George E. Lowe served as a speechwriter in the Departement of Education under President Ronald Reagan, where he became preoccupied with the danger posed to the American Republic by the religious right. -- On Friday, BuzzFlash published a provocative interview with Lowe. -- While in the U.S. Navy, Lowe claims to have been part of "a top-secret Navy team that helped create the idea that the military-industrial complex imposed a threat to America," a team that included Admiral John McCain, father of Senator John McCain, and that "planted those words ['military-industrial complex] in his speech." -- On the danger posed by what some are calling "Christianism," see UFPPC's Dec. 9, 2004, statement....
A BuzzFlash Interview
GEORGE E. LOWE: CAN 'IT' HAPPEN HERE? HASN'T 'IT' ALREADY? A FASCIST CHRISTIAN AMERICA
"They're planning . . . to create a nation where you can change the Constitution with simple majorities, where you can pass laws with simple majorities, where you can pack the courts and thereby create a Christian nation through a simple majority vote. . . . The whole thing is one of the grand coup d'états of all time. That's what we're seeing."
June 10, 2005
Sometimes we come across an eye-opening book by an American who is not part of the author circuit, and this is the case with the two-volume set, It Can Happen Here. George E. Lowe wrote a book in 1964 called The Age of Deterrence, but then went on with his career in the military. He served as a speech writer in the Reagan Department of Education, where he told BuzzFlash, he awoke to the threat from radical religious zealots taking over the Republican Party.
Lowe's two-volume collection is a labor of love (originally and prophetically written in 2000) that offers a provocative and persuasive explanation about how the neocons became a logical partner with the "Rapture" Christians, whose goal is to precipitate Armageddon and a Second Coming of Christ. One clear common political goal is increasing weapons production, because it will both enrich the neocon corporate interests and help precipitate a Messianic age for the radical fundamentalists.
For many BuzzFlash readers, following the subtleties of the religious right fanatics is a challenge. But Lowe takes the reader on a journey through the strange permutations of Christian extremism and the danger it presents to America as a constitutional democracy. Moreover, the Christian fanatics seek a World War III, because it will lead to the triumphant return of a resurrected Christ and a transformed Israel.
* * *
BuzzFlash: You published a two-volume set -- It Can Happen Here: A Fascist Christian America -- in 2000. You pretty much forecast what has come to happen in the United States since then, although we don't officially have a fascist Christian America.
George E. Lowe: We're heading fast toward it.
BuzzFlash: There's certainly the assertion by everyone from Antonin Scalia to Bill Frist to General Boykin and John Ashcroft that America is a country where God is king.
George E. Lowe: The famous phrase is: "I have no king but Jesus."
BuzzFlash: You were ahead of the curve on this. What made you so motivated to write two volumes, together hundreds of pages, about this topic?
George E. Lowe: The answer is I lived among them. When the Reagan Administration came in, I was Secretary of Education Bell's speech writer. I looked around and who did I see? Gary Bauer as an Assistant Secretary. Bob Billings, one of the founders of the Moral Majority -- -- another Assistant Secretary. Civil rights was handed over to Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas. They dumped a lot of strange people into the department that had Hal Lindsey's book, The Late, Great Planet Earth, and the Good Shepherd's Yellow Pages. They had little cards that they would post up in the halls saying, "Listen to Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye." They were revolutionaries. And here I am, an American historian, worried about this, because I was fighting the military fascists in the sixties. Here we get Christian fascists, and I just couldn't comprehend it.
BuzzFlash: What has happened since you wrote the book to accelerate this? Why has the influence of the radical Christian fundamentalists gone from being somewhat in the background and somewhat at arm's length to being an overt part of the Bush Administration?
George E. Lowe: As I say on the cover of my book, it's that they've taken over the party of Lincoln. You could just look at the electoral map and you know that. It's the old Confederacy. And they've expanded it to the new booming Southwest. That and the Mountain West is their core base. There are people that essentially are the old David Duke crowd -- the Northern European, white, Protestant, small town, middle and lower-middle classes -- and their time has come. They're tired of all these foreigners that came in after '48 or after the Civil War, and all those two million Jews and all those Southern European Catholics -- those dusty people -- all those. They feel it's time to take back America. In essence, this is the revenge of the South for losing the Civil War.
BuzzFlash: You've brought up an interesting issue which is the racial component of this. Is it just coincidence that these are white Christians, with occasional Clarence Thomases, to try to show diversity? Is the emphasis on white? Or is it on Christian?
George E. Lowe: It's also Northern European Protestants, over and against the Southern European Catholics and Polish and Italian. I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and I can tell you all about the diversity of America, and the class stratification in Northeastern Pennsylvania coal fields. What's happened is that the white Protestants that ran Scranton, Pennsylvania, are now of a different variety, but they're trying to stage a coup d'état and take over America from all the immigrants that came in.
