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TBR News February 1, 2020

Feb 01 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. February 1, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.

Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose

Commentary for February 1:
“It is obvious that the Republican-controlled Senate will never convict Trump.
To a relatively neutral mind, there is no question he is dishonest, treacherous, emotionally unstable and unfit for the high office he bought and paid for.
Most, though not all, members of Congress are only interested in keeping their jobs and raking in bribe money and enjoying the privileges of their office.
The American public ought to toss most of them out and elect decent and concerned people. After all, the duty of a legislator is to represent his constituents, not stuff his pockets with bribe money.
I am afraid, however, that if a new Congress assembled in Washington, within a few years, they would be back the way they are now.
It costs so much money to run for high office that few can afford to do so. And when vested interests are willing to support a candidate, believe it, the donors expect their paid-for representative to look after their interests.
America is rapidly becoming a country with a large contingent of rich people and an even larger group of the unemployed and unemployable.
Big business has moved its operations overseas because of far cheaper labor but what the industrialists do not seem to realize is that their hundred of thousands of fired workers have no money to buy their products.
All of this will, of a certainty, lead to civil disobedience by the impoverished mob and the rich will enforce their positions, safety and holdings by using obedient law enforcement and, in the final act, the military.
If you plug up the spout of a boiling tea kettle, the lid always blows off.”

Trump’s Approval/Disapproval rating February 1 reporting

Source         Approve        Disapprove
You Gov          38%                52%

The Table of Contents
• Republicans march over the impeachment cliff – taking their self-respect with them
• Trump’s Middle East peace plan satisfies no one
• Palestinian Authority cuts ties with Israel and U.S.
• The Erasure of Palestinians From Trump’s Mideast “Peace Plan” Has a Hundred-Year History
• The Family: The Octopus of God
• The Season of Evil
• The Encyclopedia of American Loons

Republicans march over the impeachment cliff – taking their self-respect with them
How can Republicans pretend to the world that their vision of America – where a president can happily use military aid to coerce a foreign government to smear his political rival in an election – is the model for democracy?
January 31, 2020
by Richard Wolffe
The Guardian
Jared Kushner is a genius. It’s all too easy to overlook the sheer brilliance of Donald Trump’s son-in-law, not least when he rolls out a Middle East peace plan that destroys the concepts of both the Israeli and Palestinian states.
But for his rapier-like ability to capture the zeitgeist, there’s no one quite like the young slumlord to tell it like it really is. Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Kushner talked dramatically about this week as a time for leaders to step up.
“What we’ve done is create an opportunity for their leadership to either seize or not,” he explained. “If they screw up this opportunity – which again, they have a perfect track record of missing opportunities – if they screw this up, I think they will have a very hard time looking the international community in the face, saying they are the victims, saying they have rights.”
Kushner thought he was talking about the Palestinians, in a gloriously brazen blend of racism and gold-leafed ignorance.
But he was in fact describing perfectly the entire caucus of Senate Republicans as they screwed up their last golden opportunity for personal redemption and liberal democracy in the impeachment trial of Donald J Trump.
How will the nation’s Republican senators look anyone in the face and say they have any rights to keep in check a corrupt and criminal president? How can they pretend to be Trump’s victims when they marched themselves off a constitutional cliff?
And how on earth can they pretend to the world that their vision of America – where a president can happily use military aid to coerce a foreign government to smear his political rival in an election – is the model for democracy?
Let’s be honest. There was little drama or suspense in Trump’s impeachment trial, save for the bat-excrement quality of crazy that tumbled out of Alan Dershowitz’s mouth. According to Harvard’s emeritus law professor, presidents are unimpeachable as long as they think they are acting in the national interest when they use their power to corrupt their own election.
This could have been valuable analysis for Richard Nixon, but it also serves to question the value of a Harvard law professor. Perhaps it’s only the detritus who become emeritus.
Dershowitz claimed he said no such thing, but our eyes and ears suggested otherwise. He also said he supported Nixon’s almost-impeachment, naturally. Which is to say: the Harvard man is the perfect specimen of what Trump has propagated through the body politic: a contagious coronavirus of chronic lying, cowardly ambition and plain old corruption.
For all the fake angst about calling witnesses – did Mitch McConnell wobble on the votes to stop them or is he actually manipulating the media every day? – the searing testimony of John Bolton would have done nothing, zippo, nada, to change the final vote.
The facts of Trump’s corruption were never in dispute. The notion that this doesn’t rise to impeachable crimes has always been a joke.
We could play the age-old parlor game of asking how our esteemed Republican senators would have responded to Barack Obama asking the French government to investigate Mitt Romney’s missionary exploits ahead of the 2012 election. But what’s the point?
Today’s Republican party elected to remove their spinal cords three years ago, along with much of their frontal lobe and their self-respect. They wring their hands in private and lament their lampoon-worthy leader whose shoes they must lick on a daily basis.
But they should know they are following in a fine tradition of the world’s puppet legislators, like the People’s Council of Syria and the Russian Duma under the expert guidance of one Vladimir Putin.
We should in some ways be grateful for the honesty of our pseudo-senators. “There is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven,” said Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee senator who was supposedly considering Bolton as a witness.
Having decided the facts against Trump, Alexander then decided to trivialize his criminal acts of withholding congressionally mandated foreign aid and demanding foreign interference in his own election. According to Alexander, such stuff was simply “inappropriate” – much like wearing brogues to the Grand Ole Opry or asking for the fish at Top’s Bar-B-Q.
“The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did,” said the senator, elected to make decisions for the American people in one of three co-equal branches of government.
Faced with so many profiles in courage, our reality TV star of a commander-in-chief will carry on regardless, seeking out fellow grifters, foreign strongmen and domestic weaklings. Will he feel liberated by the failure of the Senate trial to seek out more foreign interference in this year’s election? The answer may be similar to the one about bears dumping in forests.
Short of removal from office or federal indictment, there are no constraints on Trump’s conduct. He can hire another goon like Rudy Giuliani to work with sketchy foreigners running businesses called something like Fraud Guarantee. Then he can shovel any amount of sketchy cash on to Facebook’s mountain of money to beguile the gullible about the guaranteed fraud. Because a president can’t be impeached for inappropriate crimes. And because political free speech is untouchable in the fantasy world where Mark Zuckerberg thinks he’s helping humanity.
This has been a historic week for self-destructive politics. Like turkeys voting for Christmas, the British government celebrated its withdrawal from its biggest trading relationships just as Republican senators celebrated their own castration.
Both sets of magnificent morons claimed they were acting for their imaginary friends in the future: a future where Britain will once again bestride the ocean, and presidents will once again lead the free world feeling free from the fear of partisan impeachment.
“The Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats keep chanting ‘fairness’, when they put on the most unfair Witch Hunt in the history of the U.S. Congress,” tweeted the victim-in-chief sitting in the Oval Office, probably watching Fox News. “They had 17 Witnesses, we were allowed ZERO, and no lawyers. They didn’t do their job, had no case. The Dems are scamming America!”
Donald Trump doesn’t know much about history, foreign policy or politics. He can’t tell the difference between his own lawyers and no lawyers; between lots of witnesses and no witnesses at all. But he does know a lot about scams, and he can’t wait to share them with you.

Trump’s Middle East peace plan satisfies no one
US President Donald Trump’s peace plan was cheered by rightwing Israels. But many Palestinians complain that it ignores them and their hopes for an indepedendent state, as Tania Krämer reports from Jerusalem.
February 1, 2020
by Tania Krämer
Salah Eddin Street in East Jerusalem, just outside the old city, is as busy as any weekend. The so-called “deal of the century” presented by US President Donald Trump earlier this week is the topic of discussion, anger and bewilderment for many Palestinians here. Above all, the idea that the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis, cloaked in the shadow of Israel’s massive security barrier, is being considered as the Palestinian capital, has been the object of derision.
“There is nothing new in it, is there? We’ve heard it all before,” says Firas Khalaf, as he sips his coffee while sitting in a small bookshop cafe. There was talk of making the suburb the capital back in the 1990s, construction even began on a parliament building, though it was never completed. The idea of putting Abu Dis on par with Jerusalem is simply unfathomable for most Palestinians.
Over the past three years, the Trump administration’s Middle East policies have been consistently pro-Israeli, and this latest proposal is also largely based on Israeli positions — so expectations were low from the start.
When Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017 — overturning decades of US policy — the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah broke off diplomatic relations with Washington. Palestinians have insisted that the capital of their future independent state will be East Jerusalem. Although the US plan does indeed envision a “demilitarized” Palestinian state, its creation is contingent upon the fulfillment several conditions, all of which are to be under Israeli control.
Many plans, but no state
“The Israelis are only hurting themselves with it,” says Ismail Kadourah, who has run his pharmacy on Salah Eddin Street since 1966. Kadourah says that in the end, things are advancing toward a one-state solution with different rights for different citizens. He has seen a number of so-called peace plans come and go, but none of them have brought peace, nor have they provided Palestinians with a country of their own.
“The best would be if the Palestinian National Authority disbanded and the PLO went into exile. We can fight for our rights on our own, nonviolently, through civil disobedience,” says Kadourah, who tells me he is “around 80.” The Palestinian Authority was created in 1994, as a result of negotiations linked to the Oslo Accords, and, like the pharmacist, many Palestinians think it would be appropriate to disband it — especially because the Israeli military occupation has robbed it of all autonomy.
“We have had to live with all kinds of plans. We are always busy with them. But in the end, they never lead to anything,” says Nadine Alami, a customer from East Jerusalem. She lived through the First Intifada — the 1989 Palestinian uprising — and the years that followed the Oslo peace process. She says people today are exhausted as they have no hope that things will ever change. “They just don’t believe in anything anymore. And the only thing we want from life is to be able to live our lives and take care of our families.”
Enthusiasm among rightwing Israelis
The loudest cheers for Trump’s plan came from those on the right of the Israeli political spectrum. “It’s time to have sovereignty over our historic homeland,” wrote Boaz Bismuth, editor-in-chief of Israel HaYom, the rightwing Likud party’s free daily newspaper. Bismuth argued that the plan would not bring peace with the Palestinians, but it would allow Israel to continue building in Judea and Samaria — the biblical names that conservative Jews use to refer to the West Bank — as well as in Tel Aviv. That said, enthusiasm among those on the right was dampened by the fact that the plan ultimately leaves room for the creation of a Palestinian state – something strictly opposed by many conservative Israelis.
US President Donald Trump is extremely popular in Israel, but whether his plan is realistic and whether it will bring peace remains to be seen. “It takes two to tango,” says Chaim Levi, a passerby on Jaffa Street in West Jerusalem. “Even if we approve the plan, the Palestinians never will. It’s a total waste of time,” he says. In an open letter to the UK’s Independent newspaper, several prominent Israeli politicians warned of endorsing a Bantustan plan — referring to an element of South Africa’s apartheid system that set aside lands for different ethnic groups — noting that it would only create an unstable political system and never bring peace.
Annexation ‘delayed’
Israeli media outlets also discussed the timing of Trump’s announcement, just a month before Israel’s parliamentary elections on March 2. “The plan was Netanyahu’s modest contribution to Trump’s re-election campaign. And the timing of its announcement was Trump’s more immodest contribution to Netanyahu’s,” as Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea wrote in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.
An early poll, taken by Israeli public broadcaster KAN shortly after the plan was announced, registered no noticeable change in voters’ opinions. The poll found that Benny Gantz and his Blue and White political alliance continued to hold a one-seat lead (34 seats) in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, over Benjamin Netanyahu, now formally under investigation for corruption, and his Likud party (33 seats). That means Netanyahu would continue to have difficulty putting together a governing coalition of rightwing partners.
Much will also depend on what steps Netanyahu can undertake in the run-up to the election. While in Washington, he promised the Israeli Cabinet would vote this Sunday on the annexation of the Jordan Valley. But that has now been postponed due to US concerns over the timetable. In a recent interview, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, one of the architects of the plan, said he hoped Israel would wait until after the election before annexing any lands. Kushner said a bilateral working group would have to look at all of the details of such a move, explaining that the process “will take time.”
For many Palestinians, Trump’s Middle East plan has only served to reinforce the feeling that they are the only ones interested in an independent Palestinian state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will travel to meet with members of the Arab League in Cairo, Egypt, this weekend in an attempt to gain support, but so far, reactions from Arab states have been just as muted as those emanating from Europe.
“We’re here,” says pharmacist Ismail Kadourah. He tells me, “at his age” he won’t likely see peace and an independent state, adding that his children likely won’t either, “That is hard to accept, but we have to persevere.”

