“The New Pinkertons

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“The New Pinkertons” – One Way To Help Make the Woods Safer : The Outdoor Wire
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As hunting season approaches, if you want to find world-class blacktail bucks with antler spreads of 25-28″ or more, historically the best place in the world to go is northwestern California’s “B Zone”, known as “The Deer Factory,” which stretches along the coast from the Oregon border to Mendocino and Glen Counties to the south, and from I-5 on the east to the Pacific Oregon.

According to late wildlife biologist Raymond Dasmann, with prime habitat conditions the B-Zone should support as many as 55 blacktails per square kilometer. However, things aren’t well in the B-zone. Between 1989 and 2009 the harvest of bucks in the B-Zone dropped 57%, and it keeps declining. https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Deer/Population While there are many factors affecting the herd decline – food, habitat, and predators including mountain lions, coyotes, bears and now a couple wolves – it’s been estimated that illegal poaching kills are at least as large as the legal kill. http://www.mcbadeer.com/MendoDeerProject_FinalReport2014a%20-%20no_gps.pdf

Deer poaching in California is a serious problem, but just who are the poachers? Paul Trouette has lived in Mendocino County all his life, during which time he’s seen the decline of blacktail deer in “The Deer Factory.” In 2005 Tourette founded the Mendocino Blacktail Association http://www.mcbadeer.com/ to work on restoring the herd. Paul also was appointed to be a member of the Mendocino County Fish and Game Commission, which distributes 50% of all fines collected from citations written by game wardens in Mendocino County to various conservation programs in the county.

As Trouette researched the decline, he arrived at the conclusion that a major contributing factor was “the illegal trespass marijuana trade,” to which he gave the name “The New Predator,” as public and private wildlands of the Golden State are home to more illegal grows of marijuana than any other state, and the growers are almost all associated with international drug cartels.

California Is Going to Pot

The value of California’s pot crop is estimated at worth $14 billion a year. For comparison, California wine is valued at $2 billion a year. California recently passed a recreational marijuana law, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/lists/legal-pot-in-california-everything-we-know-w485079 that will make recreational pot legal in 2018, and there already are laws allowing medical marijuana, but as much as 80% of the pot grown in CA is grown on trespass grows on federal lands. Growers poach deer and wildlife, and may shoot at hikers and hikers, Press Democrat but they also pollute streams with illegal fertilizer and pesticides, and guzzle water that drains salmon spawning streams and keeps farmers from irrigating. https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2017-09-08/banned-pesticides-from-illegal-pot-farms-seep-into-california-water

Trespass grows can contain up to 30,000 plants, and they use 50% more water because of less efficient irrigation systems. One study by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates that trespass marijuana grows use about 300 million gallons of water per square mile, per year. To put things into perspective, the 1.1 million illegal pot plants removed in California in 2016 would have used somewhere around 1.3 billion gallons of water. And, law enforcement agencies say that they are able to get only about 10% of what’s being grown.

Even if recreational marijuana is legalized nationwide, illegal marijuana sales will not go away, as illicit sale prices will be less than legal sales, the volume is not regulated, and no tax is charged. And to sell their pot, cartels are connected with street gangs all around the US. http://www.npr.org/news/graphics/2009/mar/mexico_cartel/index.html

How Did This Mess Get Started?

Back in the 1960’s, busloads of hippies migrated to California’s redwood forests to tune in, turn on and drop out with the help of “weed”– Cannabis sativa. What started out as recreation, evolved into a billion dollar business in the “Emerald Triangle” of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity Counties. Some of the marijuana grown there today is legal medical marijuana, and with the recent passage of a law that allows people to grow some of their own pot and possess up to an ounce for recreation, you’d think that life in the Emerald Triangle would be mellow. Not so.

The marijuana cartels don’t just ravage the land and water, they trash everything to get their crops in the ground and harvested. More than three dozen sleeping bags left behind attest to the manpower and presence they have on public lands.
Rich Russell, commander of Mendocino’s Major Crimes Task Force, estimates that at least half of the county’s residents work in the marijuana economy. Some are legal, but others are illegal, as international drug cartels, street gangs, and other criminal groups are running the large illegal marijuana grows on public and private wildlands. The growers cultivate trespass gardens with thousands of plants that are fed by miles of black plastic irrigation pipes that draw water from streams, mix it with illegal fertilizer and pesticides, and produce plants that are worth about $2000 or more each street value. The growers are all armed and arrive not long after the snow melts and stay on site 24/7 until the crop is harvested. During their time there they are periodically supplied with food, but they also enjoy fresh venison.

The first documented marijuana cartel gardens in California were discovered in Sequoia National Park in 1998. Today, illegal gardens on both private and public wildlands typically have 5,000 to 30,000 plants. According to DEA Agents, a cartel “owns” every National Forest, National Park, state park, and wildlife refuge in the state. If growers from two different groups decide to compete for the same area, they bury the dead in the woods. Illegal growers also shoot at outdoor recreationists. In 2011 city councilman and former Fort Bragg mayor Jere Melo was killed by a grower with a garden of opium poppies, which are also cultivated, and some gardens also include meth labs.

As illegal marijuana became big business, in 1983 CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Production) – was formed by the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. CAMP is composed of local, state and federal agencies organized expressly to eradicate illegal marijuana cultivation and trafficking in California. With more than 110 agencies having participated, CAMP has become the largest inter-agency law enforcement task force in the United States. http://www.ag.ca.gov/bne/camp.php

In 2011, “Operation Full Court Press”—a three-week raid carried out by CAMP —netted some 632,000 marijuana plants in and around the Mendocino National Forest, with a street value in the neighborhood of $1 billion.

Despite’s the efforts of CAMP and others, including California Fish and Wildlife’s recently developed special tactical unit of game wardens, https://thecrimereport.org/2017/05/01/war-in-the-woods-game-wardens-battle-marijuana-cartels/ the total plants seized per year statewide has increased to over 1.5 million. California’s legalization of pot has resulted in an even larger demand, and a significant amount of marijuana grown illegally in the state is smuggled to other states. Some new approaches are badly needed to reclaim wildlands, and Paul Trouette and some of his friends have come up with a new strategy.

LEAR ASSETS MANAGEMENT

In 2012 Trouette and some friends formed LEAR ASSET MANAGEMENT (Logistical Efficient Asset Remediation). https://www.learasset.com/home. Trouette, who is the CEO, says, “our personnel (The company now has 15-20 non-deployed military and special-ops personnel) that have backgrounds and experience in Federal Protection Security, Law Enforcement, Border Patrol, BORTAC, Special Weapons and Tactics units, and EMT’s, and Military. We specialize in ‘Counter Trespass Operations’ or CTO.”

Paul Trouette and LEAR in a trespass grow. Plants can sometimes grow to fifteen feet.
LEAR initially was contracted by large corporate land holdings to do the work of Counter Trespass Operations, disrupting illicit gardens from private client property, protecting private forests and wildlands, and performing forest reclamations that are frequently funded by government grants. Deep in the woods, they cut down illegal pot plants, arrested growers and scrubbed the environmental footprint produced by the backwoods drug trade. And their business is booming.

Paul adds, “We don’t conduct vigilante activities. Our Officers are licensed by the State of California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). They are Ca 832 PC and/or Ca POST (Law Enforcement Academy) certified and have backgrounds and experience in Federal Protection Security, Law Enforcement, HAZMAT, and EMT’s, and Military Special Weapons and Tactics. We’re certified by Cal Dept. of Justice Rural Operations, and trained by LAPD Metro in Counter Terrorism response actions, California Central Intelligence Center, Behavioral threat assessment, the State Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, and the California game warden’s tactical unit. We aren’t deputized. It isn’t required. We have arrest powers under the California Penal Code. Our funding comes from government and private contracts.”

LEAR now works in cooperation with County Sheriff’s Depts. & Task Forces (in Multiple Counties); DEA; CA Fish and Wildlife game wardens, BLM, USFS, AG Commissioners and hazardous waste agencies, Special Operation Interagency Teams, Regional Water Quality state and federal agencies; and the game warden MET Team.

According to Paul, “LEAR specializes in marijuana eradication, land reclamation, anti-poaching, environmental clean-up and illegal trespass mitigation. We’ve arrested scores of wildlife and resource poachers, and water theft operations on private property. We also apprehend fugitives with outstanding warrants who are hiding in the wildlands, and work in environmental restoration by STABO and helicopter operations, removing pollutants, trash, pesticides, fertilizers, banned toxins and poly-irrigation.

We also provide multiple security solutions such as armed or unarmed, uniformed or undercover guards and patrols; quick reaction and response teams able to mobilize and respond to incidents such as intrusion alarms, executive protection or personal protection, workplace violence and hostile employee terminations, tracking and locating lost and missing persons in rural environments, and fugitive recovery. Our work also includes traditional private security like posting PSCO’S (protective security contracted officers) on construction sites, road building, as well as apprehending wildlife poachers and illegal demonstrators, and conducting trainings for Law Enforcement personnel and other state employees on how to respond to illegal marijuana grows.

We’re certified by the California Dept. of Justice in rural operations, trained in Federal Protective Services by Homeland Security, and are proficient in human tracking, counter-trespass, surveillance, trespass narcotic investigations, and removal of unpermitted entrants. We also provide airborne helicopter reclamation operations on large corporate and private properties.”

Paul adds that “LEAR was recently approached by a northern California City Government to work as a special unit to assist other Law Enforcement in counter-drug activity, targeting unlicensed marijuana grows in that area. LEAR has also been approached to send personnel to other cities and states and Africa to help create teams that will help mitigate wildlife poachers.”

As far as Paul knows, “LEAR ASSETS is the only private security company in the United States that primarily focuses on wildlands conservation and protection.” LEAR folks jokingly call themselves “The New Pinkertons.”

A Harbinger of the Future?

California has the most cartel trespass pot gardens, but they’ve been found in at least 20 other states and 67 National Forests. The US Forest Service now distributes a brochure that advises recreationists about what they should do when they see suspicious people on National Forests. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsm8_050264.pdf Grows are also found on National Parks, BLM lands, USFWS wildlife refuges, US Army Corps of Engineers dam sites, and state and regional local parks, etc. Cleveland.com article Illegal grows are being found in increasing numbers in the Midwest, Rockies, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and the Appalachians. http://www.officer.com/news/10830788/drug-cartels-using-wis-national-park-to-grow And that’s not the only type of crime that’s increasing on wildlands.

While urban crime has been on the decline since the l990’s, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/21/5-facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/ crime and violence have been increasing on wildlands. Attacks on US Forest Service and National Park Staff have reached all-time highs, according to the FBI. PEER, (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) reports that there were 34 incidents involving attacks on US park rangers in 1995, but by 2005 there were 477 – a 13-fold increase.

According to PEER, in 2012 reported assault incidents rose more than 40% in wildlife refuges and in areas patrolled by the U.S. Park Police, and by more than 12% in national parks, and many assaults were not reported. According to PEER, “National Park Service officers are 12 times more likely to be killed or injured as a result of an assault than FBI agents.”

Adding to the problem of increasing crime on wildlands is that the number of law enforcement officers who patrol wildlands – game wardens, Forest Service LEO’s, Natl. Park and BLM Rangers – is decreasing. Add to this problem that some members of Congress are pushing to entirely de-fund the Drug Enforcement Administration’s marijuana eradication program, whose budget has already dropped from $18 million to $14 million. California received more than a third of the funds in 2015. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/backcountry-drug-war/521352/. And, currently in the US House of Representatives there is a bill that would abolish law enforcement officers in the USFS and BLM and turn things over to local sheriffs. Deputy sheriffs can enforce wildlife laws, but they have limited search procedures compared to game wardens, and some wildlife laws are federal, (in CA game wardens are also deputy US Marshalls), as well as who will pay for more officers. http://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/articles/new-house-bills-aim-to-sell-off-public-lands-and-to-get-rid-of-the-blm-and-us-forest-service-police-w463159

My bet is that unless more federal funding for wildlands protection is forthcoming, Lear Assets Management is the harbinger of what’s to come.

— James A. Swan, PhD.

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‘How do we survive?’: fearful Californians prepare for nuclear attack

‘How do we survive?’: fearful Californians prepare for nuclear attack |https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/15/how-do-we-survive-paranoid-californians-prepare-for-nuclear-attack

Hal Kempfer, a noted international security expert, is getting a roomful of California public health officials and emergency responders to think about the unthinkable – a nuclear bomb exploding at the port of Long Beach, about four miles away.

His message – coming on the same day North Korea threatened to reduce the mainland United States to “ashes and darkness” and then launched a ballistic missile over Japan – is unvarnished and uncompromising: get ready, because we all need to prepare for what comes after.

“A lot of people will be killed,” he said, “but a large percentage of the population will survive. They will be at risk and they will need help.”

Most likely, Kempfer tells his audience, if the device is fired from North Korea or smuggled in by North Korean agents, it wouldn’t be the sort of high-yield weapon that planners worried about during the cold war, with the potential to wipe out most life and civilization across the Los Angeles region and send radioactive materials halfway across the American continent.
Hal Kempfer.
Hal Kempfer. Photograph: Facebook

Rather, it’s likely to be a Hiroshima-sized bomb – large enough to obliterate everything within a square-mile radius and kill tens of thousands of people, either immediately or through the lingering effects of radiation. But still leaving millions of survivors across the region who would need help.

“We’re talking about smaller North Korean things,” Kempfer emphasized, though the word “smaller” sounds very far from reassuring. “This is not your traditional nuclear apocalypse scenario.”

Kempfer, a retired marines lieutenant colonel, is a charismatic speaker, with a keen understanding of the need for humor to leaven the grimness of the subject matter.

And so he talked through what would and would not be left standing after an attack on the port – which, together with its neighbor in San Pedro, is by far the busiest maritime trading hub in the United States and a key component of the global trading system.

He talks about the port and downtown Long Beach being “toast” – no exaggeration, since the blast wave is likely to vaporize everything in its immediate path. But the city health department, the Long Beach airport and fire department might not be; they are all somewhat protected by a hilly area that is likely to halt the initial blast wave. And so the city can, tentatively, think about setting up a center of emergency operations.

If I’m sitting in North Korea and looking at possible targets, I’m going to be looking at Long Beach very closely.

Of course, the radioactive fallout created as the explosion gathers up tremendous quantities of dust and ocean water and spits them into the atmosphere would represent a secondary grave risk, especially in the first hours after an attack.

Not to mention the electromagnetic pulse that is likely to knock out electronic systems including phones and computers, the pile-ups expected on the freeways as drivers are blinded by the flash of the explosion, the rush for food, water and gasoline as millions of Angelenos attempt to drive out of the region, and the terror triggered by even the idea of a second, follow-up attack.

Kempfer and his colleague, fellow marine veteran Matt Begert, sugarcoat little or none of this. They talk about North Korea’s advances in testing intercontinental ballistic missiles – the reason Long Beach’s head of public health emergency management invited them in the first place – about the likelihood that Long Beach is high on North Korea’s target list, and about the likely movements of a deadly radiation plume according to wind, terrain, and urban landscape.

“How do we survive?” a public health worker asks despairingly from the middle of the room in the heat of the presentation.

