TEA Party Boss Was High Ranking Cult Member

Henry Kriegel, pictured here with bullhorn and sign.

Henry Kriegel welcomes you to "the Resistance."

Just when you thought the Tea party leadership couldn’t get weirder, someone discovered a fascinating item.

It turns out that Henry Kriegel–right-wing nutjob, radio show host, pretender to the Tea Party throne, and leader of the Bozeman Tea Party–has been a high-ranking member of the Church Universal and Triumphant, also known as CUT.

In fact, Kriegel was actually featured a while back in an LA Times article about people who wander off and get caught up in cult-like religious movements.  An “out of stater” (to use a Republican phrase), Kriegel is from New York and left the east coast on a soul search, came to Montana, and joined up with CUT. Wikipedia says that CUT members worship, among other things,

“esoteric mysticism, the paranormal and alchemy, with a belief in angels, elves, fairies, and other beings it calls elementals” and “Ascended Masters through the Holy Spirit such as Sanat Kumara, Maitreya, Djwal Khul, El Morya, Kuthumi, Paul the Venetian, Serapis Bey, the Master Hilarion, Lanto, Lady Master Nada, Godfre, Lady Master Lotus, and Lanello, Enoch and Elohim.”

Hey, it’s a free country. Worship what pleases you (although, given his association with this weirdness, you gotta love the Bozeman Tea Party, and presumably Kriegel, complaining about a Mosque in New York.)

But even better, CUT was the bunch who believed that the world was going to end of a nuclear holocaust at a particular hour and minute on April 23, 1990. They built a massive underground bomb shelter up near Gardiner, MT and stocked it with several years worth of canned food and dried fruit and other supplies, in preparation for The End. When the dreaded hour approached, they headed down into the bunker to take cover from the Apocalypse. Alas, when the earth and humanity were still around the next day, the church and its leaders lost a lot of credibility, and many congregants became disillusioned and left, and went looking for another fringe sect to be a part of.  And in Kriegel’s case, he found it–the Tea Party.

It is unclear whether Kriegel was in the bunker, or whether he is still involved with the church. Or even whether he believes in elves, fairies or the Master Hilarion or Lady Master Nada. (Who the heck is Lady Master Nada, anyway?) There is no mention of his CUT affiliation in any of his biographical material that I can find on the web. Likely it’s not something he is comfortable discussing in public.

But nothing about the Kriegel background really surprises me. The Tea Party is a crackpot enterprise of the first order. All you needed to do was witness the rally in Helena a while back, racists, militia-types, black-helicopter fearing conspiracy theorists, birthers and other idiots. As I recall, Kriegel addressed the crowd and ranted and raved and frothed unintelligibly (as Tea Partiers do) about excessive government, pointing to the Capitol building and complaining about spending and taxes.

Unfortunately the spending part was a little strange because while he was delivering his sermon, the Wall Street Journal, the most conservative paper in America, was churning out an editorial (written, no less, by the ultra-conservative Fox News economist Stephen Moore) praising the State of Montana as being the best fiscally managed state in America.

And the taxes part is even better: A few years ago, Kriegel was busted by the IRS for failing to pay a fortune in income taxes.  Somehow, he got a bankruptcy court to let him off the hook on a large portion of it, that weasel.

For more Tea Party analysis and commentary, head over to Intelligent Discontent and read The Perfect Post-Modern Party and Don’t Think the Tea Party Runs the Montana GOP? Think Again.

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14 Comments on "TEA Party Boss Was High Ranking Cult Member"

  1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! | September 12, 2010 8:00 AM at 8:00 AM |

    You could always tell who the CUT members were. They always wore purple. Had something to do with their religion. Heck, they even painted their cars purple. And they absolutely HATED the color red. That was the color of the devil. So, just to irritate them, some folks in the Paradise Valley used to wear red to their meetings on zoning, etc., just to see the CUT folks squirm. Funny, funny people. They used to try to recruit impressionable college kids away from home for the first time over at MSU. I don’t know if they had much success. Maybe some of this current crop of weirdos fell victim to their goofiness. There really is no other explanation for it.

  2. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! | September 12, 2010 8:11 AM at 8:11 AM |

    But lest I forget, one of the really STRANGEST aspects of CUT was their use of ritual enemas! Talk about a desecration at one’s ground zero! Yikes! I’ll pass.

