UKIP Puffing Bilderberg Conspiracy Theories at European Parliament

Staying with WorldNetDaily and economic woes in Greece, we’re told that the meltdowm is evidence of the Bilderbergers’ influence in world affairs, and that this will be acknowledged in a discussion at the EU:

Daniel Estulin, author of the hot-selling book,  “The True Story of the Bilderberg Group,” has even been invited to present an unprecedented speech before the European Parliament in Brussels June 1 on the subject of the secretive cabal…

“Economists cannot explain it without acknowledging the shadow masters working to manipulate economies,” Estulin said. “There is a general awakening taking place in people and the national press. This is no longer the domain of conspiracy theorists. Especially in Europe, we’re seeing enough cracks to have hope that this dam will break and more and more people will demand to know what the Bilderberg Group has been doing.”

…”To these powerful people, national resources are theirs, not everyone’s,” Estulin told WND. “All these people want an empire. They don’t want the people of the world to develop, to prosper, to grow the population. They want us to work for them, where our children and our children’s children work for an elite group, the oligarchy.

“If people participate in the ideas shaping the world, if a nation is allowed to grow its own food, develop its own natural resources, be truly self-governing, it would end the Bilderbergers’ oligarchy,” Estulin said.

A second WND piece, from a few days ago, has further background to the EU invite:

He was invited to speak by Mario Borghezio, Italy’s most senior member of the parliament, considered one of the most powerful legislative bodies in the world.

He compared his address there to an invitation to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress, a rare honor for anyone outside the ranks of the government.

…His work will be part of a presentation titled “Bilderberg Group – Towards Creation of One World Company Ltd.,” which will include the work of Borghezio and British members Nigel Farage and Gerard Batten.

WND is promoting Estulin’s book (published in English by TrineDay, a Eugene-based conspiracy-theory publishing house founded in 2002 by a certain Kris Milligen), and the book’s thesis will be endorsed by Borghezio and his UKIP allies. A dissenting UKIP blogger named “Junius” has some fun with this:

In 1997, Rodney Atkinson published a book entitled ‘Europe’s Full Circle’. A large amount of the book was devoted to the Bilderberg Group. In 2000, the contents of this book were used by Farage as the basis for a series of attacks on Mr Atkinson after the author decided to stand for election as UKIP leader.

Atkinson was accused of being obsessed with conspiracy theories and was rather uncharitably branded a ‘wacko’.

We can only assume that Farage was hoping that UKIPPERS had forgotten about this!

While WND gushes over Borghezio as “Italy’s most senior member of the parliament”, to most people he’s known as a far-right rabble-rouser noted for distasteful publicity stunts for his Northern League party; Searchlight noted a few things about him in 2008 as part of an article on the anti-Islam pro-Köln movement:

He began his political career as a member of the fascist group Ordine Nuovo led by Pino Rauti, who is still under investigation for terrorist activities. He later joined the Northern League, which has been at the forefront of the xenophobic trend since its inception in the 1980s.

…Borghezio made his mark by setting fire to the tents of immigrants in Turin and later fought hard to convince people that immigrants were responsible for the spread of dangerous diseases such as TB.

A French-language news report about him can be seen on YouTube here. Borghezio is also a traditionalist Catholic; the Lega Nord’s unofficial “chaplain” is a former SSPX priest named Floriano Abrahamowicz; Seismic Shock noted last year that:

In late January 2009, British Catholic SSPX priest Richard Williamson [this guy – RBmade headlines due to comments in an interview on Swedish TV playing down the numbers of Holocaust victims (Williamson estimated the real count to be between 200,000-300,000) and denying that the Nazis employed gas chambers to kill Jews.

Some days later, in an interview with Italian newspaper Tribuna de Trevise, Abrahamowicz defended his fellow SSPX member, claiming that the gas chambers were only used by the Nazis for ‘disinfection’, and complaining about the importance given to the Holocaust. The SSPX promptly dismissmed Abrahamowicz, distancing themselves from Holocaust denial.

As for Estulin himself, like a lot of these characters he boasts of all kinds of links to “intelligence sources”, who tip him off on subjects such as 2007 US government plan to bump off Ron Paul. Last year he caused some offence to conspiracy theorists by describing Alex Jones’ followers as “crazies” on Press TV.

I blogged on Bilderberg conspiracy theories here.

UPDATE: See today.

