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For The Record  

FTR #289 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

MP3 One Seg­ment
NB: This RealAu­dio stream con­tains FTRs 288 and 289 in sequence. Each is a 30-minute broad­cast.

1. Resum­ing the top­ic of the pow­er­ful Vat­i­can order called Opus Dei. Deeply involved in the ele­va­tion of Pope John Paul II, the orga­ni­za­tion has roots going back to Fran­cis­co Fran­co’s fas­cist dic­ta­tor­ship in Spain. Fol­low­ing the arrest of a key FBI coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence agent for alleged­ly spy­ing on behalf of Rus­sia and the for­mer Sovi­et Union, it emerged that the offi­cial (Robert Hanssen) was a mem­ber of Opus Dei. (“Was FBI Agen­t’s True ‘Loy­al­ty’ to Opus Dei?” by Yoichi Clark Shi­mat­su; Jinn Mag­a­zine, March 5, 2001.)

2. “The search for a motive [for Hanssen’s alleged actions] is com­pli­cat­ed by the fact that his col­leagues say that Hanssen was fierce­ly anti­com­mu­nist and a devout mem­ber of Opus Dei, an ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive Catholic orga­ni­za­tion. He was a reg­u­lar parish­ioner of St. Cather­ine of Siena Church, in a Vir­ginia sub­urb of the cap­i­tal, where an elite con­gre­ga­tion, which includes Supreme Court jus­tice Antonin Scalia, attend tra­di­tion­al Latin mass­es.” (Ibid.; p. 1.)

3. Dis­cussing the order and its his­to­ry, Shi­mat­su relates its fas­cist antecedents, and also dis­cuss­es evi­dence of a 1980s rap­proche­ment between Moscow and the Vat­i­can. (This rap­proche­ment may have been a motive for the shoot­ing of the Pope by Mehmet Ali Agca.) “Opus Dei, Latin for ‘Work of God,’ is a secre­tive lay group with­in the body of the Catholic Church, with more than 80,000 mem­bers world­wide. As the only per­son­al prela­ture in the Church, it is an enti­ty unto itself, sep­a­rate from the dioce­san struc­ture. Found­ed in the late 1920’s by Span­ish priest Jose Maria Escri­va, Opus Dei assumed a polit­i­cal role from the start, open­ly sid­ing with the Fran­co dic­ta­tor­ship. Its mem­bers served in cab­i­nets while Spain was allied with Hitler and Mus­soli­ni. Opus Dei foundered in the wake of World War II, but regained impe­tus under Pope John Paul II, after pro­vid­ing cru­cial sup­port for his papal can­di­da­cy. In the Pol­ish pope, the group found a cham­pi­on will­ing to back its harsh stance against abor­tion, birth con­trol, its cru­sade against com­mu­nism, the push for Catholi­cism as a state reli­gion, and war on left-lean­ing lib­er­a­tion the­olo­gians with­in the Church. . . .Vat­i­can Sec­re­tary of State Car­di­nal Agosti­no Casaroli, a pow­er­ful Opus Dei sup­port­er, pur­sued a pol­i­cy of reach­ing out toward Moscow with the aim of gain­ing Poland’s release from the War­saw Pact. . . . Rivers of mon­ey, much of it pro­vid­ed by Bill Casey’s CIA, poured into War­saw and Moscow, and the Vat­i­can found ready sup­port from the U.S. because the secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment under Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan was packed with con­ser­v­a­tive Catholics, includ­ing Casey, Richard Allen and William Clark.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

4. Shi­mat­su then spec­u­lates about a pos­si­ble motive for Hanssen’s alleged activ­i­ties. “Hanssen’s most dam­ag­ing activ­i­ties in FBI coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence coin­cid­ed with these years, 1985–89. Secrets from Amer­i­ca’s intel­li­gence vaults could well have been part of the quid pro quo in the late Car­di­nal’s dance with Moscow. Cer­tain­ly, the Vat­i­can has had no qualms about vio­lat­ing Amer­i­can sen­si­tiv­i­ties. Indeed, it seems to reflect a Euro­cen­tric tri­umphal­ism. The papal encycli­cal on labor rights slapped ram­pant materialism—that is, the immoral Unit­ed States—as the ‘oth­er’ great evil afoot in the world.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

