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AMY GOODMAN: We move on now closer to home. Senator John Ensign of Nevada, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and former Mississippi Congress member Chip Pickering—what do they all have in common? Yes, all three are Republican. All three have been embroiled in recent sex scandals.

Senator Ensign, a member of a male evangelical group that promotes marital fidelity, recently admitted to having an affair with a campaign staffer. He later disclosed that his parents gave almost $100,000 to the staffer and her family. Governor Sanford’s wife recently moved out of the governor’s mansion, weeks after Sanford admitted to visiting a woman in Argentina and committing infidelities with several other women. And last month, Congressman Pickering’s estranged wife filed suit against his alleged mistress, claiming the woman had ruined their marriage.

But these Republicans’ ties extend beyond their marital woes. All three have, at one time, lived in a former convent on Capitol Hill known as the C Street house, and all three are connected to a secretive group known as the Fellowship, or the Family. It’s probably an organization you’ve never heard of, but it’s one of the most powerful Christian fundamentalist movements in this country.

The Family’s devoted membership includes Congress members, corporate leaders, generals, foreign heads of state, dictators. The longtime leader, Doug Coe, was included in Time Magazine’s 2004 list of the twenty-five most influential evangelicals in America.

Well, Jeff Sharlet is the author of the bestseller, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. In 2002, he joined the Family’s home for young men at an estate in Virginia, becoming a member of the Family’s so-called “new chosen.” After years of research, he published the book.

Jeff Sharlet joins me today in our firehouse studio, contributing editor at Harper’s and Rolling Stone and a visiting research scholar at the New York University Center for Religion and Media.

Jeff, welcome to Democracy Now!

JEFF SHARLET: Hi, Amy. Thanks for having me.

AMY GOODMAN: So, talk about these latest men in the news and exactly what it is they belong to.

JEFF SHARLET: Well, the three politicians that we’re talking about, two of them lived at this C Street house, where this group provides below-market housing for congressmen. It’s essentially like a lobby, working like a lobby, trying to influence these politicians.

What’s really disturbing about this is not the sex scandals, but the agenda that they’re pursuing beyond that. The Family, unlike most Christian right groups, is not so concerned with domestic issues as international affairs, foreign affairs, and a kind of approach to economics they call “biblical capitalism,” an extreme deregulation, laissez-faire. They take the invisible hand very literally.

AMY GOODMAN: So, talk about how you discovered the Family.

JEFF SHARLET: You know, I just kind of stumbled upon the group. I was working on my first book, which is about religious communities around the United States, unusual religious communities. And a friend said she was worried that her brother had joined a cult. And would I speak with him? He had come to New York at the time, he said, “to survey the ruins of secularism.” That caught my attention. And he said, “To understand what I’m involved in, you need to come and see it for yourself.” So I went and I lived with these guys for about a month.

AMY GOODMAN: But what do you mean you lived with these guys? Where did you go? Explain how you got there.

JEFF SHARLET: Sure. Down in—the C Street house has been in the news. There’s only one other property that the organization owns. The main headquarters is this beautiful mansion overlooking the Potomac River called the Cedars. It’s worth about $5 million. They bought it with money supplied for them in part by the former CEO of the defense contractor Raytheon,—

AMY GOODMAN: Who is that?

JEFF SHARLET: —oil executives. A guy named Tom Phillips. And around that house, there’s a number of houses that are sort of support houses. One of those was called Ivanwald. That was where young men were being sort of groomed for leadership, men in their twenties. I was sort of pushing it at around thirty at the time. And so, I went and lived with these guys for about a month. And in that capacity, I got to visit the C Street house, I met Senator Ensign.

AMY GOODMAN: You met Senator Ensign.

JEFF SHARLET: Met Senator Ensign.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain your meeting.

JEFF SHARLET: I was at the C Street house for the day, and a pretty innocuous meeting. Senator Ensign had just come in from a run, and he was sort of boasting to everybody about his time. And the only thing that I remember being struck by was he’s a very flirty man. And what was interesting about Senator Ensign was, within the Family, he wasn’t taken very seriously. He was considered a guy with a sort of a bright future. He looks very presidential and so on. He wasn’t considered a brilliant guy.

The Family always has a certain number of politicians who are associated with it who can go on to higher things. And then there are the guys who are really doing the political work, like Congressman Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas. These are the more ideological guys within the organization.

AMY GOODMAN: So Senator Ensign came on to be a powerful figure in the Senate. I mean—


AMY GOODMAN: —as he’s been forced to resign from the Republican Policy Committee of the Senate.

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah, indeed, and, you know, had already visited Iowa as a possible presidential candidate. Governor Sanford was certainly, I think, a frontrunner for the GOP. And I think that’s a sort of—there are sort of three levels of politicians that the Family is cultivating.

AMY GOODMAN: How do the affairs link with affairs of state within the house?

JEFF SHARLET: Well, I think we’re going to find out more about that, because in Congressman Pickering’s divorce proceedings, apparently he was keeping a diary of all his goings-on at the C Street house, and we’re waiting for that to come out.

But what links this is the common sort of theological view of this organization. Unlike other Christian right groups, they don’t really believe that you’re in power because you’re a good person. They have no illusions about these guys. They believe that they are, as you said in the beginning, the “new chosen,” that you’re chosen for power by God. You’re not so much elected by the people as selected from above. And when you’re in that position, it doesn’t matter what you do. You shouldn’t do these things. They don’t want you to do these things. But it doesn’t matter what you do. Ensign is a powerful man, not because he’s of good character, but because he’s been chosen by God. In a similar vein, the foreign leaders with whom they work, the dictators, about whom they have no illusions, are chosen by God for their countries, regardless of how brutal they are.

AMY GOODMAN: And what does it mean to say they live at the C Street house? These are senators and congressmen.

