Original Audio Notes Transcribed by Sarah Brand
Julian Charles: Hello everybody! This is Julian Charles again of TheMindRenewed.com podcasting to you from the depths of the Lancashire countryside here in the UK. Today is the 19th March 2013, and welcome to the third interview in the series: “Does Anybody Really Believe In World Government?” in which I am very pleased to be speaking to the theologian Dr. Martin Erdmann. Dr. Erdmann is the Professor of Philosophy at North Greenville University, and Director of the Verax Institute in Greer, South Carolina. He has served as Head of New Testament Studies at the State Independent Seminary in Basel, Switzerland, and the Academy of Reformation Theology in Hanover, Germany. He also taught all courses in Biblical Studies at Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia, and was for several years Senior Scientist at the University Hospital in Basel and Research Fellow at the European Foundation of Clinical Nanomedicine, researching into the ethical implications of Nanotechnology. Dr. Erdmann, thank you very much for sparing time to join us on The Mind Renewed.
Dr. Martin Erdmann: You’re welcome.
JC: Now, I said in the introduction that this is the third interview in the series, and as you know I have so far spoken to Dr. Stanley Monteith and James Corbett, and we’ve been looking at various globalist organisations and their attempt to move us in the direction of World Government.
JC: I particularly wanted to speak to you, because I thought that your book, Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, would add a very interesting dimension to this discussion. But first, please tell us a little more about yourself, perhaps something about your Christian faith and how you came to be a theologian.
ME: Well, I grew up in a Christian home. I was born in Germany, in Stuttgart, and my parents were Christians, and they raised me as a Christian, although obviously you do not become a Christian just by being born into a Christian family. They tried to model what a Christian life is all about while they were raising my sister and me. Although I was exposed to the Gospel from a very early age, I didn’t become a Christian until the age of eighteen. I was reading my Bible, and I came to 2 Corinthians 5 and read about Jesus Christ giving his life for me on the Cross to atone for my sins. (Up to that point I didn’t understand clearly enough that I myself was a sinner; that was basically my main problem.) Then, from one second to the next, I realised that yes, indeed I was a sinner, and I needed God’s forgiveness; I needed to be reconciled to the Almighty. So, while reading this chapter in 2 Corinthians 5, I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord. From that moment onwards I considered myself to be a true Christian.
JC: How did you then come to be a professional theologian?
ME: Well, it was basically the continuation of what I had done at that moment. I realised that, if this is really the truth, if Jesus Christ was God’s Son coming into this world and offering his life on the Cross so that I could be reconciled with God, then there is nothing better than to tell other people about. Every decision I made from that moment onwards was always prefaced by the thought: “How can I be trained in such a way that I can effectively share the Gospel with many people.” Once I’d finished high school, I went to the German Missionary Fellowship and did my civilian service there. Then I went to the US, did some missionary work at Ohio State University and at different other places, and then ultimately I went to a Bible college. I realised that I had academic ability, so I went to the US to get my Master's Degree, then to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland to get my second Master's Degree, and eventually to Brunel University for my PhD. Then I just wanted to use whatever education I had to train pastors and missionaries, so I became a theology professor at different seminaries teaching young students to become missionaries or pastors.
JC: Now, as I said, your book is called Building the Kingdom of God on Earth, and I suspect that at first sight a lot of people would think: That’s referring to God’s work in building his Kingdom generation after generation through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, the subtitle to your book points in a very different direction, because it says: The Churches' Contribution to Marshal Public Support for World Order and Peace, 1919 to 1945, which certainly doesn't sound like simply preaching the Gospel. Could you introduce us to the main thesis of your book, and tell us why you wrote it?
ME: Yes, it was a project I had in mind many years earlier. I never thought of writing my PhD thesis on it, but circumstances led me to that point. I wanted to get a PhD in New Testament Studies at the University of Aberdeen, but my supervisor at the time, Dr. Ruth Edwards, asked me to define what I believed about the Bible. So, I told her that I believed the Bible to be God’s word and that I truly believed it to be inerrant. In response, she said this was the view she hated the most, and that she would do everything in her power to prevent my getting a PhD under her supervision. So, eventually we found a compromise solution: she said that she would allow me to write my Master's thesis in theology based on my presupposition that the Bible is God’s word, but she would not let me enter the PhD programme. So, I did write my Master's theology thesis under her supervision.
