January 26, 2008
Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories
Analysis of conspiracy arguments made in Gary Allen's book, None Dare Call It Conspiracy
Many (most?) Birch Society members (and like-minded souls) continue to believe that Gary Allen's book, "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" is a perfectly reliable source of information.
Below I present an analysis of some comments made by Gary Allen and by W. Cleon Skousen in their books which rely upon the research of Dr. Carroll Quigley --- particularly with reference to Alfred Milner, Jacob Schiff and related matters.
First, let's briefly recap a few facts:
(a) Neither Gary Allen or Cleon Skousen contacted Quigley despite the fact that they rely heavily upon his research.
(b) Neither Allen or Skousen examined the primary source data which Quigley saw -- nor any other primary source material on Milner or Schiff.
(c) So, when trying to present an historically accurate, truthful, and factual case regarding the motives, convictions, and behavior of people like Alfred Milner or Jacob Schiff - WHOM did Allen and Skousen rely upon for their data? What sources of data do they present as knowledgeable and reliable?
For purposes of illustration, imagine for a moment that a friend of yours recommends that you read a book written by Joe Smith and your friend declares that the Smith book is factual and "a real eye-opener" regarding "what's really going on" in our country. Your friend loans you his copy of the book.
Suppose that when you open the book, you discover that Joe Smith is an official of the Ku Klux Klan and the publisher of his book is a Klan publishing house. Furthermore, when you do some on-line research, you notice that the ONLY way you can obtain the book is by purchasing it directly from the Klan, or from other white supremacy organizations.
Let's now turn our attention to Gary Allen's book, pages 69-70 where he writes the following:
"One of the best sources of information on the financing of the Bolshevik Revolution is 'Czarism and the Revolution' by an important White Russian General named Arsene de Goulevitch who was founder in France of the Union of Oppressed Peoples."
(1) How does Gary Allen know that DeGoulevitch is "one of the best sources of information on the financing of the Bolshevik Revolution"?
(2) What is Allen's judgment based upon? Why does he recommend DeGoulevitch? In fact, WHO IS DeGoulevitch?
(3) All that Gary tells us is that DeGoulevitch was a White Russian General who lived in Paris and he founded the Union of Oppressed Peoples.
(4) The original edition of DeGoulevitch's book was published in Paris in 1931. The only English-language edition was published in 1962 by Omni Publications which now operates as Omni Christian Book Club.
(5) Why would it take 31 years for a book to be published in English?
(6) What type of books does Omni sell? Omni is a one-man book-selling operation that sells radical traditionalist Catholic materials, including numerous rabidly anti-semitic conspiratorial writings. Omni describes Jews as "the first civilization to practice the belief in racial supremacy, and the chief advocate of that practice today."
(7) So why would Omni think such an arcane book as "Czarism and Revolution" would be of such interest to their customers that it would be worth translating and publishing in English—31 years after its original publication?
(8) And why did Gary Allen think it was NOT important to mention that (a) DeGoulevitch was a defender of Czarist Russia and (b) he expressed anti-Jewish sentiments in his book?
(9) In his book, DeGoulevitch cites as one his authorities, Boris Brasol,--another White Russian (and a former head of the Czar's secret police). But who is Boris Brasol?
Brasol came to the U.S. in August 1916. He arranged for the translation of "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" into English and he then distributed copies - including a copy that was used by Henry Ford's Michigan newspaper (Dearborn Independent) in their famous series of anti-semitic articles entitled "The International Jew". Brasol also arranged for the publication of several anti-semitic books in 1920 and 1921 including: "The Protocols and World Revolution" and "The World at the Crossroads." In a 1921 letter to Maj. Gen. Count Sherep-Spiridovich, Brasol boasted:
"Within the last year I have written three books, two of which have done the Jews more injury than would have been done to them by ten pogroms."
