks approach to investigating Zunes is very similar to my own, as it identifies the “individuals and organizations that make up the left and also the institutions that fund and sustain it”. The crucial difference, between these two parallel analyses, however, is that I criticise the Left in an attempt to strengthen it by causing it to reflect on the elite manipulation and co-option of civil society, while DiscoverTheNetworks simply aims to undermine the Left. [2]

Unfortunately, my attempts to produce reflection did not bear fruit from Professor Zunes who, rather than addressing the substance of my criticisms, ‘responded’ with accusations of “absurd leaps of logic”, concluding that he “wonder[ed] whose side Barker is really on”. This was disappointing as the criticisms of Zunes’ connections with the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict had been explicit and my intention had been to promote this vital critical reflection amongst the Left, especially with regards to their reliance upon funding from The Power Elite. [3] Such funding questions are especially relevant with regards to the work of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, as their work is funded by Peter Ackerman and his wife Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, whose work has anti-democratic aspirations.

In summary these aspirations become evident when considering the intimate involvement that either one or both have with the following democracy manipulating organizations: the Albert Einstein Institution, Freedom House, the International Center for Journalists, the International Crisis Group, and the US Institute of Peace. [4] Moreover, as John Bellamy Foster pointed out in his rebuttal to Zunes’ ‘defence’ of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict, Peter Ackerman is also a director for the “imperial brain trust,” that is the Council on Foreign Relations. Further, Peter Ackerman maintains even more ties to ‘democratic’ elites that have not been mentioned in previous articles. Most notably Ackerman serves on the advisory board of the Council on Foreign Relations misnamed Center for Preventive Action: a group that should be referred to as the Center for Preventing Democratic Action. [5]

A fortunate point of agreement with Zunes, is the view of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as one of the “real manifestations of U.S. imperialism”. However a point that cannot be agreed upon is Zunes’ view that the work of such democracy manipulating groups is to “primarily assist pro-Western elites develop sophisticated political campaigns centered on seizing power”. This disagreement highlights our more fundamental differences of opinion regarding his involvement with the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict. [6] In contrast to Zunes’ representations of the NED, only part of their work is geared towards supporting openly pro-Western elites (i.e. conservatives and neo-conservatives), which is most evident through the funding practices of two of the NED’s four core grantees, the International Republican Institute and the Center for International Private Enterprise. The rest of the NED’s work, however, involves manipulating civil society through the provision of strategic support to liberals, and ‘moderate’ – that is, not Marxist or anarchist inspired – labor groups: funding that is often directed via the NED’s two other core grantees the National Democratic Institute and the AFL-CIO (via their Solidarity Center). NED funding is supplemented by various philanthropic foundations (both liberal and conservative), which, in turn, is topped up by better funded ‘aid’ agencies, like the recently formed multilateral democracy manipulator, the United Nations Democracy Fund. [7] However, the argument put forward here is that it is the more subtle support that democracy manipulators provide to progressive activist organizations that are the most important yet least understood part of their activities.

Overemphasis in Leftist literature on aggressive aspects of imperialism (waged through both overt and covert military, economic, and diplomatic domination) has unfortunately meant that little attention has been paid to the equally important ‘friendly face’ of imperialism. Thus, when combined with the near total media blackout of critical analyses of elite funding of progressive groups, it is little wonder that there is minimal discussion of this phenomenon. [8] This is not to say that there have not been a number of excellent critiques of the hijacking/colonisation of civil society by liberal elites (although they tend to be ignored): indeed, some notable book length treatments of the subject include:

• Ben Whitaker, The Foundations: An Anatomy of Philanthropic Bodies (London: Methuen, 1974)

• Ferdinand Lundberg, The Rockefeller Syndrome (Secaucus, N.J.: L. Stuart, 1975)

• Richard E. Brown, Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and Capitalism in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979)

• Robert F. Arnove, (ed.), Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundations at Home and Abroad (Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1980) [9]

• Joan Roelofs, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003)

