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SueInCa On March - 22 - 2010

As I began this section, The Players and Their Organizations, I realized they could not be covered in one post.  So what I will do is touch on The Family here and do a more detailed post on them next. Then in the last post I will consolidate Impact and Consequences of their influence and what we can do into one post.  I think it is better that way as  The Family seems to be the most extensive, although, from my research I have found that these groups are all interchangeable.  For instance, Rick Warren while he may seem like a docile, although right leaning pastor, had as his mentor  in Seminary and for his thesis, C Peter Wagoner, a member of the 7 Mountains.  Or you have the Chalcedon Institute that may claim to be a think tank but is funded by Howard Ahmanson a seriously wealthy Southern Californian who has funded the Religious Right at every turn.  He now claims because of Republicans runaway tax schemes he is now a Democrat.  Lordy deliver us from Religious Right converts.  These people can be lay people, politians or other religious people.  I started a spreadsheet to try to make sense of them all, but I don’t think that would work here so I will do the best that I can.  What I decided to do is to list the different groups I found at the end of this post and will provide connections for them as well as can be figured out.

There are what I would call majority groups, more than likely to feed the egos of the heads of those groups, then there are many smaller groups that target different areas of our culture but that would fall into the mainstream of one or more of the major groups.  There are also what I would call “laymen” who while not necessarily belonging to a particular group, support that group(s) through the back door.  I know I was surprised at some of these laymen, but after reading their histories, not all that surprised anymore.

Another note, since one of Jesus’ main teachings was, “‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”,  you would think their organizations would be targeting social issues and resolutions to these issues, but Brother, you better think again.  Read and make your own decisions.  I will cover the most well known groups, or I guess you could call them “umbrella corporations” for clarity.  I have listed The Moral Majority for historical reasons.  These groups are:

Focus on the Family(FOF)was founded by James Dobson in March 1977 and was incorporated as a non-profit organization with a staff of one in June of that same year.  The main focus at that time was a weekly broadcast, Let’s Get Acquainted, that aired as a family advice program.  Since that time, their “Focus” has increased to include people all over the world.    Today they reach more than 220 million people in 155 nations.  They claim they are dedicated to serving, strenghtening and defending families worldwide.  Recently James Dobson left, whether of his own accord or not, remains to be seen.  The new leader for the organization is CEO and President, Tim Daly.  He has said that he hopes to cultivate a “kinder, gentler message” from FOF.

The 7 Mountains was started in 1975 when Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham each had a vision the night before a lunch meeting.  They say that God revealed to them that night(separately) that the transformation of society will come through 7 mountains of culture, Business, Government, Family, Education, Church, Media & Entertainment and they were to influence these areas for God.  When you look at all the different groups and see names repeated over and over you will understand how they are connected and you will see some people who have served at top levels in our government.  These people are what is determined as “third wave” christians.  This phrase was coined by C Peter Wagoner to describe what he believed as the historical periods of activity for the Holy Spirit in the 20th century and beyond.  The first wave occurred at the beginning of the 20th century during the rise of the Pentacostal movement with the Azusa Street Revival.  The second wave occurred during the 60’s with the rise of the Charismatic movement in some Pentacostal denominations as well as the Roman Catholic Church.  The third wave occurred in the 80’s and is identified as a resurgence of church planting and a new committment to signs and wonders in evangelism.  As far as I can tell, he seems to be the “father” of this wave of christians.  Many who identify with the New Apostolic Reformation and the Toronto Blessing are also third wave.  As opposed to the previous waves, the third wave will tend to identify “baptism of the spirit” with conversion.  The first and second will identify this baptism as receiving the gift of “speaking in tongues” more than likely after conversion, although the second wave will use the term “usually” with that belief.  Third wave would prefer to emphasize the ongoing nature of the experience of the spirit but speaking in tongue is not a standard part of their religious service experience.  Sarah Palin is connected with these people.  A common theme with this group and the Family is secrecy.  They will openly tell their people to go in the back door.  Get involved politically but do not let on you are from a religious group.  That way you can ask questions and make suggestions that will not be looked upon as “Christian or Religious” and effect change from the inside that will ultimately reflect our values and beliefs.

The Moral Majority was founded in the 70’s by Jerry Falwell as a christian political lobbying group.  It was disbanded in the late 80’s.  The Moral Majority’s financial base seriously eroded when it became part of the Liberty Federation and financial difficulties ultimately were a major factor to disband the organization.  Falwell gave a different reason,  “Our goal has been achieved…The religious right is solidly in place and…religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration.”  After the Moral Majority was disbanded, elements of the organization were transferred to the Christian Coalition network.  However Liberty Federation and Liberty University lives on.

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1988 by Pat Robertson as a result of his unsuccessful run for the Presidency as a voter mobilization effort, much like the Moral Majority. In the 90’s he brought in Ralph Reed Jr. as Executive Director. In talking about his faith, Reed says he was at Bullfeathers, an upscale pub in Capitol Hill, when the Holy Spirit demanded he come to Jesus. He says he left the pub and went to a phone booth and found a church which he went to the next day and was “born again”. After stepping down from the leadership of the CC, Reed and his wife founded the Faith and Freedom Coalitionin June 2009. According to People for the American Way(A right wing watchgroup), “Reeds real focus seems to be on merging Christian conservatives and Tea Party activists as he reports that he is personal friends with national Tea Party national leaders and has several Tea Party organizers who are also active in his coalition. They say he has personally participated in several high profile Tea Party events. Whoa, he founded this group just in time to cash in on the Tea Party movement, what a great big coinkydink(as Rachel Maddow would say). It is impossible to say what long-term effect this group will have so I am not covering them alone. Below is a link to Right Wing Watch’s website.