“If you’re not blown up,” Kempfer retorts, without missing a beat, “that helps.”

He and Begert then talk through a risk assessment matrix, based on history (more applicable to natural disasters), vulnerability, how bad an event could potentially be, and the probability of it occurring. It’s a method Kempfer uses to get local communities to focus on what matters most, not what happens to have been in the news that day or that month. In Long Beach’s case, preparing for an earthquake is still a higher priority, but the nuclear threat is not too far behind.

“If you want to mess up southern California, if you want to mess up the west coast, if you want to mess up our country – where do you attack?” Kempfer asks. “If I’m sitting in North Korea and looking at possible targets, I’m going to be looking at Long Beach very closely.”

Kempfer and his group, Knowledge and Intelligence Program Professionals, are not the first to think through the consequences of a nuclear attack on Long Beach. In 2006, when the worry was more al-Qaida than North Korea, the Rand corporation published a report assessing the impact of a 10-kiloton bomb smuggled into the port in a shipping container.

Rand’s scenario envisaged a significant breakdown in social order, including gunfights over food and gasoline and shootouts on the freeway as desperate families stuck in traffic look for any possible way to hasten their route over the mountains. Rand also imagined the health system collapsing as hospitals and health workers became overwhelmed with hundreds of thousands of people needing decontamination and other treatment.

Kempfer thought a well-coordinated response from the federal government – analogous to the improved performance in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, compared with the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – could play a crucial role in holding together the social fabric and making sure crucial supplies did not run so low as to start rioting.

Still, neighboring counties – particularly Ventura County, to the north-west of Los Angeles – are themselves deeply concerned about being overwhelmed by millions of evacuees. Ventura, unusually, has prepared a 250-page plan in the event of nuclear attack, which it updates regularly, along with a public information campaign featuring an oddly jaunty musical entreaty to residents to stay indoors until the worst of the radioactive fallout has subsided.

News out of North Korea has created a mini-bonanza for local manufacturers of nuclear fallout shelters. But more important to the vast bulk of the population, Kempfer says, is having some rudimentary knowledge of what it means to “shelter in place” and, for example, to have plastic sheeting on hand to cover up windows and cracks in the doors to minimize the effects of radioactive fallout.

Sandy Wedgeworth, the public health emergency management coordinator, said she and her staff felt energized, not depressed, by what they learned from Kempfer and that the session generated a long to-do list. “We need to look at our county plan and become familiar with it,” she said, “but we also need to think about mutual aid systems and getting resources from elsewhere. Obviously, we don’t have everything we need. The point is knowing where to get more stuff.”

She and her colleagues appeared to concur with Dwight Eisenhower’s old adage, quoted approvingly by Kempfer, that while plans in warfare can be useless, planning is indispensable. “The more education I get,” Wedgeworth said, “the more I understand and the more competent I feel to respond. It’s less scary when you understand the threat and know what to do to meet and mitigate it.”

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REFORMING AMERICA¹S CHURCHES PROJECT

REFORMING AMERICA¹S CHURCHES PROJECT

2001-2004 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

SYNOPSIS: Liberal Theology failed America’s mainline churches in the Twentieth Century. Striving to become “relevant,” they instead lost millions of church members. These diminished but still influential denominations are now starting to acknowledge their mistakes. Even their leaders are open to new directions. The IRD believes that the next four years offer a rare opportunity to redirect these churches away from their reflexive alliance with the political left and back towards classical Christianity. Conservatives have won surprising victories on key theological and sexuality issues at recent church conventions. Now is the time to translate those victories into real influence for conservatives within the permanent governing structures of these churches, so they can help renew the wider culture of our nation. We will emphasize the importance of ecumenical alliances with social conservative Roman Catholics and Evangelicals.

MARKET: Over 8.3 million Americans belong to the United Methodist Church, which is America’s third largest denomination. Over 3.5 million Americans belong to the Presbyterian Church (USA). And over 2.3 million belong to the Episcopal Church. Although together these churches include just under ten percent of America’s total church membership, their influence is disproportionate to their numbers. Their respective memberships include remarkably high numbers of leaders in politics, business, and culture. For example, over one-third if the members of the U.S, Senate belong to these three denominations. These denominations include a disproportionate number of higher income and educated Americans. Every year they collect about $8 billion from their members. Collectively, the institutions of these denominations have billions of dollars in endowments. They are affiliated with hundreds of colleges, universities, seminaries, academies and charitable outreach centers. They include over 50,000 local churches. In short, despite their fallen membership numbers of recent decades, these denominations are still flagship churches that directly or indirectly influence millions of Americans.

To reach them and other members, we disseminate news releases to broadcast media, to every major newspaper religion writer in the country, to every major religious magazine, and to key columnists, for a total of over 1,000 media contacts. We place op-eds exposing the Religious Left on the editorial pages of major newspapers, in religious journals, conservative publications and church renewal media. Our staff regularly speaks on radio talk shows and occasionally on television. IRD’s quarterly Faith and Freedom journal is sent to over 12,000 supporters, church leaders and media contacts. Our denominational publications now reach 285,000 households and we project growth to 560,000. The combined audiences of reform publications in the Association for Church Renewal total nearly a million households.

ACTION PLAN: Our total program for influencing the governing church conventions of three denominations will cost over $3.6 million of the next four years. Our request to [blacked out] seeks funding for just over 10 percent of this amount. Much of the rest of the income will come from church members and congregations. We will seek foundation funding from other sources. Target dates are the national church conventions of three major U.S. denominations.” The United Methodist Church (April 2004, Pittsburgh), the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) annual, various locations) and the Episcopal Church (July 2003, Minneapolis.

Grassroots Expansion — IRD’s three denominational committees are Episcopal Action, United Methodist Action and Presbyterian Action. All three empower conservative church members with reporting about their church structure that they will not otherwise hear. IRD is giving special attention to reform of the United Methodist Church, America’s third largest religious body, and the largest denomination under Religious Left control. UM Action Briefing currently goes to 275,000 households. Its circulation is expected to be over 500,000 by the start of 2004. Episcopal Action places a key role in the American Anglican Council, an alliance of nearly all the conservative Episcopal renewal groups. Presbyterian Action operates within the Presbyterian renewal movement as a source of proposals to restructure church agencies and re-orient their social message. The circulation for Episcopal Action and Presbyterian Action should grown from 8,000 to 36,000 in the next four years.

Issues — Our program will focus on issues ranging from marriage and sexuality, environmentalism, national security, hate crimes, federal social entitlements, church-state conflicts and religious freedom. Media Outreach — We will continue our current program of press releases, radio commentaries and op-eds for religious and secular publications, and we will have more interactions with local newspaper religion reporters who usually rely on official church leaders for comment. As our donor base grows, we will increase the circulation of our Faith and Freed newsletter. We will develop an interactive website.

Association for Church Renewal/Next Generation Project — We are a chief organizer of this coalition of conservative/evangelical renewal groups in all the major mainline churches. The association allows us to synchronize strategies across denominational lines and to counteract the influence of liberal ecumenical groups, such as the National and World Councils of Churches. Key to the longer-range success of the church reform movement is recruiting a younger generation of reformers. The IRD has the experience, expertise, connections and vision to recruit and train young church members for this task.

Organizing — We will annually prepare resolutions for local and regional church conventions in the three major denominations. These resolutions will call attention to egregious behavior by radical church leaders and will be important tools for grassroots organizing. They will also focus on positive, proactive initiatives that unite traditional religious believers and discredit the Religious Left. Working with other renewal organizations, we will identify electable conservative candidates for national church conventions. We will help train elected delegates to be effective at church conventions. We also will assist conservatives who serve on the boards of key church agencies so as to have direct influence over the permanent staff. EVALUATION — This project may be judged based on the expansion of IRD’s audience as expressed through increased circulation of Faith and Freedom and our denominational briefings, through publication of IRD-originated inform in secular and religious media outlets, and through passage of our resolutions in regional and national church bodies. Long-range results will be expressed through the election of conservatives and moderates to the boards of church agencies – a more indirect process, but one that is vitally important to long term reform.

GRANTEE — The IRD was founded in 1981 to combat the irresponsible political lobbying of mainline churches. Much of IRD¹s initial focus was upon directly countering the influence of church leaders in religious and secular elite. Our more recent emphasis is upon directly reaching millions of Americans churchgoers through the media, coalition building and our own publications. Diane Knippers is IRD president and directs the Episcopal project. Alan Wisdom is vice president and director of the Presbyterian committee. Mark Tooley directs the United Methodist committee. Together these three leaders represent 46 years of professional reform work.

The Institute on Religion and Democracy REFORMING AMERICA¹S CHURCHES PROJECT 2001-2004

INTRODUCTION: Liberal theology failed America¹s mainline churches in the 20th century. Striving to become ³relevant,² these churches instead lost millions of members. These diminished but still influential denominations are now starting to acknowledge their mistakes. The United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church are especially susceptible to renewal. Even their leaders are open to new directions, including new or increased cooperation with more conservative (and growing) Evangelical and Roman Catholic churches. IRD, with it¹s unique access to mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, and Roman Catholics, is poised to point mainline denominations toward a new era. We believe that continued reformation within the mainline churches will foster a new and robust ecumenism based on classical Christianity and not trendy politics. The new ecumenism will not only breed spiritual renewal within the churches but will also facilitate cultural renewal within America.

THE CHALLENGE TODAY
The mainline churches ­ the bulwark of the Religious Left ­ have been a powerful influence in American life throughout the 20th Century. They have also been declining in membership for almost 40 years. For nearly the last 20 years, the IRD has worked to discredit and diminish the Religious Left¹s influence and we have experienced significant successes in our efforts. Likewise, we have sought to strengthen the influence of religious bodies that will contribute to the renewal of freedom. What is the status of the battle for the soul of our churches ­ the soul of America?

€ Some Religious Left institutions are weakening. Leaders of the premier mainline ecumenical organ, the 50-year old National Council of Churches, are now openly pondering the possibility of closure. They hope the NCC¹s replacement will be a broader coalition that will include not only mainline Protestants but also Evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Whether their hope is desirable or realistic, it illustrates the failure of once confident and culturally predominant liberal Protestantism.

The Episcopal Church is the most liberal-dominated denomination of the major three that we are targeting. Efforts to legitimize homosexual unions, for example, have only narrowly been defeated. But conservatives are successfully building direct connections through their local dioceses and mission groups to the vibrant, orthodox Anglican churches in Africa and Asia. Conservative overseas bishops are coming to the rescue of troubled American dioceses that are beset by inept leadership.

In the largest mainline church, the united Methodist Church, conservatives are gaining ground. A July editorial in the left-leaning Christian Century lamented, ³The United Methodist Church has taken a sharp turn to the political and theological right, and it appears that it will continue in that directionŠ The Good News movement, the United Methodist wing of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, and many of its bishops and tall-steeple pastors have taken over the church¹s governing bodyŠ²

In the Presbyterian Church (USA), it is liberals ­ more than conservative ­ who threaten to leave the denomination these days. A church-wide survey revealed that Presbyterians¹ highest priorities are evangelism and Christian education. The social activist programs of the denomination are preparing for retrenchment.

Even in the churches most denominated by liberalism, there are fresh troops appearing. A new generation of church reformers ­ often in their teens and twenties ­ is emerging. These young people are declaring their commitment to remain in their denominations for the long-term struggle for renewal and reform.

While there are encouraging signs that efforts such as the IRD¹s have lessened the impact f the Religious Left, we can expect renewed vigor of radical religious voices in the next four years. The Clinton era muted some of the religious leaders, who did not want to criticize a friendly Democratic Administration, even though their own views were actually further to the Left. We can anticipate that the strident polarization of the 1980s will reappear in the next four years.

The battle is clearly joined. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to redouble the IRD¹s efforts.

THE ISSUES FOR 2001-2004

The IRD identifies issues around which is organizes. Some of our pro-active issues are selected to re-shape the public witness of U.S. churches. Two of our current priority issues are international religious freedom and marriage and family. Not much of IRD’s work is appropriately reactive – responding to the most dangerous priorities of the Religious Left, training church members in counter arguments undercutting the Left’s influence in the media and among policy makers. The following are some of the issues the IRD will engage during 2001-2004. The IRD retains flexibility to respond to other emerging issues.

Marriage Initiatives: Perhaps the most serious threat to American democracy comes from the fragmentation of the family, the building block of society. IRD will place a strong priority on defending marriage and family and opposing the legitimization of sexual expression outside of heterosexual marriage. We will play a key role in enlisting churches in the growing Marriage Movement in the United States. Our goal is that our churches would understand that promoting marriage is more than a pastoral care issue for church members – it is a social justice issue for the entire society. For example, promoting marriage is the single best anti-poverty program for poor women and children. IRD is at the center of a new ecumenical initiative to strengthen marriage as an institution – working to build support for the Christian Declaration on Marriage. (The National Council of Churches briefly endorsed this declaration, only to withdraw because of pressure from pro-homosexuality groups. This episode further discredited the failing NCC in the eyes of other major church organizations and before its own mainline constituency. In light of NCC’s failure, we are asking individual denominational officials and regional church conventions to endorse the declaration.) The debate over sexuality, in our churches and in the larger society, will last for years to come. The United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Episcopal Church all defeated efforts to legitimize sex outside of marriage at national church conventions this year. In the United Methodist Church the margin of victory was greater than before. No longer is there a preponderance of talk about the “inevitable” acceptance of homosexuality and cohabitation by the churches. Secular proponents of sexual license like to portray their opponents as fundamentalists and conservative Catholics. They are befuddled to learn that liberal-dominated mainline churches oppose their agenda as well. IRD will continue to expose the pro-homosexual bias of mainline church agencies that want to disregard the official teachings of their churches. We also will promote increased church attention on teen sexual abstinence, the importance of marital fidelity, and ministry for homosexuals who want to escape their sexual addictions. IRD will not just oppose the attempts to relax sexual standards, but also promote proactive and compassionate programs that can command majority support. A priority will be to equip articulate Christians to defend traditional views in their churches and in the broader society.

Beginning in 2001, we will emphasize training conservatives and moderates for the debates on marriage and human sexuality. We intend to conduct invitation-only training seminars and consultations for church leader, covering biblical, theological, scientific, psychological and sociological aspects of human sexuality. Participants will develop pro-marriage arguments for discussions in churches in the civil society, including effective media strategies. Our trainees will promote our legislation at their local and regional church conventions in preparation for the larger battles at national church conventions in 2001-2004. In addition we will persuade churches to adopt official policy statements opposing same-sex “marriage” or “domestic partner benefits” in civil society. Too often conservatives in mainline churches focus on internal church policies regarding marriage, while ignoring the larger witness to society. IRD is helping to change that attitude. We are assisting the new Alliance for Marriage in its outreach to the Protestant communities.

Overseas Religious Persecution: The IRD believes that religious freedom is the cornerstone of human rights and democracy. We will continue our religious liberty program with a special emphasis on strengthening the advocacy of U.S. churches for religious liberty. IRD staff members maintain a regular schedule of speaking at conferences, churches and colleges and seminaries. The persecution of Sudan’s Christian minority by the Islamic government remains a central IRD focus. Additionally, IRD plans to expose the shortfalls of unquestioning cooperation with government-run church groups in China, Cuba and North Korea. We target these governments, which persecute Christians but are still shamefully defended by mainline church leaders here.

