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the Body Politic
Vol. 3, No. 6 - June 1993, Page 1
Copyright © 1993, 1998 by the Body Politic Inc.
Inside the HLI World Conference
Report from Kirby Sanders
The Human Life International World Conference was held in Houston mid-April, 1993. Journalist and Texas Mainstream Voter Project member Kirby Sanders and friend, attended one day of the festivities. The following is excerpts of the report submitted to the TMVP newsletter.
"This is a religious war. A life and death situation. There is no such thing as a 'good person' in the anti-life movement."
This conference had as its main themes anti-abortion, population control and "street action". But, there were also strong overtones of theocratic issues, eschatology, and socio-political activities. Attendees were predominantly Caucasian, upper middle class and 50 plus years old. We saw only 7 black delegates six of whom were HLI member delegates from African Countries. There were a fair number of Filipinos, plus delegates from Great Britain, Canada, and Netherlands. A number of Catholic clergy were present.
In one day, we attended five seminars:
- The New World Order & Demographic Security
- Stopping Planned Parenthood
- The Political Implications of Abortion
- Surviving Spiritual Warfare
- Training Pro-Life Activists and Leaders
The following is a brief review of each seminar.
The New World Order and Demographic Security - Rev. John H. Miller of St. Louis and Fr. Michael Schooyans of Belgium.International Population Control efforts are, in essence, a conspiracy of the Developed Nations and the United Nations to subjugate the third world by population manipulation. Approximately 175 attendees.
Stopping Planned Parenthood - James Sedlak, from New York State STOPP.A primer of how to thwart Planned Parenthood's efforts, with the underlying premise that Planned Parenthood, beside being an abortion supplier, has an underlying philosophy of genetic racial manipulation similar to the German Aryan breeding philosophy of the World War II era. Approximately 150 attendees.
The Political Implications of Abortion - Rev. John Miller and Fr. Michael Schooyans.This was an expansion of their earlier Demographic Security seminar. They dwelt on the discussion of the on-going League of Nations, United Nations, Rockefeller world control conspiracy, which assumes that seven wealthy international families are attempting to control world government and economies with the United Nations as a "dummy" front for their use. Approximately 125 attendees.
Surviving Spiritual Warfare - Fr. Robert Cox, Michael Engler, and Barbara McGuigan.This was a "nuts and bolts" on prayers and religious items to be used at clinic confrontations and included substantial discussion of the efficacy of lay persons' use of the Catholic Exorcism Ritual in Clinic Protests and demonstrations. Approximately 160 attendees.
Training Pro-Life Activists and Leaders - Fr. Matthew Habiger and Brian Clowes.This seminar highlighted the presentation of a new Training and Recruiting plan developed by Brian Clowes to be used concurrently by various Right-to-Life organizations. The plan is intended to be cross-denominational, i.e. usable by anti-abortion organizations of any religious affiliation and is, objectively, an effective training and organizing plan. The intent of the programs is to, not only train individuals in the anti-abortion movement, but to facilitate communication and organization among the many small groups involved. The text for this course is a 1,600 page "Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia" due to be published in May 1993 by the American Life League.This plan represents a substantial attempt to consolidate the various groups into one standardized communications and organizational entity. The success of this attempt could well serve to make this extremely vocal minority appear to be even larger than it is by virtue of their unified communication.During the seminar, Mr. Clowes and Fr. Habiger expressed the feeling that the anti-abortion cause had indeed been lost and that one way to expand the draw of new activists was to expand the issue. This organization and training program intends to teach the issues of abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, pornography, homosexuality, Communism, New Age Movements, Feminism, Environmentalism and socio-political action under one umbrella. Ultimately, organizations not related to the abortion rights issue can be brought in by Right-to-Life.
These are dangerous people whose intent is to tear down the wall between Church and State, leaving the Pro-Life movement as interpreters of Biblical Law as American Civil Law.
Here we found numerous items of interest, and a substantial number of shocks. Amidst the Bible tracts, books and organizational literature were a sufficient number of plastic fetuses of all sizes to keep a Taiwanese plastics factory busy for an entire year. Items ranged from 2 inch lapel pins to practically life size models. An array of post cards and poster size photographs of aborted fetuses was on prominent display at numerous booths.
This writer, with some 10 years journalism experience in police and fire department coverage, was sickened by the display. It was quite obvious that the only intent of these items was shock value and had no reason beyond the grotesqueness of the images and perhaps for the morbid curiosity of and likely sale to conference attendees. Here again, besides the registered exhibitors, numerous stacks of fliers would appear at various times - generally fliers by the more radical and violent factions of the movement. However, conspicuously absent were Rescue America and Operation Rescue.
