1 vote

Are we just pawns of the Koch brothers?

A friend of mine is convinced that the Tea Party is wholly an invention of the Koch brothers and a 'phony' movement that is not grassroots-lead.

He offers as proof the following two things:

-An article on HuffPo

-A documentary

I've tried to explain to him that the grassroots Liberty movement had a lot to do with getting things going, and that perhaps Koch-funded organizations and Republican establishment were able to exert their influence later on and distort the Tea Party.

This is his latest message in our debate:

To anyone who hasn't watched the documentary I posted: You're missing out bc it's entertaining as hell, plus educational. Highlights of the vid:

1:50 "I came to the United States to examine the Tea Party phenomenon. And in particular: THE ACCUSATIONS THAT THE PROTESTERS WERE PAWNS IN A COVERT POWER-PLAY. BY A SMALL GROUP OF BILLIONAIRES AND CORPORATE PLAYERS." --The Australian film-maker.

6:00 "The focus of my investigation was this initial first year of the Tea Party movement. IN PARTICULAR, WHAT ROLE HAD BEEN PLAYED BY TWO BILLIONAIRE INDUSTRIALISTS: BROTHERS CHARLES & DAVID KOCH. Who for more than 3 DECADES HAVE FUNDED A PROPAGANDA WAR enrolling citizens in their quest to create a PRIVATIZED AMERICA."

It goes on to cover the Libertarian Movement and the Koch bros.' heavy involvement.

Explains how their views are virtually the same as the Tea Party's views: End most govt. regulatory agencies, like the EPA & FDA, plus end Soc. Security, Welfare, taxes in general, and PUBLIC SCHOOLS. David Koch ran for (Libertarian) vice-president but failed miserably.

So they changed strategies. '84: They founded CSE: Citizens for a Sound Economy. Aimed to portray itself as grassroots, INSTEAD of showing itself as created & funded by the Kochs and other billionaires. (Hey CSE sounds just like the Tea Party too.)

'94 the CSE fought against Clinton's "socialized medicine," just like the Tea Party fights against Obama's "socialized medicine."

2004: CSE became Freedom Works and also Americans for Prosperity, funded and run by the Koch bros.

David Koch is openly the Chairman of AFP and is shown speaking at their event, in the video. The AFP speakers boast of their support for Tea Party events, w/ Chairman Koch clapping and smiling.

This seals the perfect continuity of the Koch bros.' leadership from the Libertarian movement in the early 80's, to their later creation of the CSE, & its evolution into Freedom Works and AFP, who BOTH helped support / create the Tea Party.


Ramon if nothing else, this reaffirms that the Koch bros. are indeed widely blamed for creating the SAME EXACT Tea Party as we know it. This probably also helps clear up that the Huff Post was indeed blaming the Koch bros. for the same Tea Party.

11:32 It goes into the issue of why the Tea Party portrays itself as grassroots and hides its real roots as PROPAGANDA from billionaires and huge corporations. (Just like the Kochs' CSE started doing in '84.)

Do you think his views have merit? I considered myself part of the Tea Party in the beginning; were I, and some of you, just pawns in a nefarious scheme?

Can I prove him wrong somehow?

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Once upon a time it was grassroots; now, the Koch brothers finance "Tea Party" events sort of like a traveling carnival (through a variety of diorama organizations.)

The Koch brothers cut checks to politicians who come knocking on their fancy Park Ave door.

For me personally, I don't appreciate having my vote matter less because they (and a lot of others) purchase our elections.

Define leadership

The Koch led organizations wrap themselves in libertarian philosophy like tyrants wrap themselves in the flag.

Cyril's picture

The only pawns are those forgetting or neglecting your texts.

Whoever fiercely defends the Constitution, and/or better yet, the Bill of Rights, cannot be the pawn of anything nor anybody.

