INTRODUCING THE SPIDER, GEORGE SOROS
January 10, 2011
The Following article originated at and is copied from DiscoverTheNetworks.com
George Soros was born on August 12, 1930 in Budapest, Hungary. His father, Teodoro Schwartz, was a successful attorney and an Orthodox Jew who, in 1936, changed the family surname from Schwartz to Soros in order to enable his family to conceal its Jewish identity and thus to survive the Nazi Holocaust.
When the Nazis occupied Budapest in 1944, Soros' father decided to split up his family, so as to minimize the chance that all its members would be killed together. He purchased forged papers for each of them, and then bribed a government official to claim George as his Christian godson and to let the boy live with him. "While hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were being transported to death camps," reports the Sweetness and Light website, "George Soros accompanied his phony godfather on his appointed rounds, confiscating property from the Jews." (Many years later -- in December 1998 -- a CBS interviewer would ask Soros whether he had ever felt any guilt about those circumstances. Soros replied: "[T]here was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets -- that if I weren't there -- of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would -- would -- would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the -- whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the -- I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt.")
In 1947 Soros' family relocated from Hungary to England. Five years later, George graduated from the London School of Economics. He subsequently worked for a London stockbroker.
In 1956 Soros, with meager personal assets, emigrated to the United States. He would go on to become one of the world's leading hedge fund investors and currency traders. In 1969 he started his enormously successful Quantum Fund, which, over the ensuing three decades, yielded its long-term investors a four thousand-fold gain on their initial 1969 investments.
In a $10 billion 1992 deal whose success was contingent upon the devaluation of the British Pound, Soros earned himself a $1 billion profit and the title, "the man who broke the Bank of England." To date, he has amassed a personal fortune exceeding $7 billion. In addition, his management company controls billions of dollars more in investor assets.
In 1993 Soros established the Open Society Institute (OSI), which serves as the flagship of a network (started in 1979) of Soros foundations that donate tens of millions of dollars each year to a wide array of individuals and organizations that share the founder's agendas. Those agendas can be summarized as follows:
Moreover, there are numerous "secondary" or "indirect" affiliates of the Soros network. These include organizations which do not receive direct funding from Soros and OSI, but which are funded by one or more organizations that do. These secondary affiliates also include groups that work collaboratively or synergistically with Soros-funded entities. We will present a sample of at least 525 of these organizations in a later article.
All told, Soros' foundation network made an estimated $7.1 billion worth of grants between 1979 and 2010.
PBS broadcaster and Schumann Center for Media and Democracy President Bill Moyers is a trustee of the Open Society Institute's Board of Directors.
In 1996 Soros launched the Soros Documentary Fund with a mission to "spur awareness, action and social change." Over the ensuing decade, this Fund would help finance the production of several hundred documentaries. In 2001, the Fund's leadership was turned over to Robert Redford's Sundance Institute with a continuing mission: "to support the production of documentaries on social justice, human rights, civil liberties, and freedom of expression issues around the world."
According to journalist Rondi Adamson, most of the documentaries that that the Fund supports "are highly critical of some aspect of American life, capitalism or Western culture," and generally share Soros' worldview that "America is a troubling if not sinister influence in the world, that the War on Terror is a fraud and terrorists are misunderstood freedom fighters, and that markets are fundamentally unjust." Films which have been produced with the aid of Soros' funding include Soldiers of Conscience (2007), An American Soldier (2008), and My Baghdad Family (in production as of late 2008).
In 1998 Soros was a signatory to a public letter addressed to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, declaring that "the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." The letter blamed the war on drugs for impeding such public health efforts as stemming the spread of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases, as well as human rights violations and the perpetration of environmental assaults. Other notable signers included Peter Lewis, Tammy Baldwin, Rev. William Sloan Coffin, Jr., Walter Cronkite, Morton H. Halperin, Kweisi Mfume, and Cornel West.
In 2000, Soros was a signatory to a letter titled "Appeal for Responsible Security" that appeared in the New York Times. "We call upon the United States government," said the letter, "to commit itself unequivocally to negotiate the worldwide reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons, in a series of well-defined stages accompanied by increasing verification and control." Other signers included Jimmy Carter, Martin Sheen, Marian Wright Edelman, John Sweeney, and Ted Turner.
Also in 2000, Soros signed a letter addressed to President Bill Clinton, asking him to place a moratorium on federal death penalty executions. The letter maintained that the "death penalty system" was "distorted by bias and arbitrariness." Other signatories included Mary Frances Berry, Julian Bond, Wade Henderson, Jesse Jackson, Norman Lear, Jim Wallis, Robert Reich, and Barbra Streisand.