JEFF SHARLET: They have rooms in the C Street house, maid service provided by a group of Christian college women. There’s a cook. There’s a nice kitchen with a prayer calendar in it that gives you guidance on how you’re supposed to live your spiritual life. When I was visiting, the prayer issues at hand were to “pray down the demonic strongholds of Buddhism and Hinduism.” I’m quoting, of course. It really is a very fundamentalist ministry, but doesn’t look like the fundamentalists we’re—I think we’re used to seeing on TV, the Pat Robertsons and the Jerry Falwells.

AMY GOODMAN: But you’re Jewish. How did you fit in?

JEFF SHARLET: In fact, that was part of what was interesting about me to them. They do believe only in sort of recruiting an elite. They’re not interested the masses. They think that Christianity has been misunderstood, that Jesus only wanted to select a few key people. You can only get in by invitation. I was invited. But they also liked the idea of having Jews, of having Muslims around, because they believe that inasmuch as a Jew or a Muslim is willing to bow before Jesus, he is proving what they call the “universal inevitable” of Jesus’ power.

AMY GOODMAN: You talked about foreign leaders, too. You have a fascinating section in your book, The Family, about Suharto—


AMY GOODMAN: —the long-reigning dictator of Indonesia, presided over I don’t know how many deaths, both of his own people in Indonesia, up to a million people, and the people of East Timor, hundreds of thousands.


AMY GOODMAN: What does he have to do with C Street?

JEFF SHARLET: The Family began as this domestic organization way back in the 1930s, a union-busting organization. But by the ’50s, they—

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, union-busting organization?

JEFF SHARLET: Oh, they—it’s part of that invisible hand of the market. They believe that organized labor is ungodly, to put it mildly, perhaps Satanic. It began with this vision in 1935 that the New Deal and organized labor were literally a Satanic conspiracy they had to fight back.

In the 1950s, in the Cold War, they started moving overseas and identifying strongmen, dictators, who they thought were effective in the fight against communism, who they thought were effective in the fight for free markets. And Suharto was one of those men. You know, Suharto, who—even the CIA, which helped him orchestrate his coup, later said it was one of the worst mass killings of the twentieth century.

The Family leaders called it a spiritual revolution and began sending delegations of congressmen, oil executives, over to meet with Suharto. They then hosted Suharto, actually, in the United States Senate for a Senate prayer breakfast with their members, to which they invited the then-Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They have that kind of access. And they were able to arrange that kind of reach for Suharto. And they effectively became his most persuasive champions within the US Congress, as the United States funneled, as we know, just billions of dollars toward his military regime.

AMY GOODMAN: And Siad Barre of Somalia?

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah, dictator of Somalia. It’s, to me, one of the scariest stories that I found in their archives. I was able to recreate this, because they dumped 600 boxes of papers in the Billy Graham archives. Siad Barre was a—not a likely candidate for Christian right recruitment, called himself a Koranic Marxist. But in the early ’80s, the Soviets had abandoned him. There had been a power shift between Somalia and Ethiopia. He was in the market for a new patron. And working through Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, of course still in office—

AMY GOODMAN: Talk more about Chuck Grassley, who certainly is in the news now, who, together with Max Baucus, heads the Senate Finance Committee.


AMY GOODMAN: Baucus, Democrat; Grassley, Republican. Very powerful figure, especially around healthcare right now.

JEFF SHARLET: Indeed. And Grassley has been involved with the organization for quite some time, since the ’80s, when he traveled to Somalia to join Barre, Siad Barre, in prayer to Jesus. And he brought with him a defense contractor named Bill Brehm.

And Barre was a kind of a cynical character, as you might expect for a dictator. He was very clear. He says, “I’m willing to pray to Jesus, and here’s what I want in return.” He says, “I want my defense budget doubled.” He says, “I want meetings for my officials with the Reagan White House. And I want a sort of a hands-off policy while I crack down on some rebels.” Doug Coe, the leader of the group, wrote back, in essence, “Done, done and done.”

And when we look at history, so it was. And Barre used those weapons, supplied to him in part by the US, to wage a war of almost biblical proportion on his own people, from which Somalia has not recovered to this day. The Family doesn’t consider that a failure; they consider that God’s will for Somalia.

AMY GOODMAN: And more about Grassley? And again, we should say, this is not just a Republican organization. Democrats are also a part. In fact, you talk about Hillary Clinton—

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: —praying with them.

JEFF SHARLET: I think that’s one of the most important aspects of this. I think, too often, progressives tend to see the Christian right as simply an auxiliary of the Republican Party, whereas the movement, especially through the Family, has recognized that you stay in power not by aligning yourself too closely with one faction, but by having lots of friends. So, Hillary Clinton, Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, who was, of course, instrumental in fighting against the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made unionization much, much easier. He explained to me the Family’s approach to Democratic bipartisanship. He said, “Jesus didn’t come to take sides; He came to take over.” That’s a Democrat speaking. So, Republicans and Democrats working together.

Chuck Grassley, a guy who’s been involved for such a long time. Grassley was involved with the Somalia project throughout the 1980s. They recognize that Somalia, of course, is a nation of great strategic importance, right there on the Horn of Africa. So, even as they are pursuing what they say is a religious agenda, it’s also meshing very neatly with a certain kind of agenda of American expansionist power and oil, frankly.

AMY GOODMAN: And rarely is the devastation of the failed state of Somalia talked about in terms of its history, that the US, for decades, supported this dictator, Siad Barre.

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah, yeah, exactly. The story, for most Americans, begins with George Bush very nobly sending over these troops to fight the warlords. It begins with Black Hawk Down. And we don’t recognize that it was really—I mean, Somalia almost—is almost a purest case possible of US support for an absolutely murderous regime.