The Koch brothers are only human anecdotes. It's up to them to be either with or against liberty. Listening to them or ignoring them - in curiosity or indifference - doesn't change in any way who we are individually and/or what we value.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

The Advocates for Self Government approve of the Kochs


I recently spoke with one of the Advocates for Self Government's founders, Sharon Harris, and I asked her where I might find funding for a Liberty Project I'm putting together. She mentioned Reason and the Koch Foundation. I asked her about the Kochs because I, like you, heard they were a Neo-Con front. She assured me that the Koch Foundation has done and is doing a great deal to advance Liberty and Self Government. She says the MSM is doing all they can to paint the Kochs in a bad light because they are such a thorn in the Establishment's side.

I've spoken with and met with Sharon on more than a few occasions and have a great deal of faith in her. She helped form the Libertarian Party in Georgia back in '72, and is now heavily engaged in communication training for Liberty Advocates.

Ron Paul seems to trust her http://www.theadvocates.org/our-mission/

Long before Ron Paul was a gleam in his father's eye

There were two fraternal organizations that met once a year, 16 December, and had a tea party.

The Sons of Liberty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sons_of_Liberty

Redman Society http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improved_Order_of_Red_Men

I have no doubt that some of these fellows hosted the Tea parties for Ron Paul.. my area did, however, I have been to their tea parties long before Ron Paul.

Ron Paul gave exposure to the tea party, that Hannity/Beck/MSM then took to represent Bachman and so on.. and this spring, the tea party, which was like a meet up, at the CA Spring convention, they were on the floor fighting.. this fall, they became a caucus.. did the Koch brothers have anything to do with it? I don't know.

What I do know is that Kock owns industry, and I'd prefer a Koch Private industry over a federal or state prison industry job.

The documentary has a fundamental flaw.

The film makers refer to the start of the Tea Party movement stemming from Rick Santelli's February, 2009 on screen rant. This was not when it started at all.

2009 was the point when the real Tea Party was perverted and infiltrated.

It was really quite sad to watch it morph into what it has now become, with the characters who are now said to represent and lead it.

The real Tea Party started in 2007:


or this one

This is it! Show him this picture ...

Then straighten him out with the facts.

The establishment "Tea Party" branded label came after the spontaneous grassroots support for Dr Paul leading up to the '08 elections.

Once that started gaining power and momentum, other special interests quickly converged on it to try and mold it, steer it, re-brand it, and utilize it for their own purposes. Same as it ever was.

The Australian missed the roots.

Problem is the HuffPo article

Problem is the HuffPo article shows a screen capture of a Tea Party website from back in 2003. As much as I try to convince him they are separate, he chooses to believe it is the exact same movement that was manufactured.


What they do is snuff out true political energy, and then co-opt it. This (above) vid shows the source of political energy. The PTB recognized it, and sent their fake opposition in to do their things. When you watched the completely manufactured Tea Party Revolution starting with the Santilli rant claiming that it all started their, you were watching their attempts at capturing this true political energy. And while they were successful, we are still here.

AFP fans (that I have met) are well intended good souls, but aren't the brightest and most hang on every word of the hannity/beck/faux news opinion. That's the way the AFP wants it, keeping people stuck in the left/right paradigm.

If the kock brothers are such huge Libertarians, why did they ignore Ron Paul?? Why did they compete with ron Paul?

They have been trying to control and neutralize the libertarian sentiment from their beginning, don't mistake that for "leading".

I don't know--

I've been trying to figure this one out for a long time--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

My Opinion Is:

We Americans are currently very much involved in political AND bloody wars of deception!
I would place Koch industries,{JBS} The Rockefeller group, {U.N.founders}The Federal reserve system, The Rothschild family dynasty, MSM from around the world,
The current Republican party,The CFR,and many others, are all in the same category.

They are the New World Order intent on promoting internationalism for their own self business interests. As soon as a movement such as The Tea Party, Occupy Wall street, or any other wide spread movement gets momentum going, it gets co-opted {Taken over} by those that are backed by big money, listed above.

