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March 1, 2022 76 mins

We sit down with Dan and Jordan from knowledge fight to discuss the plot to make Christianity capitalist.



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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Oh boy, what a great day. I'm feeling so good.
You know what, I'm just gonna Oh, what's that, Sophie,
there's a knock at the door. Should should we? Should
we see who it is? I mean, yeah, why it's
Dan and Jordan's from Knowledge Fight. I had to come
running when I heard that weird noise come out of

your mouth. Check on you. All I want to say
is thank you, thank you. Normally it's my atonal grunting
that opens the show. I don't know how you guys.
You have a you have a great song to lead you,
and I don't know how you so consistently open a
show without just grunting and moaning. We do that under

the theme song turned off. We're just getting stretching before
you go run a marathon. You guys just go just
putting out on wet and like heavy, heavy breathing up. Hello, God,

you're Jordan's You're Dan of the podcast Knowledge Fight and
also in Dan's case of the legal effort to see
Alex Jones for repeatedly doing crimes. Yeah, it's weird that
maybe a credit now, I guess I was a yeah,

consulting expert on uh the the latest deposition that Alex
did in the Texas cases. People have pointed out multiple
times that on like episode three or four of our show,
we I made the joke that he would be involved
somehow in the lawsuit, and we laughed and laughed and laughed.

Seven hundred episodes later. I remember when I first started
listening to your show, because I was doing the Behind
the Bastards episodes on Alex Jones. I was like, God,
I fucking hope someone involved in the case against him
knows about these guys, because they are they are uncovering
damning stuff every week. It should probably be involved in

the case. It's finally finally came about and uh yeah,
good times. Yeah yeah, well congratulations. Would you like to
talk about something completely different from Alex Jones. I think
that would be a delight. So here's a spoiler. I
I lied. I lied to you. It's it's not complete.
It's not it's it's a precursor to Alex Jones. Um.

This is a story about how the wealthy in America
eight and transformed Christianity. Uh that's fun. Yeah, yeah, that
this is this is a story that is adjacent to
the story of the John Birch society. They're not gonna
come into it much here, but they are. They are involved. Um.
And it is a story that is adjacent to the

rise of Alex Jones, because obviously he's heavily influenced by
the John Birch society. This is this is a pre person.
We've talked on this show a bunch, and I know
y'all are very well aware that like seventy two, ish,
was the first time the religious right was like a
political block in the country. Right, You've got fallwell and
these people kind of we welding Billy Graham welding the
right wing into a Republican coalition for the first time. Um.

But that only was able to happen because of a
process that got started in the nineteen thirties. And that's
what we're going to talk about today. I mean, I
would have argued that the first was the Crusades, but
you know, it's very similar politicized the Crusades. Sometimes people look,
people were just vibe vibing, you know, modes on horseback,

al armies, a children getting sold into slavery, not a
cell phone insight. You know, it was non apartisan. Yeah,
it's the important thing about it. Yeah, and that's exactly right.
Every we were able to put down all of our
petty disagreements to deluge Jerusalem in a river of blood,
trickle down economics andized mass killings. I like that. You

asked if we want to talk about something other than
Alex and I was like, Hey, maybe something light and breezy.
Absolutely not. Maybe maybe it was going to be an
episode about the bagel Boss. This episode is is going
to be me reading you letters that different millionaires sent
each other talking about how to destroy democracy. Sounds about right?

That sounds good? Yeah. Um, you know, I I'm a
big advocate fan of interested in storytelling. I think it's
probably the most powerful thing that people do. Um, you
don't get no empire or social movement or civilization gets
anywhere without like having a set of stories that the
people who are inside that thing believe, and that really,

to a significant amount, determines reality. Right. There's a degree
to which you can kind of ignore even physical reality
if the stories are strong enough, as uh, some of
our um, some of our anti vax and anti anti
vaccine friends can candid test you know. There's limits to that.
But it's it's it's it's a pretty powerful thing. If

you can get people to believe a story, even a
ridiculous one, Um, you can. You can get them to
do almost anything. And capitalism itself thrives because of the
stories people tell about it. The reality, of course, is
that capitalism is a system that was cobbled together by
a handful of rich people in the sixteen hundreds and
seventeen hundreds. They created the first corporations, which allowed them
to pull their money, share risk and profits for risky

ventures overseas. And the first things they did was go
to the Spice Islands and carry out a brutal genocide
in order to gain a monopoly on nutmeg. That was
the first thing capitalism. Okay, I feel like you're being
unfair to the East India Company. Okay, this was the
Dutch East India Company. Yeah, I mean they were fine.
It was a non part of absolutely. And hey, capitalism

is not unique. Every system human beings have developed on
a large scale is a river of blood, like they
all are. You know, that's just the way. That's just
the way people be. Uh. But if you if you
tell the story of capitalism accurately, which is that it's
you know, another chapter in the history of human beings
finding ways to be shitty to each other in large groups. Um,

that's not something people like to hear. Right, you're not
gonna get You're not gonna get a whole bunch of people,
rah rah rah over capitalism. If you're just talking about
how they murdered several ethnic groups for nutmeg, I'm not
going to get a lot of raw ra from the
people who have a lot of capital. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
And those people like to find better stories to explain

what capitalism is, um and to get people to identify
it enough that they'll threaten a race war. Uh if
you you try to amend the system at all, which
is why groups like the Acting Institute, a right wing
Christian think tank, right stuff like this. And I'm gonna
quote from an article titled how Christianity Created Capitalism. The
people of the High Middle Ages were a dog with

wonder at great mechanical clocks, new forms of gears for
windmills and water mills, improvements in wagons and carts, shoulder
harnesses for beasts of burden, the ocean going ship rudder,
eyeglasses and magnifying glasses. Iron smelting and iron work, stone cutting,
and new architectural principles. So many new types of machines
were invented and put to use by th hundred. The
historian John Gimpel wrote a book in nineteen seventy six

called the Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages. Without the
growth of capitalism, however, such technical discoveries would have been
idle novelties. They would seldom have been put in the
hands of ordinary human beings through swift and easy exchange.
They would not have been studied and rapidly copied and
improved by eager competitors. All this was made possible by
freedom for enterprise, markets and competition, and that, in turn
was provided by the Catholic Church. Okay, I'm gonna throw

this out there. I'm gonna throw this out there. It's
a little late to respond. No, I think it's about
time somebody has got to refute this. Okay. I think
kind of the underlying words that he was saying was slaves.
Nothing would have been made without slaves, you know, like, yeah, well,

and it's it's just it's so comprehensively silly because it's like, well,
but during the Middle Ages, a huge amount of the
most significant technological development and philosophical development and like mathematical
developments were being made by the different caliphates that were
in charge of the Muslim world. Um, which we're not
living under a capitalist system. They were under the Catholic Church. Yes, yes,

famously the Addison Caliphate, big fans of the pope Um.
I mean, yeah, it's it's it's it's a pretty ludicrous
way to look at at at to argue that, like, um,
it's a pretty ludicrous description of history, I think, And
we could dunk on this article all day, but it's
the reality of the situation is just the Christianity did

not create capitalism. But there is a story which we're
gonna talk about today of how capitalism hijacked Christianity, and
the specific capitalists who masterminded this ship have names and
like sent letters to each other, and we have those letters.
A bunch of people have written about this. So now
it's it's time for a fun story, guys, um hooray.