The Familywas originally founded as the Fellowship Foundation, AKA International Prayer Breakfast in 1935 by Dr. Abraham Vereide in Seattle Washington and was incorporated in Chicago Illinois. But we all are now aware that the group is much more than that. Participants and members include ranking government officials, corporate executives, heads of religious and humanitarian aid organizations and ambassadors from around the world. It has been described as one of the most well-connected ministries in the U.S. and I would say around the world. The groups typically practice confidentiality about the names of the group participants and urges its members to be considerate of one another and avoid gossip.  Former Senator William Armstrong has been credited with saying the group has made a “fetish of being invisible”.

Focus on the Family

Adventures in Odyssey – They say it presents entertainment that brings moral and biblical principles to life.

Be A Voice– Pro-life advocavy in the community, campuses and friends and family

Boundless – For singles.  Offers answers on faith and friendship, dating and entertainment, career and more.

Church Family – Serves local churches by training leaders who will help strengthen marriages and family.

Citizen Link – Provides a biblical link on National and Local news.  Targets judicial tyranny, the homosexual agenda, pornography and gambling among other national and local issues.  Advises how to make Christian voices heard in the public square.

Clubhouse Magazine –  Website for kids that reinforces traditional values and family closeness.

Enfoque a la Familia – The Spanish version of FOF – directed at Spanish speaking churches and families.

Focus Leadership Institute – Exists to provide and train Christian educational community of leaders.

HeartLink –  For Pregnancy Resource Directors for training on the Option Ultrasound Program, provide statistics and info on abortion and contraception.

JellyTelly – Gives churches and parents a way to entertain today’s tech-savvy kids.

I Care About Orphans –  Provides families info on adopting/ways to support orphans.

The Parsonage – Directed at ministers and their families.

Plugged In – Movie and video game reviews

Pure Intimacy – For adults struggling with intimacy, sexuality, addictions and homosexuality

Christian Book – Books adapted to Radio for broadcast to members

Thriving Family – Helps families to further their Christian walk in life

True Tolerance– This is a good one.  Helps respond to pro-gay advocacyby providing fact-based counterpoints to one-sided messages gay groups promote and to balance our the biased information school officials are getting.

My Truth Project – How to live out a Christian Worldview every day.

Family Research Council: Founded by James Dobson in 1981. Their mission is to provide educational materials in defense of marriage and supposed family values, with an emphasis on Divorce and Abortion and a dose of anit-Homosexuality thrown in.  The current leader is Tony Perkins who has appeared and arranged many protests against GLBT and Abortion.  Max Blumenthal reported in 2005 that Perkins, as Woody Jenkins campaign manager, bought a mailing list from David Duke in 1996 after Jenkins defeated Duke in the Louisiana Senate primary, which Perkins vehemently denied saying he did not know of the Duke connection until 1999.  Unfortunately Perkins check to Duke was exposed by the Federal Elections Commission when Jenkins contested the state election against Mary Landrieu.  The FEC fined Jenkins for trying to cover it up.   Gary Bauer(policy advisor to Ronald Reagan), Edgar Prince(Father of Eric Prince of Z or Blackwater) and William Bennett, Education Secretary under Reagan who espoused opening the teaching profession to knowledgeable individuals who have not graduated from “schools of education” and supports parents choice for schools, have all been involved in FRC at one time or another.  Tony Perkins is a graduate of Liberty University and was a signer of the Manhattan Declaration.

Value Voters Summit:  Is sponsored each year in DC by the Family Research Council.  We have all seen what comes out of that summit.  They even offer “scholarships” to youth who are pro-family(not sure how they prove that).  This is also the summit that had available for sale, Obama Waffles.  Here is an allstar cast that spoke at the 2008 summit.

http://www.frcaction.org/get.cfm?i=PG09B02&load=WX08B06

The People: This is not in any way an all-inclusive list.  James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Edgar Prince, Tim Daly and they have nationwide and worldwide penetration.  Many evangelical churches base their beliefs and standards on Focus and the Family and will participate and distribute FOF materials.

The 7 Mountains

New Apostolic Reformation:  The New Apostolic Reformation started from Pentecostal and Charismatic originas and thus belief in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit in a believer, the performance of miracles, prophecy and the revelationof Christ within a believer.  Although the movement regards the Church as the true body of believers, it maintains the need for Church offices and submission to Church leaders.  These leaders are ordained by God, given power and authority by God to lead. As such, they believe in the 5-fold offices of the Church first popularized in Charismatic groups; of which the prophet and apostle has been absent from the Church for the last 2000 years, and are now being restored.  Pretty good job, if you can get it and a job C Peter Wagner and other leaders in this movement have given to themselves.

Transformations Nation Alliance: This is a worldwide effort.  They have made claims that they can go into an area and that area can be transformed from blight/poverty/eco-disaster to a haven for it’s residents.  You can go out to U-Tube and watch videos where these people make these claims and supposedly show you before and after.

Marketplace Leaders: This is run by O S Hillman and is a group that teaches business people to take the Christian faith into the workplace and proselytize.  They also teach people how to dominate in the workplace for Christ and take that business for Christ.

Alliance Defense Fund: A legal defense group that helps attorneys learn how to make changes in the legal field and the laws to effect Christian values in every aspect of our legal system.