5. The arti­cle also notes that FBI direc­tor Louis Freeh is also a mem­ber of the order. “Did Hanssen clear the path to the FBI direc­torate for his fel­low Opus Dei mem­ber Louis Freeh? This pos­si­bil­i­ty can­not be dis­missed, nor should reluc­tance to inter­fere with a reli­gious orga­ni­za­tion pre­vent a probe into Hanssen’s ties with­in Opus Dei.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

6. Fol­low­ing dis­cus­sion of Hanssen’s rela­tion­ship to Opus Dei, the pro­gram high­lights a “legal” orga­ni­za­tion called the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety for Law and Pub­lic Pol­i­cy. An extreme right-wing con­sor­tium with enor­mous sway with­in the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, the orga­ni­za­tion has already made its influ­ence felt. (“Judg­ment Daze” by Julian Borg­er; The Guardian; 3/26/2001.)

7. “Found­ed in 1982, the group set as its goals the ide­o­log­i­cal con­quest of the nation’s law schools. Two decades on it has achieved an extra­or­di­nary degree of suc­cess. The Fed­er­al­ists’ law school chap­ters now offer grad­u­ates a faster route to the top, through clerk­ships in high-pro­file cham­bers and a pow­er­ful career net­work, than the main­stream pro­fes­sion­al body, the Amer­i­can Bar Asso­ci­a­tion (ABA). They scored their great­est tri­umph last week, when Pres­i­dent Bush stripped the ABA of its role as a vet­ting agency in the appoint­ment of fed­er­al judges. The ABA had first been assigned the task by Pres­i­dent Eisen­how­er as a means of set­ting min­i­mum pro­fes­sion­al stan­dards for the judi­cia­ry around the coun­try. . . . The Fed­er­al­ists have now tak­en the ABA’s place in all but name. In Pres­i­dent Bush’s first week, a task force was set up in the White house to rush through nom­i­na­tions for the 100 (out of a total of 862) fed­er­al judge­ships in appeals and cir­cuit courts.” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

8. Borg­er dis­cuss­es the Fed­er­al­ists’ impact on the Bush admin­is­tra­tion and the Repub­li­can Par­ty. “Many are vet­er­ans of ear­li­er cam­paigns, such as Brett Kavanaugh, the young lawyer who served as chief inves­ti­ga­tor for Ken­neth Starr, Pres­i­dent Clin­ton’s inquisi­tor and neme­sis and anoth­er key mem­ber of the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety. Mr. Starr, in turn, got the job of inde­pen­dent coun­sel from David Sen­telle, a con­ser­v­a­tive cir­cuit judge and ear­ly Fed­er­al­ist mem­ber. The lawyers act­ing for Paula Jones in her sex­u­al harass­ment suit against the pres­i­dent and for Lin­da Tripp, who hand­ed over secret tapes of Mon­i­ca Lewin­sky, were both Fed­er­al­ists.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

9. The arti­cle also sets forth the role of Fed­er­al­ists in the manip­u­la­tion of the Flori­da vote count. “The Bush cause was argued by Ted Olson, the head of the Wash­ing­ton head of the Wash­ing­ton chap­ter of the Fed­er­al­ist Soci­ety, who is now Solic­i­tor Gen­er­al. It was sup­port­ed most fierce­ly on the Supreme Court by Antonin Scalia, one of the mov­ing spir­its behind the for­ma­tion of the Fed­er­al­ists and a reg­u­lar attrac­tion at the soci­ety’s sem­i­nars and retreats for ambi­tious lawyers.” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