Our tale starts in the decades before the Great Depression,
when the massive trusts and fortunes accumulated by robber barons
of the Gilded Age clashed increasingly with organized labor. Right,
you start to get the eighteen eighties eighteen nineties workers
being like, well, what if what if we all formed
together into a large organization and tried to compete with

the people telling us that our children should mind coal
until they die. Hey, hey, fellas, you want to stop
getting murdered and worked to death? Yeah? All right? Do
we do? We feel like there's an alternative to getting
machined gunned by our boss when we ask for a race.
And then they got machine gunned by their bass and
then they absolutely did and occasionally the US government. Um,

So this this clash is happening. And while it's you know,
part of why all of these clashes are happening is that,
like the late eighteen hundreds are just the recession after recession,
these like economic collapses, um, brought on by the fact
that you know, you know why they're brought on. We've
all lived through a bunch of economic collaxes now, yeah equivalent, Yeah,
I mean, like it was bitcoin. We've been on bitcoin

for a while. Yeah. So the left is like swelling
in this period into the early nineteen hundreds because of
all of these economic collapses, which, as economic collapse does
tend to make tends to make people go like, well,
maybe capitalism is not so great, you know, maybe maybe
the system could be changed somewhat. Um. A lot of
those rabble rousers in the in this period, these like

labor leaders, a lot of them were not just Christian,
but Christian members of the clergy. Uh. And these folks
saw the socialist ends they were fighting for is not
just in line with but but demanded by their faith.
This was an era in which one in every twenty
six workers in the United States could expect to be
maimed on the job. Like that is the early nineteen hundreds,
one out of every twenty six workers is going to

be serious Lee and jer killed on the job. And
everybody in Amazon is like, holy shit, one, what a
glorious area? Are you kidding? Yeah? This is such a
glass half empty? Yeah yeah, yes. Ministers like George D.

Herron were outraged by the reduction of sacred human life
to an economic unit, and they actually saw what capitalists
were doing in this period as like offensive to their
religion the day yeah. Um. He wrote in eighteen nineties
sermon called the Message of Jesus Two Men of Wealth,
in which he compared the struggle between labor and capital

to the story of Cain and Abel. Heron argued that
Kine's choice to murder his brother was quote the first bald,
brutal assertion of self interest as the law of human life,
an assertion always potential with murder. So he was like, literally,
the owners of capital are the descendants of Caine. Like
that is a right, right, all right? Although then in

that form Christianity did create capitalism. Yeah, right, I mean
there's an argument if that's what he's gonna argue. I mean,
but you're taking it out of Jdayism's blocked in right,
Kine enables they got more claim to that. But then,
of course we get to a really uncomfortable conversation when
we start saying that I'm a small minded fellow who

didn't read the tour close enough, and that's on me
the Abrahamic religions. I guess you can say that the
devil created capitalism um by convincing Kine to murder his brother.
That's the argument Heron's kind of making here. Yeah, he
quote the trial in progress and he's talking about like
the trial of the labor movement is Christ versus Kane,

the decision to which the times are hastening us is
shall Christ reign in our American civilization? Like shall Christ
or Caine rain in our American civilization? Sorry? Um, so
that that's how Heron frames it. Is like the struggle
between labor and capital is the same as the biblical
struggle between like Cain and Abel and are we going
to let the murder us? And unfortunately the answer was yeah,

all right. The first thing that's unfamiliar to me about
this guy it seems as though he has read the Bible,
which does seem like he might have read the Bible.
That's that's an issue for me. I don't think Christianity
is allowed to do that, as to see the Middle
Ages minister who read the Bible? Now, that doesn't seem right.
So Heron stumped for Eugene V. Debs, the hero of

our episode on the Pullman Strike, when he ran for
president heading the Socialist Party of America. And I want
to quote now from a write up on this in
the website Sojourners. He was not the only minister to
become a socialist either. One his story and estimated that
between five and of all mainline Protestant clergy were Socialist
Party members or voted for the party. In the first
three decades of the twentieth century, Congregationalist minister Franklin Monroe

Sprague wrote Socialism from Genesis to Revelation. In EIGHTEWO John Spargo,
Methodist minister became a socialist educator. Norman Thomas, a Presbyterian minister,
ran for President of the United States as a socialist
candidate from nine to ninety eight. Charles Vale Universalist minister,
was an important socialist writer. African Americans, both outside and

inside of the Socialist Party, also demanded fairer economic systems
that affected other facets of life, pushing white Christians and
socialists too towards quote a new abolitionism. So there's some
cool stuff happening in Christian thought in the first thirty
years of the twentieth century. Um, that doesn't is it?
For them? Yeah, I'm really I'm really proud of them.

They had a good stretch. They did have a good stretched.
This is the story that all got sucked up horribly.
But is that the prevailing attitude of it's it's not.
That is a really good question. It is not as
they said. This is somewhere between five and of ministers
in this period are members of the Socialist Party. Um.

Could it could well, it could be something like that. Um.
But there's also this like you have to assume if
you know fifteen or twenty of them are members, you've
got another probably twenty or who or at least sympathetic,
but like not quite as far left. Um. I think
mainstream Christianity, because of how popular the labor movement is,

is probably broadly sympathetic to a lot of these aims,
if not as radical as the guys we just cited. Um,
it is certainly not uh pro capitalist, and it is
not seen by the capitalists as being pro capitalists. UM.
So Christian socialists often you know, combined the Gospel of
Jesus and what they had read in Marks. The interpretation

that these guys had was that Jesus was a radical
who opposed capitalism. Um. Less common was the idea that
socialism could be a foundation for a universal humanistic religion.
But there were some guys um who said that who
were like who kind of went from being Christian minister
to being like, well, now I'm more of like just
a socialist minister, and I feel like my Christianity is

wrapped up in that. But this is like socialism is
the religion should be the religion of mankind. You get
that on, Like that's the fringe. Yeah, like legislating from
the pulpit, I'll tell you that right now. That's that's
not what I'm in for here. So it sounds like
exactly what alex is terrified. Yeah, the nightmare of nightmares.
And a lot of the capitalists in this period are

fucking terrified of this because it's spreading really widely. Um,
the cause of Christian socialists got a big shot in
the arm in August of nineteen twenty nine when the
global economy collapsed in the Roaring twenties yielded to the
Great Depression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in nineteen thirty
two on the promise of providing Americans with a new Deal.
This involved a bunch of banking reforms, a raftive new

social programs, and jobs program a whole bunch of stuff. Now,
actual socialists like Nicole Ashoff, who wrote The New Profits
of Capital, saw the New Deal, or see the New
Deal as it was essentially a way for capitalists who
were more reasonable and less monstrous than some of the
other capitalists to keep the system limping along. Without a

socialist revolution. The Elizabeth Warren plan. Yeah, socialists saw the
New Deal is like, well, this is like a shameless
compromise to keep capitalism going, and it's it's actually not
a good thing. Um. And then FDR was a little
bit like, hey, you know, they could buy a lot
of people to murder all of us, So maybe let's
just chill out this one. I'm not going to take

a stance on this, but I can't even walk many,
I can't run away. I'm not gonna run away. Um, yeah,
I do wanna. I'm not gonna necessarily endorse that. Like,
you know, we should never have done the New Deal.
We should have just like let the revolution come, because
I don't know that that would have worked out. But
that is an argument of people will make um and

Nicole Ashoff writes in her book quote Capital's ability to
periodically present a new set of legitimating principles that facilitate
the willing participation of society accounts for its remarkable longevity
despite periodic bouts of deep crisis, for allowing Max Webber,
one of the foremost social thinkers of the twentieth century,
uh this belief system is called this belief system which
justifies and legitimates capitalism and the primacy of profitmaking is

the spirit of capitalism. Um. So that's like this the
term that these some of these thinkers use the spirit
of capitalism for the ways in which our justifications for
it change over time. And the argument here is that
kind of f DR was putting a new set of
principles to legitimate capitalism. So capitalism is legitimate because we
also have the social safety net and we'll take care

of people, and it's not this solar system that we
had in the decades prior. We've changed it and so
it can keep going right. And the fact that capitalism
is the syncretic um is seen by critics of capitalism
is part of why it's so hard to fucking kill.
It's like i'll change, yeah, it'll yeah, take me back,

take me. That is what actual socialists are saying at
the time. But that's not what capitalists see. So like
the the capitalists who are opposed to FDR see him
as the literal embodiment of Linen coming to burn their
mansions and molest their expensive pets, right like that. They
don't they don't see this as like, oh, he's keeping
the system that makes us all rich alive. They see

this as he's coming to tear it all down. People
are dying in the streets as much. Actually, I brought
a letter from this time period because I wanted to
join in. Uh and this was written by a millionaire
at I think it was. It just went oh yeah, sorry, oh,

you gotta stop this. Yeah that was the last Yeah
that that that is an adequate summary of what these
people are saying at the time. And a number of
these dudes, titans of industry, guys who owned companies like
General Motors UM form an organization called the National Association
of Manufacturers in eight. Yeah, you know that, you know,