Campus Crusade for Christ:  Founded by Bill Bright in 1956 is on campuses nationwide with a staff of 25,000.  They also have Christian Embassy whose Washington DC office is geared toward embassy personnel, president’s staff, congressional staffers and Pentagon workers.  They also have Military Ministeries which has garnered media critical of the level of involvement they have in proselytizing within the military.

Youth with a Mission: Youth With A Mission was conceived by Loren Cunningham who tells how in 1956, while a 20-year-old student in the Assemblies of God College, he was traveling in the Bahamas when he had a vision of waves breaking over the Earth. He says when he looked closer the waves appeared to become young people taking the news of Jesus into all the nations of the world. He envisioned a movement that would send young people out after high school to gain a sense of purpose when going to college, and would welcome Christians of all denominations.  He sure has alot of visions, he also had one to form the 7 Mountains with Bill Bright and the exact same year Bright founded Campus Crusade.

Kids on Fire Ministry: The subject of the film: Jesus Camp, founded and run by Becky Fischer and the subject of a film that showed the military like atmosphere of the camp and the cardboard of George Bush with the children outstretched hands toward him.  Ms. Fischer has said she wants “to see young people as committed to Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam”.  In his book, Republican Gommorah, Max Blumenthal reports she has told ministers to “indoctrinate an army of spiritual suicide bombers to seize control of the country”.

Promise Keepers: Founded by Bill McCartney in 1990, the promise keepers hold rallies where they pledge themselves to the 7 promises of a promise keeper.  It is basically about purity in all forms of relationships..  Ted Haggard was a member of Promise Keepers.  Wonder if he still is after his tour around the “male prostitute” world a few years ago.

Disciples Nations Alliance: This is part of the Samaritan Strategies Africa in Uganda.  Their vision?  A Uganda discipled and transformed to embrace biblical principles.

The People: OS Hillman, C Peter Wagner, Sarah Palin, Pastor Mutha(of Kenya), Loren Cunningham, Bill Bright, Rick Joyner, Becky Fischer, Mary Glacier, Tim “Dutch” Sheets, Charles Colson, Johnny Enlow, Lance Walineu, Rick Warren(again he will deny it), Bill Johnson.  You can google any of these names and find (horror) stories about their involvement and activities.

Miscellaneous:

American Family Association:  Tim Wildmon runs this group.  The promote Christian Family values and have boycotted companies who carry Playboy and Penthouse, however they lobby against the Employee Free Choice Act.  So no Playboy magazines and no rights for employees.  Jesus must be so pleased.  They promote a biblical America and their primary focus is on TV and Media.  Oh and yes, they do lobby but call themselves a 501(c)(3) entity.

American Values– Gary Bauer is the head of this organizzation.  this is what they will do for Americans.  They will ‘”unite Americans around the vision of our founding fathers who proclaimed to the world our “self-evident truths”.  They want the truth in America, that is all.  The truth of conservative principles of course and they will bring these truths to our elected officials so they will vote for what is right and good(in their narrow world anyway).  They want to help “people” to stand against liberal education and cultural forces.  “The Grand Evil”, liberalism.  So, not for all Americans, just conservative Americans.

Liberty Council– Gary Staver founded this legal entity.  Liberty Council describes it practices as a First Amendment practice, focused on religious liberties, church/state issues in public schools and in the public square and freedom of speech.  However the LC also devotes its time to anti-abortion matters and fighting against same sex marriage, civil unions and against adoption by homosexuals.  Liberty Council also provides information, research and expertise to affect legislation and public policy at the local, state and national level.  Liberty Council operates the Liberty Center for Law and Police, which monitors and drafts proposed legislation.  What a scary thought, their goals revolve around influencing policy and providing courts with the legal rationale to develop precedent favorable to their mission.  Their goal is to educate their members and public officials in the role of religion in public life.

The Heritage Foundation: A conservative think tank first led by Paul Weyrich, a conservative Religious Right leader.  Their mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policy based on prinicples of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedoms, traditional American values and a strong national defense.

Family Life Network: Believed to be behind the Ugandan legislation on homosexuality.  David Bahati, a Ugandan politician, has been linked to The Family.

Century Strategies: Founded by Tim Phillips and Ralph Reed Jr.(Christian Coalition) and at one time consultants to Enron.  Reed has now founded Faith and Freedom Coalition(Tea Party involvement) and Tim Phillips is with Americans for Prosperity, also aligned or should I say the “grassroots” of the Tea Party.

Morningstar Ministries: Rick Joyner, Fort Mill SC.  He purchased the land and buildings from Jim and Tammy Bakker formally known as Heritage USA and PTL.  He renamed it to Heritage International Ministries.  He was also involved in the Lakeland Outpouring which featured Todd Bentley, a Canadian minister.  Todd Bentley spices up his preaching by hitting people in the audience, however he claims he always asks for permission.  He says the spirit tells him when to do this.  He has been involved in criminal activity, drug abuse and adultry.  His new ministry is Fresh Fire Ministry with the object of his adultry(he has since married her and is recovering from his addictions under the guiding hand of Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner).  Beni and Bill Johnson of Bethel Ministeries(CA) are also involved in this group.  They have a School of Supernatural Evangelism.

There are so many of these organizations it can make you dizzy.  It does not really matter so much whose umbrella you put them under as they are all after the same thing, a Biblical America, ruled by biblical law.  They have had more than their fair share of scandals, yet they always find an excuse for whoever is involved.  They circle the wagons and pass out the talking points and that is supposed to take care of it all.  It is more like walking through a “shop of horrors” to see what these people “do as I say, not as I do” in their fanatacism to change America into a Godly nation.  Somehow I think God is looking down and just shaking his head, maybe he will let us know in another blog here at the Planet.  But, it would be a grave mistake for the rest of us to ignore these people.  Think about the Texas School Board decision on curiculum this past week.  How do you think those people gained their power, this is not special to Texas, similar activities have taken place across this country.  But if you just take that area of Texas and spread it around the country, surely you can see how these people are operating in the shadows.

