One of the astounding ironies of the modern age is many groups associated with “selfless” secular evangelism are little more than grubby Marxist endeavors designed to enslave credulous, leftist drones. While the relentlessly disingenuous Global Warming cabal comes to mind, this description also fits the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NMWA). The Alliance has sought for years to create wilderness designations that would not just limit mankind’s ability to travel into such areas, but also certainly bankrupt many old ranch families with landholdings in these areas, too.
NMWA boasts a lineage traced back to Dave Foreman, founder of Earth First!, one of the most radical environmental groups ever conceived. Sadly, many Americans never learn about how destructive such presumed salt-of-the-earth-Marxism can be until these groups invade their own lives. This article examines this issue.
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance was founded in 1997, started according to their own literature by radical progressive Dave Foreman, also the founder of perhaps the most notorious environmental group in history—Earth First! While the Alliance presents itself as a moderate organization run by kindly environmentalists, the founders were anything but harmless. Perhaps this explains the socialist manner in which the group employs to take over vast tracts of land and deny Americans their basic property rights of access and use.
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is not some humble advocacy group—its founder is one of the most radical persons in the history of the earth movement. In fact, Foreman wrote the bible of eco-terrorism Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching. The title of this work was taken from early radical environmentalist Edward Abbey’s seminal novel The Monkeywrench Gang. States one website:
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NMWA) heralds Dave Foreman as their “Founding Father”, according to pamphlets for the 2006 New Mexico Wilderness Conference sponsored by NMWA on November 11, 2006 in Santa Fe. Foreman was a featured speaker at this event. The materials read “Dave Foreman, Director of The Rewilding Institute and Founding Father of NMWA, presenting “The Future of Wilderness”. More recently, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance Spring 2007 newsletter featured an article by Mr. Foreman.
But who is Dave Foreman?
Dave Foreman is a radical environmentalist of longstanding reputation. Here is a brief bio:
Interested in the environment since childhood, Dave Foreman (born 1947) began taking up the cause of wilderness protection in the very early 1970s when he worked for The Wilderness Society, and then later, the New Mexico chapter of The Nature Conservancy. But Foreman soon found himself disillusioned with the “professionalism” of the movement around the environment.
With a group of friends, Foreman coined the phrase “Earth First” while on a hiking trip in April of 1980. Eventually, as the Earth First group began to take on members whose politics were more in line with Marxists and Anarchists, Foreman again found himself disillusioned and not totally in line with the movement. He was arrested on a charge of conspiracy in 1990 by the FBI, along with 5 others who were suspected of plotting to sabotage a power line connecting to a water pumping station in Arizona, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and received a suspended sentence.
Following that 1990 arrest, Foreman stepped down from his post as acting spokesperson of the group, and started the Wildlands Project, which aims to establish a network of protected North American wilderness. He also served on the board of the Sierra Club in the mid-‘90s.
Yet, despite the benign description of Dave’s founding Earth First!, a more sinister beginning is detailed:
In his book “Trashing the Economy”, Ron Arnold writes: “Defectors from the environmental movement have told us that Earth First! founder DAVE FOREMAN was approached by the Sierra Club and his employer, the Wilderness Society, in 1979 with an offer to fund a new extremist point group for the movement. It would serve the function of making their own demands look more reasonable ... Defectors say that FOREMAN made the deal by himself in a comfortable Wilderness Society office, and accepted the offer on the condition that funding would be steady and adequate, and that his participation was a limited 10-year deal.”
They publicly stated that their philosophy and purpose is to “destroy civilization and technology, and eliminate the need for the word ‘wilderness’ because everything will be ‘wilderness’”. In the videos, he states that EarthFirst! members are “antibodies against the Humanpox”. Foreman’s wife states in the documentary that “monkeywrenching” (sabatoge in the name of “eco-defense”) is “using the tools of the devil against the devil”. The book “Coyotes and Town Dogs” indicates that the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, C. Wesley Leonard, was also heavily involved with Dave Foreman in the inception of EarthFirst! Former NMWA Chairman Dr. Robert Howard has also been closely associated with Mr. Foreman in NMWA and The Wildlands Project and continues to be involved with Foreman’s Rewilding Institute.