Environmentalism: The National Religious Partnership for the Environment includes the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Council of Churches, and liberal Jews and Evangelicals. Founded with help from Vice President Al Gore and sustained with money from the Pew Foundation, it aims to enlist America’s religious denominations in the environmental movement. The partnership especially focuses on the most dire predictions of global warning in order to justify increased taxation and heavy federal regulation. IRD has been nearly alone in challenging the partnership. But this year we joined a new coalition sponsored by the Acton Institute. Called the Environmental Stewardship Project, it joins Protestants, Catholics and Jews together to challenge the unsubstantiated and politicized claims of the green theology movement embodied by the partnership. IRD will focus during the next four years on discrediting mainline church lobby efforts to spout environmental extremism in defense of liberal legislation that relies on the Kyoto Accords and unproven apocalyptic suppositions.

National Security: During the Cold War, U.S. Mainline churches stridently opposed all U.S. military efforts and arms programs. Fortunately their advice was usually ignored, although they did lend credibility to far-left coalitions. These church groups are now repeating their mistakes by opposing weapons programs, especially anti-missile defenses. Mainline church leaders insist upon strict adherence to the ABM treaty and oppose even limited anti-missile efforts. A new anti-missile defense coalition, which also advocates abolition of all nuclear weapons, includes major mainline and Catholic leaders. Mainline churches continue a pattern of espousing “peacemaking” initiatives, with Cuba, North Korea, Iraq, Sudan, and China that overlook human rights abuses by those regimes. Mainline churches are fighting for a diminution of U.S. sovereignty in favor of reliance on the United Nations and multi-lateral initiatives. In the utopian fantasies of mainline church officialdom, national borders and protection of national interest are things of the past. IRD will challenge them with a traditional understanding of Christian realism. And we will expose these churches’ embarrassing history of blindness when it comes to military and foreign policy issues.

Hate Crimes: All the mainline churches, in conjunction with civil rights groups and homosexual advocacy groups, have loudly demanded the expansion of hate crimes legislation. Their arguments are seductive but ultimately threaten equality before the law and social harmony. They aim to balkanize America, to equate sexual practice with race and gender, and to give legal preference to politically correct victim groups. IRD will continue to counter their arguments with our appeal for churches to stress racial reconciliation instead of harsher criminal sentencing. This topic is perhaps the hardest issue for us to make arguments that are comprehensible to a wide audience. But the stakes are high enough that IRD feels compelled to address it. Within the churches, almost nobody else is challenging the liberal conventional wisdom on this issue.

Federal Social Entitlements: The social action agencies of the mainline churches remain committed to expansion of federal government programs, including welfare programs, social security and guaranteed medical insurance of nationalized health care. They vehemently denounce proposals – such as school vouchers, medical saving s accounts, and partial privatization of Social Security — that encourage individuals to take the initiative in providing for their own needs. In general, the IRD will criticize programs that unnecessarily curtail the economic freedom necessary to sustain democracy, that undercut theological principles that support civil society such as subsidiary (Catholic) or sphere sovereignty (Reformed) and that do not enjoy the support of the people in the pews. This promises to be an area that the liberal churches will make a priority in the new, narrowly divided Congress.

Church-State Conflicts: Too often mainline church leaders echo the biases of radical secularists who want to drive all religious influence from the public square. They interpret the Establishment clause of the First Amendment as requiring that religion must retreat wherever the State advances. They show little concern for the Free Exercise clause. The IRD seeks a restored balance in interpreting the Constitution and supports the beneficial role of religion in American Society.

IRD’S RENEWED RESPONSE

The IRD continues to be the sole, unified voice of resistance to the Religious Left. The IRD is the only organization that offers a unified vision of what renewal would look like for the mainline churches in America. And the IRD is one of the few groups that foster practical cooperation among conservative mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, and Roman Catholics. We will continue to expose Religious Left Extremism, organize conservatives at mainline church conventions, and challenge the claims of liberal church officials when they purport to speak for millions of church members. We will articulate arguments aimed at media, academia, and average church members that will explain why religion must continue to exert a robust role in sustaining the moral under-pinnings of American democracy. Communication and Outreach

IRD writes regularly for Insight magazine, The Presbyterian Layman, Good News magazine (United Methodist), The Wanderer (Catholic), Touchstone magazine (ecumenical), Chronicles of Heterodoxy, American Family Association Journal (Evangelical), and the National Liberty Journal (Baptist). IRD staff have recently appeared on CBS¹s Sixty Minutes, on Fox News with Brit Hume, on ABC¹s Extra! and on PBS¹s Religion and Ethics News Weekly. Our op-eds have recently appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, The Salt Lake City Tribune, The Detroit News, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Diane Knippers is a contributing editor to Christianity Today.

The addition of new staff will facilitate more direct staff contact with religion reporters and other journalists. IRD plans to generate news releases regularly for our media list of over 1200 outlets. We also plan to generate occasional substantive analyses for journalists. Topics may include: an examination of the influence of church lobby offices in Washington, DC, an analysis of the NCC and its decline, the growing budgets and investment portfolios of church agencies, and the stances of various denominations towards sexuality issues. Looking toward the upcoming national church conventions, we will create a media packet that will outline mainline church structures and policies, along with our critique of them. Our newly redesigned Faith and Freedom newsletter goes to 13,000 supporters, church leaders, and religion reporters. In 2001, we will develop an attractive, informative, and interactive website, as well as an e-mail dissemination capability that will allow us to reach thousands of supporters immediately and with minimal expense.

Denominational Committees

It has proven most effective for the IRD to organize, recruit members, and conduct fundraising through denomination-based programs. Within key mainline denominations, the IRD conducts the following: reporting, analysis, and exposes of national church activities; education on positive policy initiatives which the church ought to undertake; organizing and training of church activists; and coordinating the efforts of conservatives within and among the denominations.

IRD¹s United Methodist Action Committee has attained our goal this year of reaching 250,000 households with our Summer 2000 report on the church¹s May General Conference. The autumn issue has gone to 275,000 households. By this time next year [2001], we expect to be mailing to 350,000 households. We are well on our way towards ultimately reaching one million United Methodist households. By 2004, we expect to be at least 500,000. This is the very first sustained effort in the history of the United Methodist Church to reach a large audience with exposes of misguided church activity and calls for church reform.

Our growing outreach over the last five years (we started by mailing our newsletter to 200 homes) was significantly responsible for perhaps the most productive General Conference in 40 years. UMAction helped to defeat pro-gay initiatives by margins of 2 to 1 or more. Our initiative to overturn the church¹s opposition to voluntary school prayer was also successful. So too was our initiative to overturn the church¹s official pacifism to a stance that acknowledges Christians¹ approval of the resort to force in some circumstances, such as genocide, aggression and tyranny. Delegates to the General Conference also voted to reapportion the composition of future General Conferences so that declining (and liberal) regions of the church such as the northeast and west coast will receive fewer delegates. Growing (and more conservative) regions such as the southeast and overseas churches will receive more delegates. This will help insure that conservative trends on sexuality and a whole range of other issues will continue at future General Conferences.

As UMAction¹s circulation has grown, so too has its donor base. We now have over 9,000 active donors. UMAction is part of a coalition of conservative renewal groups within the United Methodist Church. But we are the only source of original investigative reporting within the 8.3 million member denomination. The conservative majority within the church has for decades remained uninformed about the far-left leadership of their denomination. UMAction is awakening that majority for the first time. We expect to have an even more influential impact on the next General Conferences.

As satisfying as these successes at the General Conference are, UMAction recognizes the need to institutionalize conservative gains in the seminaries and boards and agencies of the church. Some of these institutions boast endowments of hundreds of millions of dollars to continue to make grants to a host of radical left causes. In particular, we are targeting the Washington-based Board of Church and Society and the New York-based Board of Global Ministries. Our observers attend every meeting of these agencies and will increase work to organize conservative board members.

Additionally, we have crafted resolutions for our supporters to submit to their 2001 local ³Annual Conferences,² entities that roughly follow state lines and meet annually. These resolutions are supporting the Christian Declaration on Marriage, supporting the faith-based programs to combat poverty, spotlighting the plight of overseas persecuted religious believers, and supporting alternatives to abortion. We will prepare another round of resolutions for the annual conferences in 2002 and 2003. The process of submitting and supporting resolutions is an excellent training device for conservative activists, even if the resolutions are not approved. They will further strengthen our preparation for the national General Conference by helping shape the debate.

We are working with other United Methodist renewal organizations to strengthen the conservative presence at the next General Conference in 2004. This will include polling announced candidates and urging potentially strong delegates to run. We will help to provide campaign advice and logistical support, especially with our extensive mailing lists. We will soon have the largest database of United Methodist names and address in the country. After delegates are elected in 2003 by their respective annual conferences, we will use the following year to train sympathetic delegates in parliamentary strategy and educate them in the issues on which we focus. We will stress the importance of changing the staff and leadership of permanent church agencies. Our main target will be the Washington lobby office, which is the largest church lobby in the nation¹s capitol. At the 200 General Conference we persuaded 30 percent of the delegates to vote for its elimination. We believe we have a chance at getting 51 percent in 2004. We also will target the United Methodist missions board, our largest church agency with over $400 million in assets and an annual budget over $150 million. We want to shift this agency away from left-wing political action and back towards traditional Christian missions.

After General Conference in 2004, we will help conservatives seeking appointment to the boards of church agencies, where conservatives are traditionally under-represented in a dramatic way.

The IRD¹s United Methodist program continues to be a member, along with other church renewal groups, of the Coalition for United Methodist Accountability (CUMA), which assists lay people in filing charges against liberal bishops who decline to uphold church law, especially on issues relating to marriage and sexuality. Liberal clergy across the United Methodist denomination are searching for high-profile ways to evade church law against the conduct of same-sex unions, often with the complicity of sympathetic bishops. CUMA is assisting lay people who wish to challenge these bishops and clergy through church courts. Over the next three years, we expect involvement in at least a dozen different cases around the country.

IRD¹s Presbyterian Action Committee is a strong and capable presence at the annual General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The IRD¹s Presbyterian Action has been particularly effective in helping conservative commissioners in local presbyteries and the General Assembly in drafting legislation and presenting arguments for it. Among our more recent legislative successes at the General Assembly are the following: defeating an attempt to increase funding for the denominations Washington lobbying office, directing the Presbyterian mission board to respond more vigorously to persecution of Christians overseas, tightening up rules so that denominational staff must have a more explicit mandate for political lobbying, and amending a policy statement on ³multiculturalism² to clarify that the church does not accept all cultural beliefs and practices as equally valid.

Presbyterian Action assisted the coalition that championed a new church law this year to clarify the prohibition on any church involvement in ³same-sex unions.² As that measure passed the General Assembly and now goes to the presbyteries for ratification. Presbyterian Action is contributing to a joint publication and ongoing campaign to make the argument that marriage should be the only sexual relationship blessed by the church.

Presbyterian Action is also working with local conservative activists to put forward three overtures to the 2001 General Assembly: (1) a proposal to defund the Nation Council of Churches if it does not fulfill the promises made by its leaders in order to obtain special ³bailout² gifts from member denominations, (2) a suggested set of guidelines for avoiding moral compromise in dealing with partner church institutions under the control or intimidation of repressive government, and (3) a proposal to abolish one or more church social agencies that do not effectively serve the denomination¹s stated priorities of evangelism and Christian education.

In its attendance at the General Assembly and other Presbyterian meetings, Presbyterian Action also takes the opportunity to report to Presbyterians on the actions of their church agencies. Presbyterian Action has a regular column in its newsletter that reports all political lobbying by the denomination¹s Washington office.

The Presbyterian Action Briefing gores to a current mailing list of 2,000. We intend to expand that to 10,000 by 2004. In addition, Presbyterian Action staff write regularly for the Presbyterian Lay Committee ­ both its bimonthly newspaper (circulation over 500,000) and it¹s popular website (over 6,000 hits daily).

IRD¹s Episcopal Action. The Episcopal Church is the denomination which is currently suffering the most serious decline. Discouraged conservatives are leaving ­ abandoning huge endowments and valuable property to liberal control. The IRD is working hard to convince conservatives to stay and fight. The Episcopal Church is the denomination most vulnerable to devaluing marriage as only one among many sexual relationships that the church approves. IRD¹s Episcopal Action will conduct training to equip conservatives and moderates to counter the trend.

This fall, Diane Knippers agreed to serve as the part-time interim Executive Director of the America Anglican Council, the broadest-based conservative reform movement in the Episcopal Church. She has given significant leadership in launching this organization, illustrative of the IRD commitment to working in coalitions and building a large reform movement. Episcopal Action organizing will focus in three areas:

13 working in regional diocesan councils by recruiting clergy and laity to run for deputy to the 2003 General Convention
14 supporting initiatives fostering international Anglican intervention in the US church, and

15 assisting conservatives who serve on various Standing Commissions of the Episcopal Church as they prepare policy recommendations and legislation for the church¹s Executive Council and the 2003 General Convention. (Diane Knippers has herself been appointed to the Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations)

Episcopal Action will expand our Episcopal Action Briefing to fill a serious reporting void in the Episcopal Church. Our current circulation is 6,000, we intend to increase that by 5,000 each year to reach a total of 26,000 in 2004.

Association for Church Renewal
The IRD acts as the publicity and program arm for the Association for Church Renewal (ACR), which is comprised of executives of major conservative renewal organizations throughout the mainline denominations, including Episcopalians, Presbyterians, United Methodists, American Baptists, Evangelical Lutherans, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ and others. ACR leaders meet twice a year, issue press releases and statements, share research materials, and cooperate on special projects.

The ACR conducts occasional press conferences in Washington, DC, and issues press statements on issues that cross denominational lines. A major priority among 2001-2004 year will be to push for the final dismantling of the National Council of Churches in favor of a more inclusive and more accountable ecumenical structure. This goal has already been endorsed by numerous leaders from mainline churches and the NCC.

The IRD monitors most major gatherings of the National Council of Churches and, when possible, the World Council of Churches. We are a major source of information about those councils for journalists (such as an April 2000 Weekly Standard piece on NCC support for Cuba). We work to discredit these bodies¹ radical political advocacy and to weaken support for the councils until they exhibit signs of broad-based reform.

The IRD is committed to fostering genuine Christian unity that will strengthen the churches¹ responsible, authentically Christian influence in society. We are also determined to see that evangelical churches, schools, and other institutions do not fall sway to the liberalizing tendencies that have so damaged the mainline. Diane Knippers is an officer in the National Association of Evangelicals. She will serve on a new NAE committee that will be analyzing and reanimating its public policy education and advocacy. The IRD is working to encourage the mainline Protestant churches to broaden their ecumenical reach to include more conservative Roman Catholics and Evangelicals. At the same time, we work closely with conservative Christian groups so that their interaction with the liberal Protestant leaders will aid in the reformation of the mainline churches.

