Quaker terrorists 10

To most people “Quaker terrorists” may seem a contradiction in terms. So we must explain.

To excuse or defend terrorism is to encourage it; to encourage it is to co-author it.

And what is terrorism? It is not an ideology. It is a method, a tactic. It is the systematic use of violence to create public fear. By the targeting of  the innocent the fear is spread. Everyone in a certain place, or of a certain race or calling, or in a certain position, must be given reason by the terrorist to fear that he or she, or his or her spouse or child or parent, can be blown into pieces, or be knifed or beaten or shot to death, by complete strangers at any moment. Terrorism is morally indefensible. Arguably the most morally indefensible form of violence that can be imagined. Nothing can justify it. No cause. Nothing.

For centuries the Quakers were a widely respected sect. They were pacifists on moral grounds.  Pacifism was one of their founding religious principles. Their name was synonymous with non-violence. In wars, they would serve their country as doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, stretcher-bearers …  They eschewed violence even in self-defense. As a sect, they lived up to their principles. That was what they were respected for.

(For the record – in our view a pacifist upholding his principle of non-violence when the aggressors are Nazis or Communists say, while others risk their lives to save him from them, is not admirable. But our task here is to explain the Quaker view, which many hold in high esteem: that it’s wrong to use violence at all. Ever.)

But now the Quakers are terrorists. They are terrorists in that they excuse, defend, and actively encourage terrorism.

Here is the story of how the change, the reversal of their values, came about. We have taken it from the The Tower, condensing the full account given by Asaf Romirowsky and Alexander H. Joffe:

The Quakers — thus named because they tremble or “quake” before God — [is] a Protestant sect founded in England during the mid-17th century. … As part of their beliefs, Quakers oppose violence in all its forms and reject any compulsion in religion. …

The Quakers are  also called The Friends. So unthreatening. So simple. So trustworthy. So good.

On April 30, 1917, the Quakers formed The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) “in response to America’s entrance into World War I”.

Challenged by public hostility and government disapproval due to their refusal to be drafted, the Quakers formed the AFSC in order to organize alternative forms of service for its members, such as providing medical aid and other non-violent participation in the war effort.

The AFSC slowly expanded over the years, and by the late 1940s it was an established Christian organization with global experience, recognized by national and international establishments as a major provider of international relief, charity, and aid. …

The dawn of the Cold War, however, proved a turning point in the history of the organization. In April 1947 …

Just thirty years after its founding …

… a faction within the AFSC’s leadership convened a meeting at which the head of the organization, Clarence Pickett, and others argued that tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union had become so intense, and the threat of atomic war so grave, that the AFSC should abandon its long-standing tradition of political neutrality.

The argument was absurd. How by taking one side against the other would they be lessening the tension and preventing atomic war?

It is true that one side of the Cold War was working through agents of influence to get the other side disarmed by public opinion. It paid its agents to organize “Peace” movements. Not because it was for peace, though it pretended to be. Far from being peaceful, it was arming, aiding and abetting proxy wars of “liberation” on five continents. That lying, hypocritical, relentlessly belligerent side was the Soviet Union. And that is the side the AFSC took.

Can there be much doubt that Clarence Pickett, whether personally paid or not, was one of its agents?

Such a stance [of neutrality], Pickett said, could no longer be an article of faith but a crime. The radical nature of this [new] stance was reflected in the words of another participant, who said, “Evolution is too slow. We need revolution in the Society of Friends.”

Hear in that the vocabulary, the phraseology of Marxism.

The organization, Pickett and his supporters felt, should actively spearhead a peace movement that would directly challenge America’s Cold War policies.

Not for a moment did they apparently consider that the American Cold War policies were  a direct challenge to the Soviet Union’s hot war ambitions.

This began the AFSC’s transformation from a religious group to, as one Quaker scholar later put it, “just one more pressure group within the secular political community”.

Or in other words, it changed not only from a pacifist to a revolutionary movement, it also changed, effectively, from a Christian sect into a Communist sect.

The AFSC’s newly radical stance took aim at American policies throughout the 1950s and paid little or no heed to repression and terror in Communist countries. This hit its stride during the Vietnam War. The organization bitterly and actively opposed the war throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Its attacks on American policy in Vietnam were furious and wide-ranging, opposing everything from the escalation of military operations to all forms of aid to South Vietnam to the conduct of the war itself. In addition, the AFSC directly violated American embargoes and sent medical aid directly to North Vietnam. These actions proved to be extremely controversial. In one case, the AFSC was accused of revealing to the North Vietnamese that a prominent Buddhist activist was a CIA agent, prompting one prominent Quaker to hold a sit-in at AFSC headquarters in protest.