In more recent years James Petras’ (1999) landmark article ‘NGOs: In the Service of Imperialism’, has inspired much critical reflection among the Left – for example, see the work of Aziz Choudry (2002), Arundhati Roy (2004), Patrick Bond (2005), Yves Engler (2007), and Shahrzad Mojab (2007) [10] – but ironically enough David Horowitz provided the Left with one of the most timely and (potentially) inspirational series of articles regarding the dangers of liberal philanthropy. Thus in 1969, during the radical leftist part of his career, Horowitz published a series of three articles in Ramparts magazine which were titled:

• ‘The Foundations: Charity Begins at Home’ (April 1969)

• ‘Billion Dollar Brains: How Wealth Puts Knowledge in its Pocket’ (May 1969)

• ‘Sinews of Empire’ (October 1969)

Horowitz’s trilogy, although ultimately unsuccessful in breaking the firm hold of liberal foundations over progressive social movements, still provides a valuable summary of the antidemocratic mechanizations of liberal philanthropists, and so I will briefly recount some of the most relevant aspects of his arguments here.

Firstly, Horowitz recognized the immense power that large amounts of money could wield over the processes of social change, writing that “The income of the 596 largest tax-exempt foundations is more than twice the net earnings of the nation’s 50 largest commercial banks.” He observed that the massive wealth generated from these liberal endowments ($876 million in the case of the Rockefeller Foundation) allows foundations to “sustain the complex nerve centers and guidance mechanisms for a whole system of institutional power”. [11] (Of course, he notes, the power to ‘influence’ was (and is) not limited to foundations, and in the Rockefeller’s case they also dominated the “world’s second largest commercial bank, the Chase Manhattan”, and “the second and third largest insurance companies, Metropolitan and Equitable”, amongst many others.)

Horowitz then traces the trajectory of liberal philanthropy from 1877 onwards, observing how “Booker T. Washington ascended to national prominence with his white-sponsored philosophy of self-help and political quietism” (which led him to create the National Negro Business League, with the aid of Andrew Carnegie). Then “[a]t the outset of the 1960s, [“financed by white wealth”] the NAACP and the Urban League were on the right wing of the civil rights movement”. Foundations were not the only significant influence, and as he points out, as social movements became more militant the “first-line response… was of course the big stick of Law and Order”. However, “[a]long with the frame-ups and police terror, a highly sophisticated program was being launched by forces of the status quo”. He continues:

In 1966, McGeorge Bundy left his White House position as the top security manager for the American empire… to become president of the [$3 billion] Ford Foundation. Bundy was an exponent of the sophisticated approach to the preservation of the international status quo. Rejecting what he called ‘either or’ politics, he advocated ‘counterinsurgency and the Peace Corps… an Alliance for Progress and unremitting opposition to Castro; in sum, the olive branch and the arrows.’ The arrows of course would be taken care of by the authorities, from the CIA and the American military to Major Daley, while the foundations were free to pursue the olive branch side. Since they were ‘private’ and non-governmental they could leave the task of repression to their friends in other agencies while they pursued a benevolent, enlightened course without apparent hypocrisy.

The Ford Foundation then proceeded to line the coffers of Kenneth Clark’s Metropolitan Applied Research Center ($0.5 million), and even formerly militant groups like the Congress on Racial Equality (which obtained $175,000 for Cleveland organizing). [12] Then in 1967 the Urban Coalition was formed, headed by none other than the former president of the Carnegie Corporation, John Gardner, with funding “provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc., the Carnegie Foundation and the Ford Foundation”. Support for moderate progressives however does not prevent liberal foundations from supporting elite planning groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, and as Horowitz observed the “majority of the trustees of the foundations” – i.e. the “big three”, Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller – are members of the Council.

Horowitz makes a call to students, as relevant now as it was then, to reconsider their activism in the light of the influence of foundations on higher education:

Today’s generation of students, who at this very moment are being suspended, beaten bloody and jailed for their efforts to end the subservience of intellect to power, loosen up entrance requirements, create new departments and colleges and attempt to make the university more relevant to their needs, might be interested in knowing how the system got set up in the first place. It did not, as it might seem, spring fall-blown from the head of the absent-minded professor. The development of the modern American university was not left to the natural bent of those within its ivory towers; it was shaped by the ubiquitous charity of the foundations and the guiding mastery of wealth.

