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SueInCa On March - 27 - 2010
There is such a wealth of information on the Family that it is almost impossible to condense it all down to a single article. There are so many twists and turns that I don’t believe anyone will ever know the full measure of whatever good or harm they have perputrated around the for mainstream Americans. I will do my best to give you some history and information about their relationships in this post. It is, however, something I believe will be exposed more and more as Americans become more aware of the happenings around them. We are coming out of a long period of “misinformation” by our own government, however most Americans have a desire to seek knowledge and truth and that is a good thing.
Fellowship Foundation, AKA The Family, also known as the prayer breakfast groups, is an international organization founded in 1935 by Dr. Abraham Vereide in Seattle, Washington . He incorporated in Chicago, Illinois as Fellowship Foundation Inc. acquired the names International Christian Leadership, ICL, Fellowship House and International Foundation as venues of global outreach ministry expanded. Participants 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 US. The names of identified members is like a who’s who of the beltway.
The claim by The Family or Doug Coe, their current leader, is that this group is in operation to provide a fellowship forum for decision makers to share in Bible Studies, prayer meetings, worship experiences and to experience spiritual affirmation and support. It should be noted here that Dick Foth a well known evangelical in the Beltway may be named as the new leader when Coe retires completely. Dick Foth has an interesting background all on his own. Jeff Sharlet has documented their activities and intentions in his book, The Family. Max Blumenthal also covers the Family in his book, Republican Gomorrah.
The group is most widely known for facilitating supportive prayer groups throughout the United States and around the world, including the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, later known as the National Prayer Breakfast. Every sitting United States president since 1953 has participated in the national breakfast. However, they have, most recently been identified for carrying out a lot more than Prayer Breakfasts. The group treasures confidentiality above everything else and it urges members to avoid gossip.
Prominent evangelical Christians, have described it as one of the most politically well-connected ministries in the world. Charles “Chuck” Colson of Watergate fame described the group as a “veritable underground of Christ’s men all through the US government.” The Family also has relationships with numerous non-US government leaders. It has been reported that it “has relationships with pretty much every world leader— good and bad.” David Kuo, former special assistant to George W Bush’s Office of Faith Based Iniatives has said “The Fellowship’s reach into governments around the world is almost impossible to overstate or even grasp.”
Fellowship Foundation traces its roots to Dr.Abraham Vereide, a Methodist clergyman and social innovator, and a month of prayer meetings he convened in 1934 in San Francisco and Seattle. Vereide himself was a Norwegian immigrant who, in 1916, founded Goodwill Industries in Seattle to encourage and lift up the city’s unemployed and distraught Scandinavian immigrant population. His Goodwill Industries soon occupied a whole city block, where they repaired & processed discarded clothing and furniture and converted “waste to wages”, inspired a “dedicated head, heart, and hand” and developed citizens of God’s kingdom on Heaven and earth. His work spread down the West coast and eventually to Boston.

The Family and others on the religious right believe in Rousas John Rushdoony’s Christian Reconstructionism and praise his works, for reasons which will become obvious. He famously maintained that Calvinistic Christianity provided the intellectual roots for the American Revolution and had always had an influentual impact in American History. The Revolution, according to Rushdoony was a “conservative counterrevolution” to preserve American liberties from British usurpation and it owed nothing to the Enlightenment. He also argued that the US Constitution was a secular document in appearance only, it did not need to establish Christianity as an official religion since the states were already Christian establishments. Therefore, the separation of church and state was not a legal amendment and should be abolished. Is the Texas school board decision coming to mind right about now? Rushdoony wrote the 1894 page opus, The Institutes of Biblical Law, which was a roadmap to establish religious law in the United States. Rushdoony is also the founder of the home school movement.
A Timeline of Their History