In the face of all odds, too. I mean, there’s nothing, it seemed, that Barre could do to dissuade the Family that he was worthy of support, even to the point of insulting Doug Coe, the leader of the group, who used a sad case, the death of his son, wrote to Barre and said, “My son has died today. And as he was dying, he was speaking of you and how important you are.” It was a strange, crass move. Barre didn’t play along. He said, “I never knew your son. But keep the money flowing.” And they did.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Jeff Sharlet. He’s author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. We’ll come back to talk about more of the members of this secretive group that some have called one of the most powerful organizations in America. Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: We’re continuing our discussion of the Family. Jeff Sharlet, I guess you could say, infiltrated or went undercover, or, actually, you said you were a writer—is that right?—as you were investigating the Family and wrote the book by that title, with the subtitle The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. I want to just go on, Congress member after senator after Congress member. I want to ask you about Congress member Tiahrt and his significance right now in Kansas, and then his relationship with the Family.

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah, Congressman Tiahrt is a very right-wing Republican from the Wichita area in Kansas. Senator Sam Brownback, who’s a member of the Family, also lived in the C Street house, is hoping to move on to governor’s office, and Tiahrt is the strong frontrunner to replace him.

Tiahrt, of course, was in the news a little while ago for speculating on the floor of the House what would have happened if Obama’s mother had aborted him. And a lot of people thought this was over-the-top language. I think what they didn’t recognize was that this was Todd Tiahrt’s—that’s his version of the soft approach. When I met him at the C Street house several years ago, he had gone there for a spiritual counseling session with Doug Coe, the leader of the group, and he had gone in, although he frames himself as a great foe of abortion, what he was really concerned about was the fact that, he said, the Muslims are having too many babies, and the Christians are killing too many of theirs, and how can we win the race with the Muslims? So, abortion, for him, is relative; probably, in his mind, good for Muslim nations.

Coe, the leader of the group, said, “I want you to think bigger.” He says, “I agree with all that. That’s fine. I want you to think bigger. We need to think not just about issues like abortion, but what does Jesus have to say about Social Security? What does Jesus have to say about building roads? What does Jesus have to say about every aspect of governance?” The answer for them, by the way, is almost always the same, is privatize, put things in God’s hands.

He then goes on to say to Tiahrt, he says, “We need to have something called ‘Jesus plus nothing.’” The Family, at other times, has called it “the totalitarianism for Christ.” What they mean is that they believe that the New Testament is primarily about power, and he illustrates this by giving Congressman Tiahrt a list of historical figures he can look to for modeling power—this is a direct quote—“Hitler, Pol Pot, Osama bin Laden and Lenin.” And it just makes your jaw sort of drop. But—

AMY GOODMAN: I want to read the full quote of Doug Coe—

JEFF SHARLET: Please, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: —counseling Congressman Tiahrt, which you quote. “You know Jesus said ‘You got to put Him before mother-father-brother sister’? Hitler, Lenin, Mao, that’s what they taught the kids. Mao even had the kids killing their own mother and father. But it wasn’t murder. It was for building the new nation. The new kingdom." That’s Doug Coe. And where did you get this?

JEFF SHARLET: That is actually available on an audio sermon that you can find on the website of another Christian right group called the Navigators, with which the Family has always worked for decades.

You can also find online video of Coe talking about the model of fellowship that he wants politicians to follow. He says, “Look at Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler, these three nobodies who get together, and look at all they were able to accomplish.” Now, he’ll be quick to say they’re evil men. This is not some neo-Nazi, you know, kind of conspiracy. It’s a sort of a fetish for power and strength. That’s the model. That’s why he says Hitler, Lenin, Mao.

He’s also fond of saying to congressmen, “Who were the three men in the twentieth century who best understood the New Testament?” And it’s sort of a trick question, because maybe you say Martin Luther King, or maybe, if you’re conservative, you say Billy Graham. And again, it’s Hitler, Stalin and Mao. These are not aberrations in his speech. This is the core of his teaching, that the New Testament is about power and strength.

AMY GOODMAN: He talks about Pol Pot—


AMY GOODMAN: —and talks about Osama bin Laden.

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah, yeah. There’s nobody who is—you know, there is no sort of strongman killer that they’re not interested in. Going back to the group’s early roots, they began with the idea that democracy was done, that democracy couldn’t compete with fascism or communism. They didn’t want to be communists. Fascism was OK, except that it had this cult of personality: where Jesus was supposed to be, you’d find a Hitler, a Mussolini. And so, they came up with this idea of totalitarianism for Christ, but they illustrate it with these awful models from history.

AMY GOODMAN: Just talk about how significant this group is, for those who are saying, what, are you taking this little group, and you’re making a bigger deal of it than you should. According to David Kuo, former special assistant to President George W. Bush and deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, he said, “The Fellowship’s reach into governments around the world is almost impossible to overstate or even grasp.”

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah. Kuo, who is a supporter of the group, admirer of the group, talks in his book about the group basically getting him to the White House, making his career, also says it’s the most powerful group in Washington that nobody knows. And that’s actually been quantified by a sort of conservative-leaning sociologist at Rice University, who—

AMY GOODMAN: Who is that?

JEFF SHARLET: A man named Michael David Lindsay—I’m sorry, D. Michael Lindsay. And he surveyed about 360 evangelical politicians and wanted to ask them which religious groups were really influential in Washington. The group that came out with more votes than any other, one in three, was the Family. And this is astonishing for a group that says it doesn’t exist.

When you call—you know, when a reporter is trying to report on them, they’ll say, “Ah, there’s nothing here. It’s just a group of friends.” Well, it’s a group of friends with 990s, with tax forms, with millions of dollars flowing through every year. It’s a group of friends that organizes the National Prayer Breakfast, at which the President of the United States speaks every year, that has the money to bring over foreign heads of state, and they can get those people into the White House.

It’s really on a scale that’s, I think, unparalleled by the better-known groups like Focus on the Family or Family Research Council, those kind of more visible Christian right groups, which are, frankly, more democratic in nature. They’re making their case in the public square. The Family believes in doing things behind closed doors.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeff, we last had you on when you did your Harper’s Magazine piece called “Jesus Killed Mohammed: The Crusade for a Christian Military.” Can you talk about any connections?

