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Posts for June, 2008

Mistrial Declared In Sacramento Hate Crimes Case

Jim Burroway

June 20th, 2008

Satendar SinghA mistrial has been declared in the misdemeanor hate crimes trial of Aleksandr Shevchenko, who was charged with disturbing the peace and simple assault for throwing a bottle in a fight that led to Satendar Singh’s death in Sacramento. Satendar died after being punched by Shevchenko’s friend, Andrey Vusik, who has since left the country.

Shevchenko was convicted by a Sacramento jury of the two misdemeanor charges, but the jury was deadlocked on the hate crime allegation after four days of deliberation. It’s unclear whether the District Attorney’s Office will seek a new trial on the hate crime enhancement.

Shevchenko faces up to nine months for the two misdemeanor convictions. Satendar however will still be dead for a very long time.

See also:
What Is A Young Gay Man’s Life Worth?

From Novosibirsk To Lynnwood

International hate group Watchmen on the Walls will gather in Lynnwood, Washington Oct 19-21. Their conference in Novosibirsk last August may provide a provocative preview.

Jim Burroway

October 14th, 2007

Watchmen on the Wall’s Ad

The international anti-gay extremist group Watchmen on the Walls will hold a conference in Lynnwood, Washington October 19 through 21. Unfortunately, the Lynnwood Convention Center doesn’t appear to know who they are dealing with:

The venue is owned by the Lynnwood Public Facilities District, a public taxing district that operates the convention center but is separate from the city.

“Our understanding is that they’re law-abiding. They have a right of free speech just like any other group,” said Mike Echelbarger, the board’s chairman.

“If we were talking about the (Ku Klux Klan) we’d have a totally different take on it. Of course we wouldn’t rent to the KKK,” he said.

Of course, they wouldn’t rent to the KKK. But as we reported earlier, they may as well. The rhetoric the Watchman use has often been violent, using the rhetoric of warfare in their speeches and writings. Founded by Redmond, Washington by preacher Kenneth Hutcherson, holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, and Latvian megachurch pastor Alexey Ledyaev, Watchmen on the Walls have gained a tremendous amount of influence in Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia. Ledyaev’s fomenting of anti-gay hatred in Riga, Latvia led to violence when skinhead and other demonstrators threw excrement and eggs at Gay Pride participants in 2006.

And as the SPLC recently reported, the Watchmen also represent an increasingly violent anti-gay movement among Slavic evangelical immigrants in several U.S. cities which have previously been known as being gay friendly. In July 2007, a group of Russian-speaking men killed Satendar Singh, a 26-year-old gay Fijian of Indian near Sacramento, California. Two men, Andrey Vusik, 29, and Aleksandr Shevchenko, 21 were charged in connection with Singh’s death. Vusik fled to Russian in July and is being sought by the FBI. Ledyaev and Lively have refused to publicly condemn the killing.

Scott Lively (right) at the Watchmen conference in Novosibirsk

Scott Lively (right) at the Watchmen conference in Novosibirsk, Aug 16-19.

I recently learned that the Watchmen held a conference last August in the Siberian capital of Novosibirsk in the Russian Federation. Scott Lively appeared at that conference, where he described Singh’s killing to his Russian audience his way:

Now, I’ve been working with the Russian community in Sacramento. And I want to tell you this is an example of how bad things are in the United States. Because we’ve come to a place in the United States where the homosexuals have achieved very high power. And they’ve begun to punish… They’ve begun to cause the political powers to punish anyone who says that homosexuality is wrong.

There was a situation in Sacramento a few weeks ago in a public park. There was a group of homosexuals and they were very drunk and one of the homosexual men was taking off his pants. And there were children in the park. And a Russian man went over to these homosexuals and he was rebuking them and there started a fight. And the Russian man punched the homosexual. [The audience starts to shout and applaud.] No, no, no, don’t… The man was very drunk… the homosexual was very drunk. He was very drunk and he fell down and he hit his head and he died. [Some in the audience start to applaud and laugh] No…. no…

Now the Russian man has been accused of murder and the FBI is seeking him. And all of the powers in Sacramento have been accusing all of the Russian community of being murderers. And the goal is to silence everyone who speaks against homosexuality. And this is a very dangerous situation because we don’t want homosexuals to be killed. We want them to be saved. Amen?

Do you feel the love?

Scott Lively’s fame in the Slavic-American evangelical community stems from his book, The Pink Swastika, where he blames the rise of Nazism in Germany on gays. This theory has been readily accepted among a population who suffered mightily at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. In a June 23, 2003 letter to the Washington Times, Lively wrote that “No clear-thinking person believes that the homosexual sexual ethic and that of the family-based society can peacefully coexist. …One must prevail at the expense of the other.” He repeated and expanded that war rhetoric in his remarks in Novosibirsk:

There is a war that is going on in the world. There is a war that is waging across the entire face of the globe. It’s been waging in the United States for decades, and it’s been waging in Europe for decades. It’s a war between Christians and homosexuals.

