What if I told you that there is an extensive well-funded network of conservatives all belonging to one organization, who have managed to control the narrative since Reagan took office? That this network probably united with the rest of the free world in order to destroy the Soviet Union and then used this new-found weakness to spread across the world, uniting with anti-Islamic forces in order to form secret alliances that have ultimately culminated in a world where Trump and Putin are the power players in the market?
It is true! The Council for National Policy was started in 1981, as an Umbrella Organization for Conservatism. According to this well researched decade old website, the CNP has members with links to some of the most deplorable people in society. It has basically been a secret society with private membership, aside from 5 or so years. I will delve into the older member directories in further posts.
Every single major conservative media outlet, sans Fox News, is present in the 2014 member directory. Owners of radio stations covering 250 stations, at Salem Communication and Bott Radio networks, are members. The Founders of Newsmax, Red State, Town Hall, Christian Broadcasting Network, CNS News Service, Worldnetdaily, Judicial Watch, The Conservative Pundit, The American Conservative, Daily Caller, American Thinker, and Steve Bannon who runs Breitbart are all listed in the member directory.
Every single religious advocacy group you’ve ever heard of and some you haven’t are listed there. Every major think tank from Heritage to A.E.I, to the Birchers and the Federalist Society trace their roots back to the Council For National Policy. The Koch Brothers, at least in the 2014 member directory do not appear to be members, but the people who run every group they founded are. All the major direct mail marketing companies are represented.
When Obama won in 2008, the CNP freaked out and immediately launched the Conservative Action Project. Patrick Pizzella, Kellyanne Conway, Becky Dunlop, and Ed Meese were the main people behind this. What is interesting about this is that Patrick Pizzella worked as a lobbyist with Jack Abramoff for Russian Oil companies in the 90s, and even brought Conway along for one of his trips. All four of these people now work in the Trump administration. Everyone in the background of the faux grassroots tea party movement Is also a member of the CNP.
Vice President Mike Pence might not be in the Council, but he has close ties to it. At one point, he was President of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation which is under the Umbrella of the State Policy Network. The SPN was created by a Heritage Foundation/CNP member. Pence also graduated from the conservative Leadership Institute, also created by and staffed by CNP members. The Devos/Prince family have also donated heavily to his campaign. Alexander Acosta has given speeches to the group before. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao spent 20 years as a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation, whose founders also are in the CNP. Jeff Sessions was a US Attorney under CNP member and Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese. Sessions has given speeches to the CNP as well and shares the same theocratic religious philosophy as Pence and the CNP.
Between Obama’s election and now, the CNP has hosted meetings 3 times a year. The members who come are not public knowledge, but the speakers are. In 2009, Hugh Hewitt, Mark Levin, Michael Reagan, and Herman Cain gave speeches. In 2010, all the founders of the tea party groups spoke as well as the leaders of the religious right, Herman Cain, and Erick Erickson. In 2011, Reince Preibus gave a speech as did Rumsfield and Ken Cuccinelli. 2012 saw Cruz, Mike Lee, Bobby jIndal, John Bolton, Jim Demint, and Cuccinelli speak again. Tom Cotton spoke in 2013. 2014-2016 were more of the same, and then Michael Flynn and KT Macfarland gave speeches right before the election.
The Right has been fighting the long game. They’ve taken over the religious world, assembled a vast network on super-rich donors and formed foundations that dole out the money they receive to the rest of this advocacy groups and social issue support group. What strike me the most is that the 2014 membership directory seems to be completely devoid of any neoconservative influence. It is a theocratic organization first, and a libertarian low tax think tank second.
The story starts in the 70s. Paul Manafort, Lee Atwater, Roger Stone, and Charlie Black were all working together on Republican Presidential Campaigns. With Reagans election, the four of them opted to immorally lobby for foreign dictators. At the time, the college republicans were being led by Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, and Paul Erickson. The religious right finally saw a chance to push the country as far as to the right as possible and formed the Council on National Policy to unite everybody.
At best, The Council on National Policy’s goals appear to be to push for religious freedom in the government. At worst, the sheer dominance of people who believe that we should be a theocracy indicates that the CNP wants to push that goal. This rational religious person has done a lot of research on the CNP and it seems to fit with my belief. It has been a very secretive organization, only having leaks of its membership directory 5 time since 1982, so some assumed overlap is just a guess.
