UN Agenda 21: Attempt to control the world?

By Gail Geraghty

Dr. Michael Coffman, shown at one of the many talks he has given over the years about how progressive ideology is destroying America.

Dr. Michael Coffman, shown at one of the many talks he has given over the years about how progressive ideology is destroying America.By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

The willingness of a Casco woman to question the reasoning behind her town’s emphasis on preserving open space led to a major gathering April 20 at Lake Region High School. A crowd of over 200 people, including Maine Governor Paul LePage, came to hear Dr. Michael Coffman lay out his analysis of a chilling plan originating at the United Nations to manipulate Americans out of their Constitutionally-guaranteed private property rights.

Elaine Heuiser became concerned three months ago about the activities of the Casco Open Space Commission, particularly with regard to her father’s land holdings on Route 302. She got on the Internet and began researching personal property rights. It wasn’t long before the name of environmental scientist Dr. Michael Coffman came up as a leading voice against the dangers of the UN’s Agenda 21 plan for a sustainable future, passed in 1992.

Realizing he lived in Bangor, Heuiser asked if he would give a talk to Lake Region residents. Coffman agreed. Then, to her surprise, in a subsequent constituent meeting with LePage, the governor also agreed to attend.

The stage is set

Heuiser’s husband, retired Lutheran minister Douglas Heuiser, introduced LePage to the crowd, which included Sen. James Hamper and several current and former selectmen and others active in local government. After LePage gave brief opening remarks, Heuiser then introduced Coffman.

“Much of what you are going to hear from our next speaker you are going to find difficult to believe,” he said. “You’ll say I cannot believe this is happening in America. But history repeats itself, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. If we don’t learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. I believe this is Agenda 21 — this is the intent of the United Nations — absolute power to control the world and gain enough power to change every aspect of humanity.”

Over the next two hours, Coffman gave the crowd a PowerPoint history lesson to back up that claim. He spoke of how America’s educational system has shifted its emphasis over the last 60 or 70 years from one based on the teaching of facts to one based on Behavioral Science Teacher Education, or “the principles of progressivism.”

He quoted Dr. Shirley McCune, a high-ranking official of the U.S. Department of Education, saying at a 1989 Governor’s Conference that, “We no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary outcome. We must provide learner-directed learning.” Translated, said Coffman, McCune was advocating teaching methods to shape a very different future for society — one in which the controlling elite will engage in power plays largely without the involvement of most of the people.

“In other words, you are being manipulated. One of the things I hope to help you understand, is that all of your beliefs are not necessarily your own,” Coffman told the crowd. “Our kids are being indoctrinated to learn in socialistic ways.”

One of the more recent of Coffman’s five books, Plundered, talks about “how progressivism is destroying the United States.” It starts with education, Coffman said, “but goes beyond that to a world view or ideology that is almost complete.”

‘Life, liberty and estate’

What people today seem to have forgotten, said Coffman, is that the U.S. Constitution “was designed to restrict government, not people.” Citing the writings of John Locke, the father of the Constitution, Coffman said Locke believed that “the first order of sovereignty is the individual” and wrote that “The purpose of government is to join together to unite the mutual preservation of all their lives, liberties and estate,” with the latter term generally understood as property.

Yet today, Coffman said, “What we have is a government based on social justice, which is totally the opposite” of what Locke and later adherents like John Adams described.

Coffman cautioned that he wasn’t trying to say private property rights were “as sacred as the laws of God,” and as inviolate as the right of liberty. But he added, “If you think you can have rights without private property rights, you’re kidding yourself — just look at the Soviet Union.”

He said one reason for America’s success story, as a capitalistic society, is its emphasis on personal property rights. He pointed out that statistics show that 70% of all small businesses in the United States were started with equity loans on personal homes.

“There are horrible consequences of allowing the government to gobble up more and more of your property rights, and given them to itself — and that’s what Agenda 21 does.”

So what is Agenda 21?

In 1992, at the UN’s Earth Summit Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a 300-page, 40-chapter non-binding action plan on sustainable development was published, called Agenda 21 — with the “21” referring to the 21st Century. “It covers every aspect of our lives, and puts the state in control of what we can and cannot do,” Coffman said.

The Earth Summit was followed up by the 1993 Convention on Biological Diversity, which Coffman has referred to as “the granddaddy of all land control efforts,” supporting a “pantheistic world view” in which nature is God, and even non-living things like rocks have rights. Coffman is credited with convincing the U.S. Senate at the 11th hour not to ratify the treaty because of its potential threat to U.S. sovereignty.

He said Agenda 21 seeks to control all land use internationally, nationally and locally. It uses federal grants and environmental groups like the Sierra Club to bring its tenants about sustainable growth “right into your back yard.”