This is a war you haven’t seen yet. You’ve only seen a little bit of it, because Russia had been protected against the homosexual movement by the Communists. One of the few good things that the Soviet Union did is that it stopped the sexual revolution from infecting the Russian people. But all across the West, the sexual revolution changed the culture of the nations. The sexual revolution embraces the idea that there should be no limits on sexual conduct.

And this is the design of the Devil to destroy civilization, because civilization is based on the natural family. One man and one woman united in marriage bringing children into the world and training them to replace them in the next generation. That’s the foundation of civilization and the heart of Christian living.

And in the United States where the sexual revolution began, it was the homosexual political movement that designed this strategy to attack Christianity. The homosexual movement teaches sexual freedom, and its first target is the heterosexual people. The homosexual activists stayed hidden but they taught this philosophy through their activists. And out of the philosophy came the principalities and powers that is destroying the West: The pornography industry, the abortion industry, and the destruction of marriage through divorce.

These things are the product of a way of thinking. They deny the Truth of God. They deny the design of God for human beings. And their purpose is the change the cultures of the world.

Now, the homosexual movement has been winning this war in the United States, and it has been winning this war in Europe. And we’re looking at the future collapse of Western civilization. And Watchmen on the Walls is an organization to fight against this collapse. Watchmen On the Walls is an organization of men and women with courage, who will stand on the Truth of God and without compromise demand that the culture will follow the guidance of God. That marriage and family must be held at the highest level.

Ken Hutcherson has been equally blunt with the war rhetoric, telling the Seattle Times last January, “We better wake up. This is a war.” Hutcherson went to Latvia last March to speak at Ledyaev’s church in preparation for this year’s Pride celebrations. While there, he claimed that he was speaking on behalf of President Bush, saying that the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives named him “Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief.” When the Seattle Stranger asked the White House about it, spokeswoman Alyssa J. McLenninghen said nobody gave Hutcherson any such title or authority to speak on behalf of the White House. Hutcherson promised to prove his status by producing video of him being given the “power,” but no such proof has surfaced.

According to a translation of the Watchmen On the Walls website, Vlad Kusakin says the conference in Lynnwood is intended to promote the “protection of traditional Christian and moral values, which, owing to the liberalization of mores are under threat of extinction.” Kusakin is the host of a Russian-language anti-gay radio show in Sacramento and the publisher of a Russian-language newspaper in Seattle. He is also one of the speakers at the conference. Scott Lively rallied his Novosibirsk audience with a similar mandate:

If we allow the people who hate God to take control of all the centers of power, then they will change all of the rules and they will put barriers in the way of the Gospel. They will prevent us from telling the truth to the people around us. But if the people of God can step forward and take control of the centers of power, then we can make the rules work in favor of the Gospel. We can use the government to help us tell the message of Jesus Christ. And we must do this!

Hat tips: Ruslan Porshnev and BTB reader Tom.

See also:

Ever Wonder What Anti-Gay Hatred Sounds Like In Russian? — for video of Scott Lively’s talk last August in Novosibirsk.
The Watchmen: Protections for LGBT Youth Worse Than Holocaust Furnaces

International Hate Machine: Hutcherson, Lively and Ledyaev’s “Watchmen On the Walls”

Jim Burroway

October 5th, 2007

Last July 1st, Satendar Singh, a 26-year-old Fijian of Indian descent was beaten to death at Lake Natoma near Sacramento by Russian-speaking immigrants two picnic tables away. They singled Singh out from among his party, saying “We just want your faggot friend.” He was bashed in the head and died the next day of a brain hemorrhage. Two men, Andrey Vusik, 29, and Aleksandr Shevchenko, 21 were charged with hate crimes in connection with Singh’s death. Vusik fled to Russian in July and is being sought by the FBI.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report has a very informative article by Casey Sanchez about the growing Russian, Ukrainian and Latvian immigrant communities in the Western U.S., and the increasingly violent threat they pose to gays and lesbians in the region.

A growing and ferocious anti-gay movement in the Sacramento Valley is centered among Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking immigrants. Many of them are members of an international extremist anti-gay movement whose adherents call themselves the Watchmen on the Walls. In Latvia, the Watchmen are popular among Christian fundamentalists and ethnic Russians, and are known for presiding over anti-gay rallies where gays and lesbians are pelted with bags of excrement. In the Western U.S., the Watchmen have a following among Russian-speaking evangelicals from the former Soviet Union. Members are increasingly active in several cities long known as gay-friendly enclaves, including Sacramento, Seattle and Portland, Ore.

…Slavic anti-gay talk radio hosts and fundamentalist preachers routinely deliver hateful screeds on the airwaves and from the pulpit in their native tongue that, were they delivered in English, would be a source of nationwide controversy.

