A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deception

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A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deception

Postby admin » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:07 am

A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deception.
by Louis Menand
The New Yorker
March 23, 2015 Issue



Participants in the 1957 World Youth Festival, in Moscow, which was sponsored by left-wing student organizations. The C.I.A. infiltrated the festival. Photograph by Robert Carl Cohen

Consider the following strategic dilemma. You are a superpower that hopes to convert other nations to principles you hold vital—these might be individual liberty, private property, and free markets. There is another superpower out there that is hoping to do the same thing, to persuade other nations to embrace its principles—for example, social equality, state ownership, and centralized planning.

One day, you realize that this rival superpower has been busy creating international organizations and staging world congresses and festivals in the name of peace and democracy, and inviting people from other nations to participate.

These organizations and festivals are fronts. Their membership, their programs, and the political positions they enthusiastically adopt are all clandestinely orchestrated by the rival superpower, which is pumping large amounts of money into them. What’s more, in your view that rival superpower is not a peace-loving democracy at all. It’s a totalitarian regime. Yet its slogans attract unwary writers and artists, intellectuals, students, organized labor—people who believe in world peace and international coöperation.

You believe in those things, too. But you think that the slogans are being used to advance your rival’s interests, one of which is to rob you of your superpowers. What do you do? Doing nothing is not an option. Remember, you are a superpower.

The obvious response is to create your own international organizations and sponsor your own world congresses and festivals, and use them to promote your interests. Sadly, however, you cannot do this in a public and transparent way. For it happens that your citizens are not all that taken with the ideals of world peace and international coöperation, and they would not be pleased to see you spend their tax dollars to support the kind of people who advance that agenda. They would prefer to see their tax dollars spent on defense. In fact, they would prefer for there to be no tax dollars at all.

There is also the problem that one of your principles as a superpower is the belief that governments should not interfere with the activities of voluntary associations, such as writers’ congresses and student groups. You don’t believe in fronts. This is a key point of difference between you and your rival superpower. So your hands appear to be tied.

Unless you could do it all in secret. Suppose you directed taxpayer dollars through back channels, disguised as gifts from private benefactors and foundations, to organizations that operated internationally, and that reached out to groups in other countries in the name of the principles you believe in. You would want to be sure that the people running those organizations either didn’t know where the money was coming from or could be trusted to keep it a secret. You might need to pull strings occasionally to get the right people in charge and the right positions enthusiastically adopted.

Wouldn’t that be like creating fronts?
Sort of. But here’s the thing: fundamentally, everyone would be on the same page. They just might not be knowingly on the same page. No one would be forced to do or say anything. After you succeeded in stripping your rival of its superpowers, there would no longer be a need for secrecy. Until that day arrived, however, national security might demand this tiny bite out of the principle of transparency. The only people who could object would be people who were already on the wrong side.

After the Second World War, our superpower solved this dilemma in exactly this way and on exactly this line of reasoning. From the more or less official start of the Cold War, Harry Truman’s speech to Congress in March, 1947, announcing his policy “to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”—that is, Communist aggression—the United States created fronts and secretly infiltrated existing nongovernmental organizations in order to advance American interests abroad.

Almost exactly twenty years after Truman’s speech, in February, 1967, the government’s cover was spectacularly blown by a college dropout. The dropout’s name was Michael Wood, and the operation he exposed was the C.I.A.’s covert use of an organization called the National Student Association. The revelation had a cascading effect, and helped to mark the end of the first phase of the Cold War.

The C.I.A. had its eye on the N.S.A. from the start—both were born in 1947, a few months after Truman’s speech—and the relationship gained steadily in strength and intimacy until the day the secret became public. Its story is now told in detail for the first time, in Karen M. Paget’s “Patriotic Betrayal” (Yale).

“Patriotic Betrayal” is an amazing piece of research. Paget has industriously combed the archives and interviewed many of the surviving players, including former C.I.A. officials. And Paget herself is part of the story she tells. In 1965, her husband, a student-body president at the University of Colorado, became an officer in the N.S.A., and, as a spouse, she was informed of the covert relationship by two former N.S.A. officials who had become C.I.A. agents.

She was sworn to secrecy. The penalty for violating the agreement was twenty years. Paget describes herself back then as “an apolitical twenty-year-old from a small town in Iowa,” and she says that she was terrified. Fifty years later, she is still angry. She has channelled her outrage into as scrupulous an investigation of the covert relationship as the circumstances allow.

One circumstance is the fact that a good deal of material is classified. Paget was able to fish up bits and pieces using the Freedom of Information Act. But most of the iceberg is still underwater, and will probably remain there. So there is sometimes an aura of vagueness around who was calling the tune and why.

The vagueness was also there by design.
It was baked into the covert relationship. There was a lot of winking and nodding; that’s what helped people believe they were on the same page. But it means that much of the history of what passed between the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. is irrecoverable. Still, “Patriotic Betrayal” is a conscientious attempt to take the full measure of an iconic piece of Cold War subterfuge.

It’s a dense book. Readers will be glad for the three-page guide in the back to abbreviations and acronyms. (There are also nearly ninety pages of endnotes, with more references accessible online.) Organizationally, the N.S.A.-C.I.A. affair was quite complex. There were a number of quasi-independent parts—another reason, besides the secrecy, that it was hard to see what was really going on.

The parts included the World Federation of Democratic Youth, or W.F.D.Y., a Soviet front organization created right after the war; the International Union of Students, or I.U.S., formed at a world congress of students in Prague in 1946, with a Czech Communist elected president; and the N.S.A. itself, which was founded at a student convention in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1947, in order to represent the United States in the I.U.S.

The Madison convention also created an N.S.A. subcommittee on international affairs and gave it authority to deal with international issues. The key move was the separation of the main N.S.A. office, which was in Madison, from the international division, which was housed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the Cambridge branch of the N.S.A. that received most of the C.I.A.’s funding and did most of the C.I.A.’s bidding. Madison was kept out of the loop.

In 1948, there was a Communist coup in Czechoslovakia, a crucial event in the hardening of postwar relations. When the I.U.S. refused to condemn the coup, the N.S.A. withdrew and set about forming a rival group, the International Student Conference, or I.S.C. These two organizations, the I.U.S. and the I.S.C., became superpower proxies in the looking-glass war that was the Cold War. Through the N.S.A., the C.I.A. tried to orchestrate what happened in the I.S.C., just as the I.U.S. was responsive to the demands of the Kremlin.

The N.S.A. was never a virgin. Paget reveals that, even before Prague, American students were subject to surveillance and scheming by three groups of grownups: the State Department, the F.B.I., and the Catholic Church. It can be forgotten how influential a role the Church’s highly disciplined anti-Communism played in Cold War affairs. The Holy Father took a personal interest in the danger of Communist infiltration of youth organizations, including the N.S.A.; the bishops kept a close eye on Catholic student leaders; and Catholics usually voted as a bloc in N.S.A. and I.S.C. meetings.

The Pope’s anti-Communism was too rigid for the C.I.A. The agency also had little use for J. Edgar Hoover, with whom the Church collaborated in investigating students’ backgrounds, or for Senator Joseph McCarthy and his hunt for Communists in the government. Agency politics—or, rather, the politics of agency policies—were farther to the left.

The N.S.A., for example, was a forthrightly liberal organization. Civil rights was part of the agenda early on. The N.S.A.’s second president (1948-49), James (Ted) Harris, was an African-American (and a Catholic). Its fourth president (1950-51) was the future civil-rights and antiwar activist Allard Lowenstein (not a Catholic). The N.S.A. helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, a principal organizer of the march from Selma that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, in 1965. And the N.S.A.’s politics were typical of most of the organizations in the C.I.A.’s covert network: they were socially progressive, anti-colonialist, and sometimes even socialist.

One customary explanation is that the people who ran covert operations at the C.I.A. from 1947 to 1967 were not right-wing jingoists. They were liberal anti-Communists, veterans of Roosevelt’s Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the C.I.A. They were good guys who despised the Soviet Union as a traitor to progressive principles.

If people held this belief about the C.I.A., the agency exploited it. C.I.A. officials used to tell N.S.A. students who were in the know—the agency’s term for them was “witting” (or “witty”)—that, while the State Department supported authoritarian dictatorships, the C.I.A. supported foreign students who were involved in democratic resistance and national liberation movements. This was supposed to make the N.S.A. students feel that they had bargained with the right devil.

The students were being misled. The C.I.A. is part of the executive branch. Its director reports to the President; its operations and expenditures are subject to congressional oversight. The director of the C.I.A. during the nineteen-fifties, Allen Dulles, was the Secretary of State’s brother. The notion that the C.I.A. was running its own foreign policy, or that it was a “rogue elephant,” as one senator later called it, is absurd.

After the revelations of the nineteen-sixties and seventies, when many of the C.I.A.’s undercover operations were exposed, people began talking about the agency as though it were some kind of underground cell, an organization with no accountability, up to its own dirty tricks. But a report on the C.I.A.’s covert operations made immediately after the 1967 revelations concluded that the agency “did not act on its own initiative.” In 1976, a more critical congressional report, which was never officially released, stated, “All evidence in hand suggests that the CIA, far from being out of control, has been utterly responsive to the instructions of the President and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.”

It’s true that the C.I.A. did not always fully inform Administrations about what it was up to, but the agency had reason to believe that there were some things Administrations preferred not to know. Deniability is a crucial ingredient of covert operations. The C.I.A. used the N.S.A. to further the policies of the American government. If it had been found doing anything contrary to the wishes of the President, its plug would have been pulled very fast.

So what, exactly, was the N.S.A. useful for? This is where things get murky. According to Paget’s account, the N.S.A. was apparently not used for what the C.I.A. called “political warfare.” The agency did create a front organization called the Independent Research Service (inventing titles that are as meaningless as possible is part of the spy game) for the purpose of recruiting American students to disrupt Soviet-controlled World Youth Festivals in Vienna, in 1959, and Helsinki, in 1962. The person in charge was the future feminist Gloria Steinem, who knew perfectly well where the money was coming from and never regretted taking it. “If I had a choice I would do it again,” she later said.

“What is friendship if not constant amateurish psychoanalysis?”

But that operation did not involve the N.S.A. Nor was the N.S.A. used only to promote American principles abroad, although that was part of the reason for funding it. The C.I.A. embedded agents in the N.S.A., and it worked behind the scenes to insure that pliable students got elected to run the association and that the desired policy positions got adopted. It took the extra precaution of starting up a covertly funded summer program, called the International Student Relations Seminar, and using it to groom future N.S.A. leaders. A number of N.S.A. members who went through the seminar went on to have careers at the agency.

Essentially, the N.S.A. functioned as a glove that concealed the American government’s hand and allowed it to do business with people who would never knowingly have done business with the American government. These people thought that they were dealing with a student group that was independent of the government. They had no idea that the N.S.A. was a front.

And what did this permit the C.I.A. to do? First, the N.S.A. was used as a cutout. The C.I.A. funnelled financial support to favored foreign-student groups by means of grants ostensibly coming from the N.S.A. Second, the N.S.A. was a recruitment device. It enabled the agency to identify potential intelligence sources among student leaders in other countries. And, third, N.S.A. members who attended international conferences filed written reports or were debriefed afterward, giving the C.I.A. a huge database of information.

The C.I.A. did not buy into the adage that the student leader of today is the student leader of tomorrow. It calculated that the heads of national student organizations were likely some day to become important figures in their countries’ governments. When that happened (and it often did), the American government had a file on them. “Over time, witting staff reported on thousands of foreign students’ political tendencies, personality traits, and future aspirations,” Paget writes. “They submitted detailed analyses of political dynamics within foreign student unions and countries.”

This may seem benign enough, but there was a problem. It had to do with the “State Department bad guys, C.I.A. good guys” routine. The State Department deals with nations with which the United States has diplomatic relations. Having diplomatic relations with a foreign government prohibits you from negotiating with, or acknowledging the legitimacy of, groups committed to that government’s overthrow. This is why it’s convenient to have an agency that operates clandestinely. The C.I.A. could cultivate relations with opposition groups secretly, and this permitted the American government to work both sides of the street.

Paget thinks that, in some cases, the information the C.I.A. gathered about students who were political opponents of a regime may have ended up in the hands of that regime, which could then have used the information to arrest and execute its enemies. She suspects that this may have happened in several countries where the American government was involved in regime change, including Iraq, Iran, and South Africa.

But it’s all speculation. There are no smoking guns in Paget’s book—no specific cases in which the C.I.A. made students’ names available to a foreign government. And the reason, of course, has to do with the classified material. No intelligence agency will ever release documents that reveal the identities of people with whom it had contacts. That information is at the very bottom of the iceberg.

It’s odd that the relationship remained secret as long as it did. The N.S.A. was one of many organizations covertly funded by the C.I.A. Over the life of those relationships, hundreds of people must have been in the know. But until Michael Wood spilled the beans no one ever spoke up publicly. This is a testament to something: in the case of the N.S.A., the naïveté of the students; the arrogance of the grownups (at the C.I.A., N.S.A. students were referred to as “the kiddies”); the power of anti-Communism to trump every scruple.

One thing it is not a testament to is the C.I.A.’s tradecraft. The evidence of the agency’s covert funding system was hidden in plain sight. The world got a peek in 1964, when a House of Representatives subcommittee ran an investigation into the tax-exempt status of philanthropic foundations. The committee had trouble getting information from the I.R.S. about a certain New York-based charitable foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

The chair of the committee, a Texas congressman named Wright Patman, surmised that the reason the I.R.S. was not coöperating was that the C.I.A. was preventing it. Patman didn’t appreciate the disrespect; in retaliation, he made public a list of eight foundations that, between 1961 and 1963, had given almost a million dollars to the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

“Patman attacks ‘secret’ c.i.a. link: Says Agency Gave Money to Private Group Acting as Its Sub-Rosa ‘Conduit’” was the headline in the Times, which published the names of the eight “conduit” foundations. After a closed-door meeting with representatives from the C.I.A. and the I.R.S., Patman emerged to announce that if there was a C.I.A. connection it was no longer of interest to his subcommittee, and that he was dropping the matter.

But the cat was partway out of the bag. As their transparently invented names suggest—the Gotham Foundation, the Borden Trust, the Andrew Hamilton Fund, and so on—these eight foundations were C.I.A. cutouts. The agency had approached wealthy people it knew to be sympathetic and asked them to head dummy foundations. Those people were then put on a masthead, a name for the foundation was invented, sometimes an office was rented to provide an address, and a conduit came into being. The members of the phony boards even held annual meetings, at which “business” was discussed, expenses paid by the agency.

The dummy foundations were used to channel money to groups the agency wanted to support. Sometimes the C.I.A. passed funds through the dummies to legitimate charitable foundations, like the Kaplan Fund, which in turn passed it along to groups like the National Student Association. Sometimes the cutouts existed solely to write checks to the C.I.A.’s beneficiaries.

The C.I.A.’s name did not appear anywhere. The giveaway was the dollar-for-dollar equivalence of the amount received from the dummy and the amount granted to the target group. If the expenses side of Kaplan’s books showed a two-hundred-thousand-dollar grant to the N.S.A., the income side would show a two-hundred-thousand-dollar donation from one of the agency’s dummy foundations.