1935 – Vereide held the first breakfast meeting in San Francisco with Major JF Douglas
1942 – 60 breakfast groups in major cities around the country, that same year Vereide started holding the same for both houses of congress, he also started newsletters to facilitate these meetings
1947 – a conference in Washington led to the formation of the International Council for Christian Leadership (ICCL), an umbrella group for the national fellowship groups in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Hungary, Egypt, and China. Fellowship House was established in a building on Massachusetts Ave in DC.
1953 – President Eisenhower attended the first Senate Prayer Breakfast Group. It was renamed the Presidential Prayer Breakfast setting the stage for other world leaders to be invited. Core members at that time were Senators Frank Carlson, Karl Mundt, Everett Dirkson and Strom Thurmond.
1957 – ICCL had established 125 groups in 100 cities, with 16 groups in Washington, D.C.. Around the world, it had set up another 125 groups in Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Ethiopia, India, South Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Guatemala, Cuba, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Bermuda. During this time, future Fellowship Leader, Douglas Coe joined Vereide as assistant executive director of ICL in Washington, D.C. Richard Halverson became executive director. They now had global outreach to every corner of the world.
They are all about secrecy as you can tell in some of the following quotes:
In 1985, President Ronald Reagan said about the Fellowship, “I wish I could say more about it, but it’s working precisely because it is private.”
Former Republican Senator William Armstrong said the group has “made a fetish of being invisible.”
At the 1990 National Prayer Breakfast, President George H.W. Bush praised Doug Coe for what he described as “quiet diplomacy, I wouldn’t say secret diplomacy.”
In 2009, Reverend Chris Halverson, a son of the now deceased former executive associate director Dr. Richard C. Halverson, speaking about the culture of pastoral confidentiality and it’s necessity to the ministry: “If you talked about it, you would destroy that fellowship.”
Author Jeff Sharlet describes the decision for The Family to shift to global operations as:
“Thereafter, the Family would avoid at all costs any appearance of an organization… Business would be conducted on the letterhead of public men, who would testify that Family initiatives were their own. Finances would be more ‘man-to-man,’ which is to say, off the books.”
Senate Prayer Group member, Senator Sam Brownback has described the group members’ method of operation: “Typically, one person grows desirous of pursuing an action”—-a piece of legislation, a diplomatic strategy—-“and the others pull in behind.” Indeed, Brownback has often joined with fellow Family members in pursuing legislation. For example, in 1999 he joined together with fellow Family members, Senators Strom Thurmond and Don Nickles to demand a criminal investigation of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and in 2005 Brownback joined with Family member Sen. Tom Coburn to promote the Houses of Worship Act.
Jeff Sharlet has described, The Family leader Doug Coe as preaching a leadership model, and a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, comparable to the blind devotion that Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Pol Pot demanded from their followers. In one videotaped 1989 lecture series, Coe said:
“Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were three men. Think of the immense power these three men had…But they bound themselves together in an agreement…Two years before they moved into Poland, these three men had…systematically a plan drawn out…to annihilate the entire Polish population and destroy by numbers every single house…every single building in Warsaw and then to start on the rest of Poland.” Coe adds that it worked; they killed six and a half million “Polish people.” Though he calls Nazis “these enemies of ours,” he compares their commitment to Jesus’ demands: “Jesus said, ‘You have to put me before other people. And you have to put me before yourself.’ Hitler, that was the demand to be in the Nazi party. You have to put the Nazi party and its objectives ahead of your own life and ahead of other people.”
I do have to ask here, Polish people? Does Coe really believe the Holocaust only involved Polish People? Did Coe read the same history books that the rest of us read? It would seem he did not if he can make a statement like that.
Later in the video, Coe also contrasts Jesus’ teachings with the Red Guard during the Chinese Cultural Revolution:
“I’ve seen pictures of young men in the Red Guard of China…they would bring in this young man’s mother and father, lay her on the table with a basket on the end, he would take an axe and cut her head off….They have to put the purposes of the Red Guard ahead of the mother-father-brother-sister — their own life! That was a covenant. A pledge. That was what Jesus said.”
Members try to explain this away as teaching metaphors, however it seems like the Religious Right and this group have a very odd fascination with Fascism. Much of the Family work in Europe after WWII was guided by ex-Nazi personnel.
The Family does not conduct public fundraising, I would assume with the contacts they have generated all over the world, fundraising would be the least of their efforts. They have supporters from all walks of life, Congress, World Leaders, Huge Corporations, Evangelical billionaires like Howard Ahmanson, Phillip Anschutz(owner of AEG, The LA Lakers, Walden Media, Shareholder(major) The Weekly Standard, Paul Temple, former executive of Exxon, The Kingdom Fund (Kingdom Oil Christian Foundation t/a Twin Cities Christian Foundation). Reading about Howard Ahmanson and Phillip Anschutz is a monumental project on its own. They are very wealthy men who have devoted themselves and their billions to religious right causes. Phillip Anshutz is a recluse and has not given an interview since 1974. Ahmanson does not talk publicly much either, however his wife was a religious reporter for the Orange County Register. In March 2009, he left the Republican party and is now registered as a Democrat. Not sure how that bodes for the party. I have included a link below regarding his switch to the Dems. I, for one, am not sure the Democrats in California or the nation should be too thrilled with this change of heart.
Doug Coe has said that The Family through the National Prayer Breakfast(NPB) does not help foreign dignitaries gain access to U.S. officials. “We never make any commitment, ever, to arrange special meetings with the president, vice president or secretary of State,” Coe said. “We would never do it.”
If that is the case, why would Sen Bill Nelson(D-FL) complain at a 2001 Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearings for State Department officials, that the State Department had blocked then-President Bush from meeting with four foreign heads of state (Rwanda, Macedonia, Congo and Slovakia) at the NPB that year? And why should heads of state or any other officials be able to wander in and compel the President to meet with him because they are at the same function? Meetings with the President are always vetted, no foreign leader should be talking with the President without having been vetted. And what power would a single person have that could arrange such a meeting?
The Family’s Role in International Conflicts and Diplomacy