Palestinian Authority cuts ties with Israel and U.S.
Februry 1, 2020
by Omar Fahmy and Ulf Laessing
CAIRO (Reuters) – The Palestinian Authority has cut all ties with the United States and Israel, including those relating to security, after rejecting a Middle East peace plan presented by U.S. President Donald Trump, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday.
Abbas was in Cairo to address the Arab League, which backed the Palestinians in their opposition to Trump’s plan.
The blueprint, endorsed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calls for the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state that excludes Jewish settlements built in occupied territory and is under near-total Israeli security control.
“We’ve informed the Israeli side … that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States including security ties,” Abbas told the one-day emergency meeting, called to discuss Trump’s plan.
Israeli officials had no immediate comment on his remarks.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s security forces have long cooperated in policing areas of the occupied West Bank that are under Palestinian control. The PA also has intelligence cooperation agreements with the CIA, which continued even after the Palestinians began boycotting the Trump administration’s peace efforts in 2017.
Abbas also said he had refused to discuss the plan by with Trump by phone, or to receive even a copy of it to study it:
“Trump asked that I speak to him by phone but I said ‘no’, and that he wants to send me a letter … but I refused it.”
Abbas said he did not want Trump to be able to say that he, Abbas, had been consulted.
He reiterated his “complete” rejection of the Trump plan, presented on Tuesday.
The blueprint also proposes U.S. recognition of Israeli settlements on occupied West Bank land and of Jerusalem as Israel’s indivisible capital.
The Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo said the plan would not lead to a comprehensive and just peace, and that the League would not cooperate with the United States in implementing it.
The ministers affirmed Palestinian rights to create a future state based on the land captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, with East Jerusalem as capital, the final communique said.
Foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, among others, said there could be no peace without recognizing Palestinian rights and a comprehensive solution.
After Trump unveiled his plan, some Arab powers had appeared, despite historic support for the Palestinians, to prioritize close ties with the United States and a shared hostility toward Iran over traditional Arab alliances.
Three Gulf Arab states – Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates – attended the White House gathering where Trump announced his plan alongside Netanyahu.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu said he would ask his cabinet this week to approve the application of Israeli law to Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Such a move could be a first step toward formal annexation of the settlements and the Jordan Valley – territory Israel has kept under military occupation since its capture in 1967.
Most countries consider Israeli settlements on land captured in war to be a violation of international law. Trump has changed U.S. policy to withdraw such objections.
Reporting by Omar Fahmy, Ulf Laessing, Rami Ayyub, Nidal al-Mughrabi and Dan Williams; Editing by Frances Kerry and Kevin Liffey

The Erasure of Palestinians From Trump’s Mideast “Peace Plan” Has a Hundred-Year History
February 1, 2020
by Rashid Khalidi
The Intercept
Editor’s Note: This excerpt from Columbia University historian Rashid Khalidi’s newly released book, “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonial Conquest and Resistance, 1917-2017,” was scheduled to run in the Wall Street Journal this weekend in its Review section. On Thursday, about two months after the Journal accepted Khalidi’s excerpt for publication, an editor informed him the piece was being killed because it “felt too close to the op-ed end of the spectrum.” The Review section is part of the Journal’s newsroom, which is supposed to be independent of its opinion department, which maintains an unremittingly pro-Israel stance. Days before deciding not to publish Khalidi’s book excerpt, the Journal published an editorial that warmly praised the Trump administration’s one-sided plan for Palestine drafted by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Asked for comment, the Journal said, “Opinion Department staff have no input into the essays run by Review’s editors. In preparing each week’s issue of Review, News Department editors have ongoing discussions to ensure that the essays in the section are differentiated from the Journal’s Opinion Department editorials and op-ed pieces. This can entail difficult editorial decisions, sometimes late in the process, as occurs in any news organization. We are pleased that Prof. Khalidi’s piece is running in The Intercept.”
The erasure of the Palestinians on display this week as President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a one-sided “vision for peace” might have been an unusually blatant act of disregard, but it was in no way new. The omission is the essence of the conflict. I was reminded of this back in the early 1990s, when I lived in Jerusalem for several months at a time, doing research in the private libraries of some of the city’s oldest families, including my own. I spent over a year going through dusty worm-eaten books, documents, and letters belonging to generations of Khalidis, among them my great-great-great uncle, Yusuf Diya al-Din Pasha al-Khalidi.
Through his papers, I discovered a worldly man with a broad education acquired in Jerusalem, Malta, Istanbul, and Vienna. He was the heir to a long line of Jerusalemite Islamic scholars and legal functionaries, but at a young age, Yusuf Diya sought a different path for himself. After absorbing the fundamentals of a traditional Islamic education, he left Palestine at the age of 18 — without his father’s approval, we are told — to spend two years at a British Church Mission Society school in Malta. From there, he went to study at the Imperial Medical School in Istanbul, after which he attended the city’s Robert College, recently founded by American Protestant missionaries. For five years during the 1860s, Yusuf Diya attended some of the first institutions in the Middle East that provided a modern, Western-style education, learning English, French, German, and much else.
With this broad training, Yusuf Diya filled various roles as an Ottoman government official: translator in the Foreign Ministry, consult in the Russian Black Sea port of Poti, governor of districts from Kurdistan to Syria, and mayor of Jerusalem for nearly a decade. He was also elected as the deputy from Jerusalem to the short-lived Ottoman parliament established in 1876, and he did stints teaching at the Royal Imperial University in Vienna.
As a result of his wide reading, as well as his time in Vienna and other European countries, and from his encounters with Christian missionaries, Yusuf Diya was fully conscious of the pervasiveness and virulence of European anti-Semitism. He had also gained impressive knowledge of the intellectual origins of Zionism, and he was undoubtedly familiar with “Der Judenstaat,” or “The Jewish State,” by the Viennese journalist Theodor Herzl, published in 1896, and was aware of the first two Zionist congresses in Basel, Switzerland, in 1897 and 1898. Moreover, as mayor of Jerusalem, he had witnessed the friction with the local population prompted by the first years of proto-Zionist activity, starting with the arrival of the first European Jewish settlers in the late 1870s and early 1880s.
Yusuf Diya would have been more aware than most of his compatriots in Palestine of the ambition of the nascent Zionist movement, as well as its strength, resources, and appeal. He knew perfectly well that there was no way to reconcile Zionism’s claims on Palestine and its explicit aim of Jewish statehood and sovereignty there with the rights and well-being of Palestine’s Indigenous inhabitants. On March 1, 1899, Yusuf Diya sent a prescient seven-page letter to the French chief rabbi, Zadoc Kahn, with the intention that it be passed on to the founder of modern Zionism.
The letter began with an expression of Yusuf Diya’s admiration for Herzl, whom he esteemed “as a man, as a writer of talent, and as a true Jewish patriot,” and of his respect for Judaism and for Jews, whom he said were “our cousins.” He understood the motivations for Zionism, just as he deplored the persecution to which Jews were subject in Europe. In light of this, he wrote, Zionism in principle was “natural, beautiful, and just.” He added, “who could contest the rights of the Jews in Palestine? My God, historically it is your country!”
But the former mayor of Jerusalem went on to warn of the dangers he foresaw as a consequence of the implementation of the Zionist project for a sovereign Jewish state in Palestine. Whatever the merits of Zionism, Yusuf Diya wrote, the “brutal force of circumstances had to be taken into account.” Palestine “is inhabited by others.” It had an Indigenous population that would never accept being superseded, making it “pure folly” for Zionism to plan to take Palestine over. “Nothing could be more just and equitable” than for “the unhappy Jewish nation” to find a refuge elsewhere, but, he concluded, “in the name of God, let Palestine be left alone.”
Herzl replied—and quickly, in a letter on March 19. His letter was probably the first response by a leader of the Zionist movement to a cogent Palestinian objection to its embryonic plans for Palestine. Herzl simply ignored the letter’s basic thesis, that Palestine was already inhabited by a population that would not agree to be supplanted. Although Herzl had visited Palestine once, in an 1898 visit timed to coincide with that of German Kaiser Wilhelm II, he (like most early European Zionists) had not much knowledge of or contact with its native inhabitants.
Glossing over the fact that Zionism was ultimately meant to lead to Jewish control of Palestine, Herzl deployed a justification that has been a touchstone for colonialists and that would become a staple argument of the Zionist movement: Jewish immigration would benefit Palestine’s Indigenous inhabitants. “It is their well-being, their individual wealth, which we will increase by bringing in our own,” Herzl wrote, adding that “no one can doubt that the well-being of the entire country would be the happy result.”
Herzl’s letter addressed a consideration that Yusuf Diya had not even raised: “You see another difficulty, Excellency, in the existence of the non-Jewish population in Palestine. But who would think of sending them away?”
But Herzl had underestimated his correspondent. From Yusuf Diya’s letter, it is clear that he understood perfectly well that at issue was not the immigration of (as Herzl put it) “a number of Jews” into Palestine, but rather the transformation of the entire land into a Jewish state. Instead, Herzl offered the preposterous inducement that the colonization, and ultimately the usurpation, of their land by strangers would benefit the people of that country. Herzl’s reply to Yusuf Diya appears to have been based on the assumption that the Arabs could ultimately be bribed or fooled into ignoring what the Zionist movement actually intended for Palestine.
This condescending attitude toward the intelligence, not to speak of the rights, of the Arab population of Palestine was to be serially repeated by Zionist, British, European, and American leaders in the decades that followed, down to the present day. As for the Jewish state that was ultimately created by the movement that Herzl founded, as Yusuf Diya foresaw, there was to be room for only one people, the Jewish people. As for the others, “sending them away” was indeed what happened, despite Herzl’s disingenuous remark.
Herzl’s letter referred to Palestinian Arabs, then roughly 95% of Palestine’s inhabitants, merely as its “non-Jewish population.” The Jewish state, Herzl wrote in “Der Judenstaat,” would “form a part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.” Herzl’s imperious disregard of the Palestinians has been replicated over the decades in much discourse in the United States, Europe, and Israel; indeed, it was clearly audible from the White House as recently as this past week.

