For 20 years now, Tom DeWeese has been on a jihad against global plans for sustainable development. What to most of us looks like an innocuous and voluntary United Nations-led effort to use our resources more wisely — Agenda 21 — is really “international forces … turning [American] communities into little soviets.”
“It sounds so friendly. So meaningful. So urgent,” the founder and president of the American Policy Center wrote in a 2009 report. “But the devastation to our liberty and way of life is the same as if Lenin ordered it.”
What is really a “complete agenda of control,” he said, has been wrapped “in a nice green blanket, scaring us with horror stories about the human destruction of the environment — and so we are now throwing our liberties on the bonfire like a good old fashioned book burning — all in the name of protecting the planet.”
The Agenda 21 plan DeWeese rails on about was developed in 1992 at a UN meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and signed by 178 world leaders including then-President George H.W. Bush. It amounts to a set of “smart growth” principles, a plan to deal with overpopulation, pollution, poverty and resource depletion. It is wholly voluntary — neither a treaty nor a legally binding agreement.
Serving on the board of DeWeese’s American Policy Center are Alan Caruba, the center’s communications director who also blogs for Tea Party Nation, the only Tea Party the SPLC lists as a hate group; Sam Rohrer, a former Pennsylvania state legislator; and John Meredith, son of civil rights hero James Meredith.
DeWeese’s outfit is only one of several obsessed with what has become one of the main conspiracy theories of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. Others include the far-right John Birch Society, the anti-feminist Eagle Forum, a group called Texans for Accountable Government, former Fox News host Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones, a Texas radio show host and über-conspiracy theorist.
DeWeese, who says he has been the editor of two newspapers and a candidate for the Ohio legislature, has managed to spread his propaganda into the Tea Parties and elsewhere. Just last year, he says, he spoke to 38 groups in 12 states.
The effect of the fear-mongering fairy tale offered up by DeWeese and other conspiracy theorists has been almost unbelievable. Not only have some counties passed resolutions opposing Agenda 21 (along with the Tennessee House of Representatives), but the Republican National Committee (RNC) in January passed one as well, decrying Agenda 21’s “destructive strategies for ‘sustainable development.’” The RNC recommended that the resolution be adopted as part of the Republican platform at its August 2012 convention.