by James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
reprinted from Covenant Syndicate, Volume 2, Number 75, 08JUL98
Once upon a time, his name was cautiously whispered within the dark confines of a militia group meeting or two. Today, Maurice Strong is up front and center in at least two recently published mainstream magazines. In September of last year, Mr. Strong was the subject of a cover story in National Review. Amazingly, the first feature story of 1998 in Forbes stars this same ascending world figure.
Strong has emerged as one of the most powerful and enigmatic figures on the international scene. He wields considerable influence in the areas of business and politics. Twenty years ago, The New Yorker magazine described Maurice Strong as the man upon whom "the survival of civilization in something like its present form might depend."
As of late, this billionaire Canadian businessman works simultaneously for the United Nations as Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary General and for the Rockefeller and Rothschild's Trusts. He is Director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Senior Adviser to the President of the World Bank, Chairman of the Earth Council, Chairman of the World Resources Institute and Co-Chairman of the Council of the World Economic Forum. He was Secretary General of the 1972 Earth Summit in Stockholm and the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
In addition, his credentials include membership in the UN funded Commission on Global Governance. This body's 1995 report called "Our Global Neighborhood" contained a number of ominous proposals including the establishment of a global tax, UN control over "global commons," expansion of the powers of the World Bank, expansion of the jurisdiction of the International Court, removal of U.S. veto power in the Security Council and creation of an Economic Security Council to oversee the world's economy. Clearly, the implications of such proposals were intended to move us towards the creation of a world government infrastructure. Unfortunately, they also necessitate and precipitate the decline of U.S. sovereignty.
Strong's business arrangements have been equally convoluted and diverse. His dealings have involved major U.S. oil interests as well as influential power brokers including Saudi arms merchant Adnan Kashoggi and Canada's Power Corporation.
Currently, Strong is attempting to control a potential scandal involving Molten Metal Technology, a hazardous waste firm known for its ties to Vice President Al Gore. Molten Metals has surfaced in the Senate hearings on campaign financing due to questionable contributions made to Gore's campaigns.
Strong has complained that "the United States is clearly the greatest risk to the world's ecological health" and has forcefully advocated a new economic order based on the redistribution of the developed world's industries and wealth to the Third World.
Strong has supported New Age movements in the U.S. and once helped finance a second ark in preparation for the next great flood. His many global activities are orchestrated with the philosophical bent of a long time believer in the establishment of a new world religion.
Strong has instituted what is ostensibly the global headquarters for the New Age movement at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Crestone, Colorado. He and his wife run the Manitou Foundation and call this center the "Baca." It is an international collection of alternative religious beliefs. Located at this New Age mecca are a subterranean Zen Buddhist center, the Haidakhrndi Universal Ashram, a facility for Native American shamans and a Vedic temple where devotees worship the Vedic mother goddess.
The Rockefellers, the McNamaras, the Kissingers, the Rothschilds and other international bureaucrats conduct regular pilgrimages to this center for global spirituality.
UN watchers place Maurice Strong on the top of the short list to become the next Secretary General of the United Nations. No one is better positioned or as well connected to achieve this increasingly powerful position.
We can smell it coming. When values decline as they have in the last twenty years, the continuity of civilization requires that a substitute order emerge to insure societal stability. If we are not careful, this substitute could take the form of tyranny. Perhaps even a secretary general with greater powers than any predecessor has heretofore been vested. Sort of a king of the world.
National Center For Public Policy Research
A publication providing succinct biographical sketches of environmental scientists, economists, "experts," and activists released by The National Center for Public Policy Research.
Maurice Strong is a senior advisor to United Nations' Secretary General Kofi Annan. Annan has appointed Strong to lead U.N. reforms, positioning him to be the next U.N. Secretary General. But placing Strong in charge of U.N. reform could pose a significant threat to the American way of life as Strong has used his position to centralize power in the U.N. at the expense of national sovereignty.
