[note to readers: this is the first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties – both financial, organizational, and ideological – between the community of philanthropists, evangelical leaders, and Christian organizations that revolve around the event known as The Gathering and evangelical promotion of anti-gay hatred and anti-LGBT rights activism on a global scale, from Uganda to Russia. For Twocare.org’s extensive coverage of the World Congress of Families, see here]
[image, left: “The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today” (B&H Publishing Group, 2003), which states “[homosexual] activists have followed a strategy akin to what Hitler used back in the 1920s and 1930s to take over Germany” and up into 2014 was distributed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, one of the top American organizations participating in WCF events. The ADF is linked to anti-LGBT rights activism in nations spanning three continents, from the United States and Belize to Russia. In 2012, ADF received over 25% of its funding from the National Christian Foundation; also in 2012, ADF CEO and President Alan Sears told the World Congress of Families VI, in Madrid, “[I]n the course of the now hundreds of cases the Alliance Defense Fund has now fought involving this homosexual agenda, one thing is certain: there is no room for compromise with those who would call evil ‘good.’ “]
A Twocare.org analysis shows that out of the 101-odd American speakers featured at major World Congress of Families congresses from WCF I, held in Prague in 1997, to WCF VI, held in Madrid in 2012, 48 of those speakers, almost half, were attached to organizations that have been funded by the National Christian Foundation, the biggest foundation at the yearly event known as The Gathering (featured in the April 2014 Twocare.org special report The Gathering: The Religious Right’s Cash Cow) – an event at which leaders of top Christian right anti-LGBT groups such as the Family Research Council, Focus on The Family, and the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund) mingle with billionaire financiers of the religious right, representatives from the right-wing DeVos, Coors, Friess, Ahmanson, Prince, and MacLellan families and the rapidly growing National Christian Foundation – now America’s 12th biggest charity according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy and which funds multiple “ex-gay” ministries.
By its own description, the event known as The Gathering – whose attending nonprofit foundations give out, according to a Twocare.org analysis, over $1 billion dollars a year in grants – was launched in 1985 from a meeting at the Arlington, Virginia headquarters of The Fellowship, which hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Featured speakers have included Alliance Defending Freedom President and CEO Alan Sears (The Gathering 2013), Focus on The Family President Jim Daly (The Gathering 2011) and Family Research Council head Tony Perkins (The Gathering 2006), and the board membership of these three nonprofits interlocks (see footnote 2) with board membership of The Gathering, the National Christian Foundation, and the $1/2 billion dollar a year ministry Campus Crusade For Christ – whose founder Bill Bright advocated the use of stealth and deception to fight LGBT rights (see footnote 4), forming a strategic coalition with global reach and networks that can distribute eliminationist anti-gay propaganda across entire continents.
Speakers scheduled this year for The Gathering 2014 include NYT columnist David Brooks, a frequent National Public Radio commentator on All Things Considered and The Diane Rehm Show. Among those Joining Brooks at The Gathering 2014 will be Terry Parker, co-founder and board member of the National Christian Foundation, which since 2005 has given over $1.5 million dollars to the His Servants ministry of Don Schmierer, producer and vendor of a Fieldstead & Company-commissioned line of “ex-gay” books and curricula translated into dozens of languages including Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Schmierer co-starred, along with Scott Lively, in a March 2009 Kampala, Uganda anti-gay conference widely credited with dramatically ratcheting up anti-LGBT hatred in that nation.
[image, right: Scott Lively (second from left), March 2009 in Kampala, Uganda, with Don Schmierer (fourth from left), a longtime program manager for billionaire anti-LGBT rights funder Howard F. Ahmanson’s Fieldstead and Company. Both Schmierer and Ahmanson – one of the most dedicated and strategic anti-LGBT rights funders in America [see: 1, 2, 3, 4] and one of The Gathering’s earliest participants – have been featured speakers at The Gathering. (click on image for full-size version)]
In 1997 at The Gathering [link to audio, link to transcript], Don Schmierer was part of a special team – assembled by Fieldstead & Company of Howard Ahmanson, Jr. (Ahmanson has been described at The Gathering as one of its original members, and his Fieldstead & Co. was the second biggest funder backing the campaign to pass California’s Proposition 8) – that solicited funding from The Gathering’s deep pocketed investors to finance a Fieldstead-commissioned master plan to combat “organized homosexuality”. Masterminding the plan was former CIA analyst and author Herbert Schlossberg, husband of current Alliance Defending Freedom board member Terry Schlossberg.