Horowitz highlights that “[d]uring the radical upsurge of the [18]80s and ’90s, a series of exemplary firings of liberal scholars took place, usually as a result of the professors having linked some of their abstract ideas with the issues of the hour”. He goes on to add that: “The professors were dismissed, the colleges said, not because of their views, but because of their lack of professionalism, their partisanship (justification of the status quo was of course considered in keeping with scholarly neutrality and objectivity).” While this example will be familiar to activists aware of Norman Finkelstein’s tenure battle, Horowitz accurately observes that although the strategic use of such dismissals is no doubt useful in some instances “the carrot is always more efficacious and gentlemanly than the stick”. Yet although it is a taboo subject within academia, the power of foundations to shape academic life has been massive. However, this corrosive influence has evaded critical commentary because it simply relied upon the fact that if: “Looked at formally, the foundations were imposing nothing.” Indeed this “very subtlety was its strength”, and as Horowitz adds: “In the realm of the mind, the illusion of freedom may be more real than freedom itself.” Thus “lavish support and recognition” is provided:

…for the kind of investigations and techniques that are ideologically and pragmatically useful to the system which it dominates, and by withholding support on any substantial scale from empirical research projects and theoretical frameworks that would threaten to undermine the status quo. (Exceptional and isolated support for individual radicals may be useful, however, in establishing the openness of the system at minimum risk.) [13]

Unsurprisingly, university research that serves elite interests is promoted first and foremost: thus behavioralism and pluralism dominated the field of political science, and, as Horowtiz notes, such studies “soon were in high demand, from government to business directorates, from the military to the CIA”. [12] On this point he suggests that “[o]ne of the more important promoters of the behavioral mode with the American Political Science Association has been Evron Kirkpatrick” (who was the executive director of the Association from 1954 to 1981). Horowtiz then outlines Kirkpatrick’s prior links to the intelligence community, which in 1952 eventually saw him become the chief of psychological intelligence for the State Department. However, he points out that no academics appear to have been interested in this background:

…until February 1967, when someone had the temerity to point out that Kirkpatrick was also president of a CIA-funded research organization called Operations and Policy Research Incorporated. (The treasurer of the American Political Science Association, Max Kampelman, turned out to be the vice president of Operations and Policy Research.)

Thereafter there were calls for Kirkpatrick and Kampelman’s resignations, but the Associations president, Robert Dahl, subsequently carried out a ‘thorough’ investigation (along with four other ex-presidents), and determined that nothing was amiss. Moving to the present, it is fitting that William I. Robinson would make use of Dahl’s classic book, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition, to describe the type of low-intensity democracy (that is, polyarchy) being promoted by democracy manipulating groups like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Likewise, it is consistent with his background that Kirkpatrick went on to become a director of the NED’s sister organization, the US Institute of Peace, and was married to well-known neoconservative and ‘democracy’ specialist, the late Jeane J. Kirkpatrick. It is also noteworthy that Kampelman went on to serve as vice chairman of the US Institute of Peace (by Presidential appointment) from 1992 to 2001.

So as Horowitz concludes:

Can anyone honestly believe that the foundations, which are based on the great American fortunes and administered by the present-day captains of American industry and finance, will systematically underwrite research which tends to undermine the pillars of the status quo, in particular the illusion that the corporate rich who benefit most from the system do not run it – at whatever cost to society – precisely to ensure their continued blessings?

Irrespective of whether one believes the argument proposed by Horowitz and myself, [15] it is imperative that progressives deal with the issue of the problems associated with liberal philanthropy vocally, and in the public arena. Indeed, while some progressives may be worried about the “can of worms” that may be opened by discussing the fact that liberal foundations bankroll much of their work (or at least the work of influential mainstream non-governmental organizations), they need not worry about this because the can has been open for years. In fact, critiquing the Left’s reliance on antidemocratic liberal philanthropists has been a mainstay of conservatives for decades. For example, in 1958 the anti-communist John Birch Society was founded by Robert Welch (who was previously a director of the National Association of Manufacturers), and with significant support from the corporate world they promoted many widely read books, the most famous of which is probably Gary Allen’s (1971) None Dare Call it Conspiracy (which reportedly sold over six million copies and has been published in eight languages). [16]