The Times published an editorial saying that “the practice ought to stop. . . . The use of Government intelligence funds to get foundations to underwrite institutions, organizations, magazines and newspapers abroad is a distortion of C.I.A.’s mission on gathering and evaluating information.” In 1966, the paper ran a series of articles on the C.I.A.’s spying operations, in which it revealed that the C.I.A. was funding the Congress for Cultural Freedom and its many European-based magazines. The paper also reported that the agency had funded some American academics when they travelled abroad.
The C.I.A. seems to have done nothing in response to these stories, and nothing came of them.

Then Michael Wood made his appearance. Wood was from Glendale, California. In 1964, he had dropped out of Pomona College to become a civil-rights organizer in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. His work there attracted the attention of the National Student Association, and it offered him a job.

By then, the N.S.A. represented about a million students from more than four hundred American colleges. It had just moved its offices (with help from the C.I.A.) to Washington, D.C., to adjoining four-story town houses near Dupont Circle. Wood was soon promoted to the position of director of development—fund-raising.

He discovered something strange. No one at the N.S.A. seemed terribly interested in raising money. Grant proposals were perfunctory, and Wood learned that the president of the N.S.A., Philip Sherburne, the man who had hired him, was negotiating for donations on his own. Wood confronted Sherburne and told him that unless he was given control of all fund-raising activities he would have to resign. Sherburne invited him to lunch. This was in March, 1966.

Sherburne had grown up on a dairy farm in Oregon. Wood liked him. They met in a restaurant on Connecticut Avenue called the Sirloin and Saddle, where Sherburne violated his secrecy agreement and told Wood about the C.I.A. He told Wood that he was desperately trying to terminate the relationship (which was true), and asked him to keep their conversation secret.

Wood knew that if he revealed the contents of the conversation Sherburne could go to jail. But he hated the thought that the C.I.A. had financial leverage over the N.S.A. That fall, Wood was fired from the N.S.A. Paget reports that he was not getting along with people at the office. But he had already decided to go public, and had begun surreptitiously making copies of N.S.A. financial records.

Paget doesn’t explain how Wood contacted the press. The story is that he met Marc Stone, a public-relations man who happened to be the brother of the investigative journalist I.F. Stone, and who represented a West Coast magazine called Ramparts. Though only four years old, Ramparts had become a slick muckraker with a New Left slant and a rapidly growing circulation under its young editor, Warren Hinckle.

The magazine began looking into Wood’s story, which seemed hard to believe and impossible to confirm. But its researchers discovered records showing that some of the eight dummy foundations named by Patman two years before were donors to the N.S.A. The C.I.A. had not even bothered to change their names. By February, 1967, the magazine had a story ready to go.

The C.I.A. got wind of the magazine’s investigation. It gathered past presidents of the N.S.A. and scheduled a news conference at which the presidents were to admit receiving C.I.A. money but swear that the C.I.A. had never influenced N.S.A. policy. They thought this would defuse any story that the magazine eventually published.

Ramparts, in turn, got wind of the C.I.A.’s plan to scoop its scoop. Hinckle bought ads in the New York Times and the Washington Post. These ran on February 14th, Valentine’s Day; they announced, “In its March issue, Ramparts magazine will document how the CIA has infiltrated and subverted the world of American student leaders.” Placing the ad tipped off the Times and the Post, and their reporters called the C.I.A. for comment. And so, on the same day the Ramparts ads appeared, both newspapers ran articles on the C.I.A.’s covert funding of the N.S.A.

This time, the story caught fire. Wood went on ABC’s “Issues and Answers,” where he was asked whether he thought that he had destroyed the C.I.A. as an effective instrument in the Cold War. CBS News broadcast an hour-long program, hosted by Mike Wallace, called “In the Pay of the CIA.” The major news magazines ran cover stories.

Once the N.S.A. thread had been pulled, the whole tapestry of C.I.A. covert operations started to unravel. Reporters discovered that the money trail wound through some eighteen dummy foundations and twenty-one legitimate foundations. The Los Angeles Times found more than fifty grantees. The agency gave money to the National Council of Churches, the United Auto Workers, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Marketing Institute, the American Friends of the Middle East, the Pan American Foundation, the American Newspaper Guild, the National Education Association, the Communications Workers of America, and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Outside Russia.

Some of the funded groups were creatures of the C.I.A. Radio Free Europe and the Free Russia Fund, which regularly appealed to the public for contributions, had actually been created by the government and were funded by the C.I.A. Other organizations had C.I.A. agents planted in them. A few groups had no idea about the real source of the funds they lived on. An organization headed by the socialist Norman Thomas got money from the C.I.A.

The Ramparts story effectively killed the covert-funding system. As Hinckle put it in his delightful memoir, “If You Have a Lemon, Make Lemonade,” “It is a rare thing in this business when you say bang and somebody says I’m dead.” More than that, the revelations meant that the whole covert-funding operation had backfired. An effort to curry the allegiance of foreign élites ended up alienating them almost completely. After 1967, every American venture in international cultural relations, official or unofficial, became suspect. The cultural Cold War came apart.

Paget struggles at the end of her book to find an upside to the story she tells, some case in which C.I.A. involvement in the N.S.A. helped the United States win the Cold War. The record, she concludes, “is mixed at best and frequently dismal.” There is no evidence, for example, that the N.S.A. ever persuaded anyone to renounce Communism. The most that can be said, she thinks, is that the Soviet Union did not get to have the field of international student affairs all to itself. There was another front in the game.

Louis Menand has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2001. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2016.
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

Postby admin » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:55 am

Churches, Angered by Disclosures, Seek to Bar Further C.I.A. Use of Missionaries in Intelligence Work
by Kenneth A. Briggs
January 29, 1976



American churches and mission boards, reacting indignantly to admissions last fall by the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency that overseas missionaries have been regularly used in information gathering, are mounting a drive to stop such practices through governmental action and improved internal safeguards.

In separate letters to Senator Mark O. Hatfield, Republican of Oregon, who is sponsoring legislation to prohibit all involvement between religious workers and intelligence operations, the Director of Central Intelligence, William E. Colby, on Sept. 23, and Philip W. Buchen, White House Counsel, on Nov. 5, conceded that the use of missionaries had been standard procedure. Both letters contended that such cooperation violated neither the law nor the integrity of the missionaries.

After public disclosure of the letters on Dec. 12, church officials, already disturbed by earlier reports of widespread covert contacts between Government agents and religious workers, began to assess the meaning of what was now shown to have been official policy.

The disclosures have touched off expressions of shock and outrage from some of the nation's largest churches. There have been demands for an immediate cessation of all intelligence work among missionaries and for changes in Government standards.

Religious groups ranging from evangelicals to main‐line denominations have protested, both about the condoning of such behavior and as a reaffirmation of the belief that the missionary's role is to serve God rather than nation.

Concerns of Churches

Among the chief concerns of the churches are the safety of missionaries, who more than ever may be suspected of C.I.A. connections, the sanctity of the separation of church and state and the morality of using persons as unwitting accomplices.

Open cooperation between intelligence operatives and missionaries has been uncovered, but knowledgeable observers agree that such cases are rare exceptions. They say that most missionaries have resisted such working arrangements.

Further, John Marks, a former State Department intelligence analyst whose book, “The C.I.A. and the Cult of Intelligence,” helped expose such missionary involvement, contends that it has become “tougher because missionaries tend to have a greater social conscience and are not the kind of people who can be easily approached.”

There are currently 35,000 Protestants and 7,200 Roman Catholics serving abroad in a variety of missionary capacities ranging from preaching to poultry farming. Together they constitute what one Latin‐American church authority, Gary MacEoin, calls “the most important United States presence around the world,” privy to grass‐roots knowledge of a vast assortment of cultures and people.

Often they have worked for years to win the trust of local people. The recent disclosures could jeopardize their credibility and, in some cases, such as that of three missionaries currently held by Mozambique on charges of having C.I.A. ties, their lives.

Colby Discounts Contacts

Mr. Colby, first in his letter to Senator Hatfield, then in a Jan, 16 letter to the leadership of the National Council of Churches asserted that there was no need for a change in the C.I.A. standards.

Rebutting the charge by the national council's executive committee that there had been “extensive contact” between his organization and religious personnel, Mr. Colby said, “In fact, C.I.A. has very few such contacts.”

He added that “such relationships are purely voluntary and in no way reflect upon the integrity or the mission of the clergy involved.”

Mr. Buchen's Nov. 5 letter to Senator Hatfield said, by contrast, that “many clergymen” had been engaged in intelligence work and that “the President does not feel it would be wise at present to prohibit the C.I.A. from having any connection with the clergy.”

Dr. Eugene Stockwell, head of the Division of Overseas Ministries for the national council, noted the apparent discrepancy between the Buchen and Colby letters and added, “In any case, often or seldom, we want it entirely stopped.”

Another letter from Mr. Buchen, this one to the United Church of Christ, one of the most aggressive of the protesting churches, suggests greater flexibility at the White House. After assuring the Rev. Dr. David Stowe, head of the denomination's world ministries, that Mr. Ford fully supports the separation of church and state, Mr. Buchen wrote that “full consideration will be given to the important question of whether any regulations are needed to guide the C.I.A. in its future relations with clergymen and missionaries.”

Several church officials prefer an Executive order from Mr. Ford to the more tedious process of enacting legislation. Others oppose the Hatfield bill on the ground that forbidding all contact between church people and intelligence agents might infringe on the right of any citizen to enter into voluntary associations.

Self‐Policing Planned

While some churches believe accounts of attempts to use missionaries have caused unnecessary alarm, other bodies are preparing to take severe measures against any individual known to be providing intelligence information.

Among them is the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, which declared on Dec. 18 that it would be “inconsistent” to retain Personnel known to be “intentionally engaged” in intelligence work.

“Missionaries of the United Methodist Church are servants of Jesus Christ, and under the separation of church and state are not agents of any government,” the board's statement said.

In the absence of a change in Federal law or policy, and in the growing conviction that an effective solution must include stiff self‐regulation by churches, mission boards are weighing adoption of codes of ethics and intensified instruction to missionaries on how to avoid potential entanglements.

The Rev. Bryan Hehir, associate secretary for justice and peace of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, has called upon Roman Catholic missionary orders to draw up their own sets of “self‐denying ordinances” that would preclude intelligence work.

A more immediate need, many church officials say, is to protect the interests of missionaries exposed to possible dangers because of the disclosure of C.I.A. links.

Missionaries ‘Under Cloud’

“The whole missionary movement has been put under a cloud,” Dr. Stowe says. “We have to make a total disclaimer, not because in every instance the contacts were wrong but because it's just bad for the missionary enterprise to have anything to do with the C.I.A.”

Mr. Marks believes that massive appeal from churches would greatly enhance the possibility of a change in Federal policy.

Support for a policy revision has come from such diverse bodies as the evangelically based World Vision International, which has accepted funds from the Agency for International Development, Southern Baptists, the Church of the Nazarene, the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S., the Mennonite Central Committee, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Though church officials generally agree that the scale of efforts by the C.I.A. to involve missionaries has declined in recent years, for a variety of factors, they also say that the possibility of C.I.A. overtures continues to keep them on the alert.

Three weeks ago, for example, the Rev. Donald MacInnis, director of the Midwest China Study Resource Center in St. Paul, who is a former Methodist missionary to China, received a phone call from man describing himself as an employee of the C.I.A.

“He said he'd learned about our center,” said Mr. MacInnis, who described it as a project sponsored by 15 educational and religious institutions, “and he thought it would he a good idea to find out what we [piece missing]. He said it might he to our mutual advantage.”

Mr. MacInnis said he had asked the man if he knew of the controversy over the C.I.A.'s use of missionaries and that the man had responded affirmatively. Mr. MacInnis said that he had said that any contact between himself and the man was out of the question.

“He said, all right,” Mr. MacInnis recalled, “but that they were in the phone book if ever wanted to talk.”

A version of this archives appears in print on January 29, 1976, on Page 15 of the New York edition with the headline: Churches, Angered by Disclosures, Seek to Bar Further C.I.A. Use of Missionaries in Intelligence Work. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

Postby admin » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:00 am

Iran: Church Retreat Centre Confiscated for "Being Funded by CIA"
by World Watch Monitor
December 12, 2016



The Iranian government has assumed control of a church-owned retreat centre, accusing the church of being funded by the US government and the CIA.

The government said the retreat centre in Karaj, a city just west of Tehran, belonged to an organisation “funded by the US through the CIA spy agency to infiltrate the Islamic world, and particularly Iran, by conducting evangelistic activities”.

Article 18, a London-based NGO, says the move represents a “renewed phase” in the government’s crackdown on Protestant churches, “with intensifying efforts to confiscate remaining properties [that] belong to Evangelical churches”.

This is “the latest action in an intensified campaign by the regime aimed at curbing the growth of Christianity in Iran, particularly among former Muslims,” Article 18 reports. “Over the last few years, the Iranian government has begun taking possession of remaining properties belonging to official Protestant churches.”

“The ultimate goal of the campaign,” former church leaders told Article 18, “is to render Protestant and Evangelical churches, with more than 630 million adherents worldwide, as an outsider cult with no official recognition in Iran.”

Article 18’s Mansour Borji told the BBC yesterday (11 Dec.) that, after the government linked the Church with the CIA, “every church leader, every church member [will be] quite frightened because of the prospects of prison and being labelled as collaborators with the ‘enemy’”.

Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians are “protected religious minorities” under Iran’s constitution, but Article 18 says Iran’s “constitutional theocracy discriminates against its citizens on the basis of religion”. Traditionally, Iran’s Christian minority was comprised of ethnic minorities of Armenian and Assyrian descent, but Article 18 says an increase in Iranian nationals converting to Christianity has been seen as a “threat to the nation’s security”.

The retreat centre has been owned by the Council of Assemblies of God (AoG) Churches in Iran since the early 1970s. The AoG Church in Iran was established prior to the 1979 Revolution; it is not organisationally affiliated with the AoG denomination in the US. After the Islamic Revolution, the status of Assemblies of God as a registered religious institution in Iran was re-instated.

One reason for the confiscation seems to have been a misunderstanding relating to the former name of the affiliated Central AoG Church in Tehran, which used to be known as “Philadelphia”: a name commonly used all over the Christian world, and not necessarily linked to the city in the US, or to any other appearance of the same name anywhere else in the world.

In its notice of confiscation, the Executive Headquarters of Iman’s Directive (EIKO), a government body under the direct control of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wrote: “Considering that the property belongs to the Council of Assemblies of God churches, which is a branch of Philadelphia Churches in the United States, funded by the US through the CIA spy agency … the court issues and declares the order of confiscation of the mentioned property.”

However, as Article 18 explains, “While the Central AoG Church in Tehran was formerly called ‘Philadelphia’, this alluded to the Greek word found in the New Testament meaning ‘brotherly love’.
Nevertheless the former name is reported to have been referenced consistently during interrogations. By deliberately, and erroneously, ascribing the former name of the Tehran Central Church to the US and falsely attributing the AoG’s funding to the CIA, the authorities appear to be seeking to facilitate both the seizure of property in line with the remit of the EIKO, and the possible prosecution of remaining church leaders on national security-related charges”.