In 2006 Family Research Council head Tony Perkins told The Gathering that the “second greatest threat:” to America, besides “radical Islamists” was “radical homosexuals”. In 2013 The Gathering advertised a special briefing from Alan Sears on the ADF’s ongoing legal work, which has included providing legal support for Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry, a major role in the cases that led up to the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case, and also advocacy for the “religious freedom” bills that flooded into state legislatures in early 2014.
Despite ongoing critical media coverage of the World Congress of Families, that over the past decade has come to the fore as a leading U.S.-based initiative which has helped export the culture war agenda of the American religious right – including anti-LGBT hatred and hostility to reproductive freedoms – to Russia and Eastern Europe, one transcendent question has largely been neglected: who funds the American nonprofits that have comprised the dominant presence at WCF events ? And, are the efforts of these nonprofits uncoordinated or are there traceable strategic and leadership connections between these groups ?
The answer to both questions points directly to the elite annual event known as The Gathering and to its biggest nonprofit foundation, the National Christian Foundation, exposed in an ongoing Twocare.org investigation of NCF 990 tax forms from 2001-2012 as probably the biggest – and without a doubt the most prolific – anti-LGBT rights funder in America.
Since the first WCF congress in Prague in 1997, the substantial impact of the World Congress of Families has come less from the comparatively small budget, roughly one half million dollars per year, of the WCF’s sponsor organization – the Rockford, Illinois-based Howard Center. Rather, the impact of the WCF has been driven by the talent of the World Congress of Families’ American speakers, and their talking points and polemics – which have been honed over decades during the U.S. religious right’s ceaseless kulturkampf against secularism and pluralism since the rise of the movement in the 1970s and 1980s. And since the mid-1980s, a substantial wellspring of funding for organizations that have groomed such talent has come from a centralized source: The Gathering and its biggest nonprofit, the National Christian Foundation
Case study: The Alliance
“How many of you know the phrase “Separation of Church and State”? Anybody know where that shows up in the Constitution ? It doesn’t. The truth is, it doesn’t.” – Alliance Defense Fund Communication Director Paul Weber, addressing The Gathering 2006
$10,065,726: that’s the amount of funding that the Alliance Defending Freedom – whose leaders have spoken at and helped organize four major World Congress of Families events, and is “easily the most active antigay legal group” according to Human Rights Campaign Vice President Frederick Sainz – received in 2012 from the National Christian Foundation, now the 12th biggest charity in the U.S. according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy and the biggest foundation represented at The Gathering (the total Alliance Defending Freedom budget in FY 2012 was $36,379,363). From 2001-2012 the National Christian Foundation gave the ADF a total of $39,617,448.