So some individual Quakers – many, according to the authors – were still true to their founding principles, or perhaps were American patriots.

The AFSC’s activism placed it unquestionably on the side of the American far-Left, where it remains to this day.

The Quakers’ [erstwhile] beliefs in nonviolence have not prevented them from supporting bloody despotic regimes.

And the hypocrisy was – and remains – blatant:

While still voicing support for pacifism, the organization increasingly aligned itself with violent Left-wing governments and movements, some of which used terrorism to advance their goals.

Many rank-and-file Quakers were appalled at the AFSC’s overt support for such regimes and movements, as well as its double standards …  But their protests proved fruitless. The AFSC rejected all criticism as fundamentally illegitimate “red-baiting and McCarthyism”.

“Red-baiting”. Again, the vocabulary of the Communists. Or rather of the Comintern – the Soviets’ ideological club for foreign fans of its appalling system.

…  The AFSC’s policy towards Iran is [to demand] the removal of sanctions and [dismiss] concerns about Iranian nuclear weapons.

It is openly, shamelessly supportive of the most terrible regime on earth:

Today the group operates collective farms in North Korea …

And is intimately supportive of at least one of the most savage terrorist groups on earth – Hamas. 

Romirowsky and Joffe trace the history of the Quakers relationship to the “Holy Land”, the Palestinians, and Zionism, giving them credit for aiding the refugees more rationally than most other  organizations working among them. But …

 … after the 1967 Six Day War, the AFSC began to take a more explicit and fervent pro-Palestinian stance, applying its growing radicalism and willingness to accommodate the use of violence to the Middle East conflict.

As the 1970s saw the rise of Palestinian terrorism as a major source of global violence, the AFSC began to take a disturbingly understanding approach to the issue. A 1972 AFSC pamphlet, Nonviolence: Not First For Export told its readers:

… before we deplore terrorism it is essential for us to recognize fully and clearly whose “terrorism” came first, so that we can assess what is cause and what is effect.

It was clear enough that, in regard to Israel the AFSC had no doubts about whose “terrorism” came first. The pamphlet expressed, for example, deep understanding toward the Palestinian Fedayeen — “those who sacrifice themselves” — terrorists whose main purpose was to infiltrate Israel and kill civilians. …

In 1973, the AFSC called for a U.S. embargo on arms and other aid to Israel, and in 1975 adopted “a formal decision to make the Middle East its major issue.” It quickly opened an office in Israel, installed specialized staff members at regional offices in the U.S., and began advocating for the Palestinians in Israeli and international courts. Israeli officials quickly discovered, however, that the new AFSC representative in Jerusalem was attempting to organize on behalf of the PLO. …

The AFSC has moved ever closer to the Palestinian cause since the 1970s. Today, this is expressed through fieldwork, lobbying, and activism, in particular through the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement [against Israel] …

In regard to Hamas’ indiscriminate use of rockets against Israeli civilians, the AFSC simply notes that “it is important to look at the firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups in context”, since this is “intertwined” with “ongoing Israeli military actions in Gaza”.

Military actions which are rare, targeted, and defensive only. While the rockets are constant, indiscriminate, and aggressive.

The authors suggest that the Quaker movement now clings to its anti-Zionism as a cause to keep it alive.

It may be that a movement like the Quakers, which has seen its numbers dwindle along with other liberal Protestant denominations, sees anti-Zionism as a last resort; a movement with powerful emotional appeal on which it can draw in order to maximize its power. If so, then it has undone a great deal of the good it once did, and substituted hypocrisy and bad faith instead.

Once a byword for humanitarianism …  it has now become, in effect, a brand — one on which the AFSC can trade as it exploits the putative neutrality and pacifism it stands for in order to advance hostility toward Israel and, with its promotion of the “right of return”, an end to Israel itself.

In the end, the AFSC’s story reflects the tensions between pacifism and politics, between aid work and political activism … It demonstrates that small religious movements are susceptible to hijacking by radicals, and suggests that pacifism may inevitably engender its opposite. The organization’s slide has been a long one, and at the moment it shows no sign of or interest in reversing it.

  • Heartlander

    Thank you very, very much for your work on this article. You are absolutely correct on all this. During the ’80s and ’90s, I was a silly, naïve peacenik — with many Quakers in my acquaintance — and I was always vaguely uncomfortable with some of the causes I found myself allied with. I squelched all my reservations, however, because of my emotional need to fit in with the group. I look back on that period of my life with embarrassment.

    Having always considered myself an intelligent person, I can now understand how even otherwise intelligent people can become utter fools when caught up in a “movement” or ideology. Looking back on my willful ignorance during those years has given me an important lesson in the power of emotional neediness to cloud one’s common sense and to suppress one’s better instincts.