Jeff Sharlet has criticized the Fellowship’s influence on US foreign policy. He argues that Doug Coe and the Family’s “networking” (or formation of prayer cells) between foreign dictators and US politicians, defense contractors, and industry leaders has facilitated military aid for repressive foreign regimes. Sharlet did intensive research in the Family’s archives, kept at the Billy Graham Center, before the Family archives were closed to the public. Sharlet covers much more than I do here on their International affairs but for space reasons, I will cover a few that peaked my curiosity and gave me pause as to their “real agenda” in their dealings with General Suharto of Indonesia in the 1970s, and with Siad Barre of Somalia in the 1980s. Also, in the Family’s archives, there are at least two nearly full boxes of documents describing the Family’s relationship with Brazil’s long dictatorship of the Generals. Coe claims he never invites these people, they come to him. I am sure out of a sense that he will be friendly. Coe claims he does not turn his back on anyone, after “the Bible was full of mass murderers”
The LA Times examined the Fellowship’s archives (before they were sealed) as well as documents obtained from several presidential libraries and found that the Family has had extraordinary access and significant influence over U.S. foreign affairs for the last 50 years.
The Fellowship has funded the travel expenses of members of Congress to various hot spots throughout the globe, including Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Al.) to Darfur, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) to Lebanon, Rep. Aderholt to The Balkans, and Reps John Carter (R-Tex.) and Joseph Pitts (R.-Pa.) to Belarus.
In 2002, Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Tony P. Hall (D-Ohio) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan on a fact-finding congressional trip, meeting with the leaders of both Muslim countries.
According to Pitts, “The first thing we did when we met with President Karzai and President Musharraf was to say, ‘We’re here officially representing the Congress; we’ll report back to the speaker, our leaders, our committees, our government. But we’re here also because we’re best friends…. We’re members of the same prayer group'”. In addition, Doug Coe has been dispatched to foreign governments with the blessing of congressional representatives and has helped arrange meetings overseas for U.S. officials and members of Congress.
The Family has brought controversial international figures to Washington to meet with US officials. Among them are former Salvadoran Gen. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, who in 2002 was found liable by a civil jury in Florida for the torture of thousands of civilians in the 1980s. He was invited to the 1984 prayer breakfast, along with Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, then head of the Honduran armed forces who was linked to a death squad. Siad Barre, the dictator over Somalia was a member of the Family. As of 1991 when he fled to Nigeria, his regime had one of the worst human rights records in Africa, not to mention the 100’s of thousands who fled to Ethiopia to escape the dictator rule and are said to have compounded the famine there. Jeff Sharlet had this to say about Coe and the Family’s relationship with Somalia:
“He is not looking to democracy, but this model of absolute strength and that leads the Family into relationships with men like Museveni in Uganda. Before him, their key man for Africa was a guy named Siad Barre of Somalia, for who Chuck Grassley became a kind of defacto lobbyist as the United States pumped up his military, which he then used to absolutely destroy his country to such an effect that Somalia has never recovered and today is a haven for al-Queda, for terrorism, for piracy. It is a lawless nation. The Family says that is part of God’s plan”
Jeff Sharlet has also said that Sam Brownback leads a secret cell of leading members of Congress to influence US Foreign policy. He reports the group has stamped much of that policy through a Value Actions Team(VAT). One victory for this group was Sam Brownback’s “Northern Korea Human Rights Act”, which establishes a confrontational stance toward North Korea and shifts the funds for humanitarian aid from the UN to Christian organizations.
The Family, through Representative Joe Pitts (R.-Pa.), redirected millions in US aid to Uganda from sex education programs to abstinence programs, sparking an evangelical revival, which included burning of condom. Following the American intervention, the Ugandan HIV incidence rate, once dropping, jumped from 70,000 in 2003 to 130,000 in 2005. So, unique way to spark an AIDs epidemic, Mr. Coe. It should also be noted that Pope Benedict XVI did not help matters when he proclaimed to Africans on his first visit there that condoms could make the AIDs crisis worse. What a unique way of ministering to the people.
In a November 2009 NPR interview(provided below), Jeff Sharlet alleged that Ugandan Fellowship associates David Bahati and Nsaba Buturo were behind the recent proposed bill in Uganda that called for the death penalty for gays. Sharlet reveals that David Bahati, the Uganda legislator backing the bill, reportedly first floated the idea of executing gays during The Family’s Uganda National Prayer Breakfast in 2008. Jeff Sharlet says Mr. Bahati as a “rising star” in the Family who has attended the National Prayer Breakfast in the United States and, until the news over the gay execution law broke, was scheduled to attend this year’s U.S. National Prayer Breakfast was cancelled.
Family member Bob Hunter gave an interview to NPR in December in which he acknowledged Bahati’s connection but argued that no American associates support the bill. Rick Warren would probably say the same thing, but it is curious with all the attention paid to Uganda by the religious right that this bill has now come up for legislation. What do you suppose these same people would do if Uganda had come to our country and tried to impose their religious beliefs on people here? Somehow I believe you would have heard an uproar worse than we have seen this past week over HealthCare Reform.
There are so many details and stories and people who have been involved in the Family that it would be impossible to cover it all here. I would encourage you to read some of the books I referenced in this series. While Republican Gomorrah by Max Blumenthal was probably the best and easiest read, it covered the Family, GOP and the Religious Right, Jeff Sharlett’s book will provide an more in-depth look at the Family and their “friends”.
Last in this series will be The Consequences of the religious right’s influence on our society and what we can do to counter that influence.
Jeff Sharlett’s 2009 interview with NPR
Howard Ahmanson’s announcement to leave the GOP and become a Democrat
Categories: News & Politics

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.