BuzzFlash: Where do you put someone like Antonin Scalia, who is a Catholic, but an Opus Dei Catholic, meaning he goes back to before the Vatican reforms. How does he fit in with the Protestants?
George E. Lowe: The genius behind this is Pat Buchanan. He put together the great coalition, along with Paul Weyrich, and that other genius, Richard Viguerie, and they put together a coalition of Orthodox Jews, conservative Catholics and fundamentalists, conservative Evangelicals, and Pentecostals. And that's the coalition that is now in power.
BuzzFlash: If you have people of different faiths -- Orthodox Jews and Conservative, Opus Dei Catholics like Antonin Scalia, who believes that the Constitution is a divine document and says this is a Christian nation -- what brings them together?
George E. Lowe: Power. Power in Washington. That's why Buchanan ran for President. He thought he could put together the Reagan coalition. But, in fact, Karl Rove has. It's the same coalition.
BuzzFlash: They have different faiths, but is it enough for them to say that we believe in an all-powerful divinity and that God should be integrated into the state?
George E. Lowe: Yes, you can argue that some of the Catholics are going back to a previous golden age, and some of the Protestants are looking forward to a new golden age. But the idea is a fusion, or a union of church and state. Franco did that, Peron and Mussolini did it.
BuzzFlash: We posted an article on BuzzFlash about Antonin Scalia speaking at a synagogue. There was a period about two months ago when he seemed to be doing a road tour for Christ. And he really was just out there saying this is a Christian nation, and the Constitution is a Christian document, there really should be no separation of church and state, and so forth.
George E. Lowe: The buzz phrase that Pat Robertson has used is that separation of church and state is a lie of the left.
BuzzFlash: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who gave Bush the Presidency in 2000, said to the synagogue that Jews should feel very secure in a Christian state, and should not be afraid of America becoming a Christian state. Now, maybe I'm missing something here, but did this guy study the history of Nazi Germany? By the way, the Rapture idea has kind of created an alliance between extreme Evangelicals who believe in Armageddon, and the "Christian Zionists," even though it's one of those temporary alliances, because the Christian Zionists believe that all the Jews will be destroyed except for 144,000, who will then be converted in the coming Armageddon. So they really look forward to the destruction of Israel, don't they?
George E. Lowe: Exactly. Jerry Falwell, and others, believe God wanted them to have the entire West Bank, frankly Syria and the whole Middle East. That should be the greater Israel, from Jerry Falwell's point of view.
BuzzFlash: Getting back to Scalia, how could he possibly make a statement like that, when Hitler rose to power as a Christian nation and killed six million Jews?
George E. Lowe: Scalia is blinded by Opus Dei. The point is that he is a hyper-intellectual, and he's taken all this doctrine and believes it, that's all.
BuzzFlash: So he just forgets Hitler was a Christian who said we are a Christian nation, and he killed the Jews and the gypsies and the gays and the Catholic. Scalia erases it from his mind.
George E. Lowe: Right.
BuzzFlash: One of most difficult things for people to understand is this relationship with the Christian Zionists and the support that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and others have for Israel. Tom DeLay is very much pro-Israel. And Pat Robertson. They give money, and they have missions and everything. But in the end, this is just a temporary alliance, because the goal of the Christian Zionist is the resurrection of Christ and the elimination of the Jews after Armageddon.
George E. Lowe: The only way you can get Christ back is if you destroy the Dome of Omar and the infidel structures and build the third temple. And if the Jews don't build the third temple, Jesus can't give his abomination of desolation. Once they build the third temple, Jesus comes back and he brings the raptured church back with him, armed with NRA Uzi and AK-47s, and they run us all for a thousand years.
BuzzFlash: What happens to the Jews then?
George E. Lowe: They're all gone -- they've converted. They have to convert.
BuzzFlash: All the other Jews are killed, but 144,000 survive, and they're converted.
George E. Lowe: It's signing the death warrant of the Jewish race. No question about it.
BuzzFlash: A lot of people reading this interview will say: Do people really believe this?
George E. Lowe: Oh, I worked among them. I couldn't believe it when I met them. Fortunately I had a minister friend who said, "I'll educate you into what's going on here." I got the idea for a book called "Jews, Jesus and Armageddon," because I was exiled after the new Secretary of Education, Bill Bennett, came in. I didn't have anything to do for two or three months, so I sat down and started reading Revelations. And I came up to Revelation 5:5 and I said, "Oh, my God, that means me." And that relates to the name of Rabbi Low. And that's why I use Rabbi Low all the time -- because in my reading of the Bible, especially Revelation 5:5, I realized that my sacred mission was to interpret the seals and interpret the truth to the entire world and warn them, and save the Jewish people, as well as the Americans and everybody else from these crazies. . . . just like Rabbi Low did with his Golem. My two books are meant as a Golem.