Consider the following quotes, from the Alliance Defending Freedom’s top leaders:
“[I]n the course of the now hundreds of cases the Alliance Defense Fund has now fought involving this homosexual agenda, one thing is certain: there is no room for compromise with those who would call evil ‘good.’ ” — from speech by Alliance Defending Freedom president Alan Sears, read by ADF Vice President and Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull at the World Congress of Families VI in Madrid, Spain, 2012:
“[Homosexual] activists have followed a strategy akin to what Hitler used back in the 1920s and 1930s to take over Germany… The very future of our nation is at risk if the homosexual agenda continues to advance unchecked.” — from pages 27-28 of The Homosexual Agenda, a 2003 book by ADF President Alan Sears and Craig Osten currently offered for free by the ADF to contributors who donate over $10:
“Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family. Join us as Alan Sears, President and CEO and General Counsel, shares ADF’s winning strategies in these critical battles.” — Description of special briefing at The Gathering 2013 by ADF President Alan Sears, from The Gathering’s Summer 2013 newsletter
“[C]ontrol of the educational system is central to those who want to advance the homosexual agenda. By its very nature, homosexual acts are incapable of bearing fruit – indeed, strictly speaking, they are not sexual, as they are incapable of being generative or procreative. Thus there is the need to desensitize and corrupt young minds, both to undermine resistance to the agenda and for recruitment among those that are at an emotionally vulnerable stage of development.” — Piero A. Tozzi, then-Senior Legal Counsel – Global, at the Alliance Defending Freedom, from May 26, 2012 speech to the World Congress of Families VI, Madrid.
Tracing the money
As an August 2014 Human Rights Campaign report emphasized, a planning brochure from the ostensibly “cancelled” World Congress of Families Moscow 2014 event (which was, in effect, held under a different name, the “International Family Forum” and passed a resolution calling for worldwide passage of anti-LGBT legislation) boasted that the original planned WCF event had 29 partner organizations with combined budgets of $216 million dollars.
The HRC report observed, “WCF is an organization with strong ties to American religious and conservative groups — including Focus on the Family, Alliance Defending Freedom, American Family Association and Family Research Council.”
HRC’s report did not trace the funding of these groups. But as detailed in the Twocare.org special report The Gathering: The Religious Right’s Cash Cow, from 2001-2012 the National Christian Foundation provided $163,384,988 in funding to the ADF, FoF, FRC, and five other major anti-LGBT rights activist groups: the Alliance For Marriage, the American Center For Law and Justice, the American Family Association, Campus Crusade For Christ, and the National Organization For Marriage.
In 2012 alone, the four organizations mentioned by the Human Rights Campaign as having strong ties to the WCF – Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Focus on the Family (FoF), the Family Research Council (FRC), and the American Family Association (AFA) received $17,187,954 from the National Christian Foundation (these four are among over 125 anti-gay organizations and ministries profiled in Twocare.org’s National Christian Foundation Anti-LGBT Funding Encyclopedia.)
And just two of those World Congress of Families partner organizations, Focus On The Family and the Alliance Defending Freedom, had in 2012 a combined budget of over $120,000,000 – over half of the $216 million dollar figure cited by the WFC as the combined budget of all WCF partner organizations for World Congress of Families VIII. Other evidence for the dominant influence within the NCF of National Christian Foundation-funded groups includes:
— Leaders from the Family Research Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom, and Focus on The Family have helped plan World Congress of Families events, with the participation of the second two organizations, ADF and FoF, extending up the planning committee for WCF VIII which included ADF Vice President and Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull and FoF Senior Vice President Tom Minnery. The ADF’s Benjamin Bull spoke at WCF IV, WCF V and WCF VI and ADF President and CEO Alan Sears also spoke at WCF VI; FoF’s leadership participation in the planning of WCF events dates back to WCF III held in Mexico City in 2004; FRC participation in the planning of WCF events dates back to WCF IV, held in Warsaw in 2007 and FRC speakers have attended WCF events since WCF II, held in (also see footnote 3.)
— Out of twelve Americans listed on the WCF VIII planning committee, eight were from organizations that have been funded by the National Christian Foundation.
— Out of twenty American organizations listed as sponsors for WCF VIII Moscow (in the WCF Oct-Nov 2013 newsletter) thirteen have received funding from the NCF or from NCF-funded groups. In 2012 those WCF-listed American partner organizations of WCF VIII received $15,823,546 from the National Christian Foundation.
— Speakers from National Christian Foundation-funded organizations represented almost 1/2 (over 47%) of all the American speakers at the six major World Congress of Families congresses held from 1997 to 2012.