66 Responses so far.

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  1. Emerald1943 says:

    I receive a number of emails every day from various liberal/progressive sites, such as Democracy for America, Change.org, and several others. This one struck me today. We’ve been hearing so much negativity about the President and a lack of enthusiasm for his campaign in 2012. This, however, is another point of view…I hope it is the beginning of a shift in thinking out there.


    Bulletin from the cause: Repeal and Replace Republicans
    Go to Cause
    Posted By: Julie Kresnicka Paulsen
    To: Members in Repeal and Replace Republicans
    (no subject)

    An OpEd by Mark Dorlester, August 11, 2011

    Just opinion:

    We, the nation and we, Obama supporters are in one hell of a pickle. I don’t need to recap the headlines; you know the top national problems, and much of the news today was on the idea that the national self-deception of the past 10 if not 30 years has finally been penetrated: our problems are real, serious, and they will not simply go away with the next business cycle.

    Further, we Obama supporters all have areas of great disappointment with the President -- in terms of our expectations 3 years ago vs. the reality so far.

    But we have a critical choice: we can accept that whoever gets the Republican nod will be somewhere between “not at all to our liking” and “lethal to our democracy” and therefore we can rally to support Obama, or we can let our national problems and political anger fester and watch the country go off the proverbial cliff. The worst of all worlds would be to work like hell with no focus and no attention to Obama’s re-election needs, so that our effort is largely wasted.

    You should know by now that I’m not a Kool-Aid drinker. I carry no one’s water. I have strong independent opinions. Nonetheless, I here declare that this situation is one of very, very few in my life where I am, however reluctantly, willing to sublimate my own drives -- in most areas -- to those necessary to get Obama re-elected. We are entering a “political 9/11” situation until the next election. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that if we lose to the political right, there will be no hope left (pardon the entendre). I’ve been telling friends and family for 10 years now that our democracy is gone. If we lose this one, it will never come back. Wisconsin was not an uplifting harbinger.

    The next few weeks are the calm before the storm. The political power bases in Washington are taking the typical August break -- assuming the stock market doesn’t sink another 20%. In any event, after Labor Day, all hell will break lose and it will likely stay that way for 14 months. The question for us then becomes: what do we listen to for guidance, and where and how do we target our efforts?

    As to guidance, the laser-beam answer: we listen for direction really intently to the White House and the campaign, not to the pundits. Not to the news grabbers. When we need to vent, we clearly so state and do not -- ever -- try to divert attention out of frustration. This is hard for independent-minded folk like us. So was Normandy.

    As to focus, I suggest we mentally divide our thinking into 2 major categories: (1) issues and (2) battleground states. On issues, obviously, it’s jobs, jobs, jobs and programs creating them. On battleground states it’s Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Florida, and then New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, and Minnesota. That is, as of today. As time goes on, the campaign will let us know how the map is playing out. We MUST keep in mind that presidential elections are NOT -- repeat NOT -- national elections. Electoral votes are tallied state-by-state. No national popularity poll has any electoral meaning. Going nuts for Obama within California or New York is worse than foolish -- it helps the Republicans by wasting valuable Obama resources where they have no electoral impact. Therefore I, a lifetime Maryland resident, will be putting in whatever I can to help in Pennsylvania and Virginia, not downtown Baltimore.

    This is not to say that there won’t be serious work to do in all 51 electoral states. It IS to say that an infrastructure program that does more for Michigan than for NYC is the one we want to support. Keeping EPA’s reach softer in Pennsylvania may be temporarily necessary to keep those folks employed, like it or not.

    Above all, we simply cannot afford no-return wild goose chases having zero electoral benefit/potential. I don’t know about you, but that’s a harsh reality for me. I like the freedom to go wherever my mind takes me. But a lack of discipline in this election risks a Fascist-vision Bachmann society, or a Yee-Hah Anarchist-vision Perry Society, even if Hidden-vision Chameleon Romney were to win.

    That is an unacceptable risk for me.

    Enjoy the break.



    An interesting point to put our emphasis/work in battleground states if at all possible.

    I don’t know what the number of subscribers are to this website, but I hope it is a large one. We have got to keep reminding our fellow Democrats and every independent we can corner what their future would be with President Bachmann or President Perry! God forbid!! If the President will present his jobs plan to the American people, I believe he can and will win.

  2. ADONAI says:

    Groups like “The Family” are all over the place. I don’t trust The Catholic League or their influence but I’m not worrying whether or not they’re gonna take over the country.

    Do we want to limit their influence on politics? Well that’s a lobbying issue. I still don’t understand the First Amendment argument(though lobbying creates it’s own first amendment issue as well). And if that’s not the case then we can reform lobbying. We CAN deal with these people.

    I don’t like them but I don’t get the need to be afraid of them. Religion already tried to take over this country. Many times before. That’s what Blue Laws were. Laws blatantly balanced to favor the views of one religion over all others. Most of them were found unconstitutional and the rest are barely enforced. Some still linger. If you can’t buy alcohol on Sunday, thank the religious Right. But that’s a hardly a world changing event. If that’s their “foot in the door” moment then I gotta laugh.

    Don’t get me wrong, they’re silly people. I just don’t fear them and I don’t get why anyone else does. They have no power to force anything on anyone. We have the power to bring it on ourselves, but whose fault is that?