Furthermore, although there is a mainstream media blackout within the ‘liberal’ media with respect to criticism of the social engineering of liberal foundations, this topic is regularly covered in leading (and very influential) media outlets like Fox News (also see note 13), where it is alleged that elitist liberal philanthropists – in recent years, most notably George Soros – are undermining democracy worldwide. As with any influential story, there is an element of truth in such ideas, as liberal philanthropists are elitist, and likewise, it is true that they are undermining democracy. Although on the latter point I disagree with the conservatives, as while they imply that liberal elites are facilitating a socialist revolution to oust capitalism, I think it is more likely that they are simply trying to sustain neo-liberal capitalism and ‘representative’ democracy (plutocracy) – albeit a less harsh version than that promoted by neo-conservatives – while simultaneously undermining citizen-led attempts to create more participatory forms of democracy. Either way, the focus of the corporate media on the ‘extreme’ Leftist credentials of major liberal funders serves two useful purposes to the power elite, (1) it further moderates the activities of liberal philanthropists, and (2) it distracts progressive citizens from considering the vital social engineering role that liberal foundations fulfil to help sustain capitalism.

Bearing all this in mind, it is vital that progressives’ make amends, and begin to seriously tackle the vexing questions surrounding the (for the most part) unmentioned power of liberal philanthropy. As I noted before, the can of worms is already well and truly open: we need to stop pretending that it is sealed and deal with the daunting fact that the worms have been making compost out of democracy’s popular consciousness for decades. Thankfully in the past few years this dialogue concerning liberal philanthropy has gained much needed support from the publication of two books, Joan Roelofs’ Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (2003), and INCITE!’s The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (2007). However, the most important work still needs to be done: together we need to launch a massive popular debate about the corrosive influence of liberal foundations on progressive social change, and then begin to propose and support alternative (sustainable) solutions to funding progressive groups all over the world.

 

Endnotes

1. For full details of my exchange with Professor Zunes see:
http://michaeljamesbarker.wordpress.com/
Basic information on most of the people and groups mentioned within this article can be found on: www.sourcewatch.org
DiscoverTheNetworks notes on their “Stephen Zunes” profile, that Zunes’ “numerous writings exhibit a deep obsession with and disdain for American support of Israel”. Here it is interesting to observe that while Zunes is often critiqued from the Right for supporting the Palestinian’s plight, he has also come under criticism from the Left, most notably in Edward S. Herman’s ‘A Reply to Stephen Zune’s on the Jews and Cynthia McKinney’s Defeat’, Common Dreams, August 27, 2002.
http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0827-08.htm

2. DiscoverTheNetworks note on their website, they aim to do this by “map[ping] the paths through which the left exerts its influence on the larger body politic” and by “defin[ing] the left’s (often hidden) programmatic agendas” to provide an “understanding of its history and ideas”.
Zunes has also come under attack from another arch neoconservative (and right-wing Zionist), Daniel Pipes, who is the founder and Director of the Middle East Forum, a group that runs the web-based project, Campus Watch, that was founded in 2002 and provided much inspiration for the establishment of DiscoverTheNetworks. It is noteworthy that the ‘Campus Watch in the Media’ section of Pipes website also has a link to an article written by DiscoverTheNetworks contributor, Lee Kaplan, that describes Zunes as “a virulently anti-American and anti-Israel professor” (see note 1). Kaplan also writes for Horowitz’s Front Page Magazine, and his articles (along with Pipes’ work) have been regularly published in the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies magazine The Maccabean Online. This link is interesting owing my concern with democracy manipulating organizations, because the Freeman Center’s academic advisor, Louis Rene Beres, formerly served on the advisory board of the American Center for Democracy alongside the likes of James Woolsey (the former Director of the CIA, and former chair of Freedom House). Finally it is important to note that in 2004 Daniel Pipes was temporarily appointed by George W. Bush to the board of directors of the key democracy manipulating organisation the U.S. Institute of Peace.