A strategic anti-LGBT partnership
While the Summer 2013 newsletter of The Gathering described the business of the Alliance Defending Freedom as merely “advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family”, only weeks later in October 2013, ADF Chief Counsel and Executive Vice President Benjamin Bull brought another apparent agenda, active hostility to LGBT rights, to Russia, where he joined Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President of Focus on The Family (FoF), on the planning committee for the eighth World Congress of Families event that was to be held in Moscow in September 2014.
From 2007 to 2013 (to scant scrutiny) the two groups, ADF and FoF – whose combined yearly budget now exceeds $120 million a year – emerged as heavyweight players in WCF events and planning. Over the nearly twenty year span for which audio and newsletter records of The Gathering are available, leaders of Focus on The Family and the Alliance Defending Freedom have frequently enjoyed top billing at the elite event — at which, each year, representatives of multimillionaire and billionaire Christian dynasties meet with evangelical innovators bearing new ideas (to be funded) and discuss how on to best deploy their philanthropic financial resources that help evangelize, fight poverty and address human needs in the developing world but also fuel America’s ongoing culture wars and spread an anti-gay, anti-reproductive rights, pro-privatization version of Christianity within the U.S. but also, increasingly, across the globe.
“The truth is, is that marriage is between one man and one woman. The truth is, is that children are best served when they’re raised in a two-parent home of opposite-gendered people, married, together. That’s the truth of the case. That’s step one, in truth.
Step two is, there’s the truth of the Constitution and the truth of who the founding fathers were. The founding fathers approached the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence from a Judeo-Christian perspective. How many of you know the phrase “Separation of Church and State”? … Anybody know where that shows up in the Constitution ? [audience murmurs, “it doesn’t] It doesn’t. The truth is, it doesn’t.”
[image, below right: presentation descriptions, from The Gathering’s Summer 2006 newsletter]
Later in the presentation, Alliance Defense Fund lawyer Jordan Lorence explained to The Gathering the ADF’s new strategic approach via the following military campaign metaphor:
“We were used to really nice rifles and really nice hand grenades, and maybe a bazooka or two. And we had no concept of aircraft carriers, and fleets of bombers, and cruise missiles, Normandy Beach D-Day invasions. We were more into this guerrilla warfare thing.”
In line with that upgraded strategic vision for ADF, of legal campaigns that would be like “Normandy Beach D-Day invasions”, the following year of 2007 began the ADF’s first official involvement with the World Congress of Families; at WCF Warsaw 2007, ADF Vice President Benjamin Bull cited the Alan Sears and Craig Osten book The Homosexual Agenda and raised the “gay nazi” meme developed in the book by telling his audience,
“Through blatant intimidation, threats, prosecution and law suits, and even beatings, opponents of homosexual behavior have been punished and censored for speaking out.”
Kicking off the presentation at The Gathering 2006, ADF’s Executive Director of Communications Jordan Lorence told The Gathering, “We’re going to introduce one of our dear allies and friends, Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council – who’s kind of our sister organization on the policy side – we are the legal side and Tony’s the policy side.” Two and a quarter hours later, ADF President and CEO Alan Sears reemphasized the tightness of the strategic partnership:
“I can’t think of a better example of the difference we all can make standing together than ADF’s friendship between, and our partnership between, Tony Perkins and his outstanding team at the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund. Under Tony’ leadership, FRC has become again the national leader in the legislative and grassroots policy efforts to protect marriage and the family.
Each of our ministry’s efforts compliment each other – and I can’t emphasize that enough. And in fact, without the Family Research Council – working on the policy front, many of the victories that we’re celebrating this morning that I talked to you about would not have happened. Our two organizations each have a distinctly different but very complimentary mission. We need each other for our common success… Tony’ my good friend. He’s a man of great integrity and he’s a winner.”
Taking the stage, FRC head Tony Perkins presented his view of the top threats facing America:
“I would say there are two great threats to our nation today,and I don’t think liberals understand either one of them. I think we’re at great threat, externally, from radical Islamists who want to destroy us and our way of life… there’s about forty million of these radical Muslims who simply want to kill us.
