Environmental Funders Formulate Strategy,
Tell Preservationists How to Contend
with Grass Roots Opposition

by Erich Veyhl, Land Rights Letter, March 1993.

Land Rights Letter's February, 1993 report on the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) provided a window on some of the high–level planning and unprecedented financial resources behind environmentalist attacks on private citizens they deem to be a “threat” to the environmentalist cultural and political agenda for America.

The report on Debra Callahan's “wise use” session at the Oct. 1992 EGA conference illustrated how environmentalist leaders acknowledge to themselves the nature of the grass roots revolt they have themselves provoked – even while they continue to systematically smear those who dare to speak out against them: If you have the courage to protest a preservationist landgrab, you are automatically accused of all sorts of ulterior motives ranging from accusations of “fronts for the Moonies” to dark allegations of “corporate interests” out to destroy the planet – anything to deflect attention away from the issues. The environmentalist movement's agenda and methods cannot survive open discussion.

But there is more: Callahan's “wise use” session at the October EGA Conference al so outlined a proposed multipoint strategy for how they should contend with their grass roots opposition. This session, as well as segments from some of the others, reveal in an unusually explicit manner how environmentalists think in terms of a military–like campaign to destroy or at least “neutralize” those in their way as they attempt to force American life to conform to the environmentalist vision.

The strategies proposed against the grass roots rebellion can be grouped into several categories: personal attacks, organizing and funding, philosophy of anti–economics, and the private property “takings” issue. Many of the strategies discussed at the conference have already become apparent and are not new; others suggestwhat to watch for. Some are broad principles; others are narrow and specific or temporal in nature.

First, here is Callahan's outline of a proposed strategy against “wise use”.

No, they are not nice people. This one segment alone reveals the calculated dishonesty and Orwellian double–speak: The cynical attempt to “give environmentalism a human face” – like politicians do “blah blah.” Federal control and acquisition equated to “these lands belong to all of us.” Straw man examples to misrepresent privatizations as “ripping off America.” “Attack wise use.” Divide and conquer. Manipulate differing economic interests to fight each other. Misrepresent property rights as threats to “worker safety” to “neutralize” labor. Smear opponents as “extremists” to dodge discussion of principles and issues. Redefine the vocabulary to manipulate thought. Manipulate personal ties. Politicize organized religion. Accuse “foreign influence.” The Moonies. Extremists. The John Birch Society. Lyndon LaRouche. Attack. Link. Incite nationalist emotions.

Old Joe McCarthy had nothing on this crew – an odd starting point for a group that strategizes on how to “capture the high ground.”

Copyright © 1993 Erich Veyhl and Land Rights Letter. All Rights Reserved

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