The Family: The Octopus of God
February 1, 2020
In an age when dissatisfaction with systems of governance is becoming a daily norm, the public has become more and more interested in conspiracy theories that purport to expose various misdeeds of governance and its various organs and purported accomplices.
We have seen an enormous body of revisionist literature arise, dealing with the assassination of President Kennedy, and as that topic slid down and away from public interest, another issue rose to prominence speculation and fictive writing. This was the September 11, 2001 attack by Saudi terrorists on various targets in the United State.
Invented stories about “robot aircraft,” “’Nano thermite’ controlled explosions,” and other theories, many verging on the lunatic, sprang up and proliferated. While most of these entertainments were the product of inventive minds and eagerly accepted by a public that felt betrayed by their government and the upper levels of the national economic structure, a number of stories were very obviously clever insertions of deliberate disinformation from the very same power elite.
One of the recurring themes of the conspiracy claques is that of the existence of a secret society, or organization, that is somehow able to exert powerful but behind-the-scenes control over all aspects of governance. One of the favorites has been the Illuminati. This was originally a German association, formed in 1776 by one Adam Weishaupt, a Freemason and law professor at the University of Ingolstadt in Bavaria.
The original Illuminati, then called the Order of Perfectibilists, and later became a secret society dedicated to the overthrow of both established governments and religions, specifically the Catholics. Eventually, Weishaubt made enough noise that the Bavarian Elector, Karl Theodor, outlawed them and forced Weishaupt to move to Gotha where he finished his life by writing books and abstaining from anti-establishment activities.
Weishaupt’s disbanded organization has become the inspiration for several generations of conspiracy inventors and because Weishaupt spoke of a single world government, ruled by men of honor and intellect (obviously impossible in any age), the conspiracy people have talked about a New World Order which might be satisfying and even desired but would be impossible of execution. To this mythic entity is ascribed all manner of manipulations and plottings
In addition to the Illuminati, fiction theorists have also targeted the Rothschild banking house and the Bilderburger banker’s association as being the controlling forces behind all the governments of the world. In the United States, one can add the Council on Foreign Relations, the fraternal Skull and Bones society, the Federal Reserve and a legion of quite harmless associations to the conspiracy mix.
In the background, however, only dimly seen and then only by established intelligence and counter-intelligence agencies, exists a very genuine, and very dangerous, secret organization that wields far more actual power than any of the imaginary creations of the Internet..
This is a power group, posing as a religious organization, and who, with its various associated sub-groups, pose a critical threat to the American democratic system., It is a Washington-based organization known as both ‘The Fellowship’, and ‘The Family’. This group, and its allies, the Dominionists and the Neo-Templars, basically control the American Congress, the Department of State, and have “very important” connections at the top levels of the Central Intelligence Agency.and the American military. The Family’s goal, according to one secret internal document, is to create a “hidden structure” of “national and international world leaders bound together relationally by a mutual love for God and the family.” The first hallmark of this theocratic clandestine organisation is their unquestioning reliance on the Bible in all matters, to the complete exclusion of any other authority, secular or otherwise The second is their insistence on a faith in Christ as one’s personal Lord and Savior, again, to the exclusion of any other entity.
The Fellowship’s known participants include ranking United States government officials, both elected and appointed, corporate executives, heads of religious and humanitarian aid organizations, ambassadors and high ranking politicians from across the world. Many United States Senators and Congressmen have publicly acknowledged working with the Fellowship or are documented as having done so and work together to pass or influence legislation.
This organization fetishizes power by comparing Jesus to “Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Bin Laden” as examples of leaders who change the world through the strength of the covenants they had forged with their “brothers.”The agenda of the Fellowship becomes much clearer when it is realized that Fellowship leader Douglas Coe preaches a personal commitment to Jesus Christ very and specifically comparable to the blind devotion that Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, and Pol Pot demanded from their followers. In one videotaped lecture series in 1989, Coe said:
“Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were three men. Think of the immense power these three men had…But they bound themselves together in an agreement…Two years before they moved into Poland, these three men had…systematically a plan drawn out…to annihilate the entire Polish population and destroy by numbers every single house…every single building in Warsaw and then to start on the rest of Poland.” Coe added that it worked; they killed six and a half million “Polish people.”
Though he calls Nazis “these enemies of ours,” he compares their commitment to Jesus’ demands: “Jesus said, ‘You have to put me before other people. And you have to put me before yourself.’ Hitler, that was the demand to be in the Nazi party. You have to put the Nazi party and its objectives ahead of your own life and ahead of other people.”
Coe also compared Jesus’s teachings to the Red Guard during the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Fellowship members are taught the leadership lessons of Hitler, Lenin and Mao and that their genocide allegations wasn’t an issue for them, it was the strength that they emulated that was of vitasl importance.
The Fellowship is associated with an organization called ‘C Street’, which has drawn national attention for its connections to the extra-marital affairs of Senator John Ensign and Governor Mark Sanford.
Prominent evangelical Christians have described the organization as one of the most, or the most, politically well-connected ministries in the world.
American lawmakers have mentioned The Fellowship more than any other organization when asked to name a ministry with the most influence on their faith.
In 1977, four years after he had converted to Christianity, Fellowship member and convicted Watergate conspirator Charles Colson described the group as a “veritable underground of Christ’s men all through the U.S. government.”
Senate Prayer Group member, Senator Sam Brownback has described group members’ method of operation: “Typically, one person grows desirous of pursuing an action”—-a piece of legislation, a diplomatic strategy—-“and the others pull in behind.” Indeed, Brownback has often joined with fellow Family members in pursuing legislation. For example, in 1999 he joined together with fellow Family members, Senators Strom Thurmond and Don Nickles to demand a criminal investigation of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and in 2005 Brownback joined with Fellowship member Sen. Tom Coburn to promote the Houses of Worship Act.
The Reverend Robert Schenck, founder of the Washington, D.C. ministry Faith and Action in the Nation’s Capital, described the Family’s influence as “off the charts” in comparison with other fundamentalist groups, specifically compared to Focus on the Family, Pat Robertson, Gary Bauer, Traditional Values Coalition, and Prison Fellowship. (These last two are associated with the Family: Traditional Values Coalition uses their C Street House and Prison Fellowship was founded by Charles Colson.) “the mystique of The Fellowship” has helped it “gain entree into almost impossible places in the capital.”
This organization has been described as one of the most politically well-connected ministries in the United States. The Fellowship shuns publicity and its members share a vow of secrecy. The Fellowship’s leader Douglas Coe and others have explained the organization’s desire for secrecy by citing biblical admonitions against public displays of good works, insisting they would not be able to tackle “diplomatically sensitive missions” if they drew public attention.
One of Vereide’s most effective organizational and power-seeking tools were his so-called ‘Prayer Breakfast.’ In 1944 Vereide held his first joint Senate-House prayer breakfast meeting. He held another breakfast on June 16, 1946, attended by Senators H. Alexander Smith and Lister Hill, and US News and World Report publisher David Lawrence.And although the organization is secretive, it holds one regular public event each year, the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington, D.C. Every sitting United States president since President Dwight D. Eisenhower, up to President Barack Obama, has participated in at least one National Prayer Breakfast during his term. Fellowship Foundation is currently best known for the National Prayer Breakfast, held each year on the first Thursday of February in Washington, D.C. First held in 1953, the event is now attended by over 3,400 guests including dignitaries from many nations.
The President of the United States typically makes an address at the breakfast, following the main speaker’s keynote address. The event is hosted by a 24-member committee of members of Congress. Democrats and Republicans serve on the organizing committee, and chairmanship alternates each year between the House and the Senate. A primary activity of the Fellowship has been to develop small support groups for politicians, including Senators and members of Congress, Executive Branch officials, military officers, foreign leaders and dignitaries, businesspersons, and other influential individuals. In April 1935, Vereide, and a Major J.F. Douglas invited nineteen business and civic leaders for a breakfast prayer meeting. As of 1937, 209 prayer breakfast groups had been organized throughout Seattle.
Prayer groups connected with ICL now are established very firmly in the White House, the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense. By the early 1970s, prayer groups, breakfasts, and luncheons, including those sponsored by ICL, had become commonplace in the Pentagon.
Earlier, in 1940, 300 men from all over the state of Washington attended a prayer breakfast for the new governor, Arthur Langlie. Vereide traveled through the Pacific Northwest, and later around the country, to develop similar groups. The nondenominational groups were meant to bring together civic and business leaders informally to share vision, study the Bible, and develop relationships of trust and support.
By 1942, there were 60 breakfast groups in major cities around the country, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington and Vancouver. That same year, Vereide began to hold small prayer breakfasts for members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, meetings of informal fellowship, mutual prayer and encouragement.
In case after case, The Fellowship has set American foreign policy, especially in the oil-rich Middle East. They have an abiding interest in the oil industry and many of its shadowy members, such as former Vice Pressident Dick Cheney, set policy, not to conform to the actual needs of the American public but the oil (and other) industry.
The Fellowship was initially founded in April of 1935 in opposition to FDR’s perceived left wing New Deal by Abraham Vereide. An extremely conservative Methodist clergyman and very aggressive political activist. Vereide was a Norwegian minister’s son who had immigrated to the United States in 1905 and who later founded Goodwill Industries in Seattle in 1916 to assist the city’s unemployed Scandinavian immigrant population. Goodwill Industries soon occupied a city block, where they repaired and processed discarded clothing and furniture and converted “waste to wages”. His work spread down the West coast and eventually to Boston.
In April of 1935, Vereide later claimed he had received a visitation consisting, he claimed, of a voice, and a light in the dark, bright and blinding. The next day he met a friend, a wealthy businessman and former Major J.F. Douglas, and the two men agreed upon a spiritual plan. They enlisted nineteen business executives in a weekly breakfast meeting and together they prayed, convinced that Jesus alone could redeem Seattle and crush the radical unions. They wanted to give Jesus a vessel, and so they asked God to raise up a leader. One of their number, a city councilman named Arthur Langlie, stood and said, “I am ready to let God use me.” Langlie was made first mayor and later governor, backed in both campaigns by money and muscle from his prayer-breakfast friends, whose number had rapidly multiplied. Vereide and his new associated spread out across the Northwest in chauffeured vehicles (a $20,000 Dusenburg carried brothers on one mission, he boasted). “Men,” wrote Vereide, “thus quickened.” Prayer breakfast groups were formed in dozens of cities, from San Francisco to Philadelphia. There were already enough men ministering to the down-and-out, Vereide had decided; his mission field would be men with the means to seize the world for God as he interpreted him. Vereide called his potential flock of the rich and powerful, those in need only of the “real” Jesus, the “up-and-out.”