During the 2000 presidential election season, Soros first experimented with the idea of raising campaign funds through "Section 527" groups. Such organizations are used for raising "soft money" which is not intended for "express advocacy" of any particular candidate, but rather for "voter education," "issue-oriented" political advertising, and other such nebulous enterprises. As such, there are no limits on how much money they may receive from any given donor. In practice, however, 527s can exert -- through public statements, press releases, media citations, research reports, and direct action campaigns -- immense influence on the political views and voting decisions of the American public.
Soros assembled a team of wealthy Democrat donors to help him push two of his pet issues -- gun control and marijuana legalization -- by funneling large amounts of cash to some 527s that were committed to those particular objectives. The financial contributions that Soros and his fellow donors made to these 527s greatly exceeded the sums which campaign finance laws would have permitted them to give to any political candidate, political party, or Political Action Committee (PAC). By funding the 527s, Soros et al were helping them promote messages and worldviews that were consistent with those of leftist politicos; as such, the funders were indirectly but quite substantially helping candidates of the left. In a sense, Soros and his fellow donors effectively laundered their political contributions through Section 527 groups, which were dubbed "stealth PACs" by the media of that time.
Having experienced this success in 2000, Soros moved to exploit the power of 527s on a much larger scale during the 2004 election cycle. Toward that end, he was a key force in the creation of the so-called "Shadow Party" in 2003. This term refers to a nationwide network of unions, non-profit activist groups, and think tanks whose agendas are ideologically to the left, and which are engaged in campaigning for the Democrats. This network's activities include fundraising, get-out-the-vote drives, political advertising, opposition research, and media manipulation.
According to Richard Poe, co-author (with David Horowitz) of the book The Shadow Party:
"The Shadow Party is the real power driving the Democrat machine. It is a network of radicals dedicated to transforming our constitutional republic into a socialist hive. The leader of these radicals is ... George Soros. He has essentially privatized the Democratic Party, bringing it under his personal control. The Shadow Party is the instrument through which he exerts that control.... It works by siphoning off hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions that would have gone to the Democratic Party in normal times, and putting those contributions at the personal disposal of Mr. Soros. He then uses that money to buy influence and loyalty where he sees fit. In 2003, Soros set up a network of privately-owned groups which acts as a shadow or mirror image of the Party. It performs all the functions we would normally expect the real Democratic Party to perform, such as shaping the Party platform, fielding candidates, running campaigns, and so forth. However, it performs these functions under the private supervision of Mr. Soros and his associates. The Shadow Party derives its power from its ability to raise huge sums of money. By controlling the Democrat purse strings, the Shadow Party can make or break any Democrat candidate by deciding whether or not to fund him. During the 2004 election cycle, the Shadow Party raised more than $300 million for Democrat candidates, prompting one of its operatives, MoveOn PAC director Eli Pariser, to declare, 'Now it's our party. We bought it, we own it.…'"
In a November 11, 2003 interview with Laura Blumenfeld of the Washington Post, Soros described how he had jump-started the Shadow Party during the summer of 2002 by summoning a team of political strategists, activists, and Democrat donors to his Southampton beach house in Long Island. The attendees included: Morton H. Halperin (Director of Soros' Open Society Institute); John Podesta (Democrat strategist and former Bill Clinton chief of staff); Jeremy Rosner (Democrat strategist and pollster, and ex-foreign policy speechwriter for Bill Clinton); Robert Boorstin (Democrat strategist and pollster); Carl Pope (America Coming Together co-founder, Democrat strategist, and Sierra Club Executive Director); Steve Rosenthal (Labor leader, CEO of America Coming Together, and former advisor to Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich); Peter Lewis (major Democrat donor and insurance entrepreneur); Rob Glaser (major Democrat donor and Silicon Valley pioneer); Ellen Malcolm (co-founder and President of America Coming Together and founder of Emily's List); Rob McKay (major Democrat donor); and Lewis and Dorothy Cullman (major Democrat donors).
At that meeting, Soros laid out his plan to unseat incumbent President George W. Bush.
Profoundly contemptuous of Bush, Soros blamed the President not only for many of the ills that plagued the United States, but for a host of problems afflicting other nations as well. Speaking at a conference of the Jewish Funders Network in November 2003, for example, Soros said:
"There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the [Israeli prime minister Ariel] Sharon administration contribute to that.... I'm critical of those policies.... If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish."
Asserting that America needed "a regime change" to oust Bush, Soros declared that derailing the President's reelection bid in 2004 "is the central focus of my life ... a matter of life and death." "America under Bush," he said, "is a danger to the world, and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is."
In the next article (Thursday) we will see what George Soros has been doing since the 2004 election. Next week, we'll present a look at the Spider's web, the "A Guide Through the George Soros Network."
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