Strong, a native of Canada, grew up during the Great Depression and lived in poverty. He was able to escape poverty and became a successful businessman. During the 1950s and 1960s, Strong was involved in the oil and utility industries and was quite successful. By the time he was 35 Strong was president of a major holding company, the Power Corporation of Canada. As successful as he was, Strong nonetheless felt the need to embellish his achievements. According to National Review, Strong claimed to have had a $200,000 salary when he left the Power Corporation of Canada. But the magazine was informed by an official with the Power Corporation of Canada that Strong's salary was in fact $35,000 upon his departure.
In the early 1970s, U.N. Secretary General U Thant tapped Strong to organize and direct the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. The conference came to be known as the first Earth Summit. In the following year, Strong became the first director of the U.N. Environment Program. These two U.N. positions marked the beginning of Strong's methodical march toward global governance.
Strong's most significant role at the U.N. to-date has been his position as Secretary General of the 1992 U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development, the Rio Earth Summit. In the opening session of the Rio Earth Summit, Strong commented: "The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of environmental security." Interestingly, Strong had initially been blocked from participating in the conference by the U.S. Department of State. When Strong learned of this, however, he persuaded then-President George Bush to overrule the State Department.
Strong is also involved in the U.N. Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Through his work in UNESCO, Strong promotes Gaia, the Earth God, among the world's youth. Strong is also the director of The Temple of Understanding in New York. He uses The Temple to encourage Americans concerned about the environment to replace Christianity with the worship of "mother earth."
Strong also directs the U.N.'s Business Council on Sustainable Development. Under his leadership, the council tries to affect peoples' lives through U.N. policies that attempt to reduce the availability of meat products; limit the use of home and workplace air conditioners; discourage private ownership of motor vehicles; encroach on private property rights; and work to reduce the number of single family homes.
Selected Strong Quotes
Strong on national sovereignty at the opening session of the 1992 Earth Summit...
"The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of environmental security." -Maurice Strong at the 1992 Earth Summit.
Strong responding to a question by a reporter asking why he gave large donations to both political parties in the United States during the 1988 election cycle...
"Because I wanted influence in the United States." -Maurice Strong quoted in Saturday Night magazine.
Strong on the impending global environmental catastrophe...
"If we don't change, our species will not survive... Frankly, we may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse." -Maurice Strong quoted in the September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine.
Strong discussing the role the Earth Summit would play in the emerging system of global governance...
"[The Earth Summit will play an important role in] reforming and strengthening the United Nations as the centerpiece of the emerging system of democratic global governance." -Maurice Strong quoted in the September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine.
Strong discussing his political inclinations...
"[I am] a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology." -Maurice Strong as quoted in Macleans.
Strong discussing the effect the Great Depression had upon him...
"[The Great Depression left me] frankly very radical." -Maurice Strong quoted in the September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine.
Version date: September, 1997
EDMONTON JOURNAL p. A12
If Martin truly respected the West...: ...the last person he should make senior adviser would be Maurice Strong
Wednesday 16 July 2003
It's all well and good for prime-minister-in-waiting Paul Martin to say he will respect the West once he becomes Liberal leader.
Indeed, it's refreshing, if not encouraging, that he told the Vancouver Sun in May that "No matter what else I do as prime minister, if (western) alienation is the same ... at the end of my term as it is now, I will not believe I have succeeded."
That almost makes it sound as if acting on the West's desire for more respect, less meddling and an all-round better deal from Ottawa will be one of his government's highest priorities.
It's heartening, too, that, also in May, Martin pledged at a Liberal fundraising dinner here in Edmonton that "never again (will) the Liberal party come out of Western Canada without a substantial number, if not a majority, of seats."
This is heartening, not because I actually hope the Liberals win more Western seats in the next federal vote -- I don't. Rather, it's just nice for a change to hear a prominent Liberal do something other than dump on the West, and Alberta in particular, in order to win votes somewhere else in the country.
Jean Chretien has seldom shown more than indifference to the West, and frequently has displayed open contempt.
