The Reece Committee and Debunking Debunked

In 1954 the U.S. House of Representatives formed a committee under Rep. B. Carroll Reece and tasked it with investigating the use of funds by tax-exempt organizations such as the Carnegie Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation, for subversive purposes.

What were the Reece Committee’s findings?  Judge for yourself based on the written summary of lead researcher to the Committee, Norman Dodd in his own words.

In summary, our study of these entities and their relationship to each other seems to warrant the inference that they constitute a highly efficient, functioning whole.  Its product is apparently an educational curriculum designed to indoctrinate the American student from matriculation to the consummation of his education.  It contrasts sharply with the freedom of the individual as the cornerstone of our social structure.  For this freedom, it seems to substitute the group, the will of the majority, and a centralized power to enforce this will – presumably in the interest of all.  (p. 11)

The result of the development and operation of the network in which Foundations have played such a significant role seems to have provided this country with what is tantamount to a national system of education under the tight control of organizations and persons little known to the American public.  Its operations and ideas are so complex as to be beyond public understanding or control.  (p. 12)

The broad study which called our attention to the activities of these organizations has revealed not only their support by Foundations, but has disclosed a degree of cooperation between them which they have referred to as “an interlock”, thus indicating a concentration of influence and power.  … Likewise, it is difficult to avoid the feeling that their common interest has led them to cooperate closely with one another and that this common interest lies in the planning and control of certain aspects of American life through a combination of the Federal Government and education. (p. 10)

So, were the members of the Congressional Reece Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations a bunch of crazy “conspiracy theorists”?  (cue spooky music)

Here is the dilemma:

On the one hand, if their findings were indeed accurate, it implies a conspiracy involving the deliberate subversion of America’s public school system towards a system of indoctrination for the purpose of social engineering by powerful private interests.

On the other hand, if the far-reaching findings of the Reece Committee were actually false and defamatory, it would appear then that it was the Congressional Committee members who conspired together to tell a tall tale, and make wild accusations against an otherwise well-meaning group of philanthropists.

Either way it appears to represent a conspiracy, depending who you believe.

Those who believe all so-called conspiracy theorists are just a bunch of crazy cooks, and instead defer ever and always to whatever the “officials” in government and media have to say about world events, may find themselves at a loss here, for in the context of such a worldview, what could possibly be more official than a public indictment by members of the United States Congress?

In other words, to be skeptical of the Reece Committee and it’s findings is to be skeptical of the official story, and in so doing, the skeptic thereby becomes the conspiracy theorist, the debunker having debunked themselves!

For that matter, how is one to rule out the possibility that their every sentiment against any notion of conspiracy, which they believe to have arrived at freely based upon rational thinking, is not in fact the overwhelming byproduct of the levying of that “concentration of influence and power” aimed at “control of certain aspects of American life”, alluded to by the Dodd Report?

After all, it is said the greatest trick the Devil ever played was in convincing people he didn’t exist. Perhaps it is ever thus with the ghoulish workings of these billionaire “philanthropists” … just some friendly old monopoly men with top hats and canes looking to spread the wealth.

As a final aside, evidence suggests the term ‘conspiracy theorist’ itself was first employed by none other than the CIA in a field memo discussing ways of discrediting narratives counter to the official story of the JFK assassination (an event the majority of Americans surveyed now agree was part of a conspiracy), through the propagation of ongoing public disinformation campaigns.

For further reading, see The Reece Committee: Social Science As a Tool For Control.

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