I also realised that the library of the University of Aberdeen was unique. I went into the section where all the history books were on display, and realised very quickly that the history books, especially on American history, were extremely unique. So, I started researching early Twentieth-Century American history on my own. I was also able to go down to the archives, and spend almost all my time down there reading one book after another, even having access to some original manuscripts, while at the same time writing my Master's theology thesis in New Testament Studies. Once I had successfully completed my studies at the University of Aberdeen, I tried to find a university that would allow me to write my PhD thesis on John Foster Dulles, who used to be the Secretary of State under President Eisenhower. I found someone at Brunel University who agreed to supervise my PhD studies into that subject, although he said that, as he knew nothing about John Foster Dulles, he would not be able to help me with my studies. I said that would be fine, and he accepted me into the programme, so I started researching. Then, very early on, it became clear that the specific thrust of my thesis would be to expose the political agenda of the early Ecumenical Movement with regard to its helping to set up a World Government.
JC: In this book you trace back this vision for a World Government - or a New World Order, however we might term it - to the British Empire mysticism of John Ruskin at Oxford University in the late Nineteenth Century. You speak about his socialism, but also about the influence of Plato on his thinking – basically, the idea that the aristocracy should remain in charge – and you say that Ruskin had a tremendous influence on a generation of young men. Would you introduce us to John Ruskin and say something about the impact that he had?
JC: Another person, whom Ruskin greatly influenced, I believe, was Lord Alfred Milner.
JC: Is it right that Milner’s followers then formed the Round Table Group? Could you explain the significance of this group, and give us some idea of its philosophy?
ME: Yes, certainly. Well, once again, Lord Alfred Milner was a very influential and powerful man. He became High Commissioner to South Africa, and formed a group of young administrators around himself during that period. Other people called that group Milner’s Kindergarten, because all these young administrators, all graduates from Oxford University, looked very young to the people around them; but they were actually very sharp and talented individuals. Milner enthused them with the very high ideal of serving and extending the British Empire, and he formed them into expert administrators during that time; almost all of them kept up a friendship with Milner until his death. Through that group of administrators, such as Lionel Curtis and some others, the so-called Round Table Group was formed.
Its aim was to change the British Empire into an Imperial Federation, through first unifying the British dominions and then expanding to the rest of the world. They began by unifying the different states in South Africa. Then some of these administrators went to Canada, to New Zealand, and to some of the other dominions of the British Empire and set up local, so-called Round Table Groups. These local groups were then charged with the duty to promote this idea of imperial federation, because they thought that this was the only way the British Empire could be preserved and extended into the future. They didn’t see much hope for the British Empire as it was, with England ruling from the centre; they wanted a Federation, in which the dominions would essentially cease and become parts of a federalist system.
Well, they were not very successful, as you know; this project of setting up a British Empire as a federation never came about. Ultimately, the Round Table Group changed its perspective, and changed its agenda into setting up the Commonwealth. As a matter of fact, Lionel Curtis (one of those early members of Milner’s Kindergarten, and then one of the main organisers of Round Table Groups) became a history professor at Oxford University, during which time devised the idea of the British Commonwealth. Then obviously, as you know, the idea caught on and the Empire was changed into a Commonwealth.
JC: Do you think it was the hope of Lionel G. Curtis that the Commonwealth would nevertheless still become some form of federation, with pooled sovereignty between the states?
ME: Well, in some ways, but I think I should explain a bit more why they changed their agenda. Fairly early on, once they wanted to set up these dominions as federal states, they realised that it would not be possible. One reason was simply the growing nationalistic sentiment among the nationals in these different dominions, like Canada, New Zealand, other parts of the world, and even South Africa. The other reason (and to my mind more important), was the realisation that the British Empire, even if it became an Imperial Federation, would not be the ideal vehicle to set up World Government. World Government was always their ultimate goal. They never wanted to stop just with Imperial Federation; they wanted to use the British Empire and any other federation as a basis for World Government.
JC: Now, just to be absolutely clear about this, this is not speculation on your part. You have documents – their own writings – to prove that this is what they intended.
ME: Exactly. I looked at the writings of the Round Table Group. They had different publications, and some of the Round Table Group members published books and pamphlets in their own right. In fact it is really easy to look into these publications and to come up with a very clear picture as to their objectives. The main idea was to set up World Government ultimately, using the British Empire or Imperial Federation to do so.
But, they realised it would not work out as they had envisioned, because the main problem was that United States of America would not be willing to come back into the British Empire. As you know, the Americans had pulled off a successful revolution in the late Eighteenth Century, so they did not want to subject themselves again to British rule. This was the main impediment to using the British Empire as the nucleus of a World Government, because the United States, as the most important country, would not be willing to be part of that set-up. So, they needed a different approach to convince the United States to become part of a World Government. That alternative approach was to use the League of Nations for that purpose at the end of WWI. (Obviously, that didn't work out either, but that’s a different story.) But the main point is, they actually turned around to destroy the British Empire. As I said, first they wanted to use the British Empire as their foundation for World Government, but once they realised it would not be realistic, they actually turned around and started to dismantle the British Empire. That’s how the idea of a British Commonwealth came about.
