As predicted, Beck goes full-bore Bircher with hour-long promotion of Griffin’s anti-Fed conspiracy tome
March 26, 2011 08:00 AM
We warned this was coming: On Friday, Glenn Beck devoted his entire hour to promoting the conspiracy theories of G. Edward Griffin, a John Bircher and 9/11 truther whose book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, attacks the Federal Reserve as a nefarious cabal intent on enslaving and destroying America.
It was quite a performance: Among other things we learned from Griffin was that he believes there is no actual gold at Fort Knox (maybe Goldfinger rendered it radioactive, eh?) and that there is a real inflation rate of around 20 percent right now.
Well, as we explained already:
Beck, as we all know, has previously demonstrated a fondness for the Birch Society, and this is consistent with that: Griffin, after all, was a close personal friend and longtime associate of Birch Society founder Robert Welch, and wrote a popular Birch book published in 1964, The Fearful Master: A Second Look at the United Nations.
The Creature from Jekyll Island is in many ways a compendium of previous works claiming that the Federal Reserve is a fundamentally illegitimate — and therefore deeply nefarious — organization. Most of these theories were deeply anti-Semitic in nature, since they depicted the Fed’s bankers as part of a Jewish cabal intent on destroying white American society. What sets Griffin’s work apart is that — like most Birch texts, which assiduously avoided anti-Semitism — he manages to scrub out the anti-Semitic elements while keeping the paranoid conspiracist elements intact.
Since its publication in 1994, Griffin’s book has become a popular text for a large number of right-wing extremists, particularly tax protesters and Patriot movement believers. Griffin himself was involved in organizing a gathering on Jekyll Island last year that the Southern Poverty Law Center credits with helping revive the militia movement.
It has been debunked thoroughly, of course — probably most notably by historian Gerry Rough, whose three-part series on the origins of the Fed, “Another Twist on the Jacksonian Bank War,” pretty thoroughly reveal just how fraudulent Griffin’s text really is. You can read it here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Meanwhile, Media Matters’ research team has a complete rundown on Griffin. From an earlier piece:
Griffin, in addition to spinning conspiracy theories about the Fed, is also a 9-11 truther and has written extensively about the U.S. government’s “facilitation” of the attacks. In April 2008, Griffin appeared on the radio program of conspiracist Alex Jones and claimed that he predicted just days after 9-11 that “the FBI and the intelligence agencies of the federal government had advance knowledge of this attack but did nothing to stop it,” and that he was proven right. He also is — or, at least, was — a member of the ultra-right wing John Birch Society. He wrote a 1970 pamphlet entitled “This is the John Birch Society: An Invitation to Join,” and a 1975 book entitled The Life and Words of Robert Welch: Founder of the John Birch Society.