BuzzFlash: A Golem is a warning, or protection?
George E. Lowe: The great Rabbi Low saw two people with a burlap sack, and he ran up to them, and scared them away. In that burlap sack, the local Jewish police of the ghetto found two babies that these provocateurs were going to plant in the Rabbi Low's house, and then scream blood libel to use this as the excuse to kill the Jews. He stopped that by running into these provocateurs. Rabbi Low of Prague invented the Golem, which was made out of clay, to defend the Jewish people from their Russian enemies.
BuzzFlash: We have now a concerted effort by the Bush Administration to put onto the federal bench judges who believe that they, in essence, have a divine calling. What are the implications of this?
George E. Lowe: I explain it in my book at length, but it's simply this. They're planning to, and they almost did except for the senate's recently reached judicial filibuster compromise -- they're going to create a nation where you can change the Constitution with simple majorities, where you can pass laws with simple majorities, where you can pack the courts and thereby create a Christian nation through a simple majority vote. And put no more lifetime judges -- five years at the most. The whole thing is one of the grand coup d'états of all time. That's what we're seeing.
BuzzFlash: Well, what would a fascist Christian America look like? Are we there yet?
George E. Lowe: Oh, we're much further ahead than I ever expected. When I was a history student at the University of Chicago, where Walter Johnson taught, I was fighting the "military-industrial complex." The Age of Deterrence, which I wrote in 1964, was against military fascists. Recently we've seen that the Christian activists have taken over the Air Force Academy. I now refer to the "military-industrial-religious complex." That's what we're fighting.
Incidentally, I was part of a top-secret Navy team that helped create the idea that the military-industrial complex imposed a threat to America. We also worried then about fascist Christian military officers. Our team leader and hero was Admiral John McCain, father of Senator John McCain. I closed Volume Two with the last words that Admiral McCain said to me in 1960: 'We have to fight them (the Air Force and their cabal) even if we'll probably lose, because our future form of government is at stake."
Admiral McCain was very instrumental in helping me understand what was really at stake with the military. At the time, the Pentagon and the Air Force officers were trying to wage a preemptive war against Russia and China. I called them nuclear gladiators. I told the Admiral I'd do my part to prevent fascism from coming to America, and It Can Happen Here fulfills that promise.
BuzzFlash: President Eisenhower issued a departing warning about the dangers of the industrial-military complex.
George E. Lowe: Yes.
BuzzFlash: Many people find that amazing -- that a President for eight years, who was a heroic general during the Second World War, left office warning against the military-industrial complex.
George E. Lowe: Maybe it was because our office planted those words in his speech.
BuzzFlash: In the Bush Administration you have, it seems to me, two divisions. On one side you have the extreme fundamentalists, what some people call the American Taliban, and you call the Christian fascists. They believe that America is ruled by their vision of God. And I want to emphasize, *their* vision, because the whole purpose of 1776 was to be inclusive of many different visions of God.
George E. Lowe: Yes, we need to look back to the Puritans, and the first commonwealth under the Puritans, because that's what the Christian fascists want to go back to, only they're going to be running things. They're the neo-Puritans. They want to create the second Christian commonwealth under their control.
BuzzFlash: The second group of people, it seems to me, is the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bolton-Condi Rice-Lewis Libby military-industrial base. It's this alliance between the fundamentalist right and the current incarnation of the military-industrial complex.
George E. Lowe: And the key weapons system is the ballistic missile defense system, and the RMA -- the Revolution in Military Affairs. The New York Times has the most amazing piece by historian Niall Ferguson, in which he talks about the great scheme of Rumsfeld, and why he won't put more troops into Iraq, and why they're talking about attacks against all the rogue nations. Rumsfeld had an idea called 10-30-30. Ten days to take down the rogue nations, thirty days to mop up, and then thirty days to plan for the next rogue nation. And Ferguson says it should be ten years, thirty years, and thirty years.
That is the most unbelievable piece of intelligence. It's something I've been looking for all along, and I suspected it was there. And it was created by what I call the Rand Corporation or Randians that he brought together at the Pentagon to create the RMA, which he calls the transformation. But that isn't real. That transformation is his whole aim for the new world empire, the new American empire. And that's what's behind this whole thing.
BuzzFlash: You discuss in your book the nexis between the neocon militarists looking for wars and the Christian fascists, who figure that the neocons will accelerate Armageddon because they will have a military build-up and finally employ nuclear weapons, as Bush has said he will, preemptively. The Christian fascists think, well, that's great, this is just going to accelerate Armageddon.