The second greatest threat I think this nation faces is internally, and it’s from the radical homosexuals that want to destroy the underpinnings of our nation. And this is not an idle, this is not on idle threat. They are absolutely determined to redefine marriage and with it everything else.”
…[Islamic terrorists are] for real and they want to destroy us — But the homosexual, the radical homosexual, wants to destroy our way of life too. They want to bring the rest of the nation down to their point of, really, moral degradation.”
[image, below: ADF President Alan Sears addresses the World Congress of Families VI in Madrid. Note the prominently featured onstage logos of the Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family. In his speech, Sears specifically mentioned the ADF’s role in many of the 40-odd lawsuits filed against health care mandates attached to the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act. One of the advertised special features at The Gathering 2013, held in the Scottsdale, AZ home base of the Alliance Defending Freedom, was a briefing from ADF President Sears on the Alliance’s ongoing legal work. Attending The Gathering 2013 were three generations of the Green family, owners of the Hobby Lobby craft store chain that was the head plaintiff in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby U.S. Supreme Court case which granted sweeping new religious freedom rights to corporations.]
The covert kingdom
As with the perspective provided by journalist Jeff Sharlet’s coverage of “The Family”/The Fellowship – which hosts the National Prayer Breakfast – in Sharlet’s books The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (2008, HarperCollins) and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat To American Democracy (Little, Brown, 2009), knowledge of The Gathering constitutes a novel perspective that sheds new light on the astonishing degree of influence which a determined, well-funded, covert movement within radicalized conservative evangelicalism has achieved within American civic and political life and, increasingly through the vector evangelical missions work, across the globe – as will be explored in future installments of this series
The Gathering is both an annual event, the elite community that has coalesced around the event, and a Tyler, Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit which hosts the event each year. In early 2014, all but the last three years’ worth of audio recordings – of talks given at yearly The Gathering conferences going back to 1996 and which had been freely available for download – disappeared from The Gathering’s website. Recordings of individual sessions from 2010 to 2006 can still be purchased but the cost of that entire five year span of conference recordings would amount to hundreds of dollars, and the decade from 1996-2005, which contains much of the most interesting material, is now unavailable.
In a column in the Summer 2012 The Gathering newsletter, President of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit The Gathering Fred Smith discussed the results of a survey done by a private consultant hired to ask Gathering participants “what makes them reluctant to recommend people they meet to The Gathering.” More than a few participants, it seems based on Smith’s column, considered The Gathering to be a “secret society”.
But judging by a survey of audio recordings from The Gathering, it is not hard to understand why participants might hold such a view; Gathering speakers often describe the need to “infiltrate” secular society: the use of stealth and deceit to further the dominionist “Seven Mountains” mandate, the goal of bringing the seven major spheres of society – government, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, and the family – under the influence of control of “the kingdom” and its ranks of “believers”.
Such an anti-democratic and anti-pluralist, religious supremacist ethic – which has influenced disturbingly wide swaths of the global evangelical missions movement – is interwoven through the culture of The Gathering.
A featured speaker at The Gathering 2001 was head and founder of the international evangelical behemoth missionary organization Youth With A Mission Loren Cunningham – one of the co-originators of the “7 Mountains” idea, in which believers would infiltrate and achieve commanding positions of power and influence on the “seven mountains” of society. In 1997, as described in a Twocare.org special report, Campus Crusade for Christ Vice President Paul Eshleman detailed to The Gathering Campus Crusade’s leading role in a massive fundamentalist missions effort that indoctrinated millions of school children in Russia and nations of the former Soviet Union, during a five-year period in the 1990s.
Along with Loren Cunningham, Campus Crusade for Christ founder Bill Bright was the other co-originator of the 7 Mountains dominionist motivational rubric. Bright had little known but deep ties to the overtly theocratic Christian Reconstructionism movement, whose leaders advocate imposition of pre-Talmudic biblical law including the death penalty for a range of infractions including adultery, homosexuality, female un-chastity (sex before marriage), idolatry, witchcraft, and incorrigible rebelliousness among teen and young adult children (see footnote 4).