10. Borg­er also points out that Fed­er­al­ists occu­py key cab­i­net posi­tions in the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. “The fact that the ener­gy and inte­ri­or sec­re­taries, Spencer Abra­ham and Gale Nor­ton are both senior Fed­er­al­ists no doubt played a role. [In guid­ing Bush envi­ron­men­tal poli­cies.] James Bopp, anoth­er Flori­da vet­er­an, is lead­ing the legal fight against cam­paign finance reform.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

11. In dis­cussing the rad­i­cal right-wing nature of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion, the pro­gram under­scores the fact that the Flori­da “recount” con­sti­tut­ed a coup d état. “This is the most rad­i­cal admin­is­tra­tion in liv­ing Amer­i­can mem­o­ry. I use the word delib­er­ate­ly. Today’s right calls itself ‘con­ser­v­a­tive,’ but it is not that.” (“The Feel­ing of a Coup” by Antho­ny Lewis; New York Times; 3/31/2001; p. A27.)

12. The broad­cast con­cludes with exam­i­na­tion of an influ­en­tial, but lit­tle known Euro­pean busi­ness con­sor­tium. The Euro­pean Round Table of Indus­tri­al­ists (ERT) wields deci­sive influ­ence with­in the EU. (“The Qui­et Knights of Europe’s Round Table” by Paul Betts; Finan­cial Times; 3/20/2001; p. 10.)

13. “You would not imag­ine that this place saw the con­cep­tion of a strat­e­gy that is set to be assessed by Thurs­day’s Euro­pean Coun­cil meet­ing in Stock­holm. That strat­e­gy, adopt­ed by Euro­pean gov­ern­ments and the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion at a coun­cil last year in Lis­bon, drew large­ly on broad ERT rec­om­men­da­tions. It exhort­ed the Euro­pean Union to become ‘the most com­pet­i­tive and dynam­ic knowl­edge-based econ­o­my in the world, capa­ble of sus­tain­able eco­nom­ic growth with more and bet­ter jobs and greater social cohe­sion.’ ” (Idem.)

14. The arti­cle also dis­cuss­es the group’s extreme secre­cy. “Secre­cy has mere­ly strength­ened its crit­ics’ con­vic­tion that the ERT is ‘a shad­owy lob­by group that has, for the past 15 years, exert­ed an iron grip on pol­i­cy­mak­ing in Brus­sels,’ as The Guardian news­pa­per described it in a 1999 report. A par­tic­u­lar­ly crit­i­cal study, enti­tled ‘Mis­shap­ing Europe,’ which was pub­lished sev­en years ago, even sug­gest­ed that ‘the polit­i­cal agen­da of the EC [as the EU was then known] has to a large extent been dom­i­nat­ed by the ERT.’ ” (Idem.)

15. “Found­ed in 1983, it grew out of the groupe des pres­i­dents formed in the 1960’s by a very select and small num­ber of Euro­pean busi­ness tycoons led by Gio­van­ni Agnel­li of Fiat.” (Idem.)


One comment for “FTR #289 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates”

  1. This is fun: It turns out Antonin Scalia spent his last hours with a num­ber of mem­bers from an Aus­tri­an-based secret-soci­ety ded­i­cat­ed to the Saint Hubert, the Catholic saint of deer hunt­ing, whose con­ver­sion sto­ry is depict­ed on bot­tles of Jager­meis­ter. So the next time you’re slam­ming that shot of Jager, you’re sort of cel­e­brat­ing one of Scali­a’s secret­ly cel­e­brat­ed saints:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post
    Jus­tice Scalia spent his last hours with mem­bers of this secre­tive soci­ety of elite hunters

    By Amy Brit­tain and Sari Hor­witz Feb­ru­ary 24 at 7:37 PM

    When Supreme Court Jus­tice Antonin Scalia died 12 days ago at a West Texas ranch, he was among high-rank­ing mem­bers of an exclu­sive fra­ter­ni­ty for hunters called the Inter­na­tion­al Order of St. Huber­tus, an Aus­tri­an soci­ety that dates back to the 1600s.