While Coffman acknowledged that Agenda 21 is still “soft” law — “In other words, it doesn’t have any legal teeth behind it,” he maintains that “It’s still dangerous,” because its policies are now being implemented on the international, national, state and local levels by both the world’s oldest environmental organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, and the International Council on Local Environmental Institutions, or ICLEI.

ICLEI backs up the IUCN by holding annual meetings with the Environmental Protection Agency in which its members, which include The Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation and the National Audubon Society, “get together to develop their eco-spiritual agenda and how they’re going to implement it on you and I, in our back yard,” Coffman said, adding that the press is not allowed.

“You have the federal government collaborating with environmental organizations” in secret, Coffman said. “I hope that shakes you up.”

Don’t be fooled by denials

Coffman told the crowd not to be fooled if local governments or environmental organizations say they are not implementing Agenda 21. Technically speaking, he said, it is true that “Smart Growth” and other open space initiatives are implementing A National Strategy for Sustainable America, which published recommendations in 2006 after arising from the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002.

“They’ll get you every time on that technicality,” Coffman said. But he emphasized that Sustainable America’s recommendations arose directly from Agenda 21 at the Earth Summit, at which the U.S. and other UN member nations agreed to draft their own national strategies for a sustainable future. Sustainable America’s recommendations were further broken down into seven sub-documents, which Coffman said govern future policy-making “for basically every federal agency.”

From there, the policies are disseminated to state and local governments, he said, whose ability to secure federal grant dollars depend on their willingness to adhere to Sustainable America’s goals of reducing traffic congestion, preserving open space and designing pedestrian-friendly urban environments. Quasi-municipal planning organizations such as the Greater Portland Council of Governments are also controlled at the federal level this way, he said, since so much of what they do relies on federal grant support.

As an example, he spoke of the Lake Region Greenprint, a project spearheaded a few years back by the Loon Echo Land Trust with the financial backing of the Trust for Public Lands. The resulting regional mapping tool of valued resources that should be preserved with future growth might appear innocuous enough, said Coffman. But a different picture emerges, he said, when Agenda 21’s end game of depopulating the planet is taken into account.

“”I’m not saying the people that drew up this (Greenprint) map had an inkling of the long-term vision. I’m almost positive they didn’t,” said Coffman. Then he combined several overlays of valued natural resources, such as lakes, wetlands, scenic areas and open space, and asked the audience how much land would be left for humans to live on if all of those areas were preserved. Not much, he said.

“In their vision of global biodiversity, they want 50% of the American landscape in wilderness. Whole communities would have to be picked out of the ground” in a global plan to reduce the world’s population down to one or two billion people within the next 50 years, he said.

Tin foil hat guy or truth-seeker?

Coffman said he endured being called “a tin foil hat guy” and a conspiracy nut when he first began speaking out against Agenda 21. It didn’t help much that he holds other views considered equally or even more radical. He believes Global Warming is a scam, and thinks Barack Obama’s presidency is part of a plan by the Islamic Brotherhood to turn America into an Islamic controlled nation.

But Coffman said anti-Agenda 21 sentiment is growing, judging by how many Web pages come up on the subject during a search.

“When you start asking questions they don’t like, don’t ever be intimidated. Stare them in the eye and say I’m sorry, I want to know what you are going to do with my property rights,” he said. “They rely on questionable experts to promote community solutions without explaining the potential negative effects. They always refuse to tell you how much it’s going to cost because it’s always very, very expensive. They want you to be swept up in the emotion. But are you willing to go down to the slaughterhouse? It is time that we stood up and confronted these people.”

Q & A

When it came time for questions from the audience, one man from Raymond referred to Glen Beck’s “BlazeTV,” on which Coffman has appeared, saying he wished Time-Warner Cable would add it to his town’s channel lineup.

LePage, who joined Coffman for the Q & A session, did not directly comment on what he thought of Coffman’s talk. But he did say, “I am very, very strong on personal property rights. If someone owns land, they have the right to do with it what they choose to, as long as they don’t hurt others and they don’t deface the environment.”

Former Fryeburg Selectman Cliff Hall wondered what Coffman thought of Nestle Corporation’s taking of groundwater from local residents and transferring the resource in bottles worldwide. Hall questioned Coffman’s emphasis on the evils of progressivism without mentioning the role of corporate greed.

LePage answered for Coffman by saying, “I don’t think you have to worry, because the one thing the state of Maine has is water.”

State Senator James Hamper commented that planners sometimes step on the rights of property owners by dictating too many of the details, such as what color a roof should be or how many windows a building should have.

LePage agreed, recalling how Scarborough planners forced a roof color on him when his former Marden’s store relocated into a space formerly used by Wal-Mart.

Two and a half hours later, the audience stood as Elaine Heuiser joined her husband, Coffman and LePage on stage, and led everyone in a chorus of God Bless America.

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