Originally, the stated purpose of The Fellowship was to provide a “fellowship forum for decision makers to share in Bible studies, prayer meetings, worship experiences and to experience spiritual affirmation and support.” Its less publicized goal was to counteract what its founders saw was a swinig to the left under Roosevelt, a swing that was oriented more to Moscow and its Communistic goals than what was seen as more ‘American virture’ and was basically a business-oriented group. Vereide’s basic theme was:
“Man craves fellowship. Most of us want an opportunity to make our feelings known, to relate our personal experiences, to compare notes with others, and, in unity of spirit to receive renewal, inspiration, guidance, and strength from God. Such groups as we are thinking of have characterized every spiritual awakening. Jesus began with Peter and James and John. He had the twelve and the Seventy. At Bethany he established a cell…there you have the formula…faith embodied the same close informal fellowship…one common practice – gathering together in the name of Jesus”.
The thesis of community and brotherhood expressed by the Family leadership was certainly not a new concept. The Essenes, a Judean cult that flourished around the first century, had almost identical concepts. They were an agricultural community that had a communistic approach to their life style. There was a common purse and shared wealth and much, if not most, of the first expressed Christian dogma came directly from the Essenes. Unfortunately, like the Spartans and Zulus who were essentially a military community cult, the agricultural Essenes were male-oriented and homosexual in nature. The Essenes were outlawed by the Romans, and many members were subsequently crucified in a general crackdown under Titus, not because of their sexual practices but their political opposition to Roman rule The small remnants of the Essenes retreated to the Dead Sea area and eventually died out.
From the beginning, Vereide’s goals were to construct a religious power group that had an anti-Communist, anti-union, anti-Socialist, and pro-Nazi German political agenda. Recent investigations have uncovered the fact that Vereide was a cousin of Vidkun Quisling, head of the Norwegian Nazi party and later head of state. After initial successes, Vereide incorporated his group in Chicago in 1942 as Fellowship Foundation, Inc. and also acquired the names International Christian Leadership, (ICL), Fellowship House and International Foundation, many in keeping with the goal of global control.
At the present time, The Fellowship Foundation, Inc. does most of its business as the International Foundation, which is its legal DBA name.
After the end of the Second World War in 1945, Vereide moved to consolidate as many right-wing religious-themed groups in Europe as he could. He believed that Communists and Socialists, whom he hated with great intensity, had taken over governments across Eastern Europe and were on the verge of achieving power in Western Europe. Winston Churchill had been ousted from power by a leftist Labor government headed by Clement Atlee.. Vereide traveled to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France and Germany. His ICL made an alliance with the like-minded British Victory Fellowship in Great Britain. He also struck up a close relationship with German Lutheran pastor Gustav Adolf Gedat. The German clergyman had been a leading anti-Semite before and during the war. During the same year that Vereide began his prayer breakfasts in Seattle, from the pulpit Gedat preached vehemently that, “God ordered the Germans to hunt down Jews.”
The current Fellowship view of Jews and the present state of Israel is that Jews ought to be tolerated, pending their conversion to the Fellowship’s concept of Christianity, and that the Fellowship sub-group, the Neo-Templars, have expressed the view that as Israel and themselves share a common goal, namely the physical expulsions of all Muslims from the so-called ‘Holy Land’ no anti-Semitic stances should be taken in public and the use of the Israeli Mossad encouraged at every turn. The Mossad wants to expand its role in the United States with official sanction and this is a private goal of the Fellowship. Israel already has a strong presence in the Central Intelligence Agency and the Fellowship is considering allowing them access to the IRS and the NSA in greater numbers than at present.
By 1957, ICL had established 125 groups in 100 cities, with 16 groups in Washington, DC alone. Around the world, it had set up another 125 groups in Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Ethiopia (where Emperor Haile Selassie gave ICL property in Addis Ababa to build its African headquarters), India, South Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Guatemala, Cuba, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Bermuda.
After over 35 years of leading the Fellowship Foundation, Vereide died in 1969 and was succeeded by Richard C. Halverson as executive director, Halverson and Douglas Coe worked side by side until Halverson’s death in 1995.
ICL’s international activities coincided with activities in countries where the CIA was particularly active – an obvious by-product of the close cooperation between Vereide and the CIA’s Allen Dulles and James Jesus Angleton. Angleton and his close associate, Miles Copeland, always had favored using private businessmen to conduct operations that the CIA was barred from conducting statutorily In at least one instance, the ICL had knowingly lured a Middle East personality into a situation which permitted the CIA to assassinate him.
In January 1947, a conference in Zurich led to the formation of the International Council for Christian Leadership (ICCL), an umbrella group for the national fellowship groups in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Hungary, Egypt, and China. ICCL was incorporated as a separate organization in 1953. ICL and ICCL were governed by different boards of directors, joined by a coordinating committee: four members of ICCL’s board and four from the ICL’s executive committee. Vereide began publishing a monthly newsletter called The Breakfast Luncheon Fireside and Campus Groups that contained a Bible study that could be used by the groups, as well as information about activities of different groups and international meetings. He also published a newsletter through the years under various names, including The Breakfast Groups Informer (ca. 1945-1946), The Breakfast Groups (ca. 1944-1953), International Christian Leadership Bulletin (ca. 1953-1954), Bulletin of International Christian Leadership (ca. 1954-1956), Christian Leadership (ca. 1957-1961), ICLeadership Letter (1961–1966), International Leadership Letter (ca. 1967), and Leadership Letter (ca. 1963-1970).
In 1942, the Fellowship was incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, Vereide’s center of national outreach to businessmen and civic and clergy leadership. Vereide had moved the group’s offices from Seattle to the more centralized location of Chicago, headquarters of the businessmen’s luncheon outreach, “Christian Businessmen’s Committee”, which Vereide led with industrialist C.B. Hedstrom. Also in 1942 the Fellowship Foundation established a delegation ministry on Massachusetts Avenue at Sheridan Circle named: “Fellowship House”. Vereide later described it as the nerve center of the breakfast groups. J. Edwin Orr, an advisor to Billy Graham and friend of Abraham Vereide, helped shape the prayer breakfast movement that grew out of ICL.
In 1946, amid the international turmoil from World War II, Vereide wrote and released a book with Reverend John G. Magee, chaplain to President Harry Truman, entitled: Together(Abingdon Cokesbury). In the book, Vereide explained his philosophy of visionary discipleship and gathering together in what he termed spiritual cells:
In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower attended the Senate Prayer Breakfast Group. He was invited by fellow Kansan, Frank Carlson. By that time, Vereide’s congressional core members also included Senators Frank Carlson, Karl Mundt, Everett Dirkson, and Strom Thurmond.
By 1957, ICL had established 125 groups in 100 cities, with 16 groups in Washington, D.C.. It had set up another 125 groups in other countries. During 1958, a new small group mentor, from The Navigators, Douglas Coe, joined Vereide as assistant executive director of ICL in Washington, D.C.
In 1972, according to the Fellowship archives, after consultations among leaders in the prayer breakfast movement, including Douglas Coe, Richard Halverson, Dr. Wallace Haines and Senator Mark Hatfield, and others, the organization was reprofiled to be “even more low key”. The Fellowship archives reveal that, “in effect, the group adopted an even lower profile, serving as a channel of communication and a catalyst.” of global outreach in the spirit of Jesus. The goal was to be less institutional in bearing and more relational and relevant to the global cultures, so that each geographic area had its own identity of personal ministry, not strictly metropolitan but relevant to ranchers, miners, people in jungles, deserts, villages and on remote islands. That they might experience fellowship in Christ in their own sphere of human identification
G. Philip Hughes, the executive secretary for the National Security Council in the George H.W. Bush administration, said, “Doug Coe or someone who worked with him would call and say, ‘So and so would like to have a word with the president. Do you think you could arrange something?'”
At the 2001 Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearings for State Department officials, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), whose wife was on the board of the Fellowship, lamented that the State Department had blocked then-President Bush from meeting with four foreign heads of state (Rwanda, Macedonia, Congo and Slovakia) at the NPB that year.
Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) said of Nelson’s complaint: “I’m not sure a head of state ought to be able to wander over here for the prayer breakfast and, in effect, compel the president of the United States to meet with him as a consequence… Getting these meetings with the president is a process that’s usually very carefully vetted and worked up. Now sort of this back door has sort of evolved.”
“It [the NPB] totally circumvents the State Department and the usual vetting within the administration that such a meeting would require,” an anonymous government informant told sociologist D. Michael Lindsay. “If Doug Coe can get you some face time with the President of the United States, then you will take his call and seek his friendship. That’s power.”
In 1976, the Fellowship began looking for a permanent headquarters in Arlington. It set its sights on the estate of George Mason IV, The Cedars, located at 2301 North Uhle Street. Mason was one of the drafters of the Bill of Rights. The Fellowship, also known as the International Foundation, bought the property from Charles Piluso. Although not much is known about Piluso, the Los Angeles Times reported that Howard Hughes, the man with whom Fellowship Senator Ralph Owen Brewster once sparred, also lived there. According to a senior Pentagon official, the Cedars had been used as a CIA safe house prior to the Fellowship’s purchase of the estate. The Fellowship paid $1.5 million for the Cedars, the money coming from Tom Phillips, the CEO of Raytheon, and Ken Olsen, the CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation. Sanford McDonnell of Men’s Fellowship International, an activity linked to Fellowship core member Pat Robertson. McDonnell Douglas Corporation was another deep-pocketed supporter of the Fellowship through Full Gospel Business
Role in international conflicts
The Fellowship was a behind-the-scenes player at the Camp David Middle East accords in 1978, working with President Jimmy Carter to issue a worldwide call to prayer with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
President Carter hosted former Senator Harold E. Hughes, the President of the Fellowship Foundation, and Doug Coe, for a luncheon at the White House on September 26, 1978. Six weeks later, President Carter and the First Lady traveled by Marine helicopter to Cedar Point Farm, Hughes’ home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where he placed a telephone call to Menachim Begin.
Douglas Coe and the “networking” (or formation of prayer cells) between foreign dictators and US politicians, defense contractors, and industry leaders has facilitated military aid for repressive foreign regimes. the Billy Graham Center, before the Fellowship Foundation archives were closed to those other than divinity scholars. Discovered in these archives is the relationship with General Suharto of Indonesia in the 1970s, and with Siad Barre of Somalia in the 1980s. Also, in the archives, there are at least two nearly full boxes of documents describing the relationship with Brazil’s long dictatorship of the Generals.
Regarding his relationships with foreign dictators, Coe said in 2007, “I never invite them. They come to me. And I do what Jesus did: I don’t turn my back to any one. You know, the Bible is full of mass murderers.”
The Fellowship’s reach into governments around the world is almost impossible to overstate or even grasp The Fellowship Foundation is linked to numerous other organizations:
