Mitt Romney has now been officially nominated as the Republican candidate for president of the United States.
His victory marks the first time that the Republicans have failed to nominate a Protestant Christian, and the first time that a major US party has nominated a person who is not a Christian at all.
Romney is a member of the Mormon or Latter Day Saints Church, a strange religious sect which was founded in upstate New York in 1830 by Joseph Smith, a convicted swindler and con man who played on the gullibility of ignorant farmers by getting them to hire him to find buried treasure on their land. The Mormons have their center in Salt Lake City, and they control Utah and much of Nevada – including part of Las Vegas gambling. They are influential in Idaho and Arizona. The Mormon presence in these states goes back to the late 1840s, when the Mormons tried to carve an independent, inland empire called Deseret out of the intermountain west, taking territory of Mexico and the United States.
The Southern Baptists, one of the most important Republican constituencies, have officially condemned Mormonism as a cult.
Political insiders see Mormonism as Scientology 150 years early – which Romney has denied. Romney calls himself a devout Mormon, and his family stresses that Mormonism is central to his identity. A key feature of Mormonism has historically been anti-black racism, which was allegedly ended in 1978.
This means Romney was willing to spend his first three decades and more in a racist church. Because the local Mormon church was the only one that could guarantee a racially segregated congregation, they tended to attract racists and reactionaries from all other denominations. Salt Lake City remains the whitest city in the US, and the top Mormon leaders are all white men. The GOP convention showcased Mia Love, a black Mormon woman whose family came from Haiti and whom the dominant Mormon voting bloc will now elect to congress from Utah, intending to use her as a token black to camouflage their institutional racism.
Romney is running as a businessman, but he is also a prelate, a bishop. He served for years as a Mormon bishop, a post roughly equivalent to a parish priest in Christianity.
He then was promoted to the post of stake president, a post equivalent to a Christian bishop. Romney also worked as a Mormon missionary in France for two years. Along with the super-rich Marriott hotel family and the Huntsman chemical fortune, the Romney clan makes up part of an inner elite that control the Mormon Church, which claims 10% of its members’ income, and which owns a minimum of $30 billion in assets.
Romney has been running for president since 2007. He is an unprincipled political opportunist and chameleon. To get elected as governor of Massachusetts, he talked like a left liberal of the Ted Kennedy type. In the 2008 and 2012 GOP primaries, he portrayed himself in hardline reactionary terms, and attacked his rivals for policies which he himself had implemented as governor. As a result, Romney came to be hated by McCain, Gingrich, Fred Thompson, and Santorum, Republicans who have run against him.
A Mormon sheriff gave the opening prayer at the GOP convention the night Romney was nominated, reminding us that key posts in a Romney administration would be largely monopolized by Mormons. Romney’s transition team director is the sectarian Mormon former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, who will now fill most of the sought-after political patronage jobs if Romney wins.
Leavitt was a key man in the Bush the younger administration, running the Environmental Protection Administration and later the Department of Health and Human Services, where he was accused of corruption and conflicts of interest because of his handling of his consulting business.
Leavitt is also most likely to become the White House chief of staff under Romney.
Before the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, top Mormon leaders handed out over $1 million in bribes to members of the International Olympic Committee and their relatives to get them to choose Utah. When the scandal exploded, Governor Leavitt, who was himself widely accused of being part of the bribery, wanted to cover up the illegal payments and save himself and the apex of the Mormon hierarchy from possible indictment, he called in Romney. This is the basis for Romney’s mythical boast that he “saved” the 2002 winter Olympics. The 2002 Olympics scandal cover-up would therefore be the foundation of a Romney administration. This scandal could also be used by the Wall Street ruling elite to demolish the Romney machine when his usefulness became exhausted. Romney would thus be forced to serve as a Wall Street puppet whether he wants to or not.
In taking control of the federal government, Romney would have the support of a powerful Mormon mafia of top officials across the US federal government.
Traditionally, the FBI has been dominated by two factions – the Jesuits, classically law graduates of Fordham University in the New York borough of the Bronx, and the “Mormon Mafia.” The reactionary writer Cleon Skousen, a Mormon who was also the top ideologue of the infamous John Birch Society, and who coined the term “New World Order,” was an example of this FBI Mormon Mafia. The FBI Mormons have been found guilty of ethnic discrimination in a federal court a few years ago. Over 300 Hispanic FBI employees from Los Angeles successfully sued their bosses for allowing the Mormon Mafia to discriminate against Hispanics in hiring. Small wonder that Romney has little support among Hispanics and none at all among the black community.
Because Mormons go to other countries for up to two years of missionary work, they often come back knowing a foreign language – a relative rarity in the US. Many are then hired by the CIA, which has its own Mormon Mafia. A key figure in building up a Mormon Mafia network across the entire US federal government was Mormon Brent Scowcroft, a close associate of Henry Kissinger who served in Republican administrations under Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush the elder, and Bush the younger. Questions remain about Scowcroft’s role in the events of September 11, 2001, when Scowcroft was airborne in a National Airborne Operations Command Center (NAOC) doomsday aircraft, raising the issue of his possible participation in a coup.
The Mormons have been a key faction of the Republican Party since World War II. The reactionary Mormon Apostle and Prophet Ezra Taft Benson served as Secretary of Agriculture in both terms of the Eisenhower administration, and used his position to sabotage land reform programs in Southeast Asia – programs which, if implemented, might have avoided the Vietnam War.
The tension of Romney’s Mormon tradition is that although this sect was at war with the United States for several decades in the nineteenth century, Romney is running as a super-patriotic ultra-American, while suggesting that Obama is deficient in this regard. By giving control of foreign policy to warmonger neocons, and of everything else to the Mormon mafia, a Romney administration could start with a very narrow support base for its right-wing extremist policies. This would set the stage for a constitutional crisis perhaps as early as a year or two into a possible Romney regime.