Some suggested reading Material”

Max Blumenthal – Republican Gomorrah(I found this to be an easier read than The Family and covers most of these people)

Randall Balmer – Thy Kingdom Come

Chris Hedges – American Fascists The Christian Right and the War on America

ttp://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/groups/faith-and-freedom-coalition 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Written by SueInCa

I am a soon to be 59 Nana to Anthony who is 11. I live in Benicia CA with my husband and Shih Tsu. I worked in Banking and the Financial Industry for 24 years in Fraud, Risk Management, Account Management, Program Management, Project Management and Customer Service. I was a Fraud Investigator for Credit Card and Merchant Business and investigated internal fraud and responded to Bank robberies. I was also management in most of these positions. Now I am content to find a part time job where I am just a worker bee, no more corporate BS for this gal. I also make jewelry. I can spend hours in a bead shop just touching all the fine baubles. Only another beader would understand that one.

84 Responses so far.

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  1. javaz says:

    Another great installment, Sue.

    As everyone is witnessing now, after the passage of HCR, it’s clear that the Religious Right are not Christian.

    Threatening people and their families is certainly not pro-life but like the murderers of abortion doctors, the Religious Right feels justified that they are doing the work of God, and it’s impossible to argue with people who believe God is on their side.

  2. Chernynkaya says:

    Just some more thoughts about the religious right. I am a person of faith, but I can

    • SueInCa says:

      Very well put, in a slightly different way than Erich Fromm, but the same principle. The people joining Al Queda are doing so because it will take them out of their poverty and give them something to stand for and fight. They are weak and are only able to do this with an authoritarian leadership. The same goes for the religious right. It is no mystery why they go after third world nations and the poor and supposed disenfranchised. That lifts these people in much the same way with an authoritarian leader.

      I have no quarrel with any of your statements as I feel the exact same way. I have a spiritual religion of my own, I know where I stand with a higher power. I don’t need these freaks to guide me.

  3. escribacat says:

    I’d like to know which of these organizations are tax exempt. All of them?

  4. Khirad says:

    I know we’ve had conversations on the names before like The Seven Mountains. I am continually intrigued with the facet of direct revelatory experience. It can be found in other traditions, too, but the form it takes in these is not psychological, transcendent, or metaphorically spiritual -- but almost reverse engineered to cohere to Biblical scripture (most often the from apocalyptic books) -- and continually strike me as contrived.

    Also, how often does someone in a bar have a “come to Jesus moment” that wasn’t raised in that environment? If I were to believe Benny Hinn and all those saved from the pagan religions like Hinduism or worse, Islam as seen on CBN or TBN, it would seem to be the norm. It; however, most certainly isn’t. There will always be those stories -- and Yusuf Islam is one for Islam -- but, quite frankly, these are exceptions to the rule. I have no profound point here, just a banal observation…

    • Chernynkaya says:

      OMG this has been driving me nuts trying to make the connection and I just realized what’s been bothering me about Seven Mountains!

      Thomas Merton’s famous and brilliant book was “The Seven Storey Mountain.”

      In case anyone doesn’t know about him-- and why this was making my head hurt: He was an American Catholic writer, a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist and student of comparative religion.

      Merton was a proponent of interfaith understanding. He pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, D.T. Suzuki, the Japanese writer on the Zen tradition, and the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. In short, he was the antithesis of the Seven Mountain creeps.

      Whew! I feel much better. I have to take a look at that book again to see if “Seven” and “Mountain” are connected.

  5. AdLib says:

    Sue, this series is invaluable! Thank you so much! I like to think that I’m pretty well informed in this area but I have learned a great deal, thanks to you!

    Cheers!!!

    • SueInCa says:

      You are welcome. It is just so creepy, the more I read the more I see these people creep up in alot of Mainline Protestant troubles. The Presbyterian, Episcopal and UCC church have had battles with their forces. UCC has pretty much weathered the storms, but the Presbyterian and Episcopal Churches have had fissures because of these right wing idealogues.

      • Khirad says:

        Yeah, I know there’s been trouble in the Presbyterian church.

        With some of these mainline churches, they’re starting to break down politically.

        There’s the liberal church, there’s the conservative one, etc.

        • SueInCa says:

          Khirad
          You and their denominations can thank the Institute for Religion and Democracy for that (IRD). It is called steeplejacking. People simply do not believe these people are hijacking Mainstream Religion.

  6. Kalima says:

    Christian family values indeed. The more I read about these people, the more I begin to despise them. It makes me angry that they bring me to this point, that they manage to elicit this feeling of disgust in me.

    They can believe anything they want to, even if it makes no sense to the rest of us, but judging others and trying to take over government legislation, imposing their beliefs on others, is criminal and goes against the basic commandment of “Love thy neighbour as thyself.”

    Thank you once again Sue for all of your hard work, it’s couldn’t have been an easy task for you, especially emotionally.

    • SueInCa says:

      De nada Kalima. I just want everyone to know their sinister plans. They have been able to keep this under wraps for so long. It is on the fringe of knowledge but most people maybe don’t dare go down that path because their religious beliefs would be shattered.

