Ron Paul's connections to the neo-fascist right are already well established, for those who are paying attention. Now it seems his longtime connection to the John Birch Society has led him deeper into the radical right nexus. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog, Paul is scheduled to speak at a confab sponsored by a wing of the "Traditionalist" schism that literally claims to be more Catholic than the Pope and has long been a magnet for sinister reactionaries. In this case, one of the fellow luminaries on the bill is the Italian neo-fascist leader Roberto Fiore.
Ron Paul, Birch President to Speak at Anti-Semitic Conference
Beyond the obvious, what do a far-right Italian politician, the president of the John Birch Society and former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul have in common?
In early September, the men are all scheduled to speak—along with a lengthy list of archconservative clergy, lawyers and academics—at a conference in Canada sponsored by the Fatima Center, part of the "radical traditionalist Catholic" movement, perhaps the single largest group of hard-core anti-Semites in North America.
Paul, the former Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate, is the keynote speaker of the weeklong conference slated for Sept. 8-13 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. A physician before entering politics, Paul got into considerable hot water in 2008 when The New Republic published "Angry White Man," an article about the contents of newsletters he published. What the newsletters revealed, the magazine reported, "are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews and gays." Paul denied writing the newsletters that bore his name.
The conference is titled, "Fatima: The Path to Peace" and "is a call," according to a Fatima Center press release, "to a return to sanity in the government of the world and the Church, for the two cannot be separated."
Also scheduled to speak is Roberto Fiore, an Italian politician, who, when he won a seat to the European Parliament in 2008, was described by a fellow member of the body as "absolutely the most extreme person who has ever served in the European Parliament."
John F. McManus, the president of the archconservative John Birch Society (JBS) is also listed as a speaker at the Canadian conference. JBS has been dogged for decades by charges of anti-Semitism, accusations society leaders vehemently deny. Those same leaders, however, take great pride in JBS being at the forefront of the conspiracy-fueled attacks on Agenda 21, a non-binding United Nations plan for sustainable development around the world.
The Fatima Center said it has assembled at least 27 speakers for the conference.
"All speakers share one thing in common," its press release said, "a keen understanding that the nations of the world suffer profound disorder, that evil and shocking immorality are on the rise, that war and violence steadily increase, that the stability of our entire social order is at stake, and that a solution to the present chaos is of utmost necessity."
After his talk in Canada, McManus has an appointment south of the border in Washington, D.C., to speak at yet another conference of radical traditionalist Catholicism, also known as “integrism” or Catholic separatism.
The so-called "Catholic Restoration Conference VII" is slated for Sept. 13-15 and is sponsored by "In the Spirit of Charters" Committee (ISOC).
One of the speakers scheduled to join McManus at the D.C. conference is E. Michael Jones, the South Bend, Ind.-based editor of Culture Wars magazine. The magazine's cover stories have included "Judaizing: Then and Now," "The Judaism of Hitler," and "Shylock Comes to Notre Dame."
In an article raging about a new president of Notre Dame University several years ago, Jones charged that anyone who went to a mainstream university would emerge "with a Jewish world view … and maybe a Jewish spouse."