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Earth Worship

Environmentalism Seen as Police State Precursor

By Janet Smith

Intelligence Report
Winter 2008

Addison, Texas - "Environment is not about saving nature," the 
founder of Freedom Advocates, Michael Shaw, sternly warned an 
audience of antigovernment "Patriots" and far-right conspiracy 
theorists during a mid-July conference. "It's about a revolutionary 
coup in America. [Environmentalism] is to establish global governance 
and abandon the principles of Natural Law." Sustainable development 
policies, Shaw argued, will require "a police state" and ultimately 
"turn America into a globally governed homeland where humans are 
treated as biological resources."

Shaw's fearful call to arms against environmentalism was sucked in 
whole hog during the Ninth Annual Freedom 21 conference held in a 
Dallas-area Crowne Plaza hotel. Co-hosted by the Texas Eagle Forum, a 
hard-line Christian Right organization, and the anti-"New World 
Order" American Policy Center (APC), the three-day convergence 
included such right-wing heavyweights as the error-prone conspiracy 
theorist Jerome Corsi, gay- and feminist-hating Phyllis Schlafly, and 
the far-right Constitution Party's presidential candidate, Chuck 
Baldwin.

One former popular Freedom 21er was disinvited. Bob Barr, a former 
conservative Republican congressman from Georgia, was asked not to 
return by the head of APC, Tom DeWeese, because Barr had talked to Al 
Gore about global warming. "This is not some nice little debate," 
DeWeese said he told someone in Barr's office. "This is war."

This year's conference linked up several of the far right's bogeymen 
into one giant whopper of a conspiracy about sustainable development 
policies that attempt to protect the earth for future generations. 
The basic thesis pushed at Freedom 21 was that the Security and 
Prosperity Partnership (SPP), a trade agreement between Canada, 
Mexico and the U.S. that includes some environmental requirements, is 
part of a nefarious and secret plan to merge the U.S, Canada and 
Mexico into something called the "North American Union" (NAU) - an 
entity which does not, in fact, exist, and has never been planned, 
despite the hysterical warnings of conspiracy theorists like Corsi.

The NAU, these theorists insist, will bring with it global 
government, and, most horrible of all, sustainable development 
policies. Sustainable development is the real evil lurking in the 
shadows of global government, according to the conference's 
organizers; a wolf in sheep's clothing, environmental policies really 
exist to destroy Americans' freedoms and system of government.

"Freedom cannot be sustained in the presence of 'sustainable 
development.' The two concepts are mutually exclusive," Freedom 21 
materials insist. "Sustainable development can exist only when people 
are controlled by government."

Michael Coffman, executive director of the United Nations-hating 
Sovereignty International, took on something called Agenda 21, which 
was drawn up in 1992 for the UN Commission on Sustainable 
Development. Agenda 21 is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be 
taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the UN, 
governments, and major groups in every area in which humans impact on 
the environment (21 refers to the 21st century). In Coffman's eyes, 
Agenda 21 is a menace.
Earth worship card

"An anti-human document, which takes aim at Western culture, and the 
Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions," is how Coffman referred to 
it. Coffman also alleged that Agenda 21 would lead to a kind of 
communist reallocation of property rights and redistribution of 
assets. Using a big word, Coffman labeled the proposed changes 
"usufructual," which he said means the government would own 
everything. Michael Chapman of Ed Watch, a group that opposes public 
education, reiterated Coffman's allegations that Agenda 21's real aim 
is to redistribute wealth. Coffman added that economic development is 
not being restricted in order to protect the environment, but rather 
to give power to the government.

"The new world theology is pantheism," Coffman said, "Nature is God."

The John Birch Society (JBS), a group that once insisted that 
President Eisenhower was a Communist Party member but now focuses on 
immigrant-bashing, agrees with Coffman. JBS was on hand to warn that 
environmentalists are really out to get your children. The JBS handed 
out cards featuring a strange depiction of a group of children 
holding hands under a large, glowing, balloon-like mockup of the 
earth that warned of "The New False Religion, Worshipping the Earth." 
"Advocates of a UN world government have drafted an Earth Charter, 
which they compare to the Ten Commandments and keep in an 'Ark of 
Hope,'" warns the JBS without any apparent reference to reality. 
"Will you let the United Nations or any other group undermine the 
faith of your family?" The JBS is so concerned with this that is has 
created a new website, www.getusout.org/earthworship, to battle 
"Earth Worship."

