The Christian Science Monitor — Past, Present, Future
by Andrew Hartsook
For whom does The Christian Science Monitor speak? A Christian Scientist would answer that it speaks the truth without bias or influence from any special interest. The familiar words of its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, sum it up best, “The object of the Monitor is to injure no man, but to bless all mankind.” (My. 353)
It is well known among Christian Scientists that the transition in the Movement after Mrs. Eddy’s passing was not smooth. In fact, it was turbulent and full of controversy. The Great Litigation concerning the Publishing Society, the “Report of the Committee for the General Welfare”, the Paul Revere letters of the late 1940s and early 1950s, the continuing Kerry letters, the litigation against the Mother Church to overturn the questionable copyright extension on Science and Health, the legal action by the Mother Church to destroy the independent Christian Science church in Plainfield, New Jersey, all point to unresolved, fundamental questions in the Christian Science Movement.
The last ten or fifteen years have been turbulent ones for the Monitor. Circulation has remained low, the Mother Church began subsidizing the paper (a thing which Erwin Canham said was unthinkable), a parade of format changes came and went, and the membership of the trustees of the Publishing Society turned over with alarming frequency. Expensive promotional kits were mailed to church members and reorganized support groups were formed in branches throughout the land. New editors and staff were brought in, and a teleconference for church members figured Monitor correspondents in a prominent role. Yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. Inspite of it all, the efforts to re-energize the newspaper have had mixed results at best.
Under Mrs. Eddy’s steady direction, there was never any question about the Monitor’s fulfilment of its purpose. However, the Monitor, like every other aspect of the Movement, changed course after Mrs. Eddy was no longer personally present to direct it.
Hard questions emerge. Why has there been a decline in the newspaper? Why have all the human footsteps and metaphysical support failed to yield a scientific result?
What follows is an overview of events concerning the Monitor since the beginning.
One name which figures prominently in the early years of the Monitor is Frederick Dixon of England. He was brought to the Monitor staff by Mrs. Eddy on December 11, 1908. By April of the next year, she requested that he return to England. No public reason was given for this. Mrs. Eddy has written a letter to Mr. Dixon on April 11, 1909, explaining why she wanted him to return to his native land. She spoke of the loss of his “presence and pen” in his native England and the need to defend that nation from the influx of animal magnetism “pouring into her borders.” However, this letter was never delivered to Mr. Dixon. Across the top of the letter in a different handwriting are the words, “ordered withheld Apl 11/09.” It is not clear if this was at Mrs. Eddy’s own direction or someone else’s. It is clear from this letter that Mrs. Eddy had confidence in Mr. Dixon and was giving him a more momentous assignment.
By 1914 Mr. Dixon was back in Boston as editor of the Monitor. Archibald McLellan and Alexander Dobbs, editor and managing editor respectively, strongly protested Mr. Dixon’s appointment though their reasons for this are not clear. Mr. Dixon remained editor of the Monitor from 1914 until the end of the Great Litigation in 1921. Unlike the editors of the other periodicals, he did not resign his post when urged to do so by the Board of Directors. When the Massachusetts Supreme Court failed to rule decisively in the matter, he joined the other officers and employees of the Publishing Society and resigned. The Publishing Society was bankrupt after Mother Church members had cancelled subscriptions at the urging of the Board of Directors, four of whose members were fined $50. each for disobeying a court order against such urgings.
According to Erwin Canham, Mr. Dixon was acquainted with important world leaders. “He was on intimate terms with Colonel Edward M. House, President Wilson’s confidential assistant. Mr. Dixon appears in Colonel House’s papers and letters as a kind of unofficial intermediary between the British and American governments,” (Canham, pp 139, 140) Colonel House was also the author of a novel, Philip Dru: Administrator: A Story of Tomorrow, 1920-1935, which was published in 1912. In the story, the hero speaks of establishing in the United States “socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx.” (p. 45) This book has repeated references to God, Christ, spiritual leavening, etc., but the final goal is socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx. This must have been the original version of liberation theology which is now plaguing other religions in a more modern form. In addition, Colonel House was the unseen kingmaker in presidential politics. Every Democratic candidate for the presidency from Wilson to Roosevelt had to receive his personal blessing. Colonel House was also revealed to be the “father of the Council on Foreign Relations” (CFR) in a rare article which appeared in Harpers magazine in July, 1958.
The following are excerpts from Tragedy and Hope — A History of the World in our Time by Dr. Carroll Quigley, past professor at Harvard and Princeton Universities and also the Foreign Service School at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The reader will note several references to the Monitor and other individuals with close associations to Christian Science.