In a statement, the General Superintendent of the AoG said: “The 68 million worldwide adherents of The General Council of the Assemblies of God wish to express dismay at the recent confiscation of campground and garden property from the Iran Assemblies of God. We hereby request the return of the property to its legal owner.”
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

Postby admin » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:30 am

Patman Attacks 'Secret' C.I.A. Links; Says Agency Gave Money to Private Group Acting as Its Sub Rosa ‘Conduit’
New York Times
September 1, 1964



WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 —Representative Wright Patman disclosed today that the Central Intelligence Agency had given money to a private foundation that, he said, had served as a “secret conduit” for the agency.

The Texas Democrat quoted an unidentified official of the agency as having said that the intelligence agency had had an “arrangement” with the J. M. Kaplan Fund of New York City from 1959 until some time this year.

The Internal Revenue Service, which is investigating the foundation's tax‐exempt status, confirmed that the intelligence agency had given financial support to the Kaplan Fund. But a spokesman for the service said he knew of no working arrangement between the two groups.

Mr. Patman did not elaborate on his statement that the agency had used the fund as “secret conduit.” It is known however, that the agency uses existing foundations, or occasionally creates its own, as vehicles for the gathering of intelligence.

The Congressman said he was disclosing the agency's payments to the fund because he thought he had been “trifled with” in connection with the case. The agency, following its tradition of strict secrecy, had no comment.

Mr. Patman's disclosure at a public hearing of his House Small Business subcommittee was the source of some concern and embarrassment to Internal Revenue officials attending as witnesses.

Apparently, the intelligence agency's involvement with the Kaplan Fund was a secret shared by only a few persons in official Washington.

Mitchell Rogovin, an assistant to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, said that until Aug. 10, the date of the last Patman subcommittee hearing on the subject, he was the only present employee of the service who knew of the C.I.A.‐Kaplan relationship.

Even the New York District office of the Revenue Service, which is conducting the Kaplan investigation, was not aware' of the relationship, Mr. Rogovin said.

The Revenue Service has been examining the Kaplan Fund for several years to determine whether it should be permitted to retain its tax‐exempt status. The fund has contributed money to a number of charitable and educational projects, particularly in the New York City area.

Mr. Patman's subcommittee has been reviewing the tax‐exempt status of certain foundations to see whether some of them are taking advantage of it.

Mr. Rogovin told Mr. Patman today he had informed the intelligence agency of the Revenue Service's interest in the Kaplan Fund. But he denied there was any “arrangement” among the agency, the service and the fund.

If the agency official told Mr. Patman otherwise, said Mr. Rogovin, “it was a poor choice of words.”

What seemed to bother Mr. Patman was whether the agency knew the Kaplan Fund was under the scrutiny of the Revenue Service.

He explained that he had not planned to make public a matter touching on “foreign, affairs” but indicated he had been irked by his difficulty in getting all the information he wanted about the case.

He said he had asked his Informant in the intelligence agency to tell him the months the agency had given money to the‐foundation, and which persons in the agency had selected the fund.

The agency did not provide the answers, Mr. Patman said. He then decided, he went on, that to break a confidence and make the issue public was the only way he could get meaningful information.

“I feel I have been trifled with,” he said.

Mr. Rogovin and the acting commissioner of the Revenue Service, Bertrand M. Harding, agreed to discuss confidential aspects of the case privately with Mr. Patman.

Later in the day, Mr. Rogovin and Mr. Harding met privately with Mr. Patman and representatives of the intelligence agency. Afterwards, Mr: Patman said he was convinced that “no matter of interest to the subcommittee relating to the C.I.A. existed.”

Mr. Patman charged last Aug. 10 that Mr. Kaplan had used the foundation to further' his business empire.

Mr. Kaplan, he said, “is well known in the so‐called 'takeover' business.”

“He has waged a number of battles in this field,” Mr. Patman continued. “In some of these contests, he has made use of charitable funds set up and dominated by him.”

The Revenue Service does not discuss publicly any tax case it is investigating. But Mr. Patman asked the service today to supply the addresses and tax-exempt history of eight foundations he said had contributed a total of $923,950 to the Kaplan Fund between 1961 and 1963.

The donors were listed as the Gotham Foundation, the Michigan Fund, the Andrew Hamilton Fund, the Borden Trust, the Price Fund, the Edsel Fund, the Beacon Fund and the Kentfield Fund.

A version of this archives appears in print on September 1, 1964, on Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: PATMAN ATTACKS ‘SECRET’ C.I.A. LINK; Says Agency Gave Money to Private Group Acting as Its Sub Rosa ‘Conduit’. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

Postby admin » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:26 am

World Council of Churches
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/25/19



World Council of Churches logo

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a worldwide inter-church organization founded in 1948. Its members today include the Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, most jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, the Old Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, most mainline Protestant churches (such as the Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Moravian and Reformed) and some evangelical Protestant churches (such as the Baptist and Pentecostal).[1] Notably, the Catholic Church is not a member, although it sends accredited observers to meetings.[2] The WCC arose out of the ecumenical movement and has as its basis the following statement:

The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior according to the scriptures, and therefore seek to fulfill together their common calling to the glory of the one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is a community of churches on the way to visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in worship and in common life in Christ. It seeks to advance towards this unity, as Jesus prayed for his followers, "so that the world may believe." (John 17:21) [3]

The WCC describes itself as "a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service."[4] It is based at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.[5] The organization's members include denominations which claim to collectively represent some 590 million people across the world in about 150 countries, including 520,000 local congregations served by 493,000 pastors and priests, in addition to elders, teachers, members of parish councils and others.[6]


The Ecumenical Movement met with initial successes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the Edinburgh Missionary Conference of 1910 (chaired by future WCC Honorary President John R. Mott). In 1920, the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Germanus V of Constantinople, wrote a letter "addressed 'To all the Churches of Christ, wherever they may be', urging closer co-operation among separated Christians, and suggesting a 'League of Churches', parallel to the newly founded League of Nations".[7] Church leaders agreed in 1937 to establish a World Council of Churches, based on a merger of the Faith and Order Movement (under Charles Brent of the Episcopal Church of the United States) and Life and Work Movement (under Nathan Söderblom of the Lutheran Church of Sweden) organisations.

Its official establishment was deferred with the outbreak of World War II until August 23, 1948. Delegates of 147 churches assembled in Amsterdam to merge the Faith and Order Movement and Life and Work Movement.[8] This was consolidated by a second meeting at Lund in 1950, for which the British Methodist Robert Newton Flew edited an influential volume of studies, The Nature of the Church.[9] Subsequent mergers were with the International Missionary Council in 1961 and the World Council of Christian Education, with its roots in the 18th century Sunday School movement, in 1971.

WCC member churches include most of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches; the Anglican Communion; some Old Catholic churches; and numerous Protestant churches, including some Baptists, many Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian and other Reformed, a sampling of united and independent churches, and some Pentecostal churches.

Many churches who refused to join the WCC joined together to form the World Evangelical Alliance.[10]

Delegates sent from the member churches meet every seven or eight years in an Assembly, which elects a Central Committee that governs between Assemblies. A variety of other committees and commissions answer to the Central Committee and its staff. Assemblies have been held since 1948.

The "human rights abuses in communist countries evoked grave concern among the leaders of the World Council of Churches."[11] However, historian Christopher Andrew claims that, during the Cold War, a number of important WCC representatives of the Orthodox Church in Eastern Europe had been working for the KGB, and that they influenced the policy of the WCC.
[12] From 1955 to 1958, Robert S. Bilheimer co-chaired a WCC international commission to prepare a document addressing the threat of nuclear warfare during the Cold War.[13]

At the 1961 conference, a 32-year-old Russian Orthodox Bishop named Aleksey Ridiger was sent as delegate to the assembly, and then appointed to the WCC's central committee. He was later elected as Russian patriarch in 1990 as Alexei II.[14]

The ninth assembly took place in Porto Alegre, Brazil in February 2006, under the theme "God, in your grace, transform the world".[15] During the first Assemblies, theologians Vasileios Ioannidis and Amilkas Alivizatos contributed significantly to the debates that led to the drafting of the "Toronto Statement", a foundational document which facilitated Eastern Orthodox participation in the organization and today it constitutes its ecclesiological charter.[16]

The 10th Assembly was held in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 30 October to 8 November 2013.[17]

In 2013 Dr. Agnes Abuom of Nairobi, from the Anglican Church of Kenya, was elected as moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches; she is the first woman and the first African to hold this position.[18]

Events and presidents


The World Council of Churches held 10 Assemblies to date, starting with the founding assembly in 1948:[19]

• Amsterdam, Netherlands, 22 August – 4 September 1948
• Evanston, Illinois, United States, 15–31 August 1954
• New Delhi, India, 19 November – 5 December 1961
• Uppsala, Sweden, 4–20 July 1968
• Nairobi, Kenya, 23 November – 10 December 1975
• Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 24 July – 10 August 1983
• Canberra, ACT, Australia, 7–21 February 1991[20]
• Harare, Zimbabwe, 3–14 December 1998
• Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 14–23 February 2006
• Busan, South Korea, 30 October – 8 November 2013


Presidents of the current 10th Assembly are:[21]

• Africa: The Rev. Dr. Mary-Anne Plaatjies van Huffel (Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa)
• Asia: The Rev. Dr. Chang Sang (Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea)
• Europe: Archbishop Anders Wejryd (Church of Sweden)
• Latin America and Caribbean: The Rev. Gloria Nohemy Ulloa Alvarado (Presbyterian Church in Colombia)
• North America: The Rt Revd Mark L. MacDonald (Anglican Church of Canada)
• Pacific: The Rev. Dr. Mele'ana Puloka (Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga)
• Eastern Orthodox: John X of Antioch (Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch)
• Oriental Orthodox: Karekin II (Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church)
Former presidents of the World Council of Churches include:
• Rev. Martin Niemöller, the famous Protestant anti-Nazi theologian
• T. C. Chao, Chinese theologian

General secretaries

Since the World Council of Churches was officially founded in 1948, the following men have served as general secretary:[22]

Years / Name / Churches / Nationality

1948–1966 W. A. Visser 't Hooft Reformed Churches in the Netherlands/Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, Geneva Netherlands
1966–1972 Eugene Carson Blake United Presbyterian Church (USA) United States
1972–1984 Philip A. Potter Methodist Church Dominica
1985–1992 Emilio Castro Evangelical Methodist Church of Uruguay Uruguay
1993–2003 Konrad Raiser Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) Germany
2004–2009 Samuel Kobia Methodist Church in Kenya Kenya
2010–present Olav Fykse Tveit Church of Norway Norway

Commissions and teams

There are two complementary approaches to ecumenism: dialogue and action. The Faith and Order Movement and Life and Work Movement represent these approaches.[23] These approaches are reflected in the work of the WCC in its commissions, these being:

• Echos- Commission on Youth (ages 18–30)
• Commission of the Churches on Diakonia and Development
• Commission on Education and Ecumenical Formation
• Commission of the Churches on International Affairs
• Commission on Justice, Peace and Creation
• Commission on World Mission and Evangelism
• Faith and Order Plenary Commission and the Faith and Order Standing Commission
• Joint Consultative Group with Pentecostals
• Joint Working Group WCC – Catholic Church (Vatican)
• Reference Group on the Decade to Overcome Violence
• Reference Group on Inter-Religious Relations
• Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC

Diakonia and development and international relations commissions

The WCC acts through both its member churches and other religious and social organizations to coordinate ecumenical, evangelical, and social action.

Current WCC programs include a Decade to Overcome Violence, an international campaign to combat AIDS/HIV in Africa and the Justice, Peace and Creation initiative.

Faith and Order Commission

WCC's Faith and Order Commission has been successful in working toward consensus on Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry, on the date of Easter, on the nature and purpose of the church (ecclesiology), and on ecumenical hermeneutics.


• Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry (Faith and Order Paper No. 111, the “Lima Text”; 1982)[24]
• The Churchː Towards a Common Vision (Faith and Order Paper no. 214; 2013[25]) after The Nature and Mission of the Church – A Stage on the Way to a Common Statement (Faith and Order Paper no. 198; 2005[26]) and The Nature and Purpose of the Church(Faith and Order Paper no. 181; 1998[27])
• Towards a Common Date of Easter[28]

Justice, Peace and Creation Commission

Justice, Peace and Creation has drawn many elements together with an environmental focus. Its mandate is:

To analyze and reflect on justice, peace and creation in their interrelatedness, to promote values and practices that make for a culture of peace, and to work towards a culture of solidarity with young people, women, Indigenous Peoples and racially and ethnically oppressed people.[29]

Focal issues have been globalization and the emergence of new social movements (in terms of people bonding together in the struggle for justice, peace, and the protection of creation).[30]

Attention has been given to issues around:

• economy[31]
• environment[32]
• Indigenous Peoples[33]
• peace[34]
• people with disabilities[35]
• racism[36]
• women[37]
• youth[38]

Relations with the Catholic Church

The largest Christian body, the Catholic Church, is not a member of the WCC, but has worked closely with the Council for more than three decades and sends observers to all major WCC conferences as well as to its Central Committee meetings and the Assemblies (cf. Joint Working Group).

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity also nominates 12 members to the WCC's Faith and Order Commission as full members. While not a member of the WCC, the Catholic Church is a member of some other ecumenical bodies at regional and national levels, for example, the National Council of Churches in Australia and the National Council of Christian Churches in Brazil (CONIC).

Pope Pius XI stated in 1928, that the only means by which the world Christian community was to return to faith, was to return to Roman Catholic Worship. In this regard, there was the idea that the Papacy had rejected, to a great extent, the participation of the Catholic Church within the World Council of Churches. Pius XI stated that the ‘One true Church’ was that of the Roman Catholic denomination, and therefore there was the implication that the Catholic Church was not permitted at this stage to engage with other denominations, which the Papacy considered to be irrelevant. The Catholic Church therefore did not attend the 1948 meeting of the WCC, in addition to the idea that all members of the church were barred from attending WCC conferences.

Pope St. John XXIII took a different stance however, and in 1958 he was elected as the head of the Catholic Church. Ecumenism was a new element of catholic ideology which had been permitted, which was signified to a great extent, when John XXIII met with the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher.
This was the first meeting between an Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Pope in the Vatican for 600 years. John XXIII later developed the office of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity; which symbolised a dramatic shift in support for the ecumenical movement, from the Catholic Church, led from the Vatican. 1961 saw Catholic members attend the Delhi conference of the WCC, which masked a significant shift in attitude toward the WCC from the Papacy. There was the idea in addition to this, that the Pope invited non-Catholics to attend the Vatican II council. This new approach to inter-denominational relations was marked within the Unitatis Redintegratino.

This document marked several key reforms within the Catholic approach:

I. ‘Separated brethren’ was the new term for non-catholics, as opposed to the previously used ‘heretics’

II. Both catholic and non-catholic elements are held responsible for the schism between Catholicism and the Protestant movement

III. Non-catholics are recognised to the contributions that they make to Christian belief overall

Further reforms have been enacted with regard to the nature of the Catholic Church on the world stage, for instance the 1965 union with the Patriarch of Constantinople, whereby the 1054 schism was undermined. In addition to this, Michael Ramsay, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, received an episcopal ring in 1966; a mark of union which had not been seen since prior to the reformation. Moreover, the Anglican, Roman-Catholic International Committee was additionally established as a means of promoting communication and cohesion between the two denominations. This has since marked a new level of participation of the Catholic Faith in the aforementioned ecumenical movement, and therefore is the basis for increased participation from the faith, in the WCC.

Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC

A Special Commission was set up by the eighth Harare Assembly in December 1998 to address Orthodox concerns about WCC membership and the Council's decision-making style, public statements, worship practices, and other issues. It issued its final report in 2006.[39] Specific issues that it clarified were that the WCC does not formulate doctrine, does not have authority to rule on moral issues, nor does it have any ecclesiastical authority. Such authority is entirely internal to each individual member church. It proposed that the WCC adopt a consensus method of decision making. It proposed that Orthodox members be brought in parity with non-Orthodox members. It further proposed clarification that inter-confessional prayer at WCC events is not worship, particularly "it should avoid giving the impression of being the worship of a church", and confessional and inter-confessional prayer each be specifically identified as such at WCC events. It also clarified that the so-called "Lima Liturgy" is not an interfaith eucharistic service: 'the WCC is not 'hosting' a eucharist'.

Peace journalism

The WCC is also a prominent supporter and practitioning body for Peace journalism: journalism practice that aims to avoid a value bias in favor of violence that often characterizes coverage of conflict.[40]

Spin-offs and related organizations

The ACT Alliance, bringing together over 100 church-backed relief and development organizations worldwide, was born out of the merger of ACT International (Action by Churches Together International) and ACT Development (Action by Churches Together for Development) in March 2010. Both ACT International, established in 1995, and ACT Development (2007) were created through the leadership of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The two bodies coordinated the work of agencies related to the member churches of the WCC and the Lutheran World Federation in the areas of humanitarian emergencies and poverty reduction respectively.[41]

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance was officially founded in December 2000 at a meeting convened by the WCC. There are currently 73 churches and Christian organizations that are members of the Alliance, from Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant traditions. These members, representing a combined constituency of tens of millions of people around the world, are committed to working together in public witness and action for justice on defined issues of common concern. Current campaigns are on Food and on HIV and AIDS.[42]

The Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (ECLOF) was founded in 1946 as one of the world's first international micro-credit institutions in the service of the poor. Willem Visser 't Hooft, then general secretary of the "WCC in process of formation" played an important role in founding ECLOF. It was he who sketched the prospects and challenges for the proposed institution and gave specific ideas on potential sources of funds. His inspiration and teamwork marked the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation between ECLOF and the WCC.[43]

The Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society U.A (now known as Oikocredit) was developed from discussions at the 1968 Uppsala 4th Assembly, regarding church divestment from financial institutions supporting apartheid-era South Africa and the war in Vietnam. After several years of planning, the cooperative society was founded in 1975 in the Netherlands to provide an alternative ethical investment vehicle to church institutions, by providing credit to productive enterprises serving economically disadvantaged populations. Originally organized for large institutional members of the WCC, by 1976 local congregations developed Support Associations to enable congregations as well as individuals to participate. EDCS became independent from the WCC in 1977.[44]

Ecumenical News International (ENI) was launched in 1994 as a global news service reporting on ecumenical developments and other news of the churches, and giving religious perspectives on news developments worldwide. The joint sponsors of ENI, which was based at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, are the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European Churches, which also have their headquarters at the Ecumenical Centre.[45] A shortage of funds led to the suspension of the work of ENI in 2012.[46] As of 2015 ENI remains closed.

Regional/national councils

The WCC has not sought the organic union of different Christian denominations, but it has, however, facilitated dialogue and supported local, national, and regional dialogue and cooperation.

Membership in a regional or national council does not mean that the particular group is also a member of the WCC.

• Africa – All Africa Conference of Churches[47]
• Organization of African Instituted Churches[48]
• Asia (including Australia and New Zealand) – Christian Conference of Asia (CCA),[49] Hong Kong
• National Council of Churches in Australia
• National Council of Churches in the Philippines
• Caribbean – Caribbean Conference of Churches
• Europe – Conference of European Churches,[50] Geneva, Switzerland
• Latin America – Latin American Council of Churches[51]
• Middle East – Middle East Council of Churches[52]
• North America
• Canadian Council of Churches
• National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
• Pacific – Pacific Conference of Churches,[53] Suva, Fiji


Alleged neglect of suffering church in Eastern Europe

Many historians, the U.S. State Department and former KGB officers themselves have alleged and provided corroborating evidence that the KGB's influence directly, or through lobbying by means of a front organization, the Christian Peace Conference, resulted in the WCC's failure to recognize or act on calls for help from persecuted East European Christians at the 1983 Vancouver General Assembly.[54][55]:647–8

Claims of infiltration and influence by the KGB

It is claimed the KGB has infiltrated and influenced past WCC councils and policy.[12] In 1992, Father Gleb Yakunin, a vice Chairman of a Russian parliamentary commission that investigated the activities of the KGB, citing verbatim KGB reports, claimed that its Fifth Directorate was actively involved in influencing WCC policy from 1967 to 1989.[54][56] For example, in the 1983 WCC General Assembly in Vancouver, one cited document described the presence and activities of 47 KGB agents to secure the election of an "acceptable" candidate as General Secretary.[56][57] The Mitrokhin Archive reveals more about the depth of the penetration and influence wielded by the KGB over the WCC.[55] Metropolitan Nikidim was a KGB agent, codenamed ADAMANT, who served as one of six WCC Presidents from 1975 until his death.[55]:729[58] His earlier intervention had resulted in the WCC making no comment on the invasion of Czechoslovakia.[55]:636 As a result of his influence and that of other agents, it is claimed the USSR was rarely publicly criticised.[55]:637 In 1989, copies of the KGB documents claim "the WCC executive and central committee adopted public statements (eight) and messages (three)" which corresponded to its own political direction.[55]:637 Appeals from suffering dissidents both from within the Russian Orthodox Church and Protestants were ignored in 1983.[55]:647–8 Metropolitan Aleksi Ridiger of Tallinn and Estonia was repeatedly alleged to be a KGB agent codenamed DROZDOV, who in 1988 was awarded an honorary citation for services to the KGB by its chairman.[55]:650[59][60] Despite official disavowals, The Guardian described the evidence as "compelling".[61] In 1990 he became Aleksi II, the 15th Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Upon his death in 2008, the WCC's official tribute, by its Council officers, described him as "courageous", "supportive and constructive" and the recipient of "abundant blessing", no reference was made to the allegations.[62][63]

Attitude towards Israel

The World Council of Churches has been described as taking an adversarial position toward the state of Israel.[64] It has also been claimed the council has focused particularly on activities and publications criticizing Israel in comparison with other human rights issues.[65][66] Because the WCC never opposed or had any official comments on the destruction of Jewish religious sites in the Middle East, but has constantly complained about Israel's alleged crimes towards Christian sites in Israel, Israel has pointedly ignored the WCC for 50 years and often stated that the WCC's opinions on Israel are hypocritical to the point of being bankrupt. It is similarly claimed that it downplayed appeals from Egyptian Copts about human rights abuses under Sadat and Mubarak, in order to focus on its neighbour.[64] In 2009, the Council called for an international boycott on goods produced in Israeli settlements, which it described as 'illegal, unjust' and 'incompatible with peace'.[67] In 2013, the General Secretary was reported to claim in Cairo, "We support the Palestinians. The WCC supports the Palestinians, because they are in the right."[68] The WCC's Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) has been criticised by the Board of Deputies of British Jews for promoting "an inflammatory and partisan programme at the expense of its interfaith relations".[69] The WCC secretariat was involved in preparing and helped disseminate the Kairos Palestine Document, which declares “the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God and humanity because it deprives the Palestinians of their basic human rights”, and in the view of one critic, its "authors want to see a single state".[70] On the other hand, the WCC claims "Antisemitism is sin against God and man".[71]

Opposition to Christian Zionism

Christian Zionism, which has long represented a substantial proportion of historic and contemporary Protestants,[72][73] is characterised as a view which "distort(s) the interpretation of the Word of God" and "damage(s) intra-Christian relations".[74]

In this context, what is a source of concern is that Islamic fundamentalisms are giving rise to a counter reaction of other religious fundamentalisms, the most dangerous of which is Jewish fundamentalism which exploits the Islamic fundamentalist phenomenon to justify before western societies the distasteful aberrations of Zionism in Palestine.

— WCC working paper, Lebanon, May 2013[75]

See also

• John R. Mott
• John Romanides
• Joseph Oldham
• Nathan Soderblom
• Charles Henry Brent
• Christian ecumenism
• Conference of Secretaries of World Christian Communions
• Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians
• World Summit of Religious Leaders
• Programme to Combat Racism
• Authorship of the Bible
• List of the largest Protestant bodies



• "Member list — World Council of Churches". oikoumene.org. 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
• Cross & Livingstone The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church OUP(1974) art.
• "About us — World Council of Churches". oikoumene.org. 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
• single. Publications.oikoumene.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-09.
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• Yakunin, Gleb (January 1992). "Argumenty i Fakty article cited in 'Soviet Active Measures in the "Post-Cold War" Era 1988-1991' - for the United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations by the United States Information Agency". Argumenty i Fakty (published June 1992). Retrieved 2015-02-26.
• Polosin, Vyacheslav (Chair Russian Supreme Soviet's Committee on Denominations and Freedom of Religion), Megapolis Ekspress, January 21, 1992.
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• World Council of Churches. Members by country and by church Retrieved 2010-03-31.

Further reading

• W. A. Visser 't Hooft, The Genesis of the World Council of Churches, in: A History of The Ecumenical Movement 1517–1948, R. Rose, S. Ch. Neill (ed.), London: SPCK 1967, second edition with revised bibliography, pp. 697–724.

External links

• Official website
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

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Letter to Allen W. Dulles, Director Central Intelligence Agency, from Samuel McCrea Cavert, The United States Conference for the WORLD COUNCIL of CHURCHES
December 2, 1957
Letter from Allen W. Dulles, Director Central Intelligence Agency, to Samuel McCrea Cavert, The United States Conference for the WORLD COUNCIL of CHURCHES
3 January 1958



Approved for Release 2002/03/29: CIA-RDP80B01676R0038000300092-9

3 January 1958

Dr. Samuel McCrea Cavert
Executive Secretary in the United States
World Council of Churches
156 Fifth Avenue
New York 10, New York

Dear Dr. Cavert:

I have your letter of 2 December 1957, and wish to add my word to the many you are receiving in appreciation for the constructive contribution you have made in your years of active service in the World Council of Churches.

I know your successor well, and shall be glad to be of any possible assistance to him.

Faithfully yours,

Allen W. Dulles



The United States Conference for the WORLD COUNCIL of CHURCHES
156 Fifth Avenue, New York 10, N.Y.
Tel. WAtkins 4-8551 – Cable Address: WORCIL

December 2, 1957

Mr. Allen W. Dulles
Central Intelligence Agency
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Dulles:

As I retire from active service in the World Council of Churches at the end of this month, I find myself thinking gratefully of you and the other friends who year after year have given their loyal support in prayer and thought and money. Looking back over the forty years during which I have been associated with the movement for a greater Christian unity, I am grateful to God for the encouraging developments that have taken place both in this country and around the world. As I look ahead I have no doubt that the coming years will see a much greater advance toward a truly united Church. On the human side, it is such help as faithful friends like yourself have given that has made all this possible.

During these last weeks in which I shall have any official responsibility for the finances of the U.S. Conference for the World Council, I am especially anxious that we should come to December 31st with a balanced budget. I therefore hope that you will want to renew your usual contribution toward the Council’s work in this country.

For my successor, Rev. Dr. Roswell P. Barnes, who will become the Executive Secretary in the U.S.A. on January 1st, I can wish nothing happier and better than that he should have the same kind of friendly interest and support which you have shown during my years of service.

Faithfully yours,

Samuel McCrea Cavert
Executive Secretary in the United States

Officers and Staff

Rt. Rev. Henry Knox Sherrill, D.D., Chairman
Rev. Franklin Clark Fry, D.D., Vice Chairman
Rev. Samuel McCrea Cavert, D.D., Executive Secretary
Mr. W. Rodman Parvin (Vice President, Guaranty Trust Company), Treasurer
Miss Eleanor Kent Browne, Secretary for Administration and Assistant Treasurer
Miss Betty Thompson, Secretary for Public Relatinos
Miss Antonia H. Froendt, Secretary for Promotion

Staff Consultants

Rev. Philip Potter, Secretary of the Youth Department in North America

Rev. O. Frederick Nolde, D.D., Director of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

Rev. Richard M. Fagley, D.D., Executive Secretary of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs

Friends of the World Council of Churches, Inc.

Mr. Charles P. Taft, Chairman
Rev. Henry Smith Leiper, D.D., Secretary
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

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The Gospel According to Whom?: A Look at the National and World Councils of Churches
by 60 Minutes
January 23, 1983 7:00 PM



Approved For Release 2007/05/21 : CIA-RDP88-01070R000100540010-5



PROGRAM: 60 Minutes


DATE: January 23, 1983 7:00 PM

CITY: Washington, DC

SUBJECT: National and World Councils of Churches

MORLEY SAFER: Religion, money, revolutionary politics. There is no more explosive mixture. Our report, "The Gospel According to Whom," has equal measures of all three. It is a look at the National Council and World Council of Churches. Long before this report was completed, it was condemned from the pulpit, and the National Council suggested we'd succumbed to pressure from the religious right.

The National Council is an association of the major American Protestant denominations: the Episcopal Church, the United Methodists, United Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, 32 in all. Most of those churches are also members of the World Council of Churches. Each week American Protestants who belong to those churches put $150 million into their collection plates.

Do the people in the pews go along with their leadership on how that money is spent?

A fairly typical Sunday morning in a fairly typical town. Americans are still among the most church-going people in the world. About half the population regularly attends services. The congregation is the First United Methodist Church of Logansport, Indiana; Pastor Michael Lusseau presiding.

Logansport is middle America and proud of it. Its major vice, in fact, may be the pride it holds in the Berries, its high school baseball team.

But this weekend, Pastor Lusseau has more on his mind than his son's batting average. His concern is the money in the collection plate. Americans give more to their churches than any other charity, and this congregation is as generous as any: money to do God's work at home and abroad.

But what if some of that money is doing this man's work, or these people? If it surprises you, it may surprise these Methodists even more, for that act of Christian charity this Sunday in Logansport may end up feeding a starving child. That they know. Maybe the gift of literacy to someone somewhere. That they know. Or maybe the price of a brand new Soviet assault rifle. That they may not know.

It is near impossible to follow church money in any precise way. When Pastor Lusseau and his parishoners tried to, they found that it was being absorbed into the coffers, committees and ad hoc committees of the United Methodist Church, National Council of Churches and the World Council, and then surfacing in some surprising places. They found some of it was being spent on causes that seemed more political than religious, on causes that seemed closer to the Soviet-Cuban view of the world than Logansport, Indiana's, and they didn't like it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The World Council, in particular, has become a political organization and not, as they set out, to be a fellowship of Christian organizations who accept Jesus Christ as our God and savior.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We don't feel -- that is, the people in our church that have discussed it -- that the Methodists belong in an organization which permits the use of money to accomplish political objectives. Why should we support one group rather than another in Africa any more than we should in the United States?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think most of our parishioners feel that their outcries of total frustration are falling on deaf ears. I think there's a bureaucracy there that maybe it's so large, that we can't get to it.