Nam the can the candyman. He shared He shared it.
He shared it. Welch, one of the founders of the
John Birch Society. Yeah. Now, the the n a M
had been right in the thick of those Gilded Age
recessions we talked about early, Like that's why this comes
out in eight there's all these collapses and the left
is rising. You know, you have these these huge armed

strikes and like militant workers organizing and these people are like,
well if they're if they're organizing with guns to stop
people from bringing scabs and couldn't they organized with guns
to take our our stuff? You know? You know that
is that is one of the things about the organized left,
so somewhat is like that, that obsession with policing each other,

of being like, no, this is how we protest. We
only do it this way. And then if you go
back in history and it's like they broke windows and
threw grenades into places, they lit everything on five, there
was not a lot of discussion about like, well, now
you're making it violent. There was this discussion of like
build the best grenades to throw at our boxes, the
nitpicking arguments about how many males should go through the back. Yeah, yeah,

it was. It was a different time. And so these
these these businessmen get very scared of this different time
and they create the n a M. As a way
to kind of like organize um and develop a strategy
to protect themselves. Um. So, you know, Roosevelt comes to power,
and initially they're kind of they have a bunch of
different things that they're that they're scared about. They're also

really worried about like domestic industry getting flooded by foreign
imports and stuff. But when Roosevelt comes to power and
they actually see this big socialist legislation get past UM,
they start flipping out and thinking like, uh, you know. Also,
the thing that's happening this period is the U s
s R has just formed, So they're they're both seeing, Okay,
we had these armed workers in the streets. They're getting

more organized, they're in the halls of power in Washington,
and they're gonna make They're gonna do what the USSR did,
and soon we'll all be you know, executed, and our
stuff will be taken from us UM. So in a
M pivots to opposing the New Deal. UM. Their primary
contention was that FDR sought to provide people with a
sense of security and a safety net, and this was
a bad idea. This is literally what they're writing at

the time. Giving people a safety that is a bad
idea because if people aren't scared of dying in the street,
they won't work as hard and the free market system
will fail. I mean, this is absolutely true. I've seen
a lot of trapeze acts and they work harder when
there is not a net. Yeah, a lot of lazy
trapeze artists. Walmart will have fewer employees. If no one

is going to starve to death if they don't work there,
you might not be able to run Walmart the current
way that it's run. People don't dance quite as fast
as they do when you're shooting at their feet. Okay,
here's my plan. All right, we give everybody a social
safety net, but you have to go through a gauntlet
of like spiked things that are moving and like spinning totally.

You have to climb the aggro crack. That's the way
to get to work every day. I I actually think
that would be dope. What if what if the build
back better plant We're like, I'm gonna say a trillion
dollars for more aggro cracks. What if it was just
a better salary for mica O Malley. It goes to
Mico Malley. Something that's got to go to mo Yeah,

I'm sorry, I'm sorry. That's that's what's going to split
the left, Dan is how much money goes to mor Malley.
It's going to end like fucking U of Madrid in
nineteen thirty eight, people shooting each other in the street,
banners with mos face shin guns. Insistance on paying mow

equally it's woke is M run amuck? God fantastic. You
know what else's woke is M run Amuck? Dan and
Jordan's what's up the products and services that support this podcast?
Oh unless it's the Washington in State Highway Patrol. M h. Yeah,

they advertising, they do, they do from time to time.
Jesus Christ, you're doing ads for cops. I know we're
we're not doing them. They just come on the fucking feed.
We're we're working on it. But we did an episode
on the Washington State Highway Patrol recently, which they advertised
on It was like what happened with Bloomberg? That's that's

meta as hell. I don't think I mean, they're wasting
their money. I don't think anyone who listens to any
of these shows is going to become a Washington State
Highway Patrol officer. Probably not. Probably. It's like it's like
kelsee like Epoch Times ads on left wing videos I
see on on YouTube. It's very weird. Yeah, it's it's
it's funny. Um, but you know, here's fucking Probably I

do that because Sophie has to believe it. Ah, we're back.
Did you guys know that Blue Apron is the only
food box company that runs an island off the coast
of Indonesia where you can hunt children for sport. Did
they buy Little St. James? They did, They did, They

bought Little St. James. But they haven't said. They haven't
got that one going yet. That's down in the Bahamas.
The only the only person I want to hunt is
John Leguizamoh. And that's because The Pest was my favorite
movie in the nineties. So that's just how it's got
to go for me. I mean, I don't think any
court would convict you. But that's a separate discussion. So
we're we're talking, we're talking, uh this period where you've

got you know, the n A M who is terrified
that who starts advancing the idea that if you build
a safety net, the free market system will collapse because
people won't be scared enough of dying in the street,
Which is an argument you here today. I actually just
this week, Representative John Rose, Republican from Tennessee, use this
argument to explain why healthcare was not a right, why

we shouldn't have universal healthcare. Uh quote, if you really
want to be free, it can't be a right. We
have to have an incentive for people to struggle to
support themselves, like this is this is when that lion
is invented. Right. That was not always a justification that,
like if we try to do a safety net, people
won't work hard. Um that that's in They're coming up

with this stuff in this period. You know, it's the
it's cool, it's it's a great scam. It is a
really great scam to just look people dead in the
eye and say live or die, buddy, you should go
to work today. Yeah, starving, then this whole system falls apart.
It's a little insulting to in terms of like saying
that people who do things don't have any reason to

do it other than like pure survival. Yeah, I think
a lot of jobs people would do it if if
money didn't exist in the same form. I think most
of the people who were doctors would be doctors if
you know, we lived under a different system. I think
all of the people who are artists would still be artists,
except for maybe Pitbull. I mean, I had to cut
Dan's Achilles towns to make sure that he stayed here,

but other twill I'm always in this chair exactly. Yes,
just basically what you have to do with chickens to
keep them in the room and keep them laying those
eggs with Dan's wings. He doesn't right start another podcast.
Can't have me going to Austin again. The thing too,

that it seems weird like this seems to imply that
the people in the National Association of Manufacturers are only
doing that too. They wouldn't be doing this stuff if
they didn't fear for their lives. No, I mean, you
are you are right that that is kind of they're
projecting a bit that like, yeah, literally, everything you do
is because you're afraid of winding up like the people

you are fighting to keep struggling. Um So, the resistance
of these manufacturers to the rising tide of socialism was
it first disorganized and somewhat incoherent, you know, Like I
said this, the argument line they advanced is still around today.
But that's not something that you're going to immediately get
a lot of people on board with and order for
that idea to become universal on the right, Um, you

have to lay some groundwork. Um. So they decided to
do that in a couple of different ways. They're trying
sort of a shotgun approach. They have like a propaganda
campaign dedicated to fighting anti business sentiment. But people don't
like big businesses ever, really, like even even today people
on the right, nobody likes big corporations. So that's not
an easy thing to do. They do the most important

thing to do on the right is demonized giant corporations
while at the same time being like, but you need
to make sure they have all of your money. Yeah,
I mean like make sure of that. Yeah. And and
that's that's kind of why like they that that doesn't
prove to be a very productive line for them either. Um.
When when they first get their real idea of like
what's actually going to work to advance these ideas in

