Unmasking Saul Alinsky, a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
A brilliant new EWTN film unmasks the man behind community organizing and what has greatly contributed to today’s chaotic culture.
BY JOSEPH PRONECHEN 09/24/2016
Do you want an understanding of where so much of society’s problems originated and how things went radically wrong in everything from culture to family life to politics?
You’ll find out from A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, set to air on EWTN television on Saturday evening, Sept. 24, at 6 pm Eastern time (check schedule for other time zones).
The film is no less than riveting. By the brilliant team of Richard and Stephen Payne, the father-son filmmakers who head Arcadia Films, it explores the life and beliefs of one Saul Alinsky, often called the father of community organizing.
Sure, he said he wanted to help the poor, but we see how his tactics were no less than wrong and anti-Christian. He deceived many and used and abused elements in the Catholic Church in the process.
Richard Payne explained that St. Matthew gave the filmmakers the classic three-act structure in 7:15-20.
Act One: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” In this act we get the story of the rise of Alinsky, where he got his ideas, and how as a socialist/Marxist he began applying them to manipulate people and society.
Act Two: “By their fruits you will know them.” Was there good fruit in his work, or did it lead to a basket of rotten goods?
Act Three: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.” Here comes the assessment of the fruits which look ready for the trash heap. People at this point should be asking themselves, How did we get to this precipice and is there hope to back away from it? Here is where the Paynes turn up the spotlights to overcome the heat. It’s not a paradox in this film.
The film immediately grabs our attention with the tale of a wolf dressing as a sheep to mingle unnoticed with the sheep in the pasture. That sets the stage for the early years of Alinsky.
Period photos, headlines, and film bring to life the narration of Alinsky’s beginnings and growth in a fascinating way to get to understand the man. The Paynes blend these techniques in a way that keeps us moving closer to the edge of our seats as details pile up about his rise to unholy power.
Born in 1909 into an Orthodox Jewish family where the father was a successful middle class tailor, Alinsky became an agnostic and wanted to help the poor rise out of their condition. But how?
In college he took a social pathology course that, among other things, devalued marriage and family and ideas were constructed in Marxist terms.
“Treat persons not as persons but symbols,” says Alinsky in one of the vignettes throughout the film, punctuating Alinsky’s ideas in his own words. Actor Jim Morlino of Navis Pictures portrays Alinsky as that disguised wolf yet shows his sinister and dark edge, like a commentator in a 50s film noir.
“Life is a corrupting process…he who fears corruption fears life…” he says another time.
“Truth is relative and is changing,” he asserts. Get the picture? There’s a healthy dose of relativism already here in early to mid-20th century. Make truth what you want it to be at the moment.
In his sheep’s clothing he says again, “The end justifies almost any means.” And “You do what you can and clothe it in moral garments.”
That he did, we learn. It all sounded so good, helping the poor improve their lot. Who could be against that? But with what we learn are Marxist, Socialist, Communist tactics?
Of course, he must have picked up a thing or two from Chicago’s mob bosses. Studying criminality on a fellowship, he got to known the ruthless Al Capone and then Frank Nitti who took over for Capone. By his own admission, Alinsky said of Nitti, “I called him the professor and I became his student.”
In sheep’s clothing, Alinsky linked with the trade unions to help backside workers in Chicago’s meat packing industry. A noble goal to get them out of squalor. He befriended a Catholic who introduced him to members of the Church and subsequently parish leaders who didn’t spot the wolf beneath.
The Paynes reveal some telling examples of the way Alinsky worked among the sheep who maybe didn’t realize the philosophy behind the tactics he was about to use.
One of the good examples we get is the conflict when the University of Chicago attempted to expand its campus into a poor neighborhood. Alinsky got the chance to apply his Marxist conflict theory using division and deceit to conquer, casting the university into the role of the big rich bully enemy against his poor group.
As we get other examples, one of the experts briefly interviewed in the film says the organizing talk used was the language of peace and light, but all this was putting into place something different — a great evil coming in like a fog where people no longer see things distinctly. His idea to help the poor was good, but the means were evil.
These short, insightful commentaries come at critical moments from people including Allice von Hildebrand, Father Andrew Apostoli, Father Mitch Pacwa, and actors playing Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko (we think we’re seeing the priest himself), Leo XIII, Hildegard of Bingen, and St. John Paul II, and clips of Bishop Fulton Sheen.
