Excerpts from

Collectivism in the churches

by Berit Kjos - 2000

Skip down to Alger Hiss (mentioned several times)

Background information: Conforming the Church to the New Millennium



Chapter Summary: Councils have won top posts and important friends in Federal government. Dean Acheson.  John Foster Dulles.Alger Hiss. Harold E. Stassen. Arthur S. Flemming. Council lobbying. The mysterious Mr. Smith. Council support of government policy. Foreign aid. Immigration. World organizations. Council for Social Action. Lutheran, Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Protestant Episcopal churches plunge into politics..... Tax-exempt foundations make grants to Council, with political overtones....

THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES, the groundwork having been prepared by its predecessor, the Federal Council, has captured strategic posts within the United States government and has constructed an active lobbying machine. It has won strong support from tax-exempt foundations.

The main speaker at the Constituting Convention of The National Council of Churches in Cleveland, Ohio, November 1950, was the Secretary of State, Mr. Dean Acheson. During this conclave, Mr. Acheson’s foreign policy, a significant factor in the loss of China and other sections of the Far East to the Communists, was praised by Council spokesmen at the convention and throughout the country’s newspapers. After all, Mr. Acheson was a very important person. [p.63]

Mr. John Foster Dulles, a top-ranking officer of the Council, was assisting Mr. Acheson in the State Department. And had not Mr. Alger Hiss, who had worked with Dean Acheson for so many years in the State Department, also served as chairman of an important committee of The Federal Council of Churches in 1948? And had he not used the committee as a propaganda medium for the United Nations?

Now Mr. Dulles is Secretary of State for the Eisenhower Administration. And Mr. Harold E. Stassen, elected a vice president-at-large of The National Council of Churches, is special adviser to the President on disarmament, with Cabinet rank....

It is not accidental, nor is it irrelevant, that The National Council of Churches should have, among its officers and chief window dressing, men who occupy high positions in the Federal government. Because the Council has never advocated the spreading of the Christian faith as its primary mission, but has labored toward putting over massive political programs on a national and international scale, nothing could be more logical than to encourage administrators to accept, simultaneously, high positions in the Council and in the government... [p.64]


Mr. Dulles has made some very basic criticisms of the American free-enterprise system, while congratulating the Soviet Union for its “greater dependence on the incentive of personal gain.” How would the millions in the Soviet slavelabor camps feel about this statement from a man who is considered a great spiritual leader and is Secretary of State of the nation to which millions of people enslaved under the Soviet system have looked for the moral and spiritual leadership which would one day rid them of their chains!

Perhaps the most startling piece of documentation on the bankrupt leadership of The Federal Council of Churches and on the part that men like Mr. Dulles have played in influencing government officials to adopt the Council’s program is found in the 1948 Biennial Report under the chapter title “International Justice and Goodwill” (emphasis added):

"Accompanying changes in subject matter have been changes in the structure of the Department. The wartime division of the Federal Council’s work in this field between the Department and the Commission on a Just and Durable Peace was superseded in January 1948 by a reorganized Department. This reorganization was designed to conserve the great values of the specialized work of the Commission on problems of international organization, in a Department Committee on Policy under the chairmanship of John Foster Dulles.

"The Department held a two-day meeting in Philadelphia, January 8 to consider moral issues in the proposed European Recovery Program and to evaluate the work. Background material on the European Recovery Program was prepared by two special committees, with Charles H. Seaver and Marshall Harris serving as chairmen. Similar background data on the United Nations was prepared by a committee, under the chairmanship of Alger Hiss.

The Department divided into two sections, Mr. Dulles chairing the section on the United Nations and Chester I. Barnard the section on the European Recovery Program. The reports of these sections, after consideration by the Department as a whole, were approved and subsequently acted upon by the Federal Council’s Executive Commitee meeting in Atlanta on January 13."

We know, from testimony given during the hearing on Alger Hiss by the Committee on Un-American Activities, that John Foster Dulles and Alger Hiss were friends of long standing.

Mr. Dulles recommended Mr. Hiss to head the multi-milliondollar Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Dulles worked side by side with Mr. Hiss in the State Department and in the various conferences that planned the United Nations. But how many American church people knew that Mr. Dulles and Mr. Hiss worked together in The Federal Council of Churches and that both were chairmen of important committees of the Council?

Alger Hiss landed in a Federal penitentiary as a convicted perjurer—for lying under oath before a Federal grand jury about his Communist intrigues.

Mr. Dulles, however, Mr. Hiss’s colleague in the Federal Council, became the director of the foreign policy of the United States. And the Federal Council used its vast machinery to filter their un-American political programs down through the state, county, and city councils to the individual churches and church people.[p.178-179] [See "Transforming the World by Subverting the Church"]

Further, the Federal Council used the full power of its organization and such propagandists as Messrs. Dulles and Hiss to influence the United States government in its most important foreign-policy decisions. Here is proof from the Federal Council’s Biennial Report of 1948:

"In support of this policy, a considerable program of education was carried on by church bodies cooperating in the Federal Council during February and March, when the issues were being debated in the Congress. A petition endorsing the principles of the statement and signed by 700 churchmen was presented by Bishop Stamm, Bishop Oxnam and other church leaders to Senator Vandenberg and Speaker Martin on March 11.

"A conference of 250 denominational leaders met at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington under the auspices of the Department.... That evening an impressive demonstration of Christian concern was shown in Washington Cathedral. Bishop Stamm presided, Bishop Dun, Secretary Marshall, and Mr. Dulles gave addresses, and the heads of several communions joined in the procession.

"The audience of more than 2,000 included the President and many members of Congress. Testimony in behalf of the Federal Council’s recommendations was presented to the proper Congressional Committees by Mr. Charles P. Taft.

"A full discussion by the Committee on Policy under the chairmanship of Mr. Dulles showed agreement on the need for action by the churches to change the prevailing mood of the American people in order to lessen the dangers of war. On the basis of this discussion a new statement of policy was drafted and presented by the Department to the Executive Committee of the Federal Council at a special meeting on April 26. The statement, 'A Positive Program for Peace,' was approved and distributed to the churches by the denominational agencies and the state and city councils of churches."5

Here, by its own admission, the Federal Council sought to influence the President and the Congress of the United States on behalf of its programs and sought “to change the prevailing mood of the American people” by directing its propaganda down to the denominational agencies and the state and city councils of churches. One writer has referred to this Federal Council organization as “an ecclesiastical octopus.”

Charles P. Taft, who presented the Federal Council’s program to “the proper Congressional committees” was at one time the president of the Federal Council and was the brother of the late Senator Robert A. Taft, to whose economic and political views his own were diametrically opposed.

According to the 1948 Biennial Report, the executive secretary of the Commission on International Justice and Goodwill was the late Rev. Walter W. VanKirk. Dr. VanKirk had been associated with at least five Communist-front organizations, according to the files of the Committee on Un-American Activities. He was a notorious pacifist and one-world promoter, appearing on behalf of the Federal Council before church groups and in universities.

The Biennial Report of 1948 indicates the variety of fields in which the Federal Council’s representatives participated and even lobbied among Congressional committees.

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