The National Council of Churches, calling itself “the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States,” is charging the jury in the Trayvon Martin case, defendant George Zimmerman, Americans and churches with racism.
But as it turns out, the organization has gotten into serious trouble for making that same claim in the past.
In a statement after the jury’s acquittal of Zimmerman Saturday, National Council of Churches President Kathryn Lohre weighed in.
“In the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal of the murder of Trayvon Martin, the National Council of Churches joins other people of faith and conscience in a renewed call for racial justice,” she said. “This summer as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we are reminded that racism is alive and well. We have seen this in the Supreme Court’s recent invalidation of parts of the Voting Rights Act and now in the shocking impunity granted by a Florida jury to a man who stalked and killed a black child.”
There was no mention that the evidence showed Martin attacked Zimmerman and bashed his head against a concrete sidewalk, causing Zimmerman to fear for his life and fire his gun in self-defense.
The statement continued with an attack on gun rights: “According to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in an average year, 100,000 Americans are shot or killed with a gun. Every day (on average) 300 Americans are victims of gun violence, with 85 lives taken daily as a result.”
Then the church organization charged rampant racism: “The day after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, we acknowledged ‘the tragic reality that exists for young men of color and their families who, because of their appearance, fear they will be victims of violence at the hands of police and others.’ As we seek to honor the memory of Trayvon Martin, we are called to action to protect the lives of all from fear, violence, racism, and injustice.”
The statement, which was accompanied by an image of Martin dated several years before his fateful confrontation with Zimmerman, also referred to a statement issued upon the inauguration of Barack Obama as president.
The NCC boasted of its own work and condemned churches throughout America for racism, stating: “We recall with hope the countless way [sic] in which the NCC has sought to uphold a vision for racial justice through its work and witness over the years – challenging unjust laws, policies, and structures that perpetuate the pernicious sin of racism. Today, we commit ourselves anew to exposing the scandalous realities of racism in the churches and in society as an affront to the Gospel, and to confronting racial injustices wherever they occur.”
However, the NCC, in its zeal to indict the nation’s citizens and churches with rampant racism, was at the epicenter of a massive national scandal of alleged racial violence during the 1990s.
The dramatic story is told at the outset of the blockbuster new book “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism,” published by WND Books.
The main author of “Disinformation” – former Soviet bloc spy chief Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, who defected to the U.S. – and historian Ronald Rychlak together tell a remarkable and damning story odthe NCC and its claimed crusade against racism.
In March 1996, a sensational story jolted the American conscience. The National Council of Churches (NCC) and the Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR), two secretly Marxist organizations headquartered in the United States, held a joint press conference to announce a “huge increase” in the number of arson cases committed against black churches in the United States.
On June 8, President Bill Clinton denounced those fires in a radio address, and he proposed a new federal task force to investigate them. The president spoke with emotion about his own “vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state [of Arkansas] when I was a child.” Charging that “racial hostility” was the driving force behind the fires, he pledged to place the full power of the federal government behind the investigation. On June 15, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assigned two hundred federal agents to a new task force charged to investigate black church fires.1 By July the accounts of arson committed against black churches had snowballed, with more than twenty-two hundred articles appearing in the press to condemn what the Center for Democratic Renewal called “a well-organized white-supremacist movement.”
The story spread like wildfire, inflaming decent people everywhere against the perceived American racists who had caused such terrible crimes. In Geneva, Switzerland, the World Council of Churches (WCC) – the international affiliate of the National Council of Churches – flew thirty-eight pastors to Washington, DC, to provide the American government and people with more information about this unprecedented racist tragedy.
On July 13, President Clinton signed into law the Church Fire Prevention Act of 1996, which made church arson a federal crime. On August 7, he also signed a spending bill that included $12 million to combat fires at churches with black congregations. A few days later, the NCC ran full-page ads in the New York Times, Washington Post and numerous other papers soliciting donations for its new “Burned Churches Fund.” On August 9, the Wall Street Journal reported that the NCC had “managed to raise nearly $9 million,” and that contributions were continuing to pour in “at about $100,000 a day.”
Then the bubble burst. It was eventually established by a private group, the National Fire Protection Association, that in recent years there had been far fewer church fires than usual, and law enforcement officials in the South could not confirm any as having been racially motivated. No church burning had occurred in Arkansas during Clinton’s childhood, in spite of his “vivid and painful” memories, and the National Council of Churches was accused of fabricating “a great church-fire hoax.”