SAFER: The bureaucracy they're concerned about, indeed what many American Protestants are concerned about, is largely headquartered, 475 Riverside Drive in New York City. This building is officially known as the Inter-Church Center. The people who work in it call it the God Box. It's the home of the National Council of Churches. It's also the national headquarters for dozens of agencies attached to the United Methodists, the United Presbyterians and other Protestant churches. It's also the U.S. headquarters of the World Council of Churches, which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. All these agencies claim a strict independence from each other, but, in fact, there's a constant exchange of programs and personnel. And although they may be technically independent, they do work in concert and are often hard to distinguish, one from the other. What all the agencies have in common is that they get most of their budgets from the people in the pews, a small percentage of each Sunday's collection plate.

The annual budgets are: the United Methodists, $70 million; the United Presbyterians, 35 million; the National Council of Churches, $44 million, and $12 million from American contributions alone to the World Council of Churches.

All that money is sent on a very complex maze of programs by groups and organizations in the thousands that touch people's religious and social and their political lives as well.

There are bureaucracies within bureaucracies in this building, and often one hand does not know what the other's up to.

Bishop James Armstrong is president of the National Council of Churches. He's also United Methodist Bishop for Indiana and is a delegate to the next assembly of the World Council of Churches.

Well, are you going to represent some of those grassroots' voices that have strong reservations about what the church is doing in what they regard as political areas?

BISHOP JAMES ARMSTRONG: A long time ago, Martin Luther said that his conscience was bound to the word of God. I will certainly be sensitive to what people in the churches are feeling and saying and thinking.

SAFER: That hasn't answered the question. Are you going to speak for those people?

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: That is not my primary concern. My primary concern is to be faithful to the gospel, as I understand it.

SAFER: But do you feel a sense of responsibility to those people?

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: Of course I do. And I will attempt, as best I can, to respond on the basis of my understanding of them.

SAFER: Bishop Armstrong feels that too much emphasis is placed by outsiders on the political activities of the churches.

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: I don't understand why we're never asked about international Sunday school lessons. I don't understand why we're never asked about five billion pounds of clothing and foodstuffs and medicine that have gone to every part of the world to relieve every form of human misery. These are things that don't seem to come into these conversations.

SAFER: Well, I think -- I think most people do assume that a religious organization is doing good works, is spreading the world of God, is helping the hungry. What they don't assume is that it's so active in politics.

We read Bishop Armstrong a passage from a World Council publication.

But would you agree, for example, with a statement that says "The international capitalistic economic system is repugnant to the Christian concept of justice. It's a denial of the lordship of Christ, therefore an abomination to the creator."

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: No. No. Nor do I believe that the capitalist system, nor the socialist system, is beyond the judgment of God. We don't belong to Karl Marx. We don't belong to Adam Smith. We belong to Jesus Christ. We must. That's our identity.

SAFER: A great deal, though, of the National -- of the World Council would seem to not exactly belong to the Marxist system, but speak in much the same language.

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: Well, you're asking me to speak in the language of the United States government. I won't.

SAFER: Few would doubt Bishop Armstrong's sincerity, but critics feel that the National and the World Council lean toward Karl Marx when it comes to giving certain financial support.

Among the things they object to: money to NACLA, the North American Congress on Latin America, based in New York. Money from the Presbyterian Hunger Program helped NACLA publish this book, Agribusiness in the Americas, an indictment of capitalism and American agricultural corporations.

Two million dollars from the World Council went to buy heavy equipment and materials for new economic zones in Vietnam. Critics claim new economic zones are little more than forced labor camps.

After the Cuban supported revolution in Grenada, the National Council contributed money to publish a primer on the island. What was produced was a tribute to the revolution.

Another item. For a center in Nicaragua that would, quote, "serve the revolutionary reality in Latin America," unquote, $60,000 from the United Methodists.

The Cuba Resource Center received heavy financial support from the National Council member churches. It produced blatantly pro-Castro publications. And a continuing theme was to redefine Christianity in Marxist revolutionary terms.

Another item. To the Nicaraguan literacy program, $1-1/2 million from the World Council. The purpose was to raise political awareness while teaching reading. The teachers were Cuban; American teachers were not welcome.

Another item. The Conference in Solidarity with the Liberation Struggles of Southern Africa in New York was funded and organized by the United Methodists. But when it took place, according to FBI documents, it was run by the U.S. Communist Party and was entirely manipulated by the Soviet Union. The only Methodist official on the platform was the one who gave the invocation.

We asked Bishop Armstrong about a few of those examples.

Are you familiar with the Cuba Resource Center?


SAFER: Have you ever seen their publication?


SAFER: It claims to be a newsletter, an information letter about the clergy in Cuba. And in fact, it's a propaganda tract that shouts out the glories of the revolution.

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: No, I have no knowledge of it.

I want it to be known that my first responsibility in the National Council of Churches is not to dig around in the corners and move into the closets, but to deal with those things I consider supremely important.

SAFER: There was an anti-apartheid meeting called at Columbia University in New York that was, in effect, run by the American Communist Party. Your name was on the preparatory committee.

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: But I was not contacted. There was no permission for that.

SAFER: Well, how did it get there?

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: I have no idea.

SAFER: So somebody's trying to manipulate.

BISHOP ARMSTRONG: I would say so.

SAFER: Richard Newhouse is a Lutheran pastor; Ed Robb, a Methodist minister. They claim to represent middle-of-the-road Protestants and, through their organization, the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which is funded by some conservative foundations, they've been putting some tough questions to the World and National Councils.

REVEREND ED ROBB: I have the opportunity of preaching all over the country. And I have found that in every geographical area of this nation, people are concerned, many are aroused about the radical left-wing views of the National Council of Churches, and also the views expressed by the bureaucracies of the main line denominations. And then I noticed a pattern of support of totalitarian leftist regimes across the country -- across the world, and an apology for this type of oppression.

SAFER: Can you give me one good, hard example?

REVEREND ROBB: ETHICA, which is funded by the National Council of Churches, has a booklet out about the colonialism of the United States in Puerto Rico.

SAFER: ETHICA is run by Philip -- the Reverend Philip Wheaton, correct?

REVEREND ROBB: That's correct. And they have a crusade on about U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico. And of course the Puerto Rican people have voted time and again to remain a part of the United states as a commonwealth. It seems ridiculous. But why should National Council of Churches' money be spent for such dubious causes as that?

SAFER: Philip Wheaton, who runs that, would describe himself as a dedicated Christian.

REVEREND ROBB: He comes across as a revolutionary.

SAFER: The Reverend Philip Wheaton is an Episcopalian priest who heads a group called ETHICA, which promotes liberation theology in Latin America. ETHICA gets $15,000 a year from the National Council of Churches, and Wheaton acts an an adviser on Latin America and the Caribbean.

REVEREND PHILIP WHEATON: My feeling, Morley, is that colonialism is dead, that dictatorial rule has the writing on the wall, if not moving out of existence and style, that the whole previous concept of the United states as an empire is under very strong attack.

SAFER: You say you fellow the people. Do you fellow the people when they choose violence, terrorism? When they've aligned themselves with godless Marxism, do you still follow them?

REVEREND WHEATON: I really object, Morley, to the use of the word "terrorist," because it's not only a catchword, but it's a propagandistic word. And if you look at 90% of the terror that's going on in Central America, it is being created not only by the ruling juntas and the paramilitary forces, but by U.S. aid and support going to those regimes.

SAFER: You get financial support from the National Council of Churches. Do you think the people who put their dollar bills into the collection plate on Sunday morning go along with your ideas?

REVEREND WHEATON: People throughout the churches in the United States, in relationship to Central America and the Caribbean, are reading our materials, are using our materials regularly for study programs. The Methodist Church has a regular program of bringing students into Washington, D.C., and they bring me in to present an analysis of Central America.

So my answer is that certainly a portion of the churches find our work very helpful, very useful.

PASTOR RICHARD NEWHOUSE: In El Salvador, you'll find that the National Council of Churches and the main line denominational bureaucracies have consistently supported the FDR, the Marxist guerrillas. But when you challenge them, they'll say, well, show us a resolution where we are supporting the FDR? And there is no resolution. But if you read all their materials, if you see where their money is being spent, you'll find that all of their sympathies are with the FDR.

SAFER: As an example of the churches showing a political bias, critics point to this film strip on the war in El Salvador, produced by the United Methodist Church, in cooperation with the National Council of Churches.

NARRATOR: Many of the FMLN have been branded communists, but everywhere I walked I saw the cross of Christ. The Christian symbol of death and resurrection was worn around the neck along with the bullets. To our Western minds and hearts, to see this juxtaposition of the cross and the gun is a shock. But in our own history through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, we have frequently sought God's help in fighting the forces of injustice.

PASTOR NEWHOUSE: There're certainly many people in the churches who will quite frankly say that they are committed to the world -- to the global revolution, of which they believe the antithesis is the United States and the United States influence in the world.

SAFER: The National Council, World Council would argue that what they spend in the areas you're critical of is really just a tiny part of their entire budget.

REVEREND ROBB: Well, that's true. It is a small part. I would say that it's far too much. Any money is too much. But that only represents a small part of what we're concerned about. Staff involvement is another thing. And then another thing is the education, or reeducation of people. We've had a study booklet on Cuba lifted up as the model for Latin America. Well, this could not be money that was given to a pro-Marxist cause, but it was propaganda, we believe, for a pro-Marxist cause.

PASTOR NEWHOUSE: And it was held up as a model, Ed, not only for Latin America or for China, but also for the United States.

People, just very understandably, cannot follow through the whole track of where that dollar goes. They have to trust their leadership to a large extent, that when they say, you know, this is an appeal to meet human needs and the suffering of hungry people, or whatever, that that's how the money's going to be used. And I think, for the most part, that is how the money's used. But it is also true that, today, the crisis that this whole conversation is about is created by a lot of instances in which people found that that isn't the case, in which they found that things were being supported and promoted which they had no intention of endorsing whatsoever, and nobody asked them.

SAFER: One is careful in this kind of report to not make the suggestion of guilt by association, to not use what are generally described as McCarthy tactics. But whether it is by design or mischance or deliberate manipulation from outside the churches, church money and the churches themselves are found to be supporting highly political movements.

CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, set up to support the cause of the FDR guerrillas in the United States, is an example. The National Council could fairly say that this is not a group it officially supports. Yet an ad hoc committee, made up of various member denominations, working out of National Council headquarters, helped CISPES get started. And the denominations give it money and support services.

When CISPES released some controversial documents that it claimed were confidential State Department memoranda on American involvement in El Salvador, the very same documents were also released by a group called the Washington Office on Latin America, which is funded by the National Council and member churches. The FBI says this document is a forgery, precisely the same forgery the KGB tried to circulate earlier in Central America. The New York Times, having quoted from the document, later admitted it had been duped.

But Pastor Newhouse has other concerns.

PASTOR NEWHOUSE: What worries me most, indeed outrages me most, is when the church starts telling lies, when we start just sheer telling lies, and when we start telling lies about countries where people are being imprisoned and tortured and slaughtered, as in Indochina, for example, after the American withdrawal, and we paint a rosy picture of this and pretend it isn't happening. And then the height of hypocrisy is to pretend that in painting a rosy picture of the sufferings of the poor and making excuses for those who oppress the poor, that one is speaking on behalf of the poor.

So we have religious leaders who go to countries which are massively repressive regimes, in which Christians are in jail, are being tortured, have been killed by the thousands, and they go to those countries, and our religious dignitaries consort with the persecutors of the church of Christ. This is evil. This is wrong. This discredits the church as social witness. It undermines any elementary notion of justice. We have to turn this around.

SAFER: We'll be back with the second part of "The Gospel According to Whom" in a moment.

* * *

SAFER: In this second part of "The Gospel According to Whom," we concentrate mostly on the World Council of Churches, the international community of churches that includes American Protestant denominations, plus churches in over 100 other countries.

The World Council spends, on the average, about $85 million, again for relief work, for missionary work, operating expenses, and on political action as well. Among its member churches is the United Methodists, and that includes Logansport, Indiana.

Last spring at the regional conference of the United Methodists, Pastor Lusseau and his parishioners proposed that the nine million strong United Methodists withdraw support from the World Council. What had troubled Pastor Lusseau and many others most of all was one particular arm of the World Council, the Special Fund of the Program to Combat Racism.

The Program to Combat Racism, PCR, was funded, according to the Central Committee of the World Council, for the churches to, quote, "Move beyond charity to relevant and sacrificial action, to become agents for the radical reconstruction of society. There can be no justice without a transfer of economic resources to undergird the redistribution of political power."

The fund was set up in 1970. It gave cash grants to armed guerrilla groups in southern Africa. The World Council requests that the money go for humanitarian purposes, but exercises no control over it.

Since 1970, the World Council has raised about $5-1/2 million worldwide in special appeals to help groups like FERLIMO in Mozambique, the Patriotic Front in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, SWAPD in Namibia, and guerrillas in Angola, all when they were openly violent. Critics point out that these church-supported guerrillas who have come to power have, for the most part, not been guarantors of either political or religious freedom.

For many Christians, the openly political nature of the Program to Combat Racism was just too much.

PASTOR LUSSEAU: If we are people of peace, it is time to send a message to the decision-makers of the World Council of Churches that we will not be guilty by association in the killing and murder of human beings under the disguise of eliminating racism.

SAFER: Pastor Lusseau's petition was soundly defeated. But he was not the only one concerned. Just a year earlier, the 2,000,000 member Salvation Army withdrew from active participation in the World Council. Commissioner John Needham, head of the Army in the United States, told us why.

COMMISSIONER JOHN NEEDHAM: I think the support of a good many extremely radical causes around the world. I think the straw that broke the camel's back was finally the actual gifts of money to the guerrillas who were operating in Zimbabwe. And some of our people were being killed, for that matter.

SAFER: In fact, the World Council gave a grant of $85,000 to the Patriotic Front fighting the Smith regime in Rhodesia just two months after eight Christian missionaries, including two from the Salvation Army, were murdered. Most believe the guerrillas did it. The World Council says Rhodesian troops were responsible.

COMMISSIONER NEEDHAM: Now we serve -- we've been serving in Zimbabwe, Rhodesia before that, for over 80 years. So there's no sense in which we separate ourselves from the needs of the common man. That's where the Army was born. But we're not about to get involved in anything that has any violent overtones as we go about our work.

SAFER: Did the World Council try to justify this kind of deep political involvement?

COMMISSIONER NEEDHAM: It's an interpretation of the Christian gospel that you should be a part of any means to better the lot of the common man.

SAFER: But this determination to help the common man could mean money for weapons.

COMMISSIONER NEEDHAM: That's right. Of course the suggestion was that, of course, monies from the World Council was being given to feed, to take care of medicines, that sort of program. But after all, the end result was there were guerrillas about their work, you know, which resulted in death and violence.

SAFER: The question of whether money from American contributions pays for guns or is misdirected in other ways goes to the very heart of the matter. Just how does the World Council see itself in relation to the concerns of the Salvation Army? And what is its role in the secular world?