JC: And when the League of Nations itself failed to provide any stable basis for world peace, that just fuelled their internationalism even more, did it not?
ME: Yes, they thought that the League of Nations would be a better idea as the nucleus of World Government, but the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference at the end of WWI didn’t turn out as some of the participants had hoped. Woodrow Wilson, the American President at the time, was very much in favour of setting up a League of Nations, and he wanted to bring America into such a Coalition or League as their first step towards World Government, but there were two Senators in America who totally opposed America’s participation in a League of Nations. (Interestingly, both these men - Senators William Borah and Henry Lodge – were very much in favour of a League of Nations, but they despised Woodrow Wilson as a politician. So, because Woodrow Wilson was so much in favour of bringing America into a League of Nations, they opposed the idea; not because they were opposed to the idea itself, but because they didn’t like Woodrow Wilson! [See note]) So, America never signed the Versailles Peace Treaty, and thus did not become automatically a member of the League of Nations. (Germany was another exception, becoming a member later on.) That really broke Woodrow Wilson’s heart. He went back to America and travelled around the country by train campaigning for America’s participation, which not only broke his heart but also his health. He had a brain haemorrhage and was basically incapacitated for the rest of his life until he died in 1924. Once it became clear to the American delegates at the Versailles Peace Conference that America would not become a member of the League of Nations, they actually met at the Hotel Majestic in Paris on May 30th 1919 to come up with an alternative scheme.
JC: Is this the point at which the Royal Institute of International Affairs comes into the story?
ME: That is exactly the point. It was not called Royal Institute of International Affairs, just Institute of International Affairs. The individuals who came together at that meeting at the Hotel Majestic were the British delegates (or at least some of the main ones) to the Peace Conference, plus some of the American Delegates, such as John Foster Dulles. But the one who basically set it up was Colonel Mandell House. He was the personal advisor to Woodrow Wilson, who had earlier set up the so-called Inquiry, a group of experts in America that eventually went to the Paris Peace Conference. Members of the Inquiry, under the leadership of Col. House, and some of the British delegates, came together at that hotel to come up with an alternative scheme.
The idea behind the new scheme was to set up two organisations, which would be independent but still co-operate with each other: one in the British Isles, the other in America. The branch in the British Isles was called the Institute of International Affairs, and the group which would go to America became known as the Council on Foreign Relations in 1921. It was not called that initially, but two years later it merged with an already-existing organisation in the US which was called that, so they simply adopted the name.
So, the Council on Foreign Relations in America and the Institute of International Affairs were basically two separate organisations, but working hand-in-hand to bring about World Government. They realised that the crucial aspect of setting up World Government would be to convince the American population, and so they discussed the best possible way to accomplish that. They also realised that they needed to go to the American public directly, and the most effective way, they thought, was to go to the universities and get professors on their side, who would then convince their students that America should give up its national sovereignty and become part of a World Government. The second leg of this strategy was to go to the churches, and use them to propagandise the American population with the message of World Government.
This is where my research interest came in. I wanted to understand how the Round Table Group, with its extension of the Institute of International Affairs of Great Britain and the Council on Foreign Relations in America, succeeded in getting the churches on their side, and using the churches as the vehicle to spread the message of setting up a World Government.
JC: In the book, you say that they did this by infiltrating the liberal Christian Ecumenical Movement, and reinterpreting the message in the Bible about the Kingdom of God along more secular lines. Could you explain how that reinterpretation of the Kingdom of God worked in their thinking?
ME: Once again you are correct in stating that they approached the liberal church, the mainline churches, primarily the Presbyterian Church. Some of the delegates, and some of the members of the Council on Foreign Relations, were also members of the Presbyterian Church in America, a well-established church. It was not yet a liberal church as such, but it was moving in that direction. The changeover from a predominantly conservative denomination to a liberal one happened in the year 1929, but just a few years earlier there was a very strong debate going on within the church between these two factions, and the liberal rank basically hired John Foster Dulles to be their advocate, and ultimately they prevailed. They took over the Presbyterian Church, and then used it as their camp-ground, so to speak, to reach out to some of the other liberal churches, like the Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians, in order to convince the leadership of these other denominations to set up what became known as the Ecumenical Movement. They wanted to unify the different denominations as a showcase to prove to the politicians that unification would be possible. So, in essence, what I’m saying is the Ecumenical Movement was not set up only to unify the churches, it was also designed to be a showcase for the unification of nations, to convince politicians to unify the nations of the world, and set up a World Government.
