Monday, November 16, 2009

Glenn Beck's Guru: W. Cleon Skousen - Racist, Mormon, Conspiracy Theorist

W. Cleon Skousen is Glenn Beck's favorite author. He wrote the bible of the 9/12 movement, "The 5,000 Year Leap." A once-famous anti-communist "historian," Skousen was too extreme even for the conservative activists of the Goldwater era, but Glenn Beck has now rescued him from the remainder pile of history, and introduced him to a receptive new audience. [Meet the Man Who Changed Glenn Beck's Life]

Beck loves the guilt by association tactic when it comes to his targets, but look at Beck's own self described "guru". Skousen was the epitome of a paranoid racist. Like Beck, he was always on the lookout for red scare communist infiltrating our government. He was also a proponent of the "New World Order" conspiracy theory that Beck also pushes.

Beck has perfected Skousen's conspiracy theory tactics ...
  • {Insert Glenn Beck's target here} is a dangerous radical. He/she is involved in some inexplicable government conspiracy to engineer crises of financial and foreign policy. Be afraid, be very afraid. We're doomed ...
If you're not familiar with Skousen, he was the Glenn Beck of his day. Racist, Mormon, conspiracy theorist; man that sounds familiar.

Glenn Beck’s Mentor? Meet W. Cleon Skousen, Bestseller
  • Skousen’s The 5,000 Year Leap interprets American history “through an unspoken lens of Mormon theology” and is required reading at religious schools such as George Wythe University in Utah.
  • The FBI kept a 2,000 page report on Skousen.
  • The rest of Skousen’s oeuvre includes pamphlets and books on “the Red Menace, New World Order conspiracy, Christian child rearing, and Mormon end-times prophecy.”
  • Per the FBI file: “During the past year or so, Skousen has affiliated himself with the extreme right-wing ‘professional communists’ who are promoting their own anticommunism for obvious financial purposes.”
  • Critics charged Beck Skousen with “inventing fantastic ideas and making inferences that go far beyond the bounds of honest commentary.”
  • Applying Skousen’s attacks on communism to today, Beck has listed the new enemy as “liberals, special-interest groups, [and] the ACLU,” according to his first book The Real Truth.
  • “Over my book or anything else, get The 5,000 Year Leap,” said Beck. “It is the principle.”
  • Another book being passed around at 9/12 “seminars” is Skousen’s Making of America, which describes “America’s religious Founders and their happy slaves.”
    Skousen's writing on race are most troubling given that Glenn likes to label others as racist at the drop of a hat. Anyone who questions his own race based rants, is automatically a racist. Here are a few things Glenn's hero, Skousen, had to say about race.
    Newly sold slaves "usually a cheerful lot." "The tendency was to sell families as units, if for no other reason [than] to keep the slaves contented. The gangs in transit were usually a cheerful lot, though the presence of a number of the more vicious type sometimes made it necessary for them all to go in chains. At the other extreme, when the Central of Georgia railroad company in 1858 equipped a Negro sleeping car to assist in the slave trade it set a standard not always maintained in a later generation. When on the block, the slave was as likely to hinder as to help in his sale. Some, out of a vain conceit in bringing a high price, would boast of their physical prowess, in which case an unwary purchaser would likely be cheated. Others would malinger, because of a grudge against owners or traders or in order to bring a low price and be put at less tiring labor. Dealers, also, adopted the tricks of horse traders to make their merchants more attractive -- the greasiest Negro was generally considered the healthiest." [The Making of America, pages 731-732]

    Broken marriages "one the blessings of slavery."
    "Negro weddings were attended by white people who joined in the celebration. If the marriages were of a rather impermanent nature, that fact was frequently considered as 'one of the blessings of slavery.' At church and camp meetings the Negroes, in their own section of the building or tabernacle, enjoyed the experiences immensely. They could shout without restraint, while the masters, in order to preserve their dignity, had to repress their emotions. It made little difference if religion was thrown off soon after the camp meeting dissolved -- backsliding was pleasant, and there was always a chance to get intoxicatingly converted again." [The Making of America, page 734]