Next Generation Initiatives

At the Episcopal General Convention this year, a key element in defeating same-sex ³marriage² initiatives was the presence of a number of evangelical youth, thanks to IRD and allied groups. IRD covered a major United Methodist conference this fall for nearly 1,000 college students aspiring to be future ministers. We exposed the fact that nearly all the major speakers were theological and sexual revisionists opposed to the historic beliefs of the denomination. Young people active in mainline churches tend to be more conservative than their parents and grandparents. They are interested in re-establishing the broken links to classic Christianity.

In 2001, we will convene an organizational conference for young people willing to work for renewal in the mainline churches ­ targeting university and seminary students. We are calling this the Athanasius Project, evoking the fourth century champion of orthodoxy who began to contend for the faith in his youth and continued for his whole life, much of which he spent in exile. These young leaders will be active at the coming national church conventions in 2001 ­ 2004. The major denominations are all seeking to elect more young people to these conventions.

ADMINISTRATIVE GOALS FOR 2001-2004

In order to continue and accelerate the IRD¹s growth, we have targeted several administrative and support areas for strengthening the coming year. Staff ­ We began 2000 with the equivalent of six and one-half staff positions. We plan to end this year with eight (requiring filling one current vacancy). We need to expand our staff as quickly as possible to create full-time positions in development, public relations/media, marriage and family, and religious liberty.

Space ­ The IRD moved its offices this summer. We have expanded our space and are currently subletting offices to another church reform group, giving us room to grow. Our new offices are conveniently located nearer to think tanks and other groups with which we work.

Development ­ We have met our goal of expanding our grassroots membership so that we receive a greater portion of our income from members than from foundations. As we continue to expand our direct mail program, our next step in achieving diverse and broader funding is to develop a major donor program and to gain support from additional foundations.

The liberal church structures that the IRD has critiqued for two decades are now openly acknowledging their failures and advertising their interest in new directions. Now is not the time to slow our renewal movements, but to sustain the pressure for a return to orthodoxy and accountability within the mainline churches.

Our goals admittedly are long-term and sweeping: the renewal of America¹s churches and of her culture. But we are realizing the fruits of our efforts. From it¹s inception the IRD argued that international religious freedom should be a common concern uniting Christians within and among many different denominations. Within the past four years an impressively ecumenical movement has also arisen to defend persecuted believers in places like China and Sudan. In the 1980s the IRD critiqued church leaders¹ romance with Marxist-infected Liberation Theology. That cause is now largely defeated. In the 1990s we similarly sounded the alarm about the extremism of radical feminist theology. That cause now finds sustenance within the churches only on liberal seminary campuses. In recent years, we have warned against the dilution of historic Christian teachings about marriage and sexuality and its potential impact on the nation. Although the battle is certainly not over yet, many of our churches are beginning to reject the pressure to abandon their standards.

We now look forward to the coming decade, when IRD will challenge the American mainline churches to reassert historic theology, to propagate values and virtues necessary to sustain freedom, and to align themselves with fellow orthodox believers in the Evangelical and Roman Catholic churches. Both the churches and our nation will benefit enormously.

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Chechnya ‘opens first concentration camp for homosexuals’

dailymail.co.uk
Chechnya ‘opens first concentration camp for homosexuals’
By Thomas Burrows for MailOnline
5-6 minutes

Chechyna has opened the first concentration camp for homosexuals since Hitler, where campaigners say gay men are being tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death.

It comes after it was claimed 100 gay men had been detained and three killed in Chechnya last week.

A report by Novoya Gazeta said authorities had set up several camps where homosexuals are killed or forced to promise to leave the republic.

One of the camps is reportedly at the former military headquarters in the town of Argun.

President Razman Kadyrov (right), who is a key ally of Vladimir Putin , allegedly ordered the clampdown

Svetlana Zakharova, from the Russian LGBT Network, told MailOnline: ‘Gay people have been detained and rounded up and we are working to evacuate people from the camps and some have now left the region.

‘Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electric currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.’

One of those who escaped told Novoya Gazeta that prisoners were beaten to force them to reveal other members of the gay community.

Another prisoner who fled said that before being incarcerated in one of the camps, he had been forced to pay bribes to Chechen police of thousands of rubles every month in order to survive.

Now the regime had taken another step against gays by creating these camps, the survivor said.

Alexander Artemyev, from Amnesty International in Russia, told MailOnline: ‘We can only call on the Russian authorities to investigate the allegations. Homosexuals in Chechyna are treated very harshly and prosecuted daily and they are afraid to talk about it.

‘They either have to hide or leave the republic. We are keeping in touch with the LGBT network that helps people in Russia to find shelter. The problem is people there cannot talk about it as it puts their lives and those they speak to, in danger. This is the main issue we are facing in Russia and the main challenge.’

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, Russia project director for the International Crisis Group, told MailOnline: ‘The story is very much developing…victims are escaping.’

Last week Chechen police are believed to have rounded up more than 100 men (file photo)

Tanya Lokshina, from Human Rights Watch in Moscow, said: ‘For several weeks now, a brutal campaign against LGBT people has been sweeping through Chechnya.

‘These days, very few people in Chechnya dare speak to human rights monitors or journalists even anonymously because the climate of fear is overwhelming and people have been largely intimidated into silence.

‘Filing an official complaint against local security officials is extremely dangerous, as retaliation by local authorities is practically inevitable.

‘It is difficult to overstate just how vulnerable LGBT people are in Chechnya, where homophobia is intense and rampant. LGBT people are in danger not only of persecution by the authorities but also of falling victim to “honour killings” by their own relatives for tarnishing family honour.’

Last week Novoya Gazeta said Chechen police had rounded up more than 100 men suspected of being gay and killed three.

It claimed that among those detained were well-known local television personalities and religious figures.

President Razman Kadyrov, who is a key ally of Vladimir Putin, allegedly ordered the clampdown, although officially his regime denied the arrests claiming ‘it is impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic’.

Kadyrov, pictured, has been accused of earlier human rights violations

Kadyrov, who introduced Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority region, has been accused of earlier human rights violations.

He described the allegations as ‘absolute lies and disinformation’.

Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov told the Interfax News Agency: ‘You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.

‘If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.’

Chechen society is strictly conservative, meaning that unlike other cases where relatives or rights activists may put pressure on authorities when a homosexual relative disappears, those suspected are likely to be disowned by their own families.

According to the New York Times, gay men on the region have been deleting their social media profiles after it was reported authorities tried to lure gay men into dates and arrested them.

The reports from Russia claim those arrested range from just 15 to 50.

Kadyrov is a strong supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin, pictured in St Petersburg

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Exporting Homophobia: American far-right conservative churches

Exporting Homophobia: American far-right conservative churches establish influence on anti-gay policy in Africa
Gay Ugandans face daily fear for their lives
By Jody May-Chang

Peter Yiga is a Ugandan born-again Christian with a degree in computer engineering. He is the father of a young child and is also a known gay activist in a country that is on a witch hunt.

In February, Yiga attended a human rights conference in the capital city of Kampala.

“I saw a member of parliament who attended, talking very bitter and vowing to kill everyone–including their sons and daughters–if they were proved homosexuals,” he told BW by Internet video conference from Uganda.

Yiga described how he and his friends are psychologically tortured and forced to endure daily warnings and promises of being hunted down and killed.

“The church and other leaders have done a lot to brainwash people, and all the community now is readily spitting fire against homosexuality. They are planning to kill or panga [machete] us. We have been running from house to house because when a neighborhood learns about your orientation, then you should expect mob justice anytime,” he said.

Although homosexuality has been illegal in Uganda since the colonial era, there has been an unprecedented escalation of hatred fueled by Uganda’s pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. If passed in its present form, the wide-ranging legislation calls for the death penalty for gays and lesbians who engage in sex and are HIV positive, have committed the offense of homosexuality more than once, have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a sexual encounter or one partner has a disability. For other, less “aggravated” offenses, they face life in prison.

The bill also affects heterosexuals. Nongovernmental organizations including human rights, advocacy or aid organizations will be prosecuted if any material or advocacy support is provided to or on behalf of LGBT people. This includes family members, friends, medical professionals and clergy. There will be nowhere to run for Yiga or his friends.

While the issues facing Yiga and other homosexuals in Uganda seem a world away, the situation has direct ties to the United States through a combination of social pressures and monetary funding from a select group of powerful conservative Christian groups.

In the midst of the controversy, some have gone so far as to say the American groups had a direct hand in drafting the Ugandan legislation and lent the anti-gay movement a mainstream appearance.

Big names like Kenneth Starr, former White House investigator and president of Baylor University; Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church; Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy; and Stephen Noll of the American Anglican Council and vice chancellor of Ugandan Christian University, have all played a role on the African stage.

Victor Mukasa, a Ugandan in self-imposed exile in South Africa working with the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, told BW there were struggles for LGBT people in Uganda before, but it was not until American evangelicals came to Uganda that things took a turn for the worse.

Seminar Stokes the Fires

America’s influence in African politics goes back centuries, but this most recent anti-homosexual movement can be traced, in part, to a three-day seminar in Kampala in March 2009 called “Exposing the Truth behind Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda.” It was led by Scott Lively–a conservative known for his Holocaust revisionist book, The Pink Swastika, which claims homosexuals founded the Nazi party and were responsible for many death camp atrocities–and fellow evangelicals Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer.

According to sources who attended the conference, Lively told his Kampala audience, “I know more about this [homosexuality] than almost anyone in the world … The gay movement is an evil institution. The goal of the gay movement is to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”

Lively acknowledged, “I am not a medical doctor. I am not a psychiatrist. I am a pastor and an attorney. I don’t have any special training to treat homosexual dysfunction. But I am an attorney and a scholar; I am very capable, more than capable, of being able to analyze professional documents, scientific data, etc.”

Lively went on to outline what he believes are the three causes of homosexuality: “sexual abuse, gender identity confusion or rebellion against authority.”

The effects of the seminar were immediate.

“The community has become very hostile now,” Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, told BW. “We have to watch our backs very much more than before because the community thinks if the Ugandan government is not passing the law, they will deal with people on their own.”

As a prominent transgender activist, Victor Mukasa battled the Ugandan courts for three years, claiming his rights were violated by a warrantless raid on his home in 2005 when he and a Kenyan friend were arrested without cause. Mukasa ultimately prevailed in 2008, but with a cost: He was forced to go into hiding to escape harassment and death threats.

“I think when these evangelicals from the United States came in, of course that struggle took a different turn,” Mukasa explained. “They came in very tactically, the message that they had, a very tricky one, I mean. Any Ugandan could fall for it. I could fall for it if it were not about homosexuality.

“The seminar defiantly escalated hatred toward gays,” said Mukasa. “It incited a lot of violence in various parts of Uganda and people started attacking homosexuals and breaking into their houses and handing them over to the police as homosexuals.”

Rev. Kapya Kaoma, a Zambian Anglican priest and project director at Political Research Associates who authored the 2009 report, “Globalizing the Culture Wars, U.S. Conservatives, African Churches, and Homophobia,” attended the Kampala seminar undercover, documenting many of Lively’s statements on video. Kaoma believes Lively helped author portions of the first draft of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Kaoma said that on March 9, 2009, Lively met with the Ugandan Parliament in a four-hour closed session. By Lively’s own account, “50 to 100 persons [were] in attendance, including numerous legislators and the minister of ethics and integrity [with] whom I enjoyed a personal chat.”

After Lively left Uganda, Kaoma attended a “strategic meeting” on March 15, 2009, in which participants were informed that the Parliament felt they needed a new law to address the international homosexual agenda.

In his report, Kaoma said the Western gay equality movement has caused a “kind of invisible collateral damage” for gays in Africa. In January, Kaoma told BW about the use of homophobia as a tool.

“Any victory in America means more suffering for our brothers and sisters in Africa,” Kaoma explained. “That is why I call the report the ‘Globalizing of the Culture Wars.’ They have taken the war global; it is time for us to take the war global.”

The first draft of the bill was introduced to Parliament on April 29, 2009, by its sponsor, member of Parliament David Bahati.

After seeing the bill for the first time, Kaoma said he thought, “This bill [should] be called the Lively Bill … in that bill you are going to find the talking points of Lively.”

The danger is not just that the bill might pass, it’s that the majority of Ugandans already believe it is law, or it should be. Kaoma, Yiga and other sources in Uganda fear vigilante mob justice will break out at any moment.

But neither American evangelicals nor Lively claim responsibility for the bill.

In December 2009, Lively wrote on his website, “All of my suggestions were ignored, despite which fact I am being blamed for the proposed law … Let me be absolutely clear. I do not support the proposed anti-homosexuality law as written. It does not emphasize rehabilitation over punishment, and the punishment that it calls for is unacceptably harsh.”

On March 11, 2010, Lively told ABC News about his 2009 trip. In his trip report, he wrote about being told “his campaign” was “like a nuclear bomb against the ‘gay’ agenda in Uganda” and that he prayed that was true. When pressed further, Lively responded, “I hope the nuclear bombs spread across the whole world against the gay movement!”

Phone messages left for Lively at his Family Law Center and e-mails sent to him at Abiding Truth Ministries were not returned.

The powerful American far-right Christian think tank, Institute on Religion and Democracy, is known for its abject opposition to gay rights. But when asked by BW about the Ugandan bill, IRD President Mark Tooley said, “No … I haven’t given a whole lot of thought to it, but it sounds extreme.”

Questioned why homosexuality was so much a part of IRD’s focus, Tooley replied, “Well, it would have been preferable if the orthodox side, 40 and 50 and 60 years ago and more, had fought battles over biblical authority and the identity of Jesus Christ rather than waiting around ’til the debate disintegrated down to sexual addicts ethics*. But that did not happen, so we’re stuck with the battles we’re stuck with.”

Tooley, who became IRD president in April 2009, has been the chief architect and director of the UMAction program since 1994. Prior to joining IRD, he spent eight years as an East Africa CIA analyst.

With Lively at the Kampala seminar was Don Schmierer, board member of the American ex-gay advocacy group Exodus International, which claims through Jesus Christ, homosexuals can become heterosexual.

According to New York Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman, Schmierer advocated rehabilitation of homosexuals but said he didn’t know that some Ugandans were contemplating the death penalty for homosexuality.

“I felt duped … That’s horrible, absolutely horrible,” Schmierer said. “Some of the nicest people I have ever met are gay people.”

Tensions Rise Between UltraConservative and Mainstream Churches

But the fight is not just on the ground in Africa. IRD and the American Anglican Council–a network of Christian renewal groups– are at odds with their mainline counterparts, specifically the American Episcopal, United Methodist and Presbyterian Churches.

An internal IRD document obtained by Kaoma, “Reforming America’s Churches Project 2001-2004,” calls for building direct connections with orthodox churches in Africa, pushing for the dismantling of the National Council of Churches and “[exposing] pro-homosexual bias of mainline church agencies.”

IRD’s campaign was so divisive, the April 2007 Desert Southwest Conference of the UMC enacted a resolution calling on United Methodists to consider withdrawing all support from IRD because of its efforts.

Although strife between conservative and progressive factions of the Anglican Communion began years earlier over issues like the role of women in the church, abortion and homosexuality, it reached a flash point in June 2003 when Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. Shortly after, the American Episcopal Church began offering blessings for gay and lesbian couples.

This enraged conservative Anglicans. American Christian Right groups asserted to African leaders that Western homosexual activists, as part of the Western “gay agenda,” would be spreading homosexuality to Africa, posing a threat to their society.