We went to its headquarters in Geneva and talked to Dr. Philip Potter, a prominent West Indian clergymen who's been General Secretary of the World Council since 1972.

DR. PHILIP POTTER: The question of whether aid and the support for justice can be left apart is a serious problem to the Salvation Army. I know it speaks about soup, soap and salvation. But soup and soap is not enough. The causes for the need for soup and soap are deeply important. And it is the question of when you speak about the causes and the structures of those societies which bring about oppression and bring about poverty, these are the things we have challenged.

Now the Salvation Army depends for its aid work, its work of mercy from large contributions from powerful groups that are involved economically and militarily in these countries.

COMMISSIONER NEEDHAM: You know, an article just came out in some magazine that said one source said that the Army left the World Council of Churches because of pressure of large corporations. Nothing could be farther. There's never been anybody that's ever talked to us. We've never related to, never had any suggestions from, you know, any corporation, that because the World Council is political we should withdraw. Nothing. That kind of stuff -- I don't know where people get those kinds of ideas.

DR. POTTER: Is it enough just to -- when people are down in the gutter, is it enough just to go and try and lift them up? Or is it important for us who are part of the system to do something to change that situation? And when Christ came, he spoke very firmly about all those things that prevented human beings from having their dignity. He acted as well as spoke.

SAFER: And in the practical world, that may mean supplying these oppressed with guns.

DR. POTTER: We have not done that, and it's never been proved that we did that.

SAFER: But you're convinced that the people in SWAPO who receive money from World Council have this fine distinction about what they'll do with the money, because the World Council gives it without strings.

DR. POTTER: We give the money and base it on the basis of the requests made, which are according to the criteria we have laid down. When we give it, we show an act of faith and confidence in people. And they know that if they misuse it, their whole credibility ....

SAFER: But you wouldn't know if they misused it.

DR. POTTER: We do know.

SAFER: But you wouldn't know if they did.

DR. POTTER: Nor have you been able to prove that they've used it for arms.

SAFER: A criticism often heard of the World Council is the relative ease with which it denounces human rights' violations in the West but rarely does it point out the policies of oppression that exist in the Soviet dominated world. As an example, a World Council task force that visited Australia to look into the treatment of aborigines. It was led by a Pakistani, Dr. Anwar Barket, head of the Program to Combat Racism.

In less than three days there, or three days, Dr. Barket announces that the Australian government is practicing genocide. I wonder if genocide is the right word for a terribly complicated historical situation.

DR. POTTER: Dr. Barket was not speaking for the World Council of Churches. Naturally, anybody working for the World Council of Churches would have to watch what he or she says, because it will be conceived as speaking for the World Council. The only bodies that can speak for the World Council are its Assembly, its Central Committee, its Executive Committee, its officers and myself.

And -- however, the word "genocide" is, of course, a strong word. But what it does convey this this, that when people come in as colonists and the indigenous people's customs are not observed, you know, and they are pushed aside, they lose the sense of the wholeness of their life, and they die out. You know, they take to drink and all the other things. And that is -- is -- is -- is the phrase that is used by sociologists as ethnic -- ethnic genocide.

SAFER: I understand that. A good part of the population of Australia, of the non-aboriginal part of the population, is perfectly aware and has been trying to do something about it. I wonder if the arrival of a World Council delegation spouting genocide enhances the Australian awareness of the problem.

DR. POTTER: Actually -- actually that group was invited by the Council of Churches of Australia and by the churches for the very simple reason that the Australian people's consciousness was not sufficiently aware of that situation there.

SAFER: Another member of that delegation was Madame Adler, who said that Marxist analysis should be used to examine Australian racism; this from an East German whose entire nation is enclosed by barbed-wire. Marxist analysis coming out of the mouth of the World Council of Churches?

DR. POTTER: Well, first of all, the barbed-wire is rather strange, because we had our Central Committee in Dresden last year in August, in which 400 people, including a lot of journalists, over 100 journalists, were able to visit nearly 100 parishes on a Sunday and were able to mingle for several hours with the people in Eastern Europe, in East Germany.

So the barbed-wire question is a bit much, isn't it?

SAFER: No, it's not, because how many of those parishioners would be allowed to come and visit here in Geneva?

DR. POTTER: Well, that -- that is a problem. There is a problem. But don't call it barbed-wire in that sense.

SAFER: Well, if you've been to that border, because it is barbed-wire.

DR. POTTER: Okay. There is barbed-wire in Berlin, yes.

SAFER: No, right across the border of East Germany, not just Berlin.

DR. POTTER: Yes, but I also want to point the fact that it is possible to be in contact with people and for a lot of people to meet them and to speak to them. However ....

SAFER: But I should think that a Marxist analysis would be anathema to anyone representing the World Council of Churches.

DR. POTTER: Miss Adler spoke for herself. But I would say that Marxist analysis -- Marxist analysis of -- of the causes of -- of poverty and of oppression has been a very useful analysis. But Christians use that analysis very critically in terms of our own faith.

SAFER: A motto of the Salvation Army is to change the world one life at a time. A recurring theme of the World Council of Churches is the redistribution of power.

What exactly does redistribution of power mean?

COMMISSIONER NEEDHAM: Well, I think it's a changing of the structures of society thereafter.
There is a difference in the world amongst religious people, obviously. There are the liberals and the conservatives; the liberals believing that you do, in fact, in changing the structures of society, you bring about salvation. We rather think you make a better man and you get a better world.

SAFER: There is some indication that many American Protestants would agree with Commissioner Needham. The National Council, in analyzing a survey on Americans and religion, found that three-quarters of its members consider themselves either moderate or conservative. In its report, the National Council cautions that the results of the survey should not be given wide distribution. It states "Although we may all agree that public opinion does not set our marching orders, there are those who will see some of these findings as showing how out of step the National Council is with its own constituency and censure us for it. To those who are hunting for such ammunition, we need not supply a silver bullet.

"This is not intended to be a broadly disseminated document for the general public."
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

Postby admin » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:30 am

William Sloane Coffin
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/27/19



Clergy and Laity Concerned is a nationwide network within the religious community which was founded to mobilize opposition to U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia. In late 1965, John C. Bennett, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., Rabbi Abraham Heschel and others organized the National Emergency Committee of Clergy Concerned About Vietnam.

This committee soon developed a national organization of Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant clergymen and laymen which was known as Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam (CALCAV). Richard R. Fernandez was hired as Executive Secretary in 1966, continuing in that capacity or as Co-Director until 1973. Others who have served as Director or Co-Director include Richard M. Boardman, John Collins, Robert S. Lecky, Barbara Lupo, Don Luce, Richard Van Voorhis, and Trudi Schutz Young.

-- Clergy and Laity Concerned Records, 1965-1983, Swarthmore College Peace Collection

William Sloane Coffin
Photo of The Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr. (1924-2006), Senior Minister of The Riverside Church, New York, NY (1977-87).jpg
Coffin circa 1980
Church United Church of Christ
Other posts Riverside Church
Ordination Presbyterian church
Personal details
Birth name William Sloane Coffin Jr.
Born June 1, 1924
Died April 12, 2006 (aged 81)
Nationality American
Denomination Presbyterian, United Church of Christ
Spouse Eva Rubinstein,
Harriet Gibney,
Virginia Randolph Wilson
Education Yale College,
Union Theological Seminary
Alma mater Yale Divinity School

William Sloane Coffin Jr. (June 1, 1924 – April 12, 2006) was an American Christian clergyman and long-time peace activist. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church, and later received ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ. In his younger days he was an athlete, a talented pianist, a CIA officer, and later chaplain of Yale University, where the influence of Reinhold Niebuhr's social philosophy led him to become a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and peace movements of the 1960s and 1970s. He also was a member of the secret society Skull and Bones. He went on to serve as Senior Minister at the Riverside Church in New York City and President of SANE/Freeze (now Peace Action), the nation's largest peace and social justice group, and prominently opposed United States military interventions in conflicts, from the Vietnam War to the Iraq War. He was also an ardent supporter of gay rights.



William Sloane Coffin Jr. was born into the wealthy elite of New York City. His paternal great-grandfather William Sloane was a Scottish immigrant and co-owner of the very successful W. & J. Sloane Company. His uncle was Henry Sloane Coffin, president of Union Theological Seminary and one of the most famous ministers in the U.S. His father, William Sloane Coffin, Sr. was president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an executive in the family business.[1]

His mother, Catherine Butterfield, had grown up in the Midwest, and as a young woman spent time in France during World War I providing relief to soldiers, and met her future husband there, where he was also engaged in charitable activities. Their three children grew up fluent in French by being taught by their nanny, and attended private schools in New York.

William Sr.'s father, Edmund Coffin, was a prominent lawyer, real estate developer, and reformer who owned a property investment and management firm that renovated and rented low-income housing in New York. Upon Edmund's death in 1928, it went to his sons William and Henry, with William managing the firm. When the Great Depression hit in 1929, William allowed tenants to stay whether or not they could pay the rent, quickly draining his own funds, and at a time when the family's substantial W. & J. Sloane stock was not paying dividends.

William Sloane Coffin, Sr. died at home on his oldest son Edmund's eleventh birthday in 1933 from a heart attack he suffered returning from work. After this, his wife Catherine decided to move the family to Carmel, California, to make life more affordable, but was able to do this only with financial support from her brother-in-law Henry. After years spent in the most exclusive private schools in Manhattan, the three Coffin children were educated in Carmel's public schools, where William had his first sense that there was injustice—sometimes very great—in the world.

A talented musician, he became devoted to the piano and planned a career as a concert pianist. At the urging of his uncle Henry (who was still contributing to the family's finances), his mother enrolled him in Deerfield Academy in 1938.

The following year (when Edmund left for Yale University), William moved with his mother to Paris at the age of 15 to receive personal instruction in the piano and was taught by some of the best music teachers of the 20th century, including Nadia Boulanger. The Coffins moved to Geneva, Switzerland, when World War II came to France in 1940, and then back to the United States, where he enrolled in Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.

Early adulthood

Having graduated from high school in 1942, William enrolled at Yale College and studied in the School of Music. While continuing his pursuit of the piano, he was also excited by the prospect of fighting to stop fascism and became very focused on joining the war effort. He applied to work as a spy with the Office of Strategic Services in 1943, but was turned down for not having sufficiently "Gallic features" to be effective. He then left school, enlisted in the Army, and was quickly tapped to become an officer. After training, he was assigned to work as liaison to the French and Russian armies in connection with the Army's military intelligence unit, and where he heard first-hand stories of life in Stalin's USSR.

After the war, Coffin returned to Yale, where he would later become President of the Yale Glee Club. Coffin had been a friend of George H. W. Bush since his youth, as they both attended Phillips Academy (1942). In Coffin's senior year, Bush brought Coffin into the exclusive Skull and Bones secret society at the university.

Upon graduating in 1949, Coffin entered the Union Theological Seminary, where he remained for a year, until the outbreak of the Korean War reignited his interest in fighting against communism. He joined the CIA as a case officer in 1950 (his brother-in-law Franklin Lindsay had been head of the Office of Policy Coordination at the OSS, one of the predecessors of the CIA) spending three years in West Germany recruiting anti-Soviet Russian refugees and training them how to undermine Stalin's regime.
[1] Coffin grew increasingly disillusioned with the role of the CIA and the United States due to events including the CIA's involvement in overthrowing Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran in 1953, followed by the CIA's orchestration of the coup that removed President Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala in 1954.

Ministry and political activism

After leaving the CIA, Coffin enrolled at Yale Divinity School and earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1956, the same year he was ordained a Presbyterian minister. This same year he married Eva Rubinstein, the daughter of pianist Arthur Rubinstein, and became chaplain at Williams College. Soon, he accepted the position as Chaplain of Yale University, where he remained from 1958 until 1975. Gifted with a rich bass-baritone voice, he was an active member of the Yale Russian Chorus during the late 1950s and 1960s.

With his CIA background, he was dismayed when he learned in 1964 of the history of French and American involvement in South Vietnam. He felt the United States should have honored the French agreement to hold a national referendum in Vietnam about unification. He was in early opposition to the Vietnam War and became famous for his anti-war activities and his civil rights activism. Along with others, he was a founder in the early 1960s of the Clergy and Laity Concerned About Vietnam, organized to resist President Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the war.[1]

Coffin had a prominent role in the Freedom Rides challenging segregation and the oppression of black people. As chaplain at Yale in the early 1960s, Coffin organized busloads of Freedom Riders to challenge segregation laws in the South. Through his efforts, hundreds of students at Yale University and elsewhere were recruited into civil rights and anti-war activity. He was jailed many times, but his first conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court.[1]

In 1962, he joined SANE: The Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy,[2] an organization he would later lead.[3]

Approached by Sargent Shriver in 1961 to run the first training programs for the Peace Corps, Coffin took up the task and took a temporary leave from Yale, working to develop a rigorous training program modeled on Outward Bound and supervising the building of a training camp in Puerto Rico. He used his pulpit as a platform for like-minded crusaders, hosting the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela, among others.
Fellow Yale graduate Garry Trudeau has immortalized Coffin (combined with Coffin's protege Rev. Scotty McLennan) as "the Rev. Scot Sloan" in the comic strip Doonesbury. During the Vietnam War years, Coffin and his friend Howard Zinn often spoke from the same anti-war platform. An inspiring speaker, Coffin was known for optimism and humor: "Remember, young people, even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat."[4]

By 1967, Coffin concentrated increasingly on preaching civil disobedience and supported the young men who turned in their draft cards. He was, however, uncomfortable with draft-card burning, worried that it looked "unnecessarily hostile".[5][6] Coffin was one of several persons who signed an open letter entitled "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority", which was printed in several newspapers in October 1967. In that same month, he also raised the possibility of declaring Battell Chapel at Yale a sanctuary for resisters, or possibly as the site of a large demonstration of civil disobedience. School administration barred the use of the church as a sanctuary. Coffin later wrote, "I accused them of behaving more like 'true Blues than true Christians'. They squirmed but weren't about to change their minds.... I realized I was licked."[7]

And so on January 5, 1968, Coffin, Dr. Benjamin Spock (the pediatrician and baby book author who was also a Phillips Academy alumnus), Marcus Raskin, and Mitchell Goodman (all signers of "A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority" and members of the anti-war collective RESIST[8]) were indicted by a Federal grand jury for "conspiracy to counsel, aid and abet draft resistance". All but Raskin were convicted that June, but in 1970 an appeals court overturned the verdict. Coffin remained chaplain of Yale until December 1975.[1]

In 1977, he became senior minister at the Riverside Church—an interdenominational congregation affiliated with both the United Church of Christ and American Baptist Churches—and one of the most prominent congregations in New York City. He was a controversial, yet inspirational leader at Riverside. He openly and vocally supported gay rights when many liberals still were uncomfortable with homosexuality. Some of the congregation's socially conservative members openly disagreed with his position on sexuality.[1]

Nuclear disarmament

Coffin started a strong nuclear disarmament program at Riverside, and hired Cora Weiss (a secular Jew he had worked with during the Vietnam War and had traveled with to North Vietnam in 1972 to accompany three released U.S. prisoners of war), an action which was uncomfortable for some parishioners. Broadening his reach to an international audience, he met with numerous world leaders and traveled abroad. His visits included going to Iran to perform Christmas services for hostages being held in the U.S. embassy during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 and to Nicaragua to protest U.S. military intervention there.