Why would the NCC participate in such a stunt, and why would it make its current charges of racism and violence?
Pacepa, who spent years at the top of the Soviet intelligence machinery, provided some possible reasons in his book. The NCC’s parent organization, the World Council of Churches, Pacepa points out, actually instigated the church arson disinformation campaign:
The clue to understanding the significance of the black church arson hoax lies in the documented fact that the World Council of Churches, which ignited and promoted that story, has been infiltrated and ultimately controlled by Russian intelligence since 1961. The Mitrokhin Archive, a voluminous collection of Soviet foreign intelligence documents smuggled out of the Soviet Union in 1992, provides the identities and Soviet intelligence code names of many Russian Orthodox priests dispatched over the years to the World Council of Churches for the specific purpose of influencing the politics and decisions of that body. In fact, in 1972 Soviet intelligence managed to have Metropolitan Nikodim (its agent “Adamant”) elected WCC president. A 1989 KGB document boasts: “Now the agenda of the WCC is also our agenda.” Most recently, Metropolitan Kirill (agent “Mikhaylov”), who had been an influential representative to the World Council of Churches since 1971 and after 1975 a member of the WCC Central Committee, was in 2009 elected patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The church fire hoax, Pacepa goes on to recall, resulted in the United States being slandered internationally.
“Within a few years, over 40 percent of Canadian teenagers were calling the United States ‘evil,’ and 57 percent of Greeks answered ‘neither’ when asked which country was more democratic, the United States or Iraq,” according to the book. “In Berlin, a German cabinet minister, Herta Däubler-Gmelin, compared new president George W. Bush to Hitler.”
And he traces such activities directly back to Moscow.
“Elsewhere in the world, foreign intelligence services are primarily engaged in collecting information to help their heads of state conduct foreign affairs, but in Russia and later throughout the Russian sphere of influence, that task has always been more or less irrelevant. There the goal is to manipulate the future, not just to learn about the past. Specifically, the idea is to fabricate a new past for enemy targets in order to change how the world perceives them. Besides targeting Western governments – nowadays the United States in particular – the Kremlin has come to view the powerful Western religions as dangerously hostile threats,” according to the book.
Alongside the much-talked-about book, “Disinformation” is a companion, feature-length film documentary produced by WND Films, “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy to Destroy the West.”
The powerfully moving two-hour film shot to the top of the Amazon bestseller list for film documentaries within two days of its June 25 release.
“Disinformation” includes the following remarkable revelations:
- How destroying the reputation of good leaders has been developed into a high art and science.
- How Pope Pius XII – a generation ago the world’s most high-profile Christian leader, who personally saved countless Jews from Hitler’s Holocaust – was transformed, through the magic of disinformation, into a Nazi sympathizer.
- How Christianity and Judaism have been targeted for constant denigration and defamation through an ongoing campaign of disinformation.
- How the Soviet bloc planted 4,000 agents of influence in the Islamic world, armed with hundreds of thousands of copies of the most infamous anti-Semitic book in history, to fan the flames of ancient Arab resentments against the U.S. and Israel and sow the seeds of anti-Semitism that would later bloom in the form of violence and terror toward Jews and Christians.
- How the defamatory attacks on American soldiers John Kerry made before Congress upon his return from Vietnam – charges later discredited and repudiated – were identical to a contemporaneous KGB disinformation campaign concocted to turn Americans against their own leaders.
- How supposedly respectable institutions like the World Council of Churches have long been infiltrated and controlled by Russian intelligence.
- How much of the world came to believe that the U.S. government itself masterminded the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
- How the Soviet Union has been transformed into the first intelligence dictatorship in history.
- How disinformation is still very much alive in the age of Obama, remaining a powerful engine in the ongoing socialist transformation of America.
Former CIA director R. James Woolsey says this about “Disinformation”: “This remarkable book will change the way you look at intelligence, foreign affairs, the press, and much else besides.” And best-selling author and Cold War historian, Professor Paul Kengor, says simply: “Here is a work that many of us have been waiting for; a book that – dare I say – history has been waiting for.”
See today's report on developments in the Zimmerman-Martin case:
- Jimmy Carter: Zimmerman jury right
- Trayvon Martin protest leaders revealed
- Rush: Racism worse under Obama
- 'Churches' denouncing Zimmerman exposed