How the Populist Party Uses Hulet

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While Craig Hulet, featured on the California Pacifica radio stations, is careful to distance himself from views that are racist or anti-Jewish, not everyone who champions Hulet as an commentator on the Gulf War or Bush's New World Order makes those distinctions. Some persons, wittingly or not, use Hulet's theories to introduce others to the more bigoted theorists. Hulet helped spark a political movement in California following the Gulf War that, according to persons attending the meetings, fed scores, perhaps hundreds, of political activists into a far-right, racist, and anti-Jewish political organizing drive supporting the Presidential candidacy of Col. James "Bo" Gritz of the Populist Party.

The story of one person living in the Bay Area, called here Dana Pierce, illustrates the study group phenomenon sparked by Hulet's presentations. The story shows an organizing dynamic in action, and is not meant to imply that Hulet is a party to the dynamic, merely that others opportunistically use Hulet as bait.

Dana Pierce had become critical of domestic U.S. financial policies, and attended a meeting of others who shared that view. Pierce was invited by the leader of the group, an older man with "a pro-democracy demeanor," to a meeting in the San Rafael area to meet someone who might assist with a particular financial problem.

At that second meeting, the facilitator announced the group was trying to understand George Bush and the New World Order. They were studying history and political science, and were reading material by Noam Chomsky. It was explained that the group had formed after several core persons, who opposed sending U.S. troops to the Gulf, had heard Craig Hulet's speeches in the Bay Area, primarily on radio station KPFA, both in live interviews and on tape. Some people had seen Hulet on videotape. They had responded to Hulet's call for people to educate themselves by forming the group.

The group consisted of at least thirty people and had met about four times when Pierce attended the meeting. For the main program of the meeting, the group watched a videotape of Eustace Mullins talking about the sinister aspects of the Federal Reserve system. As the tape progressed, Pierce became increasingly uneasy.

Mullins was jumping back and forth, claiming bankers supported both the Bolshevik revolution and the Nazis, he praised the right-wing Hunt brothers, and then began to mention the Rothschild family. He said the CIA was part of the plot, and William F. Buckley is CIA which was why some conservative groups dismissed his theories. All the while I watched people smiling and nodding their heads and I began to wonder if I was the only one to catch the reference to the Rothschilds and wondered if I was being over-sensitive because I was Jewish.

After the tape, according to Pierce, "the host stood up and praised Mullins and said he was a close associate of Ezra Pound. The host also said that the banking system is communistic because both are monopolistic."

Pierce went to the local library and looked up a biography of Ezra Pound and discovered that Mullins had been associated with Pound, and that Pound was a virulent anti-Semite. Pierce then read Hannah Arendt's treatise on the origins of anti-Semitism, and pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.

Pierce had not heard Hulet before and so went to hear a July 1991 speech at the First Unitarian Church in San Francisco. Admission was ten dollars and the audience numbered at least 100.

He was a glib speaker, and he presents concerns all of us have--concerns many people on the left certainly have about the Bush administration and how there is no effective congressional oversight. I can listen to him and agree he is focused on some real problems in this country. What he does is bring into the open a lot of concerns and he discusses issues succinctly and in ways that people can follow. If I had just gone to hear him I probably would have been quite taken with him, but in the context of the first meeting, I listened with skepticism, and am worried

People want so much to believe in him they don't want to hear any criticism. I saw how people can hear Hulet and then be led to Mullins. If you look at the origins of anti-Semitism described by Arendt, you can see how a self-confident person who provides simple explanations can offer comfort to people who sense that something is wrong with our society and that they are being lied to, which is true. But it was scary to see how easily people were then led into accepting the scapegoating of Jews and the other conspiracy theories discussed by Eustace Mullins on the videotape.

At first I thought there was something wrong with me, but now I think there is a serious problem that people on the left need to talk about.

Hulet was listed in a 1986 Spotlight advertisement as a speaker at a day-long seminar with ultra-rightist Australian Eric D. Butler and pro-apartheid writer Ivor Benson, a notorious anti-Semite. Both men are leading theorists affiliated with Liberty Lobby. Also on the 1986 panel was rightist newsletter editor Lawrence Patterson, recently named to the Liberty Lobby PAC, and David Irving, an author who claims the Holocaust was a Jewish hoax. Repeated attempts to interview Hulet regarding this meeting and the California study groups, including a visit to his base in a town north of Seattle, were brushed off by his wife, Kathleen DePass Hulet, who handles his publicity from a frame shop in downtown Everett, Washington. Hulet has told one newspaper that he did not attend the event. The matter is unimportant in an overall assessment of Hulet's ideological--as opposed to organizational--allegiances.

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