  3. I remember this guy. He was the one whose hypocrisy inspired that Bozeman Tea Party parody group last year that marched on the 4th of July without asking the taxpayers to pay for it like the Tea Partiers did. SO FUNNY http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/article_d38a1544-87df-11df-9e5b-001cc4c002e0.html#user-comment-area

  4. Ok this guys religion is very very very weird but hey this is American and this is why we have seperation of church and state and freedom of religion as in the first amendment. As Ive said before and Ill say again Im a Christian but Im not a bible thumber and I dont go out and shove that in peoples faces I expose Jesus not impose Jesus. Now what concerns me about this dude is several things first his church was involved heavily in several of the bison issues around Yellowstone Park for several years as they had a ranch in that area, so Im alittle bit concered there as Im from a family of Eastern Montana Ranchers. Next thing is the income taxes I guess he’s a conservative that believes in spending anybody elses money but not there own. Otherwise I guess be a teabagger a birther a truther and worship a box of oreos if you wish free country but I dont want you running my government

  5. Gotcha. They’re nuts. Now please would you for five minutes introspect? Is your own garden tilled?

  6. Gotta say, these folks probably thought, “This is Montana, no investigative journalists are gonna bother digging through my shit here.”

    HA!

  7. Like most folk in Bozeman I know a few ex-CU(L)T members. Though they are an eccentric bunch, I don’t think they’re necessarily crazy. What they do all share is a particular susceptibility (gullibility?) for believing in apocalyptic scenarios. We’re not talking about see the zombie movies read the books have fun with it kind of belief. We’re talking about move 2/3 of the way across the country give everything you own to a crack-pot prophet live in an armed bunker threaten federal officials because you can’t tap thermal power from Yellowstone kind of belief.

    In other words, it’s the kind of belief that can mentally transform an intelligent hard working American success story President into an America hating race war starting Kenyon Muslim socialist Nazi dictator. Yup, people from the CUT were made for the Tea Party.

  8. The Tea Bag movement is turning into a dirty trick on the dumbest members of every community.

  9. Wait a minute, If I owed over $10,000 to the IRS & I felt they were wasting my money, I wouldn’t want to pay it & I would certainly protest the government taking more of my hard earned money. That is smart not stupid. Stupid would be to just hand over my hard earned money to a government who wants to help foreign coups with guns, & a federal government who forgets about their own school system & now our own children’s debt.

  10. thanks for talking scheisse about my uncle! calling him a nut job is just plane rude, all because he speaks his opinion it makes him a crazy nut that belongs in an asylum?

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | June 15, 2011 7:36 PM at 7:36 PM |

      YOU’RE WELCOME, DUDE! BTW, ever had a ritual enema?? Bet you uncky HENRY has! It was all the rage at the church unisquirrel and triUMPHant! Ask him about it some time. And you see, dude, we call’em like we see’em here in Montana. NO ONE that I know asked all them fruit loops, INCLUDING your uncle, to move here. He’s sure welcome to move back the New York City where the nutty blends IN better than it does here! But rude? No. We happen to think that WEIRDOS who move here and start actin’ all goofy are the RUDE ones! You see, eliot, we have our own way of life here and we kinda LIKE it like that way. Your uncky Henry is trying to disrupt things. People movin’ up here and stickin’ things up their wazoos and believin’ all KINDS of new age goofiness strikes us as kinda nutty. And it IS rude to bring their nuttiness to a nice place like Montana, doncha think? I’m thinkin’ ol’ unck henry had one too many enemas! Seems they flushed his BRAINS out! Hope this helsp.

  11. The Tea Party. I think that one day those guys will wake up and discover that all that they have in common is that they hate everyone else.
    As to the enemas: I was with the C.U.T. for some 11 years, 3 of those on staff. I am not affiliated with the church at all anymore and don’t really care who says what about it but, to add a different slant to the subject the only people I ever heard talk about enemas and the church were non-members ridiculing. And then only after I had left staff and was living in Bozeman. Note that I am not saying that it wasn’t encouraged. I can’t judge that. I am only saying that no one encouraged me or even mentioned it to me specifically.
    Anyway, aren’t they supposed to be good for you once in a while? If so then what is the big deal? (I admit the only time I have ever done one was in prep for a colonoscopy. That may have been good for me but wasn’t something I want to repeat very often or without specific need.)

    Oh, yea. And one more thing. I don’t worry much about an apocalyptic end to the world but I AM concerned about a cultural meltdown. THAT seems like a real possibility.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | August 27, 2011 10:29 AM at 10:29 AM |

      HEY, nuthin’ wrong with a good enema I always say! And ya know, no one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the Murcan public! I mean, oxygen bars??? Who’da thunk? Bottled water? No way! People actually GO to them to get……OXYGEN!

      So, Bro, you got me ta thinkin’. I’m thinkin’ bout maybe openin’ up some ENEMA bars! Whaddayathink? Are there enuff ex-CUT members out there that long for the good ol’ days of gettin’ hosed out?? A good cleansing of the body and the soul AT THE SAME TIME! Kinda of a multi-tasking for the spiritual!

      Now, I just need to come up with a NAME for my bar. Any suggestions?

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