During the 2000 federal election, the Chretien-led Liberals blatantly misrepresented Alberta's timid health-care reforms in their national campaign ads. Whipping up resentment to Alberta would buy them votes in central and Atlantic Canada and stunt the Canadian Alliance's chances there since the party is so closely associated with this province and region. So what if the accusations weren't true?
Of course, Chretien also confessed to preferring to do business with people from Eastern and central Canada. Albertans, he sneered, were a "different" (read: morally inferior) breed of Canadian.
Even just this past spring, Chretien shrugged off Western concerns by saying "regional discontent is inevitable," meaning he had no intention of wasting his time even trying to solve western alienation.
Martin's soothing words are a giant step forward. But to say all that he has is one thing. To actually do something about it is quite another -- particularly something that might be unpopular in central Canada. It will take more than being in Calgary "a lot" and wearing denim shirts to the Stampede that sport "I (heart) Alberta beef" stickers.
Martin's first concrete steps are far from encouraging.
Last month he began speculating about holding the next election in June 2004, or earlier. If he does that, Alberta and B.C. will not receive the four new House of Commons seats they are owed -- two each -- as a result of their dramatic population growth in the 1990s.
When Alliance leader Stephen Harper charged that this looked a lot like the old Liberal strategy of "Screw the West, we'll take the rest," Martin promised to try to get the Commons to move the creation of these seats ahead, to a date before the writs are issued. But such an I'll-try promise is as meaningful as my pledges to start dieting ... tomorrow.
The announcement last week that Martin was courting Maurice Strong -- the first president of Petro-Canada and the godfather of the Kyoto accord -- to be senior environment adviser in the Prime Minister's Office is more than concrete enough to eradicate any and all goodwill Martin's comforting words to date may have purchased.
If he wants to placate the West, the last person -- the very last -- Martin should invite to be a senior adviser is Maurice Strong. Strong is an unreconstructed Trudeau-ite, which may make Liberals giddy with nostalgic glee, but is unmitigated bad news for Westerners.
Strong may not have been present at the birth of the National Energy Program in 1980; but as the founding president, chairman and CEO of Petro-Can from 1976-78, he was there at its conception.
Strong enthusiastically supported Ottawa's first major intrusions into provincial resource management, such as the elimination of deductions for provincial resource royalty payments from federal income taxes. The Liberals and Strong euphemistically called this "revenue sharing," because it took income that would have gone into investors' pockets and oil companies' bank accounts in the form of tax rebates and "shared" it with the federal government, which forcibly kept it in Ottawa.
Strong also favoured heavy federal subsidies to Petro-Can for frontier exploration. These gave the federal oil company a competitive advantage over privately held oil companies, with the hope the "Canadian" company would eventually control the lion's share of new oil reserves. Eventually, private oil companies were forced by the Liberals to sell a portion of their successful explorations to "Ottawa Oil" as Petro-Can was often known.
To people who are suspicious of the market and have no clue of how wealth is created (such as the majority of federal politicians of the past two generations), Strong has been seen as a business genius, even a new breed of executive who combined social justice and environmental concern with making a buck. Never mind that he did both mostly by milking taxpayers or using his connections to yoke his competitors.
- - -
Friday, in his own words, I'll examine Maurice Strong's two current obsessions: "global governance" and radical environmentalism, particularly his involvement in the Kyoto accord.
[For that part of the series, see:
Champagne socialist full of bubbles
Maurice Strong profits from pushing leftist ideas
Edmonton Journal, Friday 18 July 2003, p. A18
"Economic growth is not the cure; it is the disease."
Columnist, Edmonton Journal
Editorial Board Member, National Post
EDMONTON JOURNAL p. A18
Maurice Strong & Paul Martin, Part 2
Champagne socialist full of bubbles: Maurice Strong profits from pushing leftist ideas
Friday 18 July 2003
"Economic growth is not the cure; it is the disease."