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah. In fact, working with Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, his researcher Chris Rodda, since the C Street scandal has come out, we’ve been able to track down—to use that new information to track down some startling connections. First of all, that the men at C Street—Senator Ensign, Senator James Inhofe—have been traveling around the world on the Family’s dime, so the group is acting like a lobby. What’s more—

AMY GOODMAN: Traveling where?

JEFF SHARLET: Sudan, Belarus, Albania, great bastions of democracy. Lebanon, where Senator Tom Coburn went to try and set up Christian prayer cells in that country that’s so long had religious strife. One of the things that they’ve been doing, though, is they’ve been traveling officially as representatives of the United States Senate, but then championing a group called Christian Embassy, which is a Pentagon ministry that I wrote about in that other article, focuses on the military. But the Family is paying for it. And so, what we’ve discovered is—

AMY GOODMAN: Do they have to list this, who pays for their trips?

JEFF SHARLET: Yes, yeah. I think there’s some big questions that they’re going to need to answer about whether this is legal or not.

What’s most disturbing about it, though, is that we see that the sort of fundamentalist front within the military and the Family, in fact, are not two separate tracks, but very closely linked. Even the biggest and sort of most militant group within the military, called Officers’ Christian Fellowship, 15,000 officers, when we traced it back and looked at their history, we discovered that some of their seed money, some of their early ideas, the organizing initiatives, all come from the Family. So you see, in effect, that the Family is working in all fronts, not just in Congress and in business and overseas, but also in the military. So you take those ideas, and you put guns next to them, and it becomes very frightening.

AMY GOODMAN: How does Erik Prince, or does he, fit into this picture? I mean, we’ve just had a major story with Jeremy Scahill, independent reporter, Democracy Now! correspondent, about this lawsuit against Prince by these two men who worked for what’s formerly known as Blackwater, now called Xe, one of them alleging that Prince, quote, “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.”

JEFF SHARLET: Well, I think that’s something that we need to look more closely into. The Prince family has given money to Family initiatives in the past. The links aren’t terribly strong. I think what you’re really looking at there is almost sort of two different power bases within the American Christian right. The interesting thing about Prince is Prince is a certain kind of zealot. The Family doesn’t want to eliminate Muslims; it wants to do business with Muslims. It wants to—you know, they’ve always cultivated the leaders of oil-rich nations. That’s the kind of connection that they’re interested in.

AMY GOODMAN: And talk more about the founder, Abraham Vereide.

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah, fascinating, a fascinating character. Vereide was a Norwegian immigrant, came to the United States because he saw it as the land of the Bible unchained. He was an early fundamentalist and sort of rose to influence, even met with FDR in 1932.

And it was at that meeting—it was Vereide, FDR and James Farrell, who was then head of US Steel—that Farrell, he claims, introduces to him this idea that all of America’s economic problems are in direct correspondence to our failure to obey God’s law and that the approach to the Great Depression should not be the New Deal, but through this sort of moral code imposed from on high by God’s chosen men.

He then goes on to have this vision that God actually comes to him one night and says, “Christianity has gotten it wrong for 2,000 years—all this talk about the poor, the suffering, the down and out. I want you to focus on the up and out. I want you to be a missionary to and for the powerful. I will work through a few key men—Senator Ensign, Governor Sanford—and, through them, will help everybody else.” The Family believes that they’re helping the poor through a kind of trickle-down religion.

AMY GOODMAN: And his sympathy, the founder’s sympathy, for European fascism?

JEFF SHARLET: Yeah, they were great admirers of European fascism. They were critical of the ways in which Hitler and Mussolini, in their minds, displaced the centrality of Jesus. But after the war, actually working with the US State Department, Vereide was given a charge to go into the Allied prisons for war criminals and interview men to determine who he felt could be used for the new German government. And really, the main question was, are you willing to switch out the Fuhrer for the Father?

Some of those guys—one, in particular, was a man named Hermann J. Abs, became the vice president of the Family’s German organization, became known as “the wizard of the West German miracle,” until the Simon Wiesenthal Center discovered that before he had been known as Germany’s banker, he had been known as Hitler’s banker, and he was forced to exit public life.

AMY GOODMAN: So, jumping forward to today, all of these men who are involved with this group, like Senator Sam Brownback, whose seat is being vied for by Congressman Tiahrt—


AMY GOODMAN: —and his opponent is also—


AMY GOODMAN: —living at C Street house.

JEFF SHARLET: Yes, yes. I think, you know, the Family—when we look at this, we start to have a different picture of Christian right group, is not, you know, picking candidates in an election. In that race for that Senate, you have two conservative Republicans: Jerry Moran, lives in the C Street House, representative from Kansas; and Todd Tiahrt, who also has these ties, which he’s now denying. But these guys are both trying to work through this very powerful network, which is, essentially, as one religious right leader, a guy named Rob Schenck, sort of doing—mixing his metaphors, he says, “Doug Coe is the kosher seal, if you’re going to do religion and politics in Washington.”

AMY GOODMAN: President Bush calling Doug Coe “the quiet diplomat.” In our last thirty seconds, what is most important to understand about Doug Coe and, ultimately, the Family?

JEFF SHARLET: This is a group that is explicitly opposed to democracy, explicitly opposed to doing things in public. They believe “the more invisible you can make your organization, the more influence you can have.” That’s a direct quote from Doug Coe. They’re acting like a lobby; they’re not registering like a lobby. There needs to be a way to hold them accountable, if they want do those—pursue those kinds of basic [inaudible]—

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you very much for being with us. Jeff Sharlet is author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, contributing editor for Harper’s and Rolling Stone, a visiting research scholar at NYU Center for Religion and Media.
MNNBC"s Rachel Maddow covered this most explosive story all last week.
I don't think other shows are even touching it. This place gives "above the law" a whole new meaning.

Posting this here as I came across it tonight and it has some very interesting stuff in it and it predates Jeff Sharlet's publication of his book 'The Family' and his recent publicity about that organisation.


