[note: readers somewhat familiar with the saga of ongoing struggles for LGBT rights in Uganda and Russia may want to skip the introductory paragraphs below, which contextualize the Twocare.og Index #1 presented in this story, and skip directly to the index]
From 2009 up to the present, event the best investigations into the mounting U.S. conservative evangelical-backed international assault on LGBT rights – research featured in mainstream media, liberal and progressive media, and coming from LGBT rights groups and progressive nonprofits – has missed what is perhaps the most striking aspect: a shocking number of the relevant organizational and financial trails lead straight to the elite event known as The Gathering, where multimillionaire and billionaire American evangelical funders meet each year, and whose biggest foundation, the National Christian Foundation, has bankrolled over 125 notable anti-gay organizations and ministries, making the NCF arguably the preeminent anti-LGBT funder in America.
As currently scheduled, The Gathering 2014 will feature prominent op-ed writers from the Washington Post and the New York Times.
The following presentation is modeled after the Harper’s Magazine Harper’s Index format, which creates a tightly compressed narrative structure through the presentation of a juxtaposed set of related facts. My intent is to present a thematic outline, of the ties – between the elite conservative evangelical funding conference known as The Gathering, the National Christian Foundation, and related funding entities such as Howard Ahmanson’s Fieldstead & Co. – and the American evangelical provocation of anti-LGBT hatred in Russia (in which the World Congress of Families has played major role) and in Uganda – where in 2009 Don Schmierer – whose His Servants ministry has since 2005 received $1.5 million from the NCF and was a 1997 The Gathering speaker – could be found in Uganda, joining Scott Lively in an anti-LGBT rights conference widely credited with ratcheting up anti-gay hatred in that nation shortly prior to the introduction, in Uganda’s parliament, of the Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill.
That year, in 2009, Don Schmierer’s His Servants ministry, which sells a line of “ex-gay” books translated into dozens of world languages, got $178,000 from the National Christian Foundation. Don Schmierer has also attended and spoken at multiple World Congress of Families events, starting with WCF II in Geneva, in 1999. In 2007, at WCF IV in Warsaw, both Don Schmierer and Scott Lively attended.
At The Gathering 2014 Fieldstead and Company, which Don Schmierer has represented from the early 1990s up to 2011 or later, will be hosting a special presentation – headed by Roberta Ahmanson (whose husband Howard Ahmanson was one of the original The Gathering members and who has been one of the most dedicated and strategic anti-LGBT rights funders in America) – on global persecution of Christianity.
But you can read about all that, and more, in Twocare.org Index #1
Twocare.org Index #1: The Gathering, the NCF, and the promotion of antigay hate from Russia to Uganda
-Total number of Americans listed, in an October 23, 2013 WCF press release, as having participated in an October 2013 Moscow planning committee for the World Congress of Families VIII: 12
– Number of the listed American participants whose respective organizations have received funding from the National Christian Foundation: 8
– Amount the Alliance Defending Freedom received from NCF in 2012: $10,065,726
– Year Alliance Defending Freedom President Alan Sears was advertised, in the Summer 2013 newsletter of The Gathering, as leading a special briefing to The Gathering on the ADF’s ongoing legal activities: 2013
– Quote from speech by ADF president Alan Sears presented at the 2012 World Congress of Families VI in Madrid, “The Homosexual Agenda”: “in 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.’ “
– Description from the Summer 2013 newsletter of The Gathering, of an upcoming The Gathering 2013 presentation by ADF president Alan Sears: “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.”
– Percent of American speakers at the 2012 World Congress of Families VI conference in Madrid whose organizations have received funding from the National Christian Foundation or from foundations represented at The Gathering: 55.5%
– Percent of American speakers at World Congress of Families conferences I to VI whose organizations have received funding from the NCF or from foundations represented at The Gathering, or who have spoken at The Gathering: 47.5%
– Year World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs boasted of WCF involvement in Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” law: 2013.
– Year leaders from the Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on The Family, both top recipients of National Christian Foundation funding, participated in helping plan the World Congress of Families VIII, in Moscow: 2013.
– Number of The Gathering yearly conferences held since 2001 in Scottsdale, Arizona, the home base of the Alliance Defending Freedom: at least four. (The ADF also gave a presentation at The Gathering 2004, in Vail, CO).
– Year that Herb Schlossberg, husband of ADF board member Terry Schlossberg, briefed The Gathering on his ambitious, multilevel plan for combating “organized homosexuality”: 1997
– Year that the religious right’s antigay “Truth in Love” campaign – that included participation of ADF co-founder D. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries and which ran full-page ads, in leading print venues such as the New York Times, that featured “ex-gay” leaders such as John and Anne Paulk – launched: 1998.