Ron Paul has tried his best to warn us for many years, about this deception.


I Don't Understand. :(

JBS is pushing the same projects and beliefs we are.

They are also on the gov't watch list.

They are the Rockefellers?

How is JBS for NWO when it says on their website they are not?

I don't get it. :(


Thank You For Asking.

I have been a follower/supporter of Ron Paul since the 1970's.
At first I was anti-anything political, but when I learned in 2006 that a support group was forming for a Ron Paul for President run, I joined the movement on the internet.

In my area the Ron Paul meet up groups were heavily made up of JBS members.
So I decided to check out JBS, because I was being recruited, by JBS, I thought.

It seems the JBS was founded by the Koch brothers father, along with the multi-million dollar business empire they now own.
This is an "International" conglomerate which would not have the guidelines of the U.S. Constitution limiting their business empire,in any way, and to top it off, none of the JBS's in my area would become republicans to vote for Ron Paul in the closed state Oregon primary elections.
WHY ????
They would support and register as the Constitution party members.

Which made me think that they were there simply there to"DIVIDE" the republican party vote against Ron Paul.

Why is Ron Paul against the United Nations?
My answer is:
The U.S. Constitution spells out how a "Sovereign" nation makes its own laws, and has its own court systems !
An international conglomerate, such as Koch Industries or the United Nations, doesn't have to abide by U.S. law, that's why we have wars going on all over the world, backed by big business, among others.

Please think about this !


Koch Biography (Documentary)

It is very puzzling/confusing!

I saw a documentary last year that stated exactly what your friend states. Plus, it said RP was associated with them.

1) I didn't post here because was sure there would be backlash;

2) It didn't really matter because the Kochs believe what we believe (mostly);

3) I WAS upset a little if it's possible we were brain-washed and fell right in line.

4) Mainly I want them to fund our projects, so was going to investigate it.


Thank you.

(Calling Ben Swann! - Don't forget to ask them for financing.) ;)

Ron Paul is NOT associated with them !

Although he believes everyone has a right to exist.
Follow the money trail to find the source of funding in all cases.


Have your friend YouTube Ron Paul

Its a philosophy. It has nothing to do with who funded it. We are a philosophical movement. Its about what we believe.


tasmlab's picture

I half wonder if they know the truth but act strategically

For years they have funded Reason and Cato and originally had Rothbard as the head. They totally understand and seem to support libertarianism, even if the Mises/Paul crew have some differences*.

But I wonder if their understanding of how the country works makes them fund government, support statist candidates, lobby for legislation because it is practical. They don't corrupt because it is consistent with their ideology, but instead their ideology informs them of what the current reality is and they game it.

It would be like if you were in prison and you decided to become an expert at bribing the guards. Morally and intellectually, you don't believe in bribery, but since you understand that it is the best way to thrive you embrace it.

This is why, partly, they stayed miles away from the Paul campaign despite him being the most viable libertarian candidate in a generation or two.

This all conjecture and assertion; I have evidence of nothing. Just a stranger on the Internet typing.

* (I know some people think they are miles apart, and I agree, but from a status quo perspective, the two groups probably look basically the same ideology-wise.)

Currently consuming: Harry Browne, Free Domain Radio; JT Gatto and Holt; Wii U

Reject labels

Tea party whatever.

I don't care what the news or society labels it. Do some reading. Look at how the person votes on issues, look at the statements they have made and followed up by fighting for those issues.

We have got to be smarter than that otherwise we fall into the Dem/Repub thing again.

Resist it!

"Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it."- Ron Paul

Koch brothers

Are a drop in the bucket compared to the Rockefellers and Rockefellers and are used as a straw man enemy for the useful idiots.

my shortest, shortest answer/rebuttal to your friend,

would be to have him read the following, if he truly is interested in REAL history of this coordinated attack and smear vs the entire notion of libertarianism, tell him that it has a born-on-date: August 30, 2010.