From: [Wayne Madsen]
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 17:27:11 EST

Subject: End of Year Update on Investigation

To: [JamBoi]

Here is an update of where the investigation is heading -- many strings must be tied together but a clearer picture of how this Election Fraud 04 was done is beginning to emerge. The follow the money trail is leading to some interesting places. (JamBoi edit note. There's a picture here -- I'll have to figure out if I can load it somehow -- )

Kay Stephenson, CEO of Datamaxx (she looks like her, but it's not Laura Bush)
She is close to both Jeb Bush and Colin Powell. Powell has visited her a number of times in Tallahassee.
Before Datamaxx was formed, its contracts were about to go to Seisint, a Tampa company allegedly tied to mob money. It operates Accurint, and was recently bought out by Lexis.
Interesting note is that Datamaxx uses Accurint for its database. Datamaxx has made a killing in law enforcement/homeland security contracts after 911.
-- Now people will wonder what this has to do with the election fraud. Here it is in a nutshell. These people, along with ChoicePoint of Dallas, TX, are personal data miners. And Datamaxx is tied to Ohio law enforcement data bases and communications.
Where did the Katherine Harris get the info to throw all those African American voters off the rolls in 2000 in Florida? Public and commercial database records, everything from DMV files to education and insurance records. They red lined poor African American and working class white districts just like credit card and mortgage companies do. And how did they know where to put only 2 voting machines in polling places in Ohio for use by over 3000 voters? Same process. They red lined those districts and knew where to put the Election Day squeeze on.
Fundie churches with names like the Abundant Love Tabernacle and Fellowship Worship Center were great places to pull off this fraud with Blackwell's election officials conspiring with local fundie preachers. (Just a thought, if we have separation of church and state in this country, why the hell do we permit voting to take place in churches, especially where the preachers and lay leaders are corrupt and in on the fix?) Al Gore visited a Buddhist temple in California once and the right wing wanted him impeached!!
Datamaxx has Homeland Security contracts in Ohio, Florida, Iowa and West Virginia. In Ohio, they can send out homeland security alerts using computer networks and wireless PDAs. Guess what? All were swing states and in Warren County, Ohio an unofficial "threat" was "transmitted" to Election Board HQ on Nov. 2. FBI and police said it wasn't them. Well, maybe it was Datamaxx using their retired FBI agents and cops (who were in cahoots with the fundies, Rapps of Triad, O'Dell at Diebold, Ahmanson and McCarthy Group of ES&S, and Blackwell and Taft GOP political machines in Columbus).
As for Seisint, where do they do most of their work? Boca Raton, Florida and Orlando, Florida. Boca is in good old Palm Beach County, where absentee ballots turned up missing before election day. And Orlando -- home of good ole Rep. Tom Feeney, chief touch screen vote rigging suspect and Yang lobbyist, as well as FL Secretary of State Glenda Hood (fitting name), former Mayor of Orlando. And Seisint's new corporate parent is based where? Lexis-Nexis is in Dayton, OHIO.
You see, the more the Bushes fire additional government insiders, the more stuff is leaked to me about this election fraud. This smoking gun is just a bit different than 2000. Instead of disenfranchising over 90,000 black voters in FL by calling them "felons" (and using ChoicePoint data base to do it), this time, the election voting machine companies (all run by extreme right-wing [Dominionist], "End Timers") conspired with the homeland security and other database firms -- all conveniently located in FL, OH, and TX -- to rig the vote.