– Year that Don Schmierer – who, per the plan outlined at The Gathering in 1997, has since co-produced an entire line of “ex-gay” books, and course curriculum aimed at teens, that have been translated into dozens of world languages – first traveled to Uganda: 1994.
– Year that Don Schmierer, Schlossberg’s co-presenter in that 1997 The Gathering briefing, published his first ex-gay book An Ounce of Prevention: Preventing the Homosexual Condition Today’s Youth: 1998.
– Languages that Schmierer’s book has been translated into, in non-English versions that are sold by Schmierer’s His Servants ministry: Spanish, Chinese, Armenian, Russian, Cebuano (Filipino), Czechoslovakian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kanada, Hindi, Marathi, Ukrainian
– Year that Don Schmierer could be found speaking about how to prevent homosexuality at a Kampala, Uganda conference at which Scott Lively blamed the Holocaust and the rise of Hitler on gays: 2009. Year Schmierer gave a similar presentation in Ukraine: 2008
[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)]
– Year Don Schmierer and his His Servants ministry was profiled in a World Congress of Families newsletter in which Schmierer was listed, along with Howard Ahmanson’s Fieldstead & Co., as a financial supporter of WCF : 2009
– Span of years Schmierer has served as a program manager for Fieldstead & Co., the unincorporated funding vehicle of billionaire Howard Ahmanson, Jr.: 1992 or earlier, to at least 2011.
– Amount of money Ahmanson gave the Chalcedon Foundation, whose board Howard Ahmanson served on up to 1995 and whose founder R.J. Rushdoony founded the overtly theocratic Christian Reconstructionism movement and advocated imposing pre-Talmudic biblical law including the death penalty for a range of offenses including adultery, homosexuality, female un-chastity (sex before marriage), incorrigible rebelliousness and immorality in teen and young adult children, and witchcraft: at least $750,000.
– Year General Manager of Fieldstead & Co. Rob Martin was a signatory to the Coalition on Revival, (Christian Reconstruction’s main political front) whose members vowed to sacrifice their lives if necessary to impose biblical law: 1986
– Year Howard Ahmanson and his wife Roberta Ahmanson were at R. J. Rushdoony’s dying bedside: 2001.
[image, right: Chalcedon Foundation founder and Christian Reconstructionism founder Rousas J. Rushdoony endorsed the stoning of homosexuals, adulterers, and witches, claimed the commonly Holocaust death toll of 6 million had been considerably inflated, endorsed biblical slavery, and claimed that the Sun orbits the Earth.]
– Year Howard 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”: 2004
– Year Howard Ahmanson, Jr. spoke at a panel discussion at The Gathering: 2004
– Year Roberta Ahmanson will address The Gathering, in a special session hosted by Howard Ahmanson’s Fieldstead & Co: 2014
– Year Uganda’s so-called “kill the gays” bill (the Anti Homosexuality Bill) was introduced in Uganda’s parliament, amidst a spike in anti-gay hatred in Uganda credited, in part, to a March 2009 Kampala, Uganda anti-gay conference which featured, as starring speakers, Scott Lively and program manager for Howard Ahmanson’s Fieldstead & Co. Don Schmierer : 2009
– Year Schmierer told the New York Times, concerning the Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill, “That’s horrible, absolutely horrible. Some of the nicest people I have ever met are gay people”: 2010
– Cure rate for “ex-gay” reparative therapy cited by Don Schmierer, in his 1998 book An Ounce of Prevention: Preventing The Homosexual Condition in Today’s Youth (1998, Word Publishing/Thomas Nelson): ” ‘Every study ever performed on conversion from homosexual to heterosexual orientation has produced…successes that ranged between 33 percent…and 60 percent’ “. (pp.8)
– Biblical verse cited by Schmierer, in An Ounce of Prevention, concerning homosexuality (pp.81): Leviticus 20:13 – “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.” (NASB)
– Number of times Don Schmierer has spoken at World Congress of Families events: 4 [1999 – WCF II Geneva, 2004 – WCF III Mexico City, (2007 – WCF IV Warsaw, 2009 WCF V Amsterdam. Schmierer was also scheduled to speak at WCF VIII Moscow.]
– Amount of money Don Schmierer’s His Servants ministry has received since 2005 from the National Christian Foundation, the biggest philanthropy represented at The Gathering: $1,566,775
– Year that Don Schmierer’s employer Howard Ahmanson, Jr., head of Fieldstead and Company, helped launch The Gathering from the Arlington, Virginia headquarters of The Fellowship, which hosts the National Prayer Breakfast: 1985.
– Amount of money that Howard Ahmanson, Jr. spent to pass California’s 2008 anti same-sex marriage ballot amendment Proposition 8: $1,395,000.