JC: I get the impression that the message of Christ, the call to self-forgetfulness and obedience, was reinterpreted as a self-forgetfulness of sovereignty; national sovereignty was seen as the Big Evil that needed to be overcome. Is that a fair way of putting it, do you think?
ME: Yes, this is exactly the message they put across. It was obviously intimately linked to what became known as the social gospel, which was never a truly Christian message. Yes, they incorporated certain ethical standards, I would say - helping the poor and getting the down-trodden on their feet, and things like that - but the main idea was that the evil which caused all the problems in the world, especially wars, was caused by national sovereignty. Each nation wanted to exert its own rights. Bigger nations wanted to conquer, occupy and plunder smaller nations, but once national sovereignty was abolished, it would mean that wars would not happen again, because the main motivation for war would have been given up. That was the argument, but I personally don’t believe it's very convincing, because if you look into the biographies of some of the main leaders who said we need to have a World Government as the only chance for world peace, some of them – including John Foster Dulles as one of the most conspicuous - were also very much involved in setting up another World War, meaning the WWII. So the argument that they put in front of the public, especially the American public, to give up sovereignty for world peace is not very convincing in my eyes. John Foster Dulles particularly was very much in favour of National Socialism in Germany. As a matter of fact, he was Senior Partner (head) of the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, one of the most prestigious law firms in America at the time, which had an office in Berlin up to, I believe, 1939. John Foster Dulles himself travelled to Germany at least once a year to conduct his business with the German National Socialist Government, meaning Hitler. Thus I don’t believe that his argument in favour of world peace is very convincing.
JC: But is it right that, when he considered the National Socialism in Germany, he was thinking to himself something like: “Well, socialism is working there, but the nationalism is just a phase; it’s an unfortunate phase that will be transcended in the future. At least we have an example of socialism that is working”, which was perhaps analogous to the kind of socialism he was looking for in the churches? Is there anything to be said for that view?
ME: I would agree with your description, but he was certainly not naïve. He was not an idealist, he was a realist, and he very much understood the true nature of National Socialism at the time, being a lawyer doing business with the National Socialist Government. Also, he did it against the wishes of some of the other partners in his own law firm, one of whom was Allen Dulles, his own brother. He overruled these objections in order to do business with Hitler, and he prevailed to such an extent that even after 1941 (as you know the attack on Pearl Harbour happened on 7th December, 1941) when America had become a member of the Allies in the World War II, he still continued doing business with Hitler.
This is extremely disconcerting to me, because he became the lawyer for the Alien Custodian Administration in America, which basically took over the factories of some of the main chemical firms in Germany, such as the I.G. Farben Cartel, a chemical company cartel that had some firms in America. The ACA took over these companies in America, once America had started fighting Germany, and John Foster Dulles became the lawyer to the Commissioner of the ACA. In that position as the lawyer, he made sure that these chemical firms in the United States produced war materials, mostly explosives, and had these explosives shipped to South America, usually Argentina; then it was told to the Germans that they could pick up these explosives from South America and use them against America. This was during the time when America was at war with Germany, and John Foster Dulles made sure that Germany would get these explosives. So, in my understanding, this was high treason, and yet he got away with it. So, he showed his sympathies with National Socialism in a very obvious way. As a matter of fact, later on, after WWII, some famous investigative journalists picked up on that story and accused him of being a collaborator with the National Socialist regime during WWII.
JC: So, would you see this is a window onto his view of socialism for the World Government structure? Does this all connect back to John Ruskin’s Platonic view, with the aristocrats at the top, and the little people at the lowest levels being the beneficiaries of the socialism. That seems to fit very well with National Socialist structure.
ME: Yes, exactly. Well, he wrote a book at the time, War, Peace and Change, published in 1939, immediately prior to the outbreak of WWII. In this, his most famous book, he basically said that the ideal social structure for America was either National Socialism or Communism, which at the time meant Communism as it existed in Russia under Stalin. So, either Stalin’s Communism, or Hitler’s National Socialism, were portrayed as the ideal social structure for the United States as he envisioned it for the future. I believe he never abandoned that goal, and that that was the reason he supported National Socialism during WWII. I believe this was the reason he was extremely in favour of whatever Stalin did later on. Yes, the point is socialism; he wanted to bring socialism to the United States, and he said so in his book. It is not something I made up; he publicised it as broadly as he possibly could. I believe he never gave up that idea, even when he became Secretary of State under President Eisenhower.
