Pat Robertson and the White Separatist Movement (Martin A. Lee: The Beast Reawakens)
Pat Robertson and the White Separatist Movement
David Duke, wearing Klan robes, attends a Klan rally in Euless, Texas in June, 1979.
One of the least-noticed aspects of [David] Duke’s [former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan 1975-1979] campaign for governor was the endorsement of Reverend Billy McCormick, the head of the Louisiana chapter of the Christian Coalition. Led by the televangelist Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition had emerged as the most powerful grassroots force within the Republican Party. In alliance with Duke’s organization, the Christian Coalition proceeded to gain control of the GOP state organization in Louisiana. This was part of the precinct-by-precinct, state-by-state drive to take over the Republican Party across the country. Toward this end, Robertson’s foot soldiers were initially told to soft-pedal their religious message and if necessary, conceal their affiliation with the Christian Coalition, which supposedly operated as a nonpartisan, tax-exempt group.
By 1995, the Christian Coalition claimed to have more than a million and a half members. Its collaboration with Duke in Louisiana was surprising at first glance, given the former Klansman’s on going antipathy toward Israel and Jews in general, which put him at loggerheads with pro-Zionist evangelicals like Robertson. But Robertson’s support for Israel had little to do with the sincere affection for Jews, whom he viewed as “spiritually deaf” and “spiritually blind”; rather, it was predicted on end-of-world New Testament prophesy, which stipulated that all Jews must gather in the State of Israel before the Second Coming, whereupon they would be converted en masse to Christianity or killed in the battle of Armageddon.
The Christian Coalition’s sympathy for David Duke is more understandable upon closer examination of Pat Robertson’s paranoid ideology. His bestselling 1992 book, The New World Order, purports to reveal an elaborate, centuries-old conspiracy dominated by a satanically spawned clique of Freemasons, occultist, and European bankers who just happen to have Jewish names. Refurbishing the old canard about a handful of rich Jews who backed both godless Communism and monopoly capitalism as a part of the sinister, long-range plan, the Christian Coalition commander claimed this ongoing super conspiracy was behind everything from the French and Russian Revolution to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
Robertson’s musings resembled not only anti-Jewish motifs of the past– he listed several notorious anti-Semites in his bibliography–*but militia fables of the present. In his book and on his ubiquitous cable network, he railed against one-world government and the United Nations. Robertson’s nightly TV show, The 700 Club, also promoted the militia line on Waco and gun control. Spokesmen for the Militia of Montana appeared on this program as experts, commenting upon photos of black helicopters and other misinterpreted phenomena there were allegedly threatening American citizens. New York Times columnist Frank Rich summed it up best when he accused Pat Robertson of throwing “gasoline on the psychic fires of the untethered militias running across this country.”
Although they were both nourished by the odiferous compost of conspiracy theory and hate that has long moldered on the American margins, the Christian Coalition and the militia movement parted ways in their approach to politics. Robertson’s Christian soldiers went the mainstream electoral route, seeking to take over the system from within, while the militias picked up their guns and declared war against the “Republicrats” who ran the country at the behest of sinister, hidden forces. Like Robertson, some militia stalwarts fretted about Freemasons and the eighteenth-century Illuminati; other obsessed over the international Jewish cabal. Whether explicitly racialist or not, these conspiratorial motifs reflected the same anti-Semitic archetypes- although this was not readily apparent to most militia initiated. Such widespread ignorance shows the profound potential for hatred that lurked on the far Right fringe, where yesterday’s secret societies could easily shape-shift into ZOG.
*(When challenged by The New York Times [March 4, 1995], Robertson did not repudiate any of his anti-Semitic sources. Instead, he insisted that his book was “carefully researched [with] seven single-spaced pages” of references. One of the so-called authorities Robertson cited with Eustace Mullins, an advisory board member of the Liberty Lobby’s Populist Action Committee, who depicted the Federal Reserve as a front for a handful of sinister Jews. Described by the Spotlight as “the dean of American’s populist authors,” Mullins was a frequent speaker at Liberty Lobby events over the years. While a member of the neo-Nazi National Renaissance Party in the early 1950s, Mullin penned an article entitled “Adolf Hitler: An Appreciation,” which he never repudiated, Yet, it did not hurt Robertson’s standing as a GOP power broker to be associated with this raving Jew-baiter, who recently praised the militias as “the only organized threat to the Zionist’s absolute control of the U.S.”)
Martin A. Lee . The Beast Reawakens : Fascism’s Resurgence from Hitler’s Spymasters to Today’s Neo-Nazi Groups & Right-Wing Extremists. Little, Brown & Company 1997. Pgs 358-360.