      My mom belongs to a pretty sedate protestant church but they preach this rapture stuff. If I tried to enlighten her, I think she would be devastated. I ask her little trick questions to get a feel for them and so far they seem quite harmless except for the rapture thingie. They are all going to be in for a major surprise.

      • Kalima says:

        At the site I blogged on before we launched the Planet, I knew someone there from my HP days. Her mother has joined the SaddlebacK Church and could not be reached mentally anymore. She received vile and sick emails from her, demeaning the President almost every day. Some she shared, some she deemed too obnoxious to post. My question was, where does Jesus figure in all of this, I saw no sign of God in their words or actions. For all I know, they might just as well worship the Devil. Jesus certainly doesn’t live in their thoughts, deeds or hearts. He asked people not to take his name in vain. Shame on them all.

  7. Khirad says:

    I past made comparisons to the Hojjatieh and Haghani Sh’i schools around the new messianic movement in Iran.

    After reading this, with all the group names and their organization, visions, mentality and scandals I correct myself:

    They more resemble $

    • choicelady says:

      I work with a woman who is a Scientologist, and she’s the nicest, sweetest person on earth. I know NOTHING about the religion save that they ARE under assault from “Anonymous” who are some truly creepy dudes who’ve started going after mainline churches, too. Rabid anti-religious/homophobic rants from Anonymous -- so why do they wear “Guy Fawkes” masks, when Guy was a rabid Catholic?

      I know Scientology is supposed to be weirdly scary, but except for the rant of that actor whose name I forget, I’ve never had any negative experiences with them, and they seem totally apolitical which, dealing with the extremist right, is just dandy with me. Maybe my experiences are skewed, but as long as people leave ME alone, I tend not to much care what they think. I get kinda peeved at people who threaten my life, so people who keep their religion to themselves seem perfectly OK by comparison.

      I recall hearing about a cult led by (I’m going to get this wrong) Sister Claire or something who got rich yuppies to give all their worldly goods to her, build tunnels to live in, and prepare to be assaulted by huge mechanical robots from outer space. Anyone whose religion more or less parallels the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” script about the 6-foot metal-munching moon mice are totally weird. Another example of “you can’t fix stupid.” But I don’t have to belong. Do I? If not, then unless I’m related to a cult member, I’m not sure why I need to care.

      • Khirad says:

        Great resource: http://www.xenu.net/

        As AdLib showed, it’s not just about adorably kooky beliefs and celebrities. A lot of people’s lives are ruined. L. Ron would have thought Bernie Madoff a saint.

      • AdLib says:

        I know a great deal about Scientology and the reality of that cult is very distasteful.

        Many who have dared to leave that cult have had their lives threatened and/or destroyed and/or bankrupted by Scientology.

        There are good people in most any group, I know Scientologists too who are very nice people. They are not their religion, I don’t feel negatively towards them though I do towards Scientology.

        There have been many exposes about how mercenary Scientology is, here’s a recent expose by the St. Petersberg Times (there are a series of article at the site: http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/#story_anchor):

        There is a lot of outrage in Australia right now over recent revelations that they allegedly (as described in these completely separate stories)have pressured women members to get abortions or be thrown out of Scientology:

        http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2010/s2837513.htm

        • Khirad says:

          Yup AdLib, definitely preaching to the choir on this. :-)

          As kooky as the beliefs are, it is really the Church, er, Criminal Organization I have a problem with.

          In Free Zone, they can believe whatever they want.

          And, I don’t believe they’re all bad people in the church, of course not.

          Truth is, I don’t want it to come off as pity, but I do feel sorry for them.

          That Aussie thing sounds like it’s following this:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/us/07scientology.html

          All should treat it like Germany tried. Not as a religion but as a crime syndicate.

          I didn’t mean to digress.

          I just was reading about all those RR fronts (like addiction, etc), and the Orwellian names for them, and they reminded me of Scientology minus the rampant anti-psychiatry and thetans.

        • choicelady says:

          Yuck! Why do some religions have such a bent for rules that do so much harm to their own members? Never CAN figure that out. Apparently the human desire for absolutes and thus the ability to control others is pretty deep. Its function though, seems weird. If you’re trying to attract people, why would you make it so unpalatable?

    • SueInCa says:

      Jebus, Khirad, that looks like what they might envision as their rapture. Of course they will be looking down at us from heaven while we burn and try to get rid of the horrid boils all over us.

  8. KQuark says:

    Great post Sue.

    We were just driving behind a pickem’ up truck today that had all the right wing stickers like the Christian Identity cross that is similar to the Celtic cross, “my old lady can shot, dress and cook, how ’bout yours?” with a gun and cross hairs, the no symbol over USSA and a hammer and sickle, a rebel flag, “take my guns over my dead body” with Charlton Heston, a McCain Palin sticker and a Ron Paul sticker.

    At least we saw two cars with new looking Obama stickers which is rare in this part of GA. “Change -- for tomorrow begins today” and the “HOPE” sticker.

    • choicelady says:

      Some years back while I was beginning my work tracking hate crime extremists, I followed a similar truck with something in the gun rack. It was in upstate NY where you don’t plan to see the stars-and-bars, and it was also plastered with the same, “cold dead hand” gun stickers and much more. Since it seemed they were armed, I tried to keep my distance, figuring they would not suffer a tailgating woman with liberal bumper stickers well. But traffic more or less made me narrow the gap, like it or not. I finally got close enough to see that in the gun rack were -- two weed whackers. So much for my stereotypes.

    • Khirad says:

      Seriously, I would’ve taken a picture of that, if I weren’t sure the owner was surely paranoid and armed.