Researchers should keep focusing on Yang, Seisint, Datamaxx, Accurint, Lexis-Nexis, Triad Government Systems, Diebold, Global Election System, Hart InterCivic, DBT Online and ChoicePoint.
The jury is still out on Affiliated Computer Systems (ACS) of Dallas, but a certain Stephen Goldsmith, former GOP Mayor of Indianapolis, may be into some dirty business there involving red lining districts with high college student voting population (Indiana, home of several large universities, may have had its vote "hacked" as well). Gary Webb was investigating ACS and contract fraud in CA when he committed suicide on Dec. 10.
We also know that Florida DOT investigator Ray Lemme committed suicide in 2003 when he was investigating fraud involving Yang and the FL state government. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Executive Director John Millis committed suicide in 2000 when he was investigating CIA ties toLatin American drug cartels, links that involved the Bush family. State Dept. Iraq intelligence analyst John Kokal committed suicide in late 2003 after he questioned the attack on Iraq. Former CIA official Dr Gus Weiss committed suicide after he, too, questioned the attack on Iraq in late 2003. Dr David Kelly of Britain's MOD committed suicide after he questioned the validity of Iraq WMD reports. Danny Casolaro committed suicide in 1991 after he investigated Bush ties to weapons smuggling and drug deals. Paul Wilcher, a friend of Sarah McClendon, died in his apartment after he picked up on some of Casolaro's research. Charles Ruff and HPSCI's ranking member Julian Dixon dropped dead only weeks apart after being briefed by Millis on CIA-Bush-drug connection.
What was Gary Condit, also of HPSCI, briefed on by Millis? What did Condit tell his friend Chandra Levy, an intern for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Or what did he ask her to find out for him through her Bureau contacts? John F Kennedy Jr was working on a Bush-CIA-covert ops story for his George Magazine when his plane crashed. And what did poor Lori Klausutis discover before her body was discovered in Jan. 2001 in the FL office of GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough (the MSNBC colleague of someone who has made it his cause to rip apart my reporting on this election story)? Cliff Baxter, chief Enron witness for the govt. shot himself before he testified. John Tower had the goods on the Bushes, but his commuter plane crashed and killed him, his daughter and several other passengers. Paul Wellstone and his family and staff? Mel Carnahan? Bush biographer JH Hatfield? Athan Gibbs, the founder of TruVote International, the only clean election machine company. And the list goes on and on. At least those who are merely being fired -- the latest being the Pentagon's Jack Shaw, are getting the easier "treatment" from the Bush Mafia.
There were also anomalous Governor's Elections in Washington and Puerto Rico, where Democrats, expected to win handily, just squeaked through by a fraction of a percent. This is an indication of vote fixing a la FL in 2000 and Ohio, Iowa, NM in 2004. Elections that close with millions of people voting have never happened before in our nation's history.
Not only this last election but several previous ones were "fixed" by a dangerous group of right-wing ["Dominionists"] who dominate the election machine industry and various GOP Secretary of State and congressional offices.
They (known as "The Fellowship" ) have been planning this coup for a very long time but now that their "man" is in the White House they are not about to leave through a fair electoral process.
The Fellowship has some very unsavory founders -- all pro-Nazis: Abraham Vereide, Frank Buchman, and Gustav Gedat, J. Edgar Hoover and James Jesus Angleton were close to the Fellowship.
The use of prison ex-cons like Marion "JR" Horn in KY, John Elder and Jeffrey Dean in WA, and others in the financing and carrying out of the rigging, was mostly arranged through Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship Ministries, an organization that has carte blanche access to anyone deemed of value, epecially computer programmers, after their incarceration and upon their release, especially if they promise service in return for parole.
It also helps that the Fellowship has established strong links to corrupt African governments via fundie missionaries. Guess who's largely behind the Nigerian scams to secretly move dirty oil money from oil-rich Nigeria (and Equatorial Guinea and Angola) into the funding corrupt election manipulators and Enron/Halliburton/AES scams? Some of those "419 emails" have been discovered by US intelligence to contain coded instructions to the money launderers and financial manipulators in the States and in off shore bank havens like the Bahamas and Tortola. The Nigerian scammers operate from the southern Christian south of the country (Lagos and the Niger River Delta) and are in league with fundie Church missions there and in the States.
The Fellowship is now trying to take over government boards in my county of Arlington, VA and are making a major power play in Annapolis, MD. Tom Feeney, Ashcroft, DeLay, Bush (Dubya and Jeb), Cheney, Sean O'Keefe, Condi Rice, John Bolton, Ed Meese, [Charles] Colson, Brownback, Ralph Reed, Frank Wolf, Ernie Fletcher, Katherine Harris, [Newt] Gingrich, JC Watts, Burr, Jindal, Lamar Smith, Zach Wamp, Scalia, Ensign, Kyl, [Kenneth]Blackwell, Bob Ehrlich, Karl Rove, Jack Kemp, James Baker, Clarence Thomas, Tom Coburn, Asa and Tim Hutchinson, Gens. Boykin and Myers, DeMint, Curt Weldon, Grover Norquist, George Allen, [Rick] Santorum, are all in this group. The late Lee Atwater was close to this group.
The Fellowship, which has strong links to the "Rev." Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, operates in cells and not only takes over governments but also local church congregations to further their goals. Two local congegations taken over by the Fellowship are Falls Church Episcopal and Cherrydale Baptist. They also maintain the private Riverdell School, another way to brainwash young children who are not already being brainwashed by home schooling.
The Prime Minister of Norway has just been outed as a member of this group. In fact, most of the so-called "Coalition of the Willing" nations' leaders are members of The Fellowship, e.g., Tonga, Macedonia, Palau, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Solomon Islands, Uganda, Rwanda, Guatemala, El Salvador, Denmark, Romania, Iceland, Fiji, Georgia, Colombia, possibly also Howard of Australia and Blair of Britain.
The Fellowship believes that ANYTHING is permitted in order to bring about a 1000-yr Kingdom of Christ on Earth, and that includes stealing elections and even murder.
Some of the money used by the Fellowship to obtain real estate and maintain their group came from Saudi Arabia through lucrative defense contracts and pass throughs like the Islamic Institute.
There are links between the Fellowship and other northern Virginia groups In their group homes in Arlington it is obvious they keep the troubled teens of GOP big businessmen and politicians out of sight through a combination of intensive Bible study and "drug treatement." Noelle Bush may have been one of their "Guests/Victims." There should be a focus on Infinity Software of Tallahassee, the place Noelle was put to work when she was busted for trying to illegally obtain prescription drugs in 2002. The Arlington VA Fellowship homes caused a stir in 2003 when one young resident broke into 4 homes in the neighborhood to steal prescription drugs. What is it that these young men and women are afraid of by doing anything to get their hands on Xanax and Valium? One of my neighbors said the teens appear to be unusually "expressionless" for people their age.
One of the really unplesant things about the Fellowship is that they have an international "Youth Corps," so these people don't appear to want to go out of business any time soon. This Youth Corps has a presence in almost every country, from Bhutan to Zambia and Brazil to Albania.
Infinity, like Datamaxx, has contracts with the FL Dept. of Law Enforcement and Dept of Education. FL state auditors chastised Gov. Jeb Bush and his administration for paying Infinity $7.5 million to set up a Web site and do another, much smaller, job in a no-bid contract. Infinity's owner, Tom Lynch, is a big Bush supporter who gave money to the governor's reelection campaign - $500 to Bush in 2002 and $1,000 to the Republican Party in 2001. Also seems that Infinity's contract had a nice little cut out for another company -- Ignite! of Houston, TX -- headed by Bush's brother Neil (of Silverado S&L criminal infamy).
I am getting great support from a number of people inside and outside the government who believe this group must be "outed" and dealt with as any other dangerous cult would be. These are not Jim Jones' followers or Marshall Applewhite's Heavens' Gate people we're talking about. These Fellowship people want to take us all with them. The earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean is just what these people are waiting for -- the more death and destruction the better as far as they are concerned. I suggest we all work together and not against one another to expose these people. Those who hide behind the veil of "non-partisanship" should just keep quiet if they are not going to join the effort. We all have enough to do without incessant carping from those who believe it is wiser to sit on the sidelines. A re-read of William Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" may be in order for those who believe neutrality and non-partisanship is the better course. As the son of a WW II refugee from the Nazis, I can tell you that neutrality in times such as these just does not work and is definitely not advised.
Wayne Madsen
31 Dec 04
Let's hope 05 brings us more answers and some indictments of these bad actors!
Quote:What Atta and Marwan were arguing about offers clues to what was going through their heads, and strangely, although the terrorist pilots have been universally labeled "Islamic fundamentalists," what they were pounding the table over wasn't an argument about fine points in the Koran...

