A new documentary has been released about community organizer Saul Alinsky (1909-1972).
“A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” is the work of father and son team Richard and Stephen Payne and their company Arcadia Films. It’s available for purchase on streaming video and is airing weekly on EWTN through October.
The child of poor Russian Jewish immigrant parents, Alinsky was born in 1909. He majored in archaeology at the University of Chicago and later became a criminologist. In the late 1930s when worked as a labor organizer and focused his attention on organizing communities in places like Chicago’s depressed Back of the Yards neighborhood, made famous in the book “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair.
After being mentored by the labor leader John L. Lewis, Alinsky founded the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), which trained community organizers around the country. Aided by the liberal millionaire Marshall Field III, Alinsky expanded his mission of inspiring and organizing poor, urban communities across America. "Reveille for Radicals," his 1946 book, became a best-seller. Perhaps even better known is his second book “Rules for Radicals,” which contains an acknowledgement to Lucifer, “who at least won his own kingdom.”
During the 1960’s Alinsky set up institutes to train other organizers, and his reputation as an activist grew. In 1969 college student Hillary Clinton chose his work as the topic for a Wellesley College thesis. Clinton described Alinksy as “that rare specimen, the successful radical.”
“It’s amazing how unaware people are of these realities that have played such a major social role in the society in capturing the word liberal and then the term progressivist,” Richard Payne, who wrote and narrates the film - son Stephen directed - told CNSNews.com, “in order for people to not realize what was underneath. We attempt to peel back the onion."
The “realities” Richard and Stephen Payne speak about are the various forms of Marxism that the film claims were central to Alinsky’s worldview and are prevalent today.
“Alinsky never admitted to being a communist,” Richard says, “but he never said that he wasn’t a socialist, in fact he embraced that term, and that derives from Marxist theory. In his early life, as you see in the film, he is very much taken with the social sciences which abstract out of the reality of God to deal with life in a secular way.”
Stephen adds, “He said himself, treat opponents not as persons, but as symbols.”
In the film Alinsky, played by actor Jim Morlino, says the following: “I knew plenty of communist in those days and I worked with them on a number of projects. Back in the 30s the communist did a hell of lot of good work. Anybody who tells you he was active in progressive causes in those days and never worked with the reds is a g**damn liar. Their platform stood for all the right things and unlike many liberals they were willing to put their bodies on the line.”
“A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” identifies three major movements of what Richard Payne calls “cultural Marxism that seek to infiltrated film, school, all of the different institutions.”
The first is the Frankfurt School, which was founded by German Marxists after the Russian Revolution and whose members were what Richard Payne calls “the initiators of what we’ve come to know as the sexual revolution.” The second was the work of Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, who “focused on an attack on religion, as attack directly on God…The idea was to secularize society.” Last is Fabian socialism, which founded the London School of Economics and Richard Payne says “was used to bring down our economic system.”
Richard Payne sees Alinsky’s worldview as even originating before Marxism. “In some sense in the 19th century the rise of Marxism is very much in line with the French Revolution and what was behind it,” he says, "coming ultimately to a sense of the person focusing not on the reality God so much as being saved by ideas, even religious ideas, which we know as classic Gnosticism. It has its roots in original sin. It becomes a kind of worship of self, when we worship our higher faculty reasons over the reality of the persons of God, essentially the person of Jesus Christ.”
Stephen adds, “If you look at the history of Marxism and socialism that’s basically the way they’ve treated human beings since the beginning...with lack of respect of human life and the dignity of human life.”