For most on the Left, they had NO CLUE as to what "libertarianism" at large were, until Jane Mayer's August 30, 2010 'exposé' on the Koch Bros.

That article was solely done to smear libertarianism as "heartless and utopian."

But, if you want to tersely 'P0wnz' him, for P0wnage sakes, just tell him that the Koch Bros funded the rise of the Clintons and their DLC (Dem. Leadership Council), and are one of the biggest underwriters for PBS! All true, StartPage.com it, or read this reply and the one below further, to find out more.

To understand more (at least from my perspective, IMHO) why this smear campaign began, please read the links and threads linked in the following reply box below: http://www.dailypaul.com/303506#comment-3241001

It was basically to malign Dr. Ron Paul, the most famous libertarian alive, today, and his son, and those of us linked to the movement, by linking 'us' to the faketarian a-holes who are riding the coattails and merely use our rhetoric, for political expediency.

Well, the whole point of all this is to lie to those who are truly geopolitically clueless but want to pretend that they're politically informed, where most of 'their' views, and 'news' still come from the RINOs, neoCons, MSM and 'alt-MSM' outlets. For those of us who do actually research on our own, none of this propaganda works us. So, this has never been about 'us,' but brainwashing the idiots who still tune into MSDNC and FauxNews deluding that it's actually 'news' when most of it is all BS PR. Frankly as bad as I knew MSDNC was, had no idea statistically, in measurable metric, they're even bigger liars than FauxNews, FOR REAL: Pew Research: Study finds MSNBC is 85% Opinion Commentary, not 'News'! Out-'foxing' FOX!

And, that research was conducted by the mostly leftist leaning Pew Research Center!

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul


there it is

If we are..

Could they send some funding our way?

In all seriousness though, I would argue that the Koch brothers are acting AGAINST their own self interests - if they were just out for themselves they would be advocating and handing over cash behind closed doors for MORE regulation that protected their business interests. They have been doing the opposite of that to my knowledge.

I have little disagreement with most of what I know of them and their political positions...

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Previous threads on the Rothbard/Mises set vs KOCHtopus feud:

'Liberals' truly are the most brainwashed bunch, I've ever seen in my life: they are MUCH worse than the RINOs during GWB regime years. At least they genuinely believed in the sophomoric "they hate us for our freedom" fit for a 3yr old, childish repetitive mantra.

On the other hand, the L vs R bowel 'movement Liberals' do know better, supposedly, but constantly LIE and rationalize to themselves: they really are the proverbial "He beats me 'cause he loves me" mass-Stockholm Syndromed willfully delusional useful idiots, who believe they're truly 'enlightened' and 'informed,' making it all the worse: like dumb ass idiots, who are PROUD of their ignorance and proceed to ridicule those who are far more intelligent and informed as a psychological projectionary diversion, publicly, and see no shame in living as such.

My long-er answer: Just search "Jane Mayer" in the following thread to read the more pertinent point in regards to the REAL libertarians vs the fake-tarian KOCHtopus set:

Rachel Maddow, the Racist Cecil Rhodes funded Propagandist for GE Warmachine Smears Ron Paul, AJ & Beck

I would've bought the 'building coalition' before her treatment of Rand. If you guys actually track the initial media attacks against the Tea Party, this should be all too obvious.

For most on the Left, they had NO CLUE as to what "libertarianism" at large were, until Jane Mayer's August 30, 2010 'exposé' on the Koch Bros.

That article was solely done to smear libertarianism as "heartless and utopian."

And, who is the most famous libertarian alive? Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul.

So essentially, they've built up a phony enemy: astro-turf TeaParty, to knock down, while surreptitiously, subconsciously driving the propaganda agenda that "Ron Paul and his libertarians are the REAL enemy!"-meme.