In 1987, he resigned from Riverside Church to pursue disarmament activism full-time, saying then that there was no issue more important for a man of faith. He became president of SANE/FREEZE[9] (now Peace Action), the largest peace and justice organization in the United States. He retired with the title president emeritus in the early 1990s, and then taught and lectured across the United States and overseas. Coffin also wrote several books. He cautioned that we are all living in "the shadow of Doomsday", and urged that people turn away from isolationism and become more globally aware. Shortly before his death, Coffin founded Faithful Security, a coalition for people of faith committed to working for a world free of nuclear weapons.[1]

Personal life

Coffin was married three times. His first two marriages, to Eva Rubinstein and Harriet Gibney, ended in divorce. He was survived by his third wife, Virginia Randolph Wilson (called "Randy").[10] Eva Rubinstein, his first wife and the mother of his children, was a daughter of pianist Arthur Rubinstein. The loss of their son Alexander in a car accident in 1983 inspired one of Coffin's most requested sermons.

He was given only six months to live in early 2004 due to a weakened heart. Coffin and his wife lived in the small town of Strafford, Vermont, a few houses away from his brother Ned, until his death nearly two years later at age 81.

Military awards

• American Campaign Medal
• European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
• World War II Victory Medal
• Army of Occupation Medal with "Germany" clasp


By Coffin

• Letters to a Young Doubter, Westminster John Knox Press, July 2005, ISBN 0-664-22929-8
• Credo, Westminster John Knox Press, December 2003, ISBN 0-664-22707-4
• The Heart Is a Little to the Left: Essays on Public Morality, Dartmouth College, 1st edition, October 1999, ISBN 0-87451-958-6
• The Courage to Love, sermons, Harper & Row, 1982, ISBN 0-06-061508-7
• Once to Every Man: A Memoir, autobiography, Athenaeum Press, 1977, ISBN 0-689-10811-7

About Coffin

• William Sloane Coffin, Jr.: A Holy Impatience, by Warren Goldstein, Yale University Press, March 2004, ISBN 0-300-10221-6
• The Trial of Dr. Spock, William Sloane Coffin, Michael Ferber, Mitchell Goodman, and Marcus Raskin, by Jessica Mitford, New York, Knopf, 1969 ISBN 0-394-44952-5

See also

• List of peace activists


1. Goldstein, Warren. William Sloane Coffin Jr.: A Holy Impatience (2005).
2. "Service for William Sloane Coffin to be Held at Yale". Yale News. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
3. Charney, Marc D. (2006-04-13). "Rev. William Sloane Coffin Dies at 81; Fought for Civil Rights and Against a War". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
4. Rick Perlstein (2015). The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. Simon and Schuster. p. 131.
5. “Interview with William Sloane Coffin, 1982.”, August 30, 1982. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
6. Foley, M.S. (2003). Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War. University of North Carolina Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-8078-5436-5.
7. Geoffrey Kabaservice (2005). The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, His Circle, and the Rise of the Liberal Establishment. Henry Holt. p. 320.
8. Barsky, Robert F. Noam Chomsky: a life of dissent (M.I.T. Press, 1998) online Archived 2013-01-16 at the Wayback Machine
9. SANE: The Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy merged with the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign in 1987 and was renamed SANE/FREEZE; it was renamed Peace Action in 1993.
10. Schudel, Matt; Bernstein, Adam (April 16, 2006). "The Rev. William Sloane Coffin made his mark as activist, rebel". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2017-02-12.


• Once to Every Man: A Memoir (1977)
• William Sloane Coffin, Jr.: A Holy Impatience (2004)
• Passion for the Possible: A Message to U.S. Churches

External links

• Interview from 1982 with William Sloane Coffin on Vietnam and the Anti-War movement WGBH Educational Foundation
• A Politically Engaged Spirituality Video and transcript of Coffin's April 2005 speech at Yale Divinity School
• Interview with William Sloane Coffin from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, August 2004
• William Sloane Coffin: A Lover's Quarrel With America Video interview from Old Dog Documentaries
• William Sloane Coffin - Not to Bring Peace, But a Sword Sermon and interview.
• A film clip "The Open Mind - A Man for All Seasons (1986)" is available at the Internet Archive
• Profile of Coffin from Yale Alumni Magazine, March 2004
• Personal papers archive at Yale University
• Selected writings (PDF)
• Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze, the merger of SANE and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign)
• Faithful Security
http://www.williamsloanecoffin.org This is the complete digital collection of William Sloane Coffin's sermons preached from the pulpit of New York City's Riverside Church 1977–1987.
• Speech "Who Is the Enemy?" delivered April 8, 1983 at a symposium in Kansas City.


• Obituary from the New York Times
• Obituary from the Los Angeles Times
• Obituary from The Guardian
• Obituary from the Associated Press
• Remembrance from the United Church of Christ (article and video)
• Remembrance from The Nation
• Remembrance by William F. Buckley Jr. in the Yale Daily News
• The Legacy of William Sloane Coffin by Rev. Scotty McLennan
• Tribute of Yale Class of 1968 to its "Permanent Chaplain "
• Obituary on Commondreams.org
• Photo gallery of Coffin from The Washington Post
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

Postby admin » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:35 am

Alfred Eckhard Zimmern
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/25/19



"It was a very quiet little student who came up to St. Hugh's [College, Oxford University] and wore the long exhibition gown to the lectures," Freda conceded. Oxford opened the doors of the world to her. At St. Hugh's she drew to her a small group of girls who were to go on to become some of the most powerful figures of their time. They stayed friends for years. From this time on, Freda was to mingle effortlessly with the great and the good from all cultures and ways of life.

Leading the pack was the inimitable, feisty Barbara Betts, later better known as Barbara Castle, the first woman to become First Secretary of State under Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and hailed as one of the most important Labor politicians of the twentieth century. She was a major influence on Freda's life, steering her away from her provincial upbringing into an infinitely bolder, more sophisticated life.

"Barbara brought with her a flavor of the north of England, where I was brought up, as well as the sturdy atmosphere of the great pioneers of English socialism," commented Freda. There was also Olive Salt Gorton, who became a pillar of the BBC and broke down class barriers by introducing regional accents to the airwaves to balance the clipped tones of "received pronunciation." "Olive brought the people of England into the BBC with programs like 'Underneath the Arches.' She took the microphone onto the pavements." And there was Olive Chandler, whom Freda was particularly fond of and with whom she maintained a lifelong correspondence: "She was a quiet little nun of a girl with a dove-like quality who was like my good conscience. When she saw me getting too excited with outside activities, she used to bring me back to my books and look after me."


She joined just about every society, from the League of Nations to the Ornithological Club.


Inevitably, like many Oxbridge intellectuals of her day, she became increasingly left wing, joined the Labor Club along with Barbara Castle and Michael Foot (the future Labor prime minister), and began to class herself as one of the "Burning Socialists." She meant it. Freda's idealism about a fairer world never left her....

"My belief in the charter of human rights was very strong, so that I saw Marxism not as a cheap political stunt, but in a deep,direct way." Freda rapidly learned German in order to be able to read and study Hegel, Marx, and the German philosophers in the original.

Her spiritual life was not forgotten, however, and was running smoothly along parallel lines. Every Sunday she went to church to take Communion and would pop into chapel if there was Bach concert. Any hint of Eastern thought drew her like a magnet. She devoured "The Light of Asia," subtitled "The Great Renunciation," by Sir Edwin Arnold -- an epic poem describing the life of Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. And she rushed to attend a lecture by Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali Nobel Prize-winning poet, philosopher, songwriter, and educator, and was immediately entranced.

"I first saw him at Oxford lecturing on the highest philosophy before some of the greatest savants and philosophers in the West. He sat on a low platform with the rare light of the late evening falling on his face and making a complete aureole around his white head. I was very moved by his understanding, his dignity, the way in which he seemed to distill the essence of India into the small hall and with it the essence of all that is highest and universal in man. At that time my knowledge of India was superficial and I did not know it was to be my home, but my response to Tagore and what he was saying was immediate. I believe that Tagore, more than any other Indian, has been able to interpret the East, and her aspirations, and make them understood in the West. ...


Initially the glue was their shared admiration of communism and socialist ideals, so fashionable among the Oxbridge intellectuals of their day, who were eager to build a better, fresher world after the devastation of World War I. Cambridge, in particular, became a famous, well-documented breeding ground for communist gentlemen spies. Revolution was in the air, first in Russia then in China, overthrowing the old order, making way for the new. It was exhilarating. The Suffragettes were on the march too, chaining themselves to rails, throwing themselves under horses, and going on hunger strikes to obtain equal rights with men. The atmosphere was electric....

Freda married BPL on June 12, 1933, at the Oxford Registrar’s Office. She was twenty-two and he was twenty-six….

Their creative, radical Oxford days were over. Both Freda and BPL received their degrees and a whole new life beckoned. It was not what Freda had imagined. She had successfully lined up a job as a cub reporter on the Derby Telegraph, her first stepping stone to Fleet Street (as she had intended). Instead she went to Germany with her new husband, who had won a Humboldt scholarship at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, to research a PHD in Political Science.

“Bedi was concerned about the rise of Hitler, but he thought that as long as he didn’t get a chance to rant in Parliament, it would be all right. He was going to keep a very keen eye on the situation,” she said. She was not to see her homeland again for fourteen years….

By the time Freda reached Berlin, she was pregnant, and delighted with the prospect of motherhood. BPL somewhat protectively decided that she should not work, but instead live quietly in the charming little cottage they had found on the bank of Lake Wannsee. “It was really a lovely place, with a beautiful garden, and we had some very happy months there preparing for the child,” she said. She busied herself with making baby clothes, but could not resist going to Berlin University to study Hindi with a Punjabi professor – a necessary preparation, she thought, for a life on the subcontinent, and to counteract the full-on domesticity she found herself in….

BPL refrained from any political activity in Germany, although he was keeping up-to-date with the Free India movement in India. A frequent visitor to their lakeside cottage was Subhas Chandra Bose, who went on to become one of the most prominent and controversial leaders of the independence movement. Bose was educated at Cambridge and also had a European wife – Emilie Schenkl, an Austrian. He made it a point to visit sympathetic Indian students living in Europe, and the couple had much in common with Freda and BPL Bedi.

“We came to know Bose intimately, and a deep friendship grew,” said BPL. Bose was a hard-core communist, a great admirer of the Soviet Union, who maintained that only an authoritarian state, not democracy, would be able to reshape India. (Later he was forced to resign as present of the Indian National Congress because his platform of violent resistance clashed with Gandhi’s peaceful pathway.)

In Germany, however, Bose, won the young BPL over completely. “Freda and I were both fired up with the patriotic zeal of liberating the motherland from British imperialism,” BPL said. “While we were in Berlin, an eminent journalist asked me what was my agenda for India. ‘Live dangerously,’ I replied. ‘Live dangerously for every form of exploitation of man by man. Live dangerously for every form of injustice. Live dangerously for any violation of human dignity.’”

On May 13, 1934, Freda gave birth to a son after just a four-hour labor….They named him Ranga after the Indian statesman who had defeated the political opposition to their marriage, ten months previously….

BPL had not joined any political club at Berlin University, nor was he taking part in any political activities, but he sensed that tension was mountain. He was friendly with many of the Indian students living in the International Houses, which were being increasingly dominated by Nazi representatives.

In August 1934, Hitler was made fuhrer. The morning the news broke, BPL put down his paper and announced, “Tomorrow we get on the train and go to Geneva. It’s not safe here anymore.”

“He knew that Hitler could swoop down on the Indian students, which was precisely what happened,” said Freda. The life of drama and danger that she pledged to share with Bedi had begun. “You can imagine the state I was in, having to pack up everything in one day, and with BPL having to get the visas for Switzerland. But the next morning we were on the train!” she said

After their hasty exit, they spent a few pleasant weeks staying in accommodations that had been arranged by their old Oxford professor, Alfred Zimmern [Professor Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern, whose name is associated with the founding of the League of Nations], who ran a school there. In October 1934, they finally made the decision to go to India and make it their permanent home. They sailed on the SS Conte Verde from northern Italy to Bombay, a journey of three weeks.....

Almost immediately they joined both the Socialist and Communist parties. Freda took on the extra work of organizing the All India Civil Liberties Union of the Punjab. BPL happily set to work organizing demonstrations ...

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Alfred Eckhard Zimmern
Born 26 January 1879
Surbiton, Surrey, U.K.
Died 24 November 1957
Avon, Connecticut, U.S.
Education Winchester College
Alma mater New College, Oxford
Occupation Classical scholar, historian

Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern (1879–1957) was an English classical scholar and historian, and political scientist writing on international relations.[1] His book The Third British Empire was among the first to apply the expression "British Commonwealth" to the British Empire.[2] He is also credited with the phrase "welfare state",[3][4][5] which was made popular a few years later by William Temple.[6]

Early life and background

Zimmern was born on 26 January 1879 in Surbiton, Surrey, UK. His father was a naturalised British citizen, born in Germany. The writers, translators and suffragettes Helen Zimmern and Alice Zimmern were his cousins.

Alfred was brought up a Christian and later an active participant in the World Council of Churches. However, later in life he also became a supporter of Zionism.[7] He was educated at Winchester College, and read classics at New College, Oxford, where he won the Stanhope essay prize in 1902.[8] At Berlin University, he came under the influence of Wilamowitz and Meyer.

The fifth essay is again by Flaig, and is called "Towards Rassenhygiene: Wilamowitz and the German New Right." Flaig first examines Wilamowitz's Staat und Gesellschaft (1910; 2nd.edn., 1923). He finds that in this work Wilamowitz is inconsistent in his use of the notion of race; in the first part of the work he conceives of race in a biological sense, arguing that both Greeks and Phoenicians owed their exceptional vivacity to the mixing of races, but in the second part he argues that the unique spirit of the Greeks has nothing to do with "racial purity." But in Der Glaube der Hellenen, Flaig argues, Wilamowitz operates with a peculiar conception of "faith," an individual religion of the heart believed in by an elite and distinct from the religion of the masses with its cult and the bond among its members; Wilamowitz carried to extreme lengths the belief common to Droysen and Harnack that Christian religion owed more to Greece than to Israel. Like Walter F. Otto, Flaig claims, Wilamowitz believed in the real existence of the Greek gods, but at the same time he believed in a specially Greek monotheism different from that of Judaism, to which he was profoundly hostile. Using the vocabulary of the new "eugenics," he argues, Wilamowitz was advocating a kind of Rassenhygiene akin to that later associated with National Socialism.