It turns out that environmentalists also are out to get your guns. 
Larry Pratt, of Gun Owners of America, a radical gun-rights group 
that doesn't believe in any restrictions on guns whatsoever, told the 
audience that "the major goal of the sustainable development movement 
is to disarm Americans."

Other notable conspiracy theorists put in an appearance at Freedom 
21. Jerome Corsi - a man who has made a career of Catholic and 
Islam-bashing and is best known for co-authoring the error-ridden 
Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out that attacked John 
Kerry's war record - laid out several conspiracies during his keynote 
speech.

Corsi, who recently made headlines for his appearances on the racist 
radio show "The Political Cesspool," was also there to hawk his 
latest (and, once again, error-filled) book, Obama Nation. Corsi 
warned that the North American Union is imminent and that the 
Trans-Texas Corridor (TCC), a superhighway linking Mexico, the U.S., 
and Canada, must be stopped. Corsi described Washington, D.C., as "a 
day at the circus" and opined that Congress should be "put on a barge 
and sent out to sea." "It's time to make the U.N. into a parking 
lot," Corsi added.

Phyllis Schlafly, self-proclaimed defeater of the Equal Rights 
Amendment and founder of the anti-feminist Eagle Forum, was on hand 
to give one of her standard stump speeches railing against the 
courts, the government and public education. Schlafly was introduced 
by Cathie Adams, who leads the Eagle Forum's Texas branch. "Feminism 
has destroyed society," Adams told the group. "It's nice to look out 
in the audience and see men who are willing to lead and are doing it."

During a luncheon speech, Schlafly explained to the group how the 
federal court system has expanded its power from interpreting the law 
to legislating from the bench. Schlafly claimed that the problem with 
the Supreme Court goes back to a crooked deal made between the state 
of California and Earl Warren, who, while governor of California, 
allegedly delivered the Republican vote to Eisenhower in the 1952 
election and was rewarded with a seat on the Supreme Court in 1953. 
Schlafly also expounded on the problems of public education, arguing 
that schools should "spend more time on prayer than putting on 
condoms" and claiming that "diversity is a code word for teaching 
homosexuality in schools." Schlafly finished her speech by 
encouraging everyone present to "take self-government back from the 
courts." For those who wanted to know how to proceed, copies of 
Schlafly's book, The Supremacists, The Tyranny of Judges and How to 
Stop It, were available at a book signing session after lunch.

Amazingly, a few state legislators made appearances at the 
conference, illustrating one more time how conspiracy theories can 
easily slip into the political mainstream. State Sen. Karen Johnson 
(R-Ariz.), a former campaign manager for white nationalist 
commentator and one-time presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, spoke 
on Arizona's own efforts to combat the SPP. Johnson, who is retiring 
at the end of this term, told the group that she loves Freedom 21 and 
has been attending for six years. State Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-Okla.) 
spoke on how he has worked to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor from 
crossing Oklahoma's border. Brogdon encouraged the group to "take a 
stand to protect the freedoms the founding fathers gave us" and 
reminded the audience: "America is not for sale. America will never 
be for sale."

What was for sale at Freedom 21 was an expensive program put out by 
the Free Enterprise Society (FES), which claims that it has 
determined lawful ways of avoiding intolerable debt and tax burdens. 
For a not-so-cheap one-time fee of $1,200, plus $50 per month, one 
can enjoy a lifetime FES membership and receive the FES handbook. 
Steve Hempfling, the director of the radical tax protest outfit, 
bragged that he has former judges and elected officials among his 
firm's membership. Describing the IRS as a "terrorist organization," 
Hempfling said that paying taxes is voluntary and that citizens waive 
their Fourth Amendment right to protection against unreasonable 
search and seizure when they file tax returns. "The income tax, to 
me, is a big fraud," Hempfling concluded.