STRASBOURG, France (ChurchMilitant.com) - A new report is exposing the influence exerted by billionaire George Soros and his leftist Open Society Foundations (OSF) on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and, more broadly, on the European Union and the human rights agenda.
Published by the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ), the report, titled "NGOs and the Judges of the ECHR, 2009–2019," meticulously documents the relationships between the ECHR and OSF, raising questions about the impartiality of judges who are influenced by OSF and allied non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The report shows that many of the ECHR jurists are former NGO employees or recipients of NGO largesse.
According to the OSF website, Soros has given away $32 billion since 1984 to "individuals and organizations across the globe fighting for freedom of expression, transparency, accountable government and for societies that promote justice and equality." OSF takes its name from agnostic philosopher Karl Popper's book, Open Society and Its Enemies, in which the website says "Popper argues that no philosophy or ideology is the final arbiter of truth, and that societies can only flourish when they allow for democratic governance, freedom of expression and respect for individual rights."
Catholic lawyer and ECLJ director Grégor Puppinck argued cases before the ECHR for some 20 years.
In 2011, the ECHR ruled in favor of the government of Italy, Puppinck's client, after a woman claimed that her rights were infringed by the presence of crucifixes in Italian public classrooms. In gratitude, Italy bestowed upon Puppinck one of its highest awards. When the case was filed in 2006, Puppinck was first told of "Soros' judges" on the court, but was at first dismissive because he knew that there were also Catholics and Freemasons. Since then, however, Puppinck grew wary of Soros' influence on the court, leading him to make his report.
Puppinck's report shows that seven leftist NGOs are active with the ECHR and have among their associates at least one person who has sat as a permanent judge. In addition, of the 100 permanent judges who served during the period under review, the report showed that 22 have been administrators, employees or associates with one or more of these seven organizations.
The report found that 12 judges have benefited from positions they held with OSF. In addition, OSF funds six other affiliated organizations — Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE) Center, Amnesty International, the Helsinki committees, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists and Interights. Six judges are former members of the board of national OSF or of the Open Society Justice Initiative in New York.
Puppinck has pointed out that the majority of the ECHR jurists are lawyers, rather than magistrates, and frequently professors or political activists. In an interview with the online journal Incorrect, he said the current pursuit of human rights has become the "support of an ideological discourse, a kind of secular religion."
Moreover, he said that ECHR judges are "new clerics of this universal progressive religion. It is a system of supranational governance that 'complements' NGOs and public bodies. There is porosity between them. In fact, there can be no conflict of interest between people of the same religion!"
While he did not examine billionaire Soros' "real ideology," Puppinck said his report reveals a move toward a global governance that is "post-democratic and supranational" and associated with NGOs.
"Mr. Soros has fully understood how this governance works. Indeed, it is in the image of financial governance," Puppinck said, where both political and financial power continue to accrue in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Luxembourg and New York.
"Soros," he said, "has developed by the hundreds of NGOs that it finances a network of considerable influence commensurate with this system of global governance. Having judges at the ECHR who are former collaborators of 'its' NGOs is the fruit of this vision of a global system of power."
In his new book, published in Spanish as Mi deseo es la ley (My desire is law), Puppinck reveals the nature of the human rights being propagated by philanthropists, NGOs and bodies such as the ECHR.
He maintains that the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights has its original meaning "in favor of an ideology that understands human dignity as a result of a 'disincarnation,' against nature." Stating that the opposition between body and mind has been debated throughout history, he said that Christians and Aristotelian thinkers understand human beings as both body and soul and respect the body as a "temple of the spirit." Their opponents, he said, tend to "despise the body."
Over time, he said, the "dominion of the spirit over the body ... was developed by Darwinian evolutionism, until ending in the idea that man is a spirit that arises from matter." This "emancipation" of the spirit over matter, Puppinck said, led to a new right to "dispose of one's own body" to become fundamental in culture and expresses the "dominance of the mind over the body." He said that for the proponents of contemporary human rights, "Man is human by his will; and therefore, the more a person dominates his body, the more he rises in humanity."
For Puppinck, human rights understood in this manner are a "solvent" for solidarity, and the family especially. He said that proponents of a principle of "the rights of the individual against all" will defend this "indeterminate individual freedom" against all social obstacles:
These obstacles are anything that limits the ability of individuals to act from the outside — not only public regulations and their enforcement by the authorities, but also religious, social and cultural norms. The family, with the social norms that define it, is considered the first impediment to individual freedom because it educates and, therefore, conditions the person.
The current crop of human rights judges see cases involving common "goods" such as culture, health and security, he said, as "an illegitimate limit to individual freedom. Therefore, human rights currently undermine common goods and are unable to protect them as goods in themselves."
The process of what he calls "disincarnation" in human rights means that transsexuality and suicide are the "expression of the absolute domination of the will over the body, of the new right to dispose of the body itself."
Puppinck said, finally, that Western respect for human dignity prohibited these practices in the name of the opposite principle of the unavailability of the body. He lamented: "Today, in the West, dignity consists in dominating or even enslaving the body. The ECHR has even argued that extremely violent sadomasochistic practices were covered by the protection of privacy and individual autonomy."
The new definition of human rights resembles the philosophy of National Socialist Germany and its "final solution" for Jews, handicapped people, homosexuals and other enemies of the state — the so-called life not worthy of life (in German: "Lebensunwertes Leben").
"As for abortion and euthanasia, according to 'disembodied' anthropology, a fetus would not yet be human, just as a mentally handicapped person or a person in a coma would no longer be worthy, since man is human and worthy for reason and proportion to the possession of the spiritual faculty (intelligence and will). A body devoid of spirit would be only one thing: organized organic matter," Puppinck said.