While this conference predominantly focused on the abortion, contraception, and population control issues, references to their theocratic agenda and control of American Society and Politics was not without mention. Frequent references to "Natural Law", "Influences of Humanism", and "Biblical Law" received a "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" response. It was quite obvious within the seminars that the underlying theme of theocratic government was, in many cases, an unspoken but accepted theme.
Two "toss-off" remarks by Rev. Miller into what he thought was a dead microphone speak volumes. Prior to the Political Implications of Abortion seminar and in conversation with James Miller, Director of Research for the Population Research Institute and HLI, Rev. Miller stated quite clearly, "We should just kill all the liberals" and "We have an evil empire in Washington."
Brian Clowes, in the Training Pro-Life Leaders seminar alluded to the "fallacy" of constitutional Separation of Church and State and stated quite distinctly, "The constitution does not exist anymore anyway. It is just a perversion of what it was supposed to be."
Other rather bothersome trends and tendencies were evident at the HLI conference. The attitude in every seminar was uncompromising on every issue, quite simply an "Our Way, or No Way" attitude. While many statements were made condemning violent or illegal acts, an equal number of justifications for same were offered.
There seems as well to have been a plenitude of McCarthyite logic... this time with God as the attributed author. I have come to term this attitude, "Shiite McCarthyism". Shiite due to the extreme fundamentalism of the movement and McCarthyism due to the convoluted logic, paranoid tendencies and, in this case literal, "witch hunt" tactics and strategies.
Glaring examples of this mindset are James Sedlak's baseline contention in the Stopping Planned Parenthood seminar that Contraceptives cause Abortion. This assumption maintains that contraceptives are available, contraceptives fail a certain portion of times used, ergo contraception is the main cause of abortion. This despite the overwhelming evidence that the majority of unplanned pregnancies occur to women who do not use contraceptives. Regardless of one's opinion on contraception, this pattern of logic must be questioned.
A second glaring example of the Shiite McCarthyism is the premise of Surviving Spiritual Warfare which maintained that all opponents of HLI's positions are agents of Satan, dupes of Satan, or actual Satanic minions. Whereas McCarthyism required the belief in an active worldwide conspiracy of Communists, this organization requires the acceptance of an active conspiracy of metaphysical Demonic agents afoot in this world.
Devils, and Demons
Every attempt was made to dehumanize anyone who disagreed by referring to them as Devils, Demons or at best Agents of Satan. The most upsetting aspect of this is that it is well documented that the dehumanization of an opponent or perceived enemy is a major step towards justifying violence against that opponent.
Dehumanizing was frequently coupled with battlefield allusion in order to more easily justify an extremely violent undertone. In some instances, the battlefield metaphors were acknowledged as allusion or metaphor - in many cases they were not. Brian Clowes said, "This is a religious war. A life and death situation. There is no such thing as a 'good person' in the anti-life movement."
Another aspect of note was the frequent suggestion that American government had failed and a righteous minority should be the salvation of us all. This was quite succinctly illustrated by Fr. Schooyans' statement, "Truth is not a question of majority." Brian Clowes, in a scathing attack on U.S. Constitutional law said, "The Constitution does not exist anymore. It is nothing more than a perversion of its original intent." This in reference to his belief that the Founding Father intended to establish a "Christian" nation. Fr. Cox went so far as to suggest that non-payment of taxes might be a tactic to protest funding of programs disliked by seminar participants.
While every attempt was made during the conference to keep references to any Theocratic agenda quiet, this aspect was impossible to silence. The printed materials available in the Exhibit Hall, the sometimes too cute use of buzz words and the old "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" were insufficient to encode actual intent. The justification of violence while making noises that appeared non-violent by seminar conduct Rev. Miller and the public denunciation of Constitutional authority by Mr. Clowes finally made the silenced intentions clear. These are dangerous people whose intent is to tear down the wall between Church and State, leaving the Pro-Life movement as interpreters of Biblical Law as American Civil Law.
The same Constitutional Amendment which guarantees these individuals their right to religious opinion guarantees them the right to speak their minds. Certainly, the right to organize and to promote political change is also guaranteed by the constitution. Nowhere, however, is there a guarantee that attitudes of violence, historical revisionism and anti-democratic government will be accepted. The same rights enjoyed by and guaranteed to these individuals are and must be protected for those who do not agree.
These undercurrents of governmental overthrow, overt tax evasion, and the establishment of an America ruled by Fundamentalist Christian interpretation of Biblical law represent a real danger to American democracy.
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