Prescription For Fascism: Alternative Medicine and Right-Wing Politics

Michael Pugliese debsian at
Sat May 19 16:03:07 PDT 2001

The book alluded to here>that the Soviet Union never really collapsed a decade ago, but only pretended to do so in order to lull the West in preparation for an invasion!> is most likely, "New Lies for Old, " by A. Golitsyn , a supposed former disinformation officer for the KGB. Michael Pugliese

Prescription For Fascism: Alternative Medicine and Right-Wing Politics by David Lethbridge Increasing numbers of Canadians have begun to embrace a variety of alternative medicines, and are spending more and more of their dollars in health food stores. Often enough, these medicines and health food supplements have little actual medicinal or nutritional value, but the vendors of these products appear to have tapped into a widespread and dangerous anti-science tendency. Propaganda advising parents to refuse vaccinations for their children appear in many health food store, along with pamphlets advising that the fluoridation of water causes insanity, or that the pharmaceutical industry is deliberately producing drugs that kill patients in significant numbers. The irrationality of much of this propaganda appears to be leading some health food enthusiasts into the embrace of organizations which, on the one hand, are large-scale purveyors of alternative medicine products while, on the other hand, are simultaneously promoting extreme-right, even fascist politics. A case in point is the Consumer Health Organization of Canada's (CHOC) Total Health convention, held in Toronto, on 17-18 March 2001. Scheduled speakers, alongside the usual alternative medicine hucksters, were Eustace Mullins and Bob Baker. Mullins has a fifty year history of advocating the most vicious neo-Nazi, antisemitic, and white racist ideology. Baker is associated with Lyndon LaRouche's extreme right organizations. Is CHOC's combination of alternative medicine and right wing politics at the Total Health convention simply a mistake, or some sort of anomaly, or are there deeper and more pervasive connections between the two movements? Consider the remarks of Libby Gardon, the president of CHOC, when confronted with the nature of Mullins' work. Gardon said she "was unaware of Mr. Mullins' early writings in which he challenged the authenticity of Holocaust reports and made several unfounded anti-Semitic slurs." Now this is a very interesting and half-hearted disavowal, to say the least. Gardon has reportedly known Mullins for fifteen years. Her organization openly sold Mullins' hate propaganda, along with material by New Age conspiracy peddler David Icke, and tax-refusal advocate David Butterfield, until this was exposed last month. But in using the term "early writings" she seems to suggest that Mullins' viciously anti-Jewish writing is a work of the long ago past, and something that Mullins himself has transcended. Nothing is further from the truth. "The Curse of Canaan," and "The World Order," to name but two of his books which are condemned as prohibited hate propaganda by Customs and Excise, are of quite recent vintage, and Mullins continues to actively sell them. Also, to say that Mullins writing "challenged" the Holocaust is hardly accurate; in fact, he openly denies the Holocaust and claims it is a deliberate fiction of "Satanic Jews." Furthermore, what Mullins has said and has written goes well beyond anti-Semitic "slurs." He has written that Jewish priests drink the blood of little white boys, that Jews are "furry scavengers who have found their way through the sewers into ever civilized place," and that "the Christian peoples totter on the verge of worldwide annihilation by the Jewish master scheme." Nor is CHOC alone in promoting extreme-right and fascist conspiracies. Citizens' Voice for Health Rights (CVHR), run by Debbie Anderson, actively distributes tapes by Edward Griffin of the "Reality Zone." One such tape outlines an alleged conspiracy behind the US Federal Reserve System. There is nothing on the tape having anything to do with "health rights." But the tape advises listeners to join Griffin's group and announces his Internet site. True enough, the Griffin site sells a variety of alternative health books. But side-by-side with this material are other books claiming that contemporary immigration policies are a product of a socialist conspiracy to destroy the nation by deliberately pitting one ethnic group against the other; that the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s was a Communist plot; and that the Soviet Union never really collapsed a decade ago, but only pretended to do so in order to lull the West in preparation for an invasion! Furthermore, CVHR's own website, in a section called "Our Alliances," links directly to Wes Mann's Preferred Network, in central BC. PN itself carries numerous alternative medicine books, as well as a full list of Eustace Mullins material and other extreme-right propaganda. Indeed, Ms. Anderson spoke at a PN conference in August 2000, on the same platform with Mullins. Anderson's connections to the far right are anything but accidental or transitory. In late March, Anderson was scheduled to speak at the so-called "Freedom Fest 2001," in Port Coquitlam, BC, along with hate-propagandist Wes Mann, and Eldon Warman and Fred Kyburz, proponents of the right-wing Sovereign Citizen movement. Warman has had overtly antisemitic material on his website, as well as links to racist Christian Identity sites, and to the extremist Lyndon LaRouche network. Kyburz has posted numerous antisemitic rants as well as a text by Nazi propagandist William Pierce on his website. Anti-racist pressure forced conference organizers to change venue at the last moment, and to drop Warman and Kyburz from the speaker's list. Further investigation reveals that Anderson is also a member of the National Executive, as well as BC Chair, of the Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB), whose motto is "Unite the Right to Unite the Country." PGIB has, since the mid-1990s, held three "Roots of Change" conferences. At the third conference, held in December 1999, Anderson spoke in her capacity as head of CVHR. Speaking with her were Mark Mix of the union-busting National Right to Work Committee, based in Springfield, Virginia, and Mark Montini of the ultra-conservative Leadership Institute, of Arlington, Virginia. Speakers at the 1998 conference included Ron Leitch, of the right-wing Association for the Preservation of English in Canada (APEC), and long time associate of Ron Gostick, leader of the antisemitic Canadian League of Rights; Jocelyn Dumais, of the Quebec-based ADAT, an anti-union "right to work" group; Robert Metz, of the extreme reactionary Freedom Party of Ontario; John Thompson, executive director of the MacKenzie Institute, a right-wing think tank based in Ottawa; Progressive Conservative MP Scott Brison; Michael Coren of the Financial Post; and Steve Jalsevic of the anti-choice, anti-abortion, Campaign Life Coalition. Speakers at the 1997 conference included Link Byfield, editor of the "Alberta Report," which frequently carries advertisements for Paul Fromm's and Doug Christie's fascist organizations; and Stockwell Day, leader of the ultra-right Alliance Party. Nor are CHOC, CVHR, and PN alone in this strange and dangerous coalition of right-wing politics and alternative medicine. Repeatedly, the connections emerge and criss-cross. For yet another example, among many, Canadian Wholesale Direct, a relatively well respected health-food distributor, lists Anderson's CVHR first under its heading "Health Freedom." Wherever we find tendencies to irrationalism and conspiracy-mongering, there we find fertile ground in which fascism can grow, or a movement which fascism can exploit. These tendencies are rife within the ever-expanding and overlapping alternative medicine, New Age, and tax refusal circles. While the class basis for these tendencies is essentially petit-bourgeois, it is by no means restricted to this class; certainly, sectors of the working class are being strongly influenced by these same forces. It would be foolish to dismiss fascism's entry into these areas which are often considered purely marginal or simply bizarre. On the contrary, much political and agitational work needs to be done on this front, as on so many others, where fascism has found a new foothold. March 2001

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list