The Paynes bring us some shattered news in the way we learn a number of Catholics thought Alinsky’s way was the way to go to help empower the poor. One was Msgr. John (Jack) Egan who became a close associate and prompted Alinsky to write what would be his last book, Rules for Radicals (which is linked to Marx).
We learn that Cardinal John Cody of Chicago shut down the priest’s office when he realized what was going on with the organizing. But Msgr. Egan was invited to the Notre Dame University where he stayed for several years, working with five priests — four were Alinsky supporters — to form the Campaign for Human Development, convinced Alinsky’s approach was the best.
Msgr. Egan was appointed co-chair of the first Call to Action conference where radicals took over. One recommendation was training Alinsky organizers. At a news conference Cardinal John Krol said that “rebels have taken over our conference.”
It should be no surprise that Msgr. Egan up to a month before he died called for ordinations of women and married priests.
In this fascinating film, the Paynes are cinematic investigative reporters showing us how after Alinsky died, the organization used its Marxist, socialist progress causes to influence every facet of American political power and culture. Alinsky organizing has vastly impacted our society’s culture, marriage, family life, morality and even spiritualty. Over 800 Alinsky organizations are spread throughout American communities today.
As one of his ardent followers stated, it’s guised under the name of liberalism instead of socialism. Alinsky was a major wolf, and there were others. The Paynes make the connection by detailing for us, with names and places and ideas all visualized, the three “hellfire movements of Marxism” that helped Alinsky and then affected Americans.
We’re shocked to learn about Frankfurt Socialism called Institute for Social Research in the USA, to change and bring down America by criticizing it, developing political correctness, the sexual revolution, and gender conflict and confusion; Gramsci Socialism targeting specifically the Catholic Church and transform America’s Judeo-Christian culture from the inside through law, media, entertainment, and family life, and limit religion only to private worship; Fabian Socialism to slowly break down the morals of the family in a stealthy, nearly imperceptible way.
Sound familiar when you look around?
The film helps us understand how these goals have affected our society, politics (some top politicians were Alinsky followers), media, entertainment, families, morality, culture and even, sadly, some inside our Church. We have to be aware of that. St. John Paul II called this culture of death.
We’re reminded the names of the devil are his tactics — liar, deceiver, divider, accuser, adversary, lawless one, destroyer. Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer. Sadly, and tragically, Alinsky said if there is a heaven or hell, he would choose to the latter where he could organize. We’re told not to hate Alinsky but pray for him.
Despite all this the Paynes don’t leave us stranded because ultimately, they said the film is not a political one but a spiritual one. The last part, beautifully intertwined with the delicacy of lace yet the strength of steel, shows us that despite what has been done to America, by seeing what we have to reclaim there is hope of restoration.
The filmmakers spell out the way with uplifting visual details that multiply the effect of the narrative line which Stephen Payne delivers in a way that brings the viewer to trust the facts as coming from a caring authority who is also a friend.
We see what are the true social principles of the Catholic Church, how to restore our country to a nation recognizing that rights come from God and our God-given heritage, and how important our Blessed Mother is in this reclamation.
The Paynes end as they began, with the story of a wolf — only this one ends differently.
Don’t miss this most timely film about the wolves in sheep’s clothing at this critical time in our country and world.
Read the source and comments:http://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/unmasking-the-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing
About Joseph Pronechen
Venezuela is a nation rich with natural resources such as oil, gold, diamonds and other minerals. Yet, it is experiencing a crisis in which most people cannot find food or medicine.
In the past several months, there has been great social unrest in Venezuela. Venezuelans are going out on the streets demanding their basic needs, and storming delivery trucks and stores to get their hands on supplies. Their daily activities are disrupted by water rationing and electricity cuts, which have resulted from long-term neglect of basic infrastructure.
Most people would take this as a sign that the government has simply failed. Many onlookers may assume Venezuela’s leaders are just incompetent. Why else would they not able to provide the people with the basic necessities like water, electricity, security and opportunity?
As a Venezuelan expat having served in the Venezuelan foreign service for two decades and directing a program for the Inter-American Development Bank, I know the crisis is the result of an effort to gain and maintain power, just as the Castro brothers have successfully done in Cuba.
Call for revolution
Chávez came to power, after unsuccessfully attempting a coup, by winning an election in 1998. He won by selling the idea of giving power to the people, and ending the corruption of the traditional political parties that had governed Venezuela for the last quarter-century.