The 1982 membership directory included Pat Robertson, The Coors Family, Richard Devos (Secretary of Educations father) and James Dobson. A lot of Neoconservatives also were members of the CNP which makes sense given that the Neoconservatives owned the Republican Party while promising the religious right things they never carried through on. The 1984 directory has Abramoff, Dick Armey, Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms, and Oliver North. 1988 added the Prince family, and The Sununu’s. By the 90’s, everyone who runs any group in the religious right was a member. Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway ended up as members in the 2014 membership list.
It appears that Russia targeted the Council for National Policy after the Soviet Union Fell. NaftaSib reached out to Jack Abramoff, Patrick Pizzella and Ellen Levinson to lobby for them after forming a Caribbean shell company, Chelsea Commercial. Not much is known about Levinson, but we know that Jack Abramoff organized multiple trips to Moscow for representatives Tom Delay (CNP member) and Bob Ney to get to know NaftaSib executives and other government officials. Ed Buckham, Republican staffer and lobbyist would funnel the money from the US Family network to Abramoff. Abramoff hosted a meeting occurred in November 1998 between Sergei Kirilenko and republican lawmakers in addition to the other meetings. When Rep. Delay was caught, he hired current White House Counsel Don McGahn as his lawyer. Pizzella went on to join the CNP offshoot the Conservative Action Project with Kellyanne Conway and Ed Meese in response to the democrats daring to elect a black person to the presidency.
Around the same time, Dana Rohrabacher was cultivating his relationship with Putin, along with his aide Erik Prince and national security advisor Paul Behrends. The Prince family has helped fund far right causes their entire lives, and Erik’s sister is Betsy Devos. While Erik formed his own private army to focus on fighting the Crusades and furthering theocracy, Betsy focused on throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at destroying the public-school system to further God’s kingdom. Paul Behrends was also chief lobbyist for Ed Buckham’s consulting firm during the Russia scandal, and has since went on to lobby for Blackwater before it was sold to another dominionistic group, Constellis Holdings, with John Ashcroft on the board.
At various points in the past 20 years, the Russians have contacted multiple lobbying firms to brighten their image. Jim Baker, Trent Lott, Giuliani, Michael Caputo, Richard Burt and various other conservatives have lobbied for Russian interests in the past 30 years, which had led me to the following theory
The Religious Right has allied with Vladimir Putin and Israel to form an alliance to fight total war on Islam. Sometime around 2010, the religious right took over the tea party movement and abandoned the Neoconservative right. They briefly flirted with libertarian Ron Paul before settling on the Alt-Right/Neo Nazi movements. Newsmax, the Washington times, Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, CNSnews, and all the major right wing media outlets are represented throughout the Council for National Policy’s membership directory.
I believe that this combination of Nationalism and Theocracy minded conservatives fully intended on Ted Cruz being the nominee. He’s just as much of a firebreather as Donald Trump, but with the experience needed to not have had the disaster we have faced over the past two months. Once it became clear Trump would the nominee, the Center for the National Interest surrounded the candidate. Chairman Henry Kissinger suggested Tillerson to Trump. Putin ally and CNI member Dmitri Simes organized a speech hosted by the Center for Trump to give, written by CNI member and Gazprom lobbyist Richard Burt. It was at this conference that Trump met with Ambassador Kislyak. The Center for the National Interest is a Pro-Russian think tank. All of the think tanks mentioned in this are intertwined with the Center for the National Interest or Council on National Policy in some way. The Kochs, Mercers, Devos, Coors, and Prince families have all spent hundreds of millions of dollars making sure these think tanks are funded.
Now that Trump is in office, he has filled his cabinet with Pro-Russian and/or Pro-Theocracy people. Judging off actions alone, the pro-Russian cabinet members are in Commerce, State and Energy while the Council for National Policy is represented in Education, Labor, HHS, HUD and probably VP/Attorney General. Preibus, Coats, Pompeo, and Pruitt are likely members too. Mattis and Kelly were chosen because they are anti-Islam hard-liners despite not being in either club. While Neocons ruled the Bush years, the religious right has all the power now.
That is why I am concerned about the future. With or Without Trump, the republican party has sold out to the religious right, forged an alliance with the Russians and is about to wage a total war on Islam. They are going to let Trump be the well-deserved fall guy for the Russian issue while he dismantles our democracy and then Pence will fulfill the Council for National Policies wishes.
Part 2 will cover the money behind this movement.