Wilberforce Foundation’s IRS Form 990 filings confirm that Wilberforce is related to and shares common management with the Fellowship Foundation.
Traditional Values Coalition. Uses the C Street Center for “faith-based diplomacy” in the fight against the “Marxist/Leftist/Homosexual/Islamic coalition.”
Other Fellowship covert fronts include:
• Three Swallows Foundation
• International Center for Religion & Diplomacy
• Young Life International
• Trees for the Future
• National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise
• Cornerstone Development
• World Concern
• Project Mercy
• Timothy Trust
•Associación Desarrollo en Democracia
• World Vision
The Los Angeles Times examined the Fellowship Foundation’s ministry records and archives (before they were sealed), as well as documents obtained from several presidential libraries and found that the Fellowship Foundation had extraordinary access and significant influence over U.S. foreign affairs for the last 75 years.
The Fellowship has funded the travel expenses of members of Congress to various hot spots throughout the globe, including Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Al.) to Darfur, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) to Lebanon, Rep. Aderholt to The Balkans, and Reps John Carter (R-Tex.) and Joseph Pitts (R.-Pa.) to Belarus
In 2002, Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Tony P. Hall (D-Ohio) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan on a fact-finding congressional trip, meeting with the leaders of both Muslim countries. According to Pitts, “The first thing we did when we met with [Afghan] President Karzai and [then Pakistan] President Musharraf was to say, ‘We’re here officially representing the Congress; we’ll report back to the speaker, our leaders, our committees, our government. But we’re here also because we’re best friends…. We’re members of the same prayer group'”.
Douglas Coe has been dispatched to foreign governments with the blessing of Congressional representatives and has helped arrange meetings overseas for U.S. officials and members of Congress. In 1979, for instance, Coe messaged the Saudi Arabian minister of commerce and asked him to meet with a Defense Department official who was visiting Riyadh, the capital.
The Fellowship has brought controversial international figures to Washington to meet with U.S. officials. Among them are former Salvadoran Gen. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, who in 2002 was found liable by a civil jury in Florida for the torture of thousands of civilians in the 1980s. He was invited to the 1984 prayer breakfast, along with Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, then head of the Honduran armed forces who was linked to a death squad and the CIA.
Douglas Coe was quoted in a rare interview regarding the Fellowship’s associations with despots as explaining, “The people that are involved in this association of people around the world are the worst and the best, some are total despots. Some are totally religious. You can find what you want to find.”
Coe also has claimed that the Fellowship does not help foreign dignitaries gain access to U.S. officials. “We never make any commitment, ever, to arrange special meetings with the president, vice president or secretary of State”, Coe said. “We would never do it”. Coe misspoke because in January 1991, Fellowship associate and financial supporter Michael Timmis met President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi on behalf of the Fellowship, then flew to Kenya with Arthur (Gene) Dewey, the former second-in-command at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Sam Owen, then living in Nairobi. Timmis wrote that he had obtained permission to fly over Tanzanian air space, even though the U.S. Department of State had ordered American citizens to stay clear of Tanzania.
The Fellowship has promoted reconciliation between the warring leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda. In 2001, the Fellowship helped arrange a secret meeting at The Cedars between Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame — one of the first discreet meetings between the two African leaders that led to a peace accord in July 2002.
In 1994 at the National Prayer Breakfast, the Fellowship helped to persuade South African Zulu chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi not to engage in a civil war with Nelson Mandela.
,Senator Sam Brownback (R.-Kan.) is a Fellowship member who leads a secret cell of leading U.S. Senators and Representatives to influence U.S. foreign policy. It is noted that the group has stamped much of U.S. foreign policy through a group of Senators and affiliated religious organizations forming the “Values Action Team” or “VAT”.One victory for the group was Brownback’s North Korea Human Rights Act, which establishes a confrontational stance toward North Korea and shifts funds for humanitarian aid from the UN to Christian organizations with the understanding that these funds can be used to force North Korea to adopt poliicies that are agreeable to the Fellowship..
The Fellowship is behind an international project called Youth Corps, a network of Christian youth groups that attract teenagers, and then later steer them to acceptance of the Fellowship’s concept of Jesus. The Youth Corps web site is careful not mention an affiliation to the Fellowship or religion. A non-public, classified internal Fellowship document, “Regional Reports, January 3, 2002,” lists some of the nations where Youth Corps programs are in operation: Russia; Ukraine; Romania; India; Pakistan; Uganda; Nepal; Bhutan; Ecuador; Honduras and Peru. The actual purpose of this group is to prosetlyse for younger members who can not only be turned for their purposes but also to possibly act as “assistants” or “sources” for the Central Intelligence Angency, an organization that has “very close ties” with Coe’s people.
Fellowship dollars have gone to an orphanage in India, a program in Uganda that provides schooling, and a development group in Peru.
The Fellowship, through Representative Joe Pitts (R.-Pa.), redirected millions in US aid to Uganda from sex education programs to abstinence programs, thereby causing an evangelical revival, which included condom burnings.
In a November 2009 Ugandan Fellowship associates David Bahati and Nsaba Buturo were behind the proposed bill in Uganda that called for the death penalty for gays. Coe’s top administrative personnel are also violently and obsessively anti-gay and they feel, according to intercepted communications, that if this becomes law in Uganda, the Fellowship can try to have their controlled members of Congress introduce a bill that will stigmatize same-sex relationships and prohibit any homosexual to either serve in the American military or any other branch of government. They cite Woodrow Wilson’s similar ban on blacks working for the government when he was president.
David Bahati, the Uganda legislator backing the bill, first floated the idea of executing gays during The Family’s Uganda National Prayer Breakfast in 2008. Bahati, according to a Department of Justice investigation, is named as a “rising star” in the Fellowship who has attended the National Prayer Breakfast in the United States and, until the news over the gay execution law broke, was scheduled to attend the 2010 U.S. National Prayer Breakfast.
President Obama, in his address to The Fellowship at their National Prayer Breakfast in early 2010, directly criticized the Uganda legislation targeting gay people for execution. In calling for a renewed emphasis on faith and civility, the President stated, “We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are — whether it’s here in the United States or, as Hillary [Clinton] mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.”
US. embassies have held prayer breakfast meetings as a way of buying access to U.S. officials, particularly those involved in important trade and defense issues. Such meetings have taken place in U.S. embassies in Copenhagen; Oslo; Stockholm; Helsinki; Tallinn, Estonia; Vilnius, Lithuania; Bern, Switzerland; Luxembourg; The Hague; Rome; Brussels; Canberra; Port Louis, Mauritius; New Delhi; Mexico City; Belize; Warsaw; Vienna; Berlin; and Prague.
A U.S. State Department bus transports foreign and U.S. diplomats to and from the Cedars for the Tuesday morning 7:30-9:30 a.m. meeting. Yet more limousines arrive at the Cedars for a meeting held at 9:30 p.m. on Sundays. The county placed speed bumps on 24th Street to answer the many neighborhood concerns about speeding motorcades but they did not deter the speeding. One neighbor estimated that there are some 80 limousine trips per week to the Cedars. Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat visited the Cedars in 1999 complete with his automatic weapon-carrying security guards. Out-of-state license plates abound at the Cedars compound.
Adding to the Fellowship’s perception as a powerful and secretive organization is its ownership of a boarding house and conference center around the corner from the U.S. Capitol at 133 C Street, SE, Washington, DC. At any given time, eight members of the Senate and House have resided at the C Street Center where they sleep, pray, and eat for a mere $600 a month. C Street Center resident Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) claimed on his Federal Election Commission expense report that he paid the C Street Foundation $762 on December 11, 2001. Similar boarding houses have been set up by the Fellowship in London for Members of Parliament and in Moscow for members of the State Duma.
Sir Vivian Gabriel, a British Air Commission attaché in Washington during World War II, established a branch of the Family (International Christian Leadership Association) in the United Kingdom.] Ernest Williams, a member of the directing staff of the British Admiralty and a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission on Evangelism, served as its president in the 1960’s. Williams worked closely with Harald Bredesen, a British intelligence operative who went on to personally mentor Rev. Pat Robertson in the United States.
A talk from 1970 for college students encouraging mentoring and discipleship stated: “If you want… there are men in government, there are senators who literally find it their pleasure to give any advice, assistance, or counsel.”
Lindsay also interviewed 360 evangelical elites, among whom “One in three mentioned [Doug] Coe or the Fellowship as an important influence.”
The Fellowship also has relationships with numerous non-U.S. government leaders. Lindsay reported that it “has relationships with pretty much every world leader—good and bad—and there are not many organizations in the world that can claim that.”
Many of the “friends” targeted by these congressional missionaries are strongmen such as Omar al-Bashir, the president of oil-rich Sudan, who has been indicted for genocide in the International Criminal Court; and Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda. (The Family’s Ugandan friends also include David Bahati, the author of a murderous piece of legislation called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which mandates the death penalty for some homosexual acts.)
What’s in it for the strongmen? Legitimacy, and a champion back in Washington. What’s in it for the US politicians? Jesus—and, sometimes, profits for themselves or the interests they favor. Many of them have had their expeditions underwritten by the Family: Ensign has enjoyed trips to Japan, Jordan, and Israel that cost nearly $17,000. The list of Family-funded travelers also includes Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), who has done the Lord’s work in Aruba and the Virgin Islands. [On other occasions, Coe’s political missionaries charge their travel to the government—putting not just the weight of their office, but the taxpayers’ money, behind an unabashedly religious agenda.
The Family’s goal, according to one internal document, is to create a “hidden structure” of “national and international world leaders bound together relationally by a mutual love for God and the family.”—is Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). ” The four-term Republican also has a savvy mind with a sharp awareness of Africa’s natural resources, chief among them oil; the petroleum industry is his biggest donor (which may explain his insistence that climate change is a liberal hoax). flying on military planes, to which he has access as the second-ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
When he first campaigned for Senate in 1994, he told voters that he was running on the “three Gs—God, gays, and guns.
On December 21, 2008, the Oklahoman ran a story that might have become a major scandal had it not appeared so close to Christmas.* During the previous nine years, Inhofe had taken 20 international trips, spending at least $187,000 in public money—not including the cost of military transport—to promote what he called “a Jesus thing.” He visited Eastern Europe and the Middle East, but his real focus was Africa, especially Uganda, a country he has adopted as a personal responsibility.
Douglas Coe, who opened Inhofe’s eyes to that responsibility. In a video made in response to the Oklahoman story, Inhofe describes the mission as “the political philosophy of Jesus, something that had been put together by Doug…It’s all scripturally based.” He cites Acts 9:15, an unorthodox reading of which the Family promotes as one of its core principles: “‘Take my name, Jesus, to the kings.’ And, of course, if you’re a member of the United States Senate in Africa, they think you’re important.”