3. C. Wright Mills’ brilliant book The Power Elite (1956) “provided a whole generation with a basis for understanding the society around them, while bringing him ostracism and harassment from the academic establishment and a cold shoulder from the patrons of research. (Thus, while [Robert] Dahl received $70,000 in grants from the Rockefeller Foundation in the wake of his pluralist study of New Haven, after writing The Power Elite Mills was abruptly cut off from foundation financing for his ambitious sociological projects.)” See David Horowitz, ‘Billion Dollar Brains: How Wealth Puts Knowledge in its Pocket’ Ramparts, May 1969, 43.

4. I briefly introduced why I consider the work of the Ackerman’s to be antidemocratic in my article ‘False accusations and major leaps of logic’, Green Left Weekly, December 10, 2007. http://www.greenleft.org.au/2007/735/38093

5. Peter Ackerman was also a founding trustee of the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity (from 2000 to 2004, where he served alongside fellow founding trustee Allen Weinstein – the former president of both the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Center for Democracy, see http://rightweb.irc-online.org/gw/1585). In addition, Ackerman is a director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (US); other ‘democratic’ directors of this Institute include Richard Burt (who serves as a senior adviser to the Center for Strategic and International Studies), Thomas R. Pickering (who is a director of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a trustee of both the Carnegie Corporation and the Eurasia Foundation, and is a former director of the Center for Democracy), and the Institute’s chair Michael Rich (who is also the executive vice president of the RAND Corporation). Ackerman has also served as a former director of both the ‘humanitarian’ CARE USA and of the libertarian think-tank the Cato Institute (which obtains funding from liberal funders like the Ford Foundation, and conservative groups like the Atlas Economic Research Foundation); while he is able to maintain plenty of elite associations through his presence on the business advisory council of United States Olympic Committee, a group that counts the likes of Henry Kissinger among its “public sector” members. Last but not least, Peter’s wife Joanne is a director of Human Rights Watch – an organization whose advisory boards provide plenty of links to the international democracy manipulating community . Incidentally, many key Human Rights Watch members sit alongside Peter Ackerman on the advisory board of the Orwellian Center for Preventive Action.
For critical information on Peter Ackerman’s past as a venture capitalist, see James B. Stewart, Den of Thieves (Simon & Schuster, 1991); and George Anders, The Merchants of Debt: KKR and the Mortgaging of American Business (Basic Books, 1993). For further critiques of Human Rights Watch and the Center for Preventive Actions, see Michael Barker, ‘Hijacking Human Rights’, Znet, August 3, 2007.
http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/14804;
‘The Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Preventive Action (Part 2 of 2)’, Znet, March 6, 2008.
http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/16787

6. In response to criticisms levelled at Professor Stephen Zunes from Stephen Gowans, Zunes provided a “13-point refutation” of Gowans’ critique. However, as I demonstrated, by analysing each of Zunes’ 13 points in turn, there was next to no substance to Zunes ‘rebuttal’.
http://michaeljamesbarker.wordpress.com/

7. Michael Barker, ‘The United Nations Democracy Fund as Democracy Manipulator’, Znet, November 14, 2007.
http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/17404

8. Ironically, the support that liberal foundations provide to progressive groups is regularly covered in neoconservative leaning media outlets, e.g. see The O’Reilly Factor, ‘Factor Investigation: George Soros’, Fox News, April 24, 2007.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,268045,00.html

9. Online information about the groundbreaking book Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundation at Home and Abroad is nonexistent, so here I provide a list of the books contributors and chapter titles:

1. Robert F. Arnove, ‘Introduction’.
2. Barbara Howe, ‘The Emergence of Scientific Philanthropy’.
3. Sheila Slaughter and Edward T. Silva, ‘Looking Backwards: How Foundations Formulated Ideology in the Progressive Period’.
4. Russell Marks, ‘Legitimating Industrial Capitalism: Philanthropy and Individual Differences’.
5. E. Richard Brown, ‘Rockefeller Medicine in China: Professionalism and Imperialism’.
6. James D. Anderson, ‘Philanthropic Control over Private Black Higher Education’.
7. Edward H. Berman, ‘Educational Colonialism in Africa: The Role of American Foundations at Home and Abroad, 1910-1945?.
8. Edward H. Berman, ‘The Foundations Role in American Foreign Policy: The Case of Africa, post 1945?.
9. Donald Fisher, ‘American Philanthropy and the Social Sciences: The Reproduction of a Consecutive Ideology’.
10. Peter J. Seybold, ‘The Ford Foundation and the Triumph of Behavioralism in American Political Science’.
11. Robert F. Arnove, ‘Foundation and the Transfer of Knowledge’.
12. Dennis C. Buss, ‘The Ford Foundation in Public Education: Emergent Patterns’.
13. David E. Weischadle, ‘The Carnegie Corporation and the Shaping of American Educational Policy’.
14. Frank A. Darknell, ‘The Carnegie Philanthropy and Private Corporate Influence on Higher Education’.
15. Mary A. C. Colwell, ‘The Foundation Connection: Links among Foundations and Recipient Organization’.