Frankly, however disgusting, as far as evil ploys go, it's been pretty successful. Just look around, even the stolen primaries and caucuses.

Until that article, you've never heard MSM talk so much, so feverishly trying to smear anything 'libertarian' from Ayn Rand (remember all the 'Ron Paul named his own son after Ayn Rand!-meme?), to F.A. Hayek, to 'irrelevant' Ludwig von Mises.

To which I say, whoTF? Robert who??


The liberals NEEDED to malign libertarianism, as frankly that and the Freedom Movement as a whole IS the ONLY real political movement in this country. That is why they had to make Tea Party as what it is today post-TeaPartyExpress/Nation corporatist astroturf: as a mere outgrowth of Koch Bros' empire.

Wanna know the most hilarious part?

Most liberals haven't got a clue that NPR/PBS' largest donors are the KOCHtopus, not to mention, BigOil as a whole. You almost can't watch a primetime PBS show not sponsored by Exxon-Mobil, BP or Koch Bros. And, these idiots have the nerve to accuse those of us who simply do not buy their control-freak meme that does nothing to address pollution: Peak Oil Carbon Tax??


(UPDATE) Also, one little inconvenient historical fact that all L-R statist liberals would want you to never know: The Koch Bros 'created' Blue Dress-staining Slick Willy. They funded the rise of Clinton, along with his political arm, the DLC, the Democratic Leadership Council. Don't believe me, check out these two posts by liberals:

Robert Dreyfuss @ AmericanProspect - Dec. 19, 2001: How the DLC Does It

Joe Sudbay @ AmericaBlog - Aug. 25, 2010: Koch Industries gave funding to the DLC and served on its Executive Council

But, as far as slick statist liberal media propaganda operations go, this one truly takes the cake; for those who may be unfamiliar, guess who the founder of Media Matters for America, the de facto Soros-White House mouthpiece, is?

David Brock.

Who is David Brock? He made his name going AFTER Bill Clinton during the entire Monica Lewinski and Paula Jones scandal. Though he made his name during the Anita Hill scandal as well, Clinton scandals were his real bread and butter.

And then, like alchemical magic, out of the blue, we are to believe that a real deal, a true blue professional political whore mercenary had a catharsis, a change of heart. And, now, he's all about 'I bend over for all liberals! Go team Liberals! Liberals! And screw the Conservatives! Yay!'

Seriously, you couldn't write a fictional novel with this many obvious, hilarious political actors flipping left and right, and getting away propagandizing to millions of gullible idiots nationwide.

A sad commentary on the world, to be sure. But dangerous, because the con apparently still works, especially to and with those whom delusionally self-proclaim to be "politically aware and active." Proving the very much reality fact, and the existence of a completely exclusive phenomenon and providence within the human species: "educated idiots."


Oh yeah, they've been at this for a long time. But you didn't hear any mainline 'liberal' complain about the Kochs, then, now did ya?

The rest of that thread is REALLY LONG, if you care to gander, to gauge a larger picture (at least IMHO) of the whole L vs. R fake 'liberal,' useful idiot-conjob.

The Short-er answer:

RARE 1989 Video! Dr. Paul speaking @ Libertarian Party State Chairs Meeting: Reflections on '88 Pres. Race

++ NOTE: Koch Bros' CATO finally capitulates: Ron Paul IS important to the libertarian movement!


For those who may not be familiar, the reason why I say that is because until this election cycle, Dr. Paul has NEVER been invited to speak at CATO, if you can believe that. Yes, Dr. Paul, the most famous libertarian/voluntaryist alive, the man whom single-handedly inspired a whole new generation of people WORLDWIDE, provided more 'liberty gateway drug' for them than anyone alive or passed-on, has never spoke at the self-professed libertarian institution most famous in DC.

In fact I believe Rand spoke at CATO before Ron did (for those who know for certain, please correct me).