In 1942, a close acquaintance of Brasol told the New York City FBI field office about a lengthy 2-hour conversation he had with Brasol in October 1941. "Mr. Brasol told me bluntly that he has not changed his previous ideas and that only the Jews are responsible for the Bolshevism and Communism in Russia and that to liberate Russia from the yoke of the Jews, all Russians must wish the defeat of Russia at the hands of the German. 'I prefer Hitler to Stalin' Brasol told me, 'no matter what happens afterwards'. " [FBI HQ file 100-22487, serial #18, pages 9-10, which is 2/14/42 New York City field report on Brasol].
So much for the type of person that DeGoulevitch considered reliable.
(10) In his book, written in French and subsequently translated into English, de Goulevitch observes that....
"The main purveyors of funds for the revolution, however, were neither the crackpot Russian millionaires nor the armed bandits of Lenin. The 'real' money primarily came from certain British and American circles which for a long time past had lent their support to the Russian revolutionary cause..."
De Goulevitch continues:
"The important part played by the wealthy American banker, Jacob Schiff, in the events in Russia, though as yet only partially revealed, is no longer a secret."
General Alexander Nechvolodov is also quoted as an authoritative source by de Goulevitch (and by Gary Allen). The General observed that....
"In April 1917, Jacob Schiff publicly declared that it was thanks to his financial support that the revolution in Russia had succeeded."
OK--here we have an example of how amateur "historians" (like Gary Allen) use secondary sources without independently verifying the accuracy of the information they quote---even when those secondary sources are making highly defamatory accusations.
In his book, Gen. Nechvolodov included the complete text of "The Protocols of Zion" and he appended approving commentaries which affirmed the accuracy of the Protocols.
We know from Dr. Antony Sutton's research that Jacob Schiff OPPOSED the Bolshevik regime and, obviously, there is no "public statement" by Schiff declaring that his financial support enabled the Bolshevik Revolution to succeed. If such a statement existed, don't you think somebody would have found the original source and referenced it before Gary Allen wrote his book in 1972?
An honest historian would search for the ORIGINAL primary source in order to quote the alleged Schiff comment accurately--especially because it is so inflammatory and perhaps could be construed as libelous. The reason why Gary Allen (and like-minded souls) PREFER to use secondary sources---is because they think such a practice relieves them of personal responsibility for disseminating falsehoods.
In his 1993 book, Wall Street And The Bolshevik Revolution - Dr. Antony Sutton writes:
It is significant that documents in the State Department files confirm that the investment banker Jacob Schiff, often cited as a source of funds for the Bolshevik Revolution, was in fact against support of the Bolshevik regime.5 This position, as we shall see, was in direct contrast to the Morgan-Rockefeller promotion of the Bolsheviks.
The persistence with which the Jewish-conspiracy myth has been pushed suggests that it may well be a deliberate device to divert attention from the real issues and the real causes. The evidence provided in this book suggests that the New York bankers who were also Jewish had relatively minor roles in supporting the Bolsheviks, while the New York bankers who were also Gentiles (Morgan, Rockefeller, Thompson) had major roles.
What better way to divert attention from the real operators than by the medieval bogeyman of anti-Semitism?
Sutton's footnote #5 refers readers to an Appendix which contains the text of the following November 1918 correspondence by Jacob Schiff to the U.S. State Department. Schiff appends a cablegram from a Mr. Kamenka, a prominent Russian official.
Dear Mr. Polk:
Will you permit me to send you copy of a cablegram received this morning and which I think, for regularity's sake, should be brought to the notice of the Secretary of State or your good self, for such consideration as it might be thought well to give this.
Mr. Kamenka, the sender of this cablegram, is one of the leading men in Russia and has, I am informed, been financial advisor both of the Prince Lvoff government and of the Kerensky government. He is President of the Banque de Commerce de l'Azov Don of Petrograd, one of the most important financial institutions of Russia, but had, likely, to leave Russia with the advent of Lenin and his "comrades."
Let me take this opportunity to send sincere greetings to you and Mrs. Polk and to express the hope that you are now in perfect shape again, and that Mrs. Polk and the children are in good health.