Inhofe’s first “king” was General Sani Abacha, dictator of Nigeria—Africa’s most populous nation, as well as the US’s fourth-largest supplier of petroleum. Abacha was known for two qualities: the greed that led him to steal $3 billion from his country, and the ruthlessness that made that theft possible. His execution of dissident writer Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995—two years before Inhofe’s first visit—made international headlines. Abacha already had a long record of brutally dispatching opponents, many of whom happened to be critics of the US and the oil industry. But then, as one Family leader has put it, we all make mistakes. “You can’t help who you are. I mean, can’t he have a friend?”
By 2003, Inhofe was using his access to foreign leaders to push a Family initiative known as Youth Corps. Endorsed by former Secretary of State James Baker and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Youth Corps doesn’t lead with Jesus—its official brochure doesn’t even mention his name. But an internal Family document sets out the vision: to target promising young leaders overseas, “training them on how to live like Jesus and share Him with the poor of their country.” The document lays out how:
A) A congressman and/or Senator from the United States will befriend the leader of another country and tell him/her how Jesus and His teachings will help his country and its poor.
B) U.S. leader and foreign leader will select 5 men (mentors) from the foreign country to commit to learn about Jesus and how He will help themselves, their country and the poor.
The five would then be matched with American support teams that would cover their costs for travel to the US. The men would not be asked to convert outright—in fact, the Family believes, it’d be better if they continued to call themselves Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or whatever the customs of the land dictated; as “followers of Jesus” who also still adhered to their religion, they could serve as spiritual double agents. To those who were ready, however, the true leader would be introduced: “We will teach the mentors to confess their sins (known or unknown) and to ask the Holy Spirit of Christ to live in them, and to teach them how to live, what to think and what to say. We will teach them to ask the Spirit of Jesus to teach them as they read God’s word.”
A 2004 Family budget for Inhofe’s Youth Corps work included $375,000 for a total of 11 African nations: Benin, Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. For each country, the local liaison is listed in the budget document. In all but Ethiopia and Mauritius, it is the president. It should be noted that Inhofe’s.director of African affairs, Mark Powers, is a part-time staffer who also is a missionary in the Assemblies of God church.
When Mark Siljander was elected to Congress at age 29 in 1981, he wasn’t just a After losing his reelection campaign in 1986 (despite a plea that constituents “break the back of Satan” by sending him back to Congress), Siljander stayed in the orbit of Washington, creating a firm called Global Strategies Inc. .
Muslims, writes Siljander in his book, can keep their religious affiliation so long as they bow before Jesus. “They make every effort to be as normal as possible and not stand out,” Siljander writes, the idea being that these “Messianic Muslims,” not unlike Jews for Jesus, will be able to pass as Muslim Muslims and thus win the support of their countrymen. The Family doesn’t require public loyalty; it wants back-channel connections.
In 2008, the Justice Department indicted him on counts of money laundering, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. The government says Siljander helped redirect USAID money misappropriated by one of his clients, the Islamic American Relief Agency (PDF), to support Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whom the State Department lists as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.” In his defense, Siljander argued
In 1997, Siljander and Family leader Coe went to see the Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum. “He’s my prayer partner,” Siljander would later boast on a Trinity Broadcasting Network show. “I love Bashir. His heart was changed, and it sure wasn’t by my good looks. The Holy Spirit came into the conversation we had and melted his heart.”
And that, in turn, melted Siljander’s heart; he became an advocate for lifting sanctions on Bashir’s oil-rich regime. As for the mass murder and enslavement that Bashir’s regime condoned or participated in—targeting, in many cases, Sudan’s Christians—Siljander acknowledged that “they realize it got away from them.” Lifting sanctions, he argued, would “incentivize” Bashir to stop the killing. (The sanctions remain in place.)
“If Jesus had adopted the philosophy of the Family,” Chuck Warnock, a Baptist pastor critical of the organization, observes dryly, “he would have worked with Herod, and taken Pontius Pilate to lunch.”
This past July, Siljander pled guilty to obstruction of justice and to acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign power. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
Sentor Tom Coburn’s certitude. He was one of the few in the GOP class elected in the 1994 landslide to honor his commitment to term limits: He served just six years in the House before retiring in 2001. Four years later, he returned to DC as a senator.
Coburn is the conscience of the Christian right, a man who never waters down his opinions. He railed against “attractive young congressional staffers,” as one evangelical publication put it, oblivious to the wages of sexual sin, and shanghaied them into watching a slideshow he’d assembled: graphic images of genitals ravaged by sexually transmitted diseases. The “greatest threat to our freedom we face today,” he has said, is homosexuality; gays have “infiltrated the very centers of power.”
Next on Coburn’s calendar was a trip to the north of Lebanon to see a Family school called the Development Culture Leadership Center (DCL) in the town of Syr.
To bring some of the DCL’s most promising students to America, Fatfat and another Family man, Rep. Frank Wolf, convinced the State Department to allocate $200,000 for five scholarships to Christopher Newport University, a public school in Newport News, Virginia, that provided matching funds. A vice president of the university told us that the fellowships were the results of Fatfat’s Prayer Breakfast “kinship” with the school’s president, former senator Paul Trible—a longtime Family man.
The Fellowship’s secrets—its ability to fly under the radar, its backdoor connections, and even its occasional (as in the case of Mark Siljander) underhanded dealings—are fascinating. But they are not, despite what some critics have said, evidence of a conspiracy, or even of malevolent intent. The God-led government the movement wants for Nigeria and Sudan, Lebanon and Albania—and of course, here at home—is not theocracy, an idea nearly every fundamentalist denounces, but the conflation of democracy with authoritarianism. It’s a Father Knows Best vision, the authority of the Father-God manifested through his chosen, men and even the occasional women who are to society as they believe fathers should be to their families, both loving and stern. Look through this lens, and dictators become brothers; power becomes love; profit becomes charity.
The men of the Family—and across much of American fundamentalism’s elite—are fond of paraphrasing Luke 12:48: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required.” A fine sentiment at first blush, but stripped of its Gospel context and presented as a maxim, it can also be disingenuous. The idea that the powerful are powerful because they have been anointed, “given” their rank and position—that they did not grasp for it—is as deceptive as the notion that God prefers to work through “key men,” to dispense blessings to senators and strongmen so that a small cut might trickle down to the poor.
Beliefs and theology
The Fellowship Foundation’s 501(c)(3) mission statement is:
“To develop and maintain an informal association of people banded together, to go out as “ambassadors of reconciliation,” modeling the principles of Jesus, based on loving God and loving others. To work with the leaders of many nations, and as their hearts are touched, the poor, the oppressed, the widows, and the youth of their country will be impacted in a positive manner. Youth groups will be developed under the thoughts of Jesus, including loving others as you want to be loved”
Current Fellowship prayer group member and former U.S. Representative Tony P. Hall (D-OH) said, “If people in this country knew how many Democrats and Republicans pray together and actually like each other behind closed doors, they would be amazed.” The Fellowship is simply, “men and women who are trying to get right with God. Trying to follow God, learn how to love him, and learn how to love each other.” When he lost his teenage son to leukemia, Hall says, “This family helped me. This family was there for me. That’s what they do.”
It is not yet clear how the Christian Right’s demand for more social conservatism will be accommodated.
the Tea Party’s original aim, to make the Republican Party more fiscally conservative, is now being coaxed into adopting “culture war” or Christian nationalist’s socially conservative agenda. This is especially the case since the Christian nationalists enthusiastically endorsed the Tea Party movement in September 2009 and various elements of the Christian nationalist agenda were prevalent at the Tea Party Nation’s national convention in Nashville.
Their theology as an “elite fundamentalism” that fetishizes political power and wealth, consistently opposes labor movements in the U.S. and abroad, and teaches that laissez-faire economic policy is “God’s will.” He criticized their theology of instant forgiveness for powerful men as providing a convenient excuse for elites who commit misdeeds or crimes, allowing them to avoid accepting responsibility or accountability for their actions.
Secretive organization.
The Reverend Rob Schenck, who leads a Bible study on the Hill inspired by C Street, wrote that “all ministries in Washington need to protect the confidence of those we minister to, and I’m sure that’s a primary motive for C Street’s low profile.” But he added, “I think The Fellowship has been just a tad bit too clandestine.”
Prominent political figures have insisted that confidentiality and privacy are essential to the Fellowship’s operation. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan said about the Fellowship, “I wish I could say more about it, but it’s working precisely because it is private.”
At the 1990 National Prayer Breakfast, President George H.W. Bush praised Douglas Coe for what he described as “quiet diplomacy, I wouldn’t say secret diplomacy.”
In 2009, Chris Halverson, son of Fellowship co-founder Richard C. Halverson, said that a culture of pastoral confidentialty is essential to the ministry: “If you talked about it, you would destroy that fellowship.”
In 1975, a member of the Fellowship’s inner circle wrote to the group’s chief South African operative, that their political initiatives
…have always been misunderstood by ‘outsiders.’ As a result of very bitter experiences, therefore, we have learned never to commit to paper any discussions or negotiations that are taking place. There is no such thing as a ‘confidential’ memorandum, and leakage always seems to occur. Thus, I would urge you not to put on paper anything relating to any of the work that you are doing…[unless] you know the recipient well enough to put at the top of the page ‘PLEASE DESTROY AFTER READING.’
In 1974, after several Watergate conspirators had joined the Fellowship, a Los Angeles Times columnist discouraged further inquiries into Washington’s “underground prayer movement”, i.e. the Fellowship: “They genuinely avoid publicity…they shun it.”
In 2002, Douglas Coe denied that the Fellowship Foundation owns the National Prayer Breakfast. Jennifer Thornett, a Fellowship employee, said that “there is no such thing as the Fellowship”.
Former Republican Senator Willliam Armstrong said the group has “made a fetish of being invisible”.
In the 1960s, the Fellowship began distributing to involved members of Congress notes that stated that “the group, as such, never takes any formal action, but individuals who participate in the group through their initiative have made possible the activities mentioned.
On January 5, 2010, Fellowship member Bob Hunter gave an interview on national television in which he stated:
But I do agree with you, that The Fellowship is too secret. We don’t have a Web site. We don’t have – we have a lot of good ministers, 200 ministers doing good works that nobody knows about. I think that’s wrong, and there’s a debate going on among a lot of people about whether and how we should change that.
The Fellowship maintains no public website and conducts no public fundraising activities.
The Fellowship Foundation, which since 1935 has conducted no public fundraising programs, relies totally on private donation. In 2007, the group received nearly $16.8 million to support the 400 ministries. Among The Fellowship’s key supporters are billionaire investor Paul N. Temple, a former executive of Esso (Exxon) and the founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the Three Swallows Foundation. Between 1998 and 2007, Three Swallows made grants totaling $1,777,650 to the International Foundation, including $171,500 in 2004,$203,500 in 2005, and $145,500 in 2006.