He won the election by a convincing margin. He started his presidency with the support of the people and a barrel of oil going for more than US$100. His original popularity and success permitted him to accomplish many of his goals that in other circumstances would have been very difficult.
In 2012, a member of the former Venezuelan president’s inner circle went public, alleging details of a plan he did not want to be a part of and rejected.
Guaicaipuro Lameda, a former general under President Hugo Chávez, shared details of how Chávez and his supporters allegedly intended to carry out the Bolivarian Revolution he campaigned on. Chávez’s call for revolution expressed a rejection of imperialism that sought to establish democratic socialism for the 21st century.
But, Lameda claimed, Chávez’s plan to accomplish this involved taking control of all branches of power – the executive, legislative, judicial and military.
Once in power, Chávez replaced the existing Congress by creating a new National Assembly, which he controlled. He used his new National Assembly to rewrite the constitution to perpetuate himself in power. The presidential periods were originally five-year terms without the possibility of immediate reelection. Former presidents could run again only after two terms had passed. The National Assembly changed it to six-year terms, with unlimited reelections, and extended these new parameters to governors and other elected officials.
Chavez served as president for 14 years, until his death in 2013.
The new National Assembly also reshaped the Supreme Court. They alleged the existing justices were corrupt, and inserted Chávez’s followersin their place.
Chávez created an image of an enlightened world leader, selling oil at a discount to many Latin American nations to buy good will. For example, he struck a deal to provided Cuba with deeply discounted oil in exchange for Cuban doctors.
He started a war against the private sector. He nationalized thousands of private companies and industries, to the amazement of his followers and to the astonishment of business owners and consumers who did not see it coming.
Chávez’s style was confrontational, disrespectful and self-centered. He would spend countless hours on national TV offending anyone who would dare to disagree with him, and was known for reprimanding and firing cabinet ministers on live TV. Countless hours of the show Aló Presidente were produced.
Chávez’s legacy haunts his successor
Nicolás Maduro, current president of Venezuela, was previously a bus driver, union leader and unconditional follower of Chávez. In return, Chávez appointed him as a member of the National Assembly, the secretary of state, vice president and then his heir.
Maduro has tried to imitate Chávez’s style, making Chávez an immortal figure, promoting rituals and making his burial place a center of worship and spending lavishly to create a cult centered on the “Eternal Commander.“
Unfortunately for Maduro, who does not have the charisma or the political instincts of his predecessor, the barrel of oil is now $40 instead of $100. The population is restless with poverty, which did not improve as Chávez promised. Rampant and very public corruption has beleaguered the public sector and armed forces.
There is no opportunity in the private sector, since it was destroyed by nationalization, using confiscation or expropriation of private companies. The local currency is totally worthless.
Thanks to Chávez’s legacy, Maduro still holds control over the Supreme Court of Justice and the Armed Forces. His followers have organized civilian groups called “collectivos” to mobilize against opposition. He also has the support of the Militia, a large group of paramilitaries, well-trained and uniformed and unconditional followers of the “eternal commander,” Chávez.
How long will this perpetuation of power last? Only time will tell, but the tides may be turning.
In December, Venezuelans expressed their discontent and voted a sea change into the National Assembly, which is now controlled by the opposition. The international community is questioning the procedures by which several well-known opposition leaders have been jailed, and decisions of the election commission to delay a referendum.
Last month, the Organization of American States, an organization with 35 member nations in the region, approved a resolution to review the social, political and economic reality of Venezuela. They may apply their Democratic Charter to force the Venezuelan government to call a referendum that could end Maduro’s term as president.
Meanwhile, the situation continues to worsen, and pressure from the Venezuelan people who are seeking an end to their hunger is growing by the day.
Read the source and comments:http://theconversation.com/how-todays-crisis-in-venezuela-was-created-by-hugo-chavezs-revolutionary-plan-61474
- Pedro E. Carrillo
Professor of International Business, Georgia State University
Pedro E. Carrillo does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
Georgia State University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.
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“A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for money cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which disturb the social order. A system that ‘subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production’ is contrary to human dignity. Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. ‘You cannot serve God and mammon’”(CCC: 2424).
“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with ‘communism’ or ‘socialism’. She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of ‘capitalism,’ individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for ‘there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.’ Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended” (CCC:2425).