      Best I can do is yesterday, with a “guns save lives” and McCain/Palin sticker.

      Somehow I wasn’t reassured…

    • SueInCa says:

      Geez KQ, I cannot imagine living in a state like that. KInda makes you want to rear end them, at least they would need to get new bumper stickers.

      • KQuark says:

        It’s not easy. I grew up in NE NJ which is very liberal so I’ve been going through culture shock for over 18 years though. Down deep I think people are the same in the North or the South but the ignorance people perpetuate down here is just disgusting.

        My wife was waiting for takeout yesterday at a local place because she was bring diner to a friend. She told her friend over the phone that Stupak was voting for the bill and this redneck sitting at the bar next to her blurted out “they’re gonna take away our guns next”. My wife said “you are so rude, nobody is going to take your guns away”.

        • bitohistory says:

          KQ, I grew up in N.W. Indiana (greater Chicago now)
          And it was all Union and Dem. I went through the same thing when I moved to Central FL. some of the Local Union members were complete racists (KKK) and the the Libs in the county DNC were the majority. I didn’t think they were even liberal, they were just less conservative. 😉 It was quite a shock!
          And Sue, I love me some grits! 😆

          • SueInCa says:

            Bito so do I, but I gotta say, mine are twice as good as any I ate down south.

            • choicelady says:

              Sorry all -- I hate grits. Never could stand them, even when I lived in Middle Tennessee. When I moved from there to LA, I drove all the way through to El Reno, OK and thought I’d died and gone to heaven when the breakfast place served hash browns instead of grits.

              Later I think I discovered the heart of the heart of the country is St. Louis where most places serve both. Cultural diversity.

            • SueInCa says:

              My mom used to make hush puppies and sometimes she made them flat like pancakes. She also made us potato pancakes

            • choicelady says:

              I know, Sue -- but I just don’t like Cream of Wheat either. Now fried corn meal mush -- something else all together! Yum! And hush puppies, and corn pone. Now you’re talking!

            • SueInCa says:

              Oh, my grits are so good, like cream of wheat with pepper and a little “can’t believe its not butter” on them. In fact I think I will make some in the morning. Only Alber’s Grits will do though, none of that instant stuff. Remember My Cousin Vinny? “So, Mr. Tipton, how could it take you 5 minutes to cook your grits when it takes the entire grit eating world 20 minutes?”

          • KQuark says:

            Yep sounds like the old Dixicrats. We still had a few down in GA until Republicans took over completely.

            I lived in Jacksonville, FL for eight years or as we liked to call it South Georgia. I’m sure it was more conservative than Central FL.

            FL just has the weirdest vibe of any place I’ve every lived. Like you said kind of a mix of some liberal attitudes and conservative status quo. We lived near the beach at first and I can’t tell you how many times couples propositioned us. I mean it’s OK if you’re into that we were just surprised in such a conservative area. We use to call it the FL freak show.

        • SueInCa says:

          My dad is from NC and I have spent some time there and in SC(down by Charleston) and I thought for the most part, people were pretty congenial, but I ran into one of those rascists at a dinner party at my uncles. I spoke up then and would do it again today. I cannot even repeat what he was doing, but it was a joke that was supposed to make everyone laugh. I was not laughing. Oh and they cannot make grits as well as I can LOL

          • choicelady says:

            Sue -- I spent some time working in Charlston (just a week or so) and was mind blown at the openness most people have about honoring the slave past. Instead of sweeping it and later Black history under the rug, it’s discussed and the contributions of master craftspeople to the beauty of that city is extolled. I learned SO much there including the fact that slaves could work at night for others and with the cash buy their freedom. I’d never known that. Northwest is Blackville, SC, the second town of free Black people (the first was New Philadelphia, IL just at the start of the IL section of the underground railroad.) It’s been free and, more remarkable, unmolested since 1833. Only reason I know is I drove through it one Sunday morning and saw the hand-lettered sign at the city limits. Because it was Sunday there was not a soul on the streets to ask, but I’d love to know more. What a grand and important history!

            So despite the incredible bizareness of their elected federal “leaders” I also found most South Carolina people pretty open and honorable, Black or white, rich or poor. I never saw the racism that apparently lurks right under the surface. How very bipolar they must be!

            • SueInCa says:

              They even have a craft fair down on Meeting Street they call the “Slave Market” Those historic homes, I had no idea at some of the history there.

  9. Chernynkaya says:

    Sue, I am sure you know of this site, but it has fabulous resources:

    http://www.au.org/resources/religious-right-research/

  10. Chernynkaya says:

    Look at the political leaders the RR embraced:

    (From Andrew Sullivan) Now take a look at the party of

    • KQuark says:

      Great compilation Cher. The fact is these candidate’s lives are not evil to anyone but the religious right. The expectations of the religious right for some type of character purity are just ridiculous. We all know Reagan would not pass the religious right’s standards today.

      It’s also ironic that people who cherish a man who preached ultimate forgiveness, seldomly forgive others.

    • SueInCa says:

      Cher, my nail lady when I lived in Reno told me she was voting for Guiliani. When I asked her what it was that made her choose him, she said look how he handled 9/11. I just looked at her and said What? You mean how the Port Authority, FDNY and PD handled 9/11? Seriously she was going to vote for him because he knew how to give a good speech while all the others were putting their lives on the line to actually save people. She knew nothing about his platform in fact she asked me what that was? No-information voters is what they all deal in.

