THE SECRET HISTORY OF JERRY FALWELL
by Daniel Hopsicker
At the same time the Rev. Jerry Falwell was accusing pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the ACLU and People For the American Way of sharing responsibility for the 9/11 attack the televangelist owed over one million dollars in unpaid loans to the owner of the terror flight school in Florida which trained Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, the MadCowMorningNews has learned.
In the days after terrorist hijackers murdered almost 3000 people, almost the entire American nation was numb and speechless with shock and horror.
Not Jerry Falwell.
The Baptist minister from Lynchburg, VA wasted no time in pointing a finger of blame for the attack. He said, “I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'”
Falwell made no mention, then or ever, of his curious debt to secretive Green Bay financier Wallace J. Hilliard, whose flight school abetted, if unwittingly, the terrorist presence in the United States.
Strangely, this is not Jerry Falwell’s only link to covert activity at the tiny Venice, FL airport.
Working in mysterious ways
We first learned of terror flight school owner Hilliard’s loan to Falwell from Stuart Burchill, Hilliard’s former accountant.
At one time Hilliard had assigned him the task, Burchill stated, of dunning deadbeat Falwell, the founder of Liberty University and Pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, to repay the million bucks Falwell owed his boss.
In the course of trying to get Falwell to address the unpaid debt Burchill learned details of the Reverend’s accounting practices upon which the Almighty Himself would presumably frown.
“The Falwell note was an outstanding receivable I was assigned to collect,” Burchill explained.
“I talked to Falwell’s accountant, who was very apologetic. He said there was plenty of money to pay off the loan, except that any time there was money left in the account at the end of the month, Jerry always stripped it out.”
Clearly, the Lord works in mysterious ways.
Pastoral image suffers 'a blemish'
"Falwell’s accountant told me, ‘if I can pay you in chunks off the books so Jerry doesn’t see it, I can get it handled,’ Burchill said.
“So we worked out a payment schedule. After that checks drawn on Liberty University came in for a few months, until Falwell figured out what was going on and put a stop to it.”
That the avuncular Southern Baptist minister was “stripping out” his church’s bank account at the end of the month is no doubt news to his supporters. Picture him trying to peddle forgiveness for that down the aisles at Liberty Baptist.
At the very least, the Rev. Falwell’s pastoral image might have suffered.
"Who are those guys?"
The Rev. Falwell’s second curious association at the Venice Airport involves a dummy front company working at terror flight school Huffman Aviation in Venice Florida which moved, amid great controversy, to the Baptist minister’s hometown of Lynchburg VA., where the firm was mysteriously awarded a five-year contract to run a large regional maintenance facility at the airport, beating out a respected and successful local firm with 40 employees and a multi-million dollar balance sheet.
Britannia Aviation from Venice Florida, in contrast, had two employees, no corporate history, did not possess the necessary FAA license to perform the aircraft maintenance services for which it had been contracted, and was worth less than $750.
"There was some sentiment that there might be something suspicious about Britannia Aviation," stated a business reporter at the Lynchburg News-Advance. "There was a clear feeling that nobody knew who these guys were, or where they were coming from."
The uneasiness wasn’t helped by a revelation from Britannia's chief executive Paul Martens during a Lynchburg City Council meeting. Attempting to reassure the city that his firm was substantial, Martens said his company had for some time been successfully providing aviation maintenance services for a Caribbean air carrier called Caribe Air.
Huh. Another drug smuggling airline.
Caribe Air is a notorious CIA proprietary air carrier with a particularly checkered past, including 'blemishes' like being accused by government prosecutors of using as many as 20 planes to ship drugs worth billions of dollars into the U.S., as well as having its aircraft seized by federal officials at the infamous Mena Arkansas airport.
Moreover it was run by a German national and longtime CIA asset named Dietrich Reinhardt, who also was partners at the Charlotte County Florida Airport, frequented by Mohamed Atta and friends, with a man suspected of stealing as many as 23 helicopters from Charlotte County Sheriff’s Dept.
One wag in Charlotte County told us the helicopters hadn’t been stolen, exactly. They’d merely been “released on their own recognizance.”
When details of the Lynchburg controversy first reached Venice, aviation executives there had professed amazement. "No one here had ever heard of Britannia Aviation before," one told us. "And this is a very small airport."
After our inquiry, this aviation exec called a DEA source he knew to ask what he knew about Britannia Aviation.
A green light at the end of the runway
"This guy got all excited as soon as I asked," the executive told us later. "He wanted to know why I was interested in Britannia. Finally he told me Britannia had a 'green light' from the DEA at the Venice Airport, whatever that means. And he said the local police had been warned to leave them alone.”
When we dropped in unannounced at his office in a Huffman Aviation hangar, Paul Martens had no comment on this report.
He was just an honest British businessman, he told us. He had ties to Lynchburg Virginia. He had met his wife there, while she was a student at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.
Her father was a pastor for the Reverend Falwell.
Why did Wally Hilliard loan Falwell a cool million bucks? When we briefly interviewed Wally Hilliard several years ago we brought the subject up. “You loaned money to Jerry Falwell. How much?” we asked.
“More than I want to tell you about,” Hilliard replied.
“Did Falwell pay you back?”
“He paid some of it back.”
The question remains puzzling.
"Helping World Help helps you."
Terror flight school owner Wally Hilliard wasn’t even a Baptist. He later became a Mormon deacon, and even owned a Lear jet busted with 43 pounds of heroin onboard during July of 2000, the same month Mohamed Atta arrived to attend his flight school.