Granted it's a bit too inside baseball, but like all political movements, we've had our share of sub-faction disputes. And the most notable is the Mises vs. Koch Brothers' CATO/Reason: it's all due to the co-founder of CATO, the anarcho-capitalist extraordinaire Murray N. Rothbard vs. Koch Bros. split.

There's a reason why CATO/Reason worships statist corporatist pro-FED. Reserve Chicago School's Milton Friedman, but they never, rarely if ever, mention Mises, or Rothbard, or anyone else associated with Lew Rockwell, including Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul.

Peter Schiff so far has always been sort of a 'bridge' between the two, cross-attending both institute's conferences.

So when CATO's Libertarianism.org puts up a classic video of Dr. Paul AT their own official YouTube page, the Koch boys are definitely riding the winds of change.

Certainly, it's a minor petty point for those just learning about libertarianism, but for the O.G.'s, some wounds haven't healed. Just a reference, for those who maybe curious, 'tis all.

MUCH more in-depth analysis by another poster:

Cato Institute Historically Has Rejected Ron Paul

Predictions in due Time...

"Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it's realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy." - Dr. Ronald Ernest Paul

Same debate recently...

... with some friends and family about this very subject. To me, this is my understanding. The Koch Bros. had their Tea Party website long before Ron's run in 2008... but the Tea Party RALLY that was grassroots by the Ron Paul camp who supported his prez campaign, strategically chose that date in 07 of the Tea Party anniversary to protest endless wars/police state, generally sticking to Ron's message. THEN the Koch Bros launched their own rallies with their brand and the media ran with it as if it was them all along. A co-opt. The first rally had nothing to do with the Koch Bro.'s brand of Tea Party, just the anniversary date of the historical event as a one time rally for Ron Paul the candidate. It is a ploy to associate anything anti-establishment to the controlled opposition tea party co-opters... imo.

The two are different but passed off as the same.


There is some truth in there.

There is some truth in there. I remember getting an email once upon a time from the CATO institute about controlling interest of their organization was being gobbled up in a hostile takeover - I believe it was the Koch brothers.

Also back in 2010 I wrote about this exact issue in a blog post that has several video examples of the takeover of the tea party movement:

That being said the tea party movement WAS originally a true and pure grass roots movement when individuals started emailing tea bags to congress. It did start as a real grass-roots movement and was a spin off from the Ron Paul supporters in 2007.

Still - 'tea party' was the only 'accepted' movement by the mainstream and so people like Rand Paul began identifying themselves with it to gain political acceptance by mainstream media etc.

I would say the answer is somewhere in between. The movement was real, and the opportunists hopped on for the ride. The problem for them is they will not be able to steer these people off a cliff. We are too informed, too principled, too connected, and too motivated.

- Grow Mushrooms at Home

I agree

I agree with you. My friend's position, though, is that it was never a grassroots movement, but was always 100% created and controlled by the Koch brothers.

I actually think the Koch

I actually think the Koch brothers have done a lot of good over the years. The Cato Institute would not be nearly as well established as they are with their help, even given their latest kerfuffle with the Koch Brothers. They also fund IHS, The Fund for American Studies, FEE, and a bunch of other groups that reach out to the younger generation.

I think it is safe to say that nobody thinks of themselves as a pawn of the Kochs. But then again, nobody ever thinks they are a pawn, ever. I bet most Germans in the 30s didn't consider themselves pawns of the Nazis.

We are all persuaded by things around us, and let's face it, the Kochs are responsible for a lot of the stuff that we see in regard to libetarianism. So yes, we have probably all been influenced by the Kochs, whether we realize it or not. Some more than others. But I don't see this as necessarily a bad thing.

I've been a libertarian for longer than I knew who the Kochs were. But who knows if the ideas behind the theory of libertarianism reached me because of the influence of the Koch brothers?

It's something to be aware of, that our agenda may be (no, definitely is) influenced by other people's interests. But does that make us pawns? I would say no; detractors will say yes.