If we return to the time that I describe in my book, it was extremely obvious what he wanted to do; and yes, World Government should be socialist World Government. Even at the time when Lord Alfred Milner was still in charge of a Round Table Group, Milner was a dedicated socialist, always trying to get rid of a democratic system in the British Government; he was always trying to bring socialism to Great Britain. So, even during that early phase of the project to bring World Government to this world, it was always under the colours of socialism.
JC: Would you agree that that vision of socialism is best characterised as Technocratic Socialism, with those at the top being seen as best fit to rule because they're the 'experts'?
ME: This is what I came to believe after further study. Initially, it was not clear to me that it was a technocratic sort of socialism; it was certainly socialism, but its specific form was not entirely clear to me. Was it National Socialism? Was it Communism? I was not sure. Then, in either 2008 or 2009, an American friend of mine, who did similar research in the early 1970s, contacted me and mentioned to me the idea of Technocracy as being the ideal socialistic system that these proponents of World Government had in mind.
JC: Would this be Patrick Wood?
ME: That would be Patrick Wood; he’s a dear friend of mine. Patrick Wood suggested I investigate Technocracy as the form of socialism that these people had in mind.
JC: Was Technocracy growing in the 1930s?
ME: Yes, it was a large movement here in the United States in the early 1930s, but it totally collapsed. At one point, I'd had a book on the history of the Technocratic Movement in my hands, and I'd flicked through the pages, read some passages, and had come to the point where the collapse was described, and thought: “This has nothing to do with my research.” So I closed the book and never gave it a second thought, until, as I said, Patrick Wood, said to me: “Look into Technocracy again. Now you have done all the research, tell me what you think?” So I was once again motivated to look into it. I did, however, remember what Dr. Meic Pearce had written in his foreword, and the very first two sentences essentially said, “This is Technocracy’. To summarise what he wrote, he said what I had written and researched with regards to my book was the history of Technocracy and nothing else. And I had to agree. I had to agree with Patrick Wood and I had to agree with Dr. Meic Pearce. Dr. Pearce was exactly correct, but I hadn't understood that correctly when I published the book in 2005.
JC: Did you write about the subject without ever using the word?
ME: I never used the word once in the entire book, and yet the entire book was about the history of Technocracy. So, it was a strange discovery for me, and Dr. Pearce had understood it better than I.
JC: Perhaps at this point, it would be good to define Technocracy.
ME: Well, Technocracy is a strange beast, with many different facets and a colourful history. It's also difficult to define, but in essence it's a political and economic system. As a political system it is a pure dictatorship; it is a totalitarian system. So, those who rule in a Technocracy are not democratically-elected politicians. They are appointed, or appoint themselves to be rulers. The best contemporary example would be Italy, where nearly two years ago Mario Monti was designated – not elected – by the European Union to be Prime Minister of Italy.
JC: I expect that’s the point at which many people heard the word technocrat for the first time.
ME: Exactly. Mario Monti was not shy in saying that his entire Cabinet was a technocratic Cabinet, and there was not one politician who became a member of his Cabinet.
JC: So, the idea is that they're all experts.
ME: Exactly. The first characteristic is that this is a pure dictatorship, the second is that those who rule are so-called experts, in whatever subject. They can be experts in finance, they can be experts in any kind of industry, but they have to be some type of expert.
However, if you look closely at the history of the Technocratic Movement, you come to realise that it was conceptualised from the very beginning as a religion; that component is often overlooked by those who write about the history of Technocracy. But it is very obvious if you look at the two French philosophers who came up with idea of a Technocracy. One was Henri Saint-Simon (in English, Henry St. Simon), and the other was his private secretary, Auguste Comte. The philosophy of the movement that Henri Saint-Simon had brought into being was called St. Simonism, and the philosophy Auguste Comte came up with was called Positivism. So, either one of these two terms could be used as a synonym for Technocracy. British philosophy was very much dominated by the Logical Positivists, indeed for almost fifty years Logical Positivism was basically the only philosophy popular in England in the early part of the Twentieth Century.
JC: Yes, Bertrand Russell even warned in one of his books that extreme Postivism could lead to a dreadful world.
ME: Yes, correct. So, the term 'Technocracy' is seldom used, and its being a religion tends to remain hidden. But consider the title of Henri Saint-Simon's final book (published in the year of his death, 1825): it was called (in French, of course) The New Christianity. If you read that book, you will understand that Henri Saint-Simon set up his system, which eventually evolved into Technocracy, as a rival religion to Christianity.