George E. Lowe: Exactly. And they have to have Armageddon because their doctrine won't bring Jesus back unless they have Armageddon. That's their whole point. That's why they've got to get Bush to trigger Armageddon. So they're happy to make all sorts of deals with the Likud and welcome anything that stirs up conflict. I don't know if you've read Damascus Gate [a novel by Robert Stone --H.B.], but the fact is that the Christian right wants to destroy the Dome of Omar. They don't care what happens. If we've been trampling on the Koran and putting it down the toilet or doing whatever else we did with it -- wait until we, with wink or nod, allow the destruction of the Dome of Omar by crazy right-wing ultra-Orthodox extremist settlers. Wait until that happens. And the Christian right's hoping for it.
BuzzFlash: Because that would lead to a conflagration.
George E. Lowe: Of course. The Jews can't build a third temple until the Dome of Omar is off there. And the Al-Aska Mosque. They've got to get rid of that. And the Christians need that third temple because they can't put their Jesus in it to bring back the rapture church without it.
BuzzFlash: What's next? What do people do to prevent this?
George E. Lowe: We have to organize a "vital center," as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. said a long time ago. These people are determined and their concentration is on an event in the future that will bring Jesus back to earth. They believe we're in the terminal generation. Ronald Reagan believed it. George Bush believes it.
I recently wrote to the New York Times, about the creation of the weapons of mass destruction hoax by Rumsfeld's Pentagon -- you know, Wolfowitz, Perle, Chalabi. And you know that they were all students at the University of Chicago and got their Ph.D.s there, and were all students of Albert Wohlstetter, who was the guy that we hated the most in the Navy because he dreamt up the doctrine of nuclear counter force, which was going to blow up the world and bring victory to the United States over Russia.
BuzzFlash: So this is sort of the premise for "Dr. Strangelove."
George E. Lowe: Of course. We were also worried about them blowing up the world. We were also worried about "Seven Days in May." [A 1960s feature film about an attempted military coup d'état in the United States. --H.B.] And some of our Navy types wrote that book from our urgings to warn the American people. And when JFK was asked about it, he said yes, it could happen here.
BuzzFlash: A lot of Americans are very uncomfortable with using the word fascist -- they say it's the "F" word. It sounds so extremist to call Jerry Falwell a fascist or James Dobson a fascist. But Hitler was a fascist. Mussolini was a fascist. Peron was a fascist. Franco was a fascist. And they all relied on using the church, claiming a divine mandate.
George E. Lowe: When I discovered in the 1960s that there was a Navy group worried about fascism in the Pentagon, I came back to the University of Chicago and told Walter Johnson, I want to change my dissertation, which I was writing on limited war. I said I'd run into a bunch of people who were convinced that there's a fascist plot not only to take over the Pentagon -- but the world -- with a worldwide, preemptive nuclear war. He said, "George, I can't believe it." I asked, "What's your advice?" and he answered, "Take good notes and write an aide-mémoire." That's what I did, and that was The Age of Deterrence.
BuzzFlash: In closing -- a lot of moderate Republicans don't take people like Gary Bauer and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and James Dobson seriously. They find them almost disgustingly amusing and entertaining. But they don't take them seriously.
George E. Lowe: The moderates didn't take Hitler seriously either. Remember the great scene in "Cabaret" at that outdoor garden, when suddenly a German fascist kid starts singing? And the response is, "Oh, we can control them."
BuzzFlash: So when Pat Robertson says, as he did a couple of weeks ago, that our federal judges are more dangerous than Al Qaeda terrorists, we should take him at his word?
George E. Lowe: I have no choice but to call the attention to these people and these forces -- these fascist forces -- that are going to try to destroy our secular democratic constitutional form of government.
BuzzFlash: And they're open about it now. They say the word "secular" is to them a word that is equal to enemy.
George E. Lowe: That's right. They're out from underneath their rocks.
BuzzFlash: They're emboldened to just tell it like it is. If you advocate a secular, inclusive society, you are the enemy.
George E. Lowe: Right. And George W. Bush met these people when he was his father's liaison in the 1992 campaign. That's where he met them, and that's when he solidified his base. And that's when he went into this whole business of the Jesus is my favorite philosopher. The point is that Bush has been doing this for a long time. And Kevin Phillips writes about him in American Dynasty --
BuzzFlash: Kevin Phillips says the best thing the Bush family does is steal elections, if I recall that book.
George E. Lowe: And destroy documents. And keep them from the public. Bush is the Manchurian candidate. There's no question. He's been put in by the cabal.
BuzzFlash: Thank you so much, George.
George E. Lowe: And thank you.