It shouldn’t be a surprise Glenn Beck would put in a plug or two for Mitt Romney. Both are fellow Mormon Church members and both have been schooled by W. Cleon Skousen. Cleon Skousen is featured in Alexander Zaitchik newly released book. The Washington Post, made famous by Woodward and Bernstein, ran an interview by David Weigel on June 2, 2010 with Zaitchik, regarding his newly released book.
Here is a portion of the interview in the Washington Post:
David Weigel: What would the tea party movement be like without Beck? Would it exist? Would it be better or worse informed?
Alexander Zaitchik: “It would definitely exist. In fact, Beck reconceived his 9.12 Project on the fly to capitalize on the movement as it came into being in March and April of 2009.”
“I don’t think it’s possible the Tea Partyers could be any less informed with another leader. Beck tells people that the most important book they can read is "The 5,000 Year Leap," by Cleon Skousen. This man was a raving lunatic who thought God’s hand directed the writing of the U.S. Constitution, which He modeled largely on the governing system of the ancient tribes of Israel. Beck’s required reading list in Common Sense only has ten titles, four of which are by Skousen, who was so far out he was monitored closely by Hoover’s FBI and almost excommunicated by the Mormon Church. I have a chapter in the book devoted to Skousen’s story, which is crucial to understanding how fringe Beck’s foundational influences really are. Skousen’s prominence tells us an awful lot about the intellectual seriousness of this movement.”
David Weigel: How important is understanding Mormonism in understanding Beck? I expect your chapter on Beck's religion to be the most controversial.
Alexander Zaitchik: “I thought that chapter might be controversial as well. But the response I’ve gotten from Mormons has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve done a lot of media in Utah, and the most common response is that I nailed the influence of Mormonism on Beck’s act. Aside from providing an introduction to Skousen, Mormonism is a perfect religious fit for Beck in a lot of ways, from the wealth-worshiping corporatism of the LDS Church, to the teary social ritual known as “bearing testimony,” to the schmaltzy sentimentalism found in so much Mormon film and literature. But those are each long stories in themselves. If anyone is interested in hearing them, they should buy the book.”
Now, it is important to mention Glenn Beck did not start the ‘Tea Party” movement. The original Tea Party movement was started by a professor in California. One of the original members of the Tea Party stole the original “Tea Party’s” data base and took it to a GOP political consulting group, which began the “Tea Party Express”. Glenn Beck merely capitalized on the movement to begin his 9.12 group. Guess, Beck was steering away from 9.11, not bringing up the Mountain Meadows Massacre committed by Mormons who murdered all the members of a southern wagon train at Mountain Meadows located near Cedar City, Utah.
Alexander Zaitchik new book contains information on W. Cleon Skousen which Zaitchik premiered in his article in Salon.com several months ago titled “Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck's life”. He wrote the following regarding Skousen:
“As the scenarios became more and more outlandish, the feds grew concerned. In an internal memo, the FBI described Skousen's friend and employer Fred Schwarz as "an opportunist," the likes of which "are largely responsible for misinforming people and stirring them up emotionally” ... can only do the country and the anticommunist work of the Bureau harm."
Interesting. W. Cleon Skousen stirring up emotions and misleading – normal
Skousen bragged during his lifetime, he was a top aid to J. Edgar Hoover and was an experience in communist subversion during his FBI years. Both claims are questionable. Skousen's FBI work according to Ernie Lazar, a researcher, wrote on his web site titled: “Cleon W. Skousen The Mythology Surrounding His FBI Career” that contains Skousen's nearly 2,000-page FBI file:
“As details below will demonstrate, during his FBI career Skousen had very modest investigative experience. His FBI assignments were primarily administrative in nature. I will be quoting extensively below from a 14-page summary of his performance evaluations which cover his assignments from 1940 thru retirement.”
“Even more significantly, he had no special exposure to investigations concerning communism in the United States.”
In Ernie’s blog pages on Skousen he recounts:
“Utah Republican Congressman Henry A. Nixon contacted the Bureau about Skousen’s description of himself and Nixon’s administrative assistant (Mark Cannon) received a telephone call from a senior Bureau official (Robert E. Wick) who pointed out that:
“Wick impressed upon Cannon the fact that the FBI has no control over former Agents; they are not connected with the FBI; and it would appear here that frankly Mr. Skousen is attempting to trade on his former Bureau connection. Wick told him that again very frankly Mr. Hoover and the entire FBI does not appreciate this sort of thing and it is simply unfair to inject the FBI into a political matter of this nature.”… [HQ 94-47468, serial number illegible; 7/28/60 memo from C.D. DeLoach to Mr. Mohr re “Administrative Assistant”]
“And, as the summary prepared for Associate Director Tolson (quoted above) points out, the Bureau’s records do not reveal that Skousen performed any research on communism and “from 1947 until he resigned there were no abstracts under his name for either the internal security or espionage classifications.”
“A July 1961 memo from the FBI’s Chief Inspector, W.C. Sullivan, to A.H. Belmont discusses a report in a San Antonio TX newspaper which mentioned that Skousen was planning to write a textbook on communism. Sullivan confirms yet again that Skousen developed no particular expertise regarding communist matters while in the Bureau”:
“As we know, Skousen, when he was in the FBI, did not concentrate in the field of communism. However, he has been giving lectures on the subject around the country, and during the past year has affiliated himself with the extreme right-wing groups under the leadership of Frederick Schwartz [sic] of Texas. The above, to me, is another example of why a sound, scholarly textbook on communism by the Director is urgently and badly needed.” [HQ 67-69602, #311; 7/29/61 memo from Sullivan to Belmont.]
Romney mentions W. Cleon Skousen and mentions Skousen’s books.
Romney shares other commonalities with Cleon other than, Mitt being a student of Skousen.
Romney took religious classes from Skousen at Brigham Young University. Also, Cleon and Mitt both share the first name of “Willard” – W. Cleon Skousen and W. Mitt Romney. Both the Skousen and Romney family fled the United States to Mexico under the orders of the Mormon prophet to continue to practice polygamy. Both families still have kinsmen in the Mormon Mexican colonies. And both have a history of stretching the truth.
Dad always said, never trust a man once they have been caught in a fib.
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