Another supporter, Jerome (Jerry) A. Lewis, established Denver-based Downing Street Foundation to provide support to three organizations: the Fellowship Foundation, Denver Leadership Foundation, and Young Life. Between 1999 and 2007, Downing Street donated at least $756,000 to the Family, in addition to allowing the group to use its “retreat center.”
Madelynn Winstead, a Downing Street director, was paid $21,500 by the Fellowship Foundation as managing director of the retreat center. Winstead also sits on the board of directors of ENDOW, a Catholic educational program.
The Kingdom Fund (Kingdom Oil Christian Foundation t/a Twin Cities Christian Foundation) also provides support to the Family and World Vision.
The Fellowship Foundation earns more than $1,000,000 annually through its sponsorship of the National Prayer Breakfast.
Family Property and Business Holdings
C Street
The Fellowship runs a $1.8 million three story brick mansion in Washington D.C. known as “C Street. It is the former convent for nearby St. Peter’s Church. It is located at 133 C Street, SE, behind the Madison Annex of the Library of Congress and a short distance from the United States Capitol, Republican National Committee, Democratic National Committee and House of Representatives Office Buildings. The structure has 12 bedrooms, nine bathrooms, five living rooms, four dining rooms, three offices, a kitchen, and a small “chapel”.
The facility houses mostly Republican members of Congress. The house is also the locale for:
• Wednesday prayer breakfasts for United States Senators, which have been attended by Senators Sam Brownback, Tom Coburn, James Inhofe, John Ensign, Susan Collins and Hillary Clinton.
• Tuesday night dinners for members of Congress and other Fellowship associates.
• An annual Ambassador Luncheon. The 2006 event was attended by ambassadors from Turkey, Macedonia, Pakistan, Jordan, Algeria, Armenia, Egypt, Belarus, Mongolia, Latvia, and Moldova.
• Receptions for foreign dignitaries, including the Prime Minister of Australia.
C Street has been the subject of controversy over its claimed tax status as a church, the ownership of the property and its connection to the Fellowship, and the reportedly subsidized benefits the facility provides to members of Congress.
Until 2009, C Street was exempt from real property taxes because it was classified as a “special purpose” use as a church. District of Columbia law exempts from taxation “buildings belonging to religious corporations or societies” which meet certain criteria. In August 2009, the property was reclassified. A DC city official said “it was determined that portions are being rented to private individuals for residential purposes. As a result, the exemption was partially revoked and adjusted so that only 34 percent is now tax-exempt and 66 percent has become taxable.”
In February 2010, the president of The Fellowship, Richard Carver, told The Columbus Dispatch that his “charitable organization” does not own the C Street Center “and has no control over its policy.” Carver added he does not know who owns or runs the center: “It is simply not a part of anything we do.”
In response to Carver’s statement, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow produced an official Corrective Deed of September 23, 2009 for C Street signed on behalf of C Street Center, Inc. by Marty B. Sherman, Secretary, who is listed as “Associate” on the Family’s 2008 tax filing. Property records show that in 1980, C Street was purchased by Youth with a Mission, Washington, D.C., Inc. On July 19, 1983, the organization changed its name to “Youth with a Mission Renewal Ministries, Inc.” On November 28, 1984, the organization changed its name to “FaithAmerica”. On September 3, 1985, the organization changed its name to “Youth with a Mission National Christian Center, Inc.” On February 27, 1992, the organization changed its name to “C Street Center, Inc.” The aforementioned Corrective Deed signed by a Fellowship Associate changed the name on the title to reflect changes in name of its owner.
Also, the Fellowship lists C Street Center on its 2007 Form 990 as a related organization through common members, governing bodies, trustees, officers, etc. In 2002, IRS records show that the Fellowship gave C Street Center $450,000 in grants and loans from 1994 to 2002.
As noted above, many of the present and past residents of C Street, including Senators Tom Coburn and John Ensign and Representatives Zach Wamp and Bart Stupak, have publicly acknowledged working with the Fellowship or are documented as having done so. “The C Street property is a church,” Chip Grange, an attorney for the Fellowship told the LA Times in 2002: “It is zoned as a church. There are prayer meetings, fellowship meetings, evangelical meetings . . . Our mission field is Capitol Hill.”
On February 23, 2010, Clergy Voice, consisting of 13 pastors from mainstream Christian denominations, filed a lawsuit with the United States Internal Revenue Service challenging the remainder of the C Street facility’s tax-favored status as a church, on the grounds that many ordinary church activities did not occur there and due to the secretiveness of the organization.
Clergy Voice is represented pro bono by Marcus Owens, who, prior to his current role in private practice, was the chief decision maker at the IRS regarding the design and implementation of federal tax rulings and enforcement programs for exempt organizations and was a recipient of the IRS Commissioner’s Award for exemplary service.
In late March, 2010, Clergy Voice sent another letter to the Internal Revenue Service asserting that residents at C Street failed to pay taxes on the allegedly discounted portions of their allegedly below market rents. Clergy Voice stated that a one-bedroom apartment on Capitol Hill would cost at least $1,700, while rent at the C Street house for members has been $950 a month including housekeeping services, and thus the renters should pay income tax on the difference. The group also surveyed the Capitol Hill rental market and found that nearby hotels charge a minimum of $2,400 per month and corporate housing costs a minimum of $4,000 per month. In 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that C Street charged Senators and Congressional representatives $600 per month for rent. In 2009, WORLD Magazine report that C Street charged about $950 per month for rent.
On April 1, 2010, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a liberal watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Senate and House ethics committees alleging that Senators and Representatives lodging in C Street received below market rents constituting “improper gifts from C Street Center, Inc., the entity that runs the house and is affiliated with the Fellowship, a shadowy religious organization.” The complaint names Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; and John Ensign, R-Nev., as well as Reps. Mike Doyle, D-Pa.; Heath Shuler, D-N.C.; Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; and Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. CREW states that the House and Senate gift rules specifically include “lodging” as a prohibited gift.
On April 1, 2010, Fox News reported that a spokesperson for Senator Coburn said that the CREW complaint was “bogus” and a “witch hunt, ” adding that “Anyone who spends 10 minutes on Craigslist will realize they’re getting a fair market deal” at $950 rent per month due to the shared nature of the living and bathroom space and “limited” housekeeping service.
The Reverend Louis P. Sheldon stated in 2002 that the Fellowship opened the C Street house to members of Congress because “it helps them out. A lot of men don’t have an extra $1,500 to rent an apartment. So the Fellowship house does that for those who are part of the Fellowship.” In 2002, rent was $600 per month for each resident and meals cost extra, but cleaning is provided by eight college-age volunteers from the Fellowship and a “house mother” who washes the congressmen’s sheets and towels.
Douglas Coe, leader of the Fellowship, said”I give or loan money to hundreds of people, or have my friends do so,” including to members of Congress but he did not recall the details.
Fellowship Foundation purchased a large old house in 1978, named the Doubleday Mansion. The home which also has a detached two story garage and a gardener’s cottage, is zoned as a worship and teaching center. The home is used as a center for Bible studies, counseling, hymn sings, life mentoring, prayer groups, prayer breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, and hospitality receptions for international reconciliation and conflict resolution iniatives. The home was once surrounded by cedar trees and so was renamed Cedars. Its location is near Georgetown University in the Arlington Woodmont community. It is a historic landmark house and is situated adjacent to a commemorative recreational county park, once the homestead of writer C. F. Henry.
Coe has described Cedars as a place “committed to the care of the underprivileged, even though it looks very wealthy.” He noted that people might say, “Why don’t you sell a chandelier and help poor people?” Answering his own question, Coe said, “The people who come here have tremendous influence over kids.” Private documents indicate that Cedars was purchased so that “people throughout the world who carry heavy responsibilities could meet in Washington to think together, plan together and pray together about personal and public problems and opportunities.”] Cedars is host to dozens of prayer breakfasts, luncheons and dinners for ambassadors, congressional representatives, foreign religious leaders and many others.
In March 1990, YWAM (which also previously owned the C Street Center) purchased a nearby property located at 2200 24th Street North for $580,000. The property, was used as another gathering place for bible study. Ownership of 2200 24th Street was transferred to the C Street Center on May 6, 1992, and again to the Fellowship Foundation on October 25, 2002. This house had been owned by Timothy Coe, who sold the property to his father, Douglas Coe on November 30, 1989, for $580,000.
A second property, located at 2224 24th Street North and assessed at $916,000, is used as a men’s mentoring ministry, known as a Navigator house. This property was purchased by Jerome A. Lewis and Co. in 1986, and sold to the Wilberforce Foundation in 1987. In 2007, the Wilberforce Foundation transferred it to the Fellowship Foundation for $1 million. Jerome A. Lewis is a trustee emeritus of the Trinity Forum and the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Petro-Lewis Corporation.
Douglas Coe once owned a lot at 2560 North 23rd Road, which he sold to Ohio Congressman Tony P. Hall (D-OH) and his wife on September 22, 1987, for $100,000. Upon leaving Congress in 2002, Hall donated some of his excess campaign funds including $20,000 to the Fellowship Foundation on September 4, 2002, $1,500 to the Wilberforce Foundation, and $1,000 to the Jonathan Coe Memorial of Annapolis, Maryland during the 2001 campaign cycle.
The residence located at 2244 24th Street North, assessed at $1,458,800, is owned by Merle Morgan, whose wife, Edita, is on the board of the Cedars. It also is identified as the offices of the greeting card firm of Morgan Bros. Corp. (d/b/a Capitol Publishing). Missionary Fred Heyn and his wife owned 2206 24th Street North.
LeRoy Rooker, the one-time treasurer of Cedars and former Director of the Family Policy Compliance Office at the U.S. Department of Education, and his wife own 2222 24th Street North.
Arthur W. Lindsley, a Senior Fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute owns 2226 24th Street North.
Cedar Point Farm
According to White House records dating from 1978, President Jimmy Carter traveled to Cedar Point Farm by Marine helicopter on November 12, 1978, to attend a Fellowship prayer and discussion group. President Carter placed a call to Menachim Begin while at Cedar Point Farm. The White House records reflect that Cedar Point Farm was owned by Harold Hughes, a former Senator from Iowa and the President of the Fellowship Foundation. Cedar Point Farm was later used by the Wilberforce Foundation.
Other Fellowship properties
“Southeast White House”, located at 2909 Pennsylvania Avenue, Southeast, which is a center of urban reconciliation, youth mentoring, community prayer breakfasts, Bible studies, life principle teaching and racial relational healing initiatives. University students come for internships in urban reconciliation and in community service for the bereft. This property is assessed at $736,310 for 2009 tax year.
“19th Street House,” a two-story, brick apartment building located at 859 19th Street NE, in the Trinidad neighborhood of northeast Washington, D.C., which is assessed at $358,250 for the 2009 tax year. The 19th Street Center is used for afterschool activities.
Mount Oak Estates, Annapolis, Maryland. One residential property, formerly owned by Timothy Coe, was sold to Wilberforce Foundation, Inc. for $1.1 million. A second residence is owned by David and Alden Coe and a third is owned by Fellowship associate Marty Sherman. Another nearby property, 1701 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard, was owned by the Fellowship Foundation.
Until 1994, the Fellowship Foundation owned the aged French revival historic “Fellowship House”, the former base of Vereide’s ministry located at 2817 Woodland Drive in Washington, D.C., which was sold to the Ourisman Chevrolet family for $2.5 million and which was then fully architecturally and historically restored and preserved

