Steve Bannon’s Occult Movement, Brazil and Conservative Evangelicals

Steve Bannon does not talk much about Brazil and the forces that led to a conservative victory for Jair Bolsonaro, who is now the president of Brazil.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of the Brazilian president, with Steve Bannon

It is normal for an individual with an occult background not to talk much about his occult motives and intents. Such is the case of Bannon, who has an occult background, especially with his fascination for the Islamic occultist René Guénon, the founder of the Traditionalist School.

Bannon met Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of the Brazilian president, last August, who recorded their meeting in his Twitter saying: “It was a pleasure to meet STEVE BANNON, strategist in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. We had a great conversation and we share the same worldview. He said be an enthusiast of Bolsonaro’s campaign and we are certainly in touch to join forces, especially against cultural marxism.”

Both denied involvement in any project. Late November, both met again: Bolsonaro attended Bannon’s birthday party. When you meet someone sometimes, there may be a degree of friendship. But when you attend his birthday party, the degree of friendship is surely very high.

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Both can keep denying any involvement and association, but if evangelicals were central for Bolsonaro’s victory, their prayers will be effective and it will happen what Jesus said, “There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light.” (Mark 4:22 GWV)

A small revelation has come through Benjamin Harnwell, who was interviewed by The Intercept. Harnwell heads the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (known also as the Institute for Human Dignity), which in 2014 invited Bannon as one of its key note speakers at a conference at the Vatican, where Bannon knit together René Guénon and Julius Evola and “conservatism.”

In the Interview, titled in Portuguese as “Conversamos com o sócio de Steve Bannon em escola na Itália que busca guinar o mundo à direita” (We have talked with Steve Bannon’s partner at a school in Italy that seeks to guide the world to the right), The Intercept said, “Eduardo Bolsonaro… stated in an interview with the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo in early November that he intends to build a connection with The Movement.” The Movement is an organization founded by Bannon to promote traditionalism.

The Intercept said that the link between The Movement and Institute for Human Dignity “is in the hands and brain of Bannon,” who is “the backbone of the institute.”

Probably, Bolsonaro’s intent to build his connection with The Movement is already happening, and The Intercept itself said, “It has long been suspected that there is some connection between Bannon and Bolsonaro.” The Brazilian president has appointed as his Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, who openly says that his traditionalism is based on Guénon and Evola, who “had struck an alliance with Benito Mussolini, and his ideas became the basis of Fascist racial theory; later… Evola’s ideas gained currency in Nazi Germany,” according to Joshua Green, author of “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency” (Penguin Publishing Group, 2017).

The appointment of Araújo may be a sign that the Guenonian influence of Bannon is discreetly entering Brazil, as suggested by The Intercept.

Traditionalism is good, when it has a good foundation. Traditionalism and conservatism according to the Bible are excellent, even though Jesus Christ often condemned traditionalists and their traditionalism. Yes, traditionalists in the days of Jesus were pro-life, pro-family and against ideas that today would be considered Marxist. But when traditionalism takes the place in our lives that belongs to God, it becomes an enemy of God. This is why Jesus criticized traditionalists and their traditionalism.

So even when traditionalism is based on the Bible, as the Pharisees’ traditionalism was, is not warranty that it is good.

But the traditionalism, conservatism and Catholicism promoted by Bannon are according to Guénon.

Let us address the important interview of Benjamin Harnwell in The Intercept.

Harnwell said, “[Steve Bannon] is our patron and the main point of reference. It is he who chooses the teachers and it was he who decided that the school should be called Judeo-Christian Academy.”

You could say that it is opportunism for an individual with a background in the occultism of René Guénon to use a “Judeo-Christian” image in his movement and efforts. You are right, and Trump fired Bannon just for opportunism.

Opportunism is a hallmark of Guénon’s traditionalism. In fact, Olavo de Carvalho, who is an old promoter of Guénon in Brazil and Bolsonaro’s Rasputin, said, “It’s not a problem but I’ve rarely met people as sophisticatedly false and lying as in the so-called ‘perennialist’ environment.” Adherents of Guénon are known as traditionalists or perennialists.

However, when mentioning that the Protestant writer C. S. Lewis called Guénon a charlatan, Carvalho readily defended the founder of the Traditionalist School, declaring, with his sophisticatedly false and lying tongue, that “Guénon was never a charlatan.”

I only knew Carvalho in 2002 because I was active in the pro-life movement since the 1980s, having contacts with conservative pro-life Catholic and evangelical leaders in Brazil and the U.S., including Fr. Paul Marx, the founder of Human Life International, the largest Catholic pro-life organization in the world.

Because I had thought that Carvalho was just a Catholic fighting against abortion and the gay agenda, I worked, free of charge, for his “traditionalist” website for over ten years. Before my involvement with Carvalho, I used already to write for Providafamilia, the largest Catholic pro-life website in Brazil. I used to work also for JesusSite, the largest evangelical website in Brazil in the early 2000s.

For over 10 years I saw Carvalho promoting Guénon and advising his followers to read Guénon’s books. I never followed his books’ recommendations, because I suspected occultism. But what do? Syncretism is very common in the Brazilian Catholicism and I thought that Carvalho was just one more syncretic Catholic. Adherents of Guénon, traditionalists and perennialists exploit such Catholic bond with syncretism in Brazil to hide themselves and their intents under a Catholic cover.

Adherents of Guénon, traditionalists and perennialists are actually “sophisticatedly false and lying” individuals.