“There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years in the early 1960s to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently to a few of its policies (notably to its belief that England was an Atlantic rather than a European Power and must be allied or even federated with the United States and must remain isolated from Europe), but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known …
“The Round Table Groups were semi-secret discussion and lobbying groups organized by Lionel Curtis, Phillip H. Kerr (Lord Lothian), and (Sir) William S. Marris in 1908 – 1911. This was done on behalf of Lord Milner, the dominant Trustee of the Rhodes Trust in the two decades 1905 – 1925. The original purpose of these groups was to seek to federate the English-speaking world along lines laid down by Cecil Rhodes (1853 – 1902) and William T. Stead (1849 – 1912), and the money from the organizational work came originally from the Rhodes Trust. By 1915 Round Table groups existed in seven countries, including England, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and a rather loosely organized group in the United States (George Louis Beer, Walter Lippmann, Frank D. Greene, Erwin D. Canham of the Christian Science Monitor, and others). The attitudes of the various groups were coordinated by frequent visits and discussions and by a well informed and totally anonymous quarterly magazine, The Round Table, whose first issue, largely written by Phillip Kerr, appeared in November 1910.
“At the end of the war of 1914, it became clear that the organization of this system had to be greatly extended. Once again the task was entrusted to Lionel Curtis who established, in England and each dominion, a front organization to the existing local Round Table Group. This front organization, called the Royal Institute of International Affairs, had as its nucleus in each area the existing submerged Round Table Group. In New York it was known as the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a front for J. P. Morgan and Company in association with the very small American Round Table Group.
“The American Branch of this “English Establishment” exerted much of its influence through five American newspapers (The New York Times, New York Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, and the lamented Boston Evening Transcript). In fact, the editor of the Christian Science Monitor was the chief American correspondent (anonymously) of The Round Table, and Lord Lothian, the original editor of The Round Table and later secretary of the Rhodes Trust (1925 – 1939) and ambassador to Washington, was a frequent writer in the Monitor. It might be mentioned that the existence of this Wall Street, Anglo-American axis is quite obvious once it is pointed out. It is reflected in the fact that such Wall Street luminaries as John W. Davis, Lewis Douglas, Jock Whitney, and Douglas Dillon were appointed to be American ambassadors in London.” (Tragedy and Hope pp. 165, 950, 951, 952)
A quotation from Mrs. Eddy seems especially prophetic. “To my sense, the most imminent dangers confronting the coming century are: the robbing of people of life and liberty under warrant of the Scriptures; the claims of politics and of human power, industrial slavery, and insufficient freedom of honest competition; and ritual, creed, and trusts in place of the Golden Rule, ‘Whatever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.’” (My 266)
It should be noted that Lord Lothian was a longtime confidant of Lord and Lady Astor, both Christian Scientists, who held radical political views of their own. Erwin Canham and Joseph C. Harsch both received special attention when they were in England and were frequent guests of the Astors.
At this point, a remarkable editorial written by Frederick Dixon which appeared in the Monitor on June 19, 1920, should be closely examined. It shows his complete awareness of the history of organized, hidden, political conspiracies, and his extreme distaste for them. It is doubtful that an article like this has ever appeared anywhere else in the mainstream American press. It should be noted that Mr. Dixon discounts the belief that there is a Jewish conspiracy. Of the thirteen names mentioned in the article, not one is Jewish. The notion of a Jewish plot is a red herring used by the real conspirators to embroil their opponents in so much controversy that they are effectively neutralized. (See the “Jewish Peril”)
The names John Hughes, Joseph C. Harsch, Roscoe Drummond have all appeared on the membership of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) of which Colonel House, as already noted, was the father. Erwin Canham’s name was not among them because the CFR was a front for the more exclusive Round Table Group which he belonged to. Other prominent names on the CFR roster and also found in the pages of the Monitor include Charles W. Yost and Robert R. Bowie. Yost remained a CFR member until his death, and Bowie is still a high level CFR theoretician. There is more to be said about the CFR later.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the Monitor’s China correspondent was Gunther Stein who was later exposed as a Soviet spy by General MacArthur’s intelligence headquarters. In fact, he was called an “Indispensable and important member” of the now famous Sorge spy ring which reported to Joseph Stalin. It was a critical factor in the fall of China to the Communists. (McCarran Committee Hearings, Aug. 23, 1951, pp 635, and Aug. 8, 1951, p 383) Mr. Canham says in his book that the Monitor did not know this. (Canham p. 341-343). Another similar story emerged about another Monitor correspondent, Wilfred G. Burchett, who also was exposed as a Soviet agent. After his dismissal from the paper, he helped report the Korean war from the Communist side and even helped interrogate American prisoners of war. It should be remembered that the Round Table Groups have “no aversion to cooperating with the Communists… and frequently do.”
In 1973 it was revealed that Richard Lee Strout was the long time writer of the anonymous TRB column in the New Republic which, according to Tragedy and Hope (pp. 938, 939), was an integral part of the Council on Foreign Relations’ plans for propagandizing the American public, and it continues to be the highbrow advocate of socialism in the United States. It was Mr. Strout who recently (March 9, 1984) suggested that the U.S. Constitution be scrapped in favor of a parliamentary form of government.
It was Mr. Yost (CFR) whose opinion and commentary column included, “The prolongation of the life and death struggles in Cambodia and South Vietnam is not in the interests of Cambodian and Vietnamese peoples but only in the interests of the Lon Nol and Thieu governments and those associated with them.” (March 6, 1975) This quote was picked up by the Soviet Union’s Tass News Service and used for propaganda. Subsequently one-third of the population of Cambodia was exterminated once Lon Nol was out of the way, and in one prominent incident, 30,000 South Vietnamese were slaughtered on China Beach near Da Nang once Thieu was eliminated.