10. For links to critical resources on nongovernmental organizations, see:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Nongovernmental_organizations#External_Resources

11. “[T]he foundation millions really represent taxable surplus that ought to be in the hands of the community”, not distributed by “charitable trusts in the form of ‘gifts’” (Horowitz, 1969).

12. Karen Ferguson (2007) argues that both the Ford Foundation and CORE “sought to ‘organize the ghetto’ by making working-class blacks a decipherable and controllable constituency through schematized top-down expert intervention and the development of indigenous leaders/brokers amenable to both groups’ respective visions for the black community.” See Karen Ferguson, ‘Organizing the Ghetto: The Ford Foundation, CORE, and White Power in the Black Power Era, 1967-1969?, Journal of Urban History, 34, 1, 2007, 69.

13. In the final part of this series Horowitz restates this point noting: “In the control of scholarship by wealth, it is neither necessary nor desirable that professors hold a certain orientation because they receive a grant. The important thing is that they receive the grant because they hold the orientation.” Thus here it is interesting to juxtapose this statement with one from Stephen Zunes, who writes: “Unlike the NED and similar groups, ICNC [International Center for Nonviolent Conflict] does not seek out particular individuals or groups with which to provide its educational materials but waits for people to come to them.”

14. For further details on the foundation-supported rise of behavioralism, see Peter J. Seybold, ‘The Ford Foundation and the triumph of behavioralism in American political science’, in Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism, 269-303.

15. Michael Barker, ‘Do Capitalists Fund Revolutions? (Part 1 of 2)’, Znet, September 4, 2007.
http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/14561

16. Johnson (1986) notes that during the 1960s, Nelson Bunker Hunt was a “financial and vocal supporter of the John Birch Society,” and in the late 1970s he became a council member of the Society. This is significant because Bunker was a billionaire owing to his inheritance of the “oil dynasty’ that was established by his late father, Haroldson Lafayette (H.L.) Hunt Jr.”. More recently Bunker has rejoined the John Birch Society as a council member. Bunker (along with his brother) perhaps attained most fame when “he bought up half the world’s deliverable supply of silver in 1980 – forcing the price from $5 per ounce to $49.40 in the space of a year.” As The Sunday Independent (Ireland – May 7, 2006) noted: “Regulators responded, the corner failed, the price plummeted and Bunker went spectacularly bankrupt.”
Bunker has been a major funder of the Right and has been closely associated with the secretive Council for National Policy, a former haunt of the infamous televangelist Reverend Pat Robertson. Furthermore, according to Right Web, Bunker was an important financial funder of Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, and he even played a significant role (in the mid-1980s) in supporting a campaign to help Pat Robertson become the President of the United States. This is all significant because in 1991 Robertson published his conservative bestseller New World Order, which is similar in tone to Allen’s blockbuster None Dare Call it Conspiracy.
See Annon, ‘Gary Allen Dies Saturday of a Liver Ailment at 50?, The Associated Press, November 29, 1986; Arthur Johnson, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Hunt Brothers’, The Globe and Mail, September 13, 1986.
Gary Allen’s (1971) book None Dare Call it Conspiracy is now available online.
http://reactor-core.org/none-dare.html
And also see Charles Stewart, ‘The Master Conspiracy of the John Birch Society: from Communism to the New World Order’, Western Journal of Communication, 64 (4), 2002, 424-47.
http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-2260628/The-master-conspiracy-of-the.html