Flaig is not the first to have regarded Wilamowitz as a proto-Nazi. On pp. 56-79 of Wilamowitz nach 50 Jahren (edd. W.M. Calder III, H. Flashar and T. Lindken, 1985), L. Canfora anticipates Flaig by setting out to prove Wilamowitz to have been a kind of National Socialist avant la lettre. In a review of the book in which Canfora's piece appeared (Classical Review 36 [1986], 400-1 = Academic Papers, 1990, ii 400-1)), I dealt briefly with his thesis. I remarked that Wilamowitz belonged to the Prussian aristocracy of his time, which had a strong strain of nationalism and militarism and that he did all he could to promote the German cause in the First World War. But I pointed out that though Wilamowitz, like many persons of his type, may have thrown out the odd remark that sounded anti-Semitic, he was certainly not anti-Semitic in his practice and that a letter published in the same book as Canfora's piece (p.612) showed his utter contempt for racial theories about Aryanism. I wrote that "he would have despised Hitler as a socialist and a guttersnipe, and, though he would have derived pleasure, had he lived on, from the triumphs of 1939-41, July 1944 would have found him in full sympathy with the conspirators, who were indeed people of his own kind."

-- Ingo Gildenhard, Martin Ruehl, Out of Arcadia: Classics and Politics in Germany in the Age of Burckhardt, Nietzsche and Wilamowitz. BICS, Suppl. 79. London: Institute of Classical Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, 2003. Pp. vii, 208.

The German philhellenists of the Enlightenment era imagined Greek antiquity as a kind of pastoral idyll.1 Throughout the second half of the eighteenth century, scholars and poets enthused about the innocent beauty of the ancients, glorified the 'noble simplicity' and 'calm grandeur' (Winckelmann)2 of Hellenic art, and posited an elective affinity between the glory that was Greece and the future achievements of a German Kulturnation. Schiller's poem 'The gods of Greece' (1788) held up the harmonious word of pagan antiquity as a moral and aesthetic model for a disenchanted, alienated modernity. The educational reforms initiated by Wilhelm von Humboldt between 1809-10 moved this model to the centre of school and university curricula. For members of the educated middle class (Bildungsburger), classical philology became an integral part of their self-cultivation or Bildung. Through their identification with ancient Greece, however, many of them expressed hopes not just of cultural, but also political transformation. In the age of Winckelmann and Humboldt, Graecophilia was associated with a lofty (and often vaguely defined ) liberalism.3 Yet from the start, there were voices of doubt. In Faust II (1832), Goethe questioned the viability of a marriage between Romantic Germany and classical Greece -- as well as the emancipatory elements of Graecophilia; Euphorion, product of Faust's union with Helen of Troy and an allegory of Byron's fateful commitment to the cause of Greek independence, met a significantly premature death in the play.4

-- Out of Arcadia, by Martin Ruehl, 2003 Institute of Classical Studies. School of Advanced Studies, University of London, 22 February 2011

Academic career

Zimmern was Lecturer in Ancient History, New College, Oxford (1903), and Fellow and tutor, New College (1904–1909). Subsequently, he was a staff inspector, Board of Education (1912–1915) and a member of the Foreign Office Political Intelligence Department (1918–1919).

He then became Wilson Professor of International Politics, and as such the first Professor of International Politics (also known as International Relations) in the world, at the University College of Wales (1919–1921); having left Aberystwyth, he taught at Cornell University in 1922 and 1923.[9][10]

He was the inaugural Montague Burton Professor of International Relations, Oxford University (1930–1944), and co-founder of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (1919). He was for a short time a member of the Round Table Group (1913–1923) and would provide the insider source of information for conspiracy theorist Carroll Quigley.


Zimmern has been classified as a utopian and idealist thinker on international relations.[11][12] He is cited often, in this perspective, in E. H. Carr's The Twenty Years' Crisis (1939); Carr and Zimmern are characterised[13] as at opposite ends of the theoretical and political spectrum.

Zimmern contributed to the founding of the League of Nations Society and of UNESCO.[14] He was Deputy Director of the Institute for Intellectual Co-operation, in Paris, in the mid-1920s;[15] after tension with the Director, the French historian Julien Luchaire, both left.[16] He was nominated in 1947 for the Nobel Peace Prize,[17] in connection with his UNESCO work.

Within UK politics, Zimmern joined the Labour Party in 1924, and was Labour candidate for Carnarvon Boroughs against David Lloyd George in the 1924 general election. A close friend of Ramsay MacDonald, Zimmern followed him in 1931 when MacDonald moved to head a National Government; he became an active member of the National Labour Organisation and frequently wrote articles for its journal, the News-Letter. Zimmern was one of five writers who contributed to a book "Towards a National Policy: being a National Labour Contribution" in April 1935. He died at Avon, Connecticut on 24 November 1957.


• Henry Grattan, (1902)
• Nationality and Government with other war-time essays (1919)
• "Greek Political Thought", an essay in The Legacy of Greece (1921)
• Europe in Convalescence (1922)
• America and Europe
• Prospects of Democracy & Other Essays
• The Greek Commonwealth: Politics and Economics in Fifth Century Athens, 1911; 5th edition 1931, Oxford, reprint 1977
• The Economic Weapon Against Germany, London: Allen & Unwin, 1918
• The Third British Empire (1926; 3rd edition 1934), London: Oxford University Press
• The League of Nations and the Rule of Law 1918–1935 (1936)
• "The Ethical Presuppositions of a World Order", an essay in The Universal Church and the World of Nations (1938).

Further reading

• Jeanne Morefield (2004), Covenants Without Swords: Idealist Liberalism and the Spirit of Empire, on Zimmern and Gilbert Murray


1. Donald Markwell (1986), "Sir Alfred Zimmern Revisited: Fifty Years On", Review of International Studies. Donald Markwell, "Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. [1]
2. Discussed in J. D. B. Miller, "The Commonwealth and World Order: The Zimmern Vision and After" (1979), Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 8: p. 162.
3. welfare state
4. Book extract
5. Kathleen Woodroofe, "The Making of the Welfare State in England: A Summary of Its Origin and Development", Journal of Social History, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Summer, 1968), pp. 303–324.
6. Oxford English Dictionary, from 1941.
7. Noam Pianko, "The True Liberalism of Zionism”: Horace Kallen, Jewish Nationalism, and the Limits of American Pluralism, American Jewish History, 94(4), December 2008.
8. "University intelligence". The Times (36770). London. 17 May 1902. p. 11.
9. Cornell University Information Database Archived 7 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
10. Time magazine comments.
11. In addition to Dickinson, the list of contributors to this utopian literature included Nicholas Murray Butler, James T. Shotwell, Alfred Zimmern, Norman Angell, and Gilbert Murray.[2]Archived 13 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
12. Idealism (or 'utopianism') and power (or 'realism') are often portrayed as mutually exclusive and contradictory philosophies or attitudes to global affairs.... When the intellectual roots of the leaders of Chatham House (Lionel Curtis, Philip Kerr, Arnold Toynbee, Alfred Zimmern) and the Council on Foreign Relations(Hamilton Fish Armstrong, Whitney Hart Shepardson, Russell Cornell Leffingwell) are examined, it is clear that each category of their thought may be interpreted as a combination of idealism and power.[3][permanent dead link]
13. 2001 edition of the Crisis, introduction by Michael Cox, note p. xciii.
14. Richard Toye – | UNESCO.ORG
15. PDF, p. 22.
16. Duncan Wilson, Gilbert Murray, p. 357.
17. Nomination database

External links

• Works by Alfred Eckhard Zimmern at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Alfred Eckhard Zimmern at Internet Archive
• Biography
• Donald Markwell, 'Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. [4]
• Book extract
• (in German) Biographical page
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Re: A Friend of the Devil: Inside a famous Cold War deceptio

Postby admin » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:38 am

CIA FOIA for 1956 Eugene Carson Blake briefing (f2015-01266)
by David Staniunas
March 16, 2015



This is the complete correspondence surrounding my FOIA request for records of the CIA's briefing of Eugene Carson Blake before his trip to Moscow in March of 1956. ARP's response is that the initial "neither confirm nor deny" was appropriate. Have made a request for review with NARA OGIS.


David Staniunas

From: David Staniunas

Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 11:14 AM

To: David Staniunas

Subject: Blake Moscow FOIA

Information and Privacy Coordinator
Central Intelligence Agency
Washington, D.C. 20505

Dear Coordinator:

Under the freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. subsection 552, I am requesting records of CIA contact with or briefing of the members of a delegation from the National Council of the Churches of Christ which visited Moscow in March 1956, including correspondence, reports, minutes, and transcripts of interviews.

The delegation initiated contact with the State Department in September 1955 regarding its trip to Moscow, and left for Moscow on March 9, 1956. They were most likely briefed by Agency staff in New York City during the first week of March, 1956. The nine men in the delegation were: Paul B. Anderson, Roswell P. Barnes, Eugene Carson Blake, Franklin Clark Fry, Herbert Gezork, D. Ward Nichols, Charles C. Parlin, Henry Knox Sherrill, and Walter W. Van Kirk.

If there are any fees for searching for, reviewing, or copying the records, please notify me before processing if the amount exceeds $100.

If you deny all or any part of this request, please cite each specific exemption you think justifies your refusal to release the information and notify me of appeal procedures available under the law.

Please contact me directly with any further questions, by phone at 215-928-3864, or by email at dstaniunas[at]history[dot]pcusa[doct]org.


David Staniunas, Records Archivist
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street, Philadelphia PA 19147


Central Intelligence Agency
Washington D.C. 20505

15 April 2015

Mr. David Staniunas
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Reference: F-2015-01266

Dear Mr. Staniunas:

This is a final response to your 16 March 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, received in the office of the Information and Privacy Coordinator on 16 March 2015, for "records of CIA contact with or briefing of the members of a delegation from the National Council of the Churches of Christ which visited Moscow in March 1956, including correspondence, reports, minutes, and transcripts of interviews." You stated that "they were most likely briefed by Agency staff in New York City."

In accordance with section 3.6(a) of Executive Order 13526, the CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request. The fact of the existence or nonexistence of requested records is currently and properly classified and is intelligence sources and methods information that is protected from disclosure by section 6 of the CIA Act of 1949, as amended, and section 102A(i)(1) of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended. Therefore, your request is denied pursuant to FOIA exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3). I have enclosed an explanation of these exemptions for your reference and retention, As the CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator, I am the CIA official responsible for this determination. You have the right to appeal this response to the Agency Release Panel, in my care, within 45 days from the date of this letter. Please include the basis of your appeal.


Michael Lavergne
Information and Privacy Coordinator


Agency Release Panel, c/o
Michael Lavergne
Information and Privacy Coordinator
Central Intelligence Agency
Washington DC 20505

Reference: F-2015-01266

27 May 2015

Dear Mr. Lavergne:

This letter is to appeal the response of 15 April neither confirming nor denying the existence of records of CIA contact with or briefing of the members of a delegation from the National Council of the Churches of Christ which visited Moscow in March 1956.

The 1949 CIA Act, as amended, and the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, provide for the protection of intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure. Invoking these protections is moot, and the existence of the records, along with the records themselves, should be declassified and released, as:

1) The intelligence sources are all deceased. No active CIA operation could be endangered through the release of information about these men:

Decatur Ward Nichols, died January 24, 2005.
Henry Knox Sherrill, died May 11, 1980.
Eugene Carson Blake, died July 31, 1985.
Charles Parlin, died November 15, 1981.
Walter Van Kirk, died July 6, 1956.
Herbert Gezork, died October 1984.
Roswell Barnes, died December 21, 1990.
Franklin Clark Fry, died June 6, 1968.
Paul B. Anderson, died June 26, 1985.

2) The chief targets of the intelligence collection in question are deceased. No active CIA operation could be endangered through the release of information about these men:

Metropolitan Nikolai, died December 13, 1961.
Patriarch Alexei, died April 17, 1970.

3) An unclassified 2013 report of an evaluation required by the 2010 Reducing Over-Classification Act indicates that Agency staff routinely misapply derivative classifications:“

Seventy-five percent of the sampled reports had inaccuracies in the declassification instructions in the classification block. Discrepancies included: use of a 50-year declassification date when there was no sensitive human source information to justify the extended period of classification;”

This statement suggests that a routine 50-year classification of records to protect sensitive human sources is common practice. Given that 59 years have elapsed since March 1956, prior administrative practice suggests that records pertinent to my request should be declassified and released.

3) The method in question -– contacting and cultivating religious figures as sources of foreign intelligence -– has been acknowledged by the CIA for the past 40 years.

The final report of the Church Committee in 1975 described CIA contact with clergy: “The number of American clergy or misionaries [sic] used by the CIA has been small. The CIA has informed the Committee of a total of 14 covert arrangements which involved direct operational use of 21 individuals.” [http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/pdfs94th/94755_I.pdf p.202]

In 1996, Rodney I Page, deputy secretary general of the NCCC, testified before Congress that even suspected CIA use of religious workers as intelligence assets undermined the workers’ credibility, and placed their lives in danger. He added that it was widely known that the CIA operated under a general ban on such use of religious workers and clergy, but could authorize exceptions to the ban. The substance of CIA methodology is known. [http://archive.org/stream/ciasuseofjournal00unit/ciasuseofjournal00unit_djvu.txt]

Thank you for your attention, and please contact me directly with any further questions.


David Staniunas


Central Intelligence Agency
Washington D.C. 20505

9 June 2015

Mr. David Staniunas
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Reference: F-2015-01266

Dear Mr. Staniunas:

On 2 June 2015, the office of the Information and Privacy Coordinator received your 27 May 2015 administrative appeal under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for records on "CIA contact with or briefing of the members of a delegation from the National Council of the Churches of Christ which visited Moscow in March 1956, including correspondence, reports, minutes, and transcripts of interviews." Please continue to use this case reference number so that we can more easily identify your FOIA administrative appeal.

You are appealing our initial-level determination to neither confirm nor deny you material responsive to your request. Your appeal has been accepted and arrangements are being made for its consideration by the Agency Release Panel.

You will be advised of the panel's determination. In order to afford requesters the most equitable treatment possible, we have adopted the policy of handling appeals on a first-received, first-out basis. Despite our best efforts, however, the large number of public access requests CIA receives creates processing delays making it unlikely that we can respond to you within 20 working days. In view of this, some delay in our reply must be expected, but every reasonable effort will be made to respond as soon as possible.


Michael Lavergne
Information and Privacy Coordinator


Central Intelligence Agency
Washington D.C. 20505

29 September 2015

Mr. David Staniunas
Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Reference: F-2015-01266

Dear Mr. Staniunas:

This is a final response to your 27 May 2015 administrative appeal under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was processed under the referenced case identification number by the office of the Information and Privacy Coordinator. As a reminder, you appealed our initial-level determination to that we could neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of material responsive to your request.

The Agency Release Panel considered your petition and fully denied your administrative appeal in accordance with Agency regulations set forth in Part 1900 of Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations. In reaching this determination to reaffirm CIA's initial-level processing of this request, the Agency Release Panel concluded that, in accordance with Section 3.6(a) of Executive Order 13526, the CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request. The fact of the existence or nonexistence of such records is itself currently and properly classified and relates to intelligence sources and methods information that is protected from disclosure by section 6 of the CIA Act of 1949, as amended, and section 102A(i)(1) of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended. As the panel's Executive Secretary, I am the CIA official responsible for informing you of the appellate determination.

In accordance with the provisions of the FOIA, you have the right to seek judicial review of this determination in a United States district court. Alternatively, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and federal agencies. Using services offered by OGIS does not affect your right to pursue litigation. For more information, including how to contact OGIS, please consult its website, http://ogis/archives.gov.


Michael Lavergne
Executive Secretary
Agency Release Panel
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