WorldNetDaily and the Muslim Anti-Christ Yet Again

The latest from WorldNetDaily:

The headline is aimed at conservative Christians who bought into the “Revived Roman Empire” theory of apocalypticism in the 1970s and 1980s, which warned that European integration part of Satan’s plan to create a powerbase for the Anti-Christ. The theory was most famously promoted by Hal Lindsey, and although Lindsey has published many columns in WND, he appears to have been quietly dropped a year ago.

WND wants Christians to focus instead on the Islamic world as the locus of Satan’s ultimate designs, and the headline is just the latest in a long line of puffs for Joel Richardson, author of  The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast. Economic woes in Europe provide the hook for the latest outing; Richardson – who is personally congenial and has left a few comments on this blog – himself writes

As the world watches, the European Union seems to be teetering ever closer toward the brink of collapse with its massive debt crisis. Member nations are fighting to prop up the euro and maintain European unity through, you guessed it, a mega-billion dollar bailout. Meanwhile, Greece’s economic failure continues to metastasize across its borders. Numerous headlines across the globe are asking if the EU can survive… Could it be that what the Bible actually teaches is that the Roman Empire would revive, then collapse and then revive again? Not likely.

While such a scenario will surely invite mockery from the new atheists, what is important to remember is that if the EU does collapse, this does not represent a failure on the prophetic accuracy of the Bible, but simply of a particular school of interpretation. Atheists come and go, but the Word of the Lord stands forever, baby.

…Throughout the history of the church, many great Christian leaders have looked not to Europe, but to the Middle East for the emergence of an end-time empire. In fact, going back to the first few centuries of the church, the consistent testimony of the early believers is that the Antichrist, his empire and his religion would arise from out of the Middle East, and not Europe…

…What many Westerners, and perhaps Americans most of all, often fail to recognize is the fact that the Bible is a thoroughly Eastern book. It always has been. As shocking as this may be to some, the Bible was not written primarily for Americans.

When the prophets specify which nations surround Israel to attack her, the wording used in Hebrew is goyim caybib, which translated means “the surrounding nations.” These are Israel’s neighbors; they are not references to Belgium or Luxembourg or Rome.

The lead-in article adds:

Richardson believes the key error of many previous prophecy scholars involves the misinterpretation of a prediction by Daniel to Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel describes the rise and fall of empires of the future, leading to the end times. Western Christians have viewed one of those empires as Rome, when, claims Richardson, Rome never actually conquered Babylon and was thus disqualified as a possibility.

It had to be another empire that rose and fell and rose again that would lead to rule of this “man of sin,” described in the Bible. That empire, he says, is the Islamic Empire, which did conquer Babylon and, in fact, rules over it even today.

Of course, this is a farrago of nonsense that would be dismissed outright by any serious Biblical scholar – whether atheist, Christian, Jewish, or whatever. As I wrote the last time this came up, the Book of Daniel was written in second century BCE, and, like the other books of the Bible, it was written with a contemporary audience in mind; it does not contain secrets that make sense only thousands of years later. The various empires that concern the author end with that of his own time and location: the Hellenistic kingdoms of the post-Alexander period. The author is not interested in Rome, and shows no knowledge of any kind of “Islamic Empire” hundreds of years in the future (or of a Christian future, for that matter). Babylon as a city had already lost much of its historical significance by the time the book was composed, and by the Islamic period the town itself was largely a ruin.

Like other self-styled “prophecy experts” (as opposed to actual Biblical scholars), Richardson believes in an Islamic Anti-Christ because he’s reading into the text what he wants to be there. On the one hand, he tells us that “the Bible was not written primarily for Americans”, but what he gives us an interpretation which obviously emerges out of early twenty-first century America. Just a few years after invading Iraq, and with increasing tension with Iran, American Christians suddenly discover that their holy book teaches that their nation’s current conflicts are central to a supernatural struggle between God and Satan. Who would have thought it?

But there’s still work to be done; WND also tells us that

Richardson, a student of Islam and the Middle east, found few churches in America welcoming him as a guest speaker. He was not invited to address many prophecy conferences. He found himself as a “political incorrect” outsider in most evangelical circles.

That’s suprising; Richardson’s website features a number of churches where he has spoken, and his associate Walid Shoebat, who promotes the same theory, seems to have a steady trickle of church invitations.

One man who must be too intelligent to take any of this seriously is Robert Spencer. However, Spencer sees Richardson’s book as useful for his own anti-Islam purposes, and he has given an endorsement:

A fascinating and provovative work. Joel has broken fresh ground in the ongoing exploration of the relationship between Islam and the rest of the world. A must-read for priests and pastors, students and lay readers everywhere. Bravo!

Part of that blurb appears on the cover: