It’s getting harder and harder for Texas Rep. Ron Paul to distance himself from the nutty, conspiratorial newsletters that were written in his name throughout the ’80s and ’90s. The latest clear link? A 1998 video unearthed by amateur opposition researcher Andrew Kaczynski, in which Paul claims that the United Nations is planning to strip Americans of the right to own property, guns, and practice free religion.
The video, which was produced by the extremist right wing John Birch Society, echoes the paranoid tone of Paul’s various newsletters. It suggests that the United Nations is planning to impose a global dictatorship, leaving the U.S. Constitution “consigned to the ash heap of history,” among other conspiratorial warnings.
Alongside ominous footage of burning crosses and a building labeled the “United World Temple,” the video’s narrator also warns that the U.N. plans to burn all churches that don’t submit to the “anti-Christian attitude of the almighty” U.N. government, and incarcerate their pastors.
“If the United Nations has their way, there will be curtailment of our right to practice our religion,” Paul says in the video. “They are not going to be believers in the right to practice our religion as we have seen fit throughout this country. And therefore individuals who are interested in this subject certainly cannot be complacent about what the United Nations is doing.”
As Mother Jones points out:
This is exactly what you’d expect from the John Birch Society, an organization that has spent four decades urging the United States to leave the United Nations. It’s not what you’d expect from a serious Republican presidential candidate. It’s not even the kind of language you tend to hear from Paul on the campaign trail, where he’s more likely to talk about raw milk than the New World Order. And that’s been Paul’s best defense; the newsletters just don’t sound like anything he’s ever said.
After seeing Paul endorse the John Birch Society’s radical conspiracies on tape, voters may find that defense much more difficult to believe.