Hon. Frank L. Polk
[Dated November 25, 1918]
* * * * *
The complete triumph of liberty and right furnishes me a new opportunity to repeat to you my profound admiration for the noble American nation. Hope to see now quick progress on the part of the Allies to help Russia in reestablishing order. Call your attention also to pressing necessity of replacing in Ukraine enemy troops at the very moment of their retirement in order to avoid Bolshevist devastation. Friendly intervention of Allies would be greeted everywhere with enthusiasm and looked upon as democratic action, because Bolshevist government does not represent Russian people. Wrote you September 19th. Cordial greetings.
Dr. Sutton's Comment:
This is an important series because it refutes the story of a Jewish bank conspiracy behind the Bolshevik Revolution. Clearly Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb was not interested in supporting the Kerensky Liberty Loan and Schiff went to the trouble of drawing State Department attention to Kamenka's pleas for Allied intervention against the Bolsheviks. Obviously Schiff and fellow banker Kamenka, unlike J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, were as unhappy about the Bolsheviks as they had been about the tsars.
(12) But whom was the original source for the accusation regarding Schiff's financial support of the Bolsheviks?
Apparently, it was first published in the U.S. circa November 1920 by Henry Ford's newspaper, The Dearborn Independent. It subsequently was spread by Father Charles E. Coughlin and William Dudley Pelley during the 1930's. Not surprisingly, Coughlin, Pelley, and Ford's newspaper endorsed as accurate and then circulated "The Protocols of Zion".
I've gone into this detail to illustrate how researchers and authors can utilize what they claim to be reliable sources of information but which turn out to be bigoted or very ill-informed.
· If a conspiracy author uses obscure sources (such as books published or sold by one-man bookselling businesses) those sources should invite extreme caution.
· If a conspiracy author attributes highly defamatory observations to someone whom, it turns out, is quoting someone else --- that also invites extreme caution --because, one inevitably wonders why the author didn't just go to the original primary source instead of "quoting" what a secondary or third source claims was said.
· If a conspiracy author cannot get basic factual material correct (simple stuff that doesn't even require much research) - that also invites extreme caution --- because it betokens sloppy or perhaps even dishonest research habits.
Some final observations regarding conspiracy "scholarship":
Is it reasonable to assume that all historians would miss the "facts" which Gary Allen and Cleon Skousen present in their books? For example:
(a) There are numerous biographies of Lord Milner written by trained historians. How did they all miss the "fact" that Milner was a "wealthy millionaire" who "financed" the Bolsheviks to the tune of "over 21 million rubles"?
(b) How did they ALL miss the "fact" that Milner was a "front man for the Rothschilds"?
(c) How did they ALL miss the "fact" that Jacob Schiff's grandson supposedly said that his grandfather "financed" the Bolsheviks to the tune of $20 million?
WHO BENEFITS from such misinformation?
WHO WANTS such misinformation circulated and believed?
ALSO: William Loeb (ultra-conservative publisher of the Manchester NH Union-Leader) ran an editorial (5/5/72) describing Gary's book as "anti-semitic nonsense" - whereupon the paper received numerous hostile replies.
One of those replies was from a local Bircher who denied that the JBS was anti-semitic but she declared that "to deny that the Conspiracy is being directed by international bankers--Jews mainly...is being naïve in the extreme, as well as totally ignorant of the depth and extent of the REAL conspiracy." [Marguerite M. Woodman letter to editor, 6/29/72].
Dr. Carroll Quigley on Gary Allen:
"The picture which Allen makes of the past is quite different from the one I tried to give in my book. I wrote a book of 1348 pages of which only about 25 pages are concerned with the actions of the international bankers which are Allen's only concern. The group which I described in my 25 pages is not the one which Allen has described (I also said 'invented'). He sees all bankers and many other persons in a single secret group, while the group that I described established largely by Lord Milner did not have anything to do with most of the bankers mentioned by Allen (such as the Warburgs).