    I don’t get why he made the Hitler analogy at all. Their goal was indeed to level Poland. At least their half of it. Russia had apiece too. They killed millions of Polish people. Not just soldiers. And many Polish soldiers joined the cause. Poland also had a very high Jewish population. A mix of immigrants and native Polish. The worst concentration camps, including Auschwitz, were in Poland. They destroyed that country and it’s people and it’s just a sick, sad analogy to use.

    How you gonna compare a man who healed his enemies as they bound him in chains, with a guy who massacred people for no sane reason? They sound like a cult. But still, I don’t believe in New World Orders, Secret Cabals, or Shadow Governments so, while they got a strange little club gong there, I think the country is gonna be o.k.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Hi Adonai!

      I use your quote here:

      “Don’t get me wrong, they’re silly people. I just don’t fear them and I don’t get why anyone else does. They have no power to force anything on anyone.”

      I, too, have no fear of a few evangelicals who handle snakes, speak in tongues and writhe around on the floor in religious ecstasy. Their eccentricities are pretty much confined to their churches and rural communities. They have little influence outside their tight circle of like-minded believers.

      But when a branch of some RW group includes Senators and Congressmen responsible for passing laws affecting all Americans, coupled with their secretive theocratic agenda for the entire country, when these same men make unpublicized and unauthorized foreign trips with no accountability to the US government, I believe there is more than sufficient reason to be extremely wary of them.

    • bito says:

      I see you read 1 of many of the installments that Sue posted, good start. I don’t believe in the Pacific Ocean existing or the power of ALEC on our government or Mr. Peabody’s coal trains either.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      You may be entirely correct. That’s what the Germans said too though. That doesn’t mean that it’s always correct to be fearful, but personally I think it’s just prudent. You point out how impotent the religious Right it; others point out their influence, so I’m going to keep a sharp eye on them. And as a Jew, I am not as sanguine as a white Christian male can afford to be. Because if the RR becomes a force, gentlemen like you will be perfectly safe. I’m not implying you in any way support them; just the way it’ll be.

      • ADONAI says:

        If we’re saying they’re as bad as Hitler, which I disagree with but if we’re saying that, then I doubt I would be perfectly safe. Christians put more Christians to death than any other faith. Heretics. This means nonbelievers and people who believe differently.

        If I really thought that was the way it was gonna go I would not be so dismissive of it. But Hitler wasn’t German. He was an outsider who usurped power and created a police state. It’s Hitler and the Nazi Party, not the Germans. The Germans were in an impossible situation that only got worse.

        Do you believe it is possible to create a police state in America? A real one. Curfews. Armed military operating inside cities. State controlled media and communication. I don’t. That’s the way it will be and they can’t do it. There are too many people like you in this country. They don’t speak up as often as they should but they are there. They are the buffer between democracy and it’s fall. And I trust you all implicitly.

        • texliberal says:

          AD, the Roman Catholic Church since the end of WW1 fear bolshevism above everything else. They have made some strange and deadly alliances especially during and immediately after WW2 Germany.

          • bito says:

            I would really like to see some support to this statement, tex.

          • ADONAI says:

            Indeed tex. even during WW 2 when Mussolini was running the show, he still feared The Church. Even creating laws based on church doctrines.

            I’m pretty sure there are still more than a few “tributes” sitting in their vaults.

  3. javaz says:

    Another great article, Sue.

    Everyone knows by now about the Hutaree Christian Militia and their fear or preparation for “end of times” and their anti-government stance.

    I’ve read a few articles this afternoon about them, and they are a zany, faux Christian radical bunch of loons in that they are also prepared to defend the country in case Canada invades!

    Most troubling is the quote they have on one of their websites from Matthew 10:34 that they translate to give them credence :

    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

    They are predicting that Christ will return with a sword to fight the anti-Christ, and a recent poll showed that a certain percentage of Republicans believe that Obama is the anti-Christ.

    Then there’s Glenn Beck not helping matters with his paranoid rants and telling his sheep to stockpile food and water, which is actually a Mormon thing since they believe the war of religion will come up through South America and Mexico into the US.

    There are crazy people that certain groups -- Fox and their pundits and the religious right -- that prey on their insanity.

    Republicans, Fox, Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh et all are playing a very dangerous game.

    And among the list of charges against the Christian Militia is sedition -- haven’t certain Republican governors, senators and congressman talked about sedition?
    Why isn’t it a crime for them?

    Why isn’t a crime for the Palins to join a sedition group in Alaska?

    Why isn’t this from Palin deemed a crime?

    To the teams that desire making it this far next year: Gear up! In the battle, set your sights on next season

    • ADONAI says:

      “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

      `a man against his father,
      a daughter against her mother,
      a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
      a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

      “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
      (Matthew 10:34-39)

      This is a metaphor. He comes with a sword to divide because Christians were a mistrusted minority from day one. Anyone who came out as a Christian would most likely face ostracizing from even their own family. If you accept Jesus yo will not be greeted warmly. You will not find your loved ones following right along behind you unless it’s with a cane to beat you.