    Southern slavery better than Northern freedom. "The free Negro had rather more opportunity for economic advancement in the South than in the North. The Southerner was bothered by the race problem but knew how to handle the individual Negro, while the Northerner professed a benign interest in the race so long as its members were as remote as possible. Neither section was willing to grant equal rights in education, suffrage, or legal standing, while many states of all sections had laws prohibiting the immigration of free Negroes. Abraham Lincoln could not have maintained his standing in the Republican party had he not been a staunch supporter of the Illinois exclusion law and a firm opponent of political and social equality. It was most difficult for a Negro to get a job in the North, except at the most loathsome of tasks. Some Negroes, having been freed and sent to any Northern state which would receive them, became so miserable as to solicit a return to slavery." [The Making of America, pages 735-736]

    "Negro preachers" warranted surveillance.
    "The worst offenses of slaves against the white men's code were rebellion and running away. Drunkenness, stealing, hiding out from work, personal filthiness, carelessness of property, fighting, and general brutality had various positions in the scale of misdemeanors. Negro preachers often bred discontent by their unnecessary restraint upon pleasure, and, if itinerants, had to be watched closely for abolitionist or seditious doctrines." [The Making of America, page 734]

    Southern life a "nightmare" of fear -- for white people.
    "The constant fear of slave rebellion made life in the South a nightmare, especially in regions where conspiracies were of frequent occurrence. The extermination of white civilization in Santo Domingo was followed in the nineteenth century by several other bloody outbursts in the West Indies, which never failed to cause ominous forebodings in America. [...]

    Slaves hampered efficiency of white labor.
    "In the management of slave labor the gang system predominated. The great majority of owners, having at the most only one or two families of Negroes, had to work alongside their slaves and set the pace for them. Slavery did not make white labor unrespectable, but merely inefficient. The slave had a deliberateness of motion which no amount of supervision could quicken. If the owner got ahead of the gang they all would shirk behind his back." [The Making of America, page 732]

    White schoolchildren would "envy the freedom" of "colored playmates."
    "Slave food, even if monotonous, was plentiful. Corn bread and bacon were the mainstays, with plenty of fruit and vegetables in season. In hog-killing time, countenances were unusually greasy. Clothing also was on the par with that of the poorer white people and no less adequate in proportion to the climate than that of Northern laborers. If [negro children] ran naked it was generally from choice, and when the white boys had to put on shoes and go away to school they were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates. The color line began to appear at about that time." [The Making of America, pages 732-733]

    Cruelty rare, slave owners "the worst victims."
    "Excessive toil occurred only where the masters or overseers were feeble witted as well as brutal. A persistent rumor among abolitionists was that sugar planters followed a policy of working slaves to death in seven years as a matter of economy. The persons spreading such reports were as ignorant of Negro nature as they were of conditions in the sugar mills. Furthermore, they overrated the ability of the masters to know how to kill a slave in the given time instead of leaving him a broken-down burden to the plantation. When they set out to prove the accusation they returned with no evidence, but convinced that the practice existed in some obscure region which they had not succeeded in ferreting out. Harriet Martineau, after watching slaves go through the motions of work without tiring themselves, considered the planters as models of patience and observed that new slave owners from Europe or the North were prone to be the most severe. Numerous observers, of various shades of opinion on slavery, agreed that brutality was no more common in the black belt than among free labor elsewhere, and that the slave owners were the worst victims of the system." [The Making of America, pages 733-734


    1. I just found this from another blog on wordpress citing you. I don't have a blogroll, but your blog makes me think it's time to start one. I have an expose about Skousen on my blog, The Glenn Beck Review,, that you may enjoy and critically review. Thanks.

    2. Thank you very much for assembling these quotes. It is very useful.

    3. What's scary here, (and I kid you not), is that I am one of Cleon W. Skousen's Great-grandchildren, and I in no way agree or endorse any of the things that is listed above in, "The Making of America", if anything, I am deeply ashamed of it. I never met my great-grandpa, but regardless, I just don't like, agree, or share that man's views in any way, shape, or form.