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Mother Jones: Ben Carson's Love Affair With a "Nutjob" Conspiracy Theorist

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Mumei

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I feel like Ben Carson's special brand of dimwitted paranoia is having a moment, and so I thought it would be useful to draw attention to this article. Frankly, while his recent comments about, say, Muslims or cluelessness about gravity or gun rights are more than a bit groan-inducing, those don't actually plumb his depths. Of course, I'm sure some of us remember how the good doctor plagiarized both Skousen and the esteemed SocialismSucks.net in his 2012 book - so this isn't necessarily "new news" to the most engaged, but it will be news to some people, I'm sure.

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and political novice near the top of the GOP presidential polls, does not spend much time and energy promoting specific policy stances. He has soared to a statistical tie with Donald Trump by emphasizing his outsider status and calling to revive America, deploying general right-wing rhetoric that resonates with social conservatives. At the recent Republican debate, he said, "The thing that is probably most important is having a brain." But he has provided one important clue as to his fundamental political worldview, by repeatedly endorsing a far-right conspiracy theorist named W. Cleon Skousen, who was characterized in 2007 by the conservative National Review as an "all-around nutjob." Skousen came to prominence in the 1950s as a virulent anti-Communist crusader; he later claimed that a global cabal of bankers controlled the world from behind the scenes, and he once wrote a book that referred to the "blessings of slavery."

Carson swears by Skousen, who died in 2006. In a July 2014 interview, Carson contended that Marxist forces had been using liberals and the mainstream media to undermine the United States. His source: Skousen. "There is a book called The Naked Communist," he said. "It was written in 1958. Cleon Skousen lays out the whole agenda, including the importance of getting people into important positions in the mainstream media so they can help drive the agenda. Well, that's what's going on now." Four months later, while being interviewed by Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Carson denounced unnamed Marxists who were presently seeking to destroy American society: "There was a guy who was a former CIA agent by the name of Cleon Skousen who wrote a book in 1958 called The Naked Communist, and it laid out the whole agenda. You would think by reading it that it was written last year—showing what they're trying to do to American families, what they're trying to do to our Judeo-Christian faith, what they're doing to morality." (Skousen had been an FBI employee—not a CIA officer—and mainly engaged in administrative and clerical duties; later he was a professor at Brigham Young University and police chief of Salt Lake City.) And the most recent edition of this Skousen book boasts Carson's endorsement on the front cover: "The Naked Communist lays out the whole progressive plan. It is unbelievable how fast it has been achieved."

Carson's repeated and full-throated endorsements of Skousen—which tend to be coupled with dire warnings about the covert scheming of Marxists and Saul Alinsky—suggest that Carson shares Skousen's belief that the civil rights movement, acceptance of homosexuality, the rise of abstract art and modernism, and the advent of Medicare, Social Security, and other safety-net programs have all been part of a clandestine plot waged by Communists or other dark forces to destroy the United States. As Carson points out, this nefarious plotting is still in the works today.

Carson's faith in Skousen is even more unsettling because Skousen was far more than a rabid anti-commie crusader and Red-baiter. He was a complete crank. He maintained that the Founding Fathers were direct descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel and contended that a global cabal of bankers controlled the world.

In a 1962 book, Skousen decried homosexuality and insisted, "Every boy should know that masturbation may be the first step to homosexuality." In his 1970 book, The Naked Capitalist, Skousen disclosed another worldwide conspiracy and maintained that a sinister "secret society of the London-Wall Street axis"—which included the Council on Foreign Relations—controlled the planet and orchestrated global events, financing revolutions and collaborating with "dictatorial forces" to preserve its power. As Salon noted in 2009, in this work, "Skousen claimed the Anglo-American banking establishment had a long history of such activity going back to the Bolshevik Revolution. He substantiated this claim by citing the work of a former Czarist army officer named Arsene de Goulevitch. Among Goulevitch's own sources is Boris Brasol, a pro-Nazi Russian émigré who provided Henry Ford with the first English translation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

Oh, and as a bonus: Ben Carson speaking to the National Organization for Marriage, explaining the Neo-Marxist plot to destroy our unity by destroying our Judeo-Christian values and families through the power of gay marriage. He even name-drops Skousen!
 

IdreamofHIME

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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.
 

Blader

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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

That's what this is...? Unless you stopped at the title, nothing here is suggesting Ben Carson had sex with Cleon Skousen.
 

Slayven

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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

Wait what?
 

Cyan

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Well I don't know about the rest of you, but now I want to know more about Ben Carson's dick.
 

fredrancour

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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

Did you only read the title? It was a metaphor for years of publicly referencing the conspiracy theorist's work in many encounters with the public and the media, not literal sex.