      If they believe it involves a sword fight to decide the fate of humanity, they’re fools. Especially considering the Anti-Christ isn’t even in the Bible.

    • Khirad says:

      Either sedition, or Palin just came up with a whole new extreme version of Basketball.

  4. Khirad says:


    Alleged Christian Terrorists said to Target Moderate American Muslims


    • SueInCa says:

      I have to tell you this religious right is downright scary to me. They are so involved in their fantasies and these end of time prohpecies it is easy to see how they become conspiracy theorists. Yet the right tries to denigrate others during the shrub administration who believed in the 9/11 conspiracy.

      As always what is good for them is not good for everyone else. I get so frustrated with these people

    • kesmarn says:

      Here’s another little window into what’s going on in Michigan.
      Interesting…the invitation to the “Open Carry Family Day and Tea Party”

      “Show, Shoot, Shout and Share a cup of tea!”



    • kesmarn says:

      Wow, Khirad. Thanks for posting this. I caught just a few seconds of a comment on television last night while I was at work, regarding the raid in Michigan. But there were no details. I appreciate the info.

      Sue, did you not say Friday on Vox Pop that we should expect the Feds to move soon? You were so right!

  5. choicelady says:

    Whew -- mind-boggling, Sue! I’ve read Sharlet’s book, but you have things I either did not remember or he did not say. This is hugely important for us to know!

    I consider these people hideously dangerous. I think they ARE distinct from the “rapture ready” evanglical-Pentecostal end times folks since The Family is entirely about POWER -- their power. Their presence in foreign affairs is horrible, and I think I’ve been unintended witness to something of what they can do.

    One of the central figures in The Family is John Ashcroft. He has ties to Regent University, Pat Robertson’s bastion of Christian education. Last summer (I think I’ve referred to this story before, sorry) I was at a conference that housed us at a convent near Catholic University in Washington,DC. The convent rents rooms (very TINY rooms) to students, one of whom struck up a conversation with me at breakfast the first morning. She told me she was from Burma (Myanmar) and proffered the information that her father was a high-ranking military official (Myanmar being a military dictatorship) and her mother was a “Christian”. Not Catholic, a Christian -- big, big difference with these folks. She said she was studying accounting in some form, but she had come to the US originally to go to Regent University where she became (her story) “good friends with John Ashcroft” and then proceeded to tell me about a conversation they had.

    I have to tell you I don’t remember the details of the related conversation since my mind went into overtime -- this meant her father and mother as part of Myanmar’s military ruling class had enough clout to get their daughter to the US and into the hands of The Family’s chief ally, John Ashcroft. I knew from Sharlet’s book of their role in deliberately undermining democracy around the world. Clearly there are ties between Myanmar and the Family that may have impact on the democracy movement in that nation -- impacts that are not at all good.

    Now, moving ahead a couple of months: you remember the peace and democracy activist, Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for 14 years? You recall that she was about to reach the end of her term of imprisonment just before the “election” there? And you recall that a supposed Mormon swam across the lagoon outside her house, climbed the wall and refused to leave for some reason? Well under the terms of her house arrest, Suu Kyi is to have NO visitors outside her family and a few staff. His “visit” extended her arrest, kept her from participating in the elction, and -- ta dah -- the Mormon guy was quickly released back to the US.

    Do I think he was at least a dupe for The Family? Hmmm. Is grass green?

    I don’t know if he is part of The Family or not, but people said he was historically not wrapped too tight, and how easy would it have been for someone to use him to keep Suu Kyi from leading people to vote for a REAL candidate they really wanted?

    I do NOT think this was by chance. I think this was the clear hand of The Family stopping the work of democracy by stopping Suu Kyi from being freed.

    This is how they work. All we can do is expose them, bring sunshine to their craven acts, and make people aware they are being manipulated by these horrid people.

    SueinCA -- thank you for being a huge part of the sunshine. This is a real contribution, and we need to archive the series and pull it out once a week to remind ourselves that “They” have not gone away.

    • SueInCa says:

      Choice Lady
      Read Max Blumenthal’s book for extra info on the Family and the RR that Sharlett did not cover. Also the LA Times was investigating this as well. Harpers and NPR all did stuff on this. As for John Ashcroft goes, that freak could be involved in almost anything. He is IMHO, one of the weirdest of the bunch.

      • choicelady says:

        A friend from Springfield, MO where he lived, said when he was Attorney General he allowed, in violation of MO law, the KKK to erect a tent and sell their wares on state property.

        He is a member of the Assembly of God church, is at least sympathetic to the Army of God in their anti-abortion activities, so when he was in the Bush cabinet, my friend called him the

        Sorta miss that…

  6. escribacat says:

    Fascinating article, Sue. The Goodwill Industries connection is interesting and strange. That can’t be much of a money-maker for them. I do believe these folks would like to see a religious state, just like Osama Bin Laden wants. Their connections with the political strata make them much more dangerous.

    • SueInCa says:

      The Goodwill connection is more about “soul winning” than money. Their capitalism fetish is served under other venues as is the political. They figured out, I am sad to say, a perfect menu for dominion over most areas of our culture. While the Family may not directly relate to the religious right, they are in synch in their plans for this country and the world. Goodwill, in my opinion, was to project a “favorable” status in the area of human rights to offset their abysmal failures in protecting human rights across the globe.