As a way to build support, many conservative groups have looked to African religious leaders, encouraging them to cut ties with more progressive, mainstream churches.

In order to recruit key African religious leaders, Kaoma reported, “U.S. religious conservatives warn of the dangers of homosexuals and present themselves as the true representatives of U.S. evangelicalism.”

Financial funding plays a major role in cementing that support.

Kaoma said African religious leaders have “been in the forefront of severing relationships with mainline denominations or threatening to do so if denominations refuse to drop their social witness.”

An unnamed Kenyan professor told Kaoma, “American conservatives have been in my office several times requesting that we cut ties with [the Episcopal Church] and other progressive funders in exchange for their funds.”

Confirmed by the Uganda Church’s providential secretary Rev. Aaron Mwesigye, a retired bishop told Kaoma, “Americans send money to the archbishops office, who later distributes [it] to dioceses … contributing towards remuneration and salaries of the provincial staff since 1998 … American conservatives provide money to Africans not as donors, but as development partners in mission.”

U.S. Money Brings Power and Influence

Jeff Sharlet, author of the book The Family; The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, told BW that in the past several decades–especially during the Cold War–“Uganda has been essentially an American proxy. We’ve given them billions of dollars of aid … it is fair to say probably [President] Museveni wouldn’t be in power without The Family.”

Sharlet describes The Family­ as a secret religious society, “a 70-year-old movement of elite fundamentalism bent not on salvation for all but on the cultivation of the powerful, ‘key men’ chosen by God to direct the affairs of the nation.” The Family claims not to have a membership, but Sharlet asserts otherwise. In his book, he reveals a network of powerful business and political elites that include key members of Congress, most notably, anti-gay Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who has deep connections in Uganda.

Sharlet broke news Jan. 7 on The Rachel Maddow Show revealing just how deep Inhofe is in The Family and Uganda. Sharlet has also written extensively on the issue in his soon-to-be-released book, C Street, an excerpt of which recently ran in Harper’s Magazine.

“I obtained a budget for The Family’s work in Africa identifying Inhofe as the designated point man selected to work with 11 African leaders, most of them presidents– including the President of Uganda, Museveni, President of Rwanda, Kagame­–and to work with them to help set their nations on sort of a Jesus footing on every level from economy to morals to everything. There’s a budget. There’s money. There’s support staff. It’s a very formal effort that he’s undertaking.”

Core members of The Family in Uganda include author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill David Bahati and Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Buturo.

In February 2007, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., put out the report, “Following the Money.” Author Jim Naughton laid out the complicated flow of millions from American conservative donors and foundations to African church coffers, facilitated by IRD and its affiliates.

“Millions of dollars contributed by a handful of donors have allowed a small network of theologically conservative individuals and organizations to mount a global campaign that has destabilized the Episcopal Church and may break up the Anglican Communion,” Naughton wrote.

His examination of tax records and donor statements revealed that funds originated from savings-and-loan heir Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation–which, according to Andrew J. Weaver of Talk 2 Action, has long-time ties to the radical-right John Birch Society–the Adolf Coors Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Trust, the Scaife Family Foundations and John M. Olin, all of which, Naughton said, “[have] frequently accounted for more than half of the operating budgets of the American Anglican Council and the Institute on Religion and Democracy; both groups are major Christian Right players in Africa.”

After Robinson’s election as an openly gay bishop, the African independent news agency, Afrol, reported Ugandan Archbishop Mpalanyi-Nkoyoyo asking “Ugandans to reject gays and lesbians,” stating homosexuality and lesbianism was slowly taking root.

The Church of Uganda joined President Yoweri Museveni in asserting that homosexuality was a “foreign” or “non-African practice.” The Anglican Church of Uganda and the Episcopal Churches of Nigeria and Rwanda severed ties with the American Episcopal Church. When Robinson was officially consecrated in November 2003, the Church of Tanzania also severed ties, and the Kenyan church refused to recognize Robinson.

Cultural Differences, History Come Into Play

But the influence of African churches goes beyond money to core cultural differences, including how Americans and Africans interpret the terms “family values” and “evangelical,” words regularly brandished by the U.S. Christian right in Africa.

In America, “family values” is often synonymous with anything conforming to the 1950s version of the ideal family.

In Africa, Kaoma said, “‘family’ expresses the idea that to be human is to be embedded in community, a concept called ‘ubuntu.'”

In a 2009 interview with U.S. Catholic, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “‘Ubuntu’ is the African view that a person is a person through other persons. My humanity is caught up in your humanity, and when your humanity is enhanced, whether I like it or not, mine is enhanced as well. Likewise, when you are dehumanized, inexorably, I am dehumanized as well.”

Tutu added that African society has a “deep yearning” for “communal peace and harmony” and what is best for the “greatest good.”

For Bahati and his supporters, the bill has become the remedy to eradicate homosexuality, which is portrayed as harmful and destructive to African society

While in the United States “evangelical” is understood as being both religiously and politically conservative, Africans have traditionally been theologically conservative but have largely remained socially progressive on social welfare and economic justice issues.

Kaoma pointed out Africans don’t make the distinction between progressive and conservative churches, and therefore American Christians who identify as “evangelical” are automatically granted religious credibility.

The impact of Christian missionaries and British colonial rule has had a profound effect on the African psyche over time. Kenyan journalist Edwin Okong’o summed this up in his op-ed, “Why Ugandans Embrace U.S. Christian Right’s Anti-Gay Agenda.”

“There is a joke among Africans about how colonialism began,” Okong’o wrote. “A Christian missionary came with a Bible in hand, told our ancestors to bow their heads in prayer, and when they opened their eyes their land was gone. Today, the same can be said about African constitutions.”

This demonstrates the legacy of African resistance to the “foreign influence” of Western culture and how well-documented, peer-reviewed Western science on sexual orientation and gender identity can be flatly disregarded.

Okong’o offers a provocative explanation for why Africans accept anti-gay rhetoric. “Africans take such filth without questions because they suffer from a severe case of inferiority complex. Even worse, they staunchly believe in the supremacy of the white man … Adding ill-informed Christians places the white man below the holy trinity, a belief with roots in the colonial era.”

According to Kaoma, IRD and other renewal movements attacked mainline churches for their fight against apartheid in South Africa and the subsequent building of schools and hospitals.

“Despite such attacks, U.S. mainline churches enjoyed warm relations until recently when conservatives used these churches’ social witness on LGBT issues to encourage African churches to reject their aid,” Kaoma wrote to BW. “It is one of the renewal movement’s key tactics to use a variety of wedge issues, such as accusations that mainline churches support homosexuality or terrorism, to separate African churches from their international partnerships and to realign them with conservative replacements.

“IRD and other U.S. conservatives present mainline denominations’ commitments to human rights as imperialistic attempts to manipulate Africans into accepting homosexuality, which they characterize as a purely Western phenomenon,” Kaoma wrote.

“This campaign is part of a long-term deliberate and successful strategy to weaken and split U.S. mainline denominations, block their powerful progressive social witness promoting social and economic justice, and promote political and social conservatism in the United States. Using African leaders as a wedge in U.S. conflicts is only its latest and perhaps most effective tactic,” Kaoma continued.

IRD and other conservative groups don’t apologize for their stance against homosexuality.

Heralding earlier successes in combating Marxism and radical feminist theology, former IRD President Jim Tonkowich admits his organization is “deeply engaged on issues of homosexuality” and “beginning a project to research how the action of the Episcopal Church promoting homosexuality is negatively impacting Christians in Africa.”

Since IRD and others present themselves as experts on homosexuality and the “gay agenda,” they are regularly sought out.

In renewal scholar Miranda K. Hassett’s book Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism, Hassett describes a 1999 Kampala “secret meeting to consider the fate of the Episcopal Church,” where AAC associate, Rev. Geoff Chapman, requested from high-ranking African bishops “a new jurisdiction on American soil, under temporary oversight of an overseas province” in Africa.

After Robinson’s consecration, angry conservative churches looked to move out from under U.S. regional church jurisdictions. Many sought to be placed under African churches instead.

Rev. Eric Dudley of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tallahassee, Fla., was featured in a July 2008 PBS episode of Religion and Ethics News Weekly. Dudley was rector at the St. John’s Episcopal Church for 10 years, but became increasingly upset about the liberal theological direction the national denomination was heading in, particularly on gay issues.

In 2005, Dudley left the Episcopal Church and started a new congregation, St. Peter’s, placing it under the authority of the Anglican Church of Uganda, where St. Peter’s American bishop, John Guernsey, was consecrated. Today several U.S. conservative churches operate under the Churches of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria.

Political Connections in Africa Run Deep

Connections between American conservative Christian groups and African leaders expand beyond the confines of the church. Following the trail in the labyrinth of associations, well-known names occasionally turn up, like Rick Warren, pastor of the Southern California Saddleback mega church and author of the book Purpose Driven Life.

Warren has been a high-profile supporter of California’s Yes on Prop 8, and according to Kaoma, Warren established “particularly influential” partnerships with Anglican churches in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. In mid-2005, Warren met with Rwandan cabinet ministers, governors, clergy and entrepreneurs. “One dinner was attended by one-third of the Parliament,” Kaoma said.

During Warren’s many East African trips promoting his “purpose-driven nations,” a 2005 project started with Rwanda, Warren established relationships with many powerful anti-gay African religious leaders like archbishops Henry Orombi of the Church of Uganda, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Peter Akinola of Nigeria and Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya.

Warren’s closest ally in Uganda was Rev. Martin Ssempa, one of the most outspoken anti-gay extremists in the country. Ssempa is best known for staging condom burnings for Jesus, publishing gay-hunting guides in Uganda newspapers that listed activists’ names, addresses and photos, showing gay pornography in churches and staging mass protests in several areas of the country where marchers chant “Arrest all Homos” and “Kill the Gays.”

Warren and Ssempa’s relationship is well documented by thedailybeast.com’s Max Blumenthal in his Jan. 7, 2009, piece, “Rick Warren’s African Problem.” Blumenthal refers to Ssempa as “Warren’s man in Uganda” and characterizes the relationship as having “almost grown familial.”

Blumenthal also said Ssempa “enjoyed close ties with Ugandan First Lady Janet Museveni” and was “a favorite in the Bush White House.”

But after two months of silence on the Anti-Homosexuality bill, Warren issued a statement on Dec. 10, 2009, repudiating the bill and enraging Ssempa.

Ssempa publicly responded to Warren, “Your letter has caused great distress and the pastors are demanding that you issue a formal apology for insulting the people of Africa by your very inappropriate bully use of your church and purpose-driven pulpits to coerce us into the evil of Sodomy and Gaymorrah.”

But Kaoma asked, “Ugandans are demanding an apology from Warren, the question is why are they demanding an apology?

“Warren misrepresented what he said in Uganda, and [it] is very different from what he is saying now.”

Kenneth W. Starr, former dean of law at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., is famous for championing conservative causes, like during his role as special prosecutor in the Clinton/Lewinsky investigations. In March 2009, representing Protect Marriage, a Christian conservative nonprofit, Starr argued the validity of Proposition 8 before the California Supreme Court.

BW left several messages for Starr at his office at Pepperdine, but neither calls nor e-mails were returned.

Starr is a long-time board member of Advocates International Inc., a group of conservative nonprofit Christian lawyers whose vision is to create “a worldwide fellowship of advocates bearing witness of Jesus Christ through the legal profession.” AI links Christian lawyers across the globe, placing special emphasis on Africa.

Starr’s associations as Pepperdine’s dean of law includes one with the Ugandan Christian University, which is owned by the Church of Uganda. Although Archbishop Orombi is the “chancellor,” the man who ran the show was Vice Chancellor, Rev. Prof. Stephen Noll, who after 10 years retired in August and returned home to Pittsburgh.

UCU is proud of its relationship with Starr. “Renowned American lawyer, Kenneth Starr, has praised the context in which Uganda Christian University provides education, saying it offers complete guidance for human behavior,” states a UCU story.

Pepperdine’s fall 2009 issue of Law Magazine reported that during Starr’s last trip to Uganda, “Together with members of the Ugandan judiciary, Dean Starr signed a memorandum of understanding, a document that made official Pepperdine’s clerkship program with the Ugandan judiciary. Starr committed Pepperdine would work collaboratively with the Ugandan judiciary to develop academic and legal reform measures.”

Many are troubled by the mix of Starr’s ideology and his power and influence within the Uganda judiciary, AI’s Ugandan Christian Lawyers Fellowship and the students and educators at UCU he rubs elbows with.

Starr left Pepperdine in June to become president of Baylor University, the largest Baptist educational institution in the world.

Now retired, Noll was with Uganda Christian University from 2000 until 2010. He is still active in AAC with close ties to major players of the U.S. renewal movement. When Noll spoke to BW, he didn’t directly answer questions about his position on the bill.

“[The bill] has been one of those matters where I don’t think, on the whole, the Ugandan leadership is particularly open to advice from people overseas … I have not been directly involved in much of that affair.”

Noll went on to talk about several aspects of the legislation. “[Ugandans] look out at the rest of the world and the Western world, and they see all of this promotion of the homosexual agenda and legislation that makes homosexuality a virtual right, they are afraid that will come to Uganda.”

Kaoma said about one-quarter of the UCU’s funding comes from the American nonprofit Uganda Partners. Noll disputes that, saying 95 percent of his $10 million operating budget comes from student fees. Tax records show Uganda Partners gave UCU about $6.2 million between 2002 and 2008; of that amount, $2 million came from the U.S. Agency for International Development between 2005 and 2008.

On Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C., before the nonpartisan Lantos Human Rights Commission, Kaoma testified at a hearing on the Ugandan bill that, “We need to review U.S. aid policies to avoid supporting African institutions like Uganda Christian University that diminish human rights.”

Kaoma told BW: “The basis of that statement is that the University discriminates against unmarried persons, only employs persons who are married under ‘Christian marriage,’ discriminates against sexual minorities and hinders religious freedom by forcing students and the staff to accept, believe and sign conservative creeds.”

Students, faculty and staff are required to uphold UCU’s “Rules of Life, faith and prayer,” which include “We shall shun all sexual immorality, polygamy, adultery, fornication and homosexual practice … Jesus Christ is Lord and has received all authority in heaven and Earth … Old and New Testaments, is God’s Word written … We expect all full-time staff members to affirm this rule without reservation. We encourage other staff and students to agree with this rule and expect them to refrain from denying it.”

“How do you expect a Muslim to refrain from denying the rule of life, prayer and faith? If homosexuality is a sin, how can you accept students who identify as homosexuals?” Kaoma asked.

Fear Permeates Daily Life for Gays in Uganda

But the broader, society-wide impacts for gay Ugandans are more daunting.

“What is being overlooked here is the idea of genocide,” Sharlet told BW. “It’s simmering below the surface. Genocide in Uganda is very much a reality for them, they think about it, they worry about it … It’s within their memory.”

If genocide were to take place in Uganda, Sharlet believes it will be anti-gay but not necessarily targeted strictly at homosexuals. He suggests it will be used for achieving other political ends.