    After Scalia’s death Feb. 13, the names of the 35 oth­er guests at the remote resort, along with details about Scalia’s con­nec­tion to the hunters, have remained large­ly unknown. A review of pub­lic records shows that some of the men who were with Scalia at the ranch are con­nect­ed through the Inter­na­tion­al Order of St. Huber­tus, whose mem­bers gath­ered at least once before at the same ranch for a cel­e­bra­to­ry week­end.

    Mem­bers of the world­wide, male-only soci­ety wear dark-green robes embla­zoned with a large cross and the mot­to “Deum Dilig­ite Ani­malia Dili­gentes,” which means “Hon­or­ing God by hon­or­ing His crea­tures,” accord­ing to the group’s web­site. Some hold titles, such as Grand Mas­ter, Pri­or and Knight Grand Offi­cer. The Order’s name is in hon­or of Hubert, the patron saint of hunters and fish­er­men.

    Cibo­lo Creek Ranch own­er John Poindex­ter and C. Allen Fos­ter, a promi­nent Wash­ing­ton lawyer who trav­eled to the ranch with Scalia by pri­vate plane, hold lead­er­ship posi­tions with­in the Order. It is unclear what, if any, offi­cial asso­ci­a­tion Scalia had with the group.

    “There is noth­ing I can add to your obser­va­tion that among my many guests at Cibo­lo Creek Ranch over the years some mem­bers of the Inter­na­tion­al Order of St. Huber­tus have been num­bered,” Poindex­ter said in an email. “I am aware of no con­nec­tion between that orga­ni­za­tion and Jus­tice Scalia.”

    An attor­ney for the Scalia fam­i­ly did not respond to requests for com­ment for this arti­cle.

    Two oth­er pri­vate planes that land­ed at the ranch for the week­end are linked to two men who have held lead­er­ship posi­tions with the Texas chap­ter of the Order, accord­ing to a review of state busi­ness fil­ings and flight records from the air­port.

    After Scalia’s death, Poindex­ter told reporters that he met Scalia at a “sports group” gath­er­ing in Wash­ing­ton. The U.S. chap­ter of the Inter­na­tion­al Order of St. Huber­tus lists a suite on M Street NW in the Dis­trict as its head­quar­ters, although the address is only a mail­box in a Unit­ed Par­cel Ser­vice store.

    The Inter­na­tion­al Order of St. Huber­tus, accord­ing to its web­site, is a “true knight­ly order in the his­tor­i­cal tra­di­tion.” In 1695, Count Franz Anton von Sporck found­ed the soci­ety in Bohemia, which is in mod­ern-day Czech Repub­lic.

    The group’s Grand Mas­ter is “His Impe­r­i­al High­ness Ist­van von Hab­s­burg-Lothrin­gen, Arch­duke of Aus­tria,” accord­ing to the Order’s web­site. The next gath­er­ing for “Ordens­broth­ers” and guests is an “investi­ture” March 10 in Charleston, S.C.

    The society’s U.S. chap­ter launched in 1966 at the famous Bohemi­an Club in San Fran­cis­co, which is asso­ci­at­ed with the all-male Bohemi­an Grove — one of the most well-known secret soci­eties in the coun­try.

    In 2010, Poindex­ter host­ed a group of 53 mem­bers of the Hous­ton chap­ter of the Inter­na­tion­al Order of St. Huber­tus at the Cibo­lo Creek Ranch, accord­ing to a Hous­ton soci­ety pub­li­ca­tion. A num­ber of mem­bers from Mex­i­co were also part of the ranch fes­tiv­i­ties that includ­ed “three days of orga­nized shoots and ‘gala’ lunch­es and din­ners.”

    Poindex­ter told Cul­tureMap Hous­ton that some of the guests dressed in “tra­di­tion­al Euro­pean shoot­ing attire for the boxed bird shoot com­pe­ti­tion” and for the shoot­ing of pheas­ants and chukar, a type of par­tridge.

    For the hunt­ing week­end ear­li­er this month, Poindex­ter told The Wash­ing­ton Post that Scalia trav­eled to Hous­ton with his friend and U.S. mar­shals, who pro­vide secu­ri­ty for Supreme Court jus­tices. The Post obtained a Pre­sidio Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office report that named Fos­ter as Scalia’s close friend on the trip.