That is Maurice Strong's take on what is wrong with the world, today, and what is the greatest threat to the environment. Everything that is wrong can, in Strong's mind, be traced to three sources -- industrialization, wealth and free markets. I'd add a fourth -- Christianity -- except Strong never quite comes out and blames it for the world's ills. He merely hints at it with statements such as "We are all gods now, gods in charge of our own destiny," which he made in his autobiographical 2000 book Where on Earth are We Going?
Actually, Strong's three sources of evil are really just one source -- Western civilization. Although he has reaped enormous personal profits from the Western ways of business and life, Strong has been a lifelong biter of the hands that feed him so well. In 1990, he even mused about a possible revolution against "industrialized civilizations."
What if it were concluded, Strong romanticized, "that the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? ... Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring this about?"
Strong wasn't exactly speaking for himself in this daydream. His nightmarish scenario involved a "small group of ... world leaders," gathered together at a semi-private conference, who decide to overthrow the established political and financial orders "in order to save the planet."
But he was not speaking for himself, either. Strong revels in telling fawning audiences that he is "a socialist in ideology," but "a capitalist in methodology." His socialist core would explain his attraction to revolutions against rich, industrialized civilizations.
And his membership on a dozen international business and environmental organizations would explain why he thinks such a revolution might spring from a small, semi-private gathering of world leaders.
Those are the circles Strong runs in. They are the people he knows. Undoubtedly, as he has sat through literally hundreds of such gatherings, he has occasionally marvelled at the amount of power represented by the leaders in the room, and speculated on what might convince those leaders to suspend democracy and diplomacy, and join him in the top-down coup of his dreams.
If the idea of a revolt against power, privilege and wealth, led by the most powerful, privileged and wealthy strikes you as a bit incongruous, then you need to understand two more things about Maurice Strong: He has made his fortune, reputation and influence out of peddling radical leftist ideas to the international jet set, to champagne socialists like himself, who very much enjoy what rank and riches have given them, but who despair the consumerism and capitalism they see in those beneath them.
The other piece you need to the Strong puzzle is his contempt for ordinary people and the institutions that give them control over these leaders. Strong thinks only superior mortals who run in his circles and share his philosophy are fit to decide how the world should be run.
Only once has Strong lowered himself to stand for public office -- in the 1979 Canadian general election that saw Joe Clark's Tories squeak into power. But he couldn't even bear to see that through to election day.
According to an eye-popping indictment of Strong's smug contempt for democratic accountability, in the book, Fight Kyoto, Calgary journalist and lawyer Ezra Levant points out that Strong withdrew as the Liberal candidate in a Scarborough riding one month before voting day because he found his "constituents' priorities were parochial."
Strong is a founder of the Council on Global Governance; the author of the Earth Charter (earthcharter.org), that he wants to be not only the supreme law of the planet -- replacing national laws and constitutions -- but a new "Ten Commandments," as well.
Strong is or has been a board member with Earth Council, the World Wildlife Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, the United Nations Environment Program and two of three of the UN's big world environment gatherings -- Stockholm in 1972 and Rio in 1992.
The 1997 Kyoto accords sprang directly out of Strong's Rio conference in 1992, with Strong having a hand guiding the accords to fruition all the way, as a special adviser to the UN secretary general, periodically with the status of undersecretary general, himself.
Levant claims Strong has "never stopped pressing for a world where the UN's resolutions would be enforced as the law in every corner of the Earth." And Strong has made it clear he sees no harm in carbon taxes, air travel taxes and financial transaction taxes that raise billions or even trillions annually to fund a super world bureaucracy where he and others can influence world affairs without every grubbying themselves by seeking approval from -- ugh -- voters.
This is the man Paul Martin wants to make a senior economic and environmental adviser in his PMO. But that's no surprise, either. Levant details how Strong hired Martin to be his personal assistant at Montreal's Power Corporation, even before Martin had left university, and later helped Martin get his stake in Canada Steamship Lines, the company that is the source of Martin's personal wealth, not to mention his pride and joy. Martin's enthusiasm for Strong's counsel goes way, way back.
Columnist, Edmonton Journal
Editorial Board Member, National Post