JC: I'm not familiar with this, but I suspect this connects with a post-millennial vision of the world. Would I be right in that suspicion?
ME: Yes, but not so much in the case of Henri Saint-Simon. However, there were many others of course, including John Foster Dulles, who were very much in favour of a post-millennial form of Christian eschatology. What that meant, in very simple terms, was that the Christian churches or the Christians had been charged by Jesus Christ to set up a 'Kingdom of God' on Earth, meaning a World Government of sorts. The Christians would be the ruling elite, and once they had set up that 'Kingdom of God' (meaning World Government with Christians in power), at that moment Jesus Christ would come back; but not prior to the success of the Christian churches in setting up such a world system.
JC: Do you think John Foster Dulles was himself a believing Christian?
ME: My personal opinion is that he was never a believing Christian, though he called himself a Christian. When you look into the biography of his father, who was a theology professor, you very quickly see that it was liberalism; and that liberalism came out very strongly in John Foster Dulles’s expression of Christianity as well. Even his son, Avery Dulles, after his father had died, said that John Foster Dulles was never a Christian himself. He pretended to be, but he tended to use the Bible as a rulebook of morals. But being a lawyer in New York City, he was a man ruled by pragmatism; he would do whatever brought money into his law firm, regardless of the moral dimension. And the very fact that he supported the National Socialist Government, even during the time when America was at war with Germany, I believe speaks volumes about his pragmatism and his moral standards.
JC: So we’re seeing here a kind of sub-Christian instrumentalism, not a fully-fledged belief in Christianity; but the use of a particular version of post-millennial 'Christianity' as a tool to bring in the message of this World Government?
ME: Yes, it’s also called secularised post-millennialism to differentiate it from what some true Christians would believe about God’s doctrine. Obviously, there were some true Christians, like B.B. Warfield, John Gresham Machen, and even Jonathan Edwards, all of whom were post-millennialists; but their type of post-millennialism was very different from the secularised post-millennialism of John Foster Dulles.
JC: You also have great concerns that this kind of thinking has found its way even into modern evangelical churches. In some of your presentations and interviews you point to influences like the Latter-Rain Movement (which should perhaps be characterised as a cult really), and to various individuals such as C. Peter Wagner and even Rick Warren. Can you explain what your concern is about what’s happening in Evangelicalism today?
ME: Yes, this really surprised me. Once I had started teaching at various seminaries in Germany and Switzerland, I became aware of some of the trends within Evangelicalism, especially in the Missions Movement. So, I looked into one of the trends in Evangelical Missions, and all of a sudden - I don’t know when it dawned on me - I realised that what I had discovered about the liberal churches prior to WWII, was being furthered by evangelical missionaries and theological professors and pastors. They used the same slogans like Building the Kingdom of God on Earth. It was almost surreal; I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw these evangelical leaders using the same language as the liberal churches. You must understand, when the slogan Building the Kingdom of God on Earth was used by liberal theologians, it had the meaning of setting up a secular World Government; and all of a sudden I heard that slogan being mentioned by, for example Rick Warren, and I looked into his sermons and books and realised that what I had known to be true of the liberals was now almost word-for-word true of the evangelicals. That really surprised me when I first discovered that.
JC: A key individual in that discovery, I believe, was the management theorist Peter Drucker.
ME: Yes, this is how God showed me what was wrong with the modern church transformation movement; and yes, Peter Drucker was the main brain behind that operation. In 2004 I gave a paper at the University of South Carolina (USC), but I was also interested to listening to some of the other presentations, especially one by a USC philosopher named at the University of South Carolina by the name of George Khushf. I had met him earlier, and he had told me that he was a believing Christian, so I was motivated to listen to his presentation, and in just about every second sentence of his very long presentation, he mentioned General Systems Theory (GST). At that time I had no background knowledge of GST whatsoever, so once I was back in Switzerland, the very first thing I did was to type into an Internet search engine the term “General Systems Theory”. I’m not kidding, the very first link that came up was to Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in America, and I just couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought what does GST have to do with Rick Warren’s church in California. Then, obviously, I started reading up on it, and I came to realise that GST was the philosophy behind everything Rick Warren did. As a matter of fact, he also became a member, and still is a member, of the Council on Foreign Relations.
JC: Is he really?