Sharlet tells a story, confirmed by news reports, about how churches in Uganda are fighting each other, competing for American funding. Allegations of homosexual rape have been levied against prominent pastors in order to discredit and eliminate the competition. Last year several pastors, including Ssempa, accused Pastor Robert Kayanja–Uganda’s equivalent to Rev. Billy Graham–of sodomizing several young boys. Kayanja was ultimately cleared when his accusers retracted their statements, but not until after a media frenzy. Police shifted the investigation toward the accusers for making false statements to police amidst allegations Ssempa and the others had paid the boys to accuse Kayanja. The status of the investigation is not clear.

When pastors from America come to Uganda, Sharlet said there is “big money to be made.” Competition is fierce to attract American pastors to come to their church or revivals. Often providing huge offerings, Ugandan pastors gain access to the money-making American Christian speaking circuit.

In the case of Kayanja, he was targeted “because he’s got all the money,” said Sharlet. “So what’s the best way to stop him? You say that he’s gay. So they hire a bunch of guys to say Kayanja raped me … What you need is a category, you need them to be Jews, you need them to be Tutsis.” Right now in Uganda, it’s homosexuals.

Sharlet laid out a potential scenario in which homosexuality may be used as a political tool for genocide. Like Saddam Hussein did in Iraq, Museveni has kept the peace between various ethnic groups that do not like each other. If Museveni were to die, ethnic conflict is likely to break out. For example, Sharlet suggests that if a particular tribe is said to be tolerant of homosexuals, the tribe could be wiped out in the name of protecting society.

Pressure by the Obama administration has been helpful in trying to stop the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Along with several countries threatening to withhold aid, allafrican.com reported in January that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a 45-minute conversation with Museveni about the bill. In February, a bipartisan resolution was introduced into the U.S. Senate condemning the bill and calling for the Uganda Parliament to reject it. In March, two diplomats from the U.S. Bureau of African Affairs met with gay-rights leaders in Uganda at the American embassy in Kampala. As of May, a Uganda government cabinet committee recommended withdrawing the bill.

Still, the fear is very real.

“I cannot stand by and watch as my community is being exterminated,” declared Unitarian minister Pastor Mark Kiyimba. “[Nelson] Mandela identified South Africa as a vulnerable nation because there are so many different people, and now all of them live side by side. That is what I would like to see in Uganda.”

Whether the bill passes, is watered down, or is stopped, many believe the damage has been done. Long after the Americans that stoked this fire are gone, Peter Yiga and his friends will still endure the day-to-day fear that at any moment, their government or an angry mob will come for them.

Yiga said he has been getting more threats.

“I got lots of threatening sms [text messages] and calls threatening to kill us one by one if Museveni isn’t ready to wipe us out of Uganda,” he said. “Most of them are saying [that] if Museveni has coiled back by allowing us to be free. When someone tells you how you were dressed and what you did and what taxi you took to town, you realize how close they are. Sincerely, I don’t know what can befall us any time.”

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The herd instinct Sigmund Freud

The herd instinct
Sigmund Freud

With a new introduction and commentary by Elizabeth Lunbeck
Huge crowds celebrating the Reich Harvest Thanksgiving outside Hamelin in 1937. Photo by Hugo Jaeger/Timepix/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

Introduction

How cultivated individuals can become barbarians in a crowd

Elizabeth Lunbeck

If you can bear it, go to YouTube and watch a video of a far-Right rally in Europe or the United States. It tends to be a boisterous spectacle verging on outright mayhem – and you, the concerned viewer, might wonder why many of those assembled appear so angry and full of hatred, so receptive to the provocations of a showman-in-chief goading them to expressions of intolerance and violence. What has happened to them, these otherwise friendly, engaging, law-abiding people?

Sigmund Freud wrote Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921) with a version of this question in mind. Freud, you say? He’s dead, outdated and irrelevant, critics assert, a theorist of the late-19th-century bourgeois mind with little to say to our sophisticated modern selves. But I disagree – in fact, I’d argue that aspects of his work are more relevant than ever.

In Group Psychology, Freud asks why crowds make a ‘barbarian’ of the ‘cultivated individual’. Why are the inhibitions enforced by social life so readily overwhelmed by all that is ‘cruel, brutal and destructive’ when we join together with others? And why does the crowd need a strong leader, a hero to whom it willingly submits? The crowd – which is, after all, just an evanescent massing of humanity, a gathering that will quickly disperse once its task is finished – is oddly ‘obedient to authority’. It might appear anarchic, but at bottom it’s conservative and tradition-bound.

Freud argues that neither suggestion nor contagion – the idea that I am impelled to do what you do, to imitate you – can account for the paradoxical character of the crowd as both powerful and submissive. Rather, he proposes, it is love and all the emotional ties through which love is expressed that bind people together in a crowd. This might seem counterintuitive, in light of the crowd’s passionate anger. But it’s worth following Freud here.

First, this Freudian love is no sentimental thing. It encompasses a broad range of feelings, from self-love (or narcissism) to ‘friendship and love for humanity in general’ to the intensity of sexual union. Freud argues that it is these so-called ‘libidinal ties’ – ties fuelled by sexual energy – that distinguish a group from a mere collectivity of individuals. This applies regardless of whether the crowd is spontaneous and short-lived (like a rally) or institutionalised (like the army or the church). Freud is realist enough to acknowledge that manifestly loving, intimate relations among people are often tinged with hostility. You need only consider the ‘feelings of aversion’ that exist between husband and wife, or indeed feelings that characterise other long-lasting relationships, such as between business partners, between neighbouring towns, or on a grander scale between south and north German, Englishman and Scot. Love and hate are closely related.

But the hostility that runs through relations among intimates pales in comparison with the aggression we direct toward strangers. There, our ‘readiness for hatred’ is everywhere evident. So, as Freud sees it, it’s all the more striking that these antipathies vanish in the crowd: ‘individuals in the group behave as though they were uniform, tolerate the peculiarities of its other members, equate themselves with them, and have no feelings of aversion towards them’. The crowd unites as it gives vent to hateful sentiments. This seems plausible to us now; hatred directed at the Other has long proven a powerful source of solidarity. But Freud also sketches a less immediately plausible scenario: members of the collective forgo the ordinary pleasures of rivalry and dislike among themselves, and instead adopt en masse an ethos of equality and fellow-feeling. (A 2004 translation renders Freud’s title not Group but Mass Psychology, truer to Freud’s original Massenpsychologie.)

The mass does this by directing its passions to the leader, an outsider whom it treats as a superior. This leader’s pull is powerful enough to neutralise the intra-group hostilities, Freud says. Conjuring up a remarkably contemporary scene, he asks us to imagine a ‘troop of women and girls’, besotted by a musician and jostling round him after a performance, seeking his favour and perhaps a snippet of his ‘flowing locks’. Each seeks to prevail over the others, but they all know that they’re better off in renouncing their individual, rivalrous desires for the star’s love and instead uniting around their common love for him. They don’t pull out each other’s hair; each gets something of what she wants – the opportunity to pay homage to him and to feel enlivened in doing so. As at a rock concert, so in social life more generally. Identification with the leader trumps envy among individuals, knitting the group together.

There’s definitely some sleight of hand here; Freud isn’t interested in how the rock star’s fans decide to stop fighting among themselves but only in the fact that they do. His account is stronger descriptively than analytically. But his notion of identification is still a powerful tool for dissecting mass behaviour. For Freud, a successful leader invites the crowd to identify with him, which in his usage involves a big dose of idealisation. Think here, Freud says, of the little boy’s identification with his father – the boy wants to grow up and be like him. Identification can also be based on the perception of commonality with someone else, the sense that there’s something shared between us. The leader is at once larger-than-life and familiar, bigger than I am and just like me. He’s heroic and at the same time recognisably human.

Today, these dynamics converge in the figure of Donald Trump and his acolytes. Like Freud’s exemplary leader, Trump invites identification. In the eyes of his supporters, he’s both an idealised hero capable of extraordinary feats (‘Make America Great Again!’), but also an ordinary guy just like one of them. His gilded lifestyle is aspirational but his tastes are accessible (a ‘beer taste on a Champagne budget’, as one commentator put it in The Guardian). Trump’s roiling resentments, fears and disgusts are openly on display, inviting and authorising imitation. And he is a master of playing to the crowd’s desire for transcendence, deploying his own grandiosity to make them feel part of something bigger than themselves. First, he points to the crowd’s humiliation: ‘We’re tired of being the patsy for, like, everybody. Tea party people… You have not been treated fairly. You talk about marginalising.’ Then he declares himself their tribune: ‘At least I have a microphone where I can fight back. You people don’t!’ Finally, he shares his power with them, telling the crowd: ‘You don’t know how big you are. You don’t know the power that you have.’ Trump and the crowd are one; the identification is complete.

Elizabeth Lunbeck is a professor of the history of science at Harvard University. Her latest book is The Americanization of Narcissism (2014).
31 August, 2017

Classic Text

Sigmund Freud
The herd instinct

From Group psychology and the analysis of the ego, translated by James Strachey

With a new commentary by Elizabeth Lunbeck

VII. Identification

Identification is known to psychoanalysis as the earliest expression of an emotional tie with another person. It plays a part in the early history of the Oedipus complex. A little boy will exhibit a special interest in his father; he would like to grow like him and be like him, and take his place everywhere. We may say simply that he takes his father as his ideal. This behaviour has nothing to do with a passive or feminine attitude towards his father (and towards males in general); it is on the contrary typically masculine. …

We enter the text at the beginning of Chapter 7. Freud has just posed the ‘pressing question’ of the nature of the emotional ties among members of a group. He says these ties have been largely overlooked by group sociologists and psychoanalysts alike, arguing that they are obscure and ‘hard to describe’. Here he begins by arguing that the mechanism by which these ties work is identification.
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The Oedipus complex was named by Freud in 1910, after the Sophoclean tragedy Oedipus Rex. It refers to the young boy’s wish to kill his father in order to marry his mother – an impossible dilemma that the boy resolves by identifying with (instead of murdering) his father. Freud leaves fratricide out of the picture here, focusing instead on idealisation.
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To be like Dad. Photo by the Hulton Deutsch Collection/Getty

It is easy to state in a formula the distinction between an identification with the father and the choice of the father as an object. In the first case, one’s father is what one would like to be, and in the second he is what one would like to have. The distinction, that is, depends upon whether the tie attaches to the subject or to the object of the ego. The former kind of tie is therefore already possible before any sexual object-choice has been made. It is much more difficult to give a clear meta-psychological representation of the distinction. We can only see that identification endeavours to mould a person’s own ego after the fashion of the one that has been taken as a model. …

This is key, the fact that the boy’s love for his father is expressed in his wanting to be like him, not to possess him as an object. There’s nothing homosexual in this identificatory love, Freud says, though it’s all male. Identification is a bond forged by love, even if it doesn’t conform to the notion of love as heterosexual union.
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Wanting to be like someone is a form of love and, at the very least, bespeaks an intense emotional tie.

There is a third particularly frequent and important case of symptom formation, in which the identification leaves entirely out of account any object-relation to the person who is being copied. Supposing, for instance, that one of the girls in a boarding school has had a letter from someone with whom she is secretly in love which arouses her jealousy, and that she reacts to it with a fit of hysterics; then some of her friends who know about it will catch the fit, as we say, by mental infection. The mechanism is that of identification based upon the possibility or desire of putting oneself in the same situation. The other girls would like to have a secret love affair too, and under the influence of a sense of guilt they also accept the suffering involved in it. It would be wrong to suppose that they take on the symptom out of sympathy. On the contrary, the sympathy only arises out of the identification, and this is proved by the fact that infection or imitation of this kind takes place in circumstances where even less pre-existing sympathy is to be assumed than usually exists between friends in a girls’ school. …

Here Freud is introducing identification as a mechanism that knits otherwise unrelated individuals into a group. It’s noteworthy (as we’ll see later) that he sketches a scenario in which love-struck girls are the protagonists. In general, in Freud’s estimation, girls and women are far more susceptible to jealousy and envy than men, and so work better for his argument that identification is powerful enough to trump such rivalries. In this scene of mass hysteria, each girl imagines herself in the place of the one who is disappointed in love and, like her, gives in to hysterics.
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They succumb not because they sympathise with her plight – they actually care little for her – but because they become her. Identification, an imagined commonality of circumstance, unites the group of school girls who are, Freud reminds us, exemplary frenemies.
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It [identification] may arise with any new perception of a common quality shared with some other person who is not an object of the sexual instinct. The more important this common quality is, the more successful may this partial identification become, and it may thus represent the beginning of a new tie.

What we saw in the boy wanting to be like his father is the same as what we see among members of a group. It’s not sexual in the usual sense, but it’s very powerful.

We already begin to divine that the mutual tie between members of a group is in the nature of an identification of this kind, based upon an important emotional common quality; and we may suspect that this common quality lies in the nature of the tie with the leader.

VIII. Being in Love and Hypnosis

Even in its caprices the usage of language remains true to some kind of reality. Thus it gives the name of ‘love’ to a great many kinds of emotional relationship which we too group together theoretically as love; but then again it feels a doubt whether this love is real, true, actual love, and so hints at a whole scale of possibilities within the range of the phenomena of love. …

Freud reminds us here that ‘love’ encompasses many gradations of feeling, from sensual to affectionate; establishing this is central to his argument that the crowd is knitted together by his newly delineated variant of love.
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In connection with this question of being in love we have always been struck by the phenomenon of sexual overvaluation – the fact that the loved object enjoys a certain amount of freedom from criticism, and that all its characteristics are valued more highly than those of people who are not loved, or than its own were at a time when it itself was not loved. If the sensual impulsions are more or less effectively repressed or set aside, the illusion is produced that the object has come to be sensually loved on account of its spiritual merits, whereas on the contrary these merits may really only have been lent to it by its sensual charm.

The tendency which falsifies judgment in this respect is that of idealisation. But now it is easier for us to find our bearings. We see that the object is being treated in the same way as our own ego, so that when we are in love a considerable amount of narcissistic libido overflows on to the object. It is even obvious, in many forms of love-choice, that the object serves as a substitute for some unattained ego ideal of our own. We love it on account of the perfections which we have striven to reach for our own ego, and which we should now like to procure in this roundabout way as a means of satisfying our narcissism. …

We are fools in love, susceptible to illusion and overestimating the qualities of the loved one.

All love is to some degree narcissistic, premised in part on love of self.