      All the scandals on the right, including the RR is incredible. In fact that is why they stopped the anit-divorce stance because too many of their own were involved in scandals and they needed to make allowances for that.

      After seeing President Obama in action, I cannot comprehend letting another of those fools get into the White House and embarrass this nation further. Maybe that is the real problem here, a Black man had to bring civility, leadership and intellect back to the White House. I cannot imagine that sits well with any bigot.

      • KQuark says:

        But I’ve got to admit one of the best lines during the primaries was when Joe Biden said Guiliani’s whole campaign speeches could be summed up “Nown Verb 911”. Picking Joe Biden was still one of the best moves President Obama ever made.

      • KQuark says:

        In reality Guiliani was one of the villians of 911, besides his corrupt buddy Bernie Kerik, most police and firefighters rightfully did not want to put the emergency response center next to the twin towers because duh the twin towers were already a target of a terrorist attack. But Guiliani insisted and his buddy got kick backs for the construction of the center that was destroyed on 911.

        • choicelady says:

          The part that makes me gasp in pain, even now, is that Giuliani ALSO fobbed off the Motorola radios on emergency responders. Motorola execs donated to his mayoral campaign, and he gave them a no-bid contract on the radios -- that could not pick up reception in the Twin Towers.

          On 9/11 police and firefighrers died in large part because they could not hear the directions to get out.

          That makes me gag every time I think about it. During the presidential race, all over America, firefighters greeted Giuliani with signs about that. They HATE him. The media never covered much of it or their demonstrations. Disgusting. He’s a murderer, and no one thinks it’s “nice” to call him out on it.

        • SueInCa says:

          I know, good old kickback repugs. They make me want to puke…..

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Sue, that is the problem! How can people like that vote? That is such a huge issue with the electorate! God-- I just go nuts when I hear about those voters.

      • nellie says:

        Sue — the first Black president and the first woman Speaker made this happen!

        Must be driving the good ol’ boy network to distraction.

        • SueInCa says:

          Nellie
          I know, two whammies for the price of one. I know they are pissed that a woman is calling the shots. Dammit, she belongs home where she can get the vittles on the table for her loving husband who beats her and spits tobacco in the wastebasket.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          They are literally frothing at the mouth. They have to constantly wipe the spittle from their chins. Apoplectic!

          • SueInCa says:

            Ron Christie was just on Ed and you should have seen him sputtering, like a childish little boy

            • Chernynkaya says:

              One of the biggest reasons I can’t usually stand Ed is because of his horrible and recurrent guests, like Christie.

            • choicelady says:

              Cher -- can’t reply so doing it here, but is Nacho Tancredo a new dish from Jalisco or Gudalajara? If not, it should be! Hah!

            • Chernynkaya says:

              KQ-- Nacho Tancredo! ROFLMAO!!!!

            • Khirad says:

              I haven’t seen Lars Larson on for a while on Ed.

              I was shocked he had national attention.

              He had a reputation and following in Portland, and we once shared the same hometown. I could not be more ashamed of that fact.

              The conservative he has from Seattle (?) I don’t mind so much.

              And, does Rachel really shut them out? She makes it sound like she invites them on… I don’t think she’s really doing a panel show -- and honestly I don’t need a counterpart to the “Great American Panel” with token conservatives.

              MSNBC already has enough. It’s funny if you watch both MSNBC and FOX (though this is limited) -- the Dems and GOP both pick people in tone and style to play to the respective audiences.

            • KQuark says:

              I think we are in pretty much agreement then on Schultz.

              I do mind about KO because it just seems a little cowardly to take shots at the right and never engage them directly. Even Billo talks to people on the left.

              Here’s a good one of nacho tancredo.

              “>

            • Chernynkaya says:

              KQ- I don’t mind that Ed has R-wingers, but as you say, he has the same ones on ad nauseum--and Tancredo is not even a Congressman, yet he’s on often.

              I also don’t mind that KO is a Reptilian-free zone. And I love when Maddow has them on because she really interviews them. Unfortunately, most are afraid to come on her show.

            • KQuark says:

              I agree with the reoccurring part but I do appreciate that he does not shut out conservatives like KO absolutely does and Rachel does most of the time. Tancredo is the worst idiot he has on his show. I just wish Schultz would challenge their bullshit more.

            • bitohistory says:

              Was he talking about HC? He does work for the insurance corporations. He is a shill and does not belong on talking about HCR.

            • KQuark says:

              I clicked away when I saw him come on.

            • KQuark says:

              My wife calls him a boss eyed mother, well you know, but she’s African American so she can be a little tough on AA conservatives. It’s a black betrayal thing.

            • SueInCa says:

              My husband calls him cross eyed freak. It was pitiful, he was such a whiny baby about the conversation.

  11. kesmarn says:

    Sue, this series is so valuable. Thank you again; I can only imagine the number of hours you’ve put into researching and writing this.

    You’re so right on the issue of the complexity of these webs of influence in the RR. Just one example: as I know you’re aware, Erik Prince, of Blackwater (Xe), is the son of Edgar Prince (whom you mentioned) and his sister is Betsy de Vos, former chair of the Michigan Republican Party. She is married to Dick De Vos (who got rich from co-founding the Amway empire) who was a Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate. What a tangle!

    All the ties between the RR and the Republican Party are so clear. And yet the RR will swear up and down that they are “independent” and/or “not political.” Riiiiiight.

    Dubya’s connection with Blackwater and all the billions he tossed in their direction were no accident!

    Scary stuff.

    • KQuark says:

      Valuable is the right way to put it. I know I’ll reference it often like Cher’s series on hate.