The only conclusion which can be drawn is that there must be some other, secret association between the two men.
Perhaps Falwell’s association with the so-called “Committee of 100” which steered Republican propaganda efforts during the 1990’s is the answer.
Falwell produced The Clinton Chronicles “documentary” in 1994, seeking to implicate then-President Clinton in the Mena cocaine-smuggling conspiracy.
It later emerged that "an investigative reporter" featured in silhouette in the trailer for the documentary, who claimed President Clinton was organizing the assassination of journalists, had been the film's producer.
“Jerry Falwell got bailed out in the early ‘90’s by a local Lynchburg businessman with interesting associations,” one Lynchburg observer told us. “Since then Falwell runs a missionary service called World Help, which flies all over the world.”
Must be the end times for sure
Then, too, there is Falwell’s association with leading televangelist, Pat Robertson, who eulogized him, saying, "Jerry's courage and strength of convictions will be sadly missed in this time of increasing moral relativism."
“Islamic fundamentalist” Osama bin laden reportedly cloaked covert activities under the cover of religious charities. Did U.S. intelligence use the same ruse?
One of the flight trainers who trained Atta in Venice moonlighted flying missionary flights for televangelist Pat Robertson’s Operation Blessing.
During the 1980s Falwell— at the same time Robertson was involved a bizarre sideline for a preacher, diamond mining in West Africa— had been an outspoken supporter of apartheid in South Africa.
And a Caribe Air C130 had been shot down over Angola with the loss of everyone aboard, including a US Congressman’s nephew. The plane was on a mission for the Angolan government, it was discovered, laden with a cargo of swag, including whiskey and cigarettes.
More recently, terror flight school owner Wally Hilliard incorporated a “charity” called the “West African Children’s Lifeline, Inc.”
Perhaps the men just share a mutual interest in Africa. Or maybe it’s a clue.
We vote for clue
What forced us, with some reluctance, to ignore the proscription to speak only good about the dead is the fact that what passes for political discourse in America today is so far removed from reality as to constitute some kind of special circumstance.
Take the Rev. Al Sharpton testifying to the essential goodness of the Rev. Falwell on Chris Matthews’ Hardball.
“Reverend Falwell and I didn't agree on anything, but we got along personally," Rev. Al told Matthews.
"He personally was genuinely a nice guy, and I would find him to be one of the few people in the public light who was genuine.”
Matthews was quick to praise Sharpton’s comments about a former political foe as “surprisingly generous.”
Nixon and Franco: Together in eternity
Al Sharpton being “deeply saddened” by the death of the Rev. Falwell is only surprising if you had also been shocked to discover that Richard Nixon mourned the passing of General Francisco Franco.
The disconnect from reality was breathtaking. And the bonhomie was so overwhelming that we were left feeling slightly nauseous.
It felt like being trapped in an elevator with a guy wearing enough Old Spice to set off biological weapons detectors.
Matthews paid no attention to the uncomfortable fact that the Rev. Al’s recent 2004 bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination was financed and run by a Republican dirty trickster named Roger Stone.
"I helped Sharpton because I like him," said Stone when confronted later about steering $288,000 to Sharpton's campaign.
A right-wing firecracker in leather
Stone and his wife Nikki, a fiery Cuban-born right-winger, arranged for a mob of thugs, GOP operatives, and Cuban rightists to riot and shut down the recount in the Gore-Bush Presidential contest in Miami-Dade County after the 2000 election to come down to the Miami courthouse, stealing the election for George W. Bush in 2000.
Ironically, big-time political strategist Roger Stone was one of the GOP’s top strategists urging Republican politicians to emphasize family values and integrity... until he was exposed in a story in the National Enquirer revealing that he and his wife were swingers.
The duo frequented group sex clubs and engaged in group sex orgies.
“Roger and Nikki were our customers for a long time," said the owner of a Miami swing club called The Vault. “"Roger looked like a Ken doll. He was tall, blond, handsome and muscular.”
“And his wife was curvaceous and very sexy. She would wear leather bras and tantalizing outfits and he would wear collars, chaps and a leather vest with no shirt underneath.”
Name the Bush Mega-Scandal
Not the image you'd want on a poster for “Republican family values.”
And all this would have been a bit of a sticky wicket for the party that’s attempted to commandeer God for the past twenty years…but It was barely mentioned in the major media.
What makes this story worth dredging up is its relevance to the current and as yet unnamed Bush Administration Mega-Scandal.
Roger Stone was a key operative helping Jack Abramoff create a GOP influence-peddling juggernaut used to exploit the $13 billion Indian gaming industry.
The Village Voice said Stone’s Indian deals made him (or somebody) as much as $13 million.
Predictably Chris Matthews never asked the Rev. Al about his Republican-funded campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, managed by his swinger buddy Roger Stone.
And no one has publicized Jerry Falwell’s links to Wally Hilliard, owner of two terror flights schools in Venice used in a still-unrevealed covert operation which spectacularly backfired.
The kids from Homeland Security High
Recently we learned that Wally Hilliard’s former accountant, Stuart Burchill, is today the CEO of a company called Industrial Nanotech, a company working closely with Sandia National Laboratories.
"Working with Sandia is truly a rewarding opportunity and we are honored to share laboratory space and scientific expertise with such a world-class organization,” says Burchill in a recent press release.
“Sandia is a national security laboratory involved in a variety of research and development programs sponsored by the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security to provide technology solutions that protect nearly 300 million Americans from global threats.”