American society is when the Red Scare hits in the
late nineteen thirties, UM and Texas Democratic Congressman Martin D's
founds the House Committee on Un American Activities. Um, the
media starts going nuts with like there's you know, Red's
coming here trying to do what USS are in the
United States, all these dangerous anarchists and communists and whatnot. Um,
they do in Vain, Iraq, And that these these business

businessmen realized that like, well, no, the thing to do.
It's not to fight anti business sentiment. Um that's not
going to be productive, and it's not going to be
to tell people they need to struggle. It's it's you
have to cloak this and fighting communism because people are
scared of what they're hearing in the U. S. S R.
And that's gonna work a hell of a lot better
than anything else. Um So. D S publishes a book

in nineteen forty called The Trojan Horse, in which he
claims communism is a religion that has replaced religious faith
with materialism. DS warns that communists were waging a psychological
invasion to conquer the American way of life, and some
of the brighter guys that the n A M see
this and as the opportunity that it is. D's isn't
saying anything about free enterprise here, but he's tying socialism

in as opposed to religion, which obviously in the U. S.
S R. At least it was. You know that they
like they outlaw it. You know, you have a lot
of there should have been like the far right sending
up fireworks the moment he put that to paper of
just like this is the birth of a new girl lah.
They get out there. It's like the telegram scene at
the Independence Day. They're like, this is how, this is

how to do it. You know, essentially a compound noun
at this point, godless communism. And some of these guys
at the n A M who are not dumb men,
recognize that what needs to be done. He's got the
germ of a good idea. But it's not enough to
just say the Communists are going to replace religion. You
also have to tie capitalism to religion. You have to

make Christianity intimately a part of capitalism. And that that's
how you fucking do this ship right, that's the groundwork
you need to get people to believe all the ship.
You need them to believe if you want to keep
all of the money in your hands. You know, if
you want people to believe something fake, go to the
people who already believe fake ship. I I do apologize

to our our our number one listener, the Pope. Uh
do not speak for everyone here, um, big big fan
of the pope. Um not not the new one, the
one who was a Nazi. Um. I don't like that
he was a Nazi or that he covered up a
lot of sexual harassment. But he's actually he's incredible at

ping pong, and UM, you know, I I appreciate, I
appreciate that Sophie is just letting this happen. Unbelievable. I
can't believe that, Sophie. I've just been sitting here. I
I probably would have jumped him, but I was trying
to come up with AD's nuts. Yeah, it's impossible to
not think about that. Yeah, I was thinking, can you

believe how influential when they come up with this idea
that like, Okay, we need to we need to tar
the left as anti religion, um, and we need to
we need to make people associate capitalism and Christianity together.
When this idea is like born, it's a pretty long

like it's not an easy thing to do. Right. For
one thing, FDR is in office and he is famous
for being the first president to basically give religious sermons
as speeches. Um. A lot of his speeches he's quoting
from the Bible constantly. The National Bible Press actually publishes
a chart where people can like find on a regular
basis and it'll like give his speeches and it'll list

the Bible quotes that he's like real paraphrasing or talking
about or like Scot Card. Yeah, yeah, for because because
he's basically like a preacher, like that's how FDR talks
to the nation. Um and FDR, FDR is really for
for all of the you know arguments that are very valid,
you know about him essentially stopping a socialist revolution by

introducing reform. He also really ties um Christianity to anti
capitalism in his speeches, and one FDR states quote, the
money changers have fled their high seat in the temple
of our civilization when he's talking about the new deal,
So he's he's in a MS plan to like reverse
this is there they are they are dealing with, Like,

this is not an easy thing right today. It's obviously
the left is godless and the right is Christian and capitalist.
That is Um. They have a long road to get there.
At this point. You gotta basically climb the grog. Yeah,
they gotta climate aggrow crag. That's exactly right. That the metaphor,
you have to hit each button along the way. You
have to hit the combined capitalism with Jesus button. You

have to hit that. Yeah a lot, what needs do
a lot? And they get delayed by a little thing
you guys might have heard of. You haven't really covered
it in your show, so I'm not sure if you're
aware of it. Um. World War two, Um, which what? Yeah? Yeah,
there was a second one. It was not as interesting.
It was not as I gotta go it was. It
was less less Aliens and more Temple of Doom, you know.

Um yeah, unfortunate. You hate to see, you know, a
sequel that just doesn't live up to the original. But
sophomore slump. World War three, though, that's gonna be that's
gonna be our that's gonna be our Alien three, you know, finally,
finally the good one. You don't you don't like the
Last Crusade. I like the last Actually, the Last Crusade

is maybe my favorite of them. Yeah, Sean Connery and
Harrison Ford. What man, Sean Connery and Harrison Ford. Stamp
He's got the stamp in the library and at the
same time he gets this and that's just great comedy.
That's just great comedy, man, it is. It's a good,
good movie. So let's hope our World War three is
less Alien three and more Indiana Jones and the Last

Crusade Fingers crossed everybody um our World War three that
may have started by the time this episode drops. That's
World War four according to some people, because of the
Cold Cold War, some of the people who are maybe
involved in the story you're telling. My argument is, if
if the Germans don't it started, it's not a world war.

You know, if it's not from Champagne and France, it's not.
It's just a sparkling global conflict. I just say, all
of your laughs about the next world war pretty scary. Yeah,
terrified if you realize we're terrified. It's like World War

two kicks off. And this is bad for the n
a M. Both because a lot of the guys involved
in the n a M were part of the America
First Movement and did not want to go to war
because they were big fans of Nazi Germany. But it's
also I thought it was because they had spent too
much time in nam bom Na. We got it. We're
just all right. Everybody's got the same, which is quiet

and I want more. I can't help you out when
you gell boom and then want to high five, I
just can't help you. So during the war years, in
a M S propaganda, they can't really like execute this
plan that they've started to cobble together because the US
is allied with the U S s R. So fearmongering
against the Reds does not work as well when you

are shipping them as many tanks as you can possibly
put together, you know, when you are handing as many
guns as you have to the Soviets because they're the
only thing standing between the world and a tide of Nazis,
it's hard to get people scared about the commist you know. Yeah, well, yeah,
so they are. They are kind of planning and thinking

during this period, though, And one of the things that
some of these people start to realize is that if
they're really going to push this agenda through, if they're
going to make Christianity and capitalism be the same thing
in the minds and millions of Americans, it's not gonna
a bunch of CEOs aren't going to make that happen.
They need an inside man. They need a popular, charismatic
preacher who knows how to talk to other ministers and

to congregations. They need an active partner who is a
religious leader. And they find this partner in James W.
Fifield Jr. Now I want to quote from a write
up in Politico by Kevin Cruz, who's done a lot
of writing on this subject. Quote. In December of nineteen forty,
more than five thousand industrialists from across the nation made
their yearly pilgrimage to the Waldorf Hisstoria Hotel in New

York City, convening for the annual meeting of the National
Association of Manufacturers. The program promised an impressive slate of
speakers Titans at General Motors, General Electric, Standard, Oil, Mutual
Life and Sears Roebuck, popular lecturers such as etiquette expert
Emily Post and renowned philosopher historian Will Durant, even FBI
Director j Edgar Hoover. Tucked Away near the end of
the program was a name few new initially, Reverend James W.

