A Well-Heeled Crowd of Deceivers:
An Example of the EGA “Strategy” in New England

by Erich Veyhl, Land Rights Letter, April 1993.

“A Motley Crowd of Deceivers” screams the front page headline in the Winter 1992 newsletter of the Conservation Law Foundation. “Unlimited Greed” shrieked a related article purporting to expose alleged wise use “recruiting activities” in New England.

It was the latest example of the Preservationist Strategy, a vicious attack on local property owners, this time written by (or under the name of) Francis Hatch, son of former Republican Governor of Massachusetts Francis Hatch, and distributed throughout New England by the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF).

Hatch is the past chairman of CLF, a well–heeled Boston–based environmentalist law firm backed by elite, Old Money, Boston Brahmins such as Hatch and its Chairman of the Board Charles C. Cabot, Jr., Esq. CLF is known for its hard ball legal tactics used to advance environmental activist causes while seeking to embed environmentalist political ideology into American law. Corresponding to the national environmentalist move against northern New England, CLF recently set up a field headquarters in coastal Maine where it presents itself as a Maine organization representing local interests.

Hatch also sits on the Board of Directors of the (EGA–funded) Maine Coast Heritage Trust, founded and “quarter–backed” (as the organization has boasted) by his colleague Peggy Rockefeller (wife of banker David). And he is chairman of the John Merck Fund, a tax–exempt foundation whose Environmental Program has pumped millions of dollars ($1.47 million in 1991 alone) into preservationist activism and university environmentalism (over $.5 million for New England issues in 1991).

Readers of Hatch's hit piece didn't learn who the people in the “motley crowd” he attacked are, what they are opposing, or why. They were given only a garbled, factually inaccurate portrait of New England private property groups, dishonestly presented as inexplicably fanatical extremists who “front for a wide variety of special interests that support them, including timber and mining companies, the Reverend Moon's Unification Church, and the political right wing.”

Hatch's McCarthy–esque ad hominem was offered as the motive for what he called the “outlandish, untrue claims of imagined federal intervention [that] are spread regularly by property rights groups.”

Why else would people be so “outlandish?” They must be Moonies, or at the very least, as the latest issue of the New England Environmental Network News dishonestly accused, “fronting a slick, industry–funded public relations campaign.”

It's the “Strategy” at work, just as Debra Callahan described it at the Environmental Grantmakers Association conference last October [LRL 2/93]. It comes pre–packaged, just as it was planned: the tax–exempt big money feeding the campaign for Federal control (couched in harmless–sounding euphemisms) together with the deliberate, dishonest smear campaign against the intended victims who dare to speak out against them. Two examples are recent events in Maine and New Hampshire, discussed below and illustrating the Strategy at work.

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

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