ME: Yes, you can go to the CFR website (cfr.org), go to the membership list section, and you will find Rick Warren’s name listed under ‘W’. As a matter of fact, I even have a video taped interview that he did when he was a participant at the World Economic Forum in Davos a few years ago, and in that interview he speaks about his peace plan, and in the middle of it he just stops and says, ‘By the ways, I am a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’, and then he continues his explanation in regards to the peace plan. That very clearly showed to me that he is very much in tune with what the CFR wanted to accomplish historically: that is, to set up a World Government and use the churches for that purpose primarily. In the context of explaining his peace plan, it was obvious to me that he wanted to let other people know that he was a CFR member, and that his so-called peace plan furthered that CFR agenda.
JC: Do you think he might be doing this out of good conscience himself? Perhaps he thinks he is giving Christianity a platform from which to show itself to the world, even though he is likely being used by those who want a New World Order. Could one develop an apologetic for him along those lines?
ME: Well, I’ll tell you my opinion, although obviously there are others who do not share my opinion. My opinion is informed by my extensive research into what Rick Warren truly wants to accomplish. As a matter of fact you may know that I wrote an entire book in German on Rick Warren called Der Griff zur Macht, the English translation being Grasping for Power; and the power aspect is World Government. In this book, nearly three-hundred pages long, I tried to make a very strong case that Rick Warren is one of the leading proponents used in the megachurches to bring about that liberal vision of World Government in our time. During his height of popularity, say between 2004 and 2006, he came out very strongly in promotion of world reconciliation and peace, and spoke of his peace plan; but if you look at it carefully enough, you see Peter Drucker’s philosophy behind it.
JC: Is this the three-legged stool, which he talks about?
ME: Yes, the three-legged stool. Everything goes back to Peter Drucker, and Rick Warren has no qualms about calling Drucker his main mentor. He said he often went to his home, and basically sat at the feet of Drucker, even though Drucker in another video-taped interview basically said this was not the case. In that interview shortly before he died, Peter Drucker was asked: “Are you a Christian? If Rick Warren follows your philosophy, are you a Christian?” And Peter Drucker point-blank said: “I am not a Christian. I saw all these megachurches popping up in America, realised the great influence they have on American society, and I had an ingenious idea. I thought to myself, if I could have access to these megachurches and their pastors, I could change American society according to my philosophy.” (And his philosophy was Communitarianism, which, in essence, is nothing but Technocracy; it’s just a different term.) And this is exactly what he did; he got in contact with some of these megachurch pastors, with the help of Bob Buford, who was a cable TV owner who sold his business, got extremely rich, and set up a non-profit organisation called Leadership Network, in Dallas, Texas. Bob Buford was a friend of Peter Drucker, and together they invited about fifty evangelical pastors to come to Dallas to attend some of the teaching sessions by Peter Drucker. They called these pastors in on a periodic basis, and they became influenced by Peter Drucker's philosophy; and, as you may guess, some of these people have become extremely well-known megachurch pastors.
JC: Going back to Drucker's three-legged stool concept: Is that the idea of government, business and various social organisations all co-operating and working together as the (supposedly) best way to run the world. That strikes me as a very worrying model.
ME: Yes, that's a correct description. It was Drucker's main model for an ideal society: the close interaction and co-operation between three difference sectors of society. The first sector is the business world, the second sector is the political world, and the third sector is the social world of non-profit organisations, in particular the churches. He wanted to set up a system whereby these three components of society would closely work together, along the lines of Communitarianism, and bring in a socialistic form or World Government.
JC: That does strike me as being essentially technocratic in structure.
ME: Very much so; this is the perfect definition of Technocracy.
JC: It seems incredible to me that Christians should co-operating with this. What on earth has happened to the Doctrine of Original Sin? (I mean, understood in the sense that human beings are, I’m afraid, inherently prone to being corrupted.) That is why we need democratic constraint in place; but Technocracy removes that, so it's bound to go wrong.
ME: Yes, I would say that that idea of World Government, Communitarianism, and the three-legged stool model, have nothing whatsoever to do with true Christianity. If you believe that Jesus Christ will come back - and if you are a premillennialist, as I am – you believe that Jesus Christ will set up his perfect Kingdom following his Second Coming. But he will do it, not human beings. As you rightly noted, human beings are sinful; whatever they do will in some ways be tainted by sin, and if they have that utopian ambition of setting up a perfect World Government, the likelihood is very high that they will create hell on earth, rather than heaven on earth.
JC: One might be forgiven for thinking that this is moving in the direction of Revelation 13, rather than Revelation 21.