In 2005, the Winter 2005 newsletter of The Gathering featured an op-ed from Christian Reconstructionist pastor Rev. Kenneth L. Gentry, who advanced the Christian Reconstructionist position that, per Leviticus 20:9, that especially disobedient children who exhibit a “complex of evil characteristics” should be executed (if this is in accord with existing civil law) or, at least, disinherited.
Up to 1995, The Gathering member Howard Ahmanson, Jr., perhaps the most strategic anti-LGBT rights funder in America, was the top funder of Christian Reconstructionism’s leading think tank, the Chalcedon Foundation.
In a 2004 interview, Ahmanson told Southern California’s Orange County Register that “I don’t think it’s at all a necessity” to “stone people for the same thing that people in ancient Israel were stoned” but that “It would still be a little hard to say that if one stumbled on a country that was doing that, that it is inherently immoral, to stone people for these things”.
The same year, in 2004, Ahmanson was a featured speaker on a panel discussion at The Gathering, along with a Vice President of World Vision International and the future head editor of Christianity Today. In that panel discussion, Howard Ahmanson was characterized as being on the conservative end of the spectrum of The Gathering participants.
Footnote 1: The Gathering and National Christian Foundation influence at the WCF
World Congress of Families 2012 Madrid speakers funded by National Christian Foundation
[ http://congresomundial.es/wcf-vi-madrid/speakers/ ]
– Total National Christian Foundation 2012 funding of WCF Madrid speaker organizations: $17,537,822
– Total North Americans at WCF Madrid conference: 45
– Total number in organizations funded by National Christian Foundation: 25
– Percent of North Americans at conference whose orgs were funded directly by NCF or by NCF/The Gathering foundations: 55.5%
Allan C. Carlson, President, Howard Center – NCF 2002 $15,000, 2003 $2,250
Paige Patterson, Southwestern Baptist Seminary – 2012 NCF $26,100
Alan Sears, ADF – 2012 NCF $10,065,726
Larry D. Jacobs, Howard Center
Don Feder, Howard Center
Yuri Mantilla – was then Director, International Government Affairs at
Focus on The Family, formerly at Family Research Council 2012 FoF $5,252,804 (plus FamilyTalk $92,700)
Benjamin Bull, VP ADF
Dorothy Patterson, Southwestern Baptist Seminary
Ted Baehr, Christian Film & Television Commission – NCF 2011 $58,000
Janice Crouse, Concerned Women For America – 2012 NCF $14,500
Mats Tunehag – World Evangelical Alliance, 2012 NCF $120,344
Helen Alvaré – George Mason University 2012 NCF, GMU Foundation, $500
Miguel Moreno, President., The Leadership Institute – NCF 2012 $21,380
Patrick Fagan, Family Research Council, NCF $1,442,180
Paul Coleman, Senior Legal Cousel, ADF Europe
Piero A. Tozzi, Senior Legal Counsel, ADF
Roger Kiska, legal counsel, ADF
Steve E. Smoot, Family First – 2012, NCF 299,975
Vicky Thorn, Project Rachel – 2012 NCF Project Rachel San Antonio $2,588
William Saunders, Senior Counsel, Americans United For Life, 2012 NCF $92,425
Brian S. Brown, National Organization For Marriage, 2012 NCF $117,400
Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth, 2012 NCF $1,000
John Mueller, Director of Economics, Ethics and Public Policy Center NCF 2012, $15,000
Robert Baehr, Chief Marketing Officer, Movieguide/MediguideTV
William Jeynes, Princeton Witherspoon Institute (funded by Templeton Foundation, whose head John Templeton, Jr. has been a featured speaker at The Gathering)
Footnote 2: National Christian Foundation relationship to the Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus On The Family, Family Research Council, and The Gathering
Both Focus On The Family and the Family Research Council have board membership that interlocks with current and former National Christian Foundation board membership (FoF through Anthony Wauterlek, board member emeritus of the NCF, FRC through Terry Parker, co-founder of the NCF and current board member).