Fifield Jr. Handsome, tall, and somewhat gangly, the forty one
year old Congregationalist minister bore more than a passing resemblance
to Jimmy Stewart. Addressing the crowd of business leaders, Fifield
delivered a passionate defense of the American system of free
enterprise and a withering assault on its perceived enemies and
Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, decrying the new deals incroach upon
our American freedoms. The minister listed a litany of sins

committed by the Democratic government, ranging from its devaluation of
currency to its disrespect for the Supreme Court, singling out
the regulatory state for condemnation. He'd announced the multitude of
federal agencies attached to the executive branch and warned ominously
of the menace of autocracy approaching through bureaucracy. Yeah. I
have to assume Emily Post had some notes on the

I think she was on board. Might not have been
great etiquette. We might not want to look too much
into what Emily Post believed. It's wild that you could have,
like someone who is an etiquette expert whose name is
still recognizable, you know it is it is going around
now being an expert. Yeah. Is that what an influencer

is ultimately? Yeah? No, no, well, okay, Emily Post was
shot and I missed, and that's fine. That's fine. She
was an early influencer. I mean she was kind of
like Marie Condo um of being polite in dinner parties,
try and not saying go fund yourself. Yeah, So Fifield's

primary argument to this, this huge room full of the
richest people in the world, was that capital could only
save itself from the menaces of unionism and social democracy
by tying itself in religion in opposition to Soviet socialism,
which was godless. He was adamant that the clergy would
be big businesses strongest ally in this quest, and his
speech was met with thunderous applause. So they this guy

is saying exactly what these dudes have been thinking, um.
And he's also seems to be proposing a way forward
in this plan. Fifield had been beating this particular drum
for a while. He'd gotten his start in Michigan. His
big brother was a really popular preacher who gained prominence
in that area for taking over a struggling church and
turning it profitable. And Fifield did the same thing he himself,

and it was so successful that he got a gig
at the first Congregational Church in Los Angeles in nineteen
thirty five. And I want to quote now from a
paper by Eckert Toy from the University of Washington on
five fields background. When Fifield became minister of the church,
he realized it had incurred a substantial debt of seven
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which is like thirteen million
dollars today. To address the church's debt, he launched a

campaign to raise the profile of the church both locally
and nationally, and he instituted an adult education series called
College of Life, which employed fourteen professors from universities throughout California.
He began broadcasting five radio programs and initiated a speaker
series Club. His public relations talent soon paid off, and
the church was out of debt by nineteen forty two.
So this is the guy who creates the first megachurch,

like and he does this in a very interesting way
because that's his first sermon was called Sinners in the
Hand of a Wealthy God. That's that basically, Yes, that's
almost exactly what he does because he's he's in l A.
This is a church in an affluent part of the city.
That's like the modern equivalent of thirteen million dollars in
debt um And how were you going to make thirteen

million dollars heading a church? Become l Ron Hubbard, Yeah, basically,
become an influencer, create a sort of cult but instead
of you being the cult leader, you create a cult
where you convince all of these rich people that they
are godly by virtue of being rich, and then they'll
give you enough money that you can get your church

out of debt. Right do you think do you think
he's the guy? I don't know if you've heard this,
but for for I, I'm more than passingly familiar with Christianity.
But when I grew up the explanation of the like,
you can't get a it's harder for a rich man
to get into heaven than a camel through than an
eye of the needle. Somebody had this pitch of like
the eye of the needle was actually like this really

narrow that they've now built totally. I actually I just
looked into this recently and that's nonsense. No, of course
it's nonsense. But what I'm wondering, if this is the
dude who fucking pulled that ship off, you know what
I'm saying? Yeah, I think so. I don't think it
goes by that far. But yeah, that's that exists in

multiple of the Synoptic Gospels, and the word that's used
is different, So it wouldn't be like referring to a
specific gait, it would have to be no concept. It
was very clear. But I think I think that that
came about after this period that we're okay that that
I think that specifically does. But the general thing of

figuring out like saying that no, no, no, no, despite
what everyone says about Jesus, he actually thinks if you're
a good person, you get rich. What everyone Jesus was
violent once in his life, and it was against bankers. No, no, no.
Every time he said he likes swords, there was that

sell your stuff and get a sword. If you read
the Good Gospels. At one point in time, he murders
a kid just for getting in his way. So you're gettingnostic, now,
that's that's the ship. He killed dragons. Jesus was ultimate superhero,
just murdering kids left and right. Um, that's the back. Yeah,

just fucking with that is that is the kind of
Christianity I could get on board with. Um. So Fifield
gets his church out of debt by appealing to the
wealthiest people in Los Angeles, um and and finding ways
to show them that like Christian doctrine actually says, you

don't need to give money to the poor, sources will
often describe him as politically conservative but doctrinally liberal, and
what that means is that like he was right, he
was very conservative with his politics, but he was liberal
in his interpretation of the Bible because it let him
justify his politics. It was loose. He's a fun guy. Um,

so he tweaked the Bible a lot. Cruise notes that
he quote dismissed the many passages in the New Testament
about wealth and poverty and instead of shared the elite
that their worldly success was a sign of God's blessings.
This is a huge hit he I mean again, he
makes thirteen million dollars in the space of a few years,
like four years, to get his church out of debt.
He is very good at this. If you've if you've

ever read Douglas Adams is UH. I think the fifth
book in the UH there was there's a character where
Ford Prefect goes to this planet and there is a
sex worker who explains that her job is telling rich
people that it's okay to be rich. And that is
exactly what that guy's job is. That that is literally

the whole thing he's doing, the whole thing. It's just
it's okay for you to be rich and funk with everybody. Yeah. Good, Yeah,
you need to give your money up in taxes and
keep telling you I'll find I'll cut the Bible apart
to make you feel like a decent person. It's actually
charity to get me out of this debt. Yeah, it's

like diametrically opposed to the slave Bible. Is his Bible
is the rich person Bible. And then they cut out
the different ship for the other. Yeah yeah yeah, so
he he um he this is wildly successful. Again. He
makes grand in like four years, you know, in donations,
which is a buckload of money. So he decides, I

gotta take the ship on the road, you know, like
I could this works this well in l A. I
could make this work everywhere. He found an organization. Yeah,
he's gonna go on tour, yes, exactly. He founds an
organization called Spiritual Mobilization. Their mission was to quote arouse
the ministers of all denominations in America to check the

trends towards pagan statism, which would destroy our basic freedom
and spiritual ideals. Pagan statism is the term you will
hear a lot. It is the first cultural Marxism um.
It's directly in that line of lineage to like pagan
statis um um or two to where we are now,
Like pagan statism is kind of like the first boogie
man term they come up with. I can see why

they upgraded to. Yeah yeah, because throw pagan in front
of anything and it sounds cool as hell. You know
that's true, that's true. When I hear pagan statis m
I'm thinking of like Romans getting like drunk and and
running around the city carrying a bull on their shoulders
and ships. Yeah hell yeah. Um. So the specific way

Fifield justified Christian capitalism was to argue that God had
imbued people with certain rights and responsibilities. We had the
right to private property and the freedom of choice, including
the choice to be poor. So if the government were
to take private property from the rich and give it
to the poor, that is a violation of God's law.
The church then has a duty to defend against this.

So you're not being political by being a capitalist church.
You're actually following God's law by being a capitalist church.
So not only did Christianity invent capitalism, they also created
sovereign citizens. Yeah yeah, So the ideals Fifield was exploring

eventually formed into an i theology called Christian libertarianism, which
is most accurately summed up as letting rich people do
whatever they want and saying that's what God wants. Um,
you know, that's the that's the idea. I've seen that. Yeah,
you you You kind of spend every waking day of
your life in wading through the waters of Christian libertarianism.

Elon Musk weren't great, God wouldn't have given him billions
of dollars, right, that makes sense. That's what everyone says
about Elon Musk. One of five fields major supporters was
Herbert Hoover, the president who had gloriously led the United
States into the jaws of the Great Depression and then
spent the rest of his life angry that people had
voted for FDR when they'd had a chance to get
him out of office in nineteen thirty two with living

in a tent. What's wrong with that? Is Hoover's like,
why don't you like your tents? Come on, it's a
good tent. Uh. FDR won that election four hundred and
seventy two electoral votes to fifty nine. So who Herbert
Hoover is like? Licking his wounds. You know, he feels
pretty honorree about this. What were those you can look

you can look it up. There were a couple of states,
you know, the bad ones, Nuts Nuts five bucks as
Tennessee is on there. Yeah, throw that out. It was
like there was a it was a union hot bet
at the time. Though, I don't know Texas that's true, Texas, yeah,
Texas probably. I don't know. Maybe we're getting it wrong
and someone's going to get like up at us on Reddit.

