October 25th, 2007
The Watchmen On the Walls are trying to get their last impressions in on their conference last weekend in Lynnwood, Washington. While they had anticipated that about 600-700 people would attend the conference at the Lynnwood Convention center, only about 100 people actually showed up.
Now, ordinarily such a dismal showing would be seen as something of a failure. According to news reports, there appeared to be more protesters outside the conference hall than inside. But the Watchmen are gamely putting a triumphant face on the whole thing.
Latvian pastor Alexei Ledyaev put it this way:
I am very pleased with the way in which the conference took place in California and Washington. Surprisingly, the news media attack on the Watchmen in Washington has made us popular, and has brought us many new friends. … I am sure that next year there will be an even better Watchmen conference.
Taking the adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity, they appeared to have been especially pleased to have been on television this time. Sergei Prihodko, US Coordinator for the Watchmen, claimed that “according to some estimates,” the publicity was worth half a million dollars.
Let’s see… Half a million, divided by a hundred people…
But despite all the attention, the Watchmen could not avoid their ominous rhetoric. The Stranger’s Eli Sanders observed:
Next Lively offers a disclaimer: “We do not promote or condone violence.” It’s quickly followed by more defiance: “We do not apologize for opposing homosexuality because it is morally, physically, psychologically, and socially wrong, unnatural, and harmful.” Technically, Lively’s statements do stop short of explicit calls to violent action, but they clearly lay the foundation upon which an impressionable and/or agitated mind could come to the conclusion that violence might be necessary to defend the Watchmen from their “enemies.”
And while it’s true that Lively, Ken Hutcherson, and others issued statements claiming that violence was not being promoted, there were some glaring inconsistencies. For example, Hutcherson said this about violence:
We have law enforcement, we have the police, and we have those who would say no that is wrong. And we have the responsibility if anyone is trying to take it that far to tell them that is absolutely wrong. That is not what the Bible teach. We’re not going to stand on anything the Bible doesn’t teach.
But holocaust revisionist and Watchman co-founder Scott Lively himself twisted the facts about Satendar Singh’s murder to paint the assailants in a sympathetic light before a Watchmen conference last August in Novosibirsk. What’s more, Lively has shown a violent streak himself. The SPLC reports that Lively was ordered by a court in 1991 to pay $20,000 to a lesbian photojournalist who he dragged by the hair through the halls of a Portland church.
And then there’s this ominous statement from another prominent Watchman, Vlad Kusakin:
“All of the events that happened during the week before the conference look like a filthy provocation. There was an incredible stir in media. We were accused of everything. Of hatred, of ties with the KKK, of incitement to murder! Someone has thrown this hoax in to gain political points. So far I can not tell for sure, but it looks like the root of this provocation lies somewhere in Latvia, and soon we will make all efforts to find this source and present to the public those real instigators and racists who wanted to provoke a conflict in Seattle.”
But if Mr. Kusakin really wants to find the “source” rather than a scapegoat, he needs to look no further than the Watchmen’s own web site.