They were arguing about money.

"The big guy was pounding his fist on the table, saying ‘We’re talking $200,000! We’ve got to answer to the Family!" recalls Renee Adorna, who with her husband Tom own and manage the restaurant.

"I thought they were Mafia, and tried to stay away from their table."

"There were three of them, and they all looked of the Egyptian persuasion," she continued. "Dark skin, dark hair. They were dressed in Florida-type shirts, you know, the silk with the pattern. And they were all wearing lots of jewelry… Lots of jewelry."

"And I could have sworn that the one guy was wearing a cross, you know, the big gaudy gold cross on the chest. But I’m not sure now. But I know he had a big watch on," Renee says.

Says Waitress of Terror Pilots: "I Thought They Were Mafia!"

re: "Fellowship" Eastern European leaders mentioned by wayne madsen: Valdas Adamkus of Chicago/Kaunas fought under Nazi command, worked for a Catholic youth organization in occupied Germany, relocated to America where he worked in military intelligence, was appointed by Nixon to Nixon's EPA and served as an envoy to Poland and USSR under Nixon, returned to Lithuania and ran for president in 1998 despite the fact he did not meet residency requirements (for which other canidacies were rejected), distinguished his presidency by trying to instill a tradition of annual prayer breakfast meetings, and when he failed to win a second term, the winner, rolandas paksas, was removed in a people power color revolution type coup (with colin powell whispering in the ear of the foreign minister, a deep-cover KGB agent, just to make sure they knew how things were supposed to turn out), after which adamkus resumed the presidency. supported invasions of and/or sent troops to iraq and afghanistan, was in DC on 911 to meet bush jr.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow did a several night expose of "The Family" a few weeks ago. One would have thought that other media outlets would have then picked up on these incredible revelations of Senate and Congress members who admit that they have no regard for the law, admire Hitler, believe they can act contrary to the law because they are "Chosen by God".
This stuff makes Watergage abuses look like Sunday School.
Alas, Rachel was the only one to air this filthy laundry.

[quote=Helen Reyes][QUOTE]

re: "Fellowship" Eastern European leaders mentioned by wayne madsen: Valdas Adamkus of Chicago/Kaunas fought under Nazi command, worked for a Catholic youth organization in occupied Germany, relocated to America where he worked in military intelligence, was appointed by Nixon to Nixon's EPA and served as an envoy to Poland and USSR under Nixon, returned to Lithuania and ran for president in 1996 despite the fact he did not meet residency requirements (for which other canidacies were rejected), distinguished his presidency by trying to instill a tradition of annual prayer breakfast meetings, and when he failed to win a second term, the winner, rolandas paksas, was removed in a people power color revolution type coup (with colin powell whispering in the ear of the foreign minister, a deep-cover KGB agent, just to make sure they knew how things were supposed to turn out), after which adamkus resumed the presidency. supported invasions of and/or sent troops to iraq and afghanistan, was in DC on 911 to meet bush jr.[/QUOTE]

Very interesting Helen. I don't get too much news down my way about the finer details of Lithuanian politics so this is all new to me. The Baltic states look like they are all US/NATO colonies now for the most part at least. The US has nurtured the extreme right and fascisitic elements since the post war and now they have been reinserted into power and picking up where they left off. Not too much remembering and lots of forgetting.
Alex Jones interviewed the author about a month ago. It's still on the archive page somewhere. I didn't catch much useful information from the interview.

The Baltics are a weird mix. The president of Latvia was for years this Canadian Latvian woman who seemed to be a foundation creature. The leadership structures are mostly filled with Soviet bureaucrats and assets. Then you have the right wing nationalists who think they engineered independence, and their sympathies lie with those brave Nazi collaborators who tried to save the country from Bolshevism in 1941 by killing civilian women and children en masse. This leads to strange contradictions such as Riga, Latvia outright banning any gay pride march, but allowing SS "veterans" to march annually. To be fair Latvia stopped giving official sanction to the SS marches, and did allow a gay pride march once now, after EU accession, but the counter-demonstration against the gays was much larger. And the heiress apparent to Adamkus in Lithuania seems to be a lesbian in hiding, former EU commissioner, former Social Democrat (=Communist) apparatchik etc. Does that mean gays can now march in Vilnius? Very doubtful. Unpolitic. It's not safe for the President to come out, but it didn't matter Adamkus was a Nazi. It probably helped him.

As for the Hopsicker article I quoted above that seems to refer to the 911 "hijackers" and the Family, I can't imagine why two Arabic native speakers would heatedly argue about money iin public in English, unless they wanted everyone to overhear.
I had a thread on this here
You might want to append them....or just consult either.
NBC News Exclusive: Political ties to a secretive religious group

