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WARNING: This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
    There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
    Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.






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Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise    


The CDFE has been the center of the anti-environmentalist "Wise Use" movement. Alan Gottleib, a gun-totting fanatic from the lunar right runs the group with the help of Ron Arnold, who is often portrayed as the zealot's zealot in attacking climate scientists and the environmental movement.


This organisation was founded by Alan Gottleib who is also Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Gottleib was also founder and trustee of the Second Amendment Foundation; and long-time member of the gung-ho Council for National Policy (CNP) which was embroiled in the Iran-Contra affair. He is a Board member of the American Freedom Coalition, (which was also involved with Ollie North and the Iran-Contras) and in his spare time he is (or was) the National Director of the American Conservative Union.

It is almost impossible to distinguish the CDFE from the personal business interests of Gottleib and his associates Ron Arnold and Paul Driessen. They run a number of publishing and broadcasting businesses behind the front of the CDFE which are variously claimed to belong to the organisation — or individually to the prinicpals — seemingly at random. The Free Enterprise Press, for instance, has been credited as the publishing arm of the CDFE, or owned by Arnold, and owned by Gottleib.

The CDFE is based in Bellevue, WA It's website is at http://www.cdfe.org/

1974: The organisation was founded by Alan Gottlieb, and provided with its initial office space by the Unitarian Church .

    Later it purchased its own headquarters. Sourcewatch says:

Alan Gottlieb seemed to possess a genius for dancing along the edge of legal business practices. He purchased the CDFE headquarters with money from two of his own non-profit foundations [ie. the NRA/gun promoting ones], then transferred the building title to his own name. He then charged his own foundations over $8,000 per month in rent.

    Mr. Gottlieb also spent seven months in prison for tax evasion [He was actually committeed for a year and fined $5,000]

1984: Ron Arnold, a fanatical anti-environmentalist, began working for them as the Executive Vice President. He had been a consultant for Dow Chemical, as well as the head of the Washington State chapter of the American Freedom Coalition , the political arm of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church (1989-91).

1984 Aug: Ron Arnold says Gottlieb appointed him as the unpaid Executive Director of the Center for the Defence of Free Enterprise. Gottlieb was in the Spokane jail (but on daily work release) until March 1985. Employees revolted over the siphoning off of money. They filed federal charges against Gottlieb for "racketeering and conspiracy to defraud" contributors, and also a summons which asked for a receiver to be appointed.

1985: Mar. After his release from jail, Gottleib counter-sued for defamation and won. He took back control of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF)

1988: The Wise Use movement is a loose-knit coalition of groups promoting the expansion of private property rights and the reduction of government regulation of publicly-held property [] to allow use of the water and air for the benefit of human beings. (eg ranching, oil and mineral extraction)

    The Wise Use movement first gained prominence when Ron Arnold helped organize a Multiple Use Strategy Conference in Reno, Nevada in 1988. Arnold, a vice-president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise (CDFE) and advocate of the "right to own property and use nature's resources for the benefit of mankind" helped produce a 25-point Wise Use Agenda.

1988: The Wise Use movement was launched by Gottlieb and Ron Arnold, and the Wise Use Agenda was published by CDFE the following year.

    Among the organisations attending or supporting the 1988 conference that set the Agenda were DuPont, Exxon , the National Rifle Association, Consumer Alert and the Moonie-linked American Freedom Coalition . CDFE's advisors have included Richard Ichord of the American Freedom Coalition, Barbara Keating of Consumer Alert, and U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney.
    [See also Disinfopedia ]

1991: Ron Arnold was charging $3,000 a day as a speaker or organizer of anti-environmental groups, but the IRS returns for the CDFE states that he works for them 20 hours a week with no compensation.

1991: Nov/E was a busy time for Gottlieb and Arnold. The Wise Use story was finally breaking and they needed to ride it for all it was worth.

The New York Times quoted Gottlieb as saying "The environmental movement has become the perfect bogeyman," under the headline "Fund-Raisers Tap Anti-Environmentalism." In this article, Gottlieb claimed to have raised about $3 million from an audience of 5 million.

    Arnold's efforts for Wise Use in Canada, where it is called the SHARE movement, got featured in a three-part report aired on CHEK-TV in Victoria B.C.. A month later, on January 13, the Boston Globe quoted Arnold as saying "We are sick to death of environmentalism and so we shall destroy it. We will not allow our right to own property to be stripped from us by a bunch of eco-fascists."

1991 Dec 2: Ron Arnold told the New York Times,

"We [the CDFE] want to destroy environmentalists by taking away their money and their members."

    'We created a sector of public opinion that didn't used to exist. No one was aware that environmentalism was a problem until we came along.'
CDFE's previous main focus had initially been the opposiyion to gun controls with Gottlieb establishing two pro-gun foundations.

    According to the New York Times, Gottlieb shifted the Center's focus when he realized the fundraising potential of opposing environmentalism, 'For conservative fundraisers like Mr. Gottlieb, the enemies were Senator Edward M. Kennedy and the threat of gun control. But now Mr. Gottlieb has found a better target.

    "For us" said Mr. Gottlieb... "the environmental movement has become the perfect bogeyman."' (Profile: Ron Arnold/The Wise Use Movement/Merchant of Fear)

    Our goal is to destroy, to eradicate the environmental movement We're mad as hell. We're not going to take it anymore. We're dead serious we're going to destroy them. [Ron Arnold] (Katherine Long, "His goal: Destroy environmentalism; Man and group prefer that people exploit the Earth," Seattle Times, 2 December 1991, p. A1.)

1993: The tax reports for Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise show direct contributions of $307,783.

Gottlieb showed us, but did not provide a copy of what he said was a confidential page of the tax report that showed that $100,000 of this money came from individual donors of more than $5,000. One of these big contributors gave $50,000. None of these were from companies.

    That leaves approximately $200,000 from other contributions. Gottlieb also told us that his Wise Use mailing list had about 5600 names on it. That works out to an average of roughly $36 per name. This is a much higher return per name than the gun lists which garner somewhere between $5 and $10 per name. While Wise Use has a smaller cashflow, it is more profitable per dollar invested than the gun issues.

1994: Dowie (page 93) writes: The organisational hub of Wise Use is the Centre For The Defense Of Free Enterprise, whose goal is to defend free-market capitalism from the menaces of environmentalism, socialism and government intervention.

    Over the years, CDFE, a tax-exempt educational organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Tax Code, has received support from a network of corporations, including Georgia Pacific, Louisiana-Pacific, MacMillan Bloedel, Pacific Lumber, Exxon, DuPont and Boise Cascade.

2004 July 7: Terrorist Tree Huggers: Ron Arnold, Father of the 'Wise Use' Movement, sets his Sights on 'Eco-Terrorists' by Bill Berkowitz.

Ron Arnold — the father of America's "wise use" movement — is back. And this time he's adding accusations of terrorism to his arsenal.
    Since 9/11, Arnold, the executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise , has been energetically and enthusiastically revving up his anti-environmental gospel with a new twist to his message: Environmental activists not only are working to stifle America's economic growth, but they are a breeding ground for terrorism in the homeland.

2010: Ron Arnold was still the organisation's spokesman, now appearing on Faux News.

    He is supported by Alan Caruba, who is listed as a CDFE Adjunct Scholar. Caruba has written an article for them: "The Multi-Billion Dollar Global Warming Fraud" (Caruba is a pallid version of Junkman Steve Milloy. He normally runs the The National Anxiety Center .]

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