Earth First! was co-founded on April 4th, 1980, on a New Mexico highway. Perhaps the greatest danger of groups like Earth First! and their ideological kin such as NMWA is the claim that humans are not special amongst the animal species and are even a virus that must be wiped out. Such overly-dramatic and clearly mistaken rhetoric then lays the groundwork for violence against humans. Writes Discover the Networks:
EF’s core value is “biocentrism,” the belief that the “life of the Earth comes first,” not the life of people. “Our actions are tied to Deep Ecology,” says EF, “the spiritual and visceral recognition of the intrinsic, sacred value of every living thing.” Indeed, the notion that human beings possess no more inherent worth than any other living creatures has been a constant theme of EF. John Davis, the former editor of EF’s in-house publication, the Earth First! Journal, once said: “Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs.” Dave Foreman put it this way: “An individual human life has no more intrinsic value than does an individual Grizzly Bear life. Human suffering resulting from drought and famine in Ethiopia is tragic, yes, but the destruction there of other creatures and habitat is even more tragic.” Added Foreman: “Ours is an ecological perspective that views Earth as a community and recognizes such apparent enemies as ‘disease’ (e.g., malaria) and ‘pests’ (e.g., mosquitoes) not as manifestations of evil to be overcome, but rather as vital and necessary components of a complex and vibrant biosphere.”
Sometimes EF rhetoric has moved beyond merely drawing a moral equivalence between human beings and other species, and has expressed outright contempt for the human race. Said Dave Foreman in 1991: “We humans have become a disease—the Humanpox.” In 1992 the Earth First! Journal published an article that endorsed “dressing up as a hunter and going out to shoot other hunters.” EF theorist Christopher Manes wrote in the May 1987 issue of that same publication that “if radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human population back to ecological sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS.” And a speaker at one of EF’s annual “Rendezvous” meetings said that the “optimal human population” is zero.
Tentatively called Ecodefense: A Handbook on the Militant Defense of the Earth, the publication was to be a radical environmental version of William Powell’s Anarchist Cookbook. Ecodefense: A Field Guide To Monkeywrenching gave practical, detailed instructions on how to decommission bulldozers, pull out survey stakes, spike trees, and generally harass and delay resource industry plans. It was an immediate success; dog eared copies of it could be found in the backpacks of young environmental militants literally throughout the world.
Ecodefense contains advice on how to do sabotage to stop various activities in such sectors as dams and hydroelectric production, forestry, mines, roads, etc.
The notion that mankind is a disease which must be removed for the earth to survive is not a deduction of analytic reasoning. Instead, this is the result when we arbitrarily turn the earth into a god and begin to worship this false idol.
The idea one man may do anything to another, including kill him, because some tenet of this pagan religion is violated is transparently absurd and the height of injustice. For who decides what is a “sin”, let alone the punishments in such a setting? And yet pagans like Dave Foreman are still advocating such environmental terrorism in the name of “justice.” But to toss out traditional morality and replace it with environmental revenge is to drag humankind back to the primordial caves of Cro Magnum. In fact, wasn’t this what the Unabomber sought to do by killing and terrorizing his victims? Ted Kazinski killed one person directly after reading about such things in an EF! article:
Particularly receptive to EF’s militant message was a Harvard-educated Montana recluse named Ted Kaczynski (later to be known as the “Unabomber”), who, from 1978-1995, anonymously mailed dozens of letter bombs, killing 3 people and wounding 24 in the process. After apprehending Kaczynski in 1996, FBI agents raided his cabin and discovered several volumes of the Earth First! Journal therein. Also found was a publication called Live Wild or Die, which was financed by EF!‘s co-founder Mike Roselle and featured a catalogue of the environmental movement’s most hated—the so-called “Eco-F*cker Hit List.” Prominent on this list was the Exxon oil company. After a February 2, 1994 article in the Earth First! Journal erroneously claimed that a firm called Burson-Marsteller was in charge of Exxon’s public-relations efforts in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Kaczynski sent a mail bomb that killed Burson-Marsteller executive Thomas Mosser at his New Jersey home on December 10, 1994. By so doing, Kaczynski was essentially carrying out the type of violence that EF had frequently advocated. For several years afterward, in fact, the Earth First! Journal expressed its “support” for Kazcynski, claiming that he was an innocent man who had been framed.
Dumping the Ten Commandments to replace them with the shifting sands of eco-justice—whatever any radical claims that to be—is a Marxist ploy to sow seeds of anarchy into society so America might be overturned into the hands of the radical elites. One writer well sums up this danger:
As for Dave Foreman, his kind will always be with us in one form or another. Today it’s “save the earth.” Tomorrow it’s another cause. The rhetoric of extremism is always the same, the goals just change a bit. The best thing we can do against such individuals is to expose them for what they truly are. In Foreman’s case, the facts about his history as a terrorist are aptly summed up in the book EcoTerror: The Violent Agenda To Save Nature, by Ron Arnold. For myself, I can never think of Foreman as anything other than a terrorist, and the Unibomber as anything other than a murderer. The cause they espouse to justify their actions is irrelevant to the nature of their crimes.
Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell
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