Thursday, September 16, 2004

Question of God Questioned

Jeff Sharlet on The Revealer website

PBS’s latest God offering -- "The Question of God,"... will no doubt be a well-researched program centered around the ideas and interpretations of its two stars -- Freud and C.S. Lewis -- and the man who has pitted them against one another, Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. of Harvard. But both PBS and Beliefnet, which has interviewed Dr. Nicholi, are letting the good doctor avoid hard questions about the faith assumptions underlying his work. What does Dr. Nicholi, as the referee and rule setter of this imaginary debate, actually believe?

As it happens, I came across Dr. Nicholi a few years ago while researching some other topics. The documents ... suggest a history of deeply conservative Christianity combined with a polished presentation style designed to make such beliefs suitable for public consumption.


This was not the first time Dr. Nicholi had proposed that Christianity could combat student dissent. At a Feb. 18, 1968, the speakers at a meeting for conservative student leaders held at the Washington headquarters of International Christian Leadership (ICL) based their directions on a talk Dr. Nicholi had given for ICL at the Swiss embassy not long before. ICL was a network of powerful men in Congress, the military, and business who had committed themselves to "militant liberty" in pursuit of a "world-wide spiritual offensive," also referred to by the group’s leader as "World War III." The goal was a "new world order" -- a phrase coined by ICL in 1945 -- based on a government of "Jesus plus nothing" with Washington, D.C. as its "world capital."

According to Sharlet, Congressman Todd Tiahrt and Senator Sam Brownback are part of this cult. See his article in Harpers.

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