So it is no wonder that Harnwell, Bannon and Carvalho identify themselves as “Catholic” and, with this cover, they easily draw Catholics. The president of the Institute for Human Dignity is Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, “known as the number one enemy of Pope Francis” (The Intercept). What does a Catholic leader gain by fighting Marxism while entrapped by occult forces?

Catholics like Francis are in the Marxist trap, but Catholics like Burke are unable to see that they have fallen in the anti-Marxist trap of occultist Guénon.

The Intercept asked Harnwell: “But in Latin America, especially in Brazil, it is the evangelical, not Catholic, caucus that is the most important in Congress. How is your relationship with evangelicals?”

Harnwell answered: “The alliance with evangelicals may be the answer we seek… I would be very happy to be able to work closely with evangelicals… See, for example, it’s the evangelicals that are supporting the Trump administration, it’s evangelicals who are against abortion in Brazil… Catholicism has left the battlefield.”

So Bannon’s movement, or adherents of Guénon or traditionalists or perennialists are seeking an alliance with Brazilian evangelicals. Let us return to Carvalho. When he began his “Catholic” website, there was no evangelical columnists there. When his website invited me to be the first evangelical columnist, for the sake of the pro-life cause I accepted, thinking that I was having just an alliance with pro-life Catholics. I did not perceive that I was being used to draw evangelical leaders. Trump was much smarter than I was, because he noticed in time that he was being used by Bannon.

Harnwell also said, “Evangelicals helped elect Bolsonaro president of Brazil. After announcing the result of the first round, the first statement given by the then PSL presidential candidate was to thank evangelical leaders.”

Interestingly, Harnwell, who said that Bannon is the patron of his institute, recognizes that evangelicals were vital for Bolsonaro and that in his first statement after the first round, when he was in extreme need of their votes, Bolsonaro thanked them. But Harnwell did not mention that immediately after the second round, when Bolsonaro’s victory was confirmed and he no longer needed to depend on evangelicals, in his first statement he did not thank any evangelical leader. He thanked specifically an adherent of Guénon — Olavo de Carvalho.

After the first round, Bolsonaro remembered evangelicals. After the second round, he forgot them and remembered a Guenonian. But left-wingers know very well who gave the victory to Bolsonaro. Fernando Haddad, the left-wing presidential candidate who was defeated by Bolsonaro, acknowledged that the biggest factor responsible for his defeat at the polls was the “evangelical phenomenon.”

Bolsonaro has already appointed his most important ministers, and no one of them is evangelical. The two more important are Guenonians.

Bolsonaro has been praised as a president who will put Brazil in a closer friendship and partnership with the U.S. and move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem. These two measures can be seen as totally new steps for non-evangelical Brazilians, but in no way they are new for evangelicals.

As an evangelical, I have always supported Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Not surprisingly, the only two nations that moved their embassies to Jerusalem are nations with an evangelical president: The U.S. and Guatemala.

About friendship with the U.S., as a Brazilian evangelical I have always seen Americans — in evangelical churches. In all my lifetime as an evangelical, I have seen and heard American evangelicals visiting Brazil and preaching in evangelical churches. Brazilian evangelical churches have an unbreakable friendship with American evangelicals.

The influence of American evangelicals — from Rex Humbard and Billy Graham to Pat Robertson — is powerful in my life and the lives of other evangelicals. American evangelicals are a vital part of my life.

While Bolsonaro wants the non-evangelical Brazil to have friendship with the U.S., the Brazilian evangelical community has always had — non-stop — friendship and partnership with American evangelicals. My case is not exception: I have had contact with conservative Americans, including ministers and even generals, since the 1980s.

The evangelical Brazil is a natural friend of America. The Catholic Brazil — Brazil is the largest Catholic nation in the world — has not the experience of seeing regularly American conservatives in their churches.

The Intercept asked Harnwell, “Speaking of Brazilian evangelicals, they are Bolsonaro’s support base. Do you know him?” He answered, “I have heard very nice things about him. Bannon, from whom I always ask for advice, told me very nice things about Bolsonaro.”

Occultists never reveal their plans, because the business of occultists is to keep their business in occult.

Even so, Benjamin Harnwell’s interview with The Intercept gives us some “revelations”:

* It confirms that evangelicals, not Guenonians (Bannon or Carvalho), were vital for Bolsonaro’s victory.

* It confirms that Eduardo Bolsonaro is building a connection between the Bolsonaro administration and The Movement of Bannon.

* It confirms adherents of Guénon or traditionalists or perennialists are seeking an alliance with Brazilian evangelicals.

Such dangerous alliance is possible, because of Carvalho, who has promoted Guenonian traditionalism under the cover of Catholicism and conservative philosophy. Especially because over 15 years ago a Brazilian evangelical named Julio Severo accepted an invitation from Carvalho’s “conservative” website, Mídia Sem Máscara, to be used to draw evangelicals. Now the name of Carvalho is known as a “conservative Catholic” among evangelicals.

More than anyone else in the evangelical world, I understand the deceptive, abusive and destructive force of the Guenonian traditionalism.

Yet, Jair Bolsonaro, who has appointed Guenonians in his administration to the detriment of evangelicals who elected him, has not understanding of such force.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, taking advantage of the influence of his father, is using the Brazilian foreign policy as his personal playground, thinking that Guenonians are his new toys. Sooner or later he will find that he is their toy.

Trump came to see that he was being used by Bannon. I came to see that I was being used by Carvalho. My prayer is that President Jair Bolsonaro and his sons may see that they are also being used by Guenonians.

Portuguese version of this article: O movimento ocultista de Steve Bannon, Brasil e evangélicos conservadores

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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