      • escribacat says:

        Sue — so you see them as separate somehow from the “religious right?” Granted, that’s a sweeping category. It’s interesting that you see them as distinct though.

        • SueInCa says:

          I guess you could say I see them as separate in actions but working toward the same goal, a theocracy run by the right overall. They all use the same “code” words and there is “fascism” interwoven into their theology but they operate in two different spheres worldwide. The Family in the leadership sphere and the rr in the human sphere(the people). Either way they are destructive to our planet and humanity overall

  7. Chernynkaya says:

    Sue, great series! The influence of the RR in our national dialogue is maddening enough, but somehow, The Family is what really steams me. It is the antithesis of everything that is American democracy.The very fact that these people are in the halls of power truly worries and enrages me! I am so grateful to Blumenthal, Shalet and the other journalists who expose them and their influence. It is worse than even corporate influence-- at least corporations are amoral and only care for profit. The RR wants to create an American Taliban. I think if anything remotely positive can come for the tragedy in Afghanistan, it is to allow us to witness what happens in a fundamentalist theocracy. It must be stopped at all costs. Thanks for all your hard work!

    • SueInCa says:

      The whole thing enrages me as well. I almost want to spit on these people but I have more decorum than they do. I read where one of them called a UCC minister up to him and he leaned down and spit on her neck. He was a troublemaker from the right down in FL to try to take over her church. They eventually did run her out too. It is such a shame, but in the end they will get theirs and in a big way. I hope they like fire…………….

  8. Chernynkaya says:

    Sue, before I read this, I noticed you said somewhere that you had trouble with the spacing. I have had the same problems in the past, and for me, it was that I first wrote my posts in Word and then C&P’d them here. It turns out that some of the formatting in Word can’t be changed in WordPress here. So if you use Word, go back, click that Paragraph symbol on the menu bar, and change the formatting. Does that make sense? Anyway, now I can read.

  9. kesmarn says:

    Sue, I look forward to every instalment of this series. It has been just terrific,and I wish it would go on and on because, as you’ve noted, there’s so much to cover.

    You may be planning to deal with this in the near future, but I have to ask: how widespread do you feel the notion is, among the RR, that Barack Obama is actually the predicted anti-Christ? Is this just a delusion of a tiny minority? Or do you get the sense that there are large numbers of people who are being encouraged to believe this? If so, this would definitely cause me to be considerably more worried about the President’s safety than I already am. These people are so good at flying under the radar…at appearing conventional and respectable.

    I realize this may sound a little paranoid, but how difficult would it be for these people to infiltrate the Secret Service, the military, or even the White House staff and do some serious damage?

    • SueInCa says:

      Kes, they already infiltrated the military. One captain was forcing soldiers to become baptized before they could take a shower. I attached a wiki on Jerry Boykin, he was a doozy in the Iraq war. Stephen Baldwin worked with Operation Startup sending tracts and other religious crap to the troops. Some group found out about it and exposed them to the press and congress. They were supposed to stop it and I hope with Gates at the pentagon they did.


    • SueInCa says:

      Kes, you are very insightful. My husband is a channel surfer and he is what I would call “looking for something to complete the spiritual need” he has. He has watched many of the shows on TV and has found, Zionists now converted to Christianity, Robertson, Creflo Dollar and a host of others. He says that they talk about this all the time, not the Creflo Dollar but for sure Robertson and the Zionests. He never gets the names for me but he watches it then gets ticked off at what they say. I have nudged him to the ones I know are progressive LOL.

      Next, I plan to do an article or perhaps a mini series on the progressive evangelicals. To me,they seem to have a better idea of what it is like to be a Christian. They focus more on activism and social justice. Oh crap, Glen Beck will be talking about me next. However there is a “war for the mainline churches” going on. The right is attacking in their usual style, undercover and mean spirited and I thought I would cover that next. Mainline churches are what I consider the backbone of this country and it is heartening to see them begin to work together to fight the evil from the right. Oh, and they don’t think Obama is the anit-christ, they are behind him most of the way.

      • kesmarn says:

        Sue, I’m so relieved to hear that your husband is not impressed with Robertson and the rest of the phony Christian TV evangelists. He may be on a spiritual quest — good for him — but obviously he’s nobody’s fool.

        I realize a lot of the mainline churches are actually losing members and money, but it almost seems to be BECAUSE they’re so much more balanced and sane. They don’t seem to attract the numbers of wackies that the more flamboyant, extreme ones do. I’m glad you plan to continue the series.

        • SueInCa says:

          The UCC has proven that alot of it is attacks by the Institute for Religion and Democracy in America, a very well developed right wing group who perform, Steeplejacking. They send operatives in to the mainline churches to cause dissent, UCC, Methodist, Episcopal and Unitarian churches have been hit hard. They are beginning to work with the progressive evangelicals and that is a good thing.

          Pat Buchanan, at the 1992 Rep convention declared war on all liberals and radicals.
          Every time I see him on MSNBC I want to throw a rock at the TV.
          BTW myhusband was raised Catholic but has not practiced for many years. I think if he went back he would probably stay. I prefer the UCC or Methodist myself. But we never seem to be able to commit. Maybe someday.