Well I don't know about the rest of you, but now I want to know more about Ben Carson's dick.

Brain surgeons are all about working with the head.
 
Nov 9, 2012
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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

Lol, has there ever been a more blatantly obvious case of someone not reading the OP?
 

Mumei

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You know, I wasn't sure that I would find anything that was to come in this topic funnier than Ben Carson's conspiratorial whisperings to the NOM crowd about Neo-Marxist gay marriage plots, but I've clearly underestimated the possibilities.

Brain surgeons are all about working with the head.

And thank you.
 

fredrancour

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You know, I wasn't sure that I would find anything that was to come in this topic funnier than Ben Carson's conspiratorial whisperings to the NOM crowd about Neo-Marxist gay marriage plots, but I've clearly underestimated the possibilities.



And thank you.

You're welcome. Blame Cyan.


But seriously: The OP's story is deeply horrifying yet I feel no more alarm than I did before. I guess my horror-at-politicians meter is redlining permanently now. That is /pol/ level stuff being unironically pushed by a Republican presidential candidate.
 

Veritigo_X

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I'd like to see if he'll elaborate on this more now that he's in the spotlight. There is definitely a group within the republican party that believe this idea of an agenda to destroy American values but it's hard to say how large of a group it is. It'll be interesting to see if this kind of talk will end up helping or hurting his chances.
 

kess

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This came up in the last election as well, as Romney was a big fan of Skousen's book. A National Review article has a decent background on it.

Skousen’s Communist paranoia may have reached it’s apotheosis in 1970 when the Mormon church and BYU in particular began receiving a tremendous amount of external pressure to change the church’s policy on denying the Mormon priesthood to blacks. Skousen, then a professor at BYU, published an article entitled “The Communist Attack on the Mormons” and noted that critics were employing Communist tactics which were “distorting the religious tenet of the Church regarding the Negro and blowing it up to ridiculous proportions.” The Mormon Church reversed course on its discriminatory practices in 1978 and began ordaining black men to the priesthood.
 
Yeah, sorta surprised this didn't get more traction with Romney, Cleon Skousen was a big huge guy in Mormon circles when Romney was growing up(and still is in many circles). What is even more surprising is that Carson is a big supporter of Skousen while Skousen believed that civil rights and equality for all races was a communist plot.
 

Paskil

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I mean, it's definitely a tossup between Santorum, Fuckabee, and Carson for craziest in the race. People that didn't know it before are realizing it now, or will be, shortly. The guy just needs a spotlight and microphone to knock himself out of the race.
 

WedgeX

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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

For some reason, this reminds me of a thread that Bish posted about Russian government trolls.
 

ivysaur12

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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

This is one of my favorite first posts ever GAF.
 

danm999

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So this guy thinks Wall St is in the pocket of an international Communist conspiracy and masturbating turns little boys gay.

That's ah, interesting.

Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

Amazing.
 

NobleXenon

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I remember my Mormon friend talking about Skousen when I was a teenager. Back then I thought nothing of it, but I didn't know it was that bad, holy shit.
 

zero shift

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The logic the conspiracy theory makes no sense. Why would the super-rich bankers want to instill Communism?
 
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Yeah, sorta surprised this didn't get more traction with Romney, Cleon Skousen was a big huge guy in Mormon circles when Romney was growing up(and still is in many circles). What is even more surprising is that Carson is a big supporter of Skousen while Skousen believed that civil rights and equality for all races was a communist plot.

:|
 

evanmisha

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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

This is my new favorite post of yours
 

Alucrid

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Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.

IdreamofBENCARSONSDICK
 

PhoenixDark

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Saul Alinsky fear mongering has been en vogue amongst republicans since Obama started picking up steam in early 2008. Few things disgust and threaten conservatives more than the concept of poor (especially black and brown) people expressing their right to vote.

Carson is just going to look worse and worse the more a spotlight is on him. He has no shot.
 

LUFTRAUSER

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I know Carson's a brain surgeon, but his head is so far up his own ass he might as well be a proctologist.
Also: "the rise of abstract art" :lol
That one is particularly hilarious because the CIA actually did encourage the development of that genre, but specifically to counter Soviet Realism and Communism.
Don't do this. Reveal the man's stupidity through his crazy speeches and opinions, don't judge him based on his dick. This kind of thing will only galvanize support for him from those who feel he's being personally attacked.
Not a literal love affair, dude.
 

Mumei

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I clearly made this topic too late in the day. Yes, that's it. Definitely not me.
 
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