The ego-ideal will become increasingly central to Freud’s argument. First introduced in his essay ‘On Narcissism’ (1914), it can be thought of as the model of self toward which the individual strives – whom she imagines her ideal self to be. Freud is saying here that we’re drawn to love others who embody what we can’t be; the other is a substitute for the unattainable aspects of the perfection we seek in ourselves. It’s as if the other becomes a concrete representation of our idealised self. This concreteness will become more important as a mechanism of group formation below.
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Supporters of Donald Trump at a rally in Newtown, Pennsylvania in October 2016. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The criticism exercised by that agency is silent; everything that the object does and asks for is right and blameless. Conscience has no application to anything that is done for the sake of the object; in the blindness of love remorselessness is carried to the pitch of crime. The whole situation can be completely summarised in a formula: The object has been put in the place of the ego ideal. …

That is, the ego-ideal. We are readily distracted from confronting our own shortcomings when in love – primed to see everything that’s wonderful in the perfection of the loved one.
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From being in love to hypnosis is evidently only a short step. The respects in which the two agree are obvious. There is the same humble subjection, the same compliance, the same absence of criticism, towards the hypnotist as towards the loved object. There is the same sapping of the subject’s own initiative; no one can doubt that the hypnotist has stepped into the place of the ego ideal. It is only that everything is even clearer and more intense in hypnosis, so that it would be more to the point to explain being in love by means of hypnosis than the other way round. The hypnotist is the sole object, and no attention is paid to any but him. The fact that the ego experiences in a dream-like way whatever he may request or assert reminds us that we omitted to mention among the functions of the ego ideal the business of testing the reality of things. No wonder that the ego takes a perception for real if its reality is vouched for by the mental agency which ordinarily discharges the duty of testing the reality of things. The complete absence of impulsions which are uninhibited in their sexual aims contributes further towards the extreme purity of the phenomena. The hypnotic relation is the unlimited devotion of someone in love, but with sexual satisfaction excluded; whereas in the actual case of being in love this kind of satisfaction is only temporarily kept back, and remains in the background as a possible aim at some later time.

Well, some might doubt it. Freud claims we are basically hypnotised when in love, compliant, dreamy, utterly devoted to the other – so unlike our quotidian selves. And he claims that the subject in love puts the other in the place of her own ego ideal. But does it follow that the hypnotist actually becomes the ego ideal, rather than a shadow of or addition to it? Freud moves on quickly from this rather dubious syllogism.
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Freud pushes the already strained analogy.

But on the other hand we may also say that the hypnotic relation is (if the expression is permissible) a group formation with two members. Hypnosis is not a good object for comparison with a group formation, because it is truer to say that it is identical with it. Out of the complicated fabric of the group it isolates one element for us – the behaviour of the individual to the leader. Hypnosis is distinguished from a group formation by this limitation of number, just as it is distinguished from being in love by the absence of directly sexual trends. In this respect it occupies a middle position between the two.

Now it’s clear why he’s been so adamant about hypnosis. The hypnotic scene, it turns out, is not one of mutuality as one would find between lovers (and neither is it manifestly sexualised). It’s more like a very small crowd. This crowd, unlike the gaggle of boarding-school girls, has a leader. Thus for Freud, the hypnotist-as-ego-ideal is the occasion to introduce the leader into his analysis.
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It is interesting to see that it is precisely those sexual impulsions that are inhibited in their aims which achieve such lasting ties between people. But this can easily be understood from the fact that they are not capable of complete satisfaction, while sexual impulsions which are uninhibited in their aims suffer an extraordinary reduction through the discharge of energy every time the sexual aim is attained. It is the fate of sensual love to become extinguished when it is satisfied; for it to be able to last, it must from the beginning be mixed with purely affectionate components – with such, that is, as are inhibited in their aims – or it must itself undergo a transformation of this kind. …

Freud at his counter-intuitive best. You might think that relationships cemented by sex are more durable than so-called aim-inhibited, or not-manifestly sexual, bonds, but you’d be mistaken. Sexual bonds are far more evanescent, because they become extinguished upon satisfaction. This point is necessary for the argument about libidinal ties binding the group to work.
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But after the preceding discussions we are quite in a position to give the formula for the libidinal constitution of groups, or at least of such groups as we have hitherto considered– namely, those that have a leader and have not been able by means of too much ‘organisation’ to acquire secondarily the characteristics of an individual. A primary group of this kind is a number of individuals who have put one and the same object in the place of their ego ideal and have consequently identified themselves with one another in their ego.

Identification among members of the massed crowd is not spontaneous. Rather, it’s catalysed by the leader, who is compelling and powerful enough to elicit and then embody everyone’s dreams and aspirations – their ego ideals. The recognition of sameness is refracted through the force of the leader’s personality.
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IX. The Herd Instinct

We cannot for long enjoy the illusion that we have solved the riddle of the group with this formula. It is impossible to escape the immediate and disturbing recollection that all we have really done has been to shift the question on to the riddle of hypnosis, about which so many points have yet to be cleared up. And now another objection shows us our further path.

A reference to the classic text Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War (1916) by the English surgeon Wilfred Trotter (1872-1939).
Fans of the Osmonds pop group in London in 1975. Photo by John Downing/Getty

It might be said that the intense emotional ties which we observe in groups are quite sufficient to explain one of their characteristics – the lack of independence and initiative in their members, the similarity in the reactions of all of them, their reduction, so to speak, to the level of group individuals. But if we look at it as a whole, a group shows us more than this. Some of its features – the weakness of intellectual ability, the lack of emotional restraint, the incapacity for moderation and delay, the inclination to exceed every limit in the expression of emotion and to work it off completely in the form of action – these and similar features, which we find so impressively described in Le Bon, show an unmistakable picture of a regression of mental activity to an earlier stage such as we are not surprised to find among savages or children. A regression of this sort is in particular an essential characteristic of common groups, while, as we have heard, in organised and artificial groups it can to a large extent be checked.

Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931), author of The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1895), a pioneering sociology of mass behaviour on which Freud relied heavily in the earlier portions of Group Psychology, faulting him only for ignoring the role of the leader.
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To regress is to return to an earlier point in development – of the individual or, as is the case here, of humanity, which one can see in the ‘primitive’ peoples studied by anthropologists. ‘Child-like’ and ‘primitive’ are largely interchangeable in Freud’s (now problematic) lexicon.
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We thus have an impression of a state in which an individual’s private emotional impulses and intellectual acts are too weak to come to anything by themselves and are entirely dependent for this on being reinforced by being repeated in a similar way in the other members of the group. We are reminded of how many of these phenomena of dependence are part of the normal constitution of human society, of how little originality and personal courage are to be found in it, of how much every individual is ruled by those attitudes of the group mind which exhibit themselves in such forms as racial characteristics, class prejudices, public opinion, etc. The influence of suggestion becomes a greater riddle for us when we admit that it is not exercised only by the leader, but by every individual upon every other individual; and we must reproach ourselves with having unfairly emphasised the relation to the leader and with having kept the other factor of mutual suggestion too much in the background.

In the crowd, the self refined in accordance with civilisation’s demands is nowhere to be seen.

We are always open to the influence of the other, ready to conform to group-think when it comes to opinions and prejudices. Is the leader really so important? Freud wonders if he has drawn too long a bow.
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After this encouragement to modesty, we shall be inclined to listen to another voice, which promises us an explanation based upon simpler grounds. Such a one is to be found in Trotter’s thoughtful book on the herd instinct (1916), concerning which my only regret is that it does not entirely escape the antipathies that were set loose by the recent great war. …

But Trotter’s exposition is open, with even more justice than the others, to the objection that it takes too little account of the leader’s part in a group, while we incline rather to the opposite judgment, that it is impossible to grasp the nature of a group if the leader is disregarded. The herd instinct leaves no room at all for the leader; he is merely thrown in along with the herd, almost by chance; it follows, too, that no path leads from this instinct to the need for a God; the herd is without a herdsman. …

His modesty can’t be long sustained.
Ecstatic crowds cheer Adolf Hitler’s arrival in Karlsbad in the Sudetenland in 1938. Photo by Evening Standard/Getty

It is naturally no easy matter to trace the ontogenesis of the herd instinct. … Something like it first grows up, in a nursery containing many children, out of the children’s relation to their parents, and it does so as a reaction to the initial envy with which the elder child receives the younger one. The elder child would certainly like to put his successor jealously aside, to keep it away from the parents, and to rob it of all its privileges; but in the face of the fact that this younger child (like all that come later) is loved by the parents as much as he himself is, and in consequence of the impossibility of his maintaining his hostile attitude without damaging himself, he is forced into identifying himself with the other children. So there grows up in the troop of children a communal or group feeling, which is then further developed at school. The first demand made by this reaction-formation is for justice, for equal treatment for all. We all know how loudly and implacably this claim is put forward at school. If one cannot be the favourite oneself, at all events nobody else shall be the favourite.

Freud shows us just how familiar the mechanism of group formation is in day-to-day life. Many of us have observed it in the way an older sibling’s jealousy can be abandoned and transformed into communal feeling. He realises he’s better off identifying with others than maintaining his hostile superiority.
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Another nugget of Freudian wisdom – just how alert we are to competitive advantage and how willing we are to punish offenders of group norms. If we can’t play with a toy, better to smash it than let anyone else have it.
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This transformation – the replacing of jealousy by a group feeling in the nursery and classroom – might be considered improbable, if the same process could not later on be observed again in other circumstances. We have only to think of the troop of women and girls, all of them in love in an enthusiastically sentimental way, who crowd round a singer or pianist after his performance. It would certainly be easy for each of them to be jealous of the rest; but, in the face of their numbers and the consequent impossibility of their reaching the aim of their love, they renounce it, and, instead of pulling out one another’s hair, they act as a united group, do homage to the hero of the occasion with their common actions, and would probably be glad to have a share of his flowing locks. Originally rivals, they have succeeded in identifying themselves with one another by means of a similar love for the same object. When, as is usual, an instinctual situation is capable of various outcomes, we shall not be surprised that the actual outcome is one which brings with it the possibility of a certain amount of satisfaction, whereas some other outcome, in itself more obvious, is passed over because the circumstances of life prevent its leading to any such satisfaction.

What appears later on in society in the shape of Gemeingeist, esprit de corps, ‘group spirit’, etc, does not belie its derivation from what was originally envy. No one must want to put himself forward, every one must be the same and have the same. Social justice means that we deny ourselves many things so that others may have to do without them as well, or, what is the same thing, may not be able to ask for them. This demand for equality is the root of social conscience and the sense of duty. It reveals itself unexpectedly in the syphilitic’s dread of infecting other people, which psychoanalysis has taught us to understand. The dread exhibited by these poor wretches corresponds to their violent struggles against the unconscious wish to spread their infection on to other people; for why should they alone be infected and cut off from so much? why not other people as well? …

We demand equality not because we’re socially minded but because it’s the price we pay to ensure that neither our friends nor our enemies will get more than we have. Our social conscience is rooted in a base but normal disposition to envy.
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Thus social feeling is based upon the reversal of what was first a hostile feeling into a positively toned tie in the nature of an identification. So far as we have hitherto been able to follow the course of events, this reversal seems to occur under the influence of a common affectionate tie with a person outside the group. We do not ourselves regard our analysis of identification as exhaustive, but it is enough for our present purpose that we should revert to this one feature – its demand that equalisation shall be consistently carried through. We have already heard in the discussion of the two artificial groups, church and army, that their necessary precondition is that all their members should be loved in the same way by one person, the leader. Do not let us forget, however, that the demand for equality in a group applies only to its members and not to the leader. All the members must be equal to one another, but they all want to be ruled by one person. Many equals, who can identify themselves with one another, and a single person superior to them all – that is the situation that we find realised in groups which are capable of subsisting. Let us venture, then, to correct Trotter’s pronouncement that man is a herd animal and assert that he is rather a horde animal, an individual creature in a horde led by a chief.

Freud has moved here from talking about the massed group to observing social life more generally. Questions remain, especially about the allure of the leader. We see what the group gets from the leader, but what does the leader get from the group? He works the crowd but appears not to ‘need’ it; manifestly the selfless servant of the masses, his craving for adulation is disguised. But what if the leader’s neediness is openly on display? ‘This is like medicine for him,’ said one Trump supporter at a recent gathering; ‘Trump is a rallyer.’ Yet another observed of Trump that ‘he connects with the average American … He’s just a man.’ We might speculate that the identification tying together leader and led is all the more intense here, premised on a felt commonality of flawed, needy humanity.
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Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis. He was one of the most influential figures in the fields of psychology and psychiatry, and his works include The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921) and Civilization and Its Discontents (1930), among many others.

Do you think Freud was right about why crowds fall in love with charismatic figures?

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One Evil: Nazi SS (Sedes Sacrorum)

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One Evil: Nazi SS (Sedes Sacrorum)

Nazi SS (Sedes Sacrorum)
The Nazis

The Nazi SS also known as “SS” — a shortened name for the “Knights of the Holy See” is a Roman Catholic spiritual and military order first formed in 1933 based completely upon the Jesuit order structure upon the signing of the “sacred” Reich Concordat specifically through the application of Articles 1,12,15,21 and 33 with the enaction of Clause (c) of the “Secret Supplement” of the Concordat between Franz von Papen (on behalf of Nazi Germany) and Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (Pope Pius XII).

The term Nazi was first publicly used as the rebranded name for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) in 1933 upon devout Catholic leader –known as “Father” or Führer–(Fr.) Adolf Hitler assuming office as German Chancellor.

The Nazi SS were also formally given birth under the Reich Concordat of 1933 with its first Superior General being Reichführer (Superior Father/General) Fr. Heinrich Himmler S.J. who personally attended the signing ceremony of the Reich Concordat in Rome (1933). Under the Reich Concordat, the Reichführer –having the same rank as a Senior Roman Catholic Cardinal –is the superior to the Führer, the “lay” representative of the Nazi (Knights).

As a military order of the Roman Catholic Church, the Knights of the Holy See (Nazi SS) are bestowed by the “infallible” legal orders of the Roman Pontiff on behalf of the Mother Church to wage constant Holy Inquisition against all heretics, including assassinations, torture and counter-intelligence, to protect the name of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and directly represent the interests of the Holy See as its primary order of Holy Knights– the SS (Sedes Sacrorum or Holy See).

As the primary Roman Catholic spiritual order charged with carrying out the executions of the Holy Inquisition, the Knights of the Holy See (Nazi SS) are tasks with rounding up large numbers of people, depriving them of their rights on claim of being heretics and killing them.

As a spiritual order of the Roman Catholic Church, the Nazis– like the Jesuits –were bestowed with the extraordinary Roman Catholic grace of being forgiven for all their mortal sins (therefore can go to Heaven) that “unfortunately” must be done in order to observe its temporal orders.

As members of a Catholic Order holding the equivalent spiritual powers of Priests, Bishops and even Cardinals (e.g. Fr Himmler S.J.), the Knights of the Holy See have historically murdered heretics by sacrificing them in formal religious ceremony. This is why over 18 million innocent people were burnt alive in ovens in Russia and Poland during World War II–as the single largest mass human sacrifice in history — rather than cheaply starving them to death and/or burying them alive/dead.

As the Nazi SS order (“Knights of the Holy See”) were formed by a formal Papal act and Deed in the form of the Reich Concordat 1933, the continued existence of the Nazi SS Order is conditional upon this legal document remaining enacted. Given the German Government and Holy See (Vatican) continue to honor this Concordat to this day, the SS remains legally and technical still enacted, now bestowed unto a new organization.
Hitler and the foundation of the NSDAP

The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) was born in early 1920 as an evolution of the earlier political group – the extremist German Workers’ Party (Arbeiterpartei, DAP) first founded by Anton Drexler (1884-1942) including others such as Gottfried Feder, Dietrich Eckart and Karl Harrer.

Adolf Hitler first came into contact with the DAP around June 1919–five months after its formation– as a double agent and intelligence officer of the Catholic controlled Bavarian Reichswehr Group tasked with reporting on their activities. His acceptance into the ranks of the Catholic Bavarian Reichswehr intelligence network was thanks to the support of his patron Catholic Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, based in Munich at the time.