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas

This is in essence a work of fiction, but the usual disclaimers notwithstanding, many of the horrific incidents related herein are based entirely on factual occurrences.
None of the characters or the events in this telling are invented and at the same time, none are real. And certainly, none of the participants could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be either noble, self-sacrificing, honest, pure of motive or in any way socially acceptable to anything other than a hungry crocodile, a professional politician or a tax collector.
In fact, the main characters are complex, very often unpleasant, destructive and occasionally, very entertaining.
To those who would say that the majority of humanity has nothing in common with the characters depicted herein, the response is that mirrors only depict the ugly, evil and deformed things that peer into them
There are no heroes here, only different shapes and degrees of villains and if there is a moral to this tale it might well be found in a sentence by Jonathan Swift, a brilliant and misanthropic Irish cleric who wrote in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels,”
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most odious race of little pernicious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Swift was often unkind in his observations but certainly not inaccurat

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019

Chapter 74

While Alex was putting forth various arguments in favor of getting a haircut exactly like Chuck, and being strongly vetoed by everyone else, another gentleman in Chicago was sitting in his kitchen, cleaning several silenced automatic pistols while listening to Turkish dance music on his radio.
When the Minnesota group was driving home after a pleasant day of shopping, Tyler McKnight was having a tantrum in his home in elegant Winnetka. He had been informed that he would not be a guest at the reception for the President and was screeching in inarticulate rage. His terrified wife had grabbed up her Persian cat and taken refuge in the attic while her manic husband kicked holes in a wall in what was humorously called the family room.
The next day, Alex had informed Chuck, he would like to demonstrate just how much he had learned about the mysteries of the piano forte, assuming that he would be permitted to play on a real instrument. Permission was duly granted and it was generally noted that he looked much more presentable now that his bruises were a faint memory and his ragged hair had been carefully trimmed. His new clothes still fit him but he later noticed in the mirror in his bathroom that he appeared to be gaining some weight.
After examining himself from a number of angles, he decided that maybe, if he was fortunate, he might just look more like Claude and less like a victim of chronic malnutrition so often seen in charitable mailings dealing with increasingly regular African famines.
The next morning, Alex helped clean up the breakfast residue and discussed with Chuck the progress he had been making with his musical endeavors.
“Can I show you on the real piano what I’ve been doing?”
“Sure. We can have a recital the minute we get the dishwasher going.”
Alex went to his room and returned with a sheaf of sheet music Chuck had given him.
He put it up on the piano and sat down on the bench. There was a small lecture first.
“See, I’ve been learning to read music, Chuck. Every day I practice four hours. Two during the day and two at night. I think I can read music pretty well because now, I can hear what I’m reading. Does that sound right?”
“It sounds impressive. What are you going to do first?”
Chuck sat where Alex had sat the last time.
“Well, just some practice and then a little partita. Bach isn’t easy because he’s so…involved with his style but I think I have this one down OK. First you see what he wrote and then try to copy it so it sounds right. I guess I’m boring you, aren’t I?”
“No, you’re impressing me. Well, get started, Alex, get started.”
The finger exercises were surprisingly proficient and the partita was particularly good.
“That’s very good playing, Alex. Short and to the point. You have captured, not only the techniques but the spirit very well. Astonishingly well for a beginner with so little experience.”
“No, I have plenty of experience, but as a listener.”
The sounds of Bach penetrated to the kitchen where Gwen was having a cup of the less expensive coffee with Claude.
“Who’s playing in there?” Claude asked.
“God, don’t ask me. Both of them, I think.”
“You sound bitter.”
“Well I am bitter, Claude. I probably shouldn’t discuss this with you. You’re such a smug bastard most of the time.”
He stirred some cream into his cup.
“Go on, talk. We don’t have many what I would call significant conversations. I have the feeling from looking at your face that this might be one. Let me treasure it for always, love. Go on, talk.”
“It’s really nothing. There they are in there making nice music on the piano and here I am, frustrated as hell.”
“Frustrated? How?”
She began to spill out all of her unhappiness to Claude who proved to be a far better listener than Gwen ever thought he could be.
“You know I like Chuck…”
“You have a thing about him, Gwen. Chuck is polite to you but not enthusiastic and women don’t like that.”
“Yes. I mean, sometimes, he’s very kind to me and other times, I might as well not even be in the house. He’s nice but there’s no connection. Other times he’s a real dream. Like now, he’s out there playing the damned piano with Alex and I could talk to him and all he’d do would be to say, ‘How nice, Gwen’ or something stupid like that. He pays more real attention to Alex than he does to me.”
“Ah, the truth is out at last, dear! Gwen is jealous of a fifteen-year-old boy. My, my, so primitive.”
She got angry.
“I’m trying to talk to you and all you do is make fun of me.”
“You’re jealous, dear, and over nothing. Are you trying to say that Chuck is having an affair with this fifteen year old boy?”
“Oh shit, no. I mean that I am really fond of Alex but he spends entirely too much time following Chuck around and talking with him about nothing. Yesterday I heard them spend an hour discussing God and the next hour discussing how to make some kind of a dessert. What a waste of time.”
“You obviously had time to waste, listening to them. Were you hiding in the hall like you did with me?”
“No! Damn you, Claude. Just…I was in the hall and they were talking in the library or whatever Chuck calls it.”
“And you listened for two hours?”
“I happened to hear, that’s all. Is that bad?”
“Listen, Uncle Claude will now have a little talk with you, my child. Chuck is an intelligent person. He is also a very good person and, not to praise him too much, he can be a real tyrant around the house. On the other hand, I only planned to stay here until my car was fixed and I’m still here. Why am I still here? Good food? Oh yes, very good food. Sex? Hah, what sex? I had some sex down in Duluth but nothing in this house.”
“Oh shit, you nailed Alex’s mother, didn’t you? I heard you say she was good looking and I should have known you’d dick her. Shame on you, Claude, screwing that woman.”
“Hey, hot lips, that woman screwed me, believe it. And you’re trying to get away from what I’ve been talking about. Jealousy. Why am I still here? I’m here because I genuinely like Chuck. And I respect him as well. I don’t respect most people, Gwen, I use them. I ran away from an orphanage when I was a little younger than Alex and do you know how I survived in a world I had no acquaintance with? I’ll tell you dear. I became a male prostitute for older men and later, when I got tired of that sort of thing, I became a burglar. I got to know people very well in my life and I may be an asshole but I am never wrong about either people or fine art. I was saying that Chuck is an excellent sort of person. I don’t know what happened in his life but love obviously was not part of it. He probably always wanted a son and I know Alex always wanted a dad so there we are. A perfect match.”
“Oh, I can’t see Chuck as a father.”
“I can. And probably a good one too. Look, most people are takers, not givers. They are selfish, greedy, vicious and totally self-centered. As long as they can find someone who will give, they will take…and take…and take. And they will give nothing in return but sweet talk, lies and treachery. Chuck likes to give and most others love to take. Eventually, people like him get fed up with the greed and grabbing and turn off on the parasites. Turn off, dear, and turn on. I mean turn on them for their lies and for their ingratitude. Now Alex has psychological needs, not financial ones. I’m sure Chuck would spend money on Alex but Alex doesn’t want money. He wants what all people want. Do you know what that is, Gwen? What do all people want?”
“I don’t know. Tell me, Claude, what do all people want? To live forever? To be rich?”
“No. Quite simply, people want to love and to be loved. Nothing more than this and nothing less. Oh, in the absence of love, people will take money and possessions, will look in the mirror and kiss their reflections…until they get old and ugly. Chuck will give affection to Alex and Alex, in turn, will reciprocate with his own affection. But he’ll give Chuck something else, much more valuable. Alex will be loyal. Alex will take love but not money and he will give love but most especially, he will give loyalty. In the end, loyalty is priceless because it has no price and cannot be purchased. Loyalty is earned, Gwen, not bought. Are you following my train of thought, dear?”
“I don’t want his money.”
“No, but you want Chuck to pay attention to you. He does but you’re not satisfied. If Alex weren’t here, Chuck would play the piano and sing like he used to do. Or he’d be up in his room reading. You want him spending all his time with you and face it, he isn’t that kind of person.”
“He was so passionate New Year’s eve…”
Claude put his hand over his mouth and masked a short laugh with a longer cough.
“Oh yes, I do understand. But people like Chuck are capable of grand passions on Monday, great dinners on Tuesday, excellent conversations on Wednesday and so on throughout the long week. Just learn to wait for Mondays to come around, Gwen, that’s all I can tell you. Wait for Monday and don’t worry about the rest of the week. Enjoy the conversations and the dinners and wait for Monday. And now, let’s listen to the nice music and try to enjoy that.


This is also an e-book, available from Amazon:

The Encyclopedia of American Loons
John Marshall

Intelligent design creationism (ID) is pseudoscience, and as with most branches of pseudoscience, proponents of ID see the theory’s lack of popularity among those who actually has some expertise in the relevant areas not as a result of ID’s lack of scientific merit but as a result of conspiracy and/or bias. ID’s proponents themselves, of course, do not possess such expertise. A fine example is John Marshall, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia and ID apologist, who claims that mainstream scientists are trying to kick intelligent design “off the playing field of science” even though, according to Marshall, ID is “as much science as Darwinian evolution is science”. It isn’t. Marshall, of course, is not a biologist, and does not appear to have extensive knowledge of the relevant fields. Nevertheless, “as a theory, I believe that intelligent design fits the evidence of biology better than Darwinian evolution,” says Marshall, since that’s what he chooses to believe, regardless of evidence or principles for good scientific inquiry or evaluation of evidence (Marshall, in a 2007 talk in which he asserted his stance, failed to answer questions (from scientists) about ID’s testable predictions, for instance, which are sorely missing). He did bring up the standard false analogy involving DNA and information, however, saying that DNA is the “most complex, densely packed, elaborate assembly of information in the known universe” and even bears similarities to computer codes or a language, which is misleading at best.
Marshall is also a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s laughable petition A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.
Diagnosis: Marshall is a scientist. But being a working scientist in one field doesn’t mean that your dabblings in a different field are anything but pseudoscientific. Marshall is also a pseudoscientist.

Noson Leiter

More from the fuming, delusional hatred department. Noson Leiter, of the rather unappealingly named Torah Jews for Decency, is apparently one of the Religious Right’s favorite rabbis, and has appeared at Tea Party conferences along with luminaries like Rick Scarborough. Leiter rose to a modicum of fame when he blamed Hurricane Sandy on New York’s marriage equality law. He was, of course, not the only dingbat to do so, but might have been the only one to point out the appearance of a double rainbow after the storm as evidence that Hurricane Sandy was a sequel to the Flood (which God, according to the Bible, explicitly promised never to do again). Leiter had previously worked with Liberty Counsel and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms in an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn said law. Not everyone was impressed with Leiter’s observations.
Leiter has also asserted that the “end game” of the gay rights movement is “child molestation.” (No, he has no decency, which is presumably why he feels the need to put “decency” in the name of his organization.) “They are after our kids,” says Leiter; “they are after the bibles and guns that Americans cling to but they are also after us and after our kids.” He also warned that gay rights advocates “will not rest until all of their opposition is totally eliminated,” but fortunately assured us that they will ultimately lose, because “the Lord will vanquish evil.” Apparently, this is a recurring theme; also in connection with blaiming Hurricane Sandy on the gays, Leiter said that the “LGBT radical homosexualist movement” will increase child abuse by giving molesters a “license to victimize” children and even “a certain degree of diplomatic immunity.”
In 2013 Leiter warned then-Senate candidate Tom Price about the “tremendous medical health impact and economic impact” of the “homosexual agenda” and asking him (Price) whether Congress will consider studying the “fiscal impact” that “promoting such a lifestyle will result in.” Leiter’s general point was ostensibly (but not really) that any bill involving social issues should require a study of the “fiscal impact” the legislation would have. Price agreed, of course.
Diagnosis: Hate, hate and more hate, fuelled by fanatic delusions. Same as always.

Sin Hang Lee

Sin Hang Lee is an MD and formerly pathologist at the Milford Hospital pathology laboratory (where he received the boot in 2010), who has gained a reputation for himself for scaremongering about the Gardasil vaccine (facts here). His ideas about HPV DNA are silly and have been widely discredited, but that matters less to the antivaxx crowd than his credentials and that he tells them what they like to hear, and he is currently one of the more sought-after antivaxx voices for various antivaxx events – he appears, together with an impressive array of other conspiracy theorists, for instance in the recent “documentary” The Truth About Vaccines.
Lee has been reasonably well-known in the conspiracy community for a while, but made a bit of a splash in 2011 when the conspiracy website SANE Vax claimed to find “Recombinant HPV DNA” in “multiple samples of Gardasil”. Lee, of course, was the guy (“well-known for using cutting-edge DNA sequencing for molecular diagnoses”) contacted to perform the analyses. Of course, we are not informed about how he got the results – there is no scientific article or report attached to the findings, and neither he nor SANE Vax would tell us because they need to “protect the proprietary processes and information utilized by our laboratory to test the samples.” That is one pretty enormous red flag, insofar as testing for DNA contamination is otherwise a pretty straightforward affair, at least if the amount of contamition is sufficient to be anything to conceivably worry about. Nor do SANE Vax tell us how much was detected, which is rather telling; it turns out that the quantities were so small that Lee had to use nested PCR to detect it, which means that they are close to homeopathic (if Lee really found anything at all). Moreover, one would need some serious pseudoscience to dream up a possible mechanism by which such DNA would be harmful, but at least Lee is perfectly willing to provide that: “the HPV DNA in Gardasil™ is not ‘natural’ DNA. It is a recombinant HPV DNA (rDNA) – genetically engineered – to be inserted into yeast cells for VLP (virus-like-particle) protein production. rDNA is known to behave differently from natural DNA. It may enter a human cell, especially in an inflammatory lesion caused by the effects of the aluminum adjuvant, via poorly understood mechanisms.” That is utter nonsense (but common nonsense in anti-vaxx groups), but we suspect that most of SANE Vax’s regular audience wouldn’t know, so claims like this probably do their tricks among the target audience.
So, basically Lee is the source of a fear mongering campaign derived from a nonexistent understanding of molecular biology, if not on his part then certainly on the part of his intended audience (what he is pushing is ultimately nothing but a version of the toxins gambit). And Lee has continued in the same vein, claiming that deaths not caused by the HPV vaccine were caused by the HPV vaccine and publishing case reports in what appears to be predatory journals based on laughable methodology (indeed, it becomes clear when looking at the report that Lee deliberately made poor methodological choices; one wonders why.)
His research has, of course, been endorsed by various antivaccine activists and pseudoscience groups, such as the deranged conspiracy theory and anti-science hate group (!) the American College of Pediatricians (not to be confused with the reputable American Academy of Pediatrics, though the ACP certainly revels in the confusion).
SANE Vax claims that Lee is persecuted.
Diagnosis: Pseudoscientist and crackpot, who seems to have a penchant for choosing the methodology for investigation based on what is most likely to create fear and sensation rather than accuracy. Dangerous.

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