I have no idea who those who those states were.
Um Hoover wanted to use five Field, so they start
up like a conversation and he and he sees five
Field as like a representative of Protestant Christianity that he
can use to snipe at FDR. In e. N eight,
he writes to five Field, if it would be possible
for the church to make a non biased investigation into

the morals of this government, they would find everywhere the
old negation of Christianity that the end justifies the means.
So he's like, I want you to look into, you know,
this government as an anti Christian government because FDR gave
people social security. Um Fifield follows her Hoover's advice. Later
that year, he writes and sends out a tract to

more than seventy thousand clergymen in the United States, and
in the tract he says basically what Hoover had said,
and he begs his fellow ministers to follow him in
opposing FDRs socialist policies. Um Fifield wrote, quote, we ministers
have special opportunities and special responsibilities in these critical days.
America's movement towards dictatorship has already eliminated checks and balances,

and it's concentration of powers in our chief executive, which
you know, Jesus said, the meek shall inherit the earth.
But after the current rich people are already dead and
their money is given away, right, well it actually we'll
see a thousand or two thousand, three thousand years or so,
the meek will totally inherit the ears. Meek, you stay

meek though, otherwise you're not going to inherit the earth. Yeah,
you got. You do have to get be a little
fair here when people are talking about, you know, FDR
being a dictator. Obviously these folks are looney. But also
if you are ever going to accuse the president of
trying to be a dictator. FDR is a pretty good
one because, like he does have a lot of power

that he has centralized in himself totally. I mean, on
the other hand, he had a lot of folks to
fight against who are there on you know, there was
a lot going on in that period. It's he definitely
was the president at one of the toughest times to
be president. Um, did a lot right, did a lot wrong?
Uh Yeah, So Hoover, after five Field sends this letter

out to seventy thousand clergy, Hoover notes like sends a
letter back, like thanking him and telling him how much
he appreciates it. Um. But all of this stuff, it's clear,
like sending out letters to ministers about this ship isn't
enough to catch on in any in any meaningful way.
Like five Field may have sent this letter out, but
that doesn't mean people are going to start preaching to
their congregations that the FDR administer ration is evil. For

one thing, he's the most popular president there's ever been,
you know, like there is that people. He got elected
an awful lot we like eating. Yeah, this guy is
very popular, and so a lot of these ministers say
to five Field basically like, I'm not gonna do this
like everyone. He the only reason my my, my congregation

haven't starved to death as this guy. What are you
talking about? Um? Yeah. And of course there's also the
fact that you know, churches are tax exempt, but there's
ways they can lose that by lobbying directly politically. Um,
there were, there were, there were. He's got a lot
to overcome and he writes this letter. Hoover likes it,
but it doesn't do anything. So Fifield on his own,

you know, he's he's accomplished a lot in his little church.
He can make rich people feel good. He's not going
to change Christianity all on his own, but the N
A M has the resources that might allow him to
do this. And kind of on their own, they're not
going to be able to make any of this make inroads.
But together they can be an oreo of fucking up
democracy forever, like a vultron of ships, like a ship voltron.

So in nineteen forty six, with the Cold War in
its early days in World War Two behind us in
a ms PR department commissions a poll from the Opinion
Research Corporation to determine which groups did the most to
shape public opinion in the United States. Ministers topped the list.
And I'm going to quote now from a doctoral thesis
by Carmen Celestini of the University of Waterloo. Quote inn

AM interpreted this finding is being potentially harmful to the
American people because, according to n a M, ministers tended
to be on the very left, both socially and fiscally.
And AM members decided to take on the responsibility to
halt a broader American swing to the left that was
led by the clergy and influenced by the social gospel
of the yearly twentieth century, Robert Wilson, the board chairman
of the Standard Oil Company at the time, wrote, or last,

the practical minded men of business take the time and
trouble to point out the facts of history and the
serious flaws and these widely touted old world systems that
have failed so miserably. In practice, church leaders are likely
to be swung to the left. They will hear only
one side of the questions from left wingers who do
take the time to talk with them, and on them,
you lost that impression. I felt like I felt like

he's alive. I felt like trying to look. Do you
know who my favorite person on SNL was Jimmy Fallon.
That was my favorite one because he never did a
good job. I do. I did, like you know, the
beautiful thing about Jimmy Fallon is that it's it's proof
that you don't need to be funny or talented, or

good at talking, or good at anything, or even legally
a human being to be a popular television host. It's
gotta be nice. So the the n a M launches
a bunch of PR campaigns kind of based on Wilson's
idea of trying to explain the facts of history, you know,

to Americans to enter this leftward swing of the clergy um.
And this is like a full court press. By nineteen
forty nine, there's print, radio, TV ads, billboards all aimed
at mobilizing Americans against socialism and for Christianity. So Lestini continues, quote.
An initiative was led by Charles E. Wilson, General Electrics
President under the Religion in America An American Life r

i a L Committee, which was a religious public relations
campaign sponsored by corporations, religious leaders, and the American government.
As his storian, John P. Herzog described in this successful
ten year campaign used celebrity endorsements to convince Americans that
religious participation was a normative act. So they're kind of trying.
They're trying to like make the case in this that

like socialism is anti religion, and religion isn't Christianity is
inherently American. They're not yet saying capitalism is inherently Christian,
but they are. This whole effort is sponsored by like
General Electric and ship right, So you can see this
stuff starting to get tied together. Um to lay the groundwork, groundwork,
that's what they're trying to do here. And in nineteen

thirty four in a M spent thirty six thousand dollars
on PR. In ninety seven it was eight hundred thousand dollars,
and it goes up from there. So they are they
are like massively increasing their PR budgets to put this
propaganda out there. One technique they pioneered, they're the first
people to do this is they had a speakers bureau
that would get speakers into public schools to talk to
kids about Christianity and against socialism. They also were the

first to build a press service that would provide editorial
articles for newspapers to publish. Um just like, well here's
like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, they're they're they're the first
people doing that, and they're this originally eventually reaches more
than seventy five hundred newspapers in the United States that
they put editorials, and this is a massive propaganda. Like

I I understand that this is obvious and it's fundamentally
a little naive, but like, that's not fair. It's not
it's not it's not like it seems like it seems
like it should be easier to convince people like of
of my positions on things just by telling them that,

because it seems so obvious that it's just like, that's
not fair, Like even if you disagree with my ultimate ends,
just like, let's make that fair, just one thing. Let's
try and make one thing fair. So it sounds like
you don't like freedom. It sounds like you don't like
the people's ability to speak, freedom of a couple of
dudes to play seventy and the only Freedom and Oppression Band.

