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Chip Berlet

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John Foster "Chip" Berlet is the senior analyst at Political Research Associates (PRA) based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has worked with PRA since 1982.

According to his biographical note "he has earned a living as a reporter, researcher, paralegal investigator, photographer, graphic artist, printer, and truck driver. He helped form and was for many years a shop steward in the UAW affiliated staff union within the National Lawyers Guild." [1]

He attended the University of Denver for three years before leaving to work as an alternative journalist in 1971. In the 1970s he served on the boards of the Underground Press Syndicate and the Alternative Press Syndicate. "As a freelance writer, Berlet's byline has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Des Moines Register, Columbia Journalism Review, Amnesty Now, Mother Jones, The Nation, The Progressive, Tikkun, Chicago Reader, Chicago Lawyer, The Humanist, Greenpeace Magazine, Boston Phoenix, Pacific News Service, The Guardian (NY), WIN Magazine, In These Times, Boston Real Paper, CovertAction Information Bulletin, National Reporter, Liberation News Service, High Times, and Utne Reader," his biogrpahical note states.

"Berlet specializes in tracking and analyzing right-wing movements. "He has written about the John Birch Society, armed militias, Ku Klux Klan, Posse Comitatus, Aryan Nations, Christian Identity, racist skinheads, and the Lyndon LaRouche fascist cult. He has also reported on civil liberties abuses by the FBI, CIA, Military Intelligence, local police 'Red Squads,' and right-wing spy networks. He has criticized the authoritarian hierarchies and totalitarian control methods of groups working on the left, including the National Labor Federation and the Newmanites (New Alliance Party)," his biographical note states.

Berlet accused then-incumbent President George H. W. Bush of an "agenda of a managed corporate economy, a repressive national security state, and an aggressive foreign policy based on military threat" that "borrows heavily from...corporatism, authoritarianism, and militarism adopted by Italian fascism." Berlet said of Ross Perot: "Perot's candidacy provided us with a contemporary model of the fascist concept of the organic leader."

Berlet also attacked the Republican Primary challenger to Bush, Pat Buchanan, who he said "hearkens back to the proto-fascist ideas of the 1930's." He accused Buchanan in his speech to the Republican Convention of "eerily invok(ing) Nazi symbols of blood, soil and honor." He also wrote that "Duke, Buchanan, and Perot all feed on the politics of resentment, alienation, frustration, anger and fear." [2]

During the 1996 U.S. Presidential Election Berlet published an article in which he described Perot, Buchanan, and televangelist Pat Robertson as "three straight White Christian men trying to ride the same horse" of right-wing populism. [3]

He is regularly interviewed by both mainstream and alternative media on far-right groups, is active on the internet and as a public speaker.

Published Works

  • Chip Berlet (editor), Eyes Right!: Challenging the Right Wing Backlash, South End Press, Boston, 1995.
  • Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons, Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort, Guilford Press, 2000.

External links