Ken Hutcherson, Scott Lively, and Latvian megachurch preacher Alexey Ledyaev

Kenneth Hutcherson, Scott Lively, and Latvian megachurch pastor Alexey Ledyaev.

These Slavic groups aren’t operating in a vacuum however. They are actively supported and encouraged by two key American anti-gay extremists, Rev. Kenneth Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Washington and Scott Lively, author of the holocaust revisionist book The Pink Swastika. Together, they have formed an alliance called “Watchmen on the Walls” with Riga, Latvian pastor Aleksey Ledyaev.

That alliance operates not only among Slavic evangelical churches here in the U.S. but in Russia, Ukraine, and Latvia as well. Hutcherson and Lively traveled to Latvia last spring to speak at pastor Ledyaev’s New Generation Church in advance of that country’s contentious Pride celebrations. Lively told that audience:

God gave Kenneth Hutcherson and me to see that [New Generation pastor] Alexei [Ledyaev] is the very man God placed to direct this battle, and church should support him in all respects. We are going to help you consistently and effectively to fight those who violate Christ’s rights and target his ministers for their insults.

Lively’s book, The Pink Swastika, claims that Hitler was gay. He go further and claims that the Nazi Party, World War II and the Holocaust were the products of a vast gay conspiracy. That book as found an eager audience among a population that suffered horrendously from Nazi aggression during World War II. Casey Sanchez reports:

The Pink Swastika has become Lively’s passport to fame among anti-gay church leaders and their followers in Eastern Europe, as well as Russian-speaking anti-gay activists in America. Lively frequently speaks about the book and his broader anti-gay agenda in churches, police academies and television news studios throughout the former Soviet Union.

Lively credits the popularity of Russian-language translations of The Pink Swastika to the support of Pastor Alexey Ledyaev, the head of the New Generation Church, an evangelical Christian megachurch based in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. New Generation has more than 200 satellite churches spread throughout Eastern Europe, Argentina, Israel and the United States.

Sacramento, Calif., editor Vlad Kusakin; Vadim Privedenyuk, who runs an anti-gay church in Springfield, Mass.; Kenneth Hutcherson; and Alexey Ledyaev

Sacramento, Calif., editor Vlad Kusakin; Vadim Privedenyuk, who runs an anti-gay church in Springfield, Mass.; Kenneth Hutcherson; and Alexey Ledyaev.

Sanchez also reports on the standard rhetoric coming form Hutcherson, Lively and Ledyaev’s alliance. The rhetoric is chilling:

In a speech given after Riga’s first gay pride parade in 2005, Ledyaev told his international congregation: “Homosexuality is a … dangerous and contagious disease. The contagious should be isolated and treated. Otherwise, an epidemic will sweep through the entire community.”

Lively echoed his Latvian ally’s comparison of homosexuality to disease in a 2003 letter to the editor published in The Washington Times. “The homosexual movement in a society is analogous to the AIDS virus in the human body,” Lively wrote. “It is not benign but destructive; it thrives at the expense of the host, and you’re most likely to get it by saying yes to sodomy.”

The Watchmen portray the battle against gay rights as nothing less than a biblical clash of civilizations. “The homosexual sexual ethic” and “family-based society” are at war, Lively proclaimed in his letter to The Washington Times. “One must prevail at the expense of the other.”

That sort of militant rhetoric is standard among Watchmen followers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Speaking to his American counterparts in a Watchmen video, a Latvian anti-gay activist intones: “Your generation beat the Nazis, and our country beat the Communists. Together we will defeat the homosexuals!”

This may explain why, when Lively and Ledyaev were contacted for comment on Singh’s death, they refused to condemn the murder.

The rhetoric emanating from this group is extremely dangerous and violent. It’s hard to imagine how people who consider themselves to be good and faithful Christians can continue to maintain any connections with the Watchmen.

But some not only nurture those connections, they value them tremendously. Kenneth Hutcherson was a featured speaker at last summer’s Exodus Freedom Conference. Exodus president Alan Chambers and vice-president Randy Thomas glowingly introduced “Hutch” as their person friend. And unlike any other speakers, Hutcherson spoke not just once, but twice in featured prime-time spots before the whole conference — once in the evening, and once again the following morning. And throughout his talks, he proclaimed his love for homosexuals and how precious they were in God’s sight — or at least the “strugglers” who were in the audience that night.

Hutcherson Speaking at the 2007 Exodus Freedom Conference

Kenneth Hutcherson, speaking at the 2007 Exodus Freedom Conference.

And yet when he’s away from Exodus International’s warm embrace, Hutcherson is actively collaborating with an international organization which is spreading a dangerously violent and deadly message throughout the world and here in America. If Alan Chambers really wants to talk about what an “evil agenda” looks like, he need look no further than his own stage.

See also:
From Novosibirsk To Lynnwood