Council for National Policy

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The Council for National Policy (CNP) is a shadowy, secretive group dubbed "Sith Lords of the Ultra-Right" by the liberal blog DailyKos.[1] Mark Crispin Miller called CNP a "highly secretive... theocratic organization -- what they want is basically religious rule" (A Patriot Act). Their membership (see below) is a Who's Who list of the biggest names of the Radical Right.

"The CNP describes itself as a counterweight against liberal domination of the American agenda," reported ABC News.[2]

CNP's membership is comprised of leaders in the family values, national defense and decency movements woven by members of the Dead Billionaires Club like the Adolph Coors Foundation, the Koch brothers, Richard DeVos, Richard Scaife and other billionaires and foundations who have invested heavily in developing a complex web of far-Right groups, think-tanks and politicians over the last forty years to return the United States to its pre Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 19th century capitalist roots.[3]

Barry W. Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the New York Times about the CNP meeting ahead of the 2004 Republican National Convention, "The real crux of this is that these are the genuine leaders of the Republican Party, but they certainly aren't going to be visible on television next week."[4]

"Utah Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland said that the Council for National Policy meeting gives [the public] 'a rare opportunity to see - or more accurately not see - what Republicans are all about. And that is how policy is influenced in this country by what amounts to a secret society of far-right-wing conservatives and religious extremists.'" [5]

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.


Formed in 1981 by Tim LaHaye as a networking tool for leading US conservative political leaders, financiers and religious right activist leaders. The group promotes "Educational conferences for national leaders in the fields of business, government, religion and academia to explore national policy alternatives. Weekly newsletters are distributed to all members to keep them apprised of member activities and public policy issues. A semi-annual journal is produced from membership meeting speeches."[6]

Executive Director

Their Executive Director from 1981 until 1985 was Woody Jenkins. [7]

Secretive Membership

"The media should not know when or where we meet or who takes part in our programs, before of after a meeting," the New York Times reported in August 2004.[4]

According to the Salt Lake Trib in 2007: "Members are told not to discuss the group, reveal the topics discussed in the closed-door meetings, or even say whether or not they are members of the organization. 'You're not supposed to be here,' said a grinning Foster Friess, who was pleasant but steadfast in his unwillingness to talk about the group." [8]

Board of Directors

The 2002 calendar year Form 990 return filed with the IRS lists the board of Directors as:

Staff members of the Board of Directors are:

Membership Roster

Based on these rosters and other source articles, the following people are or have been members of CNP:





















Other Attendees Not Confirmed as Members

A Salt Lake Trib article in 2007 lists:

People Who Have Addressed CNP


CNP meets three times a year. Notes from meetings that have been covered:

2006 Meeting

An example of the group’s far-reaching influence on the conservative movement in the United States is their May 9, 2006, meeting where speakers included NRA President Sandra Froman, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, Heritage Foundation president Edwin Fuelner Jr., Phyllis Schlafly, Grover Norquist, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, Oliver North and Robert Bork.[16]

2007 Meeting

Robert Gerhke of the Salt Lake Trib covered the meeting in September of 2007 in Utah when Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential aspirant Mitt Romney were the featured guest speakers. Wyoming born-again billionaire mutual fund manager Foster Friess, who has given millions to far Right Christian and Libertarian causes, organizations, and political candidates, was in attendance, a new note of a major donor to the Far Right participating. Doug Holmes, chairman of Parents for Choice in Education, and Lyall Swim, director of operations for the Sutherland Institute spoke on Utah's school voucher referendum. [17]


CNP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For the year ending December 31, 2002, CNP income was $1,240,377.[6]

According to Media Transparency, between 1995 and 2002 the CNP received $125,000 (unadjusted for inflation) from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation and the Castle Rock Foundation. In 2000 the Castle Rock Foundation paid a membership fee of $10,000.[18]

The CNP also has a related 501(c)(4) organisation CNP Action Inc.. CNP Action re-imbursed CNP $16,563 for the use of its facilities with and $39,457 of staff time.

Joseph Coors gave start-up funding, according to Washington Babylon (p. 11).

Books mentioning CNP

  • Russ Bellant, The Coors Connection, How Coors Family Philanthropy Undermines Democratic Pluralism, South End Press, 2nd edition October 1991. ISBN 0896084167 ISBN 13 978-0896084162

Contact details

10329-A Democracy Lane
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703 890 0113
Journal website:


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. V.P. talks Iraq, borders in SLC ROBERT GEHRKE, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, SEPTEMBER 29, 2007 1:58 AM
  2. Marc J. Ambinder, "Vast, Right-Wing Cabal? Meet the Most Powerful Conservative Group You've Never Heard Of,", May 2, 2001: "The 'far right's answer to the Council on Foreign Relations'."
  3. The Dead Billionaires Club – The Dead Can’t Vote, but Should They Give? (ezine), December 13, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 David D. Kirkpatrick, "Club of the Most Powerful Gathers in Strictest Privacy," New York Times (truthout), August 28, 2004.
  5. V.P. talks Iraq, borders in SLC ROBERT GEHRKE, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, SEPTEMBER 29, 2007 1:58 AM
  6. 6.0 6.1
  7. Annon, "Oliver North a member of group Jenkins once led,' The Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, 9 January 1987.
  8. V.P. talks Iraq, borders in SLC ROBERT GEHRKE, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, SEPTEMBER 29, 2007 1:58 AM
  9. Mark Crispin Miller adds this member
  10. Mark Crispin Miller adds this member
  11. Mark Crispin Miller adds this member
  12. Mark Crispin Miller adds this member
  13. Marc Crispin Miller adds the Rev. Moon to the list.
  14. Mark Crispin Miller adds this member
  15. Boards, Virginia Institute.
  16. Mark Ambinder, "Allen To Speak At Secretive CNP....," Hotline On Call Blog/National Journal, May 9, 2006.
  17. V.P. talks Iraq, borders in SLC ROBERT GEHRKE, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, SEPTEMBER 29, 2007 1:58 AM
  18. Recipient Grants: Council for National Policy, Media Transparency.

External articles