But what is that other than speech? That sounds like
you don't like the First Amendment. You know what, I
probably would have been a bad Supreme Court. I think
we found the Pinko get Hoover over there. You know
who else will purge the reds from our mists that

actually exclusively purchased children from their parents homes and puts
them on their island off the coast of Indonesia where
you can hunt them for sport. And coming soon to
Little St. James, Coming soon to Little St. James. It's
going to be the euro Disney of hunting children for sport.
Uh ads, We're back. So as we've talked about, this

propaganda campaign that the n a m. Carries out has
reaches a shipload of people, but it also doesn't do
the trick. It is not as successful as they wanted
to be because it's really crude and obvious propaganda. And
I'm gonna quote from Kevin Cruz again here. Ultimately, though
industry self promotion was seen as precisely that Jim Farley,
chairman of the Democratic Party, joked that another group involved

in this public relations campaign, the American Liberty League, really
should have been called the American Cellophane League. First, it's
a DuPont product, Farley equipped. And second, you can see
right through it. Even President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took his shots.
It has been said that there are two great commandments.
One is to love God and the other is to
love your neighbor. He noted soon after the Liberty League's creation,

the two particular tenants of this new organization say you
should love God and then forget your neighbor. Off the record,
he joked that the name of the God they worshiped
seemed to be property, which is absolutely I mean, you
could have you could have put the nail on the
with the molock, but you know, you still you still
crushed it. I'm still proud of him. So this effort
that the n A M is like, and the the

part of the n A M that kind of like
Wilson is leading. Um, they're trying to support public religion,
make the act of religion anti socialist um, and tie
that into capitalism, just by the fact that it's sponsored
by corporations. Right. It's kind of a subtle thing compared
to what Fifield is doing. Reverend Fifield wants to make

Christianity capitalist and celebrate wealth as the evidence that God
loves you. Um. And that is like, you know, there's
that chunk of the N A M. That's kind of
going about it in a different way. But there's increasingly
in the forties a group of guys in the n
A M who start to see what five Fields doing
and they're like, no, no, no, no, no, this is
the way. This is what's gonna fucking work. And the

two men who are leading that charge at the n
a M are Jasper E. Crane, who is a DuPont executive,
and J. Howard Pew. Now does that name sound familiar
to you, guys? P p doesn't mean anything. There's that
per Listen, listen. If you expect me to know that ship,

you're way off. Now you've heard like the pu Pole period.
Yeah well yeah, well yeah yeah, that that's that's who
this is. What do you think he came up with
church legitimately thought he came up with churchmanship? I know,
you think that's a joke. Everyone was just stand in
the centuries before named them that. It had to be

a guy named p. No. Pew is. He was the
namesake of the Pew Research Center. He and his brother
are He and his brother are both rich business guys,
and they start an organization called the Pew Charitable Trust
UM and in nineteen six the Pew Charitable Trust starts.
So before the Pew Research Center is the Pew Research Center.
It's owned by the Times Mirror Company, and it's doing

polling through there. And in the Pew Charitable Trust starts
funding the Times Mirror companies research Center and it gets
renamed the Pew Research Center. So that's where the name
of the Pew Polling does. He does not found Pew Polling,
but it is founded like in his name, by the
organization that he helped to found. So J. Howard Pew
was the founder of sun Oil Company and one of

the wealthiest men on the planet Sunoco, right, Like that's
that's this dude, um, and he has all of the
money ever, Yeah it was. It's literally him in a
du pot right like it is talking about the oligarchy
good times. Definitely. These guys had strong opinions on yacht racing. Um,

no questions. How are we going to fix the World
Series this year? That's what m Yeah yeah um. So J.
Howard Pew dedicated a lot of his time earlier in
his life to supporting the Republican Party. He backed a
slew of anti New Deal organizations with names like Sentinels
of the Republic, the Crusaders, and the Independent Coalition of

American Women. When he founded his J. Howard Pew Freedom Trust,
he stated that its mission was to warn Americans about socialism,
welfare state, is m Marxism, fascism, and any other for
like forms of government intervention, to equate the American people
with the values of the free market, the dangers of inflation,
the need for a stable monetary standard. And again Pew

like all these other guys, these are like America first types.
But then fascism. You can't support fascism because about half
a million Americans die fighting it. So facis Marxism are
the same same thing, ignoring the twenty million dead communists.
What are you gonna complaine? Same thing? Um. Yeah, And

obviously fascism only ever gets to power with the buy
in of the wealthy. But you know, that's a story
for another day, and a story we told a couple
of years ago. Yeah, I was gonna say, that's a
story for literally every story you tell. Yeah, that's just
a story for that's just the story. So hughes first
big attempt to culture jam his beliefs about capitalism into

mainstream religion came through his work with an organization called
the Layman's Council for the National Council of Churches. The
n c C is like this big national church organization UM.
And his goal was not to put politics in the
n c C. First. He just wanted to push them
to not be political, because he thought the clergy was
so left wing that you could never like turn them right.

So the best you can do is get them to
not talk about politics. And he eventually gave the n
c C up as hopelessly liberal. And when he reported
back to his n a M colleagues about the fact that, like, hey,
we're not gonna get We're not gonna at these leftist
ministers to stop talking about socialism, his buddy Jasper Crane
agrees that, like the n c C is a lost cause. Now.

Crane had made his millions in plastics, and like Pew,
he spent them backing a variety of far right causes,
including a newspaper he called The Free Man. He was
heavily involved in Princeton's theological yeah, and he kept up
a bracing correspondence with different pastors. When Pew came to
him complaining about the n c C, he wrote, quote,

this nation under God was the slogan of the National
Council of Churches when it was organized, and I have
always felt that it was an incomplete quotation that has
been improperly used in some quarters. What Lincoln said was
this nation, under God shall have a new birth of freedom.
That has sounded magnificent, for liberty comes from God, and
freedom it's environment is maintained by the state. The United
States of America dedicated to freedom affected the separation of

church and state. But that in no way through over
the doctrine that this nation is under God's governance. So
you see why they're one under God. To he added
to things right, because under God, to them means God
wants you to be free. Freedom is property. So by
saying this nation is under God, we are saying this
nation has to be dedicated to the preservation of property rights.
That's the argument he's making. It's like an entire speech

is just like shut down to just like I feel
like you guys are incapable of critical thought, and they're
all like you we yeah, totally you were. Yeah, you're
the smartest dude I've ever met. Yeah, um oh boy.
And Dan, we are coming up to a quote you're
gonna like, um, So, I think that might be the
first time I've come across an idea that is now

very normative in right wing circles, that like, separation of
state doesn't mean this isn't a Christian country. Um. And
to Crane into Pew, Christianity and capitalism, we're hand in glove.
They very much are in agreement with five Field about
this and Crane and Pew exchange letters that we have,
And in one of these letters, Crane writes that the
United States was presently mired quote with ensuing bewilderment and terror,

mounting crime, juvenile delinquency, sin, suffering, and sorrow. As the
different manifestations of socialism have spread across the world communism, fascism,
national socialism, interventionalism, Fabian socialism, the New Deal, the welfare state,
the danger becomes a cute civil civilization with liberty and
human dignity seems doomed. List five more things I do love.

We got a Fabian socialism. You're all about Fabian socialism, Dan,
I'm all about it. I mean, I guess Alex yells
about it a bit. Yeah, I learned about it from
watching you and talking about Alex, do you sound like
you're talking to like dad, Like I'm doing these drugs
watching from watching so Pew and Crane, you know, this

is a dark hour for them there there they convinced
civilization is doomed because they're they're rich, are being taxed
and it could have been a great comedy duo in Britain.
Pew and Yeah, Pew and Crane, I would watch the
ship it out? Is that the King and Buckingham Palace
a fife. Yeah, Hey they call him Dr Pepper because

he drinks a lot of soda. That would have been
that would have been a better world. Um. So yeah,
they they decide after this thing with the n c
C fails and they see like the propaganda that their
buddies in the n a M. Coming up with just
does not seem to be sticking the way they wanted to,
they decide to invest in Reverend fifield Um. Now, Pugh
was well aware of five Field's work, and while he

while he admired the Christian libertarianism that Fifield supported, he
was really cynical about the hands off approach that Fifield
took to actually spreading his ideology. These like letters that
he's sending ministers. Fifield mainly just like Shotgun to essays
and arguments out to ministers that he had on his
mailing list, But he believed in leaving the details of
what they should do up to the individual ministers. He

didn't want to actually tell people what to do. And
Pugh wrote about this quote, I am frank to confess
that if Dr Fifield has developed a concrete program and
knows exactly where he is going and what he expects
to accomplish, that conception has never become clearly defined in
my mind. So he's kind of critical about this guy.
But Pugh was savvy enough to realize that in a MS,
propaganda has failed. One of his colleagues in the organization

reported in quote of the approximately thirty preachers with whom
I have thus spar talked, I have yet to find
one who was unqualifiedly impressed. One of the men put
it most typically for the rest when he said, the
careful preparation and framework for the meetings to which we
are brought to is too apparent. We cannot help but
see that it is expertly designed propaganda, and that there
must be big money behind it. We easily become suspicious,

So like, what you're doing is obvious. So alright, alright,
bail on the ministers. Now we gotta go for the kids. Okay,
they're not smart enough to cut through our bullshit, so
let's convince that they're their children to support capitalists after
the kids. Yeah, that's the plan. I also I also
like the idea that there's that that realization of like
this propaganda is too good. Yeah, no one's gonna fall

for it. It's so obviously well funded. It's really shamefully
obvious Twitter account. Yeah, and it's one of these things.
You know, what these guys are doing is very self
serving obviously, and it's it's very cynical, and it's easy
to believe that they're kind of like doing it um cynically.