I do not pretend to know what these other, majority, of bankers were trying to do, and I am sure they disagreed widely in their aims, but I do know that the group that I talked about, including the Round Table Group, had no intention or desire to 'to control the world' as Allen believes, but were concerned only to bring the English-speaking world into a single power unit, chiefly by getting the United States and Great Britain to support common policies. That is why they wanted Britain to be isolationist in respect to Europe.
They never wanted the League [of Nations] to be a world government or even to be very strong; that is why they drew up the Covenant of the League to be as weak as possible, with no powers to prevent wars but only to exist with the provision that states must talk together before they went to war; this is also why these people sabotaged the League and fostered appeasement of Germany; because the United States did not join the League, the Round Table wanted Britain's participation in it to be weakened so that Britain could be closer to the U.S.A. and never be forced, by any League actions, to line up in opposition to the United States.
Allen's statements about Milner are almost all wrong. He was not a rich man at all, but grew up a poor boy who won a scholarship to Oxford and became a government administrator in public finance and eventually chief of the Rhodes trustees. He never was a millionaire. His income in 1907, when he was 53 years old, was about 2,600 pound sterling (according to his diary for 1st January 1908). It is nonsense to say, as Allen does, that he wanted a revolution in Russia in 1917 and gave 21 million rubles to finance it (p 72). He was in Russia as a member of the British War Cabinet, from 25 January to 21 February, trying to strengthen the Russian war effort against the Germans in order to relieve the German pressure along the Western front...I have been through the greater part of Milner's private papers and have found no evidence to support Allen's statements about his connections with the revolution in Russia.
Allen is also totally wrong about Milner's political ideals. He was not at all a One-World supporter but an extreme British nationalist who believed that Great Britain and the United States, acting together, could hold off the world. He was not linked in any way with the Rothschild's, as Allen says, but was a banker as a director of the London Joint Stock Bank.
Allen's book is full of factual errors such as these, and is flatly wrong in his statements that my book supports his version of history. For example, he insists that international bankers were a single bloc, were all powerful, and remain so today. I, on the contrary, stated in my book that they were much divided, often fought among themselves, had great influence but not control of political life, and were sharply reduced in power about 1931-1940 when they became less influential than monopolized industry.
Allen quotes from my book on the political power of such bankers in the period 1850-1931 (pages 61-62) but he makes no reference to the fact that I end that discussion by saying that such bankers were subordinated to industrialists or to governments after 1931 (p 61). I may be correct or I may be mistaken, but I certainly did not say what Allen pretends that I said.
In at least one case Allen not only distorts what I wrote, but directly reverses my position in gross fashion.
In my book, chapter 16 (pages 829-869 or pages 171-209 of the paperback version: The World Since 1939) I try to describe the 20th Century as it seems to be emerging from World War II. I personally disapprove of that emerging world, as is clear from my frequent statements that it is 'dangerous' or 'damaging'. Among the things I list as threats to democratic government (pages 865-869 or 205-209) are: professional armies of mercenary specialists, governmental secrecy, computerized decision-making, the growing role of over-specialized experts in government and economics, and the general narrowing of individual freedom by such things as the growing trend to give individuals a social security number and to use this to keep track of all their actions from the cradle to the grave.
Allen quotes these last few lines (p 13) and adds, "In order to accomplish these aims the conspirators have had no qualms about fomenting wars, depressions and hatred. They want a monopoly which would eliminate all competitors and destroy the free enterprise system. And Professor Quigley of Harvard, Princeton, and Georgetown approves!"
Obviously, Allen not only selects evidence to prove a case, but also concocts evidence if necessary. Or possibly, just whipping through a book, looking for tidbits, he can't read what is clearly written."
I am retired and particularly interested in the intellectual origins and history of contemporary conspiracy-oriented organizations and their assertions. 25+ years ago I began requesting FBI (and other agency) files and documents pertaining to more than 2000 persons, organizations, publications and events (both right-wing and left-wing). I have since received more than 400,000 pages of documents.