ME: Exactly; this is what I believe too. Ultimately, the Antichrist will take hold of that system, and we will have a World Government under his rule, although obviously he will be judged by Jesus Christ when Jesus Christ comes back. So, I believe all these schemes to set up a utopian society of World Government, which the liberal churches were pursuing, and which some evangelical leaders are currently pursuing, are basically a preliminary movement which will finally merge with the anti-Christian World Government that will come on the scene as it is described in Revelation 13.
JC: Yes I agree, that warning is there, and we should not be co-operating with anything that could move in that direction. Could you tell people how they can find out more about your work?
ME: Yes, I have two websites: one in German, one in English, and they are called Auraria.eu and Auraria.us, and on these two websites I publish articles and videos explaining further what Technocracy is all about, both in its religious and economic aspects. Needless to say, these websites are there to warn people about Technocracy; I am not promoting it. It saddens me, because Technocracy is really an anti-Christian totalitarian system that will not allow true Christians to exist if it ever comes to power, so it's saddening to see so many Christians involved in promoting and trying to bring such a system to the country, and to the world ultimately. I hasten to add that most of the Christians who are involved in some of these movements have no idea that this is what they do. I will also add that most of the leaders, such as Rick Warren, surely know what they are all about, and what their true objectives are.
JC: Would it be fair to say that, perhaps, such leaders don’t understand the dangers from an eschatological point of view? Perhaps they don't realise that it might lead in the direction of an anti-Christian system. After all, it is difficult to understand how somebody could be a prominent Christian leader and yet hold views that are antithetical to Christianity. That does seem to imply that they've been deceived in all this.
ME: I agree with you on that point; I don’t believe they are doing this with anti-Christian motives. But they are thinking in terms of setting up a Christian World Government, with Christians in power. This is dominionism; Rick Warren is part of a dominionist movement, which is that version of postmillennialism (as I explained earlier on) that says Christians need to set up a perfect society with Christians being the rulers of that society. I believe this is the kind of future vision Rick Warren pursues. I am sure he doesn’t do what he does with the idea that eventually the Antichrist will sit on the throne; but, ultimately, what he's doing will be of great help to the Antichrist once he takes over.
JC: You mentioned Patrick Wood. Would it be a good idea for people to find out about Technocracy through his work?
ME: Yes, he has a website called AugustForecast.com, which although it's a commercial website, does have free articles and interviews. (He wrote two best-selling books on the Trilateral Commission in the early '70s.) He also produced a DVD of two of his lectures called Apostasy in Motion, in which he addresses some of the same topics we've discussed in this interview, and investigates the aims of the Technocratic Movement of the early 1930s. Let me mention in passing, one of the most important aims these early technocratic leaders were pursuing was to change the currency system from a price-based currency system to an energy-based currency system, also called carbon credits or carbon currency. This is already in the news in Europe, in the UK and here in the US. We're not still waiting for this to be implemented; but of course it's not yet implemented on the consumer level.
JC: This very much fits with the climate-change agenda, and the manipulation of science for non-scientific reasons.
ME: Exactly. This is why the climate-change movement has come into being: to clear the ground, so to speak, for the introduction of carbon currency. Once that is introduced, the idea of savings will be abolished. Carbon currency has an expiration date on it. It’s like mobile phone minutes: if you don’t use them up at the end of the month, they just disappear. With carbon currency, you will be given X number of carbon credits at the beginning of the month, and if you don’t use them up they will just disappear, expire, and at the end of the month you won't have anything left. Then you will again be dependent on the government to give you another allotment of carbon credits.
JC: So, the idea is that it is the perfect distribution system.
ME: Exactly, yes. It is the perfect control system, because if you cannot save anything, you are utterly dependent on government; you need these credits, otherwise you cannot exist. This system has not yet been put in place, but this is where it's going. I am opposing this and warning people not to buy into it; that's the purpose of my two websites.
JC: Absolutely. Dr. Erdmann, it has been wonderful to have you on the Podcast. You have certainly added an extra dimension to this subject, one that is not often talked about, and I thank you very much indeed for sparing the time to talk with us on The Mind Renewed.
ME: You’re welcome. It has been my pleasure to be on your show.
Note: Dr. Erdmann would like to add the following clarification. The opposition of Senators Borah and Lodge to US ratification of the Peace Treaty was not simply motivated by their shared dislike of Wilson. Although they were enthusiastic about a League of Nations in principle, they each feared that the Treaty as it stood would compromise US sovereignty to an extent which they found unacceptable, and Wilson's rigid insistence that the US should ratify without reservation cemented their decision.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by Dr. Martin Erdmann in this interview are his responsibility alone; they do not necessarily reflect those of The Mind Renewed.