– Year that a Fieldstead & Co. special task force, which included a representative from the Family Research Council, addressed The Gathering concerning the Fieldstead task force’s new master strategy for combating “organized homosexuality”: 1997
– Length of 2006 briefing at The Gathering by the Alliance Defending Freedom (that included a presentation from Family Research Council and Council for National Policy Vice President [as of 2012] Tony Perkins): 3 hours, 22 minutes
– Rank of gay rights movement, per Tony Perkins’ speech at The Gathering 2006, on Perkins’ list of top threats to America: #2 (‘Islamic terrorism’ was threat #1)
– Relationship of the Family Research Council to the Alliance Defense Fund as described by an ADF lawyer at the 2006 The Gathering briefing: “our sister organization on the policy side”.
– Year Campus Crusade For Christ founder Bill Bright, together with National Christian Foundation co-founder Larry Burkett, helped co-found the Alliance Defense Fund (now Alliance Defending Freedom): 1994.
– U.S. Ministry that arranged Scott Lively’s first trip to Uganda, in 2002, to co-lead a conference on pornography with top Ugandan anti-LGBT rights campaigner Stephen Langa: Campus Crusade For Christ.
– U.S. ministry that in 2013 hosted the pan-African conference Pamoja III, which featured as top-billed speakers two of its vice presidents and also doctor Seyoum Antonios, who has led the push to institute the death penalty for homosexuality in his native country of Ethiopia and vowed before the almost 2,000 attendees at Pamoja III that “Africa will become a graveyard for homosexuality!”: Campus Crusade For Christ.
– Amount Campus Crusade For Christ received from the National Christian Foundation in 2012: $9,651,178
– Other claims made by Seyoum Antonios at Pamoja III, as detailed in a May 20, 2013 Truth Wins Out special report: “[Antonios] claimed, among other things, that seventy percent of gay men have ‘fecal sex,’ which involves ingesting large amounts of feces; that thirty-three percent of gay men are pedophiles, and that gay couples are coming to Africa to ‘steal their children’ and turn them into homosexuals; that homosexuality has come to Africa ‘to kill us,’ and thus must be eradicated; that gays are fifteen times more likely to be murderers; and that Africans should reject aid from Western organizations that are ‘trying’ to infiltrate their continent with the homosexual agenda.”
– Amount of grants given out by the National Christian Foundation, 2008-2012: over $2.5 billion dollars.
– Year the NCF became big enough to join the Chronicle of Philanthropy‘s “Philanthropy 400” list of the 400 biggest charities in the U.S. : 2005.
– Rank of National Christian Foundation on the Chronicle of Philanthropy “Philanthropy 400” list in 2013: #12
– Number of anti-gay ministries and organizations currently profiled on the Twocare.org special report The National Christian Foundation Anti-LGBT Funding Encyclopedia: over 125.
– Amount of money the National Christian Foundation has since 2001 given to the Frontline Fellowship and In Touch Mission International ministries of Dr. Peter Hammond, a current steering committee member on the Coalition on Revival (which works to impose biblical law) and is author of the 2001 book The Pink Agenda: Sexual Revolution in South Africa and the Ruin of the Family, which tracks many of the anti-gay arguments deployed in Scott Lively’s book The Pink Swastika: $824,810
– Opinion of Peter Hammond, concerning the late Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“King was not a legitimate reverend, he was not a bona fide PhD, and his name was not really ‘Martin Luther King, Jr.’ What is left? Just a sexual degenerate with a Marxist agenda… Even in the 1960s, ‘the controlled’ media and politicians were determined to push their racial mixing program on America. King was their man and nothing was allowed to get in their way.”
– Year that Hammond’s fellow Coalition on Revival Steering Committee member Dr. Ted Baehr appeared onstage with Larry Jacobs, Managing Director of the World Congress of Families and Natalia Yakunina, wife of Vladimir Putin’s close ally Vladimir Yakunin and major leader behind the rise of anti-gay sentiment in Russia, according to Mother Jones magazine: 2013
– Amount of funding that Ted Baehr’s Christian Film and Television Commission received from the National Christian Foundation from 2001-2011: $1,994,000
– Year Baehr attended (according to a published schedule for the event) the Moscow International Family Forum (a spinoff of the World Congress of Families) which passed a resolution calling for passage of anti-gay legislation worldwide: 2014
– Amount that the National Organization For Marriage – whose President Brian Brown attended the same September 2014 International Family Forum conference that Baehr was listed as participating in – received from the National Christian Foundation in 2012, the last year for which NCF tax data is currently publicly available: $117,400
– Number of New York Times op-ed columnists scheduled to speak at The Gathering 2014, this September 25-28 in Orlando, Florida: 1
– Number of Washington Post op-ed columnists scheduled to speak at The Gathering 2014, this September 25-28 in Orlando, Florida: 1
– Mainstream and alternative media stories on The Gathering as of September 23, 2014 according to Google News: 0