Posted on Thursday, April 03, 2008 7:10 PM ET
Filed Under: Politics

By Andrea Mitchell and Jim Popkin, NBC News
For more than 50 years, the National Prayer Breakfast has been a Washington institution. Every president has attended the breakfast since Eisenhower, elbow-to-elbow with Democrats and Republicans alike. “I am really proud to carry on that tradition,” President Bush said at this year’s breakfast. “The people in this room come from many different walks of faith. Yet we share one clear conviction: We believe that the Almighty hears our prayers -- and answers those who seek Him.”
Besides the presidents and first ladies--Bill and Hillary Clinton attended in 1997--the one constant presence at the National Prayer Breakfast has been Douglas Coe. Although he’s not an ordained minister, the 79-year-old Coe is the most important religious leader you've never seen or heard.
But Doug Coe is well known to scores of senators in both parties--and many faiths--including Sam Brownback, Mike Enzi, Mark Pryor and Bill Nelson. They go to small weekly Senate prayer groups that Coe attends. Participants tell NBC News that so have senators John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which those campaigns confirm.
Senator Clinton’s participation is surprising to observers who have investigated Coe’s group, called The Fellowship Foundation, which critics have described as a secretive organization populated mostly by conservative Republicans. “I think in part through her involvement with the Fellowship’s prayer group she was able to meet with some of these Republican senators and get to know them on a one-on-one basis,” said Joshua Green, a Senior Editor at The Atlantic magazine.
In her autobiography, “Living History,” Senator Clinton describes Coe as "a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God.” She writes that “Doug became a source of strength and friendship" during her often-troubled White House years.
Their relationship began in February 1993 with a prayer lunch at The Cedars, the Fellowship’s Virginia estate on the Potomac River. NBC News reviewed the First Lady’s official daily calendar, recently made public by the National Archives, and found other gatherings including a “Private Meeting” with Coe in her West Wing office on December 19, 1997, and a “Meet & Greet with Business Leaders” on Feb. 4, 1998. “Doug Coe introduces business leaders to the First Lady,” the calendar states.
So who is Doug Coe? He shuns almost all interview requests, including ours. But in hours of audiotape and videotape recordings obtained exclusively by NBC News, he frequently preaches the gospel of Jesus to followers and supporters. In one videotaped sermon from 1989, Coe provides this account of the atrocities committed under Chairman Mao in Communist China: "I've seen pictures of the young men in the Red Guard…they would bring in this young man’s mother…he would take an axe and cut her head off. They have to put the purposes of the Red Guard ahead of father, mother, brother sister and their own life. That was a covenant, a pledge. That's what Jesus said."
In his preaching, Coe repeatedly urges a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. It’s a commitment Coe compares to the blind devotion that Adolph Hitler demanded from his followers -- a rhetorical technique that now is drawing sharp criticism.
"Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were three men. Think of the immense power these three men had, these nobodies from nowhere,” Coe said.
Later in the sermon, Coe said: "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 quoted Jesus and said: “One of the things [Jesus] said is 'If any man comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, brother, sister, his own life, he can't be a disciple.’ So I don't care what other qualifications you have, if you don't do that you can't be a disciple of Christ."
The sermons are little surprise to writer Jeff Sharlet. He lived among Coe's followers six years ago, and came out troubled by their secrecy and rhetoric.
“We were being taught the leadership lessons of Hitler, Lenin and Mao. And I would say, ‘Isn’t there a problem with that?’ And they seemed perplexed by the question. Hitler’s genocide wasn’t really an issue for them. It was the strength that he emulated,” said Sharlet, who is a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone and is an Associate Research Scholar at the NYU Center for Religion and Media in New York.
Sharlet has now written about The Fellowship, also known to insiders as The Family, in a soon-to-be published book called “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.”
“They’re notoriously secretive,” Sharlet said. “In fact, they jokingly call themselves the Christian Mafia. Which becomes less of a joke when you realize that they really are dedicated to being what they call an invisible organization.”
Federal tax records for Coe's non-profit group shows it funds charitable programs around the world -- but that it is also a family business.
The 990 tax forms for 2005, the last tax year available, show that both of Coe’s sons were on the payroll, at $110,000 a year each. The organization also paid his wife, his daughter and his daughters-in-law.
So how do Coe's admirers explain his unusual sermons? David Kuo, a former Bush Administration aide and religious-outreach official at the White House, says The Fellowship is a peaceful, faith-based group that does good works internationally. Kuo says Doug Coe wasn’t lauding Hitler's actions.
“What Doug is saying, it’s a metaphor. He is using Hitler as a metaphor. Jesus used that,” Kuo said. A metaphor for what? “Commitment,” Kuo answered.

Asked about Coe’s influence on Hillary Clinton, people close to her told NBC News that she does not consider him one of her leading spiritual advisors. They added that Senator Clinton has never contributed to Coe’s group, is not a member of The Fellowship and has never heard the sermons obtained by NBC News. And, they said, Doug Coe is not Hillary Clinton’s minister.
Coe declined repeated requests for an interview. But a close friend told NBC News that Doug Coe invokes Hitler only to show the power of small groups -- for good and bad. And, the friend said, Coe spends “99 percent” of his time during the sermons talking about the leadership model set by Jesus Christ.
Supporters also point to Coe’s charitable works around the world. Still, critics question his influence -- and secrecy -- in a year when the candidates' religious beliefs are part of the political debate.
--With editorial help from EJ Johnson, John Holland, Michelle Perry, Luke Mayo and Linda Fecteau
Doug Coe can say what he likes to NBC. The Family is anti-democratic, patriarchal, authoritarian with fascist tendencies, is secretive and unaccountable and unprincipled and work like a cancer in society quietly seeking to undermine all universal progress and protections in the area of human rights, workers rights, women's rights and those of other non-elite groups. It wants to create a theocratic dictatorship with them and their chosen at the centre and everyone else like serfs to serve the elite. This is fact and they have achieved much. Until people wake up to this and deal with it there will be nothing left and it will be a fait acompli. They are not restricted to the US and have been busy for decades cultivating what they call key men in other countries including the '3rd world'. Wayne Madsen's article refers to the possibility that Blair and Howard were involved with this group and this would not surprise me. Even if Blair is involved with Opus Dei as well, as I believe, this group have no problems working with any other religion or denomination. They will work with anyone. What they want is power and they work through these channels. It is through this group and it hidden operatives in government and other positions of influence that a straight forward biographical movie about Charles Darwin, son of a preacher and a natural philosopher and one of the most definitive and influential thinkers of the 19th century cannot be distributed in the US. I really think it is time to get serious about these guys. It is war. I have no issues with people's personal religious beliefs and the comfort that many find in religion but for too long there have been too many excuses made for religion. It should be a strictly personal matter and the public sphere should be for all the people and come with full transparency and accountability.
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