In an editorial of November 5, 1974, the following was blandly printed: “The time has long since passed when Washington could justify an antagonistic stand on Cuba… Moreover, the government of Prime Minister Fidel Castro no longer exports its revolutionary aims as it once did.” It is hard to believe that statements such as these are honest errors.
The following paragraphs show how the policies of the CFR find their way into the columns of the Monitor.
In 1944, in the midst of the World War, the CFR prepared the following report, “…The Sovereignty fetish is still so strong in the public mind, that there would appear to be little chance of winning popular assent to American membership in anything approaching a super-state organization.”
In 1959, the CFR put out the following: “The U.S. must strive to (A) Build a new international order (which) must be responsive to world aspirations for peace, (and) for social and economic change… To accomplish this the U.S. must: (1) Search for an international order in which the freedom of nations is recognized as interdependent and in which many policies are jointly undertaken by free-world states with differing political, economic and social systems, including states labeling themselves as ‘socialist’” i.e. Communist.
In the House of Representatives on April 28, 1972, Congressman John R. Rarick declared: “The CFR is the establishment. Not only does it have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels of government to apply pressure from above, but it also finances and uses individuals and groups to bring pressure from below to justify the high-level decisions for converting the United States from a sovereign, constitutional Republic into a servile member-state of a one-world dictatorship.” (Congressional Record)
On December 31, 1974, a Monitor editorial said: “Can mankind put together a new order in the world in the wake of the bewildering changes that have swept the globe this past year?… The world has no choice but to live together and we, its citizens, will have to change our habits, our attitudes and perhaps our institutions.”
Colonel House once wrote: “Do your work gently and with moderation, so that some at least may listen. If we would convince and convert, we must veil our thoughts and curb our enthusiasm, so that those we would influence will think us reasonable.” (The Intimate Papers of Colonel House by Charles Seymour, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1926)
When Daniel Ellsberg stole the Pentagon Papers, the Monitor followed the lead of the New York Times and the Washington Post and published extensive selections from these classified documents. Court injunctions followed in the wake of the Times’ and Post’s publications of the papers, but the Monitor went ahead anyway.
Article VIII, Section 26 of the Church Manual by Mary Baker Eddy states: “A member of this Church shall not publish, nor cause to be published, an article that is uncharitable or impertinent towards religion, medicine, the courts, or the laws of our land.”
The Pentagon Papers included dated transcripts of secret, coded messages which compromised the diplomatic code of the United States government and was a welcome gift for the Soviet Union. Daniel Ellsberg, by the way, is a member in good standing of the CFR.
A book which exposes the Trilateral Commission (Trilaterals over Washington by Antony C. Sutton and Patrick M. Wood) names the Monitor as the “unofficial Trilateral mouthpiece.” (page 176) The Trilateral Commission is dedicated to consolidating corporate and banking power in the world into “competent” hands, i.e. David Rockefeller and friends. One might view the CFR as the political arm and the Trilateral Commission as the economic arm of the same conspiracy. David Rockefeller figures prominently in both. David Rockefeller has even appeared in the opinion and commentary pages of the Monitor. An interesting editorial defending the Trilateral Commission appeared in the Monitor during the 1980 presidential primaries when it briefly became an issue in the campaign.
Joseph C. Harsch wrote on December 31, 1974 in the Monitor regarding Nelson Rockefeller’s selection as vice president as follows: “Americans of goodwill, whatever their individual political inclination, can and should come together at this season in gratitude that there are in their midst men of education, wealth, and prominence who regard public service as a privilege… It is a good and desirable thing that persons with the background of the Rockefellers and Kennedys regard public office as a fit channel for their ambition.”
Mrs. Eddy wrote: “I believe strictly in the Monroe doctrine, in our Constitution, and the laws of God.” (My. 282) Yet the Monitor has run editorials and commentaries which advocate scrapping the Constitution, eliminating private ownership of firearms which is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to discourage would-be domestic tyrants, and has effectively called the Monroe doctrine obsolete by urging normalization of relations with Soviet-backed dictatorships in Cuba and Nicaragua and by expressing reservations over the liberation of Grenada.
Who is controlling The Christian Science Monitor? This is a question which every Christian Scientist should earnestly consider. Mrs. Eddy’s views and purposes have been swept aside by an alien philosophy dedicated to secret influence, lust for political power, industrial and economic monopoly, and the subjugation of all peoples to depraved human will.
Mrs. Eddy asks, “Who is telling mankind of the foe in ambush?” (S&H 571: 10, 11) One sadly must answer that it is not The Christian Science Monitor. She goes on to say, “Escape from evil, and designate those as unfaithful stewards who have seen the danger and yet have given no warning.”
It is high time that Christian Scientists awake and do their duty to God, to their Leader, and to mankind. (See Man. 42:4-10)