In turn, one of the five co-founders of the Alliance Defense Fund (recently renamed Alliance Defending Freedom) was the late Christian financial analyst Larry Burkett, one of three co-founders of the National Christian Foundation.
Another co-founder of the NCF was James Dobson, founder of Focus On The Family. Focus On The Family board membership interlocks, in turn, with the Alliance Defending Freedom board through Tom Minnery, Focus On The Family’s Senior Vice President and President and CEO of FoF’s political action wing Citizenlink (Minnery served, along with ADF Vice President Benjamin Bull on the planning committee for World Congress of Families VIII).
Another co-founder of the Alliance Defense Fund was Campus Crusade For Christ founder Bill Bright whose organization, now renamed “Cru”, was exposed in a March 2013 Truth Wins Out special report for distributing anti-LGBT hate speech on a mass-scale at a 2012-2013 pan-African conference in Lagos, Nigeria. According to Scott Lively, his first trip to Uganda was orchestrated by Campus Crusade leader Warren Willis, who brought in Lively to speak at an anti-pornography conference.
Another of the co-founders of the Alliance Defense Fund was the late D. James Kennedy, former head pastor of Florida’s Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. Kennedy and his ministry were known for extensive ties to the overtly theocratic Christian Reconstructionism movement, and Coral Ridge employee Janet Folger (now Janet Folger) spearheaded the “Truth in Love” campaign that promoted “ex-gay” leaders such as John and Anne Paulk in full-page ads in top print media venues across American such as the New York Times.
Footnote 3: Participation of Focus on the Family, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Family Research Council in the World Congress of Families
According to World Congress of Families press releases, Focus on the Families leaders have participated in the planning of WCF congresses going back to WCF3 held in 2004 in Mexico City (FoF’s Tom Minnery served on the planning committee according to the WCF), and WCF4 held 2007 in Warsaw (FoF’s Tom Jacobson, and FRC’s Bill Saunders served on the planning committee according to WCF). In addition speakers from WCF2 included Darrel Reid, President of Focus On The Family Canada – a financial affiliate with financial ties to Focus On The Family US. WCF II also included the participation of the Family Research Council, as described on page 82 of Globalizing Family Values: The Christian Right in International Politics (Doris Buss and Didi Herman, University of Minnesota Press, 2003).
Footnote 4: Bill Bright’s advocacy of stealth and deception, and ties to Christian Reconstructionism
In his 1986 book Kingdoms At War: Tactics For Victory In Nine Spiritual War Zones (1986, Here’s life Publishers), Campus Crusade For Christ founder Bill Bright and co-author Ron Jenson openly advocated the use of stealth and deception for fighting gay rights. On page 62, the two wrote,
“Satan is a master of surprise, and often he does it by slowly desensitizing us, lulling us to sleep so that we are unaware of his schemes. By contrast, too often Christans broadcast all they do… There are times we need to keep quiet. Dr. Steven F. Hotze learned this in Houston. In an attempt to defeat proposed legislation favorable to homosexuals, he organized a low-profile, grass roots campaign. When the news finally reached the media, it was too late. The homosexual rights ordinance was overturned by an 81 to 19 percent margin.
We might also start various ‘front’ groups. One of the most effective Christian movements in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s was the Christian World Liberation Front at the University of California, Berkeley. It was organized to counteract the radical movement on campus. Few people knew that its leaders were on the staff of Campus Crusade For Christ. They adopted the appearance and some of the methods of the radical left, and were so successful that eventually there was more talk on campus about Jesus Christ than about Karl Marx. Many believed it helped defuse the radical leftist movement on that campus…”
The Bright and Jenson book also openly promoted books and writings by top leaders of the overtly theocratic Christian Reconstructionism movement such as R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North as well as writings from the Coalition on Revival, Christian Reconstructionism’s main political front.