    • Heartlander

      I am not an atheist, by the way — my own common sense and reason, aided by what I can only call gifts of grace, have convinced me otherwise. But I appreciate much of what you have to say on this site.

      • Jillian Becker

        You are very welcome, Heartlander! We appreciate your confirmation of what we say in this post. Please stay with us. Quite a number of believers like what we say. We do write against religion, but far more against those who persecute others on the grounds of religious difference.

  • REALBEING

    Religion, meet Communism! Communism, meet Religion! Or, you could say ‘”Superstition, meet Idealistic nonsense! Idealistic nonsense, meet Superstition!”

    In some specific cases like this particular one, they NEED one another to do one another’s bidding, at the expense of people “leaving home” and finding their own truth.

    And at other times and cases, they try to destroy each other.

    Case in point: the Catholic church and it’s war on Communism during the fifties and sixties.

    I can still hear those nuns in the Catholic grade school I went to in the fifties lamenting and raising holy hell over the treatment that Tito dished out to the Catholic priests of the Ustasa in Yugoslavia during the war.

    And, ironically in it’s own special way, Ustasa was it’s own antithesis.

    Sometimes the “Devil” must play the part of “God,” and sometimes “God must play the part of the “Devil,” in order to get what “He” wants, it would seem. LOL!!

    (SIGH) Will there ever be a time for Humanity when a strong majority of individuals can truly live without the habit of neediness???

    • liz

      Good question. They are so busy competing for power that the voice of Reason is usually drowned out,..
      The Enlightenment was quickly drowned out by the resurgence of religion, and its new competitor, Romanticism, which morphed into Marxism…
      Ayn Rand singlehandedly revived Reason with Objectivism, but was also quickly shouted down by the two Leviathans competing for control of humanity.
      It does seem that the conflict between rationality and emotionalism will never be resolved (as long as there’s power to be gained by interfering with this outcome).

      • REALBEING

        IMHO, Ayn Rand’s Objectivism is driven away by most who come into contact with it because of a learned, pre-existing compulsion that the majority of humans have to need something much greater than themselves, outside of themselves….sort of a “Father figure-protector.”

        There is a popular belief that a “God” is living inside everyone, and is “everywhere.” Yet the ONLY testimony to this “premise” is rendered by the most unreliable source known….human emotion! In reality, this is nothing but a biased, human need-oriented belief, known as “faith.” (The word E-Motion comes from the two words “eccentric” and “motion.”)

        Emotion rules both the laws and our lives in our society as more and more people let it dictate their state of being, mostly for their lack of a personal inner workshop.

        Our perception, if honed to a precise edge through a habit of performing an unbiased research of our personal beliefs, relieves us of the burden of deciding which road to travel…..Reason, or Emotionality.

        Being honest with oneself is the first requirement for living an authentic life. This also promotes ones own inner reliance, and honesty with others we meet.

        This requirement can only be reached by sincere, unbiased research and testing of personal beliefs, replacing them if found untrue, or not sufficiently factual.

        Ayn Rand lived this premise, I believe.

        The lessons for serious inner work cannot be found in any school or university that I know of on the planet. This is only something that can be achieved by conscious application of one’s will and one’s honest effort!

        I firmly believe that Rand was one of the few truly enlightened individuals who understood the importance of this personal inner work. She knew of it’s value to the Human Race, if human beings are to grow into real adults.

        In the days of Socrates, this “self knowledge” was a required subject among those who were chosen to study with him.

        I have heard it stated that a newly accepted student was not allowed to speak to anyone in the school for the first five years in order to lose all distraction so as to gain a personal insight into their inner self.

        I personally believe that Ayn Rand’s works should be required reading at all levels of education.

        • Jillian Becker

          We share your admiration for Ayn Rand (with some reservations), REALBEING.

          I think the “silence for five years” rule was for students of Pythagoras, not Socrates?

          • REALBEING

            You might be correct about Pythagoras….I took the word of one of my greatest teachers that it was Socrates, however I’ve never looked this up.

            Within most reason, Ayn Rand’s work stands upon itself, I believe.

  • liz

    An interesting case history of the typical Communist method of infiltration and takeover, and its dismal consequences. Not just with this group, but with so many organizations, unions, Hollywood, the news media, the schools, the government…
    It seems so obvious and transparent now, you would think they’d have had to give up on it, yet they are doing MORE of it now than ever before!
    Explained by the fact that all their other strategies have succeeded as well, such as the “tuning out” and “dumbing down” of the population. With citizens like this to vote for you, infiltration is hardly necessary.

    • Josh

      Yes, Communists have infiltrated the schools and succeeded in “dumbing down” the population. Quite.