    Sher­iff Dan­ny Dominguez con­firmed that a pho­to­graph of Wash­ing­ton lawyer C. Allen Fos­ter is the same man he inter­viewed at the ranch the day of Scalia’s death.

    From Hous­ton, Scalia and Fos­ter char­tered a plane with­out the mar­shals to the Cibo­lo Creek Ranch airstrip. In a state­ment after Scalia died, the U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice said that Scalia had declined a secu­ri­ty detail while at the ranch.

    The friend, Louisiana-born Fos­ter, is a lawyer with the Wash­ing­ton firm White­ford, Tay­lor & Pre­ston. He is also known for his pas­sion for hunt­ing and is a for­mer spokesman for the hunt­ing group Safari Club.

    In 2006, Fos­ter was fea­tured in The Post when he cel­e­brat­ed his 65th birth­day with a six-day cel­e­bra­tion in the Czech Repub­lic. He flew his fam­i­ly and 40 Wash­ing­ton friends there to stay in Moravia’s Zid­lo­chovice, a baroque cas­tle and hunt­ing park. The birth­day bash includ­ed “tours of the Czech coun­try­side, wine tast­ing, wild boar and mou­flon (wild sheep) hunts, clas­sic dance instruc­tion and a masked cos­tume ball.”

    A sec­re­tary at Foster’s law firm said he is trav­el­ing in Argenti­na. The firm’s direc­tor of mar­ket­ing, Mindee L. Mosh­er, said Fos­ter was trav­el­ing and she would try to con­tact him. A woman answer­ing a phone asso­ci­at­ed with Fos­ter hung up when asked for com­ment.

    Planes owned by Wal­lace “Hap­py” Rogers III and the com­pa­ny of A.J. Lewis III left from San Anto­nio and arrived at the ranch just after noon Feb. 12. The planes depart­ed the ranch about 30 min­utes apart Feb. 14, accord­ing to flight records pro­vid­ed to The Post by FlightAware.

    Rogers owns the Buck­horn Saloon and Muse­um in San Anto­nio. He has donat­ed $65,000 to Repub­li­can can­di­dates since 2008. Lewis is the own­er of a restau­rant sup­pli­er com­pa­ny, also based in San Anto­nio. He has giv­en $3,500 to GOP can­di­dates since 2007.

    Rogers and Lewis have both served as pri­or offi­cers in the Texas chap­ter of the Inter­na­tion­al Order of St. Huber­tus, accord­ing to Texas busi­ness records. Rogers spoke to a Post reporter briefly on the phone and con­firmed that he was at the ranch the week­end of Scalia’s death. He declined to com­ment fur­ther.

    Lewis did not respond to sev­er­al attempts for com­ment.

    The Pre­sidio Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office released an inci­dent report to The Post on Tues­day that revealed Foster’s name as Scalia’s trav­el­ing com­pan­ion and pro­vid­ed details about the dis­cov­ery of his body.


    Law enforce­ment offi­cials told The Post that they had no knowl­edge of the Inter­na­tion­al Order of St. Huber­tus or its con­nec­tion to Poindex­ter and ranch guests. The offi­cials said the FBI had declined to inves­ti­gate Scalia’s death when they were told by the mar­shals that he died from nat­ur­al caus­es.

    “The group’s Grand Mas­ter is “His Impe­r­i­al High­ness Ist­van von Hab­s­burg-Lothrin­gen, Arch­duke of Aus­tria,” accord­ing to the Order’s web­site.”
    Note that the John B. Poindex­ter isn’t the same Opus Dei-affil­i­at­ed John Poindex­ter of Iran Con­tra fame. That would be quite a twist, although dying dur­ing a secret hunt­ing excur­sion with a secret soci­ety with the Arch­duke of Aus­tria as its Grand Mas­ter is a pret­ty good twist too!

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 25, 2016, 8:27 pm

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