From late 1919 until he moved to Berlin in 1925, Hitler met with his mentor Cardinal Pacelli every few weeks and probably updated the Archbishop on his progress while receiving his next instructions. Testimony as a “matter of fact” to the regular and clockwork meetings of Hitler and Pacelli was given by the housekeeper and friend of Pacelli for 41 years, Sister Pascalina Lehnert.

Hitler was accepted as the 55th member of the German Workers’ Party (DAP), and played no active role until the start of 1920 when the tiny German Worker’s Party was facing bankruptcy and extinction thanks to the disastrous management of the weekly published Thule society newspaper the Münchener Beobachter (Munich Observer ) by Drexler, Feder, Eckart and Harrer.

Rather than being re-assigned to another intelligence project, Hitler was promptly and honorably discharged from military service by the end of February 1920 and overnight went from unemployed minor party member to savior of the DAP by providing all the necessary gold to keep the Münchener Beobachter (Munich Observer ) and the DAP afloat.

In a measure of the influence and control Hitler now had as the miraculous financier, the party changed its name in March 1920 to Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or (NSDAP) –National Socialist German Workers’ Party and the name of its paper to Völkischer Beobachter (People’s Observer) after its purchase by the re-named NSDAP from the Thule Society.

Later, the Jesuits wrote the lie in Mein Kampf that this strategic decision to change the party was made by erratic alcoholic and drug addict Dietrich Eckart. What is never mentioned is that Hitler came bearing millions of dollars of gold seemingly out of “thin air” to turn a small eccletic band into a political movement.
The failed NSDAP push for power by force

In spite of Hitler arranging the lifeline to keep the NSDAP afloat, the Thule Society members remained half hearted in transforming it into a real political movement, yet unwilling to step aside.

By early 1921, Cardinal Pacelli had also assisted Hitler by discretely introducing key and trusted Catholic members such as Rudolf Hess, Hans Frank and Alfred Rosenberg into the NSDAP. At an extraordinary party meeting on 28 July 1921 Hitler made his move and was voted in as Chairman of the NSDAP against the wishes of its founders.

Now with his protege in charge, Pacelli pushed for the NSDAP to accelerate its transformation. Soon after being appointed Führer, Superior General Wlodimir Ledochowski provided Jesuit priests to Adolf Hitler in 1921 to help establish a paramilitary wing to the NSDAP to be known as the Sturmabteilung (SA) also known as “Brownshirts” first headed by Ernst Röhm. The new official insignia of the party, the swastika was also adopted.

The plan given to the Hitler by Cardinal Pacelli in late 1921 that the NSDAP was to organize themselves as a Catholic militia ready to seize power within the year. Yet, even with new recruits and millions of dollars of gold in the bank, the NSDAP demonstrated a complete lack of competence in organizing themselves into a political military force.

In contrast, the National Fascist Party headed by Benito Mussolini with his “Blackshirts” (Squadristi) demonstrated far more capability in winning at the Italian elections in 1922 and then staging a coup d’état to seize total power in October 1922.

By the beginning of November 1923 after considerable expense, the NSDAP now had around 20,000 members and a few thousand members of the Sturmabteilung “Brownshirts”. Under pressure to demonstrate results, Hitler launched his coup to try and takeover Germany on the night of November 8th—the so call “Beer hall putsch” beginning with a rally of 2,000 supporters through Munich. It failed instantly, with the Reichswehr troops opening fire on the rebels and Hitler with the rest of the party leadership were arrested and found guilty of treason by March 1924—the party banned from having any military wing and prevented from running in elections for four years.

It must be noted clearly that there is absolutely no credible evidence that Fr Heinrich Himmler was associated with Hitler, or any member of the NDSAP in anyway until 1929. Nor is there any credible evidence whatsoever that the NSDAP used the word “Nazi” or “Nazi Party” until the arrival of Himmler. Both crucial facts being deliberately clouded and misrepresented to his the accurate evolution of events leading to World War II.

Yet, it was the imprisonment of Hitler (albeit for an incredibly short 12 months until December 20, 1924) that turned out to be a major propaganda win by Pacelli and the Jesuits for their protégé. Hitler may have been a remarkable orator, but was as good at writing as painting. While at Lansberg Prison, Hitler was visited several times by Bernhardt Staempfle S.J. for the painful process of extracting the outline of an autobiography and political manifesto to be called Mein Kampf “My Life”.

Within a few months of his release Fr Staempfle S.J. had completed Volume I “A Reckoning” –12 chapters outlining the essential arguments for Catholic Nationalism (Fascism) in Germany peppered by semi-fiction of the life of Hitler.

The Jesuits even secured a top-notch Bavarian born US media agent named Ernst Hanfstaengl who had worked for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was on close terms to many in German and US “high society” including media baron William Randolph Hearst. It was Hanfstaengl who was instrumental in massaging the public image of Hitler into a “Catholic Christian Knight” against the “global Jewish menace”.

While Hitler’s career as the “world’s first media celebrity” gained ground, the NDSAP and Hitler remained banned from participating in elections until 1927. Contrary to deliberate misinformation which claims the NDSAP secretly participated as the “National-Socialist Freedom Movement” in the 1924 national German elections, the first election at which the NDSAP and Hitler ever stood candidates was in the National elections on May 20, 1928 at which the NDSAP polled a poor 2.6% of the vote with Hitler as their famous celebrity leader.

In the meantime, Mussolini had already been in absolute power of Italy since 1922. Clearly, the whole political apparatus of the NDSAP needed to change.
The arrival of Fr Himmler S.J. and the Nazis

One of (several) absurd mythologies accepted by eminent historians and academics is the proposition that the Schutzstaffel (German for “Squadron” and the same concept as the Italian “Blackshirt Squadrons” of Catholic Mussolini) was formed in 1925 as the personal bodyguard of Hitler following his release from prison.

Some audacious writers have even “revised history” to claim the Schutzstaffel (frequently cut in half to try and get two S’s our of the single word for squadron) had already started to use the SS and skull and bones symbols, including calling their head the Reichführer-SS and the Roman Salute (straight arm) to their allegiance to the Vatican, Rome.

The ridiculous nature of these lies are easily exposed when the facts are considered that Hitler’s main claim to fame in 1925 was as a book writer and budding political philosopher, surrounded by a tight group of individuals each providing key skills such as Rudolf Hess-personal private secretary, Ernst Hanfstaengl-media, Hans Frank-Lawyer and Julius Schreck-personal security. Furthermore, the NDSAP was a publicly banned organization until May 1927.

In fact, the first election of the reformed NDSAP in May 1928 was a complete humiliation and disaster. It was during this period of recrimination and failure that Fr. Heinrich Himmler S.J entered to be immediately appointed the deputy of Erhard Heiden, commanded of the Schutzstaffel (squadron). Within a matter of a few months, Erhard Heiden resigned and Fr. Himmler S.J. was appointed as commander of the Schutzstaffel.

Again, it is important of emphasize that the Schutzstaffel (only one S) wore brown shirts until the Reich Concordat was signed between Cardinal Pacelli and Franz von Papen (for Germany) in 1933 bestowing exclusive spiritual powers on the Schutzstaffel of Fr. Himmler S.J. by the Vatican. The Jesuit Skull and Bones was incorporated by Fr Himmler into the military insignia of the Schutzstaffel but not the infamous SS until after the 1933 Concordat.

The political fortunes of the NDSAP appeared to suddenly turn around thanks to the swelling ranks of disciplined recruits to the Schutzstaffel. In September 1930, the NSDAP won 18.3% of the vote and 107 seats in the Reichstag (Parliament). By the July 1932 national elections, this vote had swelled to 37.8% and 230 of the 608 seats of Parliament. However, in the November 1932 elections, their lead had dropped to 33.1% and 196 seats in a 584 seat Parliament.

By 1933 National Elections, the Schutzstaffel under the control of Fr. Himmler S.J. numbered at least 52,000 highly trained and absolutely loyal members – a far cry from the early incompetence in Munich ten years earlier.

It was March 1933 that the world saw the word “Nazi” unleashed as a political religious force in the elections following the destruction of the Reichstag (Parliament) by Schutzstaffel agents and blamed on communists.
The etymology (origin) and meaning of Nazi

1933 marks the first year the religious word Nazi (from Hebrew Nasi meaning “Knight”) was used as the official new name of the NDSAP in government.

It is frequently and incorrectly claimed that the word “Nazi” comes from the haphazard extraction of letters from the first word of the name of the NSDAP – NAtionalsoZIalistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei to produce a simple abbreviation. This explanation is patently false as the NSDAP already has a perfectly good and well known abbreviation- NSDAP!. The word “Nazi” appeared only after Hitler assumed power invited by Franz Von Papen for an entirely different reason.

The word Nazi/Nasi dates back to the time of the Sanhedrin councils of Palestine first formed by the Romans in the 1st Century BCE. To members of modern Judaism, the Nasi were the appointed spiritual leaders of the Sanhedrin as opposed to the temporal leadership of the High Priest of the Main Temple. While there is some uncertainty as to the credibility of all the claimed history of the office of Nasi and the bloodline of Rabbinical Scholars of the House of Hillel, there is no doubt the position existed at some point.

The problem for modern readers concerning the direct relationship with the Hebrew term (Nasi) for knight and Nazi for the NDSAP as the “New Knights of Germany” is that Hitler and the NDSAP were supposed to be racially opposed to all things “Jewish”. Without an understanding of true history concerning Israel being historically a region called Samara/Samaria and Judah being Yahud, without an understanding of the Phoenician/Samaritan/Sephardic priest-king bloodlines as the Khazars, the Venetians, the kings of Septimania as but a few examples, then the use of the word “Nasi” as “Nazi” seems absurd.

The simple fact is that the 16th century word and label “Jew” masked two distinct and wholly separate ancient religious/cultural/racial groups with absolutely nothing in common except a history of antipathy, hatred, war and rebirth. The Sarmatian/Sephardic/Sadducee priest-kings from the North, inventors of Hebrew, descendents of the Phoenicians being the mortal enemies of the southern Sephardic/Aramaic/Sadducee priest kings of Yahud (Judah). The term “Jew” is equivalent to saying all the people in the Middle East are “Easterners”—falsely claiming a homogeny and cultural identifiable unity.

The etymology of the word Nazi is wholly Sarmatian/Sadducee/Sephardic—the founders of Venice and a set of families that had grown very rich and powerful in their connections with the Roman Cult controlling the Catholic Church since the 12th and 13th Centuries. Today, we know them by the deliberately misleading name of the “Global Jewish Bankers”.

The shocking truth concerning the Nazis is that rather than seeking to destroy any kind of “Global Jewish Banking Conspiracy”, they were in fact dedicated to seeing it re-establish pre-eminent control over European Financial System and ultimately to the Roman Cult of the Vatican, Rome to whom they serve.
The Nazi SS – The Knights of the Holy See

There is a parallel and quite extraordinary change within the power structure of the NSDAP as the Nazis- the rise of Fr. Himmler to Reichführer (also Reichführer Nazi SS) – or Superior General of the Knights of the Holy See.

Many historians deliberately mask the first beginnings of the use of the title Reichführer by dropping off the word “Nazi”, or removing “SS” to somehow claim this position was the official title of the commander of the Schutzstaffel as early as 1925. The reason for this forgery is twofold- one to mask the true date of 1933 as the historic shift in the introduction of the initials SS and secondly to mask the true arrival of Himmler in 1929 and the title Reichführer-Nazi SS in 1933.

But what is more incredible is the fabricated history that continues to hid the absolute fact that in 1933 after the Reich Concordat was signed with the Vatican, Fr. Himmler was elevated in power, name and status above Hitler. Fr. Himmler S.J. as the Reichführer has superior title (as opposed to plain old führer for Hitler). Fr Himmler had complete independent control over all police, paramilitary, intelligence, scientific research and weapons development and the dreaded elite units of over 50,000 just in 1933—and Hitler had absolutely no authority over him. In fact the proof of the distaste each man had for one another is demonstrated in countless war archive movies showing in clear detail the body language of both men.

The fact that Hitler could do nothing against Himmler at the end of the war when it is universally recognized that Himmler was seeking to broker some kind of personal peace deal is more than enough evidence to conclude Hitler was part-puppet to larger forces.

Finally, the fact that neither Hitler nor any of his henchmen ever attempted to assassinate Himmler, in spite of his open usurping of Hitler’s authority on many occasions, is indication the title of Reichführer-Nazi SS and the meaning of the SS is extremely significant.
The real meaning of the SS of the Nazi elite

As stated, two S’s cannot logically be extracted from the word Schutzstaffel simply means “Squadron”. The significance of the use of the SS symbol by the elite of Himmler’s forces after he personally attended the signing of the Reich Concordat with the Vatican in 1933 is frequently ignored.

Prior to its use by Himmler, the symbols SS were most frequently and officially used as the abbreviation of Sedes Sacrorum or the legal name of the Vatican being the “Holy See” (Latin Sedes = seat/see and Sacrorum = Holy/Sacred) since the 16th Century as a sign of imprimatur over official Vatican documents.

It is either an extraordinary coincidence that Himmler and his elite began wearing the SS symbol as Reichführer immediately after the signing of the Reich Concordat in 1933 with the SS- the Sedes Sacrorum, the Holy See. Given the four hundred year precedent of SS being associated with the Holy See, it is not unreasonable to conclude that the wearing of the symbols is associated with some as yet unpublished spiritual/temporal powers bestowed on the SS Troops by the SS- Holy See.

When one considers that Nazi SS translates most perfectly into the meaning “Knights of the Holy See”, that the role of Himmler best translates into the new Grand Inquisitor and that over 18 million innocent people were burned alive in human sacrifice camps in Poland and Russia, then the SS were without doubt the new “Holy Army” of a great inquisition against “heretics” orchestrated by the Vatican, Rome.

Once this is understood, then the claims of millions burnt alive makes sense as the official doctrine (to this day) of the Roman Catholic Church for punishing heretics. It makes sense why the Nazi SS built the death camps. It makes sense why some many millions were targeted and why so much energy was spent on this utmost evil—because they were the loyal Catholic troops of the Vatican-Jesuit Inquisition of 1933-1945.
The Nazis Today

As the Nazi order (“Knights of the Reich”) were formed by a formal Papal act and Deed in the form of the Reich Concordat 1933, the continued existence of the Nazi Order is conditional upon this legal document remaining enacted. Given the German Government and Holy See (Vatican) continue to honor this Concordat to this day, the Nazi order remains legally and technical still enacted, now bestowed unto a new organization.
Important Announcement Concerning Redemption and Fulfillment Whilst the present heads of the Catholic Church have demonstrated over 900 years of contempt towards the Divine Creator, under the Covenant of One-Heaven (Pactum De Singularis Caelum) the entire officials including Cardinals, Bishops, Deacons and Ordinaries are granted Divine Redemption including the Sainthood of all Popes , including the Church having the power to ratify the Divine Treaty of Lucifer and the end of Hell and Damnation forever if all evil behaviour is ceased, all sins admitted and all property surrendered by the Day of Divine Judgment on VENUS E8:Y3210:A0:S1:M27:D6 also known as Wed, 21 Dec 2011.

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