    • SueInCa says:

      Oh yeah I was aware of the Price connection but not the sister. Do you know Eric Prince wants to now be a high school teacher? This is how this poison spreads in our society. They are sneaky and are told not to let it be known they are evangelicals/religious right so they can get into these agencies and do their damage.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Great reporting Sue! Thanks! The Blackwater contracts-- and they are getting more of them--are one of the most important mopping up jobs I want this President to undertake. In terms of priorities, I can’t really make the argument that they are among the top 5, but emotionally, they are right up there.

        • SueInCa says:

          I hear you Cher. It is so blatant IMHO that the Shrub and his cohorts allowed this to happen. Shows you what a “radical religious agenda” can do to government. I think there has to be a winding down of their participation because if we look at it too closely we would not have had the military force to spread around in the mid-east without this contracting. That is another aspect of these military campaigns I just cannot abide by. I say re-institute the draft with no exceptions and the Right will leave their war-mongering behind once and for all.
          When their kids have to serve, it will be a different story. The kids at the Value Voters Summit interviewed had all kinds of excuses why they could not serve.

          • choicelady says:

            BAck in the 60s I knew a bunch of well paid aeronautical engineers who were exempt from service. They were also very pro war. When I challenged them on the hypocrisy, one said he was too good to be cannon fodder. But man they could and did bash conscientious objectors!

            I have regard for the men who served. I have regard for the men who conscientiously objected and did not serve. I have regard for those who did not serve by whatever means but protested the war. But I have NO regard for the chicken hawks who did not go but enthusiastically supported the war and hated the COs and insisted to OTHER men that they HAD to serve because it was their patriotic duty. When Cheney said he avoided the draft because he had ‘other priorities’ where the HELL was the protest from veterans? How could one single Swiftboater tolerate that and try to shoot down Kerry?

            Americans are weird.

  12. choicelady says:

    Wow! SueinCA -- this is mind boggling! I’d add in Institute for Religion and Democracy that serves to infiltrate local progressive or even moderately liberal congregations and “Steeplejack” them -- cause divisiveness so they either kick out progressives or dissolve. They have made a fearsome attack on the National Council of Churches and, by extension, its allies in state councils. Their goal is to eradicate churches and/or progressive pastors, and they have been horrifically successful. Often the issues are opaque -- they attack pro-GLBT people but use other issues including racism charges (they have a cadre of Black conservatives doing this), accusations of impropriety on many fronts, or whispers about mismanagement, etc.

    Your research on this is exhaustive and extensive, and even though I know a lot of this, I’m finding your series fascinating and scary! You really have brought it all together beautifully! Somehow, seeing it all in one place makes clear how embattled our work to BE progressive is!

    Thank you so much! I look forward to your next installment even though I do NOT look forward to THEM!

    • SueInCa says:

      Thanks Choice Lady. I believe in this cause and will do all in my power to educate people. This is a serious threat to our democracy. I am aware of your point on the attacks on the National Council of Churches. In the book I read by Randall Balmer and Jim Willis they spoke to this at length. It is good we have people like you and if I can ever do something to further your cause, all you have to do is ask.

      • choicelady says:

        Thank you! We’ve been under assault from time to time. We know we had confidential email discussions hacked, by whom is unclear, but some woman called later that day and KNEW what we’d been discussing and tried to get me to give her a list of our Board members!!! She turned out NOT to be whom she said she was (easy enough to check -- how stupid). From that point on I got several -uh -- “inquiries” about our support for Muslim Americans from the FBI. That stopped when I did the local FBI Citizens Academy and they realized I was harmless and quite pleasant.

        We support the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s work against the RR, A few months ago I had an interview about that support in the Colorado Springs (location of the Air Force Academy that the RR Christian Embassy has dominated) newspaper. Funny -- the next morning we found the lock on the BATHROOM door sheered off. They had to have come over the roof to do it. Just stupid and childish. But a warning nonetheless. Turns out the West Coast head of the Christian Embassy lives in Rio Vista down about 30 miles south, so…

        I will keep y’all posted on any other monkey business we encounter.

        I do promise not to bore anyone with the hate mail. For some reason, people who write diatribes against us for our pro-GLBTQ equality and other work seem to need to write on entire reams of paper with almost no punctuation or margins. Needless to say, I rarely get through them. Tooooo boring!

        I long for a well-done hate letter. You know, letters clipped out of one of their hate-spewing magazines, short, pithy, clear. It’s too much to hope for good grammar though.

        My wants are few but rarely realized.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          That reminds me, C’Lady:

          I read some book reviews on a sociology site that were interesting. They are examples of the political sociology of the right: Michael Lindsay

          • choicelady says:

            Super resources, Sue! I hope, even though Obama is in office, that the research and investigation into the RW dominance of too many of our institutions does not end. They are a true threat to democracy and liberty.

            I ask you -- do we want to ignore the Texas Textbook Chainsaw Massacre? These people want to elevate Stonewall Jackson as the highest example of perfection, waaaay above our founders. Why? He obeyed orders and brought Jesus to his slaves. Period.

            The idea of venerating him makes me physically ill!

            We must never again dismiss them lightly. They are dangerous beyond belief. Your work in exposing them and giving us reading sources is outstanding. This series is a keeper, and I thank you SO much for doing it!

            • SueInCa says:

              Thank you CL. You know how much I respect you and all of our friends here and I will keep at it, I cannot give up. When I have a suspicion, I just start clicking on the links and sure enough it is pretty easy to uncover them. It is amazing how much I question these days.


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