But I don't. I don't. I think these guys are believers.
I think they really believe what they are saying about
Christianity and capitalism. I don't think they're doing this as
sort of like a cold uh act of culture jamming.
I think they're they are trying to get their sincere
beliefs out into the mainstream. Feels generous, Yeah, I let me.

I'm gonna read a letter to you that Crane wrote
to Wilbert Leroux, a prominent Presbyterian, in ninety seven about
spiritual mobilization five Fields group, because it gives you an
insight and how Crane's thinking about things. They spiritual mobilization
have simply stood for liberty of man as a son
of God, created as a free being in the image
of God. Now, the insistence on liberty is a fundamental

principle for mankind, maybe termed controversial because it is a
revolutionary concept, so is Christianity. Liberty is being attacked and
called lots of things which it is not by the
fellow travelers and even by many who lack understanding of
the truth and indulgent idolatry of the state, a pagan philosophy.
So that that's that's he's he's making like a pretty
nuanced theological argument that liberty is property. Supporting property is

a revolutionary concept because it means overthrowing the state. But
you have to overthrow the state as a Christian because
the state is a pagan philosophy. It is a it
is an idol that's anti God. Like that's what this
I think he believes what he's saying. Hmmm, that is
a question of I mean, people believed a lot of

crazy ship. Yeah, I mean that doesn't make it is
the question like are these millionaires trying to like, uh
like exploit capitalism. Are they doing it cynically or are
they doing it because that's what they believe about? It
is like a question of cynicism. Yeah, I mean I
think it gets to the ultimate like stupid v evil continuum.

You know, like, yeah, of course you're stupid, But where
on the evil continuum side are you if you're capable
of like analyzing how evil your own actions are? Yeah,
do you know what I'm saying? Yeah? Yeah, And that
is Yeah, that is the question. Um. And obviously I
don't I don't purport to have an absolute answer to that,
but I kind of feel like these guys were believers,

uh and I want to I don't know. I feel like,
if you get a million dollars, the only thing you
believe in his million dollars, you know what I'm saying. Also,
you're gonna yeah, well yeah, that's kind of what I like,
your your core belief is, I would like more than
a million dollars and then everything that spirals out from there. Yeah.

But also if you're if the belief system you live
in is Christianity, your core belief isn't just I want
to have more money. Your core belief might be Jesus
wants me to have more money. You know, like that's true,
that it's it's a debatable point. Um. I'm going to
read a quote by Eckert Toy writing for Pacific Northwest
Quarterly again kind of about is this is this Eckhart

to hurt Toy Toy Jr. Actually so far still an
inspirational person. In nineteen seven five, Field and Spiritual Mobilization
planned a program called Freedom in Peril. The plan was
to send out the manuscripts of more than fifteen thousand
copies of sermons on the subject of freedom. Ministers across
the country were to preach them in October that year.

All they had to sign was a return postcard indicating
their willingness to preach on the subject of freedom. There
were built in incentive incentives in the plan. If they
preached one of the sermons on a specific date, ministers
will be entered into a contest for substantial prizes. In
a telegram dated October ninety seven five, Field wrote to
Crane that twenty five thousand pastors from a wide spectrum
of denominations had preached his sermon on the Perils to

Freedom as a part of spiritual mobilization's crusade. So now
we have five fields take their money. And he has
shifted his tactics. Now he is trying. He is specifically
trying to get people to do a thing. He's not
just trying to convince them of something. He's saying, Hey,
I want you to write. I want you to write
like a sermon. I've like or I've written a sermon. Um,

I want you to UM, I want you to give
this to your your If you do, you'll be entered
into a lottery. And yeah, you can win money if
you read this sermon. And like, if you could write
a sermon, if it's the best sermon on the subject freedom,
we could like, yeah, you could. You could call it
the shameless manipulation of faith for corrupt and venal ins Um.
But Fifield also is a true believer. Um, we have

or at least I I I think, so we have
the correspondence these guys wrote out um, and Fifield feels
like he's being sincere in what he says. In he
sent this letter to Crane about their next move. I
am believing more and more that we will not win
our fight for liberty by laying the principal emphasis on
the material accomplishments of our American civilization. We must stress

the spiritual and cultural accomplishments. The greater justice and the
increase in the solution of social problems. The results of
voluntary corporation should be set forth as against the dire
consequences of compulsion. The argument is clinched by the amazing
material wealth, the aesthetic enjoyments, and the greater opportunity for
the pursuit of happiness. I think following this line of thought,

we are in a stronger position to combat the attack
of the collectivists. Do you see what he's saying there?
I think if everybody has a microwave, there'll be a
lot happier. Yeah. If everyone has a microwave and we say, hey,
you have that microwave because of Christian libertarianism, because this
like and if you, if you back, if you if

you were to get healthcare, for example, maybe we don't
get microwaves anymore. And celebrating the possession of that microwave
is godliness. Let's let's remember Jesus's parable of the servants
and the talents, you know, like a the master gave
one servant one and said betted on this, and you

might win a microwave. And then everybody you know didn't
win a microwave. But that's what hope is. That's what
hope is, that you might might a microwave. So yeah,
by the late nineteen forties, you can see all of
the pieces for the what we've got going on now
on the Christian right, Like you can see all of
the pieces are there. They haven't quite been put together yet,

but everything's in line. And when we come back in
part two, we're going to talk about how five Field,
Pew and the other plutocrats at in a m struck
back at the collectivists like this is now they've built
this machine and it is raring to go. But you
know what else is raring to go before you get
to that. Also, Hoover mostly was Pennsylvania. Sorry, I looked
that up during one of the breaks, and I wanted

to make sure people didn't tweet it. Okay, that's what
that's that's what he won. Pennsylvania was most god damn
at knowledge Underscore Fight. Don't tweet anything about Pennsylvania. Goddamnit.
Just get out ahead of that fucking Hoover. Uh. Speaking

of Herbert Hoover, he's a big fan of your podcast,
Knowledge Fight, which people can find at knowledge fight dot
com or wherever podcasts are in existence. Yeah, it's some
of those places. Yeah, I've heard of that. We're not
on some things though. We're not on a lot of
things like Happiness not Scher. We're not on the impersonate

Dan and Jordan's and downloading all of their episodes and
upload them on Stitcher. Do it. It'll take um, all right,
Dan Jordan, any other plugs you want to you want
to throw out? No, I think we're good. You got
a novel Jordan's, Oh I do. But that was that

was a while back. People have been uninterested in that.
I mean, you know, I'm working on another one. I'll
tell people about that when it's done, all right, all right,
Well that's gonna do it for us here at behind
the Bastards, Um until Thursday when we'll come back and
I'll make you guys sadder than you are right now. Hey,

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