          • Khirad says:

            Sue, I’m not too worried about them ever hijacking Unitarians! Maybe you could cause me worry where I had none though. You do have the info!

            I haven’t heard much about this. The Knoxville shooting is one thing, but there is no ambiguity to be subverted in the UUA affiliated churches. Liberal and vocal about it.

            Nevermind that those members who aren’t Democrats are Greens or Socialists. We have one Libertarian and an African American Republican though, go figure.

            • SueInCa says:

              I have attended the UCC church here in my area and at first glance I cannot ever see them falling under this spell, however I think because of their innate kindness and liberalism they might be slow to recognize such an attack. I have also attended Unitarian and I would see the same outcome from them. It is not in our nature to be “nasty” like these people and for that reason I think we are sometimes slow to recognize evil in our midst, outraged when we do, but slow to admit it.
              We like to chalk it up to a minority ranting but the truth of the matter is they have learned the “organize” lesson pretty thoroughly from two radicals in the 60’s, Richard Neuhaus and Michael Novak. These two transformed from liberal radicalism in the 60’s to the right in the 70’s. Neuhaus wanted to become America’s Christian Marx and Novak resolved to develop a theological defense of capitalism. Perfect ideology for the Religious Right.

          • kesmarn says:

            Sue--how completely bizarro that they actually attack churches who’ve been quietly doing amazingly good work for many decades, and attack in the name of God! “Which Church would Jesus sabotage?” Is that what they ask themselves?
            You don’t often think of Methodists as battle-ready champions of liberty…but, thank God, they are, in their stand against homophobia. And they seem to be on the receiving end of the wrath of the RR because of it. Some of our local Methodist churches have been attacked from within by people who insist on a line of intolerance from the pastors. Very messy and nasty divisions created. Which is, apparently, just what “they” want!

            Oh, gosh, I could talk about this all night. But it’s nearly midnight here, so I guess I’d better sign off for now. Thanks again, Sue. I know how hard you’ve worked on this.

            • SueInCa says:

              Kes, those people you talk about are one aND the same with the IRD. It is their MO. Some could be from the church, but there is always the agitator involved and people who have been going for years leave.

            • kesmarn says:

              Whoops, just saw your added comment, and couldn’t resist one more comment. You may have seen my earlier post that I’ve been called a “Cathodist” because I attend both Catholic and Methodist services. I love ’em both, and I don’t think the Deity minds having a mongrel or two in the crowd! So I say go for whatever works and leave the pigeon-holing to those who like that sort of thing! 😆

            • SueInCa says:

              My aunt and uncle were Cathodists too. How funny

  10. bitohistory says:

    Another great job, Sue. I will read this a few times for sure. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  11. Khirad says:

    1. Irony on Seattle and San Francisco! I had no idea about Goodwill.

    2. With Poles, I read ‘Catholics’.


    Luke 14:26

    If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    There is room for context and interpretation here, curious that they would take this and the fact that there were mass murderers and genocide in the Bible in full stride, though. Curious what parts they choose to focus upon.

    I also found it curious they would support a Muslim in Somalia. Did they have contacts with neighboring (Christian) Ethiopia? In fact, I also find the whole Karzai (unique for being jointly agreed on by the US and Iran), and Mushy (Musharraf) thing surreal.

    • SueInCa says:

      When I read Poles, I did not think Catholic because I know the Warsaw Ghetto was predominately Jewish. I just thought how out of touch or revisionist can someone be to say 6 and a half million Poles? Everyone except for Coe and Ahmadinajad knows exactly what happened in the Holocaust.

      I will give you the scriptures Dr. Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian used to justify war, death penalty and the church being at the head of the Federal Government.

      Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.(this one he claims includes the Fed Government)

      Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.(this justifies the death penalty)

      Luke 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.(and this justifies war)

      A little bit of twisted sister, doncha think?

      • Khirad says:

        I knew those others, the Dominionist one is notoriously ubiquitous, but that last one was indeed odd.

        But of course with the Ghettos, ’twas just wondering if there was an anit-Catholic component before the Charismatic Catholics were incorporated.

        Oh yeah, that American cross is one of my most favoritist pictures ever. I have it on my computer in some file or another.

        • SueInCa says:

          Until they came up with the abortion issue and needed the Catholics, they thought they were “pagean” too. I am not sure if the Charismatic movement caught their eye earlier or not. Since they practice mostly fundamentalism I am not sure the Charismatic thing would generally interest them. Maybe the pentacostal ones were interested.

          these people are so narrow minded they think the Pope is the anti-christ until Obama came along. Michelle Bachman and her church thought the anit-christ was the Pope. Now her church is wacky doodle for sure. They are scary

  12. Kalima says:

    You da woman Sue!!!

  13. Kalima says:

    Oh Sue. How dare they desecrate this name,” family?”

    For better or worse, family conjures up a feeling of agreement or disagreement as we grow to understand the world, our lives and limitations. People feel so strongly that blood is often thicker than water, the very name strikes me as obscene. It was hard to read what they stand for, but I thank you as always for going there.

    Kudos in heaps for you Sue and thank you again.

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